Have you met such children in your life?
Or, may be, you’ve been one of them?
I was not “removed” – I stayed with my family – well, with whatever was left of it by then… No one cared, no one noticed – it was better that way. I was ‘caught’ only a few times at school. Once I struggled with completing a test in writing because my hands were shaking too much. On another occasion I punched a girl. She saw my dad coming home drunk and started making silly jokes about that in front of the class. My fuse was short – my fist was fast… I was taken to the principal. He could not make any sense of it: “You’ve always been such a good quiet student, always getting the top marks, always listening to the teachers. I can’t understand why you did that?” I had nothing to say.
I never invited anyone to my place, I never talked to anyone about my family – except my only school friend Lucy and later Ivan.
I felt very sorry for Lucy. She lived with her parents and her only sister. Her dad wanted to have sons – no luck. Both children turned out to be female. He never got over it, blaming them and their mum for that. He was often verbally and physically abusive – with both girls and their mother. I felt much luckier – at least, my dad was not bashing me.
Lucy’s sister got married as soon as she reached the ‘legal’ age, which was 18 – just to get away from her dad. Lucy ‘lasted’ a bit longer. She phoned me before her wedding day: “You might be surprised that I’m marrying a man who is 10 years older than I’m,” she said. “While it was the norm a century ago, I know it looks pretty weird nowadays. With a more mature dad, I hope my children will be growing in a better environment and won’t see the hell I went through as a child…”
Ivan was raised by a single mum. His dad was complete alcoholic. I saw him only once. He was so ‘marinated’ after decades of drinking, that it was even impossible to tell when he was drunk or sober, if he ever was sober. He was trying to say something friendly to me, but I could not understand even a single word. Poor Ivan needed to ‘translate’ for me from Russian to Russian. I felt very sorry for Ivan – my dad at least could still talk properly and was not always drunk.
Alex never talked about his family. It looked like his family did not care about him at all. I had a feeling that there was a history of alcoholism in his family too, because Alex would never touch anything with alcohol, whether it was vodka, beer, wine or cider. Not a drop. For that reason, other lads were always mocking him with their usual ‘you are not a man if you are not drinking’ tune. My gender helped in those cases – as none of that ‘be a man’ crap applied to me I could easily get those lads ‘out of tune’ to shut them up.
Victoria was the only surprising exception. Her parents divorced when she was little. Her dad was married three times, her mum – twice. It always puzzled me how they all managed to maintain good relationships. Victoria lived with her mum, however if she needed her dad he was always there for her in a blink of an eye. She had very good relationship with all his children from other marriages – her half-sisters and half-brothers. Her step-dad treated her well too. May be, that’s why she turned into such a carefree chatter box with a beaming smile: always happy, always confident, always giggling…
I’m very proud of my friends. They did not have a good start in life, but they all managed to get their lives into a pretty good shape and provide safe, stable and loving environment for their children. They became wonderful teachers, doctors, train drivers, tradespeople. It was a hard work – and still is I’m sure. However they never complained, they never blamed their fate or difficult childhood, they never gave up and while steadily getting up on their feet, they never put anyone down.
I do admire their self-discipline, strength, determination and kind hearts. They are real heroes for me, the most beautiful people I’ve known.
What about you?
Who are the most beautiful people in your life?
Hope you’ll always have something solid to stand on and will never forget how to fly 🙂