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Abuse / Survival Stories > A Painful Childhood

A Painful Childhood

A Painful Childhood
I am a 26 years old nursing student. Right now I am experiencing depression and low self-esteem. But before going there I wanted to thank you for creating this cool website because it helps to have a place to go and chat. I don't have a family who can listen to me and support me emotionally.

This last month I have been experiencing very odd feelings. I just have put on some weight and I have been very sleepy. I don't want to get up for anything. Since I don't have money to look for a professional, I decided to go online. I am searching for spiritual support. There I found your website.

I am an orphan form Brazil. I grew up in a very spiritual orphanage in Brazil. When I was 10 years old I got transferred to another orphanage because we girls could only stay in this first orphanage only until 10 years old. When I was transferred I was separated from my younger sister. Well the second orphanage was very hard. The lady in charge was extremely cruel and violent. I was even raped there. I then decided it was time for me to escape. So I teamed up with 4 other girls and took off. We asked truck drives for rides. All of us got separated at some point. I ended up in Rio De Janeiro. My life in Rio was not easy, I was living in streets and getting up every day with something new. At times I had no clothes on. At times there was someone on top of me. Lots of cops. I was no longer an innocent girl. It was unbearable to see the other girls being raped and beaten in front of me. There was also lots of times were girls in streets described how they were raped every time they decided to go to their "homes" if I can call it homes. There was also lots of bodies. One day I woke up due to a very loud noise. It was what is known as the Chacina of the Candelaria. translating, the massacre of Candelaria. It is just one of those cleaning up that is often done in streets of Rio. There is too many of us. I was just lucky. There was again a pervert on top of me. Well I was not really lucky because I was just about to be molested again. But I say it luck because he was my shield as he fell down on top of me. Yes he was shot. There was blood all over. I was one of the few witness that survived. I was put in prison because it was an international scandle. UNICEF and lots of international nations were on Brazil's government case. I was given a new ID and so on. The minors prison was unbearable. they made me take my clothes of to check on me. I am a woman. And woman's in Brazil have fewer rights. The guards are very abusive. One day a group of Canadian tourist come over to the prison accompanied by a lady who was a minors defense lawyer from Rio. I would think they were there to learn about Juvenal prison and kids in streets. I asked the group if I could sing a song. The only English song I knew. One little, two little, three little Indians... I was in cameras. I then started to cry. The defense layer asked me why was I crying. I asked her why I was there. I have done nothing. I am in prison. She said, "all of you said the same thing. You are here because you did something of course. It would be impossible otherwise." I said no, I have done nothing. I am a survivor of the massacre. She said, "There was no way you must have done something. I am busy and cannot help you." The Canadians were looking at me and asking me why was I crying. I guess this is what she was asking me as I did not speak English at the time. I looked at them and continued crying. One of the woman's in the group started crying with me. Then I looked at the defense lawyer and said, you have got to believe me. I have been here for a week and for no reason. How would you feel if you were to be here locked up right now for no reason? They took my freedom. You have got to believe me. She told the Canadians to come with her. She told me she would be back. I was like, NO please don't leave me here. Well she did come back for me. I tell you she was so mad, she was furious and yelling at the guards. She said, "you have to get out of here. This is not a place for you." I said how? She went to talk to the prison director who ended up losing his job. Well the director became really sweet and said that he found a place for me in a open orphanage. I was only 13. The orphanage was worse and more dangerous place than the streets, constant killings and rape.

We were just dreaming of having a mother you know? Someone that kiss you and put you to bed. Someone that protect you and love you. There was no such thing. One day blended to a night until day and night meant nothing. Sadness, crying, misery. I was back in streets again. Oh bitter life. Even among such bitterness and tragedy I still had hope. It was this strong light. It was the only thing I had. It was so strong that even in the middle of all that poverty and sadness it shined. My light refused to stop shining. I do not know how how I am still sane.

I met an angel. This angel was this catholic priest that was on a mission from Italy. Father Arthur was teaching the other kids how to read and write. I was helping him almost every day. I grew up in an orphanage in a different state, so I had some education. Some of the kids basically were there in streets longer than me. So I could help father Arthur. He would go find me and wake me up saying, "Ok Angel lets get to work. We are in a mission." One day he said, " You have such a talent. You are smart. You can do better than this. You are lucky you are that smart." I said thanks. He asked me, " Would you like to go to school?" I said me? You get to be joking. I live in the streets. Do you have any concept? He said," Yes. I will help you. I have connections. I can get you to go to a private catholic boarding school. In anywhere in Europe." I said I don't want to be locked up. What if is a prison? I want to be free. He said, " Angela, it is a fine boarding school. You will not be able to go out but it is a school." However one week later I changed my mind. In a blink of my eyes I was in a plane to Portugal where I met the best friends of lifetime. They were from all over the world. It was a shock in the beginning. The girls were really educated. With me there was no arguments, only physical violence. I got in to trouble several times. The nuns often spanked me. I was even hired as a personal body guard. The payment was chocolate and coca coca. Its was very special to have a chocolate bar. It was treated like a drug dealing think. The nuns were very controlling with what we ate. there was a nutritionist. My first year was very very challenging. Anyways I graduated. Went back to Brazil. No family. I had a place to stay for six months until get a job. Did I say a job in Brazil? A country were doctor are washing cars? Yeah right. Back in streets again. But this time I was not really in Streets. Found a place in two days. I had to sell my soul. It was not easy. Doing this kind of work after being raped was traumatizing. There is more to this story, but for now i will stop here.

I am now in the USA California. studying to become a nurse. I wanted to join womensselfesteem.com because I love Canadians they gave me good luck. I share my experience with others and learn from then. We are all here in this planet seeking for the light. I love to make friends because they are all I have left. I will open a school to educate girls someday. Education is the only way out. But before I have to get over my suicidal feelings. The more I know about the world, the less I understand. And all the thinks I thought I have figured out I have to learn again. I just need a life coach. I know I will never be able to have a mother as I am 26 years old. Maybe next reincarnation things will be different. Thanks for reading. I usually don't talk this much about myself. I tend to be quiet. I listen to much and often find myself giving life advise and solve peoples problems. I guess I scape because it gives me pleasure to help others. And also because It is a scape code. Anyways thanks for reading this much.



: I cannot begin to imagine how one can survive such demoralizing, insecure, traumatic beginnings to life in this world.  My heart went out to you Angela and I admire you for sharing this story with us. Being able to disclose such personal information is a large step in your healing process.  Your life from now on can only go from strength to strength and I am sure you will make a very compassionate nurse as a result of all the pain you have experienced.  Take Care
***Sharon ..... Queensland Australia***

: Most Americans, myself included can't even begin to imagine such a life as the one you described. Please continue to tell your story as painful as it may be so the world can no longer bury its head in the sand about the problems of Brazil's street children. This is everyone's responsibility. God bless you.
***Vickie Gene Townsend ***

: You said that you are really struggling with self esteem, and are looking for spiritual help.. and I just wanted to encourage you that you Are worth so much, and that there is Someone out there who loves you beyond imagination. You mentioned that you went to a Catholic school, so I would assume that you know of Jesus. I do not know the exact beliefs of the school that you went to, but it sounded kinda traumatic. It's not supposed to be like that. Jesus loves YOU, so much that he just wants to be with you, and to love you. He died just so that he could spend time with you. And this same God that died for you, loves you so so much, is the all-powerful God at the same time! :) So I just wanted to let you know that you are worth so much, and whenever you feel like you've messed up too badly (i've been there) that no one could ever forgive you or that you aren't special at all just remember that there is a God who loves you, and if you'll let him will wrap you in his arms. I'm praying for you! ***Rachel***






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