I Believe That One Thing Leads to Another
When I was young I experienced life with an excitement, and a sense of everyday adventures. My parents surrounded me with love and care as a child. I have experienced things where one thing leads to another.
I loved a young man, Sasha, who loved me too. Sasha visited me every day after work for more than two years. We were happy together and deeply in love. We talked, and made jokes. We enjoyed the summer’s air during warm nights, and the stars were so close to us, as we were. We had an equal love for each other. Here was no reason for us to be distant. We told each other our needs through words or even our eyes. Suddenly, Sasha married somebody else. He and his wife had a child soon after. Our dream to be together was destroyed.
When my boyfriend left me for another woman, I hardly managed to cope with my loss. I was ashamed, so was my family. In order to get away from my feelings, I decided after college to move away to Minsk. In the new city I started working, and relying on myself. My pain from my loss of love shaded my face, but I was still attracted to men.
In my new city, Minsk, my next experience was dating a man older than me, Anatolie, with a high education. He helped me develop my interest in art. He told me that he loved me, but something was missing. Then I read in his eyes that he wanted me to have a higher education. He helped me with art lessons. He let me use his studio all day while he went on outings with successful friends like him.
My relationship with Anatolie who had a high education was not stable because in the back of his mind I was not an intellectual person for him. After the break up with him, I married a man younger a me. I thought that he was more open-minded about education. I gave birth to our children . A few years later, because his parents moved to US, we did too.
In the new country I couldn’t adapt to anything quickly. I didn’t speak English. I worked low-paying jobs. My spouse was angry if I bought a pair of shoes for myself. I looked miserable and like a loser in society where people around us were well adjusted. My marriage ended after two months of living in the USA. I didn’t get enough child-support, and I didn’t get help as other single-parent families.
One day, I was evicted from an apartment and I lived in the ghetto for several years. People noticed that I was by myself with children. I lived around hateful, xenophobic, violent, even hostile people. Stereotypes, racist, thieves, layers, and all types of unruly mankind was looking for the victims not just randomly but those who were less protected. In the ghetto they know how to take advantage of the weak in society. In addition, they have support from their families who are also blind to their own mistakes . There is a Russian saying: ”If you live with wolves you must howl like a wolf.” Ghetto people called me white trash, and damaged my property. Most of all I didn’t want anybody to hurt my children. However they threw a rock to my son’s head. I felt pain, isolated, and scared. A police officer was shot to death on the next street we lived by. I noticed that my children didn’t trust anybody around them, and they were afraid in society which may commit senseless crime. My children became emotionally frozen. Life was terrifying and scary.
For example, my neighbors from the downstairs apartment had an incident. The bullet landed on the floor under the crib where my son slept. We managed to move out but my new place wasn’t ideal either. I felt unhappy and depressed every day. Therefore, I had to pray to God, who I trusted without any doubts.
One night, I set next to my baby and I heard a women’s choir behind me. Then I saw an Angel. He was about seven feet tall and he was wearing brown long coat. He looked at me with a promise. Next day, I called one landlord whose apartments were in a more peaceful neighborhood. And then, I heard an Angel’s voice on the other side.
I moved out from a violent neighborhood. I can’t forget my first day at the new place. My little son open backdoor in the apartment, looked at the sky, and he thanked God for the new, safer place he gave us. There is a Russian saying: ”Don’t buy a house, buy the neighborhood.”
I think that a person’s life is like a domino effect. One little or significant event affects the next. Perhaps, the decision, the path, and happenings in life when we young affect the rest of life.
I. K. a student at University in Milwaukee. She came to the United States from Belarus. She’s a single parent with four children. She often dedicates her artworks to victims of societies.