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M’s Story

Meiskie again here!
How is everyone doing?
I’ve been surprisingly okay lately, emotionally especially. Physically I’m doing better than usual, but I’ve gained a couple of problems already this year.
I suddenly got the urge to post something that will stay with you. I don’t know if it should be good or bad, but here goes nothing. I’m going to have a look-see around and see if I find anything. The rest of this post will be written when I’ve done that. Let’s hope it’s soon. It’s 17/02/2014. Let’s see when I publish this.
Okay, well… it’s now 18/02/2014.
First of all, I’d like to thank Zaracaz for all the laughs and good times we’ve had in the past 22 months.
Second of all… My best friend, M, is letting me publish her story. I believe that so far we haven’t had any domestic abuse stories on here… bullying, gender abuse and abuse received by your partner; but not from parents yet.
Well, M’s story is the first(?) one of that type that we’re publishing here. Obviously, it’s close to home for me, because it’s my best friend that this has happened too, and it makes me really angry, because I’ve slept over at her place and I thought that her parents were really nice. I was wrong. Her dad is really nice, but her mum doesn’t deserve to be called a mother.
I’ve asked M to write down everything that’s happened to her on a piece of paper and give it to me tomorrow, so I can publish the full story. I only know a few fragments of it, so I want to get the full story. So, I guess that tomorrow I will finish this blog post if I have time.
It’s 20/2/2014. Obviously, I didn’t have time yesterday. I don’t have much time today either, because I’ve got an exam tomorrow and I have to study… but first, I’d like to wish Z a very, extremely happy birthday today! And, if it’s your birthday today too, happy birthday to you!
I’m going to start M’s story now. I’m going to write it in third person, though I will have quotes from what she wrote(translated from Spanish to English).
M has gone through as much as I have, if not more. Her mum has bullied her for as long as she can remember, which is since she was about 4 years old. Her mum treated her like a mannequin, a doll, a toy to play with and then throw to the side when she got bored.
She bullied M mentally and physically, until M cried. Trust me, in the time that I’ve known her, I think she’s only cried once or twice. It takes A LOT to make M cry. Her mother hurt her that much.
M has got dark hair and dark skin, or at least darker than northern europeans, and her mum called her a lot of offensive names because of it. Gypsy, nigger, witch, etc. that caused M’s self-esteem problems and hyperhidrosis(which appeared from constant anxiety and nerves about what would happen to her). This was all during her infancy, and it affected her even more when her mum would hit her for no reason, go around saying that she was a bad daughter and making herself the victim.
M, up to 2 or 3 years ago, had a reaaaaaally low self-esteem. It was non-existent. Worse than mine, and my self-esteem was pretty damn low.
That wasn’t the worst part though. At school, M got bullied really badly, by everyone. And then, when she got home it would continue. Her mum blamed her for everything that went wrong, even when she hadn’t been around. One example is when dinner didn’t taste exactly right, or it wasn’t quite right because she was too lazy to do it properly, she blamed it on M.
-I feel so lazy, lazy, lazy! 6/03/2014-
She made M lonely, she shouted at her, she used her to get what she wanted, she said horrible things to her, she insulted her, she said that no one loved her,she said that no one could put up with her, M wasn’t allowed to play with anyone at that age, etc.
M had her human rights, but her mother took them away from her. She stole M’s stuff, she broke M’s stuff on purpose so that M didn’t have anything to play with, and she said that it was M’s fault that they broke. That’s not to mention all the bad situations she got M into by tricking her and setting her up.
When M was 9, she started developing her own character, she started to become herself, but her mum became jealous. Really, really jealous, just because M had her own personality and she didn’t, so she got even worse.
This is something M told me a few months ago:
When M was 7 or 8 years old, her mum and her had gone out to buy sweets together. M’s mum said that they would share half each.
M’s mum said to not eat the sweets before dinner, but she went and ate her half of the bag. Then M wanted to get just the one sweet, because her mum had eaten her’s and she didn’t know why she couldn’t have some, and M’s mum freaked. She took the bag of sweets away, grabbed M’s arm and pushed her against the corner of the table. M’s back got injured, and her mum just kept pushing her against the table, grabbed one of her legs and pushed it up further than it could go, so M’s leg also got injured. She kept M like that for a few minutes, using her own body to push her against the corner of the table, one hand holding her arm in a death-grip, and the other hand pushing her leg to a painful angle, far further than M’s flexibility allowed.

This last part is going to be a direct(translated) quote from M herself.
“One detail to let you get an idea of everything is that I was the pillar of strength that supported my family, I took all the pressure from the family, I had to fix the problems while I received extreme bullying at school(everyday I got home crying, I spent the hours at school alone while everyone insulted me and hit me. I’ve lost count of how many sprains, bruises and other injuries I had, all over my body.) and add to that everything my mother did to me. But, despite all that, I was always happy, smiling and everything(I don’t know how). A lot of teenagers say to their mums “I hate you” “Go to Hell” when they just try to help or they’re worrying. I say to my mum “I love you a lot” when she was the person that has caused me the most pain and problems. I don’t know what to think, maybe I’m weird or something…”

That is sad. It’s sad and painful and horrible, and no one should be treated that way by their mother, yet M still told her mum that she loved her.
I asked M why she didn’t report her mum to the police once. Her answer was that her mum is a bitch, and she’s not worthy of being called a mum, but she’s still her mum, and the only mum she’d ever have. That’s why she never reported her.

I haven’t got anything else to say, this is pretty much self-explanatory.
Please contact us if you want to tell us your story, ask advice or anything else at ourvoiceproject@hotmail.com
Z is also setting up a WordPress blog. I’ll start posting on there soon too.
Please take care of yourselves, remember that there are other people in your situation, there is always someone you can talk to and your parents are the only parents you’ll ever have. What M went through is really sad, but she still loves her mum. If she can still love her mum, we can all tell our parents that we love them, even if we do fight with them every once in a while.

We’re here.
xxxMeiskiexxx

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Memory Lane

I think I’ve mentioned in Meiskie’s Story about my brother having cancer and being in hospital for some time.
Lately, I’ve been talking in class about it, to my friends and with my family, reliving the bittersweet memories of  the amazing Planta 4 of the children’s hospital that my brother was in at the young age of 9.
In late 2006, just before my brother’s 10th birthday, the doctors told us that my brother had cancer. My mother cried. I don’t remember how I reacted, I was only 8 at the time, I didn’t quite understand it. I knew it was bad, but not quite how bad. My brother knew exactly what it was, and he just seemed to accept his fate there and then.
My mum called my dad, who was away at that time, working, and told him about my brother. He booked the first flight back home, while my mum drove back home, dropped me off at our neighbours’ and then took off to the hospital. She left the house keys with our neighbours and we went to my house to get some of my stuff. We also packed some clothes for my brother and for my mother.
I stayed home with the woman, while the husband drove to the hospital to drop off my mum and bro’s clothes. He stayed there until my daddy came home. I spent three days at my neighbours’ house, and they took good care of me, making sure I was okay, calling my mum every evening so I could talk to her, taking me to school and telling the school what had happened.
One of my parents, I can’t remember which one, came home on the third day and from then on they took turns in staying home. Two days mum, two days dad. This was all in September. I didn’t see my brother until his birthday, in the third week of October. It’s amazing how much people can change in the space of five-six weeks. My brother had started chaemotherapy, he was starting to lose his honey-blonde hair, his cheeks were puffed up from the medication and he was pale and skinny. I certainly didn’t expect it, but he was still my big brother, and it was his birthday, so we made the most of it. I think we handled it quite well, and no one cried. We played in the games room together and my brother introduced me to some of the children he’d met there. I don’t remember their names, and I don’t remember what they looked like, but I do remember that they were all happy. Just happy and optimistic. The fact that they all had cancer didn’t seem to bother them in the slightest. They just accepted it and lived their hospital lives however they could.
There is one boy who I remember quite clearly. His name started with an H, so I’ll refer to him by that.
H was a little two-year old who just didn’t seem to stop smiling. He blabbered, he giggled and he smiled. He was always happy.
The first time I saw him was on my brother’s birthday. My brother really liked that little boy, and he took me to his room to visit him. The next time I saw H, he was in his hospital bed, being rolled into the lift with two broken legs, crying his eyes out and screaming. He’d broken both legs when he fell over, down the stairs at home. The chaemotherapy caused him infinite amounts of pain, and he couldn’t have any morphine. I never saw him again after that. He died a few weeks after I saw him like that. That’s what cancer does to people. To little children who never did anything wrong.
In the rest of the time my brother was there, another two children died. I never met them.
After my brother’s birthday, I didn’t see him until November. My mum had told me that I was the glue holding the family together, and damn me if I didn’t age 5 years when she said that. My brother was allowed out of hospital  for Christmas, but he was back inside again on Boxing Day.
On the 9th of January, 2007, I went to hospital to see my brother, as it was my 9th birthday. I met K then. I will tell you more about him later.
My brother had been put on the transplant list, for a bone-marrow transplant. His immune system was very low, he couldn’t walk, his body had stopped growing, but his feet hadn’t. They grew from a size 36 to a 42 in the space of 6 months. This caused his feet to be deformed, though they couldn’t do anything about it until after the transplant, because the transplant would affect his growth too.
I didn’t see him much at all in the next three months. I’d had two or three blood tests done, to see if I could donate my bone-marrow, to see if I could donate blood and to see if I could donate platelets for after the transplant. I was not a compatible donor for any of the above.
My brother got really lucky. They’d found a bone-marrow donor for him in Germany. We still don’t know who it was, but we want to thank that person for saving my brother’s life. We found a platelet donor in our own village, who we still keep in contact with and thank her every time we see her. The blood wasn’t so hard for the doctors to deal with and they soon found a donor.
On April 4th, the day after my dad’s birthday, my brother was released from the sterile room where he’d had his transplant. The best birthday present my dad ever got.
To be able to have the transplant, my brother’s immune system had to be brought down to 0, he couldn’t have any platelets in his blood, which means his blood didn’t coagulate; he had a lot of sessions of radiotherapy, and he was in a white, sterile room for a month, on morphine.
One day, out of nowhere, he got a nosebleed. He had no platelets to coagulate his blood, so the bleeding didn’t stop until hours later. The doctors had a hard time then. Between the bleeding nose and him begging for more morphine, it was hard.
I went to visit him, but I couldn’t go in the room with him. I had to talk to him through a phone and look at him through a big glass window. He was asleep most of the time, but the short time he was awake and lucid, he managed to talk to me. My parents made sure to take me away before he asked for more morphine. Only after he got out of the room did my parents tell me that my brother had been a morphine addict during his entire stay in that room, from the amounts they pumped into him.
After that, my brother was on the slow road to recovery. This year it’s going to be eight years since my brother got diagnosed, and he still has to go for check-ups. There was one time a couple of years ago that we thought the cancer had come back, but it hadn’t. The first two or three years, my brother spent a month in hospital, a week at home, then a month, two weeks, etc.  up until now. He now goes to the hospital once every six months for a check-up and comes home that same day.
As for my brother’s feet… he was so weak when he came of out that room that he couldn’t walk, especially because of his feet. My dad made him a type of bike thing that my mother made him pedal on for 20 minutes every day. He used to cry because it hurt and he didn’t want to. If he hadn’t, he would be in a wheelchair.
Medication: for the first few months, he was on thirty-six different kinds of pills, injections and liquids, three times a day. There was one I remember very clearly. Sandimun. Three times a day, in orange juice to mask the flavour. My brother threw up nearly every time he took it, because of the flavour. He begged my parents to not make him have it.
My brother got really sensitive skin and got a rash on his face and his buttocks. My mum used to cry while she applied the cream on his skin, because my brother would be in pain and crying. I always tried to stay away, but it isn’t easy when your bedroom is two meters away.
None of us are the same as what we used to be, we’re all scarred from that somehow.
I mentioned a boy earlier, K. He got diagnosed when he was eight. He’s now nineteen, and he’s still got the cancer. His hips have gone, he has to bathe in oil three times a day because his skin is so dry, he can’t walk, he hasn’t been to school in years, he’s had more operations than 20 people combined, his life is ruined… his body is slowly giving up. His kidneys are failing, his liver is failing, but he’s still alive. His parents are rich, the doctors have done with him exactly what they’ve done with my brother, but his body just can’t fight it. There is still hope, but even if he recovers, he won’t be able to do anything with his life. He’s got no friends except for my brother, he’s missed out on ten years of education, all he knows is hospitals all over Spain. What kind of life has it been for K? For my brother? For H? For all those others?
My best friend said to me yesterday that I was probably more scarred than my brother from that. I think my whole family is scarred, but I see her point. I slept over at friend’s houses, at our neighbours, I stayed at school with a teacher for an extra hour because no one could pick me up, I felt neglected. I can’t talk about it without shaking and without crying. This has been really hard for me to write, and it’s like a knife through my heart with every memory I relive while writing this.
Cancer doesn’t only destroy the person that’s ill. It destroys the people around that person, and it scars people forever.

Remember, we’re here to raise our voices and speak for the people that can’t raise their voices. Don’t be afraid to tell your story, and I wish you the best of luck if you have been affected by cancer, or any illness like that, in any way.

All my love and hope,
Meiskie xxx