Dandelion Child

Brown eyes stare at Mother for the first time. A whole life in front of her, but she only gets a short time with Mother; suddenly Mother dies, and she is taken away for ever. She cries when she is brought to the orphanage. She can’t yet tell the world she is in shock, longing and grieving after Mother.

Mother is nowhere to be seen, smelled or heard. She is terrified. She cries and cries, but soon learns that no one will come to comfort her. Time is ticking … minutes, hours, days, weeks and months pass at the orphanage. She lies very still, frightened, lonely, shocked and apathetic. She is hungry, cold, sick and very sad. Wet with her own vomit and a full diaper, her behind so sore, but it’s a long wait before someone finally comes to pick her up and change her. There is no love at the orphanage: the workers are paid to be there a few hectic hours a day, so each baby gets very little human contact. They’ve become numbers, arranged in beds, a burden to the employees, a burden to society, and later in life she even becomes a burden to her adoptive parents.

In an environment like this, she is lucky to survive even the first months of her life.

One day her view changes. The empty, white walls are gone, as are all the other babies. She is brought to a hospital, and after that she finds herself in a foster home.

Traumatized, the little child is trying to cope with the sudden changes, adapt to her new environment. Her feelings, the abillity to walk, talk, stand up or trust people is messed up. She is slow compared to other children because of illness, due to malnutrition and negligence, and her poor start in life. All her energy is consumed in a fight for survival.

So once again she is a package, this time on a long journey. She is insecure, frightened, a very quiet and lonely little girl, her emotional baggage full of trauma, and apparently no end to her misery. She arrives at her destination, only to receive a childhood full of even more hardships.

Years pass. Now that the little girl is grown up she takes one day at the time. She can’t stand stress, or having to live up to the expectations of others. She prefers simple ways and little things, loves animals and flowers, books, music and movies, and the times when she can just relax and not feel that she has to be or do things she can’t handle anymore.

The girl who always felt she had to manage everything in her life is very tired. Her batteries empty, exhausted in body and spirit.

I had to endure so much so early in life, and my heart is longing for better times with peace and quiet and happiness. My inner child shivers when she thinks of the hard times, the moments when she had to be strong and didn’t even know that there was a way out of that deep pit.

I regret now that I wasn’t braver then, wish that I’d had the courage to just cry out. If I had dared to tell others how bad things were, maybe the welfare system in Norway would have helped me. The abuse from childhood has left many scars on the soul.

I even have official papers stating that my childhood was bad, and that my adoptive parents, if prosecuted, might have faced up to six years in prison for the abuse and neglect. This gives me very little comfort today, since half of my life was so very hard and so very painful, like a nightmare. So I hope the second half of my life will be filled with more joy. I’ll say to that little girl, “You did your best after all, tried to please everyone even though you did not have much.”

She is still here, that little silhouetto of a girl who blew lots of dandelion seeds into a meadow and wished that she could be loved and happy like everybody else.

~ Khara


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