Psychological trauma treatment

How would you love yourself? Medicine from disliking

Several years ago a great loss happened in my life. I was completely off the rails, could not work like I should. I’ve got poor health, but most of all my soul ached. I started whirling with heavy thoughts:

-        It’s only mine fault. If I didn’t make those mistakes

-        I would be happy
- Such happiness will never be

-        There's no reason to live anymore.


It is of course necessary to live. I shall live but it won't be a life as it could become if it wasn’t for my mistakes. Life will be gray, bleak and only loneliness ahead, work ... and death.. that almost no one among the people will notice.

The only thing that helps against the pain is continuous prayer. But awareness of worthlessness and emptiness remained.

There were different successes in my life. But it's all external. The most important thing to suffice a person's happiness is love. It is important if I love and deserve love. What makes me worthy of love? Again - it is my love to others.

Is there any love in me? The soul is like a sandy desert. You go through life, enveloping everyone around with cold. That's why you feel so cold yourself and... bored. There is no wishes at all.

This is a problem for many people who didn’t get enough love in their childhood. We carry the wound of childhood through life. We move through life like cars without fuel. We grow like trees without water. 
How we move and how we grow is unclear. By some miracle. But the older we get, the less we have the right to look back and blame our childhood. The more opportunities we have to change something.

When this drama happened, like from the high mountains, I suddenly overlooked life, what it was and what it will be. I have clearly seen - a little bit more and soon life will end. I will come to it with the same selfishness, cowardice, shivered little man with a grim face. "Why have you lived?", -they will ask. "How have you adorned the world? Whom have you made happy?" And I will have nothing to answer.

This is very scary! To live and not to shine. To live only to consume. It is such foolish, such a mistake! It will be impossible to correct anything later on.

It's as if after the graduating Department of Art, you have got a large canvas and amazing colors and got a chance to draw a beautiful joyful world. That kind of as you want. Provided that there's no other picture, this is the first and last one. You studied, you've been created just for this one picture. But you took the canvas and paints on the market, sold them and have spent money in the bar. You could leave behind yourself something that will make people happy and decorate the world. But you left only empty bottles, cigarette butts and dirt...

On that moment I’ve got a wish to immediately run on the street and do something for others.

At that time, I knew two groups of volunteers. One is helping children with leukemia and the other are the orphans and the elderly. I immediately got in touch with both groups and asked what I can do. With the first, it somehow did not work, I didn't feel I was useful. With the second I was asked to communicate with children.

In this charity group, dozens of girls and women go to a children's Hospital, caring for abandoned babies. As for me, the man have suggested to go to seniors, from 3 to 16 years to talk, support and console. In that department children come if parents abandon them or when the authorities initiate proceedings to deprive the parents of their rights because they cannot properly care about them. It is mostly children of alcoholics and drug addicts or children from single-parent families. After two to three weeks in the hospital, they get to the shelter and then the orphanage; somebody of them is coming back to their cold homes.

I am selfish. I never knew how to support people even in the best years of my life. And now crushed by the loss, what can I give to these children?

But I realized that this is what I need. I desperately want to be able to support, to give warmth to those who are even in worse situation than me. I thought that I will learn how to do it very long time. But I was determined that I won’t a make step back: I will go to these children once a week no matter what. I will try until I succeed. Otherwise, why do I live?

In that department there are not the usual wards but glass boxes. You walk down the hall and you can see a string of tragedies like a movie.  After all, the sick soul is worse than a sore body. Unwanted children with adult's eyes. Often closely, heads are shaved because of lice. The older they are, the smarter, depravity and cunning they get. In their short lives, many of them suffered far more evil than I am for long and they understand that. They understood in their own way as they are older. The older they get, the more experienced they are than those who are here trying to treat and educate them. But they have very little experience of someone else's kindness.

During the first two or three days, I went to these boxes like to execution. I was ashamed: these children need not such helper and comforter like me.

What was I hoping for? Only to God. His word can give strength and inspiration. He gives love. What does He expect from us to get back? Only good intentions. "God kisses good intentions".

And miracle has happened! After a month, with the other words, after four times of communication, I found a common language with the children, learnt how to comfort mourners (in my own ways of course, one would succeed better), to console crying, to awake the interest of indifferent to anything, to draw close kids out.

I started to feel happy to come to these children and even miss them. Moreover, during this month I've experienced my own tragedy and learnt how to laugh again! One old experienced doctor (who treated my illness which began at the time of the crisis) comforted me: "In a year you'll be laughing!" A year?! After less than a half year I was in a better shape than before crisis.

And here I am not talking about how I helped to someone. I am talking about how we are helping ourselves with our good deeds. 


Who gives – receives.


This truth is well known. But most understand it in the sense of "you give me and I'll give you". And even better if I will give you less and you will give me more.

There is another sense of this thought. If you give away generously, you will be compensated in return. Not by people. God shall compensate on what you spent. Aside from that, He gives you joy.

Back in the day of my first visit to this group of mercy, I spoke with the four members of this group, the sisters as here they call each other. I wanted to do an article about the group. I didn’t write an article on that time, but now is the time to put all in words, that they devote themselves to this tough job, all day in the hot box with smelly diapers and with other people's sick babies.


Tatiana, 53, a physics teacher: "In my age it might be hard to work here. Quite the contrary, the day after I almost have wings and everything I do turns out well. Therefore, the most important things I try to do the next day after the hospital".


Julia, 22, a student: "You get tired while working at the hospital for 12 hours. But after work, when you go out on the street, I feel like I have wings. I look different on people and world around. Such a grace! And if someone step on foot in the subway, I better endure or smile at that person so as not to lose that grace. When something is bad in life, you think: "Why it all came over me!". And then I remember these children with cerebral spastic infantile paralysis and think: " What do they feel? " And immediately you think: "Thank God for everything!".


Maria, 32, is the head of client department of a large international corporation: "After a day in the hospital, I feel that this day was meaningful. We don’t help to the children but they help to us. At least some good feelings in us are woken up! And not just in me, but with my daughter too. She asks: "How's Mike and Helen?" At home, we have more than 300 photos of children from the hospital.


Of course, you cannot save the child, but you can take part in a little bit of their life. You're only a human, you can not do more than the Lord. So do not take on too much and don’t give up.


I recently had a tooth treated. Intentionally I did it without anesthesia. I remembered the kids and didn’t feel any pain".


Natasha, 27, a sales manager: "You wait days in the hospital like a holiday, as a sacrament. This is a day that is lived not in vain. You are important and you really can help. After a day in the hospital, which feels like a good confession afterwards when sins are washed with tears and reconciliation with God. Looking forward for the next trip to the hospital all week".  


This is not a oddity of few Orthodox women. This is one of the laws of life, of the human soul. Briefly and concisely about the law says a Russian proverb that hold ancient wisdom of the people. "What you do wish to people, you will get by yourself". "You make good to give yourself joy". "For a kind person every day is a holiday".

On televisions, magazines and advertising they are telling us: "Take everything from life, have more fun. Do you feel bad? It means you seize too little, guzzle more, actively have more fun. Drink, smoke, dominate people for fun. "And we are, the poor, looking for the illusion, all striving for new "heights". "Heights" were achieved, but happiness can't be found because we look for it in a wrong place. And the soul is forgotten.

Here is how expressed it our contemporary Greek monastic elder Paisiy: "When doing good, man feels the joy. Making sins - suffering. The more kindness a person makes, the more they rejoices. The more evil, the greater the suffering of their soul".

Sain pious Alexiy Mechev: "The opportunity to make something good to anyone is the grace of God. That’s why we should always run to help others. And after doing good, we will feel so peaceful and joyful. This is how we should live: we should want more and more to do something good for others. After this, you will try to find an opportunity to show much kindness, console or to cheer up someone".

I learnt it from experience. It was surprising to observe that regular international tour pleases much less than a day spent in the hospital as it is not spent on themselves. The next tour is no longer necessary, realizing that this is self-deception, a mirage. It will only seem to please you. Not fun to do it again. It always dupes lures and then leaves you with nothing.

Good deeds have not only helped me incredibly quickly to survive the crisis, they drastically changed my life for the better.

Now I have a better attitude towards myself, there is no feeling of worthlessness and meaningless existence. Many people need me now. I know that I can make their lives a little bit happier.

I have found completeness. Full of soul, full of life. There is no free time at all especially for empty or harmful activities. But of course, most of all I love myself when I'm out there with these children.

The quantity of friends increased, and what is important, all of them are very kind people from whom I have a lot to learn...

It's not simple to describe everything I've got. Sure, nothing but good deeds could help me change my life.

To everyone who feels the incompleteness of their soul, life, the futility of existence, the pain of loss, hurt, guilt, I recommend this amazing drug-treatment of goodness.

By proper use, this medication will help and has no harmful side effects. But it must be used correctly because evil exists right next to us and it tends to distort, pervert all our good initiatives to prevent us to be happy. That we have not learned to love.


Love and goodness is always from God. Therefore, a clear and harmonious system of relations to good deeds, the science of how they need to do is in the Orthodox Church. Here are the main questions that come to person’s who wants to do a good deed.


1. Why do good deeds?


It would seem that the answer is obvious - to make someone’s life better. But this is only part of the answer.

There is a God. Without Which, no one will ever cause evil and do good. Therefore, if there's the will of the Lord to help a man, He will help him. If not us then there will be others.

Father Maxim, participating in the work of our group of charity, often says, "These children, don’t need us, but we need them". Why do we need them? For these purpose, that I described in my stories. Good works should be done "in order to get a merciful heart, to get a sense of compassion" - says St. Dorotheus.

But in fact it is selfishness, isn’t it? - someone will complain.

Good answers to such people give by Archimandrite Ioann Krestjankin: "A man with good mind strengthens and comforts himself above all. And it is not selfish as some wrongly claim. No. It is a true expression of selfless kindness when it is the highest spiritual joy to someone who does. Truth is always deep clean comforts of who connects it with his soul. It is impossible not to enjoy, coming out of the dark dungeon in the sun to clean the fragrance of flowers and greenery. Man can't scream to another: "You're selfish, you enjoy for your own good!" This is the only unselfish joy and that is the joy of the good, the joy of the Kingdom Of God ."


And if we do all these things to change our souls, we need not search cases that is easier to do but those that are more difficult, that require us to rise above ourselves to become better.


2. Who can do good deeds?


Many dissuaded by the fact that they have no money or time.

This is an excuse. Russian proverb says: "A kind word even a poor man has". What do we appreciate the most in other people? Some business, financial assistance or a kind word, a warm smile – that kind of love that in our time is the largest deficiency (shortage?)? And how much money or time do we need to tell people the good word?

In my life there was one small incident, which I've told only to very few people till now because I thought this meeting was wonderful. Maybe it was a meeting with an Angel? Well, we'll assume that it was just a human. Many years ago, one weekday morning I got out of the subway and headed down

Petrovka street to my office. It was my own little company, that’s why there were many concerns and problems and my soul was in dark somehow. In addition it was raining. When I stopped at a kiosk with ice cream, I was asked to take shelter in the umbrella by an unknown middle-aged, unremarkable woman. I was surprised but I did not refuse. She took my arm and took me to the nearest intersection. We walked in silence. The woman seemed heartfelt. Before leaving, she said "goodbye" which to me is something unusual. We do not invest a lot of soul in greetings, goodbyes and utter some phrases, the meaning of which is plain and not remembered. Well, what’s this a simple "bye? ". And she told me something like: "Courage and joy to you!" and said it from the heart, with a smile. Actually, I do not remember the exact phrase. This phrase struck two things, the fact that strangers do not talk about these things and even to friends actually. And the second is that this phrase was the understanding that Man is a great creation, not some kind of an ant in the sandbox. Understanding, compassion and hope for me. I felt as if I was an ant, and she talked to me as with Person. And at that moment, I got such a charged force and vigor that I immediately shrugged and smiled. I was happy the whole day. I did not even offend subordinates.

Then I thought, maybe it's an Angel sent by God, Who walks in the rain among the people that support us, make our lives happier? But such an Angel can be in each and every one of us.

And certainly any of us can do good, forgiving others their sins against us, their shortcomings and the lack of attention to us. Yes, this too is a matter of mercy.

In general, good works must begin with those closest to you. English proverb says: "Charity begins at home". What’s the point to help to others even you don’t help family and friends?


3. How to start a good deed?


With the cessation of evil. To be simultaneously on the evil and on the good path will not work. It is necessary to choose.

Directly proceeding to the good work, you need to pray. "It is useless to start any good deed without warm-hearted prayer", - said St. Dimitri Rostovskij. Why? Because the good is from God. We have almost none of it. Our usual so-called "good" is the payment of benefits or a polite habit or gratification of ego.


4. What deed is good?


Is 100 rubles as alms a good thing? And 1000 rubles?

Good or not good deeds are determined not by the size of the case and our location but the attitude to it.

Let's say the billionaire asked a million, and it was given to him not pondering the difficulty of the applicant. And the poor old woman was asked for 200 rubles. This is all that was left of her pension and she has to wait 3 days for her next pension. But she by feeling compassionate to a beggar, gives it all. Whose case is better? In which case has more good heart?  

Good and evil is within us, so we know just how really good or bad the deed is. Here are some signs that say that the deed is really good.


We expect the award for the work only from God not from people. This is called "to the glory of God." Russian proverb: "By doing good, don’t expect anything back". "For your goods, God will pay". This safeguards us from vanity.


Do work with the hope of God and not for ourselves. God is the source of goodness and without Him we can’t do good. We are not a source of good, we only conduct the good that God wants to give to this person. Why is it important to remember this? Because otherwise our self-esteem grows and self-esteem becomes bad. And the purpose of our work becomes our further exaltation, if not in the opinion of others, in their eyes. But what is it good for? For the sake of glory, it is possible to distribute in general all properties and thus do not have drops of love in your heart.


The deed required work efforts over oneself. In order to give to another, it is necessary to give away from itself. Monastic elder Paisios: "Good can be a real good only if one when doing it sacrifice with something: sleeping, recreation etc".


5. With what feeling is it necessary to approach to whom we help?


Making a deal for the sake of our neighbor, we sometimes forget that, in some occasions, they need our love the most.

"Doing good without a reasonable and warm-hearted attitude to someone we help to, is a body without soul", - said prelate of the church Filaret (Drozdov).

"You have to donate with love, with respect to a person, voluntarily, happily for love tend to rejoice in helping your loved" - St. Ioann Kronstadtskij.


6. Should we help to alcoholics and bad people?


The answer we find from John Chrysostom: "We can’t be judges of the lives of others, otherwise we will not give alms to anyone".

Priest Alexander Elchaninov: "Some people do not give alms because supposedly beggars will spend it on drinks etc. If they even spend it on drinks, it is a smaller sin than the anger that we raise in them by our renunciation, and that harshness and judgment that we cultivate in ourselves".


7. Should we be friends with those we help?


Of course we are friends with them because we try to treat them with love. But sometimes they start to seek friendship from us, some relationships that go beyond the assistance that we render. Should we go for it? For us, there is a temptation that in this friendship, we expect a positive, respectful attitude. This is like a reward for us. And if we do not get what we expected, we begin to take offense. Thus devalues our deeds. "Better don’t give a gift and later you won’t have a reason to cast in one’s teeth", - one proverb says.

Saint Nikon of Optina wrote: "When the alms of mercy begets familiarity between people having reason that supposedly good, but by the fruits it turns out to be harmful after some time." So it's better to abstain.  


8. Why after every good deed the punishment is coming?


Saint Dorotheus says: “Who does things that please God, what will befall the temptation; as all good is preceded by or followed by temptation and what is being done for the sake of God cannot be hard if not tested by temptation".

What does this mean? We have already explained that the purpose of a good deed should be a change of the soul, an increase of love in it. And we understand that love comes back to us if we do these things without vanity in the hope of God. How we can check if vanity is a good thing or not? Very simple. If we encounter ingratitude and tolerated no offense, so there is no vanity. If you get offended, there is vanity. "Temptation" means "test". It is a trial by an acid test.

Therefore, if we have no pride and we have this test, we would not notice. If vanity is present, you need to plan ahead. Let us remember the saying: "Evil is of no harm to those who do good," "I helped you, and you taught me," "thank God for the ungrateful." When we shall reconcile, we will be happy to such checks.


9. How not to get conceited about doing good for others.


Vainglory turns good to it’s opposite - evil. Did you waste your time on it, but harm to your soul? How to avoid it?

First of all, we should remember that nothing we do is perfect enough. “There is no person on this Earth that while doing good doesn’t sin” – Ecclesiastes said. There is always a fly in the ointment. And that part that is good or even perfect doesn’t belong to us, it’s from God. “Remember, that ours are only sins and passions. Whatever we do good is from God. And no matter how many foolish things we do, they are our property”, - said monastic elder Paisij.

What should we do? As far as possible don’t tell to anyone about good you do. Like Jesus Christ said: “when give alms, let one hand doesn’t know what does your right hand”. Try to forget what you’ve done good. And if you remember, sing praises to God, not to yourself. When they thank you, don’t flatter yourself with it. Quietly send gratitude  above by words: “Glory to God in the highest!”.

Nektariy from Optina advises: “If somebody is able to do something good or give alms, they should say: “With Your blessing, my Lord, I did it!”.

If this conversation got to your heart – thank God! If you have a desire to do good in your heart, don’t try to find any reasons not to do that. Evil spirit will always find million of them always. Search for the opportunity to do. Look around: maybe somebody of your family or friends needs your help. Can’t find anyone there? Search for charity groups in Internet or in the church nearby. That priceless gift – opportunity (chance?) to do good – God will certainly send to you, if you will ask.


The stories about those who need our love


Zhenya and other


I was walking down the hospital hall and have seen that in one ward were crying two little girls (there were four there). Babies are not my "speciality", but if two girls are crying, I couldn’t ignore it.

I know what about kids are crying here: that no one in the whole world loves them and waits. But when you ask them about it, they express their pain differently. They answer: “I want to back home”, “I want my mum comes”, “without a reason”. And they hide their eyes, because they don’t want anyone sees how hurt they are and how great their pain.

Seven-year-old Natasha said that she cries because she wants to be in a children’s home. She doesn’t have a home, but one needs to want to go somewhere. In a minute she calmed down.

Little Zhenya (can’t talk yet) were still crying while staying in bed. My words didn’t help (persuasions didn’t make any affect). I had to wrap her in a blanket and take on my lap. She stopped to cry immediately and 15 minutes while I was talking to Natasha, continuously was watching at me with piercing penetrating glance. It was a rare moment in her life!  

While I was talking to Natasha, I was casting a glance at Zhenya as well. She is squint-eyed. The mouth is sorrowful, full of suffering. On the back of the head is a big bald patch.


- What’s this? – I’m asking Natasha.

- Our mum was hitting her, - she answered.


How one can be beaten that hair stop growing?

On my lap is a little girl, who didn’t have any happiness in her life. Not any special one, but an ordinary child’s happiness. And perhaps, will never have one. The only chance for her to become a real member of society (even a difficult one) is if nice, spiritually strong people will adopt her. If no.. then orphanage. Statistic says that 90% people after children’s home become criminals or alcoholics, drug users or don’t live that long to become adults even. What kind of suffering from breaking up! In their 14-15 they probably won’t feel anything in their hearts and bodies, because they might be so much corrupted already.  

Still cannot to talk, this little one knows in what kind of trouble she is. And she knows, that the only one thing can rescue her – only love.

She needs it like a dying man in gasping for a drink in the desert. And even these rare moments of sympathy of a stranger for her it’s like an oasis, unprecedented luck. Pediatricians have calculated that every child needs at least 30 minutes of cuddles to grow up mentally healthy. And what about Zhenya? Was she cuddled even 30 min during her short life?

But I have to leave. I seat Zhenya on the bed, ask her not to cry. But she is raising a dismal howl and I decide to stay few more minutes. For me is almost nothing but for her it means so much. To get me back, Zhenya catch hold of me as a baby with mother. Laying her head on my chest and closing her eyes. Whenever I moved, she was looking at me anxiously. And we were sitting like this another 15 minute.

Such moments in life  are most meaningful and precious. But there is no joy there. Because it is almost nothing, so negligibly small to help Zhenya to grow up, to teach her to love and be loved…


* * *


For relaxation of the story, I will tell what I was talking about with Natasha.

Natasha is a pretty girl but with very mature eyes (like all kids here). By the reason of head lice, plaits were cut and left hair she pinned up in few places so they bristle  like horns on the aliens.

- You are the oldest here, - I am telling her. – That’s why you should take care about everyone. And you are showing them a bad example instead. Can you see, that Zhenya is looking at you and crying? You’d better cheer them up and make them smile. You should be like mother to them…

I am telling this all while sitting on the bed in front of her. There is another very silent  girl 6 years old is sitting on the same bed with me. This girl was always looking at me through the window with a very sad and pleading look. That girl is definitely not a leader.

Natasha stopped feel sorry about herself. And whether wishing to complain about the life or just to boast of, she is showing me the place where the tooth has come out. In response to it I am showing her that I have one missing tooth as well.


- But your tooth will grow up again, but mine not already!

- You will be very old and die, - concludes Natasha.

- Won’t you die as well?

- And I will die, - added she as a secret: - Children will get old as well and will die!

- Do you know what man the most regrets when dying?

- What about?

- That they did not much good for others…


Then we talked about orphanage, their mother, her hair..


- We have a teacher Tanya. She is so beautiful and she has red hair! When I will grow up, I will have red hair too.

- Is Tanya old?

-No, she is.. a little bit old.

- A little bit old? And me? Very old?

- Yes, very.


Dima 3 years old decided to join our conversation. He comes out from the bathroom with a chamber pot, put it straight between me and Natasha and take a seat on it.


- Why has you come here with a pot? Go back immediately!


Dima obediently goes back.

These children are receptive  to lectures and examples. Natasha got up and said:


- I am the oldest here, - and looked around as a hostess.


I am asking her to help Dima, that was trying to fasten the diaper. She is helping him with diligence. It seems like, first time, I am trying to joke around. The humor is delicate, but she was reacting immediately:


- I can't laugh now. Because I want so much to the children's home.


But couple of minutes later she was laughing already. It's a pleasure when you come here – the kid is crying, but when you leave – they are laughing already. It is so easy with this kind of kids...




There are three new kids in one of the boxes. Generally speaking, the most of the kids here are quite friendly. But these kids have met me with so much delight as a good friend.


- What's your name?

- Tanya Ezhikova, Kirill Ezhikov, and this is Nikita Ezhikov! - Tanya spoke breathlessly (the last name was changed by author).

- So you are siblings! And why are you so different?


Though all of them were looking at me with friendly smiles, they were very diverse. Skinny cheery  Tanya 7 years old. Thin as a rake thoughtful Kirill 3 years old. And plump-cheeked  Nikita 2 years old.

Tanya couldn’t to explain why they are here out of hand. To be more precise, she didn’t want to. She was always talking about minor details, about police car that were driving them here. And just when I asked her third time: "Tanya, sweetheart, what’s wrong at home? ", - her eyes filled with tears, her voice was trembling: "Oh, we have a tragedy at home! " – and she wandered from the subject again, by telling with a smile how nice grandparents they have.

The question about their tragedy I had to repeat three times as well before she answered: "The tragedy is.. Our mom is drinking hard! " – and burst into tears. Later on I found out that their grandparents are drinking hard as well. And granny on their request about the food, answered that they have only for a starter for their drinks.

Tanya said, that their mom has started to drink when uncle Sasha died, "the best person on the Earth". He was the father of Nikita.

Nikita is a sturdy child above the waist (ready for commercials of milk and porridges), but legs are skin and bones. Seems like he didn’t walk at home, that’s why he is always sitting on the bed (strikes a pose Zen), but if you will take his hands, he can toddle, as a crane on tiptoes.

Kirill has a little solid tumor on his chest. Tanya said, that it’s mother burnt  with a cigarette when he was begging food. According to Tanya, she was sober even. Looks like, burn got on the vessel. So it’s necessary to perform an operation.

Well and Tanya, as I said already, charming cute girl, even though closely cropped. But when I offered to her to draw a little bit, she was scared. And did repeat again and again that she doesn’t know how. And after multitude persuasions and with my help, with difficulty, she drew a cup – as 2 years old baby would do. The psychologist in the hospital assumes (because of Tanya’s over demonstrative acting) that she has schizophrenia.

They have been very long in the hospital. Every time I had come to them, I've got a warm welcome and jumps. They did fall on the candies, like hungry as hunters. This is the memoir about permanent hunger  - few weeks already they can't be full.


- Sir, will you come tomorrow? Come again! - Kirill said, with the mouth full of candies.


He is crafty. But it's predictable.


- Even without candies? - I am asking.

- Without candies.. - he is deep in thought. - Without candies better don't come.

- Please, come without candies as well, - kindly makes amends for the frankness of the brother Tanya.


I am leading Nikita in the box. And I am asking Tanya to walk him as often as possible. She promises.

Tanya was telling me stories about rats, that live in wash basin. Tanya is observing them through the glass door. I am looking there:


- There is no one there.

- Really? Try to bend down.


I am bending down and see a huge rat. Just when I knocked the glass, the rat turned around and disappeared into a large hole.

Probably, uncle Sasha was a really nice man. Nikita is very calm, restrained and striking patient. He was crying just after injections, and other than that never complained at all. When his siblings forgot to help him to unwrap the candy, he was trying to figure it out by himself with lots of patience. He didn’t ask help me, didn’t complain. This is a real humility!

In general Nikita behaved as a nobleman. When I was stroking his head, he liked it a lot, but didn’t even turn his head. He was smiling only with eyes. Like all children, he needed to be cuddled, but never ever asked about it.

When Nikita and Kirill were baptized, I was trying to take off the shirt from Nikita. Almost tore off his ears, but he didn't say a word! Priest Maxim was impressed: «So patient one! My son would become uproarious already». Nikita speaks only when needed. For example if he lost a shoe and it needed picked up.


- I will miss you, kids, - I said to the children, when I met them last time. Even though I didn’t know when they will be transferred from here.

- We will miss you too, - answered polite Tanya.


So I am coming here again after a week, and there is no one in the box of Ezhikov family. It was very silent in the box. One small child is sleeping with face turned to the wall. Another little girl around 3 years old is sitting on the bed very quiet and looking down. Sometimes she lets out a sob. I am asking what’s her name. But she doesn’t answer.

Suddenly the sleeping kid woke up. It’s Nikita Ezhikov! He is not himself – lonely, sad and even thinner.


- Nikita! Why are you alone?!


Nikita, for the first time I know him, stretches his arms towards me (without any smile or words), like to a mother that has back. And I understand everything.

Kirill and Tanya were transferred to the children’s home. And Nikita should be send to the orphanage for babies because of his age. Their ways have parted. And will they ever meet again?

I take Nikita on my lap and hug him. He is snuggling up to me. His heart is beating so fast that I can feel it. I am not sure it should be like this.

I am praying about this nice little kid. The prayer is without even words. You are not alone, my Godson! You are without your siblings, almost without legs, but not alone! I feel the entreaty of his soul and I know we are not alone. There are three of us. Jesus hugs us. And it’s impossible to compare His compassion with mine. And He will do everything to save this soul on it’s suffering way. He will teach you to walk, little Nikita. He will protect you of being drug addict or a thief. And if you will go astray, you will be able to repent your sins. Maybe you will become a good man, nice father. How many miracles should happen to make it? I will try to pray about you…


Mom is good (no matter what)


Young children (small kids) forgive their parents for EVERYTHING.

Yana 7 years old is staying in a box whole week alone. It’s because she has scabies. Hands and legs are scratched till they bleed. Whole week she almost doesn’t eat anything. She explains it: “I am just nervous and that’s why I don’t want to eat”. She has shadows under the eyes and scared face when I came in. But she is clever and kind girl. When I left her (after our friendly conversation), her face looked more cheerful. She spells out Gospel for kids with lively interest.

In the mornings she sings a song to the sun: "This song is like a prayer. If I sing it very long time, the sun comes up. Yesterday I was singing it 2 hours, and sun came up".

A week ago she told me, that her mother past two years is in the hospital. And Yana has met her during that time only once. I think her mother might be in a mental home or in prison, or even dead already.

This time Yana told that her mother was sick even before got to the hospital.


- She threw me away in a dustbin. But it’s because she was sick. But she loves me anyway. I didn’t want to tell you about this in the beginning because I didn’t want to upset you.

- Can you remember that she threw you away?

- Of course not! I was a baby. Aunt Galya has told me.

- And how many times did she throw you away?

- Only few times. Not many times.. Anyway mom is nice and she loves me of course…


It’s not love.


There are 3 girls in a box. They are teenagers (12-13 years old).

I know Nastya quite long time. She is smart and kind girl. She is in bed with a book like hot-water bottle on her tummy.

Uljana asked me to borrow phone to call to mom, She left with phone to the bathroom.

We can hear her voice. First few seconds it was worried, then unease and after almost yell. She is yelling about one thing only:


- Mom, please, come to me today!!!


She makes a request again and again, tries to persuade, but probably mom doesn’t agree. Uljana’s mom is alcoholic, like the most mothers of kids here.

After all she ran out from the bathroom, gave me the phone, fall on the bed with face down and was weeping. Mom refused to come.

I give the telephone to Natasha. Massive, as loader, with very deep voice, doesn’t read at all. She left to the bathroom as well. We could hear how insistently she asks mother to come. It’s hard not to submit to that voice, but, seems like, the it doesn’t touch her mother.

Uljana was crying on her bed.

Nastya was looking somewhere in deep thoughts. She has nobody even to call. She got used to be not beloved one.

But is it possible to get use to it?!


Translated by Angelika Drigo, Lorraine Hynson, Samantha Chivers.



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Dmitri Semenik

Dmitri Semenik

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