A girl, raped by her stepfather for seven years, is rescued by an orphanage. It takes years before her trauma vanishes, from total darkness to turn into blinding light.
eastwind journals – Jan. 30, 2021 (archives tr70v2)
By Bernie V. Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Share with friends this touching story = https://eastwindjournals.com/2022/04/01/the-orphan-girl-a-true-story/
This was related by an orphanage sister during an interview. Ligaya (‘happiness’ in Filipino, not her real name), 11 years old, was raped by her stepfather for seven long years before she was finally rescued by the orphanage sisters. This is her true story.
At the orphanage, Ligaya withdrew totally from the world. No one could talk to her, not even the other children. She stared at the wall the whole day. Inside her, a violent storm raged. She was silent, cold, unreachable. She was incapable of tears. For three long years, total darkness reigned inside her soul.
The sisters had a simple ‘game’ to open up unreachable orphans. They were grouped into cells of five each. They talked to each for one hour every morning, and shares their joys and pains. The rule was their secrets remained only within the group to protect their privacy. Not even the sisters knew. It was an effective therapy to let them open up. It is started with a window slightly opened. Through time, it would widen. Soon enough, many orphans were healed. Not Ligaya. She was as hard as a rock.
Ligaya and Letty, another victim of sexual abuse in her group, were the only ones left in their cell who remained closed and unreachable. The others would entice the two to talk. They would attempt to embrace them. Letty let them embrace her, but Ligaya resisted the touch of others. Finally, one morning, Letty caved in. She was sobbing as she talked non-stop, blurting out her pain. She admitted how her wound instantly healed. She said it was a knife removed from her back.
Next day, LIgaya was half an hour late for the session. She was at the garden thinking hard about Letty’s story. Finally, the first hesitant tear trickled down Ligaya’s cheek. Everyone stared in shock. There was total silence. Then the tear drop became a waterfall, no sobs, no sign of emotions, just silent tears cascading down from her soul. No one dared to say anything.
She spoke for the first time after three long years in a croaked voice. She rattled off her story as if there was no more time. She was not ashamed to describe every detail. When she finished, silent tears became violent sobs. Everyone started crying aloud. A sister came in, asking what was the commotion all about, but left quickly, realizing her intrusion.
Letty was brave enough to embrace Ligaya, who had always resisted being touched. One by one, they all embraced her. Succeeding meetings turned from sharing pains to sharing joys. They became rowdy telling jokes. The pains were all released and forgotten. No more tears. Ligaya turned out to be a leader everyone adored. From total darkness to blinding light.
I met Ligaya that day at the kitchen. There she was, a bundle of joy, cooking noodles with three other girls. They were all giggling as Ligaya told them story after story. When she saw me, she blushed. Then her words stunned me. (Dialogue reconstructed.)
LIGAYA – (To me.) I don’t mind that you know my story. I’m not ashamed. I’m happy that the sisters gave me a new life. They told me you are a writer. I give you permission to write my story, but don’t put my name. Let the world know so they too can be healed.
ME – What was the thing that made you finally open up?
Ligaya’s reply is in the photo below –
IN PILIPINO DIALECT – Sa aking hinagpis, hindi ko kinausap ang Panginoon dahil galit ako sa kanya, dahil tinakwil niya ako. Yun pala, ako ang nagtakwil sa kanya. Nandoon siya sa tabi ko buhat nung umpisa. Ayaw ko lang siyang makita dahil sa aking sugat. Nung nasa hardin na ako, for the first time, nagdasal ako sa kanya. Hinintay niya lang pala akong magdasal bago niya ako tulungan. Noon ko naramdaman ang init ng kanyang yakap. Kelangan humingi tayo ng tulong bago niya tayo tulungan.
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AUTHOR’S BOOK – Wings and Wanderlust – Discovering Your Inner Self. At age 26, the author hitchhiked 25,000 kilometers in Europe and North Africa for three straight years. In this book of his wild adventures, he learned deep insights that changed him totally, which he wants to share with readers. It also a guidebook on how to plan your own adventure.
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Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.