If someone had told me in the past that I would need to restart my life from scratch, I couldn't believe it. But that is what happened to me when I needed to flee to Poland with my son.
I still remember that day when I was terrified at home hearing the bombs approaching. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to go to the basement, but I was too scared that it would turn into a mass grave if hit by a bomb. My husband was at work, and I called him to convince him to get a different route to come home. I heard that the way he took every day was too dangerous, but, unfortunately, he found a Russian tank in front of him on this new route. He was shot to death. It took less than 1 minute to destroy 25 years of happy marriage. All the dreams we dreamed together and our plans for the future suddenly disappeared with his death.
I could only take his body over after four days. The fire in the region was continuous, and no one wanted to go there. Finally, I could go with a friend on the fourth day.
"I will never forget when I saw my husband killed, his dead body still lying behind the wheel. This picture haunts me every day..."
After his funeral, I decided to fly to Poland because I felt I needed to protect my son's life. I was so sad that I had lost the joy of living. I saw a psychologist when I arrived in Poland. I needed to talk to someone to try to understand what was going on with me. I felt so guilty because of my husband's death. I was blaming myself every day for telling him to change his route. I felt like his accident was my fault. I also had lost faith in God. The only thing that prevented me from committing suicide was my son. I needed to fight for his life.
Thanks to Women for Women International's Conflict Response Fund, I'm able to receive regular psychological assistance. For the first time after all these months, I could finally open myself up to someone and cry. Before that, I felt I needed to be stronger because I didn't want to make my son worried. Now, we are both attending Polish language classes, riding our bicycles, and making new friends.
I spend a lot of my time with my son, and recently I was able to find a job in a bakery. I'm a former lawyer and used to working in an office, so this is a very different kind of work for me. But I'm grateful that this job gives me a steady income, allowing me to rent a cozy little apartment for my son and me.
When I look at my life now, especially after everything we had faced, I couldn't believe I would be able to do that. My husband's death tore out my heart, but now I can see my strength for having moved to a different country and started a new life from zero.
"Meeting my therapist is what helped me to survive and not to get crazy with grief. I feel that I am not alone."
With the help of the therapy sessions, I can see how resilient I am, and I'm starting to feel that I want to socialize more and probably, start looking for an opportunity in my area of expertise.