Over the past few months I’ve been asked what helped me survive when I was growing up. In the book that I’ve been writing I’ve been capturing the things people did and also the internal coping mechanism I developed. Yesterday at a luncheon in Madison, WI for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) Program I laid that out as simply as I could. So I thought I’d share that with you. I had people who came into my life that made me feel capable, special, creative and smart. They did it in a whole host of ways. My next store neighbor gave me little jobs to do that when I accomplished them I felt good about myself; capable. She also told me she loved me and gave me big hugs that I still feel today. So I felt special to her. She taught me to hide when I was scared and to pray the rosary. She taught me to solve problems and that I could be creative in doing so.
The woman who ran the community center behind our house taught me to tell time, when I had gotten a new watch but didn’t know how to read it. She threw me a surprise birthday party, which was no surprise, but made me feel special. She paid a lot of attention to me.
I have countless examples of how coaches, teachers, neighbors and others helped me to feel that I wasn’t alone; and that I was smart, creative, capable and special. I carried this all through my life and share it with others when I can.
There was a recent article published where I talked about my neighbor. Here’s the link:
The Sum of My Parts Now Available
This memoir follows Olga as she splits herself into “parts” and develops dissociative identity disorder with the abuse, and then struggles to merge these parts and overcome the disorder in adulthood.
A Survivor’s Story Now Available
Olga’s critically acclaimed first-hand account of the impact of violence in her life is available in both English and Spanish.