My story

I was born in the early 1980’s in a small town in south-eastern Europe. My family and I lived in a modest flat in one of the numerous identical blocks that were build during the years of socialism. We were a fairly average family of four and everything looked quite normal on the outside. But behind the doors of our cramped apartment, there were many internal storms and turmoils.

Perhaps the most significant thing to mention is that I don’t remember much of my childhood. What’s more, I don’t have almost any happy memories as a child – no memories of family holidays, trips or birthday parties. The only happy memory I have is playing all day outside during those long summer vacations. But our apartment was empty, quiet and cold – this is the picture I have of our family home.

I have started to understand that I have suppressed most of my memories from my early childhood. I have also found out that my mother was alone when she was giving birth to me – my father was in a hospital after suffering a car crash, and since I arrived early none of the relatives were present either. I also figured that by the time I was born, my parents’ marriage was already broken and perhaps I was something of an attempt to give their family life a second chance and a new meaning.

When I was 10 years old my mother decided to live and work abroad, which left me and my older sister half-orphans. In fact, my father spent most of his time working, my sister was enjoying her first years in college, and I found myself pretty much on my own most of the time. Along with being affected by the lack of mother figure around me, these years will go down as the saddest and loneliest of my life – perhaps my first brush with depression.

Secondary school years was a time to experiment and rebel. Drugs, alcohol and other self-destruction methods were employed. I could no longer stand the pain and lived on the edge, constantly challenging the status quo. I went through all hair colours, hair lengths and styles, I fought with teachers and other authority figures, I did everything to numb the incredible vacuum inside of me. It was my heart’s cry for love and support.

I began coming out of those depths at the time I started university. I couldn’t wait to finish secondary school and move out of our flat and my hometown. This urge to run away took me much further when I decided to spend around an year working in the state of Alaska. I couldn’t have picked a more remote part of the world – I had to go to the opposite part of the globe just to try and find my missing sense of self.

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Whatever self-image I was able to construct in my years at university and in Alaska, all that had to be shattered during my time in Ireland. After I graduated I decided to continue my life abroad and moved to Ireland. This will go down as the most challenging time in my life so far.

I started shedding pieces of my fragile (false) self early in my time in Ireland. The same year I moved, just a month after my arrival, my grandmother died. And that set the beginning of a dreadful chain of painful experiences and losses. The death of my mother was the blow that shattered my already fractured self and knocked me down but the death of my sister was the hit below the belt that knocked me out.

In the days after the untimely loss of my sister, I desperately tried to open my eyes through the foggy vision of my grief and depression. But I what I saw was that I lost everything I’ve worked so hard for, everything that I’ve build for myself, everything I knew and believed was erased. It was dark and empty and cold, very much like the way I remembered my home of early childhood. But this time I wasn’t the child, I was actually the parent.

My son was born when my sister got very sick. Regretfully his first years of life would be the years of my worst of states. I wasn’t able to cope but I hanged on, I hanged on the bare thread of my love for him. He was the beacon and when I was able to see through the fog, I would follow his light in the surrounding darkness.

The silver lining in this turbulent storm is that the grief, the depression, the anxiety, the pain, the fear, the sadness, the loneliness, the vulnerability and the rawness, the tears and the cries, all that provoked me to embark on a journey of finding my true authentic self and build a life that is aligned with it.

And this is where I am now. Steady on my path, taking baby steps in healing from the trauma and regaining vital life forces.

My healing journey has bore many a fruit and my purpose with this blog is to share it with you.

May you be blessed on your path of self-discovery. Namaste ❤

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12 thoughts on “My story

  1. Life seems a bowl of cherries for sone but I’ve been handed some rotten apples. In the midst of a life that includes being hit by a drunk driver, my wonderful wife surviving cancer twice, cancer I believe caused by seeing me hospitalized for up to 5 months at a time and having one kidney transplant fail ( 2nd one working), and then retirementioned postponed by a $150,000 setback, yup we have been married for almost 36 years and really stuck through the good and bad. I find my heart is Cracked by disappointment but there still is gratitude to keep me appreciative because I have blessings also. I am grateful for my home, my family, my friends, my relative sanity and I am also grateful for every day.

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    1. I am so happy that you and your wife and family have survived through all this hardship. Life certainly can throw rotten apples at you and ironically in every one of them there’s a lesson to learn. I am still learning to accept myself, my life and destiny, and some days it’s easier, some days it’s impossible. As another blogger recently commented, in most of my posts I sound like I’m on the verge of discovering something. I think I can grasp what the meaning of life is but I’m still fighting it in a way. “Why does it have to be like that, so hard?” But I guess that means I haven’t really grasped it then. As I said, some days I feel hopeful and some days – it feels like an endless darkness. But I am also grateful for every minute I get to spend with my family and every breath I take gives me a new opportunity.
      All the best to you and you family, Vilina

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  2. Vilina, from what I have read here so far, I sense a certain depth and sincerity in you that seems lacking in a lot of people I encounter. Do you know about the MBTI? You strike me as an INFJ, which is my personality type. I started blogging for the first time in 2012, as well, with goals that are quite different from the blog I created in 2015. It seems like we share similar goals in why we are blogging today. Your hopeful nature and desire to seek joy are admirable qualities, ones I think we should all try to cultivate in our lives, but I also see value in being able to embrace and accept other states of being. I guess the challenge is learning how to avoid getting attached to a particular state of being since I have rarely found that helpful. But anyway, please keep sharing your authenticity and insights! I find it refreshing and inspiring 🙂

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    1. Hi Manda, thanks! I think you might be right about my personality type, it’s either the INFJ or INFP 🙂 It’s encouraging to hear we have so many similarities, I have found lovely people around the blogosphere! I can entirely understand when you say that you see value in being able to embrace other states of being besides joy (as my priority right now). Thanks for presenting me with this perspective! What I found out for myself is that I’m not so much about the pursuit of joy and happiness (which was my initial motivation when I started the blog in 2012) but the realisation that I find it hard to enjoy life with all its ups and downs. I found myself unable to enjoy my relationships with my closest people and with my child. I find it hard to enjoy my relationship with my self. Yes, there were plenty of things to distract me from the gifts in life that I “have”. So that’s why this blog was transformed to be a tool for me to learn again to love live, my live and others. But of course not to get too attached or fixated on this aspect of it. And you’re absolutely right to say that the challenge is to learn how to avoid getting attached to a particular state of being. Like the state of victimhood, for example, which I was partly embracing and still find hard to reclaim my wholeness. Thanks again for your words! Love, Vilina x

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  3. Hi Vilina! I discovered your blog today and identify with a lot of what you are saying.
    I just started to blog again too recently, after 5 years of silence. I was so miserable I felt I had nothing to say… But I am back and inspired, just like you.
    I will be happy to keep reading what you have to express. 😀
    Sophie x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie! Thank you for your lovely comment! I’m glad you found my blog and I’ll make sure I come around to check yours too. It’s so great to hear from people going through a similar experience, I know there are many of us out there. It definitely makes me feel supported and not on my own. It’s great you feel inspired again – blogging is a wonderful way of expressing 🙂
      Keep well!
      Vilina, x

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      1. Hi Vilina! I don’t know how good your French is, but thanks for checking my blog! 😉 I am still trying to figure out where I want to take it, but I guess I am just happy to enjoy the journey!
        À bientôt,
        Sophie x

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    1. Thank you Astrid! Yes, what a wondrous journey life is! And the fact that we can share our struggles and our victories with the hope to find compassion and offer the same, is quite amazing! Lots of love your way, Vilina 🙂

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