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Stories that you confided to us

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Halyna

"I had to grow up when the war came"

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I had a happy childhood. Caring parents, supportive  relatives who were always there, the best friend we did everything together with...

Studying at school and additional classes aroused great interest. I was cheerful and carefree. However, I had to grow up abruptly, because the city was overtaken by war.

Then, at the age of 10, I had to go with my father to another city. My mother, relatives and the friend stayed in Donetsk. The new place was beautiful and interesting, because it was a resort town on the beach. I went there with my parents every summer. It was really great. But then I knew that I might have to stay there for many years, away from those I loved the most. Therefore, I did not see beauty at all, I only felt loneliness and dullness inside.

Dad was working all days long. I had to cook, do housework, and do homework by myself. Nothing seemed to bring me pleasure any more. Every day I just waited for time to pass. I was waiting for the day when I would finally see mum and my friend not on Skype.

Then, a year and a half later, this day came. I finally arrived in my home-town. I waited for the moment when I would get off the bus on and feel at home...

However, something happened that I didn't expect at all. When I looked around the city, I realized that I no longer felt this special feeling. Donetsk has become quite different. The city seemed dull and lifeless. I realized that the place I wanted to go back to no longer existed. The streets were empty; all construction works stopped; shops and businesses closed. The usual activities were replaced with tanks droving at night, and explosions happening all the time. Most of all, I was struck by the way the Community Center looked like. It had no roof. This was the first place where I learned my favourite hobby - drawing. Now, when a shell hit, you could see the sky through its windows. But the worst thing for me was that my best friend had already left. She was the only person I had contact with, and then I had to feel that lonely feeling again.

Surely, I found new friends over time. I got used to the turbulent environment, but I couldn't be as happy as I was before the war. Fear of war wouldn't let me. It is peace that makes people carefree, calm, confident in their future.

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Donetsk 2014 2018 Text Civilian's stories
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