Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Svitlana Veritelnik
age: 41
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"Shells hit the next doorway of our house twice"

The mother of three children, being pregnant, was hiding from shelling in a basement in Donetsk. Shells hit the next entrance. The family was forced to flee from their hometown, first to Kharkov, then to Mariupol. They started life from a scratch and they want only one thing - Peace.

Obviously, we all miss Donetsk, and we all dream of returning there someday. Yet, no one is building illusions, of course, because today we live here. And Mariupol is already a part of our life, a part of our history. So, thanks to the people who live here. Because it is very important when you are supported and helped. It's worth a lot in life.

We lived in Donetsk, in the “Kyivsky” district. I had three children. In July 2014, my husband was transferred to work in Kharkov, because there was an all-Ukrainian project. We planned that I would stay in Donetsk with my children, because there is a feeling of patriotism, love for my city and, in general, we were already so used to it ... Parents, everyone was there. Everything that was in life, everything was connected with this city. And it was very hard to leave this city.

In July, we went to Berdyansk for vacation, hoping that after the vacation we would return. Like all Donetsk residents, in principle, they hoped that everyone would have a would somewhere in the summer and all events would end, and in September everything would return to the same working routine. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

Shells hit the next doorway of our house twice

We went to the sea, had some rest, then returned home, my husband left for Kharkov. Before school, we planned to visit him in Kharkov. But it so happened that we got under fire. It was August. I was pregnant with my fourth child, Katyusha.

Earlier, shelling was heard, but it was more or less tolerable. And on that day, the shell hit the next entrance!

We didn't see at first what happened. In the morning we woke up, I was going to bake a cake for our children - and suddenly the walls began to shake. Well, I thought: "Maybe it's out there somewhere." I made a bed and spent the whole day on the floor with the children, because we were afraid that if there was shelling, the falling glass, God forbid, might hurt us.

We called the house manager, she said: “Sveta, we are all in the basement. Everything is prepared here. Now they will come up for you. " I had my documents ready. I packed my bag to go to Kharkov. A neighbor followed us up, we went down to the basement.

And then the parents started to panic, because they saw on the Internet that there was shelling, that a shell hit the next entrance. And I was in the basement. And I understood that there was no connection. Relatives called - worried; my husband, everyone called, but there was no connection.

I went upstairs from the basement just to the door. And then mom calls, says: "Brother went to get you!" I said: “Well, where is he going? There is shooting around! God forbid, they could hit the car. "

I do not know by what miracle, but I left the children in the basement and my neighbor and I went up to my apartment. We took the documents, some belongings. We checked if I turned off the light and gas. It was hell while we were descending.

Whenever it's hard, you remember God. I have read the Lord’s prayer so many times, I don't even know how many. Being pregnant (the elevator did not work) I went down ... You run and all the time you think that it’s about to hit you.

My neighbor and I went out with a bag - and then my brother drove up. He threw the bag into the car, I ran after the children, we got into the car. Maybe in 3-7 minutes we arrived, very quickly. The speed was tremendous.

It was such a shock for us, a stress. The children fell asleep at night, and I walked like a ghost around the house. I was under the stress. It was, of course, very difficult.

Our godparents were planning to go to Kiev through Kharkov. They said: “No trains, we don't wait until Thursday. On Tuesday, get into the car with us, with your bags, we will take you out. There is no reason to sit there under such shelling. "

Then we found out what happened. The shells hit the neighboring entrance of our house twice. There it one apartment that belonged to an Olympic champion, I think, a gymnast. She didn't even have time to live there. And the second apartment, below – was also destroyed.

We arrived to Kharkov. My husband met us. I was in tears. And our daughter Tanechka, who was then eight years old, said: "Dad, is it safe here?" He said, "It's safe here."

I recall how in Kharkov, you seem to consciously understand that this is a peaceful city, that you are safe, but when the salute fires, you want to scream. You associate it with shelling.

My oldest daughter was dancing. And on the first of September she danced the "Children without War" dance. Parents are around, they just listened, and we have experienced it all. There they looked at me like I was crazy, because I had tears. When you lose a very close person, you have such emotions. And you don't control them.

Only after I gave birth, I began to come to my senses. There was adaptation in a strange city, new people, everyday problems. Where was the market, where were the shops, where were the kindergartens, where were the schools? All this had to be systematized.

We lived about a year in Kharkov. Then my husband found work in Mariupol. And we were already in this city. We moved as a family. Belongings were sent by mail.

We began to get to new schools, new kindergartens. I didn't go to work right away, because it took time to adapt.

We tried to spoil and delight our children. Children were still very sad; they periodically had tears in their eyes. If earlier they could watch films about the Great Patriotic War calmly, now they had tears and emotions. And mostly negative ones.

We even had a case. After the war, my son had health problems, and for two years we worked with a psychologist of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. She helped us to cope with all the problems.

But about a year ago, we got psychological problems again. We went to a psychologist again. She led general classes - fairy tale therapy and so on. And when she found out that we were from Donetsk, she began to talk with Pavlik. To ask questions.

- Pavlik, where did you live?

- In Donetsk.

- Do you remember the street?

- No.

To all questions - no, he did not remember. Then she gave him a piece of paper and said: “Draw your emotions. What do you remember last and what worries you. " He took a leaf, drew houses, drew a soldier and abruptly began to paint over the soldier. Furthermore, it was emotional, nervous. I couldn't sleep for a day then.

We got a lot of help from international organizations, from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. What was important at that time? To feed the children. Entertainment, clothes – not important. The main thing was to feed them.

My husband just went to work, and the move costed us about ten thousand. And at the same time, when we rented an apartment, we had to pay for the first and last months. At the initial stage, it is always difficult for any family. It doesn't matter if it is four children or one child, because it is a principal expenditure.

Then I went to work, they began to cope on their own. Last year, we received a company accommodation -  a four-room apartment. For us it is such a sense of stability. What should any family have? A home, work. And the rest is all – we get in its time.

Obviously, we all miss Donetsk, and we all dream of returning there someday. Yet, no one is building illusions, of course, because today we live here. And Mariupol is already a part of our life, a part of our history. So, thanks to the people who live here. Because it is very important when you are supported and helped. It's worth a lot in life.

I would like adults to stop for a while and think about some spiritual things. All I want is peace!

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