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Stories that you confided to us

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Anzjelika Semeniak

"The war crossed out my dream that I would have many children"

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I used to work in Donetsk, and then I went on maternity leave, but with the hope that I will return to work there again. But the road has been blocked.

The war crossed out my dream that I would have many children

There were days and nights when we had to stay in the basement. I was pregnant with Milana. At first, we were afraid of the tanks, but now… It's scary, very scary when a child thinks that passing tanks are a normal thing. Our children got used to it. At first, the children were very afraid when the sounds were very loud. My goddaughter is four years old, and she is stuttering now. I mean, I had to leave everything to her mother, just leave here so that the child had a chance to recover. Yes.

When all these firing attacks began, of course, it was very scary. We didn't know where the next shell would land. When it all started, we all ran to the basement. We have documents…  Now we have a habit – to put things together in one place. We keep the first-aid kit here, too.

We had no water or light for a month. It's hard, but you get used to everything. The only thing you can't get used to, you know, is when the child… He comes, brings some small change – 10 kopecks – and said, "Mum, let's go to the store and buy some candy." You know that is not enough. So we would have to do without candy. You feel kind of helpless. It was so hard.

The war crossed out my dream that I would have many children

We survive on UAH 860, which I got as child allowance. We also kept a vegetable garden and a farmstead. We have goats, so my children have milk. Meat and fish are treats we can't afford. It sounds scary, but they surely are.

We are just trying to pull through. And humanitarian aid is very crucial for us. That's when you go somewhere, you see people who look so dressed-up and happy. Then all this fades away. Everyone goes back to their lives with sadness in their eyes. War… Humanitarian aid makes us joyful.

The only thing that hurts, of course, is this war crossed out my dream to have many children. I really wanted to have many children. When the nephews and their friends gather, that's when I feel happy. I do everything when there are ten of them running around. Then only three of them stay, and the yard looks empty. I understand there won't be many children. Even if the war ends soon, I'm not 18, I'm 32 years old. So this dream will remain just a dream.

The war crossed out my dream that I would have many children
Halitsynivka 2016 Text Civilian's stories women shelling safety and life support children nutrition poor Food
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