A Bird Without Wings In The Big Jungle – 1/2

PS: This post is long, so don’t start something if you can’t finish, I’ve divided it into 2 posts but will be published at the same time.
Please don’t read unless you really want to read.

Part 1 – The Lonely Bird

Lonely child, sobbing and crying and no one there to wipe their tears, feeling that this world is too big, too cruel, too dark, the people are feral in a very big jungle looking for a prey, roaring, growling, howling…

I lived with these feelings for years; I always felt like a bird with no wings, I have no one to look after me, no one to understand me, to take care of me.

The reasons are not important, no one to be blamed, just describing this feeling and I was a miserable child that tried hard to belong, to fit, to cherish life despite everything.

I mentioned the war before and I mentioned that we were displaced and we left everything behind! At the time I only wanted my dolls! I had many dolls, and I was afraid to break them I took very good care of them. (Check flashback posts)
https://huguetta.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/flashback/
https://huguetta.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/flashback-2/

I was a proud little child, strong personality; anyone could tell at the time despite how little I was, my mother used to design and sew special clothes for me and my brothers, she was talented and she wanted us to be special.
My mother used to give my clothes to the less fortunate after I wear them 2 times max. 

Palm Sunday – I was frowning because my head hurts after they did my hear curly, I was pissed haha (from the few pictures I have)

One day I’m wearing special clothes, living in a perfect house, like a princess, we even had electric blankets, collection of gold lighters, many other stuff that I hardly remember!

Next day, we wake up, we leave everything behind we don’t take even a straw, because as my father said, we will be back, it will be for a short time.
Next day, we’re poor, displaced, and have nothing at all!
Next day, we have to take clothes from the more fortunate…
Next day, we’re refugees in our own country! Paying for a shitty house in a shitty place, even though you don’t suppose to pay! But the war is on and everyone is applying their own rules now. If you have a gun or Kalashnikov, you can do whatever you want!  

We lived in a place that doesn’t have the minimal requirements for human beings, from a big bed and a big house, to sleeping on the floor or a sofa as rigid as the floor!
The rats are the only domestic animals we’re allowed to have and oh the mice as well! Instead of counting sheep, I used to count the mice walking in front of me, on this piece of metal on the wall that separate us from the small shop of candies and chocolate and chips we visit daily! I wonder what he has in this cabinet above the shop, which is the one behind the metal bar…I needed to keep my mind distracted, I couldn’t sleep! And I was like: Lucky mice!

The sanitary sewer manhole covers are underneath the beds in the only bedroom we have! What a perfect location!

So each time they’re blocked, which is every now and then since we live in the ground floor and we receive the entire neighbors’ shit, we need to dismantle the beds, move everything outside so they can unblock them, it was a great adventure, it smells great!

The rats used to come out from the toilet, seat-less toilet, just a hole in the floor: lamentable “hole” type of toilet, you enter the toilet and you stay terrified that a rat might come out, no wonder we had constipation 😂😂

The douche was a luxury back then, it doesn’t exist we use a small bowl to have a shower…

Lamentable “Hole” Type of toilet

But despite, we always tried to be children, to play and be happy, we used the empty metal milk containers with spoons as a drummer, we used the thrown extra wood pieces to build toys, we didn’t have much toys, so we were creative. We even made kites and flied them in the crowded streets of Beirut.
We even remember many things and we laugh, like when we caught my little brother, that was born there in Beirut, chasing a rat! He thought it’s a cat 😂😂 It’s good we left before he grew up; otherwise we would have had some wide collection!

Obviously we were not used to live in such place, especially that after the displacement immediately, we moved to a healthy area, a good place that I love so much: Brummana in mount Lebanon but again we had to leave because of the Syrian shrapnel and bombs!
After they received the blessings to enter Lebanon under the pretext of stopping the war, the Syrians were bombarding different areas in order to invade and conquer them! Many were killed in the process.

I still remember when they told me that Maguy has died! I was a little child, she was a young woman. The bomb removed her head (sorry for this ugly picture) but I still imagine it until now, this sweet girl that was so kind and loving, is now headless! 😟

I had nightmares! I was a very sensitive child and each word used to be as a knife in my heart!
If my brothers make jokes, if my mother or my father are a bit firm, if something happened…I’m so sensitive and when they mock me, I just abstain from revealing what I feel, so I was alone, when I used to hear the very low military airplanes flying, I used to cry and be terrified, I thought that we’re going to die…my brothers used to laugh, because there were Lebanese airplanes doing some military exercises and even though my mother told me, I was always afraid, the voice is still in my head. I used to close my ears and cry out loud. I thought I was going to die.

Image from Google

Until this date, whenever I hear an airplane voice, I have bad dreams but I always face my fears, I don’t let them beat me and I don’t tell anyone about them either.

In Brummana, instead of playing with dolls, I was playing with the Shrapnel we used to find every day in our closet, all over the house, outside at the balcony, I always wondered how they are inside our house and closet and we still alive!

They were black, or silver, each one has a different shape and form, I used to collect them as a reminder that “you missed us bastards” we’re alive and you’re useless!

We always tried to have a normal childhood, our parents did their best but they were suffering too.

Probably I blamed them at some point while growing up, but not anymore, I’m reconciled with myself and I’m grateful for everything I went through, even when they didn’t know how to deal with me as a sensitive child, I don’t blame anyone anymore, I’m good.

Leaving Brummana was a disaster for us, we were always sick, pale and sad, so the solution was an internal school because nothing else to be done.

My mother asked us and we said okay no problem, she said you’ll come home each week, not like other children who stay months and maybe years.

She wanted to save us from this place; she was already depressed and started to take antidepressant medications.

First year in the internal school was hell for me, a very very far school, my brothers were in another area (where I was supposed to be but my papers were wrongly approved to another place).
It wasn’t easy to be accepted because our parents are there, they usually put orphans in internal schools, so my parents had a hard time to get this approved, we needed a “Wasta” = nepotism to be dragged away from our parents, we needed to beg so we can be placed in an internal school away from home. The bitter truth and the irony!

I was away from home with strangers, mostly unkind strangers; I was afraid, sad and miserable. And they couldn’t bring me home each week as promised because I wasn’t supposed to go there, so far and we had no car.

The weather was great and convenient to my physical health, but the behavior and environment wasn’t convenient for my mental health.
Kfardebian is where I was, beautiful place but it’s not home. Healthy and beautiful nature, but cold and rude people!

Stay tuned for part 2. It will be published shortly!
Click here for part 2:
https://huguetta.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/a-bird-without-wings-in-the-big-jungle-2-2/

Your thoughts and opinions are always welcome. 🙂

Huguette Antoun – April 10th 2019

73 Comments »

  1. un récit triste et émouvant qui trace une partie de votre enfance… En étant petit je regarder les informations sur la télé et je ne comprenais pas pourquoi il y avait cette guerre en Liban parce que je voyais un pays magnifique que la guerre dévasté, c’est vrai votre enfance c’était pas facile…n mais en revanche elle a construit votre personnalité et votre identité… merci pour le partage et j’attends avec impatience le deuxième volet de votre récit…
    PS: vous étiez adorable toute petite…😇

    • Merci Sofiane pour lire et pour votre sympathie! C’est très gentil
      Je crois que nous avons eu plus de chance que beaucoup de gens, et comme vous avez dit tout ça a construit ma personnalité comme vous le lirez dans le prochain post ! Merci pour le compliment, même si jetais grincheuse haha
      Votre interaction est très appréciée !

  2. Wow, Huguette, I can honestly say I have never been through anything even close to that, I can’t imagine what it would be like. I’m so glad you have come out of it so strong! Is French commonly spoken in Lebanon or is it something you have learned elsewhere? Heading to part 2.

    • Thank you Steve! Appreciate your kind words so much 😊 well yes French is a mandatory language in many schools, or English or both
      Mine was French and I learned English alone
      Your interaction is highly appreciated 🙏🏻

      • That is interesting, I really wish I could remember my French better, spent 7 years learning, but since I never used it here, I have forgotten most sadly.😕

      • Yes sadly the language needs practice otherwise it’s forgotten, since the business language is English, I also forgot many rules but gladly didn’t forget the language! Not easy it needs practice

      • you can also watch movies or install some application if you love to keep the language 🙂 we can switch to french as well whenever you want 🙂

      • Yes, I am looking for an app that will have some English as well to help me get going again, I tried one but it was all French and he spoke too fast! Thanks for the offer, but right now I would have a hard time putting a sentence together. But who knows, maybe I will try a little now and then, maybe it will come back faster!😃

    • Thank you so much! Appreciate your time and your kind words ❤ you can find the link at the end of the post, it’s already out, hope you will like part 2 🙂

      • I’m savoring it now. Your description of the nun’s slap was so well defined that I could see it happening and hear it crack against you. I’m in awe of you. I’ll write a comment after I finish it over there. ❤😊

  3. what can i say! I am speechless with tears,Hug! Can humanity be so cruel to you and your family-unimaginable! I always thought that i am the one who have suffered and struggled so much in life for last 15 years but i can say with all honesty that my pain and sufferings are no where even close to yours.Hats off to you Hug that you survived all these horrible things in your life.
    Having said this i will like to add that i have learnt a very valuable lessons and likewise you may too. All these untold misery and sufferings in life are also boons in disguise bcz they make us strong like steel to face the challenges, sufferings in life yet to come and i always thank God for making me and you so strong to survive any odds in life whtssoever!
    So cheer up my friend Hug and thank God for giving us His valuable Gifts.
    with Love to you!

    • Thank you Ravi for taking time to read and for your nice and heartwarming words! Appreciate your empathy and respect so much! Yes of course, all this made me who I am, reason why I made 2 posts and the second one was my message to all people to always be strong and never give up. We always feel grateful when we see other’s problems and me too I look to the people that lost family members, living with disability etc…and I feel grateful.
      thank you again for the thoughtful comment! Truly appreciated

  4. Well, this was heartbreaking to hear of the war and hell that you were put through as a child because of War. You are gifted and strong. Thank you for sharing your personal account of the difficulties you had growing up in this environment. It is a reminder to me of the power and resilience of the human spirit and you are a great testament to this. On to read part 2. Great pics by the Way ;).

    • Thank you so much Matt for taking time and read 🙂 I know your hectic schedule so I appreciate your time and your kind words 🙂 War is destructive and I’m glad I survived it in one piece and managing my many inner pieces as well!
      Thank you for the compliment 😊

      • You da best. I’m gonna read part 2 later today. Hopefully. I started but had an interview. I hate that those damn nuns treated you that way but love the quote from Ghandi about Christian’s I wish that we as people could stop from perverting such a simple and beautiful message of love one another. Its sad

      • Thank you Matt 😊don’t worry please i know how busy you are and best of luck!
        Yeah you’ll hate them even more! Yes there will always be good and bad people everywhere and in every field but when they are representing God, well a bit critical

  5. My heart aches for your experience as a child Huguetta, but you won’t be what you are without them.

    Now for the side comments. I think I too would have constipation if I was afraid of rats swimming out of the toilet. 😂 The plus, I think that kind of toilets is actually healthy? (Well, I’ve read somewhere that’s best for the body.) Mice and rats actually make very loyal friends. They are smart too. The problem is of course if they live dirty they can bring diseases. But if they come from clean places, they are very clean animals. I had 15 of them. We had the males castrated because we were afraid they’ll multiply even more.

    I always heard stories about wars from my husband (which was told by his parents from WWII) And from my grandfather who was a war soldier, and I can only imagine how horrible it must be. I’ll read the part 2 later.

    • Hey Jess! Thank you so much for reading and I love how you read the few messages and jokes I wanted to say! 😊Only few do , oh yes constipation big time 😂😂
      I know these toilets are healthy, I also prefer to use them if I’m abroad or in a public place, they are way better! But at the time, and with the horrible condition, I didn’t like it at all 🙂
      And no thank you I rather have a dog or else hahah I will import you some rats and mice from here Jess just choose the color 😁😁
      Wars are destructive, thanks God we were lucky and I know you read part 2 and you got my message, what I wanted to really say from writing all this, I know many people faced more and suffered more, not in a competition with anyone so I’ll see your comment on part 2 😊
      Thank you Jess appreciate your time and your thoughtful and real comment as always 🥰🥰❤

      • Always like post so expect no less from me 😁
        Sure, sure send them. But please make sure that all of them has been on a vet check. I don’t want it if it’s not clean. haha. On the other side, dog is a better choice if you want a long time friends. Rats live short. Only around two years. 😦

      • hahahah I will send them as is! vet check?? in your dreams 😂😂
        Dogs are loyal for sure, I prefer wolves it’s too bad they can’t be tamed 🙂
        you want me to have a pet that will die in 2 years Jess? why anyone would do that! 😑😑

      • hahahah I will send them as they are! vet check?? in your dreams 😂😂
        Dogs are loyal for sure, I prefer wolves it’s too bad they can’t be tamed 🙂
        you want me to have a pet that will die in 2 years Jess? why anyone would do that! 😑😑

      • 😭 I guess you can be a bit cruel. Please have it check or it will never pass the aduana… unless of course, you can speak to the rats and give them the instruction to cross the border on foot. Hahaha 😂
        That’s why I said a dog is a better choice because they live longer. Two years is too short. And I guess it’s possible to get a wolf if you have it as babies they might behave like a tame dog. (Disclaimer: I make no guarantees)

      • hahah sorry Jess 😦 didn’t mean to be cruel
        okay will speak to the rats and give them instruction 😂😂 I used to speak to the mice so I have some skills 😁
        I will actually take your words into consideration and bring that baby wolf 😂🤩🤩 and if the wolf ate me, I will leave some paper that Jessica said it’s guaranteed hahahah
        Have a great day Jess ❤ ❤

      • Oh my god! Huguetta I seriously love you 😂😂😂. Please read the disclaimer!
        By the way I’m never reading your comments or reply in public anymore. I might get a crazy reputation. I was on the way out of the bathroom when I laughed at my husband’s face. Shocking him. 😅

      • Oh, oh to late I already did! 😨 😅 No worries, he just shook his head and smile. What’s running through his head I don’t know, but I’m sure he’s happy for me.

  6. Surely, you have not only survived but you moved into thriving… this is inspirational for many stay stuck in the victimstance and will not use the pain to grow and become stronger… I can tell your personality is not one of such a desire to let other win and decide how your life will turn out… Kudos… Princess Warrior

  7. enjoyed this read
    i had mice in my home before, so i understand
    my grandmother had an outhouse as a toilet
    anyone going outside to use durung the winter realky frize their bums 😉

  8. Reblogged this on Pen On Website and commented:

    Hello Everyone,

    This is a story of a real life survivor.

    I get to know her in blogging and i initially inspired with her blogging activity and behaviour. After this post it changed my thoughts, She is a living inspiration.

    This is a piece of real life story that has to be shared across the world.

    A Bird Without Wings In The Big Jungle – 1/2

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