Zehra II

When I fainted in the middle of the street, a woman took me to the hospital. I opened my eyes after an hour later and saw her sitting beside me, waiting for me to wake up. We talked via the interpreter of the hospital. She was so sweet to me. She wiped the sweat off my face and fixed my hijab. I trusted her and told her everything that’s been going on. She listened carefully and said she could help me. We got out of the hospital together, she dropped me home and said she’ll come with someone she wants me to meet, tomorrow. She came the other morning and took me and the kids to a foundation. I told my story to the people there. I talked about our financial situation and from that day, they started to help me financially with a considerable amount. After a very long time, I was finally having something to be happy for.

We came home from the foundation that day and I decided to talk to my husband and his second wife because living alone with four children was hard for me. I went to them and told them that I am receiving help from a foundation and it’s only being given to me on the condition of living here with them. I told them if they be willing to have me here too, I would give them half of the money. My plan worked and they accepted me and my children. My husband’s second wife was very happy to have me there, so we continued to live together peacefully.

After not even a week later, the woman that helped me came to me again and offered me a job. I talked about it to my husband’s second wife and said if she could look after my kids, I could earn money. She accepted it right away because she was loving my children as they were hers. Then I got a job as a scullion in a diner. I was the first one to come in the morning and the last one to leave in night. I was working hard because I didn’t want to lose this job. But after one and a half months later, I had a work accident. There was a pot of boiling oil in it and it spilled over the place and I fell into it.

They took me to the hospital right away but there were several wounds in my body and there was nobody to look after me. I was desperate. The pain was unbearable, and I needed pain killers so badly, but I couldn’t tell the nurses because I didn’t know Turkish.

It was torture going to the bathroom, eating, even breathing. But it was nothing compared to the pain I feel because I didn’t get to see my children. I knew my husband’s second wife was looking after them but still…

Two days after the accident, the woman that helped me came to the hospital. I told her that I have no one to help me here and she said she will help me. I still pray for her every day. The other day, two college students visited me. One came in the morning and the other one came in the night. Every day different girls were coming and helping me in between their lectures. They were so sweet to me. I met more than ten girls at that time. Even when I returned home, they kept coming to my house. When I am at home, my wounds had to be cleaned occasionally, and my husband’s second wife was the only one to handle these. I thought: ‘Even though they were very mean to me at first, they accepted me and my kids under this roof again.’ I felt like a great burden, so I gave all the money I receive from the foundation to her. I lived with these wounds for three months. There are many marks in my body left from that accident, but I could sit straight in front of my children, and that was enough for me.

I still get help from foundations, they never left me alone. I will never forget the woman that helped me, the students waited for me in the hospital and the people that brought supplies to our house. I don’t know what’s waiting for me in the future, but I will do anything to protect and look after my kids until I die.  And I will die like hundreds of women who were like me.

Lastly, I want to thank your country and your people. Thank you for everything.