Faranak a distressed young woman from New York :
SEEKING A HELPING HAND
When I had decided that I felt like I had come to the end of my rope, I confided to dear Mr. Zokaei of the popular Javanan Magazine, which has been my constant companion in the last few years. In this expansive land of America, I feel like a bird with a broken wing, whose cry for help is falling on deaf ears. I came to the United States just two years ago, with high hopes and many dreams.
Having lost my parents in an accident at a young age, I was raised by my uncle’s family who wed me away. Although they have great affection for me and I them, but they could not fill in my parents role, their death left a vacuum in my life. I always felt sad to be deprived of my caring and affectionate parents. I missed them so and felt very much alone, after their death. I had had lots of serious suitors in Iran, seeking my hand in marriage; but I seemed destined for a miserable life in a land far off from my country. At age twenty two, I married Farzan, an American citizen, during his short visit to Iran. He could have married anyone he wished; but I was told that he picked me for my high quality and being a decent woman. Soon after we came here, I learned that he was an alcoholic who could never stop his drinking. Every evening when he started drinking, he would change to another person. The thought of living with an alcoholic had never crossed my mind an I had had no idea of how terrible it can be. There is one image I will never forget: My husband in a drunken rage, smashing a metal chair over my head.
Living in an abusive home, took its toll. I became so disgusted with my life. His abusive behavior began from the very beginning of our marital living. Sometimes it was verbal: he would tell me, “You are so overbearing.” He would try to beat down my self esteem. Other times, he would hit and shove me. At first, I escaped by running to my neighbor’s until he calmed down. Then my neighbor started getting scared and did not want me coming into her apartment anymore, but she did allow me sit on her doorstep. Finally I got tired of him and told him that I wanted out. With that, he started beating me so bad that he wound up taking me to the ER, with a dislocated shoulder and gashes on my scalp. While in the ER, I thought about the time when my abuser had showered me with huge amounts of flattery and attention early on and then became very critical, which is red flag right there. A nurse tried to console me and showed concern for my misery. I told her the whole story. She was deeply affected about my horrible situation. The second day into my treatment, two policemen came into my room and put handcuffs on my abuser, leading him to jail.
Now I was alone, with no friend or family. I was sent to stay in a shelter for my safe keeping. It was a relief to be safe, but also humiliating. Now I was totally dependent on public services. In the shelter, I had to share a room with a German woman of dreadful appearance. She looked like a monster with a harsh voice, trying to harass me from the first day of my arrival. She came over to my bed after nine O”clock lights out and put her big hands on my head. I was so frightened I started screaming. Everyone rushed to our room to see what the matter was. Then, when my eyes met hers and I saw how scared she looked, I pretended it was only a nightmare. Soon after that, I moved out of the room and slept on the shelter’s hall couch. But I was still so disturbed, I packed my cloths and got out as fast as I could. I headed straight to Harlem where the homeless and addicts resort. It was really cold with heavy snow falling on my face. I was starved and shivering from the cold. I felt so weak, I lay down on a bench like the other homeless people.
After while, I sensed someone patting me sympathetically. When I raised my head, I saw a young man with wheat complexion who asked me to follow him. Since he looked like a good Samaritan, I could not resist his demand. He took me to a nearby coffee shop and ordered a lavish breakfast for me. Then he offered to take me to my home; but when he learned I had no home, he offered to take me to a shelter. I told him my story and he took me to his home. He was living in a shabby apartment and had a janitorial job. He further disclosed that he was an immigrant from South America and had no clues of his parents. He left me alone there and returned the next day with some new cloths and medication. This man really is a Samaritan, who spared no efforts to make me happy. Being as I am an undocumented person now and can not get any job. I am really embarrassed with this situation, as this young man is now working during the weekends to provide me with my necessities. I am now suffering from depression and I get terrible headaches.
I miss my home in Iran and those days when I was leading a happy life with my parents. At the moment I am thinking of seeking shelter with someone whom I can count on. I do not know if anyone can hear my cry for help? Is there anyone out there who would extend their hands to save me from this limbo? I pray to see a bright horizon for my life again, in a chance to start over somehow somewhere, with a friend.