July 26, 2004
The following story was written by Saadat Ghasemiyani, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Saadat is a student at the UFCW Local 832 Training Centre. She lives in Winnipeg with her husband, her two sons and her new little daughter.
It is the middle of the night. My house is silent. The children are asleep. I am done with my motherhood duties. I helped my sons with their homework. I did the dishes and I cleaned the house. Now I am ready to start a new day like all the other days that pass by. Anyway, the main thing that I was going to say is that finally I have some time to myself. My energy has already flown away because of being at work more than half the day and then working the other half for the love of (responsibility) at home.
My body is screaming, "Please, no more! Go to bed!" But my mind is saying, "Don't. You deserve more than that." Do not make your life a circle of work eat, sleep. Life is special with thoughts and dreams. This is not you! What is happening to you? Pull yourself together again. Go and live for tomorrow." Ask yourself, "What do you want?" I did that many times but it didn't go anywhere.
Now is the time to break the silence. What do I really want for myself? If my wishes come true, my life is going to change forever. The first step of my dream that all the other steps rely on, is the hard one. That dream has become a nightmare for me. That nightmare makes me cry always. You do not know how it feels being ashamed of yourself.
Every day we punish ourselves by saying, "You don't have talent. You are weak ...".
Before I came to Canada, Back home, I was a successful psychologist. I left because there was no freedom. Every moment we were frightened for our lives. I left my country with nothing. I came to Canada to live in freedom and democracy. I thought being here would make everything different and make my wish come true, especially to continue my education. But everything is falling apart. I don't know what went wrong that my learning got blocked. Is it because I am getting older? Is it because I am homesick? Is it because I am lazy? Is it because I don't have any of my family by my side? These are the questions that I ask myself always.
Most of the time I wish that I was one of you with the knowledge of English. Many people take speaking English for granted and they are not thankful for this. On the other hand I am willing to give up many things to learn English. Why is life like that?
Anyway this is just one small part of the pain that I have been carrying with myself for a long time. I am afraid that I will die without my dream coming true. So I keep my fingers crossed again. I remind myself, "Unless you try you will not succeed." For that step we need help from you. You are making a big difference by being there for us. Hold our hands and help us to fly.
I am looking forward to the day when my English is good enough to tell the untold stories that I have in my heart.
[This story was taken from a collection of stories written by literacy students, pp.13-15, at the UFCW Local 832 Training Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The book is entitled Writing Our Voices.]