Be Your Best Friend by NIHEL BENDIHASSANE

 

ALGERIA — My story began when I was around five years old. I had two sisters and one brother much older than me, and much busier than me. My parents worked a lot, especially my mother, and I respected her a lot. Neither my father nor my mother was able to manage the tiring work and the house, so I had a nanny. The way that she was trying to educate me was nasty, bad and brutal. Thus, thanks to her my childhood was memorable, and thanks to her my personal development was exemplary.

Although it goes back a long time, I can remember all the details of my childhood, all the words, all people that participated. It’s hard to admit, but I was a “beaten child.” I know, it’s totally crazy for certain people but totally normal for others. The size of the shoes were larger than my head, and it looked like they weighed heavier too. Wearing sleeveless dresses was “harmful to health,” or I risked “getting cold.” But in reality the bruises on my body were visible even under a turtleneck. I couldn’t tell myself that there was worse in life since at that age I thought that this was the worst. I remember that as child I developed my own reflection, I was small and I did not understand why my parents did not notice me, why I was not protected, why I did not feel safe. My own perception, even though I was a five-year-old girl, was that I always questioned myself, even though no one had ever taught me to do so. A philosophy of mine was, at my young age, I had set a way of life. I know it must seem absurd, but in my head the shots I received were for me what life had written as my destiny. For me, it was not a questionable matter, but just a simple fact. It was not a reversal story but just a period of my life that does not really matter. After all, I was going to grow up like my brother and sisters I was certain that I would have a new life.

As I was growing up, this had indeed happened; I finally had a new life. The nanny was dismissed and I entered school. For the first time in my life, my calculations were right, my expectations were right, and this rebooted my confidence. I never went out of this atmosphere; from this I developed myself. I started searching for a way to educate myself by myself, without relying on others or waiting for my parents to do it for me.

Humans are  strong enough to rely on themselves, there are stories in every houses, injustice in every place, fear in each one of us. This experience taught me to always move forward, to always believe in myself, in my capabilities, in my skills. To hold on to my past in order to make my future better. It helped to forge the person that I have become. I find the way to peace is to draw the right path, and this story is the beginning of this path. We, as a citizen journalists, we should knock at every inhabitant’s door of our city, let our writing release them, let them believe in a better world. We have a noble cause to defend.

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