Part 1. Current time.

If nothing no longer carries an explanation or statement, then it is time to let go of the old and not focus only on yourself. Life involves much more than just you.

I wonder what would have been if all of this were going accordingly to the plan? The plan was very well-suited and put in place. However, everything went quite differently. Instead of working with my team and finding minors who had fallen to be victims of trafficking, I spent one year feeling sorry for myself. Nothing went the way I planned. At some point, I was absolutely certain that I would never go back to the issue of human trafficking or writing.

But life had different plans. Despite the fact that I had to send home everyone I had worked with for the last few years and the research had to wait, new projects emerged to deal with.  One such project was to find and bring together those who survived child trafficking and whom were now adults. I also belonged to this group as childhood included fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds.

Honestly, int the beginning of this project I had no faith in it. Not for the sake of the project, but for the faith in myself, the belief that I can do such a project. I never saw myself as a person who was good at inspiring and guiding others. I was, however, rather a β-person, that is, a follower rather than a leader.

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

My personal relationships were still as confusing as they were five years ago. Alex, my ex-husband, was now my opponent in court where we were fighting over our daughter’s custody. Funny to think it was my life’s first experience with the court. And it was not positive at all. I concluded that the courthouse is probably one of the most negative places in the world. There were no people out there who would not be in charge of anyone or stand up for someone. The judge, I had the honor of getting to know in this same courthouse, revealed himself as a sociopath with his carelessness and coldness, to put it mildly. The first few words that he said when he entered the courtroom were: “I’ve actually already decided all of it for myself, but maybe I’ll listen to you a little bit, just in case.”

No, I didn’t complain. I had thick enough skin to withstand anything. But I could also be upset, and our first court was one of those things. The next one went smoother. Maybe people just get used to the fact that such situations are common when the day-to-day work involves dealing with it. For me it was a matter of life and death. For me, the judge was the person who chose my daughter’s life and future. I may not have cared enough about myself, but my children were sacred to me, and I could not let anyone step over them. Even if it was a judge.

MY RAGE WAS CLEARLY VISIBLE ALSO TO THE JUDGE. THE COURT OF JUSTICE CLEARLY STATED THAT A SOLUTION WOULD HAVE TO BE FOUND THAT WOULD CALM THE MOTHER DOWN.

What had remained the same from before was the fact that I was still in college. Getting education was a long and painful path to go for me. At least when we talked about getting a first higher education. Somewhere inside me, I was hoping that the next school should go easier.

The school gave me some peace. I knew where I was supposed to head every weekday and what was expected of me there. And I enjoyed studying. Maybe not at the tempo that was offered in universities, but overall, I still enjoyed acquiring new knowledge. I also got to work there by myself. Most of the classmates were about twenty years younger than me, and I even interacted with some of them when needed, but it was more common, however, that they had their own circles, and I worked independently. So it was in the Faculty of Psychology. In the Faculty of Languages, where I went to lectures in Russian in order to receive the translator diploma, the environment was quite different. There I found people at my age and older. Sometimes we were invited to the Russian theater at the expense of the school and trips to Russia were organized.

School was good. Both for me and my children. I liked that I had the opportunity to decide on my “working days”.  The only problem was the money.

But despite the difficulties I didn’t want to give up the work against human trafficking. Somewhere deep inside, a passionate light burned, waiting for my return to a job that meant a lot to me. I see a lot of people doing this work out of a desire to help because they carry the burden of failure. As Luule Viilma once wrote – human morality is written on its face. And she was right. If you look at someone face closely, you can see that there is a lot to learn. One of these things can be the emotional stress of work. I could see from the eyes of these workers that they had a situation that meant a lot to them, but that didn’t work out as they had hoped. Powerlessness. Despair. And then finding a new faith, because there were so many people who needed help, and even though someone’s life was not saved, there was definitely someone else they could save.

I never saw myself in this kind of role. Sometimes it seemed to me that maybe I was a sociopath too. Maybe I was so confused that I didn’t feel the right feelings where I suppose to, and I felt them where I didn’t have to, but I liked to shift my focus to filmmaking and writing when thing got tough. Behind each person, I saw a story that could be told in some way.

BECAUSE LET’S BE HONEST, IT’S OFTEN ENOUGH TO HEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S STORY TO FIND THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT FOR YOURSELF.

During the period when I took a break and did not know exactly what I should do next, I met several new people who worked in the field of human trafficking. But I didn’t forget my old contacts too, and especially one of them was important to me. Michael. A person I’ve known for years, and I knew I could trust. At least on trafficking issues. On other issues, I wasn’t quite sure yet, but it wasn’t so important.

Michael was the person I contacted again when I wanted to work on trafficking questions. He wasn’t the one to give me a job, but for some reason he had a special talent for inspiring me to come up with my own ideas. Some people just have the talent to motivate others, even if they made minimal effort to do so. Sometimes it was enough for him to say two words, so I knew exactly what I had to do next.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN MOTIVATING YOURSELF IS MEETING THE CORRECT PEOPLE. THIS FACT IS UNDERESTIMATED. MOVING FORWARD WITHOUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND COMPLICATED.

Phot by mrjn photography on Unsplash

“It’s unbelievable that I only meet such an important person once a year or so,” I said with a slight smile when I saw Michael. «Has all gone well in the meantime? »

“Yes, a little up and down but overall, well,” he replied modestly. As always. Because Michael was not a lively person. He had a lot hidden in his soul, but from the outside he tried to be as invisible as possible.

We sat behind a little coffee table in the Deli De Luca’s and he threw one leg over another, as usual. I evaluated him with sceptic eyes and had to admit that he looked pretty hot. Fit and tanned. Too tanned. Could it be a solarium, or did he often travel abroad? Because here where we lived was clearly too little sun in the winter to be so tanned.

I liked everything about him. His face, eyes, mouth, nose. His bald head. His habit of throwing one foot over the other. In itself, he was anything but the men I usually met. Complete opposite. But with him everything seemed to be exactly as it should be. Much of that was certainly due to the fact that I could trust him. It was one of the characteristics that made people beautiful in my eyes. And if in addition he liked to take care of himself, then I was sold. Such person could have called me in the middle of the night and say that his cat was lost, and I would have run in my nightdress to look for that cat through the dark night streets.

But he didn’t know that, of course. Or at least I thought he didn’t know or noticed. For him, I was a good human who tried to make this world a little better place than it was yesterday. I was a patriot in my field. And so far, it was the only bridge that had been connecting us. That is why I wanted to keep this bridge. I did not want to lose this person.

“Is there any news in the field of human trafficking?” I asked curiously.

“At present, a lot of money and workers have been put on this area,” he replied. «I think that, given where we were ten years ago, we have come extremely far. But there is definitely still a lot of work to do. And you can make a big difference in this field. »

“I’m thinking here that maybe I’ll start by writing a book, after a long pause,” I said from the corner of my mouth, hoping to hear what he thought of the idea.

“Book? What do you mean by that? A book about yourself or human trafficking?”

“A book about human trafficking,” I said cautiously. “I always have the feeling that something on this topic is hidden, something is left unsaid, something is covered. To me too.”

“It’s a very good idea to write a book about human trafficking,” he replied encouragingly. «We always lack the writers on this subject, and if it comes from you, then it would surely be a very good reading. »

In fact, I had already decided for myself. Of course I had. But I always liked to hear his opinion. That was important to me. His opinion and support in my activities was important to me.