Chapter 16 - War

War was everywhere: The cold war with the Soviet Union was active and smaller conflicts across the globe led to a high demand for military members. My mother enlisted, and took me, now back in Europe, with me and our father to Africa. We lived in Rwanda for what I believe must have been months. The year was 1994, and Rwanda was full of conflict. An imminent genocide led to some unlikely, awful and life changing events that put everything I knew at stake for the rest of my life

Rwanda was not fighting. This is what I could tell from the surroundings, even as a child. People were fighting with Rwanda. People were desperate, killing animals, killing each other, and starving in the streets. Also, the military presence meant that a lot of children from the military surrounded me and I was the smallest among what felt like a large group of bullies. Fed up with how I was being treated, eventually I took the only weapon I could find and ran to a trench, hoping to be safer from my attackers. I was quickly armed, and almost more quickly shot, and what happened next was not pretty. My body was mutilated: First my male genitals and reproductive were removed, they were destroyed, likely eaten like the meat of a dog or swine. Then my female reproductive organs were removed, given to another woman who had cancer in her cervix. My kidneys and most of my liver were also removed, given to other people like an organ donor. By the time the various militaries of the world had the situation under control, I was in pieces and my heart was not beating.

Put on a defibrilator and ventilator and with blood transfusions from some blessed donors, I was flown back to Europe where the situation looked dire. So much had been done to protect my life but there was so little chance I would live, few people wanted to volunteer to give me the organs I needed to survive. Eventually two of my cousins and dear friends gave me kidneys and a part of a liver, and donor male genitals were given to me by my own daughter, who was first thought to be inviable at birth. She survived.

When I awoke, I was in the hospital, but there was a knife in my abdomen. I tried to scream, but I could barley do so. I moved my hand, touching the doctors hand as I reached with all of the strenghth I had to stop her. She stopped, suddenly, and nearly screamed. I was not more or less in one piece. I was less in one piece, missing not only my uterus, cervix and ovaries, I was missing my very own vagina, labia, clitoris, everything was gone. I was in a coma for many months, and I had woken up during the surgery that was supposed to donate my organs like had originally happened.

Fortunatley the doctors stopped, did what they could to accomodate the pain, and began talking to me. My parents came in and expressed their happiness that I had survived, and their thankfulness. I was less than pleased I had been mutilated, and was especially not pleased I would now be living under a new name which I could never remember. Life was a struggle for me before, and it became a much greater struggle for me. I could barley move or even eat, I needed the feeding tube for long after I awoke, and there was little I could say or do. I could open my eyes though, and even though everything hurt, somehow I knew I was going to be healed. I could feel the miracle that had taken place and I knew there would be justice for all that had been done to me.

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