Oksana from Ukraine – founder
I wanted to change the world, but it didn’t work
so I changed myself.
Once upon a time from my mentor Gabriel Sahar Shlita I got the name Bat El, which means “Daughter of God” and which truly describes me, since my life has hung by a thread more than once. This man, one of my mentors, was and is one of the most important influences in my life. Thanks to. Also, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the following my most important guides in the life of the psychological and psychotherapeutic direction, E. T. and O. S. Thank you. ♡
Why did I decide to go through the organization of help against domestic psychological and physical abuse? About this, my story.
In 2000, life made me, a nineteen-year-old woman, already married, decide to leave for the Czech Republic, leaving my eight-month-old daughter with family in my homeland. Many mothers from third world countries have done and are doing so when in a desperate situation.
Choking with tears, but realizing that I just have to do this, I stop the passing minibus, not realizing how dangerous it could be. I am leaving for the Czech Republic to earn money to buy an old house in Ukraine next to my mother-in-law, motivating myself by the fact that a young family should live separately.
A girl or woman with modest requirements, who did not understand what the real is, who from birth had been brought up in an environment that constantly inspired her what to do and how, how to behave, so that others would only speak well of you, that you needed to be obedient to everyone and always, not to speak out, not respecting yourself, that you need to get married as soon as possible, have children, not thinking about their future education and upbringing and be happy with what you have, and you can only quietly dream of more. These are the laws of a small environment in western Ukraine, not following which, you become a black sheep. (At least that’s how it was in the 90s)
But I cannot say that I was a very obedient girl. I just didn’t know that you can live differently and that it’s not a sin. I was a girl who did not understand that you can and should love yourself.
I have always been able to communicate with my instincts and the universe, realizing that they will never let me down and will always accompany me on the way, and this was my secret, which I never told anyone about. You can call it faith, faith in yourself and faith in higher powers. It was this faith and the ability to see signs that helped me many times in seemingly desperate situations.
But here, I do not want to mislead you. Help always comes only to those who want to help themselves, it is not enough just to believe and wait. You need to understand that life is beautiful, but for this we must do something, it is very important to listen to ourselves: what we want from life, what path we want to take, what we want to achieve, are we ready to change something and not be afraid to take responsibility, not be afraid of changes in our life.
We need to act on our own, and not humbly wait for fate to throw down another challenge for us, sometimes very cruel. Agreed, it depends on us alone: will we accept reality and complain about a cruel and unfair life or take everything into our own hands, set sail in the right direction and keep on course for a happy life in the form of a chosen goal.
“Is it possible ?!” – I would have said 20 years ago. Yes, this can and should be done, otherwise you will live life in vain. It is necessary to listen to your instincts, which sometimes scream inside us, ask, beg, say that we are uncomfortable, but we think: “this is fate … nothing can be done about it”.
I understand you, I thought so too before. For a long time, I allowed myself to be insulted, insulted physically and psychologically, I lived without a purpose, complained about life. “Why is it so cruel to me?” I blamed everyone and everything around me, I’m so good, kind … why do I need all this?
But back to Year 2000. Upon arriving in the Czech Republic, with the help of intermediaries, I found my first job, the essence of which was washing dishes and cleaning a restaurant in the Municipal House in the center of Prague. At that time, for me, a Ukrainian girl, this work was very prestigious. 🙂
A year later, I returned to my homeland, but only to take my daughter back with me, because she is my blood, and children should be with their mother. By that time, I had already decided that I would not return to Ukraine, and the desire to buy an old house left me, just like the desire to continue with my husband, so I left him.
My next mistake in life
I tried to change my life, looking for love and salvation in another man. But this was my next huge mistake, and the person whom I trusted and believed, from whom I became pregnant, later turned into a psychological and physical tyrant! I gave birth to a son from him, also not understanding what I would give him. Yes, no one taught me this, this wonderful skill – to understand. But I am grateful to the universe for the maternal instinct and innate responsibility towards children which never left me, no matter the situation.
I sacrificed myself all the time, loved everyone except myself, allowed myself to be treated with disrespect, gave everything, and did not demand anything in return. I remember even at school they taught us: “Cut an apple, give the bigger half to your friend.” In my environment, we were brought up like this: “If someone hits you, throw bread at him.” I don’t think we should go on about this any further.
My instincts never ceased to struggle with the way I was brought up (“you must”, “this is correct”, “it is necessary”, “there is nowhere to go”, etc.). The mind prevailed. I was on the verge of mental and physical collapse. There was only one hope for help – faith in the Omniscient One and that he would not leave me alone. And also the fact that I need to develop for the sake of my children. To be cared for and protected. Children have always been my guardian angels; this is what always kept my head above water and did not allow me to give up. After all, if I had fought only for myself, I would have given up long ago, but here it was necessary to live for the sake of others.
After two years of tyranny, an unbearable life together, when the threat began to spread to my children, I decided that I had no right to allow this, I felt responsible for the small innocent bubbles of joy. In an instant, one day, I packed up and left. I wandered with a baby and a four-year-old girl on the street, absolutely not knowing where to go, who could protect me in a foreign country without acquaintances and without money. I did not want to go to the police for various personal reasons and because of fear. Most of all I was afraid that they would send me back to Ukraine or take my children.
As a result, my children and I ended up in a shelter for victims of domestic violence called “Farní Charita Roudnice N / l”. There, the director of the shelter, Ing. Jitka Kirschnerová, did not refuse me help, believed in me, made an exception by sheltering us, because this place did not accept foreigners. From the bottom of my heart, I am still grateful to her and all the wonderful friendly team for their support and care. It was at this stage of my life that my future was decided.
At that time, I needed very little – to breathe freely and have the opportunity to start a new life without insults, without physical and psychological violence. There, I found peace and immediately found myself a job in a factory as a seamstress so I could feed myself and my children.
Over time, I gained wings, I wanted more and more, I got a driver’s license, although I had no car. There was not even the slightest opportunity, not even the thought of such an expensive purchase, I thought it was unattainable for me.
Every year I worked on myself more and more. I was constantly learning new things, I read, looked for information wherever it was possible to find it. I asked and received answers, I worked, improved my qualifications. I began to understand more and more. I realized that my life was only in my hands, and everything that happened to me I attracted myself, I was a vessel filled with the experience and attitudes of my environment. It is not for nothing that they say: “tell me who your friend is, and I will tell you who you are.”
No one goes their way in life without making mistakes, and I am no exception. The most important thing is to learn from them. Errors teach us something only if we understand why they were given to us.
For a long time, I could not find my way, my meaning in life, and I tried to listen to my inner voice, I was interested in everything, my breath, strength opened. Once, I accidentally read in a book the line: “change your thinking, change your life.” I was struck by this thought, and I began to dig further … After all, I had tried everything on my way, it remained only to change my thinking.
Over the past 20 years, I have come a long way, found work as a cleaner, seamstress, bartender, even a dancer, looking for an easy way to make good money, but I realized that this was not my direction, that I wished to follow a sincere, clean, developing path. I learned English so I could start working in a restaurant as a waitress in the center of Prague. I have always treasured every job. A person should not be ashamed of what he does, the main thing is that he is moving forward, and not waiting for happiness to fall in his lap from heaven.
“When I didn’t know what to do, I just did something without wasting time.”
When in 2000-2009 there was a crisis and the restaurant where I worked closed, it was hard for me as a foreigner to get a job. On the phone, I heard how they answered me with pleasure: “We don’t hire foreigners”. It was also hard for me to find an apartment at that time – there was only one answer: “We don’t let foreigners with children and animals rent the apartment,” which described us exactly since at that time we had a small dog, to the delight of the children.
I sobbed over the newspaper searching the advertisements, and I remember how tears blurred some of the applications, I felt sorry for myself: how unfair it is, I’m an honest person and I have worked so hard to save money for an apartment, but I can’t do anything about it. I did not give up, I searched further. In order not to waste time, I started studying to be a cosmetologist. I am grateful to the Czech Republic for its help, it paid for my education, which I, as a single mother, could not afford to pay on my own.
After completing the training, I did not get a job, since I had no work experience, and I was a foreigner with just a fresh certificate.
I had no choice but to try to open my own business in the field of cosmetic services.
I rented an office in Prague 1 (tourist center), where I started earning a little money, which was only enough to cover the rent and the most essential items. Then, I was offered a job in a salon at an interest rate, I gladly agreed, since there was a guarantee of earnings. The owner of that salon – Bozena Nemchikova, at that time was a very strict with me, and now she is a very close friend. She is an experienced specialist, and at that time already had thirty years of experience in cosmetology. Bozena helped me acquire all the necessary skills to carry out cosmetic procedures and communicate with clients, and I am incredibly grateful to her for this, because getting a certificate without practice and a good mentor means almost nothing.
Two years later, I moved into my own mini salon without any business plan, as knowledge came with time. There, I learned from my mistakes for a very long time, wasting energy, time, and money. Afterwards, I called this very expensive training.
It was not easy, in the beginning I had to borrow money to keep my business afloat. For a long time, I only worked to cover the rent and paid for a lot for mistakes.
I worked seven days a week. The children’s school was near our house and they came home after it and waited for me to return. Still now, my conscience gnaws at me that I could not afford to have fun with them when they were small.
Over time, clients appreciated the good service and quality services, I was able to hire first assistants. Then the Exclusive Beauty Clinic brand was born. I was so carried away by this area that I even created my own brand OxiSecret, under which I began to produce a product for depilation – sugar paste.
I became for the boss of more than ten employees and again learned how to lead a team. It was not easy for me, because there was no time to attend seminars, I had to learn from my own experience. In time, I got through this stage.
The time came when I bought my first property in Prague, a decent car, which my driving license has been waiting for 15 years. But the most important thing is that I found myself and the meaning of life, I got and continue to get a thrill from life.
From an innocent little girl – a cleaner, I turned into a self-confident lady with a strong personality, and now I understand that everything in this world is possible, you just need desire.
In my 20 years in Prague, I have met many friendly people and guides, to whom I turned for help of all kinds, as well as people who taught me something by putting a spanner in the works. I learned to thank everyone for everything.
Throughout my life, I have been going down an interesting path, and over time I began to perceive my development as a hobby.
To further understand myself and understand others, at the age of 40 I treated myself and enrolled in the University of Psychosocial Sciences in Prague (Pražská vysoká škola psychosociálních studií) to do a course in the Faculty of Social Work with a focus on complications and applied psychotherapy (sociální prace se zaměřením na komplikace a aplikovanou psychoterapii).
I want to be an example for many women and girls who also did not have the opportunity to learn to love and respect themselves. But, after all, a person is born reasonable and capable of learning anything, it just needs desire.
My mission is to help a lost person find himself, find his own path, his purpose in life, help graduates of orphans, orphans in the development, specialize in weak and disabled families, and most importantly, help women who have suffered from domestic violence to show the way to a dignified life, to understand where this line is, through which it is impossible to cross, at what moments we are manipulated, and where we harm ourselves, to teach to love ourselves and our life, to help understand how beautiful this life is and that you can live differently, that you can do something to achieve something. After all, we came into this life not just to live, but to fulfill our mission.
I understand that I cannot help everyone. A person should want it himself, but sometimes an outstretched helping hand (as it was extended to me in due time) can change a person and his whole life. And I gladly hasten to extend this hand to those who want to help themselves.
Now I am in a hurry to address those who need it and are ready to take responsibility for their lives.
I am ready to lend a helping hand to those who want to get help.
The Bat El Foundation provides:
- Legal advice,
- Psychological counseling,
- Psychotherapeutic counseling,
- Tips and tricks on where to go in certain situations,
- Help in finding a job,
- We help with the preparation of any documents,
- Provision of cosmetic services (permanent makeup) to women who have undergone chemotherapy,
- Assistance in finding people to be accommodated in emergencies,
- Training for the profession of a cosmetologist, etc.
- First aid in a crisis is finding housing, clothing and food.
I did it and you can too !!!