Lisbet Guerrera: My Past Life

Papi (the bad memories)

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Papi (the bad memories)
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"As we approach home I can see my father in the distance, his hands are in the air and he's shouting something angrily at me"


Although my father loved me very much, he had a temper and sometimes he would deal with punishment in a very cruel way. I have about an equal number of good and bad memories of my father, but I feel sure that throughout Lisbet's short life, the good times far outweighed the bad.

I think my father could see a lot of my mother in me, I've remembered a few times when he told me that I was pretty like my mother and that I reminded him so much of her, which must have been very frustrating and upsetting for him at times. Living in a remote part of the world meant that most of the time, ours were the only 2 faces that the other saw for what must have been days on end:

I find myself  as Lisbet, and i'm with my friend at the river, her name is Margarita. We're washing clothes in the river and all the time we're giggling and splashing around, flicking water at each other and both of us getting thoroughly soaked. My mind is on other things, we haven't had a proper meal for days, my father has been sick and we haven't been able to travel into the village to stock up on provisions. My thoughts turn to the 2 huge fish that have been hanging out on hooks to dry outside our hut since yesterday. I'm very hungry and i'm very much looking forward to eating them with my father today.

Margarita and I are enjoying ourselves so much, we pay little attention to the task that I've been given of washing the clothes. I give the different garments a quick rinse and put them in a sack made out of netting, spending far too little time on them. Then we take a corner of the net sack each and start to make our way back home.

As we approach home I can see my father in the distance, his hands are in the air and he's shouting something angrily at me. My mood quickly changes and I can feel butterflies in my stomach because I know that he's angry and i'm in trouble. We arrive at home and my father grabs the sack full of clothes from me. He's telling me that we should have been home a long time ago, and that I have other chores that need attending to. He empties the sack of clothes on to the ground and picks some of them up, thrusting them in my face and complaining that they're still dirty. I've seen my father like this before, I'm scared and I can feel a small trickle of urine running down the inside of my leg. He picks up another piece of the laundry and holds it up for me to look at, then he slaps me around the head with it. It stings my face and I begin to cry, I feel more than a little embarrassed in front of my friend. My father tells me that he'll be eating alone today, then he walks away and I see him take one of the fish down that are hanging up outside the hut with him. I fall to my knees and put my face in my hands and I start sobbing, i'm so hungry. Margarita kneels down next to me and puts her arm around me, trying her best to comfort me.

I eventually stop crying and I stand up and we start to make our way towards the hut, I see my father come out and he takes the other fish down and goes back inside. I think Margarita has gone home because i'm now at home alone with my father. He stays quiet for a while but eventually he approaches me. He puts his hand on my cheek, I look up at him and he brushes my hair away from my eyes. He apologizes to me and says something about it being wrong of him to expect me to replace my mother. I look over at the table and I can see two wooden plates and forks in place ready for our lunch.

There was one incident which was inexcusable though, and to remember it in my present life was very hard to deal with. I was sexually abused by my father. I know there are no excuses for what he did, but even for that I always find myself defending him. He appeared to be very remorseful for what he had done, and as far as I'm consciously aware, it only happened once, not that it makes it okay.

The following extract from my journal came to me one night in a vivid dream. I had to think very hard before deciding to include it here on my website as it is very personal to me for obvious reasons, and I can still remember it very clearly. But several friends have encouraged me to share this, suggesting that it is an important part of my journey, so here it is in full:

WARNING: The following contains sexually explicit material:

I'm standing in a brilliant white "nothingness". There's nothing to relate to, everywhere, all around is just brilliant white.


I can see a shape ahead of me, a figure, I can't tell how far away it is because the shape is all that I can see. I walk towards it and as I get closer I can see that it is a person, crouched down. I get closer, it is a young girl, her head is face down on her knees and her arms are wrapped around her legs, her black hair is hanging down and covering her face, she's wearing a white gown.

I can't see her face but I know that it's Lisbet. She looks up at me and she seems to recognize who I am as much as I recognize her, but she puts her head back down on her knees. I kneel down beside her, she's shaking slightly and I can tell that she's afraid. I say her name without speaking, I only have to think her name and she looks up with her tearstained face, we just kneel there for a while, looking into each others eyes, It feels like i'm looking in to a mirror.

Without speaking, I ask her why she is frightened and that there is nothing to be afraid of anymore. She slowly lifts her arms and takes my hands in her hands, then she says...."see".

Suddenly i'm transported to another time and place. I am Lisbet and i'm at home, in bed. It's nighttime and I can hear the cicada's chirping outside. I'm laying on my left side, I roll over and i'm slightly startled, my father is laying next to me, his head propped up on one arm, he's looking at me in a strange way. He leans forward, puts his arm around me and kisses me on my forehead, he tells me he loves me very much. He also tells me how I look so beautiful, just like my mother, and how he misses her so much. While he is telling me this, he is rubbing my shoulders and being very affectionate, his hand is moving further down my body, down my legs and then back up again, lifting my nightgown. I can hear his breathing becoming heavier and I can feel his breath on my cheek. His hand is between my legs now, rubbing slightly against my private parts, I feel a bit uncomfortable with this, is it normal for fathers to do this? He then gently but firmly turns me onto my back and in one quick movement he is on top me..... what is he doing? I try to look at him, questioning him with my eyes, but his face is turned away, hidden from me, buried in the blankets. He's pushing something inside of me, I think I know what it is, it hurts. It feels wrong, I want to struggle, but I don't want to deny my father, I'm too scared to say no, but surely he wouldn't deliberately hurt me, would he? He's pushing further and further into me, with a  thrusting motion, it's hurting more with every thrust. Tears start to well up in my eyes, but I try not to make a sound, neither do I move, I don't want to disappoint or anger my father. I close my eyes tightly, i'm biting my lip hard, trying not to cry. The pain seems to last forever, but eventually he stops, and I lurch as he turns over onto his back next to me, tears are trickling down my face as he pulls himself up and away from me. I look at his face and he is crying, he puts one finger over my mouth and with his shaking hand he sweeps my hair from my eyes, and again kisses my forehead. Then without saying a word, he gets up and turns to look at me before leaving my room. My blanket is wet, I can see by the pale light of the moon, a dark stain, which I think is blood.

Next thing I am myself again, and I'm back in the white light, holding hands with Lisbet. We sit together a while longer, we're both crying.

I have to be strong for Lisbet, she's only a child. I tell her that I'm there for her and that there's nothing to fear anymore, that father cannot hurt us anymore, nobody can hurt us anymore. I kneel down in front of her and put my arms around her, I close my eyes, we embrace each other for a few moments, pulling closer together, merging together, I can feel my body absorbing hers, I can feel my body being absorbed, we are becoming one.

I open my eyes and I'm alone, but Lisbet is still there with me, safe inside me, and she's not afraid anymore. I'm still crying tears of sadness and happiness at the same time. The whiteness begins to dissipate and then I'm awake, back in reality, feeling extremely emotional but with a new feeling of inner strength.


I always seem to find myself defending my father for his sometimes cruel behaviour towards me, maybe because I was only a child and I couldn't understand that some of things that he did were very wrong. But on the other hand, there are also some very nice memories where I could feel the inseperable bond between us.

Papi knows that what he did that night was very wrong, maybe in one crazy moment, he just lost control of his urges. I have no memories of how, or if, that incident changed our relationship with each other, but I do know that he was full of remorse for what he had done.