Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Relentless Quest to be Loved

I just spent the last half hour crying.
I was watching CBC News: Sunday's documentary on Dejan Kocevski, a 30 year old man who revisits Cape Girardeau, Missouri to confront and help him come to terms with his past.
Starved, beaten and locked up in the basement, the then-7-year-old Dejan nearly died in a house fire 23 years ago that helped authorities discover the abuse and led to the arrest of his mother and her boyfriend on child abuse charges.
Firstly, when it comes to child abuse... I, like any normal human become emotional.
This story hit me harder because Dejan is Yugoslavian, and it hits me in a different way.
The film footage of Dejan as a child is heartbreaking.
His resilience, his eagerness to please...his affectionate nature as he revisits the people who saved him, his cling to the small little details of his interactions with people, and their memories of him and what happened, his need to come to terms with himself and make connections...and his face...his features so familiar to me.
He could be my cousin, my nephew, my brother...

These kinds of stories always devestate me, but the Serb in me wants to kick the ever loving shit out of his mother, Olga....23 years later.
Dejan was reclaimed by his father at 8 and moved to Germany...within a month, his father shipped him off to his grandfather in Yugoslavia.
Now, Dejan lives in Toronto and is re-establishing a relationship with his mother who is remarried and has an eight year old.

The human spirit mystifies me.
The relentless quest Dejan has to understand why he wasn't loved enough by his mother to be protected by her. Wasn't loved enough by his father to be kept by him...

While his mother claims that she was abused and suffered "Battered Wife Syndrome", although that syndrome hadn't been invented yet...and far be it from me to understand the inner workings of being a battered wife...but I would have thought that if you hate yourself enough to take the abuse, understood.
But, the abuse of your own child should have catapulted you into action to save your son.
What also dumbfounds me, and makes me speechless, is the ability of people like Olga to get salvation from life.

I wish Dejan peace from his demons.
It won't come easy, if at all.