The Glass Ball of Happiness

Radio documentary script

Author: Henryk Dedo, Waldemar Kasperczak

Direction: Waldemar Kasperczak; Sound Design: Waldemar Kasperczak; Producer: Fundacja „Głos Ewangelii”; Lenght: 38 min. 35 sec.; Date of Production: January 2009; First Broadcast: April 6th 2009; Script Translation: Andy Edwins

 

Ida, main hero of the documentary:

Sometimes I close my eyes and remember his touch. You know, how he touched me. The warmth of his hands... and ... I remember the smile on his face. And I had such, such things in my head that I got angry with myself and don’t remember anything more. I got angry when I had a dream and woke up. I wanted to get back into the dream. I closed my eyes and wanted to fall asleep again. And I asked for just a little bit more, a bit more time, to return, to return... please...please. And I remember those tiny little details, little moments. Those moments that you have in your heart forever, forever.

I’m speaking now in Polish with you, with the children I speak Italian, with every child because we lived there and the children talk together and that’s good. And with Inez I also speak Italian. And Paweł speaks Czech to the children. And with you in Polish so sometimes I have a kind of mess inside.

Ida speaks to son, then music

I was 4 or 5 years old, maybe 4 1/2 when Mum pulled me out, simply grabbed me out of my father’s arms. And there was another man to whom I had to show respect, just like to Dad. And I had to call him “Dad”, say “Dad” to him. I would say to him “I already have a Dad, I can’t call you that.” And he’d get angry “From today I am your Dad and I expect that that is what you will call me.”If the words didn’t help they would use beatings. For 8 years I also got beaten for not getting good marks at school, I mean not ‘good’ but the best. I had to be the best, the number 1. They brought me up to be a perfectionist. Everything had to be just perfect, 100% perfect. If it wasn’t ideal then I’d get beaten, just like that, straight away. What for?

For not putting my clothes away into the cupboard, for coming home from school 5 minutes late, that I bought some chocolate without asking one time. Quite simply for anything and everything. Most of all for talking about my Dad. Saying that I’d find him, that I believed he’d take me away, that he’d help me – that was the worst for them.

You could see the fury in them – “What did you say? How could you...?”

The sound of a teaspoon falling and talk with the children

I have to say that the worst was the psychological stress. Worse than physical pain which you can get used to. When there was more physical pain my body got used to it. But I couldn’t get used to the stress of when will it happen, when will it not happen, will I be quick enough to cover myself with my arms, will I be able to tell if the strike is coming, will it be once to the head, or twice, will my nose get hit, will there be blood running from my nose...

At school I learned to forget about it and I played with other children. But when the lessons finished – I had to go home... the closer I was, the more terrified I felt. I was ready to anything to not have to go home. Anything! Already as a child of 8. Other kids went home, threw off their rucksacks and went outside to play. I just thought non-stop about how to avoid going home and when I get there, what to do to not meet him when he gets home from work.  Because you’re standing there in front of him, he’s huge and you don’t know when he’ll hit. Even 2 years ago I had such a reaction that when someone lifted their hand, I would cower and try to defend myself.

When I was a bit older, I started to run away to my grandfather who lived 20 minutes away from us. Once at night, in my nightdress, in winter, I climbed out through the window, because my step-father said that today it is too late, but that we’d talk the next day ...and that I would be punished. What kind of child waits for punishment? I wasn’t stupid, was I? So I climbed through the window and ran to my grandfather's. He was my defender. I was 12. And after that event he was no longer there. My Mum phoned me, I’ll never forget that moment, she phoned and said “Grandfather's gone. Now you’ve got nowhere to hide.”

And I remember I said “If I ever need to hide again I’ll hide so good that you’ll never find me.” After that I cried, you know, I cried. I threw down the receiver and cried and cried... he had been my hope; I knew that when it got bad then I could go to granddad. Granddad loved me. He stroked my head and said everything would be OK. Sometimes he spoke to me about my Dad, a bit, but sometimes he said that my Dad loved me ever so much, that he’d never seen a father who loved so much. And when he said that I felt they also must love him.

Because when you speak in such lovely way about someone, no? So for that reason, too, I knew that what my mother said wasn’t true, that that wasn’t the reason she had left him.

I looked for help at school and I talked with my teachers. Once I couldn’t even sit down because I was so bruised it was impossible to sit. The teacher took me outside the class in order to show her. So I showed her. She said “That’s terrible, I’m going to talk with your parents.” I thought it would be even worse. “Please, Miss, please don’t talk with them.”

I said. „Oh no, it would be better if I spoke to them, things will change” “No please Miss, please don’t talk to them, nothing will change” She spoke to them and it happened …

It was awful .. awful…

He hit me so hard that I fell on some glass; blood was running from my nose, my Mum was shouting – you deserve it! I felt that I had to finish it, in some way I had to finish that relationship. I was 12 years old and I went to buy some poison. A lot of mouse poison, lots and lots. I mixed it into his food – his food. That’s what I did but nothing happened. He felt sick, had a fever, vomited and that was it.

When I was 15 something happened, I remember that he came into the kitchen – that was the most important moment – and he wanted to hit me. I looked at him intensely, straight in the eye and I said “Do it, hit me”. I picked up a knife. I put it against my stomach and said “One more step, just one movement and I will stab myself” And he stopped. He felt that I was decided, that I would really do it.

Afterwards I cried. I always cried after such things. I cried out to my Dad „ Daddy, come and get me…” I always hoped that I’d hear the knocking on the door, that I’d open the door and that he’d be standing there. That I’d fall into his arms and say “Oh Daddy, how I’ve missed you. How long I’ve waited for you! Please take me away from here. Take me away! Let’s go! Now! My bag is ready.” Because I had my bag ready every day. Every day I was ready, just In case my Dad appeared. Every day I believed he’d come. 10 years had gone by, I was 15 – every day I believed, I had the faith of a child.

Really, I was very childish in that – I always believed he’d come. 

And my Mum laughed at that. She said 10 years had gone by, he’s probably dead, he had a kidney problem… But I still believed. I knew, I waited every day with that bag. I kept the bag under the bed and I waited, waited for him to call, day or night, morning… that he’d take me away from that house, from that hell, where there would be no more pain, no more fear in my life. I wouldn’t be afraid.

I’d make myself breakfast, simply, that I’d simply live the day and no-none would beat me. 

One day my Mum said “Get your bag ready for school, but first we’re going to a psychologist. You’re 15 years old and you need to decide about your further studies. This doctor will give you a test to say why you are the best” I believed my Mum, because I knew how important school, work and career were for her. All of that because she was very determined to have a career, study, work… she never had time to talk to me. So we went to the doctor.

I said “Mum but that’s a psychiatric hospital!”

As children we had joked about that place. Sometimes when we had driven close to that place we joked about the mad people living there, that we were children and they were mad people living there. “Don’t worry, I have a friend there, he’s very good. He’s a friend, don’t worry, everything's going to be OK. Afterwards you’ll go to school just as I promised.” said Mum.

Why shouldn’t I believe my Mum? So I go, we go there.

It was terrible… It was terrible.

2 men came along in white coats.

15 years old.

And they pull me away from my Mum. And she’s standing there.

Like a tree. Like she was dead at that time. She does nothing. She does nothing.

I’m shouting “Mum, please, take me with you!! Mum what’s happening? Mum, where are they taking me? Mum I’m afraid! I’m terribly afraid! Help me!” And I see her face, how she just stands there doing nothing. Tears falling down her face and she’s standing there. I trusted that she is my mother, that she wouldn’t let it happen, because she’s my mother, that she would help me at such times in life.

They pulled me away to the worst ward. And Mum said that she had done it on purpose. And I was terrified, that they were the strong ones, that they would decide about my life and that I would have to submit and that if I didn’t that I’d end up there.

 It was dreadful and they locked me in a dark room, tied me to the bed, they were terrible angry. I have to say, thank God, that they didn’t give me any medicine, no electric shocks. None of those things I saw there.

And … fear… what accompanied me all my life – fear. It was my enemy and then became my friend, I got used to fear.

18 years old.

On my birthday I leave home, there was such a mess, I had had my birthday, had baked a cake, that’s all.

My Mum always pressured me to get close to my step-father.

“Go and wake him up” she’d say.

“Give him a cuddle, it’ll be nice”

“Go with him, he’ll be happy”

She always forced me to do that. And when I did it and it was terrible. I hated those moments, you can’t imagine how much! “Give him a hug, it’ll make him happy” - OK, OK, I’ll do it, I’ll do it….

“Go to that room, we’re going to celebrate your birthday”. And on the TV there was a football match.

I said to my father: “Let’s hurry up; my friends are waiting for me.”

“How can you say that? Your birthday isn’t important to me.” And he grabbed the cake and threw it in the air. 

Really, I needed such a situation to help me make my decision. To leave home forever. That’s what I did. The next day, really, the next day. They went to work and didn’t know anything. I left them a note saying that they shouldn’t look for me because they wouldn’t find me. They would never, ever find me. 

Sounds of children 

I went away to Italy. I found a friend but there wasn’t the kind of work she’d told me about. I started to make money on the streets. They threw me out on the streets. I was a beautiful, blond girl and I started to make money on the streets. Later I met a boy who I fell in love with. And after 6 months I realized he was a drug addict.

He took my passport and all my documents. And when I didn’t want to do it anymore, and I cried and shouted, he said that it does matter what I do, that he wouldn’t give me back my documents and other stuff, that I was nobody. That if he does something to me, no-one would find me. And even if they did find me they wouldn’t know who I am.  So I continued to do it. I earned money, a lot of money. I earned a lot of money. I was a beautiful woman. There was a lot of money and all of it went on drugs. I would have done anything for them. I was prepared … for a bit of love, peace. I was prepared to do anything. He loved me, hugged me and for me that was important. And that… my body … I wasn’t worried about what happened to it. He did that shot. He injected drugs into my veins. He did it very often in those first days. 4 times heroine. And I got addicted very quickly.

Afterwards, when he realized I wasn’t afraid of pain, when he hits me, because I told him that I had been hit all my life – you know what he did? It was terrible, terrible…

He knew that I couldn’t inject it myself, it was he who prepared everything, he prepared the heroine on the teaspoon, gave me the syringe and said “If you’re wise you’ll go back to making ‘good decisions’, then I’ll give it to you.” And he left. I don’t know to how to explain what happened… I took the syringe, drew up the heroine and stabbed it into every part of my body. I didn’t know how. I injected my neck, hands, shins, feet … I knew I had 1 fix. I couldn’t make a mistake! I didn’t know when he would be back! And I was in such pain inside, such pain there that it was terrible. Terrible. I cried and I shouted.

At such a moment you are crazy. You want to kill, commit murder. You have such anger inside because you know that that is all you’ve got. If I had had more, maybe I would have reacted differently. That’s how it was. He did it just once and then I knew it was the end. I had to humble myself. It was that moment. I knew I had to give up.

I’m sorry.

Sounds of children

The first time I rang my mother from Italy was 1 year after leaving home. My mother had fallen and at that time was in hospital, she was also depressed. He, my step-father, told me over the phone that he would kill me when he met me, because I was the reason for my mother’s ill health. Every evening she waited by the window. She waited whole year for me to return. I stared work as a model. I was slim, of slim build. I was beautiful. In Sicily, in Italy, a beautiful and slim woman has many open doors. I earned a lot. I started to climb, meet new people, people who earned more money. It doesn’t mean they were better, just different. It was great and I met the feather of my 2 children. I met him, fell in love, normally, like normal people we fell in love.

And I was really, really happy with the thought of our child. I couldn’t wait. I would imagine what kind of mother I’d be, the kind I’d never dream of being. I had so much love inside and really wanted to give it. That love which I wanted to receive, the kind that children deserve. I so wanted to love that child, in a way I had never been loved. After half a year, 6 months later I was pregnant again. Krystian was a year old then. During the second pregnancy we got married. Later we separated, you know. 1 year later.

Speaking to the children 

This is my son, who has a frog and that frog is always swallowing toys and I have to pull them out. I’m sorry, oh there it is. I came here to my Mum when Gabriel was 2 and Krystian 4. And I met Pawel, my husband. Now you carry on.

Ida’s husband, Paweł:

A few months went by, after we had started living together. Really, a day didn’t go by when Ida didn’t talk about her father, about how she had lost him and how much he meant to her. And also about all her dreams about meeting him someday. I’m wondering how is it possible, that today, in the computer age, we can’t find somebody. I mean, her father was a well known musician in Poland.

So I sat down at the computer and started to search. First I typed in the name of his band. But there were only CDs and old photographs. It took me a few hours. Ida was with the kids. Finally I came upon an Andrzej Krupiński in Chicago. There was a link to a church and there were photographs. 

Ida:

And he called me. I go into the room, see the screen and I see the picture, you know... Paweł is talking to me and the words are passing me by ... I ‘m feeling that I can’t hear anything, I’m crying and saying: “That’s my father!” 

“Are you sure?” Paweł asks. “Are you sure? It can’t be him!”

I say “That IS my father!”

I recognized him!1000 kilometers and I’d recognize him! I’d recognize him!

“But it’s not possible, that it’s him, because it says he’s a pastor”

I started to laugh.

“Yes, it’s possible, because my father is crazy”

I said “yes, it’s him! He’s crazy!”

I was even more convinced.

That’s what happened.

And I wrote to him, that I’m his daughter. “Dad, do you remember me? It’s Ida. I never forgot about you...”

Andrzej Krupiński:

She wrote “Dear Dad – and at first I thought that this was somebody else’s letter, that someone was presenting something to me, some other matter. And I’m reading and reading – I’m holding a picture of you in my hands, a picture where I’m sitting on your knee, when I was a little girl. There wasn’t a day in my life that I didn’t dream of sitting on your knee again...”

Ida’s voice:

“and I’d like to sit on your knee again, would it be possible for you to hug me again, for a minute for even a second? It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, could you, couldn’t you just hold me for a second on your knee – that would be enough for the rest of my life. I’ll be able to live with that and it will give me strength...”

Andrzej Krupiński:

And my heart started to beat faster, I got goose-pimples and my eyes drop to the bottom of the page where it’s signed “Your daughter, Ida”

Ida’s voice:

“Your daughter, Ida” 

Andrzej Krupiński:

The telephone rings. Her husband says:

“Mr Krupiński?”

“Yes”

“Please sit down, someone wants to speak with you.”

And I didn’t need anything else. I knew.

All sorts of things could have come out of this. I could have expected accusations, resentment, regret, why, why are you this that or the other...?

Nothing. I received so much love from her, so much joy.. I couldn’t have expected this from anyone else. “There wasn’t a day in my life that I didn’t think about you.” So, of course, a new page was turned in my life.

Ida:

I imagined that moment for the whole time I was in the plane. A 13-hour flight. I imagined the moment 10 or more times. What would it be like, what could it be like, what won’t it be like...

I was really happy, really happy

I cried in the plane, I didn’t want to cry, I ran to the toilet, because I wanted to be the most beautiful I could be for my Dad, so that he’d be proud of me and all that...

I had bought myself, because I knew I’d cry a lot, some waterproof mascara.

I searched 2 days for some, so I wouldn’t have such black eyes. 

Andrzej Krupiński:

If you had been there with a camera and filmed it, you would have seen a guy holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand and biting his nails on the other. I remember, I’d had a 4 year old, 5 year old or 4 ½ year old daughter the last time she’d been in my arms... My daughter and I loved each other very much. Very much...a love which you rarely find, at least, that’s what I think, maybe most parents experience it. But I remember how she could stand with me on the stage, hold me by my trousers in the evenings, her eyes were almost shut, but she sat on a chair or stood and held onto my trousers during a concert. We were always together, it was amazing, that we’d be able to experience that again.

Ida:

And I’m shouting so loud the whole airport can hear me “Dad! Daddy! Dad!” I run to him you know and he runs to me. I hug him, touch him, I have to touch him. I have to touch his nose, mouth, is it really him, is it just a dream, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. It’s really interesting – you believe until that moment, you believe and believe and then the moment comes when it becomes reality and fear takes hold, fear that it’s not real, that the moment won’t happen, it’ll melt away, disappear like the wind and I had to hold him and hold him...

And I whispered in his ear “I’ll never ever leave you now, I’ll never ever leave you. Hold me and don’t let anything ever tear us apart.” Time stood still. It was one of those moments when time stood still. The airport stopped, all movement, the people, nothing else existed at that moment.

That moment – me and my Dad – 25 years.

25 years 

Andrzej Krupiński:

It was a beautiful time. A beautiful girl, we couldn’t get enough of each other.

Ida:

And later, when I got to that house and saw those pictures, it was like a dagger to the heart! 

“Where did you get those pictures from?” “Your mother wrote to me” 

“What do you mean my mother wrote to you?? Every time I said that I need my Dad, that I need to speak to him, that I’m going to go and see him, that I’d find my dad – she always said that she didn’t know where you lived... 

“She really knew? She did that to her own daughter?”

And he showed me the letter. It said that I’m a very happy woman... 

Andrzej Kurpiński:

.. she doesn’t know about the past, she doesn’t know I exist, that as a child she had been brought up in a new home, that she has a new father, that she is very much loved and is full of love, that it depends on me, that if I come into her life I could destroy that peace, that idyll, that happiness, that I could cause some psychological repercussions. 

Ida:

“Is he really so selfish, that he’d break up that which I believe in, that is natural and an that he’d case some trauma in my life? Some mess in my life?”

Andzej Kurpiński:

I didn’t reply, I decided, I took the decision that I’m not going to disrupt her peace. I closed it up deep down in my heart. During that time I lived in the belief that she is happy, that she’s living in a glass ball... of happiness... We made close ties, which are close of course to today. Technology helps in this. On Skype we can see each other every day.

Ida:

- Daddy, I can’t speak now because I’ve got to bath and feed  the kids. I’ll phone later.

-  Ok, darling, bye, bye. You look beautiful. Bye.

-  Thank you. You too, bye.

Andrzej Krupinski:

I got old quite quickly of course, because she had made me grandfather straight away. (Laughter) So, I became a grandfather yet again two weeks ago. I have a granddaughter, Inez, she’s beautiful, I’ll show you the pictures.

Ida:

And now, when I asked my mother the question, about 3 weeks ago “Mum, I believe what he told me. You didn’t tell me the truth. He never did that.”

She looks at me, because now our relationship is a bit different and she says “Yes, you’re right, it was just like your father told you.”

Oh, sorry the kids have woken up.

Speaking to the kids in Czech language

It’s incredible. I always have to smell my kids in the morning, the older ones maybe not, but these – I feel that I have to give them love, I need to touch them, smell them. You know they have the smell of a child, that smell of the skin? incredible.. incredible. And what is incredible? That my mother is really changing. From the moment Inez was born. Because she’s a little girl and she’s similar to me. And I tell you, every time when she holds her she cries. And I see the realization in her eye, that it’s like she’s starting all over again and she doesn’t want to do the same as what she did before again. She doesn’t want the same mess, the same mistakes. Sometimes she tells me this.

“She’s just like you, just like you. How I love her, I love her so much.”

I see how she touches her, how she looks at her, how sorry she is, that she is sad inside, how sorry she is. I really see her pain. Now I see it.

Ida sings

…na…na…na, You know me…

The most important thing is that, Lord, you love me

…yes, those are my loves /about the children/

 

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