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  • The girl sits in front of me. I say GIRL, even though she is 26 years old. She looks like a girl: tiny, slim, dark skin, black hair, a Mexican girl from a quite poor family. A woman with an extremely sad face.

    Her mother has a little food - store and barely makes enough money for beans and tortillas every day, but she has managed to put four kids through university. Because of this she is deeply in debt.

    Dad is since many years with another woman, with who he has another 4 kids.

    The girl - woman in front of me sobs," My father was a terrible man! He is a Tzotzil Mayan, who studied to become a teacher. I just remember my father angry and fighting with my mother, always screaming and shouting and yes: also hitting. He loved to drink. We preferred him drink in a cantina, but often he would bring his drinking buddies home. Then I had to undress and dance for them on the kitchen table and my father would touch my genitals. It was absolutely horrible. I hated it, but what could I do with 5 and 6 years old?

    Whenever his buddies had finally left, my dad would close himself into his room and do I don´t know what: black magic, I guess. He never let anyone of us in. But through the key hole we could see candles and smell copal - incense. We could hear him reciting prayers. One day my little sister found the door a little bit open. She glimpsed in. Suddenly she saw a green spirit floating above my dad and the many candles.

    She came running and trembling into our shared bed. She was so scared, but did not dare to scream or even cry until we were all huddled together under the blankets. Once she told us what horror she had witnessed we all cried and trembled and hardly slept that night.

    When I was fifteen and my father asked me again to dance for him and his friends, I got mad, I told him that once and for all I would never ever dance in front of him again and if he ever dared to touch my vagina again, I would kill him!

    He never touched me again. He never actually spoke a word to me again. Shortly after he left us."

    Such stories I hear. It is not all romantic Maya and wisdom and love and harmony. There is a dark shadow - side to these beliefs in magic and spirits.

    Sometimes I wonder: how many fathers do NOT abuse their daughters?

    You might want to read this: A Little Girl In Big Trouble

    Art by Kiki ( "I Am Afraid")

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