It is one of the most tragic events in my life and millions of others Cambodians alive, dead, unborn, it affects us all. I was one of the fortunate as I survived. Too young at age six through ten and yes very fortunate. I was separated from my siblings and parents. Grew up with other children and attended rice patties to scare the scare crows away from the rice patties. Leeches were terrifying me; lice on over my body and of skin diseases marked scars till today, lack of basic needs, all took a toll on me. Yet, I remained strong and high spirited. I prayed to the voice that tells me, soon and one day, this will be over and I will make it. My youngest brother died of malnutrition at the age of 3 years old. My older brother died at age vaguely 7- 8 years old from sickness and among other things I don’t know as he was separated from me and my Mom. They took my father away and he did not make it. Yes, my mom, brother and I attempted to escape from a starving village with high rise of water and men were disappearing by the numbers and left with women to buried men. My brother and I escaped first to meet up with my Uncle. My Mom was supposed to follow us right afterwards so it does not look obvious and suspicious. She got caught from escaping and was put on a pedestal of humiliation more than not of the Scarlett letter, “A”, but of going against the Angkar and tried to escaped. She was tortured, beaten, and humiliated in front of a crowd. She escaped the 2nd time with my brother and made it. Six months passed, she came back for me near dawn and to rescued me.

Anyway, I am going to pause for now as the stories of tragic events, survival goes on and on. I  was isolated from the community for a long time as I felt ashamed, not good enough, dealing with the emotional trauma and doing things I love such as hiking, camping, and backpacking.

Recently, I found my purpose and passion and I became a Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. I can help people overcome PTSD with my private practice and working as an adjunct with Clinical Psychologist. I do take the time to learn about my community with all types of various volunteering works in the community as I deeply want to understand our people. I cannot wait to see how our communities are becoming more and more resilient. It is through sharing stories like these, providing services to the community whether be of volunteering, hypnotherapy, psychology, therapy, music, art, cultural events, gardening, and meditation together will help us overcome our tragic past and shape us to become a person of service to others. 

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