I believe that you have the curiosity as to what a female physician
in conjunction with a journalist can tell you. You will realize that
beginning with the first chapter we tried to say almost everything.
I never thought I had the courage to strip publicly my past, but my
experiences shows mi that many women will benefít by looking
for the right treatments and professionals, thus decreasing the traumas
oftheir childhood, maybe those from recent past or who knows even from
their day by day pains.
The major aim ofthis book is to show you that becoming mature is painful.
But the pain may and should be an incentive for an improvement. Ifthere
is no disease there is no cure.
Thus no frustrations, no depression or other events that may shorten
your life or damag(your health. Find Solutíons! Ifwe don't have
them, it is necessary to take our problems to capable professionals
and aiso put them in the Lord's hands.
It's took 9 months for Beatriz and I to finalize this work. "A
Pregnancy"! We would like you to take from this reading, a message
ofhope based on the faith that you will find in your selj This book
is totally based in real facts. Some names have been changed to protect
the identities. Read, meditate and help yourself! You are more than
a winner! Good luck!
Breast Cancer ...........................45
Recapturing your life.................95
Altemative Treatments ..........101
Seminaries Women's Centers
is the weight of our black box?
the age of 35 or 40 mean, to a lot of us, to go through on what we have
Those memories that we thought were already sealed and filed, all of
a sudden do come back as just have happened. And do surprise us!
Some women feel prisoners of harsh feelings who they judged were forgotten
for good. This revival do not come for free.
In the wolf age, as we call when we get close to forties, is when our
body decrease the estrogen production.
This is the notice of the imminent end of our reproduction period.
For sure, science can perfectly prologue this period, but our unconscious
and body do not have previous notice of these scientific resources.
Does not matter whether we had children, raised, almost independent
or not had them at all.
We are close to the end of a time, in which, since world creation, women
were destined to be mothers and to give life continuity.
This process does revolution in our behavior. Take us to the past, lead
us the present, cheer us and remind us of secrets.
Some secrets are saved in the most deepest way. Secrets that once we
managed to wipe out for years and even from ourselves.
Here we are, in this stage of our lives, being unveiled by our memories
These steps of our lives still fill us with fear, shame, guilt, remorse
They do not show all at once.
They astound us in small doses, sometimes in a smooth way and not so
much in the others.
To revise the past with the maturity experience could be clearer and
more logical. But this is not the reality. In a lot of cases it is quite
a difficult exercise, marked by doubts and doubts.
It is a relief if we tell someone?
Will we be understood or the restricted moral rules still chain us up?
Shall I expose myself? After all, it happened so much time ago!
I, this doctor who is talking to you, have been through this questioning.
Maybe I still am going through. But for sometime, I have decided to
keep saving, hiding from my friends, family, and specially from my children
- it will not help me nor the others.
I can be misinterpreted.
I know that.
No problem at all.
What it is worth is to try once again. To try to let you know that traumas
can not be soften, better understood and above all to be the bridge
to someone who does not know how to get rid of, or just to live with
the memories mistreatment. From lemon to be lemonade.
For this all, I will keep telling what I have lived, what I have gone
through with little strength and courage. In many occasions I thought
I was not going to resist, that I was the chosen one - from someone
that I do not know - to be the most unfortunate of the creatures. Today,
I can assure wide openly that I see my life on different angle.
I am sure that I owe to a lot of my patients - through them I realized
how valuable was to change the concept, the prejudice, that we have
to live with.
From now on the name of the character of this true story is real. I
am the leading role, Odilza.
I was 5 or 6 years old when I had a great will of having an aunt as
mother. This aunt was affectionate, used to visit us. To be her daughter
was a dream to help me to get the kiss that I never got, the lap that
I never had, the attention when I most needed. My mother raised me,
told me how to behave, gave me education, but was not maternal enough
and being egocentric there were no reasons to make her change her personal
I was very young when my mother separated from my father. I went to
boarding school in a tender age because was difficult for my mother
to raise me while working out of home. When reaching 5 years old I had
to adjust myself to the rules and procedures of Instituto Santo Antônio
in Laranjeiras borough, south area of Rio de Janeiro and a couple of
blocks away from home.
I have leave every fortnight and returning on Sundays afternoon when
my friends only come back on Mondays morning. I had to be back earlier
due to my mother's plans for Sundays afternoons and nights and could
not be with me. I remember being sad and distressed. I have always cried
a lot on every return to the dormitory. Lonely in the silence I felt
unloved. Why should I be back before time and my friends don't - it
was my all times question and never found the answer. With no one to
talk to, someone very acquainted became my best friend - my hands. I
put them on my lap, palms up and we used to have long chats. I made
questions and answers. I pictured the day that I do not have to be back
Our chats became very intimate and we were good buddies: me and my hands
I promised to them that one day, my life will change. I stared to my
palms and they seem to tell me:
- Odilza, do not give up. You will make it.
There were many times that I could not control myself. It was very painful
my return to school after never ending weekends at home. I did not want
to be back to school, in those afternoons, as soon as my mother wave
me goodbye and distanced I used to scream and sob while holding to the
main entrance rails. All this only to last until the arrival of the
school inspectors who tried to open my tight hands to let go the rails
while dragging me into the school premises. They took me to my room.
I had this routine for almost two years of my life, this desolation,
in this school.
I was seven when my mother married again.
The new occupant was a man, 12 years younger than her.
I don't recall being jealous of him, even if I did, nothing would have
changed, I had nothing to lose, I was not used to have special attention.
Little while after, I lived with something strange which have hit me
like a glowing coal, in my soul.
One of those afternoons my mother went to work as usual and him, the
new husband, was sitting in the dining room doing work with papers,
rulers and black ink.
I was infuriated.
I came near to see what he was drawing. I remember spending few minutes
admiring and thinking how beautiful what I was seeing. I also remember
that in this moment started the agony which would have last for years
He took advantage of my move and put his arms behind the chair that
I was sitting and hugged me. I enjoy it, after all some caring. He sat
me on his lap and did not take long for him to get one of my hands and
to put on his. At the beginning I was scared, it was a new emotion something
that was unknown to me until this moment. A strange emotion. In every
opportunity this seduction game was increasing.
My mother do seem to notice.
I guess she never had any clue. Maybe because she fully trusted him
or because it was easier to ignore and be more confortable to face the
threat of the real world. Few months later another change in my life.
Another school, another boarding school.
This time the cell was in the Botafogo borough also in the south area
of Rio de Janeiro. It was São Marcelo school where I stayed until
8 years old. Another difficult period of my childhood.
It is very clear in my mind that the boarding school was the house where
the researcher and scientist Oswaldo Cruz once lived. A mansion in front
of the school was being demolished to build the Sears building - the
first department store in Rio. I used to like to watch how those wall
and halls were pulled down
In this mansion used to have a spiral stair connecting all three stories.
It was brick painted in dark brown color. To go to the top and watch
those empty pipelines and the view of the gap to the first floor have
stimulated me, scared me and led me to something difficult to explain
but highly attractive. I felt challenged, liked to be confronted.
From this time I cannot forget the superior mother, the Sao Marcelo
school big boss. Is with her power that she used to reprehend me. She
beat me up. Many times. When I complained yelling that she had not have
the right to beat me, she answered that was ordered from my home for
her to act this way. As time goes by, I was no longer willing to go
home. Not that I did not like my own space, my real space, but to be
there in the cell, a mix of school and penitentiary was freeing me of
the desolation which was giving me the first signs of unconformity.
At that time was discreet my discomfort for being mistreated by my mother's
husband. I could not be sure what I felt during those sessions. For
me those times represented times of affection, fulfill the emptiness
that was inside of me but I started to get annoyed. Not being able to
react strengthen my will of being in the school on weekends. Every time
that I was going home his chase was implacable. He never let go the
chances to be alone with me, even it was only for few minutes.
I was eight years old when my mother decided to get me out of the boarding
school. I started to study in the afternoons in Liceu Franco Brasileiro.
Freedom from one side, building up anguish from the other. I became
an easy trap for that man. More time at home, more opportunities to
be molested by him. I am not sure but around 10 or 11 years old my fear
grew immeasurably. I was afraid of him who was much stronger than me.
Hanged on the wall that was a special device, something like a ruler
with two strips of leather, made by him specially for me. He threat
me with this device.
If I tell someone what happened between us, he would spank me with this
horrible device. I didn't want to be beaten, didn't want to have more
suffering. As the time goes, our relationship was more intense. Every
day the same hell.
My mother was always distant from that reality. I never had any hint
that she was suspicious. She had never questioned any attitude from
her husband to me. She knew nothing.
family friend noticed that something strange was between us, she could
not resist and asked him what was going on. He got pale but controlled
himself, no reaction, not concerned about the new discovery and was
firmed in his answer.
- " This girl is very curious and bright, that it is all. Nothing
One morning, my mother was at her work and I was on my school holidays.
At this day he was determined to accomplish what have planned long time
ago - to have me in full. From this moment I do not have details. My
mother was pregnant and I already had a half sister. He waited for his
daughter to get to sleep during daytime to come to my room. The abuse
was more frequent. To seduce me he promised an apartment in Ipanema.
He said he was fascinated to build a house for me and to live with me.
To be happy, just the two of us - far away from my mother.
- And me?
- I believed him. I was moved by this feeling! How? Facing all the cruelty
of the sex abuse!
Today in my believe, my silence, my secret were ways that I used to
use to protect myself.
- What would have happened to me if I tell my mother? I used to think.
- She would not believe. Will think that I was fantasizing. It was part
of my jealousy.
Those would be the answers that I would hear. No doubts. If I was protected
by not telling it also fatten me up in the same proportion.
My weight went up 25 kilos.
I was a fat adolescent.
I ate compulsively.
I did not care about my body. Body which gave me sadness, no pleasure
and anger, much anger.
After all, my body was responsible for all the situation that have terrified
me for years. For me was comfortable to be ugly. It was the way to be
a non-attractive woman and free of men seduction.
Only when I was 16 years old I made a decision. I could not handle this
any longer. This condition that I live, not by choice, but determined
and distorted by him and being fragile.
I had to get over this fear.
Ah! Fear, as always
Impeccable pursuit of all the insecure people.
To fear was the only way to toughen myself to one day not to be responsible
of a family misfortune.
My mother, as always distant, could even be more distant, if I tell
her what is going on between her husband and I.
I questioned myself:
- Between him and I - what would be her choice?
- Him, for sure.
I always responded this way. I was always afraid that these sentences
can turn into reality. It would be another failure of mine.
I was, once more, in the opposite direction, of having a loving mother,
who tells me kind words, caring me, kissing me, to call me pretty, darling.
I could not handle this.
It was enough to be short of all this.
To give reasons to my lack of affection, justified verbally the real
meaning for not keep existing, ever. For all this, I would find a chance
to extinguish this suffering once it does not have the contribution
of my mother.
Being emotionally stronger, I realized theoretically, what in medical
terms would call " to be obsessive maniac". My mother's husband
was one of them.
wiser. When I hear any noise from the main entrance of the house, I
run to my sister's room, lock the door and awake her by giving her the
bottle which was already ready.
He always insisted.
Knock aggressively the door..
I started to threat him by yelling if he keeps pounding the door. I
promised scandal if he puts the door down. Even full of doubts and frighten
I moved forward with my plans. My guilt was suffocating me. After all
I was active part. I fell responsible for so many problems. For being
constant on my threats he decided to get away. Less and less. I was
getting stronger. Happy with myself. My half sister became a valuable
My life started to be more comfortable, despite of always being alert.
Always with eyes and ears wide open. Could not get my guard down ever
if I really wanted to finish this hell. At that time this was the only
thing that I wanted. Away from this executioner.
Did not take much time for him to replace me for his sexual deviations.
My mother discovered that he had a girlfriend. Arguments, fights, discussions
between them and separation. I fell the victory.
I was free but could not fell better concerning my guilt for all what
To look to my mother means to live again years of my childhood and adolescence.
But, even in these moments I had the guts to tell her my drama.
All the damage that the man had done to me was still a big obstacle
Once more I chose the silence.
I swallow my grief.
Better for me, better for my mother. These were the conclusion. While
going through this all, a bit after turning into 30, came to my memory
other facts related to sex abuse.
I know perfectly well that a maid of the house used to caress me when
I was little. I also remember of a hairdresser, a friend of my family,
trustful but took advantage on me.
My memory recorded very clearly all this guilt and it only increases.
I felt responsible for all that.
- Why it happened to me? I wondered.
- It happens because I expose myself. I was provoked all the actions.
I was already free from my mother's husband when decided to do horse
riding with a family friend. He, a colonel, owner of a female horse.
was 56 years old. I was in my senior high school.
In one of those hose rides in the field he asked me to stop and get
down from the horse. I did as told.
Again the hell was around me.
He tried to grab me.
I fell repulse. Reacted. Said no. Went back to the stable, gone home
and never had lessons again. I have abandoned something that I really
I was strong. Once again I fell responsible for what have happened.
What can I do?
Why it had to be with me?
What do I do to get all these reactions.
It was impossible to get any answer at that moment.
It was easier for me to believe that I was a freak. I have nothing in
common to the other girls or adolescents of my time.
Once again the silence.
Once again I failed.
I finished my senior high school. I was studying for university entrance
exams. I knew very well that Medicine was what I wanted. Never had any
doubts. In the preparatory course, I was 17 years old. I met a gent
2 years older than I. At the beginning was just a school friend.
He was a good company, attractive physically and was dating another
One day he heard me saying to other friends that has an ugly girlfriend.
And replied immediately:
- If you lose weight you can run to be my future girlfriend.
I am not interested.
I got excited with his statement. This was the first time that I thought
seriously to lose weight.
I started to eat less and losing weight was easy. Cut the carbohydrates
and the differences were there.
I was thinner. I compared myself to other girls. I was getting alike,
almost the same size
. I was motivated to keep losing weight.
Losing weight I caught attention of my colleagues. I was thrilled by
kind words. But the stigma that I lived was too heavy for me. I could
not think of dating someone. I still think of myself as a freak. I was
sure that I would ever get marry or have children. It was impossible
to think to start a family. I was afraid of this in my life.
At the following year I was in the Federal Fluminense University, in
Niteroi, another city in Rio de Janeiro.
My body was different no resemblance of the fat girl that once I was.
I was happy with my silhouette.
There were no junk food to get me out of my diet. I was straight in
this new behavior of mine. I was awarded.
The gent that made me the offer for being his future girlfriend, if
I lose weight, was successful in his university entrance exam. A few
days after the beginning of the classes we met in a bus. We talked and
agreed to go to the movies. Everything set.
The film had Burt Lancaster in the leading role. He was an handsome
man of the trapezes. In one of the scenes, he was getting ready for
the trapezes and I was just staring the movie screen. Just before the
good guy summer sault, my companion whispered in my ears:
- So, do you want to be my girlfriend?
I could not longer pay any attention to any scene in front of me. I
was having a revolution in my heart, it was much stronger than anything
that could happen at that time. I don't know the film script, the title,
I was astound with the deal, and impossible to deny the emotion that
has just attacked me that moment.
It was the chance to have company for other movies, holding hands while
walking along the streets
Everything that have happened to my
friends, now it is in front of me. I could be like them. Have a boyfriend.
We dated for 6 years.
In our first intimate date he asked me whether I was virgin. Lied. I
had no courage to tell him about my life that is was keyed in deeply
in my memories.
After saying that I was a virgin, he did not say a word and kept quiet.
Some time after I got pregnant.
New fear. I was insecure again.
As soon as we got the urine test result he decided that I would have
I took his decision.
He convinced me that we could not have a child at that moment. We were
students with no income. Not saying our parents disappointment. I was
single and pregnant.
Again I fell a little unsafe animal. Exposed and up to others decisions.
In a chat with a college professor I got the name of the nurse who could
do my abortion. I immediately agreed.
Another bad memory that I forged to erase for many years.
We kept the relationship.
We graduated and nine months later we got married.
My career was priority, no children at the beginning of my marriage.
Only 3 years later my first boy was borned.
Since then I had one pregnancy after the other. In July of 1971 until
January 1976 I had four children.
In my second delivery I got a beautiful girl. When she was 2 months
old, life put me on spot again.
My baby's room was next to ours.
One night she started to cry. My husband and I, doctors thought was
having tummy pain. I turned her down, rocked her, she cried for few
more minutes and quiet down.
Slept. Kept quiet the whole night.
Next morning, when I woke up I went to see her.
I got desperate.
We got desperate, my husband and I.
Our daughter was dead.
She was victim of the crib spell. Stopped breathing and a possibility
to get suffocated she lost her life right there, next to me.
Next to her mother.
Next to her doctor.
Next to her father.
Next to her doctor.
Guilt came on me again. I blame myself for my daughter's death.
Another period of grief, sorrow and terror. I had to take tranquilizers
but nothing to numb my soul.
The pain of losing a son is only known by who had the experience to
tell the dimension and intensity.
Still shocked and grieffing I got pregnant by the third time. I got
my second boy.
Six months later after his birth I was pregnant of my third boy.
Three health and beautiful ones who gave me strength to keep living
and to win what life have reserved for me.
Since my daughter's death my relationship with my husband was not the
More distant each day, cold, no loving feelings we were no longer accomplice.
I was amazed in one of the discussions when shouting he said something
cruel that I could possibly hear:
" You lied to me. When I met you, you were no longer virgin. Only
God knows what you have done in life"
Rage was in me.
I was married to a monster. In one bright day I also found out that
I was betrayed by my husband. In agreement, between himself and the
obstetrician of my last child delivery, I had my trumpets tied up.
They made the decision and I was against the wall.
My husband decided. He agreed with the doctor.
I had my trumpets tied up.
I fell mutilated and betrayed.
Years later in my psychoanalyst couch, I came to the conclusion that
my trumpets tied were the definite cut for my marriage, which explain
the heavy rejection that I feel for my husband.
- How could I keep living like this, with a man who was capable to set
I could never trust him again. I could no longer live with him.
After a series of crisis, much fights and long discussion I decided
I started to get alimony which was enough to pay school for 2 out of
3 boys. The amount was deposited in my bank account, so I still have
to pay income tax over the amount which the final figure was less. When
I realize this, I went to him and gracefully suggested him to pay at
the school the monthly payments so it will not be necessary to make
At this moment I heard one of his toughest sentence that a emotionally
ruined woman can hear.
- Go to court and get your rights.
Since then started a long period of meeting between lawyers, therapies,
children with emotional problems and I was turning into shreds and having
to face the divorce which was not having any happy ending. I was squashed,
but my boys look was giving me strength to keep on going. I must do
the impossible for them. I would be mother and father like ever at any
time that they needed me. They made me come back from ashes, get over
long depressions, they pushed me, dried my tears and to react.
There were many times that the look of one of them made me see clearly
what I have to face and I became a lion, strong and brave to protect
I have gone through all difficulties that a woman in divorce can have.
New law suites came along and on every denial of paying school, dentist,
any children expenses.
One afternoon a friend told me:
- " Why don't you get another lawyer? Try to keep the divorce suite
with woman. Men are convenient for them. Women are leaning and be allies
instead of having competition."
At the beginning I thought this was absurd, but short after I fell she
was right. I had to count with someone who can understand me. I wanted
the father to be committed to my boys studies. I wasn't asking anything
for myself. Meanwhile, his lawyers were asking for my passport stating
that I was doing too much travel.
I could not handle all this pressure.
After a long time one judge made him accept and comply to pay school
and dentist for the children.
Today, my sons are 28, 25 and 24 years old have a wear out and untruthful
It all made me very sad. I wanted them to have a full relationship -
to love with no barriers, no fear.
I could not yet see them as I wanted. Maybe one day they can find the
right raid to the peace.
I have never talked to my ex husband again. Is still impossible to exchange
ideas without have, anger and resentment.
Was easy to raise children with no father figure and for sometimes with
- Sure not.
How many of us had to go thought this and still have to fight loads
of problems to move forward to raise a child.
We are emotionally different.
Men, are colder they calculate more. Do not show their pain for being
away from the children, they could work and have easily their lives
and a lot of them feel that being a father is just to sleep with their
We women are different.
The development of a divorce law suite is extremely painful. Even when
we propose the divorce, even when we ask the husband to leave us, the
pain is very deep.
It is always a failure.
It is always a dream that did not come true.
It is always a new feeling for not being capable to keep a life and
- How many men you know that fully took charge of the children education
after the divorce? Living in the same roof? Taking care of the school,
health, affection and the housework?
I can bet that the men that you know, those who full take charge, do
not go beyond you third or fourth finger.
few that we can count.
- And why this happen?
A lot due the way we are raised.
It is difficult for women to let go the children after a divorce.
This is not questionable.
Woman, mother, takes care of children.
It will always be under her wide wings.
It is female who gives education, care when are sick, goes to school
meetings, to ask them to brush teeth before bed and sing lullabies.
- And why it is always like this?
- Because we don't know how to do different.
Only few women after divorce take charge of their lives and let the
father to take charge of the children on daily basis. Among them, a
lot share the expenses, visit the children and on weekend they try to
have a healthy relationship.
But this is another unusual fact.
This cannot compare with the number of women who take full responsibility
of raising children after a divorce.
We still need quite a lot of time and experience to come to the cold
conclusion that in many cases, men are prepared and disposed to take
continuity of our children to become men or women.
We still need big changes in our behavior to feel normal for our children
to be raised by their father after divorce.
After all we are able to deliver and the saying says:
"Quem pariu Mateus que o embale"
Due to tradition, culture, immense love, we gather lots of tasks and
commitment that are too much. After all, our back is not so wide, agree?
But we are women and cannot let go our rights and duties.
this assessment with a great deal of selfish and power demonstration
we have no doubt to state that:
- Son, be with me and end of story. I will ever let my ex husband to
be with him.
We are like this. On every day more women take charge for raising children
with no contribution from fathers. There are those who act differentely.
I have a friend who drags her spoiled marriage for 35 years because
when her husband talks about divorce she threats him by saying:
- I'll walk away and you take charge over the children and home.
He immediately back up and keep the hell alive.
The numbers show today in Brazil, 36% of the families are managed by
It isn't an easy task.
We all know. But it is an immense pride.
The work is recognize no matter price and every mother will do it.
A lot of these consequences will only show after 40, 45 years. Is when
we get into the "life balance". Is when we get happy or sad
about our achievements or doubts never solved.
Is when we ask how much we were right in our decisions taken in the
past 20 or 25 years.
Is when we remember our loves and disillusions
dreams and anguish.
To live again all this is part of us.
Almost no women are free to think and re-think
Relief the past,
impose us penalties but they can be forgiven.
In this period, the best thing is therapy and faith. A professional
guidance it is very important in this moment. At this point, this time
cannot convert to punishment. Sometimes lead us to serious depressions,
misbehavior, bad mood and difficult relationship with children, companion
and colleagues from work.
In a lot of public hospitals, it is possible to find an support for
emotional problems. Do not be afraid to find one.
You are not getting mad, you are very conscious.
You are trying to balance from something that have hurt us all badly.
You are not the only one.
Do not let this to become an illness.
Tell you secrets to someone that can help you.
For sure you will face all this in a soften way. Nobody will think that
you have lost your mind, just because you tried to find a psychologist,
psychiatrist or psychoanalyst. In very short period of time you will
notice that therapy is to help us to get over traumas who have prisoned
us so badly.
To turn them less important, better solved and right there for us.
So, why don't us give to ourselves this present?
You deserve it, a lot, to sleep in peace with your emotions.