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Help my dream come true

Organized by: Anton Degtianikov

Anton's Photo

July 07, 2016


My name is Anton and I am a 23. I am currently studying English philology and Education in a local university in my hometown. Here is my story.

The story

When I was born, my father was a criminal who later turned out to be married to another woman, and my mother and I were abandoned by him. Later on, my mother married a decent person, and everything seemed to be turning out just fine for all of us. However, people change, and they had a divorce, after which, my stepfather left an apartment for me to live in when I will be a student. However, something happened to my mother and she married an alcoholic jobless gambler, who gambled that flat away. When Lithuania became a member state of the European Union, my mother and her husband fled to UK, leaving me and my grandmother alone.


Due to the struggles I faced back then, and in the teenage years growing up in a broken home, all while suffering from severe poverty, a mental condition has been developing in me. I was diagnosed in 2015 with a Borderline Personality Disorder, which is not curable, at least in my country. I am trying my best to cope with the illness, but due to the soviet mentality that has remained in many workplaces in Lithuania, where most people seem to frown upon people with mental disorders, no matter how mild those are or how much willpower the person has to overcome them, I am visiting a private psychiatrist so that these things don't turn up on my medical history. Obviously, such consultations don't come cheap and I also have to pay for the medicine out of my pocket.

I have also been diagnosed with progressive asthma in 2014, and since it is not a highest condition of lung disease in Lithuania (such as lung cancer), my medicine is also not compensated, so that comes out of my pocket as well.

Also, my family has a history of diabetes and general weight problems, so I am trying to keep my weight down, and after the introduction of Euro as a currency in Lithuania, many healthy foods became out of my reach, and by that I do not mean fancy foods, but rather such things as general vegetables, fruit and fresh meat and fish.


In addition, I have to take care of my grandmother, who is in need of constant care and support, who struggles with alcoholism, but with that kind of life, I am not the one to blame her. She is fully capable to take care on her own and the alcoholism is not currently causing any health issues, but those things are unfortunately inevitable. Involuntary care, especially the one for elderly people is very hard to come by in Lithuania, because most of the health institutions are trying to save as much money as possible, and the only possible places for the her and my mental treatment are private clinics.

There is a third member of our family- Mishka, a tuxedo cat, which was gifted to me by my parents when I was 12, before them leaving all of us in dire straits in then- still economically struggling ex-Soviet state. He is 10 years old and a lot of health problems are starting to come up due to his age, but despite it causing a big impact on our family finances, we are not willing to give him away since he is a member of our family. And even if we were, he is way too old to be accepted by any animal shelter in Lithuania. House The flat in which we all live is a common soviet-built 2 room flat, however, it has not seen a renovation since the early 90ies. There are many problems with my house, which only begin by the way it looks (Just like the depressing movies about soviet union). There is drinkable water, so we have to order it from elsewhere, since all the pipes in the house are rotten and have not seen a fix for over 30 years. The worst is the heating. I am trying my best to work odd jobs and gather enough money, but I still have to be in debt in winter months, because the heating tax can eat up half or more of our shared income.

The dream

As I mentioned before, I am studying to be a teacher of English. I am very passionate about this job, and the kids and other teachers in both of my internship schools were very happy and satisfied with my work. However, until I get my degree I cannot work in a school. We all know that despite all of us trying to look on the inside of each person, the sad truth is- people judge us by our looks. And that is especially true in job interviews. Clothes are very hard to come by for me, because we only have the European and American brands in Lithuania, and the prices for those clothes are the same or sometimes even higher here, while the average salary is as high as half of a minimum salary in the US (minimum hourly wage in Lithuania is roughly 1.5 dollars per hour). My dream is to be the best in my field, to be a true inspiration to the children, and to be able to live a comfortable life that every human being strives for. My dream is to be able to go to sleep without worrying about the heating bills and having doubts about my job choice because of the position that life has put me in. My dream is to be able to provide for both my grandmother and Mishka. They have given me all they have when I was a kid and later, as a teenager, so I am trying to, but it still a far cry from what is possible, to give the best I have to them.


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