Deliverance Story of a Former Bangkok Slum Dweller
(delivered from abuse, polygamy, prostitution, curses,
guilt, sins, suicidal thoughts, and bad karma)
Compiled by Vachiravan Vanlaeiad
(Her name is omitted here for the sake of privacy.)
I was born in a Bangkok slum. As far as I can remember, my father had constantly abused my mother, both physically and verbally. My father was a low ranking military man and my mother a dressmaker and food vendor. We were very poor. To make matters worse, my father had a minor wife, depriving us of his financial support.
Since the very beginning, I had developed the feeling of extreme hatred towards my father. He had also disliked me, resulting in regularly kicking me in the face. My feeling of utter dislike had been increasing as time went by. I tried my very best to avoid him: hiding under the bed, etc., and was very glad every time he went to visit his minor wife. As a result, I was condemned by my mother that I was an ungrateful daughter, that I would never have a better life, and that hell was surely the most suitable place for me in the afterlife.
I had led a very hard life since childhood. My mother woke me up at 4 am. in the mornings to help her prepare and sell food to students at the slum school (Prateep Ungsongtham Hata’s Learning Center). Every time following my parents’ quarrel, my mother always expressed her anger, distress, and resentment by beating me up, sometimes to the point of drawing blood. This would make me hate my father more as well as feel very sorry for my mother.
At 14 and during my school’s long vacation, I ran away from home for the first time. The reasons were the accumulated hate and yearning for freedom. At that time I was like a strayed dog wandering from place to place, depending on my friends to sustain my life. Luckily, at this tender age, I was able to keep my virginity. When the school’s new academic year started, I returned home safe and sound! Even though my parents dared not scold or beat me, fearing my second runaway, I was treated with contempt and utmost dislike. They as well as the whole neighborhood were convinced that I must be sexually abused during my absence from home.
I had been living my half-dead life until I was 18 years old. We then moved to stay in a big house belonging to my father’s boss, which located in one of Bangkok’s middle-class areas. It was a haunted house. The boss had my father keep the house since nobody wanted to buy or rent it. We were disturbed almost all the time by various spirits and our predicament was worse than living in the slum. During our stay, there occurred various incidents, one was my mother’s painful death in a car accident; etc.
Now that I was 19, I was no longer afraid of my father. Every time he abused me, I would talk back to him with rude words. My father was very angry and cursed me, “You’ll never have a good and peaceful life since cursing your father is a very bad karma. And you must repay what you’ve done to me!” Since then his words had indelibly implanted in my head. And since then I had worked so hard to gain money for making merits in the hope that my bad karma would be deleted or at least diminished. Despite making atonements by giving alms, I had never given money to my parents or supported them in any other ways. My mother thus said, “No matter how much good deeds or merits you’ve undertaken, they’ll never, ever cancel the curse.”
At this time one of my elder sisters was studying in a school of commerce. My father, however, wanted me to finish a high school in order to further study at a non-government university in Bangkok. He said he would provide me with all expenses for the first semester only.
During my high school years, I had started indulging myself in various bad ways. I had developed friendships with commercial school students. We had always skipped classes and competed with each other in seeking love from men by giving away our bodies. My inferiority was accentuated at this time because I was the poorest and ugliest girl compared with all my peers. My grade was so poor that I might not finish my last year at high school if without my mother’s intervention.
While studying in the high school, I had met a much older guy who rendered support both in my academic and personal life. While going steady with him I had also developed a relationship with a young university student. I could not live without men. Sexual desires were not the main reason behind my polygamy, my lack of love was. This relation had resulted in my first abortion. Upon knowing this, my mother beat my head with an enameled basin. I was so hurt both physically and mentally. However, six months after the fist abortion, I had to repeat the same evil process for a second time. Following this, my boyfriend had deserted me without a word. I thus was so distress and distraught that I had committed a suicide. And although I was rescued from death on time, I had constantly thought of killing myself since.
Being without any man in my life was so tormenting that I had developed the symptoms of nervous breakdown. I felt easily frightened with no reason. I could not eat nor sleep well. I had sought relief from all religious places and practices including mediums, as well as making huge merits and doing charity works in the full hope that these good deeds would make my boyfriend come back to me, but to no avail.
Later I had made friends with a young lady who worked at a bar, relieving me of my loneliness. I was also offered a bartender job at the bar. Being a bartender here equaled being a high-class prostitute. After working hours my friend and I had made regular visits to other bars and discotheques, hunting for men!
One night I had found a guy, thinking he was a perfect victim. Unfortunately, it turned out to be I myself was his victim! I was violently raped and finally pregnant for the third time! At that time I had a new boyfriend who later gave me 5,000 Baht for the abortion fee because I had made him think that he was responsible. As always, my boyfriend had subsequently deserted me, leaving me to spend my lonely days and nights with the feeling of great guilt.
After resigning from that bar, I was given a job at a Japanese bar located nearby Patpong (one of Bangkok’s infamous red light districts). This time I sold my body openly, receiving a huge income. I used the money to support myself while studying at a university. During this time I had also constantly made merits and undertaken various good deeds in order to wipe out my great sins. However, I felt so boring that I wanted to give up prostitution since I always hoped that I would one day find true love, but found none. Despite all these, I had managed to graduate from the university. I was convinced that the good deeds I had done had rendered me a bachelor’s degree.
Following the university graduation, I had passed the exam to work as a receptionist at a five-star hotel in Bangkok. I thus made a vow to start a new life by doing all kinds of merits and charities. For example: being ordained as a nun (without shaving one’s head and eyebrows) for 8 months; publishing 1,000 chanting books devoting all the merits earned to any persons or animals which I had previously (both knowingly and unknowingly, and both in my past and present life) done wrong; leading all the hotel staff to make merits by buying coffins for the poor dead; seeking all methods possible to delete the bad karmas I had previously committed; etc. As a result, I had a good feeling that my life would be better.
Then a married guy had made advances at me. He was good-looking and able to support my luxurious life. Knowing full well it was against a Buddhist religious precept no. 3 (do not commit adultery), I tried to console my conscience that I did not cause any troubles to anybody, no matter how hard my friends and colleagues tried to convince me that this was sinful.
While having 5-year affairs with this man, I also had sexual intercourse with a married American (the hotel’s guest). This time I received a lump sum from his wife for ending the relationship. She was so angry that I was nearly cut in the face with a sharp knife! After that two Japanese men (one young and the other one old) had approached me, resulting in a bar of gold and 30,000 Baht of cash being transferred to my bank account. I then gave both gold and money to my father, hoping to be relieved of my curses. While being entangled with these scandals, I had had an affair with another guy (one of the hotel’s staff), resulting in my breaking up with the married man mentioned above.
Looking back, I had many men at the same time in my life, hopefully drawing on their love to fill up a huge gap in my heart. Especially while I was working in a resort hotel on an island for 8 months, I had sexual relations with a number of men: one guy per month! However, I had never used condoms during those times.
Now that HIV/AIDS was rapidly spread throughout Thailand. I was extremely worried about having the disease that I went to the Thai Red Cross’s Anonymous Clinic to have my blood tested. While waiting for the test result, I felt like, for the first time, being in hell. Thank heaven that the result was negative. I thought this must be because of my accumulated good karma earned for the past few years.
Since then I had tried to start a new life by paying respect to all sacred beings in the world; consulting mediums; seeking all supernatural powers; worshiping various kinds of idols (regardless of religion) throughout the country, and spending the enormous amount of time and money for these things. During this time my mother was crashed by a car, dying slowly and painfully. I wondered why my mother, who had never done any grave sins in her life (except beating me!), had suffered much both in her life and her death. This incident, however, had never disturbed my conscience about having an affair with a married man (the hotel staff) who already had 3 small children (6, 5, and a few months old).
The more his wife was jealous, the more I felt satisfied. His wife then sent a letter to the hotel’s manager accusing me of withholding her husband from her. She was so distressed that she would jump down a high building with her youngest; fortunately, they were rescued in time. As a result, she was admitted to a hospital, having nervous breakdown. Strangely, this had never stirred my highly religious ideation! I even went so far that I had made love with my boyfriend in front of his eldest child, avenging him for not sending his kids to his mother!. In general, I had a happy life with him.
One day, I was caught red-handed while having dinner with a French professor (my new love affair!). Since then we had constant and violent fights. I thought this time my bad karma had turned back to revenge me. I thus was ordained again in order to improve the situations. I also consulted and made some mediums cast a charm for my boyfriend to love me as before, but to no avail. At that time I was so distressed that I thought of jumping down a high building.
I was finally fired from work. I walked out of the hotel building like a sombie. Thank Jesus that I was given a chance to work at a hotel which located on the outskirt of Bangkok. The owner is Christian. While working in that Christian hotel, I was constantly haunted by all bad things I had done in my life. One day while contemplating about committing suicide, all the memory of my bad deeds was dramatically flashed back. I had no way out of all my problems except ending this miserable life of mine. While thinking about jumping down from the 29th floor of the hotel building, I suddenly heard an emergency door shut so loudly that I was very frightened and ran rapidly down the emergency staircases to the ground floor.
Later that day, the hotel’s owner had made all his staff study the Bible. Everyone was willing to participate in order to please the big boss. He had also made me read some Bible verses (I cannot remember which ones). After finishing reading, I felt so relieved, strengthened, and peaceful for the first time in my life. However, I was not willing to accept this new religion since I was so convinced that all my good deeds earned in this life would be sufficient to help relieve my predicaments.
During working at the hotel, I had been specially taken care of by the owner and all his friends. I was also constantly prayed for, until one day I felt my life was better. Before long I had made the most important decision by accepting Jesus Christ into my heart, to be my Lord and Savior. This was the best decision I had made in my whole life. Then I was offered a new job by another hotel, which I believed to be a good sign of starting my new life with God.
Looking back, I could compare all my sufferings and predicaments with a person plagued by the end of 4th stage cancer. I was dying spiritually because the Bible says, “The wage of sin is death.” Praise the Lord that now I have received a new life…life that is abundant which I had been seeking for all of my life.