Writer: Billy K. Tambahani
Her name is Angel, a very good name that was given by her beloved father, whose face she never saw in her whole life. Her father died when she was still in the womb of, Susy, her mother. He asked Susy to give the baby the name “Angel”, while he was in the hospital, before he passed away. Angel believe that her father loved her so much. He might hope that Angel would become like an angel who is the representative of God, in this wicked and corrupted world.
Angel was born when her mother was very poor and not having place to stay. Susy is a woman with low education and came from a hinterland. The death of her husband made her be so quickly lost all the possessions and without income. She had no job when giving birth to Angel. She was homeless and moved from one place to another. She usually slept on the sidewalk in front of a shop which she felt safe to sleep in Bandung, one of a big city in Indonesia. Having no relatives in that big city and far away from family, made her alone and lost.
An old man helped Susy to gave birth to Angel. And from that time, Angel was adopted by that old man without legal process and letter of adoption from the competent institution of the state. He gave a small amount of money for Susy and helped paying the cost of childbirth in the maternity clinic. Susi was asked to care for Angel up to 5 years old.
Separated from Mother
When Angel was 5, she was brought to another city by her adoptive parents. She was separated from her mother since that time. Angel’s adoptive father was a good person, but he married again and lived with his second wife in another city. His second wife was not a good person and hated Angel. She liked to force Angel to do the housekeeping work.
Her adoptive father knew the situation and send Angel to a boarding school since she was 7 years old. It was a catholic school with some strict rules in Medan, a city in North Sumatera. Angel liked to be in that school, but she often remember Susy, her mother and wanted to meet her. Angel knows that she is a child of Susy.
Once, when Angel was in the 4th grade, she was sent back to her adoptive parents because of breaking a rule. She was in her adoptive father’s house but the situation was very different. She was forced even more to do many works of housekeeping by his adoptive father’s second wife, and sometime got beaten because of doing something not properly. One day, she was expelled from the house by his adoptive father’s second wife, and she went to the street.
Angel took a bus and went to another city. She was still 9 years old at the moment. She arrived in Pekanbaru, a city in Sumatera. She had no place to stay and she became a homeless who lived and slept on the sidewalk of the street. She met many children and people whose activities were begging or playing music on the street for some coins. Then, she became a street performer requesting mercy of others.
Two years had passed, Angel was still in Pekanbaru and she often slept in the front door of a shop. Every morning, the owner of the shop, Mr. Acong, a chinese man, always noticed the existence of Angel. Thinking of adding some employee to his shop and to help Angel, Mr. Acong asked her if she wanted to work as a shopkeeper. She gladly received the offer, started to work and stayed there.
The Life as a Prostitute
Angel had some girl friends at the shop who was also workers. One of them had bad attitudes, and invited her to go doing another job at another place. She said that the work is very simple and giving a lot of money. Thinking about having a lot of money and to advance her life with the consideration of her situation during two years working at the shop, Angel then left her job at Mr. Acong’s shop and went with her girl friend.
Contrary to what she thought about the job, her friend brought her to a place in Bangka Island, to became a prostitute. She didn’t want to do that kind of job but she was trapped in that place and slowly became familiar with the situations there and accustomed to life as a prostitute, because she was forced and threatened.
She was there for 7 years and during those times, several times, she realized that she has to change her life because the life she lived was dangerous for her. She sometimes thinks about God and pray, asking for God’s help. She never went to a church, but once, a pastor met her and said to her, “God loves you, God wants you to leave your sins and come to God.” This incident is always remembered by Angel, but she didn’t go to church yet.
Besides working as a prostitute, Angel was selling drugs too. She didn’t just sell, but she used the drugs too for herself. One day, an undercover cop framed her for selling drugs and wanted to catch her, but Angel ran and escaped from the police pursuit. But, she had injured one of her leg that she needed an operation at the moment.
During her life in Bangka as a prostitute, one of her closest friend died because of HIV/AIDS. This made Angel thinking about her future and life. She realized the risk of dangerous diseases to infect her body. And this situation helped her to think of quit from the prostitution. She was very afraid to die, because she felt not ready spiritually.
The Search for Birth Mother
Angel came to the decision of leaving her life as a prostitute and started a new way of life. She met a social worker who help her escape from the prostitute locality. She began to search for her birth mother, Susy. He knew only a little information about her. Thinking of the possibilities to search information from her adoptive father, she went to his house in Medan and got the information of her mother last address.
She went to the city where her mother was. Trying to find clues from some people who knows about her mother by stating her names and characteristic features, she finally found her mother with great happiness and stayed with her mother at a small place.
Changing of Life
Starting a new life with her mother, Angel found some difficulties to find a job. She still had some illegal drugs from her friend and thinking of selling it to get money. But, after thinking deeply about the risk she would have, all the drugs were thrown away. She had made a good decision and then struggled for her economic condition.
Few months without job and income, Angel became depressed and sick. A friend of her mother asked a pastor who was also a social worker to come to see her. The pastor was very kind to her and listened to what Angel said about her history of life. After listening carefully to her, the pastor then asked her to pray together and surrender all things to God. Before leaving, he promised her to find a suitable job and good community for her.
Only one week after the meeting, Angel got the job at a company based on community development and Christian values, in Bandung. She started to work there with standard salary. She really enjoyed her job and gather with the Christian community at the workplace. Now, she lives a happy and thankful life with her mother.
Analysis of the story
The development of Angel psychology influenced much by her childhood situation. Born and grown up without a father makes her loss the attention, love and teachings from father. Her mother helped her to understand some situation only until her age reached 5 years. But, it is somehow has made a deep impact in her mind.
Her life in adoption with her adoptive father and new mother made her even more devastated. At first it was good, but without love from her adoptive father’s new wife, she walked without mental support from anyone. Her adoptive father couldn’t make good decision for Angel because of fear to his new wife.
One of her event history was the life as a street performance or a beggar. The hard situation she faced on the street and dealing with the street society, didn’t give good contribution to her mental and spiritual development. She lived her life by her intuition and feeling, not based to good and strong concepts about how to be a good woman and person. She had no example to follow and she had bitterness in her heart, but also love to her father and mother. She remember her mother and father, and this remembrance once made her to have a good decision.
Her friends influenced her life and made her life even worse in the prostitution. The life as a prostitute can be concluded as a compulsion that she didn’t want in her deepest heart. Some events could be as a turning point for her such as, the death of her friend caused by HIV/AIDS.
And the real turning point of her life was when she met the social worker and escaped from the prostitution locality. The social worker had taken a good contribution to her life and brought her out from the darkness of life.
Her life became better when she was helped by the pastor and worked at the company in the city. She started to learn many new things from the teachings and life from her new community. One other joy that she really have in her life is the gathering with her mother. The connection with her mother was also the key of having started new life in new environment. We know from this story, that it began in bad situation, but the end was the happiness for Angel and change in her whole life physically, mentally, spiritually.