Enslaved Among Her Own Family
Starting at a young age, Lochani saw her father beat her mother, Ayomi, for going to church or not doing exactly what he said. Now, after the fire, he angrily beat 5-year-old Lochani whenever he saw her, believing she was the cause of their devastation.
Eventually, Lochani’s father sent her and her mother away. They would never see her father again. However, life was still not easy. Ayomi struggled with mental illness due to the abuse she had received. Church was forgotten.
Life was a struggle for Lochani. She was scared and confused. She had no interest in school and dropped out in the sixth grade. However, staying at home with her mother was not much better. Ayomi rarely let her go out, fearful she would lose Lochani or her father would find her and beat her. Stuck at home, the young girl had to deal with her mother’s sudden mood swings. One moment, Ayomi would be angry and beat her daughter, the next she would be gentle, loving and say kind things to her.
Eventually, Ayomi sent Lochani to stay with her grandparents, where she lived for 11 years. During this time, Lochani worked at a garment factory. She excelled at the job and received many raises and promotions. But even though she worked diligently, there was no profit for her. She had to give any money she earned to those who took care of her.
Moreover, her relatives controlled every aspect of Lochani’s life. In the morning, an aunt or uncle would walk Lochani to the factory where she worked, and then in the evening, they would pick her up and walk her back. She never had the chance to be alone unless she was going to a temple to pray. It was the only freedom she had, so she spent much time alone at the temple, alone in silence and meditation.