*OUT NOW* SECOND EDITION!!
Beauty beyond darkness
The story of a woman’s survival against all the odds
My name is Lilla.
I was born in Italy, but at six months old I was struck with poliomyelitis. It affected both of my legs and my left arm, leaving me disabled. I grew up in a convent with other invalids, mutilated children and polio victims. When I was twelve, I left Italy to immigrate to Australia with a family I hardly knew. I found it extremely difficult to adjust to a new family, way of life, and culture. Having been brought up by nuns my beliefs were about God, love, and acceptance.
My story is not like any other story: it is about the strongest survival you could think of.
I spent fifteen years of my life on the streets of Melbourne, disabled, bewildered, lost, confused and alone. Though I had the face of an angel, I had a body I didn’t like at all. Inside though, I was unstoppable; I was determined, and that strength gave me the courage to keep going, no matter what.
I fell into a dark world that I called ‘Deepest Darkness’. For ten years I was raped, beaten, and surrounded by alcoholics and drug users.
At twenty-five, I found a way out. Everything was new and I grasped it with both hands. It was time to make a change. It was time to find the real me—the real Lilla.
It took many years to rid myself of the other Lilla. She was strong-minded, manipulative, and deceiving. But the new me was different. I of today has blossomed into a world I’d never believed existed, a world I call ‘Beauty Beyond Darkness’.