Saturday, May 30, 2009

Russian mail-order bride

I used to know a woman that came to America through a type of human trafficking.
I remember when I first moved to Ohio that I met a girl, Larissa. She told me she moved from Latvia with her mom, Alla. They both spoke Russian. We became friends and she told me her story of how she arrived to America.

It was very unusual for me hearing the story at that time because she said her mom was a mail-order bride. Her step-dad, Rick, found Alla on the Internet. They arrived sometime in winter. As soon as she met him at the airport with Larissa they couldn’t believe their eyes. They told me their mouths dropped. Rick was shorter than Alla, looked like a bum, had gloves with cigarette burns in them, and didn’t even shave. To top that off he had a high-pitched voice. I mean, come on! What kind of guy would go meet his “bride to be” looking like that?

Anyway, he took them to his apartment. It was a two-bedroom apartment. Alla asked Rick where he worked and he said at a store, Kroger's. She realized what she had gotten herself into. Now she had to marry this guy just to stay in the United States. They had a quick ceremony. She wouldn’t even want to sleep in the same room, let alone bed, with him. He would always distance himself and stay in his room always on his computer. Alla said that she even witnessed him talking to the computer.

Things kept getting worse. Alla and Rick would get into fights. He was very controlling, too. I remember during the winter months that the apartment was cold. Whenever Alla tried to turn up the heat and Rick would come up and turn it down. It got to the point that he bought a small clear plastic box and screwed it into the wall around the thermostat with a little key lock on it, so that only he could regulate the temperature. This was because he said the heat bill was too high. He kept it at around 65°F. Every time
I would come over they would be fighting over something stupid. He wouldn’t even let her out of the apartment unless she would tell him exactly where she was going.

Of course, Alla would lie to him and say she was going to the store and would go to help agencies for abused wives. She has tried reporting him to get out of that relationship. She and Larissa did move out of his apartment and into another one. In the end she ended up with him and moved with him to a different part of Ohio. I don’t know what she is up to currently. I haven’t seen them for about 6 years.

by growing2learn