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Writer Lucia Daramus on finding refuge in Stroud

Gloucestershire South > Entertainment > Culture

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 09:00

Lucia Daramus Lucia Daramus

Lucia Daramus is a woman with an incredible story.

Now living in Stroud and working as a writer, poet and artist, Lucia was born in Romania, growing up during the Communist regime of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.

She also has Asperger’s, and for much of her childhood was in hospital living in terrible conditions.

“Because of a very hard situation in Romania, a Communist country, the hospitals or state institutions were like Communist orphanages,” she explained.

“The children were constantly beaten, with lots of punishments, lack of food, lack of clothes, lack of love, without parents.

“Because of these awful situations I developed my imagination as a form of survival.”

Lucia came up with her own world, called ‘Limelfia’, where she could escape the horrors of reality.

As she grew older, she began to write down her stories and published her first book, ‘LIM – LIN’, a collection of poems in Romanian about Limelfia.

She has since gone on to publish 13 books in total – ten in her native Romanian and three in English – ranging from essays on psychology and philosophy to novels and poetry.

“One of the interesting books is ‘More Than Psychosis’,” continued Lucia.

“It is a historical novel with psychological connotations. It’s an interesting book and because of it I decided to flee the country.

“In this novel I put lots of stories about people in Romania, men and women who were involved in security, Communist police, people who were snitches for Communist police.

“Some of these people recognised themselves in my novel, and they started to threaten me, they installed microphones in my apartment and also devices in my TV to capture images from my house, to see what I am doing, what I am saying, everything.”

The constant harassment lead Lucia and her husband Serban to leave the country, moving to the UK.

Unfortunately the threats continued even with Lucia now living outside of Romania, causing her to develop Schizophrenia – “but everything is under control, I am on medication and also have very good treatment from English doctors, nurses, psychotherapists,” she added.

Lucia and Serban – who is a pharmacist – moved to Stroud nine years ago after initially living in Yorkshire.

She continued: “When I decided to flee the country I chose England because my husband knew English, and personally I wanted to learn a new language.

“Now, I am working here in Gloucestershire as a teacher, and also as a freelance journalist and broadcaster for an online radio station in Gloucestershire, and I also manifest myself as a writer and as an artist.

“I was involved in the International Poetry Festival in Dorset as a contributor, I’ve had three group exhibitions and one solo exhibition as an artist in Cheltenham, Gloucester, and Stroud.

“Being a writer and an artist my psychiatrists, psychotherapists and nurses encouraged me to paint, to write, to use my brain in maximum way despite my conditions.

“I would like to say thank you to Dr Olanyan, Dr. Sally Morgan, Dr. Ruth Jarman, Nurse Vicky Tucker, Psychotherapist Ali Coles, writer Jay Ramsay, and writer Rick Vick, because they were the best part of my life, helping me a lot here in England.”

Last year, Lucia wrote her first English language play ‘Fly, Madness, Fly!’, about her experiences as a woman with Asperger’s and Schizophrenia.

And more recently she has published her latest book of poetry, ‘Flying With Memories’, based on her childhood experiences.

Despite what can only be described as an unimaginably difficult upbringing, Lucia remains positive and urges others with similar experiences to do so too.

She said: “For everyone who has a psychiatric problem I would like to say that life can be enjoyable if you are able to see in the eyes of others, who want to help you, a little light flickering.”

“You can lose your country, you can lose your land, you can lose all of your wealth, but you remain with something – you remain with your language to lament your blue feelings, you remain with the colour to reflect the anxiety of your soul, you remain with the dance which can imagine your struggle.”

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