Dickey is from the village of Lhopra, which is located near a large lake where people traveled for pilgrimage. Her father passed away when she was young and the burden to raise four children fell on my mother. So at five years old, her mother "gave” Dickey to her uncle as an adopted daughter. She explains that adoption is an accepted practice among Tibetans, especially among siblings when one has many children and the other none.
Dickey describes her early life at her uncle's home as a happy one. Then the family endured many hardships when her uncle was captured by the Chinese and labeled a rebel because he was wealthy. Dickey recounts horrifying memories of thamzin 'struggle sessions' in which Tibetans were beaten and tortured under the direction of the Chinese. She was also imprisoned.
Dickey was married at age 23, but became separated from her husband when he fled to India in 1959. Dickey was able to escape in 1960 after being released from prison. Although she searched for her husband after reaching India, she could not locate him. Finally, she received the sad news that her husband had died in Bhutan. To sum up her experiences Dickey says, "My whole life has been suffering and nothing else.”
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