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DEAR CHRISTINE: How to move on after a bad childhood

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE: How to move on after a bad childhood

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Dear Christine,
Please see my response to SDT whose letter appeared in THE NATION dated March 7. My story is similar to hers and I would like her to know there is hope.
My beautiful sister SDT, like you I came into this world by two “children-getters”. Every day my mother would tell me and those around her I should have been stillborn.
The last straw came when she met a new man, who told her to come and live with him but she could not bring the children with her. My brothers and I were sent to various relatives where we were treated worse than stray dogs.
Like you, my father told me I was going to end up a whore in the gutter. This was the answer when I asked for bus fare to go to school. I never got the bus fare, only the cursing.
Like you, I cried every day and wondered what was wrong with me. Other people had children who were wicked and “hard ears,” but they treated them like gold. Why not me?
My sister, you can make it. I once felt like you but I changed my attitude and my life.
Let me share a few tips with you:
• Trust in God with all your heart.
• Look in the mirror each day and tell yourself that as a creation of God, you are beautiful, valuable, and deserve all things beautiful and valuable.
• Accept the things you cannot change. Your parents will never be nice like the people on television. You also do not need to have a [close] relationship with them to survive and be successful. However, you have to work hard.
• Clear your mind and start fresh. Set good goals for yourself. Whatever career you choose, decide you will be the best at it and don’t lose sight of your goals.
• Take in as much education as you can. You cannot do anything without it.
There are many places to learn, such as community centres where courses are sometimes offered, or the Skills Training programme. If you do not have the money, let them know. Sometimes there are ways in for those who cannot afford it.
• You do not need a man to help you. In fact, a man can keep you back, especially in the first stages when you will be struggling.
• Do not get sidetracked from your plans.
• Pray every day.
• Be patient and keep your plans in front of you at all times. When there is little family support, it takes longer to complete things. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get there. You will reach the mountaintop. There are still good people (strangers) out there who, if they see you fighting, will give you some help – something to give you a little break.
• Be thankful to these people, and be thankful to God for sending them.
• Keep trusting God, especially when it looks like you are fighting hard but not getting anywhere. Suffering will be in the night, but joy comes in the morning.
• Be gentle with yourself. Keep your head up even when the haters say you will fail.
• There will be people to remind you of past mistakes you made. Ignore them, stay positive, and keep looking toward your goals.
That is what I did. Thanks to God and real hard work, I am now independent and enjoy a decent living. I am polite to those who brought me into the world but they are not part of my daily life.
They say that I don’t remember where I came from but that is far from the truth. Every day I am thankful I got away from where I came from. I was heading for an early and painful death.
I hope something I’ve written will help you turn your life around. I did, and so can you. I wish you all the best. Keep the faith!
Dear Been There,
Thanks for sharing and giving SDT some measure of hope.