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DEAR CHRISTINE: ‘Priest’ treated me like chattel

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE: ‘Priest’ treated me like chattel

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Dear Christine,

I met a man named . . . from Bridgetown. We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend.

We spent numerous hours and money talking to one another via phone before he finally convinced me to come to Barbados and marry him.

I thought he was the most wonderful man in the world being that he is a [high official] of the Rastafari order. I felt he could be trusted, but to my surprise it turned out to be a living hell.

He lives like a pig in that hut he calls a house. There are trucks, tools, metal, empty oil bottles, pipes of all sorts and junk strewn about the front and back yards.

He refused to give me any money, so I got a job. I was forced to attend binghi gatherings although I had to work the next day. Binghi ends whenever it ends. I could not bathe. I had to go just as I was, tired and smelling of smoke from the wood being burned.

I was not allowed to jog in sweatpants as he knew I did in the United States. I could not wear beads or shells in my dreadlocks as I always did.

He even went so far as to take a pair of wire cutters and cut off the earring I had in my nose. I was not allowed to talk to anyone unless they were of the Order. We didn’t do anything or go anywhere except binghi.

He treated me horribly and even had the nerve to move in his son who does nothing but eat and play video games, without discussing it with me.

He made all decisions no matter my feelings. I went to the courts to seek help but to no avail. An American woman has no standing in a courtroom of Bajan men. I had to plan my escape.

I’ve since returned to the United States where I am working as a nurse. I am trying to put my life back together again but he refuses to answer my calls because I want a divorce.

We were married in Barbados. He has all my possessions and won’t return them. This man is very vindictive and wicked. How could a so-called priest carry on so? I hate [the fact] that I ever allowed him into my life.



Dear Empress,

I am sorry to hear of your plight. It is a sad story but I am wondering why you still went ahead and married this man if you were not satisfied with his way of life, especially the conditions under which he lived.

In your own words, this “priest” lives “like a pig”.

It would appear to me that you never took the time to really know this man before you married him.

The truth is, long-distance relationships are not the healthiest types, but I am sure you’ve learnt from your experiences and mistakes.

If it is a divorce you’re seeking, you’ll first have to secure the services of an attorney at law here in Barbados.

I’m sure you’ll be given recommendations either from your attorney in the United States, if you have one, or you can be advised by officials of the Barbados Bar Association.

The contact numbers and email address for the association are as follows: telephone (246) 437-7316; fax (246) 228-1739 and email address: [email protected]

I wish you every success.