I CONFESS: Haunted by my mistakes
SOMETIMES THE PAST simply would not disappear from the radar and can present such hurt, anguish and uneasiness as has happened to me. The unfortunate thing is that exactly 35 years after the fact, the dirt of yesterday is still flying into my face and I am finding it difficult to get off that cart road onto a pathway that will not muddy my way.
As a young woman growing up I never got the kind of guidance that should be given a girl as it relates to relationships. I therefore stepped out into the world, trusting, sincere and believing that a partner would have been like me. I soon realised that that was not what life was like. It was a rough game, played by dirty rules and where the weak would be taken advantage of by the strong and those with one objective in mind. So I became a victim of my weakness, my simple-mindedness my believe in honesty and sincerity.
I met a guy from outside of Barbados who was here as a student and honestly believed him when he told me he loved me and that we could have a future together. I soon found out that the only future he wanted was a secure and regular sexual connection for the remainder of his stay in Barbados. Our relationship did not last since I caved in to his demands; he got what he wanted and I felt ashamed, used and abandoned.
I soon fell for another guy who even if not as bad had only similar intentions. The situation repeated itself for a number of times and I soon realised that before I was 22 I had slept with at least five fellows. I felt disgusted and hurt.
I subsequently met a guy who seemed to be different and our relationship took a different direction. We encountered some difficulties, but the good times were far better than the rocky periods.
Our relationship blossomed and I eventually became pregnant for him. The birth of our child seem to have brought out the best in him. He was elated. He proposed that we should get married. I was happy about his proposal but still reluctant as he had a violent temper and had shown it.
While we talked about our relationship and how it would go forward we went to Canada together on holiday. There he met a number of his old friends and it was there I saw one of my old flames. We were at a summer event where lots of West Indians come out to have a grand time. What should have been a fun-filled evening turned out to be a horrid event. In the presence of my boyfriend that former user spoke some unkind words and made nasty comments. My boyfriend said not to worry and we left the place about two hours afterwards. I thought it was behind us.
But it clearly shook my boyfriend and the words stuck in the back of his head and on his mind. Our relationship was never the same from that very moment. By the time we had returned to Barbados everything was on a slippery downhill slope. The wedding never happened.
Six months later my boyfriend left to go to New York and never returned. He faithfully sent money, clothing, foodstuff and any and everything he could for his offspring. He would even send me bags, shoes and other items. Our daughter grew up into a fine young woman and was able to go to United States to complete her education. Today she has her own family and is settled with a relatively good job. Her father got married in the USA and recently retired from his job and with his family moved to a southern state.
I was in United States recently for a function involving my daughter and her father and his wife came up to New York state for the occasion. I met his other child, also a daughter, who is very close to my daughter, and she also lives in New York state. I felt good about the bond between them; I felt good that they both have good jobs and seemingly stable families. I met the wife of my daughter’s dad who told me she had heard about me and seen my pictures. She even indicated that my daughter was her also her daughter. She showed only love and warmth towards me.
While my daughter’s dad and I spoke privately for a brief period, he told me that he never got over what was said to him in Toronto so many years ago. He said he felt hurt and abused. He told me it was a disgusting thing to have done; slept with so many men so quickly. He said it was the one thing he hoped our daughter never did, or his other child.
I was angry and hurt at what he said, but after a week with my daughter and watching the love between her and her husband and doting over my grandchild, I dropped the anger. I had other things on which to focus my attention.
But life is full of unforeseen circumstances. Two days before I was scheduled to return home, I went up to Brooklyn and attended a function there. As fate would have it, I ran into two men whom I had had sexual relations with in my youthful days. We have no relationship, not even speaking contact. But, their remarks were still nasty and harsh even if made quietly. I felt like filth. It seemed as if all the eyes were on me and the talk about me. I made an excuse and left with a female friend who took me there. I broke down in tears and for the first time told someone about my hurt and pain.
I had made a bad mistake many years ago and would have to live with it. Life goes on and circumstances change, but people do not forget or forgive that easily.
On my way to the airport the evening I was leaving for a late night return to Barbados, my friend with whom I spent a few days, brought up the subject and told me not to worry. She reminded me to put my faith in God and God alone and told me others have gone through worse things and survived. People do make mistakes, but there is still life afterwards and you should live.