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Now Published : Overcoming

Dedicated to all women in society who have been affected by Domestic Violence and have survived. Also for those sisters and brothers who are struggling to overcome. I am pleased to dedicate this book to you in order to encourage, strengthen, empower, motivate and help you rise to another Level. The Level that that will not only change your lives but the world you live in.

About The Book

Domestic Violence Books

This story is about one woman’s courage to overcome domestic violence, school bullying and other related issues of abuse. The story presents the leading character as a resilient woman who is determined not to let this evil destroy her. Instead, she builds up the courage to walk away even when the perpetrator was determined to destroy her.  This was one personal battle she had to win.

The aim of this book is to shed light on circumstances of abuse and also a self-help tool for those who need something to draw upon for strength. Domestic violence has been swept under the carpet for too long and has caused families to suffer. Men and women experience domestic violence; some have lost their lives. Others are left suffering from mental health-related issues. I am grateful to God that I have emerged, not as a victim, but as someone who has overcome and is now willing to bring awareness through my story to empower others who need that push.

Another aim of Overcoming is to bring out factors which others may well identify within the realm of personal experiences. In the same breath, I am encouraging us to have the courage to take positive actions by addressing these issues as and when they surface.

Whilst maintaining the right to be silent, some may choose to remain the sufferers. Suffering in silence is certainly not the best course of action. One therapeutic course of action for me was that of constructing my thoughts around the preparation of a manuscript for a book. A discussion forum might well follow.

One may ask if domestic violence is a legacy that a father chooses to leave with his children; especially his sons? Not all children will emulate the negative example of a brutal dad. Some will choose to make wise choices but what about the others who haven’t got the will power to adapt? Let us all work together to eradicate this evil that is not only destroying families but generation after generation!

What’s inside

^

Councillor Merlita Bryan

“She is a strong character to be able to withstand hardships and setbacks, yet coming through the hurdles to a fine finish”

^

Councillor Graham Chapman

“The narrative gives an insight into a story that is rarely told”

^

EvaDalgety

“A must read as this inspiring autobiography forces you to think about life and empowers you to want better. A down to earth story”

^

Joseph Muchina

“Great woman, excellent lady, mother, and friend. Carrol, you are such an inspiration to those that know you. A woman of patience, perseverance, and determination. Great work and a great model”

Now Published : Overcoming

Dedicated to all women in society who have been affected by Domestic Violence and have survived. Also for those sisters and brothers who are struggling to overcome. I am pleased to dedicate this book to you in order to encourage, strengthen, empower, motivate and help you rise to another Level. The Level that that will not only change your lives but the world you live in.

About The Book

This story is about one woman’s courage to overcome domestic violence, school bullying and other related issues of abuse. The story presents the leading character as a resilient woman who is determined not to let this evil destroy her. Instead, she builds up the courage to walk away even when the perpetrator was determined to destroy her.  This was one personal battle she had to win.

The aim of this book is to shed light on circumstances of abuse and also a self-help tool for those who need something to draw upon for strength. Domestic violence has been swept under the carpet for too long and has caused families to suffer. Men and women experience domestic violence; some have lost their lives. Others are left suffering from mental health-related issues. I am grateful to God that I have emerged, not as a victim, but as someone who has overcome and is now willing to bring awareness through my story to empower others who need that push.

Another aim of Overcoming is to bring out factors which others may well identify within the realm of personal experiences. In the same breath, I am encouraging us to have the courage to take positive actions by addressing these issues as and when they surface.

Whilst maintaining the right to be silent, some may choose to remain the sufferers. Suffering in silence is certainly not the best course of action. One therapeutic course of action for me was that of constructing my thoughts around the preparation of a manuscript for a book. A discussion forum might well follow.

 One may ask if domestic violence is a legacy that a father chooses to leave with his children; especially his sons? Not all children will emulate the negative example of a brutal dad. Some will choose to make wise choices but what about the others who haven’t got the will power to adapt? Let us all work together to eradicate this evil that is not only destroying families but generation after generation!

book details Order Your Copy Now

Chapters

Pages

Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1: Quagmire of a Lonesome and Violent Life

I was born in a family of nine children, with five brothers and three sisters. I was the eldest of the girls. I was born in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica and then moved to St Catherine when I was six years old. I lived with my parents until I was seventeen.

Dad had a fairly good job; he left for work early mornings and come home late at nights. I used to wait for him to come home from work, regardless of how late it may be. Dad worked as an ordinary postman until the company he worked for upgraded his job to a private contractor, which made it more secure.

As a child, I always wanted that emotional and physical support from my parents, which they failed to give me. I think they were busy with the expense of keeping a family, especially my dad. My mum didn’t work because she had the responsibility of looking after my younger siblings.

I grew up in an environment where domestic violence was present and that always made me feel unsafe. Dad used to stay busy with his work schedule while mum was busy with hers.

I used to feel neglected; I guess that’s what happens when a family is large, and the smaller ones get all the attention. Sometimes children can feel left out. Sometimes I needed my parents to sit and talk with me regarding issues I was experiencing, but unfortunately that never happened. I do think they had good intentions, but it was the demands of the family which caused us to feel that way.

I was not able to share my feelings with my other siblings about the abuse that was happening around us because they too were experiencing the same thing. We were all accustomed to that lifestyle and just got on with it.

Every year Mum would expect another child, which must have placed stress on her, both physical and emotional. Maybe if families like ours had the awareness and education that is available today in countries like Britain, they would’ve been able to plan their family.

As the eldest girl, I had to bear some of the responsibilities for the younger ones. In my childhood I had seen many ups and downs, and for that reason I always gave value to money. I used to help my mother with all sorts of household chores, like washing and cleaning.

I remember going to the market and seeing individual women of all ages displaying their products. My brother and I would argue how to spend the money and what to buy. For example, if the person was elderly, he wouldn’t want to buy from them. Even if the price was cheaper, he would rather buy from a younger person. Maybe he didn’t understand back then. He has changed now, because he grew to understand the value of money. He is also a parent and has realised that saving money is vital.

I was forced to grow up fast because my siblings were much younger and I had to help look after them. The inner turmoil and stress of everyday life was strenuous, because I was worried about mum and what she was going through at the time. However, I maintained a positive outlook towards life, even though at times I felt the pressure and felt like my childhood had been seized from me.

Before the larger house was built, my siblings and I had to share a room. However, the company was great, because we played and joked at night before bed time. At times, our feet would end up in one another’s faces, which was so funny to us as children.

I recalled my older brother feeling disgusted at one of our brother’s snoring because it disturbed his sleep. One night he decided to pull a stunt on him. He rolled a piece of paper, lit it and placed it at the corner of his mouth. We stood and watched it burn until it caught his lip… that night I can’t forget. It may have seemed like a joke, but it was dangerous. These are all silly things children do when they don’t understand the dangers of their actions. Even though life was challenging, we still had good times and memories as children.

My bigger brothers were always eager to learn to drive, but dad never made time to put them behind the wheel. However, with their keenness to learn, they were always finding opportunities to jump behind the wheel whenever Dad wasn’t around.

On one occasion, my bigger brother decided to take the van for a drive, but unfortunately it ended up in the house. Luckily it didn’t do much damage. I don’t remember whether they were punished for their actions.

When speaking about some of the difficulties that I experienced as a child, some may think that I did not find time to have fun. However, my siblings and I created many happy moments. For example, I used to run behind my brothers, especially when they were going to the mango bushes. They used to call me “Sister” as a pet name. I asked my Mum why I was called sister, and she told me that when I was born, my older brother looked at me, saying, “That’s my sister,” and from that day the name stuck.

Growing up as children in a large family, our parents did not find time to take us to activities such as piano lessons or dance classes, but our schools used to offer them. For example, I was a member of the folk-dance group at my primary school.

As part of our culture, one of my duties as a child was to assist with the younger ones. Some children would think that this is unfair and that they are giving up their childhood. If we felt like our parents were being unfair, we would have to keep it to ourselves as in other cultures too, children are expected to help with the younger ones.

I mentioned that I used to follow my bigger brothers around. I loved going with them  to the mango fields that had lots of mango trees. People would take the journey either by car, truck or simply walk to pick mangoes for free.

The mango bushes were quite a distance from where we lived. The journey was down a long, sunny and dusty road; tiresome to walk, especially if you wanted to find nice juicy mangoes.

My brothers and I would go out on the road and wait for trucks going to where the mangoes were. In our country we called it ‘hopping trucks’. My brothers would run behind the truck, hold on and make sure they got into the truck, then call out to me to grab hold of their hand. They would pull me into the truck. Boy, wasn’t that fun! We went from one extreme to the other. I was like a tomboy, behaving like a boy, doing things boys do. I remember we lived in a lane; a narrow road with houses on both sides.

As children, we would stuff juice boxes with paper, turn it into a ball and play ‘Dandy Shandi’. It’s a game with two people standing opposite to each other at a distance and someone in the middle.

Someone would throw the ball to the person in the middle, but the aim of the game is not to let it catch you, otherwise you are out and someone else takes your place.

My brothers used to play cricket, too. They would use two pieces of zinc with a pole behind, to be the wicket. If the bowler hit the zinc when they threw the ball, the batsman was disqualified, and it was the next person’s turn to bat.

I used to enjoy playing those games with them and with other children too. Another one was to ride on carts. My brothers would make the cart from pieces of board and four wheels that they found. They used to take me to this place in the community called Green Acre. The road was steep, and we would take turns to sit on the board and push each other.

To prevent accidents, one of my brothers would go to the bottom of the hill and make sure no vehicles were coming. The other brother would then set the cart off, or I would push it and watch. It sailed fast!

The only thing to stop it was a wall where a wealthy family lived. We always admired that house. It was a huge house, and it had a beautiful garden. It was a sight to view.

I could say we were living dangerously, but we enjoyed it, including the fruit trees along the road where we played. We would throw stones at them to knock off the fruits, such as tamarinds in their brown shells, which you must break to suck out the flesh and then spit out the seed. Another favourite was hog plum. Mangoes, cherries, guava, passion fruit, cashew fruits; we could easily find these in our community. Also, how could I have forgotten the common native dish of ackee, cooked with salt fish, roasted breadfruit and fried plantain. Looking back, these moments helped me keep sane.

As the family got bigger, the home environment became more intense. I guess the pressure of the growing family took a toll on my dad and he became aggressive and would lose his temper easily. I think he must have had a lot going on. Could it have been financial pressure?

Dad was the breadwinner and Mum would stay at home to look after us children. It was once I became a parent that I realised how difficult it is to bring up children, especially when you are doing it alone.

We didn’t have many friends that we could go to, or use their homes as a refuge. I used to be shy and felt insecure. During those years I started to lack the self-confidence to approach people or make many friends. In addition, my dad wasn’t the kind of parent who was keen on his children becoming too friendly with other children.

Parents need to understand that domestic violence does affect children in many ways, including mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Only God can heal the broken souls, of those who experience these traumas.

Dad used to tell us not to go to people’s houses because they would give us food that was not good. Maybe, this was one of his ways of protecting us. All the drama around me made me feel sad and unloved many times. I grew up in an environment where I saw my parents have disagreements which created an emotional disturbance within me and made me become fearful, anxious timid and shy, not knowing what might happen.

As a child, I used to look forward to birthdays, but unfortunately, I do not remember having birthday parties of my own because my parents were busy paying attention to other stuff. Maybe the resources weren’t there to provide the necessities for a birthday party. They would love to say, ‘Happy birthday’, but not to celebrate it like other cultures do. However, I am not angry at them because I know, now that I am older, the responsibility was great for my parents.

My dad used to buy me little white dolls, that looked like princesses with their crown on their head. I never forget.  We both have a good relationship now and he always say how much he loves me because I am his first daughter. 

 

I know somewhere in his heart there was good, but it was hard for him to express it. Not everyone will understand, especially if their upbringing was different. I still love my dad, even though he made mistakes and was harsh with me on many occasions. I have come to a realisation that people can’t give what they don’t have. Maybe he wasn’t taught how to love, so it was hard for him to show us love.

I guess my parents were overloaded with the issues of looking after all of us, especially knowing that Dad was the only breadwinner. I became sympathetic to my parents when I became an adult, especially when it came to money.

I try hard to provide for my children and always try to make them happy when it’s their birthdays. This is because I don’t want them to feel the way I did whilst growing up.

Raising children is a job on its own, especially in third world countries where parents do not get subsidies from the government. It can be difficult. I think the law needs to change in some countries, especially when it comes to education, to make it easier for children to be educated. In my country, I think the government needs to do more to help struggling families.

Writing this book wasn’t easy, but I need parents to understand that the home environment is important for children to thrive and have a healthy life. It is disturbing for children to see violence displayed before their eyes. It can be damaging for them and affect them mentally, psychologically and emotionally.

In a situation where domestic violence is displayed in the home, it can make the child feel disconnected from parents. For example, it would be difficult for children to communicate their feelings and feel safe. We felt like our parents were not aware of the emotional or psychological effects that domestic violence had on us children.

I came to understand that poverty can be a contributing factor to domestic violence, as well as a lack of education. I do believe, if government put extra resources in place to educate the public more about domestic violence, it could reduce the amount of tragic circumstances that we see on the news and help families to understand that there are other ways to deal with issues other than through violence.

Domestic violence is an epidemic that affects every nation and it is not only deprived communities that are affected by this issue; it can affect anyone.

Dad was a disciplinarian and he would be there to administer the strap at any cost. If we stepped out of line, then we would be sure we would pay the price for our wrong doing. I guess that was how he was brought up and he didn’t know any better.

Another thing I noticed growing up was that dad would go to work, and if he didn’t find things to his liking, he would become upset, but there is a better way of approaching problems other than by becoming violent.  I understand it must have been hard on him as the bread winner, and I can’t ignore that. Maybe, dad was dealing with all the pressures by himself  without any support as there were no people he could go to talk through his difficulties.

I witnessed too much as a child and wish my parents had, had a better way to resolve their problems. People need to take responsibility for their bad behaviour and not blame others. I can honestly say I did see some  of my dad’s traits within me when I started having children, such as the strict mentality to keep children in line. I learned there are other ways to approach life other than being too strict. It doesn’t make things easier, but it can cause children to be fearful. I learned to try and do it differently. However, it’s easier said than done.

Perpetrators always tend to blame the victims when things go wrong. I always wondered, as a child, when the violence would end. When my eldest brother got older it stopped, because he began to stand up for my Mum. There is a song that says, “Children live what they learn.” This is not to say children haven’t got the potential to do good and make better choices because they’ve realised that there is much to achieve when you choose good.

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About the author.

Carrol originated from the Island of Jamaica and emigrated to the UK. Her first venture into further education was Computer Programming but since it was not her passion, she realised it wasn’t for her. Carrol didn’t stop there but searched to find her true passion, which was teaching. She had previously worked in that field for ten years. Continuing her professional development she managed to educate herself and acquire a qualification at Diploma Level in Health and Social Care. She has also studied Counselling and Psychotherapy at Sherwood Institute.

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Life

Poetry

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