People tell the worst thing their parents did to them

People tell the worst thing their parents did to them

CANDIECE KNIGHT

Monday, August 10, 2020

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IF most Jamaican parents know one scripture from the Bible , it is Proverbs 13:24 — the one that essentially says, 'Spare the rod and spoil the child'. While many Jamaican parents may not have been very doting when it came to positive reinforcement, open communication, or being emotionally available, they never missed an opportunity to mete out correction.

Most times when our parents resorted to extreme measures of discipline, or made decisions that we did not consider to be in our best interest, we got over them by the very next day and were back to being merry children. But some things, as these adults will tell you, are never forgotten, and in some cases, never forgiven.

Annie, 29, doctor:

The worst thing my parents ever did to me was carry me to the doctor to have a 'virginity test' done at age 13. It was my mother's idea. It was the most humiliating, shameful experience of my life. They had that con artist of a doctor using a flashlight to inspect my vagina to see whether the hymen was still intact, because they thought I was having sex. I felt worse about it when I got older and learned that the presence of the hymen cannot really prove virginity, so the test was pointless and I was embarrassed for no reason.

Natalie, 25, designer:

I will never forgive my father for still being friends with a man who molested me. When the whole thing came out the man denied it, and both families did not speak for months. But the community shop was in the man's yard, and all the other men in the community would go over there to drink and play dominoes. Eventually everyone swept it under the carpet and stopped talking about it, and my father just could not resist going over there to have a drink with his friends. The only thing that changed was that I was never allowed to go to the shop, and the man never visited our house.

Alex, 28, marketing intern:

My father locked me out of the house one night when I was in high school because I took too long to come home, according to him. What really happened was that it rained so the taxi operators were limiting the number of 'schoolers' they picked up, and I was there for hours unable to get a vehicle because we lived in a rural area and I would need a turn off in the rain. When I went home he came out on the verandah and told me to go back to whichever idle corner I was coming from — at 9:00 pm. I didn't have anywhere to go, so I slept on a wet piece of board in the backyard.

Talya, 30, teacher:

I got pregnant at 17. I told my mother and basically begged her to just let me stay in her house until the baby was a few months old so I could work on my own, but she physically abused me and dragged me to get an abortion. I told her that the father, who was 19 at the time, was seeking a job so it wouldn't be her problem. I just needed somewhere to stay until I could move out, but she said I would not cause her to walk and hold down her head in the community. Now I am 30 without a child and she wants grandchildren.

Andre, 34, soldier:

They just plain and simple had too many children, and that is the worst thing they could ever do to any of us. When I graduated high school I wanted to go to sixth form so that I could try for a student loan and go to university, but my father, who had eight more children, said I needed to go 'learn trade'. Just simple things like that set children back and stop them from reaching their full potential or following their dreams.


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