Started from the bottom, now we're here...

Started from the bottom, now we're here...

Monday, January 18, 2021

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FOR a catapult to work, you must first pull it back and then let it go to launch the object into the air. The further back you pull it, the farther the object will go when it is released. When we are faced with certain circumstances, it is very easy to feel as if we are being pulled further and further back in life.

Oftentimes we are set back not just financially, but emotionally as well, making it harder for us to find that release to launch forward. But as these people will tell you, being pulled so far back made them soar with much more power when they finally changed directions. They share their stories below.

Michelle M, 40, business owner:

My ex took our two-year-old for a visit one summer and didn't return her to Jamaica. Despite my begging and pleading and eventual threats, he kept her. I travelled to the state I had sent her, and he had moved. When I finally tracked him down, it was in another state, and it was a year later. I had to hire a lawyer and try to fight him in court, but guess what? The court ruled that our daughter had set up roots with her father, and couldn't be sent back home. I got holiday visits. And then guess what? First holiday came, and he disappeared again. He basically disappeared off the face of the earth. I did not see or hear from my daughter for five years, and it was when she was almost nine that he contacted me again, and said she wanted to get to know me. He sent her to Jamaica for a visit, and when it was time for her to return, he said that it was best that she stay. By that time he had divorced, and I guess had no reason to use our daughter as a pawn anymore. I spent years, millions in lawyers', court, private detective and travel fees, and lost much of my assets and some of my sanity as I fought to get my child back. Today I'm whole again, because I have her, and I managed to build back, although it took many years.

Felecia Williams, 44, corporate manager, marketing, and certified life coach:

My journey to parenting was not easy. Before I gave birth to my twins, Noah and Jordanne who are now nine years old, I lost two pregnancies and three babies within three years. Although I experienced so much loss in that short time, I knew God did not leave me.

When you lose a child through miscarriage or death, the pain never goes away. The healing is continuous and you need to give the pain a voice, therefore sharing my story is part of my healing process and I hope it also helps others. My message to other women is simply this, “Losing a child does not make you incomplete, you are still a whole person; still all-woman. You are enough and God's plan for you is still true. My experience and my pain led me to understand my purpose, my path, and allowed me to pour into other women who are on a similar journey.

Shevaun W, 34, investment banker:

I bought my home last year. It may not seem like much, but I managed to do it without a co-mortgagor, and when you hear my story, you'll see why I'm so happy. I started from literally nothing — my family lived in a literal hut, dad was an alcoholic, mom a domestic helper, 10 kids who were basically raising themselves — you know the cycle. We were constantly moving, constantly getting eviction notices. When I entered high school I got 'lucky' to be sent to go live with some friends of my mother who were well off. Well, everyone thought I was lucky, but what I told no one was of the times the husband would demand kisses, and I had to sit on his lap each night while he pretended to tell me stories, while touching me. I was there for six years, and that continued the whole time. However I managed to get an education, and left that house as soon as I could. I struggled for a long time, working on contract while I finished school, but all that paid off as I landed a great job after. Today I'm doing well, and buying property was the icing on the cake. My children will never know what it's like to be evicted, and they will never be shipped off to live with perverted strangers just because I can't offer them a home.

Alsion B, 50, hotel housekeeping manager:

I went abroad in my 20s, leaving my children with family as I was seeking a better life. All the money I made breaking my back working in the cold was sent back, to build on this piece of land my father owned. I'm talking millions of dollars. The first time I visited after construction started I was surprised at the slow pace, but I didn't complain — at least the foundation was going up. I could see the future for my children and it looked good. Several years later, the building was still stalled and I was getting excuse after excuse. It turns out that they were eating my money, and nothing was going towards the construction. All my savings was invested in that house, and I had to call it a loss and start over. It was just two years ago that I managed to buy another piece of land in another parish, and my kids — who are now grown — and I are building there. I learned not to trust family, but even with that loss, I still managed to hold my head high and succeed.


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