chapter_4So I’ve just completed chapter four in my new book A Precious stone. The chapter is called A Constant Reminder.

I have to admit wiring this book has proved more challenging than originally thought as I learnt so much about writing whilst working on my first manuscript God’s Romantic Getaway. Like God’s Romantic Getaway, A Precious Stone is a non-fiction script which sheds much light on my life from childhood to adulthood and the many things that transpired laying the foundation for the lifetime of low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, depression, loneliness and fear that I experienced until my breakthrough in 2011. It is an eye-opening account for the readers and me alike to see how sometimes the most simplest of things can trigger emotions that go on to form positive or negative memories and strongholds in our lives. Many of which lay dormant until the right opportunity arises for it to have its biggest impact.

For me the foundation was laid in the traumatic years aged 8-11, and would go on to gain much gain strength and momentum between the ages of 17-21, before making its vibrant appearance from age 21 onward, and dominating my life for many years. What is interesting about this script is the fly-on-the-wall approach I’m privy to take as I retell my own story from a mature objective view. One that allows me to relinquish blame I was forced to and chose to carry, as well accepting responsibility for some of my own action that I refused to acknowledge  and understanding some of the actions of my parents. This is not another abused childhood story, neither is it a story of blame, but one of understanding, forgiveness, acceptance and renewal.

The snippet you are about to read is the aftermath of an incident that took place, which left me feeling ashamed, guilty and weighed down with blame I took upon myself and carried for many years. Blame that was not mine to accept and too heavy to carry.

CHAPTER 4 – A  Constant Reminder

No one said sorry and aside from Janet, no one asked if I was OK, instead, the responsibility for what had happened had been neatly placed on my shoulders, far too much responsibility and guilt for an eight-year-old to carry.

Maybe I’m being biased, there is a strong possibility that my parents showed me the compassion I craved, after all, they spent the entire evening tending to my hands, but if you allow guilt to consume you, it will blind and I was blind. Eventually, they removed me from the sink and using a mixture of home remedies from Vaseline to flour applied them to my hands before wrapping them in bandages and giving me something to eat. Eating dinner was almost impossible, but I knew I couldn’t show how difficult it was to use my hands or show how much pain I was in. After dinner I watched as everyone got on with the dishes and tidying up while I sat looking on, and the more I watched the more helpless and guilty I felt.

Of all the things about that day the one picture I’ve never been able to rid from my mind was what happened just before bedtime. Just before bedtime, I was given some hot milk to help me sleep, and at one point was left alone in the kitchen. I remember that moment because it was the only time I allowed myself to cry in an area where my parents could walk in at any time and see my tears. Usually, I would never allow myself to be so vulnerable, but it was impossible to contain my emotions. I was full of regret. That was the first time I experienced feeling lonely. I was hurting, and in so much pain I wanted to pass out. But the pain I was in wasn’t just from the burns, but also from my heart. Something had changed, there was an airy feeling in the house, which I now believe was an unspoken fear that we were all experiencing.

I hadn’t fully understood the extent of the damage because I wasn’t looking at it from the same perspective as my parents. While they were no doubt feeling their own guilt and regret, I was beating myself up, wishing I could turn back the clock, wondering how I was going to get my parents to love me again. I sat at the kitchen table alone with my head hung in shame, disgusted with myself, wishing I was anywhere but there. For the rest of the evening, I remained silent, until bedtime where Janet and I exchanged a few words, all prompted by her. No one knew what to say because no had expected anything like this to happen. I couldn’t sleep that night, no matter what I did, I found no comfort. There was no such thing as painkillers and my hands felt like they were being burnt all over again. The pain I was now experiencing was worse that the initial burning incident itself. But thank God for my tears. I didn’t know it then but I would always be able to count on them for support, they would always come to my rescue. My tears knew how I felt, and each one released an emotion I struggled to put into words. That night I cried because of the pain. I cried because of the guilt. I cried because I hated myself. I just cried and cried, and cried.

After a long night daylight was breaking and a new day was here. Somehow I’d managed to doze off grabbing five minutes here and there, waking suddenly as the pain hit a crescendo before quieting down and gaining momentum for its next appearance. The morning after the night before. We’d never had a morning after the night before like this, so unsure of what to do or say, I approached the day as I would any other, determined to do as much for myself as was humanly possible. That lasted all of five minutes. With both hands in bandages, I could do nothing for myself. All the things you take for granted, like brushing your teeth, having a wash, creaming your skin, getting dressed, at some points even eating, were now impossible tasks. I was at the mercy of the person I feared and loved the most. The person who with one look could make or break me. The person who more than anyone in the world, I longed to please and make happy – mummy. The last thing I wanted to do was disrupt her day or give her reasons to keep reliving the events of the previous day. The last thing I wanted to do was disrupt her day or give her reasons to keep reliving the events of the previous day. But mummy must have been pretty nice to me because if she hadn’t I’d have remembered and that day I don’t remember being made to feel bad or guilty. Any feelings of guilt I experienced were self-inflicted. Mummy couldn’t do enough for me. She tended to my needs as much as she did to Jasmine and Kim and insisted I spend the day on the sofa watching TV, a few steps away from where the dreaded deed had taken place the previous day. Given the fact that I dotted on my mother you would have thought her gentleness was received with much anticipation, but it had the opposite effect. Each act of motherly love served as a reminder as to how I’d come to be in this position. I wanted her time and affection but not like this, and in an attempt to hide my embarrassment and not impose on her, I pretended I was fine though I was far from fine.

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