Hi I am Geanelle Alexander Mitchell from Richmond St Andrew’s. I grew up in an extended family being loved and adored by my grandparents, never lacking nor wanting anything. Life started deteriorating when my “paps” passed away and my mother was left to care for us. Me, being the first of 11 children in a household with only a mother and no father figure life became frustrating and our living conditions started going downhill. And my mother chooses to look and accept the worst of men for companionship. All they could have offered was another addition to our already vulnerability. At age 10 in the year 1995 I sat the then common entrance I was not successful cause I was barely attending school. I had to stay at home to look after my younger siblings while my mother who was unemployed saw it fit to sit by her friends from morning till night. We were left hungry, I had to steal from the neighbours and literally beg to fed my younger siblings. I grew up with no love, affection, guidance nor encouragement from anyone. The following year I sat exams again and again I failed. If I went to school 20 times for the school year I went a lot. Even though my attendance in school was low I always did well in test because I have natural intelligence.
The truancy officer was a regular visitor to our home but my mother with her rude mouth would curse her off. In the year 1997, that was my final year to sit exams. I started attending school regular and I became a threat, first position was always mine, but the teacher was always concerned about my ability. Whether I will be able to continue due to lack of support and guidance. He was aware of my home situation, that year, I gained myself a place at the Grenville Secondary School. I was very happy but that did not last long because I had no help and support so i had to drop out of school in form 2. Teachers and students literally begged me to continue but I refused. My mother, who was supposed to lift and encourage me, used her mouth to run me down, her own child, putting all kinds of curses on my life. She would always throw all my clothes outside, I remember one time she burnt all my school clothes and I had nothing to wear. I slept in bushes, under people’s houses, in verandah, banana stools, anywhere I could rest my head. I went days without food. I used to beg and sometimes steal from the neighbours and my mother would still see it fitting to call my father to come beat me with switch and humiliate me in front of the entire community. I have all the scars, on many occasions I wanted to end my life. The situation was so unbearable my life was a horror movie. Sometimes friends would accommodate me to sleep in their houses. My mother liked money, at age 15, she accepted a man home for me because he had money, when she should have been encouraging me to go back to school.
I felt the lowest when she would tell me she hates me. At 17 I met a man who I later got married to. My mother was never concerned, she never cared so I accepted his offer because I wanted something better. That was the biggest mistake of my life, it was episode 2 of my life. At age 21 with three children, I was hopeless. Helpless to my self or anyone, no education, no job, no self value and worth, no direction, no one to look up to. I got the most of abuse be it verbal, physical, sexual or mental. I was trapped, I cried endlessly. When I looked at my children so innocent and fragile I cried even more. But they gave me strength, motivation and encouragement to do something about the situation. I went through a lot of humiliation. I was even a patient at the Mt Gay hospital. My husband even went as far as to stand and make another man rape me. But I am a survivor, challenges make me what I am today. I have come a long way, never gave up on my self, now I have 4 CXC’s, 2 CVQ’s certificate, level 1 & 2 data operations. I am awaiting my CVQ in librarian. I now have my own home. I fought this battle not for myself but for my children because I want a better life for them. Life is what we make it never allow past occurrences to determine the path towards success.