In life, everyone has their own cross to bear. There is no comparison. My life has not been easy and I have been tethering between hopelessness and faith all my life.
I always thought I would have died young. That’s because I used to get severe asthma attacks. There was this one time that I was wheezing and gasping all day. My chest felt as if it wanted to burst. I pleaded with my mother to take me to the hospital but she refused.
I felt hopeless as there was no one to save me from this pain. However, the Lord sent a family member to our home and used her to save me from my despair. I was taken to the hospital and got the treatment I truly desired. I thanked God for saving me.
When my mother lost her job, I tried to have faith that everything would be all right. But every time I thought things would be better, it seemed to get worse.
I remembered studying my life away to pass the Common Entrance Exam. I didn’t pass for the school I wanted, instead passing for my last choice.
All I could think about was how were we going to afford my uniform and books. I had no hope. Yet again, God showed me that I lacked faith. He made a way for me to get those items. I also moved in with my father and his family to be closer to school so I wouldn’t have to travel far.
During this time, the only money that my mother got was from the church. St. Vincent De Paul to be precise. She and my brother survived on five dollars a week. Actually, she received twenty-five dollars from them but sent twenty to me so I could pay the van.
When my brother told me this, I felt guilty and told my mother only give me ten dollars, I will travel or walk to school. You’re probably wondering where my father was in all this. Well, he was around, but he never had any money. None of my aunts and uncles spared me any money either. It was only my grandmother who would give me money when she could.
I remember this one time I had to go on a school outing and I felt guilty that I was going out while my mother and brother couldn’t. I felt so frustrated with myself that I couldn’t do something for them.
Time passed. CXC exams were written and I passed all but one. I decided to repeat just to get that pass. When I tried to get to do A’Levels, I couldn’t get into any school, despite the fact that I had good grades. It baffled me that a classmate of mine was able to get into a school to do A’s when he had lesser grades that I did.
That’s when I learnt that money talks. He was rich. I wasn’t. Seeing that I had no prospects, I was at home. I couldn’t get a job and there was nothing to do and no money.
There was a time when the only thing in the house to eat was spaghetti and soy sauce. All this time, and no one in my family helped us. I thought about suicide many times.
I applied for countless jobs. None of them bore fruit. Not until I got a job at a large supermarket chain. I was very thankful that someone was willing to take a chance on me.
I worked and supported my family as best as I could. My brother worked long hours at an established bakery as well. After a while, one of my friends said that I shouldn’t waste my life away like that. He encouraged me to go back to school.
So I did. But I couldn’t stop working because I would have no income. I worked weekends and went to school during the week. I thought after I had gotten those qualifications I would get a better job. Alas, that was not to be.
Still rejected. I got temporary jobs until I landed a permanent on at a marketing company. It was about this time that the prime minister established a system where you could do tertiary education, and the government would pay for it.
I decided to take advantage of this since I would not have been able to afford it on my own. I worked, went to school and still supported my mom. My brother had migrated at this point.
After completing that milestone, I still was unable to get something better. I decided to see if I could maybe work towards going to Japan to work via the JET Programme. I applied to do a degree in English and was accepted. After five long grueling years, I did it. I applied and was put on the alternate list. Needless to say, I didn’t get to go.
I became lost and hopeless. When the family home burnt down, I was there to help. Maybe it happened for a reason. Yet, I still wanted to escape from here.
Also, living in the house of horrors with the in-laws was taking a toll on me. I desperately wanted to leave that place especially after suffering verbal abuse, bullying, physical assault and receiving death threats from the brother-in-law.
It seemed as if I would never leave that place despite how much I prayed. It seemed as if I would never get a decent job no matter how many times I redid my résumé.
The cats came into my life. Thank God that I was unemployed. I was able to save them. They were able to save me.
Finally, I got out of that situation. The Lord finally answered my prayers. I was finally freed from that place that held my anxiety rooted in place daily.
There have been times I believed getting a job was hopeless for me. Now I see that it was a blessing that I remained unemployed. Because of this, I was liberated from the house of horrors. My faith returned and hopefully, it is here to stay and grow.