I was merely 16 years old when I found out I was going to be a mother. When my mother found out I was pregnant, she started to cry. Naturally, I cried as well. She actually loss weight, and her blood pressure increased. I became depressed, especially knowing that I would not be returning to Papine High School. Instead, I ended up enrolling at the Women Center, a place I really didn’t want to go to. The Centre has a stigma, and is automatically recognized by the infamous black and white uniforms – something I was just too embarrassed to wear. But I really had no choice.
While attending the Centre, I managed to develop my self-esteem. The staff there always encouraged us to think positively and continued to tell us that our future doesn’t end here!
Life was truly a struggle. My main source of income and support came from my mother, who also had a hard time helping me. She could only afford to provide me with bus fare for school. My family told my mom to put me up in a home, because I was “careless”. And although they tried to persuade her to do so, she refused. They turned on her, and said horrible things about her. My cousin Shauna also helped me with bus fare, and bought my daughter pampers when I couldn’t afford it. She even gave me food when I needed it.
Not knowing how my school fees were going to get paid was another issue. I looked to my child’s father to assist, but that didn’t work out. My stepfather didn’t want to assist either because he believed that I would waste his money. It was not only until my mother asked him to assist with my school fees, he then decided to give me the benefit of the doubt, and paid for it.
I am proud to say that I have managed to complete seven CSEC subjects, and I have received a diploma. I also plan to further my studies!
People really looked down on me, and thought I would become nothing. Apart from all the negative remarks that my family would say to me, my mother used to tell me, “they see the worst in you, but God sees the best in you!” To the girls who are in similar situations, keep in mind that as long as you remain persistent, you can achieve anything you want. Self-reliance is key!