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Rape along with sexual and emotional abuse as a child and teen were my lemons. My faith and perseverance winning over life’s trials by leading me to publish my story in ‘The Pain in my Smile’ is my lemonade.
I believe if my story can help somebody, I will not have lived in vain. My intimate memoir of searing trauma offers victims of abuse a heartening message of hope and the inspiration to persevere: “The Pain in My Smile” reveals how I overcame what might have been the insurmountable challenges life threw my way.
The National Victim Center reports that over 700,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted annually. Of these victims, 61% are under age 18. As a child, I had been physically and sexually abused — and by the age of 14 I was homeless, hungry, and the mother of an infant.
I was born in Guyana, a tropical country in South America. When I was a child, I was molested, raped, and physically and emotionally abused. Since my childhood, I have experienced homelessness and hunger. A survivor in my own right, I encourage readers through “The Pain in my Smile.” to never give up, because faith, perseverance and determination can surely propel a person to achieve something out of nothing
Despite my extraordinary pain and hardship, I never gave up on my life, even though sometimes determination almost failed me. “I’m chronicling these events to let whoever is struggling with some of the issues that I have struggled with know that there is hope,” I write unblinkingly of my ugly past and my testimony is an honest one. I am not yet where I would like to be but I am where my life’s journey has led me; I still to struggle to live my life well and courageously — no shortcuts.
One of my distinguishing characteristics is my beautiful smile. I do not say this out of vanity, it is a fact. I am always smiling; you never would imagine that I have lived through such trauma.
My accomplishments academically are commendable, considering what I endured. I know people who have experienced far less and they gave up hope. I studied Marketing, Wine and Fine Dining at The University of West London, Ealing London in the United Kingdom. I also have an Associate and Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management. I have recently completed my MBA with a concentration in Leadership. My commencement ceremony was held July 11, 2015 at the Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland. This is quite an accomplishment a testament that it is possible to overcome life’s adversities. However my greatest achievement in my life is my relationship with God. Without Him I never would have made it. I am committed to making a difference in the lives of those I come in contact with. My motto is, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.” -Mahalia Jackson