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Dear Pastor,
I hope you are doing well. I have read a lot about the inspiring words you have given others in the trouble of their time.
I am a 16-year-old girl who needs your advice. This is my first time writing you.
When I was younger, I was mistreated by my aunt for the way I look, my colour and because I was fatherless.
I remember when I was about four I was ill-treated. I was beaten even when I didn’t do anything wrong. My aunts would call me names like, ‘black puss’, ‘black gyal’ etc. I am of dark complexion, so I was given a lot of names. I would cry to myself at times, saying why I had to be born this way. Believe me, I was only four. My mother was in the town working and sending money so I could go to school in the country. I was treated very badly that at one point I tried to kill myself when I was just five.
When I was seven my mother took me to live with her. I thought that would have been the happiest days of my life. Growing up with my mother, I watched her being abused and beaten by my stepfather who she is still with.
He would cheat on her and even crossed the line and slept with her best friend who is now dead.
Over the years I would cry to myself and ask the Lord why I have to go through so much pain.
I remember when my mother took me aside one day and told me the story about my dad. She told me that when she told him she was pregnant, he told her to do an abortion but she refused. As a result of her not obeying him, he told her we both are going to suffer. I wanted to cry but didn’t show my emotions. I was only nine.
One day I got into an argument with my stepfather and he told me, “If yuh eva see how yuh black”.
I was so torn inside as if my heart melted. I stopped speaking to him for a week and was in primary school that time.
My mother and I would get into arguments at times and she would tell me how she disliked me and wished she had aborted me, and she even told me how black and ugly I am.
I am always crying to ease my pain. I was teased in primary school because of my complexion. Whenever a schoolmate and I got into a disagreement, I was considered to be one of the blackest child attending the school. Pastor, to tell you the truth, whenever someone says the word black and tells me how ugly and black I am, I was disgusted just by hearing the word ‘black’.
When my friends were taking pictures, I would stay out of it because their colour is lighter than mine and I didn’t want anyone teasing me. I would hit myself until I feel a lot of pain.
When I look back on my past, the way I was treated as a slave, it makes me depressed. I am fed up with life. It grew to a point where I can’t accept the way I look, whether I am beautiful or not. I cut my arms to ease my pain and would look in the mirror and hit myself to feel better.
Pastor, you won’t even know how I feel, God knows. I don’t love myself anymore. I go through a lot and this is not half of it. I wish I knew my father, even though my mother dislikes me and calls me names, I still pray to God for her to have a better life.
I don’t know what to do. Tears fill my eyes but I don’t want to release it because if my mother sees me crying, she will start to argue.
She lacks understanding. When I look back at my past, I hurt myself but I made a promise to God last week that I won’t hurt myself anymore and don’t want to break it.
Pastor, I know others have suffered a lot but I can’t take it any longer. I am going to take my life to get over everything and make my mother happy. She said I am the only one holding her back of the four children. I am the only girl for her. I just can’t deal with the shame. They even say I am dunce, even when I try my best. They are taking away my hopes and dreams.
Please help me, pastor.
Dear S.L.,
I know for sure that you are not dunce. A dunce person couldn’t have written and explained herself in such an intelligent way.
However, I am saddened by the way your mother and other relatives have treated you. They can be considered unintelligent. They should know you did not create yourself and did not have a choice whether you should be black, brown, white or yellow. Only ignorant people look down and condemn a person because of colour.
It is natural for a young child to retaliate or to feel depressed and unwanted if he/she is constantly told he/she is ugly. I am not at all surprised at your reaction.
Your aunt should have taught you how to deal with those who cursed and called you derogatory names but, instead, she did it at home. When you went to live with your mother, she continued to do the same thing.
However, keep heart. You need not be ashamed of your blackness. The way forward is not by having a light complexion. The way forward is having a good education. Nothing can stop an educated person.
Stop cutting up yourself. You don’t need to do that. When people say unkind things about you, ignore them. Study very hard. Get your passes. Go on to university. Pray and ask God to help you.
Believe me, He will. Give God thanks for taking care of you so far. Call me at my office and I will arrange for someone to see you. May God bless you. please let me hear from you again.


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