I am Laura Akal. Today I have a good job, I got married recently and I have an intelligent son. But sadly, it was not always like this.
In school I was a good student but in an attempt to “fit in” I started hanging out with the girls who were considered cool — and of course, I was obligated to do the things they were doing to be accepted.
I started smoking cigarettes and marijuana at the age of 15. I didn’t like it but I continued because that’s what my friends were doing, and eventually I was hooked. Anytime I got stressed the first thing I would think about doing was smoking. With these kind of friends I started to move with, I was introduced to parties, and of course, relationships.
At the age of 19 I ended up pregnant and trapped in an abusive relationship. He would threaten my life when I tried to break up with him. He would claim that he “loved” me but when he got angry he would take it out on me. I endured both physical and verbal abuse. This continued for a long time until one day he smashed a rum bottle on my face, almost claiming my left eye, and left me with permanent scars. My life was a hell and I was not learning from my mistakes.
After I was able to leave that relationship I continued to enter into more relationships that were abusive. I didn’t love myself and I was looking for it in anyone, especially coming from a family where my dad left us to live with another family, and my mom was always working hard to give us the best.
I needed that attention badly! I jumped from one bad relationship to another. I hated what I had become but it was like I could not escape. I had no way out. I couldn’t talk to anyone because I felt as though no one understood me and judged me for my bad decisions.
I heard about the Youth Power Group before but I was never interested, but when a persistent member continued inviting me I decided to take up the offer because I was a single mother with no job, and in a relationship where I was being cheated on constantly. I was just totally self-loathing, telling myself I don’t deserve better.
I came to the YPG. I was reluctant but I started to take part in the activities. It was there I was able to ask a lot of questions and learn ways to become a better woman, as well as to live a life truly pleasing to God by being guided by the youth leaders!
I was encouraged to be different, being set apart from the crowd, and I am the person I am today and still on this beautiful journey. May God bless you reader and don’t forget you have nothing to lose and all to gain with God. Today I overcame my past and I am able to help other youth.
The life story displayed here is real and if you want to talk to us we are available from Monday to Sunday to talk to you. It is free and private. Contact us at:
Address: #25 Brazil Street opposite Derek Walcott Square
Phone Numbers: 730-4040/724-8041
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