Amber was a happy young girl, always friendly and smiling. People always thought that she came out of a decent house with God-fearing people. On the surface, her home life looked perfect, but no one ever wondered why she was the way she was. Amber had been raped throughout her childhood.

She was the oldest of four children – two boys and two girls. Her mommy knew all about it but she never did anything to stop it. She never hugged her to tell her how proud she was of her or to let her know that everything was going to be OK.

Amber seemed happy every day but she just pretended to be – inside her heart was shattered. She didn’t feel that she had much of a heart left anymore. She felt alone and had to fight her demons on her own every night. She cried herself to sleep, praying to a God that she no longer believed in, but she needed something to hold on to. She believed that education was the only thing that could get her out of this house, where she was always told that she was nothing. Her family told her she was useless and that no-one would want her because she was damaged goods.

She couldn’t tell anyone because her family was very well known in the community. She did well in school and thought that no one would believe her anyway. When she came home with her report card at the end of the year she was excited because of how well she had done. She wanted to show her mom, but her mom tore up her report and said that that nonsense was not worth the paper it was written on. She kept her tears from falling because she refused to let her mom know that she had broken her spirit.

When her brothers and sisters came home with their reports, their mom smiled and laughed with them. She listened to this from her bedroom window. The pain she felt inside was so bad that she couldn’t breathe and she had to cut herself to feel some release. She often asked herself what she had done wrong for her own mother to hate her so much. Mothers were meant to be loving and caring. She vowed that she would be a loving and caring mom to her own children one day.

Many years passed but the situation remained the same. Her brothers and sisters had dropped out of school and she had gone on to matriculate, yet her mother still did not show any emotion towards her. One day she decided that she was going to take her life back. She felt that she owed it to herself. She got a job as a cleaner at a hospital and applied to study law. She also met a wonderful man who she married after getting her degree.

Today they have two beautiful daughters, they live in a lovely home and she treats her household with much love and respect, the love and respect that she never received. Her heart is overflowing with love, even though she never got it from her family back home.

Yet, all of her family is sitting at her long dining room table in her home. Her mother, stepfather, brothers and sisters are all sitting around her table eating the dinner that she prepared with love. She thinks to herself that even though none of them have ever said sorry or showed remorse, here they are all sitting like a happy family, but it didn’t matter because she forgave them. She decided that she was going to give nothing but love to each and every one of them.