Jillian Haslam
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More Excerpts


Months before the festival, they would fill water balloons with coloured water and fling them at us, with balloons bursting on our chests, heads, backsides, and faces
– Chapter 10


Frightening us to a degree that is virtually impossible to describe, the detonation they made was unbelievably dramatic, especially within a confined space such as the narrow lane, which was less than three feet wide
– Chapter 10

Those were very, very hard times. The lewd bullies carried on for years on end. They didn’t care if there was a dying child in the house or a two year old who was traumatised by the bombing or even my Dad who was a heart patient. They had no feelings for any of us
– Chapter 10


We really couldn’t fight back. How could we? Due to our desperate circumstances and our crippling poverty we were prisoners in the country we lived in and it was more than traumatic
– Chapter 10


We hardly had any clothes, and sometimes just longed for a toy to play with, or a good meal. We were all of this. But there was something we were not. We were positively not sluts or prostitutes as we were being branded as
– Chapter 11


Irrespective of any understanding of us as human beings, who loved them very much and just wanted to be loved in return. To them we were still Sluts or white trash
– Chapter 11


People just left lying on stretchers everywhere; Staff not able to cope with the volume of sick people; Women screaming and crying, bashing their heads against the walls due to loved ones just having passed away; Children crying and going to toilet behind pillars or on paper everywhere
– Chapter 12


The scene was one of the most depressing ones I have ever had to visit but human endurance is such that when a loved one’s life depends on it, all else is forgotten
– Chapter 12


We existed in that putrid atmosphere, facing death and the reality of life every day, where we were exposed to the true side of a human being under immense pressure
– Chapter 12


So if my husband ever asked to leave work on time or for a rare day off, I remember his Manager, who constantly provoked him by saying that all he wanted to do was to see the ‘Slut’, meaning me
– Chapter 13


I desperately longed for a few days of happiness, a few days of rest, which I never seemed able to find. It was desperation; frustration, anger, sadness and you name it. Emotions ran high without knowing whether to leave or stay, give-in or give-up
– Chapter 14


Sometimes I literally felt that I had a life in my hands and was dicing with death each and every day, while at the same time my life was slipping by faster than I knew
Chapter 14


I started to study and as they say learning is not for information but for transformation. I changed my thought process from one of a suicidal wreck to a person who believed that nothing could stop them. I wasn’t going to let go that easily
– Chapter 14


I had come too far to allow his or someone else’s words to make or break me, instead, there is greatness in forgiveness if only you can get yourself to the point to forgive anyone irrespective of their words or actions and look for the good instead, there is always something there to find
– Chapter 15


When you live not knowing if you’ll make it through to the next day because of hunger and starvation, you then understand the value of survival and life itself. The bond to save another sibling at any cost, even though you have nothing to offer, except the heart and intense hope to not let someone you love die
– Chapter 15


How one sweet or one biscuit can feel when you’re starving is impossible to understand for someone who has never had to starve or to someone who can afford to buy dozens of different types of biscuits or sweets
– Chapter 16


After all if I could change my life from living under the stairs with no hope at all to becoming an Entrepreneur - An author, A motivational speaker and running my own business whilst living the life of my dreams by being able to help others, there is no reason why anyone cannot do the same
– Chapter 16











Jill's family photos