Confession: My Hell Journey from Jamaica to America to Africa and Back

I used to hear about ‘America the Great Place’ and always wanted to experience there; well this is my true story about my journey there.
In the early 2000s, I was a 17-year-old young girl attending University and doing well on my career path.  I was beginning my second year when I came upon this dating site which piqued my interest.  There I met quite a few guys locally and internationally, but I only gave the ones from America my time because they are from the ‘great’ country.
There was this particular guy who I will call Mark, who had my complete interest.  Mark resided in the state of Massachusetts.  We would talk on the phone for long hours every night getting to know each other and we got very close.  We only talked at nights because he was busy during the days and said he wanted me to focus on my learning.  Mark would send me money via Western Union every week and that helped me a lot as I came from a poor family background.  Mark came to visit me in Jamaica where we finalized our relationship as a couple.  After returning home, we were still going strong; maybe even stronger.  He told me he wanted for me to go try getting a visa at the US Embassy.  I applied and was successful.  Mark told me that he wanted me there ASAP as he missed me very much.  He said he wanted me to come live with him there and I felt overjoyed as I would be going to the ‘Great America’.  I told my girlfriend (who was also attending the same University) about the grand opportunity and she told me that she did not think I should go; she said I should finish my studies and get to know this guy more.  I stopped being friends with her because I thought she was jealous of my happiness.  I told my mother about the opportunity and she was elated.
In March of the following year, Mark sent me the money to purchase my ticket and I had butterflies in my head because I would be going to live (run-off) with my boo.  Mark gave me a lady’s name to put on the form that I should say I would be visiting but the address was in Connecticut.  He even told me what to say upon arrival at the airport.  I did not understand at that time to know the difference, I was just so excited to go.
The day finally came and I kissed my mother goodbye and she told me that I should go and make her proud.  I took two flights, one from Kingston to JFK New York then a connecting one to Bradley International Airport.  When I went outside I say my boo Mark standing and waiting for me with a bouquet of flowers.   I had to close and reopen my eyes because I thought this was a dream.  I could not believe I was really in the ‘Great America’ with someone I love.
We drove to a tall building in Massachusetts, where he said that  we would be staying until his house was finished refurbishing.  It was like a 5 storey building that had many doors.  He said this was an apartment complex.  Now even though I came from a poor background, my home never looked this dirty and unkempt.  The floors were dirty, the walls needed repainting and the place smelled funky.  We took the stairs going down to what he said was the basement.  It was like a studio apartment with everything in one.  There was a little bed, a two- burner stove and a refrigerator.  He kissed me and told me to make myself comfortable and he would see me in the morning.  I was disappointed because I thought we would spend our first night together making love.  He said he had to go on an emergency job so I just said ok.  Instead of sleeping early, I got to cleaning the little space.  While there sleeping, I heard sounds like gunshots and jumped under the bed as I was so scared.  When he came in the morning with breakfast, I told him and he said that is fine, in this area there is a lot of that but it won’t trouble me.
I was there for a month, but Mark had never spent the night with me.  He would stay for some time, then leave; he said he was working on fixing the place quickly.  I was beginning to miss home and asked him for a phone so I could contact my mother and he would always say he would get me one soon.  I could only contact my mom from his small phone (burner).  I became very bored as I was always in that little space.
One day I decided to go for a walk and met this lady (who I will call Stacy).  I would hide and talk to her because Mark warned me not to talk to no one there.  She made me know that the building I live is called a ‘project’ and that this area is a ghetto in Springfield.  She would pay me to braid her and her friends’ hairs and I would hide away the money.  Mark started coming by less and I was starting to get worried.  I would tell Stacy about thinking something was off with Mark and she said she would help me to figure it out.
One morning Mark came by with groceries and said he had to leave.  Stacy and I decided she would drive her car to follow him.  Mark went to this nice two-storey house in a beautiful community in Forest Park; from I left Jamaica, this was the first I saw somewhere this nice and clean.  I was there feeling good because this was the home he was fixing for us.  We watched him open the door and this gorgeous looking lady clad in lingerie and a married ring came out and they kissed passionately.  What did I just witnessed, was that really my Mark kissing that woman?  The tears were flowing so much that I just ran out the car and banged on the door.  When he saw me, it was like he saw a ghost.  I asked him what was happening and he said he would talk to me later.  I heard the lady asking if everything was ok there and he told her it was the wrong door and closed it.  Stacy helped me back in the car and I went home waiting for him to come tell me this was all a dream.
He came in the night as usual and before I could even say anything, he slapped me in my face and asked how dare I show up at his home.  That night I really wished I had followed my friend’s advice.  Mark abused me sexually, verbally and emotionally that night.  He told me he was sparing me, but as of the next day I will be on my own or work at his strip club.  He searched my belongings and took away all my little money I had saved up. When Stacy saw who Mark was she said she will have to stay away from me because he is a dangerous man.  I had no family, no one in this strange place.  He came back the morning and literally dragged me out the little space.  I cried so hard and did not know what to do.   I borrowed a phone and called Stacy and she gave me $1000 and told me to get away to a different city.  I did just that.
Being illegal in that country, I could not get no job.  The money Stacy gave me finally dwindled down and she stopped taking my calls.  I had to now sleep in an alley wrapped up in blanket.  I was now on the streets of Boston with nowhere to go and no one to call upon.  It was a game of hide and seek; hiding from the different pimps you would see prostituting young girls. I would go to different restaurant bathrooms to handle my hygiene as best as I could.  For me, it was just being there until death comes.
I went into a store to steal food as usual when this man came up to me and offered to pay for what I stole. His accent was African.  He paid and asked where I lived and I told him I would be ok.  I didn’t know he was watching me going back to my little shack in the alley.  He came to me and told me he wanted to help me.  At that point I was glad to be leaving that alley.  He brought me to a hotel where he paid up for a month, brought me shopping for clean clothes and food items.  I was so grateful for this relief.  He would visit me everyday and we got close.  I told him about my prior situation and he promised that he would help me get better.  He moved me in at his apartment where we became intimate and was living ok.  He made me start school and promised to marry me so I could make myself legal.  I cleaned up well and was doing ok in school. He introduced me to his parents and we got married at the courthouse.  We relocated to New York as I wanted to be nowhere near my past drama. Things worked out well and I got legal in less than two years.  I was happy and could now start enjoying the ‘Great America’.
We went to Nigeria to stay for sometime and did an official wedding.  Nigeria was such a beautiful and wealthy place.  We were treated like royalties and I could not believe my luck.  The night of that wedding, I got my first dose of abuse from my husband.   He beat me because he said I hugged a guy at the wedding.   He told me he was sorry and it was jealousy and it will not happen again.  What was supposed to be one beating turned into many; beating then apologies. I reached out to his mother and she told me that he was in the army and have anger problems.  I found out I was pregnant and wanted to surprise him, but he didn’t come home the night.  When he came in the morning smelling of liquor, I asked him about his whereabouts and that man handled me like a football.  I ended up in the hospital where I had a miscarriage.  He wept so bad and begged me not to report him.
At that point I decided that I have to get away from all this mess and find my way home.  We went back home to New York where I played the perfect housewife while stealing his money because he did not want me to work. I would do as he said just not to get on his wrong side.  I had my plans in action so when I had enough money, I waited until he left for a business trip and made my run.  I packed only my important things and took a taxi to JFK Airport and booked my flight to Kingston, Jamaica.  When the plane landed, I breathe a sigh of relief.
I went back to my mother’s house where she welcomed me with tears and her shoulder.  It was such an emotional time.   We spent the entire week just pouring out all the hell I went through.  Her words to me was “my daughter, you will be fine, you will reap double for all your troubles”.  I did not try reaching out to my husband; I erased him from my headspace.  I got a job and went back to University.  I divorced my husband through his parents in Nigeria.  I am now in a good job and living an ok life.  I am able to travel to the US, but that is it for me.
I made a great mistake which I paid for dearly and I want to encourage someone today that not everything you hear is true; the struggles in the ‘Great America’ are real.
Anonymous

1 thought on “Confession: My Hell Journey from Jamaica to America to Africa and Back”

  1. It’s sad a lot of girls end up in this situation ,but it’s good you came out of it alive, and yard away refuse no one.

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