ROLE MODEL OF THE WEEK – DIANA BENSKIN, PUBLISHED WRITER AND POET LIVING IN NEW YORK

My name is Mrs Wavyne Diana Benskin Mcdonald, I was born in Trinidad of Barbadian Parents. I received my primary school education initially from Turner Hall elementary In Barabdos and subsequently, Fatima RC in Trinidad. I attended Curepe Junior Secondary and then went on to Graduatefrom St Augustine Girls High School.

My hobbies are writing, reading, jeopardy and travelling. I also love to karaoke and dance.

 

diane

I am a child who was abandoned by both her parents. My father abandoned my impregnated mother and married another woman, This action infuriated my mother who thought the best alternative was to abandon the image of the man who destroyed her emotionally that image was me
Call it fate or divine intervention, the powers that be steered me to a neighbouring island into the loving care of my Maternal Grandmother and maternal Uncle, whom i still to this day credit as being my true parents.
From an early age I was always interested in writing, I was encouraged by my maternal Uncle to always speak and write properly. Of great importance to him was diction , although he did not scoff upon the local dialect, i was discouraged from speaking it with him. A terrible tragedy that I endured at the age of 8 years old , was the catlyst that saw the removal from the care of my Uncle and grandmother back to the custody of my birth mother.
Initially , I was unaware as to who these people I was living with were. In her custody for 11 years I endured unspeakable, psychological,emotional,verbal and physical abuse from her and sexual abuse from her spouse I received no encouragment pertainig to my love of writing poetry, and was told that they are ramblings that no one would be interested in hearing. This discouraged me greatly as a teenager in the 70’s .

I almost perished once after being stabbed by her but was saved by one of my dearest friends Mrs Judith Byer.
After fleeing for my life and freedom from the hell I endured for 11 years , I returned to the island where My maternal relatives were. I longed to see my Grandmother especially. I reacclimated myself and used the time then as a springboard to pursue my true love Journalism.
I wanted to be a Journalist/ Television announcer, and with that dream in my heart I emmigrated to the USA and had begun studies but with no assistance from my biological father, i had to abandon my dream of becoming that Journalist. I also thought that the world would not be ready for an Afro Caribbean Woman with an accent on their TV. I chose Business Management studies instead.

I continued with my ramblings on paper initally in the absence of the computer , then with the birth of the various forms of Social Media, I began to share my ramblings with friends and relatives. To my amazement they were well received and this approval fueled the urge to compile an anthology. Spoken Words from the mouth of this Babe is the culmination of those ramblings. I currently contribute to The Australiatimes Poetry and my work has been perfromed at the California Wildsound Festival.

I have subsequently penned my life story “Per Ardua Ad Astra” Latin for Through difficluty to success,
The life story of One West Indian Girl. In my book i have attempted to chronicle the daily struggles I faced parrallel to the struggles of the world at large during that era.I have also attempted to remind readers of how simple yet content life was in the absence of digital media. I have also addressed the taboo in the Black community to address and embrace persons afflicted with mental diseases.

I was diagnosed with PTSD, and have received medical and spiritual counselling. Today I thrive because i did not prescribe to the taboo of Mental illness and got the help I needed.
I have also reitterate the importance of fathers in their childrens lives. Fortunate for me , I had many surrogate fathers, but, it was my biological fathers responsibility to love , care provide and protect me.
And so I am issuing a plea and warning to you fathers and fathers to be , abandoning your responsibility, tantamounts to pain, disrupted lives, fractured relationships with siblings and the opportunity to create lifelong pleasant memories with your offspring. A girl learns her self worth from her father, and how she should be treated by a man, your children are you legacy, treat them with respect and provoke them not into wrath.
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart, but I survived and with Gods Help I will continue to survive.

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