Seaview Gardens, Storytelling

Seaview Gardens Jamaica: The Violence

ghetto life
ghetto life

Violence, is often a common reaction for people bred in a volatile community.

I am not used to it, nor am I trying to assimilate to such a culture.

The dictionary defines violence as “behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.”

When I moved to Seaview Gardens, I had preconceived notions of the place I was about to live in. TV scenes of the Tivoli Incursion was repeated on loop in my mind’s eye and I prayed to God that such would only be real in my overactive imagination.

In those early years, it was not as bad as I expected, but some did hold true. Like the incidents of violence that I witnessed.

The neighbors are a cantankerous bunch. There were many days when intense neighborhood quarrels and battles would occur with them at the start, middle and end of it. Every cuss word ever imagined has passed through my outer, middle and inner ear because of their diligent instruction.

The walls are thin, so even sibling rivalry was a showdown of epic proportions, with me a captive audience on the other side. On one occasion I swore a Spanish bull had let loose in the place. It sounded like thunder on roller skates, passing through every room and damaging everything in its path. You could hear bodies being scattered, children fleeing through the front door and blows being laid like cement blocks. By the next day, in sounded like plywood partitions were being installed and I suppose every man, woman and child got a private space for themselves; no matter how small.

Thank God, I think that helped. We all know that sharing tight spaces can cause frequent disagreements.

Sometimes, the children were akin to master extortioners who would make your life a living hell if you did not appease them.

“Mi tyad fi ask ppl to stop hitting the adjoining zinc on di roof.”

Fi months on end, dis was a cause of high blood pressure and immense frustration. Seeing dat dem always deh pan di roof a mek noise ova fi wi section. My poor mother, her high blood pressure was a concern and they were always an agitator.

I have had all manner of debris and missiles aimed at my window, wall, yard and car. One morning, upon finding metal wiring in my windscreen wipers, I felt the influence of those invisible demonic fiends stirring the rage within me. The act had intent to damage a million dollar piece of property, which I will be paying for till me have me picknie dem. *segway prophesying a little 😉 *

I already knew that nothing would be done for their punishment, but I made a complaint to the parents anyway. A total waste of time that was, because no reprimand or apologies were given. However, God was on the case.

Couple weeks later, I came home to see the child’s biological father disciplining his daughter. The bible says, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” – Proverbs 13:24.

She being a tomboy, had found her way up into the neighbor’s mango tree, again. He called her out and she got a lick for every second she delayed.  Its a pity, no one cared to discipline her differently before it got to this stage.

Peace was a myth when that household decided to work in league with every demon in hell that had dominion over Seaview Gardens. Only my prayers have helped me.

Thankfully, as the children grow older, their focus shifts to other things, like girlfriend boyfriend business.

I must say that regardless of my overwhelmingly bad experiences, it is not all bad.

I can step into Seaview Gardens at any hour. In the early days, I came home at 2:00 a.m. in awe. Ghetto people look out fi dem own. It is not like some residential communities where you know that the chances of someone lay waiting you, to rob or kill you are high.

I am holding out to experience more of the good and less of the bad….

 

Copyright © 2015, Denise N. Fyffe

About the writer:
Poetess Denise N. Fyffe has worked in Information Technology positions for fifteen years. She is also a trained counselor and teacher. Meeting the challenges of the recession head on, she transitioned into being a freelance writer.

She has published many books of  including

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