Tricia St John is a survivor. After being left for dead
following a chopping attack by her common-law husband, St
John has lived to tell the story.
Four years prior to the attack, St John left her lover.
In April 2004, he confronted her outside her sisters
home in Princes Town, where she was vacationing.
It was only when running to safety in a neighbours
yard that St John noticed her arm was spewing blood. Part
of it had been severed and tossed on the side of the road
as her attacker fled.
didnt actually know what had happened to me,
St John said.
was standing talking to someone on my cellphone when I felt
this burning sensation.
I turned around it was him, with a cutlass in his hand.
All I could do was run.
A stump now filled the space where her left arm once was.
The tumultuous years of abuse have made the 30-year-old
St John stronger, it seemed.
She tells the sordid details of her lifes journey
to conquer domestic violence in the book Before Me, After
Me, Now Me.
It was during her one-month stay at San Fernando General
Hospital that St John decided to write the book.
Compiling her years of abuse was necessary, she said. Some
women never get to tell their side of the story, she said,
because they are tortured and killed before they get a chance.
an ugly situation to be in, and worse things happen to people.
I have lived to tell my side of it, but many pass on and
no one knows what they have been through, she said.
St John recalled how scary it was when she saw herself in
the mirror for the first time after the incident.
She wrote about it in the book.
spent a lot of time avoiding looking in the mirror. I went
a morning to brush my teeth, looked up by accident and saw
myself staring back at me. It was a wonder anyone was able
to recognise me. I could hardly recognise myself!
held my hands up in amazement. First one, then the other.
Looking at the left one for the first time.
this really me? I resemble one of those war victims seen
on TV. This wasnt me, was it? Where did I go?
St John said Before Me, After Me, Now Me was also written
in memory of those who have lost their lives to domestic
violence and those who need support in getting out of abusive
For her, getting out of her bad relationship was difficult.
She admitted it was for the sake of her children that she
chose to endure the abuse.
father left when I was very young and I believed my sons
would be better off with both parents.
On a daily basis, before and after school, St Johns
children often witnessed the abuse of their mother.
One day St John couldnt take it anymore.
She packed some clothes in cardboard boxes and moved to
a shelter for battered women.
St John later discovered that she was pregnant. And even
though she was in a shelter, she was determined to make
it as a single mother.
In her book, St John also recounted the challenges she faced
of being a single parent.
On April 26, St John launched Before Me, After Me, Now Me,
at the Princes Town Public Library in the company of family
The book is available at all Ishmael Khan and Sons, RIK
and Metropolitan Bookstores, and Nigel R Khan Booksellers
Gulf City branch.