On this page you will find all the information related to Christine Clayfield and her novel No Fourth River.This page is divided into 5 sections: Contact Info, Book Info, Photos, Book Trailer & Possible Interview Questions and Book Themes.
Christine Clayfield is a mother, wife, author and entrepreneur.
She likes to look at the glass as half full and she thinks like there is no box.
When she is not working, she will probably be travelling, reading, watching a good movie or dining.
Christine has achieved recognition as a Bestselling Author for one of her Internet marketing books. She has written 6 books: 1 novel (her own life story) and 5 Internet marketing related books.
Christine’s past holds much pain and abuse, but it did not stop her from being the woman she is today by transforming her life and building the future she wanted.
With several successful businesses under her belt, Christine decided to become an author. She wants to empower and inspire the world with the release of “No Fourth River”, a novel, based on a true story: her own life.
Life was certainly no easy ride for her. To say she had a hard life as a child and a young adult, is an understatement. ‘No Fourth River’, is her way to let the world know that despite the pain of your past, YOU have the ability to change your future. YOU can make it happen if you just believe. It all starts with YOU.
Christine loves writing books and helping others to achieve business success! She has helped countless people to get to grips with making money online.
Christine Clayfield is an Author, Internet marketer, Entrepreneur, Infopreneur and Public Speaker. She is the author of:
- – From Newbie To Millionaire
- – Drop Shipping and eCommerce. What You Need And Where To Get it
- – Finding Niches Made Easy
- – Design Free Websites
- – Work From Home Ideas
- – No Fourth River
You can find her author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Clayfield/e/B00J23SVN4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1529140693&sr=1-1
She donates monthly to the NSPCC “National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children” because she has experienced how hard it is to grow up as a child without love or affection and how tough it is to continually and consistently being abused and bullied.
Christine explains why she wrote her novel, No Fourth River:
I don’t usually share my story with others. However, sometimes when I unintentionally mention things from my past, people are intrigued. They want to know more about my life. I’ve often been told that I should write a book because my struggles would resonate with others and my life story could be an inspiration. I’ve listened; I’ve written my book. I hope you enjoy it!
I truly believe that despite the pain of your past, you have the ability to change your future. You can make it happen if you just believe. It all starts with you.
Sometimes the people that we love can become cages, trapping us in a life that we don’t recognize or accept. Throughout my life, I have developed strength of character—a real determination that has seen me through some dark and abysmal times. This is the purpose of telling my story—I want to help you to discover your strength. I lived on the other side for a very long time. The other side of happiness.
They say that your youngest years are also your longest; you are too new to realize the relentless pace of the world. I was trapped there in my childhood and my youth, absorbing the pain of my circumstances in slow motion.
For too many years, I lived in utter misery because of my cruel dad, that evil boarding school and my slavemaster husband.
It was as if I had my face pressed against the window of a bakery but I was never allowed inside. Sure, I knew what the delights inside looked like but the taste, the smell, and the rapture of them were lost on me. Happiness was something that belonged to other people. They wore it so lightly, so naturally, that it became a source of confusion for me growing up.
I learned the wrong kinds of lessons. You know, the ones that keep you trapped inside misery forever. I just didn’t know any better. My normal was on the other side of living—it was coping. It took faith beyond reason to jar me out of that life but I found a way to cross over to the other side.
After endless torment, I made a promise to myself: No more. It was time to build the life I desired. I made a plan to change my world.
To say that writing this book has been an emotional experience would be an understatement. I had deliberately buried any memory of my youth because it became too painful to recollect. To write this book, I had to uncover my pain and dig up those memories that were long since put to rest.
In fact, I grew so disconnected from my feelings about my past, it was as if every bad memory I had was automatically locked away in order to protect myself from random recollections. Despite my efforts over the years to keep things buried, writing this book has uncovered these recollections and raw emotions, which now feel like fresh memories burnt into place.
Painful experiences can completely disconnect you from your feelings and the person you truly are, and worst of all, neglect your most crucial needs. I was there. I was at rock bottom and deeply ashamed of the choices I had made. I had to try to find a way to reconnect with myself.
I want to share my story to help others who feel as I did—ashamed, alone, sad and hopeless. Join me on this journey through my life’s struggles. As you join me in this personal memoir, a retelling of my crossing, I want you to hold a thought in mind. If life has kept you shut out of its joys and pleasures, I want to charge you with a single idea: if I could find my way through the bakery door, then you most certainly can too.
As you read my story, I hope you find your own inner strength to escape the prisons erected around you in your life.
I hope you will enjoy reading it.
All the best,
The blurb on the back of the book:
Electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery… just another day in Christine’s life.
Take a heart-wrenching yet inspiring ride through one woman’s incredible journey that is so compelling that you are simultaneously trying to look away and unable to stop yourself from reading on.
Christine’s father is a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. At the age of just five, little Christine is cast aside into a boarding school where she is ridiculed for two embarrassing problems. She grows up in a never-ending circle of traumatic experiences both in her boarding school and at home. It culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, leading her into a world of promiscuity and alcohol, eventually landing her in a violent marriage.
Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery. Will her plan work?
A story that asks: How do you find the strength, when you suffer almost unbearable abuse and are broken beyond repair, to pick up the pieces of a shattered life?
Please visit http://nofourthriver.com/reviews for a selection of reviews.
Below are a few extracts from different chapters in the book
Growing Up, Down
We were all survivors, programmed from the very start of life to tiptoe around the pillar of fury that was my father. My mother used to tell me that before he became successful in the diamond industry, he didn’t touch alcohol. Alcohol did not excuse who my father was to me and to his family.
He was the kind of man who would strip his children of all self-esteem, then blame us when we could not perform. He delighted in mental harassment and physical beatings.
He was a chain-smoking, whisky-swilling king of the diamond trade. A tyrant to his children.
My brothers and I learned all about the dark, solitary places of our house. At five, I remember hearing noises from behind the cellar door one morning, so I investigated, only to find my brother Oliver huddled in the corner on the cold stone floor, throwing rocks at the wall. My father had sent him there the night before, without supper.
“Oliver, you okay?” I screeched, taking note of his wide, round eyes. They were full of fear and something else…shame.
It was dirty in the cellar and the stone was so cold that the air coming up from the bottom felt like a wave of freezing mist.
He was trapped down there, alone in a frozen ocean of stone, framed by the light coming from my open door.
“Shh, dad might hear,” he called up to me.
“He’s not home.” I sniffled at the weakness and helplessness of my words. I wanted to help him but I couldn’t. It was against the rules.
“What happened?” At least I could give him some company.
“I’m not allowed to grow my hair. Dad told me to cut it, and I told him I wanted to keep it long.” A slight hint of anger lined his voice.
I would not understand that feeling until I was much older.
“Oh. You look cold.”
“I am cold.”
“Should I bring you a blanket?” I noticed there wasn’t so much as a towel on the floor where he sat.
“Better not. I’ll be fine. You go upstairs and play.” He turned his face into the darkness of the cellar. I obeyed and gently shut the door on my brother and walked to the lounge, where my other brothers were. Oliver was not allowed out of the cellar for four days over a long weekend.
Mum brought him a plate of food, once a day. There was no washroom, and he would do his nature calls in a plastic pot with a lid on that mum had to clean every day.
Oliver seemed resolutely quiet, as if his isolation was something to be taken seriously or a vital lesson might be missed. I was very sad about Oliver being in the cellar and didn’t quite know what to do with my feelings.
The emotional impact of being separated from my family at the age of five was shocking and I didn’t quite know what to do with my feelings.
Being “dumped” in a boarding school ended up defining me, and my ability to cope with it.
A nun took me to a huge room with 50 other beds in it lined up against the walls with a wardrobe next to each bed and a trunk at the end of each bed. My cold, metal bed was the second to last one in the line, number 49. I was introduced to the nun in charge of my dormitory, Sister Henrietta. Her round glasses perched on the tip of her nose, too close to her perpetually scowling mouth.
Sister Henrietta loved her rules. The moment I met her she began firing them off at me, one after the other, warning me at the same time that I had better remember each one for my own good or there will be punishments.
“This is your bed. Bed 49. You will make your bed at 5:25 sharp every morning before church. If your bed is not made correctly, you will be punished.”
For the first few years in boarding school, I cried every day, begging the nuns to send me home. “I want my mummy! I want my daddy!” I cried, heaped against the wall at break time while the other kids played and enjoyed the sun.
“Your mum and dad don’t want you at home, child. That’s why you are here. Cry all you want; no one is coming to get you.” the nuns would tell me. It didn’t stop the tears for a very long time.
Crying became the only way I could function through my early studies. There was so much trapped pain and misery that it had to go somewhere. I kept asking to be sent home during classes but I always got the same reply.
The Red Door
I channeled a lot of my anger and my rebellion into those nights at the bar; I did a lot of things I later regretted. At the time however, it made me happy to get out there and flirt with a bar full of people. I was even happy to have sex with the men around me as long as it made me popular.
I was so desperate for human approval and affection, that I had no idea that what I was doing was wrong, nor did I have any interest in right and wrong. I didn’t understand the kind of reputation I was building for myself or the kind of life I was setting myself up for. I was just having fun—for the first time in my life.
Dirty, alcohol-fueled, self-hating fun.
Men from the bar started to take me to their homes but it was never a satisfying experience for me.
The entire time this was going on, never once did I orgasm. I had no concept that I even could, and I wasn’t having sex for my physical pleasure. It was my aim to please the men, nothing else!
I wanted to do things to them that they liked, so they would like me for it. I wanted them to like me. Most of the time the sex was so quick that it was over before I was ever aroused and the alcohol dulled my senses anyway.
I was a messed-up kid looking for approval and love in broken places and anyone who interfered was my enemy.
The Tiny Dirty Room
I walked for what seemed like hours, wandering from house to house trying to find a pub friend who could help me. I begged them to help me. All of them. They all said no; one after another they closed the door in my face, like I was a door-to-door salesman. That was when I realized I was well and truly alone.
Friendless and penniless, my feet took me to a familiar place: the bar I had been frequenting over the last few years. Surely, someone would help me get on my feet. I pushed open the red padded door and stepped into my favorite party joint in the village. With nothing but a little bag of personal items with me, I felt foolish for not taking anything of real value.
“Hi, Mike, is Janine in?”
Saddling up to the bar, I waited for the barman to call Janine, the fiery-haired manager of the place. I had spent many evenings drinking with her and felt like she might give me a job if I asked, as she knew I would draw in the boys to her pub.
Janine sidled over from a back room, wearing blue cleaning gloves. I explained my situation to her.
“I need a place to stay for a while, until I can figure things out. Please let me stay here. I’ll work to cover the rent,” I said, wearing my sincerest face.
She considered me and then said, “Follow me. If you can live in here, you can stay. I could use a good cleaning woman.”
Janine led me upstairs to a small, dark room cluttered with mops, buckets, empty bottles and other junk.
“Start by cleaning this room. This is where you sleep.” I thanked her and did as I was told. The room was positively filthy and much smaller than I had hoped once all the stuff had been moved out of it. The windowless room was cold and dark. It stank of old cigarettes and spilled booze, and some of the stickiness would not come off the walls.
One single, bare, flickering bulb hung from the ceiling. So this was the place that would be better than home, this tiny, dirty, filthy room. I settled in as best I could. A man I met at the bar gave me a second-hand mattress, and I used the bar toilets.
An old tin bucket became my bath, and I had to hand wash myself with water fetched from the sinks in the toilet rooms each morning. It was no hotel, but I was free.
After just 2 days working as a cleaner, Janine told me to serve drinks. She told me that her customers liked me, males and females; she thought I would attract extra customers to her pub.
A week into my new life at the pub and I was drinking like there was no tomorrow. I found the only way I could sleep in that place was to be drunk.
Even though I lived in impossibly dirty surroundings, in constant contact with men that wanted to take advantage of me, I was free—free from fear, free from violence, and free from being told how useless I was.
No Longer a Daughter
Marriage did change Harry but not in a good way. He immediately became nastier and more violent than ever before.
Low on money, we had booked a two-week stay in a two-star hotel in Spain for our honeymoon, which was all we could afford. We drove to Spain by car, as we couldn’t afford to fly.
I sensed something was off when we arrived at the hotel that first day.
Everything would have been wonderful but Harry’s mood was off. He started drinking heavily and did not stop.
I was lying by the pool in my bikini, Harry was helping himself to cocktails directly next to the hotel bar, where he decided we should sit. It was a muggy, sticky day—the kind you had to enjoy with liberal dips in the swimming pool to stay cool.
I laid on a deck chair with my sunglasses on and my straw hat shading my face as the sun baked my skin. Harry settled on a chair next to me, turned, and with the straw still in his mouth blurted out, “Now that your dad’s dead, you can ask your mum for money so that I can start a garage.” I looked at him through my sunglasses, faintly outraged that he was so crass about what he wanted. Harry had always wanted to own a garage where he could repair people’s cars.
“I can’t do that,” I replied offhand, “and I wouldn’t want to do that. We should both work and save up our own money if you want to start a garage.” I watched as Harry’s jaw clenched around the straw and he drained his fresh cocktail.
“Okay, I’ve had enough of the sun—let’s go and get a drink and relax in our hotel bedroom.”
I had been laying in the sun for long enough, so I was also ready to go inside. I thought that what Harry had said to me was just him taking a chance and didn’t consider it again.
We lazily ordered another round of drinks and made our way down the white passages into our bedroom—a small room with a bed, a table, a bathroom and a television. The moment Harry shut the door behind me, I was overcome with a sense of dread.
“Now that your dad is dead, you can ask your mum for money so that I can start a garage.” He opened up again, in a sturdy and angry voice. He stood tall, both arms over his chest.
“Harry, I just told you I don’t want to do that,” I reiterated, growing more fearful. Harry moved to the door, locked it and pocketed the key.
“I am telling you, you useless bitch, that you will ask your mum.” He looked at me, his cruel eyes filled with hate. Then he pointed his finger at me and marched towards me.
I was cornered. I shook my head and stepped back, but he seemed to grow in size and fury at the sight.
He grabbed my arm and pulled me down onto the bed, raising his hand. “I’ll beat you if you don’t ask her, Christine.”
He had never struck me before, so I pushed my luck. The threatening hand came down onto my head and face with the force of a mallet. The next ones were not slaps but hard follow-up punches in my stomach. He grabbed me by my shoulders. I struggled against him but I couldn’t break free; he was too strong. The pain shot through me, and I was winded. I rolled off the bed and hit the floor, wide eyed and terrified.
“You will ask.” He raised his fist and towered over me. “No, no, no,” I gasped, writhing breathlessly on the floor in pain. He hit me and kicked me—connecting with my stomach, my arms, my chest, my legs and my back. My mouth was wet with the taste of blood, my head was pounding. I was dizzy. He meant to hurt me badly. I curled up into a ball and held my hands over my head as blow after blow stole my breath.
Then he stopped and stormed out of the room. I tried to be brave but was soon overcome by a wave of my emotions and I broke down. Hugging my knees in my chest, I rocked back and forth, shivering in disbelief. It was my first real beating from my husband Harry.
I agreed to marry him because he didn’t hit me and I hoped he would change. My belief in him not hitting me was now shattered. I realized what an enormous mistake I had made by marrying him.
I sat there, humiliated and wretched on the floor for what seemed like hours. I was in pain and felt lower than the lowest insect and had no idea what to do. So, I did what I had done for most of my life and cried myself to sleep. He did not come back that evening.
I woke in agony with dark bruises covering my arms, my legs and much of my body. Later that morning, Harry gingerly walked through the door, puffy eyed and somber. He collapsed on the floor at my feet, begging for my forgiveness.
He begged me not to tell anyone, because he loved me and would never do it again. He’d been drunk.
No Fourth River is available in these book formats: Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook.
TITLE: No Fourth River
AUTHOR: Christine Clayfield
PUBLISHER: RASC Publishing
DATE OF PUBLICATION: November 20, 2017
SIZE: 5 X 8″
RETAIL PRICE: Paperback £10/ $14.97 (price can vary)
RETAIL PRICE: £5.97 / $8.43 (price can vary)
Click on the photographs. Then Right Click and choose “Save as” to download to your computer.
BOOK COVER, BOOK PHOTOS & BANNERS
Christine Clayfield with mum, aged 3
Christine Clayfield aged 5, after the nuns cut her hair
“They called me “Number 49,” they took away my clothes as I had to wear a uniform, and they also cut my fringe. I was robbed of my own identity. It’s rather difficult at such a young age to cope with that.” (see page 29)
Christine Clayfield aged 6, first communion
Christine Clayfield aged 10
Christine’s neck, where you can see the bruises her abusive husband left after one of his violent attacks.
Christine’s course work for her diploma in accountancy that her husband threw in the fire.
“I’m sick of your stupid classes,” he announced. “I’ll decide what you turn in, and what you’ll turn in now is nothing.” I felt helpless and hopeless as he threw all of my course work into the open fire. All my hard work was mere ashes in seconds.” (page 142)
ACHIEVEMENTS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
When Christine woke up from her coma, she decided to transform her life.
“I had to find a way to overcome my fears and move forward with my life. I had to cross over to the other side. I needed to find the courage to rebuild a meaningful life and change the course of my life forever. I was going to meet my fears with the same resistance that a rock shows the wind. I promised myself nothing was ever going to be the same again.
Harry had done enough damage to kill me and yet, I was alive. This was my rock bottom. I kept telling myself I was lucky to be alive. I had big plans for a new life. I felt broken beyond repair because of all the abuse I had endured but I told myself I was going to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. It was the end of my life as I knew it.” (see page 159)
“The feeling of achievement rested in my bones and I was obsessed with finding more of it.” (see page 170)
“After my victories in sport, I knew that I was unstoppable. Anything I decided to do could be done, and I was going to make sure that the world knew that. I started putting some serious thought into my future and what I wanted.
When I was practising to compete in the triathlon, I had to constantly tell myself, “Keep going, keep going, and you’ll get there.” I was going to apply these exact principles in my business life as well. I was going to work until I made it.” (page 174)
A small selection of Christine’s trophies from her swimming and triathlon competitions – 1985 – 1986
Christine receiving her 1st triathlon trophy, winning 1st place – 1985
Christine as a young female entrepreneur in the 1980s
Christine’s first plunge into the business world by opening her Apple dealership showroom in 1987 (see pages 174-177)
Christine giving the opening speech for her Acer wholesale distribution company – 1989. (see pages 217-219 in ‘No Fourth River’)
Christine took a big financial leap and invested in a large stand at a major computer exhibition – 1989 (see pages 217-219 in ‘No Fourth River’)
Christine was doing business deals on the phone on her wedding day to her second husband. Her husband loved it and said: “That’s my Christine” – 1991
Christine giving speeches and presentations.
Christine’s favourite business quotes:
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” -Napoleon Hill”
“Never, never, never give up” -Winston Churchill
“No Bees No Honey – No Work No Money”
“Focus on Your Focus” -Christine Clayfield
“Excuses are your limitations” -Christine Clayfield
“Put yourself in your customer’s shoes”
“Being off target is never the target’s fault”
Christine’s Story (35sec)
Trailer 1 (35sec)
Trailer 2 (47sec)
Possible Interview Questions & Book Themes
No Fourth River
What prompted you to write this book?
In your novel ‘No Fourth River’ you don’t hold back, you share your experiences, the choices you made, the good and bad ones. Are you worried about what people will think?
What was the reaction you received when people you know read your novel?
What message do you want to send with your story?
What would you like someone who read your book to do?
Who do you want to read this book?/Who is your book for?
You’ve had quite an eventful life. Who are you now?
How have your experiences changed/ shaped you?
If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
Did you ever have any counselling sessions as a child or an adult to help you work through your past?
Your novel ‘No Fourth River’ relates your own experience of domestic violence. What would you say to someone who is in the same situation right now?
What do you think is the single most important factor that stops a domestic violence victim from reaching out/ leaving or getting help?
What should people close to a domestic violence victim be on the lookout for?
Why do you think many people stay with their violent partner instead of leaving them?
Do you think that if you hit your first husband back the first time he hit you, he would have hit you a second time?
What are the factors that lead to a violent marriage/ domestic violence?
When did you first think, ‘I’ve got to leave him’?
What was the deciding factor for you to leave him?
From then, how long did it take you to leave him?
Where did you find the strength to leave him?
Was there any point that you thought, ‘I’m going back’?
Who did you turn to for support, during your marriage?
Who did you turn to for support after your marriage?
Who do you suggest victims turn to for support?
What are the questions you get asked most often about your experience/ violent marriage?
How do you find people react when they learn about your violent marriage and what you’ve been through?
How does your parenting style differ from that of your parents?
What are your feelings for your parents now?
Do your experiences make you a better parent? How?
What would you say to others who have had a similar childhood to yours?
Do you think that parenting in the 1980s and parenting now, in the 21st century has changed? Do parents need to do things differently?
You have spent your parenting years building your business. There are a lot of working parents who face the challenges of juggling work and family, how did you do it?
What would be your advice to these parents?
What are the challenges that working mothers face when it comes to raising a family?
Adolescence and bad choices
You’ve had a tumultuous adolescence, what is the impact this has had on your life?
What would you tell your teenage self, if you could reach back in time?
What was the worst thing you did/happened during your adolescence? Do you think this could have been avoided?
What would have helped you during these teen years?
What support do you think teens need?
As someone whose teenage years are the stuff of parents’ nightmares and a mother who has seen her children through their teenage years, what advice would you give other parents?
You had no money when you started your first business. How did you manage to grow the business into a big and successful company?
Are you still an entrepreneur? What do you do now?
How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
Is it easy for someone to start their own business?
What are the challenges that one can face?
Where do you recommend someone start when they decide to start their own business?
What makes you successful as an entrepreneur?
You say you are a serial entrepreneur, what was your favourite venture?
Christine’s first marriage was a violent one that saw her beaten into a coma and left her fighting for her life.
Looking back, Christine’s violent marriage was a natural progression from her abusive childhood and wild adolescence.
Starved of loved, Christine fell into the arms of the first one who showed her some love and offered some longevity and commitment to their relationship.
Because she was used to her relationship with others being abusive and selfish, the violence of her marriage was normal to her.
Christine suffered through various humiliation, both in private and in public by her husband.
Example from No Fourth River:
He regularly took Christine’s car home while she was having classes in evening school out of malice. The first time Christine called the police and reported her car stolen, after that, she just took the train home.
Harry, Christine’s first husband was the typical abuser, he was a master at belittling and undermining his wife’s confidence.
Although he wanted money, he was against the concept of working for his money. He wanted easy money, money he did not have to work for, money given to him in a lump sum, from his wife’s diamond magnate father.
He resented his wife’s ambition and willingness to better herself, to learn and to gain the skills needed to earn her living and to better their lives.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
‘My earliest idea of love and marriage came from my parents, and that meant I thought of the whole thing as something of a misery—an enslavement of sorts.’
‘We started arguing and fighting all the time but each time it would get bad, he would apologize. Harry was a master at apologies and I always believed him.I wanted things to get better.’
‘Despite his apologies, his drinking and penchant for humiliating me became worse and worse the longer we lived together. He hated that I earned more money than he did. He simply could not cope with that at all.’
‘He came from a lower social background and his parents were on benefits. He couldn’t stand that I found a job, that I was more successful than him.’
‘…as someone who grew up being abused, I just wasn’t shocked by his behaviour.’
‘He said he loved me. I made excuses for him and believed I could change him.’
‘When he wanted sex, I agreed- whether or not I wanted it. Not that he really asked. It would be more accurate to say I complied without fighting back.’
‘You never think of the person you grew to love for what they do but for what you think they are- and perhaps that was my biggest downfall’
‘My main problem was not that Harry was abusive and violent; it was that I was too afraid and full of self-doubt to leave him. Loneliness is the cruellest of all emotions and I avoided it to the brink of my own death.’
‘I was the first woman in Belgium ever to have to pay alimony, so my lawyer told me.’
Christine’s family was a typical 1960 family, with Mum taking care of the house and kids while Dad was the sole breadwinner. But this family was not the typical loving family where the children are loved and supported and mum and dad love and support each other.
Extract from No Fourth River:
‘Fear was the first emotion any of us ever learned.’ while most young children are given lots of love and made to feel safe.
Christine’s father was a domineering, strict and selfish character who ruled the roost with a firm hand.
Extract from No Fourth River:
‘Everything had its place- and the children were no exception.’
Although he came from a modest background as a mechanic, Christine’s father made his fortune in the diamond industry. He was one of the few De Beers sightholders. He was a rich man but never gave his five children much. When he died, one of his children took over the business and kept most of the money for himself.
He constantly reminded his wife and children of his position, he was the one in charge and he particularly delighted in reminding everyone that he was superior, he was successful and he knew best.
His constant reminder to his children was that if they don’t follow his rules, they won’t do well.
Dad took reprimanding and disciplining his children too far. He was physically as well as verbally abusive.
He punished his children with long hours, often days of isolation, withholding meals, painful stress positions and physical blows. One of his favourite punishments was to make the children trim the grass or hedges with a blunt knife.
The family took care to stay out of Dad’s way. ‘My father was the hunter and we were his defenceless prey’.
Christine fell out with her father when she left home, and the two never reconciled.
Christine’s mother was the only female role model Christine had for a long time. Starla Lemmens was fearful of her husband and she was not exempt from his cruel words, physical blows or punishments.
She had four children in four years and had trouble coping and keeping her children safe. Christine ended up with a disfiguring injury that marked her for life.
Extract from No Fourth River:
‘She would regularly let things happen to us, preferring a distant style of parenting that led to a lot of wounds, scars, and burns.’
Christine’s relationship with her mother improved as the two got closer after the death of Christine’s father and after Christine ended her first marriage.
Christine’s looked after her mother, during the last year of her life, until she passed away. (see photos in the photo section)
Breaking the cycle of abuse
Christine parenting style differed wildly from that of her parents. From her own hands-on experiences, she knew how disastrous the effect that lack of support, love and understanding can have on one’s life.
She endeavoured to provide love and security to her twin daughters, making up for what she lacked during her own upbringing.
Due to her own past, Christine was anxious when her daughters hit their teenage years. She was a strict but loving parent. However, she had to find the right balance of giving her daughters advice and letting them find their own path.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
‘I found myself getting too strict with them. The more they pushed for new freedoms, the tighter I clung to them in fear of what mistakes they might make. I worried, though, that I was starting to make the same mistakes as my dad. He’d been right about the people I was mixing with, but he had failed to explain it to me, and I just thought he was cruel.’
‘We were all survivors, programmed from the very start of life to tiptoe around the pillar of fury that was my father.’
‘Mum could never do anything right in my father’s eyes. She was, just like the rest of us, constantly told that she was useless.’
‘Mum never got involved in any decision about our education. She could never say anything that was acceptable to him. Her opinions were always considered useless.’
‘I remember my mother telling me once, in later life, that she stayed in the relationship because of my father’s money.’
ADOLESCENCE & BAD CHOICES
Being a teenager is not easy for most, Christine’s abusive childhood led her to a tumultuous adolescence.
Christine sought acceptance and approval in all the wrong places, she was heavily influenced by peer pressure and did what was needed in order to be accepted. This led to some bad decisions, including promiscuity and heavy alcohol consumption.
The friends Christine found during her adolescence, did not only have a bad influence on her, but none of them was there for her when she needed them the most.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
‘I learned the wrong kind of lessons. You know, the ones that keep you trapped inside misery forever. I just didn’t know better.’
‘…at the pub, I was two of the best things possible: pretty and funny. At the time, I thought these two things were the most important things to be.’
‘I wanted to do things to them that they liked, so they would like me for it.’
‘I modelled my new self so closely on my new friends that I never even considered what I actually liked myself.’
‘Now I had the magic potion to take the sting from their words and I could get it at any pub’
‘ I was desperate and desperately lonely. I had no money, no job, no food, no real friends, no love and no home to live in.’
Extracts from No Fourth River:
“I had no money, no job, no food, no real friends, no love and no home to live in.” (page 115)
“The room was positively filthy and much smaller than I had hoped once all the stuff had been moved out of it. The windowless room was cold and dark. It stank of old cigarettes and spilled booze, and some of the stickiness would not come off the walls.
One single, bare, flickering bulb hung from the ceiling. So this was the place that would be better than home, this tiny, dirty, filthy room. I settled in as best I could.” (page 116)
Christine had no money when she started her first business. She started her business empire with a small bank loan.
Christine is a now well known and successful serial entrepreneur.
She is a best-selling author, Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur, Infopreneur and Public Speaker.
She has spent years helping others take control of their own finances and led them down the entrepreneurship path.
Her first foray into entrepreneurship, started soon after she decided to take control of her own life after she came out of her coma.
She set about finding ways to earn her own money and start up her own business, where she would be in total control and did not need to answer to anyone. Something that most people wish for but hardly ever achieve.
She did not let anything get in her way. Christine has done it all. She started by being that annoying person at the end of the phone selling you something, that’s how she started her Apple dealership.
She did not take no for an answer, she diligently did her research, worked on spotting gaps in the market and trusted her instincts. She worked her socks off, from her first small Apple dealership she went on to own one of the biggest industrial warehouse in Belgium with a multi-million turnover.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
“The nuns. The girls at boarding school. My father. Harry. Even the teachers at my second boarding school told me I would never make anything of my life.”
‘I met the stranger who was inside me all my life but never had the chance to appear. The stranger I knew well became the new me. I found myself.’
‘Never again would I take orders from anyone. I made a promise to myself that nobody would ever control me again and tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I would be completely independent and free.’
‘Everyone wanted a computer, but nobody had one. In Keldonk, this meant one thing—demand without supply.’