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Not a Cindrella Story

About a month ago I promised to tell you more about me. For a glimpse into how I became who I am today:

Cinderella stories didn’t mean the same thing to me that they did to other little girls. My mother died when I was three. My father remarried almost immediately thereafter. It was not a happy union, so this is not a happy story. If you are in the mood for handsome princes, glass slippers and fairy godmothers, don’t continue.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I love you now as I did then (and am just about as much help today as back then!!) Too bad the abuse, cruelty, indifference didn’t stop with Wicked Step-Mom M. there were many more years that child you were suffered dearly. My heart still aches for her. That you survived is amazing. That you are a loving, caring assest to society today is a miracle and by the true grace of God. He not only blessed you but us in your survival. Yours, Caryl

  2. i was just coming here..with my heart aching and in rage for i just read your comment to dr. John’s…How dare any woman lock up a child in a closet? How dare anybody treat another human being like that, let alone a child.

    Oh my friend, i could rip her in pieces, whoever she is..I’m glad that you have forgiven her, for it is to your credit and another incredible action that only the most wonderful and loving person could accomplish..

    I’m so sorry hon. I’m so sorry. My heart is broken..I am truly furious and in awed of your humanity and love for all of us…God Bless you always hon…but i can see He did, from the second of your birth.

  3. Caryl,

    What happened with M. was much worse than anything that came after — and it strengthened me to endure those trials.

    And all of it — every horrible thing — has been used for good through God, because it gives me insight into the lives of the children I teach today. I am certain that is the reason for my outstanding successes with troubled children.

    God asks us to be thankful in all circumstances. I am thankful my scars can help heal others. That is my small contribution in being the heart and the hands of Jesus to those I serve.

  4. i am so sorry. the thought of any child losing their mother so young breaks my heart. and for things to go from bad to worse is all the more awful, of course.

  5. Its amazing but true isn’t it? What doesn’t kill us, makes us strong. The thought of someone doing that to a young child is horrifying. I’m glad that your neighbor was so observant!

  6. You are truly amazing, Quilly…I am humbled by the love and forgiveness and strength in your voice.

    That you survived was good enough. But that you survived and became who you are is nothing short of a miracle.

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