Melisa 'Melody' Dyce/*Photo courtesy of The Jamaica Observer Melisa 'Melody' Dyce/*Photo courtesy of The Jamaica Observer

A 31-year-old woman who was raised in Bermuda, says she spent the majority of her formative years being a ‘virtual slave’ at the hands of her adoptive mother.

Melisa ‘Melody’ Dyce, now a mother herself, recently shared her tumultuous experience with the Jamaica Observer, saying she learned that she was adopted after her father accepted financial benefits for giving her up.

Ms Dyce says her biological mother had no clue this had occurred as she was tricked into signing adoption papers and was told that her baby daughter would be educated in Bermuda and returned to her during holidays.

According to Ms Dyce, her childhood was an unhappy one. She was made to do endless chores at a tender age and was often punished with beatings and burned with a hot curler.

She says she did well in school, despite using drugs and alcohol, but nothing was good enough for her adoptive mother who raised her in Sandy’s parish.

Ms Dyce tells the Observer, “I'd be beaten for anything. I worked really hard to gain approval and school was my getaway, but no one knew because she [my adoptive mother] threatened that if I told anyone she would kill me.”

She subsequently dropped out of CedarBridge Academy at 16, and was kicked out of her home two years later. She ended up living on a beach until she was taken in by the parent of a friend.

And it was then, she says, she discovered Chistianity.  At 21, she decided to return to her native Jamaica to meet her biological family, but it did not end well and she ended up being alone yet again.

Ms Dyce credits her strong faith and her children’s father for getting her through the hard times and is now working in different aspects of media.

An aspiring pastor, she tells the Observer that she also wants to mentor young ladies: “I follow Isaiah 54:17, and my message to young women is this: No matter who you are, where you go, what they say about you, once you have a connection with God, He can turn everything around. Your situation might be going south, but He can take it and send it up north.”

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