Dr Yvette Taylor-Kanarick is a professional who has used her experiences to ignite her career.
She holds several degrees, including a PhD in Counselling Psychology and Theology. She is also certifiably trained in History, Business Administration and Education.
Passionate about writing, she has authored 25 books. Taylor-Kanarick is heavily involved with restoring wholeness to relationships and is the founder of Chayel Inc, a not-for-profit charitable organisation.
Raised in a traditional churchgoing home, she was "one of those bright, nerdy ones." Her adult life grew dull, however.
She endured 15 years of abuse from her then husband. "From the onset, I was physically, emotionally, mentally, financially abused…every possible kind of abuse."
Her life reads like a Lifetime movie as she started out her adult life thinking that it would progress a certain way, only for it to go frighteningly different.
She married at the age of 21 and the abuse began on the wedding night, being ridiculed and insulted constantly on that night. Her husband was an SRP.
Kanarick spoke softly and deliberately; it was almost as if the memories were reeling simultaneously with her speech. "I was a high school teacher and I literally had to put all of my money in an account with his name only. He told me that he would find a way to kill me so that no one would find me. He even looked at shows like Unsolved Mysteries for ideas to kill me and even made me look at the shows with him. There were even times when he said he could get a crack addict to kill me for $5."
She continued, "Many times he told me not to sleep when he was out because that could be the time he would kill me. He used to put his service revolver to my head and pretend that he was going to kill me."
"Would you believe that he was a preacher too? He would abuse me, go preach, then we'd go back home where he'd abuse me again."
While suffering from the pain of abuse, it also pained her that her children witnessed the dastardly acts. "My oldest boy saw a lot and he ended up saving my life." Her son was a pre-adolescent.
One night her husband began hitting her on her head with a piece of iron when he couldn't find his gun. "I don't know where my son got the strength from. He started struggling with his father, saying, 'You can't kill my mum! I won't let you kill my mum!' As he continued struggling, he shouted, 'Mummy, run!' I ran out of there with only a pair of tights on. I ran down the driveway and I remember my son coming and giving me his shirt, saying, 'Mummy, cover yourself.'
Her husband then burnt the house down and practically all of their belongings were destroyed. After she left her husband, he continued stalking her aggressively, threatening to "finish the job". Reaching her wit's end, she fled Trinidad with her children.
A couple of things served as wake-up calls. "My daughter, who was five years old at the time, told me, 'Mummy, you have to tell someone'. You know some women say that they're staying for the kids? Uh-uh."
"I tried to get help but there were no systems in place. His colleagues protected him so I felt that I was on my own."
"I don't have any anger now. I've been able to come through in a lot of ways."
"I've had challenges in my life. When I went to the United States, I had four surgeries in one year and I was fired because I was sick a lot."
She testifies that her challenges led to a very personal connection with God. "You have to get inside of yourself. I used to ask God to just teach me."
"My children are in healthy relationships. They're not on drugs or on the streets. God preserved my kids. When I left Trinidad, I sat them down and we talked about what happened and I think that helped us."
"At the end of the day, I have a life. I love to sing, exercise, go to the clubs and dance the night away. I love to cook."
Her experiences were the holistic catharsis for her life's work. She is very involved with family and couples counselling and she pointed out that her work is not like that of the usual counsellor. "A normal professional asks what your problems are and gives you methods to combat those issues, and this is done without a detailed diagnosis. Here's how I am different. I go to the brain to see which part may be dysfunctional. In other words, I get to the root. Normal professionals treat with the fruit. Things like distrust, fear, money and sex issues are the fruit. Something else would be the root of those issues. A simple example is that someone who keeps attracting abusive men or women may have internalised self-hate."
"I'm also a certified hypnotist so I do hypnotic therapy. I've had workshops in Trinidad on domestic violence, helping parents deal with grieving kids after a loss, and I've even done an ethics workshop with the Police Service."
Although Taylor-Kanarick's work is quite scientific, she imparts her knowledge of the intricacies of her studies commendably as she always 'breaks it down' for the layman to comprehend. Many who were privy to her talks/workshops, have expressed further interest in her teachings and have had their "Aha!' moments as she was able to help them realise fundamental things within themselves and their relationships.
"I also deal with soul ties, bonding and attachments. During my forums, I encourage questions; it's about learning and understanding."
Considered as the 'resident expert' on relationships on the local programme, Moving On, after unbelievable requests for seminars by the public, the Moving On family decided to host a seminar with Taylot-Kanarick as the facilitator. The seminar will be hosted this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, Port of Spain.
Kanarick now has a quiet resilience. "I swear, if anyone even looks at me hard, I'll sue them!"
Note: Anyone with queries regarding the seminar can call 628-7110.