I have often thought there is nothing remarkable about me. I have often felt shame and the need to fight for me to be heard.
It was those small mandein things that people would say that shaped who I would become as a woman. I quickly learnt that the world was very unforgiving and I had to be strong for me to exist.
Being that child who always got hand me downs did nothing to buster my already buttered self esteem. Lies, I mean literally made up stories by uncles and aunts to demonise me to my parents did not help. Being a sickly child did not help matters. The one adult I loved and trusted molested me. I remember thinking "I caused this " followed by the feeling of perversion and self loathing. This would follow me through out my life anyone I tried to get close to would end up disappointing me.
I was so lost that I did not play like other girls and I was very withdrawn. In the middle of all this my father married a second wife and moved out.
My mother become a wreach I quickly adopted to the change, but with it came a lot of anger. I worked harder than before and I never asked for anything. As a teenager I wanted a lot of things but I didn't ask, I felt it was better for me to be invisible .
My education had suffered my father had changed, all of a sudden he didn't see the importance of sending me to school. I went to a school that had been set up for soldiers coming back from war. This school had not developed and 10 years later I found myself fighting to get a certificate with no text books. What made it hard was the fact that we were not poor but as a girl child my father had finally succumbed to the pressure that investigating in a girl was a waste.
My father would later realise his mistakes but my formative years had gone and my future was set in more ways than one.
I quickly got married to the boy that looked stable and I would tell him that I wanted a friend. However this relationship would shift, with me providing for the family. My husband was a doing one thing or the other but I never saw his contribution to the up keep of the family. This resulted in a relationship that was non existent. Thank God that we are actively working through this, the truth is things got terrible before we started talking about our problems..
This resulted in an adult who asked for little and gave all to a world that said as a woman I had no say .
When my father died my family went into a meltdown. In a family of eight children and six of them being girls . I had to fight with my elders refusing that they give our fathers inheritance to the boys. I became the black sheep of the family. However because there are law's supporting me they could not challenge me. However it resulted in a hatred between by brothers and I. My mom would curse the day she gave birth to me.
I was already married though struggling, my fight was not just for me but for my sisters and every generation in our clan. This set a presidence for other families. However this decision of mine came with a lot of back lash. The nuclear family disowned mine (the reason for my mother 's bitter cries) It would be years later my mom would thank me for fighting. My relationship with my brothers is still strained as they feel cheated.
It took me years to finally realise that , I didn't value myself and I allowed people to misstreat me. I was never allowed to show anger because then it was not like a Christian and unwholesome.
I was broken and desperate, I could not feel the sunshine or the breeze on my skin. I was tired of all the struggle and needed a reprieve of any kind. I was in trouble, God put in my way a loving and remarkable woman Lientjie Janse Van Rensburg.
This was my first ray of sunshine, she was supportive and listened to me. We became friends and she referred me to people Ellel Ministries, this was my second ray of sunshine. There I went through counselling and healing for the mind, body and soul. There I met a lot of sunshine.
I was able to acknowledge that:
1. I was molested as a child and it was not my fault.
2. That I was hurt by the lies my family said against me to take my father's love from me.
3. That my trust was violated hence I could not trust others .
4. That I neglected myself and I didn't love myself. My makeup covered what I truly was.
5. That I didn't need to work hard to be accepted. I can say I am tired and the world will not end.
6. It was good to express my anger in the right way to discuss pain and disappointment.
7. My culture has no coping mechanism for such things and we have failed to adopt this into our lives as we have changed with time.
8. The laws have been put in place but culture and family still makes it difficult to speak out.
9. I had set my marriage to fail because my husband is not God. Since I was not complaining he figured everything was fine. He is not a mind reader.
Today I take the time listen to other people and hear their silent cry. Through all this I learned that I was always telling myself that I didn't have anything to be sad about after all there are people who have through a lot more this was something not worth mentioning.
My heart is to reach anyone who is hurting. To let them know that it's ok and that they are loved , hopefully bring a little sunshine in someone else's life. As I share this I hope my story will be like a cool breeze in someone else's life.
I am hoping to share my sunshine