Just a little sunshine goes a long way

Loreen Meda
Posted April 7, 2018 from Zimbabwe

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I was so lost that I did not play like other girls and I was very withdrawn.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 

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

Hi Loreen. Thanks for sharing your vulnerable and honest story with us. I can totally relate to being invisible and not at all special. I'm glad that you have have healed yourself, though. It's awesome that you received help when you were really ready and needed perhaps the most. I'd love to hear more about what you do to help others. You may want to consider submitting your story for the current story award, "You Are a Silence Breaker:" https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/story-awards/83055. Hope you have a great day!

Kristine Yakhama
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

Be strong, forgive and lean on God

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

Dear Loreen,
As I read through your story I wondered how you found the strength to survive. So many setbacks, so many hurdles, so many completely unfair events because you were a girl, are a women. "I quickly learnt that the world was very unforgiving and I had to be strong for me to exist". Such an important legal battle for sharing inheritance! This strength of inner spirit shines through all the way. So does the power of meeting another woman who listened and opened the door to a supportive community. I loved reading the list of what you have embraced through discussion there. I love that it felt like sunshine, and that now you are living to spread that sunshine. I hope that sunshine will spread widely for you and through your work as you keep writing here within your WorldPulse community.

In sisterhood,
Tam

sarah_2
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

Loreen dear,
You are really a strong woman...
Your rough days are over
I pray for more testimonies in your life

Olutosin
Apr 08, 2018
Apr 08, 2018

You are strong.
You are brave.
You are a pillar.
You are Mama Africa.
Thanks so for standing up for other girls. Thanks for speaking out. Thanks for fighting harder in the face of discrimination, oppression, depression and neglect. You are a winner.
I love your spirit.

I'm sorry for all that you have being through but I'm happy that you found your healing.

Beth Lacey
Jan 17
Jan 17

You have learned so much about yourself. You can truly help others

Bettina Amendi
Jan 26
Jan 26

Thank You for sharing,memories are treasures no one can steal.Kindly let the past be your life lessons to better other lives.You may have been the lamb of sacrifice that others may learn one on one.Great to have you on World Pulse,2019 is an open cheque for you fill in the digits well.
Regards
Bettina

Loreen Meda
Mar 07
Mar 07

My dear sorry for the late reply, I have been going around with work. I appreciate your comments, and the truth is that we learn from everything we experience in live. Like you said the question is what we choose to do with the lessons. I am humbled, I learnt a lot about myself and those around me. I learnt that loving is unconditional and that everyday brings with it wonderful new possibilities if you are open and enjoy every moment that God gives you.

In the End I am better for it.

Thank you my sister.

Bettina Amendi
Mar 08
Mar 08

You are welcome Loreen,
I am rolling out a programme on building self confidence.Kindly check on my post and grab yourself a share.
Till then.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Dear Loreen,

Thank you for sharing this very personal story about yourself. Sending you hugs my dear sister. I know it was not easy finally opening up and allowing the world into your scared space. You are truly amazing. Finally opening up and sharing your story has made you stronger and a better person. Continue to shine your light bright and never let anything ever hold you back.

Have a great day.