continued from part 1
I never gave them the details of what he did to me, but when I got home, I was whipped by my aunt so badly that I swore on everything in my life never to repeat this story or even hint at it. She accused me of trying to wreck her home, reputation and called me lots of ugly names. Names that would soon become a part of me. She told me, I was useless, ugly and a home wrecker.
Right after the funeral Aunt had to travel to London, we had to look after our baby cousin. Uncle heard about my incident at the funeral, and he pulled me by the hair out of the house and drove me to his friends house. I was so shaken that I thought he would beat me up, but it turned out I would be in a porno movie and I was the leading actress. I had never felt so dirty in my life but I never wanted him to kill me or my sister like he said he would. His friends enjoyed taking turns at me too. I had to oblige, I was being made into a woman and I belonged to him.
When we drove back to the mansion, my sister was so scared and came to my bed and we cried together. I prayed every night that he or his friends would stop these “woman” lessons because I just wanted to be a girl. It hurt so bad to be a grown up. I prayed to God that I would even stop playing those grown up games, like putting lemons in my chest pretending they were my breasts or wearing my aunts shoes because I was now happy to be a girl. But for some reason the answer never came. Where was my God? I went to church and tried hard not to sin. I just wanted God to save me and my sister from being killed.
When we finally went home that August, I was so happy but then I became afraid of all men in my life including my own father and brothers. I never wanted to play and hid behind house chores and reading.
The remaining year, we stayed with my parents and I started to feel normal again, but then my aunt came to collect us just before my ninth birthday to return to the Copperbelt. I thought my uncle had told her to come and kill us …that when it was time for us to leave, I went into the car without looking back at my family and falling back into my abuser´s hands. Many months went by and the abuse got worse but I accepted it as a part of my life. I was beaten and tied down if I refused but fear had the best of me.
The Mine school we attended was the best and I made friends and enemies. I soon became the school bully but my grades saved me from being expelled. Uncle at the time was busy campaigning and had eventually won. We had to move to Lusaka Province but my parents wanted us home at the end of the school year. During our relocation, we were robbed at gun point. The robbers rounded us up and raped us one at a time. I just thought this was it, my life took a turn for the worst. I lost all self esteem and walked with my head down. My school grades suffered.
My whole experience with my trusted Guardian would leave me scarred inside. I was lucky I never ended up pregnant but I took with me very broken emotions. When I went into Secondary school (back to living with my parents), I was without any esteem and I was no longer the bully but I was teased and bullied almost all through my secondary school. I never understood why God created me and began to believe that I was born to be used by men. Most pupils in my class had dreams and goals that they wanted to achieve after school, I just wanted to die. I would cry buckets when I heard someone had died, not because I was sad for them, but I was sad that it was not me that had died.
Because my grades in school were so bad, my teachers called me many names that I was by then so used to. I took pleasure in being punished.
Just before I left school, a schoolmate had committed suicide because a teacher at the school had sexually molested her. Our small town had their different opinions about what had happened and as I heard their analysis, it was like almost everyone seemed to blame her and not her Molester. In my heart, I was glad I never told anyone about what had happened to me.
I had heard how she had taken a number of medications and killed herself. I thought that if I got the same number and more, I would successfully manage to end my life. But all I got that night after taking 71 tablets was a running tummy and severe vomiting. But this was not my only attempt at suicide. I tried many times but nothing worked for me.
As I went to college, I started to church hop, in the event that I would find this God that maybe knew I existed and would explain to me why I was on earth. I went to every prophetic gathering, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian and still the emptiness followed. I had friends but they condemned my trips to all these worship places and they did not share my views on a lot of things. So I never shared my story. I opened up a business, but found that the same friends that I entrusted, would use me and act against me. But at that time, I could never see the difference. I was born to be used was all I knew. I hated my mother for giving birth to me, I hated being called a daughter and I hated hearing that God was love.
During the time that I church hopped, I met a man. He was 50 years of age, had been divorced with children and looking for a wife. I was 27 at the time and as I got to know him, I thought he must be the perfect one for me. Our first three months together were Heaven on Earth. He treated me so special and I thought for once I had met a man that did not hit me or make me do things that I did not want.
Or so I thought, after all he was on the church committee. We began to plan for our wedding, which he wanted done in the shortest quickest time possible. As things progressed, our relationship became one of control, he used my past to put me down in our arguments, he reminded me how cheap and useless I was without him, he made sure I slowly began to isolate myself from my family and friends. He would make plans without telling me, misuse money without letting me know and I dared not ask. I was easy prey for him because I had no esteem and I thought as long as he never hit me, I was safe.
But a few weeks before our wedding, I walked out on him.
Five years later, I married someone else. It was not long into a marriage that he noticed that I was holding back from him and I never shared my past with him for fear that he would use it against me. It was not long into our marriage that I began to withdraw from his love and advances. I became rigid and I made every excuse to escape his presence. But he never pushed me and later asked me to talk to a counselor. After many months of hesitating, I finally agreed to go. It was during this time that I began to get help for my broken past that was haunting and controlling my present.
I never had a childhood. My past had taken from me a lot of myself. My relation to God had been hurt by what I had experienced. I am now learning at the age of 34 to take control of who I am, seeing God as not an abuser. I grew up believing it was my fault that I was sexually abused and raped. I believed death was my only solution. Even though I go for counseling almost every week, I still have to take those baby steps to healing.
But I think of many women and men out there that have no voice. I think of how they have to live with the lies of not knowing who they are. I was told there was no way out.
What about the children that are raped, abused and hurt, are they given a chance to get a counselor for life? Statistics show that one in every three that are abused will abuse someone else. How are the schools, churches, media, our families helping with this issue? When and to whom can we tell about our abuse?
to be continued