“My testimony is that I am a suicide survivor. I have trusted once – IN GOD – and here I am today to tell you my story”
Since I can remember, I knew that I am “different”. I was not a happy child. I was angry. I felt that I was not good enough. I had no fear. I never trusted any person or any situation and I never allowed myself to cry. Only “babies” cried – and I was never a “baby”.
I found myself living in isolation with my thoughts. This became my coping mechanism. I created a “Wonderland” for myself where I am the best: loved and respected by my world of people!
I would only realize much later that God had protected me by giving me a “gift” prior to my birth so that I could protect myself on my journey.
I had good parents, not loving parents. I grew up resenting people in general. I never experienced the love of a mother and a father, as it should be. Yes: good, solid folk. Yet, to clothe and put food on the table, does not a loving mother or father make! I saw my friends’ parents tucking them into bed with hugs and kisses. I was envious of them. Of that love. Of that life. Sadly, this was not how my brother and I were raised: we knew our parents loved us – but we never felt it.
Accordingly, we carried on, accepting the fact that this is how it is done in our home. Despite circumstance, as brother and sister, we grew closer and closer as the years passed. We made “pinkie promises” that we would always be there for each other. (Not knowing what was yet to come: that I would betray my brother to protect him for the hurt. I would inevitably betray myself also, by lying to him.)
Somehow, my instinct had dictated since birth that something didn’t quite add up. To my utter horror, in 2006 I learnt that my brother and I had different parents. Quite honestly, there are no words with which to adequately explain the hurt. I was scared to death that he would now not want to call me his sister. I could not bear the thought of losing my brother. EVER. Thus, I forced myself to lie to his face. I had broken his heart. He questioned why I had lied to him, when dishonesty is the one thing I cannot abide. My actions were indefensible and the bridge had to be rebuilt over many, many years of heartache and soul-searching.
When I reflect on those days, I realise that I had been the worst school “bully” ever. Back then I did not know why I was so vindictive towards other people. That was just who I was. Only now do I recognise that it was because I was hurting inside. The natural response, was to hurt in turn. What a waste. I enjoyed being the best – and again my personality became one of my best creations: Rule with fear! Do not trust! Only trust yourself! ANGER will drive me to succeed. I became exceedingly competitive, particularly to impress my mother!!!
I was kind of “ok “ as a child, but when I reached puberty, I realized that my “mother and father”, as well as my entire family had been hiding hiding something from me. It became my mission to find out what it was. Did my mother think I was stupid? She had baby pictures of my brother (new born pictures)……all of the pictures of me as a child, were from a sitting age……..no new-born pictures? The best lie ever told by my mother, was that the camera had broken.
This feeling of rejection and constantly being lied to caused me to be me rebellious to the point of being sent to boarding school Potchefstroom. I hated them – as I had been shipped off from a very upper class home to a school that was a 100 years old: 2 single beds draped with hideous blue covers, in a dismal room. Yet, true to form, I did not cry. I did not tell them that I was scared. My first point of action for that day was to scare the living daylights out of all of the Hostel kids. I would rule the school! I also made sure that I was branded a trouble maker and that teachers and kids alike were very wary of me. This….is how you earn respect!
I was compelled to be the best even in situations which turned my stomach. I had to succeed. And so I did. I morphed into the best leader, scholar, drama student and had honours for sport, culture and academics. All was well with my world.
I was molested by close family. I do not feel it prudent to expose the people now. I have made my peace. This doesn’t detract from the anger and the hate which arose in me like an ancient dragon – spitting venom toward men. I was just 12 year-old girl. A child. I became consumed by my own anger. I hated my life. Icould not understand why my mother did not believe me when I told her what was happening. Why does she not love me as my brother does?
These snippets of my life will get me to where my Hell became real.
December 2006. I had been married for a couple of years and I was not happy. I knew my husband was constantly having affairs. I eventually caught him in 2009. I divorced him. Then I took him back. Left him. Took him back. Over and over…..until 2016. This is another problem which stems from feeling unwanted: you allow yourself to be abused because you escape to a world which you created a long time ago. You feel so useless, that you are content to live under constant emotional abuse.
We had Christmas in Wolmaransstad with my Dad’s family. My dad had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and they were living in Cape Town at the time. On Christmas Eve, after everyone had retired to their rooms, I cornered my cousin and my dad’s sister. I told them that my dad had told me that I was adopted. They both confirmed that I had been.
Stunned at the expected truth, I looked at them and thanked them. I went to my room. I divulged the news to my husband. I told him that I did not have to wonder anymore. It was confirmed. My suspicion was correct: I AM ADOPTED!! The mere confirmation of what I suspected was enough to put me in an emotional depression that would haunt me for the next nine years.
I was frozen for what seemed like an eternity – How? Why? Who? Where had I come from? Am I a MISTAKE and a FOOL?
My husband had no words for me. When you are not on the receiving end of such VITAL information, you do not know how to deal with it. I felt rejected by him as well as by my family. They simply did not understand. I was told that I was lucky to have such “good” parents. Whaaat? You do not know my life. You do not know how I grew up: desperately in quest of love from my parents and from you….. and you tell me to be grateful?
This would be the launch of 10 years that would change me and the course of my life forever. It was the hardest road to walk (ALONE). That was what I thought – to reach ONE DAY- through all of this turmoil which had become my life. To TRUST for the first time in 51 years.
I have enlisted the “services” of Sangomas. I have run through the gamut of Psychiatrists to Pastors, Physiologists to Tarot card readers. You name them, I’ve seen them. I wanted help. From the pastors I had been told that I was filled with DEMONS – heck! I actually had mastered two of the seven deadliest sins – WRATH AND PRIDE. So give it your best shot. And again it did nothing to relieve the inner conflict of COMPETING constantly against myself. Nelie was so busy fighting Nelie, that I always had at least four, to six strategies in the works to safeguard against failure. This made me feel worth something and more superior about Nelie.
I was sinking – slowly but surely. I had been programmed to not show emotion. I do not trust. I do not ask for help. I battle this from within. I was painfully aware that I was dealing with things exceedingly more powerful than what I am. A perfect storm was building. Yet I was hell-bent on being victorious once more.
This Storm was driven by Anger. By Hate. Resentment toward myself and those around me. Historically, I had only been used for their gain. I could not see any good in either myself or anyone I came into contact with. A little girl lost long ago: born with Fear. A fear that turned into Hate. Anger. Resentment.
I put myself under so much pressure until finally I could not bear the depression any longer. 21 January 2015: I took a 160 sleeping tablets at 19h00. I was discovered by my housekeeper and my mother the next morning at 08h00. I was rushed to Hospital. My family was told that I would not make it……..but I did. This did not make sense to me. I had planned this perfectly.