15 May 2018

Drank to escape humiliation of being unemployed

Losing his job made it difficult for Tom to provide for his family and robbed him of his dignity as a man.

"My parents, who were already pensioners when I lost my job, were the only people who sometimes gave me money to buy food for my wife and our three children. At family gatherings and when we had our family meetings, my input was blatantly ignored because I did not have money. I felt humiliated, as if I was stripped naked in front of everyone. The hurt and humiliation was almost unbearable when my own children disrespected me because I could not provide for them.

I became tired of hearing my wife complaining about our finances and seeing my children going to school without proper necessities like uniforms and books, but I could not help the situation.

My worst moment was when my son called me a useless father directly, because I could not send him to university after he completed matric. I felt helpless and desperate," said Tom.

The humiliation he suffered at home drove Tom to drinking alcohol heavily.

"I spent most of my time with my friends who bought alcohol for me. I drank heavily in order to escape my life of humiliation and disgrace," he said.

Concerned about his excessive intake of alcohol and their financial problems, Tom’s wife told her sister who then invited them to the Universal Church.

"I started attending the church services because I was desperate for a solution. On my first day in the church, I spoke to a pastor who encouraged me to attend the addiction cleansing therapy on Sundays and Mondays for my finances to improve. I asked God to deliver me from alcohol and bless me with a job. I was able to quit alcohol within a few weeks in the church, something I could not do for many years. I committed myself to God.  Eight months later, I found a job and life went from bad to good. The joy that comes from being a provider at home came back.

My wife stopped complaining and instead became a happy and pleasant person. I was able to pay my son’s university fees. My relatives started to respect me again and my voice in family meetings is considered. My manly dignity has been restored. I later registered a cleaning company and I am now self-employed. My son completed his studies and he is now working. Giving my life to God removed my shame and disgrace. I am now leading a blessed life," said Tom.

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