18 September 2017

My own mother did not recognise me

Angelinah always stared at women on the street thinking one could possibly be her mother because she had no idea what her mother looked like.

She learned that her mother had left her to be raised by her grandmother when Angelinah was only three years old.

"My grandmother treated me differently from my cousins who also lived with us. She made me do the house chores that were done by adults in the house while my cousins played outside. I felt unloved by my grandmother who also did not tell me anything about my mother's whereabouts," she said.

Angelinah’s aunt later had a baby whom she also left to be raised by the grandmother.

"I cared for the baby after school. I sometimes did not go to school when I had to take the baby to the clinic. I continued taking the baby to the clinic until a nurse complained and demanded to see my grandmother," she said.

Meeting her mother for the first time was a total let-down for Angelinah because her own mother didn’t recognise her.

“I was 13 years old when I met my mother at my aunt’s place. When my aunt asked her who I was, she had no idea. She didn’t recognise her own daughter! Even so, I was happy to meet her and hoped she would take me to stay with her, but she did not seem to be happy that she had met me,” she said.

Her mother's cold and unwelcoming behaviour made Angelinah resent and hate her. In search of the love and affirmation she did not get from her mother, Angelina dated a man and fell pregnant when she was 18 years old.

"My boyfriend took care of me and made me feel special even after our daughter was born," said Angelinah.

She later had another baby, but her relationship with the father of her children did not work out and they decided to go their separate ways.

In 2001, she moved to Johannesburg and left her children with a relative. After three months, she got a job and could send money back home for her children.

In 2012 Angelinah was invited to the Universal Church and came because she wanted her life to change.

She took part in the chains of prayer and presented her case on the altar of God and asked Him to show justice in her life.

"God answered me, I found a permanent job and I moved to my own place. I later brought my children to Johannesburg to live with me. I attended the services every Wednesday and I understood the importance of forgiveness. I also learnt that I was not doing my mother a favour by forgiving her, but it was going to free me as well. I then asked God to help me because it was not easy for me to let go of the hatred in my heart. I invested more time in building my relationship with God. Through the help of God, I was able to forgive my mother who abandoned me when I was a child.  Growing up without my mother taught me to become a loving mother to my children and forgiving her gave me the peace and joy I longed for many years," said Angelinah.

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