06 November 2017

I overcame a pitiful and helpless childhood

Painful memories of misery and loneliness were all Jabulile had of her childhood.

"I was a toddler when my mother left to look for a job, leaving me and my sister in the care of my grandmother. She never came back to visit us. My grandmother’s love sustained us until she passed away when I was nine years old and that was when my life went on a downward spiral.

We moved from one relative to another before we were separated for over 10 years. I was taken to live with my great-grandmother while my sister lived with a relative in another province. Being away from my sister really hurt because she was my only sibling." she said.

Her stay with her great-grandmother, who sold alcohol at home, was even more hurtful as it left Jabulile with deep wounds.  “Most of the men who came to drink alcohol at her house would sometimes touch me in an inappropriate manner and my great-grandmother would brush it off because they were her customers. At the age of 15, I was raped by a neighbour who often bought alcohol. I never told anyone about it because I was afraid he would hurt me more or even kill me. A part of me also believed that none of my relatives that I lived with were going to believe me," she said.

When she was 16, Jabulile dated a man who promised to look after her. "I was relieved that he was taking me away from all the painful experiences I had, but things changed after I became pregnant. He sometimes beat me up when I refused to sleep with him. All the bitterness and pain made me think that I was not meant to be happy. I developed hatred and anger against my mother for abandoning me," she said.

In 1995 Jabulile was invited to the Universal Church by her neighbour.

"I was a bitter person when I came to the church. I believed that happiness was reserved for other people, not me. I continued coming to the church and I was invited to the RAHAB group. In these meetings, I understood that I had allowed my past to stand like a wall between me and my future. I prayed and asked God to help me heal from my past and find peace within.

I was later able to forgive my mother who left me when I was young, the man who raped me and the father of my child for abusing me. When I did that, it was like a heavy burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt a peace that I’d even forgotten was possible.

My mother came back after 38 years and we were able to build our relationship. I now enjoy true happiness that can only be obtained from God," she said.

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