My night-long ordeal
Two years after the passing of her mother, Thandy's father became a monster she didn’t know. Thandy was only eight years old when her mother passed away.
"My father took me with him to his country of origin. My life became a living hell in a foreign country. My father started drinking alcohol and his character changed completely. He neglected me and sometimes disappeared from home. I lived with his father who took care of me and provided for me financially," she said.
Thandy started attending services at the Universal Church because she missed the church environment which was part of her upbringing. Her father disappeared again when Thandy was 16 years old and only came back two years later to abuse her.
"He arrived at night when I was already in my room. My grandfather was in his room and there were other family members in the house at that time. He came straight to my room, where he verbally abused me, calling me all kinds of horrible names. The worst was when he sexually abused me and no one in the house came to my rescue, even though I screamed for help.
He repeatedly abused me sexually throughout the night and disappeared in the morning before everybody woke up. No one wanted to know what happened and it was business as usual in the house. I felt betrayed by my own family. I also did not have anyone I trusted to share my ordeal in the neighbourhood," said Thandy.
Thandy's traumatic experience continued haunting her when her father verbally abused her with belittling names each time he reappeared. "My grandfather took my father's side whenever I complained to him. That pained me even more. At some point, I tried committing suicide by drinking a cleaning chemical. However, that did not help as nothing happened," she said.
She continued attending church services and later found strength to speak to a pastor about her painful past.
"He made me realise that suicide was not an answer to my problems and he advised me to take part in the chain of prayers in the church. I attended the services on Wednesdays and asked God to give me inner healing and on Fridays to be delivered from suicidal thoughts. I decided to return to my mother’s country of origin and live with my grandmother because I wanted to put my hurtful past behind me. That hastened my healing and gave me peace. God has healed from the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father," she said.