My name is Grace and I’m 21 years old. When I was about seven or eight, my mother got so sick that she could not take care of me. I had to go and live with my aunt and grandmother. Life there was so horrible. I was treated like a dog by my aunt.
Then one of my dad’s uncles came to live with us. We were at my granny’s house. Every morning I would wake up to fi nd him on top of me, raping me. It happened every morning. I was so scared because I thought that I was going to get into trouble for it. I told my aunt and she laughed at me and said: “What are you expecting? Look at you. You’re useless. You’re nothing. That’s why your parents dumped you here. Nobody loves you. You’re only a burden, so it’s your fault. Don’t try to look innocent. You deserve it.” With that I was silenced forever. A year later I came back home, very quiet.
Then my cousin (my dad’s late brother’s son) started to molest me as well. Also EVERY DAY! From before I started school until I was in grade 5, he was so obsessed with me that whenever I would fight and refuse, he would want to do it to my little sister. I was so afraid of him. He was also a gangster. He told me he didn’t care. If I spoke about it, he would kill my parents and my little sister and then sell me off to his gangster friends. Anyway, even if I spoke, nobody would believe me. In 2004, I was sexually harrassed by another relative whom I loved so much. This whole thing made me create my own little dark world where only I could live.
I was wounded and shattered. I lived with so much fear because every man was a rapist, a molester to me. I hated men with all my heart. I didn’t even trust my own father. I was always afraid to be left alone with him thinking that he might do the same to me, since I believed that he didn’t love me. I hated my parents. I blamed them so much, but I forgot that they didn’t know. For many years I tried to commit suicide. If I count now, it’s more than 100 times. I was empty, lost, depressed and SO, SO ANGRY!! I was so desperate to end my life. I would cut myself, overdose, drink car chemicals, eat rat and cockroach poisons. I did it all…. My anger was mostly directed at God. I hated Him. I blamed Him. I even wrote Him a letter telling Him how much I hated Him. Happiness — I hated that too. Mine was a momentary thing. In a day I would be happy for two hours and spend the rest of the week down and crying, every day.
The pain could not be described. I didn’t like people because they seemed too happy while I was dying. If my parents shouted about a mistake that I made, I would spend a week without speaking to them. I was too angry to see reason. 2009 was my matric year. I had two major heartattacks, which gave me a 20% chance of living. That was when God held my hand and said “I’m here. It’s time to accept. Stop being in denial about it all and be reborn.” It took time and it was so hard, painful and difficult. I clung to God’s hand. He told me how much He loved me in Romans ch 5, and He proved it because I gave Him a chance. About four months ago I had the courage to sit down with my mother. I told her everything. So much had been lies. She showed me so much love! Today I’m a living testimony. My life is so blessed.
I’m the HAPPIEST person alive. I’m serving God. I love people so much. I’m free and cured and no longer angry. I no longer fear. I learned to forgive myself and others and then to conquer all! I overcame. Even though those memories do visit sometimes, I no longer cry or feel pain. I laugh at it and say ‘thank you’ for happening because if it hadn’t, I would not be here today. I am who I am because of my past — which is a woman of God. I am God’s chosen.