Dealing with some of life’s harder challenges from the tender age of eleven has moulded Ngawini into a strong, capable, and determined character. Her innate sense of optimism and ability to see humour in almost all tough situations has carried her through.
My husband loves me – well, I’m pretty sure he does . . . now. I suspect it’s a fairly new concept to him and I think he perhaps wonders why I choose to resist his meaningful little hugs, his little overtures of intimacy. Why can he not grasp that years, decades, of neglect and hurt have piled up and up, building a wall I cannot, will not allow him through? I refuse point blank to open myself up to any further hurt from that source ever again, so when he comes to embrace me, I am like an overloaded pin cushion only the sharpened ends of those pins point outward.
A young woman asked recently “why are you still there?” Should I have told her how frightened I was of once again being alone? Or how I’d learned once before that any husband was better than none? And there was the sense of despair that could have led to my suicide?
I had reasons to stay – damned good reasons – just not necessarily for me. Four daughters, my one and his three, who’d each suffered from their parents’ break-ups. All were emotionally damaged. The fifth reason was our child, why should she have to go through what her sisters did?
I stayed and I fought to regain me. I focussed on things that would help me remain sane. I studied extramurally and gained a degree partly to prove I was not the dumb-ass he seemed to assume, and in a field he considered himself almost expert. Now I’m the expert.
I was diagnosed with depression. Wrong. It’s red hot anger! But I’m happy to take the pills, just one a day keeps the fury at bay.
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