Lesotho: Abuse…

Date: September 9, 2014
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It was yet another ordinary day and I was going home from work. I remember quite well that I saw her for the very first time on my way home. She was lovely; the very best thing I have ever seen. Right from that moment, I decided to watch her moves so that I might get to know her better. My research went just fine and I decided that she was the one, the one I have always looked for. She was beautiful, inside and out. She would go to church, talk sweetly and smile nonstop. There was no question that she had a beautiful personality. What more could a man ask for? I fell for her helplessly. I took my chances and approached her and BANG…she just melted in with my idea and she was ready to return my love and be with me.
I took her in, her and a whole lot of her baggage. She had a son with someone whom she confided in me had disappeared after learning that she was expecting their son. Everyone dear to me was very against my being with the love of my life, Thandie was her name. “I will not come and pick up the mess after you have been broken in pieces by this woman of yours”, my mother would say. I found courage in telling her that I would not come running to her, rather I was ready to love her with every broken piece of my heart. This I said because there was no chance, or maybe I chose not to see a chance, of the woman I loved finding reason to hurt me.
I loved her. I could feel that she was my other half. She would complete me; I wanted her and her alone. She became my wife…I made her my wife. We had each other; my family and friends could not understand how much I loved her, they were only concerned with why I loved her above all the ladies. We had a good life and we were blessed with a son. The birth of my son created a new man in me. I wanted so much to be an award winning father and a husband like the world had never seen. I wanted to be there for my family and make sure that I was always on the lookout for them. They all needed someone strong to look up to and yet someone who was gentle and caring.
All went well until one particular day. I came home from work, made my greetings with a smile and got a sad response. I knew something had gone bad and found it necessary to inquire after the matter. “Nothing is wrong”, was the response I got. I decided to give her some space and not try to squeeze the issue out of her. She woke me up the very next morning and asked me about what had been troubling her, “Just why would you have extramarital relationships when I am right here?” I was not having such relationships, I would never do that to her. No, not her! She believed nothing that I said. Little did I know that I was actually kissing my lovely, beautiful wife good bye. There came a series of infidelity accusations, she would take my whole salary and I would not even be able to buy a can of soda. When I asked for a few Maloti to buy anything, I would be told that there was no money. My life became a nightmare since I could not tell anyone. It would be claimed that I had failed my family and failed as a man. I was afraid someone would throw my weakness in my face and tell me that I was a failure. I desperately wanted to wake up from this nightmare but I could not.
Every day, I had to listen to arguments and insults that threatened my ego as a man so badly. I felt empty, being away from home felt so much better, more peaceful. I wished I had a drinking habit; at least I would come back home drunk and go straight to bed peacefully. Thandie came to my office unannounced one day and found me in a short meeting with a colleague; she lost control. She went home furious, without even taking the time to ask as to what was happening. I did not want to go home after work because a restless household was guaranteed that night.
I entered through the kitchen door when I got home and I could tell that something was cooking. As I passed on, I dropped a file and at the very moment that I picked the file off the ground, boiling hot soft porridge came flying towards me and my back was burned. My older son screamed and the neighbours came to my rescue. I was immediately rushed to the hospital. I decided then that this had gone beyond repair and that I could not be with this woman.
I often wonder if I will ever love and trust anyone without having some doubt. Why is it that quite often people mistake kindness for weakness and dumbness? I learned the hard way that not all that glitters is gold.
This story is part of the “I” Stories series produced by the Gender Links encouraging the view that speaking out can set you free.



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