Lesotho: The story of my abusive life

Date: September 9, 2014
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My mother abused me; she did not take care of me at all. I was taken away from my mother when I was months old as I am told by those who raised me because my mother hated to change nappies. My mother did not give me food and that is why some people felt pity for me and raised me and I was never called by my mother’s surname. I grew up with them and they sent me to school but when I was in standard six there was no money and I had to drop out of school, my father who raised me died and I was devastated.
My father’s wife also showed dislike towards me but I did not know why because I thought she was my mother. At the time I was still at home I found a boyfriend from the same village and she knew about it, she called me and she whipped me very hard. She even told me that day that I was not her child and I became miserable because I did not know where I belonged. I became very hurt when I hunted for my mother; I found someone who knew my mother and he told me that my mother was not married but kept making children at home and leaving them.
My mother, as I was told, had five children, the first one passed away, the second one is disabled, then I was the third one, the next one is a boy and the last two were also boys whom I knew when my guardian died. After the burial a friend of my guardian came and told me that she had found a job for me in Gauteng, by then I was eighteen years old. When I got there she told me to sell beer in her bar, I did not see the job that she promised me and she did not even pay me.
This woman lied and used me to such an extent that when I wanted to go home she gave me to a man who was her regular customer to marry me. He was a very old man and he was once a soldier, I lived with this man who got used to me and played me, when I tried to find out the reason I found that he was married with kids. One December I came home to Lesotho and when I returned, I found out that I was pregnant. When I was nine months I came home again to give birth. After my baby girl’s birthday the person who took care of us got fed up and asked me to return to my baby’s father.
I returned to my husband without even bus fare. When I got there, as I did not even have bus fare I went to my house and found my husband was not there, he had run away and I was stranded, the owner of the taxi wanted to beat me up and he called me a lying prostitute. The passengers pleaded on my behalf, I then went to the church where we used to go, but he did not return for months. We survived by begging and the people felt pity because of my child since my baby was only a few months old.
I got sick, suffering from a womb problem and when the person who gave me the house for a time until my husband returned found I was very sick, she told me to leave since she did not want to find a corpse in her house. I went to the church, they expelled me, from there I went to that friend of my mother and she gave me money to go back home. I raise my child single handedly with difficulties, but continued with life.
I used to cry all the time for my child was very young and I was angry with myself for I thought that I had got a job only to get nothing, for the woman who used me did not pay me a cent claiming that she would not pay me because I ate from her house, otherwise she said she would pay me and I must not eat. When my child grew, I decided to work for my child. I met a man who wanted to marry me but I refused and told him that I wanted to work for my child but he took me forcefully. We had four children, whom he took care of except for me because I was beaten and never given anything. Believe me when I say that I had to be given clothes and shoes if I was to have anything to wear. My husband never gives me any money, instead if I ask for anything I am beaten as though I have insulted him. I have never known a peaceful life since I was a child, until now. I still live with my husband and I eat my mucus, am also afraid of him that is why it is so hard for me to leave him and I stay for the sake of my children.
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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