It is not the first time in my life that I've found life taking decisions for me. Making choices that perhaps, I, myself, would not have made. Last night I found myself attending the first session of ten. A training session where I’d learn to become a ‘Trauma Counsellor'. Anyone familiar with the South African landscape would know that hijackings and armed robberies are almost par for the course.
I arrived and was handed a stationery pack. I settled into my seat and when I looked at the ruler, I almost smiled. “If you are a victim of child abuse or suspect that a child is abused…” it said.
I’d finally come full circle.
When I was four I was abused. My memories are hazy, but I’d imagine it continued for a year, until I started pre-school. When I was 24 I had my daughter and fell into severe Post Natal Depression. I went for counselling and also began writing. I was told that the birth of a little girl had triggered my abuse memories. In her, I saw myself. It’s no great surprise then, that she, of all my kids, is most like me. Short tempered, nurturing, loving, and a little crazy. The writing, more than anything, helped me exorcise those ghosts. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Today I can think of what happened impassively. It no longer hurts. I have healed. I don’t want your sympathy. Please, don’t give it to me. What I do want is that you to join me in celebrating the resilience of the human spirit. His mercy, when He helps a broken spirit become whole again. That He’s allowed the same once-broken spirit to give back the kindness and support that helped make it whole again. Wish me luck. This will be the ultimate test. Have I really healed? Will I be able to remain professional and unemotional when confronted with an abused child or a woman who’s been raped?
My husband doesn't understand why I need to do this. If anything, he’s annoyed at me because of it. But sometimes you just have to go with your heart. Right now, I’m going with mine…