Peace After the Storm
Chapter 1: What Scared My Heart
I was married three times, all the three died of causes. To face the future, I had to be strong. Three times widowed, what a challenge in life for a young woman to be facing.
I got married to my first husband at 22 years of age. Immediately, a year later I had a baby girl. The following year my husband was involved in a car accident and dies on the spot. Heartbroken and challenged, I had to struggle to pick up the pieces and move on. Went for another two years single, then I met someone I loved. The urge to get married again set in, I hated being single. I got married, and was now 26. My husband was a handsome man, who worked as a teacher at a nearby primary school. I counted myself lucky because teaching was a very respected profession. I thought, I have won the jackpot. All was going well until he started to drink a lot. I noticed a lot of things changing in my life and around me. Sometimes he came home late after work, or he never came back. Asking where he had been often landed me is serious problems. Arguments started to happen, and it became a constant occurrence because of that. Each time I asked, he would get very angry. I didn’t know the worst was to come. When he was late home, I knew he would be drunk. Totally wasted, the man I loved turned into an abusive, arrogant, alcoholic, rapist, and a wife beater. In a week, I could be raped several times, and when I tried to refuse, I would be beaten up the extent that I could not go to work. The swelling on my face did not bother him. Why would it? Sometimes he would beat me up, I would bleed and pass out on some occasions.
Now both of us began to be absent from work, him from being drunk, and I because I had been beaten up badly, I could not face the people. This carried on for over a year. The school authorities noticed that he turned up for work drunk. He was given a warning but continued his old ways, and finally he was fired. For that he dumped all his frustrations on me. That man started drinking daily, beating, and raping also became an everyday thing. He accused me of sleeping with everyone at work. It got so serious to the point of threatening me with a knife. That’s when I thought, enough is enough, I had to tell someone. On one occasion I slept outside, he could not less nor remember the reason I did not sleep in our home.
I shared my plight with my friend and neighbor. She could not believe that my husband, who appeared to be quiet to the world could do that. She told her story to her husband, a police officer. They called me into their house one afternoon, and the husband took a statement from me. He assured me that he would come to rescue me on my next beating. It wasn’t a matter of if it happens but when. He gave me a small key ring which he said I should press once my husband started to beat me, and would trigger an alarm in their house. It didn’t last long, before the end of that week my normal routine of rape started, when I pushed him away I got the beating again. I remembered the key ring. The police officer next door came in and handcuffed my husband. He was put in custody, and later imprisoned for six months. That was my chance to get rid of him.
I took all his clothes and belongings to his family. After serving his time he was told never to set foot anywhere I lived or place of work. Happy to be a free woman again, this time I was 28 years old. The second marriage had collapsed just like that. I stayed alone for another 3 years, loneliness kicked in again. This time I’m rather desperate, thinking I am getting too old. I was feeling the pressure from family and church members.
My daughter, was doing well in boarding school. I rarely saw her during the holidays, she preferred to spend time with my Dad or my brothers. She could not see much of what was going on, and what I was going through. I did not want to expose her to that level of abuse. Who knows what else my husband was capable of?
At 33 I found this divorced man with three children. Since I thought I was getting old, I quickly jumped into marriage again. The first two years of marriage were rather great. In the third-year things started to change. This man had a transport business, his trucks transported crops, and grain from farms to the grain marketing board for processing. Like the previous husband, he started not sleeping at home. When I asked, he would get annoyed and go away for a week or two. When he finally came home, sleeping with him meant trips to hospital to be treated for all sorts of Sexually transmitted diseases. I had discomfort in my tummy, discharge from my private parts, and swelling too. I knew this was not right. The doctors started to give me warnings. I later found out what was happening but it was rather too late. Several of his girlfriends started to call the house on the house phone, I guess they wanted him for themselves. The arguments started again, this time I am refusing to sleep with him because of the high risk of getting infected and getting ill. Again, I am being beaten up, but he walks out to sleep at one of the girlfriends. I accepted this as normal, again……. we are both so fed up!
One day I came back from work and noticed that he and the kids were gone. Right, that was husband number three gone. I am alone again, then two months later I heard he was admitted in the infectious disease hospital. I went to see him, not because I loved him, but to tell him I was pregnant. When I saw him, he was a hip of bones, and he had become so skinny and dark. I could not recognize him. I took one glance at him and threw up, I could not even mention the purpose of my visit. I panicked, my friend held my hand and walked me out. I went back again to make sure it was him not a ghost. I was confused and horrified. I went and asked the doctors what was wrong with him. The doctor replied AIDS! WHAT? I could not believe my ears. I felt sick again, and could not make sense of anything. My mind went all over the place. I became a zombie and started to hallucinate in broad day light. I was in shock!
My friend booked me an appointment to see a doctor, I went in the following week. I lost the pregnancy due to stress. At the same time, I heard that he had passed away in that hospital. I kept talking to myself, “Now can anyone tell me how to handle this? How on earth can I tell someone my story? Who would want to be near me if they knew what I have been through” During that time the AIDs pandemic was rife, people were dying in numbers. At the cemetery, funeral processions were give a time slot, and there were ques of families waiting to bury their loved ones. I found myself lonely and suicidal, I wanted to kill myself, I was angry and frustrated, how could my life be cut short because of love. I could not even discuss my condition to my family. I am shaking, I have lost my mind, I am now dealing with my crisis secretly. All I am thinking about constantly is, I’m about to die. I am paranoid, I’m stuffing food, so I am maintaining good weight. The mirror is my best friend, I keep checking on my figure, I don’t want anyone to say I am losing weight. “At least I’m fat, I am not losing weight.” I would tell myself. It never rains, but it pours. I received the news of the passing of my second husband, due to alcohol poisoning. The depression is now unbearable. I am seriously considering suicide. What would you do if you were in my shoe?
Fortunately, a good Samaritan took me to overseas, where I started to live again. I got access to medication, and I became fit and strong. My confidence and self-esteem came back. I have a new chapter to life. I started writing books, and it reminds me of life. I have since trained, and qualified to lecture in colleges. I am an author, I motivate, and encourage other women to speak up about abuse. I help women to reinvent their lives, and seek help when they are in toxic relationships.
I thank God for the opportunity to be able to know Him, get help from church, and hospital with the incredible staff, Doctors, nurses, and counselors. I am happy, I have lived for 30 years after my diagnosis. Had I killed myself when I felt suicidal, would I be here helping other women? I am glad I found favor upon my life, I made the right decision to forgive those who put scars in my life. I’m a grandmother, I love life. My mission is not finished until God Calls me. Be strong my dear friend, do not take life into your own hands. Believe in God, he has plans for you and me. That diagnosis was only a scar, but for over fifteen years virus in my system is not detectable. It’s not there, what a wonderful way my life has been? I attribute this to my inner strength to bounce back. Now that’s what I call Resilience!
Order your copy of this Amazon best selling book by Author Jossine Abrahams, Peace After the Storm, by clicking the link below.