I recently had the opportunity to meet an amazing woman. She has had an exemplary career and is ranked among the 100 most successful women in her country today.
We started talking about this and that, and we got on to the topic of abuse. Baring in mind this woman is in her early 50’s, she suddenly opened up to me that she was abused as a teenager and has never told anyone before. She told me her story.
She grew up in an affluent household. A strong political father and a career mother. Her father was a chieftain of his political party, which meant political meeting late into the night at their home.
One faithful day she was alone in the house, the cook had gone to the market, the maid was out running errands, when one of her father’s political friends arrived to meet him. She let him in and told him her father had called earlier to ask him to wait, because he was on his way back home.
The father’s friend came in and sat down in the main living room, and she asked if he would like a drink. He replied, ” A glass of water will be nice.”
Once she brought the bottle of water, she opened it and poured it into a glass and as she had been taught, handed him the glass. All of a sudden, he grabbed her hand, removed the glass cup and pulled her close, while trying to kiss her. She was 15.
A struggled ensued, and she managed to break free, but not before he had touched her inappropriately. She ran into the kitchen and locked the door.
The reality of what he had done finally dawned on him. So he came to the kitchen door and started to plead with her to forgive him and to keep this between them. He offered to compensate her for this stress he caused, but she still didn’t open the door or say anything to him. Eventually, it dawned on him that her father might walk into the house anytime, he decided to leave some money at the door and left the house.
She heard the front door shut and his car pulls away. That when she came out of the kitchen and saw the brown envelope on the floor. Opened it and it was full of money. She quickly took it to her bedroom and hid it under her bed and never mentioned it to her parents or anyone else.
As an adult, the hurt was still there. Hadn’t forgiven the man and constantly blamed herself for allowing it to happen. Still struggling with blaming herself and feeling dirty. Also ashamed to speak to anyone about it. At some point she was depressed, stopped socialising with friends and became a shadow of herself. Until one day she read the story of a woman who had a similar experience, but never got over it and ended up living a lonely miserable life. She decided she didn’t want to end up like that.
At that point, she sort the help of a counsellor and with the help she stopped blaming herself. That marked the turning point in her life.
Her mindset changed, she fell in love with a wonderful man, and her career thrived. Leaving the past behind. Choosing to think positive and forgive the man and herself, changed her life. This marked the start of a new beginning in her life.