Today’s therapy session took an emotional toll on me. I had to reflect back on the first day Tshepo hit me. The heartache and pain I felt reliving that moment was more painful than the day it actually happened. I actually had a panic attack at some point and wanted to abandon the whole idea of therapy but I had to remind myself why I am doing this. I am not about to let Tshepo have a hold on my life. I am going to commit to this healing process till the end if I am going to live my life to the fullest.
The first step I took towards healing today was talking about the abuse that I endured and how it made me feel about myself. As difficult as it was I forced myself to speak truthfully and honestly about my feelings. I used to blame myself because I thought it’s my faults or I deserved the treatment. If only I left sooner if only I did not stay after he impregnated the first girl after he hit me for the first time maybe he would have known what he was doing to me was wrong. Unfortunately most of us stay hoping the person would change and in most cases like mine they never do.
My therapist said I need to forgive myself and eventually learn to forgive Tshepo as well because give refuge to feelings of hate for him does more harm to me than it does to him. I am not sure if I am ready to forgive him yet but I hope with time I will be able to do so because that would mean he has no hold on me. I believe that he put me through whatever he put me through because he was not strong enough to handle such a woman of valor. That’s the only explanation I can think of because he used to make me feel small so as to make himself feel superior.
I have since learned how strong I am post my separation with him. To think he used to tell me I will never amount to anything without him and how I need him to be happy and successful in life. It’s a pity really that people would rather oppress you than let you flourish so just you can feel like you need them in your life. I thank God for finally making me see the light because I believe that my life and future looks brighter than it ever did.
I drove home playing the song Conqueror by the cast of Empire on repeat because the session I had reminded me of my strength and removed all the doubts I had about the decision I took of walking away. I love my daughter so much right now for introducing me to such an amazing song. Indeed I'd rather stand tall than live on my knees cause I'm a conqueror and I won't accept defeat. Tshepo and his family can try telling me no but one thing about me is that I am a conqueror. This is how today’s therapy session got me feeling.
“Lord give me strength for I am about to be tested right now” I say as I drive through the yard as soon as I notice my mother in law and her brother seating in a car parked outside. I will let them in and hear what they have to say because they clearly need to be reminded that I am not going to change my mind
I really can’t believe that they drove to my house without letting me know and waited for me by the gate for 3 whole hours so that they can plead Tshepo’s case. Kegore this family is just a joke and they are allowing Tshepo to use them like puppets. How do they arrange a family meeting now 2 months after the divorce papers has been served? Clearly I have made my intensions known and their interventions are a little too late to be effective. I shake my head as I place the cups spoons sugar milk and tea on a try before carrying them to the dining room.
Mma Mamabolo: “Re a leboga makoti (Thank you)” she says with the biggest smile as I place the tray on the table.
This woman is something else shame she is smiling at me like she did not recently swear at me. I pour tea in cups and pass them around to everyone seated around the table before settling down. They better talk about what brings them here fast because I have things to do like reading the book recommended by my psychologist to help me through this healing process.
Uncle Sam: “Pheladi let me start off by thanking you for making time to meet with us today. This meeting has been long overdue. I think we are to blame at times because we have not been proactive in dealing with the issues and problems that underlies your marriage to our son. Sekgowa sere better late than never. So ngwanaka we are here today and we want to discuss this issues with you and try to resolve them on your behalf. We will also talk to our son and reprimand him severely. As we speak we have decided as a family that he should step down from his position in church and focus on himself and your marriage. After this ngwanaka I give you my word Tshepo will be a changed man he will love and respect you the way you deserve and I will take responsibility for all his actions as I give you my word that he has changed for the better”
Mma Mamabolo: “Makoti we also want to apologise for all the things that our son has put you through. I know it’s too late to undo any of them but I can assure you that he is getting help and working on himself. Him nearly losing you and being apart from you this past 2 months has taken a tall on him and his happiness. He loves you very much and believe me when I say he will never do anything to undermine you your love for him and your marriage”
All this time I am looking at them as they talks and I am just nodding. I want to give them a chance to say all that they needs to say before I respond back. So I listen as they all go on and on about how they want to help me fix my marriage. Unfortunately they are 14 years too late and like spilled milk my marriage to Tshepo cannot be salvaged.
Me: “If I may ask why now? I am asking this because I have always came to you crying that I am not happy and your son is not treating me well. In fact I came to you crying that your son is abusing me and he comes home in the middle of the night
Mma Mamabolo: “Pheladi I acknowledge that I did you wrong by not calling a meeting with both you and my son. However I can assure you this I always reprimanded my son every time you came to me and my biggest mistake was not calling you and the elders in all those meetings. I am a woman too and it doesn’t make me happy to see another woman being ill-treated in her own marriage”
Malome Sam: “We are trying to fix our past mistakes that’s why we are here now. Pheladi allow us to help you but first you need to remove the protection order against your husband so that we can arrange a family meeting with both of you and try to resolve this and save your marriage. Ke ago kgopela hle ngwanaka”
Me: “No” I say keeping a straight face
Mma Mamabolo: “What do you mean no?”
Me: “I mean your family interventions are a little too late. This meeting here is not even a valid one that I can recognize because none of my family members is in attendance. If you thought you can gang up on me and while you represent your son’s interest without anyone representing mine you thought wrong. I have given your son more chances than he deserves all I need now is all of you to accept my decision to walk out of your son’s life and marriage”
Mma Mamabolo: “Yah ne kegore Pheladi you have changed I don’t even recognize you anymore” she says shaking her head with disappointment.
Me: “Thank you very much I will take that as a complement because it means I did go through metamorphosis process and finally people like you and your son cannot take advantage of me anymore. I am no longer limited to the ground and it’s time to spread my wings and fly”
Mma Mamabolo: “Maybe Tshepo was right you meet a new man and he is whispering nothing but lies to you”
Me: “I have passed a stage where I need to prove myself to any of you. I am not going to stand here and defend myself kindly ask your son to go through those divorce papers and sign them because I will not be changing my mind”
Uncle Sam: “Yah taba ye ke e kgolo (This is big). Kgaetsedi aresepele (My sister lets go) no one can say we did not try”
I watch as they get up and leave before taking a letting out a deep breath. This family is really trying to test me. How does my mother in-law and her brother let Tshepo use them like this? How does he fight to have me in his life when he is still busy with his whoring ways? They come here pleading his case when they know very well that he is staying with Mmabatho. Do they think I am that desperate to remain married to a man who is not prepared to acknowledge his wrongs and still disrespect me by spending most of his time at another woman’s house?
If only my mother in-law had a daughter or two maybe she would be sympathetic towards me and what I went through at the hands of her son. I have learned to accept that this family will never acknowledge my pain and it’s no use expecting them to deal with the real problem which happens to be their son.