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I AM A FRAUD

By Anonymous


I have come to realise that I have been living a lie. I AM A FRAUD! I have always projected confidence, outspokenness, and strength. When I say I am a fighter, it is because I have always been brave, a solid rock, and a pillar of strength.


Being the youngest in my family, I was supposed to be treated like a princess, with everyone at my beck and call. Nevertheless, that is not my reality. Instead, I have been the glue holding everything together, the one everyone dumps their problems on. I used to take pride in being the dependable one, the one my family turned to. Now, as I reflect on it, I see how sad that really is.


Lately, I have been experiencing mental triggers that have rendered me paralysed, unable to function, and consumed by numbness and pain. Today, I muster the courage to share my story anonymously. Not because I fear judgement (though perhaps there is a hint of that), but because not every story requires public airing. This marks the beginning of my journey towards healing. Perhaps by sharing, someone else will find the bravery I struggled to embrace.


Allow me to transport you back to when I was just nine years old. At that tender age, I experienced a profound loss. The man I loved most, my father, had passed away. I was engulfed in shock. I had understood the concept of death theoretically; I knew it meant my father would never return and that he had departed for heaven. However, it is one thing to grasp the idea of death and another entirely to live through it. And suddenly, it was happening to me in real time.


Upon seeing the trauma reflected in her children's eyes, my mother decided it was best to grant us a respite, a brief escape from our harsh new reality. It was exciting! We had never, well, I had never journeyed to another country without my mother. It promised to be an adventure; I eagerly anticipated playing with my cousins and bunking with other children. It was a departure from my usual solitude in my own room back home. This truly felt like a wonderful opportunity.


Unbeknownst to me at the time, this trip would become the turning point where I lost myself, where my confidence and sense of beauty were mercilessly stripped away. Please be aware that what follows may be triggering.


The children were escorted to another house for the remainder of our holiday, where we could indulge in watching TV and playing with other kids at the soldier camp. It seemed like a dream come true! However, everything changed abruptly when, in a ruse to console me from missing my mother, my uncle put me on his laps and began to fondle my breasts. I knew it was not right. So I quickly got up and dashed towards the other children. From that night onward, for the duration of my stay, he would visit our room, pin my hands down and cover my mouth, throw away my underwear, and insert his hand and fingers inside me, pushing them in and out without a care whether my fragile body was fighting for dear life. After the holiday, I went back home as if nothing had occurred, vowing never to mention it. But deep down, I knew I was forever changed.


Years later on another vacation, I met a boy from our church, I was 17 and he was 21. It was the epitome of teenage love - chocolates, sunsets, and all. Yet, amidst the sweetness, a persistent unease lingered in the pit of my stomach, a remnant of past anxieties. Despite this, my mind seemed to shield me from recalling any traumatic events. Then, one tragic night, I found myself home alone. 


He came to my home drunk and chased me around the house, eventually pinning me down and forcing himself on me. This went on and on for hours until the sun came out. Tears streamed down my face as I wailed and struggled against him. His gaze met mine, void of emotion, filled only with icy detachment and a sense of fulfilment. As he finished, a smirk danced across his lips, and he uttered, "Because you have allowed me to do this, you love me more than you love God." Those words echoed endlessly in my mind, chipping away at my resolve and self-worth with each repetition. There wasn't a surface I didn't scour in an attempt to cleanse myself, yet I still felt tainted and broken. My innocence was stolen by someone who claimed to love me.


As my vacation ended and I journeyed back home, I found myself in an even deeper abyss. Determined not to remain silent this time, I vowed to confide in my mother upon my return. Tragically, fate intervened, snatching her away before I could utter a word. I lost my pillar, my love, and my MOTHER. Death robbed me!


Alone with my grief, I questioned the heavens, pleading for answers. Despite my prayers and tears, it seemed the worst continued to befall me, leaving me to wonder if any higher power was listening at all. In this life, there isn't a prayer I’ve not prayed or a tear I’ve not cried.


Everything stopped working and making sense; I was blacking out and losing time. In and out of hospitals, I saw different social workers. I even dropped out of school. I was beyond repair. Amidst the torment of my mind, I craved an escape, seeking solace in marijuana; this unexpected euphoria became my anchor, keeping me grounded and sane. Eventually, the pain was unbearable, and I would slit my wrists just to feel alive. The pain of a bleeding arm was far better than the void I felt. I was on a cocktail of medications, marijuana, and self-harm; yet still numb!


Reflecting on my journey and the trials I've faced, I'm filled with a profound sadness. It's hard to accept that I've had to endure so much, especially when I believe I didn't deserve any of it. Hearing people suggest, "It could have been worse" or that "everything happens for a reason" only adds to my frustration. There is no justification for the pain I have endured.


So, no, I'm not filled with confidence or bravery; I have no strength. Instead, I’m still 9 years old, a scared, broken child, still haunted by the past and silenced by my own insecurities. I am not worthy, I am not good enough; all I am is a sexual tool to be admired and used for satisfaction.


Perhaps one day in the future, I'll be able to come back here and share a story of triumph, detailing how I overcame these challenges. But for now? Today? I am broken; I'm consumed by anger, pain, and the lingering effects of trauma. I find myself locked in a constant battle with my inner demons, a battle that, unfortunately, they seem to be winning.



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Edited by Bwalya M Mphuka


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I AM A FRAUD

 

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