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16 June 2010

Young Adulthood

I started my working career in June 1989. Both my “sisters” got jobs at Sanlam as well & we lived in Sanlam's hostel. However, Mams & Paps decided to move away & both Antoinette & Ronel decided to leave their jobs to join them. I was settled in my job & didn’t want to uproot myself again so I decided to stay. I had found a church, attended a home cell & had found a new family where I was loved & accepted "warts & all". All was well for a few years, after all I had received a prophesy that God would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children & that He would restore my family & was hanging on to that for dear life.

After two failed engagements, I met & married my husband, Clive. I was utterly disappointed about dad & brother not attending our wedding. We were financially strained & took a transfer to Johannesburg in order to get area allowance to afford living. 

Then life happened, various new jobs, increased stress & crime in surrounding areas increased. Relationships with our Cape Town friends didn't withstand the test of distance. I was back at keeping up all the contact, never hearing from people if I didn’t initiate it & I started struggling with rejection, isolation & abandonment again.

In 1996 I ended up in hospital due to an ectopic pregnancy after falling pregnant within weeks of starting a new job. This brought about some challenges because my superior was not happy that I had left the office unmanned when she attended a regional meeting together with the regional manager. She dismissed my issue as not significant because I had been barely 6 weeks pregnant. Once again depression returned & with that my first round of anti-depressants. My emotional turmoil was wreaking havoc with my ability to work well & I was constantly messing up & couldn't do anything right to the extent that she wanted to do a disciplinary. However, in November having totally mixed-up hormones I went to the gynaecologist to get help sorting those but found out that I was expecting again. Clive & I decided we weren't going to risk pregnancy with the work stress, so I resigned & started temping instead. After Jesse 3 more miscarriages followed but because of previous experiences I never told anyone that I was even pregnant. Even my pregnancy with Misha was also only revealed when I passed the 12-week mark for fear that we’d lose him before & then had to explain away the loss again.

Another huge blow to my emotions was my little sister’s court wedding on her 18th birthday. Whilst I was at work mom sent me an SMS to notify me that she had just got married. Not being invited or even informed that they were planning to do this was a major disappointment because I wanted to arrange a kitchen tea & be there with her. My mom’s absence at my son’s births has also weighed heavy on me over the years. She didn't drive 70km to be there when I gave birth but flew in from Ireland to be there for the birth both of my sister's children.

Another huge disappointment was our being church choir disbanded due to "a lack of commitment" in spite of  being there every week for every practice, service & event although I had a baby & was doing Bible College at the same time. 

My husband and I were cell leaders for 7 years, during which time we’d help support in many ways even financially those in our group that were struggling. Much of our financial debt was accumulated because we’d give till it hurt via our credit card. The first of few years of leadership we had a very supportive zone pastor who would visit & phone regularly as well as have regular leadership get togethers. But then he resigned & was replaced. Our new leader was in our home maybe twice in 4 years & the leadership get togethers dwindled away. Then when we needed emotional support when mother-in-law got cancer, everyone was gone & even the leadership faltered. I sent out a prayer request email, stating that if I as a Christian felt so unloved & unsupported in church, I could very well imagine how the unbelievers must look at the church. Instead of coming to our aid, our zone pastor phoned my husband telling him I’m unruly & he needed to control me better because that email was portraying him in a bad light. Once again I felt betrayed, rejected, and abandoned & stopped going to church. In 2007 we dealt with three deaths all by ourselves. Oma Else’s had the most impact & depression returned followed by suicidal thoughts. I felt so rejected & abandoned by our leadership that I turned away from Christianity & wanted nothing more to do with any of it. We resigned as home cell leaders & it took 3 weeks & an email including the senior pastor before our zone pastor even acknowledged our resignation.

After that followed 3 major operations, twice in ICU for three days within 14 months starting in 2009 with absolutely no support, not even my family came to visit me in hospital & only received 1 visit afterwards whilst I spent 6 weeks recovering. We started reducing our visits to the family & unless we initiated it, we hardly heard from anyone. Of course, crime in our area was increasing steadily & with that came the constant concern about our family’s safety. I wouldn’t dare to drive at night & stuck to a strict 30km radius from home. I stopped watching the news & TV because I just couldn’t handle the trauma around what was happening around us anymore.

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