Speaking out about depression.

I’ve never been affected by any suicide death like I am affected by the death of Dr Bongani Majosi. Personally, I don’t know him and have never heard anything about him until now… but his death hit too close to home for me. It has unplug something in me…something i wanna share with everyone.

I’ve realized there’s need for more people to speak up and empower someone out there. There’s need for us to stop acting so strong, so tough and so polished all the time as though we’ve never experience depression, pain, disappointment, loss of a loved one, betrayal or heartbreak. Life’s trials can quickly send anyone into a depressive state. There’s need for us as a society to start having these uncomfortable conversations. Not everyone can hit rock bottom and come back up. There’s need for us to tell our ugly stories and how we overcame or how we’re overcoming them…

I’ve been through many ugly things in my life and I’ve always told myself that one day I will tell my story. One day when everything has come together like a symphony…one day when its all sunshine but it seems that “one day” is today. Someone needs my story now with all the cracks in it and I am willing to be vulnerable to shine my shaky light so that someone can see their way out of the dark. Some people, friends/family might hear somethings for the first time and might be uncomfortable. I sincerely apologize. Plz, my intention isn’t to hurt, disrespect or make anyone feel uncomfortable but to empower someone. I am on the edge writing this…This is the most difficult heart wrenching post I’ve ever had to write in my entire life but I know its time to share this part of myself with the world…

It’s getting to 4years since I walked out on a marriage that nearly killed me. I nearly took my own life. At the point of leaving, I was depressed and suicidal as I didn’t see any other way out of it. I felt stuck being married to a man who had two identities. A man who could do no wrong in the eyes of the “public” yet in secret he was the man abusing me emotionally and physically. He was the man with extra marital affairs, a man buying sex from prostitutes, a man with a drinking problem, etc.

Yes, all marriages have problems but mine was a problem factory. Ex-husband, told me no one could love me. He told me I came from a family where my parents were not married and therefore didn’t know how to be a good wife. He said if I was a good wife, they would be no need for him to cheat, no need for him to go looking for prostitutes, no need for him to beat me up and no need for him for drink. He said I was responsible for everything. I drove him into the hands of other women. He told me I shouldn’t be deceive by those men that are always looking at me because all they want is to sleep with me. No man could love a woman like me. He was the only one who could tolerate me. I know I ain’t no saint but was I that bad. Initially I convince myself I was the problem, I internalized these things, I felt sorry for myself and I hated myself…

.

Prior to getting married to him I’d shared with him the difficult childhood I had growing up. And he used that to continue breaking me emotionally. If there was an argument he’d tell me to look back in my own family and I’ll see how no one wanted me in the family. These were just words to him but were arrows piecing through my soul everyday. One time we had an argument and I was trying to give my opinion on things and he told me “just because you think you are beautiful don’t mean you can control me”. Other times if I try giving an opinion on things he’d say “you’re just a woman”. The truth is I never felt beautiful, I never even felt like a human being when I was with him. I felt like a rag, a piece of clothing that no one wanted. I was numbed, angry and a walking dead for the greater part of being married to him. I had no life in me for 8 long years. Sometimes, I’ll go to work and didn’t even want to come back home. I’ll just bury myself in work…working overtime for no pay just to escape going home.

Many times I wanted to leave but he’d tell me “a good woman does not expose the husband but prays”. He’ll tell me about women who are hiding things about their husbands just to save their marriage but I want to expose mine” He went further to say “no one is going to believe whatever you say anyway, its your word against mine” Yeah, I thought to myself …really, who’d believe me over a pastor? Who was going to believe my story? Who was going to believe that a pastor is capable of adultery or abusing his wife? He was good at manipulating. So, i stayed and I felt myself falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of depression but was force to put a smile on Sunday mornings.

One day while at work, I got a WhatsApp message from him, the content of the message was two pictures of a woman and a written message that said “you’re not the only beautiful woman”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt my heart dropped to my stomach. I cried for the rest of that day in the office….. I don’t know how I drove home that day home or how I was driving to work in the weeks that followed. I was a zombie. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep. Confronted him about the pictures and he said she was a better woman that I could ever be. I told myself, this was the last straw. He succeeded to make me believe I was bad and unlovable, he succeeded to make me believe my family didn’t want me, he made me believe I was responsible for his abuse and his affairs and now cheating openly….with an audacity to send her pictures to my phone!

I was at breaking point…but I was also ashamed to face the world as a divorce woman. Death seemed like a better option. That way i won’t have to explain myself to anyone. All I could think of was committing suicide. He told me I was having suicidal thoughts because I’m demon possessed. Some days I’ll be driving and all I could think about was drive toward an oncoming traffic or drive over the bridge and kill myself. But then I’ll think about my 2 little children and I’ll stick it out. Honestly, I shouldn’t be here BUT GOD KEPT ME. My children kept me. I knew without me they’ll have no life and so I brave it….. it was hard and shameful to completely disclose my suffering to anyone. After all I was the “pastor’s wife” who was “expected” to be strong and a role model to other young women. A close friend of mine who thought she knew everything about me didn’t know everything.

I finally I took my kids and left him after battling with myself and his family about leaving him. It took me 3months to finally gather the courage to leave after the picture incident. 6months after I’d left, the girlfriend, a different one from the pics moved in and they were talking marriage and apparently expecting a baby too.

I didn’t even care if he was marrying three women at a go or expecting triplets. I was so relieve, so glad to finally be out of that environment. Nevertheless I was too broken. I was a walking time boom. The rage kept building as people deserted me and poured judgement on me and quoted the bible from genesis to revelation about divorce. According to some Christians, divorce meant I was heading to hell and needed rescuing. But all the while I was in hell and no one came to rescue me.

Leaving had unleashed an entirely new battle to fight – the battle of people’s opinions. I knew I wasn’t going to survive if I didn’t seek help. Unable to afford professional help, I turned to the internet for help. I would search for stories of people who have been through similar situations and survived. I needed tangible proof to convince my mind that it wasn’t the end of me. The more I prayed and expose my mind to positive stories, new perspective on life and motivation online, the more I felt better and hopeful. One year down the line and the toxicity bottled inside was getting flushed. I started feeling my true self coming back to life. I was starting to see light at the end of the tunnel but little did I know it was an oncoming train

I got to work one day and my boss called me into his office. It was nothing unusual, so I walked in suspecting nothing and sat down with this big smile on my face and my boss took a deep breathe that felt like he took my soul along. Immediately I knew something was wrong, my smile faded as I was waiting on him to drop the boom. He went silent for like 20 seconds which felt like eternity. I could feel my heart pounding against my chest. Finally he looked straight at me with this pale look and said “I’ve been wondering how to tell you this but there are some changes going on and we’ve decided to let you go”. You’ve been retrenched! In that moment it felt like I had just been hit by a train. This turn of events was completely unexpected and shocked me to an extent that I sat there, open mouthed, struggling to comprehend what I’d just heard. His eyes staring at me intently; his inability to grasp the chaos he has just unleashed was astounding yet I couldn’t respond. I was rendered speechless.

My mouth was dry. I could feel my heart forcing its way out of my chest. What? This is now me, a single, mother with two kids and no job. At the time, my identity, my bills and my children’s futures were wrapped around that job and it was gone in an instant. As a single mom I felt my world crashing down into tiny little pieces. That was a watershed moment in my life. I was still dealing with divorce, I was still learning this single mother thing, and I was still adjusting to a whole lot now being force to deal with retrenchment too. To say that day and the weeks that followed were some of the most difficult moments of my life would be an understatement. I knew I’d hit rock bottom before but facing retrenchment was a different kind of rock bottom. I was cut deep but there was no more blood left in me to bleed. Anxiety was the order of the day. I cried myself to sleep for weeks.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life yet but in the midst of that chaos, I made the tough decision never to return to the corporate world. I decided it was time to pave my own path. I decided i was going to fight my way out of the abyss again. So, Once again, I turned to the internet for help. I got expose to entrepreneurship, opportunities and a completely different world. This time, I started writing things I was learning. Writing became an escape for me. Writing became my therapy, writing became my purpose….

Looking back, I thought I was being buried but I was actually being planted. I thought I was being rejected but I was actually being redirect. The struggle isn’t over, life doesn’t get better but you get stronger. Battles keep coming but i just graduate from one battle and get ready for the next.

I was able to overcome because others were willing to speak up and share their stories online. I hope you find hope in my Story. Whatever battle you’re fighting, DON’T GIVE UP…Don’t kill yourself….I know how it feels. Trust me you too can overcome…I BELIEVE IN YOU and I LOVE YOU.

 

By Nicky Verd

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