From the age of five Mpho had bad dreams and sleepless nights that left her with severe headaches.
“I feared night time and I thought I was going to die in my sleep because I dreamed of snakes and sometimes saw myself drowning in the sea. I woke up exhausted and had a severe headache every morning because I hardly slept during the night,” said Mpho.
Her condition frustrated her so much that she was easily irritated and had outbursts of anger directed at her family members. “I was rude to other people because I felt they were insensitive about my condition. I believed that none of my family members understood what I was going through. I was always angry and fought with them for no reason. I also disrespected my mother. I refused to do my house chores as I believed I deserved to be treated differently from others,” she said.
In her matric year, Mpho was told that snuff was the only cure for her constant headaches and would improve her concentration at school. “I started using snuff to cure my headaches, but I later became addicted to it. I also drank alcohol because it eased the pain for some time. My mother understood it was only when I was drunk that I was able to sleep. My alcohol intake however turned me violent and I fought with everybody at home when I was drunk. I felt powerful and I bullied everyone around me,” said Mpho.
To escape her family problems Mpho moved in with her boyfriend a year after she completed her matric. “I carried my selfish behaviour into my relationship and fought with my boyfriend for no reason. As I did with my family I also thought my boyfriend owed me something in life. I continued behaving this way, even after we had two children. I had no peace and the only thing I wished for was to die, but I did not have the courage to kill myself because I did not want my children to grow up without a mother,” said Mpho.
In 2016 Mpho accepted a friend’s invitation to the Universal Church because she was desperate for a change in her health. “That was also the last day I used snuff because the headaches ended. I committed my life to God and applied the teachings of faith in my daily life. After a month in the church I stopped drinking and I also slept peacefully at night. As I continued coming to the church, I realised that cohabitation was not pleasing to God. I then decided to move back home. I now respect my mother and I live peacefully with my siblings. I still communicate with the father of my children and they visit him. I live my life to please God and I developed hope for a better life,” said Mpho.
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