03 May 2018

Constant abuse

Breaking up with the father of her two children after they had lived together for five years left Ntshabeleng depressed and suicidal.

She did not want to go back to her parents because she felt it would be a burden on them with two extra children to support.

"My live-in partner ill-treated me and insulted me when he was drunk.  I stayed in the relationship because I thought he was going to outgrow his abusive behaviour.  He continued abusing me until I left him after five years.

I rented a small room for me and my two children who were eight and four years old at the time. We survived on the child support grant and the money I earned from plaiting people’s hair," she said.

Leaving her partner was a difficult decision for Ntshabeleng because she still loved him, even though he abused her.

"I became stressed and developed suicidal thoughts because I feared that I was not going to be able to raise my children alone. I always felt lonely and sad without him," said Ntshabeleng.

In 2017, she was given a copy of the Universal News and, after reading the testimonies in the newspaper, decided to attend a church service. "At the end of the service, I spoke to a pastor who advised me to attend Friday services.

I took part in the chain of prayers of Fridays when I asked God to deliver me from suicidal thoughts and depression. I understood that I had to put my painful past behind me.

I learned that love does not hurt and I realised that there was no love in my relationship with the father of my children.

I was able to forgive him for ill-treating me because I understood it was good for my spiritual life and health. I am now at peace with the break up and the responsibility of raising my children alone. The thought no longer stresses me out and I no longer have suicidal thoughts. I now make good money from my braiding business because God blesses the work of my hands," said Ntshabeleng .