During my childhood, there are certain things in our family that I thought to myself were normal. Then finding out later in life, these things were actually abuse, especially my Dad. I was unable to understand why he was like that. My Dad had a problem, anger. He is always lashing out and angry at things. We get a hiding if we don’t get anything clean or if we come home late from school. Even going to church, if we don’t do things perfectly we get a flogging. One time in the toilets, my Dad locked and jammed it with a mop and a broom then gave me a good flogging. Neighbors heard the screams and I can’t remember how long the session was. Apparently, I was told some of the elders of the church came and helped break the door down to stop the canning. Everyone in the family gets a beating, but I rather get the most beating even if it kills me, so be it. At that time to me, my life was worthless anyways. When I saw my mum crying, I said to myself, “Why would someone stay with someone who always abuse them and still be with them?”. As I grew older and got married, I became like my father. I adopted his ways and his methods. I portrayed that kind of life which I thought was normal and true love. But I did not realise I was hurting and abusing my wife. At that time, I did not realise that my failure to deal with this anger inside me was affecting my son. I felt empty, broken, rejected and on my own. I did not know how to cope up with it so what I did is get into drugs and find other destructive ways to deal with my anger. I also kept to myself. The change came about when I saw my mum praying. Then I started talking to God. My mum was talking to me and saying, “The only way is to allow God to help you. He is the only one who can give you peace”. I appreciate the support and the prayers from people that I know, like Healing Rain. When I found God, it helped me become who I am today.
My name is Derek and for anyone who is struggling and going through difficulties with mentally, physically or spiritually, don’t give up hope. There are people out there who are willing to help you. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and take one step at a time. Hang around people who are positive, people who can encourage you. Don’t think that you are alone, you are never alone. I had to take that first step. Don’t limit yourself. Find and seek help and understand why you need help. If you know why you need help, then you know why you have to have help. There is no use of needing the help if you don’t want the help.