How my mother saved me from one incident of molestation


so today I read a sad story about a 13-year-old who was molested by a vice principal at a her school and the sad events that followed. I couldn’t help but think of my own daughter who is 14 and whether she would be comfortable enough to talk to me about any such experiences. I sometimes wonder, like many parents if we have done enough to protect her or if ever it is possible to protect her.

I was reminded of my own experience from about 20 years ago. I am a Trust school kid, and at the time was in Grade three. I was one of those students who didn’t do her homework and didn’t finish her work in class but still managed to come 12th out of 24 students on the grade ladder. Eventually I think my teacher and my headmistress tired of my attitude and notified my parents. Mum straightened me out on the homework front, but my speed when carrying out tasks was none-existen … still isn’t great. One afternoon, another student and I didn’t finish taking down notes and we were asked by our teacher to go back and finish them (we could go home and eat lunch and then go back  to school). I went  home and because I lived 30 minutes out-of-town, by the time dad dropped me off at the school my classmate had already left.

I went into the class and started taking down notes and a janitor came in to clean the class. At some point he was  standing close to me, and though I can’t remember the conversation, I felt uncomfortable. He reached to touch my face and I pulled away. He kept reaching and I was going to fall off the chair when I blurted out “I’m going to tell my mum”. He left me alone and I stayed clear of him every time I saw him in school. Of course I didn’t tell anyone about it but the reason I have blurted out that I would tell my mum was that I had remembered my mum saying that if anyone touched us in a way we didn’t like (not her exact words) that we should tell her.

I moved to the upper trust school the following year and sometime later, the same Janitor was with another janitor (one who was nice to students) and he tried to join a conversation that the nice janitor was having with me and my sister. I pointed out that I didn’t like him and that I hadn’t forgotten what he had done. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about and I insisted he did and he walked away. His collegue looked puzzled and hezitated before continuing the conversation.

Just that one experience has informed my parenting in an attempt to protect my daughter, but I don’t know if it is effective or not. I started telling her about inappropriate touch from about 2 and a half and tried to make it  clear that if anyone touched her in a way that made her feel bad, she should tell me. Why those words? because most sexual abuse victims will tell you that they felt something was wrong or they felt bad or ashamed and the language needs to make sense to the child. As she’s grown older, my language has also changed and sometimes I simply give her scenarios and ask for her responses. By no means do I think it’s fool-proof, but our options are  limited. We can’t go everywhere with our children but we can give them tools to protect themselves. Even with those tools, their courage may fail, or things might still happen for whatever reason. In such cases, remember to not place blame on the child, and to show them they are loved. And always remember to pray, because where we don’t go, God still goes, and in the end, His ways are higher and His healing hands always able to bind what the enemy destroys.

As for this child, I pray that she  finds peace and that she remembers her worth and beauty and the courage to live life to it’s fullest.

 

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my experience buying a dress from Owprom


I bought a dress from Owprom.com for my wedding. I was looking for a different kind of dress and found one I liked in a store but it was too expensive. I decided to check online for it and I found it. I checked the website and made sure there was nothing funny about it and it was listed as an American Company. I bought the dress and online banking showed two transactions by a Chinese company. That was rectified with one transaction reversed. when it was shipped, I was given a tracking number and when I checked where the parcel was, discovered it was coming from Singapore. When it arrived, was the wrong colour and didn’t have a built in corset as advertised and the lace at the top looked a bit funny. a tailor’s pin was also sewn into the dress. The veil is horribly done and can’t be used. I have been in contact with the Company and a lady called Fiona has refused to give me a full refund, offering me $80 to $200 and keeping a dress I can’t use on a total Au$570 spend. She says they can only guarantee that a dress will be 95% similar and that dress was not near 95% similar and that  was not stated on the website. I have checked the site again and the description of the dress has changed and doesn’t come with a built in corset anymore. If any you are thinking of buying a dress from Owprom.com … don’t do it!

26 years of grace


As this day comes to an end, I feel it appropriate to give praise where it is due. God has brought me this far. There are some who might call me crazy for believing in a being I can’t see, but this life has been rough! So, so rough and unrelenting in it’s challenges. When I felt out of place among my peers, with no confidence in myself, it was among God’s people, I found acceptance. It was God who gave me a family that defends, protects, corrects and accepts, even when I have nothing that seems acceptable within me. It is this same God who has seen me through moments of great despair, when all I could see was death. Few would know this, but there were times, plenty of times, when death seemed appealing. When I was so scared of throwing myself in front of a train, that I couldn’t leave the house, it was God who brought healing.

It was Him who gave me the child, who has been a teacher and inspiration. It was God who has kept me standing, brought me joy and brought love into my life when I least expected it. It was him who gifted me with a love for words and poetry, writing and drawing. I am a mother, with endless dreams and possibilities. Everything I have to be proud of, has been given to me. Gift’s, I hope, that can point people toward heaven.

I’m a beautiful work in progress, but oh has He been gracious to me and has never let me down! I am learning to rejoice in His goodness and trust His wounds and to count every blessing. I am filled with a sense of urgency, to make my life count, and if  unchecked, that could make me throw caution to the wind and make a mess of what I believe is a calling. I am not where I want to be, I fall, I’m the “chief of sinners”. I’m flawed, and my greatest prayer lately can be summed up as  “help my unbelief.”

I guess if I died today, I would want people to see God’s stamp at every step in my life. If you learn anything from my flawed life, I hope it’s that God is good and that there is nothing that happens out of His authority, and that if He allows it to happen, it has a purpose! I’m 26, and I’m living again; that is a miracle, that renders me unable to forgo the craziness of believing in a God I can’t see … I have seen Him, in the grace of those who share my belief, in those who shared it before me. I have seen Him in the small details of my life. Not only have I seen Him, I have heard Him and my prayer is that I would see Him and know Him as more valuable than anything else.

Christmas


The best thing about Christmas is probably time spent with family and friends and this year as we do every year, we had at least 30 people in the house. It was a great day and the days that led up to Christmas, my young sis, my daughter and I decided to bake what would be our Christmas present to everyone who was coming. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun too. Then there was Christmas services at Church…all I can say is I haven’t enjoyed  praise like that is a while. Other than Christmas, it happens to be my 2 cousins’, my uncle’s and mum’s birthdays in the few days before Christmas so we were also celebrating birthdays. Safe to say by the time Christmas night came and people had gone home, our whole household was really really tired!

This Christmas proved very special for us…my 0lder brother proposed to his lovely girlfriend and we are all now looking forward to a wedding soon. it’s funny to think of my brother as a romantic but he is and he couldn’t have picked a better woman! This was the best Christmas present and a great end to the year. God has been really good to us and I am grateful for the endless blessings. As this year comes to an end, a lot has been lost but we have been given so much more than we could have dreamt of. There’s nothing worth more than family and I pray that we all learn to appreciate them more and set aside selfish desires for the good of all those around us.

Birthdays


There’s nothing that makes me feel older than other peoples birthdays…My younger siblings more than anyone else. Though one that shocks me a lot is my daughter’s. There are four birthdays from the 23rd to the 30th of November. The 23rd happens to be my big mum’s birthday. She is a precious woman in whose house I spent many of my childhood days. Growing up, I always new she was my mum’s sister and was probably in my teens before I fully understood that she was actually my mother’s best friend. Seems dumb I know but I think it explains the kind of relationship that we have with their family. There were times when my parents couldn’t pick us up till late and we spent the night. We spent holidays there, shared in birthdays and hand me downs went between the two houses. I miss sitting pa mpasa after school and talking with her and gleaning from a life lived well. She has been a source of wisdom and when I had a child out of wedlock, she loved me all the more; she defended me. She reminded me I was worth so much and that I could achieve anything.

She loved my child before she was born and the day I went into hospital, all mum had to do was call her and her and her eldest daughter (my sister) were there when we got to the clinic, and she stayed until they had no choice but to go home; same time mum left, and she was back the day after and the day after that. She was there when I was struggling with intense feelings of sadness, when I couldn’t understand why God would let my life go the way it had. Even today, all I have to do is call or text and her wisdom always leaves me feeling at peace. I have always been safe with her and I love her beyond words. Celebrating her birthday leaves me feeling blessed.

baby bro
baby bro

Then there’s the birthdays, other than my daughter’s that make me feel old. Younger siblings! Bwalya, Ndeke and Dalitso; their birthdays are on the 24th, 28th and 30th respectively and they turned 18, 17 and 21. I feel old because I’ve seen all three in Diapers and carried them on my back…

I don’t think I ever carried Mr D but still, he’s my baby brother and even though he now thinks it’s inappropriate for me to say so, he will always be that and that image will never go away. Maybe one day I will manage to get him reading.

I will always love you and Someone like you Karaoke in three generations. Ndeke, Me, Mum and my daughter!
“I will always love you” and “Someone like you” Karaoke in three generations. Ndeke, Me, “small” Mum and my daughter!

Bwalya and Ndeke are just two of the bravest girls I know. Both have faced so much and are still standing. You guys inspire me and I know I can be very mean and love to tease and portray a very harsh no nonsense face but I love you guys and I am inspired by you. Bwalya as SandyI can’t wait to see you guys in the next few years. I can’t believe how big you are and for me the hard thing is to let you be grown because I will always see you as my babies in need of protecting. God will take you places and I know that people will be blessed because of you!