"I forgive you, mom"
A young man shares his difficult path to adulthood.
Bongani experienced the worst kind of abuse in the hands of his mother. I expected to see  an angry young man who hates women and wants nothing to do with them. Does he?

What kind of childhood did you have?

My childhood changed its direction when I was ten years old. It started off quite well. When I turned twelve, everything else turned for the worst. My biological mother was physically abusive, and that led to me fleeing home to seek refuge in the streets.

What has been your relationship with your mother?

It has never been the sweetest. I treat her more like my aunt.

Do you think she loved you?

I am sure she loved me, I am pretty sure she also cared about me. I am just not sure if she considered how I felt at the time. I don't think she hurt me on purpose. She must have been going through her own demons and I  have forgiven her.

What is the worst thing that had happened when your mother should have protected you?

The worst thing she did was to expose me to her love life. It affected my emotional growth. She was quite promiscuous: I once saw her having sex, and I still relive those moments which seem as real as if they happened last night.  One day her boyfriend beat me and tried to hang me. She blamed me for being naughty and gave me another hiding.

Has your childhood experience affected the way you view women?

It has caused a great deal of damage. I hated the thought of having my own children simply because I thought women were monsters and can't raise kids. It affected my love life in a sense that I don't trust easily and that becomes apparent when I start dating. It has affected my love life. It’s embedded in my head that no woman can ever love me better. Which I know is not true. I ended up hurting the woman I love because I never believed in her love. I cheated on her because I was used to seeing that kind of life. I broke her heart because of my mother. She loved more than my mother, which was a bit scary for me.

What advice would you give to mothers out there when it comes to protecting and loving their children?

Making their children a priority and standing by them at all times.

Never let or allow a man to come into your life and make you choose between your child and his cheap love. I am not saying men have no real love, and I am not saying all men will come into your life with bad intentions. All I am saying is that you need is to show your kids that you love them, appreciate and adore their presence. Don't make them regret being born or being around. The damage they cause in your children's life is greater than what they are there for. Your children should be the reason why you would want to live longer. It is simple. All you have to do is to LOVE your children. You do not want to be blamed by your child when they get older for failing them.

Do you blame anyone for what happened to you in your childhood?

I was a child. Who else can I blame apart from my protector. God chose her to carry me for nine months.  

What advice do you have for young people who have been the same road as you?

Be strong. Don't give up. Don't hesitate on your dreams. Don't idle. Don't relax. Don't just hope, work on your dreams. Money never makes any dreams. No one else can do it for you, ONLY you. Take your past as a guide. If you're going through that now, its only the beginning. Strive for more to achieve. It is possible.

What has your experience taught you?

To love more and unconditionally. To work hard. To follow my dreams and not to allow anyone to tell me that I am not special.

Read more by Masanda Peter
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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