by Maureen Velile Majola
drafted on 24.03.2013
Today I was looking at my pictures from my childhood. I realised how much I’ve changed and how I remained the same.
I saw a lot of pictures of me that I don’t have a memory of besides what my family tells me about myself.
Being a young girl in a household full of people was never easy. I had a lot of personal issues that made me a stubborn child that did what she wanted when she saw fit. At some point in my childhood I was a very bitter young girl who hated life and everything it offered.
There was a time when I was still in primary school when I used to cut myself, yes I mean cut my wrists with a blade and blood coming out, then letting it heal on its own. No one knows about this but I did this so many times that it became a part of me.
I started being suicidal, mind you nothing hectic was happening in my life. I was not molested or sexually abused at any point in my life. There was a constant need to die, I couldn’t control it, I didn’t want to control it because I understood that Velile HAS to die. In my head that awful music sounded so soothing and relaxing that nothing mattered to me but to slit my wrist and maybe die.
At the age of 12/13 I stopped doing this because I wasn’t dying like I needed to so I thought of a different plan. My grandmother had a lot of pills that she got from the clinic and I knew just where to find them.
One afternoon when I came home from school I found that there was no one at home. This was a perfect opportunity for me to try the pills. I went straight to my grandma’s bedroom and got the pills, took them to the bathroom and started swallowing them one by one. I don’t know how many I took but it was surely not enough since I’m writing this today.
Right after taking my beautiful pills that were going to kill me like I needed to, thoughts raced through my mind, wondering if I took enough pills or if I was really going to die this time around. I wondered if finally everyone would be free of me. I finally took a long nap only to be woken up by my grandma to ask if I was ok since it was unlike me to be sleeping during the day. I was so angry at myself, I hated that I didn’t die; I wanted to wake up only to watch my body lay there to rest. Waking up to my grandma’s face was not part of the plan. My needs were not satisfied I really needed to die and free my soul from me.
I was a troubled young soul who just needed to die that’s all. I started taking pills, trying to take my life but nothing ever happened to me. I mean I never even got sick from it. A lot of people will not believe this as they see me as this young strong woman with a bright future. But I tell you today this young happy woman has tried taking her life so many times she has lost count. I sit here writing this and I wonder, Why?
Why did I always have the need to do this?
Why would I want die?
It all just doesn’t make sense to me.
My body mind and soul needed a place to belong, a place to feel safe, somewhere I can call home, not that I didn’t have a roof over my head but I needed to feel like I was home. I remember how I would sit in the only place I felt safe in the house and I’d wonder how everyone’s lives would be without me. I imagined a free life, a happy life where everyone was happy without me. I saw a perfect life for everyone around me. That picture just seemed perfect as I knew no one would miss me but my beautiful mother. I am known for sitting in the bathroom for over 30minutes. Thinking about my life, how depressing it is to live and plan my next attempt to take my life. I sit there at times to write my poetry and read books; I create my own perfect life where only I exist. Everyone thinks I just love doing the number one and two. Well the bathroom is the only place in the house that I feel like I belong, it’s where my soul is at peace and I make sense of my senseless life.
My family means so much to me yet I don’t belong. I’ve always been different, the weird one, the crazy one that they all don’t understand and the rude kid. Well this is all true and I’ve always known that most of my kin don’t like me at all they just tolerate me. It doesn’t matter to me, I’ve come to understand that not everyone will love me or even care about me and my feelings. A lot of you who have known me forever will be shocked by this but this is the authentic ME, the young woman who hides behind bravery.
My soul is still searching, searching for a place to belong. I’m a troubled girl, who’s soul searching, trying to find herself and understand the people around her.
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2013 June 21: The Princess of Norway pitched just for Muholi