“When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will adopt me.”
I was born with an inherent sense of rejection & a strong feeling that I shouldn't be here. I was raised in a Godless & emotionally neglectful home. My earliest childhood memories are of hiding in the dark closet at maybe 4 years old whilst drunk parents were fighting & mom throwing crockery at dad. For years I doubted this specific memory until 3 years ago when my brother confirmed it was true. To add insult to injury, my mom once told me I wasn't planned. As a little child I would throw tantrums in order to get some attention from my parents, because to me being scolded was better than being ignored. I vividly remember having my head shoved under the cold water tap for crying hence I spent the rest of my life suppressing my tears. My brother used to tease endlessly until I got a hiding for screaming in frustration.
I lost my grandparents & other relatives to migration when we immigrated to South Africa in October 1975. My parents never encouraged communication, so they became strangers we'd only see once more 4 years later. After that many more moves followed, I stopped counting at 30 by the time I was 20. This included 9 different primary schools & 3 high schools which included about 5 years of boarding school 3-4 hours away from home. All of that caused severe social anxiety & left me feeling like an outsider struggling to make & maintain friendships for the rest of my life. I stopped trying to fit & make friends because friendships wouldn't survive snail mail & regular moves.
Ouboet & I spent many days home alone with the domestic worker, Liesbet, there in the morning & back in her little house on the other end of the lifestyle block the rest of the day. Dad would hang out at the pub most days after work. Mom was a restaurant manageress & would sleep at work often. There were times we didn't see either of them for weeks. At that stage I was still scared of the dark & would switch mom & dad's bedside radio & the hall light on before going to bed. They would switch off when they got home & by the time we woke up would be gone to work already.
In 1977 mom sent us to a German boarding school about 4 hours away from home. On weekends when the other kids went home, we'd remain because it was just too far to fetch us every weekend. After a few months, my classmate started to invite us to their farm & her parents would become the first set of "parents" that would introduce us to a Godly life.
After 2 years dad's speeding fines on every trip to & from boarding school became too much for the budget so by the end of 1979 we were home alone again. Fortunately, we had gotten new neighbours across the road who would become best friends. We would spend most of our time visiting them & were treated like part of the family. For the first time in my childhood I experienced family the way God intended. I gained 2 sisters & a brother. On Sundays they would go to church & invite us to go with them, which we did for a long time.
My parents divorced when I was 10 after which mom dropped us with our neighbours/friends across the road. I would later hear it was because she didn't want us anymore. At that stage, my brother & I were severely malnourished having lived mostly on mieliepap, bread & eggs. We didn't know the difference between carrots & pumpkin or cabbage & lettuce. I remember hating the taste of the tonic the doctor prescribed so much that when Mams took the bottle out, I ran & hid outside. Mams & Paps loved us like their own, but unfortunately this joy was short lived because 3 months later mom came back to fetch us. She was moving