For seemingly endless months, if not years, this question has hounded my mind, “What is the purpose for my life?” … Basically, “Why on earth did I go through so much in my life? Why? What did I do wrong to deserve all of this… I was just a child… and growing up, all I did was love and care for people… never would I even consider lying or being mean to someone, nevermind worse… how does all of this make any sense?”

I look at scenario after scenario… the ones I was trapped in… and even the “dumb” choices I made that resulted in further heartache, pain and worse. Yes, call me an idiot… I do… and often too. Honestly, I truly feel like one because I’ve loved and cared for people so ignorantly and freely all my life, which could have cost me my life too… quite a number of times.

It’s called a “mirror”… how you see yourself, is how you see others. I never thought people could or would be capable of “so much” and all in the lure of being “a friend”. Yet, despite being fooled so badly by lies and deceit… I did what I do best, looked in the “mirror” and saw the good in mankind… and I got fooled again… and again.

Now… now I am still looking in the “mirror”… still being the “idiot” that I often feel I am… yet, I’m still choosing to see the good in mankind but my gaze often feels frozen, staring and searching for hidden shadows in the “mirror”, so I don’t recycle my life all over again. There’s a part of me that wants to let go and be “fully me”… because, honestly, why would people want to hurt other people? Honestly, how hard is it to be genuine? … Yet, there’s a part of me pulling back in fear because of what it cost me. I don’t count the “cost” of money, things and even my life… I’m referring to what it “cost” me with my heart.

If overthinking was an art, I would have won an award. I overthink my overthinking. Mindmap upon mindmap… searching for answers… and IF it still looks “safe”, my auto response is still, “What’s the catch?” … or I sway it off as, “I don’t deserve it; it’s too good to be true… especially for my life”. I see the “mirror”… but it’s reflection has fooled me too many times. It’s a war. My mind is exhausted. Confused. Scared. Scarred. YET, still desperately wanting to still believe there’s good out there… and, hopefully, for the first time, something good for my life.

“You reap what you sow… you get what you give…” … words that often also repeat in my mind when I hit confusion over what’s happened in my life. Then I get told, “What’s coming to you, is every ounce of love that you have ever given, all in one go.” … Desperately hopeful… “Hope” is what always keeps me going, in every scenario, no matter what.

I’ll never forget the last question Judge Francis asked me, while I was on the stand in high court for the Krugersdorp Killers, “Do you deem yourself as gullible?” In that moment… I cannot begin to even try explain what went through me. Yes, I’m ignorant… yet, at war, now, trying not to be but still wanting to believe there’s good in humanity. In that moment… everything was so raw. I live by the truth. I don’t hide it. Ask me, and I’ll tell you. But in that moment… it felt like a public acknowledgment to the world saying, “Yes, I’m an idiot for believing people would be genuine… yes, I’m an idiot for loving and caring freely, like a child does.” I felt so guilty… but for what? Loving and caring isn’t wrong… That’s all I did throughout the whole scenario. I felt guilty for that… even though Judge Francis’ question had nothing to do with that. My answer is still, “Yes,” and you have no idea of the war that rages through my mind. This was not one scenario in my life I was answering to either, it was “my life”… one spoken, “Yes,” was an answer to lifetime of “gullible” scenarios.

I love, care and protect with my life… because I needed that in my life. I know what it’s like to not have it… and so, since around 4/5yrs old, it was embedded in me to love unconditionally… care without expecting in return… and protect, even if it cost me my life. That embedded mindset is the basis of who I am. It will never change. Yet, I have suffered so much because of it. Basically… I needed that as a child, so I became what I needed… yet, I was still going into scenarios that broke me more each time still… feeling like a “no-win” repeat pattern. I got hurt either way.

Stuck. Yet, not stuck, at the same time. Just confused… very confused. “Why was I given this life?” I mean… surely there is a reason?

Then earlier, I recalled a question I was asked a few years ago.

I was asked, “What is the ONE thing you always wanted to do in your life?”

“STOP PEOPLE FROM HURTING.”

But then I was told, “That’s impossible… think again… what do you want to do?”

“TO HELP PEOPLE HURT LESS.”

“Okay, fine, but how are you going to do this? You can’t save the world…”

I was stuck. I was lost. I couldn’t answer the question. That’s all I’ve been trying to do all my life… out to save everyone I met… out to save the world… even if it meant I ended up hurt or if it meant it cost me something… everything… and even when it almost cost me my own life too. I know I can’t save the world… because I’ve tried so many times. I am just one person…

“SO HOW DO ‘I’ HELP PEOPLE HURT LESS?”

I can’t wave a wand and take the pain away. I can’t remove the memories and change the situations that people feel stuck in.

“HOW DO ‘I’ HELP PEOPLE HURT LESS?”

Then I was told, “Everything you’ve ever been through in your life is because you are meant to help people that go through those same things… to give them hope… to show them that it is possible.”

“WHAT HAVEN’T I BEEN THROUGH?”

I feel like life has literally thrown me into everything since I was born. Name a scenario or situation and my answer is more than likely, “Yes” … or at the very least, “I’ve come awfully close to it.”

So… “HOW?”

Then I watch person after person… silently, hurting so badly and hiding in their pain… feeling so alone… going through seemingly impossible scenarios they feel trapped in… being used and abused… going through terrible heart breaks… going through life threatening scenarios… wanting to end their lives… and sadly, some have.

“HOW DO ‘I’ HELP PEOPLE HURT LESS?”

People often hide their pain from everyone because all they’ve ever received was rejection or being abandoned for it. Opening up about their pain… only to receive more pain in return. So, people hide… and even when you ask, they avoid the question… ashamed of the pain they feel and terrified of being hurt even more.

“SO HOW DO ‘I’ HELP PEOPLE HURT LESS… WHEN THEY WON’T OPEN UP AT ALL?”

People are terrified to open up and become vulnerable in their pain. So instead, I chose to open up and become vulnerable about the pain I’ve been through. Even if none of these people say a word in response, at the very LEAST… they will know they are NOT ALONE.

Feeling alone in your pain is possibly the worst pain anyone could ever go through, never mind the actual scenario or action that caused it.

Life has put me through virtually almost every scenario possible… I’ve hurt more than I could bare to carry on breathing. I was alone when I was battling for my life. I was alone through every scenario… and yes, I also tried ending my own life too. I know pain VERY well. Pain WAS my best friend. Even when I also tried to open up… each time I got hurt even more in return. So, I also closed myself up and walled myself off from the world.

“Pain? What pain? I’m fine!” …and I just laughed it off with the convincing mask I learnt to wear… a mask so brilliant that it even covered the pain in my eyes. No one knew what I was going through… because I had learnt that no one cared, even if they did know.

But as the months and years passed by, I eventually found my feet and managed to stand again. I am no longer the person I was in any previous scenario in my life… I am STRONGER… I am WISER… yet, I am also STILL LEARNING too. Every time I get knocked down again, I remember my past and I remind myself that I can get up again. I’ll just become even stronger this time… and every time.

So even if no one will open up and talk because they are scared… I will open up and show what I’ve been through. In doing so, it does make me feel incredibly vulnerable BUT if it can help AT LEAST ONE PERSON to not feel alone, then IT’S WORTH IT.

This is why I have chosen to write books, poetry and, literally, “put my life and heart” on the line to speak up for justice and truth where needed. I stand side by side with you, even if you can’t see anyone there.

I open up to show what I have been through… the indescribable pain and heartache… the confusion… the mess… the chaos… and more than anyone can imagine. BUT at the end of it all… I am NO LONGER that person… I am STRONGER. Life has knocked me down and almost killed me; but I got up again, and I always will.

You might feel like what you’re going through is impossible to get through… but PLEASE believe me when I say that THINGS DO GET BETTER… you do get STRONGER… and most of all, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.