A boyfriend from hell – don’t be a victim of abuse

The story of a 22 year old South African woman, Karabo Mokoena – a tragic tale of abuse – triggered an anti men social media campaign; #MenAreTrash

However, in this cautionary tale, Noma Masumbika focuses more on giving advice to those who may be trapped in relationships characterised by emotional and physical abuse.

Karabo - victim of abuse

Karabo Mokoena (27 March 1995-29 April 2017)

I loved a guy once, very much. I have never loved anyone like that before. Almost anything was forgivable with him and I forgave him a lot for so many things. To my mind he was my soul mate and the one person I would always get back with no matter what happened. How wrong I was!

How the abuse began

One day, we had a disagreement and he continuously shoved and pushed me around. Oh well, people fight all the time – that’s what I thought at the time.

A few weeks down the line, we had a disagreement and, this time, the pushes became even harder. I remember continuously telling this individual that he was hurting me and he still continued and even threatened to hit me with an empty beer bottle while pulling at my T-shirt which eventually tore. I was shocked but not enough to get rid of the friendship.

No remorse

Then one time, after a particularly bad disagreement which ended in a lot of hurtful things being said, I went home and failed to sleep because I couldn’t believe the things that had been said. The next morning I decided to visit the guy and talk about it hoping he would be sorry. He wasn’t. It was actually worse. I was shocked because I had never imagined that this person could be so cruel and I wondered why I had never noticed it. To make it worse, I wasn’t even the wrong one.

The abuse escalated

Fast forward to almost an hour later, I was swollen and had little pieces of glass all over my body. I can’t even say I was shocked this time around; broken would be a better word to describe the ordeal. When I got home, I thought I would cry about it at some point but the tears just wouldn’t come. My pain had gone beyond that. I guess what hurt the most wasn’t the pain from the hitting, pushing and whatnot, but from the fact that he could actually do such. It hurt on an emotional level, more than anything I had ever experienced.

The physical impact

My whole body hurt and I was swollen everywhere, some of my fingers couldn’t move for more than 2 weeks after that. Still no tears. It almost felt like I had lost the ability to feel anything. All I did was try and locate all the cuts and wounds from the experience. Still no tears as I dressed them every day to try and avoid infection.

More abuse

Two days after that, the guy decides to send me very insulting messages blaming me for what happened and saying he wishes he had done more, this continued for a few more days till a brother of mine had to tell him to stop. Still no tears from me. I guess my mind had blocked it out. As time went on, the cuts began to heal then guess what? He sends a message saying he was sorry and he would like us to talk about it. I agreed. I guess at that point I just needed something to make me feel better and I thought this was it. Wrong. We tried to be friendly and even considered reconciling for sometime till the same issues we always fought about came back. It took time but I eventually managed to fully walk away.

Crying a river

Then the tears came. They flowed for so long I thought that would be my life. Wrong again, I started to feel better and got back to normal. However, I developed an unhealthy hatred for this individual. I hated him so much that I couldn’t even bare to see him. Luckily for me, it was at a point where I had to move to a different place and that helped. I am still disgusted by this individual even though I am trying to work on the hatred, in the end it only hurts me.

What I learned

A man that loves you will never hit you or even push you. A man that values you will never try to break you down like that. At first I thought I learnt that I should not love anyone again… wrong. I eventually learnt that it was a problem with him and not every guy out there.

I learnt to put myself and my happiness first, if a guy is right for me these things will go along naturally.

Are all men trash?

Not all men are bad. Being a horrible individual is a choice that some make and others cannot be blamed for it.

As a woman, I learnt the power of walking away. Society makes us think walking away is for people that have neither endurance nor patience. No, it is not everything that you have to endure.

End the abuse – walk away

If he slaps you, walk away. If he pushes you around, walk away. If he beats you up – even if it is just once – walk away. By staying, you enable him. You make him think it is ok and you will always run back to him. They usually get worse with time. Walk away before you become another statistic of gender based violence or worse still, femicide!

Why do I choose to share this now? Because Karabo’s story has hit too close to home. He had beaten her before and she still chose to stay with him. I did that too for some time. I was just lucky that I had a strong support system and they always reminded me that he could be a monster even when I wasn’t strong enough to walk away. I wish she had walked away but I also know how difficult it is. I sympathize with her family and friends. This hurts. We need to teach girls that walking away is not a weakness if they are being abused. No man or relationship is worth dying for. I am glad I learnt my lesson early and I wish the same for others.

#RestInPeaceDearAngel

#RestInPeaceKarabo

#WalkAwayFromViolence

 

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