Who ever said Ignorance is bliss?

“The most ignorant people are those who deny their ignorance”

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ALL things work together for the good. The good, the bad and the ugly. I got rid of my rose colored glasses. Still, I remain rooted in that belief.

I am not too sure if it is because I was born with the the Intrauterine coil in my hand or the significance of my name. I am forever gratefull for my parents for my name. When someone utters your name, they speak into your life. It might be because God gave me the strength to swim right past the coil and become one with the egg. Only to jump out, shouting at the world, “look everybody I can hold a coil!” Such a showoff.

A real “goody two shoes”. I chose ignorance over knowledge. Life seemed better without overloading my hard drive with the evils of this world. I never read the news and poured my soul into making a difference in my own part of the world. The problem with leading such a sheltered life is the real world seems so much bigger and scarier.

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Have you ever experienced a fear so debilitating, your palms get sweaty. The vapour leaving your mouth looks like it belongs to someone else, because you can’t feel the cold. You hear the pounding of your heart and you wonder if they can hear it too?

My brother died of prostate cancer on New Years eve and we were about to board our flights 3 days later. The doorbell rang and 6 Police Officers, in full gear (SWAT) were standing at the bottom of my stairs at 5:30 in the morning. My tiny bubble burst and splattered on the stairs.

“ Mrs Charmaine; you under arrest. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law”

I have only been at a Police station twice. Once because my late sister’s husband beat her unconscious. The second time when my husband almost killed me. My name might have saved me; again. I lied, God did that. That is a story for another time.

I didn’t leave home on good terms and I was anxious about the trip. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. Actually an outright lie. The uninvited guests stole my grief and caused my hard drive to freeze. I am sure you’re aware of the inconvenience of a pc freezing in the middle of a major project.

My mouth went dry and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth like a foreign object. The water seemed to go straight to my bladder and my eyes. Tears gushing, I kid you not, out of my eyes. With no sound. The rest is still hazy. Monkey mind kicked in and took control of my life for 6 months. Every time I thought I caught it, the monkey would jump away and giggle and laugh in my face. Naughty, naughty monkey. Mr Muscle and Madame French took me to the station. The other 4 combed through our home confiscating every electronic device.

Chemo and radiotherapy or even cancer diagnosis did not scare me half as much.

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They booked me in at the police station. After answering a million and one questions, of which I only remember one, they put me into a cell. A small room with a concrete bed. The folded mattress was heavy. The stainless steel toilet looked scrubbed, polished and buffed, especially for me. I fell on my knees with my face in my hands and mumbled a wordless prayer. The sterility resembled a hospital room. Like I said the hospital room was not half as intimidating. Slice me open anytime.

It felt like ages before they fetched me for the interview. Apparently I shared a pseudo image of a child on Facebook. I wasn’t even on Facebook. I find it pretentious. I deactivated the account 8 years prior. The date of the video was 2 days after my first chemo. My phone was laying switched off in my daughters room for weeks. They mentioned an Indian man and a child of 3 years old and the fountain switched back on. Nobody has so many tears. I recalled the video and acknowledged it , still ignorant as to what brought them to my doorstep. Mr Muscles wanted to know if I shared the video. He asked me about 4 or 5 times ,” why did you send the picture?” It wasn’t even a picture. I spat out “to create awareness of course, the world is a sick place !” I recall the shock in his eyes. I said it with so much vehemence, the fear dissipated for a second. They released me and told me they would be in touch. They returned my husband’s and the childrens’ phones within an hour of my return home. The officer who dropped it off apologised to my husband and the waterworks started again. “ You were just doing your job”- was my ridiculous, watery response. Still without a sound. The rest of the electronics are still at the station. No response to my texts or calls. This happened 18 months ago.

On the plane, I was afraid to look at the child smiling from the seat in front of me. Images of loosing my children flashed before my eyes, like the rerun of a bad movie. Overwhelmed with shame and fear of an orange jumpsuit. Yet, I didn’t realise why I was going to prison. 3 days later, the haziness started to lift. I borrowed a phone and looked up possession of pseudo child images. It is against the law to possess a pseudo photograph of a child. It dates back to 1974. I wasn’t even born then. Upon receipt of such content , you are to report the person that sent it to you to the Police, immediately. The gravity of the situation struck and my fear quadrupled. I was sitting at a stainless steel table with an orange jumpsuit and the monkey jumped the moment I tried to catch it. I wore the jumpsuit to the funeral.

Three weeks after I returned home, social services knocked on my door. Mrs Caring called me and left messages. I didn’t have the courtesy to respond. How could I when they confiscated my phone? She made an appointment to interview us( My husband and I). This was to ensure our children are safe. She then interviewed the children. The school had to provide proof of attendance and report cards. The GP had to provide health records. She told me she had seen the video of my arrest and thought it was all unnecessary. Everybody makes mistakes . She then sent a request to the Police recommending they close the case. They didn’t. I had to sign a caution. This affects my application for residency, as well as my volunteer work. And the fact that I was considering adoption.

Romans 8:28" All things work together for the good for them that love God , to those who are called according to his purpose”

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I need to get out of the jumpsuit. Orange is definitely not the new black for me. Sitting in front of my laptop, all I hear is why did you send it? The water fountain switches on. Why did you send it? Finally it strikes me. That little girl is me. The 60 year old man is my best friends dad. I am 5 again. It’s hot and he buys us all ice cream. He then suggests we take out the garden hose and play under the sprinklers in our underwear. He calls me into the house and tells me he wants to show me something. There are steps in the bathroom to get to the bath tub. He sets me on the step and starts rubbing his penis between my legs. “SSHHH, he says, I won’t hurt you” ,My friend calls me and he lifts me off the step. I run to the tap and wash the white sticky stuff off my leg. I go home and stay home. Until one rainy night. My sister was pregnant and was involved in a car accident. My parents rushed to hospital and left me at my best friends house. I woke up in the middle of night, sleeping on his chest. I jumped off him and climbed through the window and ran home. I climbed through the window again. I slept in our scary house alone. I was 7. I buried the memory and all the other ones deep in my subconscious. When I received the video, it triggered something deep within me. I wanted to tell anyone who would listen. Help the little girl. The little girl was me.

I used my daughter’s laptop. She read the beginning of my story. Months later she told me about something traumatic that happened to her when she was 7. She is in therapy and healing. She would not have opened up otherwise. I went through months of blaming myself but her story is not mines to share.

Bad things happen. I was discussing the law of attraction with a friend a while ago. We were speculating why children get cancer. If the law of attraction exists, I would like to know what I did to get molested.

After a year of cancer treatment. Loosing my brother to cancer. Getting arrested and humiliated and traumatised, I can say:

All things work together for the good for them that love God , to those who are called according to his purpose.

I have learnt more about life and myself during these 2 traumatising years than my entire life. I am bolder ,stronger, wiser, more importantly, I am grateful. I am HOPE.

Woman of Faith, Mom of two healthy human beings; Survivor . Hoping to pay it forward in lessons learnt!