Finally, I am home sweet home - funny I say this with regards to my up coming column due next month.
It has been two months of so much personal development and I have been rattling my brain around a way to put all I experienced forward in a way that will relate to all.
So with that said I am going to start with the dark and work my way up because in high insight I am so super happy at the moment, today, this very moment. So happy that nothing will be getting me down.
It all began exactly nine years ago. One tiny little incident that has managed to quite literally mess my little mind and heart up to such a degree that I just could not manage to climb out of the hole that I had actually been digging for myself and by myself. It took a revisit to unlock the demons I have been trying to bury in this hole I have been digging but I could never really dig deep enough. The true gem was realizing that burying is more about the sand that goes on top than the depth of the hole. So I reached down into that hole and pulled out the demon from the depth.
I was unlucky enough to be one of those gay boys to experience a first time that is hard to forget. The young and impressionable nineteen year old Juanne-Pierre de Abreu went to work at a game farm after a brief course in hotel management. There I was met with a man that had a hidden agenda for wanting or needing me at this particular lodge. When I first met him, I'll be honest, I really liked him. I thought I had scored a jackpot having a boss that is pretty cool and easy to talk to.
Drink after drink on my first night and I was sufficiently plastered. Being on a game farm I was encouraged to take a lift back to my room which i accepted but once the car came to a halt I quickly realised I was not at my room... I was at his.
My initial idea was to run but seeing how this was my first real job I decided that it might be best to wade through the mixed messages until i can come up with something a little more concrete. He picked up on my resistance and said "I just want to give you something to drink so that you do not wake up with a hangover"
OK - that sounded fair. So I thought I would down it and go but sadly after that tall glass of mirky water, very little is actually remembered. what I remember next is waking up in his bed sans clothing. I pulled my pants on and just left his place. Staggering through the bush, no shirt or shoes, I realised that the feeling of getting away was bigger than the fear of the wild animals that roamed so freely between my room and his.
Running a bath once I was back in the safety of my own walls I sobbed like a little girl. Pulling myself together long enough to get into the scorching water to wash away the filthy feeling I was left with in hopes that the water would be the cure. Once all the blood was gone I got out of the bath and continued to sob on the bathroom floor until work was set to start.
Now why would I just go back to work? Because, I initially blamed myself for drinking too much and not having all my bearings fresh to make proper decisions. I figured I made a mistake and I should just live with it. Bite the bullet!
It was his berating the next day that made a light go on in my head. He would come into the store room I was so busy working in and say some of the worst things I had ever heard. At that point I knew what it was about - he wanted to keep me quiet. That was cue for me to go.
I did not want him to be held accountable, I just wanted to run as fast as I possibly could... and I did.
Now, nine years later, I find myself back at the very same lodge where it all happened and I have to stop running and face my demons. I have allowed this one incident to dictate so many years that followed it. I started doing drugs and got hooked like a demon on coke. I started shagging married men to avoid any real connection with another man. I neglected my family and my friends. And slowly I started to become a varsity drop out, loosing interest in anything I tried to gain interest in. Life did not seem worth living however suicide was never an option.
I faced that demon and I am a better man for doing it. I stayed on that lodge till the end and replaced it with different memories - GREAT ones!
So now it is not living with what that man did but trying to get the young guys out there to know it can happen to you. Don't blame yourself, don't be afraid to talk about it. Once you can do this then you will be able to take the power back and being a victim ceases to exist. I am Juanne and I was raped - very difficult to say and surprisingly even harder to write.
No matter your age, sex, creed or race no person deserves to be sexually exploited in any way and it's up to us to stand up and say "This is wrong!"
Lets make South Africa a rape free country instead of the rape capital of the world.