u-turn 25 birthday

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I was born in a little town in South Africa; I went to a model C school and was involved in swimming, hockey and drum majorettes. After school I went to college to study business marketing in 2001 and 2002. At this stage I stayed in my own apartment where I started smoking dagga (slow boats).

I was never a drinker, but on my 21st birthday after my dad had bought me a car, I got drunk with my friends. I was so afraid to go home because my father was very strict so my friends and I drove to a big house in another town. When I walked into this large room I saw two people cutting up some substances on a table. I had never seen what “tik” looked like before – they were cutting large amounts to distribute. My friend showed me how to smoke Crystal Meth for the first time but I stopped immediately.
A year later I picked up this same drug and this time I didn’t stop.

At the time I was working as a pharmacy assistant; I had also moved from my parents’ house to my boyfriend’s house and we were using daily. I fell pregnant with my first child and when my child was 9 months old I moved back to my parent’s house. Then I became an administrator at a medic clinic where I used every day in my lunch hour. The drug use got worse and more frequent and soon we were using heavily from Thursdays to Mondays – non-stop. I started to carry drugs and guns for the drug merchants but I still did not connect the drug underworld to gangsterism. I tried to get out of the drug world and stop using but I just couldn’t. It was all about drugs.

Gangsters marched in and out of our house with drugs and guns and police often raided the house. On the 24th December, because of anger, I smashed a window and cut my arm – I was in hospital for three days. This helped me get clean and I stayed clean for 7 years but after my father’s death I started using again. I went to work for ADT Security Company and picked up a fraud case, but it was dismissed for lack of evidence. I carried a gun around on me but was never brave enough to use it. Men were my downfall – I had an affair with a married man. I was raped three times but I refused to tell my mother because I was so ashamed. The guy who had a hit out on me to kill me raped me and I contracted HIV. Still I did not stop using; I was often beaten up by men if I did not do what they wanted.

I made a case against the guy who beat me up but my mother told me to withdraw the case. I then switched from “tik” to Mandrax, smoked with prostitutes and street people but I did not care. The police threatened to send me to Pollsmoor prison.
I was in the middle of the gang when they were cleaning their guns. They decided to shoot me because they thought I was working with the police. This life with gangsterism and drugs lasted for another 5 years but a week before my wedding I broke up with my children’s father because he was still using. I made the decision to come to U-turn for help.

Looking back over the past years I am so blessed I did not lose my children. One of my goals is to earn the love and trust of my children back. Now with Christ in my life and being in recovery I get to see them every weekend; we WhatsApp every day and pray over the phone every night. My sister, mother and I have reconciled while I have been on this program. At the moment they are looking after my children. I think I am busy gaining my life back through the grace of God.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]