I grew up in a Christian family and was a very shy quiet girl until I was about 12 when I met my best friend at the time and I started testing the boundaries. At 14 I made a decision to get baptised and not long after that things started going down hill.
At 15 I was pretty naive & didn’t know what a lot of things were. One of the youth leaders from a church we joined to do an outreach with took a liking to me he was 5.5 years older than me, and we kept in contact. We ended up seeing each other a few times.
One time he came to visit, and he ended up doing things to me. I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t right. This happened about 3 times until I told a friend who told my parents. When my parents found out they sat me down and hounded me till I told them what had happened. They grounded me which made me feel like it was my fault.
They got a restraining order on him so he couldn’t come near me or the house again. They spoke to people in the church about it and word got out, I felt like no one from the church looked at me the same or treated me the same any more.
I used to do a bit of babysitting for people in the church, but it all stopped after they heard what happened. I had to go along with my parents & stay in the car while they had a meeting with his pastor at his church, while they were in the meeting I ran away and took the first bus that came past.
I spent 5 nights sleeping in the back of a guy friend’s car who my parents had told me they didn’t want me to see coz he was older, and I had had a crush on him. After 5 nights i decided to return home.
6 months later I bumped back into the youth leader & for some reason we started texting and he said it was a sign from God that we bumped into each other, and we were meant to be together. I ended up dating him secretly.
My older sister and I were made to leave home for 1 month, coz we were causing a lot of problems with mum and dad’s marriage. (we were turning them against each other coz dad would let us do things mum didn’t want us doing and then they would end up arguing) I said if I had to leave, I wouldn’t return & didn’t till 10 years later (I was 16 when I left). After one or two years of dating the youth leader I finally told my family and after some time they accepted it.
Before I told my parents about my relationship with the youth leader, he would make me lay in the back seat of the car with a blanket over me so no one who shouldn’t see us together could if they happened to drive past, he also made me lie about my age to people he knew so I wouldn’t seem so young.
At times he would tell me I was dumb, and that I should read the dictionary, that my friends weren’t laughing with me they were laughing at me, and I should think before I speak, that I had to lift my hands in worship (which I wouldn’t do coz I felt pressured) and I needed to go to uni.
He didn’t like me hanging out with my friends & especially with my best friend. Because I would hang out with her once a week he would say “you obviously like her more than me”. The whole relationship was manipulation & control. A lot of the time I wouldn’t do things i wanted to do so he wouldn’t get grumpy with me, things were fine for him to do but not for me or other people. I hardly ever had choices to do things because he would tell me what to do and if I didn’t, he would get grumpy.
I was only ever aloud one alcoholic drink, but it was fine for him to have more.
He had anger issues but never hit me there were a couple of times holes were made in a wall or door coz someone had pissed him off and I remember a few good yelling matches between him and me. As time went on I resented him and didn’t want to be with him but I didn’t know anything else and a few times when i tried to end things he said its just the devil wanting to split us up and He did the whole if you break up with me I’ll kill myself and other times he would say you’ll never hear from me or see me again.
It got to the point He would kiss me & I would try stop him but he would say “well who else am I supposed to do it with, your my girlfriend”. I ended up feeling physically sick when we hooked up.
After 5 years I finally ended things, i knew he had said that i would never see him again if i did and i knew i was very happy to never see him again but after i broke up with him he wouldn’t give me my house keys back or leave me alone & a couple of times came into my house & into my room. one morning after he turned up in my bedroom I finally managed to get my key back.
I didn’t wanna date a Christian again especially one in leadership. I started partying and getting drunk on the weekends & I went out and made it my goal to ” officially” lose my virginity so on a drunken night I brought A guy home with me I hardly knew.
My ex started telling my friends & family I was sleeping around and was on drugs and involved with gangs. The only truth was I was sleeping around but he never new that for a fact he guessed this after going through my phone one time and seeing a photo of a guy he didn’t know.
During my relationship with the youth leader I helped out in the youth group & took in one of the girls who had been kicked out of home & was in CYFS care. I became her caregiver but it lasted only a month or two coz she ended up outside my bedroom door one night with a knife saying the voices were telling her to hurt me so i had to use our care plan CYFS had set up and call the police, the other flatmates didn’t want her returning after that.
After a few months of partying & drinking lots, I bumped into summers dad, (we had gone to intermediate together), we went on one date then went out drinking together and I moved in with him 2 weeks later (our tenancy at my flat had ended so he told me to just move in with him) I moved way too quick and didn’t realize he was an alcoholic & druggy till after moving in.
A couple of weeks after moving in with him I picked up my little sister from youth group and brought her to drinks at our house my parents found out and it was the last straw. My family disowned me (I was given the choice to leave him, stop drinking & go back to church or i couldn’t see my family. I got angry and didn’t wanna be controlled by anyone anymore so I stayed with him. A few months into the relationship he volunteered for redundancy got a huge payout and spent most of it on alcohol drugs & food.
With some of the money we went on a holiday to Australia with my best friend and her boyfriend, the first few days were good but because he couldn’t find any drugs he ended up losing the plot, he started drinking heaps one night and getting on one of his angry buzzes I ended up locking myself in my friends room and spent the night in there with them, he was trying to get into the room and was saying he was going to jump off the balcony and was asking us to give him the alcohol which was in the room. We refused and he ended up getting a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the ironing board a few times. I was over it, I called his dad (who lived in Auzzie) and asked him to get him the next day and I left him there and flew back to nz . I started packing up my stuff to leave when I got home but was unsure where to go and after a phone call from him crying and apologizing, saying he was going to get help and begging for another chance I stayed.
He decided he didn’t want to find another job and went on a sickness benefit for depression. While living with him i went from getting drunk of a 4 pack to buying a12 pack.
One night at a party I passed out behind a car, the guys said they don’t know what made them walk around the back of the car before jumping in, but if they hadn’t who knows if I would be here today. I started experimenting with drugs ( my family thought I was on drugs so I thought I may as well try them) I got stoned a couple of times with his parents (who used to be pastors).
About 6months into the relationship he ended up cheating on me (they had family friends over and we had all been down at the pub. After getting home he wanted to continue drinking. I woke up and went to get a drink of water and walked in on him and his mums friend hooking up (who he called his Aunty)
Because my family had disowned me I didn’t know where to go & ended up staying but things were never the same, we argued a lot after that. Things were very up and down, we lived together but pretty much did our own thing and didn’t talk much. He never cared what I did never got jealous and never asked any questions about what I was doing or where I was going.
One night I ended up in hospital on a heart monitor & drip after taking speed & the following night a pill his brother had found. I couldn’t control my body It was like I was having seizures I would start shaking and certain parts of my body would start to twitch & couldn’t keep anything down and I had been throwing up bile for half the day. He finally got him mum to come check me and she said I needed to get to hospital. He said he didn’t like hospitals so never came with me and got his mum to take me and his dad to pick me up.
On New Year’s Eve the girl who i had taken in that time came to visit with her boyfriend, after a while we went up the road to someone’s place to continue drinking & they said they were getting picked up from our driveway. While we were gone they got into our house & took a few things. When we got back and saw what had happened he went round to their place, her boyfriend was passed out on their bed and she wasn’t around, he tried to wake the guy for a fight but he wouldnt wake, so made a bit of a mess of his place and took a bottle of alcohol.
Around 4am that morning we woke to banging and yelling at the front door, it was the guy as high as anything wanting to fight. He started smashing the glass panels in the door with his hands, I locked the bedroom door and hid in the wardrobe which had a hidden room (it had a hidden door inside which led to a small space with a little grow room).
I was on the phone so scared to the police for 20-30 min till they arrived. There was glass& blood everywhere that he had been and a pool of blood about the size of a dessert plate at the front door. I was shaken up but glad We were both unharmed. He had managed to get into the house but for some reason never came up the hall to the bedroom (I put it down to Gods protection).
One night a car full of people turned up at the house after one of our drunken walks home from the pub yelling & saying they had guns coz a few of the boys had pissed them off, I don’t know who they were or what that was about or even why they left but they were only in the drive for about 5 min (I think his dad may have come out and told them to piss off)
I used to walk the streets by myself when I was drunk if I was pissed off with him, I’m lucky nothing ever happened to me being a young girl drunk wearing next to nothing and wandering around by myself.
God definitely had his hand on me.
There were 2 occasions I barricaded the door by putting things in front of it & slept with a baseball bat coz I was scared he might flip out & try do something to me he told me once when he was on acid the voices were telling him to hurt me. He had major anger issues & him and his brother would have punch ups and threaten to kill each other. I was sick of the partying and being around people who were constantly drunk, stoned and on anything else they could get their hands on.
I ended up going out with the girls and cheating on him, the week i did he decided to try make a real effort to sort himself out but I felt real guilty & didn’t have the same feelings for him anymore so I ended things that week and moved out. I moved in next door to my parents, the neighbors had always helped me out and had been there for me when my parents weren’t.
I continued seeing the guy i had hooked up with. My ex found out I was seeing someone else & that I had cheated on him and he started threatening to kill me & make my life hell. I got a protection order against him and about 2 months after leaving I found out I was pregnant. The guy I was with didn’t want to continue the relationship if the child wasnt his and at my first scan when they gave me the estimate of how far along I was the dates didn’t work out to be his so we ended things.
A week or two after that my parents came over and apologized to me for disowning me and I broke the news to them that I was pregnant. About a month after the other guy & i broke up I decided to tell Summers dad I was pregnant he begged for another chance. We went to counseling and the drinking & weed slowed down a lot. At 8 months pregnant I moved all my stuff back in but a week after moving back in things stared to go back to how it used to be (I realised it wasn’t going to work but didn’t have the balls to leave and look after a baby on my own). I had a long birth and he was complaining how he was tired so he slept on the couch in the room, I was lucky I had my mum and sisters in the room for support.
At times I would ask him to hold summer so I could use the bathroom and he would usually say, I need a smoke first or I need a Bucky first so I would just end up taking her to the bathroom with me. When he was around her he would loose interest after about 10min.
I didn’t want my daughter growing up with someone who thought drugs alcohol & violence were cool, who didn’t want a job and listened to music with the morals that he listened to & didn’t give her the time or attention she deserved. I stayed till she was 5 months old and then finally picked up enough courage to leave.
My protection order still stood and he breached it a couple of times, one time getting through the security fence at our apartment and banging on our door, i was living with my sister and we ran upstairs & pushed a set of drawers in front of the bedroom door & called the police, he got into my car & stole a couple of items, the police found these things at his house but he still tried to deny it.
Because if his threats and breach of protection order the police installed a panic alarm into our house so I just had to push a button if he returned again and they would automatically send a car out. He pleaded not guilty at court for at least 2 hearings and then finally decided to plead guilty so he could have it over & done with and move overseas.(he got away on a good behaviour bond & a small fine)
While I was with summers dad till i was with Makiylas I started doing promo work God was definitely looking after me through that. Most of the jobs were bikini or lingerie and some of them involved me waitressing at stag dos in hotels or at people’s houses with one or two other girls but the odd one was by myself, we would just get given a time address and told what to wear.No one would know where I was except my boss and we never txted to say we were fine and had finished. My job was to hand out drinks and shots to guys play their drinking games & get them as wasted as I could trying to make sure I didn’t drink too much.
I never thought to let people know the addresses of where I was going or what time I would finish. I’m so glad God protected me and I never had anyone try take advantage of me. When summer was 1 I started seeing a guy I had met through her dad who had told me that he was getting a divorce. his wife was pregnant and wasnt in the best mental state & would repeatedly call my phone send me messages and turn up at my house, so we went to stay at one of his friends, which I found out later was a tinny house. She would seem to find us wherever we went and would tell me they were still together & he would tell her to leave, I didn’t feel safe coz she didn’t seem very stable and he had told me that she had come at him with a knife.
He knew I didn’t wanna be around drugs or with a guy who was on them. He told me he only got stoned occasionally but that was it, I ended up finding a p pipe in his bag and when I confronted him he told me it wasn’t his, but when I asked him to do a blood test he refused coz apparently he was afraid of needles, I told him if he didn’t do the blood test It was over and he still wouldn’t so I ended things. After ending things with him, from what I heard he was playing us both off each other, (all of his stories he told me seemed so real and he would always turn the tears on and say that she was crazy and when she would turn up he would say you know it’s over leave me alone) but thankfully as far as I know they worked things out in the end.
While I was with him I started receiving calls and txts from someone who called them self ghost they would taunt me & send real nasty messages, whoever it was stalked me and knew some very personal things about me, even when I got a new car a few days later I got a txt about it. These messages went on for over a year they also managed to get my new number when I changed it. I ended up blocking the number, still to this day I’m not 100% sure who it was but i have a couple of ideas.
One night when I was on legal highs The smell of red wine on a guys breath triggered my memory and gave me flash backs of when i was a child and a particular person doing things to me he shouldn’t have I would have been about 4 when the stuff happened.
Just before summer turned 2 I met Makiylas dad he seemed like the perfect guy, he was real romantic and he spoilt me & summer & was so good with her. A week after we started seeing each other he said there was no point in a relationship without truth and honesty & told me he had some thing to tell me. he said he was selling drugs, i told him one of the main reasons i left summers dad was coz of the drugs & if he wanted a relationship with me he needed to stop. I asked how long he had been doing it for and he said only a few months. He agreed to stop selling & after about 6weeks we moved in with him.
He always had the right things to say and an answer for everything.
After getting permission from my parents He proposed to me after 3 months.
Some colorful people showed up at the house & demanded one of his very expensive cars which he handed over. A few days later he said he was outside and saw gang members drive past the house and point to it. He told me to pack a bag for myself and summer and that we would leave the house for a couple of weeks till things calmed down. About a week later, he took us overseas on a 3-week holiday so i could meet his relatives.
I found out about a week into the holiday that I was pregnant.
Then he told me he got an email from his brother who was feeding the dogs that people turned up at the house & questioned him, his brother then got some of summers toys and clothes and our clothes out of the house but when her returned again to get some more of our stuff things had been taken. Our house got cleaned out and we lost everything except for those clothes & items of summers his brother managed to get out. He told me it wasn’t safe to return and we were going to stay in South Africa.
I hated it over there, summer and I were stuck in the house most days while he was at work or we would sit in the truck all day and drive around with him, occasionally we would have to go to areas where we were told we should never go to, I would just start praying hard out that God would protect us and the truck wouldn’t break down (coz he would often drive around with the petrol light on) pretty much every day I would end up in tears feeling lonely and feeling like I couldn’t cope.
I used to be so happy and used to love life I used to wake up excited it was a new day but it all changed and poor summer had to see her mum break down crying all the time, she would tell me it was ok and to stop crying, no 2-year-old should have to see their mum like that or have to try comfort their parent. I felt like I was failing as a mum too. I kept praying things could change and we started going to a church over there. I kept asking God to get us out of this mess.
He was trying to get me to have my daughter over there and was wanting me to go to a registry office with him, saying if we were married summer and i wouldn’t have to go return home every 3 months. I didn’t wanna be stuck there longer than 3months at a time so I never did it and I didn’t wanna have my baby over there either.
I came back to stay with my family and have baby in nz. A lot of stuff started happening and I started to find out about his past and who he really was. all the truth started to come out. It turned out he had been involved in things a lot longer and a lot bigger than he had said and he was involved in a lot of dodgy things. I found out he had criminal convictions and he had upset a lot of people & to top things off had been engaged twice before & even used the same ring he had given me to propose to the girl before me. I don’t know if anything he ever told me was true.
I got a phone call from one of his best friends and was told I had to turn up somewhere or else!!!!
I rang him up and told him about the phone call and told him i was going to put my daughter and my safety first and i didn’t wanna be caught up in his mess any more so i ended things with him and all he said was delete/ get rid of anything that tied me to him and go to the police for my safety.
Dad and I had one hour from the time of the phone call to turn up. It was a very intimidating meeting with 3 big guys. When I told him I was in trouble because of his actions & told him what they wanted and what he could do to fix things he said “well what do u want me to do about it” I realized then that he didn’t actually care about us at all and we were probably just part of some sick plan. With everything hitting home and realizing I was going to be raising two children on my own I didn’t know how I was going to cope.
The guy who I thought treated me as a princess,the guy who i thought loved me & my daughter turned out to not care one bit. i realized I had fallen for all the lies & manipulation all the smooth talk and the “right answers to every question” he ended up leaving us to face the people who wanted revenge on him.
With me carrying his child they saw me as the next closest thing to him and their target. I lived in fear for a year, always looking over my shoulder & wondering if something was going to happen to us that day.i couldn’t hold proper conversations, my mind would just go blank mid conversation & I couldn’t even hold small talk. My hair started to fall out in a patch and no matter how much I ate healthy and unhealthy I continued to lose weight.
Through my pregnancy I put on only 9kg (almost half of what i put on with summer) but luckily I had a healthy 6.15lb baby. Dad and I faced going to meetings where guns were present having deadlines on when money had to be paid trying to find ways of getting money when neither myself or my parents could take out a loan and threats of “children disappear you know”.
I sold a few of the belongings I still had that were of value and we saw God come through. a family friend & her mum gifted a huge amount of it to us. at the time we were handing over the money we got a phone call from them saying they were going to give us this amount and dropped it off an hour or so later. During all this I started going back to church and sorted out my relationship with God and let go of the judgments I had of the church. I had never stopped believing in God but I knew I wasn’t living how I should.
We were told after making the payment things were over & we were free but about a month later we got a call saying there was more. Things continued and my fear continued, I was told they wanted revenge & they wanted a pound of flesh. Because they couldn’t get to him I was the target.
One afternoon I was told to reach under the seat of the car I was sitting in, I started shaking & crying when I felt what it was. I was told to pull it out. I pulled out a gun and was asked if I would kill for my girls, I was told that was my protection and I may have to use it & if I did it would be all over, then I was told to hand it back. I was a total mess, I didn’t know what to do & I didn’t want to stress my parents out more so I spoke to a family friend & shared everything with him & his wife who convinced me to tell my parents all the things I had been told to keep to myself & helped me with advice on ways to go about things. Dad then took over the communicating for a while but then after time it was back to me. There were several more things I was told I could do if I wanted this all over but each option gave me more fear & if the tasks backfired these people would want me dead all the more.
I couldn’t take it anymore, crying to God one night telling him I couldn’t handle this anymore. I felt him say give it totally to me and let me protect you. I was at church one morning changing kiylas nappy, she always struggled and tried to crawl off and I said to her “what could take a few seconds takes a few minutes coz you won’t stop moving” I felt God say your like her not staying still and letting me sort this for you, if you stop trying to sort this out and just let me do it it will be over so much faster.
I realized I wasn’t giving it all to God by using this negotiator & I was using this guy as my protector when I should have been giving it all to God and using him as my protector and provider. I was reminded about the story of daniel and the loins den and shadrack meshack and abendigo and how in their situation they stood up for what they believed and gave it all to God and trusted he would help them through their trials. they did and they stepped out and God kept the lions mouths shut and kept them from harm in the fire so i took that step of faith and We thanked the negotiator for his work and told him we were gonna give it to God and let him sort it out as it wasnt getting any better & I couldn’t handle the stress of everything any more.
Since we have done that I’ve felt peace, I haven’t felt scared. I’ve known Gods watching over us and Gods been amazing and totally set me free of fear and stress. A huge weights been lifted off my shoulders and I’m starting to feel normal again and starting to get my joy back and slowly get my confidence back.
Dad made a final payment and asked the negotiator if he had told the gangs he was no longer in the picture helping us out and “protecting us”, he said he had a last meeting with them and everything was finished we were no longer targets. (which a few people had specifically prayed that the targets would be removed from our backs and the negotiator gave dad those exact words). I’ve been able to get on with life and feel like a normal person again.
God totally set me free and through prayer and counseling I’ve been able to forgive these people for what they have put me through. Ive learnt no matter what you face or how big or small it is give it to God and follow the path that gives you peace. If you don’t feel fully at peace about a decision don’t go there or put that path on hold till you do feel full peace.
I didn’t have a full peace when we used the negotiator but it was the path that made sense to me. Ive realized God often does things in the ways that don’t make sense and seem impossible He’s the God of making the impossible possible. I thought if I said were not gonna use the negotiator and we will just stand and see what God does that I wouldn’t be left standing. So I went almost a year down this path of fear and intimidation until I realized God just wanted me to give him my burden and he took it and carried it for me and has given me my life back plus blessed me in so many ways.
Im so thankful for the people God put in my life to help us get through all the mess. I’ve really found God and learnt to trust him and feel like I’m actually starting to know him, he’s not just someone who is up in the sky that we talk about hes fully real and actually cares about the things big and little and if we let him he will take care of us.
Watching movies along the lines of what we’ve been through make me so thankful again for my kids and life and family & for what we do have and thankful that we’ve been able to make a fresh start & that Gods helped us build our home & everything back up. He takes care of us in every way, He’s our protector & provider.
Here’s a reminder for me how God has taken care of us.
We were struggling financially & we weren’t gonna be able to get a Christmas tree (a family tradition) but God took care of it all. In one week kiyla started sleeping through the night, we were given 3 cans of formula, I was handed the money to pay off the rest of my debt for the car I sold which I didn’t receive the full payment for and was still making weekly payments to pay off.
I had 5 days to get a new car as my car was going to fail it’s next wof & it was gonna cost more than the car was worth to fix, I got given a car & it had a full tank if gas. My credit card was maxed out and I sold my old car for the amount which I needed to pay it off (3 days before the minimum payment was due) and I got a $50 petrol voucher.
We were able to get a Christmas tree & I was able to put presents under it for the girls as I wasn’t trying to pay off my credit card or this car debt.
Now that’s what I call God taking care of us. You can’t call all that a coincidence & I know that’s exactly why God let it all happen in one week so I would know it was him.