It was a beautiful Sunday morning when I decided to go to the park so that I could have time to think about my downfalls. When I woke up my mother was already awake. She didn’t ask me anything. She didn’t greet me because she was angry at me for going to the party at the age of 16 without asking her permission. I thought I was going to apologise to her, but my pride didn’t allow me. I just went outside and ignored the fact that I was wrong.

When I reached the park I realised that I was alone and perhaps it was not the best idea to be alone. But I needed some peace and quiet. I sat down and turned on my music on my phone. I was listening to one of my favourite songs. I was enjoying being alone because all I wanted was to have peace of mind and heal myself from whatever had left me wounded. My love life, my school performance and my family issues were the only things that I wanted to heal from. I thought about everything I possibly could, including my future. I also had the stress of being fatherless so I wanted to relax where there would be no one prying and asking me questions.

I was lying on my stomach when I suddenly felt a hand on my boot. I screamed, but the man covered my mouth. I was afraid — my heart was beating fast. The man took me behind the trees. I was beaten, stabbed and raped.

I couldn’t see him because his face was covered. All I remember was his rough touch and his voice. He ran and took my phone.

I was found by a group of children who were playing. I was hoping that they were going to find some help, but no one came for me. Maybe they didn’t care, maybe their parents were tired of me because I didn’t listen to my mother, who was there for me even when I was causing trouble?

A policeman found me lying there, hopeless. I was cold and the sun was beginning to set.

I woke up at the hospital; my condition was critical. I couldn’t talk, eat or walk and I saw blurred images.

While I was trying to heal at hospital, I received news that my mother was no more. What a painful thing. I cried so much. I had no words to describe my pain. My life was over because my mom was the only family member I had at that time. I couldn’t deal with the immense pain that I was feeling and was forced to stay at the hospital for a month.

When I was released from hospital I expected my boyfriend to come get me; he didn’t. He didn’t even come to visit me, nor any of my close friends. I was only visited by the pastor who was praying at the hospital.

When I got home I saw a letter that was from my mother. She wrote that she was raped by one of my boyfriends who smoked drugs and partied with me. She was telling me about the pain I put her through, so she decided to kill herself.

Things only got worse after that.

I tried to call my boyfriend but he said I should end things with him and that he was now in a new healthy relationship. I cried but there was no one to help me with my pain. My mom was buried and my uncles didn’t want anything to do with me so they disowned me. That’s when I realised that life isn’t fair, because I suffered from pain and depression but nobody was there to heal my broken soul.

I tried to make things happen. It was not easy to be alone in such situations. I was only 16 at the time, but I had to be strong for my baby — I was pregnant.

I worked hard at school and worked part-time on Saturdays. I slept hungry because I had to feed my baby with every cent I had.

My boyfriend was nowhere to be found. I had trusted him with my life, but my trust ended up being misery and pain.

As time passed, I felt like I was getting there. I was healing day by day. I forgot about my downfalls. Now I’m 19 and in my third year at the University of Cape Town.

I’ve learnt that in life people change and they leave you in misery and pain. I advise people to not trust anyone besides their parents. Life is not a bed of roses, those people you trust today can betray you tomorrow.