It’s quite interesting to know and understand why some people are worthy of attention and are considered remarkable, while others are not. Life is an uncertain journey that we all must go through. It is never perfect regardless of your gender, age, bank balance, religion, economic status, ethnicity, or even race.

We all have different paths to follow, hence we do not have the same journeys or destination. We are all dealt different cards and despite any circumstance we come across, we must make it work. The cards dealt at times can be winning cards which are our joys and achievements, then at times we get losing cards which are our sorrows, misfortunes and challenges. But whatever is dealt we must play it out to survive for our benefit. No one has a perfect life or story to tell, but we all have different versions to share. Join me in an interesting adventure as I share my story with you.

I grew up in a very friendly environment being an orphan and all. I live with my grandmother, two of my aunts and two cousins from my paternal side of the family. I was a carefree child, always causing mayhem around the house but being careful not to cross the boundaries and rules set by the elders at home. You would never find my hand in the cookie jar if I were not given the permission to do so. I grew to be a respectful and obedient young woman.

I never really knew my family until I reached the ripe age of twenty. I always thought they did things for me with my best interests at heart, but little did I know that the very people who claimed to love, care and to protect me would be the very same ones to break me mentally and emotionally.

It all started when my grandmother had a stroke because she wasn’t taking her medication regularly and on time. I was doing my matric at the time and one can imagine the pressure and stress that comes with being a grade 12 learner. My daily school routine started off as early as seven o’clock with a morning class and would end with a five o’clock afternoon class. When I got home I had to clean the house, wash the dishes and cook. I also had to do my schoolwork, all alone.

At times, I would forget to give my grandmother her medication and she would end up in hospital. Even though she had two daughters fully capable of taking care of her, my cousin blamed me for the situation. That made me really sad. I felt guilty and eventually accepted the blame, as hard as it was. It took a great toll on my studies and I felt like I was suffocating. I would cry myself to sleep. I had no appetite but I still had to pretend everything was good because I don’t like conflict and engaging in arguments. Eventually the stress showed in my marks. They decreased drastically and my teachers were concerned, but I could not open up to them. I just shut down completely. I distanced myself from close friends, and I just wanted to be left alone.

Throughout the whole ordeal my very own family did not show support. They never even notice because they were too busy to see what was happening. The only thing they did was hurl insults and negative comments at me. Nothing I ever did was good enough for them. That was when I realised that the comments uttered by family members were actually powerful; they were strong enough to break any individual. I never took to heart what the outside world thought about me, but when it came to family I valued their opinions. Unfortunately for me those opinions were heart-breaking and confidence-degrading. They led to my ultimate breakdown and I fell into a depression. I was broken mentally and emotionally. I saw nothing good in myself and regarded myself as a failure.

We as individuals come across many challenges and crucial situations in life that either encourage excellence or degrade our confidence. It is important to be an independent entity. Respect for others is essential, but not at the expense of your peace and happiness. We are all unique and special, therefore we should all be treated as the invaluable jewels that we are. We are worthy of love, respect and care. Know your worth and you will value your life and what you can offer.