“ Being married was the loneliest experience of my life.”
This is one line in Nompumelelo Runji’s searing memoir that just refuses to leave my mind. It is a line that truly captures what she had to go through in her marriage- loneliness, sadness, abuse, trauma and many other painful ills which defined her union with her ex-husband.
I need to state foremost that the world needs women like Nompumelelo who will speak up and speak out against abuse at whatever cost to their lives.
In How I Took Back My Power, Nompumelelo openly invites readers into her life journey that was characterized by abuse from an early age right until into her adult life when she endured the most under the hands of a man she once called husband.
It has been a while since I shed a tear when reading a book, however, at every turn of a page of this book, I found my emotions taking the better of me for what Nompumelelo had to endure from the people who claimed to love her. It was the abuse that she suffered during her marriage that made me extremely sad, angry, disappointed.
Many will easily relate with her pain, especially women because she describe the kind of abuse that many women and children go through everyday in their homes: emotional and psychological abuse. Oftentimes physical abuse is only characterized as the worst form of abuse, but Nompumelelo’s brutally honest story demonstrates that emotional and psychological abuse is as equal.
And it does not help that the perpetrators of this kind of abuse will manipulatively make their victims feel like they are crazy, something is wrong with them, and also make them believe that they are deserving of this abuse, just as the scribe had to go through similar guilty during the abuse.
While Nompumelelo’s story will surely make readers share in her pain.
Inside the pages of this book there’s also inspiration, courage, and motivation for those going through the same.
How I Took Back My Power is not just a book to open old wounds, but one that will give victims of abuse courage to find their power back and heal.
I hope parents, especially Black parents and religious people will read this book and see how they are also enablers of abuse in so many ways.
For those who will doubt or question the scribe’s story- because I know they will be those, just know that your doubt reflects the same trait of abusers. When survivors of abuse come out and tell their story, it is our human duty to listen and believe them because it takes insurmountable amount of courage for one to do that.
How I Took Back My Power is a must-read, there’s healing and life in it.