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Hope and Healing after Abuse – Lilian Nabwire
LILIAN NABWIRE: THE HOPEFUL
Lilian Nabwire, 28 yrs, is a teacher at Talai High School in Kabarnet. During her childhood, she and her siblings witnessed Gender Based Violence at their home and she had to take care of them when her parents couldn’t. It was difficult, but she found ways to rise above it.
How was your parents’ relationship during your childhood?
At a very young age my father married my mum. After my mum gave birth to my siblings and I, he decided to go for another wife. That didn’t go well with my mum so that was the beginning of trouble. He would beat my mum as we watched, beat her until she fainted. When my mum could not bear with the beatings and the violence, we were all taken to our maternal grandma’s home. I was in charge of my siblings because my grandma was a bit old.
What motivated you to stay strong in those hard times?
Deep inside me there was that conviction that this is temporary. I knew one day I’d live to overcome whatever was happening.
How did you motivate your siblings?
We would go to a place, just sit somewhere in a field, and we would talk about our home. We would talk about mum crying last night, we would talk about going to bed hungry and our problems. And I encouraged them and they developed that positive attitude.
At what point did you realize things could be different?
I would say education is one of the things that helped me make it in life. I was in class seven and I was sitting somewhere trying to write my academic targets. I first began with mid-term targets, then the targets for class eight. So when that term I scored the mark I wanted, I knew I could actually make it.
How has your journey of healing been?
After all that happened, I realized that my dad had done us so much harm. So I was very bitter. I thought I would never forgive him, but I eventually did. I remember when I had my wedding I invited him and he refused to come. I think he was wrong but I have forgiven him.
What has helped you heal?
Sharing with close friends. It helps because when you keep quiet on it, it’s like you’re bottling everything. I find that sharing my story encourages others that may be going through the same thing.
What can you tell someone who is going through what you went through?
There is nothing that lasts a lifetime. There is always hope even when there seems to be no hope.
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