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Inspirational Stories

Turning Violation into VICTORY

This is a story of the bravery that is required to face the truth, take action, to stand tall and live life, determined to create a new pathway, to see the dawning of a new day, and to not lose heart, even when you feel you have no heart left.

I was born and raised in Gauteng. Early in my career I was introduced to the Human Resources field which held a fond interest to me. Part of what attracted me to this position was that I could engage with people and ultimately help them find solutions to some of their problems which was of great appeal to me.

I was swept off my feet by the man of my dreams. There was an instant attraction and we were married a year later. After having lived in a tiny flat for a while, we bought a lovely property and build a beautiful home which we designed ourselves. I desperately wanted to have children but struggled for 3 years when I fell pregnant with twins. I was devastated when I lost them at 5 months. I fell pregnant again shortly after and had a healthy baby girl. Four years later, after a very difficult pregnancy I gave birth to my second baby girl. Life was great – everything was just perfect.

I then had a sequence of events which swept through my life like a tidal wave consisting of disappointment, disbelieve and utter shock! In its trail was destruction and devastation.

I noticed gradual changes in my husband - touches of affection disappeared, words of affirmation were absent, irritations crept in, followed by a stealthy aggression. He became a stranger to me.

During 1999 his business was liquidated and all we owned repossessed – our beautiful home, cars – they even came for our furniture. I and the girls moved back in with my parents. Desperate to get our lives together again, I got a bond on my own salary and managed to get a small house next to a petrol depot. I did not care as it was a chance to try and rebuild what we lost.

I was supporting the family on my own, working my full day job and selling arts and crafts on markets on weekends. My womanly intuition told me something was wrong and I went searching through his briefcase, where to my horror I discovered drugs. This was what destroyed all we had!

Then came is killer confession – for 12 years of our 14 year marriage he had been having sexual encounters with men. I was devastated. Nothing could ever have prepared me for the destruction of this Tsunami. I had no one to talk to. I felt so very lonely and helpless.

THE CALL TO BE STRONG - “Women are like tea bags – they don’t know how strong they are until they get into hot water”
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Still trying to deal with what I was told, I was faced with more traumas – all in one month. My father-in-law passed away. I and the girls were hi-jacked at gun point two days after his death. I decided to take the risk and run instead of them taking us with them. Shots were fired off while we were running. God protected us that day, and we were not hurt physically. A few days after this horrible ordeal, my own father’s death followed.

I have never before felt so dead and numb inside, to the point where I accepted drugs from my husband.

Again my womanly intuition stepped in. Back into his briefcase I went to discover to my shock as newspaper advert in the personals – he was prostituting himself to feed his drug habit – the advert read “men on men”.

Then the unthinkable happened! One of the “newspaper clients” found out he was married and offered him double if he could have me while my husband watched! I was drugged and raped in my own home.

Realising what he was capable of was the undeniable moment of truth for me. I could not tell anyone and did not report the incident. I did seek medical attention from our GP and ensured that I was physically ok. I put the ordeal in the back of my head and pretended it never happened. We separated and divorce procedures started.

I went into revenge mode and started dating – the relationship turned out to be very intense with all the trademarks of possessiveness, jealousy, physical abuse, control and manipulation. Ending the relationship resulted in stalking for a short period
of time.

On the morning of 1 March 2001 my husband was found dead in his place, after having been missing for a few days. He had died of a drug overdose. Although it was apparent what happened his family accused me of murdering him.

At this point I was so desperate, so lonely and so hurt, I contemplated taking my own life. Thoughts of my children kept me from doing this.

WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE - I believe that with God all things are possible and without God life can become impossible. I have learnt that He will never give me more than I can handle. With Him by my side I am able to overcome all obstacles.

With the above in mind, I decided it was time to get up from the ashes and make a new start. I managed to get some money out of a group life fund which helped me set up a new home, take my mom in and start again. Financially I was still struggling, but discovered the direct selling industry and started up a small business from home to help us cope.

I attended a seminar of Angelique du Toit where she said the words: “Whatever you cannot talk about is controlling you!”. As the realisation of this truth hit me like a lightning bolt, I sat there stunned in the silence that had controlled me for so many years. I simply had to acknowledge that the way I think about things, the way I react to certain events, in fact every moment of my life was based on my past experiences. I now knew that I needed to get these experiences out in the open. I decided to tell my story in an effort to help others.

God put an opportunity on my path to start running projects in Gauteng to assist survivors of rape and abuse. I felt the call to contribute in this area so strongly that I focused all my energy on getting these projects off the ground.

The most important thing I have learnt from these experiences is that no matter what happens in your life, no matter how hopeless you feel, there is always a way out; you just have to believe in yourself, trust in God and believe that everything in life happens for a reason. – And above all NEVER GIVE UP!

If all the events did not happen in my life I would not be the person I am today, and I would not be able to take up the opportunities I have to date.

We all have a path which was planned by God way before we were born, and life events happen to help shape us, to become who we were created to be, and to direct the way we live our lives. We might not at the time understand the reason why things happen, but with the beauty of hindsight, I now understand. I have overcome huge obstacles; obstacles I never thought I would ever conquer. Having come this far, I know I can face any challenge in life.

Life has shaped me, changed me and moulded me into the form of a strong woman that has discovered her passion for, and purpose in life. Though it was a road strewn with heartache and pain, I am proud of overcoming the challenges and obstacles and consider this to be a true achievement in my life. I thank God every day for what he has done for me, and I keep him close
to my heart!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a Future” Jeremiah 29:11

The deep passion I have to provide help and encouragement to people in crisis in our beautiful nation, has led me to register my own foundation, proudly called the EPIC Foundation – an acronym for Empowering People in Crisis.

Alta McMaster
Mobile: +27 (82) 940 6230
Email: info@epicfoundation.org.za

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