26th September

We carry with us pain, in particular the pain of the past events. It leaves an imprint on us and even when the pain has past we still feel it is happening to us. For some people trying to rid themselves of that indelible pain is almost impossible because it went on for so long, they had lost count of how to live without that pain. There comes a point, when sometimes people in abusive situation find it hard to tell the difference, they can’t leave the situation because they don’t know any difference.

Even with such a deep pain and constant pain it is reassuring to know that there are people who have survived. As humans we can tolerate pain well beyond what is thought we could tolerate. We learn to adapt and slip slowly out of that prison. One of the things we shouldn’t do is dwell on the pain but to lighten it with a strong will; for although we cannot run away from it, it will subside. Soon we will learn to live with only the memory, but not the pain.

******

“The years of imprisonment hardened me…. Perhaps if you have been given a moment to hold back and wait for the next blow, your emotions wouldn’t be blunted as they have been in my case. When it happens every day of your life, when that pain becomes a way of life, I no longer have the emotion of fear. There is no longer anything I can fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known.”

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

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