Thursday, June 22, 2017

My two year Punishment from my Father gave me my Fuck You attitude with a hate for plastic handbags

Dianne, Joy, Shane, Yolanda and Gizelle 
Towards the end of Standard 8, 15 years old, we were all sitting at that famous long table with benches for lunch table after school when my little brother started crying.   When I asked him why he was crying he said that some people had called him a rusty bean rooinek.   I said, “Don’t worry, Shane, next time tell them they are Frot Bannanas”.   My father turned on my with such hatred and started screaming that I am not a true South African and he would make sure that he would make me one over his dead body and that I was to make myself available the next morning to come with him to the Afrikaans school.   Up until this point, we had all attended an English Speaking School.   He sent me to the School Uniform Shop with a note to provide me with all the necessary uniforms for the Hoerskool Transkei.   The next morning he took me to the new school.   He went in first to the Principles office and had a chat with him.   I was left outside.   Everyone was looking at me.   I felt out of my depth and totally bewildered and alone, being punished for something I had no idea I had done.   Then my father walked passed me and said “You will never make it anyway”.   And in my head I said, “Fuck you, I will show you”. 

Someone was sent to take me to a classroom.   I was asked by the class teacher what my name was and what my father did.   I could not answer him because I did not understand him.   All my books were in Afrikaans.  The children called me Rooinek.   The English children across the road called me traitor.   I was in no man’s land, but determined to show that mother fucker that no matter what he did to me, I would survive.  

I studied word for word with an English Afrikaans dictionary, then I strung the words into sentences and then I learned the sentences.  What took other kids 10 minutes to learn, took me hours and hours.   I was an outcast and at the bottom of the class.   But I never gave up.   I failed the first term.  I never spoke English to my father after the second term.   I achieved a first class Matric in Afrikaans.

During those two years, the beatings continued. The beatings were always because I looked too much like my fucking mother or I was too much like her.  The sexual assaults became part of the pattern or fondling or being given a hiding.  And after every beating, I would come home from school and there on my bed would be the peace offering – a plastic handbag.  I hate plastic handbags.  I would rather carry stuff in my skirt than in a plastic handbag.


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