Awake, The Tormentor Part 2! (read with caution, as content is intense, especially if your a rape victim or individual panic/anxiety)

Woman victim behind glass

(copyrights huffingtonpost-cpap-ptsd-nightmares)


Awake was just another state of enslaving myself.

The brain can either be a powerful ally or foe. In my case, it was a foe.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find rest while sleeping, because that’s when I replayed of my rape. The less I slept, the more fatigued I was and the more intense my delusion and paranoia became; and the further away my tripolar opposites became. The only thing that could help me was having peace of mind, but peace meant the beginning of my renaissance, and a renaissance is impossible without death. Death and birth are classic oxymoron, they both relay on each other and they both contradict each other. This chapter marks the inauguration of my insanity and depression!

Depression is defined as: “an illness that can serious impair all aspects of a person life, including personal relationships, performances at work and personal enjoyment of leisure activities.”(Lundbeck)

Depression gets complicated to detect and diagnose, because every single person will have a different set of symptoms and react to the presence of these symptoms differently[1]. In my opinion, the above definition of depression is too simplistic and doesn’t serve this disease justice. I’ve struggled with depression since 2009 and I can tell you, it can alter everything you hold dear in life. It kills every ounce of hope you ever possessed. Ithemba liyaphilisa (Hope causes one to live). A person deprived of hope, is a walking corpse, thus I describe depression as lifelessness. It’s not a death without resurrection, as its curable, but as long depression exists, you’re lifeless. My depression was a lifeless addiction to morbid darkness.

After the EASOC meeting, I didn’t leave my room for about two weeks. The more I isolated myself, the more paranoid I got. In an effort to assist me to study and get out of my room, Vuyo enlisted me to go to the computer lab. I think she was hoping that a change of environment plus the vision of other students getting on with their assignments would inspire me to do the same. Honestly, it took everything I had to get out of bed and look sensible enough to hide my secret. Unfortunately, this meant getting into the shower and engaging in the cleansing ritual. For an equivalent of two weeks or so, I had not taken a shower, brushed my teeth or washed my face. I was dead inside and had no intention of appearing any different. Anyway, due to the high regard I have for Vuyo, I gathered all my strength and energy and prepared myself for the task ahead. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t seek additional medical assistance. Well, as far as I was concerned, I was fine. I was taking my trauma in stride, acting gracefully and appropriately in front of my peers and doing my best to survive. Besides, the number one concern was who was going to believe me? So rather than incur the added burden of rejection, I decided to bare my cross alone!

Secondly, I knew for a fact I wasn’t depressed, because depression was not in my vocabulary. It was a word that described insane people. Those filthy individuals I saw as a child roaming the streets aimlessly with natty dreadlocks, tattered coal covered clothing and frantically singing or speaking to themselves. THAT WAS NOT ME! THAT WAS DEFINITELY NOT ME! Hahahahahaha. Believe me; the wit behind this utterance was going to reveal itself soon, very, very soon.

So as Vuyo and I trekked our way from middle to upper campus, we spoke and laughed. About what you ask? I genuinely do not recall. I honestly, do not think I was paying enough attention to adequately engage, let alone remember that conversation, my main role in this production, was to play a convincing Maryanne.

However, I recall how precious the crisp fresh air was to me, how gorgeous the ruby field appeared and how interesting my fellow students looked as we passed them by. They looked so care free; they had perfect complexions and wrinkle free faces. Their smiles were bright and brilliant white. These individuals fascinated me, because they represented the me I had lost!

Upon arrival to the lab, my biggest fear of being gawked at was realised. People knew, they could read the writing on my forehead and were taking the piss out of me. My heart began to race faster than the Hennessey Venom. My nerves were palpitating like they were engrossed in a marathon race with Paul Tergat and my body had the shakes like this was its penultimate mission in life. So in an attempt to capture some ounce of control and support from my fellow human being, I asked Vuyo:

“why the hell people are staring at me?”

 And of course I couldn’t whisper my question, I had to ask piercingly. Vuyo laughed and said:

“It’s because you’re singing at full volume. You broke into song the minute we touched down in the computer lab. You’ve been passionately singing a gospel song and smiling wildly!”

I was utterly shocked and devastated. My glass ceiling was shattered! I could see tiny fragments of my sanity lying on the floor for everyone to see. My gig was up. The curtains had come down and everyone was on their feet, giving me a standing ovation.

“Wooohoooo! She’s done it; she’s unmasked the phantom of her sanity. Bravo! Bravo!”

After my last performance, you can imagine that my next appearances were few and far apart. I only left my room to buy groceries, mind you, I don’t know why I bothered, I rarely ate let alone cooked. I also only left to try and salvage my grades for the semester, but honestly there was no hope, I had not done any assignments after my rape and quite honestly the more I tried to think analytically, the more my insanity would appear. In addition, when I tried to seek advice from one of the student advisor about the possibility of erasing this semester from my academic record to save my average, her response was:

“Maryanne, this university has rules that everyone has to abide by. The university is not here to bend rules for you and work around your problems. Yes, it’s sad that you got raped but it’s your responsibility to fulfil your end of the deal and for us to do the same!”

So I gave up trying on the academic frontier. Eventually my fatigue and my nightmares took a hold of me and I remained in a state of essential unconsciousness until the day of my disappearance.

It’s the 9th of June, the day I’m departing back to my homeland. My flight to Johannesburg is at 10:50am, which means I have to be at the airport by 9:50am. Alas, I woke up to a startling sound of a man’s voice at the end of the line. My phones ringtone echoed in the mist of my nightmare. Death had become somewhat of a recurring comfort in my dreams, so when my phone rang that morning, for a few seconds, it just bounce me back and forth into a limbo with my consciousness and unconsciousness. After about five seconds, I answered the phone like a lethargic robot and got the proverbial slap in the face from my male cab driver. He was informing me that he was on his way, and would be at my residence in twenty to thirty minutes. I leapt into action and got ready. Until this day, I have no idea how I did it, but I finished packing the remainder of my stuff and showered in under thirty minutes…

The drive to the airport and the first flight was uneventful. When I arrived at Johannesburg I was worn-out and it showed. So I found a safe and quiet place to sit and wait to board my flight. The idea was to try and relax and mentally prepare myself for being at home. Home was no longer my safe haven; it was the country I shared with my rapist. Regrettably, my brain had other plans, other than relaxation. I started panicking about my suitcase and trying to remember whether I needed to check my bags in again, then I thought they had left my luggage behind. I stood up so quickly and started rushing around to the other side of the airport. Then half way there, I realised I had checked my bags in straight to Nairobi. So I ran back to international departures, found an isolated and safe place to sit. But before I could relax I was running again going to check on my luggage. I played this cat and mouse game until I completely burnt myself out. I had nothing else to give. I slouched back into the bench and shut out the rest of the world. I was unable to hear, smell or feel anything. I was numb and happy. While I dimed down my senses, I missed the fact that a random male person had come to sit next to me, and I missed the boarding call for my flight. Thank the Lord for that stranger, because he not only helped by pulling me back to reality, he helped me check in and clear immigrations. I didn’t know it then, but my God in heaven was certainly looking out for me and had never forsaken me. He had been infront me all the way and was anointing my steps throughout my trauma.

The Lord is faithful and his love endures always!

In hindsight, I really wish I had been honest with my family, close friends and doctor about my struggles because they would have reminded me of God’s love and kept me anchored to reality!

I need you reading this to remember, Joy will always come in the morning and God is always there for you. All you have to do is trust him and ask him to comfort you. Recovery from any trauma, is difficult and long but believe me, it’s possible. You just need the right therapist, support group and doctor. God loves you! God loves you and WILL NEVER FORESACK YOU.

This song has gotten me through difficult times, hope it does the same for you.



[1] For further information on depression, visit,



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