Zoleka Mandela on being sexually abused as a child: ‘I spent decades blaming myself’

Zoleka Mandela has spoken for the first time about being a victim of sexual and physical abuse since her childhood.

Nelson Mandela’s grandchild posted a picture of herself on Instagram sharing her experience and how it made her feel.

Mandela revealed that she spent years and years blaming herself for the abuse she received from both the men and the women in her life. “This is me as a child, I spent decades blaming myself, believing that all the sexual abuse by both the men and women in my life, I deserved.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIVGIBBj_Q5/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

She added that from the moment that picture was taken, more abuse followed from those she trusted. “Not knowing that I would be physically and sexually abused even more (after this picture was taken) … convinced that I didn’t deserve more.”

She also relieved that she had many attempts at suicide because the pain was too much to bear. Also sharing that her addiction to sex and drugs was an attempt to numb the pain and a coping mechanism.

“I’ve hated myself so much that my many suicidal attempts, were an attempt at ending a life I didn’t deserve, so much that my addiction to sex, drugs and alcohol was an attempt at numbing the self hate I felt for decades because I was desperate to feel something good because I felt I didn’t have the right and strength to live.”

“But I am more than what happened to me, more than someone who used to self harm or cut themselves, I am far more than an addict, a survivor of depression and anxiety, more than a survivor. I am deserving of the life I want for myself, I am strength, I am self love, I am worthy, I am love, a fighter and I am a force to be reckoned with. I am Zoleka!”