I am beginning to love myself again

Catherine had a university education and she was enjoying her career in marketing. She was financially independent, a committed Christian and had a loving circle of friends and family.

After eight years of marriage, abuse from her husband left her with physical scars, underweight and scared to talk or even think independently.  She believed she had no future before she attended group therapy sessions provided by FIDA Kenya.

Catherine

“I met my husband when I was working at a media firm. I wasn't interested, but I agreed to go for a quick coffee to get rid of him. The coffee lasted 2.5 hours and we immediately became friends. We grew closer after my mother died of breast cancer.

We got married and I gave birth to a girl. My boss let me work from home after my maternity leave, but when I went back to work, my husband started insulting me. I was working less, my salary decreased and I became more financially dependent. Then, the physical abuse began. We tried family mediation to stop it and it seemed to be working. Shortly after, I got pregnant with our son.

My husband wanted me to quit my job. The abuse continued: nothing was good enough for him; I was ugly; I was a bad mother. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere and he banned my friends and family from visiting me. Finally, he decided I should train to become a pilot. He picked a pilot school and paid the fees. He moved my sister into our house to keep an eye on me and paid for her to go back to college too.

We fought when I got a job as a pilot. He beat me so hard that I couldn't even go to work and start my new job. We continued to fight and he hit me until I couldn’t move, all of this was completely unprovoked. That was the last straw.

FIDA Kenya helped me find a lawyer to start the divorce process. When my husband found out, he threatened to take our kids and dump them on the street. When I joined group therapy ran by FIDA, I was a mess. I thought I deserved the abuse, I felt responsible. I had lost all self-esteem; I wasn’t sure of anything. I had to beg on my knees for the money to buy food for our children. I tried to seek help, but he convinced everyone that I was lying. 

The therapy enabled me to see the situation from a different perspective. I understood that I am not alone and it was not my fault. I got back my freedom, self-esteem, and confidence. Now, I do simple things that make me and my children happy. I am beginning to love myself again, and it doesn’t matter what my husband thinks.

Catherine now works in a pilot training centre and is financially independent. She lives in her marital home with her children. Her husband moved out. He provides maintenance for the children and sees them regularly.

This project is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development through the UK Aid Match scheme.
This project is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development through the UK Aid Match scheme.