So often the stories of the women in Khayalethu have been completely unheard. We have been told over and over in our sessions, that not one word has ever been spoken of the trauma they have suffered. They have held the secrets within themselves for their entire life, suffering completely alone with the truth of what they have experienced. The freedom and relief they are experiencing in being able to tell the story embraced in love has been transformative. Sometimes a woman will look years younger just through the process of one session. Lyndall and I have seen nothing like it. Below is a dramatic example of this.
The first is a picture of Ouma (grandma in Afrikaans) prior to our first session. The second picture is from the following day when she came to attend one of our groups. Ouma speaks very little English. Lyndall had not spoken Afrikaans fluently in over 30 years. She had to quickly dust off her rusty memory of the language and translate my words to Ouma, Ouma’s words to me, AND be the therapist.....she was amazing. During that session, Ouma told her story of suffering that she had held inside of her for over 50 years. She had never once spoken those words.
The next day, Ouma arrived for a group chat. She told about her night. She had awoken with tears of joy streaming down her face and was telling herself that God had sent two women from very far away to heal the the pain of the women here. She then said that a childhood hymn that she had not thought about in many years came to her lips and she started singing. She sang it for our group. I keep saying this......but I felt I had never been so touched as she sang this beautiful Afrikaans hymn in her sweet, very shy voice that was demanding to be heard ......I did not understand one word of the hymn she was singing, but understood the its beautiful meaning entirely.