Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours
Clemantine Wamariya
3.1K49

Thank you for sharing your story. This is not just a story for me, but its a part of my life that I rarely discuss. When I was 13 my mother, 2 brothers (5&7) and aunt were murdered by my uncle- who was subsequently sentenced to death by hanging.

I also wrote to Oprah to ask her help get an interview with my uncle when he was on death row because my father wouldn’t organise a visit for me. She never responded and after reading your account- I am glad she didn’t. Thank you for helping me settle that.

Our stories are not the same, but I think they are points of similarity. We had no control over what happened, but we had to survive. I have felt like there is a part of my memory which is completely gone, perhaps I will buy the Sebald books too to try and trace some kinds of roots. I often wonder who I would have been if this never happened. Would I be more of a hugger? would I be less afraid of commitment? I would probably be better at making my bed and ironing.

Is it wrong to say I am grateful for the event, because now I get to life with nothing to lose. I have lost everything, so there is very little to fear. I am an entrepreneur of the worst kind- the “burn all ships” kind. I am also a lawyer- look momma I made it.

Guilt. Thanks for discussing that. I did feel guilt- but it quickly dissipated into shame. That was hard to shake. Like why did I feel shame? I didnt do anything wrong. I don’t/didn’t want to be associated with that story of my life so I tried/ am trying to make the other parts of it much better so they eclipse that portion.

I am trying to get brave enough to start sharing my story and finding my voice, but I dont think I can handle the responses as you mentioned. The disinterested, the curious, the insensitive, the bored, the pity. The few times I have spoken about it, leave me drained by what people put out when they hear it. No response is ever good enough though. I dont know what I am looking for.

Anyway, thank you for sharing and shedding some light on what happens to a child who goes through a traumatic experience in youth. Then the struggle of trying to reconcile everything to build a life you are proud of.I think you are doing a great job, well done!

I pray that we all heal- whatever that looks like for each of us.

Send my love to Claire.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.