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Surviving abuse: 'I hope my story empowers others to take their own power back'

23 January 2022 4:32 PM
Tags:
Abuse
Nompumelelo Runji
books
Sara-Jayne King
weekend breakfast
How I Took Back My Power
surviving abuse

Political analyst Nompumelelo Runji tells her story of healing in the book How I Took Back My Power - she talks to Sara-Jayne King

- Political analyst and academic Nompumelelo Runji tells the story of her journey to healing in the book How I Took Back My Power

- Sara-Jayne King interviews Runji on Weekend Breakfast


Image: Nompumelelo Runji on Facebook

From the outside, Nompumelelo Runji appeared to have it all. She was smart, accomplished, had a great career and was seemingly happily married to a man she'd met in church - her dream guy - but the reality was quite different.

Sara-Jayne King, Weekend Breakfast host

Sara-Jayne King talks to Nompumelelo Runji about the journey of healing she describes in her book 'How I Took Back My Power'.

The political analyst and academic survived a tumultuous childhood which skewed her view of love and relationships.

She ended up marrying an emotionally abusive man, whom she has now left.

Runji describes always trying to avoid an explosion between her parents, while trying at the same time to meet their high expectations to make them look good.

"I suppose I was meant to be the one good thing they got right."

She says she went back to her childhood to "try and put the pieces of my life back together".

When you're trying to make sense of your present life - particularly when you're dealing with chaos and trying to make an important decision - you do invariably go back to try and make sense of who you are.

Nompumelelo Runji, Author - How I Took My Power Back

My parents were also seemingly perfect on the outside, but their relationship was quite volatile. They had a lot of shouting matches... There was always an air of frustration and anger between them... I remember myself trying to avoid an explosion as well, around them.

Nompumelelo Runji, Author - How I Took My Power Back

Runji explains how in her adult relationships she got involved with people who cared about how she would make them look.

"I prided myself on being so perfect outwardly and they were attracted to that" she says.

However, from a child seeking approval, Runji has now grown to a point where she does not care what people think of her anymore.

Even when we know what love should be, theoretically... we don't know what we don't know. I suppose we are attracted to what's familiar.

Nompumelelo Runji, Author - How I Took My Power Back

She describes how the long journey of therapy also helped her to break the cycle of abuse (emotional and physical), and the difficult process of confronting her mother and her husband.

It was a very difficult thing to do... I had a good three years [after my first admission] where I regressed... At some point I started having suicidal thoughts as well... I just wanted to wither away...

Nompumelelo Runji, Author - How I Took My Power Back

[I realised, as a mom] that it was time to get a hold on myself... I needed to stop wanting the very people abusing me to validate my experience... I needed to accept and validate myself.

Nompumelelo Runji, Author - How I Took My Power Back

With this book... I think you are helping people enormously with your honesty... and authenticity...

Sara-Jayne King, Weekend Breakfast host

She hopes her story empowers others to take their own power back as well.

Scroll to the top of the article for the audio to listen to the in-depth interview




23 January 2022 4:32 PM
Tags:
Abuse
Nompumelelo Runji
books
Sara-Jayne King
weekend breakfast
How I Took Back My Power
surviving abuse

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