What does not kill you, may leave a Scar.

Today, I am going to share four stories with you.

Just four, in the hopes that they will inspire you to do whatever your heart wants and your soul deserves.

 

NihoMano

People sometimes ask me about my tattoo, a “niho mano” in the Polynesian language that crosses my entire left forearm. You see shark teeth usually represent power, ferocity, and adaptability and that is what it represents to me each time I look at it, not the 3-year-old little defenseless boy that was branded by his maternal mother with a red-hot fork. Her way of ensuring I would never forget her, like the years of physical and mental abuse didn’t leave a scar big enough.

Today, the tattoo is a constant reminder of my determination to never be comfortable with what I have, to do one thing every day to bring me closer to living the most fulfilled life possible: to live the length and the width of my life, as my grandmother used to say, while never again being afraid of anyone and choosing only the scars I created versus the ones that were made against me.

The truth I had an idyllic childhood — for the most part. Born out of wedlock in South Africa, as a child I lived with my mother, around 100 meters from my father in his two-bed house with all my uncles and aunts and grand and great-grandparents, in a small studio council flat.

From my earliest memories, my mother was abusive. Jealous of my father, who she felt was doing well financially simply because he had won a sports car, she, together with her boyfriend, kidnapped me from outside my school when I was five years old. They drove me from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

Then locked me in a toilet for six weeks, using food as a weapon and regularly starving me.

My father received ransom letters however it is fair to say they were not criminal masterminds, being arrested after asking for money to be transferred into my mother’s bank account.

I was flown back to Cape Town alone and reunited with my father., great-grandmother, grandmother, uncle, and aunt.

On my wedding day, 34 years later, I was asked if this was the happiest day of my life, my answer was that it was not, it was the third happiest. Seeing my father pressed against the glass at the airport that day of my return from hostage crying with happiness as I was escorted across the tarmac to him and my grandparents, was the happiest day of my life.

The second came when I was twelve, I was lured into a house by friends who wanted to teach me a lesson for moving away from the area in which I had grown up. It was a poor area and the concept of blood in, blood out was strong; you can’t move, you belong to something bigger. I was taken into a room, a gun pulled on me and I was shot in the chest. I had just moved from primary school into high school and now I was being told I wouldn’t survive; the bullet had nipped my lung, I was drowning internally and, because I didn’t have Medical Aid, I was told I was going to die.

In the hospital, I was put in a chair because I was told they wouldn’t waste a bed on me, poor white trash, as I was going to die anyway. I remember saying to myself at twelve years old that whatever I did going forward, I would do whatever it takes, no matter how scary it might be because nothing could possibly be scarier than that particular moment. The scare I felt was not of my impending death but of not having any great flashbacks to see before seeing that infamous light. Trust me, to know me now, is to know a man who has more stories and great moments then Warren Buffet has zero’s in his bank balance to look forward to.

But that day was not the good day to die, my father would not allow for that. He put me in his car and dring at five miles per hour took me to the nearest private hospital. Within 48 hours I was out of danger. I couldn’t use my right arm for two years and had to learn to do all my exams orally. I remember standing at the back of the room, having the questions read out from the exam paper and answering them. Did you know that according to reports peoples number 1 fear is fear of public speaking and number 2 is death? Death is number 2. That means most people would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.

I do not fear either one.

My greatest fear would come later. It came when I left my best friend, my soul mate, my only parent, my Father to travel.

I left South Africa, worked my way through Taiwan, and Thailand before arriving in the UK with nothing when I was 29. I knew nobody. I took a loan for £1000, which I thought I could live on for a month, maybe two, and applied for any job I could find: I packed CDs into boxes and worked for a caterer. Slowly, I got the money together that enabled me to apply for better jobs and eventually worked in events. The entire time I spoke to my father every chance I got and in my mind to the young boy still locked in that toilet telling him how far he was now from that cramped small smelly room.

In 2012 I started a company with my dad and for him, Lokkima, it was like his gift to me of unconditional love and support throughout my life, his love gave me a purpose and allowed me to be the best me I can be, a survivor. My gift to him was a purpose too and to be in his best role that of a “father” but this time to our employees and affiliates.

My Lokkima Story Here

Then, two years ago when I was 40, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I can already feel myself beginning to get worse. I have less energy, suffer from MS Brain Fog, Fatigue and other issues and at times feel like that weak child.

But I am no less determined today then I was when I was 5 or 12.

I know today that what you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. My goal was to write a book, I’ve written a bestseller; I wanted to speak and travel around the world, I’ve done this and so much more.

What’s the worst-case scenario for any of us? 

That we die. 

We all die, but how many of us live, truly live. 

My grandfather explained death to me when I was 9 years old, he said, ” Hell is meeting you, the you, you could have been should you have been fearless!”.

Against all odds I am standing here before you, I believe now as I stand here to silence the oppressors, the doubters, the unbelievers and prove that anything is possible and to remind you not to judge yourself by what others have done to you.

And as for my mum, I only saw her twice more.  I last saw her when I was 30 in a bar. She approached me and asked me to buy her a drink but didn’t recognize me. I had to explain to her that we knew each other.

But maybe she did not know me, not truly, she knew her son to be a scared weak victim and before her stood a strong confident survivor.

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~ by Jason Allan Scott on November 20, 2017.

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