www.epicfoundation.org.za
Empowering People In Crisis
 

OBJECTIVES AND PROJECTS OF THE FOUNDATION

The main objective of the EPIC Foundation will be the management of various projects and initiatives aimed at assisting victims of rape and abuse, which will include women in shelters. Other ad hoc projects will also be undertaken to help people in crisis and support other charities.
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Survivors Stories
 
 
 
 

June's Story

~~You cannot run or hide. You cannot relocate or try a new relationship. Not until you realise that what you searching for, what you running from or running too, is not a place or a person, but the demons inside of you that you have not met yet, that you have not made peace with yet.

Like glass we are shaped in a certain way. As time goes on, we get knocked about, a little chip here, a crack there. We fall and pieces of our soul, our heart breaks. Our tears are the glue that gathers the pieces we can find and stick them back together.

Pieces go missing, too small to pick up, to insignificant to bother with. Our glass is never the same as when it was new. We have built extra character. The more times we fall and break the more we patch ourselves, the more we allow the miracle of light and love to shine through from our soul….. June Corrie

~~
Wake up, Stand up, Stand Tall
Awaken by the symphony of nature
A wave of the branches to welcome the day
No matter the drought, no matter the rain
Growing and grateful day by day

Idleness is the devils find
Knowingly we succumb to fear
Puppets on strings we do not mind
Surrendering our power to evil so near

Wake up, stand up, stand tall!
Inhale the beauty and abundance
Harness the power of God above
The music of peace to dance

Within reach is your hearts desire
Do not wait, do not stall
Purpose and passion your call
A life to flood with loving fire

Contentment is your shining star
Guiding light in life's dark storms
Companions in people true
Steering you through storms so blue

Wake up! Stand up! Stand tall! ….. June Corrie
~~~

I have this burning desire deep within me to make a difference in this world. It is like a raging inferno wanting to explode. I have been through so much ugliness, heartbreak, nightmares, yet I am still here. I have been stronger than all that has been dished out so I believe with all my heart and soul that I have not done so to merely survive, but to excel. Even so, I am still afraid of letting my passionate side out – It has been hidden for so long – However, I know without a doubt that once I get over this FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) – I will soar, I will have my happy ever after in all aspects of my life.

Life is not about quick fixes, it is about the journey, about discovery, about reaching out, about being brave. Life is about love. True love is not ugly, resentful or hurtful, but gentle, like the soft breeze of the wind on your cheek. It is there giving you a helping hand, a smile when you need, a warm embrace, an ear, a shoulder.

I have a deep hunger to compete in triathlons, more specific Ironman events. Not just to finish them, but aiming for the podium. I know that I have been blessed with the talent to get to the top. I also have determination and willpower. I want to use these and other races to raise awareness for survivors of abuse. To be a burning light for those stuck in the darkness. A lighthouse for those that are temporary lost.An inspiration for someone to hold on to their dreams and to never give up!

Part of my masterplan going forward, is becoming a motivational speaker, to help break the silence and the stigma that society places on abuse and rape survivors. I also intend to purchase an exercise franchise to work with toddlers and young kids and part of the fees will be donated in assisting abused kids.

My deepest desire though apart from living a life of purpose is in sharing my journey with that one, trustworthy person that is strong enough to acknowledge the strength of my soul; that is gentle enough to guard my broken, patched up pieces with his life and man enough to accept the abundance of passion that is in every fibre of my being.

The beginning
I am sure the day I was born, my parents had visions of a fairy tale life for me. After all, girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice!

I am of the firm believe that we choose our life before we come into this world, the experiences we will have, the lessons we will learn. The challenging part is to get through them, to grow, to learn, to find the purpose of our existence through those experiences. To never lose hope, to keep your faith strong, to keep on smiling and to never stop dreaming.

My early childhood memories are vague, neither happy nor sad, almost like a non-event. I can’t even say I remember my parents’ divorce when I was 5 or there abouts. I cannot even remember if they argued. What I do remember is my brother bullying me, putting me down, and telling me how ugly I was.

And so began my life of abuse and insecurities. A little girl in a world surrounded my boys. As any young child all I wanted was to be accepted, to play games, to run around and have fun, to be loved. If only things were so simple. It was during a weekend visit to my dad, age 6 or 7 that one of the older boys in the group of friends, pulled me behind a curtain in our house, pulled his pants down and told me to play with it if I wanted to be part of the group. My initiation into a world I couldn’t escape.
Both my parents got remarried and so I gained step brothers on both sides. One being a year older and the other about 10 years or so older than me. My brother, 2 years older than me, and his new partner in crime, stepbrother 1, found great pleasure in making my life a misery. I grew up believing I was the ugliest person under the sun, thanks to them constantly telling me so. The favourite sayings were – you are as ugly as the night and June baboon…. The only time when they were pleasant, was when they wanted to fondle me…. Playing doctor and I was the patient. During a caravan holiday I was told to get into the one bed naked while my dad and his wife was sitting outside having a drink or two. They would take turns and force themselves on me, while the other one would watch out to make sure they didn’t get caught.

….. You might think, why didn’t I say anything to my parents, or shouted out….. because the re-percussions were worse…….. they always get you the next day with something worse! Even then all I wanted was to fade away into the shadows..

Then there was stepbrother 2, the older one. He would visit us every now and again. At night he would sneak into my room, his hand probing, no matter how much I tried to keep him out, until he found the spot and penetrated me. I tried to wrap myself up in blankets, even in the middle of summer, but that did not deter him. I made a point of telling my mother and she spoke to my stepdad, but nothing changed after that. In fact, he came back telling me that if I dare say anything again, it will be worse…. So from that day on, no matter what was dished out, I kept it to myself, believing that I deserved all the ugliness. That I was not worthy of more.

I loved my stepdad. He was very good to me. Later on in life he helped me through some difficult financial times to keep me afloat – maybe he felt guilty…. However, I had to endure sexual advances from him as well. He would have me undress in the back seat of the car when we went somewhere alone, like sports games I attended. He would turn the mirror in such a way that he had full view of me. He would give me instructions on how to sit for his pleasure. At home he would make me come to the bathroom when he was showering so that I could watch and touch him….. I have forgiven them all. I have forgiven me and know that what happened was not because I did anything wrong, or that I was a terrible person. I know and believe that I did nothing to deserve the treatment I got. It did take a long time, with countless other more hurts and heartbreaks and self-doubt before I managed to smile.

And then High School arrived!

My brother moved to my dad, I learned to either not be at home alone or made sure on holidays to stay clear from everybody. So for those 5 years, I lived a hermit life, hiding away, scared of my own shadow. The only place where I felt like living, was when I did sport. It was a safe haven for me. I became a bookworm and lived myself out in the stories, in the fairy tales, the happy ever afters. Never giving up on the beauty of what true love brings.
~~
I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I need to know!!!!!

When you told me you liked me,
Looking at me with your seductive blue eyes,
Was it only to let your sensual hands roam my naked body?

When you told me I was the one,
With your sweet, soft voice, bringing music to my ears,
Was it all empty words, to make me your sexual slave?

When you told me you loved me,
Your promise of forever glowing like a star in the night sky from your body,
Was it only to stroke your own ego, seeing how many hearts you can break?

As the sun makes way for the moon to shine
As light turns to darkness
Is this my purpose in life?
To have someone take his desires from?
To have someone feed his ego from?
To be the punching bag for all that needs one?
Is this the karmic debt I have to repay, for some sin committed in a previous life?

I do not know.....
I cannot tell........
For the past is gone......
The future is a mystery.......

How to change the hurt that is hanging around me like a halo?
Why do I feel stuck in a void?
If only I could suck the world's pain and sorrow into the void with me....
My life would seem purposeful to me...... June Corrie
~~~~
The problem with running away, from wanting to escape any situation, is that you take yourself with. Unless you take the time to work through what has happened, forgive yourself and those that have hurt you, the possibility and probability is there that you will continue to attract the same kind of relationships or realities into your life.
By the age of 20, I was praying that the earth would open up and swallow me. I had moved away from my mom and stepdad and the small town I grew up in, to the big city to disappear. I became the ugly person I was told I was on the outside. I had acne all over my face, like huge acne, covering every part of what resembled skin on my face to such an extent that I looked like a freak. A dorky freak as I was wearing glasses on top of all this ugliness. I went from one doctor to the next, each one trying something else. One doctor had me on meds that dried me out so much, that even if I thought of a smile my skin would crack open. Luckily for me, smiling was not something I did – in fact only recently started doing that more often. A Specialist finally came to my rescue and 4 months of intense treatment and my skin was completely clear, and by some miracle I have no scars left.
And there I was on the brink of turning 21, with zero self-confidence and not even been on a real date yet. I thought I was going to turn into the lonely cat lady, an old maid for sure.
Enters Husband no 1 through a blind date. Was he my prince? NO. However, is you were as robbed of self-confidence as I was, downgrading to a villain for some attention, becomes your new fairytale. He was abusive and not fond of working at all. For most of our married life, we had only my small income to get by on. The hardships were endless. At least he only used me for a punching bag on nights when he drank too much….. Why didn’t I leave? My kids…. My son was conceived shortly after we met and we got married before I realised he was a villain and not a prince. My daughter was born 2 years later, as I thought another child would solve our problems. BIG mistake. A Leopard never changes its spots. So like most mothers in an abusive relationship, and given my past, I never for one moment thought I would be strong enough, capable enough to raise 2 kids on my own.
I was desperately unhappy. I could feel myself sliding into a gutter existence. I hated him, feared him and having to sleep next to him at night, him touching me and having sex with him, revolted me. Till one day…. .
We all have a limits to how far we are willing to fall, to downgrade. A limit where our soul jumps in and say… Enough is Enough!! You need to be strong. You need to stand up and fight for your survival.
And that is what I did! I told him the marriage was over, that I have had enough. That night I feared for my kids life like never before. Plastic chairs and tables thrown into the ceiling as they got in the way of him trying to get to me. I tried to hide away in the dark house, doing my best to muffle my cries, but in the end to no avail. I got pulled back to bed by the throat…….
The next day I walked over to the church minister across the road and pleaded for help. He spoke to the husband whom agreed to go on a retreat for a week. Unless you have been in such a position, the immense relief that comes from the knowledge of a week of freedom, a week without fear, indescribable.
He came back after a week bearing gifts, telling me how he has changed. I was not willing to take him back though. I reached the point of no more. I have had my fill! He did not like the answer and all hell broke loose. Broken doors, security gates, broken phones and a punch or two was on the cards. I had no choice but to flee the house leaving the two kids with him while I looked for someone that could call the police. Fortunately for me, by that time I have obtained a restraining order and when the police arrived, they could take him away for the night.
For some time he didn’t change his aggressive behaviour. He still had rights to see the kids and used that to haunt me. Bringing them back hungry, dirty and tired at ungodly hours. Two little babies, barely 4 and 2. He went so far as to forcefully remove them from the daycare and hid them from me, forcing me to once again get the police involved.
I thought I was going to crack. I had no one. I had learned from early on sharing my problems with anybody is to no avail. I was not yet 27 and I was ready to die. I ended up in a mental hospital and put on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets – deeply depressed. Even after my release, suicide notions didn’t subside and what kept me alive were my 2 kids, my life savers. The lowest point I ever reached, was when I was planning our family murder. I would rather have my kids drift away in their sleep with the help of my sleeping tablets, then leave them in the hands of their father should I not be around. When I registered what I was planning on doing, I snapped out of it and my slow road to recovery started.
~~
My Friend, The Darkness
Darkness, O my trusted friend...
Ever present just below...
Your eager claws ready to strike...
At the slightest hint of the setting sun...

It seems like we have been in battle my entire life...
Your claws taking different shapes of friend and foe...
Trying desperately to block the light from my life...
With promises of numbness and darkened peace...

Ever so inviting...
I have wanted to surrender...
To fade away into your world...
Wanting to block all the piercing light from my life...

Stubbornness and not wanting to give up...
Has pulled me from your claws...
The belief that in the light is where I belong...
Battling alone to free me from your hold...

The rock face of the mountain I have to climb seems impossible...
The top, where full light awaits, out of sight...
Looking back I see the darkness from where I came...
Not knowing how I will carry on...

Tired and alone I am stuck, searching for the next move upwards...
My friend, the darkness, covering the light above...
Making me cry out in desperation and frustration...
Strength gained from our lifelong battle, forcing me to hang on and not give up...

My friend, the darkness, you will not win...
Alone, I will hang on against the mountain face...
Till I find my next step upwards...
Away from your claws, away from your deceptions...

I will conquer the mountain of darkness...
I will get to the top, to stand in the light...
That you have been keeping from me since my first breath...
You see, my friend the darkness, I am not alone... June Corrie…
~~

I met husband 2 shortly after this and he really was an angel send. For the first time in my life I was in a safe haven. We married and he adopted the kids and for a while life was peaceful.
I healed and got stronger and divorced husband 2. I wanted independence. Searching for a place where I could be me, whoever that person was. Thinking that that place was somewhere outside of me. I learned a few lessons and relearned some old ones going on that journey. I learned people don’t mean what they say. They take what you give and then leave. I thought independence was having your own house and a wallet full of credit cards. All that happened was that I became a slave to work and debt. In 2007 I started working as a General Manager in a SME company. Like all things new, everything was great. I got opportunities to travel the world, stay in 5 star hotels, fly business and first class. Because I had faith in the company, I tried to help my mom whose pension fund was dwindling by suggesting that she invest with us. Then the owner, still married at the time, started getting out of line. So for years I had to laugh at his sexual advances, brush it off with a smile on my face to protect my moms income.
Then things went south, and fast! He wanted a relationship, I was not interested and while my kids were finishing matric, he stopped paying me a salary, stating that as management no salary was due till after the contract we were working on was completed. With the understanding that should I change my mind about having a relationship with him, he would give me money from his pocket. As a single mother to support the household, credit card limits can only stretch so far. – This was beginning 2013. Taking a few steps back… By the time 2010 arrived, I was obese, I smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish. Not one of those gave me any self-confidence. In fact, it made things worse. I felt and looked like a beached whale. I hated myself…….I decided to do something about it and embarked on transforming my body. I eventually kicked all the bad habits and it all paid off so much so that in April 2013 I had a six pack and body fat of 11.8%.

~~
Where to from now?......

Angry and frustrated with myself!
Why do I let this happen?
Why do I let people decide my today, my tomorrows?
Why do I give them that power?
What bad past karmic debt do I have to repay?
How many times do I have to go through the same shit with different faces?
When will I learn this lesson, whatever it is that I have to learn?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different outcome!
I must be completely insane then!!!

When will I catch a break?
Why must it be so difficult?
Am I such a bad, rotten being?

I work hard on my body, yet it is my downfall...
My emotions are easy prey...
My mind so powerful yet so weak...
My heart full of compassion, yet always busy healing...

No matter how much I give, it is never enough!
I'm not a tap with an unlimited supply of whatever, whoever wants!
How can I go on if my resources are dried up?
How do I keep from turning hateful, angry, bitter and hard?

This is my freakin life!!!
Must I become a hard, uncompromising bitch to break this vicious circle?

I fight alone in this world.
I do not have a wingman or an army!
If I don't give something of myself, a piece of my body, mind or soul, nobody will remember my name...
v So why should I care who I hurt or who I step on?
People only say things and do things for their own gain!
Honesty, respect, caring an unknown concept..

Why should I be different????? …. June Corrie
~~~
Still I was stuck with the same belief system. I was still ugly. Still only good enough for one thing when it came to relationships…. Truth is you can transform your body, your external world, move to anywhere on earth, but unless you face your inner demons, look them straight in the eye, be fearless at what will be revealed, forgive yourself and love yourself for the amazing being you are, you will always be stuck with the same reality.
Towards the end of 2013 I could take the emotional blackmail no more and once again I drew the line. I prepared my mom that she is more than likely going to lose all her money. And then I walked out. He refused to correspond via email and made no commitments. The company is probably liquidated with no recourse to repayment.
All my credit cards were bursting. I had to sell my house with no profit and had no money to pay rent. I had no job either and things were looking bleak. I had to apply to be placed under administration. My daughter went to stay with my mom after matric and my son and I almost became gypsy’s. We were homeless, not a penny to our name. The only place I could get for us to stay was at the ex-boss, where he treated me like the help - apart from the odd occasion where he tried his sexual advances on me. 2014 - THE most degrading year of my life!
Like everything in life, there is an upside and downside – a positive and negative – to every encounter, every situation, every experience. It is our choice how we choose it to be.
~~~
3 Little Words...

3 Little words I long to hear.
I love you...
Carried from your heart to mine
Seeing it in each other’s eyes
Feeling it in a warm embrace
Having your feet lift from the ground by invisible wings
Your heart missing a beat but racing at the same time
The feeling of your body smiling on the outside as well as on the inside.
The feeling where nothing makes sense, but everything feels right.
3 Little words that sends shivers of delight down your spine
3 Little words I long to hear

3 Little words I hate to hear
I Love you ....
Said by someone that holds your heart as he walks out the door to never return.
Said by someone that doesn't mean it, but pretends to care.
The pain of the sledge hammer pounding away, crushing your insides...
Taking your breath away by the force of the agony.
As you realize it was all a lie.
Once again been fooled by love.
3 Little words I hate to hear
3 Little words that has the ability to crush you and break you

3 Little words...
I long to hear....
I hate to hear....

I love you….. June Corrie
~~~
Unspoken words of a Dying Hearts
Words of lies and deceit.....
Flowing over your sensual lips.....
My eyes drinking in your persona.......
My ears hearing the sound of your vibration.......

Is my heart so deceitful???
Opening up to your evil intoxication....
Poisoning my life blood and draining my soul.....
Consuming my being from the inside out.......

The pain I feel pierces through the layers of my human body.....
My trust in love stripped away, leaving me naked to the core.......
The raging emptiness of my soul screaming out in silence....
Leaving me crippled and dying in my belief of everlasting love.... June Corrie
~~

I have searched for love and acceptance my entire life. I think at one stage, I was so desperate to find it that it could be smelled a mile away. I found everything except that. I found rejection, emotional abuse, lies, one night stands, and a million tears in the process.
~~
Quiet Reflection
Lying in bed, a cool breeze dancing with the curtains through the opened sliding door. The birds singing in the trees close by. The clouds grey filled with water. For once this weather soothing on my soul, as it promises to wash away and cleanse the mountain of worries that have consumed me the last couple of weeks, drained me of me... Filling me with nothing but questions at the kind of person I am!!!

We all have our crutches, our hurts, our pains, our skeletons... Not only until we look further than ourself do we realize how grateful we should be and that our skeleton filled closet is nothing compared to what others carry..

By giving do we receive...
By sharing do we grow...
By loving do we heal...

But.. To be a complete person, to embrace all that life is offering us, to live fully as children of the Creator, we have to embrace the skeletons. By ignoring them, they will keep on popping up in our lives until we have faced them and they no longer have a power over us.

Things I have learned...
• Don't make your past a present crutch
• Forgive with love and never regret
• Stop running from your ghosts - they catch up any how - they time travel!
• Always be honest - with others and yourself
• Live your life for you - not for anybody else - they have their own life to live
• Believe in yourself - else no-one will
• Love yourself
• Have faith - in yourself and other
• Have confidence but not arrogance
• The I cannot survive without the WE!
• Be grateful for every experience in your life - no matter the outcome

By constantly searching and looking for the one thing you think is missing from your life, you might just miss it if it comes along looking different than you thought it would! You also miss out on lives magic on the journey...

Open your eyes and live every magical moment fully!!!

The one thing in life we cannot run from is ourself!!!

Live.... Fully
Love .... Unconditionally
Laugh .... At yourself ….. June Corrie
~~~~
It was only when I stopped looking, when I started questioning me as a person, that I realized I had this all wrong. It was only when I forgave myself, when I learned to love myself, when I finally accepted me for me, that I have found peace. I am still single, but I know I am surrounded by love. I also know that when the time is right, I will have my fairytale ending.
~~
Love is all there is
Love knows no limits
Love pays no attention to what the mind has to say
Love is not slave to the boundaries that society has created
Love is free

Love travels at a mere thought, across oceans, without fear
Love doesn't have to apply for a visa or get a passport to travel thousands of miles
Love expects nothing in return
Love is unconditional

Love is what life is all about
Love is to be given freely without reservation or expectation
Love is patient and not demanding
Love is the drug of life

When true loves meet
Love collide in a magical display of magnificence
Creating a universe that didn't exist before
Giving us wings and the belief that everything is possible... June Corrie
~~
The light of love
I open my eyes but I cannot see
A misty haze of loneliness obstructing my vision
With outstretched arms I circle around
Twirling in an endless search
For love's light in my darkened world...

Blue grey rolling clouds of days gone by
Threatening my already darkened world..
Thunder roars through my searching soul....
When lightning strikes, bringing me to life
Opening my eyes to the bright light of your true love

Your love entered my world
Like the glorious sunshine after the rain
Like the first sunbeam kissing a flower
Your gentleness caressed my soul
Awakening the love within my heart..

Your love leaves me breathless and in awe
Ripples of delight surges through my body
As your words of love rings through my ears.

Passion and desire for you pulses through my veins
My lips voicing the deepest and truest feelings of my soul.
~~~
I choose to not give up, to not be bitter, to use my broken perfection to make a difference, to stand up and speak out. To be brave!
In the last 2 years I have learned to love myself, to walk away from toxic, abusive relationships in any form, that dorky glasses are super sexy and that there is nothing more beautiful and spectacular as the night sky.
I have learned that I am stronger than my abusers, be they sexual, physical or emotional. I have learned that I can do and be anything I put my mind to.
I have learned that my weakness of caring and believing in people is my strength.
I have learned to love me completely with all my imperfections and that I am perfectly me.
I have learned to have courage, to dream wildly and that faith in my light in the darkness.
I am not my past!
I am not what happened to me
I am an incredible being
I am a winner
I am an Ironman
~~
A new Day, A new Dawn
A new day
A new dawn
An empty canvas to play
On the easel your pawn

Overwhelmed and uncertain
A brand new terrain
Brushes and colours galore
The picture to paint no more

Your mind the foe so evil and cruel
Drawing from yesterdays darkened dusk
Erasing all but worry and doubt
Colours a mix with nothing but black

Take a deep breath
Inhale the new light
Fill all your senses
With the wondrous sight

Close your eyes and open your heart
Let certainty be the stroke of your brush
Your choice on the creation so perfect to start
Confidence flowing in the colours so flush

A new day
A new dawn…. June Corrie
~~~

 
 
 
 
 
 
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