The Transformation of Kathy Ansin
The abuse and violence I experienced as a child, really messed with my head and gave me a twisted idea of what love was, and also of men. The men in my life had either abused me or left me. I was raped, by a family member, repeatedly between the ages of 8 – 13 years old.
I blamed myself and thought that it was something that I was doing wrong. I stopped grooming and washing my hair. I have been badly beaten, knocked out and hospitalised.
I wore very baggy clothes and learnt the skill of being invisible. I used alcohol to numb myself from the pain.
I remember the feeling of abandonment and panic when my mother escaped from my father without me, and I was left to fend for myself against his violence.
I remember the ache of hunger. Days on end without food. The numbness of perpetual hunger.
I remember shopping days – I would wear dad’s overalls tucked into his gumboots and walk around the grocery store shoving food and other items into my clothing - wherever it would fit.
My father taught me how to work within the government system and use it to our advantage. Very little I did was honourable or legit. As I grew older, I learnt to know what men wanted and how to get what I needed through manipulation and cunning.
I had shut myself off from feeling anything, while the real me became an expert at being invisible.
My son connected with Destiny Church in his Intermediate school years. I was drinking and doing drugs, and I was happy to let him go and be a part of the activities. I could carry on with what I was doing and felt better about it ‘cause at least my son wasn’t doing criminal activity like the other kids in our neighbourhood.
Every time he was in a performance or dance, he would invite me along and I would go to support him – I’d always say, “that was good son, but that church is not for me.”
That’s the way it was for years – me living my life of alcohol and drugs, and my son going to Destiny Church. Essentially, my son has been brought up by Destiny Church from the age of twelve; significant adults encouraged my son when I wasn’t there for him.