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  Includid logo bottom Inlcusive living for people with intelectual disabilities  
The Life Story of Joy Kotze

Annie moved to Includid in 1999, she is 45 years old and speaks Afrikaans. Annie uses a wheelchair or crutches and wears orthopaedic shoes. She has never attended school. She has two siblings but they do not have contact with Annie. Her parents abandoned her when she was very young. She enjoys talking to people and has a good sense of humour. Annie loves to smoke a pipe.

Annie tells his story...
(in her own words)

Me, Annie Arendse, I was born 4th of June 1969. I'm the eldest of three children, my mom's name was Anna and father's name was Hedrick Williams, He was a good man, a good father and husband. I was the only one with my mother maiden name simply because she said it was costly. My two sisters stay in Ravensmead, by other people, I don't see nor hear from them at all. Elisabeth and Berinda was their names. Days like today where its rainy and windy, I don't like to talk to people rather just keep still. Last I heard my mother was somewhere in Bellville, she has other man, My father on the other hand He in Oliphantsfontein would like to look for him one day would be nice someone can help me.

I remember it like yesterday, my mother took other man, My father was so sad, never seen him angry and sad, shortly after that he told us he is going to leave us for good, because our mother found someone else. He left us leaving behind only memories and a twenty Rand note, never to be heard from or seen again. I want to look for him just to say '' Hi I am still here pa, that I am doing ok that I miss you so much, that I'm so sorry what mother did'. I believe that if my mother and father were to still be together things would have been different, I may not have been ending up in Lentegeur where I stayed for years, just maybe still had a house. I had tough childhood, I talk about it then I feel like crying. My heart is very sore, I stayed in a lot of places and had many operations.

Let me tell you this, when I was born as a baby my mother threw me away in the bush, simply in her eyes I was not normal. One of her friends that use to drink with her picked me up. It's hard to believe but by the looks of things looks like she wanted to leave me there to die. I comfort myself she was just too drunk, forgot me there and maybe come fetch me later.

The police took me away to a place called Prinseselles. I recall how long I stayed their but was not very long. I went to school there and the teachers told me I was very smart for this school, still member song we sang in that school it goes like this.............

KONING VAN DIE HOK.............

After Prinseselles I went home back to my mom and two sisters, she was still drinking a lot. I don't think I was a burden, I could do everything for myself, just that I could not walk. My mother was shy of my having a disability, she kept me in the house, not really seeing other kids. There were days where I did not see light or day. It was she had regret of having me that made me feel so small. That woman broke my heart so many times but still I loved her and still I always wanted to be with her. One day, without my knowledge, she went to see the social worker to ask for a grant, she can't take care of me. She applied but she did not qualify due to her drinking. Their fear was probably that she would take money, use it on herself. She was so angry she ask the social workers if they could fetch me because she can't take care of me anymore, that she realises her duties as a mother to me.

Very early she woke us telling us that we were going for shopping, but I knew she went to drink. I was not supposed to go out the house but that morning I felt this my chance cause always when she go for shopping she gone for so long. I crawled out of bed, made my way to the door and opened it. It was like feeling the sun for the first time on my face, I remember it to this day, the sand under my hands a feeling that I can't explain but that I will treasure forever in my heart. My moment was spoiled when a car arrived with a man, the same time as my mother. The man explained that he was a social worker coming to take me away. My mother wanted to come pick me up to say goodbye but the gentleman asked her kindly not to as she was too drunk.

He took my things and helped me in the car. I sat in the back seat. I looked back and she just wave at me like I was going on holiday, she was so happy. If I knew that was going to be the last day that I would see her I would have told her that I forgive you, it is not your fault, hugged her and told her and told her I love her so much. I went to Rooikruis, they so to say adopted me there. Life there was fine, even the food. I heard people say hospital food was horrible but unfortunately was all I knew, I never missed someone so much. Every day I thought she would come back to fetch me and take me home but that day never come.

I just feel that God gave me to my mother as a mirror to reflect on, look after me but she could not even do that, people in the nursing home and group homes had to take care of me. She failed as a mother but most of all she failed me. I'm laughing about this now but I was even jealous of her wine, wished she could love me as much as she loved her wine.

I went to Groot Schuur. There they try to fix me. My legs, my back operated on, my head also. Just feel they used me as an experiment those doctors but glad the pain was over, so much pain for days, had to lie still in one position. One thing my mother did good was without her knowing she made me strong. I don't allow myself to have feelings anymore, I don't allow myself to feel or care as I am afraid to get hurt again. I smoke so much simply because I don't care about my own life, it comforts me. I have nothing to do with my time. I wish Includid had a social worker to help me and others to find our families but I guess that is. Here at Includid life and my lifestyle so much better and the food here. Here I can come and go as I please.

I work in Lavender room five times a week from 8:30am until 12:00, Weekends I am off sometimes me and my boyfriend go out. Here at Includid almost like a normal life, at least I get my pay on time. I can't help to miss my father, mother and two sisters.

So that my stories nothing more nothing less , fluit, fluit my storie is uit....

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