Postcards from the Edge
My husband was away throughout this whole ordeal, although we were in contact. I returned to Bukavu, where my kids were staying with my twin sister. When I got there I was treated at Panzi Hospital, and the doctor told me that I was pregnant. I confided in my husband's little brother, who wrote to my husband to tell him.
My husband sent me a message saying that he could not and would not share a woman with the Interahamwe. Three months later, he sent $20 for the kids. I gave birth to a baby boy.
In May through June of 2004, another war broke out in Bukavu. I fled to my aunt's house, where I thought I would be secure. Unfortunately, the military men of Laurent Nkunda, who had taken control of Bukavu, came to the house and raped my twin sister, my cousin, and me.
I was traumatized and depressed from the first rape, particularly after birth. But I had started a small business selling used clothes in the market and was starting to put food on the table at least once a day. I was finding strength to move forward with my life.
After being raped the second time, I'm lost. I wonder if this war has been a war against me. I have a constant migraine. I have lost hope in life, but I have to live for my children. I have to raise them. I know that I should go and get tested, but I am afraid to take the HIV/AIDS test, for fear that I may be positive.