Countless rapes, lust, feeling unloved at home and searching for love outside led to Jane Mashudu becoming a sex addict and HIV positive.
The 36-year-old mother-of-three and author of More and More Sex Addiction from Birchleigh, Gauteng, says she has lost count of all the men she has ever had sexual encounters with.
Jane grew up in an unhappy home. Her mother was an alcoholic and would leave home for days on end without anyone knowing where she was. When her mom was around, the house would be in chaos.
“I was raped for the first time at the aged of nine. This was after returning from school and there was no one at home. I went to my neighbour’s house and asked that if I could wait for my parents there,” she recalls.
“I fell asleep on a couch, while deep in my sleep I felt my panties being slipped off and someone forcing himself on me. After the deed, I went home and never told anyone about what had happened, and no one noticed that there was something wrong with me.”
At the age of 11, Jane dated a boy who was eight years older than her. “He told me that he loved me and treated me like a queen,” she says. “He would invite me to his home whenever his parents were not around and we would have sex. The first time I walked home, I looked uncomfortable but again no one noticed that there was something wrong.”
Jane says she enjoyed her boyfriend’s attention whenever he was around which was only when he wanted to have sex with her. Before she knew it, months went on without hearing from him, and when she contacted him, he would ignore her. “I started feeling lonely and unloved again; I decided to run away from home to search for love on the streets,” she says.
“On the first night on the streets of Alexandra, I was raped by two men who called me names when they discovered that I wasn’t a virgin at my age. I went back home because I could not find what I was looking for on the streets, again no one at home cared that I came home late.”
BACK ON THE STREETS
A few months later, Jane ran away from home again to Hillbrow. She had heard that young people found freedom on those streets and that they looked after each other.
“While I was resting at one street corner, a white man in a car called and took interest in my wellbeing,” she says.
“He told me he loved me and asked to have sex with me inside the car. I didn’t have a problem with it. He told me that he would come back to see me the following day at the same time. I was disappointed because I was hoping he would take me to his place. The following day he came back and he took me to his house where he taught me how to perform oral sex on him and he also returned the favour but the honeymoon was over when he returned me back to the streets when he was satisfied.”
TRYING TO HEAL
Jane says her need to always have sex grew even more to the point that she would walk out at night hoping she would be raped. She would also offer herself to men.
“Sex helped me escape my dysfunctional family and I used it to numb the pain. Through giving myself to men and the pain they exerted, I felt better,” she explains. Jane says her life took the worst turn when she was raped with a friend at a street bash.
“The men bought us alcohol and food and then forced us to go with them to their place where they took turns raping us,” she says. “Months later, at the age of 14, I discovered that I was pregnant and tested HIV positive. The doctor told my parents that it was best that I terminate the pregnancy because I was going to die soon and the child would be an orphan. But I refused to have an abortion.”
One would think Jane would rebuild her life but this only fuelled her rebellious ways. “I left my three-month-old baby with my grandmother and went back to my old ways,” she adds. She says two years later she was very sick. “I was hospitalised for months to the point that the doctors discharged me into my family’s care, advising them to organise my funeral,” she says. “But it wasn’t my time to die, after months of being very sick and bedridden I started recovering with the help of my family.”
She says she went on to date her sister’s boyfriend who owned tavern. “I was dating a thug who got arrested and he asked that I bail him out. I had to come up with ways to get the money,” she says. “I asked my sister’s boyfriend for a loan but he said he knew I was not going to be able to pay him back because I wasn’t working, he suggested that I sleep with him. I offered myself without even thinking twice about it but unfortunately, he fell in love with me. Attempts by neighbours and family members to stop us from dating fell on deaf ears. He decided to leave my sister and married me at the age of 17.”
Jane enrolled for a fashion designing course because she was too old to go back to school in Grade 10. “I dropped out of college immediately after moving in with my husband,” she says. “I only lived to have sex and to enjoy my life. All I wanted to do was to have sex with strangers when he started cheating and abusing me emotionally.”
Jane says she went on to have two more children in the loveless marriage. “Years later, all the money dried up. I ended the marriage and I started selling my body and drugs to support my children,” she says. Since her dark days, Jane has rebuilt her life and is hoping to help other young girls escape circumstances that are dangerous to their wellbeing. Jane says she wrote a book to reach out to young women who are rebellious and living for material things to relook their ways of life. “The risk is not worth it. My daughter is 22 years old and I don’t want her to walk into my footsteps,” she says.