“I am sorry my daughter,” my mother said as she tried to touch my arm which had a drip on it. I quickly removed my hands and prevented her from touching me, which resulted to a sharp pain from the needle.
“Don’t touch me, and please get out of this room this minute,” I said, as I tried to remain calm.
“Please Mma, biko nwa m,” she kept on begging as tears rolled down her cheeks, “biko gbahara m nwa m.”
I really wasn’t moved a bit by her tears. She is my mother or maybe I would have to say she was my mother, because right now, all I could see was the devil. How can I ever forgive her? She was the reason I am here. She was the reason why I am in my present condition. After all, she had never loved me. She only answered the title of ‘mummy’ and never acted like one.
I was told that I was a product of rape and ever since I was born, my so-called mother never looked at me with love. I didn’t even suckle her breast. I lived with my grandmother till she passed away when I was five; for five years I only saw the picture of my mother. She never visited nor called to talk to me. I never lost hope and love for her; I kept on believing the excuses my grandmother made for her. I never knew my mother despised me. Even as a baby I am sure she never looked at me. And my only offense was being a result of a bad thing that happened to her.
I moved in with my mother few months after my grandmother died. I had stayed with a relative within the few months till she reluctantly took me. I was happy to finally get to see my mother. I was looking forward to a sweet mother and daughter relationship but all I got was the opposite. I got cold stares from her, no attention, shouts, and hard chores even at a young age. I still never let my love for go down. I made excuses for her, excuses like her missing her mother and being stressed out in her work place.
Meanwhile I got enrolled in a nearby primary school after my mother was confronted by her cousin for making me stay at home for two years. Every morning I would wake up by 5am to do the chores and boil water for her bath and for breakfast. Then I would dress up for school and wait till she was done dressing up too. After which I will eat whatever she remains for breakfast.
I never took any lunch pack to school and didn’t take any money too. After school I will either stay at the neighbor’s shop opposite the house or wait in front of the door to my mother’s apartment. Most times, I get served food by my neighbor and other times, I beg for biscuits from my classmates in school. My mother closed from work by 5pm and doesn’t get home till it was 6.30pm and that was the only time I get to eat a full plate of food.
This routine continued till mummy lost her job. She was working as a receptionist in a big hotel. I was nine years when she came home with tears on her face by 3pm on Saturday. I tried touching her to ask her what was wrong but I got pushed away. That was the beginning of pain for me. Not like I was treated any better when she still had her job but I was treated worse when she lost it.
We moved out of the two-bedroom flat to a self-contained room in a ghetto. My mother’s coldness towards me increased as I got beatings added to the scolding. When I first saw my period, I had stained the bed with blood and instead of getting educated; I was made to chew my blood-stained panties and was starved for two days. I was later told everything about menstruation by Peter, a neighbor in the compound. He got me two packs of sanitary towels and free panties. I was shoved aside by my mother when I showed the gifts to her.
Things got worse when she started getting male visitors. I would be chased out of the room so they would have the room to themselves and do whatever they do there. On one of those times I was waiting outside the room by 11pm for my mum to finish up with her client, I was invited by Peter to his room as I was really sleepy. He gave me his bed while he slept on the floor. In the early hours of the next day, I felt his hands on my skinny thighs, and with that, I was overpowered and my innocence taken at nine. I limped back to my mother’s room with tears in my eyes and blood between my legs. And for the first time in my life, my mother hugged me, comforted me and held me till I fell asleep.
Things were better for the next few days but Peter was still not confronted. I kept comforting myself with the fact that the incident got my mother to look at me as a human, but all that changed when she came into the room with a fat ugly man on a Sunday morning. I stood up to excuse myself but she shouted that I sit down. I was surprised at her change of behavior. She left the room while the man pounced on me. My screams fell on deaf ears. The man went on and on. I passed out only to wake up after some days at the hospital. I was rushed to the hospital by a neighbor who has been severely warned by my mother never to interfere with the way she handled me.
I stayed two weeks in the hospital, and was tested positive to some STDs and pregnancy. I wasn’t just down health wise, I was psychologically down. I wasn’t improving in any way. The knowledge that I was pregnant didn’t help matters. I was persuaded by Mary the good neighbour to give permission for my mother to be sued to court for sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. I gave my permission which led to the pleas of my mother. I paid no attention to her. After the case in court, I never saw her again.
Today I am ten years and seven months pregnant under the care of Auntie Mary. I am still hurting but I am still healing. I was denied my childhood just because of a situation I had no control or choice. I didn’t choose to be conceived through rape. I didn’t choose to be a reminder of a bad experience. I was a victim too. Rubbing my tummy, I promised my unborn child that if I ever go through this and come out fit, I would never let my bad experience get in the way of my love for him or her.
Even when I am still hurting, the love is still there.