A lot has happened to me. My past keeps coming up and I wonder, when will I finally let it lie low.
From age 6, I have been a wild child. I wanted to try anything. From kissing a boy to touching their genitals. I was curious about everything. I knew things more than many children. I wanted to know what sex was, I wanted to experience romance.
I learnt to keep things away from my parents early enough. Like not telling my mother when I started my menses. The day she discovered was when I got down from the car and she saw that I was stained.
Maybe mum strictness was formed out of trying to curb my wings or that was the best way she understood how to relate to me, I didn’t understand why she kept me at arm’s length. I do not blame her for the struggles and mistakes I have made in search of love and even though our relationship is pretty formal, I cannot remember any form of bond growing up.
I came from a deeply religious home and for some reasons, my mother seemed to be away. I can’t remember any sweet memories about her and my childhood. Infact, the only experience I have of her is our fights when I became a teenager. We fought on clothes, shoes, my talking with boys. We fought so well.
My father on the other hand put his ministry before us. It was clear we, my mother inclusive, came after the ministry and we dared not act contrary. But my curiosity always put me into trouble. As a teenager, I saw my father cry several times because I talked with a boy or I acted out of the denomination’s standard.
I was a struggling teenager with nobody to talk with and so I turned to novels…romantic novels that I hid under my bed. I found boys and at different corners of the church, I passed a kiss here and had a romance there… It shocked me that as long as I wore the dresses prescribed by my parents, nothing else mattered.
I almost laughed when my mother hailed me for being a godly child when I knew what was being done in secret. But somehow, my sins found me out and again, the curses followed. I remember how, after mum had cursed, and talked about how she regrets giving birth to me and how I was a devil, I would go to my room and cry and for many nights, roots of resentment would build up.
Love in my house was dished based on how good you are. If any complaint came from any member of the church, you were punished. It didn’t matter if it was true or not. If you did well, you are rewarded. I have been locked up in the dark, driven out of the house and had almost attempted suicide. I asked myself, are these my real parents? Was it possible that I had been adopted?
It was all crazy. I hated Christianity. Hated the church with all of my strength. I swore I was going to get out of the house and never return once I finished my secondary school. I was a very brilliant kid, winning awards..that in itself kept me going. The moment I got into the university, it was as if for the first time I was free.
But God caught me before I went too far into a freedom that would have brought me sorrow.
I began to understand who he was and how to walk with him…but my search for true love was still on. I wanted badly what I never had as a child. I met a brother. Fell in love with him and we kissed and romanced. There was no sex of course, but in my heart I felt guilty pangs and so I went to see my Pastor to tell him what I had done. I didn’t have a counsellor or a mentor. I just thought he could help me.
It didn’t take two weeks before the news went round the church. I had never felt more embarrassed than I did that period. It was the most depressing time of my life. I became the subject of the Pastor’s message in church and the laughing stock of the fellowship. What didn’t happen was insinuated.
I remember being called to sit before a panel of four people. I saw the mocking eyes. They were taking notes and asking details of the actions and it was as if they enjoyed that something like that had happened. Everywhere, my name became associated with fornication.
My parents called shortly after. The news had reached them. Their daughter had been defiled. I got home to meet the house like a graveyard. Dad went about with gloomy face. Mum kept looking at me and asking some very awkward .
I left the house in shame. I was a new Christian struggling to find a meaning to my life. My eyes are teary as I write this and I’m so glad this forum has been created to let this all out. I struggled to find love and acceptance since I couldn’t get that at home. I found myself in more problem worse than before. I was alone. I smiled and laughed a lot but the truth is that somewhere inside the girl child who had missed being loved wanted to be loved again.
Because of the many things I noticed in my home, marriage scared the hell out of me.
My father still hasn’t changed. He hasn’t stopped using us, my siblings and I, to achieve his pastoral dream. He loves to be known by everyone. He has killed my dreams on so many occasions and made me lose opportunities because they didn’t conform to his standard. For more than 25 years, I lived for people because that’s what my Father wanted from his wife and his children.
He doesn’t shout to get us to succumb. He uses tears and a long discussion of how he has suffered to give us a life to shut us up…and yes we shut up. Our desires never matter. As long as we are in his good book, he was fine but once we missed the mark, we lose his respect.
I have stop wishing I had parents whom I could share my struggles with…because I know I have a father in heaven who cares so much for me.
I don’t go home because the few times I did, I left depressed. Nothing has changed. The day I tried talking to my father and telling him my dreams and passion, my father ended up kneeling down and pleading with me not to try it. Of course he wanted me to pursue his own dreams and be the exact representation of who he is. So I just stay away from home.
I’m going through a healing process from shame and lack of love. I don’t go home because home reminds me of pain, of horrible experiences, of sadness.
Standing before my father still scares me. Even at my age, I literally shiver when talking to him.
This I believe: One day I will meet a man who will love me deeply but first I want to be consumed in God’s love and ensure that I’m not going into a relationship with a wounded heart.
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