I’m tired of hiding my face in shame. I’m tired of running away from the truth… My reality
I’ve been a single mom since I was 21. My early twenties have turned out to be the most grueling phase of my life so far. Sometimes, it’s fast disappearing, and other times reality hits me hard.
It’s been a sad and tough journey. Nothing ever prepared me for this. For some of my mates, it was adulting, enjoying life, marriage then children but for me it was flipped in the opposite direction then turned upside down. It seemed life decided to come at me all at once.. like hey you are an adult! Now become responsible for yourself and another human!
Becoming a mom to an innocent angel at 21 wasn’t the bad part, it was having to endure series of toture. The slaps, the pain of iron belt head gliding through my skin, the throwing of pans, breaking of plates and glasses, oh.. the hitting with spatula, the phone smashing, the dragging, the pulling, the fighting, the numerous “I’ll kill you threats” with knives and bottles were the most hurtful part. For every “you don’t even know me” a newer monster was unveiled.
And slowly I began to lose self. A part of me started to wither, the pain began to eat deeper and deeper. I always felt a sharp pain in my heart whenever I cried which was everyday. I would lock myself up everyday just to cry, there was barely anyone to talk to.
To my family I was a disgrace and a huge disappointment. I chose to understand their pain. They were hurt, they didn’t know how to express their pain. I am Daddy’s favourite. He loves me so much that even though he was pained and disappointed, he offered as much support as he could. The feeling of not being able to do much for me made him frustrated and sometimes he would take it out on me.
Mom on the other hand would always say to me “crying won’t solve the problem, it won’t change anything. So wipe your tears and live your life like nothing ever happened.” Mom would share her pain with everyone who cared to listen. She would listen to the things “people said” and begin to feel sad. A sadness she would later take out on me. Mom’s blood pressure went up during this period I later got to find out. She didn’t say it to my hearing until two years later because she was concerned about how I’d react.
There were days all I wanted was to disappear, I didn’t know how I was supposed to deal with being the talk of town. I’d walk on the street and there would be people playing pity party. I did what I knew I could do best, greet and walk away and of course stay indoors as much as I could.
When Ama was 6 months old, I tried to see if I could get support from her father but he wouldn’t budge. I went to the local government welfare office to see if they could help. He was invited and after all their procedures, he still insisted that he wasn’t going to support in any way! “For your own child?” They queried. “Yes, she’s my child but I’m not giving her (me) any money. If she can’t take care of the baby, then she should hand over the baby to me, I’ll get a nanny for her.” The welfare officers were livid! “So why don’t you buy everything your baby needs and send to her?” They asked. Well, let’s just say that effort was futile. The same thing happened when I went to FIDA. He REFUSED to take responsibility for his child. I had two options; to hand over a breastfeeding baby to a father who didn’t care about her well being or to take up the responsibility to provide for her myself. I chose the later.
I will not try to sugar coat it, I’d tell you the truth; it’s one of the toughest decisions I’ve made. I was just fresh out of the university, final exams only. I had not even done my clearance in school, not gotten my certificate, couldn’t find a job, I wasn’t even strong enough to work, I was trying to recover from childbirth and I kept falling deeper into depression at the time. I was so weak and tired, all I needed was some kind of peace but that was far away from me.
A few months later, I received some letters asking me to show up in court for a divorce case. It didn’t make sense that I had show up in court for a divorce. I had to hire a lawyer to represent me in court with the little money I would have used for my daughter. I couldn’t understand how my whole world could come crashing before my eyes. How can?! I was angry! The sadness I felt turned to anger. I was angry because God watched all of these things happen to me. I mean I was the good girl by all moral standards so why do I have to deal with so much shame and pain?! Why? Why allow bad things happen to me?! I stopped going to Church.
I tried going to Church a few times but I did not feel at home in the church I attended at the time. Apart from the fact that I was ashamed returning to my father’s house, the church had a system of dividing people into groups – single young girls and mothers. There was no form of support for single mothers. I didn’t feel comfortable with the women in the church asking me about a non existent husband. I just want to join the service, worship God and go back home. I needed a family in a church where I could find support and when that didn’t happen, I stopped going to Church yet again.
As someone who loves God, it was hard. I was angry with God, with myself and with everyone but I understood that i still needed to heal. I tried to stay sane until one day, I made up my mind to take my own life.
This was just another day, I had heard something that broke me even more, every day was harder to go through than the previous one. On this particular day I had cried so much that all I wanted was to disappear. I just wanted to sleep really deep then wake up at a later time when everything was calm. My chest was beginning to hurt so bad from crying too much, need I say that I had stopped eating well. All my clothes were almost twice my size, I had lost a lot of weight. I was a shadow of my real self holding on to some kind of hope but that day it was enough.I couldn’t bring myself to hurt the people who sincerely needed me. The thought kept coming “do it, do it! Just sleep!” I started to call my friends frantically, I kept dailing different numbers, no one was picking up! I continued until someone picked up.. the words couldn’t come to describe how I felt at that point. All I needed was a shoulder to cry on and a reassurance that there was still a reason to live.. eventually I felt better after that call.
It was that day that I decided that NOTHING! would make me think of hurting the ones I love and the ones who need me because of my own pain. I made the decision to deal with my shit and come out stronger. I made the decision to face every situation life throws at me head on, to find strength no matter what. I think about it now and I wonder how defeated my parents would have been if I had gone through with that thought. I can’t imagine how much pain they would have had to bear.I appreciate the friends who supported me during this period even though somehow, we fell out of love, I’m more than grateful for their kindness. I know they’ll read this, I need you to understand that I still love and appreciate you.
I knew that all I needed was time to heal completely. I always drop a tear when I share my story not because I wish I were still with this person. No way! Infact I’ve come to trust God’s plans. I see how different my life is and I understand how different my life has become. The only thing I’ve not done is owning this new life completely. I only drop a tear because I felt hurt and because I’ve had to handle too much pain and shame in such a short time. Everything however is to God’s glory.
I always tried to keep my life private. There’s no way I would go on the street to tell everyone that I’m a single mother. I still can’t believe that I have a daughter, the whole thing still feels like a movie. Sometimes I get asked and I answer in the affirmative. Other times I say no to avoid further questions. I found that somehow I was ashamed of my new reality. A lot of people stop talking to me when they discover I have a daughter, I hold nothing against them, maybe they felt I was a loose girl, others who stuck with me felt like they were doing me a favour. I had to let them go too. I’ve lost a lot of relationships because I’m a single mother. I didn’t plan my life this way either, I didn’t see the future neither can I go back in time to change anything.Coping with the divorce would have been easier if there wasn’t a child but you see this innocent baby? I won’t trade her presence in my life for anything in the world. Again, I strongly believe that God’s plans are perfect. Maybe we wants to use my strong will and kind heart for a greater purpose so he allowed whatever happened to happen so I could be a more refined version of me.
At this point, I’m not sure of anything. I’m simply taking one day at a time. Trying to find peace and calmness again, discovering myself and loving myself all over.I’m still not sure of my daughter’s custody. Somehow, I find myself at the losing end. I’ve never had a real job, my income flow from freelancing isn’t steady yet but I’m still positive. I’m enjoying every moment I spend with her knowing that as much as it hurts, even though I lose her custody because of my financial incapabilities, I’ll strive harder to be financially independent so I can give her the life she deserves.
Since I joined my new Church, the situation has been dicey. Good because no one has the time to judge me or make me feel bad for my past and bad because no one truly knows my story. A few persons know bits here and there but not everything. Some of them would read this but it’s okay, I’m very comfortable with sharing a bit of my life.
Dear Single Mother,
I understand how difficult it is to own your new reality. I respect your strength. You’re playing the roles of both parents so well that you’re surprised at your strength. You are dealing with your past, making an effort to improve and become better and I applaud you for that. You will come out stronger and better. Your children will turn out amazing. You have to learn to live your life for you. Don’t forget to take care of yourself when you need to.
I understand how overwhelming this process is, I have experienced it first hand. I know what it means to not have any hope for next day. I understand how it feels when you’re not sure of your child’s future. I know the pain you feel in your heart when you realize you can’t give your child the best life, you don’t even know how to give them a sound education. I understand this feeling because I’ve been there, I’m not even out completely. I still worry sometimes but I’ve learnt to trust God regardless while working hard and smart. I want you to do the same too. Make a decision in your heart to not allow your present situation hold you down and cause you to be mediocre. Lift your heads up! Turn a blind eye to the ugly faces, shut your ears to the side talks. Concentrate on you and your beloved. This is hard but I promise you that it will be worth it.
Most importantly, find something to do. Find a business or get a job no matter how small. Just make sure something is coming in to keep your beloved one and you going. Everything will be fine, I assure you.
Coming out to share this has been hard. I didn’t want to but I just had to listen to the Holy Spirit. I know that I was compelled to put this out at this time to save someone, to give someone hope and become the ray of sunshine someone desires. If you are this person, please know this: You are loved.
I’d love to reach out to as many single moms as possible and I can’t do this without your help. I really need your help to do this. I have written some ebooks that will provide value to you. Make Millions With Ebooks, The Secret To Long Hair, The Stay At Home Masterplan and Harmattan And Hair.
When you purchase any of these books, you help me keep this site running, take care of my daughter and reach out to single moms who need help. A good percentage of profit made from my books and courses go into charity. When you purchase a copy or more, you help me give hope to the depressed.
If you’d like to purchase via direct transfer instead, please pay the amount for the book you’d like to buy to 0239938074 Vanessa Owhondah GTB. Send me your proof of payment and email address via Instagram @nessytalks or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I understand if you may not get value from these ebooks because they are not what you need. You can however make a free will donation to this account 0239938074 Vanessa Owhondah GTB with the narration “Nessytalks Single Moms” 50 percent of all funds goes into supporting young mothers like me. Please remember that no amount is small, it’s the love from your heart that matters.
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Thank you all for your love and kindness. You are amazing!