“The day she died, I lost it! I was in for blood and I know he must have sensed it …”
The day she died, I lost it! I was in for blood and I know he must have sensed it because he totally disappeared from my sight never to appear again. Maybe it was for my own good else I would have killed him with my bare hands.
I always ask myself why mother chose to remain silent. Why she decided to stay in an abusive marriage and be beat to her death.
I just wonder how people were so blind not to notice the pain behind those smiles and grimace from every fake hug he gave her in public! I am so stunned that no one could see the facade he put up at each and every public function. Why couldn’t they see beyond all those? Was it that they were too afraid of him to say anything? Or is it that he looked too good to do any of those?
I have wondered time and again, what kind of barbaric culture allows a man to use his wife as a punching bag and not have her tell anyone about it! What kind of culture would make a woman dare not mention how she feels because she knows the ridicule and harassment she would face is worse off than what she is already experiencing? I still wonder what at all mother was aiming at achieving by covering a deed as chauvinistic and evil as this. All in the name of love?!
Mother should have just let me confront him when I could but I guess she was out to protect me because she felt I was too young to defend myself, my siblings and her.
If only she knew of the pocket knife I always kept in my shirt during the day or clutched to myself at night in my bed, just to protect myself in case he found his crazy self in my room to harm my siblings. I even remember the countless number of times I prayed he would trip down the stairs and break his neck or accidentally jab himself in the heart with a knife!
I know I would be called malicious for thinking all these things but how can you blame me? You have no idea how her pain was too much for me to bear. I was not the one being beaten or humiliated but I felt worse; worse because I could not protect my own mother from her evil husband who used her as a punching bag and yet managed to keep up a front in public! I could not protect her from her own family who kept telling her to stay and work out her marriage, no matter what it cost her.
I am still shocked at my grandmother and uncles who were so much blinded by the gifts and attention they were receiving as the “Elder’s in-laws” that they refused to come to mother’s aid despite her silent pleas for help.
Mother suffered abuse in her own home, like many are. In the eyes of others, she presented herself as having everything under control, yet you could take a deep look in her eyes and see that inside her was a person who shivered from the slightest touch, a person who dreaded nursing the very thought of going to her own home and sharing the same bed with the one person who eventually became her murderer.
Sadly, I think my siblings and I are bound by our past. The person we idolized in our childhood turned out to be a monster that has broken us beyond repair. People mocked us for years, calling us all sorts of names; “Sons of the devil” being the one I clearly remember. I dared not fight back because a part of me agreed with them. The devil was in my clothes and stung every part of my body. The effect of those stings, I still am feeling.
My siblings became like hand grenades filled with Greek fire; surrounded by caltrops. I still guard them with my life for I know what they are capable of.
Since the day he found mother passed out at the foot of the stairs, Fiifi remained dumb. I dared not let him out of my sight for fear of him attempting to take his life like he he’d done severally. Frances lived in terror of men which translated into deep seated hatred. She would have nothing to do with them no matter what and even if she did, she treated them with such callousness it made even me, fear her.
A couple of years ago, I chanced on a diary in tattered leather casing containing writings of mother.
According to her, father was a very calm fellow during his days of being young but his father, my grandfather, was a very mean man.
He would always order father to smack my aunts in the face whenever they spoke back at him; an act that did not sit well with my father. If he refused, the old man would spit on the ground and tell him he would never raise a fool and a weakling; my father had to do it! To grandfather, a man had the right to hit a woman and not be questioned for it because that was the only means to show masculinity and superiority; a fallacy father was forced to accept.
And that one year missions trip Elder embarked on? Apparently it was not to spread the gospel like we he made us believe. He had himself checked into a rehabilitation center to get treated but I guess the treatment failed because the devil inside of him never really left.
A question still lingers at the back of my mind. One that I wish to ask should I see him face to face. Must a person’s bitter childhood be an excuse to abuse others? Must painful life experiences be a reason to make life unbearable for everyone else?
Something really interesting happened the other day. I went to get porridge in my neighbourhood and then…
I met a girl.
She was first to say hello and mentioned her name as Denise. She told me she was a doctor adding that she wanted to be friends with me. I spoke back quietly, hoping she would leave me alone but she did not.
This girl followed me with her car till she got to know my house, alighted and walked straight to me. She snatched my phone, dialed her number, called herself with it and saved mine. All this while I could not utter a word! Who was this person?!
I was afraid and intrigued at the same time because I was not used to this. Every other lady I encountered previously would quickly walk away the moment I glared at them but this one? No she didn’t. It made me curious; it made me want to know her.
Denise came to my home everyday after that and since then, nothing has ever been the same, in a positive way of course.
A month after she came into our lives, Fiifi said his first words in 20 years and Frances? She totally changed! She became nicer to me than ever. I still have no idea what that person did to them.
Our story is a sad one, possibly irreparable but I need everyone to understand this; Abuse is real. It is happening everywhere; sadly, even in Christian homes. I know religious people would have my head for sharing this but this needs to be heard; people are hurting.
I am beginning to accept the fact that I like Denise and want to pursue this considering the fact that she has been a blessing to me and my family but first, I need to learn to trust myself and love right. I need to trust myself to be a better person and never hurt her.
I know she has a good heart and is someone I want to raise a family with but can I be good to her like she is to me? Can I reciprocate close to half the love and affection she has shown me? Could I actually be nothing like him? Could I be nothing like the devil in my clothes?