HI! THE story you are about to read will no doubt evoke several emotions in you by the time you finish reading next Thursday. It is the pathetic story of a young lady seeking to know her true identity. I was moved to tears after listening to this lady as she narrated her story. At the end of it all, I concluded that this was a classic case of over indulgence on the part of this lady’s grandparents as well as sheer wickedness and lack of fear of God and humanity on the part of her mother. That is if indeed she qualifies to be called a mother.
I have advised Idara (not real name) to seek for solace with God who does not abandone nor forsake anyone. However, as is our style on this column, we would love to know what our readers have to say about this story. Your contributions may help heal this lady’s broken heart as well as provide inspiration and courage for and anyone with a similar story to face the future. Happy reading!
Rich business woman
“I have no parents. I mean, I do not know my father or mother. I was not adopted by anyone so, sometimes, I feel like I just dropped from heaven. I always feel lost and alone, even though I am now married and my husband tries to console me and makes me feel wanted all the time.
As I child, it took a while for me to know that I had no father like the other children. I lived with my mother with a few other people in the house. She was a rich business woman and it took a while for me to realise that the other girls who were older than me were not her children.This was because of the frequency with which these people came and left our house. They all came to work for her or learn to trade, so they always left after a while.
A few people called my mother by my name, Mama Nkem, but most of the people, especially family members called her by other names. I learnt that my mother had four other children who were much older than me and lived abroad.They have all returned to Nigeria now.
My mother used to travel very often too. Most times, she went for her businesses and also to see my brothers and sisters. They too used to come home once a while but we were never close. it was as if they resented me for a reason which was not clear to me at the time. I used to think it was because of the wide age difference between us. My mother too never related well with me. It obvious that I was a problem to her and she never liked me. She did not treat me differently from the other people that worked with her. She would rain abuses and curses on everyone and I was not spared. Her favourite abuse for me was eyen anana ete (bastards) and that I will never do well in life and would die in the forest. And she would beat me for every little thing.
I did not like her and sometimes wondered if truly she was my mother. However, over time, I began to discover things that gave me great concern. I would wonder why I had a different name from my other siblings and why they too also have different names. For instance, the first two children bear the same name while the third and fourth have different names.
When you add my own name, it meant that my mother had children by four different men.
This added to my resentment of her person and would always wonder why she would continue to blame me for her own mistakes.However, I eventually discovered that my name was actually my mother’s maiden name. This meant that I did not have a father and it bothered me to no end, especially since she always called me a bastards and treated me like one of her helps. I think it was at this point that I started thinking about my identity and who my father was. But I did not have the courage to ask my mother for fear of what her reaction would be.
However, one day, I summoned up courage and asked about it from one of my sisters, the fourth child who was home on holiday. Of them all, it was with her that I could relate. She bought me many of the things I could boast of owning at the time and she would always advise me to ignore our mother and older sister and that one day, I will be free from them. The first time I asked her to tell me the truth about my identity, she just laughed and asked why I wanted to know. At that time, I had not informed her that I knew my surname is the same as our mother’s maiden name.
She then told me that our mother was not lucky in her relationships with the men she married and so, had married at three different times. That did it, it was her answer that encouraged me to ask my main question. Her three husbands confirmed that all my four older siblings bear three different names. If our mother had married three different men, who then is my own father or why am I not bearing the same name with at least, one of my older siblings?
Would that mean she had a fourth husband? And if that is so, why am I not bearing the man’s name? It was as if I had spoken something taboo. My sister began drilling me, demanding to know why I was asking such questions and what I wanted to do with the information. She advisd that if I loved myself, I should never allow my mother to hear such nonsense from my mouth or I would wish for death because of what she would do to me. I was so scared, I begged her not to tell her that I was just worried because of the different names we were all bearing and the fact that my mother hated me so much and was always calling me a names. The next day, she called me and told me to be patient, that with time, I will know the truth about who my mother is and that she is not in the position to tell me yet. Neither should I also discuss it ever with anyone.
I was about 12 years then and had just gained admission into Secondary School. and rather than put my heart to rest, my sister had confirmed my fears that there was something wrong with me. The truth would hit me about four years later. Ever since, I have not been the same again. Our first born, a girl who ought to be like a mother to us all was the most selfish and arrogant of all my mother’s children and treated me the worst. I kept to myself anytime she was around. We were like night and day, our paths never crossed and I always wished she did not come home at all. But she did not really have a cordial relationship with the others too but she was treated with respect as the eldest and perhaps the apple of our mother’s eyes.
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