By Yetunde Arebi
HI THE first part of the story you are about to read was published last Thursday. It is the pathetic story of a young lady who is greatly disturbed emotionally and psychologically. According to her, at 29, she does not know who are parents are? Her world fell apart the day she discovered that she bears her mother’s maiden name.My take is that this is 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. Our address remains: email@example.com Happy reading!
THE next day, our fourth born called me and told me to be patient, that with time, I will know the truth about who my mother, adding 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. 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.
As time went by, my siblings started returning to Nigeria one after the other. The first son who also happened to be the second born returned home with his wife and children about the same time with the fourth born, the one close to me.He stayed for a few months in our house before they finally moved into one of the flats owned by our mother.
It was during a conversation between him, his wife and our fourth born that I first overhead the secret. I was indeed not my mothers daughter and therefore not sibling to any of my sisters and brothers. My mother was my sister, our first born and my mother was my grandmother. My supposed siblings were my uncles and aunties.
It took me a few minutes to understand what I was hearing and because I was not part of the conversation and did not have the courage to go and demand for explanation from them, I could only hide there behind the house. I didn’t know when I started crying.
Things started making more sense to me. The wide age gap between my siblings and me and why they could not relate well with me. But it also left me wondering about a lot of things. If my sister is my mother, why are they not calling me her daughter? Is it that she did not know that I am her daughter? Why am I bearing my mother’s maiden name, or rather, my grandmother’s maiden name and not my father’s name? Who is my father and where is he? Is it that he did not want me or why does he not come to see me? Why are they keeping my real identity a secret?
This little secret was too much for my little head and it began to worry me so much. To add to that, the maltreatment from my mother and neglect from my siblings and their family did not help my situation. My mother treated our first son’s children with love and kindness, buying almost everything under the sun to pamper them. I was even made to look after them even though I was just a few years older than them. The most painful thing was that they were all enrolled into private schools while I continued in the public school. It was as if nobody was interested in my happiness or survival at all. In fact, if anything happened to me, they probably wouldn’t have cared.
I carried this secret with me for a very long time before I could summon up the courage to ask my usual source of little succor and information. She could not believe her ears when I informed her that I have discovered that our mother is not my mother and that my mother is aunty Obioma. She asked who told me and I told her how I heard them talking about it months back when brother and his wife were still living with us. I begged her to tell me the truth and why everyone calls me grandma’s daughter.
She said it was a long story and she was not in the position to tell me. She also warned that no one else must hear about our conversation. Should I be foolish enough to tell, I must never mention where I heard it from. However, it appeared my aunt could not control herself and she must have gone to discuss it with our brother who in turn, discussedwith our mother.
One day, my mother came in fuming and shouting my name at the top of her voice, calling be a bastard and other awful names. She asked who was telling me stories and that the person and I would die together. To cut the long story short, I was told that my father was a bastard like me and had died in the forest like I also would. That day, I got the beating of my life and my mother did not only renounce me as her daughter but warned me not to tarnish the reputation of her daughter with my ugly story. If I was so badly in need of a mother, I should go and look for one elsewhere.
My problem doubled from that day. But the more I wanted to know the truth concerning my birth and who my father was. I still found it difficult to believe that Aunty Obioma could be my real mother. Of all my mother’s children she 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.
As the first born and a girl, she ought to be like a mother to us all but she was the most selfish and arrogant. 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. When at a point she did not come to Nigeria for several years, I was really happy. By that time, I heard that she had married and had children. When she returned to Nigeria, she settled in one of our mother’s houses with her family not too far from our mother’s house. And she continued to ignore me as if I never existed.
I would watch the way she related with her children as if they were the most precious things in the world. I would serve them all like a maid, even at their house at her demand or my mother’s.
She would tell people to my hearing about the three lovely children that God has given her and how they will get the best things in life that she could afford. They also attended private schools and travelled often abroad for holidays. Her husband even as I speak has never given me a kobo, even when I had my first child. Neither of them attended the naming ceremony.