I am in a dilemma and I find it difficult to open up to people on this issue, because the few people I have discussed with are of the opinion that I am a bad person and nobody seems to understand me.
A friend of mine who reads your column advised me to write you and I will appreciate your advice and those of your readers because she (my friend) also got her problem sorted out through the advice she got from your readers.
Apart from the fact that some people who know about this issue feel that I am bad, some even think it is not a possible scenario. But I am right in the middle of it. Apart from knowing that it is very tight, I also know that, I haven’t done anything to be labeled black.
I am just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I never asked to be born at the time I was born. Things like these are beyond our choice, neither did I enjoy living at the mercy of others.
In a plain language, I am a child of circumstances. I equally believe that, after all that I have passed through; I am entitled to happiness and joy. If God who created me, in His Infinite mercies now decided to bring joy my way, then, why would some people decide that they can dictate my fate and stand in the way of my joy and happiness?
I really cannot talk much about my childhood, because I don’t know much about it. But I will tell you the bit and little my mother told me at her death bed, while I was 12. She told me that she came to Nigeria from Togo through her paternal uncle, who promised her mother (my grandmother) a good future.
According to my mother, she was quite young when she was brought into a household in Nigeria as an housemaid. Her benefactors, according to her, were rich and very comfortable and she stayed with them for about three years when the father of the house started making passes and advances at her. She would have told her madam, but because of her harsh nature, she couldn’t. But every time “daddy” sneaked into her room, she would beg him not to do anything with her.
She was, however, not lucky, when one night madam and her two children travelled overseas for holidays, “daddy” r*ped her and that was the beginning of her s*xual slavery to him. When her madam came back from her trip, she was unable to tell her because “daddy” told her not to do so and if she told anybody what had been happening, he would deny it and of course, she knew what that meant for her.
She was, however, able to confide in a fellow housemaid in the neighbourhood who was older, though a citizen of Nigeria. It was this fellow housemaid who advised her to keep the situation from her madam and seize the opportunity to demand money from “daddy” whenever he had sex with her.
Unfortunately, her confidant did not tell her about the fears and complications of unwanted pregnancy and when this happened, she spent almost all the money she got from “daddy” trying to get the pregnancy aborted. Along the line, her madam discovered that she was pregnant and sent her packing without bothering to find out who was responsible or waiting for her uncle who usually came at the end of the year to pick her money. She didn’t know how to trace her uncle or where else to go to. Her “confidant” was the only one available to help her. She also was handicapped and couldn’t do much in the area of keeping her for more than a few days in her master’s place.
Eventually, she (the other housemaid) took her to a woman who she knew through another lady, who promised to help her.
The woman, a Lagos socialite with only one physically-challenged son, took my mother in, gave her shelter and food, till she gave birth to me. She became her maid, although she received no salary; what she got in return was shelter, food and education for me, and later a promise that I would marry her son. A son she then promised my mother would be okay to marry me.
My mother died of cancer when I was 12, her illness and helplessness to her disease made me resolute to become a medical doctor. I had no inclination as to how I was going to go about it, but my mind was made up.
Also at her death bed, “big mummy” that was what I called my mother’s benefactor, promised my mother that, she would make sure that I lacked nothing and that she would take care of me like her own daughter.
She was faithful to her words because she did. She sent me to a good school which made it possible for me to realise my dream of becoming a medical doctor.All the while, her only son who my mother promised her that I would marry had been sent overseas to study and for treatment. We relate with each other, but like siblings. But unfortunately, big mummy does not mince words to tell anyone who cared to listen that I am her daughter-in-law.
Along the line, I met and fell in love with my boyfriend. (I would like to keep his name away from the press for privacy sake. He also is from a popular family. When I started my relationship with him, big mummy had no objection, but when she saw that my relationship was becoming serious, she began to raise objections. I told her that I was in love with my boyfriend and that he also loved me, big mummy told me that I was joking; she said my husband would soon arrive the country and we would get married.
There is nothing she has not done to distabilise my relationship, but boyfriend stood by me. I also enjoyed the support and encouragement of his mother and siblings.
Recently, big mummy called my boyfriend’s mother and told her all about my life. The fact that I was rejected by my father and how she had to take my mother in as a maid. I don’t really know what she hoped to gain by doing this, because if her intention was to make my boyfriend and his family to hate me, it failed, because when I saw that my relationship was becoming serious, I told him all about myself long before now.
The only thing I kept back was the fact that big mummy wanted me to marry her son, I didn’t know then that he told his mother all that I told him. So when big mummy wanted to use this as a weapon against me, my boyfriend’s mother told her in plain language that she was aware of all.
Four weeks ago, big mummy’s son arrived from the USA, we had always related to each other as brother and sister, and our relationship remained cordial. Two days after he came into the country, his mother called the two of us and stated her intentions. She asked us to pick a date for our wedding.
Fortunately, I was not the first person to speak, her son told her to forget it, as he had other plans. He also told her that as terrible as his mother thought his situation is he had found his own wife.
I was happy when this came from her son and I thought it would put a stop to the problem, but instead, big mummy accused me of influencing her son and told me that I would regret this. She asked me to leave her house. I wish I had, because her son threatened to leave too if I left because of this. She left me alone, but it has been one problem after the other.
The physical abuse and attack from her and some of her friends I could take, but I am afraid she is beginning to go spiritual. I don’t know how to explain this, but few days ago a very close friend of hers asked me to see her on my way from work. She specifically told me not to inform big mummy that I was coming to see her.
When I met her, she asked if it was a must for me to stay on at big mummy’s house. I told her that I would have left but because of her son’s threat that I decided to stay on. She advised that I should sleep with an eye opened and that she would advise that if possible I should avoid meals at home. She said a word was enough for the wise, and she wouldn’t say more.
To my surprise, on this fateful day, my boyfriend’s mother also called and told me that she had a terrible dream concerning me and urged me to be careful.
Please, what do I do? I have a good job, I could move out and get my own accommodation, but for her son who had always been like a brother to me, despite all that is happening, I also love big mummy like my own mother, I don’t want to destroy our relationship. I owe her my life and whatever I am today. But I can’t do what she is asking of me, not because of the fact that her son is physically – challenged, but I don’t love him.
She has also refused to welcome or accept his fiancée, by insisting that her son marries me or no other woman. Please, help me.
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