“I Was Sexually Abused Right Under My Mother’s Nose”- Ayodeji Megbope
I had a rocky start…education for me was very tough, not because I wasn’t intelligent but because I was going through all these issues in my life and my family didn’t know about it. I was being abused by a trusted person and it went on for years, yet no one knew about it. The amazing thing was that my mum was a full time house wife, she wasn’t a working mother yet it was happening right under her nose; because she trusted them. That completely messed up my mind, it affected me academically.
Everybody[my siblings] went to the university, but I ended up in a Typing and Shorthand school. I wrote my SSCE twice and the second time I had one Pass and all the other subjects were F9. My mother looked at me one day and said, ‘I’ve concluded that you are the black sheep in the family.’ My father gave up on me. That situation created a lot of friction between my mom and I. Read: One Girl’s Victory Over Molestation
My mother never trusted me, she never believed me and a lot of people took advantage of that. In school, they would cook up lies and come home and tell my mother. I would be crying saying, ‘Mum, its not true!’ But my mum would believe them saying, ‘I don’t trust you! I don’t believe you!’ and she would beat me up. My friends would giggle all the way home, get to school the next day and narrate the story. I was at their mercy. I was stealing for them, I was stealing my father’s money so this people would not put me in trouble with my mother. And that was the type of treatment I was receiving from this person[my abuser].
He dared me to tell anybody and I couldn’t because I knew no one would believe me. So I kept quiet. There was a day he moved out of my house into his own apartment and he wanted me to come with him but I refused. He went to tell my mother that I was lazy and refused to help him clean up his apartment. Mom beat me and made me go with him…and of course, you don’t want to know the details of what he did to me that day.
I was about getting married when I finally told my parents. My father couldn’t believe it. I started getting over my past when I realized that I cant do anything about my past. It haunted me for so long. I lost self esteem, I lost concentration; I didn’t feel there was anything good about me…it[sex] no longer meant anything to me. The only thing I knew about sex was that it must be kept secret. I just didn’t care. It went on till I was 13…
I learnt a lot of lessons- that children shouldn’t learn about sex from their friends. That was what made it easy for my husband and I to introduce sex to our kids at a very young age. When I became more aware of the fact that the past has happened and there’s nothing I can do about it, I began to read books and learnt that for as long as you hold on to the things your abuser has done, you are actually holding yourself down. The abuser has gone and for as long as you hold the abuser in unforgiveness, you are still at that point where the abuser left you. At that point, I just decided. I rededicated myself to God again and began to make meaning out of my life.
When I met my husband, I had to tell him about this part of my life because it really affected me. I became uninterested in sex and all that so I had to tell him so he could know how to handle me. We celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary recently and in all of those years we’ve never had a house help. It was absolutely deliberate. We decided that whatever we would do, the children would come first. When I needed to get a job, because my husband and I had decided from day one that nobody would take care of the children for us, I took the job that afforded me time to do that. We just said to ourselves that if my parents did not know that this thing could happen, then we wouldn’t take any risks…and God helped us.
You really cant forgive until you heal. You must heal otherwise you would be hurting so bad that you would wish evil on the person who hurt you. You need to look at them with pity. I started feeling sorry for that man, because if only he knew what he was doing. He probably felt he had outsmarted everybody, that he was enjoying himself, but if only he knew what he was doing, that there are repercussions, consequences even though they are not immediate. Except such people ask for God’s forgiveness. When you realize that you’re not perfect also, you have to forgive, to let go…but it was easier to forgive that abuser than to forgive my mum. Because I felt that she should have had my back. I had to come to terms with the fact that my mom was limited by the things she knew, by her background. I know better now that’s why I’m able to do better. It was tougher to forgive my mom but eventually I did.
When I saw him[the abuser] for the first time, it was at a family function. I had forgiven him a long time ago so a lot of the bitterness had gone. I could see the shock on his face when he saw my husband and my children. The second time was also at a family function where I gave a speech, that was when he caught a glimpse of the woman I had become. He was shocked. He walked up to me and said in my native tongue, ‘I never believed you would turn out like this. I’m sorry for everything.’ The third time he saw me was at an even bigger function; and my resume was read out. He couldn’t look at me. He called me after the program begging me to forgive him and on and on. I told him the truth that I had forgiven him a long time ago. The happenings in my life are proof that God had gone ahead of me and that was enough to shame him. I didn’t see a need to confront him.
I’m glad my mother and I got to be very close before she passed on last year. I would never forget what she said to me after I came back from a meeting in the US with Michelle Obama. I had the honor of giving a speech and introducing the First Lady which I recorded on my phone. When I came back, my mother watched it…she said to me, “Ayo, is this you? God is great.”
And the scripture that talks about the stone which the builders rejected came to my mind.
There’s more, watch Kemi Adetiba’s KING WOMEN on acceleratetv.