My mum dropped me with my paternal grandparents when I was about 1 year old because my dad wouldn’t marry her after getting her pregnant and the man that was willing to marry her gave her the condition that nobody must know that she had a child before. She jumped at the offer and made me her best kept secret. She never looked back until I was around 7 years (that was when I got to know who my mother was) and she subsequently visited once in a year during Christmas period to drop my Christmas dress even though we lived in the same town (Ibadan). I didn’t know where my mum lived, and I was not considered a part of her family, in fact, when her mum (my maternal grandma) passed on, I was not aware because she didn’t want me to attend the funeral.
She made it clear that I was not wanted, and I must not be seen around her. An incident happened when I was running my pre-degree program, I decided to write JAMB again, just in case I didn’t pass my pre-degree. I was in town looking for my JAMB center when I saw my mother, she gave me a ride to my exam center and we bade ourselves farewell, not knowing that one of her friend’s son who was my pre-degree classmate saw us together. After some months, the guy walked up to me and told me he saw me in Mrs blah’s car, and out of excitement of meeting someone that knows my mom, I told the guy she was my mother. When I told my mom that I met her family friend’s son, what came out of her mouth was “Hope you didn’t tell him I am your mother?” When I told her I did, she told me I should never have told him so. I was heartbroken.
Time for my graduation came, my mom’s headgear was the highest, she didn’t know how much I struggled to gain admission and how I survived in school, not a single visit from my mother all through my stay in school. By this time, I was angry, I didn’t want her to attend my graduation, but I was told to forgive, so I did but she made me regret the decision. Apparently, she still had beef for my dad and his people and she couldn’t hide it on that day, making a day that was supposed to be a day of joy for me a sad one.
Some months after my NYSC, God favoured me, I got full scholarship for my masters in Europe, then my mom came with her manipulations and accusations, trying to turn my back against my dad’s family, telling me how my father’s family don’t like me, how I am not a good child for not sending money to her during my NYSC, how my life would have turned out better if she raised me by herself. Here is someone that didn’t contribute a dime to my upbringing, yet I still managed to achieve things by myself with the help of God, yet she had the guts to tell me my life didn’t turn out well enough. Foolish me, I didn’t see through her manipulations, she was the first person I sent money to when I got to Europe, because I wanted her love at all cost.
One will think that after all these years (I am 34 by the way), my mom will stop hiding me, no way! I remain the secret child she doesn’t want people to know. She will openly celebrate her other children’s birthday on Facebook, use their pictures as dp on WhatsApp but never did any of those for me. Yet, I loved her and forgave until the veil fell from my eyes last year. Ever since I finished my first degree, she always told me I can’t have a big wedding (not that she is going to sponsor my wedding o), I didn’t give it so much thought, even when I was relocating out of Nigeria 2 years ago, she insisted again that I must not come back home for my wedding, still I thought nothing of it until January last year that she came with the story again that a prophet gave her vision that I must not have a big wedding.
Then it dawned on me that she was saying all that because she still wants to keep hiding me from people. I realised how self-centered my mom is, she does not feel any remorse for abandoning me, yet, she doesn’t want me to enjoy my life to the fullest. She can’t openly celebrate me as her child, but she can come behind to accuse me of not giving her money. It was like the scale that was covering my eyes was suddenly dropped, I realised no matter how much I try, she will never accept and love me, so I am done trying.
She blames me because her husband talks to her anyhow, saying who would have married an ‘after one’ like her. I honestly don’t blame the man, who will have any regard for a woman who gladly gave up the child she carried in her womb for 9 months all because of a man? At any given time, she tells me she had the option of aborting my pregnancy, but she chose not to, hence, I deserve to celebrate her on Mother’s Day and give her my hard-earned money.
I have forgiven her for abandoning me as a child, for the pains and struggles of growing up without a mother, using rags for my period when I attained puberty because nobody cared, working very hard everyday to please my grandma who was never satisfied no matter how much I tried just because she did me the favour of raising me when my mother dropped me, taking garri and sugar to school for lunch everyday while in secondary school, using salt and charcoal to brush my teeth because I couldn’t ask my grandma for toiletries.
Yes, I went through everything and more, yet I turned out well. What I am struggling with is forgiving her for her manipulations, the sense of entitlement, blaming me for her marital woes and belittling all my efforts at making something good out of my life. When she realised I don’t fall for her fake prophecy stories anymore, she told me I am headstrong, I am wise in my own eyes and she doesn’t blame me, she blames my faulty upbringing.
What kind of mother says those words to her child? How can I keep forgiving such a person? Even if I forgive, can I forget all the pains and struggles?
Written by anonymous for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng