Do not sell your pride, women
I WANT TO APPEAL to women out there not to sell their pride just because they need financial support from a man in these hard times. I am saying this because of a story I overheard the other day while waiting to see the doctor at a polyclinic.
One old woman was telling another about a young girl in their district who has two children and is now pregnant again.
She was telling her that she understands the young girl does not know who the father is as she was dealing with her last child’s father and an elderly man she cooks, cleans and irons for.
According to the old woman, the girl was desperate for support to make ends meet after being laid off.
Having exhausted her unemployment benefits and gone through her own reserves, she had fallen behind in the rent, the water and light bills. Her last child’s father was no longer working, so he could not help her, but as they lived together she was still dealing with him.
To earn money she started working at a pensioner’s home cleaning it once a week. Then, after a couple of weeks, she started going there every day to cook food for him and her children.
However, her man began to suspect that something was going on between the old man and her, and the two of them quarrelled over her going there. It seems the boyfriend felt the old man was having sex with her.
Though the young girl always denied it he insisted it was so, and it ended up with a big fight between them, the police were called in, and he had to leave the one-bedroom house and go back by his mother.
Now, several weeks later, the girl is pregnant and every day continues to go by the elderly man.
That story reminded me of when I was a teenager and had my first child – a girl. I was 14 then and her father was just 19.
That hurt my mother and father very badly. They had always warned me about boys and constantly drummed into my head the need to get a good education so I could get a better job than they ever had. But I messed up my entire life with that one mistake.
Anyway, things weren’t too good with my parents financially and otherwise. And my having a child so early seemed to worsen their relationship as they blamed each other for not spending enough time with me and giving me the guidance I needed to avoid that situation. By the time my daughter was eight months old, they had split, leaving my mum to take care of me, my daughter and brother on her small weekly wages.
That was when a very prominent elderly man came to the rescue of my family, giving us groceries and clothes. We were really grateful.
I particularly appreciated him because he took an interest in my daughter and she did not lack for anything, thanks to him. He also encouraged me to try to finish my schooling so I would have a better chance in life.
Not only that. I could actually talk with this man about life and how I felt about things, and he always seem to have time to counsel me. I therefore regarded him as the father I had lost and respected him as that.
For nearly four years this man was our everything. It was as if he was a member of our family, and I felt safe with him. That was until I turned 18. He told me he would be taking me out for my birthday and bought me a lovely dress and shoes.
I remember that evening how I tried to get my hair looking just perfect, and putting on a little eye shadow and how nervous I was using the eyeliner. I just wanted to look my best because I felt so special.
That night he took me for a meal. I was fussy and nervous at the same time. I looked like a big woman and was being treated like one. But in truth I felt like a little girl being taken out by her dad.
After the meal he said he was going to take me by his house so that we could be alone and I could show him how much I appreciated him. In all the years he was helping out my family I had never been by his house. That was when it hit me what this man was really up to. He wanted me to be his woman.
So I told him I was not interested in him in that way and I couldn’t do that. For the first time I saw the ugly side of him. He told me I was ungrateful and cursed me. Eventually after we exchanged harsh words, he drove me home and never came back by us.
I believe no woman should be forced to sleep with somebody they do not like just to keep a roof over their head. I may be poor and not too bright, but I have pride in myself and feel that I am worth something.