I CONFESS: Saved by mother’s undying love
WHETHER YOU ARE a religious person or not, and even if you were not brought up with traditional values, which hold parents in high esteem, eventually you will come to recognise the special bond which exists between a mother and child. Unfortunately, sometimes the relationship can be fractured and then it takes time to heal. Such was the situation with me, and now I look back with sorrow and shame on those lost years.
My problems started just after my 17th birthday as I ventured into the world of work. I had been brought up in a very sheltered environment and had spent much of my time going to church and being at home. My mother had a number of us and did not have much help from my father, so she was always cutting and contriving so that we could to survive.
When I started work and got my first pay cheque it made an immediate difference to me and to a lesser extent my household. Going out to work exposed me to a different world. I quickly made new friends, including with a male colleague who indicated his fondness of me. I fell for him and my first romantic affairs simply turned my head. I soon stopped regular attendance at church, started going to the cinema and a few parties, and I became hooked on this new life.
The relationship with the first guy did not last too long, and I felt heartbroken when we separated but quickly got into a relationship with another guy. That also was brief. Another guy came into my life and we even went on an overseas holiday and stayed at some of his relatives. My mother, who had never left the island, was absolutely angry at my actions although I saw nothing wrong.
I soon got pregnant and told my mother, who erupted in anger, shouting that I would only end up with a lot of children with different fathers and pure hardships. I told my boyfriend that my mother was being unreasonable and that I wanted to move out and be with him, to which he agreed.
By the time I was arranging to have my things moved from home, I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant. I expected that he would have been elated with the news, but rather than responding with joy, he demanded that I abort the pregnancy since he did not want to have any parental responsibilities at that stage. He then loudly stated that he did not want to have any live-in relationships. I had to stay put.
I got the abortion, but my mother was absolutely annoyed. I could hear her at night before she went to sleep praying aloud and asking God to forgive me and the wrong I had done. I felt liberated when two of my friends told me they had had abortions – yes, plural – and that nothing was wrong with seeking such medical intervention rather than having an unwanted burden.
I subsequently met a guy whom I really fancied and I felt also loved me. It was only a matter of months before I moved out from home and in with him. He had shared a house with another male friend and we three lived there in a two-bedroom apartment. His friend did not have a steady girlfriend but would have at least three different girls coming to see him, sometimes sleeping over on different nights.
Over the period of 18 months this arrangement continued but it became disgusting and degrading. My boyfriend’s roommate had a bad attitude. He spoke disparagingly of the women who came to see him, told them blatant lies in our presence and seemed to have little regard for anyone. I pressured my boyfriend to let us get some place of our own, which we did and I felt much more comfortable when it happened. But our relationship soon ended and I was there in the apartment on my own.
By the time I was 25 years old I had had intimate relationships with seven different fellows. I do not say this with any pride, and was forced to look at myself in the mirror after one of the girls who had indicated she had had multiple abortions said during a luncheon break that the worst thing for any self-respecting young woman was to find herself in unstable relationships, moving from one fellow to another. She spoke of the irreparable damage it could do to your reputation. Then she added that the only thing which she would not like to add to such a situation would be aborting pregnancies. Before we went back to work, I quickly reminded her of what she had told me about abortions. She smiled and responded that she could talk ample foolishness and make it seem as if she was a “wild thing”, but that was not her or her style. She said her body was clean and she intended to keep it that way.
I went back to my desk and remained there in a daze for about 45 minutes before I got up and left work. I felt stupid and tainted. The following week I realised I was pregnant. I could not do anything other than carry the child, as I had already had three therapeutic abortions. I could not continue on that dangerous demeaning path. I had the child but the father had gone long before its birth. He indicated he would have made arrangements to support the child. I never bothered him.
Unfortunately, I did not learn from my mistake and two years later had another child with the same end result. I felt stupid.
I had abused my mother and distanced myself from her. I had no one to turn to in my hour of need. Two weeks after the birth of the second child, my mother turned up at my door and said she wanted to see and hold her grandchild. I handed the baby to her and started to cry. My mother told me to get my things because we were going home – God understood and saw my troubles and needs.
The anger on my part has gone. My mother’s love is evident, as mine is for my two children. I am in a strong relationship today with God and very close to my mother. My mother’s words of wisdom still ring true. I learnt my lessons the hard way.
Today I am thankful than I have been able to get back on the right path. I can only say I’ll always love my mother. She’s truly my favourite girl and one who never tries to impress or mislead but calls it as she sees it and always for the better and in the best interest of all her children and grands.