Monthly Archives: September 2022

Children; who will protect them? Part 5

When I was a child, I really wanted to become a nun. However, as I grew up, I realized I liked boys, and I’d be happier married. That’s my position to date. Every time I contemplate the life I would have had as a nun, I realize I would have been so miserable, because I do not have the patience and commitment it takes to live in an enclosed convent; especially having gone to all-girls’ boarding schools from the age of ten, until I finished high school.

I usually imagine the experience would be pretty much the same. It’s also worth mentioning that I abhorred boarding school; being away from home only aggravated my anxiety disorder as I could not see my family whenever I wanted.

I feel it’s the same for anyone with a sexual preference contrary to society’s expectation. They might have been socialized to believe heterosexual relations are the right way to go, but somewhere down the line, one realizes they want something different; that contrary to society’s expectations, their happiness lies elsewhere.

Knowing myself, I know I would have fought tooth and nail to stay out of the convent if for instance, my mom had insisted I join. With that knowledge, I wouldn’t force my sexual orientation on anyone. Legally, an adult of sound mind is allowed to make their own choices. They might not be choices approved by everyone, or anyone for that matter, but the least we can do, is accept them.

In light of this, I believe what my neighbour’s niece needs is love, and acceptance. I think if her family had a conversation with Jesus, that would be His response, “Love and accept her for who she is”. Most of the time we assume God’s role then go judging people around, forgetting that at the end of the day, only God has the unilateral power to determine what’s right or wrong.

It’s no coincidence that the greatest commandment is about love. Truth is, love heals. My neighbour’s niece drinks to numb the pain of rejection; so wouldn’t it be right to assume, her family’s love and acceptance would heal those deep-seated wounds that make her drink?

When mom told me this lady feels her parents hate her, I tried thinking what could have triggered it, trying to connect the dots… and my thoughts were simple: possibly the dad raped her, and her mom colluded with him, either out of fear of retribution by society, or out of distrust; chances are the mom thought the possibility of her husband raping his own daughter was too atrocious to even comprehend, that denial was her only solace. If that was the case, then this lady must have felt utterly betrayed by her own parents, who she thought would be her protectors. Mom just thought I was being ridiculous.

A few days later, mom checked in on her, but she only found the aunt. As it turns out, my hypothesis was actually right. The lady was raped by her dad when she was six years old, and in an attempt to cover up his sordid offence, he started feeding her alcohol; possibly hoping it would impair her cognitive ability to rat him out. That, was the genesis of her alcoholism.

Twenty one years later, this young lady is carrying a heavy burden, imposed on her by the same people who were supposed to protect her. Her own parents hurt and betrayed her. Her biological dad stole her innocence, then set her up on a trajectory that has been mainly characterized by rejection. In short, he ruined her life! Her mom, on the other hand, may not have been previously privy to her husband’s paedophilia, but her silence, and inaction after the fact, made her an accessory to the crime.

Now, in the wake of their incompetence as parents, lies a broken child; a young woman, who’s trying to find her place in a society that she feels has already rejected her. Sadly, she’s not the only one going through such anguish; there are many children suffering in silence. 

That’s why I keep wondering: children; who will protect them?

Children; who will protect them? Part 4

She went to great pains explaining to mom how she ran away from home because she felt her parents hated her. Upon mom’s enquiry as to when all that started, she said she started drinking excessively and dating girls when she was thirteen. That young age had the cogs in my head turning…

While some people may argue childhood is a social construct, depending on when different communities deem a person is no longer a child, I associate myself with the provisions of Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives the legal definition of a child as, a human being under the age of eighteen.

At thirteen this young lady was only a child, right in her first year of teenagehood. While she may have already formed her own perception of things generally, and her particular tastes and preferences defined, any parental guidance at that point in time would have, in my opinion, bore more fruits. Had anyone paid more attention to her, so much could have been resolved. Now at 27, whatever damage that could have been done is arguably done. Consequently, the only way forward is healing.

Her aunt told mom she had suggested her niece goes to rehab, but the niece had refused vehemently. I couldn’t blame her. While her alcoholism may be deemed an ill that requires fixing, to her it is a coping mechanism. Therefore, in my thinking, the particular problem that needs to be addressed is why she drinks. Chances are, when that problem is fixed, she will, hopefully, on her own volition quit drinking.

On that same note, I found it very inappropriate for the aunt to be suggesting ‘going for prayers’ as the solution to her niece’s problems. Granted, as a Christian I understand where she was coming from because most of the time I believe prayers will fix everything.

However, for someone going through an emotional crisis, prayers might not feel appealing at all. In any case, when someone is down in the dumps, struggling with a certain issue, the first thought going on in their mind is, ‘God has deserted me’. Truth is, it is really hard to pray when one’s faith has faltered.

Maybe the aunt thought prayers would turn her gay niece straight, but then again, that is also a wrong approach in my thinking. It is true, prayers bring about miracles; but in this case, the million dollar question is, is homosexuality a problem that needs fixing?

Children; who will protect them? Part 3

My story makes me slow to judge others. People look ‘normal’ on the outside, but deep down I know they could be battling serious issues, owing to traumatic pasts. There’s this niece of our neighbour I used to despise, until recently. She came off as arrogant, and it was with so much patience I barely managed to get through two seconds of rudimentary conversation with her.

They are next door neighbours, but interestingly, our engagement with them is purely business.  When Covid came, the whole ‘working-from-home’ arrangement disorganized things a lot; with teachers being some of the most affected, as they had to stay home until their respective schools came up with a feasible ‘online classes’ plan. In light of this, seeing as our neighbour is a teacher, she ended up getting into an eggs-supplying business pro tem; and that’s where we come in.

When we found out they were supplying eggs, we decided to be buying from them. Initially we’d deal with our neighbour, the teacher, or her husband; but when Covid restrictions were lifted and people went back to work, our neighbour’s niece was left in charge of the business; and boy, was the young missy rude!

At some point, we felt we couldn’t deal with her anymore, so we stopped buying from them. Problem was, their eggs are comparatively big, and they never go bad even when someone buys in bulk. See, one of the habits we acquired during Covid was to purchase things in bulk to avoid instances of them running out when there were lockdowns/movement restrictions. Given that eggs have a shelf-life of thirty days only, it soon dawned on us that our neighbours’ quality was second to none.

After a careful deliberation, we decided to go back to our neighbours’ shop, because when it comes to food, one can’t compromise on quality. Ergo, with regard to the mean girl, we decided to deal directly with the shop’s owners: the teacher and her husband. Mom would call her, then her husband would deliver them in the evening. We didn’t have to deal with their rude niece anymore.

Remember when I said in Part 2 of this post, that there’s usually more than meets the eye? Rude girl wasn’t an exception. In any case, her wounds run so deep, that it might take years for her to heal. I started off despising her, but once I became privy to ‘Her Truth’, my perception of her took a complete 180º turn. Now all I feel for her is pity.

About two months ago, mom passed by their shop and she found our neighbour and her niece. I’m thinking mom walked in on them having a spat, and our neighbour started complaining about her niece’s unruly behaviour. She told mom she’d been requesting the young lady to go to church and get prayed for, but she wouldn’t hear any of that.

Obviously mom got curious and needless to say, went ahead to ask what the problem was. Our neighbour told mom her niece is an alcoholic. In her defence, the young lady told mom she drinks to numb the pain of rejection by people she thought loved her. Turns out, they ostracized her when they learnt she’s gay.

Though I wasn’t there to see mom’s reaction, I bet she must have felt particularly uncomfortable with the subject, owing to the fact that when it comes to sexual orientation, she’s very ‘close-minded’ about it. I can’t blame her though; she grew up in a very religious setting. I mean, she was literally on her way to the convent to become a nun when dad waylaid her.

Furthermore, in her younger days, the internet, which plays a vital role in advocating for the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community, was not as prominent as it is today. Ergo, matters revolving around homosexuality were practically taboo. I cringed, imagining the young lady’s plight; given her sensitive situation, then having mom and her religious aunt as her advisors? I’d imagine she was caught between a rock and a very hard place.