If I could turn back the hands of time, I would go back to November 2014 and change all the events that took place that day. I was having fun with my platoon friends at the bonfire night when I saw Michael. I had seen him a couple of times with my platoon mates but only from a distance. That was the first time I was seeing him up close when his friend came and introduced us. The next day, we received our letters to resume at our places of primary assignment, and we found out that we were posted to the same school in Ibadan. I was assigned to teach Biology, while he was to teach Physics. We became very close friends and our friendship was sexual before we officially started dating.
It was one month to the completion of our NYSC when I found out that I was 5-month pregnant. I told my parents, who were regional pastors at a known Pentecostal church. My parents organized a small wedding for us and got Michael a job while I stayed at home. They also rented an apartment for us in Ibadan with proximity to his place of work. I was a stay home wife who did not have a job or business, and I had to completely depend on Michael for my basic needs. He started complaining about not having money and I would have to wait till he returned in the evening before I could eat. He would give me #200 to buy food and when I asked him if he was interested, he would tell me he had eaten.
One evening, I decided to take a walk around the estate, and then I saw my husband drinking with friends. I waited for a while then I saw him giving the bartender N5,000 for their food and drinks. When he got home in the evening, I asked him for N1,000 to buy chicken and rice, but he blatantly refused. He started with insults about him carrying the financial burden alone and me just being useless. I ate only in the evening because there was no foodstuff at home. I was already becoming anaemic. Each time, I requested money for breakfast or to buy foodstuffs, I would receive verbal backlash. I told my mum about it but she advised me to visit my aunt’s house frequently.
I started to leave the house a few minutes after my husband’s departure. My aunt’s house was a breath of fresh air. I remember the first day I went there, I ate breakfast like a glutton because I had not eaten good food in a long time. I would gist with my aunt and my cousins, and I experienced better moods. We would cook together, play games, watch movies and go out together. I only returned home a few minutes before my husband’s arrival. I would eat to the fullest and start saving the daily N200 my husband was giving me. My aunt also registered me for antenatal close to her house. My date of delivery was supposed to be the last week of March but my baby came earlier. The day I went into labour, my aunt traveled to a different city to enroll her children in a boarding school.
I was home alone when I started having contractions, and I called my husband to tell him about it. He told me to sort myself. I had to call my landlord who came to rush me to the hospital. My husband came to visit the hospital and the doctors told him I had to do a caesarian section. He was told to sign a consent form and also pay a sum of N200,000 for the surgery. My husband came to sit on the stretcher I was lying on and started uttering the most terrible words I had ever heard. He said I was lazy and did not want to have a normal delivery. He also insulted me for being wasteful and asked me where I expected him to raise such a huge sum. I was groaning in pain when my husband hissed and walked out of the pre-theatre.
As he walked out of the ward, I realized I had made the biggest mistake of my life by getting married to this man. I had to beg the nurse to call my mother on my mobile and tell her everything that was happening. I groaned in pain throughout the night begging God to spare my life and that of my child. My mother arrived the next day, signed the consent form and paid for the surgery. I was awake throughout the surgery with my mum holding my hand, while I was sobbing. My face was lit when I was handed my bundle of joy. Each time I looked at him, I busted into tears, putting into consideration all I had been through to have him.
My brothers sent boxes of baby clothing, toys, towels, blankets and carriers while my mum went to the market to buy the remaining items. I was discharged five days later, with my bundle of joy. Throughout the five days, there was no visit from my husband nor did he call to check on me. When I got home, he was celebrating the birth of his son with his family and friends. My mum signaled to me to be calm and ignore his tantrums. My mum was with me for six months before moving back to Lagos while my father visited often.
A few months after, I got employed in a research institute as a scientist and was glad to be occupied while I also became financially stable. I was happy at first but sooner, my husband abandoned his financial responsibilities. I started carrying all the financial burdens of the family while my husband spent his money on alcohol and partying. Each time I requested money, he would become verbally abusive and talk about the woman he was dating who was ready to carry all the responsibilities. The burden became too heavy for me and I had to seek advice from mentors. At the beginning of each term, I would leave the house very early so that Michael would take our son to school and would have to pay his school fees.
One Saturday, I went to supervise a project in one of my father’s houses and my husband accompanied me. He started complaining about living in a rented apartment while my father had houses in the city. He was frustrating me and commanding me to tell my father to give me one of his houses. I poured out my grievances to my mum and she transferred the ownership of her house to me. We moved out of the rented apartment to move to my mother’s, which has become mine. My husband was going through the documents when he realized the house was in my name and not his. He started with his verbal abuse, and I just ignored him and took the documents to a safe place. My husband’s drinking habit increased and he became physically abusive because I challenged him of coming home drunk. My family does not believe in divorce, so, this is my cross. I don’t want to bring another child into this mess.
My situation was so overwhelming that I had to seek help from mental health experts. I am currently going through FREE THERAPY at AROGI FOUNDATION. I was counseled on how to prevent domestic violence and manage the psychological effects it has had on me, and it is working. I started retiring to my room very early with my son before my husband returned from work and I have been doing very well, ever since.
Call AROGI on 080011002200 for FREE THERAPY if you or you know someone having similar experience.