It was my first day in Primary Two. I was so ecstatic, I could not contain my joy that I was finally going to school. I had missed out Primary 1 because I battled with health challenges and had insufficient funds. I had my new school uniform neatly ironed by my mother with my white socks and polished brown shoes. It was one of the happiest days of my life and soon turned to the beginning of my dire trauma. As I walked beside my mother, my hands interlocking hers hopping in excitement while she sang. I could only imagine what the rest of the day would be like. I entered the classroom and saw children in the same uniform as mine welcoming me into the class. Most of them had known each other from primary 1, while I was the only newbie. It was a beautiful day, I learnt the national anthem, the times table and the alphabet.
My mother did not have a house so she lived with different men. They offered her accommodation and she offered them her body. I remember how many times I saw my father as he was passively present in my life. I saw my mother with different men as I often changed schools as we moved into new apartments. I had seen my mother sleep with these men while being told to close my eyes. I never understood what was going on, I thought my mother was being hurt.
I went home happily to tell my mother about my day but she had not come back from work. So, I ran to my neighbour’s house to tell him about my activities for the day. He was an older friend aged 16 years old. I had known him for a long time. He would often take me to buy bread and would just carry me while I enjoyed his songs. I used to follow him to fetch water by the well, he would tell me scary and interesting stories. I was very comfortable with him and often called him Brother Samson.
Upon reaching Brother Samson’s house, I started narrating my activities to Brother Samson, he listened attentively and only paused to ask me a few questions. He helped me with all my assignments and taught me basic things I missed in primary 1. He started playing with me and I noticed the play was becoming strange and he was calling me Big Girl!. He was doing what my mother’s lovers did to her. I knew he was hurting me but I did not understand what was happening. This continued until we moved to my mother’s new lover’s house. This time I met children, both male and female who have been damaged as well. This was the end of my childhood. I still carried the wound with me until I came across Arogi Foundation, in which I have been receiving mental health care. I am healing now, it still hurts but I certainly feel better than yesterday.
Many of you are like ME and I am like YOU.
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