Family,  Timeless Stories

My mother…….Bittersweet

I am the second of six girls.

My childhood was filled with memories of a mother who loved me and I loved in return. All this changed when I met Christ in my teens. My mother is supposed to be a Christian but I have never seen her attend church for a Sunday service, weekly activity or a program, the only time she went to church was for weddings or if someone told her there is a very powerful pastor somewhere who can see tomorrow more than the one who created tomorrow then she will go there to seek solution to her problems. Her faith was in witch doctors/herbalists. She took all her problems to them.

As a young growing Christian teen, I was taught to shun anything that has to do with witch doctors, we were advised in school not to go with our parents to consult any. I loved my mother and didn’t want to hurt her but I didn’t want to go to hell either so I had to make a choice, should I compromise at home and pretend when I get to school. I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, It was a tough call but God won because the Holy Spirit convinced me that indeed Jesus is the only way and anything my mother believes the witchdoctor can do for me, He can do much more than the protection she desperately seeks and give me eternal life in addition.

 When I was about 7 or 8, my mother had taken me to an elderly herbalist who inscribed incision on my heads, hands and feet. In school I got to find out those marks are evil tattoos that won’t do jack to protect me. 

At first my mum thought I was just being childish when I tried in my own childlike way to tell her Christ is my protector and will keep me safe from any attack from her enemies since she claims the reason she patronizes them is for protection, she rebutted my claim, she told me that even pastors do come to the herbalist to get help, she said all pastors do is to pray but herbalists are able to foretell the future. One day she told me the herbalist told her to bring me because he could foresee some very serious marital challenges in my future so he wanted me to come so he can spiritually ward them away for them not to occur when I get married. I told her I wasn’t going because I have been taught that my future is hid in Christ, so I told her it wasn’t possible for the herbalist to see my future.

After several days of refusal, she decided to forcefully take me there, she told me to accompany her to the market I agreed. We passed the market and she said she wanted to go somewhere before going to the market, I realized we were in the outskirt of town, she didn’t say where we were going but I knew without being told I was being taken to the shrine so I became agitated. I thought of opening the car door and flying out of the vehicle, what if I sustain serious injuries or break a leg, no that wasn’t a good idea, I thought and thought until we left the highway and veered into a narrow road, I knew if I didn’t act immediately I was doomed so I prayed to the Holy Spirit to help me, I just told her, mother drop me, she just drove on until I told her “if you don’t drop me now I will expose your patronizing witch doctors to my father and let him know you forcefully took me to consult one, she sensed I wasn’t bluffing which I wasn’t, immediately she stopped and asked me to wait somewhere for her while she went her way.

Looking back I think if she had taken me by force, I would have told my dad and it would have caused a very big row because at that time my parents were having serious marital challenges. My father was always saying his trust is in God and didn’t believe in witch doctors although my mother claimed he was not being entirely truthful, she did all patronizing without his knowledge. She came back to where she dropped me off to pick me, She started to explain the reason she was taking me there is to secure my marital destiny and for my protection, she asked if I liked the way she was suffering in my father’s house, she was only trying to do all she can as a true mother to prevent such for occurring in my life because the herbalist said we both had the same marital fate, I just ignored her, I was just relieved I wasn’t taken there. That was the last time she ever told me anything about the herbalist. She regularly took my siblings so much that they visited on their own. Although over the years she would drop hint here and there especially when am having serious challenges in any area of my life.

 That singular event made her realize I was dead serious about not wanting to have anything to do with herbalists and it also marked the turning point in our relationship although it wasn’t obvious, it was ever so subtle. Our relationship started going downhill. I was the one on the receiving end so I knew something changed from that day until this day as I write. As I got older it got worse. Looking back now I realized I didn’t always apply wisdom in my dealings with her which resulted to us fighting regularly. It extended to my other siblings, I was the outsider who was a misfit in the scheme of things in my family. I was excluded in almost everything that was happening in the house, honestly I couldn’t care less. Sometimes it hurts but over the years I developed a thick skin to it. If standing with Christ meant the loss of my mother and siblings love and acceptance so be it.

The thing I never told my mom is that I overheard her whispering to one of my sisters after one of our heated agreement that the herbalist told her I can never get married until I come to him, then he will do whatever it is that he does to help me get married. At this time I was unmarried in my thirties. I was shocked, I was in tears I wanted to go and confront her and call her a witch that she was the cause of the delay and tell her off for such wickedness but I didn’t. I just left the house to tell my friend what I just heard. I stayed away from home a lot after that. I became very suspicious of her every move. I didn’t want her to know anything about me because I didn’t trust her. The only way I could deal with the hurt was to pretend she didn’t exist most time and she didn’t care either. It wasn’t like I was her only child, she had other children.

I blamed her for every delay I experienced in life, things were never smooth for me, where my sisters had it easy I struggled, it was always tough for me to move from one level to another of life. One day she was asking me when I was going to get married and I reminded her about the time she wanted to forcefully take me to the shrine, I asked her if she perhaps did anything on my behalf since I refused to go with her. She asked me if I was told in my church that she is the witch behind my problems, she said from the day I made my decision not to be involved with her herbalist, she never bothered to discuss my issues with the herbalist. We both knew she was lying through her teeth.

To God be the glory I got married without recourse to any witch doctor and every area of delay has become a thing of the past.  
I jokingly tell my friends that if my mom is asked to mention her children its most likely she will not remember me. At one point before I got married  I told myself I must forgive her, I tried to be friendly but she rebutted my efforts, she knew what I was trying to do and she didn’t want it to work so I let go. We are not friends, we hardly talk to each other. I don’t feel anything for her now, I have been able to overcome the deep seated feeling of anger and hatred. When I see articles celebrating mothers it means nothing to me because I have not felt her presence in my life for decades except maybe when I had my first child when she spent some weeks with me.

What I experienced at home made me very sensitive to others who are treated as non-fit. I gravitate towards such because I have been there and what it feels like.
The good part is that it made me cling to my faith more and God comforted me by giving me friends who are like family to me. I had sisters who are not related to me by blood.

The scripture that says when your father and mother forsake I will take you up,I know that scripture was written with me in mind
Uwem
Dishusbandmata……passionate about relationships

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