Adjoa was staying with her grandmother in a small town where she was born until she was 6 years and her father came for her to join her step mother and step siblings in the city for their long vacation.
Her joy knew no bounds. Her grandmother has been telling her stories about the big city; the traffic light, the big overhead bridges, big houses and other exciting things that the people living in the big city were privy to.
She will tell her classmates all about her trip; the beautiful things she saw and the wonderful experience. She will even ask her dad to get her some things for her class mates on her return to the town.
The vacation was fairly good; she met her step siblings and made some friends even though she wasn’t taken to all the fun places she had dreamt of.
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It was a week to reopen and she asked her dad when she will be returning to the hometown and that was when the news was broken to her. She had come to stay. She was not going back to the town because according to her dad, he wanted to have the best education like her other siblings.
She started school with her siblings. Her father, who didn’t stay in the same city with the family loved Adjoa so much and was happy to see her every weekend when he visited. Apart from being a lively kid, she was also very intelligent and was a carbon copy of her dad. This didn’t sit well with Auntie Kyeiwaa, her step mother.
She started telling bad things about Adjoa to her dad. She was made to wake up at 4am to clean the compound and fetch water from a neighboring community for the household before going to school on a daily basis. Her younger sister, Eno, was made lord over her and had to go for money from her at school before Adjoa could go on break.
There was one time Eno told her classmates Adjoa wasn’t her biological sister and as curiosity will have it, Eno’s classmates went to ask Adjoa who also confirmed it. When they got home that day, Eno went to tell her mum that Adjoa had told people that they are not biological sisters. Adjoa was not given the chance to defend herself or otherwise. She was given the beaten of her life.
ALSO SEE: Hurt People Hurt People – Sexual Abuse
“While we are doing our best to hide your identity, you are busy revealing yourself to the world.” Auntie Kyeiwaa spewed out.
Auntie Kyeiwaa practically beat obedience and instructions into Adjoa. She was not allowed to socialize or bring any friends to the house.
Their residence being a compound house, people started getting worried about the treatment being mete out to the poor girl. One tenant called her one day and told her, “No condition is permanent”. Something she held on to all her life even though she didn’t get the import of the message at that material moment
She did all the household chores and was not allowed to talk back or defend herself when there was an issue. It was drummed into her ears that she didn’t belong and was a liability to the family since the money meant to buy clothing for Auntie Kyeiwaa’s children had to be divided so as to cater for her.
Her cup, bowl and anything that had her name on was separated from that of the rest of the family.
There was one time they had a visitor who out of ignorance used Adjoa’s cup to fetch water from the barrel of water in their kitchen. Auntie Kyeiwaa poured the whole barrel of water away washed the barrel and refilled the barrel.
Adjoa was devastated. She felt so unwanted and cried her heart out. Tear and sorrow became her daily companion. Her mother’s family who used to visit her had stopped showing up and she didn’t know who to turn to for comfort.
Due to the false information that was fed her dad by her step mum, her dad’s attitude also changed to worst towards her. The once loving father has become a monster in his own daughter’s life. He treated her like a leper.
Insults and false accusations were the order of her day. She just had to endure with no end in sight. Whenever no one was watching, she will cry herself to sleep.
“You will not amount to anything”
“Why do you stare at human beings like a sheep when you’re being talked to?”
“Thief, prostitute, liar” are just a minute fraction of the words that was rained on her on a daily basis.
Whatever initiative she took, she was told she wanted to do it because others are doing same. She was constantly being compared to her sister. If she did anything her sister will naturally not do, like wear a big earring, it meant she has turned into a prostitute.
Drinks and food in the house were locked up so she had to seek permission from her younger siblings to touch food in the house. For drinks, she got them on occasions or when her step-cousin who stayed with them was generous enough to pick one for her in her (the cousin’s) name.
One morning after she had completed university, She was washing her father’s clothes when her father approached her.
“I learnt you have been sending my children when I am not around. You will be very sorry the next time I hear that you have sent any of my children. You’re an illegitimate child in this house and your worth is to do household chores.”
Adjoa died a bit that day.
After service she went to look for her mum and asked the circumstances surrounding her birth; she has never stayed with her mum but has met her on some few occasions. She was told how her mum met her dad and she got pregnant which he denied but later accepted due to the semblance between him and Adjoa. When she was done, with her narrative, she added,
“I have never prospered since I gave birth to you.”
Adjoa died some more that day.
This is an excerpt from the book ‘Hurt people hurt people‘ which will be on the market soon. The book seeks to bring healing to abused and liberate them from the shackles of pain and bitterness.