The next time I opened my eyes, this is where I found myself…
Watching my father do those things always lit a fire in me.
Drinking made it easy. Easy to take out the flame and easy to numb the pain.
Don’t judge me. It’s in my genes. I can’t help it. I’ve had it in me for so long.
Let me tell you how it started;
My mother was a hustler, with her noisy grinding machine set outside our house. She’d grind and grind till she had pepper in her eyes and stains on her blouse. And when my father lost his job, she automatically took up the position of bread winner. Toiling in the kitchen while also tending to customers. All of these drained her and made her thinner. But my father only grew resentful of her efforts, bitterness had him gnarling and snapping at any opportunity he got. He’d snap at her too long dress, her too short sleeves, he’d toss in her face whatever food she brought. I watched him through the crack in the door, screaming at her tired frail body, raping her because being tired wasn’t an excuse to not have sex.
‘Stop this Dotun, Kolapo is watching you’ she’d scream but he had always replied, ‘ How is that my business!’ While fondling her breasts.
And every night I’d watch it happen. He would slap her around and bloody her face, telling her putting food on the table gave her no right to talk back at him.
She would scream my name ‘Kolapo help me’, but tears just ran down my eyes as my light got dim.
It got dimmer and dimmer and later in my life I’d realise that I had shut myself out and resented my mother for not doing anything. I converted my resentment to respect, afterall the men on Joro’s page said they respected their mothers for doing the right thing. For staying because that was how it was supposed to be. Women needed to stick around in relationships like that so the kids could be what they needed to be.
And so when I got married to Sade it was only right that she proved her love to me. I didn’t care that I had lost my mother to the wrath of a man like the one I had now become. I didn’t care that I actually loved Sade too much to hurt her cerebrum. Oh, that’s how my mother died by the way, a damaged cerebrum.
And when I started to hit her, bruising and battering her face, I ignored the part of the internet that said women were empowered and it was a new generation and new race. I had never even seen that Omoni Oboli skit where she showed women that they could pretend to order a pizza while they called for help. So when Sade kept ordering for Ice cream and asking for immediate delivery I didn’t think I’d be whisked out of my house for making my woman up to look like a rotten kelp.
So now I’m here, charged with domestic violence, assault and battery.
Sade has filed for divorce. The hurting part is that she never even told me sorry or say she loved me.
Tell Sade that I am sorry,
Tell her to take our son to therapy.
And tell men out there who think it’s okay for women to stay in violent relationships, that they need to get help and be purged of such immoral thoughts.
Tell women to be like Sade,
VIOLENCE IS NOT IN THE GENES!