When you are just a child and your family is broken up, you may likely blame yourself for everything. You see…as a child you can’t afford to blame them; after all they are your parents and you need them. So you blame yourself instead; it’s always easier this way. And then you tend to blame yourself the more

[when] you realize you had actually been a part of what caused the breakup. And just then, life becomes really hard!

This’s the situation I found myself in. At first it was normal, for I was prepared to feel guilty for the rest of my life. I felt that by taking the blame, I might actually change things for the better. Who knows…maybe when my father saw how much I blamed myself he would make amends with my mother again. But I was a child and wrong with my perspective; feeling guilty about it does not make any difference!


Everything changed when I realized that my father was blaming me too for the divorce. This came with much-unanticipated hatred from him which manifested in the form of physical abuse on my person. He pushed the blame my way and rub it all in my face; I was unprepared to accept this blame from him. So I knew I had to make haste to escape.  But then running to my mother (who didn’t want me) would mean that I was going to face the same blame altogether. Yet I chose to go to her. Perhaps it would be better, I thought. Perhaps she wouldn’t beat me everyday. But then I was wrong. The situation I met when I went to live with my mother was perhaps worse than the beating my father gave me everyday. My mother had remarried, and her new husband was a monster. Everyday he molested me…under the very roof where my mother was. He blackmailed me, manipulated me; abused me. And what could I do; I was a young helpless girl. If the news got to my mother she would chase me away. And where would I go next if she chased me? So I kept quiet just as my molester had coerced me to.

Fortunately or unfortunately, mother eventually  got to know what was going on. And as expected, she chased me away from her place. That day as I walked away from house, I was determined never to have a thing to do with her. Of course I was very unsure about my future. I was scared, vulnerable and embroiled in bitterness; angry and betrayed. Yet, I was determined…determined to succeed in spite of the misery I found myself surrounded by. I had been left alone in the open; by the people who were supposed to protect me…

*This story is culled from Emmanuel’s soon to be published manuscript.