I was three when I had an accident with a Coca-Cola bottle while trying to climb the staircase. That accident cost me my right eye. I don’t see with it. My mother had just had my baby brother and I was over-the-top happy. I never saw my mother again after we travelled to the village and she told the whole family that she was leaving as she was not in the right relationship.

I don’t mean to say that she’s a bad person because, in truth she isn’t. I never knew though that she was my mom until I was ten years old and I was looking for something in my father’s room when I saw my birth certificate and that of my brother with her name on the column for mother. I thought it was a big mistake as I grew up calling my stepmom ‘mother’. I asked and I was told by my father to shut up. She frequented the house but no one ever told us the truth about her until I was seventeen and I had to travel to Aba from Owerri to meet her.

Everything has changed, and yet I’m more than I’ve ever been.

Iain Thomas

I gained admission into the University of Port-Harcourt and in my first year, I travelled to see her and during the course of that visit, she told me what really happened. I struggled for a long time with unforgiveness, I’d given myself reasons to not forgive her but the more I say to myself that I won’t let it go, the more I discover that I’m holding myself down.

I grew up calling my stepma, mom and she had really been a mom. I have a mother who never apart from foodstuff and occasional little money, never really contributed any dime to my education from when she left till now. It annoys me when she tells people that she paid my fees and now, I’m serving. It really annoys me and I really want to burst that bubble sometimes but I just end up patronizing her all the time. My mother (not my birth mom now) is simply an amazing woman. She stepped in when my Dad died. Since 2004, she’s been the mom, dad and virtually the go-to person in the house.

I have issues with men and relationships because, I’m scared of ending up like my mother. I come off as cold and mean but that’s my way of shielding myself but I discovered that the more I try to ‘protect’ myself, the more I deprive myself of opportunities. I’ve learnt to trust God and tell him all my problems. He has been helping me go through every stage of forgiveness and loving my mother despite herself. He has been father and mother and all. It’s not been easy but I’m glad he’s there and helping me go through it one stage at a time. I hope this inspires someone going through similar situations. Just remember that God’s got you.

By Oluchi