I was 13 when I first met my father. He had dated my mother briefly, but when she informed him of the pregnancy, he wasn’t interested. She moved from Lagos to Warri a few months after I was born. When she informed my father’s family of my existence, they were excited.
I had been teased in school for speaking only of my mother and uncles, so meeting my father was a big deal for me. He visited once, and I told all my friends and neighbours.
His mother convinced my mum to let me spend some time with them, so I obliged and travelled to the east where they lived. On arrival, I was warmly received and ushered in to spend the night in my father’s room.
That night, my father tried to rape me!
I had just started experiencing puberty. Growing up, I had a lot of sex education from the adults in my life, so I knew something was wrong when he started touching me. He kept pressing hard on my tiny breasts and it hurt badly. I tried to shout, but he covered my mouth. I ran out of the room. It terrified me! I didn’t know these people!
The next morning, his family jubilated over my arrival and prayed for us. They urged me to spend time with him so we could bond. I met my cousins and aunties. Everyone looked so happy, so I didn’t tell anyone about the incident, not even my mum when she called.
My cousins made space for me to sleep in their room. One day, I was applying body cream after a bath when my father suddenly grabbed me from behind to suck my breasts. On another occasion, he forced me to watch pornographic movies while he masturbated. I couldn’t believe this man was my father.
It was probably the scariest two weeks of my life. I avoided him like a plague until I left and afterwards. I never visited again. He refused to support my mum financially. She encouraged me to get money from him, but I didn’t. The experience also affected my relationship with the opposite sex. I was hostile to boys for a long time.
It took years before I told my mum. She’s a devout Christian, so I think she has forgiven him. Well, I haven’t. I do not believe I have or ever had a father. It’ll be a long journey to forgive him, and I’m not ready to start it. Not yet.