I was the only child of my parents in a marriage that was abusive before my Dad passed. My mother remarried but her new husband didn’t like me, so she maltreated me more than anyone else.
I sought and found what I thought was love outside. At 17 I was pregnant and my mother hid me in the house, saying she was covering my shame. At the time, I understood it because I didn’t want anyone to know I was pregnant.
When I gave birth, my mother took my baby away. Two weeks after his birth, she sent me to the village to live with her brother. She didn’t even let me breastfeed my baby. I finished secondary school and my mother and her husband who are both very successful in their wholesale business refused to send me to university. I decided to learn how to sew and I made enough money to start university.
When I finished university, I got a job, I went to take my baby but my mother and her husband refused. At this time, the boy was 11, and they said they raised him so I had no right to him. They even started mocking me for not being married. Even after I got married and got this teaching job, they refused to let me have my baby.
My mother does not have another child apart from me. Her only child from this marriage died as a kid. It dawned on me that she knew what she was doing the whole time. She was not protecting me; she didn’t want people to know the boy was mine. When she was telling people he was her baby, she wasn’t trying to cover my shame – my mother would gladly let me swim in shame. It was never about me.
I’ve gotten the extended family involved. People say I should leave the baby with her especially because she is my mother and I have two children from my marriage but this is a mother I have no relationship with. She still hates me and she does not hide it at all.
They’re both telling me that they won’t give me my child. They have made it hard for me to build a relationship with my son because I’m treated like an enemy in the house. It’s very hard to visit because even if he has heard that I gave birth to him, these are the parents he knows. I’m barely known as a sister because of the strained relationship.
It’s painful and I won’t give up. I want my child back.