For Over Twenty Years, My Mom Lied About Why My Dad Abandoned Us –
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For Over Twenty Years, My Mom Lied About Why My Dad Abandoned Us

I didn’t know my dad. My mom for years accused him of leaving us when we needed him the most. When I asked why daddy left, she told me, “He didn’t want a girl child so when I gave birth and it was a girl, he took your brother and ran away with him.”

She made me feel unwanted. The sperm that moulded me abandoned me because I was despicable. I didn’t choose my gender but he chose to leave. I was bitter anytime I thought of my father. When my mom showed me pictures of my brother, I didn’t know him but I hated him. Maybe, it was jealousy.

He was the one Dad chose over me. He has the right kind of gender. I was jealous. I didn’t see him as a brother. He was a competition. A competition he won before I could have a starting chance.

I spent over twenty years hating my dad. I didn’t know him. I didn’t know his story. I didn’t know his name but I hated him.

I read a book one day that talked about a father who ran away. The daughter of that father set out on a journey to look for her father so she could ask him the questions she had always asked her mom. It took her four years to know the whereabouts of her father because her mom wouldn’t give her any clue. The day she got to where her father was supposed to be, she was told he died that morning.

The girl lived the rest of her life with unanswered questions, regretting taking too long to do what she should have done long ago. That book was my motivation. I didn’t want to be in the girl’s shoes so right after my national service, I started asking questions; “Where does my dad come from? Do you know the whereabouts of any of his relatives? How about the last house he lived in? Where was he working?”

My mom found these questions intimidating and irritating so she threw me off and insulted me for asking about a man who abandoned us when we had no wings to fly out of the storm. Like the girl in the book I read, I set out to look for my father.

I started asking questions from my mom’s friends. And then my grandma. She was not living with us and hadn’t seen me in years. I went to her and she told me everything I needed to know. It didn’t take me four years. Just a couple of months and I was face to face with my dad.

He told me, “I didn’t run away and I didn’t choose your brother over you. He was much older. Four years old. You were only a year and a half. I couldn’t have left with you.”

“But why did you leave us?”

He hesitated. It wasn’t easy for him to say. He buried his face in his palms and let it remain there for a while. He was crying. I was broken even before he could say why he left.

“Your mom cheated. She slept with a man I was working for. I don’t know, it might be because of money. A lot of people knew about it before I finally caught them. I was the one they laughed at. I didn’t run from you, I ran from the shame. I ran from a bad woman. She knew I wasn’t coming back. There was no way.”

Mom lied to me through the years. After my dad left, she also left with me and never went back to the town where this happened. She did everything to cut off that part of her history, even her own siblings suffered to find us.

She doesn’t know I’ve found my dad. My brother is out of the country. We talk. We catch up. He has a new family where he is. A white wife and kids who look more white than black. He also suffered the same thing I suffered.

Dad didn’t tell him about mom. Currently, we are planning on how to unite them in a way that won’t be traumatizing. And from the look of things, there’s more to their story than we’ve been let in. Mom did more terrible things, it seems. It’s in my dad’s eye but he doesn’t talk about it.

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