Mother, I keep quiet when others brag about their mothers. It’s not that I am ashamed of you, but you are the main source of pain in my life. You have tormented me multiple times. I remember how angry you were when I asked about my father. I did not mean to offend you. However, I thought my father would see me as the child that I am. But how could he care about me when he doesn’t know my whereabouts? I have never seen him in my entire life. At least you were decent enough to keep me.

Mother, I vividly remember those nights you came through the gate drunk. You were singing so loudly. I was overwhelmed with terror because I knew what was coming. On those occasions you physically attacked me. One particular day you were drunk and I asked you to go to bed because I was studying. Instead of understanding you beat me up until my right arm was swollen. I sobbed the whole night, mother. I thought of nowhere else to go. You were all I had. You are all I have.

As a young girl I needed your guidance. You once were a young girl yourself and you know how hard it is being one. It comes with many challenges. My school uniform is torn, mother. I tried asking you, politely, for a new one but you beat me up as usual. Bleeding I ran to our kind neighbour, Mrs Mlambo. Sadly her husband, Mr Mlambo, forced himself on me while I was asleep. My innocence was forcibly taken away from me by a married man I neither loved nor hated. But I hated him after that incident. Nobody knows about the rape except him and I. I didn’t want to trouble Mrs Mlambo after all she had done for me. I didn’t want to be the one to destroy her marriage even though it was not my fault that her husband forced himself on me, taking away my innocence. If we were close, I could have told you mother. No. No. No. If we were close, it wouldn’t have happened.

Mother, I can’t tell which emotion I feel for you, but it’s not love. It cannot be love. Some think of abortion as an unethical and cruel thing, but I wish you had aborted me. Abortion would have been a better solution than this continuous suffering. I swear I would have forgiven you for it mother.

All women are a rock, imbokodo, but you must be an exception. I cringed when you switched off the lights while I was studying. I cringed when you made love to the man you brought home from the shebeen in my presence; in my presence, mother. You did not even wait for me to sleep, you said it was your house. However, it was my home too, and I needed your love, support and protection. You gave me none of those. Nonetheless, you are my mother. I know of no other mother than you, mother. You will always be my mother.


Tell us: What advice do you have for this young girl?