It is often said that your past should not define who you are. It is often easy to agree with this but sometimes it is our past that influences how we view certain issues that we come across and the decisions that we make. The decisions that might change our lives forever.

It was just another random night like every other until I heard a voice calling from outside. It all started when my mother’s doctor diagnosed her with some illness called ‘Dementia’. This illness, according to the doctor, is described by a decline in memory and/or other higher thought processes. When the doctor explained all of this to me, I concluded that she meant my mother was going crazy. All of this seemed absurd to me because my mom was the last person that I could have ever imagined going crazy, at least not that soon.

I had just been crowned as Miss Teen Johannesburg 2017. Everyone had their eyes on me. I was still adapting to fame and suddenly, my mother was ‘crazy’? I was so sure that was wrong. I mean, she had to be wrong! I kept convincing myself that my mom was perfectly fine. Until the night that changed my life.

I was asleep, and I heard a little girl’s voice calling me from outside. It was Rosy, our neighbours’ child. I walked out of the house, still half asleep, in my pyjamas and asked her what she was looking for. She looked terrified and was trembling when she told me that my mother had been captured by the police.

“What?!” I half screamed. Now I was fully awake. She took in a deep breath and started explaining to me how my mother had been captured by the community member and the police for practicing witchcraft. As soon as she had finished explaining all of this to me, I ran as fast I could to where she had said my mother was. When we arrived there, it was no surprise to me that we were not the only ones at the scene. There were journalists too and a whole bunch of community members. Immediately when I arrived, she smiled and said, “My daughter”. Suddenly, everyone had their eyes on me. One of the journalists walked up to me and asked if my mother was the crazy witch.

At this point, everyone was waiting for me to answer. I was going to be ruined. I could already see my sponsors pulling out and my name all over the headlines. I would have to defend myself to the world that had only cruel things to say to me. I wouldn’t be able to handle that. Yes, blood indeed is thicker than water, but at that point, for me, water became thicker than blood.

As soon as my lips parted, I began to regret everything that followed. I lied. I denied her. I told them she was not my mother and that she was Rosy’s mother. I was just their neighbour and had come to support the little girl as a kind gesture. I saw teardrop leave my mother’s eye. Rosy dismissed her hand from mine. They were both heavily disappointed in me.

Rather them than the world, right? I tried to console myself. If I am honest with myself now, this changed how I saw myself. I am a pathetic, attention-hungry teenager that could not even stand by her own mother when she needed her the most.

The terrible choice that I made changed the rest of my life. I have all the love from the world, but no amount of love could ever replace that of a mother; the love that I will never regain.
Everyone has their own story and for me, this is the story of my life.


Tell us: Would you ever deny your parent?