I grew up always having relatives and older people in our house, although i am the first child of my parents. Looking back now, i can't remember a time when there was no aunt or uncle or cousin staying with us. Some of those people have helped to shape in who i've become today and some of them have left a bitter taste in my mouth.
First was my Aunt Y whom i loved so much and i still love a lot. She's my mum's half sister and she made the house fun. She was so loving and hardworking. We all simply adored her. At the same time Aunt Y lived with us, we had Aunt B who is my cousin actually on my dad's side. Aunt B had a meanness sent from hell and a special dislike for me. Till this day, I don't know why! Maybe cos she knew i was close to my mum. I don't know. Aunt B grew up to become promiscous and unfortunately,Aunt Y had to stop living with us. She was our shield from Aunt B's wrath and i cried when she left us. I love her so much.
Then Aunt B alone lived with us for a very long time and when my mum was running a course which took her away from home a lot, Aunt B brought home different men and sometimes didn't make food for us. I was only 6, there was little i could do. Aunt B beat me so much i took to running away from home to stay at my mum's friend's a lot of times. Gosh i was so afraid of her! At a time, us kids planned to deal with her and we all said we'd teach her a lesson and beat her...well she came in and only my immediate sis had the guts to pounce on her, rest of us were shaking like leaves. Oh! My poor sis got the beating of her life that day! Sis, i'm still sorry we were all cowards that day! We shoulda fought and taught her a lesson. Maybe the abuse would have reduced if not stopped!
I have a scar on my right arm because of aunt B's disappearing act. My mum was out to school and it was getting rather late. There was no dinner. I was about 6 or 7 and we were all hungry so i decided to fry plantain. Well i did fry the plantain but ended up with a swollen thumb on my right hand for about a month. I had to go dress it at the clinic and all that. I almost hated Aunt B
Fast forward 20 years, Aunt B is a mother of 2 who abused her pastor husband to the point that he left her when his manhood was almost taken from him. Guess what, Aunt B wanted moi, yes moi, to assist her with money and stuff like that. She actually came begging to my house. I am generally not a heartless person and i did give her some money but i made my dad warn her not to come back. My parents did their best to bring her up in the right way and after all they did, i shouldn't have to continue! What goes around comes around. Maybe she remembered her ill treatment of me or not, i really don't know.
While Aunt B lived with us, several other cousins used our house as stopovers or a place to fill in the blanks in their lives either temporarily or not! My mum, God bless her, she's too accommodating. There's an incident that's never left me, i was about eight, i was lying on the bed and my cousin, a guy said we should wrestle. He was short, very short and must have been about 8 years older. It sounded like fun and i was all for it till he was lying on top of me and i just felt what he was doing didn't make sense. I told him i wanted to stop. I got off the bed and left the room not really understanding what happened till several years later. I remember on a particular day he locked me and a guy in the room and i kept screaming and throwing stools before i was let out. His intention, i don't know till today but i'm glad i came out of it untouched. He still visits, he's close to my mum, but somewhere in my head, i can't get over it. I never told my mum though.
I won't ramble on and on, there were too many...too many of them and some of the experiences were horrible. It was an older cousin who made sure we never had whole pieces of meat to ourselves for a long time. She'd divide them, we were too young to eat whole pieces of meat. It was the same cousin who made sure my sis who i'm only a year older stop calling me by my name and added the Sister prefix, i think that 'almost' killed our relationship and i'm not sure we eevr recovered from it. I wish i could rewind and fight her with all my might now!
There were too many incidents but I've come to a decision, while my kids are growing up, i shall have no relative living with me. I don't want a wedge between my kids and i. I don't want them influenced wrongly, i don't want so many things...
This post has made me very emotional...it was inspired by GNG's post. I just went down memory lane. I know it's not that bad and a lot of people when through worse things. But i'm angry i did, i'm angry there were too many people in our house, i'm angry for a long time, we didn't get to be a real family....but i guess there's some therapy in writing.
I won't let them stay, call me a witch or not but i will protect my kids from external influence as much as i can and trust God to do the rest. Would you let them stay?