Zimbabwe: Neglected by my Mom and later neglected by my husband

Date: October 10, 2019
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In my area I am popularly known as Mai Two-two meaning the mother of twins. I was born in Kadoma to a family of seven that is four girls and three boys. My mother gave birth to three children in her first marriage and after the marriage failed she fell in love with another man and gave birth to me. After she gave birth to me she remarried and gave birth to three children. 

My mother never told me about my father. I grew up not knowing my father. My grandmother hated me a lot and she was always chasing me away from home. The punishment for my mother’s mistakes was being meted on me. Grandmother was always telling me that I am a product of an unwanted pregnant.  

My aunt noticed that I was unwanted and she took me to her house. She took care of me until I was grown up. My aunt had her own family so I was a burden to her. She managed to send me to a cheaper school which was very far away from where I was staying. The distance I was travelling to school impacted negatively on my education. 

Although the school I was going to was very cheap I was facing challenges in paying school fees. I was going to school without school uniform because I could not afford one. I started selling mango, masau and mazhumwi to raise money for school fees. I was also doing piece jobs to supplement the little money that I was getting from selling fruits. My mother never visited me during the time I was staying with my aunt. She never sent money for school fees of even food. I was always out of school due to the failure to pay school fees on time. My aunt was trying her best but the burden was too much for her. 

My situation prompted me to fell in love with a young man who promised to take care of all my school needs. He kept his word and he was paying my school fees, buying uniforms and books. My mother had money and she was now staying with her new husband. Whenever I visited her she would shout at me and chase me away. 

I completed my ordinary level in 1995 and I got married in 1996. I gave birth to a boy child and I gained favour in the eyes of my inlaws. My father inlaw liked me a lot. Unfortunately, not everyone liked me because my sisters-in-law developed a negative attitude towards me. My mother-in-law later took sides with her daughters and the battle lines were drawn. My husband was listening and believing everything he was being told by his mother and sisters. He started beating me every time he got a complaint from his sisters 

The situation got worse and my husband became promiscuous. He married another wife and I made a decision to start a small business so that I will take care of myself and the children. I started buying and selling meat. My husband disapproved my business and he stopped me. I was hurt but there is nothing I could have done. I continued living with him but the abuse was slowly eating me from inside.  

As if this was not enough, my husband married a third wife and they wed. He moved to stay with his new wife. He only sends money and do everything for us but he never visits. I managed to accept my situation but deep inside I feel the pain of being neglected by the person I trusted and loved.