Celebration of DV survival.
I always wanted Jopasdaughter to be inspire her readers, especially domestic violence victims and lone parents as I used to be one. We would love to tell your story to inspire and encourage other lone parents and domestic violence victims to leave the violence so that they can live. I did not get to be where I am overnight. It has been fraught with pain, anger, anguish and all sorts of negative emotions.
When I was with my ex, Dafe, in the beginning, he was not working but he lied that he was. I had my own place so, I did get to know that he was not working till later. I started suspecting later. I worked in customer service you see and sometimes, I worked on Saturdays. On the weeks that I would work Saturdays, I would have a day off during the week and whenever I went to his place on my days off, he would also say that he had that day off. I would wonder how come he had days off on the days that I was off but never worked the weekends that I had to work to cover those days off. And also, he claimed to be working in information technology. So, why was he having days off? I left customer service and moved to accounts receivable, aka credit control. Sometime after this, I moved in with him and that was when it became obvious that he was not working. He kept denying and denying and would turn it into a big row. This went on for a bit. We would break up and get back together. I was depressed and started cutting my wrists. I had heard that the physical pain masked the emotional pain. My life was going nowhere and fast too. Then, I had this break up that was meant to be the final. My dad got me a job a bank in Nigeria via some family friends, I gave away all my clothes and packed my stuff. Before this time, I had moved out of his place and had gotten my own place again. Dafe then put pressure on all my friends and cousins to beg me. A particular cousin actually thought that I had died when she opened her door at 6am to see a crying and broken Dafe at her door. I took him back on one condition that our parents had to do the traditional because I was unable to go home (my student visa had expired and Dafe had refused to help me apply for an indefinite stay).
Dafe’s dad had died about 20 years before and his mum who was meant to lead the process of the trad engagement mil:ked us for money before she agreed to do it. I say milked ‘us’ but what I really mean is that she mil;ked me for money because everytime she demanded money, Dafe never had the money and because I really wanted to have the trad done so that we could start trying for a baby and start our family, I basically paid Dafe’s mum to go and marry me.
I got tired of credit control. I needed to earn more money. I wanted to go into information technology, software testing, specifically as we were now starting a family. Dafe also mentioned that he was interested in software testing. But he insisted that he had to go for the training and get a job first before I went for my training. He had no money to pay for the training so, I paid for it. Around this time, my junior sister, Seun, suddenly took a turn for the worse with the cancer that she was battling. A few days before this, my sister Yemisi gave birth in Italy and I had pre-booked my flight to go to do omugwo before Seun took a turn for the worse. I had to go to Italy. So, I booked Seun’s ticket provisionally and gave Dafe my ATM card to pay for Seun’s ticket as I would be in Italy when the money hit my account. Dafe spent the money that was meant for Seun’s ticket and did not buy the ticket. When I came back to London, Seun had had a stroke and could no longer walk. I had to then work to make enough money for TWO tickets now as Seun could no longer walk unaided. Dafe started the software testing course but he could not hack it. He just could not hack it. And he kept refusing for me to go for my training and get a job. I worked in the biggest IT recruitment agency then and even begged my favorite consultant to help my man get a job. I remember the company that he was supposed to go for the interview – Direct Line. The consultant gave Dafe the previous questions that the company had asked previous job searchers that he (the consultant) had sent for that role. We prepped Dafe. Our friend, Stephen who was the person doing the training prepped him as well. Dafe went for the interview and did not get the job. What was the feedback from the company? They said that the interview went very well. But when they asked him of his career aspirations, Dafe told them that his career aspiration was to be a premiership footballer. The one question we did not prep him on. Because who would have thought eh? Who would known that he would not answer that his career aspiration in an interview for software testing was to be the go to person in software testing?
Anyway, I got pregnant with Tobi and that was the only time that I know of Dafe being responsible. He worked day and nights because by then, the economy had taken a bad turn and I had been offered a redundancy which I took. In all the 9 months of me being pregnant with Tobi, he provided for most of our expenses unlike before where I was the one who paid for everything. And he still refused for me to go and do my software testing training and get a job. He started punching me when I was pregnant with Tobi. The first time he punched me, he cried and apologised and promised that it would not happen anymore. Then he did it again and did not bother to apologise. Where before I would justify his womanising by saying at least he does not beat me, I could no longer justify anything. So, we continued for a while this way, with him punching me occasionally. Then he punched me in front of his mum. And she saw nothing wrong with him punching me. Actually, she said I deserved it. Lol.
When we finally broke up, the first thing I did was to go for my training in software testing and start job hunting. IT. WAS TOUGH. Before I got a job, we were often broke, living from hand to mouth, Tobi and I. Because I did not have experience and was just breaking into the industry, I had to go where the jobs where. I rarely saw Tobi. And I could not get good childcare after. I had a childcare who would beat Tobi when I was not around. I was housing and feeding this woman and her 2 children. I noticed that Tobi was always tense and scared whenever the woman was around. Then one day, the woman’s 2 year old child told me of how her mummy used to beat Tobi a lot when I go to work. After that, JOPA had to come from Nigeria to help me take care of Tobi but he could not stay for ever so, when he was going back, it was agreed that he would take Tobi to Nigeria with him. God bless his soul. JOPA and my sisters helped me with Tobi in Nigeria while I worked hard in England. I missed my son desperately and often cried myself to sleep and the when I slept, I would have dreams of my late grandmother telling me that she would take care of Tobi’s enemy. Then my friend told me that she had a dream that Tobi’s enemy died in Niaja. Please imagine the distress I went through in those 18 months. He was in Nigeria for 18 months, till he had to come and start primary school. In those 18 months, I made sure that I concentrated on getting a job nearer home. Tobi came back to start primary school and shortly after that, I met my husband, Lawyerman.
So, that is my shortened story of triumphing over DV and difficult lone parenting. What is yours? Every story published will get N1K recharge. So, please tell us your story of triumph over DV or lone parenting. Let’s encourage others that are still gathering strength.