Its been a long long journey for me. I have cried tears which has made this beautiful river I sit by. My real mother never got to know me or spend time with me. My childhood with my mother was stolen from me. I was taken away and raised by a woman who was never supposed to even touch me let alone raise me.
She had her three favourite children, and I was the Cinderella. Always being told to cook, clean and do all chores whilst her children sat and laughed. I did all the work, she worked me like a donkey. There was no mercy or help for me.
I now know why she made me slaughter the chickens. She knew it was my greatest fear and I would have panic attacks after each slaughter. I did not even want to eat meat. I hated meat. As a child, I was forced to eat it, even though I did not like it. So slaughtering chickens was horrifying for me.
I now know why she told me that when I sing I sound like a frog. She never wanted to see me happy. Singing made me happy.
She told me that I had ugly teeth, an ugly hairline, my lips were too thick and I lacked true beauty. She mocked my thick lips and she constantly accused me of, ‘looking like her husband.’
She told me that her husband wanted to sleep with me, and accused me of being her husband’s lover, even though I was just a child.
She said each time she left the house, she came back to find condoms on her bed, and it was because I was sleeping with her husband, I was only 15 or 16. She knew she was lying, but would still accuse me.
I would say I want to commit suicide and she would say ‘please go away in a forest and kill yourself so no one will ever find you, and let your body rot there’.
Not a single day did she ever comfort me, or wipe a single tear from my face.
I stopped crying at some time as a child, because if I cried she made me feel like I was doing something against nature.
So I turned my silent blood tears into writing…no one could see my tears, but every day I cried tears of blood.
She told me she would never feed, bath or touch my children unless I was sick or on a deathbed.
Despite all this, I still loved her more, and would go to the moon and back for her, because in Zimbabwean culture there is no such thing as girl child abuse from mothers, you have to honour her no matter what, if not she will curse you.
Each time someone commented on my beauty, she would say she was more beautiful.
But I honoured her, and I brought her into the UK so she would comfort me during the Masocha trial which had almost destroyed my life. She was given a visa on the grounds that I had no one to go with me to the trial. My ex-husband had taken the side of the man who abused me, and I was literally on my own. She came, and lo and behold she made things 100 times worse.
She was on the side of my ex-husband and the man who abused me. She was praying that I would lose the case. She took me to the trial in Scotland were she tormented me and was praying hard that the man would win the case against me. And yes, the man was able to walk away free, even after being convicted of serious sex attacks on a child too.
I had nightmares since I was young, I would dream of her being a wicked witch to me. She would hold my legs tight and stop me from walking. She would scare me in my dreams. She would be like a white witch, throwing arrows at me. I would be running so fast from her. I would wake up screaming and calling out, ‘mama’.
Deep down I always knew something was wrong, I felt it in my spirit that she was not my mother. I was always crying out for my real mother. Wherever she was, my real mummy loved me so much, I was her only daughter and everything to her, and her love for me always kept me going.
I knew something was wrong because the woman who raised me never had any maternal instincts towards me. She always cursed me and wished me ill.
I tried so hard to reach out to anyone. I went to her relatives but they all protected her and would turn on me and hate me.
I wrote about it on my blog but I was attacked by Zimbabweans in defence of their ‘culture.’ I have never known a culture that is as cruel as Zimbabwe. They accused me of lying and mocked me for saying slaughtering chickens tormented me because apparently girl children are supposed to kill chickens in Zimbabwean culture.
Facebook Zimbabwean celebrities like Mike Tashaya, Bren Mupa, Yvonne Yvette and a number of them ripped into me for talking about my abusive childhood. These Facebook celebrities invited as many people as they could on their Facebook walls to just laugh at me so they could get the ‘likes’ and comments by talking about Jean.
I was told by many Zimbabweans that I was going to face the curse of insulting my so-called mother. Apparently what I had done was an abomination in Zimbabwe culture. Yes, I hate Zimbabwe, it was never my country.
Well, the Zimbabwean woman who raised me was never my birth mother. Its been a long journey finding out who I really am, but I am so grateful that I now know why this woman I called mother was my greatest tormenter on this earth.
Sadly recently when I posted a picture of me as a baby with her, Zimbabweans commented and told me the picture proved that she loved me. They went as far as to say I should go back to her and do the right thing as a daughter. They said everything I say I suffered as a child, and an adult was because it was just one big misunderstanding.
In Zimbabwe the girl child is responsible for the abuse she suffers, the community will make sure of that.
I am just relieved I am finally free.
She didn’t birth me. She didn’t love me.
That’s why soon after my son King Chaka was born, she could not help it, because I was so happy. So she chose to take away my joy by lying that she went to a ‘prophet’ who told her that my son would be disabled.
I won’t allow her to continue to have a hold over me.
She gave me the name Jean when she stole me…
I am no longer Jean. I am…