…Must Read For Every Parent
By Olaitan Oye-Adeitan
“Dear Mum, it’s with a heavy heart that I’m writing this note, knowing the pain it is going to cause you.
Mum, I want you to know that I love you dearly and if given the opportunity to live again, I will still choose you as mum and our family will still be my place of birth.
But, unfortunately, I know there is not going to be such opportunity.
Mum, I didn’t want to do this but it was compelled by circumstances beyond my control.I tried my best to pull through but my best was not good enough.
I battled along for like thirteen months now until my strength failed me.
You and Dad could not decipher what I was going through, and may be I should not blame you for that. My one and only brother came very close, understanding what I was passing through but it was too much for his young mind to comprehend.
Mum, I know that you and Dad loved me and did all you could to show it, but I was not feeling loved. You provided for me more than I even wanted, took me to places most of my mates had not even heard of.
Despite all these, my heart was longing for love. I needed someone who would love me for who I was. I needed someone who could reach to the depth of my soul and fill the vacuum there. The material provision you spoiled me with could not do that and I was alone all the while despite the fact that we laughed together and had gists as family.
Then came the last straw that broke the camel’s back, your brother, Uncle Tony came to live with us made me feel that he knew exactly what my soul was longing for, companionship! Yes, he chose to stay with me when you and Dad were too busy to notice my loneliness. He tried to keep me company when I needed someone to talk to but I had only gadgets and Teddy Bear. I was fooled to trust him and he hacked into my foolishness and he did it perfectly and deeply.
Mum, your brother raped me and used me as a sex toy for three whole years. I expected you and Dad to notice but none of you did. When he left our house last year, I was shattered because I had grown to fill the void of your presence with his dirty deeds. I couldn’t complain because I was afraid to lose him. But when he eventually left for Canada, the magnitude of the emptiness became too heavy for me to bear.
I struggled to forget those experiences but I could not. My grades dropped in school and Dad quickly arranged for a home lesson teacher. That singular act instead of helping me, fuelled what was going to happen to me.
The home lesson teacher you brought so much reminded me of Uncle and on several occasions, I felt like grabbing him and make him fill the void that Tony’s absence created in me.
Mum, I had to do this because I was lonely. Did you ever imagine what I was doing in my room all the time I stayed there alone? Couldn’t you for once go out of your way and spend time with me so that we could talk?
There are many things I would have liked to tell you but I did not want to add to your pain.
Let those other torments be buried with that undignified body of mine. Make sure my brother, David does not get to this point I am now. Also, please tell your friends and colleagues who have children to find out what is happening to their beloved kids before it gets too late.
Many of the things parents do in the name of showing love are not what we, the younger ones need. I would have been gone long hours before you get to read this note, but one cheering thing is that David is still there. Transfer the love you had for me to him. My bank details and the password of my phones and laptops are in the piece of paper I dropped in the drawer of your dressing table.
I miss you and it pains to empty the content of this bottle into my hand but I am constrained to do it all the same.Tell Dad and David that I love them.Tell my Pastor that I will miss his sermon and long prayers.Tell my friends not to envy me. Good bye mum”.
That was the pathetic letter of a fifteen year old girl to her mother.
If it is the question of who should be held responsible or blame , then every actor in the letter is guilty. But then, one should look deeper to save many other children who may be going through similar situation.
It is a case of a child starved of Love while the parents felt they were showing her love like the letter read “Many of the things parents do in the name of showing love are not what we, the younger ones need”.
Love is not defined by chocolates, ice creams, teddy bears, visiting the best places in the world, going a shopping and just lavishing a child with anything he or she needs. These are things done occasionally without necessarily having to sit down with the child, making it a case of just throwing goodies at the child without the affectionate attention.
Truth be told, your child NEEDS ATTENTION and AFFECTIONATE CARE. No amount of gadgets, technological devices can be substitute for the quality time you should, as a parent spend with your child.
Unfortunately, parents have allowed the hustle bustle of life to submerge the attention they are to give their children.
That is why many children die silently or unburden their heart to outsiders or friends who may take advantage of this vacuum,while parents take pride in the fact that they send them to the best schools, buy them best clothes, load their accounts with substantial money, buy all the needed gadgets for them and make them to be at par or above their mates.
Some children don’t get to see their parents in the morning because they would have left for work very early and also had slept before they returned in the night, leaving the care in the hands of house helps, friends, relatives .
Ask yourself, do you know what your child is going through? Do you know what that house-help, neighbor, uncle, aunt, teacher are doing to your child? Do you know their whereabouts? Popular TV presenter, Frank Olize whenever he was launching his programme, ‘Newsline’, way back then, would ask “Parents where are your children?”
On many occasions, these children want to let out issues bothering them, they want to ask questions, they need counsel, advice, they just want to sit down with their parents and rob minds together but parents are not there.
Never assume all is well with your child and don’t be too busy to find out.
Care must be taken to avoid thinking you know your child when in reality you do not.