Yet another harder than usual day at work with all manner of disturbing stories from patients. However, there is one that stood out, one I must talk about, something I have been meaning to write about for months, but I guess (subconsciously) I have been figuring out the best way to approach it. I will dedicate the next few weeks to the brokenness families suffer, and maybe, just maybe, that young amazing lady reading this article will think twice before jumping into this pit of fire, dragging everyone else along with her (or him)
The “Sponsor” phenomenon, also known as the forced polygamy that women have to either reject, or as is often the case, accept and pretend isn’t happening to spare their sanity. A situation where a woman’s security, safety, lover, partner is no more… A situation that tears apart her foundation, all for the selfish bodily desires of the spouses, completely disregarding the devastation that is ever present, following closely, and rarely left behind. A situation where children are torn apart, unable to understand or process the emptiness,fear and anxiety they experience
Let me share 2 stories.
After about 12 cases of domestic violence in less than one hour,yet another downcast mature woman walks into the office, asking for her P3 form to be filled. As always I ask a series of questions and this is how it goes.
She tells me that her husband beat her for the nth time and has made it a habit over the last couple of years.She has had enough and wants to leave and have him arrested for what has happened to her. She had a black eye, a healing wound on the neck after he hit her with some crude object and attempted to slit her throat. Luckily the neighbors came to her rescue. Thank God for that, because without their timely rescue, she was convinced she would be 6 feet under.
He then took their children, a 6 year old and 16 year old girls to his second home…where he and his 2nd wife live with their 2 children. She was terrified, so she didn’t follow them there.
A few days later her oldest daughter came home and reported that she didn’t want to go to the other home, that she was unhappy especially after the father landed on her with punches and blows. He was an alcoholic and when drunk all hell would break loose on anyone in the vicinity, even his own children. When the mother heard this, she went to the her co-wife’s home to pick her youngest child, fearing for her well being. Upon arriving at the destination, she knocked on the door which was opened by her co-wife who immediately began to abuse her. This lady, *Margaret, stood her ground and said she would only leave when her child was by her side. Co-wife took things a notch higher, collected water in a bucket, mixed it with sand and poured it on Margaret, who adamantly stood her ground: she would not leave until her baby girl was safely in her arms. Meanwhile, hubby, and kids, watched as all this transpired. Co-wife and hubby then rained blows on her, resulting in a cut on the scalp. Despite all this she somehow managed to escape, and with her child.
So I asked her, somewhat upset, why she hadn’t come with her children to have the relevant forms filled for them as well. She said she thought it wasn’t necessary and was confused. She just wanted him to leave her alone. That’s all she could think of. She told me she had been to the police before but they agreed to sort it out but hours later he still hit her. She had relocated severally but he would follow her everywhere and even pick the kids from school whenever she tried to get away from him.
To make matters worse, he would destroy property, break furniture, windows, even the windscreen for the car SHE bought for him so he could use it to make some money by doing a taxi business! Yes, SHE BOUGHT FOR HIM! This mediocre male was jobless all along!
The neighbors had even asked her to apologize to them for the grief HER HUSBAND had caused all of them with all the hullabaloo!
As if this wasn’t bad enough, she wanted him out of her life mostly because he wouldn’t even help her pay rent, pay school fees for the kids, buy food, and would insist on receiving his conjugal rights against her will. In other words, he had raped her severally! This man, she informed me, was now on his 4th ‘wife’!
She was crying, tears of anger and hurt, pain visible on her face as she recounted the insults the second wife had become accustomed to throwing her way. She cried as she recalled how young she was when hubby wooed her and asked for her hand in marriage. She felt wasted. She was tired. She was exhausted. She was desperate. She was confused. She was drained…but kept fighting because she was also a mother.
Let me tell you another story…
Lucy*,a middle aged woman (and by that I mean in her 50s), limped into my work station aided by her daughter. She was using one crutch and had a plaster on one upper limb. I hoped this was from an accident but sadly, it was the same story. Her drunkard husband came home (the home she had built singlehandedly) one afternoon as she was entertaining guests. He was furious when he found guests at home, even though she had asked him severally to leave her alone and let her be. At this point she was nursing a fractured leg following a previous physical assault incident where he beat her and left her for dead. The beatings started soon after he met his ‘second wife’ and started living with her on and off.
Her guests had to leave (or is it escape), and as they left he was yelling at her and calling her all manner of names. He demanded food and like the good wife she was, or is it to keep the peace, she obediently acted on his demands.While in the kitchen, he started punching her and throwing things around the kitchen. He kicked her and given that she was unstable due to the her injured leg, she slipped and promptly buckled to the ground, followed by excruciating pain emanating from her upper limb. To cut a long story short, she sustained a fractured radius/ulna (bones of the forearm). As she narrated this story, her daughter who lived on campus, was silently crying.
I recalled a previous mother, accompanied by her very distressed depressed daughter, and after a similar story, the daughter yelled “ why cant my mother run away? Why can’t my father just leave us alone!Every time I receive a phone call I fear its someone telling me my mother is dead. How long will I live like this? I hate men! I hate my life! I hate you mum!”
I don’t think I can ever understand why someone would hurt another in this manner. Just take a minute and try to comprehend the force required to break bones?! What thoughts and emotions must these ladies have endured? The man you love, who prophesied his undying love for you, fathered your children, now betraying you, beating you, raping you, abusing you, throwing you and the kids out in the middle of the night after he comes from his ‘2nd home’, over and over again, year in, year out.
I want the ‘side chics’ to read this. I want them to understand what happens when they decide to be a party to infidelity, and taking what is not theirs. The results of their actions lead to sadness, bitterness, confusion, instability, and misery, not only to the wife but more so to the innocent children, a vast majority of whom cease to receive any kind of fatherly love, respect, or financial support once this Delilah walks into his life and digs her claws into him.
Yes, it takes two to tango, and yes, many times these third parties may not be aware,initially, that their ‘lucky catch’ is married and committed, but today I will address the deliberate sponsee…the one who seeks out the committed man because its easier that way (or so I have heard them say); the one who believes and encourages the married father who whines and complains about his wife and her deficiencies all the while knowing his goal is just to have some fun. Woe unto you should a child come along…then you have several children in trouble.
I am not blaming the mpango wa kando for the violence hat the “sponsor” inflicts on his wife. That is a conscious decision that for some reason makes sense to him as a defense mechanism to thwart any questioning from his wife or to conceal the guilt he may be feeling,note, I say may because most do not feel guilty but rather, entitled to as many ‘wives’ as they want thanks to the toxic negative masculinity that’s rife in our society. In my experience, alcohol and mistresses are the 2 constant ingredients in 9/10 cases of domestic (physical) violence in a marital setting that I have dealth with.
Do you really want to be a part of this? Do you want children to spend nights out in the cold, out of school, fatherless, watching their mother trying to hide her sorrow, being beat up and assaulted (sometimes even sexually) simply to satisfy your selfish needs?
Do you want the children to see their mother black and blue, to have no father to love and protect them, to live in a fragmented home with a shaky foundation, going through custody battles, absence of stability, and the long term consequences of this dysfunctional setting that YOU have played such a big part in creating….is this really worth the money, sex, and whatever else you get?
Remember, what goes around, comes around. You will surely reap what you sow. Spare the innocent wives and children this agonizing messy and painful drama. Children are our future. Do what’s right. Be right.
Parting shot: Listen to this song… Oh Mother, by Christina Aguilera.