Five years ago I decided to come to terms with my nudity; to love every curve my body has, all the scars with their untold pains and the stretch marks with the uncomfortable look they attract. Long before then, I used to hide my nudity under my garments, in order to match with my peers.
No one ever imagined that underneath my garments existed wounds which were getting septic. Occasionally, my friends stopped me and hurt the bare flesh under my garment but no one cared to realize that my garment was stained with red fluids. I needed to match with my peers so I had to bear all the pain.
As a young girl, I was born from a relatively well to do family and raised by elite parents. My child memories are as clear as the sky; I went to first class schools and wore the trendiest clothes with the most reputable labels. I grew up with both my parents; I therefore had ample happiness to groom my heart to pure loving. I excelled in school; I wasn’t just my parent’s delight but my teachers and community too. I was a role model to most girls in my community but most effectively to Marisa.
Hey big sis Jenny, how is campus? I am told at campus life is simple& sweet, I wish I cd get there! I admire u alwaz& wish I cd wear your shoes for just a day.
I am reading hard so that one day i will be like u. Greetings from mummie
Marisa is a daughter to my mother’s best friend; she admired me a lot and looked up to me. Such notes which came through post office to my university box kept me worried about disappointing people, especially the young girls who looked up to me. I kept my head high though and perfected my game. I finished my university studies in civil engineering and was straight away offered a job by one of the biggest oil companies in my country; I know not of the tales of job hunting alas jobs hunted for me. I climaxed my game by marrying my dearest husband in church. This was a complete dream to my parents and community, I had made it; I was an icon.
On the 5th of June 2010, while attending a summit in the UK; I got to my hotel room and undressed fully; exposing my nudity to the big mirror that stood next to my bed. The mirror was the silent friend I longed to open up to. I had worn my garment for too long and it had grown too short to accommodate my bulging self. I talked to my new friend who I had made just two weeks prior as my nose got powdered, I remember saying these words:
“Jenny, I have lived my life for others; my parents, my friends and community, I have forgotten my life. I am married to a man; very handsome, disciplined and rich but I am not in love with him. Every time we get intimate it’s just rape, I have carried on this way for 5 years now. I have numbed my happiness for the delight of my community”
I held my long colored rosary into my hands but my tears had wet the beads, I silently recited a decade of Holy Marys’ and asked the mother of the church to mother me for I knew what I was about to do was bound to render me an orphan. I arranged an abrupt flight back home; I was determined to lay my mission, so I run to office first to ask for leave before I reached home. I realised my boss had put a suspension letter on my table; the letter indirectly addressed my trauma. When I thought I had covered my nudity, it was exposed and my garment had been seen through.
My boss had occasionally complained that my work performance had detoriated, I was becoming less innovative and my team was becoming the weakest. He emphasized that I needed to meet a counselor, as my happiness levels were too low.
Shortly before I left for the summit, I had submitted my report about the assignment I had done and it turned out that it had cost the company mega losses, and with that my boss decided to suspend me. He however called my husband and chatted with him about it. I carried my suspension letter home and asked my husband to organize a quick trip to a quiet place where we would discuss important issues about our marriage. My sweet loving husband hastily organized a trip to Mombasa. There we were; the two of us, holding hands as the cool breeze swept our hearts apart. I stared deep into his eyes and asked;
“Would you still be my best friend if I weren’t your wife?”
He smiled and answered; “I love you today, tomorrow and forever”
My tears rolled but I had to say it, “Sweetness, thank you for being the best companion to me, best father to our daughter and most reliable son in-law to my family but”…. I held my breath; I didn’t know how to say it better, not to hurt him. His manhood couldn’t hold his tears, his eyes bled too. He silently asked, “Is everything okay?” I toned my muscles to strength and I told him, “Darling we must end our marriage!” We stared at each other for the longest time, my heart bid him farewell and my sight grew stronger, finally, I had said it.
I build my defense before he attacked me, and told him, “I did all I did to please my community but I was anguishing my heart”. I excused myself from his hands and told him I was a lesbian and being with him had hurt me enough. I left him with a note which explained how we would share the property we had accumulated together plus the future of our daughter.
Before he could make a complete respiratory cycle, I was in Uganda; I had packed all my belongings including my daughter to a place my mind didn’t know about. I drove out of our home but my directions were still not well drawn to my mind. For a moment, my four years old daughter asked, “Mummy why don’t we go to Aunt Marisa’s home?”
I bought her idea for it was the only one left on the shelf. I went straight to Mama Marisa’s bedroom ignoring Marisa’s rural excitement upon seeing me. I didn’t let her read my face; I just threw it to her “my husband and I have had unreconcillable differences and I have left the home; I beg to leave our daughter here as I seek for shelter”. My husband had communicated to all my relatives and I had been invited for a family meeting. I didn’t know how to face my mother and father but I knew I had to. Once more I penned it down:
I am sorry for disappointing everyone except myself; I have outgrown my cocoon, I am therefore coming out; I am a femme lesbian- a woman who loves to relate with fellow women. I don’t find any intimacy with men satisfactory; all the sex with my dear husband was total rape, I bore this for I feared to disappoint you. Until my agony affected both my mental and work performance, I decided to accept myself before asking anyone else to.
I realised my sexuality while in primary six, you might remember the frequent visits I made to church, and the several confessions that I made, fasted and the novenas I recited. I attended almost all retreats and overnights asking God to change and heal me but as I grew, my love for my fellow women grew too; I fell in love with a girl in my class; I am sure you remember me introducing her to you on one of the visitations. My heart didn’t seem to settle for any man but I hide this for I knew I would disappoint many. I don’t remember learning this behavior from anywhere but I remember fighting it too hard; God can bear me witness.
I have made you proud for this long but I was hurting myself internally. I finally decided to give myself happiness; sorry my happiness hurts you. I have accepted who I am, I won’t ask you to accept me but I will ask you to forgive me.
Love from your daughter,
I didn’t wait for my parents to react to my note; I could tell that the reactions were exothermic already. As I drove off, I saw Marisa, I stopped, hugged her and asked her politely;” Marisa will you be the only one I haven’t disappointed?” she stared at me and nodded. I could tell she was positive.
Two years down the road, I am alive again, living with my partner, we are planning on getting a child and I will bear the pregnancy. Life isn’t smooth either, two women living together, the hormones sometimes hike and drive us crazy; like all relationships, we fight, break up but make up. I am motivated to work and my happiness flows in my veins.
Finally, I am happy; my sex life is exciting and I have a sense of appreciation. I nolonger bother God with the ‘please heal me’ but I thank him for my happiness now. I still love my ex husband, but not for any intimate reasons. Our daughter stays with us and she is proud to be mothered by two mothers. Marisa occasionally comes home, I still inspire her but most importantly she loves my courage. She still doesn’t believe my choice was right but she accepted me for who I am and respects my decision. She fills me with a sense of belonging; she is the only one who sees my happiness.
My circle is small but it fills me with life satisfaction; gone are days when it was large but drained my happiness.