Despair is the complete loss or absence of hope.
By Constance Ndeleko
When children are pushed to the extremes they give different signals and behaviors in regards to what they are going through. Though times are difficult, we should strive to lift their hopes high and protect their future and wellbeing.
Recently, I had a chat with a teenage mother on her hopes to prosperity given the circumstance she is still cocooned into. I wish my life lessons were simpler. I wish I didn’t have to learn from the empty streets of my world, she murmured.
“I am tired of feeling sorry for myself and surprisingly I am shocked how I could stomach this much in my 14 years around the orbit. I don’t understand how I do it even when sometimes the strength and hope peels off bit by bit.
I got pregnant a while ago and I have a baby girl. It scares me every night that if I don’t change situation at home my daughter will be roughed up by life as I did. I feel sick thinking about a blank future as I am on the verge of losing it all.
My father is angry at me for getting pregnant this early and she blames it on my mother. What happened I was not even at home when I got pregnant I was staying with one of my relatives since the school was far away from my homestead.
I remember that was the month I had my periods for the first time and everything was scary. My stomach was in pain for about three days. I took some herbs but to no vain. I couldn’t go to school. As I went to get my essentials to the shop I met a man whom from there henceforth we became friends.
The situation being not promising at home, this man started providing things to me which eased up the situation on my end. I laughed more and i was happy. I talked to some of my peers who also had their own boyfriends and it seemed normal to most of us. We didn’t most of the things we did then but we went forth with it.
Since, it somehow was secret to my circle of friends, then no one mentioned it to anyone else. He the missing father of my child, was just a few years ahead though he had dropped out of high school and he owned a motorbike that he uses to ferry passengers. The relationship was ok until I started getting sick and I could miss some classes. I was pregnant and things started falling apart. I was ashamed to go back to school when my tummy got bigger and i left schools. My parents knew and they were in shock as i was. So, i went back home.
The person I called boyfriend ran away from the responsibilities to another town and now i am barring the consequences. If only wishes were horses, I would revert my situation. If I knew better, I would have learnt more about relationships and abstained from sex. I would have stuck with the books. But they were trying times on hardship calls.
The onset of the pandemic hit home so hard that sometimes it was just difficult to have a decent meal. Breast feeding becomes so hard as there’s no milk. It makes me cry when my baby is crying. I had to start feeding her early because of this.
I am only a child who understands her mistakes and want to go back to school. This is only my story as i thirst for a second chance in school but we’re many out here and we need to be supported by any means to lift ourselves from the hardships we are currently facing. I don’t want my father to marry me off to another man because i am a shame to the family.
It is a hurdle that I want to offload and create a better environment for my child too. I just want to be able to dream again. Dream of a better future and accomplish my goals in life.”