They say life is good when you are happy and happiness comes with ease when you are in the right place, with the right person and with the right attitude towards life. That was my life, I was happy, I was living life in its best and purest form and this is my story. Grab a pack of pop corn and a glass of chilled orange juice because you are about to feel a mad twist of emotions. Trust me, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride.
The room was quiet with all eyes on me, the only noise was the sound of my voice and the ‘tick-tick’ sound from the wall clock in the room. I looked at the faces of the ten participants in today’s discussion and I smiled a half smile to reassure myself that I was in safe hands. I’ve been with this group for ten long months and I know the story of each person sitted at the table but never got the courage to say mine until today.
I took a sip from the glass of orange juice in front of me and began. Growing up, I’ve always loved the concept of getting married as a young adult and this was influenced by the lives of our then neighbours- the Dachungs. They were a young couple in their late 20’s and their first child was already seve ln. I loved the fact that life was beautiful for them and that they’ll get to have a second honeymoon in their early fifties or even their late forties after their second and last child must have left to start his own life. I wanted just that for myself. Happy days in my youth and happiness in my old age going through all of life’s crisis everything the husband of my youth.
I worked hard towards living up to my expectations, I studied hard in school and passed my exams well. I finished high school at the age of 15 and by the time I clocked 21, I was a graduate already and so in love with the love of my life who finished from my university two years before me and was working already. I served in the National Youth Service Corp’s program and kick-started my baking career as a full time job whilst running a profitable poultry farming business at the side. I got married at 23 to my husband who was 25 at the time.
Life was beautiful, I was happy, we were both happy in our marriage until life took a bitter turn. Dave, my husband got involved in a motor accident spent days in coma and by the time he woke up, he could not recognize me as his wife, rather, as a worker in the poultry behind his house. The doctor said he suffered from partial memory loss and of everyone, he forgot me- the wife of his youth. The doctor said he needs people he knew from the past around him as it might help him recover but the moment I was identified as his wife, he became violent.
He had no memory of me except of one day when I was collecting eggs from the poultry behind the house and he was there. After days of not recognizing and resenting me for daring to identify as his wife, I was asked to vacate the house for the meantime, at least before he regains his memory of me. I moved out of the main house and into the boys quarters as a benefactor of his goodwill with the story that he’s been letting me stay there for sometime after I lost my house to a fire. I stayed there so we bump into each other occasionally which might help with his recovery. Everything about me was wiped from the house, and from his phone. He was not a social media person so we did not worry about him bumping into old pictures of us. We let acquaintances know about what was going to avoid mix ups.
To crown it all, I discovered I was two months pregnant by the time Dave was discharged from the hospital. It was one news we waited eagerly for for some time and by the time it came, I could not even share it with him. His family and mine were a big support to me and my baby girl and like they say, ‘time is slow when you are sad’, ten years went by slowy and painfully with me as a single parent living in the boys quarters of my own matrimonial home unable to point my baby girl to her real father and most of all, watching Dave move on with his life forgetting me in his absent past.
I watched my husband grow through the ranks at work, got a new girlfriend and even married her. His family let her know about the true state of things and that her marriage to him is not valid as he is still legally married to me but she didn’t care, after all, he showed no signs of remembering me. They had a court wedding and she ensured that I was shut out of his life by sending me out of the boys quarters and built a fence separating my poultry farm from the main house. At a point, even his parents asked me to move on and be happy. They witnessed the pain I went through and were so sad that they could do nothing about it.
I stood firm as the wife that the bible preached, the virtuous woman and the one who swore the ‘for better for worse oath’ before God and man. It took one look at the mirror ten years after the accident after putting my daughter to bed one night to realize that in the bid to help and save my husband, I lost myself. The only thing that kept me going was my daughter and my business. I was a complete shadow of myself. Looking like a fifty year old woman in my early thirties. Nahh, I did not like what I saw and that was the turning point. I took a bold decision to stop mourning and to move on with life.
I finally accepted that even if Dave comes to senses, the best I can do is introduce him to his daughter. As much as I loved him, I needed to let go to stay alive and be free for myself. I can’t erase the new life he has built with his new wife even though they had no kids as he lost his ability to procreate after the accident.
I realized that I can’t pretend that the last ten years did not happen neither can I forget all the times I saw he and his new wife so in love and I was right there watching with my heart breaking into a million pieces. I got into therapy and my therapist suggested that I join this group and so far, It’s been amazing. I’ve grown to love myself and appreciate life again. I’ve gone past the hurt that I can now tell my story to the world.
I am happy that I did not realize later in life that this life is worth living even after all I’ve gone through watching my plans for life go down the drain. Oh and yes, Dave finally remembered me. It turns out that his beautiful new wife have been popping pills into his tea to make sure he doesn’t when she realized he was regaining some part of it. Eventually, he found out and avoided the tea she gave him.
They got divorced while I was undergoing therapy and he came back to me. I was happy for him and happy for my daughter but going back to him as his wife seemed like a step back into the monstrous memories of my life that I was just managing to forget. Even the church haven been witness to what happened and how it affected me, granted us permission to live as separate partners as divorce was not an option.
I know that maybe in the coming years, I might heal completely and go back to my husband but for now, I choose ‘peace of mind’. I am still trying to heal from the past and find peace in the present. I am learning to accept that life happens and that all that happened was nobody’s fault. I am learning to look at my husband and feel calm in my spirit. I am learning to accept that we may make plans and life may play out in the opposite but then, it’s never too late to start again.
Until these are done, I cannot go back to Dave. I still love Dave and will do till the day I breathe my last but a broken vessel cannot hold water and so I need to be moulded again to be able to start all over again with the husband of my youth who was absent for the better part of my early youth.