Monday, June 17, 2024

Single Mother Drowning in Post-Divorce Trauma Struggles to Raise Her Two Children

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By: Alieu Jallow

In one of the communities of Brikama, a single mother is grappling with the immense challenges of raising her two children following a divorce four years ago.

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The woman, who wished to remain anonymous and is referred to as Mariama (not her real name), shared her story with our reporter. She recounted the humiliation and mistreatment she faced from her ex-husband and his family after giving birth to two children for him, only to be abandoned.

Mariama explained that she was forced into an arranged marriage by her aunt at the age of seventeen, causing her to drop out of school. Eventually, she was cast out onto the streets after the divorce.

“After my ex-husband divorced me, my aunt, who arranged the marriage, sent me out of her compound in the middle of the night with my kids, saying she couldn’t take the responsibility of feeding us. That night, a nearby friend took us in while I searched for a place for my children to lay their heads. I had no family or parents to support me during that trying time,” she explained.

Being a single mother has been incredibly demanding for Mariama. Juggling her finances and personal well-being while pretending to be fine has been overwhelming, especially with the added burden of past trauma. She emphasized that healing from past trauma feels like navigating uncharted territory while carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.

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In her emotional voice, she highlighted how she has to pretend everything is okay to others while silently drowning in pain. She constantly worries about how to feed her two children, as their father has not fulfilled his responsibilities despite his stable financial status.

“It’s stressful, and I am barely happy most of the time. Every day, I overthink, which gives me sleepless nights due to the pressure. I have no family here, and I don’t know who my biological father is. I was raised by my aunt. My kids need me, and I can’t abandon them. Sometimes, I wake in the middle of the night and cry deeply while watching my children sleep, knowing that the next day is another mountain to climb,” she lamented.

Describing her journey as walking on eggshells, she admitted that she hadn’t been open about her struggles for years, often feeling helpless. She highlighted how some men try to take advantage of her situation when she seeks help to secure a job to earn a living and support her children.

“Anytime I go out for a job, men would ask for sex in return. In fact, I had to quit my last job because my employer wanted to have sex with me. Recently, I asked another trusted man to help me with a job, but he was asking unnecessary questions and trying to lure me in before helping. So I had to tell him to forget it. I wonder, if it were their sister, would they like such treatment? Men need to be more sympathetic,” she expressed.

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Currently out of a job, Mariama is battling not only with trauma and joblessness but also with societal misconceptions about her as a single woman renting a place to live.

“Many people think I am doing unscrupulous things when only Allah knows best. I would have preferred to live with my family, but my aunt sent me out, and I need a roof for my two children. I want them to grow up happy and be educated so they don’t go through what I am going through. But God knows, it has not been easy for me,” she sadly expressed.

Mariama’s journey is one she wishes no woman would have to endure, and she pleads for any support that can help improve her current predicament as the world bears down on her.

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