DEAR AUNTIE ABENA,
I’m a very quiet and reserved person that if not for my family and how they took care of me, I would have been roaming the streets of Accra mad because of my step-daughter and her father.
My husband and I met at a Youth Camp. He was one of the Instructors who liked me so my camp mates teased me that I was his wife. Even when I grew up, went to the University, they’ll meet me anywhere and tease me with it. We met right after I was done with my Rotation and we hit it off from there. I never knew he had a 12 year old daughter and he waited till after we got married before he told me. It created some tension but I decided to forgive him based on the story he gave.
According to him, the mother dumped the girl on him when she was just a baby. His mother helped him take care of her. She passed on when the girl was about 6 years old so he went for her and since then she’s been with him. Any woman he dated would always tell him to send the girl away but he didn’t want to because she’s his blood.
From the first day we got intimate, he told me he prefers separate rooms because when he’s asleep and somebody touches him, he can hit the person without knowing. I loved him and the concept of sleeping in separate bedrooms was something I liked. All my life, I’ve shared rooms with my siblings and then my mates so this was something I wanted.
Hmmm little did I know what was going on. I remember one time, one aunt bi of his came to visit. It was the first time she came there. She just watched me and asked me a strange question, “so are you ok with all this?” In my mind, I thought she was asking me about being ok with having my step-daughter live with us. I said ok. She looked at me with a straight face bi and nodded. She never said anything again after that.
I don’t remember what really made me start thinking strangely. He never did anything bad. My step-daughter is a very quiet person and had a TV in her room so she will sometimes take her food inside and eat. She swept and helped me with any chore and never showed me attitude. It was how she will sometimes look at my husband like someone looking at her boyfriend that made me ask myself questions. He was treating her normal. I mean, there was nothing strange about how he talked to her.
I was always in my room after cooking. He will come to my room or text me if he wanted me to go to his. After we’re done, he’ll go to his room or I’ll go back to my room.
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One dawn, I woke up from a severe headache with nausea and couldn’t sleep. I had medicine in my washroom and water in my table top fridge but strangely I wanted the water from the main fridge. I went to the hall to take the water and saw the light in my step-daughter’s room was on.
I knocked on the door but she didn’t answer. I thought maybe she was in the washroom in the hall. I don’t know but I felt like talking to her. I didn’t go back to my room and sat in the sofa waiting for her. I must have dozed off because I woke up when I heard my husband’s door open and he was naked, she was naked and he was smooching her. Abena as3 (it was like a) dream. Then he started fingering her.
I heard this loud scream. They both saw me and froze. Then she ran into her room and locked it. He went back into his room to put on boxers and came out begging me to forgive him. That he’s sorry. He can explain. He’s begging me to stop screaming. I didn’t know I was the one screaming.
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He begged me to go to my room and he’s sorry. He’ll come and explain everything to me. I went to my room like a zombie and started crying. I could hear her crying loudly in her room but didn’t hear him say anything. I went to open the door and this man had locked me inside the room.
Abena, he went to tell all his friends that I’m going mad. I’m seeing things. I want to come between he and his daughter and have started accusing him of something he will never do. I accused him of sleeping with his own daughter. The girl was asked and she said she didn’t know what she’d done to me but I didn’t like her.
My husband tried to convince me that I dreamed about the whole thing and thought it was real. Everyone asked me if he had ever done anything to make me suspect he was sleeping with my step-daughter, I said no. They asked me, apart from that night, had I ever seen her coming out of his room or she from his room, I said no but insisted that I saw what I saw. This man twisted the whole thing so that I thought I was going mad.
My family had to take me to a psychiatric hospital because I was shouting at everybody to shut and listen. They stood by me and helped me out of it. I’m thankful to so many doctors and nurses who listened to me and helped me overcome this. The baby I was unknowingly carrying passed on (miscarriage) 3 months.
I got well and asked for a divorce. He moved away with his daughter to a different country. There are a lot of people who don’t believe me but I know what I saw that night. I wasn’t dreaming.