“I was once afraid of people saying ‘Who does she think she is?’ Now I have the courage to stand and say ‘This is who I am.’” – Oprah Winfrey
My mother’s daughter is two years younger than I am. Taller than I am. And more of a wife material than I am. She cooks, she cleans, she’s submissive. It doesn’t matter the ‘other’ life that she has, as far as she conceals it perfectly well, then she’ll always be the model daughter. I can’t pretend to be what I’m not, to like what I don’t, to settle for what I do not want, I am brutally honest in always saying my mind and much of it doesn’t go down well with the woman who pushed me out into this world. Hence my sister is my mother’s daughter, while I’m not.
My father’s son wakes up in the morning and first thing washes his car. Then she prepares breakfast and asks if he has any extra need of her. She can’t be her mother’s daughter so she can at least find favour with her father, he’s proud of her brains and admires her common sense and strong will, he took her accomplishments as a compensation for not having a male child, but like most men he still demands that she bend. And I will not bend to any person just because he’s a man and I am a woman. My worth is not in how much desirable a man finds me, what I can create in his kitchen, the magic I can perform in his bedroom, how good I make him look. I am my own person, but my father would not concur and slowly I stopped being his son because I would not agree with him.
My husband’s wife is carrying his child. She’s fair to look upon, speaks good english and cooks egusi soup well- nothing that I’m not. It should have been me but I insisted he took wine to my father’s house first. I accept the primary duties of a wife, being more domestic than her male counterpart, and I appreciate his respect for me not deeming me to belong only to his sitting room, kitchen and the other room. I believed we were meant to be, I finally found someone who both understood and accepted me (or I thought he did). I would undertake my responsibilities after he took kola to my father, but my husband wouldn’t wait and found someone who didn’t insist on him seeing her people first. So she became his wife while I shed off the title I almost had. They called the dizzying feeling I felt inside of me afterwards, heartbreak.
And me, all my life I’ve belonged to no one else but myself. I grew up with myself, I learnt to play by myself, look out for myself and fall in love with myself. Where no one wanted me I accepted myself and when no one praised me I commended my efforts. With each bruise from the numerous times I stumbled and fell, I learnt my lessons and wore my scars proudly as proof for battles fought and won.
I didn’t become my mother’s daughter but I taught her how to be a mother, and I taught my father the value of female children and I showed my husband and his wife that not everything that is called normal is right. When I accepted myself, the whole world also began to accept me.
In response to the daily word prompt ‘survive‘