Wake Me Up When It’s All Over. When I’m Wiser And I’m Older. 

As we were preparing to get married, E shared a “tradition” from back home that he wanted us to partake in. This might be difficult to explain as it’s regarding names and I try to avoid them, as well as the fact that the “tradition” turned out to be 100% fake, and we did something that I’m, to this day, trying to remedy because E felt like making up some random story just for shits and giggles.

The tradition he told me went something like this… and keep in mind at this point, I’d never yet been to Kenya, and I had no reason to doubt anything E was saying, because quite frankly I never thought anyone would be capable of making up stuff as extreme as this just… well just because I guess. I’ll never actually know why he did it.

Anyways, he told me that when a man gets married, at least in his tribe, it was custom for him to drop his last/surname and have his middle name became his new last name. So from that point on, he’d only be known by his first and middle name.

So if I was dating a Billy Frank Smith, when we got married he would still be known as Billy, but our new last/surname would be Frank, and Smith would be out of the picture. He said then as a man, you would be starting your own family and be more removed from your Dads ‘tribe’. Also, to make it even more complex, the middle names were to be chosen from a limited group of ‘family’ names. So that the man could still be recognized as part of this certain tribe. He said they do it this way so that as a man gets married it is his way of starting his own tribe/family.

I hope I’m explaining it well, because trust me it was confusing as heck to me. Probably because it’s not a tradition that his tribe had been following for centuries or has ever done. It was something E made up in his mind. But I trusted him, because this was the man I was going to marry so I figured he was telling the truth, and I had no reason not to believe in him.

Therefore at our wedding we had to make it known during a speech to explain how we would be known as Mr and Mrs M. instead of the expected original Mr. and Mrs. S that everyone was expecting. Since E was still dealing with immigration issues though and both of our names were on so many of those documents at that time as our maiden names, neither of us changed our names at that point, which was for the best. The person it has affected most though, is little E.

When I became pregnant with him, more about this whole name thing was ‘explained’ to me by E. About how the middle names should be chosen from selected tribe names etc. At this time, our plan was that we would be moving to Kenya and living there on a more permanent basis, and I really wanted my kids to fit in as much as possible and was counting on E’s advice to make that happen. So E supplied me with a list of about 5-7 male names from his family tree that we had to choose from for little E’s middle name, that, according to E would one day be his last name once he married. We settled on a name that sounded good when said start to finish “little E, then the chosen middle name (also started with M) then the last name M’ that we would all have one day once we finished our paperwork. So it was decided. I thought. Until literally 5-10 minutes after I had given birth to little E and I was drugged up and totally out of it and E decides to ask if we can change everything we had previously decided on.

Instead of the original E.M.M, for the newly born baby boy, he wanted little E to be named E.S.M. So that little E’s middle name would be E’s current last name starting with S. So that when little E gets married and drops the last name of M, he will have E’s family name of S remaining. Confused? I was too.  I said yes, because I just didn’t care at the time, I was just glad my baby was healthy and I had successfully brought forth life. Plus I had JUST given birth, and was in no position to argue.

So little E now had the initials E. S. M. Not to bad eh? Well, it was fine, until we flew with our little boy to Kenya, where lo and behold, his family and pretty much everyone else in the entire country told me that E was full of crap. They’d never heard of that tradition before. I was mad. Now E has gone and messed with our kids names! And for what???

I confronted him about it and all he could say was that he must’ve been mistaken, and that oh ok, we’ll keep the original S last name like usual. I couldn’t believe it. Did he not realize that now little E has the S middle name and now E says it should be his last name too!?!? Like are you kidding me? Your want our son to be called little E then Smith Smith for example? No thanks.

So I bring it up today because little E has finally chosen a new middle name. He understands that his middle name of S will now be his last name so he can match Z and Dad and Mom and all share the same last/surname and since I am too stubborn and did not want little E to just have his middle name and last name switch place, mainly because I don’t want E to have that small pleasure of having his family name remain after all the chaos his lies caused. So we’ve been taking our time deciding on a brand new middle one. And little E choose it today.

We’ve read through many names and meanings and little E choose the name Theo. It means divine gift and he loves it and although there are others that I might prefer, I don’t mind giving him the lead on this choice as I can see the confidence it gives him. Plus it’s a step up from last summer when he wanted to change it to Tyrannosaurus. Plus if it was that awful I would always veto it. But I think he choose well and I’ll be working on the legal process to change it throughout the coming weeks. Oh and yes, it’s already been documented in the divorce that I can change his name without consent from E, because of the exact reasoning above. So we’re in the clear. Although I did inform E of little E’s choice and he is fine with it.

So, I guess all I can say is I’m not a fan of fake tradition.


-Avicii/Wake Me Up-

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Do You Like The Taste, Stuff It In Your Face, It’s Not Nice To Waste.

Tuna Casserole is THEEE most disgusting meal known to mankind. I’ve eaten a lot of “different” foods in my life, but still to this day I have a huge hatred towards tuna casserole… or what was passed off as casserole while I was living in Namibia.

Since the orphanage operated off donations and volunteers, funds were tight and meals were far from glamorous to say the least. The meal schedule was repeated on a weekly basis and every Wednesday for lunch was supposed to be tuna casserole, but what was served in those well used metal bowls was so far from anything recognizable its pathetic. The volunteer who was “cooking” while I was there (bless her heart) sucked at her job. She was a wonderful girl from the Netherlands and honestly tried her best, but the slop she produced on Wednesday at lunch led me to a weekly fast. Like for real, how is it possible to destroy something so hard it was no longer recognizable? The noodles were way overcooked and mashed to a pulp, and I didn’t know that much salt existed in the world. Also, who in the world puts a whole jar of MUSTARD in tuna casserole? Like for real? Needless to say, I have avoided anything that might remotely resemble tuna casserole since.

While there, I also ate Boa Constrictor for the first time. Who am I kidding, it wasn’t the first time, it was the only time. My good Aussie friend F, took me out to a fancy meal in downtown Windhoek one of my last nights there, and we did it up Namibian style. Ordered all the best local cuisine, which of course consisted of Boa. Delicious. OK you know how people relate most new foods to chicken? Legit. Boa tastes like chicken, but even better if possible. Think pure tender meat, no fat, mouth-watering amazingness. Like chicken on steroids….Or chicken unaffected by steroids, your choice.

Not delicious though? Chicken in Kenya. Now hear me out, sometimes it was pretty standard, everyday chicken right. But, sometimes, I was invited into someone’s house for tea or a visit, and they would insist I stay to eat. Then, unbeknownst to me, they would slaughter a hen fresh from the yard, and cook it on the spot for me. This was to show how much they appreciated me being a visitor in their home, and how much they respect me. OK, I totally value that, and I’m 100% thankful for their act of appreciation. What I wasn’t so thankful for? The fact that when they cook the chicken, they normally boil it complete with head/feet as well, then when they serve it up, they would insist that I get those two pieces. Wow, thanks? Here I am just wanting a good ol fashioned chicken breast please. Give me the dry chewy chicken with ugali and sukuma wiki and I’ll be fine. But nope, they want to serve me “most desirable” head and feet. And I don’t even know where to start. Seriously? Is there even actual edible meat on the feet? And don’t get me started on the head. There’s two damn eyes and a beak on that thing! Nope. I couldn’t do it. No matter how many times I was served that “fresh chicken” I couldn’t bring myself to put those portions in my mouth. I would end up slipping it to a kid standing nearby, waiting with bated breath. They were always so excited to get the coveted item they would quickly sneak it outside and I knew they wouldn’t rat me out, since they got to enjoy it. So at least it was off my plate, I didn’t have to eat it, yet someone enjoyed it, I figured it was a win win situation right?

Another disgusting Kenyan cuisine? Goat. I just gagged a little in my mouth. Every time goat was served I just wanted a simple plain old piece of bread instead. But NOOOOO. I was apparently super lucky to be having goat, and I should savour every bite. My first time trying it was Christmas 2010. E, little E and I took the 12 hour bus ride on the literal worst roads in history of roads and arrived at my in-laws to celebrate the holiday. It was also my first time meeting many of my in-laws so that was stressful in and of itself, but focusing on the food… E’s family and friends came from all over the country to celebrate with us since many wanted to meet myself and little E. It was decided they would slaughter the goat the morning of the 25th. The WHOLE day, it smelled like goat you couldn’t escape it. First, they roasted some of it. Fine. Then they boiled most of the rest. For hours upon hours, until it didn’t even resemble food any more. Lets just say Kenyans are not really known for their amazing cooking. Like when was the last time you heard anyone say let’s go check out that amazing Kenyan restaurant, I heard its great? Never. Because they don’t exist. But their coffee/tea? Off the charts!

Another thing I tried there was locusts. They were ok I guess. It was mainly about me getting over my fear of sticking a living breathing bug in my mouth and chewing it up, but I did! Yeah me! The kids convinced me they were so delicious, and it was hard not to believe them, since they were running around like crazy trying to catch as many as they could to shove them in their mouths. So I joined in the fun. I caught one of my own and shoved it in live and wiggling, amidst the squeals of delight from all the children. It was so bizarre, how it fluttered around inside my mouth a couple of times before I had the courage to bite down and swallow quickly.

But, at least now I can say I did it. Can say? Is that an achievement? Oh well, I did it. And it tasted a million times better than tuna casserole.


-Alice Cooper/Eat Some More-

B*tch Better Have My Money, Pay Me What You Owe Me

$36,408.00 That’s how much E currently owes me in back pay for child support.

I’ve been trying to sort this thing out with my lawyer for what feels like forever now, and I feel like (hopefully) we’re nearing the finish line with this whole divorce. To be honest, it could’ve been much worse than how it’s gone though.

Yes, E is extremely difficult to work with and I have a love/hate relationship with leaving the kids with him, since while technically I get a break from them, I spend the whole time worrying about how he’s probably not caring for them properly.

But to be truthful, we’ve had a fairly amicable divorce. There’s none of that “trying to get the kids against the other parent” stuff happening. One, because E just lives in his own little world in his head and that’s too much thinking on his part to try and manipulate little brains against their mother, and two, I don’t waste effort on bringing him into our conversation in my house when he’s not around. If the kids ask to call him, I let them for sure, although it’s only Z who does and maybe only once every 2-3 months. Also, to avoid conflict, my family and I have come up with a code name for E so if we want to discuss the divorce or anything about him and the kids are around (although we try to avoid that) we can use his alias and then talk freely without worrying about tainting the kids view of him.

We also didn’t have that unspoken “competition” to see who would find a successful new relationship first. Basically because I feel like E would most likely never be in a relationship again. Now don’t get it twisted, I totally think people with severe mental health issues can be in long lasting healthy relationships, but I just unfortunately don’t see that happening for E. He’s just not capable of it. As for me? I really wish him the best, and if he does find someone to marry…. I would wish them all the best like literally because they would need it, but I wouldn’t feel pressured to race to find someone myself if E was “first”. To each their own you know.

But now after 3 years and 2 months since filing for divorce, 2 lawyers, and one psych ward lock up later, we’re nearing the end (again fingers crossed). Plus it looks like it will be worth it. $36,000+ worth it.

When I think of that amount… I get frustrated. I think of the standard of life my kids and I have been living for the past 3 years, while we could have been enjoying 12 grand more a year? It pisses me off. My kids could’ve had those lessons they wanted instead of chilling at home every night. Or the newest toy for Christmas that everyone was talking about instead of new pyjamas and underwear. We wouldn’t have had to live with my parents until a year ago. Their college funds could’ve been jacked by now! It just would’ve, and apparently should’ve been much better in the past if E had paid up like he was supposed to. But since he’s a cheapskate, my kids missed out on some things that should’ve been theirs. Although in the past little while, since I finished school and got a job, I’ve been able to provide all those things on my own. And yes, the support E sends each month, although not as much as he’s supposed to send, is welcome, it’s just nice to know the kids and I would still be alright without it.

Now… I just have to plan a nice $36,000 vacation! Suggestions?


-Rihanna/BBHMM-

I’ll Choose To Survive, Whatever It Takes 

Yesterday I took my kids to the zoo, where I got my first mosquito bite of the year. I’m sure no one’s a fan of mosquitoes, but I have a particular hatred towards them. When I lived in Kenya they took an extreme liking to me. I could stand in a group  of people, didn’t matter how many, and the stupid insects would choose me to bite, and ultimately infect me with Malaria. I’ve officially been diagnosed with the deadly disease on 5 different occasions, and I can tell you first hand, it is not fun, but one time in particular was much worse than the rest.

It was the first time we had moved to Kenya, and we were living in Nakuru when I began to feel ill. I’d never had Malaria before so I wasn’t sure what the symptoms were or what to do about it. Yes, I had all my immunization before I traveled, but there are many different strains of the virus and the shots cannot protect from them all. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Anyways, I became weak. So weak, because I couldn’t keep anything down (or in or up or however you want to put it). I lived in the bathroom with a bucket because for the first 4-5 days it was coming out everywhere, all the time. I tried my best to stay hydrated, knowing how important that was, for myself and because I was nursing little E, but it got to the point that I couldn’t even keep water down. I tried drinking pineapple Fanta (in place of ginger ale) one tiny capful at a time to settle my stomach every six hours or so, and I couldn’t even keep half a grape down. I easily lost 15-20 pounds over the course of the maybe 10 days total that I was sick.

Finally, about a week into me lying in bed/sitting on the toilet, E suggested we go for a walk, and that all I needed was some “fresh air”. What I didn’t know at the time was that we were out of groceries and he wanted me to help him do the shopping. And, in his romantic fashion, he offered to carry little E, ohhh thanks 😒. So after about a week of being literally the sickest I’ve ever been, I got dressed (barely) and started out on what was normally a 45 minute walk to the Tusky’s Supermarket. Well this time… it took almost 2 hours. I had to stop every 5 steps or so to prevent myself from passing out or throwing up (throwing up what, I don’t know since I hadn’t eaten in days, but my stomach was churning). When we finally got to the store I made E go inside and do the shopping alone, because I didn’t want to throw up inside.

Then, because I was so exhausted, I insisted E find us a tuktuk to drive us home because there was no way I would make it back without dropping dead plus E had also expected me to carry half the groceries?!?! Seriously? Nope I wasn’t moving. I literally sat down in the middle of the parking lot until he found a tuktuk to take us home. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and for me that was staging a “sit in’ in the parking lot.

Once home, it took me two days to “recover” from the walk before I finally told E I needed a Doctor. I realized this wasn’t just your standard Kenyan food poisoning and it wasn’t getting better on its own. So instead of calling a piki piki for me to ride on to the hospital, E suggested we start walking and we would just hail one on the way. Again, I’m past sick. Past exhausted, or the point of arguing. I’m just wanting to get better. So, I struggled to get dressed, puke up nothing a couple more times, and we start off on the very slow walk to the clinic.

Of course, with my luck, not one piki piki drives past us the entire time. And E just watches me struggle for an hour trying to get to the clinic instead of call any of the drivers he knows. But finally, we arrive.

The nurse or doctor or whomever takes my blood to go figure out what’s wrong and as I’m waiting I have to go. Like GO. NOW! So I rush across the hall to the “bathroom” which is a literal hole in the floor. Ok, fine. Since living in Kenya I’ve gotten used to the whole squatting thing, but as I frantically look around I noticed there’s no toilet paper. That’s where I draw the line. I’ll squat fine. But I have to wipe! Especially in a “hospital”? How unsanitary! So I run back to the Dr’s office where I remember seeing some Kleenex on the counter and the tech is in there so I quickly ask if I can use the tissue and grab it without even waiting for a response. I RUN back to the “toilet” and barely make it in time.

Then, I have to casually walk back to the office and discreetly place the tissue box back on the counter like no one knew what was happening, while totally worn out by the sheer effort of the running. Meanwhile the tech is politely pretending he didn’t notice anything, how kind right?

About half hour later, my blood work had been analyzed and the results were in.

Turns out, I had BOTH Malaria AND Typhoid! WTF! Not one but TWO deadly diseases at the same time! No wonder a walk for some fresh air didn’t do anything lol. I was actually dying. Literally DYING!

Anyways, the Doctor said he’d never seen anything like it before (story of my life) and gave me a whole bunch of different medications for the various diseases and dehydration. Then sent me on my way. I refused to leave (again) until E called me a ride, for which he obliged right away. Saying things like “Oh C, you’re so strong” and “Wow, you actually were sick”. He’s lucky I was sick and tired, because I just didn’t have the energy to tell him how I felt.

Needless to say, I’ve obviously recovered, just don’t ask me to donate blood 😏.


-Muse/Survival-

Nobody Said It Was Easy. No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

I’d like to say that once I got back to Canada things got better fast. But that would be a complete lie. It was hard. There were so many stressful factors I didn’t even consider when thinking the whole “leave E” thing through.

My parents let us stay with them for which I am so grateful and my parents were SO happy to have their grandkids back from Kenya for good. We figured out a reasonable rent amount, and each of us had our own room downstairs in the house I grew up in. It was nice to have built in babysitters with my parents but to be honest I never really went out. So most nights it was TV in between my parents on the couch. So cool, I know.

It took us about a week to get settled and over the jet lag. We took many trips to Value Village and Goodwill (thrift shops) to outfit the kids with winter clothes and a few toys. Considering we had just moved from +30 to February in Canada it’s an understatement to say we were underdressed and ill prepared.

I was still officially on maternity leave with Z so that helped financially for a bit, but I had huge credit card bills to pay off mainly from flights, E’s most recent one included, so I had to think about what I was going to do to support my kids. I had 3/4’s of my teaching degree already under my belt, but at this time I really didn’t feel like it was my thing. I figured if I was going to go back to school anyway, I might as well make sure it was something I was really wanting.

So I started taking multiple personality tests to see what kind of traits I had and which jobs they matched well with. I needed to make sure I made the best choice because I couldn’t mess anything up. I had little people looking up to me. After at least a dozen quizzes (no joke) I narrowed my decision down to the area of accounting/HR that I though suited me well. I found a program close to home that offered an accounting degree and payroll certification for across Canada start to finish in 10 months. The program was designed to be intense but for a faster finish. Sounded perfect for me, since I needed to be back in the work force ASAP making as much money as possible. I applied, got accepted and started all within a week.

I had to find childcare for my kids which was hard since I didn’t even have a regular babysitter. It took me a little while, but I found the perfect dayhome for them 2 minutes from my parents house and on the way to school. The kids loved it and D was and amazing lady.

Now I had to buy a vehicle. I looked around for a while at second hand ones that I could buy straight out with cash, but couldn’t find one I really liked, and that didn’t have any issues. I didn’t want to be dealing with car troubles with all the other troubles I had going on at the time. I ended up going to a dealership and buying the most beautiful Rogue for myself straight off the lot. It was the nicest thing I had ever owned/done for myself and it made me happy every time I looked at the car. I’ve had to sell it since then to buy my house so I currently drive a bucket of bolts I hate, but one day I’ll get myself a nice car again.

Then, there were the people I had to deal with. OH the people. Where to start.

My mom just kept comparing my divorce to hers like a gazillion years ago and the similarities were few and far between yet I was supposed to do everything how she had done it and all the advice was in her opinion super helpful… It wasn’t. She kept telling me about different laws that were so outdated, or paperwork I should file that didn’t exist anymore. It was frustrating. I just wanted to tell her what was going on without her telling me what to do. I just wanted her to listen. But that’s not my mom.

Then at a family get together about a month after I’d gotten back, my older sister R felt it was a good time to give me her opinion on my life. Now R is very dedicated to her Christian faith (her and her husband J are Pastors) and from her perspective, I shouldn’t divorce E. I should “separate from him. Separate forever, but don’t divorce” Also she felt it was appropriate to then tell me that, if I choose to remarry, her and her family would not be attending my second wedding. Her and her husband didn’t believe in divorce and remarriage and therefore wouldn’t support it.  Unless he had cheated on me. (Apparently physical abuse is ok according to God though) She felt she was being kind by giving me a heads up on this. I hadn’t even officially filed for divorce yet (I hadn’t even decided to get a divorce yet) and you’re already talking about my hypothetical second wedding? It was frustrating and made me feel like no longer discussing E with her.

*Since this time R and I have discussed this moment and I explained how it made me feel, and R has apologized for making that comment at that time and the insensitivity of it all. I have forgiven it and we have moved past it*

Anyways then in April, my little sister’s boyfriend D wanted to propose, and asked for my help. The last thing I wanted to do while dealing with my divorce from an abusive crazy ex is help other people in happy healthy relationships get engaged. Petty? Yes, very.  But I helped. I wanted to cry the whole time, but I helped. I also must’ve subconsciously been pissed because I was supposed to record the whole proposal on my phone, and I honestly thought I was videoing the whole thing, but when we went to watch it after there was no video. I don’t know if I forgot to press record or what, but I honestly felt terrible. Either way, she got a beautiful ring on her finger in a room full of her family and friends and flowers. I know she’ll remember it forever without the video… I hope :/

My dad sort of kept to himself about the whole thing. That was his style though. Mostly just let my mom do her thing.  But when my sister got engaged, I’ll always remember he brought up the whole “don’t you dare hurt my daughter, or I’ll kill you speech” And in that moment I was so mad at him. It was the same speech he had given E. I was his daughter. I had been hurt. And Dad… you did nothing. You literally did nothing. In the one moment I NEEDED someone to keep their promise to me, to protect me, to keep me safe. You did nothing. For a few weeks all I could think about when I looked at my Dad was how he let me down. I obviously don’t condone violence, and I didn’t actually expect him to do anything to E. But I did want him to shut his mouth about it. It was so hypocritical and made me feel like maybe I wasn’t worth it to him. It took me a while to get over it, and still bothers me to hear him talk about it. I’d rather hear him say nothing than false promises like that.

Then on top off all this, I had constant calls, emails, Facebook messages, texts you name it, from E and his family. Harassing and threatening me at every turn. I blocked all sorts of numbers and they would just call from other phones. Then, they started bothering my mom on Facebook.

It was no wonder that I became depressed and suicidal by the Fall of 2014.


-Coldplay/Scientist-

 

I Mean This Is Exhausting You Know We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

So today I was back at the airport for the first time since flying back from Kenya 3 years ago.

I felt like a deja vue kinda thing happening. I had to head out there for work to meet some of the guys we’d recruited for work and it was just a causal meet and greet before they headed for their shift up north, but just being in the airport was weird. The last 8 times I have walked through those doors I was either flying to or from Kenya.

People ask if I will ever go back, and I don’t think I’m strong enough for it. I love Africa, and yes I will go back someday. But not to Kakamega. Most likely not even to Kenya. I have a house there that I designed and paid for, every square inch, and I know people, but I can’t go there.  I’d love to travel to maybe Egypt to see the pyramids or something if it ever settles down in the area, or back to South Africa and Namibia again as far as Africa goes. But, no. I will not be going back to Kenya. There are too many memories I don’t want to have too deal with. Denial at its finest.

In the same way I will not be going back to E. He actually had the audacity to send me a text last week asking me to forgive him, and that we get the family back together.

UMMMM What?!??! Are you delusional? Ohhhh wait. Yes, you are. Here I am, just wanting this stupid divorce to be done with and finalized. It’s been over 3 years of back and forth and him. And now he wants to get back together. Like are you daft? It’s not the first time he’s asked me to get back with him, but I honestly can’t believe that after everything I went through, he would think I would want to go back.

E pic

So I texted him back and in the most polite and simple way (I’ve learned to use small words with E) explained that, I have forgiven him as best I can, but that doesn’t mean we will be getting back together.  A couple days later I got a call from him and I asked if he understood what I wrote. He said sort of, but he just thought we should be done with this divorce and move on. I told him this isn’t some sort of “phase” I’m going through. The only “moving on” I’m doing is without him. 3 years and he still thinks this is a joke or something.

So I asked him if he thought I enjoyed being his wife, if he thought it was nice for me. He actually said yes. So I asked him to name 3 times it was pleasant for me to be his wife. That’s less than one occasion per year of our marriage.

The phone was silent on his end. A good solid 30 seconds go by before he responds with “That’s a tricky question”

That’s the problem E. It shouldn’t be a tricky question. You can’t even think of ONE time where it was somewhat nice to be married to you. And you think I should do it again? This is your last ditch effort to win me back? Hell. No.

I’ve tasted freedom. And however hard and shitty and difficult and sad and lonely it may be sometimes… most times…It’s infinitely better then being with E.


-Taylor Swift/We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together-

Tell The World I’m Coming… Home Let The Rain Wash Away All The Pain Of Yesterday

I booked flights for about 10 days out. They were the right combination of cheapest and nearest in date. Well they weren’t cheap, but I just wanted out of there ASAP. Then, after I booked the flights and paid, I sent an email to my mom letting her know our itinerary and just an update on what was going on. I didn’t let anyone else know what was going on because I already felt I was being watched like a hawk with my in-laws visiting all the time, probably reporting back to E.  So I attempted to go about life as normal.

Until, I got a call from E. He apparently had been monitoring my email and had seen the email to my Mom. In reality, there was not much he himself could do about me leaving since he was back in Canada now, but that didn’t mean he made it enjoyable for me. He hacked my Facebook and made a single post saying “I’m divorcing E” My friends and family started reaching out to me before I had a chance to delete it. I’m never on FB so they all thought it was a little out of the ordinary and wanted to make sure things were OK.  Although the statement wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t how I wanted word to get out, for obvious reasons. So after changing all my passwords, I braced myself for what was to come next, while still trying to get over the fact that E had been keeping tabs on all my emails and social media without letting me know. Not that I had anything to hide until now, but still, pissed me off.

Visits from my in-laws increased ten-fold. In fact my mother in-law took it upon herself to just come and stay ALL day. No matter how many times I asked her to leave my house. She would come in the morning, and grab a chair and sit in the middle of MY living room, and order around my farm boy and whomever else had dropped in for the moment.

Calls from E were constant. To myself, to my farm boy, even to the neighbours. It became so overwhelming. To everyone.

So I decided to switch my flights. At this point I didn’t care how much money it cost to re-book them, but I had to get us out of there. I paid the $2000+ to change my current booking from a week out, to 2 days away. Then I started the packing. At this point everyone knew what was going on, so keeping it on the down low was pointless. I gave away most of the kids things to the neighbouring children. Clothes that had bee worn out by the Kenyan sun, toys that were replaceable, everything. I had very little to pack personally, since anything of mine that hadn’t fit in the 1 of 3 suitcases that fateful Sunday, E had taken upon himself to throw down the outhouse instead of burning like he had threatened leaving me with hardly anything.

I gave away our chickens to the farm boy and sent him on his way, thanking him for everything he’d done for me. We spent time with our neighbours, visiting and them crying, knowing in the back of my mind I was never going to return here.

Everyone was constantly telling me it wasn’t a big deal and I should forgive him. Which further cemented my belief that I HAD to get out. Now.

M had offered to help drive us to the airport which was in the town over after we pick little E up from school at lunch.  I had told her she could have our mattress which I had brought from Canada a few months ago. I felt it was the least I could do for them and everything they had done for us. Because finding a good mattress in Kenya? Is like me finding a good man.

The morning of the flights arrived, and lo and behold so did my mother-in-law. Whatever. What’s she gonna do to stop us? M arrived with her husband and 1 son to help with the luggage. They backed the van up to our back door and that’s when one of the most stressful days of my life started.

My M-I-L seriously thought she could singlehandedly stop us from leaving. She stood in the doorway and would refuse to move for anyone trying to get in or out with a suitcase. Everyone was super polite with her… “Excuse me, could you move please, I have to get out please,” then trying to squeeze past. Which wasn’t simple because my M-I-L isn’t a tiny lady. Then when she realized that her just standing in the way wasn’t working, she started grabbing the luggage out of the van. So M had to guard the van, while her husband and son brought the things out. But my M-I-L was still not impressed by that. She started grabbing things straight from M’s hands, which M was not having. My M-I-L even went so far as to push M away from some of my things, and then claim that M had beaten her!

I know, that in this moment I was not this most helpful person, but I honestly think I shut down. I couldn’t believe she was behaving like this. She started screaming and yelling and acting like we were the worst human beings in the world.

Then I saw my M-I-L walk towards the gate, so I rushed out the front door to get there first. I didn’t want her to close the gate and then sit in front of it or something ridiculous so that we couldn’t drive the van out. So I sat on the ground calmly in front of the gate holding I open with Z on my lap and watched her come towards me.

You could see the look in her eyes she was pissed. She knew that she was helpless in stopping me from leaving. She walked up to me and started on a huge rant. So I simply told her to fuck off. I know not kind or polite, but the situation called for it. Which I’ll always remember led to her saying “Yeah fuck me. Fuck me in the vagina” I hate to say I kinda chuckled at that. Then she grabbed her phone and called my father-in-law. She spoke in Swahili but I could tell she wasn’t happy. I also knew that what she was telling him was probably a lie. Seemed to run deep in that family.

M & D pulled up the van and then I got in with Z and we headed down the road. We got about 5 minutes down the road on our way into town to get little E from school, when I see my F-I-L racing towards us on a piki piki.

The piki piki pulls over and I see him pull a stone the size of Z’s head out of his bag. Which means at some point on his way to my house, he stopped on the side of the road and chose a rock specifically for this purpose. He stops in front of the van so D couldn’t drive. And then proceeds smashed the front of the window with the rock. M was yelling at D to drive past him but my F-I-L was standing right in front and D didn’t want to run him over. My F-I-L grabbed the rock again and slammed the front window again. By now, M is frantic, I can’t believe this is happening, and D starts slowly moving the van trying to get away.

I’m starting to panic. I have no idea what my in-laws are trying to achieve with all this, or what they are capable of. But D slowly starts to drive and my F-I-L moves out of the way. D speeds up and M is yelling at him to just drive! D can barely see out the window because it’s been smashed to bits by the rock, so he’s trying his best. But all of a sudden we see the piki piki pull up on my side of the van again with my F-I-L on the back. He hurls the rock again and it smashes through the front passenger side window shattering broken glass everywhere. M is covered in glass and yelling at D to drive faster. He’s doing his best to see through the broken window and navigate down the very rough dirt road that’s filled with pot holes. I was brushing glass off myself and Z, and all I could think about was little E.

At this point, I had no idea how far my in-laws would go to try and get me to stay. I was honestly worried that they would kidnap little E from school as like a hostage type thing. D drove off the main road to a friends house where they arranged to borrow a different vehicle for the remainder of the drive. You know, one without the windshield smashed in. I was the most frantic I’ve ever been. I just wanted to get my son and get the hell out of the country.

I called little E’s school and told them not to let little E outside at all. I asked them to please pack all his things and have him waiting in the classroom. I told the teachers to not let ANYONE else, under any circumstance, pick him up except his mzungu (white) mother. Not his grandfather, not his grandmother, no aunts, uncles. Nothing.

The new car arrived with a clear windshield and we switched the luggage. The car was smaller and so just M, and her son and I went in the new vehicle with Z. D stayed behind to deal with his smashed van. We got back on the road again when two minutes later, who pulls out in front of us? My F-I-L.  M’s son was driving so the rest of us ducked down so my F-I-L wouldn’t see us. We figured he wouldn’t notice the new car but we didn’t want to take any chances. And at this point I didn’t know what he was thinking or what he had spent the last 20 minutes doing/getting.

We sped as fast as we could into town but it still felt like too long. I called little E’s school twice more to make sure he was safe. We pulled up and I felt like it was a grab and go. I was on the phone with his teacher telling him when we would be pulling up and to get little E. The guard opened the gate and ushered little E out and we pealed out like we were filming the next installment of the Fast and the Furious.

Next, we had to make a stop at the police station to report what had happened to M’s van. I, myself just wanted to get out of town, but I realized this was M’s life and she wasn’t leaving the country. They still had to come back to this mess at the end of the day, so it should be dealt with properly. M filed her police report with a little input from me, and after about an hour we were back on the road.

The first airport was about 2 hours away and it was a stressful ride. So many crazy scenarios ran through my mind. Every ridiculous thing that could happen I thought would happen. I thought maybe my F-I-L might be at the airport when we got there. I thought he might make up all these absurd accusations that would affect me leaving the country for some reason. I’m pretty sure M could sense my paranoia. Her and her son offered to stay with me at the airport until I absolutely had to board the plane. But I was still so stressed out. I thought at any moment I would see the face of any one of my in-laws pop up from around a corner with who knows what to do any number of things. My mind was exploding with possibilities.

Imagination much?

It was finally time for my flight to Nairobi. I can’t even remember if I hugged M goodbye. I know I was so thankful for her and her family for everything they had done. I told her I would pay for the damage to her van. I knew as missionaries, they didn’t have extra cash to be throwing at things like that, and it was definitely not her fault. We would be keeping in touch for sure.

Once on the flight I had about an hour of peace. The kids were relatively good. I had told little E we were going to see Nanna and Nonno (my parents) so he was excited, and Z was only 6 months old so not much trouble there. Once in Nairobi though, I was paranoid again. I had more in-laws there, and I legitimately thought that one of them would show up at the airport. I also last minute realized that my 3 month visa had passed the expiry date, and I might have trouble with exit customs. Originally we were working on duel citizenship so I would have been fine, but now…. I grabbed a pen and altered my entry dates on my visa. I couldn’t handle any more issues, and I just wanted to get out of the country. I was desperate. Highly illegal yep, but this is how desperate I was.

I made it through customs by the help of my cute kids and talking about my Kenyan husband. No shame, because at this point I would do anything to get out. I finally relaxed a little once I was in the boarding area. It was the first time I think I took a full breathe all day. We made it to London without much trouble. Other then the normal perils of travelling with 2 small kids but not like I had a choice of travelling without them.

From London next was Toronto. Where I always get pulled over at customs. Every. Single. Time. This time though, I must’ve looked like a crack head. I’d been through a lot in the past few days and totally got it. But then they started asking little E questions like “”Who is this lady?” “What’s her name” and instead of saying mom he took it so literally and said what my actual name was. Which of course led to more questioning and a search of my bags. Like for real? Do you honestly think I want to be travelling with 2 little kids? Nobody in their right mind would do this for fun! Trust me, these tiny humans are mine and I am obligated to care for them! No human trafficking happening here.

We finally passed customs but had now missed our connecting flight to our final destination. I had to go through the hassle of rebooking (and paying extra for) the final flight a few hours later then the original. Then I grabbed some food for the kids and I and found a place to nap for a few hours until our flight. Once our boarding time came, little E was dead asleep on the floor. I had Z in a sling, also asleep and two carry-ons slung over my shoulder. I tried waking up little E but he was exhausted. No one was around to help so I had to try and pick up little E. I grabbed him as best I could by his arms and lifted him up to carry both kids. I ended up popping his elbow out. Not my best mothering moment, I know. Little E just wanted to sleep though, so even on the plane, he didn’t want me to touch his arm. I wrapped it in a blanket to keep it tight and still and little E slept the whole flight. Meanwhile, I was back and forth to the gallery making bottle’s for Z. During the last 2 days I had been so stressed that my body had entirely stopped producing milk for her. So even though I loved nursing my kids, Z was done at 6 months old, thanks to this stressful situation.

We got to my hometown a mess. Little E was holding his arm because I had popped his elbow out of place. Z was cranky because she wanted to nurse, and there was no milk for her only bottles. I was exhaushed and at my limit. I hadn’t slept in almost 50 hours, I had been through one of the most stressful ordeals ever, and I had no idea what was next.

But we were all alive and would be safe. And that was what was important.

M's pic

M’s van after the fact, posted with the following on FB:

“God never promised a problem free life but He does promise to never leave us. On Wed we were helping a friend leave Kenya when her family attacked our van. The father in law blocked the road and threw rocks at our windshield and then when we got away he came again to continue throwing another rock into my passenger window. God showed us a place to hide and many friends that came to help. We are bruised, cut and shaken up but very happy to be ok”


-Diddy&Dirty Money/Coming Home-

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now If I Go There Will Be Trouble And If I Stay It Will Be Double

I spent the next couple of days in what can only be described as a fog. I was there. I was alive. But I was definitely not thinking clearly. Everything was blurry. Fuzzy. I couldn’t concentrate on any of the mundane day to day things that needed to be done. The kids needed to be fed… I’m sure they were. They needed to be dressed, I remember seeing them walking around in clothes and then at night in pajamas but I have no idea how they got from one to the other. Diapers were changed, but I can’t for the life of me remember by whom. Life just happened. I apparently didn’t need to be 100% present for the world to keep on turning. E would be leaving in a few days back for work in Canada, and I just had to make it until then.

I did my best to avoid any talk of what happened on Sunday. His various family members came to visit, and I stayed in my room. I left the house to visit neighbours at every opportunity possible. Basically, if there was an chance to be away from E, I jumped at it.

Of course he apologized profusely, and constantly. But it wasn’t something I wanted to hear at the time. I told him it was fine, and that I was done with it, but it was more that I was done talking about it, than I had forgiven him in that moment.

No I didn’t feel comfortable around him. No I didn’t want him in my bed at night. No I didn’t want him touching me.

But on the other hand, I was trying to lessen the uneasiness in little E’s eyes. I wanted him to feel like everything was OK and that there was nothing wrong. I wanted him to be comfortable and happy. I didn’t want him to be scared every time he heard E enter the room… Like I was.

I only had to survive the next 3 days until this man was gone. If I  could get through it, then I would have some space to clear my head and think.

Unfortunately, the 3 days weren’t smooth sailing. Ha story of my life.  I’m drawing a blank about the correct terminology but, a council of sorts was called regarding E. The local elders all gathered at my house one morning and discussed (in Swahili, no less) the circumstances that had occurred on Sunday. I had no input in the conversation that was centered around me. As a white woman I wasn’t even allowed to take part in the conversation. I was relegated outside with the kids who interpreted as much as they could for me as we all held our ears to the door. But the jest of it, was that what E had done was bad, and he shouldn’t do it again… No shit Sherlock. At the end I remember they asked me if I agreed and I straight up told them I had no idea what they said, and it was rude of them to talk about me, without me, in a language I don’t fully understand, without invitation. And that they were welcome to leave my house now. I was done with people thinking they could discuss my life and somehow talking about it would solve all my issues. Because trust me, it was NOT helping.

Once E left Kenya for work, I immediately felt the change in the house. Our farm boy and I had many conversations about how he thought E was a “bad man” and he didn’t want to work for us any more. I asked him to stay with us until E came back since I didn’t know anyone else available/capable/trustworthy and I couldn’t handle the farm on my own. He agreed to stay. For now.

My in-laws were constantly dropping by “just to visit.” Mmmhmm, sure. I’ve been living here for how many years, and now all of a sudden you want to come over and see how the kids and I are doing? Screw off. My father-in-law literally came over everyday 5 days straight on his way back from town with a yogurt for little E, or raw beef for the dogs. He would boss my farm boy around and annoy my house girl. He’d only stay for about 10-15 minutes but it became the most frustrating part of my day. Especially when I would go for months without seeing him previously. Just how I liked it.

My neighbours were constantly at my house, just because. A few of the pre-teen boys skipped school for a couple days and I would see them around the yard helping my farm boy until I had a discussion with them about the importance of school. They told me they just wanted to help me out because they felt bad about what had happened. I told them I truly appreciated it, but school was much more important and they could come hang out after.

My house girl finally quit after being harassed by my father-in-law so much. Apparently she wasn’t doing well enough according to his standard. I had no one to help now. So my neighbours would come by every day to help me with the basics. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d gotten pretty good at life in the village, but it takes two for sure. If I needed to cook something, I had to gather wood, and start a fire out in the kitchen on the dirt floor between 3 carefully placed stones that would hold up the pot over a fire I had to build. If I wanted to shower, same process, but I also had to haul the water from the well. The clothes all had to be hand washed, so that meant hauling water every day, and then hanging them up to dry. We had no electricity so groceries had to be bought everyday fresh, since there was no fridge to store anything, so that meant at least a 3 Km walk one way for anything.  Dust was everywhere, so the floor had to be swept and washed daily. Not to mention the kids and the basics of keeping them alive. It was a two person job for sure. And now since my father-in-law had felt the need to stick his nose in, I was a (wo)man down. I wasn’t pleased.

One day I just needed to get away from the house and all the bustle. I decided to take little E to school in town instead of him taking his normal bus. I wanted some quiet time away from everyone who was trying to help. I hadn’t had free time to myself to process that Sunday yet. There had just been to many people in and out of my house, too many fake apologies, too many people saying “just forgive him.” All I needed was myself and my mind, unencumbered by other peoples perspectives and unhelpful advice. Thinking they knew what was best for me, but not knowing me.

After I dropped little E off at school, I walked. Plain and simple. I walked. The entire length of Kakamega and back. I made a pros and cons list in my head about leaving vs. staying with E and all the ramifications. I thought through every step that would have to happen in either circumstance. Which one would be more beneficial for myself and the kids.

Was I strong enough for either situation?

Was I capable of leaving him?  Would I be able to be a single mom? I never had a chance to finish my teaching degree, since I got pregnant with little E. Plus since then, we’d been flying back and forth between countries since E couldn’t decide what was what… I had no home to go back to. I had no job. What I did have though, were two kids whose lives I was responsible for. Two children who didn’t choose this man. Two kids who deserved all the best life had to give them, and that wasn’t happening if I stayed here, with E.

So, by the time I had made my way from one end of town and back, I had decided. I had made the choice to leave E. I called my mom right there on the street and told her. I asked if the kids and I could stay with my parents when we got back into the country. I needed to tell someone right away or I felt like I wouldn’t follow through and I needed to be held accountable for this choice. After my mom said of course we could stay with them, I hung up the phone and headed to the house E and I had built from scratch. That I had paid for 100% from my pocket. And hatched the plan to get out of the country.

When I opened my laptop to search for flights, I noticed the date.

It was Valentines Day, 2014.

The day I gave myself the most loving gift anyone ever has. The decision to leave an abusive marriage.


-The Clash/Should I Stay Or Should I Go-

The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day The Cat Came Back They Thought He Was A Goner

The drive away from my home and my life was quiet. I was doing my best to stay calm. I had my kids to worry about, and I didn’t want them to sense anything was more wrong then what was blatantly obvious…

Daddy had just beat up Mommy, and had packed up our things and kicked us out of the house. For honest to goodness, no apparent reason. When I first told this story to people, whether family or close friends, I could feel the hesitation on their part to believe me. “Common C, you want me to believe that he just randomly walked in and started swinging without any provoking on your part? MMM k…”

It got to the point where I stopped discussing it. I didn’t feel like I should have to explain the actions of a mentally disabled individual. Or feel like I was hiding part of the story where I did something completely horrible and therefore somehow his actions where justified. I know what happened. I was the one there. I lived it. I don’t give one fuck if you believe me or not. Your faith in my recounting my own story doesn’t change what happened. So once I felt like the people who absolutely needed to know, knew, that was enough. I wasn’t explaining it anymore. If you believe it or not. It happened. I chose to no longer waste my time trying to justify it to people whose opinion I really didn’t even care about.

My friend M who had come to pick me up, came with her husband D, and 2 of her teenaged boys. She had previously met E and wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she got to our place, but thankfully the reinforcement wasn’t needed as E had already left. The boys were so quite during the ride, playing with little E and just respecting my space.

Although space for what I’m not quite sure. I didn’t know what to think or feel. So I felt nothing. Well apart from mass amounts of physical pain, but beyond that I was numb. My mind was on pause. I couldn’t process any of what had happened. I kept thinking through the whole event of the morning, trying to figure out what I might’ve said or done that could’ve set him off. Trying to imagine what in the world might’ve gone on at his parents house that could’ve changed his mood so immensely. But no matter what path my mind went down it came back empty.

Literally nothing that had occurred during the whole course of the day set off any red flags that might be an indicator of E’s behaviour. Not even any orange/yellow flags. This was all on him, and whatever was going on in his twisted mind. This was a result of whatever his paranoid voices and hallucinations had lead him to believe and therefore act upon. Either way, not okay.

We finally got to M’s house in town and the boys spent a few minutes rearranging mattresses and bedding so my kids and I would have a room to ourselves. The boys hauled our few suitcases in and then they left us to settle for a bit. I remember apologizing to M repeatedly for the state of my clothes, and how I looked, because for some reason the fact that my bra strap was showing was an important thing at the moment?

M’s boys dug out an old box of hot wheels cars for little E to play with and I attempted to nurse Z and put her for a nap. I tried to sleep but my mind was racing.  Also my phone didn’t stop ringing. First it was E. Then his dad, brother, and sisters, calling repeatedly. I couldn’t answer. Finally after about 3-4 hours I shut the phone off. I didn’t care that he didn’t know where I was. I preferred it that way. I needed to feel safe for a little while. I was given some cold compresses in an attempt to stop some swelling but it just seemed like the swelling was everywhere. So instead I went for a shower. I remember looking in the mirror for the first time all day and seeing how bad I looked.

I will never forget that image. It was blurred through 2 swollen eyes. My lips were busted and covered in dried blood. I was wearing a strapless dress (the first one I could grab after E ripped off my other one) and my bra straps were showing also speckled in blood. I wasn’t wearing underwear as there had been no time to put on any more since mine had been torn off. On the back of my head was a large goose egg from where I had been slammed into the concreate and I could feel the bump growing as a reminder. Bruises had already appeared on my arms where I had tried to protect myself from him. But there were no tears in my eyes. Now was not the time for crying. The time wouldn’t come for years.

I quickly showered and M invited us for afternoon tea. Her and her family made it as comfortable as possible for us while still trying to give us our privacy. After tea, we let the kids play and M and I talked. Kinda. I explained as best as I could what had happened and just tried to get a grasp of what was going on now, and what my next step was going to be, but to be honest, I had no idea. And it would take me a couple weeks to figure it out for real.

I stayed with the kids at M’s house for 2 nights, but then I started feeling like I was in the way. I also knew that I would have to deal with life eventually and that this wasn’t just something that would go away if I ignored it long enough (my go to coping mechanism). I also couldn’t just live with M and act like this was our new normal. I had to decide what was going to happen, and so I finally answered one of E’s calls.

He was so so so sorry. Of course he was. But it sounded so sincere. And I was exhausted. I just wanted to have a proper sleep in my own bed. I just wanted to eat my own food. I just wanted little E to be back at school on the proper schedule. Besides, I knew E and I would have to talk about it eventually. So on the third day, I caved. I told E where we were, and asked him to come get us.

Yeah, I know what your thinking, but unfortunately this isn’t a made up story. I can’t change facts about what happened in the past. So it is what it is.

E came to M’s house and her husband D had a little discussion with him outside. We can all imagine the words that were said and how little was actually heard by E. Then he rode with our bags on one piki piki and the kids and I went on another. I took him back, but the whole drive to our house I didn’t think about it. I just rode. I just felt the wind in my hair and tried to breathe.

E apologized over and over again once we arrived home. But I didn’t want to hear it. I was exhausted. It had been a very long 3 days and Z little E were both beyond cranky.

I just wanted to be. Just be. I wasn’t up for long conversations and discussions or sorrys. I just wanted to be. Preferably alone. But E had other plans. His parents arrived shortly after we got there and had a big conversation about how what E had done was bad, but how I should forgive him… I don’t remember most of the details, I was past exhaustion. Mainly the just of it was them trying to save face. Keep things quiet. Keep our personal life personal. He made a mistake, and I should forgive him and move on.

I walked out on the conversation. Of course I thought it was rude of me to walk out on my in-laws like that, but I couldn’t take it any more.

I had come home, but that did not mean E and I were all good. We never were good. And we wouldn’t be close to half decent again.


 

 

 

Sunday Morning, Rain Is Falling /Clouds Are Shrouding Us In Moments Unforgettable

It was actually bright and sunny. But rain would’ve been an simpler reason to explain to my 3 year old son why Daddy had changed our plans for the day.

It was Sunday morning, Jan 2014, and the night before E and I had decided we would take the kids into town to go swimming for fun. E was in Kenya for 10 days between work and we wanted to make as much of the time together as we could before he flew back to Canada for another 20 day shift. Well I wanted to at least.

So when we all woke up that morning our son little E was so excited to be going into town. He loved riding the piki piki’s! And swimming too? Could it get any better than this?

E decided that he was going to make a quick visit to his parents house before we went to town. He left early morning to walk to their place … and when he left everything was fine.

But about 3 hours later when he got back our lives changed forever.

He announced that we were no longer going swimming. We weren’t leaving the house. Everyone had to stay. I tried asking him what happened, why’d he change his mind, did something occur at his parents, was everything OK? I reminded him that he was only here for a few days and he should spend some time with the kids. But he was having none of it. With no further explanation he walked out in a huff.

Little E was so sad. He had already packed his Thomas the Train backpack with his swim suit and towel and had been walking around with it on for the last hour with a huge smile. He ran after E calling out for Daddy but E ignored him. I picked up little E and explained that daddy had some other things to do and I would take him and his sister swimming another time.

I was sitting on the edge of our bed, holding little E, with our daughter Z (5 months old) laying behind us near the pillows, when E stormed back into the house.

He was silent this whole time, grabbing me by the arm and yanking me off the bed. I struggled to quickly put little E down and tried to walk out of the room away from the kids, when E started hitting me and pulling at my clothes.

Please bare with me as it all happened so fast yet it felt like it went on forever…

I was doing my best to defend myself against his massive hands that kept swinging towards me and for some reason ripping off my clothes. I kept looking for little E and telling him to go outside or back in the bedroom. I called for help since we had a farm boy that I knew was just outside, but no one came. It was just myself against E… with little E watching from around the bedroom door.

E punched me in the side of the head and knocked me over, I remember seeing my head-sized hole in our concrete floor. He’s now successfully ripped off my dress and underwear between punches and I’m left with just a torn bra, and I don’t even care. I’m just trying to make sure I’m left with my life, and that my kids are safe.

I’m fighting back but at the same time I’m trying to calm him down. I know that I’ll never be able to over power him. E is literally the strongest man I’ve seen in person physically. Mentally… not so much.

Either way I’m trying to deflect swinging fists and grabbing hands, while calling for help and trying to ask him what’s wrong/please stop, AND trying to hold all his attention so he doesn’t notice little E standing off in the doorway.

When all of a sudden he stops and walks away. Just like that. I jumped up and grabbed little E and went to our room and shut the door.

I look out the window and see him coming back. I managed to frantically grab another dress and throw it on and shove my phone in my bra. E had gone out and gotten the farm boy who was hiding in the kitchen. I don’t blame him at all. Our farm boy was about 16 and maybe 120 lbs. Not much of a match for E.

E instructed the boy to pack all my things and the children’s things into the 3 suitcases. Apparently E had decided to kick us out of the house.

I was told to sit on the bed and stay there while E and the farm boy shoved a few of our things into bags, informing me that anything that didn’t fit he was going to burn. Then after E left again without a word, and our farm boy helped me carry the luggage to a neighbors house as instructed by E.

My neighbor was having a bible study, so I literally hid in the kitchen while I called a friend I had met maybe 1 month before in town (while swimming with the kids no less). She was a missionary from the States, and as another white woman in Kakamega, we had bonded. I called her and in a surprisingly calm matter told her that E had beaten me up, and kicked us out of the house, so could the kids and I please come stay with her and her family for now.

She was all over that. She talked to her husband and they said they would be right there to get us.

Unfortunately “right there” was about an hour away since they lived in town and I was out in the village. So while I waited in the neighbors kitchen, word got around. Probably thanks to my farm boy. But people came to stay with me. Kids kept watch out for E. I was given a cool cloth for my swelling eyes.

Finally, my friend arrived. We put our bags into her van and the vehicle was surrounded by people. “Mama E, are you ok? Mama E are you coming back? ”

And then… E’s mom showed up. Someone had gotten word to E’s parents and my mother in law came. But she didn’t come to make sure I was ok. She was there to protect her son and her families reputation. She stood in the way of my friends van saying I shouldn’t go to the police, it was a mistake, stay at the farm, forgive him etc. My friend politely said that E packed my bags, and that I would be gone for now, at the request of E himself. Anything else could be discussed on the phone. And then started driving. Slowly, but it was a move or get run over type thing.

People finally moved. Kids ran after the van tapping on the windows for so long. They didn’t want to see myself and the kids leave. We had become family to them.

But when push came to shove… they would protect blood over us.

And the shove had most definitely come.


-Maroon 5/Sunday Morning-