LET’S TALK ABOUT UNDERLYING ISSUES DURING THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR GIRLS THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON THEIR DECISION MAKING PROCESS LATER IN LIFE

We will call her Jemima. When she was in form one, let’s call him James, their class teacher took note and an interest in her because she was a good student. By good I mean she always excelled in her studies, was in good standing as far as keeping the School rules is concerned and she was also good in sports. As a result James always rewarded her with pocket money and other small gifts as earrings from the Maasai market or tshirts. He also always said to her that he would love to see her do well in life and that she holds a special place in his heart.

Jemima comes from a family of 3 siblings, both parents are deceased and therefore her auntie took custody of them. She (the aunt) was not well off financially and as a result asked them to work hard in school so that they would be able to help her as well as lift themselves out of poverty. So that’s part of the reason why Jemima took her studies very seriously. She also trained herself to make due with what was necessary in life and that sometimes meant sacrificing a meal so that her younger siblings can eat enough, because sometimes the portions were so little.

James was aware of her home situation and therefore requested for a full bursary to fund her education. She easily qualified based of off her character. Having no worries about how she was going to fund her high school education, Jemima now was determined to focus more and get high point grades. In her eyes James was an angel. Then …

So James invited her to his home, which was within the school compound. It was a weekend, within prep hours and she was afraid of the repercussion in case the teacher on duty found her space in class empty. He reassured her nothing would go wrong. So she went.

She found James had cooked her a meal. Cool. There was some light music playing in the background. Okay. So James asked her to relax and be comfortable. “You are a beautiful, intelligent girl and I really want the best for you. I want you to succeed,” he said as he came to sit next to her on the couch. She didn’t think much of it, well she was a little uncomfortable but James had been nothing but an angel, knight in the proverbial shinning armor so far, bless him. Next he took her hands in his and kissed them lightly. Uhmm okay. Then he leaned in and kissed her lips. At this time she was 16 years old and in form three. Then James told her she should be completely free with him, that he loves her and that she is special. She believed every word he said because every one of his actions up to this point, you know the bursary and gifts had proved this. And so he started to fondle her breasts, kiss and slowly breathe on her neck, suddenly she was feeling strange things all over her body. Shortly after her clothes were on the floor, with him gently caressing and kissing her, easing any fear she may have conceived about what was happening, then it was over. She was so confused she burst out crying. James hugged her and told her not to worry she was safe in his arms. He would love her forever. It was getting late and he escorted her back to the school. That night she hardly slept. She was consumed with so many thoughts. What had just happened? Why is she feeling so dirty and guilty, as if she has done something wrong? Well she had just had sex. Oh my god! Oh my god! I just had sex. The sex I have had so many of my peers talk about how of a beautiful experience it is. And how much enough of it they can’t have. That sex. But it didn’t feel anything like what her peers had said it is. Plus was teacher James supposed to do that? Was that okay? Her peers had talked about having it with old men, that they are the best lovers coz they know what to do. Well teacher James did know what to do, but why did it feel like that was wrong? Who can she talk to about it?

Suddenly she came to the realization, Sharon a few desks behind hers was also having sex with teacher James. Also Martha from another class was having sex with teacher James. Mary too, in form 4. Ooh and Janet from form 2. All this were intelligent girls like her and special to teacher James as well. It’s like after her experience, she was brought into this other reality where her bubble was burst. She had been too lost in her world of trying to pass high school, get into college via a scholarship get a nice job and lift her family out of poverty to hear all this other stories that her peers talked about so freely during their break time or in the dormitories right before bed time. How heartbreaking it was to discover there was nothing special to what she was experiencing with teacher James. Fearing though that she may loose her funding and reputation, she did not confront him. She let the anger, shame, guilt and a lot of pain sit within, this was bigger than her little feelings. Only she would combust every so often and lash out until she was scared of herself because she felt that one day she may do irreversible damage with those outbursts.

Fast forward to today, Jemima scored a B+, secured a place in a local university. She is currently pregnant from her boyfriend. Confused because no way her aunt can take care of that baby. Back in high school teacher James used to give her morning after pills to swallow after every sexual encounter. She continued with the same when she started college then one day she noticed her breasts were hard like stones. Visiting the hospital, she was told it’s as a result of the morning after pills she was taking so she required a certain procedure which she couldn’t afford. But she managed to take some of the HELB (Higher Education Loans) money, visited a herbalist who was way cheaper and the issue resolved. Decided no more morning after pills and that’s how she ended up pregnant.

Let’s talk about predatory behavior in our girl’s schools and how that later on impacts on the decision making of our campus girls. Let’s talk about how backgrounds and family situations of our girls predispose them to predators. Let’s really start having conversations about underlying issues and how to address them instead of laying too much blame on minds that have been too fractured to make sound life choices.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Please use this for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for seeking out professional help. The views expressed here in are  from my personal experiences as well as from those I have interacted with. And while one may resonate with what is shared, it’s not a substitute for appreciating your own unique personal experience. Always do your own research and due deligence on any topic to guard against being hoodwinked

Published by nasewangari

Clinical Psychologist| Humanist| Great passion for demystifying and decolonizing mental health

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