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Question
Posted by: Tebogo | 2010/05/10

The Past Is Killing Me

I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl 11 years ago. Because I was still in school that time I took her to my grandmother in Limpopo when she turned 6months and after 2 months her father decided that he wants her baby back in Gauteng saying that is where he belonged. When she turned 1 year her father paid all the damages to my family as per tradition and my girl started staying with his family. In 2000 I got a job somewhere in Jozi and stayed in one of the townships of Jozi. My daughter stayed with my so called in laws from the year 2000 until 2004. And in 2005 my girls father got married and took my daughter from her mom to stay with her and the new wife. Huu sigh of relief from me. The wife took very good care of my daughter it was so unbelievable because during the period that she stayed with my in laws I could tell that she was not ok she was too scared of them and I was scared of them too why I guess it was a matter of coming from a very poor family and they are so ok with life leaving in one of the most expensive suburbs in Jozi and my child attending one of the best crè ches . But I was allowed to take my child every Friday and bring her back every Sunday.
Then the very same year 2005 I got a better job and bought my own house and I moved to my new home in 2006 and took my daughter from her dad and his lovely wife and gave them a big thank you.
Saturday night my daughter and I were watching the movie together and out of nowhere some song was playing and she said “ HOO MOMMY THIS REMINDS ME THAT TIME WHEN I WAS STILL STAYING WITH GRAN I USE TO BE SO SCARED TO EVEN ASK A DANON AND IT REMINDS ME ON SUNDAYS WHEN YOU USE TO TAKE ME BACK TO MY GRAN’ S HOUSE AND I DID NOT WANT TO GO BACK I WAS JUST TOO SCARED TO CRY.” 
Then she went on and on and say “ HOO MOMMY I CAN STILL REMEBER WHEN MY AUNT PUNISHED ME FOR NOT TELLING ME THAT HER SON IS WET MY AUNT SAID TO ME HEI YOU I TOOK CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU WERE STILL A BABY BUT TODAY YOU CANNOT TAKE CARE OF MY SON” 

I was deeply hurt because I thought she cannot remember all the things that I have experienced with that family.
I was deeply hurt knowing that my 11 year old child could still remember things that happened 5 years ago.
All the memories of the treatment that I have received in that family came back and I began to hate my ex who is her dad and his mother.
My child went through hell at a very young age all because of me
My child have this scary memories all because of me and I swear I will never encourage her to visit then again because most of the time I am the one who says “  Dont you want to visit your granny even if its for an hour and she will always says NO

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello T,
Children's memory for events when they are very young, is either rare or non-existent ( up to around 5 ) and unreliable till around 5 or 6. But then they do indeed remember some of what happened to them, just as the rest of us do.
The situation you describe was sad and difficult, and surwely less than you would want it to have been - but it was the best you could manage to provide for your child, and a lot better than the circumstances in which some children sadly have to grow up.
It is not your fault that she remembers some bad times - that was not your intention, you did not know it was goin g on, and you apparently had no good alternative at the time.
If she doesn't want to mentionn her granny, don't push her to do so. But don't make decisions on a Forever basis - maybe eventually she might want to visit - leave the door open for whatever she might want. If she is still troubled about what happened, encourage her to talk with you about it, and simply listen, and perhaps say you're sad she had a tough time then, when you weren'ty able to provide better for her - but don't make too much of a drama of it, or she may be upset because you're so upset.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Tebogo | 2010/05/10

And something that I have noticed now is I am too soft for her I do not want anybody to come near her I let her get away with watever because I feel like I was not there for her and people are starting to say my child is spoilt they call her Miss English

Reply to Tebogo
Posted by: Ag | 2010/05/10

The good thing is that u acknowledge that u r the one who put her through all of this..i will never understand mother''s who leave kids with other people.

Reply to Ag
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/10

Hello T,
Children's memory for events when they are very young, is either rare or non-existent ( up to around 5 ) and unreliable till around 5 or 6. But then they do indeed remember some of what happened to them, just as the rest of us do.
The situation you describe was sad and difficult, and surwely less than you would want it to have been - but it was the best you could manage to provide for your child, and a lot better than the circumstances in which some children sadly have to grow up.
It is not your fault that she remembers some bad times - that was not your intention, you did not know it was goin g on, and you apparently had no good alternative at the time.
If she doesn't want to mentionn her granny, don't push her to do so. But don't make decisions on a Forever basis - maybe eventually she might want to visit - leave the door open for whatever she might want. If she is still troubled about what happened, encourage her to talk with you about it, and simply listen, and perhaps say you're sad she had a tough time then, when you weren'ty able to provide better for her - but don't make too much of a drama of it, or she may be upset because you're so upset.

Reply to cybershrink

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