I have written a story here on parents’ toxicity but the toxicity in the characters in my story is nowhere near Shiko’s upbringing.
Shiko is our Lipsete’s ardent fan and we want to thank her for choosing this forum to give her story of a life that in her words, would have been better if she was an orphan.
She says if Lawrence Waruinge had an upbringing such as hers, then she would understand why he did what he did.
“My friends think I am psycho because I kind of have justifications for Waruinge’s actions. Many times I dreamt about doing what he did until I realized that one day I would make my dream come true if I continued leaving in that house.” She tells me.
“That boy and I have so much in common. He is from Kiambu and so am I. He says his parents hated him and mine hate me too.
I am the second born but there is no sibling before me. He died and that is where problems started. I was four and he was five. A difference of one year, because I was an unplanned baby. I came unexpectedly when my parents’ hands were full with a newborm.
I am told that I am the one who killed him. I remember the details very vaguely but someone told me that as we were playing, I sat on his face and suffocated him to death.
I just remember getting a very thorough beating from my mother. People had to stop her from clobbering me.
They still call me a murderer until now. As for my mother, I make her sick literally when I am around. She has blood pressure problems and when I used to come home over the holidays, her blood pressure would rise.
They took me to a boarding school at seven in a school in Laikipia County. I was the youngest boarder in the school and it was the school owners who took care of me like their own. Imagine being a boarder in class one!
I sometimes think I am obsessed especially when am at home. When I used to live there, I would try my best to avoid upsetting my parents, yet trouble would find me anyway.
There was this one time I was in class six. We had closed school then and I recall, I must have slept on my bed and did not hear my small sister climbing the upper bed of our double decker. She was prohibited from getting up there to avoid falls.
As soon as I woke up, I heard a loud thud. She had fallen down and was now screaming at the top of her lungs. When my mother came to see what was wrong, my sister lied that I had made her climb the bed. She obviously did not want to be reprimanded for doing what she had been forbidden against, so she used me as a scapegoat.
Mother did not speak to me that day. When father came home that evening, they closed the living room door and held whispered discussions.
They called me later and my father got his belt off then beat me as mother was asking me confusing questions.
Wewe ni mtoto wa nani? Eeh? Wewe ni shetani! Unataka kuniuia watoto wangu wote? Eeh?
Then , I have this enduring spirit in me that I don’t cry when being beaten. My tears are inside. It’s my heart that cries. So my parents argue that my not crying is a sign of rebellion.
About other people knowing, whether family friends, relatives or neighbours, no one knows the real situation at home. I tried, when I was in form one, telling a teacher who was a family friend that my parents hated me and my parents reasoned with her that I was just being a teenager with the typical moods. When I came home from the holidays, they were very cold to me.
They made sure they made me regret telling the teacher. How did they do this? Every weekend, they would come home late with some chips wrapped in a hotel paper and give me for supper.
My small sister, she was around nine then, would spend the entire evening boasting of all the places she had been taken for tour. She one time asked mother in my presence,
“Mum mbona hujanunulia Shiko chicken kama ile tulikula?” (Why didn’t you buy Shiko chicken?)
Mother replied that it was too expensive.
I at one time wondered whether I really belong to my parents. Stories I have heard or watched in movies of children being exchanged in hospitals have made me ask myself whether they could be applying in my life too.
There was a time in form 3 , I was suspended from school because of hiding in the dorm during prep times. Unfortunately it was the first time I had decided to play truant.
I tried to plead with the principal that I would never do it again, because I knew going home would be hazardous for me. I begged her to give me any kind of punishment but she said the punishment for truancy was strictly suspension.
I thought of killing myself that day but I was too scared of even doing so. My heart was beating so hard as I took the matatu from Nyeri to Nairobi. Instead of being dropped at Muthaiga , in order to cross over and take another to Kiambu , I went straight to Nairobi. I wanted to be a chokora (street urchin)
I started to roam around the streets then I realized that I was being conspicuous because of my school uniform. People were staring at me. At one time , a vulgar man stopped me and told me that instead of walking down the streets, he could take me to his house and make good use of me.
A watchman who was manning a jewellery shop overheard him and ordered me to go home quickly. I became scared since dusk was setting in already.
By the time I arrived home, it was around 8. My heart was beating so hard when I knocked on the door and when mother opened it, I was so frightened that I just stood there,rooted on the ground until she asked me to decide what I wanted , to stay outside or come inside.
We retired to bed late at night, past midnight. For all that time, I was undergoing an interrogation of the same same questions.
“If you don’t want school, tell us and save us the money we are paying for your school fees. Do you?”
“Who is that man you went to see, because you can’t tell us that the school released you in the evening? Do you want to bring unwanted children in this boma? Do you think we will take care of it? Dare you! ”
They asked the same questions over and over and I gave the same answers but none was believed. We retired to bed, me in a very empty stomach.
I had to show that I was interested in school those two weeks of suspension as I spent every minute in my books.
My father is hard to understand. He can be good to me sometimes then when mother says anything negative about me, he becomes something else. It looks like he pities me at times.
I have never had a peaceful conversation with my mother. She still blames me for my brother’s death. She fears me, she even says that she thinks I will be the end of her one day.
The day I left, we had the most bitter arguement. I had had enough of their hatred. I think I felt what Waruinge felt that night, I just restrained myself.
My mother called out to me to help with kitchen chores. It was the three of us in the kitchen but the two of them having a conversation. I was doing my stuff silently, just listening to their talk. Then the conversation led to the topic of inheritance.
Then my sister said jokingly,
“Mum, you and dad are so rich. The husbands who marry us will marry wealthy wives.”
“Why can’t you read hard and get your own money, who said you will inherit anything? Besides you might get richer husbands who might not need your father’s inheritance.” She replied also in jest.
“Mum? Really? That’s not fair!” My sister protested.
Suddenly, mother stopped and looked at me. My sister stared at us too. I noticed it and asked what I had done yet I was minding my own business.
“You messed our lives. Your brother would have been the one to take all me and your dad own.” She said with such bitterness.
I broke that day. I asked mum what it would take for her to forgive me. I asked her why she hated me so much. Whether she was really my real mother. I told her I would rather die now , the hate was too much.
She answered back and opened her heart to me. She said she wished I wasn’t born. That I was a child born by mistake. She said she had tried to love me but she was unable. She even told me that a spiritual seer had told her when she was pregnant with me that I would kill her one day.
I was holding a knife and I felt a strong urge to pierce it through her so she could feel how her words were stabbing me too. After a lot of deep restrain, I dropped it and held my heart then calmly asked her how she would feel if I left that house and she told me to leave as soon as then.
I ran to the bedroom and started packing. My sister tried to stop me but mother kept shouting at her to quit pleading with me.
I left the house and went to dad’s place of work. I told him what had transpired and that I wouldn’t want to go back. He tried to coerce me to go back and make peace with mother but I refused so he rented a room for me near our college, bought some essentials and promised he would mend things out. A few days later he called and said maybe the house would be more peaceful when I was away.
I said it was ok but it hurt a lot to know they did not need me. My best friend is an orphan and she has survived life without parents. She has a greater parent and I have adopted HIM too as my parent because Abbah Father sees our hearts.
Sudden pangs of rage used to attack me that would make me feel like revenging. My sister is seen as an angel, as one who does no error, I sometimes feel strong envy towards her. Of course I need help because bad thoughts often creep in my mind but I push them away.”
Parents, its our duty to love our children unconditionally, forgive, take good care of them, guide them when they go wrong . I am not justifying anything but they say, it takes two to tango.
Children, no man is perfect, parents can also be wrong. Forgive them, love and respect them. Without them you would not be. Value the sacrifices made by them for you.
Names changed to hide identity.
(COUNSELOR FOR SHIKO
NEEDED AlREADY FOUND.)