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What it means to... be mistreated by your father and stepmother

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Posted  Wednesday, December 4   2013 at  00:00

In Summary

With no biological connection, many step-parents see their partners’ children as a source of inconvenience. Andrew was such a child and he shares his experience.

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The past 15 years have been hell for me. This is all due to the mistreatment that I endured at the hands of my stepmother and father. I was born in 1994 at Mengo Hospital. At the time, my family was living in a single room in Nateete. Although my dad is a mechanical engineer, my mother had to work as a food vendor to supplement the family income. This continued even when my sister came along two years later.

When I was about four years old, I started noticing how violent my father was, especially towards my mother.

He would shout and hurl insults at her even over minor issues. When she asked for money for upkeep, he would instead abuse her. Those were the good times, the other times he would respond by hitting her using either his hand or a stick.

Things took a turn for the worst when my mother left the house in 1998 to go back to her village in Butambala. It did not take long for my father to replace her. He brought in another woman who eventually became my stepmother.

Even when she moved in, I still had hope that mother would return and we would be a family again.

But all these dreams faded when mother died two years later. A relative from Butambala called my father and told him about her death. We went to the village for her funeral.

A dance with deception
I never got to terms with my loss because there was a lot going on in our home. My stepmother had made it obvious that she did not like me. The frightening look she gave me said it all. During the weeks and months that followed, she would often come up with wild allegations.

She would accuse me of stealing her baby’s milk. The baby, a girl, who was 10-months-old, was from a previous relationship.

Since we all shared that single room, there were times when she would shamelessly seduce my father while my sister and I looked on. Honestly, what kind of person does this to a child? I was psychologically tortured to the extent that I started hating home.

We got used to this routine the best way that we could, that was until I got to Senior Three. At the time, I was studying at Hope Orphanage School in Katooke, Wakiso District.

My stepmother started making up stories which attracted our father’s wrath. The shocking thing was that he believed whatever she said about me.

The climax came one time when she accused me of deliberately pouring her baby’s milk. When my father learnt about this, he got a panga and threatened to kill me.

When I saw him advancing with it, I got scared and ran out of the house. But he was determined to finish me off and still chased after me.

I was only saved when he tripped and fell on the ground, hurting himself in the process. As he got up, he shouted that I should never go back to his house and if I did, he would kill me. That was the last time I slept in his house.

Wandering off
The two weeks that followed, I slept on the streets until I wandered into an open furniture workshop in Nateete.

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