In our childhood days, we were denied lots of things. In fact, anything that would make us very comfortable were denied us! We had lots of people living with us, we thought they were our servants but we washed our clothes, washed the plates, fetched water, do some cooking and lots of other domestic jobs!
At my age… I felt I shouldn’t be doing those things since some grown ups were living with us. Aside that, we were not allowed to eat enough meat… It was always one meat for three or four persons and on a good day we would get one meat for two persons. Christmas and other special days were the only time we would have the opportunity to eat enough of chicken wings, legs or head… Other parts of them weren’t for us…
Drinking tea with sugar was highly prohibited! What about pap? We were forced to drink it without sugar too! I would remember those days at Redemption Model Primary School, my mates would come with indomie, rice and chicken, spaghetti and lots of other delicacies that were adored by kids! When I open my food flask, its was either ‘abacha’, garri and ‘okwuru’ soup, lots of vegetable and traces of yam or beans! Looking at my mates eat their indomie always sent my appetite on fire… My neighbor then, Chisom Gwacham always had my appetite on the run with her indomie but she never knew! One day, I had to beg for a taste of that indomie… She was my unpronounced girlfriend then at Redemption Model.
Friends were not permitted to visit home and we were not permitted to stay out for a long time! Aside going to school on week days, Scripture Union and Ascension on Sundays, we were not permitted to leave the house. We would stay at the balcony and watch other kids play ‘Game Start’, swing, race, football and other games and we only had to use our sitting room as a field. All the games we learnt via the balcony got us busy indoor! When we aren’t playing games, we were either doing things we saw ourselves good in! We would damage the already damaged TV, radio and other electronics to see if we would get them repaired! Sometimes it turns out to work and on other days, we spoil them the more! It was in this situation that we saw ourselves discovering various things we were good at… I discovered I could write and it kept me busy!
Things got worse for me after I was enrolled in a mission secondary school. Before then, I always go for early morning evangelism, I was known as the little preacher by neighbors but from the day I entered secondary school it seemed something was activated in me! I became a kleptomania at home but an innocent and gentle boy outside! I wasn’t pretending it outside, I just never had that urge to steal outside. At a point it was assumed I was possessed by a demon! Well, I was taken to lots of deliverance ministries but it never worked! I remained who I was.
My father was very strict and highly disciplinary, mum was soft and jovial but could whip any moment! I happened to see my father as a wicked dad, I also felt my mum gets wicked on her bad days and become lovely on her good days! As a young boy growing up, I had a very tough time trying to make myself good but on the contrary I saw myself stealing from mummy’s purse, stealing from daddy’s pocket and I had no reason for that! I would steal at times and even give the money to beggars but I saw myself not being able to control myself from stealing! Because of that, I became the black sheep of the family! My dad would deal with me on every single mistake, he would whip me when things get missing and he never cared to know if I was the one guilty of them or not!
At a point, I was seen as a bad influence on my siblings and they were instructed never to talk with me, accept anything from me or pity me! I saw myself living in isolation at times and some nights my mum would call me to give me advice. Sometimes when I look at her face I see myself crying in my heart, I wished they would understand I never ever wanted to be that way… I wished they would realise how I have always sought for change without seeing them. Surprisingly, I was a decent and gentle boy outside home… Outside home I have stolen only twice! I stole from my cousin’s house and I stole a student’s school fees to buy science textbooks! Even at that, people saw me as a good boy outside while I was seen as a hardened criminal in the home.
My Father’s strict nature coupled with the distance that have come to exist between us made me really see him as a wicked man! Many times I saw myself wondering if I was adopted but I never had the courage to voice it out! I had to run out of home one day because I was beaten and injured for what I never did! I was blamed for every wrong thing that ever happened… I caused it after all!
At a point… I made up my mind that everyone hates me! I see them struggling about my issue but I always misunderstood their struggles! The more they try, the more I felt I was hated.
There were various reasons why I assumed I had wicked parents… It ranged from diverse judgments! We were not given things we like, our parents may eat lots of meat but most times we were not given meat… We were denied access to lots of people, we were not allowed to go to places… We weren’t given the best clothes and in fact the best treatment!
Then… We all grew up almost at the same time! Things weren’t good at that time, my dad had setbacks in business too and we really had tough time surviving! Lots of things happened at that time… I was beginning to grow spiritually, I was beginning to see those habits disappear, I was becoming very interested in the things of God! I have always been interested anyway but my interest was beginning to become active and my perception was beginning to change.
As grown ups now, my parents had little say over our lifestyles, they have little knowledge of where we go to and where we don’t go to! No one was flogging us any more… In fact, there was no cane at home anymore. But then, I began to see how different I have been made to be! My friends wouldn’t eat without meat but I saw myself going to expensive fast foods to buy food without meat! Meat never gets my attention till date… I enjoy meat when I eat them but I choose whether I want to eat meat or not! I saw myself loving those foods I hated, I saw myself not being easily misled by friends! Many of those people that would have been my friend had lifestyles that is nothing to write home about!
Yes, I was limited to lots of things but I began to see many of those limitations help curtail what I do! I saw myself not being comfortable with secular songs, I saw myself not going to Night Clubs, parties and all that! I saw myself thinking differently about love… I saw myself placing lots of value over morality! And then… I saw myself appreciating those strict trainings I ever received!
As a young man with lots of freedom, I haven’t tasted alcohol or engaged in living moral decadent life… Not because I have fears, not because I feel I am accountable to anyone but because it is not in my nature to do so… It is also not in my mind to do so!
The first week I spent outside home when I travelled to Lagos in pursuit of my destiny, my phone couldn’t rest! I kept receiving calls from my parents… They weren’t calling to ask me if I have been praying, going to church or living a good life! They were calling just to know how I was doing! Sometimes, they would buy me recharge card and even send me stuffs when I make demand!
One day, Dad called me and said “do you still have clothes? Remember to call me anytime you need anything!”
Are these not the same people I saw as wicked parents? Are they not the same people I have felt had some hatred for me? Perhaps… Growing up is always like that.
This is the same things that happens between us and God. Many times, God wants to discipline us because he loves us… Many times, God deals with our habits in a painful way that we begin to feel God hates us! But, there is always a change of perception when we grow in faith! Our thoughts become fine tuned to think right!
While I may not do unto my children everything that has been done to me, while I may have another way of training my kids, I believe I was given a better training!
No matter how bad your parents or guardian is treating you, never ever conclude that they are wicked! They may wound you, slap you, spit at your face and even bully you… They may deny you lots of things and allow you to pass through certain stress! Don’t make up your mind yet… Just allow yourself to grow up and you’ll realise you may have been loved all those while!
Yea… I have thought I had a wicked parents… I have thought I had no value then… But then, I realized that it is only people that love you can discipline you. The bible says in Hebrew 6:12 that God disciplines those he love. This is because he wants them to be better people! Next time you see yourself passing through levels of disciplines, look up to heaven and say… “Lord, I love the way you father me”
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