The first time I told mom that I had a boyfriend she did not call upon Babylon to fall down. I expected her to lash out at me. I knew she would be angry. She wasn’t.
Me: errrm why are you not mad?
Her: why would I be? Of course I wish for you to get married? Naye omusajja bwatandika okukonkona omutwe, komawo ewaka (But if a man ever batters you, return home).
This was in 2013. Somewhere in 2014, my erstwhile lover said that if a man ever slaps me, I should walk away because he will do it again or even do worse.
In 2017 I had an argument with my internship supervisor. He was talking about his girlfriend and he said that he had beaten her the previous day. This, he said with pride.
Me: why are you doing that?
Him: She is annoying
Me: why then do you choose to stay with someone you cannot stand?
He said something I cannot remember. The other guy in office jumped in.
Him: So for you, if they beat you what do you do?
Me: I walk away from the relationship.
Him: you’re saying that because you’re young. It is not easy for a woman to raise children on her own.
Me: No. My mother said, I should. Also, my grandmother walked away from my grandfather when he carried his mistress to their house. She raised and educated her children, on her own. My mother raised us on her own, too.
Him: those ones did that because they are rich.
Me: no they weren’t (can’t speak for my grandmother though). My mother’s love of her life died when she barely had a penny on her. The only way she could have us educated was when she secured loans to make sure that we stayed in school. It wasn’t easy for her. She always told me, but she made it.
I don’t know what it’s like to live in an abusive home (or maybe I do, because I know family friends whose father “forced” me to be an advocate in his home. I subtly called him out on his deficiencies. Something his children couldn’t do).
I do not wish for anyone, man or woman, to recite the “half a loaf is better than none” proverb when it comes to a hostile home or relationship.
I do not want to bury anyone whose death was caused by uxoricide or mariticide. Enough is enough.