My elder brother and his wife have a history of domestic violence. I have never taken sides in their quarrels or fights, nor do I intend to take sides now, especially after the damage has already been done.
I was just a pregnant woman who didn’t wish anybody evil. However, my light-hearted visit to my brother’s house turned out to be a near-fatal mistake for me.
On that particular day, my elder brother and his wife were quarreling as usual. I think the problem bordered on money and I could hear their loud voices even from outside as I quietly approached their apartment.
They always had financial problems and I just couldn’t understand why they couldn’t properly manage their financial problems without quarreling and fighting over money all the time.
I believe that in marriage, a sound understanding of the management of resources (financial and otherwise) is very important. And husband and wife need to work together as a team to budget and plan for both the family and for their personal needs too.
They both operated a joint account and my brother had accused his wife of withdrawing and spending too much money from the account without his knowledge or consent.
I was about six months pregnant then, and I had gone to deliver a message from our mother to my brother. I had recently traveled to the village to see my mother because it had been long since I last saw her.
Apart from the fact that I wanted to give her some money, I wanted her to give me some local herbs that would help me in pregnancy. My mum was well versed in local herbs and she knew how to make a pregnant woman safely deliver a healthy baby.
Seeing my mother in the village had given me great joy and my mother had gladly accepted to assist me with some medicinal local herbs. However, when I was about to depart from the village, she had informed me about a project she was undertaking.
It was a church project, because my mother was deeply involved in church activities in the village. She urgently needed money from all her children to help her proceed with the project.
However, the huge sum of money involved was not something that I alone could gather and give my mum. I just couldn’t afford it, so the best thing to do was to get my siblings in the city to contribute their own share of cash to the project.
That was just what I had in mind when I left home for my elder brother’s house that day. All I wanted was to collect some money from my brother to add to the one I had been able to gather for my mother. But sadly, fate seems to have had other plans for me.
Before I walked into my elder brother’s apartment, I could hear shouts and screams and nasty words being said. I was alarmed at the kind of nasty words I could hear them say to each other. My brother would say: “I will kill you today, you stupid woman.” And his wife would reply: “You will die too, shameless man.”
They had apparently started fighting again and were oblivious of their surroundings. As they exchanged blows and hot words, they obviously cared less about whoever was listening.
The most irritating thing about it all was that my brother and his wife lived in a very peaceful neighborhood and their noisy quarrels and fights were the exact opposite of the peaceful nature of their neighborhood.
Even my presence in their living room was not enough to douse the tension and make them sheathe their swords. My brother’s wife only had a wrapper tied around her chest and my brother had his hand on the wrapper and was trying to strip her naked and push her out of the house for the neighbors to see her shame.
Although I was heavily pregnant, I couldn’t just stand and watch things fall apart without doing anything. I appealed to both of them to stop fighting and be quiet, but all my pleas fell on deaf ears.
I even yelled at my sister-in-law to stop insulting my brother because her insults were driving him crazy. But she didn’t listen. She continued calling him unprintable names and the situation continued to degenerate.
Before I knew what was happening, they had started fighting again and my brother’s hand was on his wife’s throat. He was obviously trying to strangle her and I couldn’t stand and watch him kill her just like that because I knew the implication.
So I jumped in-between the two of them in order to separate them. With my pregnancy, I was in-between two fighting parties and I thought everything was now going to be okay since I was now between both of them.
But just when I thought both warriors were going to calm down and sheathe their swords, my sister-in-law ran into the kitchen and came out carrying a pestle.
She rushed forward and swung the pestle, trying to hit my brother with the pounding tool. My brother managed to dodge the first blow. Then I ran in-between them again, trying to protect my brother from harm.
It was the moment I rushed in-between them that she wildly swung the pestle again, hitting me in the abdomen accidentally. The pain I felt is unimaginable and I passed out instantly.
I later woke up in the hospital and collapsed again after the doctor told me that I had lost my pregnancy. He said I had bled so much that it had been impossible to stop the process of miscarriage.
The worst of it all was that the doctor said that my womb had been seriously damaged as a result of the hard impact of the pestle on my stomach. According to the doctor, I may never be able to have a child again.
I am now going through emotional shock and deep trauma. As if having a miscarriage isn’t enough, being told that you may never be able to have a child again is like a cruel icing on a heartless cake.
My marriage has virtually been ruined because my husband is now saying that he may seek a divorce and marry a second wife because it is clear that I won’t be able to bear him children and he wants children.
My in-laws now call me barren behind my back and are secretly pressuring my husband to marry a second wife who will give him children.
I can’t believe that my loving husband can actually look into my eyes and tell me that he loves me, only to break my heart with the talk of marrying a second wife because he wants children.
My sister-in-law has practically made me a barren woman because of her stupid fight with my brother. I now remember the warning an old woman had given me at the market when I was only three months pregnant. She had told me that I should avoid anywhere there is trouble.
The old woman had told me that a pregnant woman should never be present wherever people are fighting. I have now learned the hard way. I thought that nothing bad would happen to me because the fight was between my brother and his wife. But I was wrong.
I’m now running from pillar to post looking for a solution to my problem. I advise all pregnant women out there never to try to mediate in any physical or violent conflict. They should avoid violent or troublesome people and stay away from troubled spots. Only God will save me!