I am a first born daughter and sometimes I don’t like it. No, a lot of times I don’t. I stopped priding myself with ooh am a second parent to my siblings etc. nonsense, ok my apologies it’s a good thing.
Let’s talk about shame. The shame of getting a child out of wedlock as a first born daughter. I actually don’t know how it feels today to get a baby distances away from the matrimonial beds. Maybe things have changed.
During my days it was a plague. I was born in the 80s 😊 This info is for the younger brothers of mine who keep hying and heying me without a tangible subject of discussion.
So, let’s talk out the shame.
When I realized I was pregnant, I realized because I only noticed a swelling of my tummy area. I was too naive to know that people do miss their menses when they’ve conceived.
So when I realized, I called my mother and apologized for sinning in that manner. It wasn’t received well, my own younger siblings plus my own mother even laughed themselves silly. And echoed how stuck I will be and how my life is all messed up. I have long forgiven. And I got into the journey of buying their acceptance.
Shame creeps in ...
And love, a first born daughter has messed up, now others will also mess up and so I gotta fix it. Since there was shame around the act of carrying the pregnancy it was urgent that I get married.
I have always said that if a parent won’t boldly own their child in any circumstances … Then the world will keep spitting out that child at every attempt to say their names until they’re able to stand on the rains of the world and bear it all. Emerge drenched but hopeful and change the narrative.
I got married to cover up shame
It became a constant reminder, to be accepted I had to birth another baby as soon as possible to be approved as a wife. Since I had embraced shame as my other name those days, I bore it all when I’d be told “no child no marriage! Emily, go for family planning, and there won’t be a marriage for you.”
I don’t want to describe the events that led to beautifying my shame with another child. My people were happy I was married now, my shame is covered and the family prestige is also upheld. First born with a good example.
You don’t know how happy my people were when the four legged animals (cows) were brought to our home to speak without saying that I was now married to Jaloka. We call it dowry or nyombo in my dialect.
Even after sealing the marriage with another baby, when I’d have issues with my brother I’d be told, I’ll inform your husband that’s not his child. Then I’d throw words like “tell him, he’s actually aware.” At that time my Jaloka would be telling me, Emily I will expose you one day!
My child was wrapped in shame from both divides
I even shut my own voice because my shame was being covered. I couldn’t call it abuse. I’d dress up in those nice things that women wear for their men and still be called ugly the whole night but rush to the kitchen at 4 am. to cook for my Jaloka because he covered my shame.
Oh, nowadays women wear those things for themselves, I don’t know,anyway, I sleep comfortably. I became a baby to myself.
You can’t imagine how it was a whole war when I had to leave the marriage that sealed my identity and covered my shame. You see I was rescued from perishing in the hands of shame of being married with a child and am here packing out! What a silly move.
I added shame to my family, I exposed all the shames. I am out of a marriage. I am a born again Christian, I am a first born daughter and having worked so hard to buy acceptance in marriage am leaving it with two children.
I became the most arrogant woman. And I became the most embarrassing daughter. And all these kinda formed my identity, I felt like shame and lived like shame in a moment.
God loves on the unlovable and rejected
Early on in 2022, I texted my friend Faith Gor and told her that I am not ready for the shame the video I had done at that time would bring. Ooh! she spoke life to my whole system. In scriptures, in songs, in voice notes and pictures. She said something that stuck with me till to date, “Emily, God is exposing you to heal you” 🤧 Nooo how!
She brought the story of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43-48. Bleeding for 12 years was a shame on its own in Israel. This woman defied the onlookers, the crowd, her blood smell, we know that smell during menses, she was having her flow from morning to morning 🤔 can you imagine! She should have stayed home and perished in it, or rather sulk in her “normalcy” 12 yrs was quite a lot. Faith Gor has such a coherent description of this woman with the issue of blood. It’s in my mind but I can’t describe it like she did.
So, this woman who wasn’t supposed to be seen or even heard as per the culture is exposed by Jesus! Like Jesus amemuanika tuseme in social media(Jesus exposed her).
Wueeh! “Who touched me?” And there was a pin drop silence, the world had to see the woman with the issue of blood and SHE was REVEALED but SHE was HEALED. She was exposed, to be healed. In future I’ll have the right words for this sermon.
Letting go of shame - surrendering it to God
It has never been my intention to expose myself like this, in fact I can self criticize even a whole month for doing this. But somehow God has kept healing me each day and in beautiful ways.
I managed to look at all the shames I had owned like a badge of honor in April 2023. The ones that were in my possession, the ones I couldn’t let go even after writing about them here.
I surrendered them to God. I took off all the garments of shame. I get better each day, anything that wants to drag me on the floor, I don’t give it a chance.
The shame of giving birth out of wedlock
The shame of domestic abuse
The shame of separation and divorce
The shame of not having a father for children of solo mommy parents
The shame of not ticking societal boxes
The shame of bed wetting – I went through it
The shame of leaving a marriage or being left
God looks beyond all these shames and other shames. Shame is a societal name tag but not God’s naming system.
Let me stop here. What’s been that shame you’re holding onto?
I just remembered the shame of starting over again!
Ok, I’ll stop here now!