I always say this. That gap in between high school and campo as you wait for your results and to be called to higher learning either builds or brings problems for families. Teens now are lucky, Matiangi doesn’t make them wait too long to learn their fate. In my time (not so long ago!LOL!) We waited 1 yr before reporting to Uni. This is that time you have nothing to do apart from eat, watch tv, sleep, wash dishes, eat, watch tv and sleep again. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Lemme explain how I got to my breaking point.
Now imagine being 18, living in Embu where nothing much happens, and being mostly in doors because being a girl at that age is both a blessing and a curse (fear of getting preggers etc). For some reason, maybe it was hormones, maybe laws of nature, my mother and I just did not get along. Shouting matches were a norm. Poor woman thought I was possessed. I had become this girl who was constantly angry.
I think I was just upset at the system. That I had to wait so long before attaining the “freedom” I longed for. I had studied hard for one sole reason- to go to Nairobi. I did not really care which Uni. I just wanted out. Being under lock and key was weighing me down and upsetting me. They didn’t understand me. I was bored out of my BRAIN! I just wanted to change routine and mingle with peers.
So what became my pattern? Going to bed at 3AM, waking up at 2PM doing nothing productive and the cycle continued for some months. At this point maybe my parents had put me on suicide watch I dunno… I was just weird.
I did make an effort to break the cycle though, occasionally playing basketball with some of the guys around our village at the church court but before long, tongues started wagging about this girl who was playing with boys and how inappropriate it was since it is a relatively contact sport. In trying to defend myself, pastor akaitwa in my honor. Apparently I was being rebellious. Prayers were held to ‘correct me’ and as I result, I hated my parents more and became even more angry.
One day I just snapped. I hatched a plan to “escape” I needed to feel something, anything that wasn’t the kawaida. I needed to feel alive. My lil sis would have to be the decoy. I packed a bag and got the money I had been saving (ok more like been pinching from the change after shopping) and told my sis to distract my mum who was in the backyard. My dad was away somewhere so I had a chance. I called my cousin who lived in Embakasi and told him I needed a place to stay for couple of days till I figured things out. Lol…Sounds so “white” …figure things out. Hahahah! Things went according to plan and I arrived at my cuzo’s. He didn’t pressure me into going back (bless his soul!) He let me rest, have something to eat and later on asked me if he could call my folks and he would speak to them, re-assure them that I was safe and sound.
I stayed at his place for almost a month if I remember correctly. Man, he really came through for me. When I returned home, my parents handled me a bit differently and listened more. Took time to rebuild our relationship and specially with my mom but in the end, we worked things out. Thank God I went to Uni soon after though! Lol.
Is there a moral to this story? Yes. A Couple actually.
- Parents, LISTEN to your teenage sons and daughters. Give them some room to breathe. Not all is doom and gloom.
- Get you a cool cousin, sister, brother, who can listen and if possible, take you in and present your case to the folks. Basically a Koffi Annan. Reach out with what you are feeling. Do not suffer in silence.
- Not all run away stories end this well, anything could have happened but thank goodness in my case, things worked out. Looking back, I probably should have called my aunt to come and pick me up or something.
Have you ever run away from home? Why? Let’s share stories!
Conquer Your World.