After Jackline Mwende's horrifying story of an attack by her husband for lack of children, Nairobi's Edith Fortunate has shared her story of an abusive marriage and warned women against tolerating it.
Mwende's hands were chopped off and her head hacked with a machete by her husband Stephen Ngila because she had not fallen pregnant in seven years of marriage.
Edith, a journalist and blogger, recounted her ordeal on her Facebook page and told victims of domestic violence to be courageous.
"Pain makes you stronger", she said, adding she had become stronger and was "healed totally".
Edith said her experience helped her realise people take life for granted yet it is to be lived to the fullest "the way I do."
"Most of the time I pray for wisdom more than anything else especially where relationships are concerned," she said in her narration.
I loved him despite the punches
Actually I was laughing at my former situation with a BFF of mine while telling him that getting married when I did was the biggest scam of my life.
I got married to my puppy love. I am that child whose life had been structured in that sense..and all was bliss or so I thought.
I chose to settle with the 30 per cent I liked about him and cared zilch of the 70 per cent he didn't have.
He was the air I breathed, the one I lived for, the one who stopped any sense including common sense in my life but I soldiered on, I was in love..verily and nothing or no one could stop me from loving him. Not even the punches I got from him!
And every time he raised his hand to hit me (forget the education I have, where love is concerned education flies out of the window), I interpreted that as love.
He swore no man would have me if I left him
The more he hit me, the more excuses I made for him amongst my friends, family and relatives..he swore that if I left him, he will ensure no man ever has me...gotta be the funniest thing ever.
I was the best wife, I mean, I woke up early to make his breakfast, I would cook his dinner too, I made sure we didn't sleep angry.
I find holding grudges, a very big job and sometimes I would gift him even after a kichapo..like two days after a fight, I would spot a nice watch or shirt, expensive for that matter and I would buy it for him (saitan was in the making yaani!)
And I somewhat imagined I was the best wife he could ever have, yaani I was the one. I knew he wouldn't be ok if I left him, I believe he still is ok, and breathing well.
But I stayed on, prayed everyday, bruised my knees hoping and praying that he would change..it became worse..I stayed on for my babies, I stayed on to carry the Mrs title, I stayed on to look perfect to society, I stayed on just for what I now term as stupidity sake! I couldn't leave, it's like I had been domiciled there for life.
Any time I packed my bags to leave, I always found a perfect reason to stay, I would stay on despite having head injuries (I had invented a way of wearing my headscarves to the office to hide injuries) as a result of the thunder reigned on me, I even got myself sunglasses to wear during the black eye days! I had a curfew I had to be home at 6pm, he even had a dress code for me (never mind I had an independent life before we got married) and well he somewhat had control of my phone.
He unleashed pliers and hit me on my mouth
We had a minor argument - my best response ever to petty arguments is silence and I normally move on so fast..he was irked by my lack of response, it was a Saturday..my stress free, sleep free day..I wasn't going to let someone ruin it with their petty talk.
Shock! Dude unleashed a pliers, those plumbing pliers and before I could comprehend what was happening he had hit me on my mouth, actually my teeth, I was bleeding, shouting and confused.
My upper front teeth fell off and as I was still composing myself, he got a knife (he had pulled this before) and was just about to stab me..Luckily, my house girl swung into action and I was able to escape and that's the day I woke up from slumber, from the spell that had been cast on me and into reality.
I loved someone who didn't even love me back..I fought for a marriage which didn't even have a foundation, I was just there being a housemate, sex partner and punching bag to someone who didn't have the same thoughts and feelings in him.
Yes, I love you dude but we gotta love me first..it has to be me first then other people next, love thy neighbour as thyself. I was no longer the hot Edith who left her parents home but something else, my market rate value deprecated but I was keen on working on me.
I left it was the most difficult time, how could I be alone, I wasted my 5 years, I was lying to myself all this time ..I keep saying God's grace is sufficient.
It certainly is..many years down the line I can assure you that I am better off alone now and despite the single mum tag (which I care zilch about) life has been fair, of course there have been unfair situations but who said life should be a straight graph.
I drew some inner strength that has pulled me through.
I started all over again, from zero but I am making it. (I teared while writing this, it was tough.)
This is to those suffering in marriages and hoping that things will change, let them change while you are a distance away. So, we say I am staying for the children..when you are killed who will look after the children, when you are rendered into disability who will support you..wisdom is very key in marriages.
This is also to the young girls who are just about to get married, if you find a man who has 20% what you like, ask yourself if you can live without the 80%..they hardly change. Walk into that marriage knowing that the 80% won't be achieved anytime soon.
And this is to tell you that they are good men out there just pick and choose what you can live with..after my drama, I have come across good men, of course most haven't met my standards but they are good.
Some are just there to waste your time, others to be with you for who you are..but still pick and choose what you can live with.
Sometimes I get the "why are you keen on that guy and he is not your calibre" I don't know how friends rate calibre but I settle for character..a good character is the epitome of anything in life add discipline and honesty. I will settle for a man with character wether they are my height, lean like me than a tall, dark handsome 30 percent fellow.
Let's not jump into marriage because we are aging, don't say I am 25 or 30 and there is no husband in sight, let a proper person find you, psychos are mushrooming by the day..let's not do it because you have dated for so long, let's not do it because it's a way of life..let's do it because we can't live without the other person and everyday of your life you won't regret waking up besides them.
I am wiser now and my divine original, the one God has kept for me will have a partner, best friend and critic who will compliment him. I am there to provide energy for him to be who he is and fulfill God's purpose for us in life.
Me and my 30 something self experienced all these to the extent I said I will never love again or I will never get married again but you learn from your mistakes and decide to give an able person who can carry you as you ought to be carried a chance.
Ready to love
Heck! Now I am ready to love again, dance again, have fun and play!
The victim in me is now healed, I worked on me. And btw, that experience didn't stop me from achieving what I want or being who I am, in fact it made me go after my dreams faster than before.
And the bible says: 'This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' Beauty for ashes!