This is a story of a woman who almost died, but was sustained by dreaming of a better tomorrow. She was living in her in-laws’ house because she had no money to buy her own house. She was ill treated and groomed to be the mistress of her brother-in-law, because his wife, her sister-in-law was sickly. The mother-in-law pointedly told her she was to be to the father and mother of her brother-in-law’s children. She was insulted, humiliated and treated like the stray animals who came by the gate for raw vegetable kitchen scraps.
Every day, she had to rise by 4:30 am, to prepare her personal food for cooking. She had to complete cooking of her food for the day, by 6:45 am. This was her food to last three meals. While she enjoyed hot food for breakfast, the food was cold by the time she sat down for her lunch and dinner. She was banned from cooking food for her personal consumption because her mother-in-law wanted to use the kitchen the whole day. The elderly woman had a sweet tooth and was constantly foraging in her kitchen for snacks, biscuits, desserts and whatever else was available at hand. She didn’t want others in her kitchen because they would know of her eating habits.
On some days, the woman’s food was eaten by her husband and depleted before dinner time. She was forced to eat biscuits and drink cold water for dinner. She lost weight and contacted a terrible skin disease from malnutrition. Her mother-in-law scoffed at her vulnerability and told her to apply a non-prescription facial cream that was sold off the counter. She was suffering physically, mentally and emotionally. The woman was in pain as her skin was extremely itchy and peeling off in dry flakes. Her husband was compelled to send her to a clinic to get treatment. The doctor thought her skin disease was contagious. She thought it was a form of scurvy, partly from malnutrition. She told her patient to take regular doses of vitamins daily, apply a moisturizing oil, and eat foods with vitamin B. Fortunately, the diagnosis was correct and intervention helped to keep the condition at bay. Her mother-in-law never let up on the daily dose of verbal, mental and emotional abuse.
The woman told her husband what was happening. He replied that his mother was playing with her. “Its all fun and games” and he went to speak with his mother on some trivial matter. Fun and games continued for almost two years. The old woman started spitting at this daughter-in-law. One day, she wanted to throw out some spittle too. Suddenly a fearsome voice inside her head reminded her, “Don’t take revenge!” She was frozen. She recognized the voice as that of her spiritual teacher. She stopped in her tracks. She knew she had to listen and obey her teacher. She was too afraid to disobey.
Every day, her bitter dose of abuse was administered. Her mother-in-law tried to persuade the father-in-law to participate in torturing the younger woman. Initially, he was fooled by deceit. He thought his wife was correct in cussing the wicked younger woman who refused to be the lesbian father of his two eldest grandchildren. The youths were nearing twenty years old and tired of doing housework for their ailing and indolent mother. They rejoiced in their grandmother entrapping a weak servant to help them. The old man started treating his second daughter-in-law with disdain. The old woman grew bold and spoke bigger lies. Slowly, the old man became aware of his wife’s intentional slandering and malicious attacks on the younger woman. He reprimanded his wife but the old woman refused to amend her ways. In fact, she became angrier and accused her old husband of having lecherous designs on the younger woman. There was no end to the length, breadth, and depth of lies, treachery, and torture inflicted on the younger woman.
Both women never gave up their personal battles.
Then one day, God arranged circumstances to call the younger woman away, to live in another country. The old woman screamed and raged in anger. “My eldest grand-daughter has nothing, if this woman escapes from my clutches! This woman has to become the servant for my grand-daughter! My grand-daughter has no real parents to help her. This weak woman must be tortured to become the father and mother of my eldest grand-daughter.”
This is modern domestic slavery.
God won. He sent the younger woman away from the claws of the old woman who wanted to harm her.Her dream of a better tomorrow came true for her. Thanks be to God.