Naomi had been this independent young girl that had lived,seen and done it all.She believed in nothing else but her strength, her attitude towards life was very commendable. She had luckily managed to get a well paying job and having no one depending on her, she lived life on the first lane. Her friends admired her charisma,they envied her way of life, the way she easily made friends, the way she was easy to hang around with. Naomi had never figured herself married let alone in love.She just loved her life,she often was heard to say the last thing on her mind was settling down in marriage. As no one knows what tomorrow holds,without warning fate changed her thoughts in an instance! Naomi had been dancing to her favourite song during an girls out when Bob just like a rose dropped from above appeared from nowhere asking her if she minded a dance with him.They both rocked,their movements synchronized, they even danced to one more song! From exchange of contacts,calls and texts here,coffee and lunch dates there and occasionally movies no one of them gave a second thought to what they had got themselves into when eventually Naomi called Bob with the news of her pregnancy. Bob was handsome,he spoke with so much humbleness, he showed a lot of concern for her and did not hesitate to accept the pregnancy. Rituals were done,they became one and looked forward to the birth of their little one.The pregnancy was not easy and most of the times Naomi was unwell with one problem one another. The baby girl finally came,Bobs excitement was all over his face,Naomi was too happy not just about being a mother but about the joy she saw on Bobs face every time he looked at his babay girl. looking back she wondered why she had reservations about marriage,it was the best thing that had happened to her,the best decision she had ever made. A year and a half into the marriage things begun to change, Bob seemed to distance himself from her,he often came home with no appetite for food,spoke less and busied himself with one thing or another to avoid questioning.One day Bob did not come home,he offered no explanations, one day became two and eventually Naomi smelt a rat!!. The outspoken girl wanted to deal with the issue head on and that fateful evening when she pur the matter on the table,she did not that she had just signed her 'divorce papers'. Bob who had promised to go to his grave loving her had just disclosed to her that he was finding it hard to keep the relationship!! His 'wife' whom he had three children with needed him and he needed to be with her as well. Why had he never mentioned his other family? Why did he promise her heaven only to give her hell?why had he chosen his other family over hers? As she fought the tough battle within her she remembered that an year after the birth of her baby Bob had started acting out.She remembered that she had been told to do something about the too much weight she had added,she had been told that her breasts lay loosely over her chest, that they did not appear attractive! She had been told that he no longer enjoyed making love to her citing her method of family planning wasn't good! From a performer at work Naomi became an employee that the boss had to follow for deadlines and projects.She lost so much faith in herself,she blamed herself for allowing that to happen to her,she grieved over what life had offered her.The man that had promised her heaven had just served her hell on a silver platter!!! What happened to the promises he had made to her?he had said he would go to the grave loving her, that he would hurt her,that he was going to always love and take care of her but here she was faced with such a painful injection to take in. She felt worthless, she hated herself, she kept off her friends and family.Bob had taken her to cloud nine and left her there only for him to pull the string without warning and therefore making her slum down so hard and badly. Its until her best friend forced her to see the doctor after she had been unwell for sometime that she discovered she had developed migraines, her blood pressure was also on the higher side,her resolved stomach ulcers were slowly recurring. Bob will come back to me.....she would convince herself,opting out was not her solution, she held in to hope that he would recall his love for her. She was not coping well with all that was happening to her,she neglected her daughter,she was slipping into depression slowly. Some things are a blessing in disguise,her baby fell sick, but the time she gathered her depressed self to hospital,her baby was nearing death!!Her child had been ill and she had thought about her,seeing the doctors run like mad as they attended to her little one brought her back to her senses. It was then that she knew she had to let go and live for her baby to live. Taking the bitter option,she gathered courage and set to live her live alone.She did not know how or where to begin but she was going to do whatever it would to pick up her pieces and live for her baby. Bob had stolen her self worth,he had stripped her off her self esteem, he had undressed her off her self image. Looking at her image on the mirror,she promised herself that she was going to dust off her feet,powder her face once more and live. Looking at Naomi,I could not help but ask,how much insults or humiliation is a woman supposed to endure?how much pain can a woman bear?Do we have to wait to develop health related issues to stand up for our happiness?Is being a woman a sin or a punishment? Should we have our hormones changed so that we do not change once we deliver. For every woman out there, we are the strongest humans that can ever be found.We have been wooven to handle much,we have been made in such way that we have the strength to move on,the courage to face tomorrow. Do not let anyone take away your self esteem ever!do not let anyone strip you off whom you are ,do not let anyone take away your dreams, together we can build power within us and learn how to bring it out. Nothing is as bad as someone bringing the other down, a woman's self esteem is more important to her that the hair she takes to the salon every week. I stand with every woman that has gone through Naomi's path, any woman who has lost her self value and I stand with every woman who is willing to pick up their pieces,hold their necks high and say I am the best woman that there can ever be!!!!

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Dear Nurse Christine, 

Thank you for sharing this empowering story. It is true that sometimes we forget to love ourselves when our love for others has been compromised. I know many women in Naomi's position, single mothers who have taken on the responsibility of their children not knowing if their children's father would ever return. These are the strongest women I know. 

You ask, "Do we have to wait to develop health related issues to stand up for our happiness?" The answer is NO, we don't! It is stories like these that make single women feel less alone and more tuned in to themselves. Because if we do not love ourselves first, we cannot love others that need it. 

Please keep sharing! 

All the best, 

Sycamore May

Sycamore May