I BECAME PREGNANT AT 16 BUT I HAD TO DO WHAT I DID TO SUCCEED.

Gisele Beer
Posted September 2, 2017 from Cameroon

At age 16, I had very limited knowledge about my sexuality. I was more or less very blank about menstruation, puberty, adolescent struggles, dating and so on. Excitement about adolescence and youthful exuberance, coupled with the fact that I was a complete orphan who had no one to mentor me, I was caught in the web of my wrong choices and I became a victim of my ignorance. Having grown up to who I am today, I regret that I didn’t have the opportunity to have mentors who would have led me towards the right direction. At that age of 16, I was a vibrant and beautiful girl who was already in Form Five, preparing to write the public exams into High School. It was a critical period in my academic life, and also a critical period in my biological life. There was evident conflict between adolescent struggles and educational advancement. I started concentrating more on meeting the demands of my social life more than the demands of my education. I lost total concentration of my academics and I started failing in more and more subjects. I couldn’t even pass the mock exams, that was intended to measure our level of preparedness for the upcoming GCE examination; I had two papers, out of 10. When the time to write the GCE examination came, I was barely prepared. I wrote, knowing fully well that I didn’t prepare for the exams. The results came out and I failed; I had 3 papers, out of 10. The shocking thing about all these was that I wasn’t shocked by my failures; I remained indifferent as if nothing happened. I was living my life, less concerned and seemingly happy, but when the worst happened, that is when I decided to buckle up and be serious for once. Before the results of GCE ordinary level came out, that I failed, in August , I reached the peak of my adolescence and I was dis-virgined on the 22 of July. Sadly too, it was unprotected sex that left poor me, pregnant. It was my first sex, and I was already pregnant. I had no mother, no father, and no close relative to confide in. I was stressed, too stressed and depressed to face the head of teenage pregnancy. Several times, I told myself that I was a disgrace to my late parents, and to my younger ones whom I was supposed to protect. I couldn’t stand the pressure and so I resolved I was going to have an abortion. Abortion, in Cameroon, is illegal, but I had to take laws into my hand and commit and abortion. It is at that point that reality struck. The thought of being dis-virgined, abortionist, and exam failure at age 16, almost took my breath away. It is at that point that I promised myself I am going to redefine myself and move on with my head high.

When schools resume a few months later, I went back into my old class determined to succeed. I took my lectures seriously and I buried my head in my books. I was so ashamed mingling with my friends who were one year ahead of my, in high school. I felt like fast-forwarding everything so that I can write the exam, pass and move on. I threw away every thought and action of getting into a love relationship simply because I wanted something better. I came to realize education is the most important tool to enable me reach my career goals. I needed to stand out as a role model to my younger ones. So finally, the exams came up, I read in full concentration, and passed in flying colours; I passed in 7 ot of 9 papers. I proceeded to high school, in the same seriousness and determination to succeed. I was the best in my class, with the best results during my two years in High School. I was nominated as a class prefect and also a school senior prefect. I represented my school in quizzes and many other inter-school competitions. I was admired by students and teachers because of my outstanding behavior and performance. We finally wrote the GCE Advanced Level after two years in High School and I passed in flying colours. Everyone was happy for me. Many wished they were me. I was proud of myself. I couldn’t be happier that I was heading to the university. It was a good feeling. Adolescence can be a dream killer to many in communities where girls don’t know enough about their sexuality. I am one of those who believe that sexual education should be added in school curriculum. I also admire a situation where girls can be given mentors to help shape their life and future dreams. Even though I used my little resources to support underprivileged girls by paying their school fees, I strongly believe that is not enough to promote girls school retention rate. A lot still needs to be done in communities like Cameroon.

This story was submitted in response to Learning from Failure.

Comments 6

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Gisele Beer
Sep 02, 2017
Sep 02, 2017

Thanks ma Vero.u melt my heart dear.thanks for the encouragement,I pray for God's grace and strength to do more on girls education and sexual education.

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 02, 2017
Sep 02, 2017

Dear Gisele,

Once again your scrupulous honesty in relating all the details of what you went through and how you managed to find your way through to where you are at today, is such a valuable testament to turning a set of circumstances so many young women face, into a journey toward success, inspiration and leadership for others grappling with similar paths. I am so sorry you had to go through the dangers and angst of seeking out an abortion at such a tender age. We worked here in Canada to make abortion legal with the belief that no one has the right to judge another woman's needs. Your dedication to making sex education and discussion on early adulthood as women available is such an important way forward, and can help prevent other young women from experiencing so many of the hard times you had to go through. What an inspirational leader you have become!

In sisterhood,

Tam

Gisele Beer
Sep 03, 2017
Sep 03, 2017

Thanks a lot Tam for the encouragement.its was really not easy but thank God to world pulse that gives women the opportunity to make their voices heard.hugs hugs hugs

Nakinti
Sep 03, 2017
Sep 03, 2017

Dear Beer,

You are a very strong woman. You have braved several odds to become who you are today. I admire your sincerity, courage and desire for change. Keep doing what you are doing to inspire girls in your community. Don't relent, the best is still ahead.

Love

Nakinti

Gisele Beer
Sep 03, 2017
Sep 03, 2017

Thanks a lot ma Bes.the best is indeed ahead.I can't stop making my voice to be heard.