Women, where do we draw the line on dependence?

I stepped out to show the fundi the spot on the roof where rainwater had leaked in. We suspected some Wi-Fi people stepped on it, causing a huge dent that stopped the rainwater from flowing and, instead, ran back along the wall. Earlier that morning, my husband had been the first to step into a puddle of water that had collected on our bedroom floor. He mumbled something angrily as he tip-toed around it and left. Silently, I hoped he would call the fundi and fix it since he had experienced it first-hand. But I was wrong because it seemed he, too, was hoping I would take care of it. I called Waithaka, and up the stairs, we went to get a proper diagnosis of the roof.

Who is in control?

While up there, a lady who recently moved in also stepped out to make an urgent call. Unfortunately, she ruined the very privacy she sought when she picked the call and spoke loudly in the quiet vicinity. “Sasa umeenda ukatuacha bila pesa ya lunch?” she said to mean, you left without leaving us with money to sort our lunch? This instantly drew my attention, as it took me back to the times when my father left

us with nothing when he went to work. He would find every reason to somehow ‘forget’ to leave cash, but we all knew he was messing with us because he knew he was all we depended on. He enjoyed being in control. He enjoyed the frustration. It fed his ego and made him feel like a man. But at what price?

Too much control?

I yearned for independence and was desperate for control. I never wanted to wait on a man to feel secure. Not if it meant going on my knees to beg for it. And so, I worked my behind so hard that I must have become the breadwinner. For my husband to expect me to fix the roof as I did him only shows that I may have outdone myself… or overdone it. I lack a balance because now I want to become a little dependent, a little between myself today and the neighbour who was now frantically re-dialing her husband’s number, convinced it had truly slipped his mind,

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