Pregnancy Tests, Sex Education and Rape: A Not-So-Story Story

Pregnancy Tests, Sex Education and Rape: A Not-So-Story Story

Once upon a time…

I recently remembered the first time I had a pregnancy test done. Whenever I remember it, I always find it funny and annoying at the same time.

First of all, you’re probably wondering why I have ever needed to get a pregnancy test done seeing as I’m not even 20 yet but…sometimes, girls go through things that are hard to explain. It’s just the way things are and for the most part, I’ve kinda gotten used to it. So yeah, back to the story.

I was in secondary school at the time. I think I was like 13 or 14. Since I turned like 8 or so, I have been battling migraines, God help me and thankfully, after some diagnosis, treatments, recommendations and a few lenses, I have gotten MUCH better. But for a long time, I never really knew what to do about them. I used to cry and sleep, wake up with the headaches, take painkillers and pray for all my hair to disappear for some relief. It still happens sometimes (it got so bad at some point in Uni, story for another day) but it is way better now.

Anyway, that day, if I remember correctly, I had one of those migraine episodes. Did I forget to mention that being on my period sometimes brings on the migraines with a vengeance? Well, it does. So now that I’ve identified it, I take painkillers in advance and during the period. But at that time, I hadn’t really identified it, I hadn’t even been menstruating for that long so,,,I hadn’t had enough time to identify that.

So I kept complaining in school. The migraine and body pain kept getting worse and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. That was how they now assigned one of the male corp members in my boarding school to take me to a health center for treatment. When we got there, I explained my symptoms to the doctor as best as I could (I think he was male too) and he listened attentively.

After all said and done, they mentioned some of the tests I was going to do and lo and behold, my innocent, untouched self was put up for a pregnancy test. *|FNAME|*, to say I was confused is an understatement. I couldn’t comprehend what they were about to do. And I kept wondering. So maybe some of my symptoms, my age and the fact that I was already in secondary school and kinda big enough (physically) to have sex and get pregnant was what triggered them. They were probably thinking to themselves; it’s not impossible, children of nowadays, hm…and alladat. You can sha imagine.

But you see me, I was just so lost. I kept thinking, what is wrong with these people? I have never had sex before, I am just in pain and I need y’all to treat me and you’re here talmbout pregnancy. The worst part for me was that, on our way to the hospital, I realized when we were on the bike that I was on my period…lmaooooo. At that point, I was just scared. I didn’t know how to tell the male corp member that I was on and that I needed sanitary towels. So I just stayed put and prayed not to get stained. Silly me, yes I know. But society doesn’t exactly make it easy for girls to easily speak about menstruation; especially with the opposite gender.

Now if you put two and two together, you can probably guess that what was most likely wrong with me was menstrual pain. But I didn’t really know, I couldn’t talk to the man or anybody there about it and there was no trusted woman in sight. What a problem.

That’s how these people sha did pregnancy test for me o, I was just so pissed. I’m not even sure how it eventually ended. I think I asked a nurse for some tissue or a pad and then someone eventually told the corp member man sha. Baba was now like, why didn’t I tell him? What a question.

Now when I remembered this incident, it was because my cousin had been sick recently and after a few days of treatment, she had to go for more drugs. We kept wondering what was wrong with her and my mum then jokingly-seriously said to me ‘maybe she’s pregnant’. I laughed and told her no; and I defended my cousin. But I also empathized with her because girls are consistently being subjected to this kind of scrutiny; how we look, how we dress, what we say, who we’re seen with, if we’re promiscuous and whatnot.

And then when all these rape and sexual assault news started surfacing and getting more publicity, I became even sadder. I haven’t ever been sexually assaulted by a man; but I have strong reason to believe I was molested at less than 7 years old by a maid (who’s still a friend of the family by the way) and I likely have/had a voyeuristic uncle. I have never felt 100% sure of the maid’s assault because I was so young but I have been having flashes of the memory for years now. Who knows? As for the voyeuristic uncle, I have no proof whatsoever and the memory I have was recent and too disjointed to accuse a person of so I just let it go in my mind; don’t ask if I involved my parents please.

Then I began to think of many ladies that have had to go for pregnancy tests in very unpleasant life situations. My test was unpleasant for sure but I guess it wasn’t so bad. But how about girls that take a pregnancy test after they’ve been raped by their father, brother, family member, random stranger, thief or whoever? What goes through their mind when they’re imagining being pregnant for such an animal? What happens when some of them find out they’re pregnant? Who thinks of their struggle to love a child or children whose father they curse daily or who they struggle to forgive? How about those who were young and got manipulated by older men into an early sex life that led to unplanned pregnancy? How about the single mother stigma? How about the accusations from friends, family and random strangers saying she was the cause of her rape? How about the rape apologists who’ll say she seduced the rapist? The list goes on and on.

Let me not even start on those who die during or after the rape or those who got killed by their rapists.
 
So you see my case isn’t so bad. I have learnt to work on dealing with things gradually and I can even laugh about some of my experiences; like my first pregnancy test. But some people have memories of rape or near-rape experiences forever scratched in their hearts? Some even have reminders in their children?

It is well. Just know that we need to do better as a society. We need to train our boys and girls better. Sex education is important. Girls shouldn’t be ashamed of a natural, biological occurrence like menstruating. Boys shouldn’t normalize disrespecting a girl’s body. People should learn to stop shaming or blaming victims; male and female.

Imma stop now. I’m weak. You sha get my gist. Please, let’s just all do our best to add some good into our parts of the world in every little way that we can.

-The Grace Ola | Socials: @thegraceola

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