Naledi Mqhayi is a clinical psychologist specialising in relationships and family therapy. She holds a masters degree in clinical psychology from the Medical University of Southern Africa.
QMY ABUSIVE FATHER IMPREGNATED ME
My father has been raping me since I was 15 years old. I’m his favourite child out of his four children and he buys me everything I want. The problem is that I am pregnant now and my mother wants to know who is the father of my child. My father gets upset every time my mother asks. What should I do? ANONYMOUS, MAMELODI
AWhat your father is doing is not right and is not a sign of love as you think. If he loves you so much, he would not mess up your future like he has already done. He is committing a crime by continuing to sleep with you and needs to be reported to the police. If it is difficult to talk to your mother about what is happening, get a trusted aunt, teacher or social worker that you can talk to. They will know what to do to help you and protect you from your abusive father.
QIN LOVE WITH MY OWN BROTHER
I recently found out that the father of my child, whom I’m engaged to, is my father’s love child. No one else knows about this in my family. Should I tell my partner, who is technically my brother, or continue with the marriage and pretend that I don’t know? I’m scared that this secret will destroy my family, especially my mother, if it comes out. ANONYMOUS, MADIDI
AYou cannot keep such a secret forever. Your conscience will not let you rest and your partner may find it dishonest to keep such important information from him. You may even lose him if you keep quiet.
Talk to him about it and tell him how you found out. Let the two of you deal with it in the most appropriate way.
Some cultures do have ways of managing such relations and your elders will advise you accordingly. Do what is right for everyone involved.
QI DON’T KNOW WHO THE FATHER OF MY CHILD IS
I had consensual sex with four different guys in one month. I’m now pregnant and don’t know who the father is. I don’t want to abort the baby but I’m scared of choosing the wrong father. What should I do? ANONYMOUS, HILLBROW
AHaving unprotected sex with four different men in one month is very risky to your health and theirs. You need to understand what drives you to engage in such behaviour without thinking of its consequences. I suggest you see a counsellor who can help you with life decisions and behavioural issues.
QI’M HAUNTED BY MY FRIEND’S ABORTION
I recently accompanied my friend to go and have an abortion, now I can’t sleep at night. I was against the decision in the first place but I also didn’t want her to go alone. Now it feels like I’m the one who had an abortion. What can I do? ANONYMOUS, HILLBROW
AYou can have trauma from watching, being told or imagining what happened to somebody else. See a counsellor who will help you deal with the trauma.