SIS NALEDI

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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.

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