All over the world, girls from a young age are taught that they need to behave a certain way to become ‘successful’. It is almost as if girls need to follow a straight pattern and has limited freedom to explore how they feel the way boys do. The reason for this, as our parents put it is, “A boy will always have his belt fit his waist, and you won’t.”
However, what happens when you find yourself in a crooked path? What happens when as a girl, your own pants don’t fit anymore because there is now a life growing in you? I’ll tell you what happens; society clothes you with a garment of shame and you are suddenly defined by what happened instead of your dreams as you were before.
The unfortunate part is that the boy who was part of it will never wear the garment of shame society places on you. This is why, teen moms are in my opinion the strongest people we have. Not because they are perfect, but because they use the shame that was made their identity as momentum to rise.
20-year-old Lerato Molati has had her fair share of the depression that comes with being a teen mom. Instead of running or taking the easy way out, she sat with her pain day and night. Silent tears became deep sobs in a matter of seconds because she was now carrying a life.
The worst part about is that she too could not understand her emotions at that time. Time seemed to stretch and she knew that people had opinions about what had become her reality. What do you do when you feel like your whole world is crashing down and you know that you cannot do anything about it?
The terror drove her into a deep depression and she was subjected to shame and guilt but knew that there was nothing she could do, especially because she too was a child. The more time went – the more pain she went through. How much more could a girl take?
In the mist of all that pain, something miraculous began to happen. Lerato started taking steps towards her healing. She reflected over everything and although her healing was messy, she did not know that after a while, God would use her mess as a message to teen moms all over Lesotho.
Today, Lerato Molati has published a book about her experiences as a teen mom. This book helped her navigate her path towards healing the pain she went through and served as a way for her to understand her own feelings throughout the entire experience.
She reports, “I wrote it because I felt it was that one book that we all needed to have written but hasn’t really been written. I wanted to share my story as a way to show how the things that happen in our lives and not just us but the people around us too affect us. I wrote this book because I wanted it to help those who were in a similar situation to heal the same way that I did and to hope that the book will change the typical African perception of what teenage pregnancy is like.”
The book is explores themes such as depression, teenage pregnancy and healing. Miss Molati not only goes in depth about the pain she faced but how it also affected those around her. In her brutally honest account about her journey, she opens up about the struggles she was faced with in her new reality.
In addition, she advises teens who are facing what she is facing to forgive themselves. Her vulnerability and trauma are fully explained and the hopelessness is portrayed in depth because of how open she is in her account.
Although scared to open up about her journey, she was extremely brave to have done it. She reports that she named the book The Forbidden Blessing because it is very much forbidden to have a baby as a teenager. However, regardless of how the baby came to her life, she considers it a blessing.
Finally, Ms. Molati advises teen moms to heal from their experiences. In her own words, “Pregnancy is not the end of your life although society makes it seem that way. Get up, heal then follow your dreams!”
It utterly inspiring to find someone who has had the roughest of battles at an early age fighting on and using their life to set an example. Lerato Molati is an inspiration to teen moms, not just because she allowed her struggles to shed light to teen moms, but also because she is not afraid to get up and pursue her dreams. It is without a doubt that her book will inspire many after all, her experiences brought her strength and not destruction!