Ana Gamisonia, 41, Gali

I suppose my marriage at an early age happened because, for some reason, I believed I was ready for this responsibility. Later I realized it wasn’t that easy if the responsibility is one-sided only. I was sixteen and I learned a hard way that women take on the responsibility that comes with the family faster than men. I lived with my husband for six-and-a-half years and I have many painful memories of that time. The most painful, I guess, was his indifference to me, and his doubt in himself. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be like me and I realized that two people of different social circles, living with different values just could not be similar. He did not share my interests. I tried to go forward, while he dragged me behind. These differences cost us our family. It was a mutual decision, because we realized that it was simply impossible to raise a child in a strained, unfriendly environment. To this day, I think this was the right thing to do, because I, as a woman, as a mother, and as a person have been able to give my child so much more. The society was not exactly unsympathetic but frowned upon my decision and I was bombarded with questions: “Did he beat you?” “Was he an addict?”, because these are seen as the only valid reasons for divorce. I didn’t know how to answer them, as my case did not fit into any pattern known to them.

We had married before we were displaced (we are both from Gali). Nini was three months old when we fled Gali. Since then, for five years I witnessed his lack of consideration not only for me but for his own child too. I cannot forget what he told me once: “Why is my child any better than others?! Let her eat beans!” To this I answered: “And do you have beans?!” That’s right, we didn’t have any beans and he did nothing about it. When he saw that I resumed studies, changed the social circle around me, went outside, he became downright hostile. I went ahead in life, he was stagnated, frozen at the same point he had been for the past 23 years….The only thing I know for sure is that the steps you take in life are not a mistake and every person has the right of choice. Had I stayed with him, I am sure I wouldn’t be what I am today.

However, I’d like to return to the societal pressures. Whenever someone started to flirt with me, on hearing that I was divorced, instantly changed his attitude. He started to see me as an object he… could drag into bed right away. This is what such a woman is for. A woman divorced from her husband has no other use. I was extremely humiliated and it took me quite a long time to stand on my own feet. After that, it did not cause me problems and I have never hidden the fact that I was a divorcee with a child.

Naturally, being a 22 year-old single mother is very difficult. I remember when Nini saw her groupmates’ dads coming to pick them up, she told me “Do not come. Send grandpa.” At that moment, I started to doubt if my decision of separating from my husband had been right. Maybe it was better for my child to have her father by her side. I also had to answer the questions coming from Nini: “Why isn’t he calling? Doesn’t he love me? Does he have another wife?” Then we sat down to discuss it and I explained to her that her father was not a bad person, sometimes two people just cannot live under one roof. I could tell that she was still hurt. Her speech suggested self-blame. A friend of my father who was not married then, agreed to take my girl to the kindergarten in the morning and fetch her in the afternoon. This somehow filled the void left by her father. It was clear to me then that I was the mother and the father for this child. I had a huge responsibility because I gave her life. I wanted this child and now I am happy to have her!