I left the hospital on my own, without notifying anyone, even lawani.I called a friend outside lagos and she offered to accommodate me, I was really messed up, I was angry, sad, scared and confused all at the same time,and I could not bring myself to tell amarachi, my childhood friend what had happened,mostly because I could not believe it myself,how was I going to tell her my husband beat me up,ruptured my womb,and killed our unborn baby.
I finally summoned up enough courage and told amarachi what had happened,but I was careful to leave out a lot of details,amarachi was enraged and urged me to stay as long as I needed,I had a lot of missed calls and text messages from family members and also from lawani himself,my mum was getting very worried so amarachi had to inform her of my whereabouts,unfortunately lawani was informed too,I don’t really blame them,they did’t know what was going on.
I cowered in amarachi’s bedroom closet, practically afraid to breathe. I knew my husband, lawani, would come looking for me sooner or later, and now he’d finally arrived. Have you heard from her? I heard lawani ask amarachi,who feigned ignorance.
In reality, i had been hiding out there for 4 days, ever since the incident with lawani,i had spent the previous couple of days figuring out what to do next.
Now, from the darkness of the closet, i listened as lawani began to cry. I don’t know where she is, he wept to my friend. I’m so worried. The sound of lawani’s sobbing gave me satisfaction — but also flooded me with sympathy.
He sounded so miserable.
I was flattered to realize how devastated he was by my leaving; it was proof that he really did care. I returned home the next day.
Yep, I went back for more,It wouldn’t be the last time. Over my 3-year marriage to lawani, i fled again and again, with each return plunging me into more horrifying abuse.
Let’s see: I’ve been gagged, tied up, and beaten. Stripped naked in the house.
I’ve had a gun pulled on me, and knives held to my throat. The abuse got pretty wicked. And yet, despite the violence — which was so extreme that a nurse once warned me, “On a danger-level scale of one to 10, you’re an 11” — but I kept going back.
You might wonder why on God’s green earth I kept going back,put your self in my shoes,I married lawani as a woman,less than a year into our marriage,I lost my pregnancy and also the major component that defines me as a woman,I lost the very essence of motherhood to the man I loved,after the incident lawani and I had a long deep talk,he begged and apologized for what he had done,looking deep into his eyes,he was genuinely sorry,he even convinced me we could adopt a child,he spoiled me at the slightest opportunity,and yes being a human being I gradually began to forget .
He made me quit my job,reason being that he wanted me to adjust to the role of home maker in preparation for the arrival of our so called adopted child,on the surface it appeared to be a genuine reason,but he was slowly isolating me.
Lawani began making excuses for not coming home right after work, sometimes staying out all night drinking.
Stranded at home,i burned with resentment and hurt. “We did everything together ,at some point we were best friends.But gradually, he basically disappeared.
Lawani was not much fun to be around anymore: He needled Me about what i had done each day — whom i had seen, what we’d discussed — peppering our conversation with barbs, telling me that the dinner I had cooked was awful, calling me fat and dumb.
One night, Lawani surprised me by coming home early from a party. “What, the party wasn’t good enough for you?” I asked jokingly. Lawani backhanded me across the face. “What I do is my business,” he snarled.
“It was like he was talking to a dog. He ordered me to apologize for smarting off”.
I stared at him, my cheek stinging. I was filled with shock, fear — and also an overwhelming shame. Here was the man i loved, whose regard for me was so important, and now he was looking at me with contempt, I just wanted this ugly moment to end, to make the hurt and fear and humiliation go away. And so, although i knew i had done nothing wrong, i apologized. It took at least an hour of groveling to convince lawani i was truly sorry. “All right, I’ll forgive you this time,” lawani wearily said to me.
Then he led me into the bedroom for makeup sex. “I had to turn off my brain to get through it.
In the morning, lawani was back to his playful self — cracking jokes while we dressed for church, looking handsome as he combed his hair into a neat wave, I smeared foundation onto my bruised cheek and resolved to move on, after all, i rationalized, i wasn’t going to leave. i still loved him and was going to stick it out — if not for my own sake, then for the sake of our marriage. “I wanted the best for us,and our soon to be adopted child.
This decision may seem hard to fathom, but in fact, i was using an emotional logic many of us can relate to.
In any relationship, we try to make things work out, you later look back and say, I wish I’d broken up with him sooner. So i kept the episode to myself. I certainly didn’t want anyone to know the truth about me now: that i was the kind of woman who’s got slapped and stayed.
Shame is a huge factor, modern women are meant to be independent, and if someone does something like that to you, it’s over.
No one wants to be known as the woman who puts up with it.”
I assured myself the worst was over. It wasn’t: Lawani began accusing Me of all manner of sins — lying, cheating, not serving his meals quickly enough — and his slaps turned to all-night beatings.
His favorite thing was to sit on my chest and hold a pillow over my face, he’d scold me, “If you hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have to punish you.” i heard his message loud and clear.
I was to blame for the violence; peace would be restored if only i would submit to his demands. So i did my best. “I still loved him, and I was sure I could fix this.
So I tried to be the perfect wife.
In case you missed part one, view it here Jaws Of Death- The Ifeoluwa Story PT1
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Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)