wpid-sad_black_woman.jpgBy the time I woke up, it was already late in the morning, and to my surprise I wasn’t tied or thrown into a hole like I had thought, I was just alone in the tent, I touched the side of my head, it didn’t hurt as much, but I still felt the pain, probably from the memory of the blow, I still lay down and stared at the tent ceiling, it was rather hot inside, Continue reading




There are questions, oh yes, there are questions that must be asked, and yes I speak for myself, and that is why I write by myself, but I want you to read, and maybe, just maybe you might have the same questions going through your mind.

The nobility, not mobility oh, sorry Mr. mobility I had to clarify that, now where was I, oh yes, the nobility of the cause to bring back the kidnapped Chibok Girls is quite laudable, and admirable, and oh well you get the point, and while there have been demands and cries and appeals and so on, the fact still remains that the girls have not been brought back, and more have been taken, although we have been made to believe, or rather an attempt to convince everyone that no recent kidnaps have been carried out, we know better don’t we?

Anyway, back to the main reason I decided to postpone my pancake breakfast to put these words on virtual paper. For a while now, there have been reports, reports of girls escaping from the clutches of their captors, and I don’t mean 1 or 2, am talking about 40 and most recently 63 girls have escaped, now I rejoiced when I read the news, at least even if those we are asking to bring them back have foot dragged for over 80days, the girls have carried out daring escapes, and have come up, and we give God all the glory, or you give glory to who or whatever it is you worship, well because last time I checked, there was still freedom of religion, or am I wrong?

Anyway, this morning I read on the wire, that 63 girls had escaped, and I immediately decided to scan through the popular social media sites to authenticate the information, but to my surprise, or maybe lack of it, I found no news about the returned girls, correct me if I am wrong, and I am pretty sure lots of people will correct me, but isn’t the return meant to be a good thing? If the return of some of the girls is a good thing, then shouldn’t there be so much noise, that scrolling through preferred social media sites would be so tedious a task, as to drain the batteries of our handheld devices, but alas, as I scrolled through, my battery life dropped from 100% to a mere 96%.

Requests have been made, does it really matter in what order the requests are granted? Or should the granting of the request not be the topmost priority? Whenever some individuals request for visas to visit other countries, and the requests are granted, don’t they rush to their various churches and give testimonies of how they had to walk through the valley of death to acquire said visas, and the story of triumph in the end? So why should the escape of 63 girls and more in the recent past, who have been in the hands of their abductors for over 80 days not be a cause for celebration, press conferences, twitter Hashtags, Facebook likes and even a reason to resurrect My-space, instead all I see are comments of doubt, all I see are comments blaming the government, of fueling a continued illusion, all I see is silence from hearts that should be filled with joy, and all I ask is this, should it be so?

I don’t intend for this write up to be lengthy, mainly because I hate cold pancakes, but in an much as it is right to make demands and keep the #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS campaign alive, wouldn’t it be swell to know that there are waiting arms, open, in the eventuality that they will return, albeit in some unconventional and unexpected manners?

Would it not be heartwarming to see the same energy used in making the demand, to also rejoice with such news, and splash it all over the internet and in the real world?

Would it not be nice to know that, there are plans on ground to ensure the escaped girls receive all the medical and psychological attention they require, after such a harrowing experience?

Yes, I know at this point most readers are itching to comment, and so gladly inform us that there are modalities in place, but they are being kept under wraps, but then I would reply, I am not asking to see the girls, I am not requesting to see their names, all I am asking is that, the same energy used to keep the hashtag alive, the same energy used in giving us updates about the insensitivity of the government and their callous approach to finding the girls and ending the carnage, should also be put into informing eager ears and the numerous disciples on the progress made with the returned girls.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Well I think I have said enough for now, but before I go, I’ll say this, I am happy, some are coming home, I am happy they were able to escape, and eventually, they will be reunited with their families.

“For they who clamor

Silently Pray

For the Clamor to go unnoticed

So the clamor may continue

And the spotlight remains”

God Bless You, God Bless Me, God Bless The federal Republic Of Nigeria……. Wait that is still our name right?

Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)

Staircases And Cupcakes


image ofI was eleven when it happened, I can remember how it happened, because I was there when it happened.

It took me twenty four years to get here, and a lot of guts, but I think it’s time I got it off my chest.

I won’t pretend I grew up in a perfect home, and suddenly things went bad, for as long as I can remember, it was always the same, I grew up thinking all Fathers yelled, and all mothers cried.

Father was never happy, he always yelled, everything was always done wrong, and even when he did it wrong, he always found a way of blaming mother.

I saw him punch her, shove her, swear at her, but I never saw him hold her, hug her, kiss her, or even say anything nice to her.

It’s not a long story, just a brief sad story, of an eleven year old boy, a story that changed his life forever.

I just got back from school, I was in the kitchen eating, and as usual, mother would set my meal with the usual cupcake on the side, chocolate flavored, so I could eat immediately I got back from school, she never missed it, I still remember the smell of cake batter, she baked so much, the aroma was almost permanent, and even up until now as an adult, I always remember her, when I smell cake batter, among other things.

It was quite, unusually quiet, I didn’t think much of it, because I knew it was just a matter of time before father would get back, and he would find something to yell about.

He got back earlier than usual, I was just about biting into my cupcake, when he walked in, I remember losing my appetite, he walked passed me like I was not there, not that I cared, I was accustomed to it, he yelled out for mum, but he didn’t get any response, I knew she was asleep, she was pregnant, and it was hard for her to keep up with her daily routine, I didn’t bother checking up on her, because I knew she was a light sleeper, and I didn’t want to wake her up.

He yelled out again, and still yet no reply, I remained in the kitchen, and waited for it, I heard him walk up the stairs, I could tell he was mad, what else was new, suddenly I heard him yelling at her, I couldn’t quite make out the words, but I knew there were angry words, I left the kitchen, and made my way to the foot of the stairs, I stretched my neck, trying to hear what was being said, dad was yelling, and mum was trying to pacify him, suddenly he appeared at the top of the stairs, and stared right down at me, I felt a chill, this was not normal, “what are you looking at you stupid boy”, he said, don’t you have anything better to do than stuff your face with cakes? Your mother has made a girl out of you, am pretty sure you are the first boy who will have his period; those were things father said to me.

I let his words wash over me, but I didn’t move, I was accustomed to it, I think deep down he just needed to rave and rant all the time to give himself a sense of self-worth, mother emerged from the bedroom, and simply told him to leave me alone, and that was when it happened, he turned around and punched her in the face, he didn’t care if she was pregnant or not, she spun around, and used her elbows to shield her tummy from hitting the wall, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back, haven’t you done enough to ruin him, father said, why doesn’t he act like normal boys, and you dare tell me to leave him alone, he spoke about me like I wasn’t even there.

Mother tried to pacify him, he started shoving her, I saw her walking back, towards the head of the stairs, I tried to warn her she was too close to the edge, but his constant yelling drowned my words, she missed her step, I saw her fall, it was like an eternity, but while she fell, she tried to shield her stomach, I saw her fall, I heard bones crack, I saw her falling, and I was rooted to the spot, until she hit me, and we both landed on the floor, I hit my head, and when I opened my eyes, I saw her, lying down, she was staring at me, but was looking through me, suddenly I felt something sticky on my cheek, it was red, it was warm, it was her blood, and then I realized, she was dead, he pushed her, I passed out.

I didn’t see him anymore after that, I went to live with my uncle, years later he told me, my father left, started afresh, was arrested, but never convicted, ruled as a domestic accident, people fall down stairs all the time.

I still don’t understand why he was such a bitter person, mother didn’t deserve what he did to her, I haven’t spoken to him or seen he since that day, personally I see no point

I have moved on, am happy, have a family now, they give me joy, decided to share this, I don’t know how it will help, but am pretty sure it will.

Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)


Ife-Story.jpgI woke up with a start, I felt constrained ,I couldn’t move, I knew my eyes were open, but I couldn’t see anything, suddenly I began to panic, a deep seeded fear arose from within me, the first thing that came to my mind was death, was I dead? Was I in a small confined box? What was happening,i tried to move my wrists and feet, but it was difficult, with every jerk I felt a sharp pain, like something cutting into my skin, then I realized I was tied up, and once again another wave of panic enveloped me, why was I tied up, suddenly I heard the door open and the lights came on, the rays of the light hit my eyes and this made me squint, he stood above me, fire beaming from his eyes, an object in his hand, I couldn’t make out what it was, suddenly he bent over and spat in my face, he emptied some liquid on my chest and my crotch, from the smell I realized it was alcohol, he put a knife to my neck, then he raped me.

My name is Ifeoluwa, and I am about to let you into my world, well my world as it was before now.

Life wasn’t always this messed up, I had dreams and aspirations, no woman or man goes into a marriage with the mind set of being unhappy,Lawani and I met under normal circumstances, not a fairy tale, but it was nice, we worked together in the same ad agency and we spent a lot of time together as colleagues first, then friends and slowly it graduated into a real relationship, he never showed signs of aggression, we dated for about 7months before he asked me to marry him, and I immediately said yes without hesitation.

“Thinking back now, I should have probably hesitated, set him on fire and took to my heels”.

I guess the problems started 4months into our marriage, well I wouldn’t call it a problem because everything was OK, we had everything we needed and wanted, and we had a baby on the way, but lawani was just different, he complained about everything, even the smallest things, he complained about my cooking, my hair do, sometimes he complained when I even touched him, initially I would ask and ask what the problem was, but then he’d fly into a rage and storm out of the house, bear in mind these were just mini tantrums, but the first major one happened on the 3rd of October 2005.

We just got back from the hospital,because I had pains all through the night,we left the house quite early to see the doctor because I was worried about the baby,well the doctor confirmed I was OK and just needed bed rest for a couple of days,well we got home and immediately lawani demanded for something to eat,naturally I was not myself,my hormones were raging,I had nausea and I just couldn’t go anywhere near food,so I simply told him to fix himself a plate,stating why I couldn’t do it,and without warning he slapped me on the face,and I hit my head on the center table,he just went off,saying a lot of things,said he had been watching me,and was disgusted at how lazy I had become,if I knew then what I know now,I would have kept my mouth shut,I tried to stand up and explain why I said what I said,and he pounced on my punching and kicking,he kicked me so hard,I felt my womb rupture,he beat me up,he didn’t stop until he noticed I was bleeding,I passed out and I woke up in the hospital,he had already told the hospital staff a made up story about how we were attacked by robbers,he begged me to go with it,I was ashamed and so I went with it,I lost the baby,and the doctor later told me I had lost my womb.

Yes at this point a lot of you would be screaming blue murder,but keep your comments for now,my story is just unfolding.

Kindly view my press release HERE

Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)

Self-injury or Self-Abuse: a quick guide to the basics

cuttingIf the whole concept of a disorder in which people deliberately inflict physical harm on themselves confuses you, or if you’ve been doing this for a while and never realized that it’s recognized as a valid psychological problem all by itself, then this page is a good place to start learning about self-injury.

What self-injury is — and isn’t

You’ll hear it called many things — self-inflicted violence, self-injury, self-harm, parasuicide, delicate cutting, self-abuse, self-mutilation (this last particularly seems to annoy people who self-injure). Broadly speaking, self-injury is the act of attempting to alter a mood state by inflicting physical harm serious enough to cause tissue damage to your body. This can include cutting (with knives, razors, glass, pins, any sharp object), burning, hitting your body with an object or your fists, hitting a heavy object (like a wall), picking at skin until it bleeds, biting yourself, pulling your hair out, etc. The most commonly seen forms are cutting, burning, and headbanging. “Tissue damage” usually refers to damage that tears, bruises, or burns the skin — something that causes bleeding or marks that don’t go away in a few minutes. A mood state can be positive or negative, or even neither; some people self-injure to end a dissociated or unreal-feeling state, to ground themselves and come back to reality.

It’s not self-injury if your primary purpose is:

  • sexual pleasure
  • body decoration
  • spiritual enlightenment via ritual
  • fitting in or being cool

ASHIC is mostly concerned with episodic and repetitive self-harm: people learn that hurting themselves brings them relief from some kinds of distress and eventually turn to it as a primary coping mechanism.

Calling it self-mutilation often angers people who self-injure. Other terms (self-inflicted violence, self-harm, self-injury) don’t speak to motivation. They simply describe the behavior. “Self-mutilation” implies falsely that the primary intent is to mark or maim the body, and in most cases this isn’t so.

Why does self-injury make some people feel better?

There are a few possibilities, and the answer is probably a mixture of them. Biological predisposition, reduction of tension, and lack of experience in dealing with strong emotions are all factors.

It reduces physiological and psychological tension rapidly.
Studies have suggested that when people who self-injure get emotionally overwhelmed, an act of self-harm brings their levels of psychological and physiological tension and arousal back to a bearable baseline level almost immediately. In other words, they feel a strong uncomfortable emotion, don’t know how to handle it (indeed, often do not have a name for it), and know that hurting themselves will reduce the emotional discomfort extremely quickly. They may still feel bad (or not), but they don’t have that panicky jittery trapped feeling; it’s a calm bad feeling.

This explains why self-injury can be so addictive: It works. When you have a quick, easy way to make the bad stuff go away for a while, why would you want to go through the hard work of finding other ways to cope? Eventually, though, the negative consequences add up, and people do seek help.

Some people never get a chance to learn how to cope effectively
We aren’t born knowing how to express and cope with our emotions — we learn from our parents, our siblings, our friends, schoolteachers, — everyone in our lives. One factor common to most people who self-injure, whether they were abused or not, is invalidation. They were taught at an early age that their interpretations of and feelings about the things around them were bad and wrong. They learned that certain feelings weren’t allowed. In abusive homes, they may have been severely punished for expressing certain thoughts and feelings. At the same time, they had no good role models for coping. You can’t learn to cope effectively with distress unless you grow up around people who are coping effectively with distress. How could you learn to cook if you’d never seen anyone work in a kitchen?

Although a history of abuse is common among self-injurers, not everyone who self-injures was abused. Sometimes, invalidation and lack of role models for coping are enough, especially if the person’s brain chemistry has already primed them for choosing this sort of coping.

Problems with neurotransmitters may play a role
Just as it’s suspected that the way the brain uses serotonin may play a role in depression, so scientists think that problems in the serotonin system may predispose some people to self-injury by making them tend to be more aggressive and impulsive than most people. This tendency toward impulsive aggression, combined with a belief that their feelings are bad or wrong, can lead to the aggression being turned on the self. Of course, once this happens, the person harming himself learns that self-injury reduces his level of distress, and the cycle begins. Some researchers theorize that a desire to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, is involved.

What kinds of people self-injure?

Self-injurers come from all walks of life and all economic brackets. People who harm themselves can be male or female; gay, straight, or bi; Ph.D.s or high-school dropouts (or high-school students); rich or poor; from any country in the world. Some people who SI manage to function effectively in demanding jobs; they are teachers, therapists, medical professionals, lawyers, professors, engineers. Some are on disability. Their ages range from early teens to early 60s. In fact, the incidence of self-injury is about the same as that of eating disorders, but because it’s so highly stigmatized, most people hide their scars, burns, and bruises carefully. They also have excuses ready when someone asks about the scars (there are a lot of really vicious cats around).

Aren’t people who would deliberately cut or burn themselves psychotic?

No more than people who drown their sorrows in a bottle of vodka are. It’s a coping mechanism, just not one that’s as understandable to most people and as accepted by society as alcoholism, drug abuse, overeating, anorexia, bulimia, workaholism, smoking cigarettes, and other forms of problem avoidance are.


Okay, then isn’t it just another way to describe a failed suicide attempt?

NO. People who inflict physical harm on themselves are often doing it in an attempt to maintain psychological integrity — it’s a way to keep from killing themselves. They release unbearable feelings and pressures through self-harm, and that eases their urge toward suicide. And although some people who self-injure do later attempt suicide, they almost always use a method different from their preferred method of self-harm. Self-injury is a maladaptive coping mechanism, a way to stay alive. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand this and think that involuntary commitment is the only way to deal with a person who self-harms. Hospitalization, especially forced, can do more harm than good.

Can anything be done for people who hurt themselves?

Yes. Several websites offer self-help ideas. Many new therapeutic approaches have been and are being developed to help self-harmers learn new coping mechanisms and teach them how to start using those techniques instead of self-injury. They reflect a growing belief among mental-health workers that once a client’s patterns of self-inflicted violence stabilize, real work can be done on the problems and issues underlying the self-injury. Also, research into medications that stabilize mood, ease depression, and calm anxiety is being done; some of these drugs may help reduce the urge to self-harm.

This does not mean that patients should be coerced into stopping self-injury. Any attempts to reduce or control the amount of self-harm a person does should be based in the client’s willingness to undertake the difficult work of controlling and/or stopped self-injury. Treatment should not be based on a practitioner’s personal feelings about the practice of self-harm.

Self-injury brings out many uncomfortable feelings in people who don’t do it: revulsion, anger, fear, and distaste, to name a few. If a medical professional is unable to cope with her own feelings about self-harm, then she has an obligation to herself and to her client to find a practitioner willing to do this work. In addition, she has the responsibility to be certain the client understands that the referral is due to her own inability to deal with self-injury and not to any inadequacies in the client.

People who self-injure do generally do so because of an internal dynamic, and not in order to annoy, anger or irritate others. Their self-injury is a behavioral response to an emotional state, and is usually not done in order to frustrate caretakers. In emergency rooms, people with self-inflicted wounds are often told directly and indirectly, that they are not as deserving of care as someone who has an accidental injury. They are treated badly by the same doctors who would not hesitate to do everything possible to preserve the life of an overweight, sedentary heart-attack patient.

Doctors in emergency rooms and urgent-care clinics should be sensitive to the needs of patients who come in to have self-inflicted wounds treated. If the patient is calm, denies suicidal intent, and has a history of self-inflicted violence, the doctor should treat the wounds as they would treat non-self-inflicted injuries. Refusing to give anesthesia for stitches, making disparaging remarks, and treating the patient as an inconvenient nuisance simply further the feelings of invalidation and unworthiness the self-injurer already feels. Although offering mental-health follow-up services is appropriate, psychological evaluations with an eye toward hospitalization should be avoided in the ER unless the person is clearly a danger to his/her own life or to others. In places where people know that self-inflicted injuries are liable to lead to mistreatment and lengthy psychological evaluations, they are much less likely to seek medical attention for their wounds and thus are at a higher risk for wound infections and other complications.


For Some, Weight Issues Are Linked to Sexual Abuse

weight lossIt is estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys will have experienced some form of sexual abuse by the age of eighteen. These exploitive behaviors range from exposure to more invasive forms of sexual assault. If you were sexually abused as a child, and have had difficulty releasing weight and keeping it off, you are not alone. Chances are your ongoing weight lossdifficulties stem from your subconscious mind still wanting to protect that little girl, or that little boy, you once were.

I’ll call her Anna. She believes her weight gain started when she was in the fourth grade. That was the year she moved into her stepfather’s house and he began sexually abusing her. She remembers it was then because she loved the little purple flowers on the wall paper in her new bedroom. She methodically would count the purple petals hoping he would stop touching her by the time she reached one hundred. When I saw her in my office some thirty years later, she was depressed, overweight and didn’t realize her obesity had anything to do with being sexually abused. It was only when she realized her weight gain was her incredibly resourceful way of trying to protect herself that she understood. She then began to set herself free.”

On a subconscious level, gaining excess weight was the sexually abused child’s solution to the fear of unwanted sexual advances. Wearing layers of flannel pajamas to delay the inevitable transformed into layers of protective fat in adulthood. Compulsive overeating was the only way to self-soothe when no one was available for support.

Your attempts at losing weight may be fraught with repeated failures. Not because you lack willpower, but because on a deep level you are afraid. If this reflects your experience, here are three suggestions to help you release weight in a way that is emotionally safe and self-loving.

1.  Safety    

Before beginning any weight loss plan, it is important that your current home environment is safe and secure. If you are in a difficult or abusive relationship, or in a strained family situation, deal with this first. Create for yourself an atmosphere of love and support. Before you can release excess weight, your inner child, and the adult that you are today, needs to be safe.

2.  Support 

Make sure you have at least one trusted friend or family member that you can talk to about the sexual abuse you experienced. Let them know that this may emerge for you as you begin to release weight. Give yourself the gift of professional help. It is not unusual to feel anxious as you lose weight because you are letting go of something that on a deep level has served to emotionally protect you. It may feel very scary. A skilled therapist can help support you through this process and help you to manage overwhelming feelings that may emerge.

3.  Patience

Take your time.  Have patience and realize that this process isn’t just about releasing weight. It’s about releasing your fears and your pain. The longer it takes to release weight the more you can trust that an inner shift is happening. You need that time to transform your thinking and your beliefs so you can develop an emotional readiness to release weight. And to feel safe. This reassures your inner child that the comfort and familiarity of excess weight will not be taken away from her before she is ready. Having patience will help you adjust to small, incremental weight loss shifts and the feelings that go along with that. Your developing inner strength then becomes the foundation that will help you release weight with confidence and self-love.

Your thoughts…

Do you know someone with a weight issue who was sexually abused?  What helps them to feel safe as they release weight?

Diane Petrella, MSW is a psychotherapist and life coach. Earlier in her career she developed the first child sexual abuse treatment program in the State of Rhode Island. She offers her clients a spiritual approach to weight loss and helps them develop a loving, respectful relationship with their bodies. Receive a free copy of Diane’s Seven Easy & Effortless Weight Loss Secrets by signing up for her monthly e-newsletter, Living Lightly, for spiritual insights and tips to release weight with confidence and love.  To contact Diane directly visit her website at

Domestic Violence in Pregnancy

scared pregPregnancy is supposed to be a time of peace and safety. A time where the family turns its thoughts towards raising the next generation and growing a healthy baby. Unfortunately for many women, pregnancy can be the beginning of a violent time in their lives.

Effects of Domestic Abuse on Pregnancy & Labor

Domestic abuse and violence against pregnant women has immediate and lasting effects. While some of the complications you might suspect are present, such as immediate injury to the woman or her baby, there are also other effects on the pregnancy.

Many women who are battered during pregnancy will continue unhealthy habits due to stress, such as smoking, resorting to drug use and improper nutritional habits. These also affect the pregnancy.

Immediate effects on the pregnancy can include:


Abuse, both in the past and in a current relationship, particularly sexual abuse, has been shown to have effects on laboring women. There is even some speculation as to whether or not previous history of sexual abuse can delay the baby from dropping into the pelvis, make the pushing stage longer, etc.

The constant pelvic exams by multiple people, the lack of privacy, the increasing sensations in the pelvic area from contractions and the baby, and the potential for feeling of lost self-control all contribute to potential triggers for the women with these histories.

Counseling prior to labor, involvement of the primary midwife or doctor can help lessen these sensations for the abuse survivor in the labor scenario. Precautions taken to ensure fewer vaginal exams, pain relief of the choice of the woman, and reduction in the number of extraneous personnel at the birth are all ways to reduce the incidence of problems for these women.

Screening for Domestic Abuse

It is estimated that one in five women will be abused during pregnancy. As homicide during pregnancy now surpasses the previous leading causes of death (automobile accidents and falls), it is more important than ever that we know the signs and properly screen women for domestic violence.

The good news is that many women have a relationship with a health care provider, particularly during pregnancy and well baby visits, after the birth (even for lower income families). This allows more opportunities for screening and prevention.

What we still need to work on is making sure that the care providers and emergency room workers know the signs of abuse and what to do about them. Currently about 17% of all routine health care providers screen for domestic violence at their first visit, with only 10% screening at subsequent visits.

Abused women come from all backgrounds and socioeconomic areas. There are barriers to determining who has suffered abuse because of fear of reprisal from the violent partner, lack of knowledgeable viable alternatives to money and housing issues, and embarrassment that she is even in this situation. Practitioners need to be sensitive to these issues.

Common signs might be:

  • Delay in seeking prenatal care
  • Unexplained bruising or damage to her breasts or abdomen
  • Continued use of products harmful to pregnancy (cigarettes, drugs, alcohol)
  • Reoccurring psychosomatic illnesses
  • Lack of attendance to prenatal education

Getting Help

Help is available for those involved in abusive relationships. Many states have programs to provide you with shelter and clothing, even prenatal care. The American Institute on Domestic Violence has a great page of resources, including a state by state listing of organizations. There is also a listing of international sites available. Remember, that help is available, and you are not alone. Please, for your sake and your baby’s do not delay in seeking help, your lives may depend on it.