24 years later and I am all grown up, through murky waters and bitter nightmares I have emerged, with the love of an uncle and aunt who took me as their own, watching over me and never giving, for 24 years they gently chipped away the anger and hate, their love, patience and prayers was just what the doctor ordered.
It took us five years to get pregnant, first two years of our marriage, we spent discovering each other, and making plans, building our home. At first it didn’t bother us, because we thought we had it all planned out, we wanted to be ready before the baby came, so we waited, one year became two years and the three years, and my wife became worried, so did i.
By 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
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)
Each time i returned to him, my decision was confirmed as a good one, because i was rewarded not just with a temporary peace, but with the return of the man i’d fallen in love with. “We’d have this honeymoon period where he was nice to me again. I couldn’t help myself; I fell for it,”.
Lawani would come straight home from work, sometimes with flowers in hand, “and we’d have family time. He’d crack us up and laugh. Or we’d work around the house…all the things that happen in a normal home.”
Most important, He doted on Me. There were date nights followed by lovemaking, with Lawani holding me all night long. “I got enough of a glimpse of what a normal life could be like,” Look, he can be a family man; we can do this,” I’d say to myself.
Amarachi at this point was very upset with me,she was the only one I had told about the abuse,and she kept urging me to leave him,”do you want to wait until we come get you out of there in a body bag”she’d say,I was a woman still intent on saving my marriage,what amarachi advised only made me foolish,and I began to alienate myself from her and others,even my own parents,in my mind at the time they were the enemy,my justification was that they didn’t know lawani the way I did,they basically didn’t understand,my mum had visited once and discovered some swelling on my chin,she expressed concern and I simply told her we had an argument and I had provoked lawani too much,and when she insisted on having a talk with him,I was quick to remind her not to meddle in the affairs of my home.She in turn spoke to amarachi about it,and well amarachi being the hot head she was,came to my house and confronted lawani,oh how I wish she had’t done that,because after she left he felt very upset and humiliated,and yes you guessed right,I payed for it.
That night after amarachi had left, Lawani had tied my hands behind my back and punched me in the stomach for three hours. Afterward, I crawled to the bathroom and vomited blood,i managed to drive myself to the hospital,there I met the matron on duty,Matron Tamasi, I came in stooped and limping, showed the matron the evidence of my beating,my arms bruised black from wrist to elbow, a belly the color of a rotting plum.
He could’ve killed you!” the matron exclaimed. i knew she was right. And when, one month later, another fight began brewing in our house,the matron’s words reverberated in my head and prompted me to run across the street and call my friend to pick me up.
It was the third time I left.
I stayed away with Amarachi for about a month. But while my life was free from abuse, it wasn’t peaceful. Lawani was a constant: badgering me, surprising me when i least expected it, and — perhaps worst of all — threatening to discontinue our adoption process,don’t judge me,I wanted a child so badly so I was willing to put up with as much crap just to get a child,and somewhere in my mind,I believed with the arrival of the child,things might get better,I mean children are supposed to be blessings right? At the same time, he was trying to woo me back by asking me out on dates and by renovating our home exactly the way i’d wanted, even hanging up my cherished family photos. “I got a glimpse of the person I married: the romance, the hugs and sweet things.
Meanwhile, my friend never complained about hosting me, but she were clearly on edge — especially when lawani would call to accuse her of breaking up his home. As time passed, I felt like a burden on amarachi. In despair, i went to a shelter to explore my options and was dismayed to learn it would only be able to house me for 30 days. “Then what?” I asked the counselor, who had no reply. I couldn’t see a way out.
Here I was with no job and no life. “And then here’s my husband, with our beautifully remodeled house and all the things from the life we had built, and he’s saying, ‘You can have all this if you come back,so i meekly called lawani to say i was moving back in — feeling “scared to death, sick to my stomach, frightened out of my mind, and hopeful that things were going to change” — i made note of a valuable lesson i’d learned.
My arrival back home was greeted with a very familiar “seize fire” regime,lawani was all over me,doting as usual and being the “perfect man”,but this time I was very careful not to be taken in by the his usual tricks and pageantry.
I would stare at him for a while and try to read him,he had mastered the art of switching himself on and off at will,it was like he had the jerkyl and hyde syndrome,one minute he was this big teddy bear,appeared not being able to hurt a fly,the next moment he’d transform into a rabid wolf,foaming at the mouth,treating me like prey,”yes that was the only logical way to describe my husband.
I woke up to lawani smiling over me,looking like a little boy in a toy store,he asked me to come downstairs,saying Christmas had come early this year,I put on my robe and followed him downstairs,and when I got downstairs I was stunned,my legs went limp,I half expected they would give out under me,sitting in the living room was a woman,but she was not alone,she was holding a little girl,she was 14months old,my heart skipped a beat,I turned and looked at him,he smiled and said “congratulations it’s a girl”.
The lady I later discovered was from an orphanage and lawani had pushed the adoption process faster and we had gotten this little girl,this little angel,this wonderful innocent human being,I took a step towards them and stopped to check myself as if to be sure I was’t dreaming,I moved closer,picked her up,held her close to me and turned to lawani and said “her name is Morenikeji-which means I have found a companion,he smiled and accepted the name,I refused to put her down,as if putting her down would be the end of life itself,it was a wonderful feeling,I didn’t care that I was not her birth mother,but the thought of her being my child was the best feeling I had in a very long time,once the documents were signed and the lady left,lawani and I took keji(shortened) upstairs and spent the whole day getting to know her.
Life seemed to stabilize for a while,so far this was the longest stretch of peace I had experienced in a while,lawani even agreed to let me start my own ad consulting agency,things were looking up,or so I thought.
Then the worst happened,I had a meeting with a client,he came in later than the agreed time,so I stayed out later than usual,after the meeting I raced home,because I had left keji with the nanny,immediately I drove into the house I saw lawani’s car parked outside,fear enveloped me,I tried to compose myself,I knew something was wrong,I walked into the house,the nanny was gone,lawani and keji were in the living room watching a cartoon on television,I started to talk when lawani dismissed me with his hand,I made my way to the kitchen,everywhere was spotless,my heart was racing,I thought it was going to explode in my chest,I made my way to the bedroom to change,and when I came out I saw lawani taking keji to bed.
I went downstairs and waited for lawani,and while I waited for him to come back down I said a short prayer “O lord my father,if what I am passing through is not from you,have mercy on me,deliver me,save me,have mercy on me”.
Lawani walked calmly into the living room,sat across from me,stared directly at me and he lips parted and the words I dreaded came out,”where have you been”,I began explaining what had transpired during my meeting and what had caused the delay,he seemed to be getting relaxed up until the point I mentioned the client was a man,his eyes went dark and he jumped up, and in a split second he was beside me,and before I could blink he had hit me across the face,the impact sent me tumbling over,he pulled me up by my hair and punched me in the face,I stumbled over again,begging him to stop,this enraged him the more,he called me a harlot,and hit me again,this time I tasted blood,suddenly from the corner of my eye I saw him pick up something from the table,he struck my head……………..i passed out.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
You can view PT1 HERE
You can view PT2 HERE
I met him on badoo, yes badoo, the network where people upload pictures and deceive themselves, he looked cool enough, at least he didn’t have a cheesy profile and didn’t claim to own the taj mahal, he was just an average guy, looking to chat and just while away time, well at that time that’s what I thought.
I was still going through his profile when he sent me a message, clearly he had taken the same interest in me, I hesitated at first, but then I decided to reply him, he was very polite, but I didn’t fall for it right away, I have had experiences with guys online, most of them pretend to be nice and civil at first, until they begin to ask for pictures of your breasts and privates. We chatted for about 10mins and he decided to log off, this was a first for me, because usually I always leave in the middle of a conversation, to keep them wanting more, now I know what that felt like.
Now I know we just chatted for 10mins, but it felt like we had been old friends, yes I know how cliche’ it sounds, but that’s just the plain fact, anyway I logged off too, but about 30mins later, I was back online, silently hoping he had logged on while I was away, and left a message, but to my dismay, there was no message from him. I logged off again, and repeated the process about 4 times that day and finally decided to control myself, I was lonely, I didn’t have a boyfriend, I didn’t just break up, I just didn’t have a boyfriend, don’t know why, but no one had ever asked me out, don’t get me wrong, I have male friends, but nothing intimate, I have had a few flings, but none ever stuck around long enough, it was always wam bam, thank you sam and they were gone before I could even put on my panties.
A few days passed and no message from him, I caught him online once, but while I was sending him a message I realized he had logged off, now it really hurt me, which made me ask myself why I was so bothered about this guy, I didn’t even know his real name, so I decided to forget about him, and move on with my life.
I carried on, still hooked on to the site, checking out profiles and dreaming up stupid fantasies, suddenly there he was, he had sent me a message, my first impulse was to log off, but while my head was logging off, my hands were already replying his message, we chatted for hours, it was fun, refreshing, intriguing, I became drawn to him, I asked for his phone number, but to my surprise he refused giving it to me, he simply said the time was not right yet, well I felt very insulted and I didn’t hesitate to let him know, he just simply apologized and told me goodnight. I was fuming, I decided I would never speak to him again, but deep down inside I knew I would speak to him if he spoke, so I just vented, cursed and went to bed.
After that day, we became regular chat mates, we talked about everything, but the most frustrating part was I still couldn’t read him, I didn’t know what he wanted, any regular guy would have made his intentions known by now, but not him, and he had this air of mystery around him, I guess that was what drew me to him, so I decided to make the first move, told him I wanted to hear his voice, this time he didn’t hesitate, he gave me his number and I immediately called him, he had a very calm voice, and I was smitten, in addition to what I felt already, I called him almost all the time, I sent text messages, and did all I could to stay in constant touch with him, at this point I realized our roles had been reversed, I was the guy and he was the lady, I would call and call, sometimes he would pick up, sometimes he wouldn’t, but I would still call, I would send long messages, and all I would get as a reply was a simple ‘ok’.
I decided I wanted to meet him, I craved definition, I wanted to finally put a face to the voice and all the messages I arranged for us to meet at the shopping mall, he agreed without hesitation, suddenly I felt sick in my stomach, was it regret or just sheer excitement, time would tell.
The agreed day for our date was here, I was falling over myself, I had trouble deciding what to wear, I wanted to make a good impression, but I didn’t want to appear to slutty or desperate, I arrived at the mall I bit early, I waited for close to an hour before he arrived, and when he arrived, I wasn’t disappointed, he was handsome, suave, and very calm, and a perfect gentleman, if he was still pretending up until this point, he must have been a good actor, and oh yes he was.
We had a swell time, talked about anything and everything, the day was gradually coming to an end, and suddenly I was becoming depressed, he noticed this and promised to take me out on a date on Saturday, I was happy, and although Saturday was just 2 days away it felt like an eternity, he stopped a cab for me, and gave me a kiss in the cheek, I wished it was more, but I had to be content with what I got.
The next 2 days were very interesting, he called me every chance he got, and my message inbox was filled with very romantic messages, finally some attention, and I was loving it, every moment of it. He hadn’t sent any sexual messages, or suggested anything sexual, all he did was call to know how I was, and tell me how deeply he felt for me, I was smitten beyond reason.
Saturday morning, I was so excited, I couldn’t eat, I tried on several clothes, I was determined this time to show off my features, I wanted him to see all he had at his disposal, and all he needed to do was ask, my plan worked, from the moment he picked me up, I caught him checking me out on several occasions, I was enjoying every moment of it. Our date was heavenly, he took me to a lake side restaurant, we ate, talked and laughed, and when we were done he offered to drop me off at home, I didn’t want to be too forward, so I agreed, but on our way back to my place he asked if I wouldn’t mind going back to my place, at least just to know where he lived, I agreed and off we went.
Most times we are blinded by lots of factors, and these don’t allow us look out for warning signs, on our way to his place, his phone rang, and suddenly he pulled the car over, he genuinely looked upset, and went on to tell me, he just received a call from his gate man, informing him the house had been fumigated, so instinctively I asked what the plan was, and he said he had to check into a hotel , then he offered to drive me home, well I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, so I decided to go with him to the hotel, I wanted to play the loyal girlfriend, after all it wouldn’t speak well of me if I abandoned him now, so off we went.
There was an awkward silence at the hotel, I was quite tense and I guess he was too, because he kept walking around checking everything over and over again, I took off my shoes and put on the tv and sat on the bed, I watched him walk around and told him to come sit by me, he hesitated at first, but then he sat beside me, he took my hands and kissed me, I responded, he pulled back, looked into my eyes and told me he hoped it would last, then he kissed me again, I totally melted in his arms, I threw all caution to the wind, and allowed him have his way with me, I didn’t care, all I cared about was that time, I would care tomorrow, but today, I was with him.
He made love to me, over and over again, it was intense, maybe because I had not been treated with so much care and passion, I didn’t care that we didn’t have protection, all I wanted was him, looking back now, it was a stupid thing to do. We both fell asleep, the next morning he gently woke me up with a kiss, he ordered some breakfast for us, we ate silently, we didn’t talk about the previous night, I went in to take a shower, he joined me, and we had sex right there in the bathroom, this time it was urgent, as if he was having me for the first time, I loved it, he gave me a good mix, gentle the previous night, hard the following morning, as he had me, I thought to myself, where had he been all my life. I was so happy, in my mind I had found my Mr. Right, we got dressed and he drove me home, we were chatting like an old couple, he stopped at my hostel gate, came out and opened the door for me, kissed me on the cheek and promised to call me once he had sorted his house out, I watched him drive off, with a massive smile on my lips, I was happy.
I waited for his call all day, I waited for his message, I didn’t get anything, I fought the urge to call him, didn’t want to appear too needy, after all he had told me he would call, so I waited and waited some more, but no call came in, I was beginning to get worried, so I called his number, it was switched off, my heart skipped a beat, but I calmed myself, maybe his battery had died, maybe he didn’t have access to his house yet, so I waited, I lay on my bed waiting, I fell asleep with my phone in hand.
I woke up the next morning, immediately checked my phone, no missed calls, no text messages, I tried his line again, still switched off, I started to panic, I immediately logged on to badoo, lots of messages, but none from him, I tried to check his profile, and my heart sank with the message I saw, “USER PROFILE HAS BEEN DELETED”,I immediately broke down crying, I was confused, what was happening, I tried his number again, still switched off, tried to check his profile again and got the same message, it was like he had vanished into thin air.
I spent the whole day in bed, hoping blindly that he would call, nothing, I tried his number and it was still switched off, my roommates asked what was wrong, I was too ashamed to tell them anything, I still didn’t want to believed I had been played, so I waited, and waited some more, I eventually slept off.
The next day I woke up, tried his number, checked his profile, everything was still the same, I decided to try to find him, I found my way back to the hotel, I tried to see if I could get any information, I lied that I had forgotten my wallet in the room, they checked the registration details, the room was booked in just one name, victor, that was his online name, that was the name I called him, the phone number was the one I had, I was let into the room, I found nothing, I left there, and tried to trace my way to his place, I got to the point where we turned around, I walked around for some hours hoping to see if he would drive by, but slowly I began to realize he wasn’t going to drive by, slowly I began to realize I had been played, I fell for a scam, I had sex with a phantom, how else could I explain what had happened to me.
I went back to school, ashamed, depressed, and feeling very dirty, I didn’t tell anyone what had happened, when asked about him, all I did was say he was fine. I tried his number a couple more times, and checked his profile, everything remained the same, the days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months, I was beginning to forget, until I fell ill.
I woke up one night shivering from a serious fever, I was burning up, my roommates rushed me to the school clinic, I was, I was placed on admission, the doctor insisted on running some tests before he started treatment, I was given an injection to help with the fever. A couple of hours later he came back with the results, he asked to talk to me privately, my roommates left the room, and the words came out like blows, “YOU ARE PREGNANT”, I was too shocked to speak, I was 19 (nineteen), and pregnant for a man I met online, nowhere to be found, my life was over, how was I going to explain this to my parents, if I was pregnant, what assurance did I have that I hadn’t contracted a disease from him, there were so many questions, and no answers, I was pregnant, who was I going to blame.
I met a man online, I acted like a common slut, and he left me with a pregnancy I didn’t know what to do with, there was no excuse for what I had gotten myself into, no sympathy for my actions, if I am to carry this pregnancy to term, how was I going to explain the circumstances, how would I tell this child who the father was or is.
There is no happy ending here, just the mistakes of an overzealous young girl.
By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
N-B- Please Leave Your Thoughts and Comments, Thank You
Hello everyone,below are separate stories of abuse, from the perspective of an abused child.
I was a princess, daddy always said so, and he told me princess get nice things, and special attention from the king, daddy said he was the king, so when it was bed time, he would carry me on his knee and read me stories, he would kiss me, and tell me to open my mouth, it was our special king and princess kiss, then he would put my hands in his pants, and say the princess should touch the king’s staff, daddy was always right.
One night I had a nightmare,mummy was asleep, she was always asleep, daddy came to my room, and lay on the bed with me, he told me he would make the nightmares go away, he said he would use his staff, he said I was ready to become the queen, he took off my underwear, it hurt, he told me not to say anything to mummy, he said mummy didn’t want me to become queen,and that she would hurt me, I was scared, daddy said he would protect me, he kissed me on the lips and left, I cried.
The next morning, I was too sore to get out of bed, mummy came in, she removed my blanket and screamed, I was covered in blood, she ran out.
I didn’t see daddy after that, mummy said he went to a new kingdom, where he would be the queen.
Mum said I was worthless, she would yell at me, throw things at me, she never wanted me around, she said I brought her bad luck, some nights she would lock me up in the house, with some bread and a glass of water, she would always say she hoped I died before she got back.
She always blamed me for all her boyfriends leaving her, she said I was too disgusting to have around, and I was the reason she was lonely and miserable.
One day, in the kitchen, she was drunk, she was always drinking, she put my hands on the kitchen counter, and sliced off my finger, she hit me over the head with a kettle, I fainted.
I woke up in the hospital, a nice lady was sitting next to my bed, she had tears in her eyes, she said no one would ever hurt me again, didn’t see mum after that, doesn’t matter much, I guess am happy now.
Composed/Interviewed By Arome Ameh (The Priest)