REGROUPING

Yesterday was not the best day of my life. Of all the various forms of sexual assault and harassment, I hate random street sexual assault the most.
It defies logical explanation. I suspect this is because it is not logical. How else, does one explain a random fucktard, an agbero and yesterday, a mad man stretching out their filthy hands and touching my breast? (and marking me. The mad idiot had a red marker and he marked me)
Yesterday, I wanted to kill someone. I imagined in detail dismembering the bastard. Then I got depressed. Very depressed.
My body knows when I’m upset. It begins to crave the usual, the familiar. So I went home, had a bath, made lunch. Then I started crying. Then i said a prayer. Then I cleaned my eyes, started reading a novel that made me comfortable. Then I started crying again. Then I napped, woke up. Played with the dog. Watched some Telemundo. Then I went back into my room to attend a class in an online course I’m taking.
Then Obi and Anu began to fight.
Anu: The last time this happened, you started looking for a pen knife. Continue the search! Or take the small knife in the kitchen.
Obi: It happened so fast! What do you expect me to do if it happens again? Chase him and stab him? Can you imagine the headline?
Anu: If there’s a headline, you can defend yourself. You saw how many people saw it happen and did absolutely nothing. Why the fuck should they step in when you decide to take revenge?
Obi: Because a marker is not a deadly weapon. A knife can kill.
Anu: Exactly why you need one.
Obi: What if I stab someone by mistake. What do we do then?
Anu: You need to talk to someone. You know how you get if you don’t say anything.
Obi: Who will I talk to? There’s no way I can say anything to daddy, he’ll just feel bad and buy me Shortbread or Hobnobs. And I can’t talk to my friends. They’ll just say eiya and start telling me to calm down.
Anu: Joy will probably laugh and make you laugh too.
Obi: Joy might laugh or get upset. Anyway, they both have a ton of stuff on their plates now. I’m not going to tell them anything.
Anu: You could do with some Shortbread sha.
Obi: The shortbread we bought a month ago, have we started eating it?
Anu: Fine. But just imagine the joy you would feel knifing that arm.
And then, I had a pleasurable fantasy of beating the shit out of the fucking bastard.
Then I started crying again.

You might not know this, but when stuff like this happens, I begin to question EVERYTHING. Every decision I’ve made. Every blessed thing I’ve ever done. How? How am I supposed to bring a child into this world when they’re not safe? When there’s danger every bloody place you look? When some rat bastard can decide to pinch his/her breast, mark his/her body and go talk to someone else. How? Then I cried again and read a couple of blogs. Adaezenwa has a new post up of her Pendulum series. Please go check it out.
This morning I woke up, feeling a little better. I wore my largest earrings (the more upset I feel, the larger the earrings, mostly) and set off for work. I’ve broken down in tears more than once today. But not just because of this.

NIGERIA HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT FOR ITS GIRLS AND ITS WOMEN. NOT A WHIT!

Ese Oruru. The girls that were kidnapped in Chibok, in Ikorodu. Two girls were kidnapped in Ahmadu Bello University a while back. I retweeted it. Two days ago, I asked the person who posted the original tweet if they’d been found. And they had been. Dead, with body parts harvested.

It appears that these days, abducting girls is the best thing for criminals.
Less than an hour ago, Twitter erupted in another debate on rape and of course, some people, men and women came out, talking about how if girls dressed modestly, they wouldn’t be raped. I started crying again.

While I confess to being hurt, upset and depressed that someone could violate me in public and leave me with no course of action, I’m even more depressed that some people believe that if i had say, been wearing a hijab, it wouldn’t have happened.

Still, I’m regrouping. I won’t commit suicide over this. If I do, i won’t be able to play my part in reversing the mess this country is in.
And God knows I need to. So I drew my strength from Romans 8:31- 35. And I’ll live and fight another day.

Romans 8: 31 – 35 (Amplified Version)
31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]

32 He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?

33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]

34 Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?

35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?

image
@poetolu. I like his Instagram page.
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This calms me

My best friend’s dad will be up later today.
*

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27 thoughts on “REGROUPING

    1. Thank you. I needed that right now. Thanks.
      Your post on silhouettes is extraordinarily beautiful. You take the best pictures.

      1. Awww I try. My art is still young. I appreciate that.
        I’ve heard so much about Nigeria, both good and bad, but this disregard for women and life in general, is so disheartening. And the dismembering… Oh God, unbelievable. I’d love to come visit some friends there but I’m apprehensive coming, especially with little children.
        I feel so bad about what happened to you. A crime against one is a crime against all of us women. I’m glad I could comfort you, even if only a little. Take care of you okay. xoxo

      2. Nigeria is a good country with the potential to be excellent. But, it pains me to say this, but I can’t advise you to come here. Especially not with little children. I love my country, I do.
        But there’s violence in the North and kidnappings in the South. The dropping cost of crude oil and the persistent disregard of it by our leaders has a lot of people on a short leash. There are good, even great things here and once there’s stability, I’d love to personally meet you. However, there’s no perfect time or place to do anything. So you can in good conscience disregard my advice.
        Thank you. And you definitely did. I like your blog very much. And I definitely will.
        Thank you. I can actually feel your concern.

  1. Nne, ndo. I feel you. When you live in commercial cities in Nigeria, you would experience almost daily/weekly sexual assault depending on your side of town. And u r expected to get used to it. Imagine!!!!
    its infuriating really; but the truth is that Nigerians have zero respect for girls. If you are raped, its because you dressed immodestly or the funniest question: What were you doing in the guys house in the first place? Or what were you doing outside at night? That means you wanted it.
    I’m afraid of bringing up girls in this country or worse still, a boy who would start sounding moronic as he grows up.
    By the way, i’ve checked out adaeze’s post; made my day

    1. Nne daalu.
      Ahh, it is painful. It is so painful. And they expect us to get used to being treated like that on a daily basis. I hate it most when i wear the NYSC uniform and people seem to think that because I’m serving my country, I’m government property and need to be raided.
      And please don’t get me started on the rape justifications. If only i had a magic wand, I’d slap everyone who ever justified rape. But wishes are not horses.
      Seriously, i had just made up my mind that i could stand to have a child or 2, then this happened. But there’s no such thing as perfect conditions so we’ll see where that goes.
      I’m glad you checked out Adaeze’s post. And thank you. I’m not sure, but i think this is the first comment you’ve left on this blog. I appreciate it. Thank you.

      1. Lolzz @govt property that needs to be raided.
        I’ve been checking out ur blog, can’t believe i have never left a comment till now (slaps myself).

  2. When I first read this, I couldn’t trust myself to coherently respond.
    Being female in Nigeria, Africa even, seems to a curse, a punishment for some unknown sin. You get harrassed and you’re not supposed to strike back, if you do… the same people who watched the interplay would turn around and accuse you of being too harsh. How can we change the narrative Uju? How can we make this place saner for the children coming after us whether they come from our bodies or not?
    Please don’t ever be tempted to sink into despair because of those cowards, I know it’s hard but try to rise above their evil menace.

    1. Thank you.
      In Africa, sure. But I dread to think about what girls go through in Asia.
      I wish sometimes that someone strike back for me. But I’m neither a shrinking violet nor a coward. So I’m developing a new rule, You either get involved in the original dispute or you shut up if I decide to knife the person down.
      How do we fix it? We raise conversations constantly on Twitter. I saw a picture today that made me laugh when I was crying. I’ll include it in the next post. We support centers already established to combat these situations, we tell growing boys and girls that although there are changes in their body and they have a serious desire to explore these changes, they cannot take advantage of anyone else no matter the circumstance. We write bills and amendments criminalizing this issue in distinct terms and ask our lawmakers to pass them. If they don’t, we start a campaign on social media. We may win, we may lose. But we have a part to play. We train our children as upright citizens, as people who don’t become like the idiots in this generation. We start, wherever we are now, from somewhere. We all have a part to play. ALL OF US! I believe we can do it.
      And thanks, I was in despair for a while but my parents didn’t raise a quitter.
      Thank you sweetie. I appreciate the comment.

  3. Awww…dear, don’t be sad. Listen, these things happen! Shit happens! It’s not the end of the world but yes you can fight it the best way you can and overcome.
    A mad man? That’s not a nice thing at all but you shouldn’t cry over it. You have prayed about it and be sure that God has taken control.
    Yes, you can and will bring in children into this world and just as God has protected you as well as your parents, He will help you take care of and protect children, don’t fret, God is in full control.
    The next time (God forbid that there’s a next time) any man touches you without your consent, you are going to loudly tell him to go to HELL! That’s what I do. I’ll say it over and over again! Go to HELL! I am a woman, I am strong and I will never back down. Never let any man or woman make you feel less than you really are. Wipe your tears dear for His words say, ‘She who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty and she shall say to the Lord, You are my refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust’
    I love the way you write…you are so real.

    1. This comment made me cry. Happy tears this time though. You sound almost exactly like my friend Ife. Everytime I start saying I’m not sure I’ll get married, she’ll wait until i finish talking then say, “May God forbid! Uju, you will get married and have children and be happy”
      No, it’s definitely not a nice thing. I’ll definitely try telling them to go to hell. But I really wanted to tey the stabbing first. But I’m not a murderer and I’m not sure I’ll like prison so…
      Thank you Adaeze! That verse is one of my favorites too. I’ll read the chapter before today ends.
      Thank you. I love the way you write too.

  4. Hey dear, I’m so sorry this happened to you.
    I feel your pain.
    And I feel the tears too.
    I swear, it’s really depressing and it makes you appreciate rape survivors even more.
    I wrote an article on this exact topic ( The WInk challenge, you may have heard of it) when it’s published I’ll let you know.
    “NIGERIA HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT FOR ITS GIRLS AND ITS WOMEN. NOT A WHIT!”
    Nigeria has no respect for innocently shed blood, talk less of girls/women.
    (Did you hear about Senator Dino calling for the patronization of “made in Nigeria” women?)
    In the mean time, You are strong, and you’re beautiful and no man’s filth is going to take that away 🙂
    You’ll be alright.

    1. Like honestly. I had to ask myself that question too.
      Please let me know. I’d love to read it.
      From where I stand, our senators seem mostly to be chauvinistic, looting, law breaking people and i hope we make better choices next time.
      Thank you Adaku. I needed to hear that.
      E-hugs! I will be alright. Thanks.

  5. Hey. So sorry you had to go through that. A mad man once touched my breasts. I thought it was my friend I was with who did so by accident until some guys started laughing. Imagine.
    As for those who blame rape on indecent dressing, all I have to say is “May God rid them of their shallow minds”.

    1. Thank you Gracey.
      And the guys laughed? At you? I’m sorry. I think that hurts even more than the mad man’s touch.
      And Obianuju says, Amen!

  6. I can relate to how you feel.
    I equally agree with Adaeze, if there’s ever a next time, tell the man to go to HELL.
    A woman should be respected and if not, she has the right to demand for it.
    Women are strong and nothing anybody does will make us feel any less.
    People behave the way they do because of who they are and it has nothing to do with who the other person is or what they have done.
    A man rapes a woman because his heart is dark and wicked and not because the woman dressed immodestly.
    You will be fine dear, as long as God still calls the shots, I don’t believe anything would go wrong. All things work together for good…
    It’s always pleasurable reading your blog. Cheers darling!

    1. Thank you sweetie. I appreciate this comment so much.
      I just went by your blog and I sae you hadn’t completed the Wayside Church *sad face*
      Definitely, I believe I have the right to demand that I be respected. But everyone’s strength weakens if enough people take advantage of it. But still, we shall overcome. I believe that.
      It’s always pleasurable reading yours too. E-hugs sweetheart. I missed you on here.

  7. I’m so sorry dear about what you experience. Infact I am enraged. I wished I was around you that moment to teach that fucktard a lesson. I will kind of suggest you go along with a pepper spray or pocket knife in your bag to deal with random harassment like this.
    The root problem of these things is parenting. That’s why I’m so sad at the rate the family system has deteriorated. We just need to raise better sons that will be taught to respect girls and to be dignified. Because she has a breast and a vagina does not make her a specimen for sexual experiment.
    I am so sorry, very sorry about how you feel. I’m very emotional and crying right now. I pray for God’s strength for you today.

    1. Thank you. I find myself wanting to comfort you now though.
      In my own opinion, it’s not the family system that is completely at fault. It’s the way the family and society seems to think that boys should be raised.
      Thank you Immanuel. I wish a lot more people thought the way you do.
      Thank you again. I appreciate it.

  8. Hi,

    The sort of rage that can’t be expelled, the sort that stews as one replays the moment back and forth, imagining what they could/would/should have said/done is often the worst kind of rage.

    I’ve learned to say my mind there and then, it gives me closure.

    Idiots roam the streets, quite sadly they mingle among the non-idiots. I understand your annoyance, I trust you feel better now. 🙂

    1. I don’t feel that kind of rage for more than a day anymore. I dedicated 2015 to learning how to eradicate it. So, even if I don’t get closure that instant, I’ll cry it out and get closure that same or the next day.
      Yes dear, I feel a lot better. Thanks for asking.

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