(21) The Principle of the “Eggshell Skull”

There is a principle in legal practice, law of torts specifically, that states, paraphrased for literary purposes, that it does not matter how you find your victim(s), you have to take them like that. With regards to damages, compensation and even death. Which catapults it from a civil case to a criminal case.

If it was engendered by your negligence or by a wrongful action of yours, you have no one else to blame. The buck stops at your door. To read more on this, see here and if the legalese is too much for you, see here instead. But many do not realize that it has ties to the mind as well.

Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words can never hurt me nyen nyen nyen ๐Ÿ™„.

You say? Words are literally the most hurtful things. A sharp word, hateful, hurtful words, how do you feel afterwards?

I was listening to a pastor (Pastor Mike Obaro, Glory 2 Glory Parish, RCCG) and he mentioned that words are the only spiritual currency that we can tender. And our words speak either life or death.

If out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, then our mouths and our words reveal more about us than we can think. (Read As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. Amazing book ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ)

The reason I write this, is due to a variety of factors.

1. I had a bad day mentally a short period ago. Information overload. “Friendship” overload. You can never have too many friends. Actually, you can. If you’re being influenced by more people than you ought to be influenced by, you’ll notice your head telling you, I have reached my capacity, through a variety of factors, a headache, a migraine, loss of communication with the Father, the Holy Spirit etc etc. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many friends cause confusion.

Social media overload is a very real problem to quite a lot of people. I like the drama, the likes, the follows quite alright, but I can leave my phone back at my house and go to work and return to it in the evening. Or just switch off my phone all day. Unfortunately, I love my music playlists too much. Looking at buying a new mini music player independent of my phone. Or someone could just send me one. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝ

2. I had a one sided conversation with someone I fondly called Annoying Person Number One because God had led me to notice that he’d stopped reading my Whatsapp statuses and he brought back the memories of a time when he truly was kind to me. At a certain point in time, he was exactly what I prayed about. And I owed that memory of him an apology.

3.. I have taken it upon myself to reconnect with every member of my family. Through video calls, texts, chats etc. I need and love my family. And I need to let everyone of them know that I need them and I love them. And that in this world, someone needs, loves and admires them. I’m hoping that connection will inspire connection and we will grow even closer than we currently are. And what’s that popular slang again? ๐Ÿค”.

The one that smelt it dealt it

I believe that it has alternate applications. The one it was revealed to has a responsibility to.

Let me illustrate with a story. Once when I was fighting with God, exam period, University days I had an argument with one of my closest friends, Ife over a textbook or a notebook. I don’t remember the cause of the fight, I just know it was over a book.

And I hadn’t heard God speak to me in a while. But He spoke that day. He nudged me, told me to go and apologize to my friend because I was wrong. And I went, and she apologized to me too. Because she said, it’s not possible for two people to be angry at the same time and still save their relationship without one apologizing first. If I had not obeyed the leading of God, or if I had delayed unduly, I’m quite sure that the relationship would not be as close as it currently is today.

Another illustration, I have a propensity towards swollen eyes and knowing this and I know that a simple way to halt/reverse the process is simply to lay something very cold against my eye.

Would it not be extremely stupid of me then to neglect my knowledge and instead blame my situation, circumstances or even God for giving me eyes that swell up. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝ

With knowledge comes a responsibility to apply that knowledge.

That is wisdom. And wisdom is profitable to direct.

Wisdom is profitable to direct.

Regarding REALIZATION number one, the very simple solution God showed me, was to download a To Do list from Google Play Store and pour out everything crowding my mind onto it.

Regarding realization number (2), as much as I really don’t mind that he has stopped reading my Whatsapp statuses, and I’m not going to stalk him, what motivated me to apologize to him were memories of times when I did the exact same thing he did to other people. I mean, why did so much drama/demons come out of me at exam time except if the sole reason it came was to destroy the focus of all my colleagues, classmates, friends?

I see that he is still friendly with the people who came out of it with knowledge but not outwardly expressed hurt. Good for him. Thumbs up ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ. To him and them. I’m a very big fan of having friends in the workplace.

But I am very sensitive and you will NOT lay your shit on me without consequences, no matter what form it may come as. Freeze out, very long and loud yelling, extreme annoyance forever afterwards. I consign myself to the first mostly. The deep freeze. But there is another way, a better way.

Regarding that relationship, I’ve apologized, it was revealed to me that I was wrong so I took the responsibility of going to apologize. But that apology gave me a freedom, from what I thought, from painful memories, from a binding to someone I was never meant to be bound to. And I’m free. Whatever he does now, does not concern me. All emotional ties have been broken. Hallelujah, Our God reigns… Hands lifted up, eyes closed, head bowed ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’•

Regarding realization number three, I ask nothing but your prayers.

Have a great day!

I wish all of you, warm hugs, full pockets and lots of laughter.

Peace out! *mic drop*

God loves you Obianuju
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(20) The Myth of the pretty/beautiful girl (1)

Am I a pretty girl?

Well, my mind said I was, because so many grown ass men were following me, trying to trip me up whenever I was running, sexually assaulting me, trying to fall on me so they could tap current. So very many men. More than even I, with all my “mind excavation” can recall.

At last count I remembered 13 instances. Please, ejo, let’s leave it there. I don’t want to remember anymore.

But with my mind telling me I was a fine girl, a beautiful girl, omalicha was the undercurrent of dirtiness. Of shame in my beauty, of a need to hide and a need to fear. To escape notice.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows – James 1:17

It’s so pervasive, or maybe it was only pervasive to me, but as I grew up, there were so many instances of people, books, movies etc predicting “my future”. Or what they wanted me to do, say and be.

We have all, well mostly, but ALL is more dramatic, heard of this statement or this belief, that a pretty/beautiful/ well endowed girl is sexually loose or immoral. She HAS to be. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’

So we forsake grace, we forsake kindness, we forsake peace and become threatened by the beauty of another person.

Threats lead to fear and fear leads to foolishness (paraphrased Pastor Michael Todd).

We become very suspicious. Judgmental. Gossipy. Seeking to hide what is not ours to be hidden. We’ve all (remember my earlier point above๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿผ) heard the phrase, “Modest is Hottest” ๐Ÿ™„ or “you need to ask your male relatives to rate what you put on before you step out of the house” or “pretty girls shouldn’t be out after 5pm” etc etc ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜•

1 John 4:18 (NIV)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (Sourced from Bible Gateway)

And all the while, this person is watching, listening, INTERNALIZING.
And in my mind, I felt like I was unworthy, unloved, bound, like I had to follow in one of the paths written for me, get married too early (before I knew what marriage would require), become promiscuous, become sexually immoral, a liar or a manipulator, a liar etc etc etc.

But, and this is why you need a relationship with the Holy Spirit, He showed me a better way. To live. To be. To do. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

I once read a Devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada and she mentioned that the phrase/confession/statement of faith, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me does not necessarily mean that we should do EVERYTHING, just that which God has CALLED us to do.

That revelation has guided me through a lot of confusion and anxiety.

How I be looking at the devil. Satan is a liar

I don’t have to follow in one of the paths everyone has predetermined for me, I can live in my purpose, I can be what God has called me to be, I can be single and happy, I can be single above age 30 and not go to Shiloh or Redeemed Christian Church to lay on the floor crying and begging God for a “ozzband”, I can be whatever I want to be in Christ.

That is the freedom God gives me. Freedom from my past. Freedom to craft my own future.

I am beautiful, on the inside and on the outside and I will let this little light of mine, this plenty beauty, this calling, shine for all the world to see.

I am worthy.

I am whole.

I am loved.

*

You are worthy.

You are whole.

You are loved.

*

Song recommendations:

1. Freedom is Here – Hillsong United.

2. Latter will be Greater – Israel and New Breed.

3. Law of Confession – Donald Lawrence

4. Strong Tower – Nathaniel Bassey.

Beautiful!
Loved
Gorgeous. Worthy. Loved. Beautiful. Kind. Whole. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful!

(19) Thanking My Scars: Bad Advice (1) Ep. 4

Dear people of the world wide web!

I hope your weekend was restful and awesome. That you had lots of laughs and tons of fun.

****

Today, I’d like to thank the scars of bad advice. Of extremely, extraordinarily stupid advice that hurt way more than it ever helped anyone.

Once upon a time time, in a fictional land called Lagos, Nigeria ๐Ÿ˜œ *insert Salama Mohammed pursed lips here*

Aswear, this woman’s facial expressions alone are comedy gold.

B2P (Back to point), once upon a time, many people gave me some really bad, terrible, horrific advice.

And as this was taking place when I was very vulnerable to anything and everything, this advice was devastating to me and any self confidence that I had managed to amass.

And as these people were supposed to be Christians, it hurt on many different levels.

*
http://www.myilluminare.com/marriage-divination/

Please read this๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿผwhen you have a chance. Thank you *

Then later on, I realized that people’s perceptions were what shaped them, shaped the way they saw themselves, the way they saw the world in relation to them and others.

And I resolved upon further discovery of the Bible and especially Jesus’s teachings (do you know that Jesus did not let a bad word be said in His presence without rejecting or rebuking it?), to rebuke any word spoken over my life whether offered by friends or family or strangers.

If it did not correlate with my plans and goals for the future, I would reject it. We see so many examples of it everyday.

A stupid image expressly designed to cause a lot of panic, in the guise of “spreading information”, the very many Whatsapp doctors saying don’t eat sugar, don’t eat meat, don’t eat vegetables, don’t eat fruits, don’t drink water and you won’t get cancer. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ™„ Of course you won’t get cancer, because you will be dead. Dead and dehydrated!

Clearly this human being was born in January ๐Ÿ™„

I was reading a favorite blog of mine; https://drnsmusings.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/return-to-sender/ and she said something, “… prophecy (advice) should edify” and also The Bible says to cast down imaginations and to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

So I will not be single with 7 cats, thank you very much. Maybe one cat. Maybe one dog. There’s nothing wrong with it, the much popularized myth of the crazy cat lady but on principle, I reject it.

I will not be divorced twice, I will not be poor, I will not be unhappy, I will not be depressed, I will not be in prison, I will not be married to Idris Elba (can you imagine, all the people born in February married to one, ONE man *shudders* can never be me.

Rather I will be successful, happy, a billionaire, happily single or happily married, I will eat and enjoy my food, I will be wealthy, I will be proactive. I will be happy.

My life is what I choose to make of it. And I choose to make my life a beautiful one. I choose to WIN!!!

But if you refuse to serve the Lord , then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord .โ€
Joshua 24:15 NLT

๐Ÿ˜˜

(18) Preparation + Blessings = Happy, Loving Families

This is the continuation of this post.

The thought I forgot to complete in that last post was basically this: You, more than absolutely anyone else except God; who can see the future and can guide you, if you’d let him, know what is the very best for you in every situation.

Where you want/need to be in your life before you start dating, before you have children.

Please do not outsource your thinking on any subject, on absolutely any topic before you make sure it’s the best decision for you, in your particular circumstances and for any children you may have been blessed with.

Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing.

Children are a blessing and their mental health, their physical health, their emotional health and well-being must be prioritized in every case where there is a fissure in the marriage.

Also, the “right” marriages are a blessing to the participants, their parents and to everyone who sees it or is directly blessed by it.

Marriages are covenants between two people and God, for Christian marriages. And the biggest blessings God can offer a marriage is/are children.

Even when single, the biggest blessings God can offer you are your children.

Even when in pain, even riddled with anxiety, when everything is going wrong and you’re afraid, they are still God’s biggest and best blessings.

I am pro choice but I’m now leaning towards the pro life movement, but I’m not there yet. I’d like to be there, but what about the women that are carrying the children in cases of forced pregnancies? In cases of criminal sexual assault, in cases of people taking advantage of the helpless?

Whatever you do, just make sure you and the child are safe. No matter what. Look into adoption services as well if you were considering an abortion. Please.

You are the biggest blessing God has given someone too, past, present. it doesn’t seriously matter. You are a blessing.

But something a lot of people do not realize, is that once you make a decision within yourself to have children, you owe those future children a responsibility to study and learn everything about child rearing.

Everything. Absolutely everything.
Christian/Alternative parenting styles, the five love languages of children, of teenagers, of men and women, how to teach children financial responsibility, how to recognize symptoms of sexual assault/abuse, how to properly nurture them.

However, you also owe yourself a responsibility to represent what you teach and tell them every blessed day.

And, once you make a decision to get married, you owe yourself and your future spouse the responsibility to study ahead. To know the love languages of men and women. To know when God blesses you with them, how to take care of them, how to nurture them, how to PROPERLY love and respect them.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing for her worth is far above rubies, and obtains favour from the Lord. And she who finds a husband, a MAN who does not push her beyond what she can handle spitefully, does not test her limits every day and values her above everything, finds something worth more than rubies and obtains the favour of the Lord too.

I mentioned this to a friend of mine recently, that just because people are stressing you about marriage does not mean that you yourself are ready to be married.

Just because you can have children does not mean that you necessarily should. You owe everything you undertake the courtesy of adequate preparation. Every blessing. Every gift. Every new job.

Let me use this analogy, do you get a new car and just start driving it without learning first how to drive a car? No, because you need to learn how cars work. It’s the same thing with people. People are precious, more so than cars. Why don’t we take the time to study them first?

Those blessings that appear to you just when they are needed, those blessings. Those blessings that seem to come at just the right time. Those ones. You owe yourself the duty to prepare to receive them. To be worthy of them.

And I’m preparing. I just hope my future husband is as well.

(17) Top 10 books I read in 2018

I read everyday, all the time, some days. Reading is a way of life. I read when I’m on the toilet seat, in a bus, in bed. Paperbacks, hardcover or ebooks. I read them all. I read approximately 400 books in the year 2018 but the books on this list are my top 10 favorites. They include fiction, non-fiction, biographies, celebrity memoirs and self help. And they are all worth a read, I promise you. (I submitted this article to Patabah Bookstore’s blog a couple of months ago and till date, they haven’t published it. So, I’m carrying my L and coming to post it on my own blog)

1. Joyce Meyer- Battlefield of the Mind:This book was one of the gifts from my uncle for my Law school graduation. I delayed reading it until August last year. It was, it is transformational. It made me shiver, it challenged me, how I thought about things, how I thought about people.Here are some quotes from the book:”Think about what you are thinking about””One of the greatest revelations of my life is: I can choose my thoughts and think things on purpose. In other words, I donโ€™t have to just think about whatever falls into my mind.“”Youโ€™re not crazy if you talk to yourself. In fact, your thoughts are โ€œtalkingโ€ to you all the time. And the way you talk to yourself is one of the most important things in your life. You can never get beyond what you thinkโ€”especially what you think of yourself.”
I remember having this determination that someday, I would do something great. It would rise up in my heart at times when I was told I would never be anyone or do anything“I gave this book to a friend I was worried about and she sent me a message crying and thanking me. If you have not read this book, please purchase it and read it. It is transformational.

2. Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things- I got to know of this book via a Twitter recommendation. It’s a selection of advice columns and it is extremely relatable. I was once in a crisis situation and it’s completely true what people say about not knowing how much strength you do have until being strong is your only option, other than killing yourself, that is. That strength is not something that I can explain. It’s not something I have had cause to puzzle myself to replicate. It just appears. But if I had a friend who was in a crisis situation and was looking to me for strength, even if I couldn’t explain how I got through sufficiently to them, I can always point them in the direction of this book and say, hey, I know you are in Pain right now, inexplicable, terrifying pain. You’re not on Planet earth right now, you’re on Planet I failed my examination or Planet Major Depression or even Planet My tooth hurts but I don’t have enough money to fix it. I’m sorry about that but while you should mourn, you should also encourage yourself to get better.This book is lovely. Take it from me.

3. Meg Jay- The Defining DecadeI once watched Meg Jay give a TED talk. I go back to that talk constantly. But it was only until this year that I realized that she had written a book as a follow up or is it the other way around.

I knew I had to have the book and wow, this book. OhEmGee. Wow. This book resonated so much with me. This book had me crying and laughing, making copious notes and preparing for my future. This book is so so amazing. And it is worth every penny. I’ll leave you with this amazing quote from the book- “Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something thatโ€™s an investment in who you might want to be next.โ€

4. Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich AsiansI had quite some trouble deciding which one should be my fourth recommendation and which should be the fifth. But this quote, and the fact that there were 2 more books for me to read within an 18 hour period decided it for me.”… all that talk of โ€œbeing in loveโ€ or โ€œfinding the right oneโ€ was absolute nonsense. Marriage was purely a matter of timing, and whenever a man was finally done sowing his wild oats and ready to settle down, whichever girl happened to be there at the time would be the right one.“And the opening scene of the book, wow! Able God, shower your blessings oh.

5. Trevor Noah: Born a CrimeThis book slayed me. I know most people read it a long time ago but it wasn’t until last year that I finally got around to reading it. And it did not disappoint. Just look at these quotes:”People love to say, โ€œGive a man a fish, and heโ€™ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and heโ€™ll eat for a lifetime.โ€ What they donโ€™t say is, โ€œAnd it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.โ€ Thatโ€™s the part of the analogy thatโ€™s missing.”And this one “We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to

6. Gabrielle Union- We’re going to need more wineIf you saw me reading this book, I forgive you for being confused as to my personality. This book made me laugh, it made me weep, and it left me feeling raw. Especially the chapter, Code 529 and how she talks about how she can never sit with her back facing the door. PSA: The aftermath of sexual assault and violence is a very complicated process in multifarious ways. And if you remain unsure of who to believe, it’d do a lot of good for you to restrain yourself from making any damning comments either way while you make up your mind.Quotes: “Still, I struggle with the questions: Does this wig mean Iโ€™m not comfortable with my blackness? If I wear my hair natural, do I somehow become more enlightened? It is interesting to see the qualities ascribed to women who their hair in braids or in natural hairstyles, even among black people. We have so internalized the self-hatred and the demands of assimilation that we ourselves donโ€™t know how to feel about what naturally grows out of our head.โ€ (pg. 51, โ€œBlack Girl Bluesโ€)How are we supposed to give them all the knowledge, all the power, and all the pride that we can, and then ask them to be subservient when it comes to dealing with the police? โ€˜This is how you have to act in order to come home alive.โ€™
It’s an age-old us against -us oversimplification, that boils down to the belief that the lighter your skin tone, the more valuable and worthy you are. The standard of beauty and intelligence, that has historically been praised by the oppressor, has been adopted by the oppressed.”She also talked about having 9 miscarriages but considering the fact that she now has Kaavia James Union Wade, her daughter, I think all the pent up pain went, gone with the wind.

7. Kelley Armstrong – Cainsville Series (Omens, Visions, Deceptions, Betrayals, Rituals) I got turned on to Kelley Armstrong books in 2013. Her books are usually paranormal romance including vampires, werewolves, shamans. I do not know why exactly but I love the concept. But this is a departure from her usual style of writing. I picked up the first book in the Cainsville series; Omens and to my surprise, I found myself returning, again and again to finish the rest.

8. Tomie Balogun: Investment Clubs: How to create wealth beyond your payThis book is fantastic. It’s a how to guide on investment clubs, a concept I had no idea about until I saw the title of this book.If you want to invest more this year, get this book.

9. Stephanie Obi: Knowledge is the new gold.This book is a cheat sheet for the creation of online courses. Stephanie Obi is a great motivator, encourager and total boss lady. If you have thought about creating an online course but you’re stumped on how to, this book is my recommendation for you

10. Sophie Amoruso: GirlbossLast but not least, I truly wish I could adequately portray my feelings about this book. I was just so surprised that so many of the thoughts I’d had were shared by others. It’s a lovely read, short too. Perhaps, give it a try?

(16) THE TREATMENT

When everything came bubbling out, I went, emotionally, mentally from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk. I was angry, all the time. Even when I was crying, I was angry, even when I was eating, I was enraged. Even when I was walking, one of the only things guaranteed to make me let go of my anger and fear, I would be so angry, I would be screaming into the wind. That’s another aspect too: I would wake up some days screaming, other days crying. On other days, I wouldn’t be able to speak.

I felt like I was in a race between me and myself and the prize was my life. Because it was clear to me, clear to my parents, clear to everyone that I couldn’t go on the way I was going on. But there was still nobody willing to listen to me. They knew all about it. But I had been holding it in for 10 years at that point and I wanted to talk about it more than once. More thoroughly than someone telling me, “okay, we have heard. Ndo. Now stop talking about it”. Why did I have to stop talking about it?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll undoubtedly say it many more times, Evil and indescribable pain lurk in places where people want you to be silent. To let it go. No, I want to talk about it and by God you will listen. You will listen to my grievances, you will listen to my mammoth sized rage, you will listen to my terror. You will fucking listen. Because there has been too many years where I woke up from sleep and wanted to cut my wrists and feel my blood flowing out. There have been too many days when I flirted with thoughts of suicide. A huge truck is coming. Just step in front of it, and your problems will be over.

I unpacked my mind thoroughly. I love(d) psychology. Encarta was my favorite database when I was growing up and I’d always gravitate to articles about psychology and mental health. I loved reading articles on psychology.

And now I had a chance to practice. On myself. From my diagnosis, I found that I had severe anxiety, the manic depression was caused by severe stress and there were “tinges” of schizophrenia. All for me. You shouldn’t have. The perfect cocktail of mental health issues.

You could claim you have diabetes and you need insulin. Just stockpile the insulin for a couple of days, then buy a syringe and an intravenous needle. You’ll be dead in no time. Clearly, I had a lot of resentment buried too.

I was screaming and screeching at God and I firmly believe that is what saved my life. The Saviour who dared to cut me (paraphrased T.D Jakes. YouVersion plan. Crushing it: God Turns Pressure into Power)

I love walking. In the darkness, when the sun goes behind the clouds, my favorite thing to do is take a walk, bottle of water in hand. I was walking around Ikeja, near under bridge (I actually do not remember how or why I got there, it remains a blur) one such time when I saw the book for the first time. The title immediately grabbed my attention.
The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. It was applicable as I was having a severe crisis of confidence. And I knew that if I wanted to make myself over, break me down and build me up again, there’d be a new slate.

And I could make myself, the perfect version of me that I was always meant to be. So I bought the book. And having a new purpose, I decided to stop thinking about death, stop craving death and start working on my life.

It is and it remains some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. Ever. I used to set goals for myself, U-U smile at everyone today. U-U have a conversation with your mom/dad today, a friendly conversation and leave whenever it degenerates into anger or she tries to emotionally manipulate you. U-U, forgive yourself today. U-U forgive your parents, your friends, and Uncle Asshole today. U-U write the story of what Uncle Sunday Asshole did and share it with everyone. U-U, when someone upsets you, unleash all hell on the person. U-U, unleashing hell made you feel terrible, shebi. Now go and apologize. And from now on, learn how to correct people in love. (Still learning this lesson). U-U, celebrate your birthday on Saturday this year. Invite lots of people. Did your brother say he wants to save your ice cream cake for his friends? Let him do it. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t pay for it. Let him do it. Buy 3 cakes for yourself, you have been through the storm, you have been through the fire, you have come out of it alive. Celebrate. Things will get better for you when you believe truly that it will get better.

An uncle, whom Nebolisa was named for invited me and Nonso to spend a day with him. He took us out to Ice Cream Factory, bought us food, distracted Nonso with more food and ice cream and took me into his office where he had a very candid conversation with me where we unpacked yet more problems and yet more resentment. But at the end of that day, I was quicker to smile. And I was hopeful. Sometimes, just sharing how angry you are with someone who has a pre-existing relationship with you and your family greatly helps you feel understood, appreciated and hopeful.

I started playing Maroon 5’s She will be loved. Continuously. In addition to all the other songs Joy and Ife put on my phone or recommended to me. The only songs I used to listen to in that period were songs that made me either angry or very angry or depressed. But I started listening to happier music.

I once read a book; This song will save your life (Leila Sales). The songs that saved my life were Hillsong’s mix, 116 Clique’s Man Up Anthem (it’s non-gendered abeg), Lecrae’s More but in that period, most especially Hillsong’s Freedom is Here.

If you read the 2015 review, you might have guessed that I completed my self imposed treatment in February. But I definitely did not. It was a continuous process and journey. And I’m still not finished. It’s gotten a lot easier especially as the raw points of my pain, anxiety and anger were covered. But I’m not finished with it yet.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, I identified 5 major areas where my thoughts were perverted.

1. God: I truly believed at a point that God hated me. He’d have liked me to become a martyr. I once asked him, that if He could transfer the breath in my body to someone else, why wouldn’t He just do it? Because I was tired of living with his disappointment and disapproval. I would keep to our agreement. 6 months. But if he wanted to hasten my death, it was fine by me. Martyr behavior something ๐Ÿ™„.

2. Family and Friends: The lessons I learnt in pain were not so easy to unlearn. I felt like no matter what, I couldn’t count on anyone but my self. And that is a very painful belief. A very limiting belief in addition. It began to dissolve when the Holy Spirit showed me how Joy, one of my closest friends was sacrificing her time to go buy me lunch and make sure I ate it. It was in how my big brother finally listened as I unloaded so many years of pain and bought me jumbo sized Skittles and a carton of grapes. In how my parents were taking unprecedented levels of care and concern in my life; my dad was buying me shawarma, nkwobi, asun. In how my mom let me rest my head on her lap and kept on stroking my hair and calling her brothers and my dad’s sisters to tell them to describe how they loved me so much. My friends and family were there for me. And I didn’t have to be strong anymore. I could let it go. Because someone was always on hand to pray for me. Someone was always checking up on me.

3. Money: There was a reason behind why I started to check my motives for giving money in the first place. And a reason I hardly give out money of my own direct capability anymore. I speak too much big English. What I mean to say, is I rarely give money or provisions in such a way that people know it came from me. I prefer giving it to a church and watching them/being absent when they distribute it.

4. Sex: I’m not saying anything in detail about this oh. But I had a lot of miscommunication and misconceptions regarding sex and Wikipedia, girl’s/boys magazines, secular and Christian romance novels have helped me to clear it up. Still a work in progress but I’m nearing the end of my target goal regarding my beliefs and where I need to be. Please if you are following my game plan pro forma, ask yourself; is there anything/situation/relationship that would cause you to sin against God/your own body at the current moment? To decide whether or not to read a secular or a Christian romance novel. It’s very key.

5. Hope: There’s a verse in the Bible (1st Corinthians 13:13) that says: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I completely disagreed with that verse in that period of my life. Wholeheartedly disagreed. At that time the greatest struggle for me was believing that better things were ahead of me. Better things were coming for me. There was too much happening in my life at that moment in time and I just needed quiet and peace in my soul. And hope, hope that everything would get better. Hope that my nightmares and night terrors would turn into good dreams and my irritation with every human being in the world would morph into a calm, a silence borne of peace, tranquility and the ability to actively ignore anything and anyone that did not serve my purpose, my goals or my pocket.

I unpacked everything. And at the end of it, I would feel so tired. Super exhausted. My speech and elocution improved greatly (I used to get very easily tangled up over my words and unable to get them out in time when someone was waiting for me to speak. Oooh, I just realized, (the angel of) God did this same thing to Zechariah!)

I got so much sleep in that period. No bad dreams, no night terrors, I finally retired the small knife I was keeping under my pillow back to its spot in the kitchen. I felt safe. In my house, in multifarious family members’ houses. My godparents house. My friend’s houses.

Thank you God for bringing me to the realization that I’m where/at the place I wanted to be all along.
There is nothing you cannot accomplish once you set your mind to it. And ask for God’s help.

Peace be with all of you! Hugs and ๐Ÿ˜˜.

(15) Prepare yourselves for the blessing(s) you asked for (Ep. 1)

I saw this tweet on Saturday and at first I just retweeted it. But then I was in a mood on Sunday and I saw an opportunity to make my views known and educate some people.

So I said (embellished);

This how I’m praying that my relationship with the man I consent to marry will be (like).
I hate stress with a passion, don’t invite me into any tense family situations surrounding you please, resolve it on your own with my help if it’s asked for. Does your mama/someone else feel possessive of you?Don’t bring me in until you’ve worked that shit stuff out between yourselves. I’m not EVER going to argue about any man, fight over any man.
The energy I come in with is the energy I intend to keep.
I haven’t stayed single for 6 years and used those 6 years to be stupid. Plis dear.

Then someone asked me via Direct Messaging why I made a two tweet thread about a relationship I don’t yet have.

And here was my response:

First of all, thank you for asking me privately. It’s respectful and I appreciate it a lot.
Second, (it was) because I studied myself thoroughly and I know that if I join to someone, anyone, who isn’t free & unencumbered, a Christian in the truest sense of the word, who has worked on HIS mental health, kind and makes me feel like a princess, a queen, (then) my mental health, that hard won happiness will degenerate and give me anxiety on another scale that’s greater than anything I’ve heretofore faced.

During the portion of my self imposed therapy, where I worked out the family and friends portion, I dug very very deep into my mind. To find out and analyze what types of relationships I currently had and used a variety of books to know which kinds I should aim for.

When a relationship is broken, it’s sometimes extremely counter- intuitive to say, divorce, separation, hate is the best option. Very counter intuitive.

So many of the people who’ve gone through divorce have felt otherworldly levels of pain, feelings of abandonment, it’s caused them anxiety, stress and in cases of people who are terrified of having to deal with these feelings, I give the advice in below.

Write down exactly what you’re looking for in the marriage or in bearing children. What are you looking for. Which vacuum do you want to cover? Is it love? Sex without the threat of soul ties? Companionship? A partnership? Friendship? Someone to clean up after you? Someone who can make you feel validated? Be extremely, extraordinarily honest with yourself. If you’ve written the list and discover something new, you can put the something new there as well.

You owe your future self the gift of honesty, the truth of your feelings exposed in the most vulnerable places. Being honest with yourself makes you vulnerable with yourself. Makes you look at your own flaws and more willing to treat yourself with absolute kindness. And that is the goal. Finished up with the list? Not finished yet. It doesn’t matter. Now take it to God.

Tell him, you’re so excited to meet this person and have him/her fill this vacuum in your life. But you’re not sure you’re prepared enough. You’re not sure that you’re healed enough. God is a good good Father. I call him Big Daddy. And there’s a reason I can always talk to him about my future, my feelings and my plans, because I took the risk of inviting Him into every part of my life. (Complaining to God about a situation and asking Him what you should do about it, that’s inviting Him into your matters.

And for someone who has already confessed to having schizophrenic symptoms previously, it was an uphill climb choosing to trust Him. Choosing to believe that He would not let me fall or drown.

Back to the original post, divorce has to be an option for me in case you turn violent, sexually abuse my child or any other child. I’m not and hope never to be all about that cover his shame lifestyle that (old) Nigerian women like to preach. Nope.

If you dare to do to my DAUGHTER or MY SON what was done to me that made me want to commit suicide, that gave me the beautiful gift of (extreme) anxiety, I won’t just “not cover your shame”. I’ll make sure to report you and disgrace you in front of both our families and anyone else whose respect you crave or appreciate. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you’re not building a child up actively, you’re automatically tearing them down. Children respond too well to their parents emotions. Their parents’ moods and use that as an internal check.

There’s nothing I won’t do to defend my (future) children. And I’d like them to know that. I’d like them to know that they can hate me, they can come and cry in front of me when the world makes them feel so scared and I’ll hug them very tightly and stroke their hair until they (start to) feel better. They can/may want to see Daddy or whoever else sexually abused them but I’ll be there. Always. And even if I’m not/cannot be physically present, I’ll have someone in place to watch over them.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says: “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” – Solomon 2:15.
I had always wondered what this verse meant. It was only until I read Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind, that I understood.

She said, the “foxes” are anything that obstructs our natural inclination toward love or impair it in any way.
And that the “vineyards”, are our ability to love other people. Strangers, people who hurt us, people who make us feel hatred. We’d like to love everyone all the time.

And I took that knowledge and added it to the things I already knew and had already put into practice. I like complete honesty. With me, it is much better to do and say everything upfront, IT NEEDS to be done and said UPFRONT. Whatever your thoughts, beliefs, I need to see whatever your opinions on Christianity, family, my and your continued health and well-being within the first 5 dates.

I once mocked someone, a woman I had not even met, because the person who had gone on a date with her, mentioned that they had gone to a restaurant, ordered the same appetizers and she’d liked it but he said that he found it too spicy. And she told him that she regularly cooked food as spicy as this, more spicy in fact and if that was a barometer on his feelings on spicy foods, he had a couple of options. Get with her program or let them have a nice meal together and then both part ways amicably.

And that was the 1st of January, 2017. And I said something like, “why can’t she just cook 2 pots of soup?” and the man defended her. He told me that, it was her right to defend her personal choices and to know better than anyone what she was capable of doing. And we had a friendly argument over it.

But these days, I find myself understanding and respecting that woman’s knowledge of herself and her effort a whole lot more. See, if you take so much pride in your ability and willingness to do house chores, guess who the house chores will most likely be given to? And I don’t want to chain myself to a stove or to the dustpan.

I just want to breathe. Deeply. Be “lazy”. Hire a cook/chef. Maybe someone to come and clean my house thoroughly like twice a week. Without worry that my beliefs will offend someone, without stressing over what my parents in love believe about what kind of home I grew up in.

Or wondering if someone will feel insulted by my unwillingness to kill myself with house chores because “in his family, the woman did all that. That was how she expressed/they knew that she loved them.”

I intend to express my feelings of love directly to my children, please. To continuously affirm them. And I’m sick and tired of people, using housework to measure if a woman loves her family. I hate stress. I hate stress. I hate undue stress. I HATE Stress! And housework tends mostly to be stress without any appreciable benefit.

I believe in questioning all motives and all teachings, I tend to have a great big laugh at people who think they have to blindly follow something just because “their pastor said”, that’s how you get anxiety on another scale, how you get hatred, how you get suspicious of family members who have not or are not planning on doing anything to you, see how swiftly the “little foxes” snuck in?

I’m not saying I’m unwilling to love and respect my husband. No, I will love that man so much. I am willing to be his peace. A safe space for him to come and unload his feelings. A joint contributor to the family finances. Willing to “cover his shame” if he loses his job but still stays productive after a brief period of rest. Alladat.

But (his) kindness needs to beget (my) kindness. (His) thoughtfulness will encourage (my) thoughtfulness. (His) respect will inspire (my) respect.

Once upon a time, I used to practice the opposite. Inspiring their own respect with mine. Their own thoughtfulness with mine. Their own kindness by showing mine first. And it is exhausting. It is super tiring.

That’s how I dated someone who persuaded me to miss my father’s birthday celebration because I had promised to take him out for lunch to celebrate his graduation, and kept me in the hostel waiting for his call for 2 days straight, calling him every couple of minutes/hours.

I sussed out his game and I left the hostel for home and stopped calling him. When he finally responded to my call the next night, he gave me an extraordinarily stupid reason/excuse for “ghosting” me.

He was talking to our mutual friend to learn more about me.

HE. WAS. TALKING. TO. OUR. MUTUAL. FRIEND. TO. LEARN. MORE. ABOUT ME. ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿฝ

And I began to get so mad (angry) and sad. At him but mostly at myself. I knew even then that I wasn’t ready yet. I knew even then that I hated stress. Why did I then, take myself, and put in the hands of a child like this biko? Why did I cause myself to be put in this position?

I hung up on him until he could come up with a better excuse. What the hell? He tried to break up with me soon afterwards using “style” and I got even more angry with him and myself.

Why did I do this to myself. Why? Put myself in the hands of someone who in just one weekend, tried to emotionally manipulate me, ghosted me and tried when all else failed, to break up with me by telling me to bring him his books of poems and some other stuff he’d given to me.

I immediately realized that he was trying to ghost me. AGAIN. PERMANENTLY. ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ‘ป

Why did I put myself in this situation, biko?

I mourned the presumed loss of my self respect way longer than I mourned that actual relationship.

Profesional Advice:
Before you know what you want in a relationship, what you’re looking for, what you will or will/cannot accept in any form of romantic or platonic relationship, I do not advise ANYONE to carry themselves into or accept just any relationship. Because the shame of a failed relationship is devastating for someone like myself, who is highly emotionally intuitive. And you run the risk of getting into sticky situations and soul ties. Please ehn. It’s not for me.

Also, I’m not saying either that some people should not be cut off just because your pastor said they should be cut off. No, I’d never say anything like that. Just because your pastor said so does not make an advice inherently bad.

The church, the body of Christ, is demonized too often in the world and I’m not willing to contribute to it.

Sometimes, I engage to make HIM known, according to my awareness of who He is in that period, other times I learn according to my own personal boundaries.

What I’m saying is that now you know…

(The second part of this post is up now.)

(14) God “safe” us/Safe Spaces

Good morning beautiful people!

So, it’s clear to me that given the “performative Christianity” thread that got so much attention on Whatsapp, that you all really want to know about how I know so much about mental health issues and you’d like to harness the power of my shared knowledge to improve on your own lives and relationships, especially with God and your family.

I’m going to tell you my true story now: please don’t judge, seek to offend or mock me. Just respect that this is a safe space and I’ve realized that I do NEED to share this story with you.

Just listen (read) me. Please, just read along.

THE GENESIS

If you’ve read this story, you probably thought I was a strong person because of what I’ve been through. Um, that’s not even the full story. The full story might make you cry and weep for me.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression for 15 years. 15. YEARS! And it kept on accumulating. The problems kept on coming from everywhere. Visual stimulation overload, auditory overload, some hediots and shediots in my life mocking me, my eating habits, my weight, my eyes. Basically any and every thing about me. I do not encourage that here. EVER.

One of the very worst things you can do to a person who has identified her two major love languages as Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation is calling me or chatting me up to say stupid stuff, or coming by my house, my room, my space and spewing hateful words. Sometimes, you know “Lifing/Existing” basically was a struggle for me.

I could tell when I’d uncovered a new level of my pain. Like 1 year’s worth. Poof. Gone with the wind. But when I prayed to God to make this the best year of my life, I could feel him smiling. Just smiling. And I knew that I was in serious “trouble”.

Because God was reaching deep into my heart and uncovering pain that I’d left covered. Forgotten about even. Because I believed that I was healed. ENOUGH. I believe that God had restored me. ENOUGH. I had just gotten ENOUGH of my laughter and peace of mind back so I could truly fall asleep. I could fall asleep without a knife underneath my pillow because I felt safe ENOUGH.

But it didn’t mean that I was restored fully. God wanted to restore me fully and I was like, “Do we truly have to do this today/this week/this year Lord?”. Sincerely speaking, I feel fine. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t feeling so close to my cousins sometimes because I thought I could aggressively love them ENOUGH so that it wouldn’t matter that my heart and mind didn’t feel close to them, I was obeying your words Lord, what would you rather I do?”

#NigeriaDecides2019 changed all that for me. I began to have anxiety on another scale, on another level and I knew that ENOUGH was not now Enough- for- me. The bad thoughts were returning full force and I constantly found myself losing appetite. Unable to eat. Unable to speak. I wasn’t completely healed in my heart yet. There were parts of the story that I still hadn’t told, parts of the terrors I felt that still had to come out. But I could choose how it came out this time, I could choose to regress to the level I was at in December 2016, making little, bite sized compromises toward a full on healing or I could choose to just let all my secrets go. All at once. All in one go.

And yes, another level of pain was unlocked but almost immediately I felt true, the truest peace. And that is what God is offering you today. Do you only want bite-sized pieces of peace? Or to feel an overwhelming flood of peace and finally, finally seek not to do it on your own anymore but recognize that there is somebody bigger and greater than you, whose strength you can rely on?

Before we start this post, I want to categorically state that I’m not looking for pity, there will not be a Gofundme link, a PiggyBank link or any other bank link, I have been richly blessed and I’m still expecting more blessings to come and I have very much to look forward to in my life.

I am also not looking to assign any blame. Unless you know how emotionally draining it is to make and maintain a friendship with someone with mental health issues; the fear, the worry, the terror, you don’t get to cast any stones.

This thread will not automatically attach the term, “victim” to my name. I am a conqueror. I am NOT a victim. And there is nothing wrong with me.
(Hello Google, please play me I’m no Victim by Kristene DiMarco.)

Without further ado;

I didn’t originally have 2 siblings. I had 4. My elder brother was born; Chike (March 10) then my elder sister Tochukwu, (April 28) then Obianuju, my name was originally supposed to be Ebelechukwu but I thank God my grandmother hijacked the name. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ Do I look like an Ebelechukwu to you? (October 7), then Nebolisa (November 15) and Chukwunonso (June 8).

Clearly my parents were very, very busy creating babies, making use of Valentine’s day even. ๐Ÿ˜

Tochukwu however didn’t make it to her second birthday. She died of malaria. Rest in peace Tochi.
And then there were 3. Nonso wasn’t born at this time. Nebolisa didn’t make it to his 13th birthday. He died on the 9th of December, 2007. Rest in peace BohBoh. Rest in power, both of you.

Now, Tochukwu, Obianuju and Nebolisa all suffer(ed) from sickle cell anaemia. Chukwunwike and Chukwunonso do not. For which I’m grateful. I remember contesting in @TheNakedConvos’ The Writer contest and the first week, they said we should write about our mothers.

Mine was a non-fiction piece. Rookie mistake but I regret nothing. My parents are strong, forget. With what they’ve had to deal with? To remain strong, hospitable and kind?


Nebolisa became very sick when he was 8 years old. We were all supposed to take a trip by air on Sosoliso Airlines to Enugu (that name was so rhythmic and funny). It was to be an afternoon flight and my big brother was assigned to watch over us. He started running a fever, he had malaria etc so my parents didn’t let him come with us.

Our vacation took 3 months, we met up with a cousin of ours and we enjoyed life in the way you can only do when reality has not yet burst your bubble.

Reality burst all our bubbles when we came back. My brother would be healthy one day, sick the next 3 days, my brother would have convulsions, he would have to be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night. My parents spent more time at the hospital than they did in the house. Once again I say;

Then the worst happened, my brother had a stroke. It rendered him speechless and immobile. This went on for 3 and a half years. He literally couldn’t do anything for himself. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t talk. He could only smile and groan.

During that period we had about 15 people living with us in the house but come afternoon time, you’d hardly see a one.

And then the Bogeyman came. If I were narrating my life; I’d say watch out, bad man ahead. Super story; I thought to myself many times that my life was a candidate for that show. He was my lesson teacher. And a massive fucktard, a super dickwad. I think about him and I want to commit murder. But I won’t. That’s how you get sent up for felonies, because you didn’t keep your mouth shut when you should have.

It was super easy to get lost in the shuffle of my family in that period. I genuinely thought no one ever needed me until Nonso was crying or fussy. 10/11. I was in Junior Secondary school at that time. And I’d had pneumonia twice already. I was in that ultra emotional zone where I needed to talk with someone, anyone regularly about everything, including my diagnosis, my brother’s health issues, even my family being overcrowded.Too overcrowded for me sometimes, I felt.

But something I’ve noticed in life, it is very difficult to find people to talk to when you actually need to talk. No. What you’d get instead are lots of people who want to have sex with your underaged ass, who’d try to take advantage of your parents using you. I was a quiet child. An introvert. But I was a happy introvert. But after the “events” , I was a mostly silent, morose introvert. Very. big. difference.

At the time Nebo stopped talking, he was my closest friend. I very badly needed a replacement friend. I had friends, don’t mistake me. But it’s one thing to laugh and cry with a friend about Bingo who just died and quite another thing to lay on someone the kind of baggage I was dealing with constantly. Imagine, I thought about my everyday life as baggage. I knew, even then that I’d have a lot to deal with in the future.

But the stuff I was currently dealing with, I trusted someone with some of the pain at this point and the person spent the rest of that year avoiding me. I learned my Lesson. Deal with your shit yourself. I trusted a Minister at church with only a little bit of the issue, none of the assault and the advice I got was not good enough. I trusted another person at church, one of my teachers and when I got home, I could tell my mother already knew what I’d said and was waiting for a “good time to discuss it”

I learned another lesson. Unless you go to a different church, then either your mom or your dad, but mostly your mom will know every part of your matter before the end of that day.

I left that church when I was 19, and since then I’ve never felt the need to be in a church no matter what every Sunday morning.

And I’ve had everybody from my parents generation who found out about it, froth at the mouth because of it.

Auntie/Uncle, izzit your soul? Is it your soul that I am using? No, then ignore me. I want to sleep very deeply today.

I learned to hide. To keep secrets. I kept so many secrets, it scares me now how I could have gotten away with all of it.
It started with a kiss. This man, 20something years and me, 10/11 years old. I pretended I didn’t notice him trying to kiss me and continued with maths.

He did it again. I slapped him. Then he tried to hold me down, and forcibly kiss me. I slapped him again. And ran into Nebo’s room. Tom and Jerry. I remember, he used to justify himself, saying he wanted to marry me. Nigga, I was 12, 13, 14. Dafuq? What the hell is wrong with you? And even if I had been older, I would never, EVER in my life, get married to you. And on and on the merry go round till I was 16, in the University and caught this man watching me sleep for the 3rd time inside my room. That summer.

I called a cousin to get rid of him, I called another cousin when the first cousin wasn’t doing much that I could see, imagine he had the temerity to tell me that the man merely just liked me. He just LIKED me. ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ˜พ. Fuck you Nwachi!

Enough was finally enough.

He had done it a couple of times before. What could have happened to me? My parents had absolute trust in this fucktard. What about me? My parents noticed that I was not so excited to see Uncle “Asshole” anymore. Why didn’t they ask me?

๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜ณ

My mom read my diary, completely sidelined the entry about the sexual assault and harassment, to be fair to her, it was written in a sort of code and chose instead to focus on my harmless crush on a guy in my grade and on my relationship with her.

This is the genuine reason I hate people knowing my business. Because when they know your business, and when you know that they know your business, you have to act/pretend on their behalf. And I don’t like acting or pretending. I want to be my most authentic self possible.

And then proceeded to humiliate me in front of some distant family members, and some of her “new” church members (I used to have nightmares about that church, and I won’t mention the name) all constituting the peanut gallery.

I was the lion in the middle

What about me? Why didn’t they take the time to ask me anything? I was literally drowning and there was no one I could safely process my feelings around. Everyone was busy, everyone had work to do, everyone was escaping the house. I used to seek refuge in my neighbor’s house, I used to tell Uncle Asshole to teach me outside where everybody could see us. I couldn’t get away with any of it.

Uncle Asshole would tell my mom some bullshit story and I’d be right back to putting pins in his chair and holding a small knife from the kitchen in my skirt. But I wouldn’t talk. No. We knew and played our assigned roles very very well. Me and the fucktard, the fucking twat. I will never play those roles, do that shit AGAIN in my life. God forbid!


I tried to get better at Maths. In SS 2, I worked harder than I ever did to not need Uncle Asshole any more. But unfortunately for me, Chike had problems with Further Maths. It be like that sometimes.

Then Chike had to go for A Levels in another state, so I was more alone than ever with this depraved pervert.

I graduated from Secondary school. But this man came around ostensibly to teach Nonso. And to brush me up pending university admission. My parents thought he was super kind to be doing this. I have to laugh.

Kind like a fox in the henhouse.

Kind like a vulture circling, providing shade before it snatches a dead baby. Kind like that. Sure. Why not. Dickwad. Stupid Bastard!

About 6 months after Nebolisa had the stroke, my dad was posted by his bank to the South East. I’m not very close to my mom but I am close to my dad. The previous metaphor is misleading AF. Foxes and vultures do need to eat after all. I could tell of no reason why Uncle Asshole had to do this.

So, my dad. I’m pretty sure if he had asked me around the time Uncle Sunday got wandering lips and hands, what was wrong, I’d have told him. But he’d been transferred and I had to deal. It took him a year and some months, the help of some friends and family members to work his redeployment back to Lagos.

By then, I was a master, a veritable sensei in the art form of pretense. “Obianuju is everything okay with you?” I’m fine, mummy. “U-U, whats up with you?” Nothing Daddy.

Also, it was around this period that my mom would come into my room in the night to be poking my belly and squeezing it to make sure that I wasn’t carrying a baby in my uterus.

Cover my/his shame. You have more of a responsibility to make sure they don’t throw you out of your ozzband’s house. My name is on the fucking deed!

Uncle Asshole: when Nebo died, he came, grieved with us, kept right on sexually harassing me. When my grandmother died, he hopped on a bus with my cousin to Anambra, my home state to come watch the proceedings, tried to grab a seat beside me, hold my hands. Gbesere oh. Are you mad, are you fucking insane?

But my closest in age cousin from my paternal side was there, so I blatantly ignored him. Uncle Asshole was not even an isolated incident.

I can remember at least 7 people who felt the need to follow me literally. Like, they’d make a crude comment, I’d ignore, avert my eyes and they’d start walking behind me laughing or posturing. One guy trapped me and forcibly grabbed and groped me. I hate markets so much. I fucking detest markets. So so much.
7 times. Tejuosho. Balogun. Yaba. Anambra. I fucking hate markets. I detest them with every fiber of my being. I hear @MarketMarch did something and they know now that touching you (in)appropriately and following you is not ideal. But I still detest markets. And more isolated incidents.

I didn’t feel the need to detail all those experiences on the blog, I thought I came through it okay. And I was ultra determined, it wasn’t going to destroy me. I would not be broken by stupidity.

I am never a victim unless I choose to be one. And I do NOT choose to BE one.

In my final year in the University, by this time, “Uncle Asshole” was a bad memory (he had attempted to scam my parents). I was still being tough geh, tough geh but I was moving on with my life. Then I had a stroke.I had a “little” mental breakdown. Just a tiny bit of what was coming.

Nevertheless, I managed to graduate on time with my set. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ. So I dodged that emotional bullet.

But in law school, the bullet was literally running after me. It was chasing me. I would swerve, it would swerve with me. I would bend down, it would whizz close to my ear. I’d had insomnia for years but it was manageable and I was getting by. But in that period, when I finally slept, I would literally feel myself fighting to wake up. Not sleep paralysis. I’ve had that before.

Literally. Fighting. To. Wake. Up.

The only times I wouldn’t fight was if I slept in the afternoons. See how the devil works? The devil is a liar.

Still, I was handling it. Then third term came and exam preparations started in earnest. 3 weeks to my exam, I started running a massive fever. My temperature spiked and I was very very sick.

My mom had to swing by Law school to pick me up. I think it was a weekend or a Friday. I stayed home for a full week. The family doctor later told me that this was the illness that scared him most. The devil is a liar.

Now, I was aiming to get a 1st class in Law school to make up for the first class I didn’t get in the University. When I came back to school, I picked up my textbook and I couldn’t recall absolutely anything. I had worked. I had read at home. I had drafted, I had done most of our group’s homework, I had coached people.

But, I couldn’t, literally couldn’t remember a damn thing. I tried not to panic. I really did. I was taking it slowly, pacing myself. Drink your medicine, take a walk, come back. Read. It was coming back to me, slowly. But I was fine. It was fine. I had coached people. I had done the homework. But I couldn’t, literally couldn’t remember a damn thing. I tried not to panic. I really did.

And then I went to Worship Wednesdays at Joshuaville and spent the entire service screaming at my reflection in the bathroom.

But it was still fine. Just because I was facing a problem I didn’t mention anything to my family and friends about. Just because I had no experience with having massive waves of panic attacks didn’t mean that I wouldn’t magically get it together right before exams. It was fine. Shit happens. I was dealing with it.

Struck down but not destroyed

(13) Thanking My Scars: I really do not care about hurting your feelings (1), Ep. 3.

Hello everyone!!!!I know I abandoned this series for a minute there. I’m so sorry about any abandonment issues that my abandonment of both these series and the blog might have given some people. I lost my spark, I lost my literary way and I’ve only just recently rediscovered it. And pending rediscovery, I didn’t want to throw out too many half assed articles, I’d be betraying myself if I did sub-par work, betraying my talent, betraying the writers who believe in me and knew what I was capable of writing, betraying people like my brother who have supported this blog from its beginning and have shared so many of my articles to their friends, I’d be betraying my blog readers who after so long still remembered me, not to plug their own links (that’s very okay. I truly don’t mind), but people who genuinely look up to me, who care about me personally.But most of all, I would have been betraying God who gave me the talent to write; to say the things I couldn’t actually speak through words because the actual words would get stuck in my throat and I wouldn’t be able to get them out, who gave me confidence and divine blessings over and over again. If I put up too many “meaningless” posts, I’d have been shaming him. And proving myself unworthy of the gifts He gave me.I’m not saying that “meaningless” content does not have a place, even on this blog (meaningless in this case, in the fact that they do not help you or anyone in your journey of purpose), but my aim in creating this blog was to educate people about my views on everything, religion, music, pain, God, even celebrity and non-celebrity felonies. Absolutely everything, in the words, sarcasm, funny and sometimes inappropriate ways of Obianuju Jennifer Ebelechukwu Ayalogu. I’d have been betraying myself if I didn’t set a clear boundary/guideline for just how many posts I could write without any inspiration driving me.

And for anyone who wonders/is wondering what the meaning of Thanking my Scars is, and why scars should be thanked anyway? I respond, think about it this way; have you ever said anything grievously offensive to someone? Have you ever held a view that you now do not hold and told everyone about it?Those views, those offenses can be the scars and thanking them means that you show them the respect they are due because holding those views helped you in some way however slightly to becoming the amazing person you are today. I don’t really believe in holding views and seeing them in black and white. Good or evil. Too many people live in the shades of grey and while I believe in putting in the work to be a “white”, I also have to acknowledge the struggles of those people stuck living in the greys, who do not know how to come out of it, and be a white. I sound hella religious now, yeah? Occupational hazard. My thoughts are continuously jumbled, writing helps me articulate what I want to say and say it, but with a bit of ramble tossed in.Back to the original story, this post is a sequel to my previous post here. And once I’ve settled my mind on the best course of action for me, as regards to any situation, it’s quite difficult for me or anyone to change it.

Something set me off today. A situation where someone was trying to emotionally manipulate me into giving them money. I’ve told you all about my brother, the one who died?Well several of the “holdovers” from that period till this day, plague my family. That was the period in which my mom was too generous with everyone. There was nothing anyone asked her that she’d not stress herself trying to obtain for the person.She passed that trait of frenzied giving (take all my money, would you? ๐Ÿ™„) onto me but with the help of God, I came up with a strategy. Sentimental giving (60%) and Strategic Giving (40%) of my Charity Budget. I have stuck to those levels by his grace and no power of hell, no demon(ic pronouncements), no emotional manipulation from the pit of hell, no amount of pain will cause me to stray from those levels of giving. Please say Amen on my behalf!

So this “holdover”, this extremely problematic auntie knew somehow, I’m guessing they all gossip about our family still, that I’d be home. Because she came all the way to my house, strategically when she knew my mom wouldn’t be around nor my dad either.Immediately I saw her, I knew what her intentions were. And I really wanted to go hide in my room and blatantly ignore her. But I reasoned, I was in my father’s house, spiritually, physically, whatever I sanctify on earth is sanctified in heaven as well and all that and I really needed to embrace the coming confrontation and not keep running whenever anyone looks at me with hatred/guile or emotional manipulation on their minds.I’d been practicing; on Twitter, in online chat groups, in real life even, the spirit of ignore them/nod and just move on is strong, but I have to make Him known, make my opinions known and not back down. Boldness and confidence need to be built upon previous boldness and confidence.

If I could tell one problematic auntie yesterday that I’m very comfortable not going to church regularly and I’d really appreciate it if she wouldn’t try to force her own opinions (of mostly performative Christianity) down my throat and I ended up not backing down from the confrontation but instead welcomed a mutually respectable and logical discussion with facts backed up about my views and her views, then I could stand up to this woman today.

So I went out, I did what I planned to do, greeted her, offered her a seat, some water to drink, some food, told her to go in the sitting room where there were many fans to cool her down (knowing how to confront people does not have to involve yelling and screaming, that’s actually terrible manners, I’d wonder if you were okay. If the frustrations of Being Nigerian were getting to you, if you needed to talk to someone who wasn’t me because abeg, don’t pass on your shituations to me because if you knew the mental load I carried ehn, you’d pity me. Not necessarily the case currently, but…)

There’s always an easier way to do everything. To bell/skin the cat. I like looking for the easiest way to get it done for the sake of myself, so I’d not have reflux (secondhand) embarrassment or any remorse about what I’d just done. I’d feel supremely confident that I was right and tomorrow, if someone wants to body shame me or marriage shame me, I’ll have supreme confidence in telling them to kindly mind their own businesses and leave me alone to mind mine.

Unless of course, they knew of anyone they were willing to introduce me to who was free & unencumbered, a Christian in the truest sense of the word, who had worked on HIS mental health, kind and was willing to make me feel like a princess, a queen at all times.If they didn’t know of anyone like that, could they please mind their lives, their primary business and stop pointing a searchlight onto mine? Thank you.

In the case of this particular problematic auntie, she had incurred my wrath the day I’d been told by my mom that she ambushed my youngest brother at a time when she knew he’d be alone and literally scammed him of money. It might seem like I don’t give a damn about much but you do not EVER project your stupid issues onto my younger brother. No bloody way I’d ever let that happen and do nothing. No way.

I’ll come up with a revenge so cold, you wouldn’t ever believe I’m capable of executing it.The presumption when you wear glasses, have an “innocent face” is always that you’re quiet and non threatening. So, many people have sought to take advantage of me because I’m supposed to be quiet and non threatening. And it’s okay when they try to. Sometimes I’d even roll over and play dead for them to take advantage. Because when they do, the next time they can’t is always so perplexing to them.But, but, but this was my younger brother. Nothing, absolutely nothing is ever as important as my younger brother’s confidence and mental stability. And you do not EVER seek to diminish him, make him worry about anything, shame him about his weight in my presence. NEVER. I’ll immediately put you in your place in front of him so he knows that no matter what, I’m always there for him.

Returning to the story, I told this problematic auntie to go put her feet up and we’d discuss things, just as soon as I’d had a bath and brushed my teeth.I confirmed what she was on about the minute I asked her to call my mom (who’d warned her that she wasn’t willing to keep giving her her salary basically) and she kept giving excuses. No wahala.But this woman did not understand this key point: I might fight with anyone and everyone in my family, but I make sure no matter what, we’re UNITED against all strangers, all “unfriendly friends”.I bathed, brushed my teeth and made my bed. Then I went into the sitting room where she was and called my mom on her behalf. Awwn, you’re welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚The way she looked at me ehn, if you see me laughing by myself with no external stimulation that you can see, just know I’m still laughing at that look on her face. You dare mess with my baby brother?

Ahhhh, these people don’t know me. Or the God I serve. While she was speaking with my mom, I was giving her “helpful tips” on how to properly tug on my mom’s heartstrings. Because I knew for a fact that even if my mom relented in her position, it’d be something I could afford without having to go withdraw money.

In the end, my mom instructed me to give her a token sum of money. But I can guarantee that shame will not let that woman see me and look at me in the face when I greet her. I’ll spend some time praying for her shame this night. But as you see me so, I don’t really care.

When someone, anyone shows you their true colours, when someone does something as grievously unfair as asking my then 13 year old brother for a substantial sum of his savings (my dad used to give him his pocket money monthly/weekly and he used to save up), when the same person tries to emotionally manipulate you into forsaking the boundaries you put in place to protect your peace and your mental health, I encourage you to not give a damn about hurting their feelings. Selah! Go and prosper people. Much love to everyone. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•โ™ฅ๏ธ