(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 πŸ™„.

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 πŸ‘πŸ½)

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. 🀷🏽

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? πŸ€”.

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. 🀷🏽

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 πŸ‘πŸ½. 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 πŸ˜πŸ’•

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
Advertisements

(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 πŸ™„.

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 😘.

THE DAY AFTER 7/10

As I move further into my 20s, I find that I tend to feel happier the day after my birthday. The pressure to be visibly happy is reduced greatly as is the pressure to do things you’d rather never do for the sake of social media.

I’ve found that there tends to be so much pressure put on birthdays and it starts from childhood. I’m sure some of us can still remember the days of primary school when we’d share goody bags. And there was always that one person who had everything in their goody bags. So we’d go home and wonder why we didn’t have all that stuff in our goody bags and then resolve to change it up on our next birthdays. Except by then, the goalposts would have changed once again and the cycle and questions would continue, and the pressure would increase.

I don’t do well with pressure. It makes my heart race and gives me what I call pressure paralysis. It makes me feel extremely anxious like I’m back in Law School, up on stage in front of 5,000 people and I know what I’m supposed to say but the words won’t come out and I start having a panic attack.

I figured out a hack that has helped me greatly: if the pressure to do something a certain way is choking you, scrap that idea and do it another way.

My birthday was yesterday and I did nothing out of the ordinary. I had planned this birthday to the last second, I’d have 2 cakes, small chops, juice, I’d have professional pictures taken, I’d go out and turn up etc etc. And then on the week of, I noticed I had literally no energy to do anything towards that. So in the end, I did absolutely nothing. No cakes, no professional pictures, de nada.

What surprises me is the peace of mind I had yesterday. I’d bought small chops and asun for the ones who gave me life on Friday and I’d praised the One who made it worth living on the day of and there was no one and nothing for whom I had to pretend anything for. So relaxing.

It’s the day after my birthday today and what started out as a thank you post has now become an op-ed. 😊
Getting back to the purpose of this post, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to my village. The people who stand by me every day, every time. My brothers, Olayinka, Ayomide, Joy, Fifi, Mobi, Tomi, Rukayat, Yanmife, Nedoux, Bisola, my cousins, my uncles, my aunties etc etc etc.

I’M SO GRATEFUL I GET TO DO LIFE WITH YOU ALL!

Happy Thursday Week 15

ONE
In my new church, something I wholly admire are the welfare programs they regularly hold. From clothes, to education and food, everything is covered by the welfare department. And every once in a while, we have the health challenges of a member brought to the attention of the church for contributions to be made if for instance the person cannot afford the cost.
Last week Sunday, in the church, the case of someone who’d been involved in an accident where his kidneys and bladder were affected was brought to the attention of the congregation.They’d fundraised for him before but ongoing medical and miscellaneous costs had halved the money. A spot had been found for him to have surgery but they needed N600,000.00 in addition to the half left, to pay the doctor who was to perform the surgery.
Donation boxes were about to be passed. But while I was debating with myself as to how much to donate, someone donated all of it. All N600,000.00 (Six Hundred Thousand naira (only!) of it.
To be honest, I was happy and so relieved as well. My mind attaches to the oddest things, and I know, that if the donation had run for about 2 weeks, I might have done something I’d regret later, like given away all my savings again. But lucky for all parties, I didn’t have to. Just say a prayer for that person, please. It was such an uplifted moment in the church when his/her donation was announced.May God bless you whomever and wherever you are. May He cause His face to shine upon you and heal you and give you peace.

TWO

Last week Friday was the 22nd anniversary of my first birthday. That’s my over complicated way of saying I turned 23.

 No you can’t have any cake, I ate it all. But if I see any comments asking for *cake, be rest assured that I will ask for my birthday present in return. Quid pro quo, nay?

I didn’t post the birthday list thing like I did last year, because I realized at the #Blassion event, that I really don’t like people knowing all that much about me when I don’t know all that much about them. So, peace out. If inclined, please leave a birthday blessing for me in the comments. Thank you.

*Cake- Not excluding food, drinks, ice cream, all the lacha lacha associated with birthdays. It was last week. It’s been eaten, digested and err…

THREE

Story story….

So, I love eating abacha. Mad love it. It ranks among my top fave foods in fact. But after one super disastrous attempt making abacha for myself some years back, I started buying it. 

My dad would tell me on the regs, “Uju, buy this thing and make it at home. You can’t trust the process of the cooking of food vendors” and I’ll be like “It’s not like anyone has died from eating abacha outside. Even if I purge, maximum 2 days, and I’ll be a-ok.” (Not quite so specific but, you get the gist).

Until 5 people died from eating abacha. As it happens, I was in the car with my dad when they announced a cholera outbreak had killed 5 human beings. 5! All of whom had eaten abacha. 

I thank God my stupid pride did not cause my name to appear in the list of dead people. Thank God for me if you would, please?

Also, is anyone willing to make me a large container of abacha? I saw one woman selling some on my way to court yesterday and but for God…

FOUR
So one dude called me yesterday. He knew I was a lawyer. He asked if my “lawyering” extended to supply contracts. 

Sure, I replied and then he started giving me some very detailed instructions. Now, I was at the Ministry of Lands when I got that call and while I could hear him, I couldn’t be sure I’d remember, so I asked him to please send a text explaining exactly what he wanted me to do. 

He sent the text, giving me the number of someone to inquire about something from. 

Now, major red flags:

1. He said he knew me. I did not know HIM.

2. Why can’t you inquire about something by yourself? This was not something only a lawyer could ask. It was a basic transaction. Buyer and seller. What is my business?

3. What is my business? I make sure not to assume the worst about people right off the bat because that won’t get me far. But come on! I may be slow, but I’m certainly not stupid. You ask me to represent you, tell me someone will call me to give me money, you need me to inquire about something for you, something you can inquire for yourself. And I felt weird.

So I reverted to the lawyering failsafe; if you want me to represent you, you and I need to draft a contract which you will sign (I’d have insisted on seeing some identification as well), authorizing me to act on your behalf for a set fee. 

If I’d had any doubts that I was persecuting an innocent man, they ended when he swiftly said that he and I couldn’t do business if that was the prerequisite. 

Money is great, honestly. But I’m not about to entangle myself in something illegal or get scammed cos I don’t have patience. No. Everything good will come. At the right time. And it won’t make me feel weird. 

And to buttress my rationalizations, I got another, above board opportunity that same afternoon. 

Yay God!

FIVE

Although NYSC is not over for me as yet, I’m leaving my boss tomorrow!

I’m not going to go into details (yet), but I will tell you that I am so excited to be leaving and at the same time, super sad. 

But I’m leaving my boss tomorrow! 

Thank you God. For a successful completion. Because it will be successful. I did not steal, did not cheat, I was above board in everything I did. And I can’t wait to pack all my stuff and go buy shawarma. 

Thank God for me peoples! Praise God for me.

*

Author’s Note- I’m sorry if this offends anyone’s sensibilities, but what the heck is wrong with Trump? What? 

And Bubu, I get that you have laser vision for stamping out corruption and while the DSS’ actions are legal, why now? And, what are you trying to distract us from?

*

Birthday Edition Wattpad Recommendations

πŸ˜‰

Laura Jardine’s books- The Mechanic’s New Girl especially and all the others too. Really short books. I beg you, na beg I dey beg una, make una no read any book by this author anywhere people go dey look una. 

She funny well well. You go laugh. For me it’s not a problem, laughter is an integral part of my personality. I’m quirky, happy and lovable. That’s my “brand”, those are my characteristics. 

Take me Home- Blissom. Wow. This book was insanely good, I forced my eyes open all night to finish reading it. Wow!

Cell Phone Swap- Lindsay Summers/donotmicrowave.

 I’m making a sandwich. Two funny books at the edges and a serious one as the middle. This book is so funny, I crilaughed. It’s funny but it addresses some serious issues. I really, really, really can’t recommend this book enough.

*

Birthday Article Recommendations πŸ˜‰ (yes I know I’m milking it. Don’t be jelly *tongue in*)

http://chynanu.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/fear-will-always-fade/ – Evergreen.

http://www.sabinews.com/no-i-not-suffering-child-tope-owolabi/- Precisely.

http://brittneyamoses.com/i-dont-know-what-to-read-in-the-bible/- So simple, it’s thought provoking.