You are not

 You are not  going to turn me into something that I am not

You are not going to make me feel sad 

If I feel sad, it will not be because of you

You are not going to make me doubt myself
You are not going to turn this on me and make me the reason for your behaviour
I struggle with my emotions and already have let go

I come from a home of love despite all forms of abuse

I come from a mindset of hope and positive energy despite what you’ve gone through

I seek freedom, life and laughter and not only look back at worst moments

I desire deep love and affection and sacredness of the spirit

I need free mind coupled with the desire to explore and be anything I want to be

I know nothing can stop me from achieving my dream

Yet this little piece of puzzle makes me hesitate

I am not going to accept it to pull me down

To make me stop loving, sharing, caring

I remember the days I was truly happy and in love

I remember the days when my emotions were full of optimism and freedom

How can a love that claims to be divine habour such negativity and hurtful words

I want to fly high

I want to let go completely

Before my heart is filled with hatred and disgust

For when my heart gets to that point

There shall be no deliverance

I don’t want to hate

I don’t want to despise

I want to remember only good times

I want to remember only love

You are not going to make me hate you

You are not…

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Scary scars

I lay in my bed awake

I tell myself that I should be sleeping

But sleep wants me no more

Sleep deserted me and got bored of me

I would have asked why but I hesitate

Because sleep doesn’t really know why

The scary scars still visible

Some from afar

I cry at night for some covers

Neck to stiff to feel the fur

Why? Why? Why?

A question I can never answer myself

Seems to me questions become the new norm

Justification become the new direction

I cannot close the gap

I see the deep scars of hurt and pain

I touch them with bloody fingers

I squeeze the remaining kindness out

It is my fault but not entirely

Pain wakes my numb legs

Sensation is what I try to feel

But I keep on trying

This has to end

I close my eyes for a moment

Sleep crawls to my bed and wants to cuddle

Slowly I stop writing this note

I tag it and publish it

Thirty seconds later

I am in dreamland

Sleep overtook my mind

And for a moment

Numbed my scary scars

Mama

Mother’s day recently passed and was well celebrated. I saw and read posts from friends with pictures of theirthe mothers together. I also saw posts of my friends with their daughters or sons celebrating this day. 
I never once thought I’d be able to write this. But my mother went through hell to raise me and my siblings up. Even though I did and still do admire my father, for all the other reasons, he was still abusive towards my mother.

From emotional to physical abuse. All this time, he had plenty of other hot looking girlfriends working in high offices with heels while my mother  tilled the land, worked her ass off and paid for every tiny thing in the house with her meagre salary. She even took a loan to build our house. t that time, my dear father was flying high, wasting money and leaving us in debts. From hospital bills to unpaid debts.

I remember my mum’s hair was always short. She had pretty long hair and super beautiful when they were dating and even when they had me. But somehow after the third child, my father changed his attutude towards my mum and my siblings. He had another woman. He made my mama cut her hair, made me cut my hair too. He became much more angry and aggressive.

This was not the guy who at many occasions had saved our neighbours from domestic battering, had threatened to destroy another man for beating his wife or even rushed another woman suffering from celebral malaria to the hospital. Countless things he did for other people, countless offerings he poured to the church and countless children he welcomed home to watch our television – which was the village’s only TV at that time. 

Back to my mom, her job was to look awful and work hard. Shaggy with baggy clothes. Because that was how wives of people like my dad should look like in that tiny village. Moreso, if you happen to be a woman who the church says you should be a model to other women.

 I remember my mother miscarrying after my dad beat the hell out of her. I saw her bleed, ran to the neighbour to ask for help to drive her to hospital. I did not know it was what it was until later in life when I asked my mother for details of that fateful night. 

Or the other time when my mother would watch and cryI helplessly when my father beat the hell out of me for breaking a plate while washing it. She came in between us and he slapped the hell out of her as she fell on the hard floor. 

Or when she came home late from too much work in school and found my father angrily waiting for her to make him his dinner.

Ouch. These memories have a way of getting to me. 

Yet my mother stayed. She stayed for the sake of us. Also she was ashamed and embarassed that she could not leave and stay a single mother with four kids to take care of. She thought it was necessary to have a father figure for us. If she knew that he’d die later on and leave her agonizing, maybe she would have left.

My mother, she was thrown out of her fathers will for marrying my father. Her parents never agreed with her choice. She was already pregnant with me. She was cut out completely. Her parents refused to take her to college, telling her to go to her poor boyfriend and never contact them again. 

My mother, she survived the stigma and society cultural traditions which sometimes would tear her apart. She protected us from those horrible things they would say to her. She told me they were outdated.

My mother, one of the first women in my village to wear a trouser and walk down the city center, while being shouted at by village boys to leave her trouser and home for her male kids.

My mother, who loves me to death and always believed in me, even when she knew I was making a wrong turn. She never scolded me nor lack faith in me. 

My mother, my dear mother, whom now is so hard to reach because I am in another country studying to have a better life and her connection is so poor that we cannot speak even for two minutes.

My mother who gives all of herself to every kid she teaches and to their parents and to her teachers.

If ever I feel low for some reason, I remember all the strong women, like my mother who show that life is what you make out of it. Noone is responsible for your happiness. Sometimes we choose to stay in broken lives, broken families, broken relationships or marriages and we have all the reason to. One day, the pain will go away and we will be happy again. 

Mom, you made me who I am today. I am proud to be your daughter. And one day, if ever I have them kids, I hope to pass the grace, charisma, love and the strength to them. 

With love and affection.

Open but not so much open

Someone once asked me whether open relationships really work. I didn’t have an answer because I ask myself that question over and over again.

Can open relationships work without jealousy? Can you enjoy seeing your love with another woman or man? I did not mind the feeling at all. It kind of gave me some energy, some refreshing ideas, some comfort seeing my husband caress another woman.

Well, let’s just say from experience I was not jealous at all. Sometimes I would even prefer to go to my own room and leave him with his many lovers. On the other hand, I never felt the urge to have the same. Well, I did sleep over a couple of times with my platonic male friends while he was there. But never brought up the idea of me being with other men. I did have a couple of on and offs with other women, some women were his lovers for sure, but I really didn’t like the idea so much. I was worried about safety so I was not engaged sexually or any behaviours that would risk my health.

So when and what happened? When he started lying about his individual rendezvous. Whenever he travelled, he would meet others. He fell infatuated and maybe in love. I watched my husband fall in love with different women. I saw him getting drunk because he felt jealous that one or two of these women had their lovers. He wanted them for himself. He wanted as if to own them.

Of all the women he fell in love with over the years, I think the one that really made me perhaps jealous was the last one. Well, maybe I wasn’t jealous because I was already not so much in love with him by then. I got accustomed to his tiny lies and that made it easier for me to learn to do the same.

Well, this last one was young, intelligent and needy. Probably he felt like he would save her. She was also opinionated. I felt like she had most of my qualities, apart from being kind. She wanted him for herself. She wanted me out, real bad. She gave him good sex that we haven’t had in years. She was studying something related to what he is interested in, and therefore, of course, I guess it was good for their discussions.

Then it all started, the emotional abuse and psychological torture from him. The missing days that we would not talk to each other. I found out later this was a game. Pathological, twisted and evil kind of game rooted from complete crazily twisted mindset. Anytime they would have a fight or misunderstanding, he would project it on me. I would receive a load of messages from him telling me all sorts of things.

Now, back the question whether open relationships work. I still don’t know. What I know is he wouldn’t tell me how deep the love was and we wouldn’t discuss anymore about her. We used to before we got married. Now, we don’t. 

Finally, I did tell him I had a lover. That hurt him deeply. But what did he expect. I thought and we always talked about possibilities of meeting new people and since we were apart, not to be lonely. But I found out it was supposed to be only his side. Not my side. I could not have lovers. 

Now, that I said all these, I wonder what to tell him about my lover. I wonder how open he is to hear about this. I was open to hear about his escapedes. I even helped him get out of little heartbreaks and disappointments with his loves. I tend to think that I was a shoulder to lean on. Something tells me he doesn’t want to hear my side of things. 

I let it to you to decide whether open relationships work or not. I know from my experience, for one to workbe, there must be…

1. A small doze of jealousy – not too much but not too little

2. Total openness and kindness to accept each other as you are

3. Cut off anything that would lead to unfaithfulness or a feeling of jealousy and possession

4. Share, share and share. Never stop talking about your feelings, emotions and fantasies to each other

My journey has just began.

Another morning…

It is true when they say the road to recovering from sexual or emotional abuse is long and bumpy. It takes lots of energy and will power. Sometimes the memories make you want not to get out of bed, to stay hidden and not want to see people. I promise you, there will be those days that you will want to lock yourself up from the outside world.

Like this morning, all I want is to be in my room and not leave. Just keep on reading all messages that he sent me, the recordings where he was threatening me and staring at some of our lovely pictures during our best moments.

Even though I am deeply hurt, my spirit is free, has always been free. As I listen to this angry voice and breaking of bottles and banging of tables and walls, I can’t believe I stayed all that while. I must admit at some point through the recordings I found myself really missing him. Isn’t that weird?

No, it is not. Somehow deep inside this person was my soul mate, my partner, my love and the greatest supporter ever. I felt free and that I could achieve anything I wanted. I was sure of his love and support through the good and the bad times. We grew together in mind and spirit. He enriched my heart and mind with greatest art. We were open and people always wowed at our open, yet kind and beautiful relationship. Our friends, social and professional colleagues liked us as a pair. He was a charming man and that I will forever keep in my heart.


But all this came at a price, at least this is what I think. The emotional abuse and insecure feelings and awful word that none would dare listen to. I think he was scared that I would leave him. I remember the first time immediately we started living together, I packed my bags after one of his famous outbursts. He hit the wall, the table, kicked things because people were unfair to him and did not keep their word. He turned it on me because I was leaving to stay with my cousin. I made it clear I was scared of his outbursts. I left in the middle of the night, in a not so very safe place. Well, four years later, I had many of those occasions where I would leave but then go back after a few days.

The cost of me being silent was his best. He would shout and raise his voice so much that even the neighbours would be scared. Of course, nobody dared to show up. In my country, people took it to be normal. I remember when he would lose it on the streets, some would laugh at him, laugh at me and think he is mad.

Sometimes when we are in love we cannot see what the other person is doing to us or vice versa. We take it to be normal, because we do not want to risk leaving. I guess they take advantage of our weakness. I read somewhere that when one gets out of an abusive relationship, it is easier for one to start analyzing and think that they somehow contributed to the abuse.

I did think so. I thought it was my fault. I thought I partially contributed to his behaviour. His anger outbursts. Or when I left him at the bar alone because he started saying nasty things to me. Or when I told him not to do something bad, or when I advised him to be careful about other women, young girls especially for our health sake. For not respecting him enough as he constantly mentioned to me. For not being there for him – I don’t know how or what this meant. All those and many other reasons, I felt that it was my fault.

My family had seen his reactions and also gotten used to that. We thought, maybe it is different culture, maybe it’s just so hard for him to integrate or understand how we do things. Maybe its just his nature. Everyone just simply made excuses for his behaviour because of his good, charming personality. He would make everyone happy and cheerful – when he was drunk. He would be the most generous person ever when he was drunk.

Now, I look back and say it was not my fault. There is absolutely no excuse for being abusive. I may have been a victim, but I am no longer a victim. I had a choice to stand up for myself and my family. I could not understand where pure hatred of his, would come from. I thought I could help him, that my natural kindness, warm spirit and not keeping grudges would somehow help neutralise situations when he got angry and depressed.

I think he feared my spirit. He was jealous of my strong spirit. He knew my story, my determination, my thirst for being the best despite many obstacles. He knew my selfless nature and desire to bring others under my wings. He knew my resistance to influence. He saw me evolve, grow and become the person I am today. He believes he contributed to it.

Today, I hope I get the strength to be the best that I have always wanted to be and could ever be. To help others struggling with emotionally straining and abusive relationships find peace again. To be there, to listen, to love and to hold those who feel vulnerable. For when you have been there, seen it all, your arms are always open to anyone who is going through these difficult moments. Without any judgement.

Molested childhood

Well, someone once wrote that I am not to blame for something that happened to me as a child. I was four, young, talkative and jumpy creature. My father was proud to take me with him for little safaris and trips from the village to the big city. I loved to see big buildings and for once see running tap water. I wasn’t used to this because I was brought up in a tiny village, no electricity, no running water and as crazy as it may sound, we did not have a toilet. I would use a plastic bag and throw it to the bushes close by.

I remember vividly as if it happened yesterday. I remember my cousin’s big fat fingers getting inside my vagina. My father had taken us to visit his sister in the city and this is where it happened. I remember my other female cousin too, also four, being molested by our big male cousin. He put his hand and something very itchy called ‘Robb’ into our pussies that we screamed with pain and started crying. Robb would be used oftenly to soothe muscle pain, just like deep heat, and cannot be used on open wounds or even vagina. I remember telling my father about it, trying to form words to explain what really happened to me. He never got it as  he never understood! And even if he did understand, what would he do about it? My father was not the kind of person who would think that I was being  molested. If he knew, my guess was he could never lay his finger on his sister’s son, or even raise the issue with his sister. Not that I support physical abuse, but that was the only way my father would punish someone. I still remember this ordeal vividly.

Then, I was 10 when my 32 year old uncle forced his manhood inside my mouth. I looked up to him and he was such a good person. I never knew he would do that to me. He relieved his pleasures inside my mouth and I remember choking and crying so much that I refused to eat for three days. My aunt never knew what was going on with me. I always knew somehow noone would believe me. I felt like it was a normal thing that adults do to children.

I talked to my mother about it later in life and she was sorry I had to go through that and she never knew. Of course, she wouldn’t have known. She had her own issues that she had to go through. Horrible situations and past. I never wanted to burden her with my issues. That’s where I went wrong. Of course, she told me, I am your mother! What did you think? I never told her about my uncle though. That would hurt her deeply.

Why do I bring this up? I remind myself that each of us have a past. Some are awful and we want to forget them, while some are beautiful and we always want to remember. I wish I could forget my past and completely and enjoy some things that I now despise. Those that would take me back to those moments.

Maybe I was blinded so much by abusive behaviour that I felt it was somehow normal for my partner to say abusive words. It was almost certain that I wanted him to despise me, to send me to hell, to call me a bitch. Because I never really did heal from the past. Somehow, I wanted that feeling, where I would feel worthless. I would give him a pass because I had already been through all that, worse than his abusive words.

Now, I lay down my bed after a bath and look at my body carefully and in detail. How did I get to that point? When I felt so worn out? I promise myself that I would never look down on myself, ever again. What happened in my childhood was not my fault. What happened in my marriage was not my fault. I did not have a choice as a child, but I had a choice as a young, married woman. I have a choice now as a young, intelligent and visionary woman. To heal, to love without borders, to enjoy my freedom and sexuality, to experience new loves and excitements and to be hopeful of a good future. I hope that any child would never go through any form of sexual abuse. It really does traumatize and by sharing my story and writing this, I hope that I can put this past behind.

Talking to a friend who listens and doesn’t judge is always a good move. Often, I think people have already their own problems to deal with and so I do not speak out. But one good friend of mine told me, always speak up. Talk to one good friend who will listen to you. I did do it. It was helpful. Its the reason I am writing and sharing today.

My story is not unique. Have you or someone you know gone through such a trauma? Do share how you got to heal or how you dealt with it.

On the train…a new city

As I sat on the train, on my way back home after a good and fun day with my colleagues, I thought about the past. I had switched off my phone thinking it would prevent your abusive calls or messages. I was happy for three hours, surrounded by my friends. I had no worry, at least I had something that took my mind away from thinking about you.

Now, sitting here and my phone on, I find no messages or calls from you. Relieved, I  check to see if you are online. There you are! So, I am happy you are safe. I guess that’s all I need to know.

Still, I wonder why I need to know that you are safe. I quickly remembered your voice in my head. Telling me you are in my country, a strange country, fighting for us. That I needed to respect you more. That I did not understand what you have to go through.

I scroll down the text messages you sent me earlier. I cannot really understand why I was quiet for all this time. I was afraid to share with anyone. Noone would believe that you would write such ugly words to me or anyone. You called me bitch a number of times. You vowed to throw my mother to the rubbish bin. You hailed insults at my brother. You called my sister a lying stupid bastard. You called my little brother fucked up and stupid. There were no words you did not say.

You called my people in my country retarded. You made fun of them because they did not respond as you would have loved them to. Or that they did not keep their word.

You threatened me on a number of occassions to stop talking or writing. You called me disgraceful bitch. You wanted me to kneel before you and worship you.

Your words still hurt. They probably will hurt through the years. I think its enough of five years together. I learnt a lot together, you were my rock as I was yours – at least I think.

I changed, I got fed up of these abuses, I got angrier and nasty. Isomorphism? Perhaps. I started picking your behaviours. And used them against you – to defend myself. To protect myself. I shouted and raised my voice on you, when you did the same. This was new to you. You never thought I would? You never thought I would shout and lose myself.

You made me want to despise my family. To take me away from them. Not to understand them. To criticize my mother and speak down on her.

I hate it that you crossed the line. You cross the line with your mother. You call her names. I could never do that. I would never curse my mother. For you, it was okay.

Now, I am off my train, I have to walk home. My new home, far away from you. I hope I will make it here. I will survive here. I will heal and find a love that I deserve. Free of judgement.

Life without all forms of abuse. Is this possible? Sharing my story

Emotional abuse is real and happens all the time. Sometimes it happens when we know it, sometimes when we don’t. Sometimes we do it, sometimes the people we love do it. I started this post to share my past stories and how I am learning to get out of this cycle. Once abused, there is always a probability that you try not to be abusive to others, because you hate your past. But, sometimes, it is just too difficult not to fall into the trap of projecting your feelings to someone else. Wanting them to feel your pain.

I share my stories, my feelings after being abused, but also some stories from people close to me. I hope that in one way, we can share our path to healing – towards a world of love and kindness. That is my wish. To be in a world with no hate, no emotional, psychological, physical and most importantly – sexual abuse.

I am no expert – but I hope that sharing these stories will create awareness and help me, and others who might feel trapped in a never ending cycle from the consequences.

 

Image source: http://static.wixstatic.com/media/29c6d6_5771ffe5e83d400ebb6e6ef083700d8a.png/

 

 

I was wrong to think so…

My road to recovery has just started. I thought that I would never put the words on what I felt. Somehow I am used to blocking all the hatred and any feelings that put me down. I did have a defense mechanism for anything that would put me down. But not for him. Somehow, it still hurts me that I did not, as one of my first readers here commented, note down the red flags.

I was blinded by his so much love for me. Yes, he really did love me. He was proud of me, talked about me to everyone he met, every colleague of his, every friend he had, even the women he would see on the side. Well, going back to the women, my husband made sure they knew my name and even sometimes he would want me to have a Skype call with them. of course, they would sleep in our house, hanging around the living room with their pants. Well, I got along with some women, especially those who I would say were strong and did not have malicious thoughts. I never got along with some of the women – especially the ones he really fell for hard! It would be obvious, but this was not the kind of relationship we had – at least when we started.

We were in love, very much deeply in love. As some would say – from the heavens back to the moon and the sky. Yes. We had no jealous feelings of each other. No gossip. No doing things behind each others’ backs. Well that was the first two years of our relationship. Then we got married.

It was a quick decision to marry. But yes, I wanted to! I loved this man. He supported me and encouraged me to find a better version of myself. He helped me get my self respect and self esteem, which for a long time, I did not have. Yes, he empowered me to believe I could do it. With his love for music, his intelligence, his art, his open mind, his pure love for humanity, his desire to help and change his country, the world. Together, having the same attitude, building each other, we were unstoppable. That, I will be forever grateful and thankful for. He did open my eyes to the beauty of the world – something I did not see before I met him because I had gone through a lot of abuse – sexual, emotional, physical and psychological torture from people closest to me. Especially, my father.

Now what? All the things we fought and stood for are far away. Gone with the winds. His words still sting my heart and only now do I realize, how deep I got myself into believing him so much. Trusting that he was going through rough moments – of loss of job, of being alone in a new country, of not being supported by anyone. Trusting that once those difficult moment passed you would be yourself again.

I was wrong to think so.