I feel it too

Just returned home after a “sun-filled” day of searching for how to make a better use of my time so that in exchange it can give me fulfilment and money. On opening my room door, I breakdown. My life is as scattered as my room, nothing is in its place. Everywhere is scattered, everything is scattered. How did it get to this? How did I get to this point? It was neatly arranged hours ago. I knew where my dreams were and I knew where they led to. My vision and goals were clear and my plans were neatly arranged and put together.

Just before I left the house this morning, I read about being grateful for the things I have, allowing my eyes see the things that are right not the ones that are wrong. I really don’t have some of the things I wish were on my #grateful list but i really do have things I should be grateful for.

Maybe you’re just like me, blinded by your tears, broken by your unfulfilled dreams, scarred by your pain. I need you to know that you are not alone. I don’t have the perfect words or the solutions right now but I know that this too shall pass and I just need to believe against all the odds that are currently not speaking the words you’ve been waiting to hear that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. If you need someone to talk to because we all do sometimes you can reach me on oluchifokere@gmail.com

The middle of the beginning #2

Shame grows best in the dark; we are only as sick as the secrets we keep.– Bob Gass

I was ten(10) years old when I started looking for a way out. I had kept all the emotions inside and it was becoming unbearable for me. I started searching for ways to ease the guilt, condemnation, shame and insecurities i felt inside that i didn’t want anyone to see. I wanted a way to permanently bury the shame so that no one would ever see it, so that I wouldn’t feel it anymore. I had come up with ideas which included alcohol, cigarette, sex etc. My next plan was how to get alcohol. Let’s go back a little. You see I was raised to in a home where we were not allowed to go out to do anything except you were being sent on an errand and the errand was always within the vicinity. So I didn’t know a lot of places except for a few shops around the house. So back to how I was planning to get alcohol. In all of my smartness as a child, I knew I couldn’t buy beer because you see the bottles were always so big and there was no way I would be able to hide that from my family even if I could manage to sneak it into the house which of course I knew was impossible because my mum was a full-time housewife and she had roving eyes, scratch that, she still has roving eyes. Another disadvantage of the beer was returning the bottle and deposit( depositing some money with the seller which she returns to you after you’ve successfully returned the bottle). With all these in mind beer was cancelled ( I wonder what would have been my brand though) which left spirit as my only option. I had seen these portable bottles of Chelsea, squadron etc at a shop where I used to go buy bread and had made inquiries about what the bottles contained and I had been told, besides, I had seen one or two people drinking either of them in that shop a few times. 

I was done planning, it was time for some action. I was so excited i was finally going to fulfill my dream of getting some alcohol in my system and with that excitement I walked into the shop, stopped in front of the counter and then requested for a bottle of Chelsea, the smallest size. The guy looks at me and then asks me,” who send you”, I was not prepared for that question, in all of my planning, I never saw that question coming up, he had just stopped the movie playing in my head. While I was thinking of an answer, I heard another question,”who give you money to come buy Chelsea.” What!!!!!!! I had thought his business was to sell and not question me. He must have noticed me mumbling words that I can’t remember because the next words I heard were,”if you no answer me, I go go tell your daddy say you come my shop wan come buy Chelsea”, time stopped, the earth under my feet began to shake..mogbe!!!!! I became confused and afraid, I started stuttering,”ermm..i just dey play….nobody send me oo…i no even carry money come sef.” I ran out of there like Lot and didn’t look back for fear that i too might turn to salt if i did. I was safely in my room now with my fingers crossed, repeating the words, “let him forget, let him not tell daddy.” I was seriously praying to God for him never to bring up the topic to any member of my family. After that day passed, I was a bit relieved. I had begun to think of the possibility of every alcohol seller in my area knowing my dad and I was just too afraid to try again. That was how my love for Chelsea died. So to all those that keep wondering why i just wouldn’t leave Arsenal with all their heartbreaks for Chelsea, now you know.

I keep falling

I can’t tell you how many last times I’ve had or how many times I’ve told myself, “this is the last time”. I want to stop, I have tried so many times to stop and the truth is I have probably stopped a million and one times but I’m still addicted.

I was raised in a Christian home by parents who occupied high positions in church. My dad was an elder and my mum a deaconess. We were very comfortable. My dad worked while my mum was a full-time housewife. I was an ss1 student attending one of the best private secondary school in my state at the time and I was a good student. I have good memories from my childhood and I was friends with almost everybody. I was walking back from school one sunny afternoon with my one of my friends who lived in a house two streets apart from mine. We were gisting and I was busy chewing on my gum like it was the last gum in the world when we noticed that a shiny black jeep had stopped in front of us. We tried walking past it but the moment we approached the car, the driver wind down his glass and the first thing I noticed was his open teeth when he smiled and asked us where we were going to. I also noticed that he was probably in his mid forties, had a slight Igbo accent when he spoke, he was good-looking too though with a little pot- belly. We told him our destinations and he offered to give us a ride, I guess he must have noticed our hesitation, then he added that he could be a father to us so we had nothing to worry about. Well the sun was hot and it didn’t seem like a bad idea to complete our journey in the nice car so we jumped in, I in the front sit while my friend sat at the back ( I really can’t remember if it was his idea or if it just happened). The inside of the car smelt so nice and his AC was on, then he started asking us questions just to carry on a conversation while he drove, so we told him our names, the name of the school we attended and so on. Well the conversation didn’t last long because in no time we were outside my friends’ gate, we said our goodbyes and next thing I knew we were outside my own gate. Then he started advising me to take my studies seriously and to be a good girl. He gave me his card and told me to see him as a big Uncle, he told me to call him and then gave me some money which at first I had refused to accept but then he insisted that I take it. I accepted it, thanked him, came down from the car and he drove off. I then walked into my house.

Later on that evening, after I had showered, eaten and was done with my assignment, I picked up his card and dialed his number on the Sony Erikson phone that my elder sister had gotten tired of using and had passed down to me, it rang, he picked and then I thanked him for the ride and the money of which he replied was nothing. He then told me he was travelling to Abuja the next day and he was going to spend the weekend there but that he would return on sunday evening and that when he did he was going to give me a call and our call ended. My weekend was sweet, I had gone with my sister to the salon where she made her hair and after that we had stopped by Mr Biggs for some snacks and icecream which was of course my condition if I was to go with her. My phone rang on Sunday evening and it was him, he had called to say that he was back and that he would stop by my school the next day to pick me up so that he could give me the things he brought for me from Abuja. I slept that night looking forward to the next day.

True to his words, he was parked on the other side of the road when I walked out of our school gate the next day. I got into the front sit like it had become my birthright, I guess I had become somehow comfortable. He then told me we had to drive to his hotel because in his hurry to attend a meeting that morning, he had forgotten to put the gifts in the car. I went with him to his hotel, when we got to his room, he brought out a gift bag that contained earrings, a bracelet and a wristwatch and they looked really nice. I thanked him. I was still sitting down when he brought out a pack of 5alive with a glass from his fridge and placed in front of me. He took his sit next to me and then asked me if I liked the things he had gotten for me which I replied yes to, then he started shifting really close and making promises to me, his hands began to move all over me and my ears were hearing the sweetest words, he was speaking sweet words into my ears and next thing I know we are on the bed with my skirt raised and hands all over my bdy and the next emotion I felt was pain. We had had sex. In that second my life changed. He kept on saying sweet things to me and promised that the next time I would enjoy it even more than himself and it turned out that he was very correct.

Our escapades continued without anyone knowing the new joy I had found. He continued lavishing gifts on me but it wasn’t the gifts that kept pushing me into his bed, I had fallen in love with sex without even realizing it. He had concluded his business in my state and it was time for him to move on. I was hurt, I cried for days. He was gone, I was on holidays and I was lonely.

Lawal was our gateman, he was in his late twenties and he was a man. One day I called Lawal when everyone was out and we had sex. We were at it almost every time we had the slightest chance and yes he was our gateman but he was my only chance at satisfying an urge i had lost control of.

Life has moved on, I have had several sex partners of which some were boyfriends. I have been in situations where I have paid guys to have sex with me. I have had abortions more than I can count. I can’t stop, I keep trying to stop. I have bought vibrators to calm me down whenever I become restless but they never seem to help much. I have tried locking myself in and telling myself,” you are not going anywhere,” but i do not know how many times I have said that to myself because I keep going. I am addicted to sex.

The first time i heard your story, i thought i knew the right things to say to you so i said what i thought were the right things. Forgive me for judging you in my heart because I did. Addiction is not something that its victims  ever see coming. One second you are simply fascinated and the next second you have become addicted. The truth is that God loves you so much, much more than you have ever imagined or heard and all He wants is for you to accept His love. God’s love for you doesn’t judge you or condemn you. His arms are outstretched just waiting for you to see beyond the addiction that has defined you for so long. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a sex addict that you have called yourself, He has called you His own, His to love, His to cherish, His to take care of. He wants to carry your burden, He wants to carry that addiction, please give Him a chance, let Him in. God desires you, loves you, wants you and craves for you more than you crave for sex. God’s love heals, God’s love would hold you and never let you go,God’s love would make you whole. Give God a chance to show you just how much He loves you.

Genesis thirty8 #2

It happened that while she was being brought out to be burnt, she sent a quick message to her father-in-law saying,”I am with child to whom this things belong, please examine and see who’s signet ring, cord and staff these belong to.” Then Judah on seeing these things said,”she is more righteous than i am,inasmuch as i did not give her to my son shelah.” And when the time for delivery came, Tamar gave birth to two boys and named them Perez and Zelah and wrote her name down in history.

Tamar!, oh! Tamar! You did rise

At the point where both men had died presumably from sleeping with one woman(Tamar).people would have condemned her. It must have been assumed that Tamar was cursed, she too must have began to ask herself questions that the many eyes staring at her were asking,”am i cursed?”, “is there something wrong with me?”, “do I have a spiritual husband?”. Maybe she even began to believe this things, maybe she even had friends that wanted to introduce her to one baba(spiritualist) that could help her case. Her mother in-law must cried and thrown tantrums at her, ” you have eaten Er, you have had Onan also, you never belleful( are you not satisfied), won’t you at least pity me and let me have shelah to console me.” She must have been called a witch, ogbanje, mammy water, even i wouldnt have given my last son to Tamar. She had been told to pack her things and go.

Running home with feelings of shame, sadness, rejection, pain, disappointment, failure and loneliness, hoping to find arms that would welcome her in warm embrace, words that would reassure her that she indeed was not cursed because they had nurtured her and watched her grow up into the beautiful woman that she was, kisses that would comfort her and hands prepared to wipe her tears instead  in its place she found judgement. The eyes she saw had doubts and were filled with questions like;” why have you brought shame upon us?”. She was expecting to walk into a home that would rise and defend her, a family that would match to the house of Judah and demand she remain with them since she was already their wife. Okay, even if they had decided to wait for the promise of shelah. Shelah is all grown up now, if they had demanded that she be given to him as wife and they refused, they could have returned the dowry to at least stop Tamar from being an eternal widow with no hope but nobody did anything.

At this point, Tamar took a risk, she refused to stay down, she refused to stay beaten, it dawned on Tamar that she had to get up fight for herself. That you have nobody in the world who still believes in you doesn’t mean you can’t rise. You must begin to believe in yourself beyond what people have said to you or about you, beyond whatever experiences you may have had. Tamar must have said to herself, ” I’d rather perish knowing that I fought than perish in self-pity”. Tamar had people that pitied her, some condemned her, some must have laughed at her and mocked her but she knew that to do nothing about it was to allow shame become her companion forever. So without any support system, Tamar rose up and took a risk, fighting all odds that ended up with her name in history’s book. Today you cannot complete the genealogy of Jesus Christ without Tamar.

Don’t sit at that spot drinking from pity’s cup everyday, its time to move. Yes it happened to you, I know, but you can still rise…you can do something. You can make history recognize you as someone that didn’t go down without a fight. Some sitting around waiting for life to change the hand it has dealt you, instead take that hand and fight with it. If its to be then it is up to you. Its time to take off the mourning clothes, freshen up and go on a date with history. #youareenough #youaremadeformore

The middle of the beginning 1

Forgiveness is a journey that starts with acknowledging that you have been hurt by someone or something(and it could be anything) and ends with u letting go of that hurt. Now what is in between could be anger, bitterness,disappointment, revenge plans, words that you can’t take back, pain..just alot of unhealthy emotions. Forgiveness really is a choice, we choose to forgive not necessarily because the offenders succeeded in convincing us of their remorse but because we know that if we do not forgive, we get stuck in their(offenders) world…you keep them and the pain they have caused in your heart and you can’t move on.

After I was sexually abused I was stuck in their world without knowing it, for the next twelve- thirteen years of my life I remained an eight year old child stuck in a body that didn’t really feel like my own. I had a luggage full of guilt, shame, zero confidence, no self esteem, hurt, I felt worthless, I felt like practically everyone was better than me and then I began to withdraw, I was running and hiding from myself because i had gotten to the point where I did not like me at all. In trying to bury the shame, I had buried myself and in burying myself, I buried my identity.

…and when you decide not to hide yourself from your own flesh, then your light will break out like the dawn… Isaiah 58:7b-8a

 

Genesis thirty8

Now there was a certain man whose name was Judah.  When Judah had gotten to an age where he felt he no longer needed to remain in his parent’s house, he moved out of their home. Judah went to visit his friend, Hirah and whilst he was there, Judah’s eyes came upon a certain beautiful Lady and his heart fell for her. Upon enquiry he found out her father was Shua and Judah went to the house of Shua and made this beautiful lady his wife. The wife of Judah made him the father of three sons; Er, Onan and shelah.

At the time when Er had come of age, Judah married a wife for his firstborn and her name was Tamar. Er did not do the things that pleased God and for that God took his life. Tamar had become a widow. Then one day, Judah called in Onan his second son and told him it was time for him to become a man and take on the responsibility of providing an heir for his brother Er by performing his duty as a brother in-law to Tamar. Now Onan knew that the child he would have with Tamar would not be his and with this in mind, Onan went in to his brother’s wife and when Onan sensed that his “coming” was near, Onan withdrew from her and wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. God wasn’t pleased with that act and so God took his life. Now at this point nobody knew why these men were dying and because it seemed like Tamar had a spiritual husband that was killing every man that laid with her, Judah after mourning the death of his second son looked at the one and only son he had left, called Tamar and said to her,” my daughter you can see that shelah is still too young, go back to your father’s house, remain a widow while you are there, all we need from you is a little time, wait let my son shelah grow up into a man, then we will come back for you,” for Judah thought in his heart that shelah may die like his brothers if he went in to Tamar.

Now, after some years, Judah’s wife died and when the time for mourning had ended, Judah and his friend Hirah took a trip to Timnah. When Tamar heard of her father in- law’s journey, because she had waited and had seen that shelah was already grown but she was still not given to him as wife yet, she acted the whore and positioned herself on Judah’s route. Judah unsuspecting that the harlot he laid eyes on and was so enchanted by was his daughter in-law because her face was covered,walked up to her and said,”here now, let me have sex with you.” And she replied, what will you give me, that I may let you come in to me?”. Judah made promise of a young goat from his flock that he would send to her should she agree to his request. She replied by requesting for a plegde in the place of the goat since the goat was not available at that moment, then judah asked, “what pledge shall I give you,” and she eagerly replied,”your seal, your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So Judah gave them to her and had sex with her.

After a few days, Judah sent a young goat as he had promised via his friend Hirah to retrieve his plegde from the harlot but to his surprise she was nowhere to be found, he had been told that they had been no harlot in the vicinity for days. Hirah went back and told Judah of his findings. Judah decided to let it go since he had not failed in his promise. 

About three months later, Judah recieved information that Tamar, his daughter in-law had gotten herself in harlotry and as such was with child. Then Judah declared,” bring her out and let her be burned!”

(to be continued)