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What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway? I am glad you asked. Let me share the story of a particular girl child.

At two she was separated from her parents, especially her mom. Does she not deserve a loving home and care? Or the role model of a loving mother to guide and lead her?

The one where I'm a motherless daughter | Lisa-Jo Baker- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Every girl child deserves the role model of a loving mother.
Photo Source: LisaJoBaker

At six she lived with her aunt, where she suffered physical and verbal abuse. Well, at least she had an education you argue, well, yes. But what she had in education, was lacking in other girls her age or slightly older, as she lived in a city where she watched young girls like herself get married off in child marriage. This was traumatic for the girls and herself. What is the big deal anyway with a girl child you ask?

At seven, she was exposed to the ill called child sexual abuse and molestation, as one employed to teach her taught more than his pay grade, perhaps an unsolicited ‘bonus’?. The lessons she learnt that day marked her for the longest time in her life. She was touched and made to touch, not the type that builds you, it was the type of touch that broke you into a million pieces. The real lesson however, was to never trust an adult. What is the big deal you say?

source: campaignliveus- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
source: campaignliveus

By eleven, molestation was no longer a big deal to her. She had been molested by neighbors and family friends, she was used to it. Remember the lesson she learnt at seven? Promiscuity had become the order of day.

All through the years, she endured doing more chores than her brothers, wondering why she had to be saddled with more responsibilities than they. “You are a woman, who will one day be a homemaker”, they said. She often wondered if that meant she was created for nothing other than marriage and making some man happy at her own happiness and life’s cost.

Women aren't better at multitasking than men: Research- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Sometimes it gets really too much…
Source: scroll.in

She remembers her mother’s story of how her mom’s education had to be sacrificed for that of her brothers, simply because she was a girl child. “Bad investment”, some would say. So, it was natural to think that the world had done her a lot of favour by educating her. She could have been in a worse state, like her mother and the other girls who got married off.

And so she learnt to accept the barest minimum, grateful for the crumbs of life society threw her way every now and then. This prepared her very well (in a negative way of course) to accept the lesser pay, to deal quietly with the sexual power play doled to her through her working years by superior men. She was labelled an outlier, stubborn, for speaking out against colleagues who tried to assault her and other female colleagues. Sad enough, some of the labelers were fellow women, who were once girl-children. You’d think they’d know better, right? Never underestimate the power of systemic mental slavery.

The Gender Wage Gap – The Horrifying Numbers- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Its time to close this gap!
Source: eLearners.com

What is the big deal with the girl child and her rights you ask? Every woman today can see a version of herself in this girl child’s story. Seems far-fetched? Well, this girl child was me.

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
The girl child (Anita Adefuye).. we failed this girl child…..

Historically, the girl child has had more exposure to dangers, and suffered the perversions society has doled out the most. If you don’t think it is time these ended, and demand she is treated equally across all spectrums, then you are part of the problem. It starts with how we treat the girl child vis-à-vis the boy child.

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
…Can we do right by this girl child? (Simi Adefuye)

So then, what is the big deal with the girl child you ask? My response- EVERYTHING!!!

She is human, she has right to life like you
She is a child, protect her innocence
She has a mind, it seeks to learn, educate her
She is talented, develop her skills
She feels pain, do not shut her down. Whatever happened to freedom of expression?
She has a voice, let her speak. I ask again- Whatever happened to freedom of expression?
She works hard, pay her her dues
She is valuable, treat her with respect
Her body is her sanctuary, and sacred to her, do not violate it
She is a girl-child, that is not a crime.

Today, I join voices with every girl child in support of the rights of the girl-child, make your voice loud, break the ceilings hanging over your heads, because you and your rights, are a big deal indeed!

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Protect the girl child and her rights, it is everything!
Source: Compassion International Blog

Happy International Day of the Girl Child.

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Blog My Clear Mind

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week

Starting tomorrow (Sunday October 4th-10th, 2020) is Mental Illness Awareness Week. The week culminates into the World Mental Health Day

I could not think of a better time to upload the Instagram live chat I had with Dr. Temitayo Aboaba, who is a Geriatric Psychiatrist.

In this video we:

  • debunked some myths around mental health,
  • talked about the difference between mental health and mental illness,
  • how you can take care of your mental health,
  • how you show support to someone with mental illness, and much more.

Go ahead and watch the video:

Insta-Live Chat witih Dr. Tayo Aboaba: ‘Debunking the Myths of Mental Health’
CANADA-WIDE MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

The following resources are available for youth and adults across Canada in need of mental health support.

PHONE, TEXT, CHAT  APPS AND ONLINE SERVICES  
Kids Help Phone Text Services: Text “CONNECT” to 686868 (also serving adults)
Chat Services: https://kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat/


Youthspace.ca (NEED2 Suicide Prevention, Education and Support) Youth Text (6pm-12am PT): (778) 783-0177 Youth Chat (6pm-12am PT): www.youthspace.ca

Crisis Services Canada Toll Free (24/7): 1 (833) 456-4566 Text support (4pm-12am ET daily): 45645

Canadian Crisis Hotline 1 (888) 353-2273
Better Help www.betterhelp.com Online access to professional counsellors On the web, and available for iPhone and Android users

The LifeLine App
www.thelifelinecanada.ca Direct access to phone, online chat, text, and email crisis support E-counselling, self-management tools, access to crisis centers across Canada Available for iPhone and Android users


ONLINE PEER SUPPORT Big White Wall Canada Big White Wall Canada www.bigwhitewall.ca Anonymous peer support community accessible anytime, anywhere
SASKATCHEWAN- Healthline 811
Mental Health Resources in Canada- Source: THE CANADIAN CENTRE FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND SPORT (CCMHS)
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Blog Strides from Africa

Undoing the Culture of Silence Series- with Jane Ugwumadu

In August, we started an Instagram live series called “undoing the culture of silence”. Our first guest was Jane Ugwumadu, Director of Save a Child Mission.

Save a Child Mission (SACM) exists to protect the rights of vulnerable child, and children in poverty-stricken areas. They do this by “empowering adults with ‘how to’ information and creating awareness. SACM also takes action on child care related projects that will improve the well being of children in need of support.

Here is the list of their child support programs and events:

  • Care for abused children
  • Annual valentine health visit to sick children
  • Emergency Covid-19 Food Relief Program
  • Protect My Innocence! A 1 Hour Walk Campaign Against Child Abuse
  • Child Empowerment- An Annual Conference To Showcase The African’s Child Dream
  • Back To School Campaign- Educational Resources For School Children To Get Back To School
  • International Day Of The Girl Child
  • Orphanage Party- Showering kids with gifts
undoing the culture of silence with Jane Ugwumadu
Save a Child Mission- Jane Ugwumadu and some volunteers

Children face different kinds of abuse, such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse. It is important that someone is willing to hold us accountable to having these type of conversation, and doing something about it. Kudos to SACM for choosing to be that voice for the children.

In my interview with Jane, she highlights some of her organizations projects and challenges.

My interview with Jane on protecting the rights of children against sexual abuse and rape.

Episode One of Undoing the Culture of Silence Series with Jane Ugwumadu

My greatest takeaway is do NOT be a rape enabler.

Learn more about how you can partner with SACM. When you see a child subjected to any form of abuse, when in doubt, contact SACM, they can take it from them. Do your part, and speak up.

How will you do things differently? Learn more about child sexual abuse

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Blog

Tribute to My Husband- sneak peak into our story

The school semester had just ended, it was exciting for me. I was looking forward to my scheduled trip to Abuja, I was super pumped and not ready to waste a single day. I will be meeting this hottie I was head over heels in love with. Or so I thought.

Tade (not real name) had moved to Abuja. We were supposed to meet there. He was one of those people you loved but hated at the same time. I ‘loved’ him for his good looks, his intelligence and his heart. But I hated him for the games he seemed so intent on playing with me, with my heart. It felt cruel. Love should be easy, deep down I knew that. But I was so broken a person, I was ready to SETTLE with the semblance of love.

I had moved out of the university’s hostels to a friend’s. Three of us girls were supposed to spend some time together before going our separate ways for the long holidays. They had pleaded with me to stay a while with them, but I ‘swore’ nothing and no one was stopping me from embarking on this trip the next day to see Tade.

The Meet…

Tribute to my husband, sneak peek into our story
Ope and Tola: Everyone needs an Ope Walker in their corner

My friend- Ope Walker (as we called her then) had invited some friends over. Everyone needs a friend like Ope Walker! Two stood out- first guy talked- alot! But he was funny. Second guy was tall and skinny, with an afro. He barely spoke, but when he did, it was passionate.

One of them had eyes that was indeed a window to his soul. What was mirrored to me from his soul was nothing short of love and life.

That night, we played games, laughed, talked, argued. Nothing beats the joy of no cares of exams, tests and assignments in the life of a student. One game in particular was truth or dare. During a round of truth, one of guys asked if I was in a relationship- I stuttered, unsure if I was in a relationship or not. The boys had such good time, they asked for us to do it again the next day. But I was to travel to the next day. Tade would be waiting.

The talking guy was very confident they would see me the next day. He said to skinny guy- “give her a hug”. It felt good, he felt safe. I woke up the next day, ready to travel. By evening, it was nice to see the guys again. I actually looked forward to it. Someone did make me not travel to see Tade, it was a big deal.

Tribute to my husband- sneak peek into our story
He was there the night we met, he was there the day we got married. Abidemi we love you.

Couple Years Later and Onward…

Skinny guy and I got married. I wish I could tell you it was a fairy tale. Our daughter was seven months old. We made mistakes, but God was merciful. The experiences are packed with many life’s lessons., some day we would share. My greatest takeaway is this- NEVER TAKE BROKENNESS INTO A MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP. If you must, have an accountability and support system. Your broken pieces left unchecked, starts to prick, stab and hurt the other person. He was lost, but I was lost and broken.

A sneak peek into our lives
You also need a friend like Mojisola (Mary) Job in your corner

We have always heard “two are better than one…a three fold cord cannot be easily broken”. The third is God, but when He is not put first, things tend to go south, we were plummeting! Individually we sought God for our home. There was the Word to get in, we needed the Word for staying power.

Considering what I heard, it felt like God was not fair. No man can put broken pieces of another together- only God can. But He won’t come down from heaven, He would use a MAN- a man willing to be used by Him. That man in my life was Adetola Adefuye.

Today

It’s his birthday. From that first night when we met, I have been privileged to spend and celebrate twelve (12) birthdays with him. We often leave tributes till when people are dead. Today I choose to pay homage to my husband. The man who has stood by me through thick and thin. Seen me at my worst, yet still stands.

Tribute to my husband
Happy Birthday Adetola Mi

Never underestimate quiet people, they carry a certain strength the rest of us burn up by being hyper. My prayer and promise to God is to be this:

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land

Proverbs 31: 11-12;23

One thing is sure- today a great man was born. Today that man is being celebrated. LoudSilences may never have been born if he was not instrumental in helping me find my voice. He was the first man to hear the full version of my life story, but was not fazed. His ears were the first to LISTEN. This gave me hope that perhaps, there were others who would listen too.

To everyone who has applauded the work I do, thank you. But turn it towards the real MVP- my husband. Join me in celebrating him on this special day. I am, because he lets me (hold your horses feminists, and get the context). We are, because God is.

Happy Birthday to my Boo of life. I pray every beautiful thing into your life.

This song captures my prayer for our home and every married person. Enjoy!

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Blog Survivors Corner UnderstandTEEN-YOUTH

No Daddy, I am not Ready!!!

It was the year 2003, December 1st was fast approaching, my daddy had promised to buy me Christmas outfit this year, and the hunt starts by December 1st. There was a two-year ban on buying new clothes for me because my Dad thought I was getting too ‘boogie’. I needed to learn how to be okay without certain ‘extras’. I was excited and looked forward to it. Somehow I had learnt something and now deserving of these ‘extras’. In his words, “I was ready”.

No! I was not ready for what actually hit when December 1st finally came. To think he said it for three years. This was what he meant? Then no, I was not ready. No one is ready for such. Okay, honestly, by that date, he took a trip to Portharcourt. We lived in Warri, he was sick, and needed to travel and be with my mum (there is a story there). So no biggie, it just meant, my new clothing purchase got postponed. He would return when he felt better, and we will go on this shopping spree.

Couple days in, on a nice beautiful breezy afternoon, I lay on the floor directly under the ceiling fan, with the house door wide open. The natural air, coupled with air from the fan, worked synergistically to offer a soothing feel to my troubled teenage soul. Lost in the thoughts of the dreams (no visions) I have been having for a while, I was jolted back to reality by a familiar voice.

My paternal uncle had come to visit. “Didn’t he know my Dad was out of town?” This was my thought, as I heard him say hi to the neighbours. His very intimidating voice filled the house in no time as he stepped in and said “pack up your things we are going to see your Dad”. Scared, was an understatement for how my brother and I felt in that moment.

This story is not about what happened before that day, during or right after, neither is it really about what happened December 1st. This story is about what happened on a day in December (maybe three weeks after), which frankly, I cannot remember the precise date. It is also about something that happened more recently.

Here is what I remember though, my eyes were filled with tears. I stood there, wondering why my dad was in that casket that was going down. I could feel all the eyes that were on me, and the murmurs of pity towards my brothers and I.

I wanted to tell him so many things. To tell him that I was sorry for being so sassy. That I was sorry for being a very demanding teenager. If I could just have him wake up, I wanted to let him know that I was not mad at him anymore. I would never grumble to cook us another meal, or talk back at him. I would do anything to call him ‘DADDY’ for once in my life.  Most of all, I wanted to tell him that no, I was not ready. I wasn’t ready!

No child is ever ready to do life without the covering of their parents. As I cried silently, with the tears rolling uncontrollably, I made a commitment- never again would I let anything hit me so hard. And that day, a part of me died. I was told I had to be strong, me tears were seen as weakness, so I also swore never to cry. For the longest time, almost nothing could bring me to tears,

Like I said, I don’t even remember this precise date, but I was not ready, not just for my father to die, but for the roller-coaster of emotions that swept me from that point on. All those emotions stayed bottled up, until it was almost too late for me, but GOD!

If you have not read about my write-up on “why you should know about the mental health spectrum”, seriously, pause and read it right now!

It was until recently, I realized why I spent so many years, on the “ill and injured” ends of the spectrum, and that was simply because I was uneducated, so was my family. And like them, a lot of us think that when traumatic experiences happen, that somehow, with time, it would all just go away, or that ‘good grieving’ (if there is anything of such) meant, not showing your pain.

We live in this assumption that if the traumatic experience affects us in any way, then we must be weak. This is wrong thinking, because truth be told, like me, YOU were not ready either to be hit by whatever your own experience was/is. And like me, time won’t just make it go away. 

But there comes a point, eventually, when you HAVE TO BE READY. Ready to be healed, and that starts with taking inventory to know where you are. It also comes with realizing that grief sometimes is part of the living’s experiences, not something we carelessly and passively leave to time and chance, in hopes of it just going away.

Lately, life threw another curveball, not just at me, but the whole world- with the death of Chadwick Boseman. I cried, it hurt. Don’t ask me why, I never met him, but he meant something to me. At this point, I had now learnt that feeling our pain does not mean weak, it means I am human, capable of love, not immune to loss.

Chadwick Boseman, Star of 'Black Panther,' Dies at 43 - The New York Times
RIP Boseman. I unashamedly admit my pain of your loss.

While you may not have been ready for the negative experiences that hit you, if you have ever connected with me, read this thus far, or you have recently shared your experience with a trusted person, then I say to you in my father’s voice- YOU ARE READY!

The sheer joy I felt when I finally admitted to being ready for healing. The times I have retold my experiences to myself, my husband, pastor or others, it helped transition me from one one end of the mental health spectrum to the other. I could finally say “Yes, Daddy, I am ready!” Are you?

It is a New Month, you better be Ready to let a new you ARISE. You deserve to be happy, to be filled with joy, to live and breathe again. We owe it to those who have gone before us, I would love to leave you with this song- “Tell your heart to beat again”.

Welcome to September, welcome to a new YOU.

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Blog My Clear Mind UnderstandTEEN-YOUTH

Why you should know about the mental health spectrum

“Ignorance is bliss”. Ever heard that before? I bet you have. But is it really? Food for thought- for you, not me! Get thinking after reading this.

You ever heard of the mental health spectrum? If you have, give yourself a pat on the back, welcome to the elite club! If not, then now you get to know. Either ways, dare I ask if you know where you belong on that spectrum?

But knowing about it is not enough. Before I share the spectrum with you and why you need to care where you belong, let me share a quick story with you. You may also want to just scroll down, don’t, you will love the story, I promise.

Actually you know what? Read a different related story- remember the one I shared about “the the day I died”? There were some clear signs that my mental health was whack,. but no one saw it, I knew I felt weird and honestly depressed a lot, but didn’t know what to do about it or who to talk to, until I became suicidal, but for God.

Here is another thought, when you find yourself sneezing consistently, having a headache, feeling sore in your throat and nauseous, what would come to your mind? If you are a regular normal human, you probably start wondering if you are coming down with the flu, malaria, typhoid, etc. Do not self-medicate. Get your cute sick self to the doctor. These are SYMPTOMS that signal to our bodies that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of.

In the same way, there are symptoms that signal to you the NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.

I cannot begin to tell you how many people whose state of mental health are likely out of shape, but they are not even sure of how to put their feelings into words or know what steps to take. This is where the mental health spectrum/continuum comes in. Simply a chart you can use to measure your mental health.

Why you should know about the mental health spectrum- where are you on the continuum?
Source: Dr. Karim Dharssi

Now I get to ask you again, where are you on the spectrum? Not sure? Look at it again. If you are outside the green and yellow columns a lot, please seek help. There is NO SHAME! Everyone deserves to live life in the green.

As someone who was sexually abused from a young age, I lived more on the right side of the continuum for longest time in my life, without taking the matching action, hence why I got to the point of being suicidal.

But it does not have to be that way for you. There is no shame in admitting that you need to boost your mental health. If you have ever visited the doctor when you were physically sick, you owe it to yourself and loved ones to see a doctor for your mental health as well. This is why this spectrum is important- it shows you the symptoms that let you know if and when you need to rest, take a break, de-stress or seek professional help.

As an additional tip, parents, watch your children, if they start to exhibit some of non-green columns, something is UP, look into it, either as teens or little kids. I went from a super active child to being withdrawn at some point, but I doubt anyone noticed anything. Friends and families you have your role- pay close attention to your loved ones. Let us be indeed one another’s keepers.

How has this helped you see your mental health? I would love to know, share in the comments below. Like, share and subscribe.

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Blog My Clear Mind

Guilty Mom-Wife

‘Guilty mom-wife’, those were the words Jane’s friend said to her when she tried so hard to make her feel bad for being a career woman. guilty-mom-wife-what would you say to Jane?

What would you say to Jane, as those words plagued at her heart? Is she really a guilty mom-wife who denies her husband and kids of certain pleasure in choosing to pursue her dreams?

Coming into the house, Jane collapsed into her favourtie couch in her home. Taking off her shoes and kicking off her heels, she folds up her sleeves, ties her braids hair into a ponytail. Getting up, she walks to the fridge, scanning through, trying to figure out what to make for supper. Today was one of those days she does not get to have the luxury of time to catch her breath before going from boardroom Jane to mom-wife Jane.

Upstairs, she could hear her husband trying to convince their four-year old son to finish changing into his nightwear, before going down to say “hi to mummy”. Unlike her husband- John, Jane does not enjoy the luxury of flexible work hours. Perks you get for being your own boss. But it is a blessing as John helps pick some of the balls she has to juggle as dictated by the shackles of culture and tradition.

She enjoys her work as a policy consultant with the government, she also loves her mentorship group with ladies and teenagers she runs on weekends, but more than those, she loves being a wife and being a mom to her two little kids. Some might say she has a pretty good life, well balanced, with well-behaved kids and an amazing husband.

Why then does she feel so disappointed in herself sometimes, almost as if she feels guilty for having this amazing life, and for choosing to share herself with the world, to live for more than herself. To live purposefully? Is she really a ‘guilty-mom-wife’? What does that even mean?!

It does not help either that her friends and family make comments that add to this feeling of guilt, of not being enough for her kids and husband. Just when she thought she had heard it all, it did not help that her friend made a cruel joke about ‘being there to take over the care of her husband and kids, when he got rid of her’. In her friend’s words “no man likes a woman who has it all put together, so stop being this super woman, because if he gets bored and leaves you, I will be here to give him all the fun he wants and as a good friend, take care of your kids”.

Of course, she got rid of that friend- oh no, not the kind of ‘rid’ you are thinking about- like she stopped being friends…just focus please, will you? Thank you! So back to Jane, she stopped being friends with that lady, but the words have not left her. Is she really a bore for wanting to do the things she loves? Is her husband really not happy but just masks it? Do her kids really have more to lose than gain?

Is there really a cost to a woman wanting to be the best version of herself? To contribute to her home financially, and ease the burden on her husband so they can both have the life they want with each other and their kids? Could there really be something she is missing? What do men want, materialistic dependent ladies, or women who truly know their onions and are unafraid to pursue their dreams? If tables were turned, the expectation is for the wife to fully support her husband.

So if two truly becomes one, why can’t the husband support his wife’s dream, especially where there is no conflict like in her and John’s case? Even if there was conflict, can’t two matured adults talk through their dreams and aspirations and come to an agreement of how to make it work? Jane was getting tensed as she thought of her friend who has lost a sense of purpose in the name of ‘supporting her husband’s dream. “Who made these rules anyway?” Jane muttered under her breath as she pulls out a sizzling baking whole chicken from the oven.

My husband and kids are well fed and taken care of, Jane thought to herself. Given, she does not always cook as often as some other mothers, nor does she clean personally all the time. Considering she makes enough to pay for certain services other women do as chores and feel like the supermoms of the 21st century, she didn’t think it mattered if she personally did these things, as long as they were taken care of. If someone thought otherwise, that is not on her, it is on them for leaving their brains in the 1st century. Besides, her husband always reminds her that he is with her hundred per cent. So who cares what anyone else thinks? Right?!

Jane walks over to the dining, setting down a fresh baked whole chicken from the oven. “Honey, kids, dinner is ready”, she yells as she sets down the rice and peppered sauce plus a bowl of salad. She steps back to take a look at her work (did I mention she does love to cook fresh meals for her family?), she smiled very brightly as her husband and kids walk down the stairs, kids already in their sleepwear, giggling on the shoulders of John.

As she hugs them, she can’t help but think that she truly has a good life, and her husband and kids are part of the reason she strives to live purposefully. She reminds herself of why she does the things she does. So once again, as every other time in the last three years, she convinces herself to make peace with her choices.

Guilty mom-wife? Is that even a thing? Who made the rules? Who said she couldn’t? Jane wants to meet with them, perhaps it’s time for a little mind-shift. What say you?

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Blog CSA Survivors Corner

What if you could take a peek into the Future….

The Adult Life of A Sexually Abused Child

What if you could take a peek into the future to see what the adult life of a sexually abused child look like?

Well you can. But today I will not be sharing my story. I will be sharing someone else’s. You know yourself and I want to say thank you for sharing!

But before I share the pictures of this comment, let me first say this: the impact of child abuse manifests in so many ways in the life of the abused, and can oftentimes follow them years into adulthood if not properly dealt with through counselling and therapy. And so it is very common to see things such as:

  1. Promiscuity/heightened sexual desire
  2. Anger/bitterness/fear
  3. Addiction: could be to drugs, sex, pornography
  4. Depression/Feelings of suicide/just plain suicide
  5. Lack of interest in sex/fear of sex
  6. Detest for the opposite sex/marriage
  7. Hallucinations/panic attack/flashbacks/trance of the event
  8. Homosexuality (This can either be a woman hating men so much she chooses to have sexual relations with same sex. Or if the abuse was from a person of same sex, it creates a desire for same sex relations). This is may seem hard to believe but lot more common than you may think or realize
  9. Paranoia/hostility/aggression
  10. Tendency to abuse others

Trust me when I say this is not an extensive list. There are physical side effects too, and yes- SPIRITUAL too. I can’t tell you how many deliverance sessions I attended. LOL. It actually feels funny now, saying it.

Next time someone tells you they have been sexually abused before, think of these and many more. How does that not trigger compassion in you towards them? Simply saying “get over it” or “it is well” or blurting out “just pray” may mean well, but does not help.

So, what does this list look like in the life of an actual human being? See below.

peek into the adult life of a sexually abused child. Did I mention there is also the tendency to pick abusive partners?
ha, the feelings of deadness and lack of willingness to do anything..
the feeling of loneliness, like no one would understand, but God….
this part here broke my heart. All 5 sisters in one family! This is how prevalent it is yet we are strangely SILENT about it
Truly a non-judgmental spirit is needed to view and support one another. Younger people need our help, not our judgement
I am so glad this story ended this way, sadly, this is not the reality for a lot of people who have been through sexual ause/rape
I mean this to everyone once sexually abused. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!! And I am sorry it happened to you and I, but it does not have to define you!

This is why I share. Why I had to find my voice, to help you find yours, and it starts with breaking the silence, that is how we can undo the culture of silence and take back our lives.

You are an OVERCOMER and believe me when I say you can live and rise above your experiences! Thanks again V.I for sharing your story with me and the world, I do not take it lightly.

How will you be of support to someone you have identified as once raped or sexually abused? Now that you know what their lives or future COULD be?

Categories
Blog My Clear Mind Survivors Corner UnderstandTEEN-YOUTH

From Suicide to Purpose: The Day I ‘Died’

Going from suicide to purpose on the day I ‘died’, I found life. I had just been stood up by my boyfriend at the time. He said he was too sick to go to class to read, I offered to cook him something and send to his room, he declined.

I had exams in two days, so I decided to go study on my own. At seventeen, I was in my first year of school. My academics was my safe place, I did it right and never joked with it. Off I went to one of the classrooms in the famous Obafemi Awolowo University and guess who I found getting cozy with his ex-girlfriend or so he claimed?

Just a Trigger

I know what you are thinking, you wanted to kill yourself because of a guy! Nah, it was not about him. Been suicidal since I was about eleven (11). Nothing helped, I lost weight, had good grades, pretty (still very pretty), had tons of family around me, drank, smoked, but felt empty. He was just a trigger!

I had cut myself a number of times, I had held a knife to my belly so many times. Once, I took overdose of a drug. There was fantasies about a car hitting me off the road. So much so, I did sometimes intentionally walk into the road in hopes….Each time, I either could not follow through or something interrupted me.

Now that we have established it was not about a boy, can we move on? So, seeing him cozy with this girl, I dialed him up. He picked and was murmuring, saying he was cold and wished I was there, they both laughed, and that laughter felt familiar.

It was not the first time someone had made fun of my naivety and gullibility. Yet somehow, the brightest idea I had of how to not let that happen again was to end my life.

I Just Want it all to End

I remember crying so hard, I ripped the chain I had on from my neck. It felt like my heart wanted to pop out of my chest, I honestly thought I was going to die from a heart attack, well that did not happen!

I walked from one end of school to another, in search of ‘otapiapia’ (a drug used to kill rats) at about 2am. They were all closed, except for one where this man took one look at me and blurted out “I am not selling to you my dear, go to your room and sleep and come back tomorrow. Bless that man!

To my room I went indeed, but not to sleep. I cried some more, pulled out a knife, put it to my belly, about to stab, when a thought hit me: “you know it won’t be fair for your roommates to find you in a pool of blood when they wake up”.

Taking a deep sigh, I put the knife down, and for the fist time pulled out my Bible. I hated God because as far as I was concerned, my horrible experiences were His fault. But that day, I prayed: “Dear God, I don’t know if you are real or there, but if you are, all I want is for you to make sure I do not wake up in the morning”.

Hugging my Bible, I slept off. Soon enough, I woke up to the sound of busyness in the room. Recalling what happened, I blurted out “God you are a coward who won’t let me come up to you” (do not ask me what I was expecting to happen when if I indeed died). In an attempt to roll over, my Bible fell and opened up. Without trying to read it, my eyes fell to a verse.

suicide to purpose
Source: https://bibleversestogo.com/

The Waking….

It was as if God responded to me saying “if only you knew what I had in store for you”. Then I saw Dupe Akinsiun (nee Osho) walking towards my room as she usually did every Sunday morning to invite me to ‘cell’. This time, I did not run out the back door. She doesn’t know, sssshhhh, don’t tell her!

Holding my Bible, I followed her without fight or questions, this same verse was read during the cell meeting, and later that day at church. That day I gave my life to Jesus Christ, dying to self, I was raised to life.

See I started that day wanting physical death so badly, but the reality of my spiritual death hit me. It hurts me that I do not remember the exact date, but it remains to me the day I went from suicide to purpose. I found a new reason to live as I hope someone out there today does as well.

The things we go through sometimes feels unfair, and I get it. But, do not let anything get you to the point of your ending your life. You may not have heard God for yourself yet, or maybe you have, but let me be His voice to you: “if only you knew what is in store for you”.

Looking back, people would have said I killed myself over a guy, who by the way never knew what happened. But I am so glad I am here today to share this, and perhaps let you know you are not alone. Hope it help you see that in depression, suicidal thoughts, you too can find purpose and life. YOU are part of my purpose and why I started LoudSilences.org.

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Blog Survivors Corner

Here Are 5 Things YOU Can Do To End Rape Culture

There a number of things YOU can do to end rape culture. Yes YOU (male, female, mother, father, single, married, teenager, young adult, student, worker etc.). Today, we will focus on 5 things YOU can do to end rape culture.

To change anything systemic, including rape culture, you have to apply systemic strategies to dealing with them on a holistic level. This would mean preventive measures (actions you can take to NOT allow rape happen), education and awareness measures (learning about rape, its impact, learning for signs). A good example of this is learning about Child Sexual Abuse, which I wrote about.

Let us not forget legislation (could serve as preventive measure or corrective measure). The sad reality is that, when this piece is missing, it makes it really hard. But we can deal with this another time.

Five (5) things YOU Can Do to End Rape Menace
Be part of the solution to end rape culture

Educate Yourself: Truthfully, if you have not experienced it first hand, or seen someone you know and love impacted, it can be difficult to relate. Some people who seem to appear as ‘rape apologists’, I choose at this time to make the argument of IGNORANCE for you, but hey, who says you have to remain ignorant? So learn about this menace, the pain it causes, the impact it leaves and the way it can silence the voice of its victims for life. Not sure how/where to start? How about Wikipedia Who knew it was that easy to get information? Shocker!

Speak up/Speak Out: See something that is not right, speak! Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, most victims have already been silenced by the pain, they need YOU in their corner to help end the rape culture. If as a parent you see another family member abusing your child or someone’s else, do not keep silent, in a bid to protect them. By law, that actually makes you an accomplice! Sensing something off, probably means something wrong, so, speak out, speak up!

Educate Others: We need to educate little kids about their body parts, and how to speak up, when compromised. Let your kids be safe with you indeed! Educate boys on the need to respect girls. Enlighten teens on the need to create boundaries. Teach girls on how to avoid compromising positions, wrong friends, and building self-confidence. According to my friend Daniel Olabintan of Karibs Foundation, if need be, teach the girl child self-defense. When you have educated yourself, and you see a rape apologist, you can join in educating them.

Stop Stigmatization: If we are serious about ending the rape culture, we really have to stop ‘casting stones at victims’ and trying to explain how the ‘victim’ may have caused the mayhem on themselves. You know what that makes you? A rape apologist. If you have nothing to say, then say nothing. But by all means, do not psychologically rape an already physically raped person. Show compassion!

Join the Fight: No, you do not have to pick up placards. Doing all the above is part of ‘joining the fight’. But maybe you can do just tad bit more. In a moment like recent events, the least you can do is share a hashtag, reiterate your commitment to end the rape culture by reaching out to organizations at the front lines of this ‘war’. Donate to the organizations, share their researches. And yes, if there are marches, and you can, join in.

Below are some of the events that took place in a one-week space:

These events continue to strengthen the rape culture if not dealt with. Remember, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”– Andrew Marshall

Feature Image Photo Credits: Philly Voice