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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @KingAutora
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Hello, I don’t know how to start,
I should, I mean, I write everyday of my life,
Little suicide notes and letters to unknown worlds.
See them ? http://blackvspink.wordpress.com
A scattered story, please understand it.
Please understand me, I only write of words that rhyme.
And of sonnets while staring into space.
“You smoked weed, you’ve been drinking ?”
“you drive so fast”
“get out of your bed, lazy child”
“loool, so tall, bloody giraffe”
“not as smart as her dad, the professor”
“so hairy, look at how she walks”
“will this bear children, such narrow hips”
“look at the way she stares into space”
“always walking with boys”
“grow up, stop playing around”
“she has no heart, stone in her chest”
“she can’t love”
These are but a few things I hear, God blessed me with really nice ears, I don’t know why, to add to my misery ? Have you ever felt so worthless, you thought of taking your own life ? So depressed you couldn’t go on ? I have.
I’m Ogenna and this is my story.
Born into a little family, no boys, just 2 half-brothers I never really knew. 2 sisters too, home schooled by my mother, I was extra-smart, finished primary school by 9 years; top of the class, midway, my brother died, beginning of the downhill roll, got into secondary school a term after my mates, I wasn’t exactly interested in school, I just wanted to be left alone, I became the stupid one, the least smart, I kept going, getting better with my grades, od’ing on ibuprofen in ss2 + my surgery. When someone i trusted got to school and started dating someone else, I started hanging with guys so I could be like them, cold and uncaring, had lesbian tendencies, my first kiss was a girl, started suppressing it, it was wrong after all I was born into a somewhat Christian family, finally left secondary school, good results in the end and with a stone where my heart used to be.
I smile too much, always there to lend a hand, laughter from deep inside me, so bubbly, never a bad thought for anyone, no enemies have I kept, just friends that betray me. Some might call me a snob, I don’t care anymore. I’ve never doubted or questioned God, i’ve just forgotten He’s there for me. How do you doubt a religion you came and met ? I wasn’t a Christian, I was a church-goer.
I got into Uni a month after my mates, a course my dad wanted, (I would have been a child prodigy if I studied literature, studying my talent.) by then, I was already depressed, people were in school and it was like I had no goals, no appetite, no drive to continue, I started writing to pass time, about my heartbreak and my worthlessness, no friends to console me, family who didn’t know me, I finally got into school, the depression got worse, for no reason at all, i’d go for a party and drink, but I’d never get high, I wanted to forget, honestly forget, I couldn’t. I tried weed, didn’t work either, at this point, I had pushed everyone away, I stopped keeping in touch with my family, even my boyfriend whom I had never seen, I believe in dating someone far, stupid right ? I loved him, still do, I couldn’t read, you see if you’ve been depressed, you know how it is. I started popping my ibuprofen again to relieve the pain, no more alcohol, no weed, but the pain wasn’t in my body, it was in my head, I can’t tell you what they came from or how they came, it’s too personal, maybe one day I can tell the world. I just soaked my pillow and bed with tears everyday, anger at the world, just plain anger.
More pills, it wouldn’t stop, I started cutting again, next time you say a Nigerian doesn’t cut herself, think of me, we are lots, I cut where no-one can find it, I used to revel in the pain, the blood, physical pain over the mental.
Closer to the edge than never before, my g.p was 3.0, a boy was using me to play, my family was on my case, my weak knees and health problems, my whole life was crumbling, one last shove off the cliff, Surgery, another, making it 2. I prayed i’d die but it never happened, the 3rd surgery, I prayed again but no results. By this time I was already writing at least one sad poem a day to relieve the pain. Suicide missions to dare God, daredevil stunts because I wanted to breakdown, anything to keep me going. Zuma deluxe and Zuma’s revenge to keep me busy, novels to entertain me. Looking at my mates and wondering about their stupid simplicity and lack of a drive to be more.
Driving around with the sunroof open, staying in bed, smiling, looking down on people’s heads with my intimidating height, staring into space, just holding my baby brother, walking fast like I had somewhere to go to, staying with boys and becoming heartless helped me cope that is until I met Tunmise, friend of a lover, then a CEO, then a friend, then a lover, next came Amy the soulsister, the other bamboo tree, but Sammie my Valentine, Ezi my sister and Obi my bestfriend were always there for me. I’m sorry if your name wasn’t mentioned, this isn’t a vote of thanks. If you’ve ever said a kind word to me, thank you, you might have stopped me from a rash decision.
More pills, Some cuts, little alcohol, no weed, more poems, i’m still depressed but I know I have people who care, I have my worth, I have my role, every poem i’ve written is my way of speaking out, more songs listened to, tears shed, when you see me smiling, look beyond it, i’m one more troubled soul, an old troubled soul, I pray for this phase to pass, because it hurts so so bad to be the hyena who lost her laugh. I have turned to my maker to rewrite my story, i’ve become a Christian, I look up to Him and I pray and cry and pray some more.
I am King, i’ve told you more than I should, this is my story, what is yours ?
• • •
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’His Story, V’ by Lagbaja
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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