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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, who has asked to stay Anonymous.
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Hi, I can’t tell you my name, this isn’t even a real account for fear that it might be traced back, but I feel its time to start letting go of my stories so I can have complete peace. I’ve let go of so much hurt already but I feel sharing my story on your brilliant blog would liberate me. Baby steps to becoming free.
I’m a young 22-year-old girl, currently in my final year of university in Ghana, I’ve found love as absurd as it may seem and I live everyday to the fullest because although my past is filled with gloom and despair, my future is bright. I smile and smile knowing this. My story is long, I hope you won’t mind.
I was for a long time the only child of my parents, I don’t know what happened when they had me, but for as long as I could remember they have hated each other bitterly. The terrible fights, the beating up, the smashed glass. All I had for solace were the numerous house-helps who came and went. It all went pear-shaped for me when I started secondary school. My dad didn’t really care for me, he just provided money for my upkeep and that was it. My mum and I would talk but she seemed so distant. I was basically in the world alone. I just came back from school on the fateful day, I was in Jss2 then, I walked in a bit late (no one really cared what time I came home from school, so I would spend time with my teachers or go to my friends houses before going home) I heard them screaming at each other and I looked to see what it was this time, I saw my dad wielding a knife at my mum, in my horror I rushed to help my mum but was pushed by my dad that I fell and injured my head on a stool.
That was the height for my mum’s best-friend (who I thought was my mums sister). She had just recently lost her daughter who was about my age and I made the perfect replacement. She took me in and loved me like hers, I wanted my mum to come too but to my despair my mum stayed with my dad. I couldn’t be bothered anymore, I had found a new family, my aunty, her husband and their son who she had when she was younger. He was older than me and was in university. I thought things were perfect until one night he crept into my room which was just opposite his and had his way with me, he threatened me and said if I told his mum she won’t believe me and they would send me back to my parents. This scared the living day lights out of me and I just let him do what he wanted, anything at this point was better than going back to a house with no love, it was in this process I learnt that he wasn’t really my cousin. This went on and on anytime he was at home and I couldn’t tell anyone. I didn’t have friends because I just couldn’t trust anyone.
I started to feel I was the reason for my parents hating each other because they seemed fine after I moved out, my dad stopped paying my fees and my aunt and her husband took on that without complaint. My feelings were later confirmed when I heard my mum telling my aunt she was pregnant. I hated her and my dad and I became very vocal about my hatred, I would walk to my mum when she visited and tell her a lot of things, call her a bad mother then I would run back to my room and cry. I finally finished secondary school and wanted to get as far away from everyone as possible. I didn’t want to demand too much from the family that literally brought me up so I opted for Ghana, at least I would leave Nigeria.
Shortly after I left Nigeria I heard my dad died. As sad as this sounds I was happy but angry, I was angry that I didn’t kill him myself but I was happy that the bastard had gone, finally got what he deserved. I went for his burial and I was a stranger to my mum and her son (I never regarded him as my brother). They opened the coffin and it hit me so hard. I was a carbon copy of him and there he was lifeless just lying there and I wanted to just hug him and tell him I forgive him, but I hated him so much.
Three years later I got a text message from my mum that she was remarrying and I was just too angry, is this woman crazy? I told my aunt I didn’t want to come but she convinced me to come as her son was also marrying that period. The same son that had raped me numerously. I just wanted to die, I didn’t have any friends to confide in and didn’t have anyone to turn to so I decided to go. To my surprise my mum came to see me, knelt and was crying, asking me to forgive her, that she knows she has been such a terrible mother to me.
I had so much hate that I couldn’t bear more so I decided to. The weddings passed and I decided to forgive my ‘cousin’ as well. That was the beginning of my healing process. On my way back to Ghana I met my love, I started out so terribly to him but he remained and persevered and one day I broke down and told him everything. He showed me God. I never really gave myself to God cause He was never a part of me growing up but now He is so real to me, He gives me peace and He has opened my heart to wonders.
I have recently started making friends but I am not able to share any of my stories with them. One day though, I will be able to openly come and tell the world what I have gone through. I want people to know that no matter how bad you have it, God has a super plan for you He will always execute.
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N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’His Story, XXII’ by
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