Her Story, XXXV

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Beneath my smile lies pain.
Beneath my smile lies hurt.
Beneath my smile lies the quest to love and be loved.

My story isn’t very sad. Quite ordinary, tbh well to me, maybe I’m used to so much pain it seems like the way it should be. I am in love with love. Does that even make any sense?

My deep quest to be loved with the same intensity as I love, I know not the root of. Could it be the fact that I was defiled as a child. Twisted part of the story is I think I liked it.

At age 6. WOW. Maybe its just me then. I wonder though why I did nothing to stop it, despite the numerous opportunities to do so. Could it be the fact that I grew up, watched my mom battered, assaulted verbally and physically by my dad, that I decided I wouldn’t ever be in such a position; I’d look for something deeply rooted and genuine? Could it be that I’m just a hopeless romantic?

I have loved and lost. On average. I come off as a snub. Well after I realised that smiling all the time doesn’t really change anything. Just pushes your hurt, anger and pain to some dark twisted corner of your mind where it accumulates till you run mad with the facade of a life one is living.

I’m grateful for the things that have come my way. The things I’ve achieved, those on the verge of being achieved and those that’ll be achieved in d long run. BUT… I want love.

Am I desperate for wanting it so bad? Do my reasons justify my actions?
L☺L. My epic love stories have scarred me so.
They say those that laugh really hard at the slightest things and sleep more than they should are sad deep down. I agree.

Inside I’m sad. Beneath my goofy, outrageous utterly loveable self is a sad child. Waiting for the one. Waiting to be loved. Do you think I’m in a hurry? I’m barely 20 you know! L☺L.

I tell myself. I don’t need easy, I just need possible.

I dream of someone to grow with.
Someone to maybe share my burden, understand my pain. Support me.
Or do I need to find myself first?

Where are you? Where’s the one whose gonna fill that void. A void I might have created myself. Who can handle this sad twisted child.
Who is gonna see beneath my smile?

Anybody there?

– Eli

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s  ’His Story, XXIII’ by
@wandeSPICE

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

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Her Story, XXXIV

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Short Story by a nameless person.

About a mother who had a friend that knew a girl that had a girlfriend who knew a girl, who had a sister that got hurt.

Being a girl comes with a lot of pros and cons, at first its the cute clothes, to the lovely hairbands to the cute shoes.

Then the loving parents and relatives, followed by you getting scolded for not being a true ‘African child’, to the do’s and don’t s.

She had a lovely childhood till her teenage days, first touched by her family friend’s son, then her best cousin. Mother says ‘it can’t be

True, so you watched “pretty woman” now playing the part…..’  She blocked it out. Then three years after school lost her dad and confidant who protected her. Then she fell.

Prey to the cruel world of abuse…. She prayed, she fought hard, but her cute looks betrayed her and made her a victim several times, then she gave up and got lost in the thickness of the darkest side of the dark.

She fell in love, she lost it. Then changed her strategy and how she acted things out. She loved God, and then she loved herself, and then loved people.

Now she’s happy, stands tall and teaches young ones and parents how to handle abuse…. But oh boy did getting back on her feet take a while.

Know who that lost inner girl child is first, and love her, not judge her cause she finds strength in love and support…. Don’t hit her with the drums of religion but with the shoulders of care and concern.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with this afternoon’s story  ’Her Story, XXXV’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

His Story, XXII by @OfficialWayde

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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, @OfficialWayde

This is his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

While growing up, I remember shuffling a lot, like, I used to ‘shamble’ between my Dad’s place and my Mum’s. This affected my schooling because I would have to repeat some classes and all, and tbh’ I actually enjoyed my Dad’s place more than my mom’s ’cause of my siblings and other goodies.” Sigh. How naive I was.

My name is Emmanuel Abdullahi Jr. and I’m the first born of my mother and I think the last of my Father… confused?

Chill… read on.

Mom was 18 and married when she had me, my father had other women he married in the past and divorced, well my mom was barely 20 when she was been chased out by my father who brought in another woman into ‘our’ home. I had to stay with my grandma, ’cause my mom was still in the university then. I don’t really remember much, and I don’t ask really, because I don’t want her to start. It breaks my heart each time I see her in tears… So you can imagine how my childhood was like.

My father was in Customs then, and sincerely I don’t know if switching women was sort of part of the job or something, my mother was his 4th wife, well he didn’t have more than one wife at a time, so he wasn’t polygamous, he was just….. tsk. #nowords.

One time when mum was really struggling, I had to go stay with him. Ugh, I hated it. He was so lackadaisical… Jeez because he thought he was doing my mother some kind of favor. I left him when I was in ss2, and since then I haven’t seen him. Yeah, one time when I was in 200lvl he called my mum that I should send my result so he could work University of Abuja for me. How thoughtful of him. He calls me every year on “My birthday” December 23rd. For people that know me; you all will know that’s actually 10 days after my actual birthday.

Chill. I don’t dislike him or anything. Like, he was once the luckiest man on earth, sad, he couldn’t see this and he lost her, and besides I have amazing siblings and awesome step mothers. Ugh. Dude is good.
I actually don’t know what tomorrow holds for me, or what I will be tomorrow, but I know what I won’t do, and what/who I won’t become. Yes. Your guess is as good as mine.

Someone said and I quote. “A wise man learns from his mistakes, but, a really wise man, from the mistakes of others”.
Now, all I will have to do is look, observe and do the opposite.

Thank You, and God Bless you all.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXIV’ by an Anonymous writer.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXIII

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

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.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’His Story, XXII’ by @OfficialWayde

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXII

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Hi, people! Though, I have a wordpress blog, I’ve never written anything because i don’t know what to start with. So, I’m not a writer and I apologise in advance if this story seems all over the place (not well-arranged). I came across this blog accidentally, but I’m glad I did because maybe I’ll finally get the inner peace I need by sharing my story.

I am heartbroken and no, it’s not by a boyfriend or just any guy but by my father.

I’m an only child and this is the reason: my father cheated on my mother for 12 years before eventually marrying another woman. He claimed he wanted another child. My mother has tried her possible best to get pregnant again and even had to undergo a surgical operation. My father is the same person who wouldn’t go to the hospital because “he knows he’s alright”… When I was 12, he told me to my face that if I do good or not, it’s my problem because he’ll soon have another child… Not bragging but I’m the kind of child some parents wish for because I performed very well in school. Anyways, i digress.

Years later, his wife is still child-less. Then, early last year, the transfer of aggression began. He hated me and my mum, as if we are the cause of his wife’s barrenness. He eventually packed out of the house but comes once in a while to cause series of problems but the final one was when he came to the house at night and he poured boiling soup on my legs ’cause I said I can’t go with him and I’d rather stay with my mum (who has catered for my needs)… What if it was my face????

It was like a dream and that was the end of it all because my mum couldn’t take it anymore and neither can I. The incident made me hate guys and I can’t let any guy close even if I like him, I always think he’d end up like my father.

I am fatherless without having a dead father.
I wish I didn’t have the recurring nightmares.
I wish I had my father back.

Even with the much love I get around me, it’s still not enough. I’m not happy but I have to stay strong for my mum.
A friend told me recently that I smile a lot but Beneath My Smile is a broken-hearted girl who wishes for a better life.

I hope this gets published because I think it’s going to help me overcome the pain in my heart.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXIII’ by an Anonymous writer.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

His Story, XXI

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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 his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Hey, don’t even know where to start from. I was born into a family of five, I’m the second and first son :). You really don’t need all this info, let me just go ahead with my story, I have had so many challenges while growing up, having a dad who traveled quite often then, leaving us with mum. It all started when I was little, in primary school, dad always gave mum money to take care of us.

Time for school mum wouldn’t give us money for lunch and will yell we should go to school looking at other kids in school and considering the fact the we always had to trek back home daily under the hot sun had an effect on me, we reported to my dad on phone, mum changed that’s where everything began. Don’t know if it was just me but mum always flogged me all the time no matter how small the crime was to an extent I told some visitors that came around that I would pour hot water on my mum someday they thought I was joking like they will say he’s just a kid and they’ll laugh it off.

In school I wasn’t the brightest, will always come 15th to 17th, in class my best was 10th I was so proud of myself, my elder sister was very intelligent and so was my immediate younger brother I was looked upon as the “black sheep” of the house and the non-intelligent folk / ugliest of all and of course my self-esteem was gone since I was about 7 years old. I always kept to myself, was seen as the quiet one no one knew, dad never allowed toys he saw it as a taboo always giving me elderly advice like I could understand all he was saying then, I kept all of them, made me to always think like an adult, afraid of trying something new, taking risks, making mistakes, friends, the list is endless. I didn’t grow up as a normal kid looking around and seeing how others were around me I still never felt free always shy all the time, then I went for a holiday to my mum’s elder sister’s house in Kaduna, then before the sharia in 1999 stayed for about three months there we hardly ever spoke with my parents on the phone as a little boy, had this cousin of mine that attended NMS Zaria, it was not funny waking up everyday with fear. They beat, punished and made us (me and my brother) cry almost on a daily basis, there was a time they asked me to count all the leaves in the compound and say sorry to them. They did this with all seriousness, they terrified my soul finally we left a day before sharia started and attended the naming ceremony of my last sister that same day. Having three sisters then if you asked me was like a terrible thing, mum would take them out and leave me and my bro to do the chores even on a Saturday morning all in the name of ‘to make their hair’, I learnt how to make fufu from the raw stage and pound, in fact I can do all house chores some of my aunts say I’m a woman and praise me but within I’m really angry.

I was abused by one of our house helps who toiled with me every time the house was empty no one in my family knows about this I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it cause I didn’t even know what was going on. Mum always made me do this and that like I was a house boy leaving others each time I questioned she’ll give the excuse that they can’t do it well but if anything goes wrong I get beaten. Then I preferred staying in school to home, in school I wasn’t really social I had this temper, and low self-esteem would leave me always quiet I was so insecure coupled with the fact that I never got visited in secondary school on visiting days, seeing other kids with their parents, aunts, uncles and family made me very sad I got used to it. Had some people around me who call themselves my friends but were just there, cause of the large amount of provisions I had, never spent time with my parents, not close to any of them, they don’t even know what am capable of.

The story is just too long… I entered the university having no one to look up to, low self-esteem, kept to myself, always worried about one thing or the other, parents who never believed in me… mum once compared me with others academically and I was disappointed, I was ranked second from behind out of 5 I was devastated. Felt all alone, that was probably the worse thing I ever experienced, not being encouraged by my own parents. Always yelling each time I asked them for money and giving others more, presently I have trust issues, never been in a serious relationship the last I had, lasted just 3 months. There is so much to tell, just can’t say it all still. Am serving at the moment, sad, lonely, devastated, lost, frustrated, confused name it. From my write-up you’ll know I’m really confused.

God help me through this 🙂

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXII’ by an Anonymous writer.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXI

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Life they say means different things to people.
To me, until recently it meant pain, hardship, loneliness, sorrow . In short, it was meaningless to me. *wipes tears*.

Last out of four lovely children, divorced parents. I grew up with my mum, while the rest grew up with my dad. How come? – mother was 8-months or so pregnant with me when she and father had the last argument and she moved out. Till today, all I know about their breakup was from my mother’s side of the story as I have never spoken to my dad. I am gonna be 20 this year.

I grew up without a father, I never felt his absence. He was never there. My parents got divorced a year after I was born. Mum left with us 4 children, but after a year or so returned the other 3 because she couldn’t cope with 4 children at the time (having not her own place to stay and all) and kept me ’cause I was still very little. So the rest grew up with father&came to visit on holidays. I never saw my father cause he never asked about me. Mum is a disciplinarian, since he didn’t ask, she never let me get in touch.

I am the definition of broken, faithless yet faithful, alone, but full of potentials. Lol. I have what people call ‘blessed hands’. :). No relationship whatsoever with my mother as we never agree, she grew up pouring her frustration on just me (I was always the one around). LooL several times, she told me to go and die- that she had other children (first time, was when I was 6). When I was 8 she told me my father wouldn’t have loved me ’cause I was too stubborn.

This is like opening old wounds for me, cause now, I am in tears. So I’m gonna stop here for now & tell you a short story.

Until July 2010, I had set eyes on my father just once and even this was in the night (when I was less than 5), I bet he barely saw my Colgate teeth as I was so excited to see my dad for the first time. But, my mum shut me up and placed me to sit well in the car. I was hurt, ’cause he didn’t even say hi back, wave back or complain about my mum telling me to give it a rest. Other times when my other siblings came to visit, I’d go through their phones to see if I could steal my father’s number. Lol i did succeed , gave him a call several times and every time he said ‘hello’ i’d hang up. ^_^

July 2010, I had come to Lagos to stay with my cousins for a week, my brother worked with my dad and I knew one of his work outlets. I went there with my uncle’s driver leaving my uncle with the belief that my brother knew I was gonna be there, knowing fully well he wasn’t even at work that day (I went in faith, hoping my dad would be there)… My heart raced as I approached this particular office and saw a white jeep out front (been told what he drove). I came down, hoping this would be some sort of Nigerian film. Lol. I walked in and one worker called me by my elder sisters name (striking resemblance) , I smiled and said no ‘i am looking for her Jnr sister’…. all of them wondered, whispering. I was directed to another office (my dad’s). But before I stepped in (not knowing it was my dad’s) my second sister came out and dragged me in anger by the hand, yelling ‘what the hell are you doing here?! , I am sure mummy put you up to this’. Tears rolled down my cheek, I got back into the car, shaking. My dad came out ,about to enter his car. I told the driver to reverse, I looked at him in adoration, very handsome at 50, tall, dark ,yuppee looking.

I was satisfied.

I told the driver to move and when we drove into traffic, the driver called me and said ‘madam, this man wey dey for this white car dey look you like im sabi u’ I turned to the left, it was my dad, staring at me like he was trying to solve the hardest math he had lost the formula to. Lol oh my! did I smile and nod at him, but he was confused and looked away. I went back sad, angry and happy. My dad didn’t look bad or however they painted him to be, he was TDH yo! Lol, 😦 but he didn’t recognise me, his last born.

I have never … 😥 been happy for a week continuously in my whole life. I gave up, I said to myself  ‘if no ones gonna help you, then help others‘.

That is how I stay happy.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXII’ by an Anonymous writer.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXX

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

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.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

You see…

Life is a beautiful mess. People will shit on you and YOU must pack it. How you put yourself together is what matters the most. There’s a Yoruba proverb that goes….

Eni to yagbe o kin ranti, sugbon, eni to ko, o’kin gbagbe
He who deposits feaces does not remember but he who packs, never forgets.

My story.

My father was a “big man” at the time I was born but he was not legally married to my mother. You would think she benefited at least a little from mothering a child for him but that didn’t happen. My mother worked hard for everything. Practically nothing was given to her on a platter of gold as should have been expected. It is safe to say I knew the hard life.

My mum would go to work early in the morning and leave us with our neighbor’s houseboy. She couldn’t exactly afford a nanny at the time so after school, I and my sister would go and stay over till she came back home. I think our neighbor had twin daughters. I don’t remember clearly.

All I remember is that at age 6, I was raped by this boy.

I knew something terrible had happened to me that would change my life forever, but nobody said anything. Nobody noticed anything strange with me and so I was quiet. Life continued.
Life soon got better for us all. My father started to acknowledge us and was now paying for our secondary school fees. We came over for holidays to see my dad. He lived in a very big house now.

Money sweet o.

He had house keepers and a young man who did the laundry too. Sometimes I wouldn’t feel like going back to Lagos. For what? Stay in a 3 bedroom flat? Although my mum was the owner of the house in Lagos, she had to rent out two of the “self-contain” under our own flat. That wasn’t much of a big house to me.

On one of our trips to Abuja, I realized the laundry man was getting too close to my sister. I warned her. Like he sensed I did, I had to take the blow for her. Only God knows if he hadn’t already ruined my sister…
At 12, I was abused as a child, for the second time.

Yet again, I didn’t speak. Speak to who? I lived like nothing happened. At some point I’d get really depressed. I knew something bad was really happening but I wouldn’t talk. I feared the stigmatization. If I dared to speak, people would address me as: “The girl who was raped.”

The next questions would be
Where was her mother?
Same mother who did everything to make life comfortable for us? I couldn’t live with the pain. I tormented the laundry man till he gave up his job. I was rude in every way… It was the least I could do.

I was rounding up with secondary school when I came across the word “Orgasm.” To the best of my knowledge, the dictionary didn’t do a good job explaining. All I knew was that a doctor would explain better to me. The school’s doctor was a very good friend of mine at the time. A handsome young man, who just got married, wife was pregnant, had a great job, very approachable, always willing to help, very nice man.
I asked him what orgasm meant and he said
Well, there’s the theory and practical” He started.
After the theory, you may not still understand but with the practical, it’s straightforward
Like a lamb led to slaughter, I put myself in harm’s way. I was only 15… going on 16.

Till tomorrow comes, my parents know nothing about this. I do not intend to speak up either, not because I am afraid but because the stigma it brings is just enough trauma. These incidents have psychologically changed my life in ways indescribable but still, I find solace in making others happy. Smiling every time I can like I have no worries but indeed, the pain beneath is beyond this world.

My life may not be perfect but I do believe my accidents have made me to this point. There is joy in making others happy even though I rarely ever get that back.
Hi! I’m yet to be 20 but I believe there’s something more in life for me. Oh look! I just graduated from the university too!

NEMS.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXI’ by an Anonymous writer.

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