His Story, V

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 and has chosen to remain Anonymous.

This is his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Here, is my story:

When I was younger, my family was, well perfect. My father was the perfect man and I wanted to be just like him in every way, my mother, a very beautiful woman was also the perfect mum. She took the time to stay and nurture us and focus less on her work. Everything was simply perfect, even my new baby sister with her smile and I wanted nothing more in the world.

It was perfect till the year I went to secondary school. I was 9 at the time and I was going to be schooling at a full boarding institution. It was what I wanted. I had never been fully exposed to the outside world and so everything was new. I didn’t fully understand social interactions; I had never really had friends I could see every time. It was primary school, home, family and the cycle kept on continuing. My father was a tad over-protective.

I learnt things in school I would never have learnt if I had the choice, knowledge of what it would do to me and previous interactions with people. Summer after my first year at boarding school was horrible. I had spent the previous summer with my mother’s best-friend’s son and I thought I could repeat it since he was the only one I knew outside school.

Of course, being that young I needed permission to leave the house and someone to take me. I went to my perfect father and asked him:

“Daddy, please I want to go to T’s house?”

“What are they doing there?” Was his reply.

“Nothing, I want to go and play with him.”

“Is he a toy that you want to go and play with him?” Was his smart comeback he gave me.

Over the next few weeks, I got similar replies like when I told him I wanted to go out to see a friend.

“If they can’t come and see you then don’t go and see them.” he would say or something smart.

My mother never wanted to go against him. He was her husband after all. That summer to me was the summer where everything changed. He stopped being perfect in my eyes and I cried a lot. I was angry a lot. I stopped eating especially when I was angry. Every time I thought of my father and what he would say to me when I wanted something it literally brought me to tears.

I became a shut-in. I had learnt to not interact with people and I had barely a little interaction with people who were not my family in the first place. I was a total snub. I didn’t need anyone; my father had taught me that. If they couldn’t come to me then why go to them. I always kept a diary which was quiet weird for a boy but then I had no one to tell me that, with a father that didn’t actually care what happened to his children and no older siblings to speak of, I was left alone to fend for myself. My mother, bless her, tried to reach me but some pains a mother cannot take away.

I was known as the weird kid throughout school. Only a few people made it past the wall my father had built around me. It stayed with me throughout my secondary school days. I became even worse. I never went out, I never went to parties, and I never learnt how to pick a phone to dial a friend. At a time when all my friends were enjoying their new-found freedom, I was stuck in my prison of a house, crying when I could and wallowing in my self-pity.

Things became worse when I learnt my father was abusive and slept around with everything in a skirt that would jump into bed with him. Every image I had of him was destroyed and I didn’t want anything that connected us. I didn’t want to be reminded that he was my father even though I am an exact replica of him. I found a new role model in my cousin who took me under his wing.

They always said everything would get better after high school. They lied. University days were no better. I never learnt how to interact with girls. I had three sisters but I never learnt how to interact with girls in a romantic way. I became “zoned” to whichever girl I was interested in. I looked to them as nothing more than a friend. Even with boys it wasn’t any better. I was trained to be a loner and to make matters worse I am regarded as being over-emotional.

My mother, sisters and I moved out two summers before my final year. I have started to live a little but it’s still never enough. I push people who come too close away. I put everyone one on a pedestal so high just so that they can disappoint. Just like my father did. A never-ending cycle like the one my father created. After all, a soldier never forgets his training. And it was what I was trained to do. My younger sisters had it better, whatever my father did to us affected me the most. My sisters have friends and are not as socially awkward as I am. They’ve moved on. I haven’t, I still blame him for everything that happened to us.

My mother went back to some sort of work to take care of us. She bears all the responsibilities we’ve given her. She’s stronger than we gave her credit for. And she’s the only thing I can hold on to. My father wants us back, but I don’t want to go back. I have brothers now who have taken to rehabilitate me and I’m getting better step by step. I’ve finally learned to accept my dark self.

Who am I?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’m still searching for me.

• • •

THANKS FOR READING.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with  Tomorrow’s ‘Her Story, IX’ by @misty0_0

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, V

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 I carry around a secret, a burden. Something I have never had the courage to tell anybody. Something I’ve found difficult to share. That’s funny because here I am about to spill my guts.

Growing up as an only girl with two brothers I was who you’d call, ‘tom boy-ish’. A fragile, skinny tom boy. Kinda hard to believe right?  But best believe I was. I didn’t have my own friends growing up, I always rolled with my elder brother and his friends, play ball with them, gun fights, the whole package. He had this particular friend that had two older brothers and they were the only ones my mom allowed us go to their house.

You know I can’t really remember when or how it started or ended, or how many times it happened and I can only remember a couple of times it did but I remember the oldest brother taking me into his room and telling me to pull down my panties and lie down on the bed and him having his way with me while my brothers and his were busy playing video games and I’ll just lie down there wondering what was going on. He kept telling me not to tell anyone, and I never did. I was what, six years old? Seven at most.

For a very long time I never thought about it, not until I was a teenager and I became aware of what he’d done to me, what he had taken away from me. I remember crying so hard that day and praying to God to heal my wound and take the hurt away. I remember hating the boy so much. We had long since moved from the neighborhood and I’d not seen or thought about him in years so of course the damage of the hatred was being done to myself. I tried to tell my mom several times but I just never found the courage to go ‘Hey mom,remember that time we used to live in ijapo? Well Eze’s brother used to have sex with me, a six-year old. Just thought you should know.

It’s been difficult for me ’cause, I do not open up to people, maybe because I’ve never told anybody about it; or that’s just my kind of person. I’m more of a listener than a talker,taking it all in. My friends have complained, some have come to accept me like that while I’ve lost others as a result. A previous relationship too has ended because ‘he never knows what I’m thinking or feeling‘ and ‘I’m just too deep for his understanding‘.

A few years back, I heard that the guy and his parents lost their lives in a car accident. I felt sorry for the two boys they left behind and the parents because they were nothing but nice to my family. I felt no pity for the guy on the other hand and I hoped he’d rot in hell. It however didn’t make me feel better knowing his body was six feet beneath the ground, or that he’s probably really rotting in hell; neither did it undo what he’d done.

Over time I have come to accept what is and not hold on to the past.  My past does not define who I am. The choices I make now are mine and cannot be blamed on anybody or anything that happened years back. I have also been able to forgive with the help of God and I sincerely hope he knew Christ before he died.

Beneath my smile, I’m a 20-year old that was sexually abused at age 6 and has never found the courage to tell anybody about it… till now.

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’a  ’Her Story, VI’ by @ThisHandleTho

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, IV

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

Always the smartest, always the brightest, everything’s always fine!
She’s cool with all the guys and all the girls love to hate, all the adults love her!!!
Then why on earth do her pillows take a bath every night listening to her silent cries and feeling the soft rhythmic rocking of her body?

But back to the genesis of it all:

Life as an 8-year-old wasn’t much fun – Even kids at that age were mean. Being a big child didn’t make things any better. I was teased for being FAT and teased for being SICK (like it was my fault), so I buried myself in school work. Being the teacher’s pet didn’t help matters but I lived through it becoming a binge eater. When I’m stressed, something goes in – After all I’m already a pig so what more could go wrong but then I was the poster girl for ‘Smiles ‘R’ Us’ because who smiled more than I did?

Getting to secondary school was supposed to make things better – at least there was someone bigger than me in my class. But no! This time teachers joined in and it was torture so I was determined to show them and do the best I could – It worked before didn’t it? At first I did fine, but then I got too cocky and dropped drastically. I got home and I decided there and then to end my life because the only thing I had going for me was gone. I picked up a knife and was about to stab myself when my dad came in and stopped me just in time. I still wonder why sometimes.

It became too painful to hang around my female ‘friends’ because they were always on about the flattest stomachs and the thinnest waists and the hottest boyfriends so I had nothing to talk about with them. Behind my back, I could feel the looks and hear their whispering, not just because they all shut up when I came around. My journey to acquiring male friends began. I felt that if we were friends, then they couldn’t see me as girl friend material and that was more comforting than the fact that I was fat and ugly. My hot younger sister who I was constantly being compared to didn’t help matters. I starved myself for days and then I’d eat a lot because I was so hungry then starve myself again as a punishment as I felt guilty. It was a sick circle of life but I could still win the most dazzling smile award.

I don’t trust anyone. I’m too scared to get hurt. Those I let remotely close to me feel I’m somewhat standoff-ish and snobbish because I always say ‘I’m fine!’ Well, I am – As fine as I’ll ever be I guess. I want to be loved too. I craved love so much I let ‘him’ touch me because it felt like love. It was my first time, but somewhere along the line I stopped him. It just felt wrong but he got mad and almost raped me. I got lucky I guess but I made sure I hurt him bad. I felt dirty and tried jumping over a balcony once but then I wouldn’t have died – They would have saved me and I didn’t want to be saved.

Is it a crime to want to be loved?

Well I moved on and supposedly found comfort in ‘Jesus’. I was a Christian already and all that but this was supposed to be different. Funny, I felt good in church and fellowship and all but I still came back to cry my heart out or sleep depressed. Helping people sort out their problems too gave a thrill that wore off as soon as the problem was over and I was back to reality. That was my high.

But I’m past going to bed depressed. I was getting to the point where I was actually stating to be happy for real and long periods of time and then something else had to happen. There was a drastic change in my family and I had to grow up fast!
It’s still a very recent feeling and sometimes I still do cry, but this time I have made a decision that enough is enough. I’ve hidden beneath the smile long enough.

It’s time to come out from beneath it and make it real.

How?

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with  Monday’s  ’Her Story, V’ by 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, III

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

I am the only female child of my parents, brought up in an environment of all boys, the perfect brothers and big cousins always around. I am the type you would refer to as “the loveable one”.

I grew up in a surrounding where my mother was hardly ever home, a certified workaholic. Knowing well she did it to make sure we, her kids had the best and never needed or wanted anything, amazingly her tactic worked. Growing up with three maids as well made one think “pffttt, spoil brats”….

But then…

Tales of my life, have too many sad and depressing chapters but here goes the most intriguing or at least the most I am willing to share.

I am one human, you would wish never to do wrong or any sort of harm to because I might as well tell you the precise day and hour the deed was done.

At the age of 4/5 , aunty grace (the main maid in charge) came to pick a little me and my little brother from a lovely day at school back then, picked up my little brother and according to her I wasted her time on coming to get me, when we got home, I was placed right on top of my dad’s old car, the red honda and then she released the 6 dogs on me while still placed on the car and then went into the house.

Dear God, I cried my lungs out that day, It was all thanks to the laundry man whom the dogs were familiar with that saved me literally.
Remember the mother wasn’t there to be told neither was the father

Once I was in the bathroom taking a bath, this was at the age of 6 when aunty grace came in yet again and forced me to place my hands on her breasts, like that wasn’t enough, during siesta once, she placed me between her legs which were wide up … Don’t ask I’m blank afterwards.

This was probably the beginning of my trust issues and belief that everyone on earth was out to hurt me, no one to confide in, no one at all.

In elementary school, there wasn’t much, I was more or less a stubborn smart ass little cinch.
In high school, I was the definition of downcast, a depressed teenager… I would express my feelings on paper, write the best articles, best song lyrics… Made others happy, but not me.

Suicide acts where my speciality, I read books on how to get really ill or almost killed. I finally got myself hitched with ulcer and appendicitis, after swallowing a couple of pebbles, and some other experiments.

I was a glad sad human, I would intentionally inflict myself with so much pain, it felt too good.

There is so much more going on but then
I am a little grown now, a mama virgin, still single… Insecurities here and there.

I am xia-yong, a young black lady’s other.

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with  ‘His Story, II’ by @Siji_B

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, I

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 and has chosen to remain Anonymous. This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Here goes;

It started one night when I was 5 years old at least that’s the earliest I can remember.

I heard my mom screaming in distress “Oluwatomi! Tomiiiii!  Help me!!” I ran to the room she shared with my dad, and what I saw changed the course of my life. My dad was on top of her strangling her and beating her, slaps, blows, and the like.

My 5-year-old brain told me I had to help her, so I tried to drag my dad’s hands off her, and crying I kept on screaming don’t hurt my mommy, leave my mommy alone. After what seemed like forever he got off her and stormed out of the room.

I hugged my mommy so tight and she couldn’t do the same, she looked lost, so frail and she whispered “it will be alright” through streams of tears.

This continued in different ways, other times my dad venting his frustration on my little brother and me.

I would go to school with bruises and marks and when my friends asked, I’d tell them I fell.

You see, my mother is a very beautiful woman, and my father is a very insecure man so he tried to dominate us all though physical violence. The slightest frustration he had from work would be vented on us.

This continued in different forms till I turned sixteen. He apparently “found God” and has even gone on to become a pastor. He has apologized too. But it’s like a broken egg that can’t be pieced back together.

Although there was never a form of sexual abuse, I still have scars and memories of the beatings. I’d sit down and have flashbacks.

I’m 20 now, and I’ve had 2 boyfriends who I refused to have any form of intimacy with simply because I still can’t bring myself to understand that there can actually be love without violence. So after a few weeks, both relationships have ended and I refused to open up to them.

I find myself living in a topsy-turvy emotional state, One day I’m “happy” the next I’m close to depression.

I try to help others hoping I can help myself too, but to little avail. Along the line, I’ve also become a Christian and I’m beginning to grasp the depth and truth behind letting go, and forgiving and accepting and giving love.

But the insecurities still linger,
My body still bears the scars,
my memory never lets me forget,
I want to love, I want to laugh,
I want to have joy,

Instead, I cry myself to sleep at night but I wake up the next morning and hide it all beneath the smile.

I need help.

Advice me.

• • •

THANKS FOR READING.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with  ‘Her Story, II’ by @TheSilentMaeve

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)

Beneath the Smile, I

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.

We are starting with Adebimbe’s (not real name) story. She sent her personal story in.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile (design)

Well, here it goes..

I’m Adebimpe Adigun and I see myself as an abnormal 13-year-old. I feel like the world is crumbling and I’m the only one feeling it. I go through so much pain and emotional crap that I shouldn’t be going through at this stage. I think too much.

Why? Okay this is where my story begins.

School’s not been the best. I wake up every morning wishing it was a holiday. My classmates make my life so miserable by tearing my books, breaking my stuff, making fun of my hair, how I dress, calling me a loner and all that childish nonsense. They bully me. They say I don’t talk to them because I act too mature. Honestly, I don’t seem to understand them. Too childish. I act like it doesn’t get to me at school and I never forget to put on a straight face or keep smiling; but when I get to my room, I crouch in the corner of my wall and cry. I cry so hard and so silently. Tears fall from my eyes and run down my face and I weep. I always need someone to talk to .. But most of the time. I keep it to myself.

I’m always asked by people why I relate better with older people and it’s basically because they understand me.
 
I’ve tried to use physical pain to take away the emotional pain but that was a terrible idea.

I punched glass.. I couldn’t hold myself. The anger bottled up in me just needed to get out and I had no one to talk to. I lied to my parents that I fell on bottles.. I’ve been through so much.. Slitting myself with a razor was the worst.. It was hell.

*sigh* I feel alone. The truth is, I feel ugly. I feel like I have no one except family. They love me so much and I love them more.. But you can’t always rely on family when you have to move on..

My emotions take over me most of the time. It’s just me and my BlackBerry against the world.

I need help.

I am not your regular 13-year-old

Why do I feel all alone?

Help me.

       • • •

THANKS FOR READING.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Saturday’s Beneath the Smile, II by @its_kash

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)