Beneath The Smile, Continues.

Hello people,

Before we dive into today’s story, #BeneathTheSmile is back and would run in its category, every Friday.

You can view past stories, here. (Yes, just click ‘here’.)

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 an Anonymous reader.

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind-the-smile
As I walked through the pathway that leads to the library, I began to engage in a one-way communication with myself.  Oh how people seem to see an independent, intelligent, flawless girl. I smile, I raise my head high, I answer questions in class, people bring their assignments to me, people seek my opinion, and people call on me to intercede on their behalf.

They all seem to see a girl who posses so much strength and vigor, a girl who has little or no problem, a girl who has had it good. I smiled and said out loud unconsciously; engrossed in my thoughts “little do they know that it is all a façade of strength”. I let them see what they want to see.  The real truth is, beneath that smile, is a tear. A tear? No! TEARS! I carry so much hurt and pain in me; I was abused by my most trusted uncle. Till date, no one knows this, except of course till now that I’m writing about it.

How can I tell people, that my psyche has been tampered with? How can I bring myself to tell my parents that the person they have put so much trust in has lured me to his bedroom, had his way with me and took my innocence away from me. No! I cannot tell, I will not tell! I have bottled this up for a long time; I have learnt to smile through it.

I live in fear, fear of the unknown, fear of letting those who have put so much in me down, fear of living outside of me. At home, they see a perfect daughter and sister, one whose intellectual ability is highly commendable. Oh yes! I’m smart, I’m intelligent, I’m clever I’m… yes, I’m all of it.

But beneath that intelligent girl is a girl who struggles. Beneath that smart girl is a girl who feels dumb. Oh, beneath that girl that is full of life is a girl that is “dead”. Indeed I have succeeded in putting up this façade.

I have created a room within me, a cocoon that envelops me. I’m locked in. I have a built a wall, one that shields me, one that keeps the pain and hurt concealed. I sighed, raised my head high, put a smile on my face while ascending the steps that leads to the entrance of the library, there! I saw a friend, Jessica descending from the stairs and Jessica remarks calling my name
“Hello the ever smiling Betty, how are you doing?” … “I’m very well thank you”

I said showing my “32” sets of teeth Jessica remarked “of course you are, as ever” and she walked past. I shook my head and between breaths I muttered as I walked into the library “if only she knew that I’m not well, that I’m fighting a constant battle with me”.

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with next Friday’s story.

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)