Yesterday I was telling a story about how I lied to my mom about something I shouldn’t even have been lying about in the first place.
A major part of the reason for lying was because I was scared of punishment. Somehow my brain thought that if my mum heard that I had been hit by Okada, she would think that it was my fault. How I came up with that at age 7, I still have no idea.
How could it have been my fault? I had not been playing on the road. My sisters and I had been walking by the side when this dude had hit me. I remember him apologizing to me that day. He knew he was at fault. If you know Nigerian Okada riders, you know how they would insult you if you cross their path. But this one was apologizing. And no, it couldn’t have been because he was nice.
Years later and all grown up, I see how we hide so many things all because we think it’s our fault. Abused as a child? Yes. Talk about it? Hell no! Raped? Almost. Report? Hell no. We think we would be blamed so we bottle it all up and try to forget about it.
The other day I read about a woman who killed her husband. She had stabbed him while he was beating her. In a locked room. I’m not here to talk about if she was right or wrong but that story led me to start reading up on Battered Woman Syndrome. This is, in very basic terms, seen when a woman who is repeatedly abused, ups and kills her abuser one day, seemingly without any provocation. She holds every pain and slap, every abuse and then one day, that bottle is full and she stabs the man while he is asleep. Just after they have ‘made love’. And everybody wonders why.
Holding in stuff has never made things better. We should just learn to speak out. It is hard and it hurts but it is not your fault! Don’t go putting yourself down and trying to think of how it could have been avoided. The only way I could have avoided being hit that day was if I was on the other side of the road, which would have been wrong, or not even there at all. Yet I thought I was to blame.
My dear friends, speak up. I can scream it or whisper it. Say it. Do not stay in an abusive environment or relationship. You do not deserve that. Nobody does. Don’t lie and tell us about hitting your head on the door because the room was dark.
A word is enough. So they said. I could say it over and over again. Don’t be afraid to speak up when it is not your fault. Even if it is your fault, so? The truth saves. Always.
Have a great day.