Lash! Lash! Lash! 
It’s 2am and I can hear the distant sound the belt makes as it kisses the skin. I turn over, I think I’m dreaming. 

Lash! Lash! Lash! 

Now I hear screams too, I sit up and listen out. I run to my brother’s room, see my father standing over him whipping as hard as he can. Immediately I go into defense mode, turn into a human shield and place myself between the belt and my brother. There’s more screaming and tears until it stops.

I can’t say how many times we’ve been here. They say if you stop to count time,the barriers melt and it all becomes one, time remains the same. 

Father must have awoken at 2am as the first stroke reached him; as far he knows he was beaten to be corrected and so when his son errs, he wakes him at 2am with his belt. 

The barrier melted for his son too,he hits his sister. She spent years being a shield from dad’s belt, now she she shields herself from his fists with the same hands that once held him close. 

How many 2am’s till he is beating his son? Or daughter? Or wife? 

Note-Most abusers are descendants of abusers and come from a place of hurt. Please try every single day to not be a perpetrator of any form of abuse,this only creates a long chain of abusers and broken hearts. 

Finally, I write about things that directly or indirectly affect me, but please do not ask if my posts are about me, thanks for reading. 


Please Choose Life

20th July 2017- Chester Bennington committed suicide. 

Wikipedia says your death occurred on what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday only he hung himself 2 months prior. I listened to your songs over and over until the lyrics began to sound like words from a letter you didn’t write. I cannot pretend for a minute that I know your life, I’ve tried too many times to imagine what must have gone through your mind. Maybe you thought of writing but who would you write to? Your parents? Children? Lover? Friends? Fans? How do you explain all the things that has led to that moment? How do you tell the people you love that you are not healing the way they thought you were? How do you know that you won’t be misunderstood? 

Note to self-

If you ever think of giving up on life and ending it all one day, I pray you have a minute to remember all the things that are worth living for. I hope you remember your mother’s smile,your lover’s touch, the sound of the rain,the smell of new books, the taste of frozen yogurt.Think of the wonderful places you’ve not been to and all the feelings you have not yet experienced. If you ever consider turning off the light,that is you, I pray you have a minute to remember to choose life. 

Mental Health In Nigeria 

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this topic, this blog post is written based on my personal interactions and observations. This post could be right or wrong but it is still my opinion. 

I won’t start off this post stating statistics about Nigeria because I know it would all be wrong. I mean the last census was in 2006(know how many death and births since then?Neither do I) 

Using my class as a case study-the other day in my gastrointestinal pharmacology class, we were told that H2 receptor antagonists have adverse effects which may include mental health disturbance. People started laughing and talking like any of the illnesses had a secret joke attached to its name. Someone even went as far as saying out loud “all this things na Oyibo man sickness, ie “all of them are a white man’s sickness and then there was more laughter and cheering. I sat observing them, wishing I could say something to rid them of such ignorance. I wanted to scream “how can you not see that the things you laugh about and more is everywhere around you?”(but I didn’t because I get so shaky whenever I have to speak in class,thank you anxiety). The lecturer watched them for awhile too before speaking, she said “it’s sad to see how some of you are talking about this as if it’s not a problem here too. Depression,anxiety,schizophrenia, it’s all real and even some of the people closest to you are experiencing this but you don’t notice anything ” and with that, the entire class quieted down and we moved on to proton pump inhibitors. 

In Nigeria, we tend to blame everything on evil spirits and the devil(thank you Nollywood). What is schizophrenia when there are evil spirits that makes a person hear voices other people cannot? Like its easier to believe a person is possessed and controlled by an evil spirit than to believe they are depressed and cut themselves as a way to cope. Seek medical help for a demon T.B Joshua can remove? No way. 

In Nigeria, people still believe mental illnesses only affects the white man due to ignorance and inadequate information. Still using my anatomy classes as the example,when we learn forensic science the slide show used are usually from other countries with no practical examples from Nigeria and so as the lecturers talk, people are listening to write notes to read for exams. What alot of people know about mental health issues are mostly through movies/tv series which may not have an accurate representation and pass complete information about that particular disorder.

In Nigeria, we act only after tragedy happens. Take the Lagos flood for example, the people living in the areas affected and the government knew that the poor drainage system plus several other factors could eventually lead to a flood but no one acted. Now after this flood, a hashtag on twitter and possibly been shown on CNN, everyone would want to do something.

What we can do to change this

  1. Educate yourself about mental health issues. 
  2. Educate others(starting with the people around you)about mental health issues. 
  3. Be more observant and you’d see there are a lot of people suffering around you. I know just talking with a person about their struggles won’t alleviate the problem but it can make them feel less alone.
  4. Stop telling people to pray their depression(or any other illness) away. Sometimes people need more than your prayers. 

Just because there aren’t any clinics or treatment centers in Nigeria, it doesn’t mean you can’t seek help for whatever you’re going through.Try b-eat for help with eating disorders, breakthrough,iprevail and 7cups for other mental illnesses. 

I hope you get the help you deserve. 

Conversations With My Younger Self- The Frogs You’ll Kiss

The first frog you kiss will have a name that is an object of importance to the Catholic church. He’ll be the first reason you learn self consciousness because the day after you tell him you can no longer be his back up plan, you pass his friends on the street and assume their whispers are about you. He’ll also be the first to teach you a boy’s lie; a girl called Fortune.

The second frog you kiss will invade the haven you’ll find in the woods. He’ll sit by your side while you write in your special green book and you’ll convince yourself that you’re okay with him being there until the day his breath begins to burn your skin.

The third frog you kiss, you won’t remember.

The fourth frog you kiss will be a final year pressure,the kiss will be brief and unpleasant and never happen again because once you’re done with school, you’ll avoid him like a plague.

The fifth frog you kiss will be the reason you’ll regret not leaving this place, he’ll coax you into doing things you’ll continually hate about yourself.

The sixth frog you kiss is a decision you’ll regret more than the fifth.

The seventh frog you kiss will be a girl, a beautiful planet. You’ll already be a falling star and you’ll fall to this planet and for awhile she’ll be your new haven but stars are meant to shine brightly in the sky and so the magic you two create on land will end.

The eight frog you kiss will be a weak comparison to the seventh, he’ll crumble in your hands and text you for weeks after the kiss but like dust, he’ll eventually be blown away.

The ninth frog will be a mistake, a chain reaction of mistakes.

My 7 year old self is scared, she looks up wide-eyed and curious, “will I ever have a prince?”

I smile down at her but say nothing.