I recently stumbled on news about a 14 year old girl who committed suicide and streamed the whole process on Facebook live. Shortly after reading the news, I went ahead to do a little research on the girl and on a few others who also live-streamed their suicides.
What I find disturbing is how people leave insensitive comments encouraging a suicidal person to go ahead. The girl whose news I first read apparently had a mother who, while watching her daughter on Facebook live, left a comment to tell her that life goes on and that the teenager was simply crying wolf. A mother!
This week, I have heard about too many suicides that were encouraged by friends of the depressed person.
How depression is a farce to many still baffles me. People get depressed and no one is really above it.
A former friend of mine once told me that depression is not real and that people who claim to be going through it are annoying attention-seekers. This from a very literate man. Seeing as he was someone I used to like a lot, I subconsciously assumed I was an attention seeker when some thoughts hit me. As such, I would not seek help anywhere but would cry my eyes out.
I’ve grown, I have learned.
I recently put up a post on my Facebook page about how my teenage assistant was going through a confused phase in her life and how it occurred to me that my response could be what would make or break her.
There is a ‘movement’ of sorts on social media called ‘#iammentallyaware’ (@mentallyawareng). I suggest you go through their social media pages. There you’ll see, from testimonies of people, that depression respects no one. Perhaps the older we get, the easier we can deal with it but I may be wrong.
Not everyone is strong enough to fight this thing. For years, I never smiled because I thought my teeth were too big; I never went braless because I thought my breasts were too small; I never let my hair down because I thought it was too full. It was a few days ago, when Olu and Otigs were helping me in the kitchen and discussing insecurities, that I realized I once felt insecure about my teeth, breasts and hair. There I was, in the kitchen wearing a spaghetti strapped top without my bra, laughing heartily with two beautiful men who had just complimented my culinary skills and my natural hair. I told them about how I once was in a relationship where he would constantly remind me that he liked big breasts and that my insecurity disappeared gradually when a friend whispered in my ear one day in church while pastor was preaching about insecurity, ‘see did I not tell you not to worry about your breasts?’
There used to be days when I would be angry with my father for not trying harder and with my mother for not being like some others. If they had tried harder, I would not be thinking about my bills when I was eighteen, I would not be carrying so many responsibilities at twenty-five, I would not be worried about food or rent or clothes, I would not lack if only try tried harder. With these thoughts came accusations, ‘perhaps this is why I can’t keep a man, there is something wrong with me’ and I would cry, write and cry. My last real breakup broke me into all shades of suicidal.
That was years ago. These days, I have learned to let people go who want to go; to spend time building myself rather than crying over the past.
Not everyone can deal with it the way I do. Remember I said I was suicidal? I also used to be extremely impulsive. What if I did something dangerous on impulse because I could not control my feelings? Indeed I could not control how I felt. I impulsively packed my bag around 3pm and got on the bus to Portharcourt. I arrived Port Harcourt at 12am.
Not everyone has someone to talk to, many feel no one will understand and the truth is, no one may truly understand the emotion.
But if you feel the urge to encourage a suicidal person to go ahead and kill himself, I suggest you keep your thoughts to yourself and walk away rather than add to an already existing pain.
What they need is love and if you don’t have it to give, please look the other way.
I love you all.
She stares at the man who loves her, his sunken eyes look to her like the sun in its glory, his scars like a shrunken flower petal kept between the pages of a book and put away for years, alive in it’s own right when the rest of it is dead and gone; a memory always looked after. When he stares back at her, she knows she will never have him.
She rests on the back of the man who loves her, speechless they stare into blank space each understanding unspoken words and lost in the nuance that theirs would never be a dream come true.
Words come out as grunts when he plants a kiss on her cheek and as moans when he bites into her neck slowly but consistently and then as pleas when she feels the wetness in her pants and the fear that she would soon lose what resistance she put up grips her as she tearfully jerks his hands off her hips and sadly announces her plan to take a leave. His pleas beat drums in her ears. Deaf to his words, she walks away, satisfied she knows now his love language.
Time, she tells the other. Time and yours is touch.
Furious tears from broken heart
Hid deftly with courtly smile
Perfect world fallen apart
Healing shall surely be a while.
Aidee (November 13, 2015)
The video making rounds about the husband penguin who fought hard with a home wrecker in order to save his marriage but lost, is very disturbing. What makes it disturbing is that the media portrays the female penguin as a cheating wife and the male penguin, a hero. No one wants to hear the female’s story and it hurts.
As usual, the media has influenced a vast majority of people who now believe that the female penguin deserves all things bad. There are questions a lot of us did not ask.
1. What if the ‘wife’ was fed up with her husband’s marathon cheating?
2. According to the report, the husband came home from a long trip to find his wife with a dude. What exactly was he doing away from home for so long? Could it be that he went away because he had a side chick he was seeing?
3. What if the ‘husband’ was a wife-beater and the ‘wife’ had filed for a divorce which was granted but because he heard rumors about his wife being happy, he decided to ruin her happiness.
4. What if they are both separated because he cheated and when the lady he cheated on his wife with, showed him her true colors, he realized his wife was a great asset but when he returned, it was already too late for him?
5. What if they are not even married but he is a stalker who just wanted to have the ‘lady’ by all means?
6. What if he abused their child?
The story making rounds is a single story. There are more sides to it and we really should cut the lady penguin some slack until we hear her side, and the ‘home wrecker’s side of the story. Meanwhile the lady penguin has to be protected because it appears humans are against her decision to stand with the man who brings her more joy. I want to believe she gave her ‘husband’ the opportunity to change but he did not and when he returned, he was not convincing enough. She found happiness and really does not need her ex waltzing back into her life like he owns it.
Watch video here.
Last night, my neighbour may have slept with her pillows to her ears as I listened to and sang along with Michael W. Smith, “Your grace, your grace shines on me. Shines on me, shines on me, I’m everything with you. Shines on me, shines on me. It’s your grace”.
I did a vigil last night and this song was all I sang. It was and is still on replay.
It’s a clear Saturday and rather than dress up and go out, I just want to remain naked on my bed. Mama had to scold me for ignoring her calls and answering baby brother’s calls. Why blame me? I love my siblings and I feel responsible for them. I have watched them grow from new borns to toddlers and now to near-teenagers and I miss that I am not there to guide them in their decision making. I have read the letters they always sneak into my bag in the rare occasions that I visit home.
“I love you, big sis. I will never forget you”.
“Big sis, please come home next time. Daddy is very boring”.
“You are the best sister in the world”.
Tell me why I should forget people who think of me, pray for me, pray with me, scold me and tell the world about me? This is family. Family is everything!
I stare at my phone and wonder why this man keeps calling. This is weird. Few days ago, his call would have been promptly answered. We would talk for some time about life and work and he would seek my advise regarding some decisions he wants to make. Then he would express appreciation and be thankful for my wonderful soul. Now, these calls are a waste of time, they are like unwanted visitors trying to share my space with me when my space belongs to me and no one else.
I do not want any more attention and have unconsciously filtered my friends – no time for past lovers, friends who have shallow discussions, people who type in shorthand etc.
I would deactivate my Facebook if I had not sent out the link to companies where I applied for internship. Who knows when they decide to investigate?
One thing that has always come easy to me is dreaming. I set a goal and fiercely reach for it. Birthdays aren’t at all holidays. If I needed a holiday, I’d give myself one. Working hard happens everyday so today, I begin to make new plans. The old plans do not seem to be working out and if anything, today reminds me that I do not have the luxury of making time look like a stopclock.
It is a good thing dad taught me early on the importance of having backup plans. I think of the good man that I am proud of, who raised me and I look forward to the day I’ll bring home a man and have dad sit with and talk to him.
Now that I think of it, I realize he has never really succeeded in making me talk about some boyfriend. He did try the other day I went home when he called me out and stammered some words, shifting uncomfortably on his chair. I had to save him the stress. “Daddy, I’m not dating anyone. If I am, I’ll tell mummy and she’ll tell you”. Fathers! One day he’ll read this, I know.
It’s the start of my 25th year today and what makes it different from other days is the unsolicited attention I am getting. I have had to block all incoming calls on two of my phones while I placed the third phone on silent. I think the difference between today and yesterday is that I’m starting a new year but I still miss my family – siblings who always have my back, a mother who is more an older sister to have girl talk with and laugh over boys especially her boyfriend who happens to be my dad, a father who would forget all my sins and still welcome me with his breast and run around the house threatening ‘won’t you come and suck breast?’ because I used to love breast as a baby. I know he will call me later this evening and as usual tell me to go catch the goat that just ran past me because that’s my birthday present. Family is everything and I guess this is what I am grateful for today and always – Family.
Happy 25 to the girl with the never-fading smile.
When all hope is lost and friends leave your side, those who are your true family will always be there for you through it all – Aidee Erhime
Well I am actually putting this here for posterity sake. Opinions are welcome. Read full story on Godless Cranium’s blog.
I watched a video earlier about the 200 (or so) people who left an Amy Shumer show after she made jokes about Trump.
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed by the jokes or the fact that she called an audience member up on stage just to mock him because he said he wouldn’t vote for Hilary. However, that’s neither here nor there, since going to a comedy show often results in embarrassment for someone in the crowd.
I don’t really care that she used her free speech to politicize her comedy routine or that people used their feet to protest by leaving the show.
What I really took issue with is the person in the video (you can find the video at the end of this post) saying that Amy Shumer was a hypocrite because as a feminist, she had admitted to sexually assaulting a man who was drunk when she was in…
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I miss you, I find words to say that I do but words fail to express a certain feeling and people say it is called love – never expressly expressed and coming out as jargon so you find the scattered pieces and try to make sense of anything.
In my lover, I’d see a gap that needs to be filled and promises that may never see fruition and in me, a fear that life’s unfairness would happen again…but I miss you and a kiss shared would prove that my strength may find flapping wings and escape to the skies, leaving me to the mercy of your kiss and memories of a love that went sour.
Hello strong lady,
I call you strong lady because you’ve probably heard it a thousand times from people. We are strong women who take pride in our strength. We because I am you.
Our strength is not just buried in our vaginas, we command so much respect because we know what it feels like to live in a world where the fittest survives and our drive to succeed takes us to places we have imagined we’d be.
Being a strong girl is tough work. It is tough to keep up with. People expect you to behave a certain way and though it comes with a sort of respect because the strong girl does not follow norms, it also comes with a feeling of loneliness. No one likes to feel helpless.
Reflecting on the conversation I had earlier today with my good friend, Tarfa, I realized that the attraction people have for the strong girls usually leads to fear and this fear,though good at times, is unhealthy.
I met a total of 21 strangers in the last three days who told me the same thing over again. They would commend me for a job well done, they would say I am a strong girl, a rare breed lady who actually believes she can work to make a living. They would compare me with girls who are lazy,who think their bodies are their only means of survival and I’d laugh, because these girls also work. We just have different definitions of work. It’s easy for them, you see and sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to have someone take care of me, who would spoil me just a little bit. Strong girls feel it the most. All that attention and for what? Business, money.
There are times when the strong girl wants more than a quickie, more than ringing some random guy to come give her his penis for a day, more than return home late at night to an empty kitchen because she has no time to cook and no one to notice that all she has eaten in three days is a burger. True, being able to compete in a world where the fittest survive is a thing of pride, being able to treat yourself to a weekend of pleasure brings a level of satisfaction and it’s scary how people see the strength from afar but never realize that we sometimes get depressed.
Failure is a dangerous thing. This is probably why we fight always, against failure. But failure happens sometimes and the world does not think you can fail. The little boy I teach has learned to say everyday that the downfall of a man is not the end of his life. I teach him this everyday and I teach him that a man can actually fall, what matters is that he dusts himself and rises up again. I teach him this because I want him to understand that people still fail and so he should never see anyone as perfect.
Us strong ladies are seen as perfect. Our love is perfect, our hate is perfect, our silence and laughter are perfect and we live our seemingly perfect life praying that someone sees, understands and respects our imperfection.
Tarfa told me today that I am a strong lady who at 24 has achieved a lot. I said to him, I have not achieved a lot and I am not satisfied. I get depressed and sad sometimes but people never see it because I hide it behind a smile, keep up appearances because no one will believe that you are crying.
Yesterday, I cried. I cried after I was stopped at the traffic light, I cried when I drove my sleek red corolla to a five star hotel, I cried when I felt the urge to cry, with the car windows wound up and when the traffic light turned red, I cried and when cars hooted, I parked the car and cried so hard, I cried because I wanted to cry, because there’s so much to say and no one trustworthy enough to say it to but a God I believe exists so I cried and prayed and even as I type this, I’m watching a band sing songs and I’m crying. These tears are not of sadness.
Sometimes, our challenges are overwhelming and its sad that we can only imagine how life would be if all we had to do was dream and have someone else provide the resources to see these dreams become a reality.
Here’s where I find satisfaction, that in dreaming, we can get anywhere; that in fighting, life’s stones feel like softball; that in loving, it never gets boring; that in giving, we never lack; that in living, death is a joke.