So I'm young, intelligent, supposedly very beautiful and sexy. I'm also very single and every time I meet someone, the standard question is 'why are you single?'
Here's why. A connection on the physical and mental must be had for me to consider any man an option and believe me, there are too few combinations like that. I meet men who I connect with physically but not mentally and vice versa. It makes me tired just being out with them, at least this is the excuse I give them.
I remember vividly my first year in university, I was 16 and had entered school in the middle of fierce clashes between cults that caused the school to shut down. I will never forget the boy whose head ended up on a stake in front of the gate with his body dumped by his department. His blood was used to smear the words 'this is just the beginning'. I will never forget a bullet whizzing past my ear and killing a mallam behind me as I tried to find cover from the hailstorm. Most of all, I will never forget Chinedu.
Chinedu was the first man who would ever persistently push his attraction towards me (there would be many others). He was my boyfriend's room mate's cousin, and was greatly enamoured with me it would seem. The day he caught me alone in the room he now shared with my boyfriend, he slid what at the time felt like a hot iron rod between my thighs. The pain was excruciating to say the least. Realisation dawned on him the minute he had gone past my barrier and he leapt up apologising profusely that he didn't know I was a virgin and it was the work of the devil. I would later that find out that he said he was in me for less than 5 seconds and didn't think it was rape. My sister put a hit on his head. I took it off.
7 months later, I was to see the silver lining in that cloud (never would have thought that I would ever consider that person robbing me of my ability to freely give what was mine, a silver lining). Cult clashes still going on, the members had taken to robbing their fellow students in order to purchase ammunition. The day the happened on my off campus accommodation, I remember tucking my long hair into my shirt and trying to look like a guy. I will never know why. As they took forcefully their turns with me, gun to my head, hands holding my legs apart, my spirit watched from the ceiling. The silent tears that rolled down my eyes because I had been ordered not to scream and the pellets from the locally made pistol would surely lodge somewhere if it went off and because the noisy generator would have masked everything.
They violated me! In my own space on my own bed. When they had left, I scrubbed my self till my skin bled. Then went home and joked about it with my family. My dad was the only person I told and he went with me to the hospital to have the rape kit (they didn't call it that back then) administered. This was the first time I would ever see my dad cry (the second and only other time was when his mother died). I didn't cry till 2 weeks later, when the pregnancy test came in negative. Then the psychological effects set in. I tried to kill myself three times within the next one year. The last time, as he held my hand after they had pumped my stomach, my dad and I made a pact. If I succeeded in committing suicide ever, he would join me. I live for my family.
It's been 11 years, and the journey to recovery is still on. I often think of myself as lucky. I didn't get psychological help (shrinks are expensive this side of the equator) but I didn't end up promiscuous or frigid. I did learn the value of my body and the value of the choice to give or not to give. I learned not to trust men but also to give them a chance. It's a fine balance this tight rope and I have decided not to stop walking it.
**** I am so sorry you have had to deal with life's cruelty, i thank God however for your life and the strength he gave and is still giving you. There are people going through too much pain out there. Please as much as possible know your friends and family and try to reach out to them as often as you can, they might be harboring issues they cannot explain, smile, God is in Charge......
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