AWAKENING

-Speak Out

While it is very common among us today, nobody wants to speak about it. But, I tell you this, someone has to say the hard things. Someone has to initiate these conversations.

Everyday, another child is molested because nobody talks about these things. They are dirty, so, we leave them out.

That’s the problem. Society had found a way to ignore the issue of abuse. For some reason, it’s swept neatly under the carpet.

A part of me would suggest that this is as a result of the fact that some high profile individuals will get burnt, if we raise the matter. But, how many more Onyochas must die?

There is need for sensitization. There is need to speak out. We must teach, we must talk, we must protest. We must make this things easy to talk about.

We have teenagers, enduring dreadful hurts because no-one would talk about the matter. Not in school, not at home, not even in church. They die, daily, in silence.

Our society is broken because it consists of many broken people. Now, our future is at stake. Because, these broken children and teenagers are our hope for the future.

If we don’t take a stand and do something to help, I fear to imagine what could happen.

Be that voice. Save a soul. Speak out today.

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Story 2: Many Years A Slave

I became aware of the abuses when I was nine years old. At the time, it was auntie Ita’s boyfriend who was making his rounds with me. He always took his time, he’d lubricate us with vaseline, so his penetrations (through my anus) would be easy.

Auntie Ita was hardly around. When she was, she never took notice of what was happening. I would have told her if she didn’t delight to scold and hit me at the slightest provocation.

My parents were very busy people. My mother had to work and school at the same time, and my father was trying to make a name for himself in the business world at the time. My brother and I were mostly left in the care of relatives.

As a child, I was very secretive and timid. Only once did I mention what auntie Ita’s boyfriend did to me, to a friend who lived next door. She did not say or do anything when I told her, I figured there was no point. Meanwhile, her Uncle also touched me, he was probably touching her too.

Auntie Ita dated two men in the period that she lived in our house. Two men in their thirties, who took pleasure in playing with my body. The second was not as intense as the first, I guess he had less opportunity.

Auntie Ita left our house, and uncle Jay came to stay. He was my father’s younger brother, in his late twenties. Uncle Jay would call me into his room, now and then, and finger me. He didn’t need to threaten more than once that he’d hurt me if I told anyone. I was a little over eleven at the time.

In this period, Richard, a second cousin, also came to the house. He’s was a one-time thing. I reckon he was the only one that ever showed remorse for putting his hands on me. He did not apologize, but he could not look at me after what he did. For the others, they took their turns like they had a legal right.

It wasn’t just me who uncle Jay abused, he did the same to my friends and cousins who came to spend weekends or holidays in the house. It was our little secret.

I was thirteen years old the first time uncle Jay had intercourse with me. I wasn’t like the average thirteen years old, I was chubby and looked older than my age. Maybe, the reason he saw me palatable.

One time, I tried to tell my parents. My dad had this USB pen, I recorded the whole scenario, but he never checked it.

I grew up thinking I was a sex object, an object of lust. Everywhere I went, someone abused or tried to molest me, even my teachers at school. Many times, I didn’t protest, my mind had been conditioned to let them have their way.

I was about sixteen when the abuses stopped. With the help of some friends, I found solace in drugs. I got so screwed up and I felt I could not take the abuses anymore, I started to threaten them.

These men stopped abusing me, and I began to abuse myself. I had sexual intercourse with anyone who was willing and able. The Urges raged like a volcanic eruption, I had no restraint. I hated what I was doing to myself, but I didn’t stop.

Around this time, I began to keep a diary. I couldn’t talk to someone, but I could always write what I was feeling, it made me free. I had less on my mind and carried a, somewhat, lighter burden.

One day, I discovered I was pregnant. Surely, I did not know who was responsible, so I took the child out without tell anyone. After this, I felt terrible, I wanted out of the kind of life I was living. I was tired, tired of bearing so much burden on my own. I decided to tell my parents.

My self-esteem was shattered and I felt worthless. The only life I had going for me was on social media. Somehow, it made me feel a little valuable. I thought telling my parents would be a great step towards recovery, I wasn’t exactly correct.

I did not expect a pat on the back that I wasn’t a virgin, that I wasn’t pure as I ought to be. I didn’t expect them to congratulate me for not speaking up earlier, no.

I expected some form of comfort for all I had had to go through, all by myself, since I was a little girl. But, all my parents were concerned about was the abortion and how it was going to affect their reputation.

Truly, I do not blame them for not knowing how to react. They were shocked and afraid and, kind of, disappointed in themselves.

I think my father felt it the most. Especially, when I played the video I had recorded years back. A picture of that USB pen has remained his profile picture on WhatsApp ever since.

I wouldn’t say I totally regret opening up to my parents, it brought me some relief. But, I learned that the real battle was inside of me, and I had to fight those battles by myself.

I’m still at it, healing, one day at a time. The urges still deal treacherously with me, but I’m learning to control my body.

I’m well aware that I was badly broken in the past, but I’m coming through it all a Strong Black Woman.

Anonymous


Disclaimer: The names in this story are not the real names of these people.

(We were so inspired by this story, we thought it deserved a theme song: Thursday by Jess Glynne)


Additional Question and Answer Session:

  1. What will you tell a girl who is being abused by a relative or a family friend?

“‘It’s not your fault, you are not the cause of the abuse. Hold your head high and move past it. Get a grip of yourself and SEEK HELP, that you may have peace.
Finally, forgive the perpetrators, for that is the first step to healing.”

Thank you for reading!
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Story 1: Urges Awoken

I was six years old when our landlord’s son started his experiments on my body. I took no notice because it was in the midst of play. He’d brush his hands, lightly, over my pubic area and smile. I never smiled back, I saw no humour in whatever message he was trying to pass across.

Time passed and he graduated to lifting me unto his lap. Our compound had a healthy population of children. We all gathered at his house to watch movies on the weekends. When there was room left only to stand, he’d offer his lap for me to sit on. I’d feel him rub my buttocks against his genitals.

I saw no need to protest, he was seven years older than me, he should be wise – trustworthy.

Soon, the lap dances were no longer satisfying. He’d take me under the stairs and fondle me to his fill. At some point, I began to enjoy what he did. Not that I looked forward to the sessions, I still feared that we could get caught. But, the more he played with my body, the more I wanted him to play with it.

For the lack of self-control, the young man blew our cover. He wanted to play, right in my mother’s kitchen.
“My mummy will watch us,” I whispered in protest. I feared my mother’s fury more than I feared the fires of hell.
We argued back and forth, as he tried to put his hand into my skirt.

As I feared, my mother walked in on us and that was it. He never came close to me, ever again.

The boy stopped touching me, but the urges he had awoken raged on.

By JSS 1, my friends and I would hide behind the school building and play with our bodies. We called it “Eberibe”. We’d giggle as we experimented on different strokes that gave pleasure. I’d later learn that it was termed lesbianism.

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with romance novels. My mind was tender and hungry for adventure.

I remember the afternoon, sometime in JSS 2, when I learned how to satisfy the urges. I started masturbating. I’d feed on the romance novels I could find and practice what I read on myself.

At first, it happened once in a while, then occasionally. Soon it was a habit and finally, it became an addiction.

I could no longer help myself. Every time I found myself alone, my hand navigated itself between my legs and then up into my vagina.

The years ran by, with all the promises I made that I would stop. It wasn’t so hard to start, but it seemed impossible to stop touching myself.

I never considered talking to anyone about what I was going through, what would they think of me? I was a typical church girl. The main reason I never had sexual relations with a boy.

I loved the Lord. There were nights when I cried myself to sleep asking him to help me stop. I was 18 and in my first year in the university, if I didn’t stop soon I’d be found out.

I felt like a worthless fraud. Outside, I fronted a saint, but I was a pleasure-loving little sinner.

It was in my second year in the university that desperation set me on the path to healing. I had gained some control of myself. I cut off all ties with romance novels and the likes of them and started reading other books.

Week in week out, I drowned myself in church activities. I poured all my extra time into studying scripture and doing the work of God.

Occasionally, still, I’d fall back into my mess. Regretful, I’d pick myself up and ask for grace.

Many days, I felt like I was kidding myself and there was no hope for a sinner like me. But I knew I loved the Lord and I didn’t want to be filthy anymore.

One day, I woke up to realize that a year had passed since my hands made their adventure. The urges were still there but I had no desire to satisfy them.

Anonymous


Additional Question and Answer Session:

  1. What could you have done differently?
    “…tell someone openly how I felt then, without the fear of judgement. But, to ease the burden and gain more insight.”
  2. What will you tell a girl that has been abused?
    “…we cannot take back the hands of the clock, but she can get better by trying to bury the memory and build on a fresh page.She must learn to cross the thing line from hate to love.”

Thank you for reading!
Like, Comment and Share!

Thank you for visiting Myrapestory.photography!
If you would like to share your story with us, please fill the
form here.
We’ll love to tell your story too.

myrapestory.photography… how it happened, how I felt, how I healed.

Few weeks before what happened to Onyocha, I felt a strong incline to give women, who have been abused, a platform to speak out from.

A blog was the best I could come up with at the time. With the doubt that no one would be willing to share their story, I let it lie low ever since.

2019 has tugged hard on my very conscience and I’m ready to do this, afraid.

Allow me to present to you:
MYRAPESTORY.PHOTOGRAPHY
https://myrapestory.photography/

Our aim is to help women, who have remained in dark places after their abuse, know that they can recover. Being the reason why we’ll feature stories of abused women who have actually healed or are on some kind of healing process.
*Please read the above paragraph twice*

Testifiers can choose to be anonymous or not, we are interested in the story. We want to know how it happened, how she felt and how she healed.

Until I started to heal, I couldn’t talk about what happened to me. So, I beg you not to feel obliged to tell us your story. Some of us recover sooner, some later, some never heal. But, as soon as you find healing, there sits in your heart an urge to help someone else see the light.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

1. FOLLOW this link: https://myrapestory.typeform.com/to/hs3Nzw
2. CAREFULLY answer the questions that follow.
3. PATIENTLY wait for us to contact you to schedule an interview.

*Fingers crossed*

I look forward to hearing from you.

“We are crushed and created
We are melted and made
We are broken and built up
In the very same way

What I thought would destroy me
Leaves me stronger in its wake”
Crushed and Created
Caitlyn Smith

PS: We’ll also have other features as;
> What I wish I knew before the abuse.
> What I would have done differently.
> …and more

➕ Follow us.

Truth

Over 80% of the rape/almost-rape stories I’ve heard, had trust as a constant. Whether premeditated or spontaneous, these rapists thrive on the trust their victms have for them.

Anna, my Anna

I’m the mind of Anna
She lost me that day
She tries in vain find me
I do not desire be found
For I bear her torment
Memories from that day
She cannot remember now
I’m long gone

I vivid recall, how you came
Like a kitten, you were sly
You lured Anna towards your den
Cursed be me for I let her trust you
Wolf! you wore sheep’s fur
Anna, she danced in your song
Warm and playful, my Anna
You sang your deceit backwards
Poor Anna, she heard it as truth
She danced into your arms
You broke her

I bear you no good will
For Anna, my Anna
You stole her innocence
You beat it out of her
Wielding your violent rod
You perceived yourself powerful
Till you saw blood
You didn’t withdraw your armor
Fool! I curse the womb that nutured you

Like Anna, I roam
With no place to rest
We are one, but apart
Lost, in this unfair world
I wish return to Anna
I desire still she forget the pain
I wander in hope
Perhaps, someday, these memories die

Incubus

For 5 years, I’ve sat at this corner every night, muttering the words Mama taught me to keep the spirits at bay.
“Just keep saying it until you can’t feel them around anymore.” She said the first night they came, I just turned 16 the day before.
“Kumakuma paiwa.” I said it over and over until I could feel their presence no more. But as soon as I closed my eyes, they pounced on me. Literally tearing off my clothes, they molested me till I passed out.

Mama came into my room the next morning, to find me crying. “I think I’m possessed!” I wept, starring at my blood stained sheets. “Mama! A ghost raped me! Two ghosts!” I had lost my mind.
“Shh,” she put her hands over my mouth “don’t speak of them like that, or they’ll be more brutal tomorrow.”

I would come to find out that day that I had been chosen, out of my five sisters, to “service” the gods. Each family in my tribe took turns to present a virgin to the gods in exchange for protection, it was my family’s turn and the gods had chosen me.
“You need to see this as a privilege my child.” Mama said, bathing me in the yard.
Part of the rites included that I’m bathed in public, it was a sign to all that I now belonged to the gods.
I stood there, petrified, why was I not required to die instead.

But it didn’t take very long before I got used to them. In due time, I came to figure out that they visited between the hours of midnight and 4:00am. They couldn’t have their way if I kept my eyes open. So, I stayed up, on the nights I could, muttering the words to keep myself from being ravaged by the gods of our land. And on the nights that I couldn’t keep awake, I’ll let them have their way and wake up at daybreak in a pool of my blood. Yes, I bled every time.

Three times I tried to kill my self, but I wouldn’t die. The first time, I tried to drown myself in Kasamika river, I was washed to the river bank and rescued by the fisher men. The second time time, I drank a mixture of the poisonous Epkekem leaves. I fell ill for a few days and bounced back to health, stronger than ever. Finally, I cut my wrist. I watched a trickle of blood drip into my palm and that was all.
As Mama washed my wrist that evening, she looked into my face and said, “Stop trying my child, only the gods can take your life.”

Beyond the molestation and brutality I faced at night, I had to deal with being treated like an outcast in the day. Nobody wanted to offend the gods by offending me, so no one spoke to me. Even my friends in school started avoiding me, news spread fast, I now belonged to the gods. Three weeks into my final year in the Community Secondary School, I tried to rescue a younger boy from being beaten by some bullies. One of them struck my face before he saw it was me. He fell to his knees begging, while the others ran for their lives. I left him kneeling there, begging for his life. Even I didn’t understand the gravity of what he had done. Two days later, he was found dangling from an orange tree in his parents backyard.

The incident almost took my sanity. I spent many nights at the village shrine because I’d keep screaming at night for hours and the whole neighborhood couldn’t sleep. It took Obantagyi- the eyes of the gods, almost two weeks to bring me back to normal.
“They would give her a break, for now.” She told Papa, the night she brought me back home. “Her sanity is also important to the gods.”

After I slept uninterruptedly that night, I knew Obantagyi wasn’t speaking fallacy. The gods had given me a vacation. When I woke up the next morning, it became clear to me what I had been deprived of for two whole years. Everything in me wanted out.

I packed a few things and set out on a journey to nowhere. Dressed up for school, some clothes in my school bag instead of books, I headed to the bus park. Walking all the way, I didn’t bother flagging down a biker, they’d never stop. I sat in the bus for almost two hours before I realized that, one by one, all the passengers before me had alighted and no one else got in.

Tears pouring down my face, I walked back home. I hadn’t eaten all day, but what would food do for me. I would have given anything to die that night. The ghostsresumed duty the next day, more brutal than ever before. As if to punish me for trying to escape.

I was rounding off my final year when Janka was transferred from the town to the Community Secondary School. After all the orientation he had been given to avoid me, Janka went ahead to greet me.
“Do you want to die?” I had to ask him when he wouldn’t give up. In the bid to save his life, I would ignore him when he greeted me, but Janka had a death wish.
“I can’t die.” He sounded so certain.
Throwing caution to the birds, I let him in. I had nothing to loose and he had a strong conviction that he’d was indomitable.

Two months past and Janka didn’t die, we grew closer and many people feared for him.
“I think you should go to the Township Teachers College so that you can get trained as an English teacher.” Janka told me one day. He believed that my predicament was no limitation at all. “If it’s the tuition fee you fear, I can get you a full scholarship.” He smiled.
“Where would I live.” He didn’t know the details of my nightly escapades with the gods. How my clothes are wrenched off my body. How I vibrate violently when they are inside me. How I bleed profusely staining my sheets. He had no idea.
“With me, and my parents.” I sat before him and wondered, what gave him such audacity?

With pity in their eyes, my parents permitted Janka to take me away. They tried to talk him out of it to no avail, he was hell bent on giving me a life.
“Janka, you are a good man. You have done enough, we don’t want you to die.” Mama said weeping, I’d never seen her so sad.

Early the next morning, all packed and set for the trip, I said my final goodbyes to my family. I sat in the yard and waited for Janka. He was supposed to pick me up by 6:30am since our bus left by 7:00am.

I waited till 9:00am and there was no sign of Janka. I went with Mama to the staff quarters, where he lived, and his apartment was totally empty.
“He didn’t say anything to us, he just packed up and left” A neighbor reported.
Like all the hope I had had before him, Janka disappeared with no trace.

That night, there were four of them. I felt them storm into my room at midnight, with growling sounds- of anger and fury. I kept my eyes open, tears streaming down, muttering the words Mama told me. They didn’t go away, they waited until my eyes gave way, then they pounced on me. I felt my body elevate into the air and slam into the wall. There, they had their way with me all four of them. I tried to scream, but I had no voice.