Yemen, my Heart.

I tremble as I write

My mind fresh with pictures and headlines

Of a country plagued by war

Haunted by famine

Children dropping by the hour

Malnourished and diseased

World’s worst humanitarian crisis

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My heart weeps for my Yemen

3 years of bombs and diseases

And the world watching on

As Yemen falls

I weep for my people

Families forced into eating leaves

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I lack words for what I see

All I know is we have failed Yemen

Yemen, my Heart.

 

https://www.unocha.org/yemen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S.U.I.C.I.D.E.

Ssshhhhhhhhhh…

Don’t talk about it

Don’t even think about it

The more we ignore it

The more it’ll go away

Soon enough, it’ll all be forgotten

Killing oneself?

That only happens in the West

If you ever feel like doing it

Probably because you don’t believe

You lack faith in God

You have no hope in life

Stop thinking about it at all

It’ll all pass

And you’ll move on

So forget about it

And Ssshhhhhh

Never bring it up again.

The amount of times I’ve been silenced on suicide and mental health astonishes even me at this point in life, never have I seen people be so ignorant and treat a matter as taboo, even when it happens several times in their community as they treat mental illness and suicide. It looks like staying silent on the matter is just increasing the rates by the tens and thousands.

In 2017 , suicide rates in Kenya raised by 58%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that close to 800,000 people commit suicide every year, which means one person every 40 seconds.

Kenya is ranked as 6th in Africa for the highest number of depression cases reported.

For ages 15-29, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

And get this, males are at a higher risk of suicide than females.

Toxic masculinity, where men aren’t allowed to feel, talk about their feelings or express emotions should stop.

We have big issues to address in our community, and instead of treating it like a serious matter which needs attention, we push it aside, sweep it under the carpet and hope we never have to ever talk about it.

Suicide is not a single thought, of I want to die.

It’s walking up in the morning wishing you had died in your sleep.

It’s feeling no will to continue living, barely surviving

It’s wishing you never have to explain, why you always tired and down

Wishing you’d just fade away and no one would notice

It’s trying to escape the suffocation

The drowning, the exhaustion

It’s thinking you don’t have anything to live for

No one cares

No one ever did

No one will ever do

It’s not wanting to cause pain

Not wanting to be a burden

It’s feeling left out

Like no one can understand

They never do

They never will

It’s feeling too much

Then nothing at all

Craving the lightness of just being a soul

It’s the depression talking

The misery setting in

And anxiety rooted within

It’s the dark thoughts clouding all good

That even when you try to remember that there is hope

It disappears

Cause in the end we all are alone.

That is what feeling suicidal is to me

That even when you want to hope

It runs fast leaving coldness

It’s losing one’s self to

Numbness

Darkness

Drowning

Cutting

Jumping

Hanging

Swallowing

Hopelessness

one small act and it’ll all fade away

No more pain

No more dismay

No hurting anymore.

But see, all this is a LIE. PEOPLE CARE.

Even when we think that it’ll all end with us, it doesn’t.

We still have mountains to climb

Sunsets to watch

Drinks to enjoy

Rains to dance in

Oceans to explore

Cultures to experience

We are yet to love and be loved

To care and be cared for

And it all begins with me

And you

You mean the world to someone else

You never are alone

Stop with the depreciating jokes

Every morning

Tell yourself

You are strong

You can make it

You can make it

You can make it

Then strive for it

Strive for a better day

Strive for a real smile

One day at a time

Just one more day at a time

Smell the fresh earthy smell after rain

The warm coffee scent

The rich chocolate taste

The feeling of the first morning ray

The sound of the chirping birds

You never are alone

Seek help

Lean on others to support you

To family and friends dealing with people struggling with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts, talk about it, don’t shun them away, and later wonder why they never said anything, why you never noticed and that you were always there. If you can’t handle it, ask a professional to intervene.

Be a good listener, listen well.

Offer emotional support.

Encourage them to seek help.

Remind them that the sun will rise again.

HER STORY

 

SENSITIVE TOPICS AHEAD!

 

I write this to share a story I hid deep inside, a story I fear being read, a story I wish no one ever experiences, but sadly many do.

I grew up surrounded by men, an only girl in a family of seven, I loved and trusted all my brothers, for I knew safety was home. safety was in the confines of our room, our room, one I shared with my 3 brothers. Growing up, money was tight but still life was good, we went to good schools, slept with our tummies full and walked around well dressed. I remember family road trips to the rural,  food made from mud and of course, family. Family made everything better.

One trip was different though, coming back we had a new guest to add, a cousin who wanted to study in the city, tired of the local run down college back home. A Harambee was done, and he was sent away to live with us. I was happy, gained another brother, 7-year-old me couldn’t stop smiling, another family member, another blessing.

“I know it’s hard adjusting to live with an extra person in a crowded room kids, but remember a guest is a blessing, I don’t want to hear any complains, understood?”

We all understood, no body wants to embarrass Mummy, so we all promised to be on our best behaviour.

Days passed, and we all got along so well that when asked, 7-year-old me had 5 brothers now, 5 brothers to play with, to eat with and to go home to, where home was safe, safe was our home.

A community pool opened up in our neighbourhood, one that was affordable to us, provided we saved up a week of our allowances, a measly Ksh 50 per head, so we did. And I couldn’t have been more excited, even though the only waters I knew were the rushing stream near Grandma’s house in the village and the big lake, where only big boys could swim because of the sharks and crocodiles.I’d watched Jaws with my brothers, there was no way I would risk swimming in shark and crocodile infested waters, I heard even an anaconda was spotted swimming one day! Finally I would know what it was like to swim. I couldn’t even sleep the day before.

Clad in my first ever mtush Disney one-piece,I was the happiest 7-year-old girl in the pool, it even had Bella and Cinderella! I stayed in the kiddie side of the pool, splashing water and holding the rail and kicking my legs into the water, enjoying with all the kids my age, and occasionally hitching a ride on the backs of my brothers’ backs, while others pretended to be sharks, it would have been the best day of my childhood, if the story ended there. The reason I probably remember everything in detail was because of the events that occurred after it.

My new ‘brother’ wanted to carry me around in the water, so I hopped excitedly, hoping for another games of Jaws and Crocodiles, only he was the monster after all. Creeping hands into my beautiful Disney one-piece, one that I found and burned a couple of years ago.

“SSSSShhhhh, don’t make a noise, I promise you’ll enjoy it, don’t let anyone see”

I didn’t enjoy it, I was confused and angry and scared, I was terrified. I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t tell anyone, not even Mummy, because she said

“NO COMPLAINS. BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOUR”

That was the first time it happened, in a public pool, in front of my parents and 4 siblings.

Days later, it happened again.

Being the youngest and in Class One, school always ended early for me, I loved it because I had more time to read and play. I had a very healthy books collection because whenever I did something good, I was always rewarded with a new book, it wasn’t new in age, but it was a new story to read. I knew all about the Cunning Fox, the Quick Hare, the Wise Owl and the Brave Lion.

I had left school early, as always and I was excited to be home. I had recently passed my Mid Term examinations and I already had 3 books waiting for me at home. If I had realized earlier than it was home, I would have willingly stayed bored at school till 5 waiting for my brothers than go back home.

It cornered me in a room, alone and scared, still in my uniform where I was gagged and shoved on the floor. I tried fighting but it twisted my arms, successfully dislocating a shoulder, I think I passed out several times where I woke up in pain, in bed, face free of the tears I had wept, begging it to stop hurting me, begging it to stop, crying for it to leave me alone. It said it would kill me if I ever said anything, it was easy to squeeze my throat, it showed me by doing it. Or smothering me with a pillow, it was easy to do it too.

I walked around with a dislocated shoulder until it was too painful for me to handle, I showed Mommy and told her I had fallen in school playing at the monkey bars. It said no one would believe me, even if they did ask me, what happened, how was I to know what was going on? How would I say it? Every one was blind to it, and they loved it so much. When it realized, it had hurt my shoulder bad enough that I had to go to the hospital, it started being “nice and sweet.”

For 3 years, until it moved away to start a life, it bribed me with sweets and soda, promising never to hurt me again, never again. It was sweet to me for a long time, long enough for me to nearly forget.

But it happened again, again and again.

For 3 years until it moved away after finishing college.

I had stopped talking as much, no one noticed.

I didn’t want to leave the house as much, no one noticed.

I grew terrified of my own father and brothers, no one noticed.

It said I deserved it anyways.

I was JUST  7 YEARS OLD!!!!!!!

I took an oath to hate men, they were monsters, I had lived  and slept in the same room as one.

The room that was safe, haunted me in my nightmares.

I had night terrors, no one noticed.

I woke up in tears, whimpering and crying no one noticed.

I’ve never spoken out loud about IT, how could I?

I see it every holiday when I go to Grandmas

I see its wife

I see its daughters

I know Mum and Dad love it so much.

They call it son.

So how could they believe me?

No one would

They never noticed anything, why would they now?

The rage I feel for IT is so consuming so powerful

I wish I could burn it to ashes with my eyes

I shall never forget it

Never forgive it

The monster that I lived with

I can’t say who I am, or who IT is,

I never was one to cause chaos, I wonder if anyone would believe me, if they did, what would happen to it? Will they risk breaking up not one but two families based on something they never knew about?

I’ve seen around and I’ve heard the excuses.

“It’s too late”

“You should have spoken earlier”

“Why did you stay silent”

“We can’t do anything”

Sorry, I was scared for my life

I’m sorry I lived in fear

The statute’s expired while I drowned in nightmares

Since I can’t sue you here

I leave with my scars and cries

See you in the Court Above.

I still live with nightmares, I’ve seen therapists, counsellors and life coaches, it does get better, but when?

Every time a story like mine comes up in the news, I wake up terrified of my own shadow.

Every time I see the backlash and stigma in this topic, I am relieved I never shared mine, then angry, so angry and furious that our uneducated and uncivilized society would blame the victim, again and again.

I contemplated killing myself when I was ten, ten year olds SHOULDN’T EVEN THINK about killing themselves, but I did, I have tried several times, but I now know that it wasn’t my fault, I DESERVE TO LIVE, I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.

Slow but steady, I have rough nights where I wish I could just off myself, I hate being touched by anybody at all times, I have panic attacks randomly and I am on depression medication. I have never been in a relationship, simply because I still do NOT trust easily, I understand that not all men are monsters, but I am yet to believe it myself. It took me years to accept love from and trust the male figures in my lives, my father and brothers, SEVERAL YEARS.

I AM A SURVIVOR!

I tell my story, not to gather any pity, but to remind others and myself, I have lived this far, reached this far, and hopefully will one day reach where I want to be.

“WhAt WeRe YoU WeArInG?”

A one piece long-sleeved Disney swim suit.

“YoU sHoUlDn’T hAvE wOrN tHaT!”

I was 7, and I was swimming.

“YoU InStIgAtEd It!”

I was  SEVEN YEARS OLD!

“PrObAbLy DoN’t FeAr God?”

I was raised in a Religious household, Religious God-fearing Household.

“WhY dIdN’t YoU SaY aNyThInG?”

I was terrified for my life, I was tied, gagged, smothered by a pillow, choked and it dislocated my shoulder.

“YoU cOuLd HavE sToPpeD IT!”

HOWWW????? I WAS SEVEN! HE WAS OLDER! STRONGER! MORE POWERFUL!

“ThReE YeArS? YoU oBvIoUsLy LiKeD iT iF iT hApPeNeD fOr ThAt LoNG!”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Any more ignorant and stupid idiotic questions?

 

All those who blame sexual abuse victims are as bad as the abusers themselves, we fail to provide a proper supporting society, and continue to stigmatize and terrify the survivors more.

UNTIL WHEN WILL PEOPLE SIMPLY UNDERSTAND THAT NO IS NO!

Child molesters and sexual abusers might be the scum of the earth.

We live in a terrifying world where a Sexual harassed or abused victims called a liar, even when there is proof, a coward for not stepping up sooner, a

Rape culture trivializes the experience of women while at the same time blaming us for what we’ve experienced. It perpetrates myths about why men rape and simultaneously underplays and exaggerates its impact on victims and survivors.

1 in 3 women has experienced sexual harassment.

Every 5 minutes, someone somewhere is being raped.

To every survivor reading this.

You are strong,

You are beautiful,

It was NOT your fault,

It never was, never will be.

I am sorry for society, its backward thinking and stupidity.

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

#METOO

 

 

*BASED ON A TRUE STORY, SOME DETAILS HAVE BEEN EDITED TO PROTECT THE SURVIVOR. 

 

ORGANIZATIONS THAT CAN HELP:

Childline Kenya : www.childlinekenya.co.ke

Wangu Kanja Foundation :  www.wangukanjafoundation.org

Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC- Kenya):  www.gvrc.or.ke

Centre for Assault Recovery of Eldoret (CAR-E): +254 532033471, +254 53 2061005

Gender-based Violence Recovery Centre- Coast Province General Hospital ; 

Helpline: 254 20 2179519 / 2179521
Airtel 0734 466 466 , Safaricom 0722 208 652

 

Divinity FGM Rescue Centre: http://divinityfoundation.com/

CARA Girls Rescue Centre: https://caraprojects.com/

Women’s Rights Awareness Programme (WRAP): http://preventgbvafrica.org/member/womens-rights-awareness-programme-wrap-2/

 

 

Forgiving Humanity

She’s asked

Why are your thoughts sad

Why do your dreams sound broken

Why does your heart seem crushed

Do you not believe

In humanity anymore

What about its redemption

Can we earn not forgiveness

From our never-ending repentance

Our regrets. Our confessions.

What should we do?

To right our wrongs

To earn our vindication

Can we not earn back your trust?

Pretty little girl,

Forgive humanity

For turning a blind eye

We’ll turn over new leaves

Never again, will we concede

To evil, and what it yields

Excuse our misgivings

Pardon our shortcomings

Forgive us,

So we may learn to forgive ourselves

There still is hope

For not all of us cower in fear

We’ll stand up

Behind you, Right next to you

We’ll be brave

We’ll fight the silence

We’ll preach to the masses

Behind #metoo

We all shall be right there, with you.

 

 

NEW BEGINNINGS

What better way to end the Mental health awareness month, than a promise and a pledge to myself.

A promise I intend to honor and a pledge I vow to keep.

I was asked my opinion on self harm once, why do people do it? Why do people get addicted and does it ever stop? Self harm, is an addiction, because pain is addictive. Why do people do it? In my opinion, it’s the pain you can control and one you can see. It’s a method to cope, a very terrible one. Is it addictive? Yes, it is. Very much so. It usually starts as an impulse, a small jolt to keep one in check, for some, to remind them that they still feel, that they still are alive, an impulsive decision at a moment of weakness. Slowly, one depends on it, as a distraction from any emotional pain, physical pain heals faster, but emotional ones fester and poison, if not treated. Then it becomes an addiction, an obsession, a false sense of control.

It sickens me to the depth of my heart to see Media romanticizing it, making it feel cool or Writers making it feel almost as normal as breathing. It is not. Believe me, self harm brings in guilt and shame, and having to keep it a secret is worse. The relief is short-lived, before you have to deal with whatever is troubling you. Instead of solving any problem, you just let it be bottled up inside, hiding it in the closet and sweeping every problem under the rug. It only takes sometime before it bursts, opens and blows up in your face.

For someone affected, they do not wish for that upon anybody. The guilt of asking your loved one to stop an addiction, you know the harm of it all to well. The hopelessness when something goes wrong, and it’s not in your hands anymore. The despair, when you see someone you love go down the path, you struggle to leave. It’s not worth it.

It’s not the way to do it, get help and confide in someone, it gets better. Life does get better. Asking for help is  hard, I know, trust me. Leaning on someone, letting one take care of you for once, or letting someone in. It’s opening the doors to you chamber of secrets, everything dark and ugly, sometimes and expecting them to love you the same and see you the same. Trust, giving someone the power to hurt you but believing in them to not to.

Talk to someone you trust, let them in and believe in yourself.

 

Even in the dark

When there seems to be no light

And the weight of the world 

Burdens your shoulders

And a little voice 

Says you can never do it

Exclaim with power and conviction

“I can and I will

For with every sunset, ends a bad day

But every sunrise, begins a new day”

You can and you will

Life does get better

Trust and believe in yourself

Just like I do in you

I may not know you

But I understand the struggle you go through

I may not know your full battle, 

Or see all your wounds

But in the end

I am human like you too

Tell me so I can help

Speak out and I shall listen

Beyond what the eye sees

Is a soul I am in love with

For all the scars and struggles

A beautiful soul

That I can’t help but be in awe of

Life does get better.

This promise to myself, is that I shall try my very best to not succumb to the little whisper.

I am stronger than that, braver than that and wiser.

I promise not to judge by the scars on somebody’s arms, not by the burns on your feet, not by the wounds on your fists, or the bandage on your head. Not by anything at all, I promise I will try to listen, to look at you and love you, maybe even love you more.

Often, we ignore others’ cries for help because we are too blinded by our own struggles. We often lose so many to fend on their own, we let too many people down, we failed so many people, but now is a good place to start. Right here and right now, pledge to be a source of comfort and solace, to lend an ear and to see beyond the walls and masks, to see for who they really are and still love the same.

And for those still struggling, life gets better.

 

Broken and Beautiful

You are a wonder

An amazing being

Even beautiful

Doesn’t cover what I see in you

You are strong

You are brave

And may the fire in you

Blaze for eternity

When you were seven

You dealt with so much more

Than many have ever seen

Sexually abused

In the place you felt safest

When you were ten

You wanted to run away from it all

For home was just hell to you

Nobody understood

The fear you held

You couldn’t even meet

Your father’s eyes

Your mother never understood

At thirteen

You wanted to end it all

You couldn’t hold it in anymore

The fear you feel

The nightmares that never end

You started then

Harming your beautiful self

You got broken

Once too many times

The voices in your head

Only got louder with time

Words hurt deeper than wounds

Beautiful Being, you are not alone

You are beautiful, for each crack in your soul

You are beautiful, for each mark on your body

You are beautiful, for all your flaws and more

Beautiful Being,

I am in awe of you.

At twenty

Here you are

Spreading your wings

Attempting to fly

Still in pain, but healing inside

For every single day, I thank God you are alive

I see you chasing your dreams

And I know you’ll be fine

You light up a candle

So bright in my heart

For every trial you’ve been through

I am in awe of that smile

Beautiful being

Your story has just began

Let yourself live

To see better things

Let yourself enjoy

Every morning’s sunrise

Enjoy

The smell of rain

The scent of fresh coffee

The fragrance of a blooming flower

You are yet to travel each country

You are yet to meet your perfect match

You are yet to love once more

With every day comes a new beginning

And I’ll be here

All through the way

Beautiful being

You inspire me every day.

May your story be a legacy

So that they may know

Of this Beautiful being

That was broken down

But rose up again

That was teared down

And stitched her self up

Who was pushed down

And picked herself up

Who thought of ending her life

But lives to see each sunset through

Because of her, I have hope I’ll make it too

Who says proudly

I’M STILL ALIVE

BROKEN AND TORN APART

BUT STILL BREATHING AND ALIVE

Each sunset shows the end of one day

But I promise the sun shall rise again.

Till the end arrives.

Beautiful being.

I love you.

Heading Home

I’ve felt it, the lowest point.

Felt like I couldn’t breathe,

My chest hurt,

My heart was shredding into pieces,

And it was too quiet,

Enough to hear each shatter.

I kept to myself,

Detached everyone else,

Too safe, too lonely,

Too alone, too cold.

So scared to reach out,

So scared to be found out.

I felt everything at once,

Then felt nothing at all.

Despair, hopelessness, fear

Anger, Fear, Hate.

I COULDN’T BREATHE.

Then I did, felt nothing at all.

I pressed hard, hit hard.

Let me feel something.

If not, bring the pain.

Let it crush me.

Let it hold me.

Let it pain me.

Enough to let me know I was alive

I was breathing. I was alive.

Still I was restless. Hopeless.

My mind wouldn’t shut up.

My heart won’t settle.

I cried. And I cried some more.

Held my head, as I let my tears flow.

Oh God, did I wish to let go.

To go and let it all go.

Everything and nothing at all.

I felt it all, then nothing at all.

I heard it, play again and again

Every comment

Every word

Every joke

Every laugh

Every blow

Every mark

Again and again

Then again and again.

I wished I could tear it all apart.

Every feature.

Every mark.

I’d have done it.

If I didn’t pause to think.

Why? What wouldit solve?

Today, it’s me.

Tomorrow, it would be somebody else

Not now.

Not today.

Return home.

Head back.

You’ve forgotten the way, it’s not too late

As long as you still breathe

Head His Way

Return to Your Lord, O despaired soul

So I cried again,

Bowed my head, Then cried some more

Lord, Forgive me.

Have mercy on my soul.

Lord of the Heavens

Lord if the Earth

And everything in between

Have Mercy on my soul.

To be human is to forget

I forgot my way again

Lost in the Earthly hollowness

Dived in the Worldy shallowness

I forgot, the way to My Lord

Indulged my self in everything the world offered

Until I wasn’t satisfied anymore

I realized it again

So I cried, hit my chest,

And cried some more

Return me to You

Ya Rabb

Forgive me and have mercy on my soul

I’m lost

So guide me Home

Where my heart shall be in peace

My mind shall be settled

My tongue shall sing Your Praises

Guide me to the correct path

Protect me from all evils

When I stumble and fall,

Ya Allah, give me strength to stand back up

When I lose,

Ya Kareem, give me patience to try again.

When I am afflicted,

Ya Ghaffaar, have mercy on my soul.

I’m heading home.

Judge Me After

I’d paint what I feel

I fear it would be too dark

I’d say what I want to say

I fear I might be misunderstood

I stand here before you

Speak what I want to say

Get over what I can’t

Explain it so I also can get it

Stop the judgement

I’m asking for the impossible,

Believe me I know.

You’ve not lived my life

Never understood what I feel

Never walked with me

All you see is what you want to see

So till you can do what I ask you to

Stop with the judgements.

Put a halt to your negativity.

Shut it when you don’t know the truth.

If your words aren’t worth your silence

Then don’t

You don’t always have to speak.

Put your words on a scale

A few words of yours

Weigh them against my journey

Give me the weight of my life, my heart, my story

Forget that, give me the weight of what you say

Your comments?The basis?

Your opinions? Who asked for them?

Your hateful attitude? What did I do?

You can’t?

See. Then don’t. Just stop.

You have no right to judge.

Advise me when I stray

Kindness doesn’t cost a thing.

If I’m drowning, would you pull me out?

If I was falling, would you help me up? If not, soften my fall?

If I was going under, would you help me stay afloat?

If I ever lost my faith, would you show me how to believe once again?

If you won’t stay for it,

Through the tides and turbulence

Ride the high. Camp with the low.

Stay. Stay. Stay.

Then leave.

Leave with the negativity you carry.

I’d be lying if I said it won’t hurt

I’d be lying if I said it will be easy.

It’ll hurt definitely

It’ll be hard for sure

But

Sadness doesn’t last forever, it shouldn’t

Grief can be overcame,slowly but steadily

Mistakes can be pardoned, forgiven not forgotten

Difficulty can be lessened, for with each of it comes ease

I’m not brand new, definitely not

But I’m stronger

I’m scratched up, messed up and a little bit scared too

But I’m still fighting to survive

I’m not alone, not if I don’t want to

Letting you all in, trusting

I will stay hoping, praying, wishing and hoping some more.

Taking a plunge, I’m flying, lighter.

I’m grounded, staying true to myself.

After this all, judge me then.

Breathe

Pull words from your soul

Like a magician pulls tricks from his hat

Let the words flow

Like water in rivers

Let your voice be heard

As clear and as loud as a warrior’s cry

Say what you feel

Don’t conceal

Not anymore

Stand up

Learn to fight

Fight for yourself

And Your rights

Lead, you are strong

Lean, you also need help

Look, it all will make sense

Listen, you need to prepare

Live, life leaves in a moment

Rise and dust yourself

This is just the beginning

When friends turn to foes

Relish in the time you have

Replenish yourself, alas you are human.

Breathe.

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