cursed

Cursed one

‘Ulolaaniwa’

He never wanted me

Never will

A father is her daughter’s King

Mine is my nightmare

A father is to hold you

Mine is to hit me

A father is to love you

Mine loathes me

A father is to protect you

I need protection from him

A father is the light in his daughter’s eyes

Mine snatched all the light away

A girl is blessed to have her father alive

Mine is cursed to have me alive

I was taught

From when I could understand

Stay out of his way

He’ll kick me if I don’t

Stay out of his sight

What new curse could he come up with today?

Let him not hear you

You don’t want to be hit

I wonder why

He could never love me

I’ve tried my best

1st in all my classes

Until he made me drop out

Wasting his money

Only to be married

An excellent cook

Until he burnt me ‘accidentally’

A voice like a bird

Until he had me caged

Silent

Silent tears

As I cradled my broken arm

No hospitals

So it never healed right

A painful reminder

Each and every day

That I am cursed

Cursed to be born

Cursed to be his daughter

Cursed to be a girl

Simply cursed for who I am.

blind

Love blinds

So people say

Well, it never did me

I just chose to ignore

Ignored when he raised his voice

Ignored when he broke the TV

Ignored when he threw words around

Ignored, but felt it each time

Then he first raised his hand

I ignored

He left

I cried myself to sleep

I chose to be blind

I held it in

Chose to ignore

For my little 2 year old boy

I chose to be blind

Until I couldn’t anymore

Then I tried leaving

But I couldn’t

Mama said

What would people say?

Baba said

Think of your son

Auntie said

I probably deserved it

Society said

A woman should persevere

And everyone saw

The bruised arms

The black eyes

But everyone chose to ignore

They all become blind

He is my husband

I love him

I should persevere

Maybe, I did deserve it

I’ll hold my tongue

Never ask where he is

Never argue

Never raise my voice again

Blind to his faults

Then came my little girl

One look at her

And I knew

I wouldn’t let her live like I do

I’ll show her what love is supposed to be

Not a broken heart

A twisted arm

Or a bruised eye

Her Mama will make her proud

And I left

For my walking son

He shouldn’t be like

The monster he calls father

Love is not this.

I choose not to be blind anymore

Society be damned

I am no more blind

This time I choose to be deaf

Let them talk

hurt

First time she did it

We both were shocked

I was hurt

Bleeding

And not just from the cut

The one she placed

Right above my eye

8 stitches

But the pain

Was not as much as

The one in my heart

I was hurt

She said sorry

She was angry

It’ll never happen again

She held me as we both cried

And I believed her

And it happened again

A screaming match

Followed by a thrown vase

Then a cut again

This time my arm

And again

A blow to my head

She took me to the ER

Laughed off with the nurse

Men and their competitive nature

Got beaten up trashtalking

Said his team was better

I couldn’t say a word

Disoriented

Confused

Hurt

And again

And again

Every time she’s angry

Every time she’s upset

Elaborate lies

Made up stories

Who do I tell

Who do I confide in

That the one I love

Hurts me the most

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.

 

 

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD

So I was asked

Why do you speak

Of depression and anxiety

It’s all in your head

Don’t think about it

And it wouldn’t worry you at all

Stay silent.

And it shall not bother you.

It’s all in your head.

You ask me

To stay silent

Of the cages that keep me locked

Of the waters that drown me

Of the darkness that engulfs me

A trap that holds me tight

As if the mind is not part of me

It’s in my head

Because, dear, my mind is in my head

I can’t stay silent

Not anymore

I shall not speak,

Never again

But only

If the mind ceases to be part of me.

So when you tell me,

It’s all in my head

Is my head not part of me

Or should I severe it,

So I can stop thinking about it

For as long as I live,

And as long as I breathe

As long as I can

I shall speak what is in my head

Because

It’s all in my head any ways.

And if still,

You can’t understand what I speak for

I understand

You do need a mind to comprehend.

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.

TILL I LOVE ME

Shallow standards of beauty are what I grew up seeing.

Perfect height, weight and assets to complement.

So anything other than that was not beautiful.

It simply could not be beautiful.

I always wondered about it.

For I see beauty in a smile,

Beauty in tears,

Beauty in pain

And beauty in a storm.

I am astonished by strength,

Intrigued by bravery

And inspired by courage.

I see beauty in a stroke of a painter’s brush,

In a paragraph of a writer’s book,

And in the words of a poet.

I see beauty in almost everything I encounter.

What I did not see, was beauty in me.

I fell in love with the passionate souls that choose to believe in their ability to create art.

I wonder what would someone find beautiful?

Plain brown eyes. Dull skin and messy hair?

I look at the mirror every day and wonder how anyone would think that I was beautiful.

Not only in my appearance, but for who I am too.

Would someone like me when I ramble on?

Would anyone see beauty in what i write?

Would anyone see the pain in my words and choose to stay?

Is there beauty in who I am?

I wish I had an answer. I don’t.

And even if somebody said yes, I probably would not believe it.

Not right now.

Not until I believe in myself.

Until I love me.

I am learning, to love myself for everything I am and what I do.

For my weird habits and silly rambles.

For who I am.

And also, for how I look.

Until I love me. I shall continue searching for these answers.

Or maybe once I know. I wouldn’t need any answers.

When I find one thing I like,

I’d find a thousand more to hate

Little things to always pick on.

For I will know the truth.

Until I forgive myself

For all that I have done

For all the mistakes I wronged myself

For the pain I put myself through.

Maybe then I’d learn to forgive others too.

I do not see this at all.

I justify all the wrongs I have faced with what I see in the mirror.

I look at the reflection and I don’t see someone who deserves to be happy.

I see broken pieces

I see shards

I see secrets

I see lies and sins

How can someone live with a person like this?

Till then, when I learn to love me all

All the broken pieces and cracks

Then, I wait for.

I do sometimes,

Like the happiness behind a smile

When I smile and my reflection smiles back.

For then I know, I can still be happy.

The nights I fear most,

Is those I feel nothing

Never ending numbness

No hate

No love

No pain

No hurt

Those I fear.

When I force myself to feel.

Worry not,

I have not despaired

For the Believers, there is no despair

I hope the day comes soon

When I love picking up a pen and writing again

When I feel the warmth of a loving gaze

When I smile from my heart

And let it show on my face

When I can say

With assuringly

And truly

I love me

For my self

For my being

For who I am

For what I do

For what I’ve been through

And for all that I’m about to be.

Till I love me

I WILL FIGHT

One swipe and it shall be gone

One press and you’ll stop feeling

One choice, it’ll only be a second

Is it worth it though?

I feel it when I lay on my bed

Disruptive thoughts

Am I worth it?

Am I ever going to be?

I realize that,

I’ve never been someone’s first

Not first priority

Not the first choice

Or have I?

I’ve never been needed

Never been chosen

Never someone’s best friend

Never someone’s number one

Or have I?

As I lay there

I forget

I forget of two parents who love me

I forget of the siblings I grew up with

Because at that moment

I want to be selfish

Uncaring

I want to feel pain

So I let myself forget

I forget of My Creator

Who blesses me and Loves me

I forget of my Prophet

Who loves me,

Cried for me before knowing me.

“Ummaty, Ummaty”

“My People, My People”

I forget about everyone who cares

Trying to trick my self that no one does

So when I pain, I justify it

Nobody cares anyway

You don’t matter anyway

I’m wrong

I hope to be wrong

I will fight for that chance

That hope for tomorrow

I will fight to live

I will fight to survive

I choose to be brave

I choose to be strong

I’ll fight.

And when I forget

I’ll fight to remember.

Even if it’s a fight against my mind

I will fight.

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