It's been a week since I decided I was going to live, instead of existing on the periphery of life, drifting back and forth between staying alive and wanting to die, loathe to live, but unable to strike out into death on my own, and inevitably washed back to life like flotsam on the beach.
In the time since, I've heard my name on everyone's lips, seen my picture a hundred thousand times, and it's a necessary annoyance I suppose. Letting go of something like this was never going to be simple. Maybe back in the days when my blog was an unknown little spot in the endless worldwide web, but in 2015, it didn't stand a chance of being easy, and that's okay.
What has frustrated me though, is how easily, and how much the facts of what happened to me have been distorted. And I'm not even talking about the pathetic excuses for interviews, awash with desperate lies, that have been given in the past week. No, I'm referring to the strangers, the third parties, the public if you will, who feel the need to comment, but cannot be bothered to do any real research before they do so.
In the past week, I've heard all sorts of vile, absurd, and utterly disturbing lies about myself, claiming that my mother had a boyfriend who raped me as a child ( This is by far the most disgusting of these rampant lies I have heard repeated by so many people ), that I supposedly started having sex at 14, and that I've been living alone since I was 12 (well, I guess being away at boarding school should count right?). The desperation of the people spreading these pathetic lies reeks worse and worse with each new invention they seed to the media, and they are truly sick, disturbed, and sad.
When I was 11, in Js1A at Loyola, one of my favorite teachers taught us a game in class he called Chinese whispers.
He told the person at one end of the class a secret, and instructed us to pass the secret on by whispering in the next person's ear. He guaranteed us that by the time it reached the other end of the class, the secret would not be the same. And he was right. What the last person in class announced to the rest of us was a garbled, distortion of the original secret told, stretched out of recognition by mishearing and embellishment as it passed from person to person.
Before you give your oh-so sanctimonious opinion on this painful, and traumatic event in my life, that I have chosen to share, make sure you are commenting on the actual facts, and not on Chinese Whispers.
I already tweeted this, but I would just like to add it here as an addendum:
Let me make something clear. Mustapha and I started out as a romantic / sexual relationship, and that relationship persisted throughout.
I was still in love with him, in spite of everything that happened, so we stayed in contact pursuing the relationship even after going to school.
Not that being in love with your abuser is a smart thing, but Mustapha was very controlling and manipulative and mentally I was attached.
Like I said in my blog post, it took three years after I left for school for me to fully break free of Mustapha emotionally and mentally.
So for years after 2007, there’s a lot of communication between me and Mustapha in the context of a couple.
He and his friends still raped me.
At the same time, we did a lot of things a normal couple would do, flirted, argued, talked about sex, sent nudes, etc.
It doesn’t change the truth.
Many abused women are still living with and loving the men who have done unspeakable evil to them.
I was a naive, kid in love, but I’m lucky to be free now.
Also, I’ve been talking about what happened to me for years but nobody was really listening.
Now that everyone is, I’m afraid for my family’s safety in Abuja, and my own safety as well.