Photo by Gérôme Bruneau on Unsplash

I knew I was a sensitive child when situations that would easily leave other children unscathed, had a way of tainting and leaving me traumatized.

The first time I had a traumatic experience, I would have been 8 years old. okay maybe less than 8 years old, that is if the times I got abused for being the proprietor’s daughter should be counted.

Everyone told me that there was no need to check my end-of-the-term report cards because I was the proprietor’s daughter and would always be favored with the regular first position every term, But no one asked why my other siblings didn’t always come first in their various classes. Or was I their only child?

Why then should my own efforts be waved, like I didn’t work for what I had? So every term, I prayed not to come first in class, but the fear of losing the throne and being mocked, stayed tugged at my heart, all the same. What do humans really want from the other? too much success would be an issue and everyone would wish you fall, but then, everyone mocks you for falling from your high position, if it finally happens.

The first and only time I came second position in school, I didn’t know what to feel.

What did this experience make me? It left me with imposter syndrome. I would have lived to feel that I wasn’t deserving of the results and compensation I got for anything I did. How did I try to cope? I kept pushing responsibilities to other people because I felt that I wasn’t capable, that the results I got from handling these responsibilities or tasks were sheer luck or other people’s efforts more than mine. In summary, I felt I was not good enough for/at anything, so I would rather have my classmate lead the march past or head the group.

At 8 years old, I would be asked to allow myself to be touched in that manner, and I would be given 20 naira for it. why haven’t I forgotten? because I said no, but some bigger girls in the group got the gist and bullied me into accepting that it happened. I would live forever hating cliques and groupies because one party would always gang up and tell tales that are not true and most importantly, I learned that men will always want to sleep with you and this claim would get solidified when my mentor would lock me up in a guest room and tear my clothes to have his way. By now, no one will tell me that anything that will have you with a man in private would escalate. So as a girl child, you live in perpetual fear of the other gender because they are physically more powerful than you are. No one needs to know the images you have in your head about the worse that could happen, and even your male relatives and bosses are not spared of these fears.

Attacked by hired assassins at 9 years old, I would have developed a bad anxiety disorder (not like there is any good one), so bad that I would see the earth spin and my breath come out in gasps, then a splitting migraine and subsequently, diagnosed of hypertension at 21. Trauma will leave you with disease and to make matters worse, deteriorate your mental health. Trauma never leaves depression and even other mental health issues out of its package.

Someone said she turns to alcohol to cope with bad events and I would remember that mine was self-sabotage which could be overdosing or sexual activities with people I hated or people with the tendencies to hurt me, just so that I could either express how much I hated my life, body, or even the creator and to feel a different kind of pain, from what I was feeling.

I would even date people I know will hurt me because I loved to sabotage myself. Any relationship that was too perfect sent my nerves on alert and had me subsequently ruining it. There just had to be trauma, I got used to traumatic situations and couldn’t imagine life without one. And because I hated sex, it became my tool for destruction, for me sex symbolized destruction; it broke families and homes apart and left people I know, sad and mad with pains.

Bad experiences will leave you with imprints, often known as traumas that can take you further down to your ruins.

How do I cope with trauma?

I had to be ready to face it. I was becoming a box defined by some not-so-pleasant experiences and had to accept that everyone faces traumatic experiences, yet people live right and create magic. So I knew I had to take care of my health, mind, and spirit, therefore, I avoided anything that would mess with my mental and physical health, as well as my spirit; I am a spirit being after all. I learned to live healthily and abstain from unhealthy lifestyles and thoughts.

I learned to love life, self, and the creator of them all. Tell me, what can’t love do?

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