HeartFelt

THE LEMONADE

I came to learn in my curious search for social knowledge that the most painful thing that can happen to a girl is losing her virginity to the wrong man. Sometimes it’s not just the wrong man, but forcefully, to the wrong man.
We live in a society that virginity is nowhere in the value list anymore. It is almost becoming a taboo to be a virgin as a young mjango. Sadly, some mjangos didn’t have the privilege to secure their’s even if they wanted to. They struggle to live with the fact that they no longer have their gold, that someone mined it out of them ruthlessly. Mark you, it can never be reversed – they can never get back their gold.
I’m talking about victims of rape. I used to hear of rape from the broadcast of the wind. Wait until I met someone who actually experienced it. It was not easy to take in because with it comes along a huge ghost of temptation to judge and eventually, misjudge. It is way much heavier to ingest if it is someone you knew for a very long time.
To make this interesting, allow me to change the persona to hers.
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My innocence was taken away from me when I was merely a child, eight years old so to say. I even didn’t know what was happening to me. All I could remember was crying out of pain and seeing blood. It was later after then that I got to learn what had happened to me.
He was like a brother to me and my family though he was/is our cousin. We stayed together at home. I used to come home early after school and many times I’d be the first one. I’d stay alone in the house before anyone else like my sister showed up. I was a quiet girl, it’s like I adored my own space or something. Being the teenager he was, he was way much more apt and strategic. He must have realised that that could be his chance.
For a number of times he came home normally and found me doing what kids do. He’d call me to sit with him and I’d just think that he was just being friendly or brotherly so to say. That was how he began and went on for days while I gave in to his threats. I remained quiet all along. At times he’d be interrupted by the sound of someone coming.
Then that day came when he took things to the fullest level of his lust. How the universe gave him the allowance of time to ruin me, I don’t know, because he took his time. If I was to be a kid today, maybe what I’d want to change is my timidity and quietness. All that time that he wasted or rather spent on me would have been intercepted by saying a word to either mum or dad. But I don’t blame myself at all because as a kid, I knew nothing. In fact I thought my parents would spank me if I told them. That was what he used to threaten me and win my silence.  I remember so vividly how he sounded when he was saying that he’d kill me if I screamed.
After he was done, he just left me there, like a rag he had used. Since I couldn’t bare the pain anymore, I screamed it all out and cried wildly. Some passer-by came over only to find me in that state. I was rushed and admitted to hospital. I have never been the same happy, quiet girl ever since then. The quiet remained for some time, this time because of obvious reasons, but the happy part?
I could not go beyond those memories and the déjà vu that I felt on my body. I was constantly taken to a counsellor who I must admit helped me break off the shell of inner pain into the process of recovery and being a normal girl again. I owe the state of my recovery to her. In fact I look up to her since she went through something similar but she became someone in life out of it. I still visit a counsellor up to today. God helped me and still does help me a lot – to recover too. Every day is a recovery process for me.
This is not to say that it was easy at all. Sometimes even up to date, the memories would come back so strongly that I am unable to do anything else. I even get sick to hospital admission. I grew up a slow learner because of that incident. In that connection, I had trouble getting into high school. I would take time to grasp something but when I do, it sticks. So in another way, I was also bright. I still am. I also became very fearful. I even feared the slightest of things that nobody else fears. I feared any male figure that came my way.
As for the guy, he has never been seen or heard of ever since then. He walked away from all of our lives which I bet to him, was the best decision considering what he did to me. Perhaps coming back for him is like writing his own death sentence. But if I saw him somewhere today, I would not pull out a whistle and blow it while shouting that this is the man. Wherever he is, I’d like him to know that it is over and settled. Love was lost, but love was found again for him in my heart and my family. I’d just leave him a note asking him not to hide anymore.
I must admit that in the past I wished for justice and revenge. I thought he deserved it until when I learnt that I am the one who deserves a changed mentality towards him. All he deserves is love, unconditional love. Justice and vengeance belongs to God. It doesn’t rule out the fact that I’d want him to see who I have become today and who I am on my way to becoming. I am more determined than ever in life. That incident does not define me anymore. I grew stronger.
I have regrets and sad truths however. My greatest regret is my virginity. So precious to me but it was taken away from me at a time I didn’t even know I had it. This was a lifetime interference with my God-given dignity; one that I will never get back even if I wanted. Maybe in another life? The aftermath of rape haunts its victims through every single stage of their lives. Be it advancing into teenage-hood, getting new friends, getting into a relationship with someone and finally marriage. Sometimes I experience things that trigger the buried pain of the rape incident. You can imagine how that wears me down.
Over the years, I have learnt how to make lemonade out of it however. Today when people see me, they are looking at the emerged result of a struggle of a lemon that was cut short of its nutrients supply before it got ripe – but later grew out of all odds to be the best ingredient for the sweetest lemonade. I am that lemonade.
Though nobody outside my family has ever known about this. Coming out loud through this blog I can say is the first step to testifying to the world and every girl out there – who went through what I did or anything else relatable- that it is not the end of life. That you can grow out of it to become anything you’ve dreamed of being without anyone else defining it for you. The hesitance to self-definition after such an incident is defiling yourself even the more. Never be too convinced to keep quiet about anything or anyone that disturbs you. Why die a silent death? I have learnt to speak up for myself and what I know is right. I am not easily manipulated by what I hear or what people say. In my sober understanding of things, I realised that perhaps if that didn’t happen, I would still be a timid, undetermined girl who nobody could pay attention to. Perhaps I couldn’t have found a reason to seek and rest in God, who has eventually made me who I am today. I learnt how to love people unconditionally.
For the good men out there, keep on being good, true to yourselves and the people around you. There is always a blessing for people like that. To those who hurt others and girls in this case, in whichever way and run away, stop and just strive to make things right. They can be made right.
A preacher I know once said that happiness is short term and circumstantial. But joy is the opposite – it lasts for long with or without surrounding good conditions. So what am I? I am definitely joyous even through the impending storms of life. I am a strong lady.
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Oh yes, she is a strong mjango, isn’t she?

4 comments

Martha Arky July 31, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Really touching… ?

Reply
-Sha- July 31, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Creative…love it!

Reply
nikki August 3, 2017 at 9:25 am

True

Reply
nikki August 3, 2017 at 9:40 am

True

Reply

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