There are very few people, that if I have million Naira only in my account, and they called to say they needed exactly one million Naira, I would empty my account for them. If these people should call me at 3 A.M. despite the fact that I got into bed at 12 midnight, and asked me to come pick them from wherever, I would start searching for my car keys before asking how come they are stranded at 3 A.M. If these people came to my house, went through my closet and said they liked a new expensive shoe that I just got for myself as a treat, I would package it and hand it over to them sharply. You know why? The life that I have now, I owe it to these people…and at the very top of that list is my elder sister. She, my mother and my best friends Tolu and Zinny helped me out of a relationship that was ruining me.
I remember the night that I held a knife to my wrist; with my hair a hot mess, blood stains on my face, swollen cheeks and only one thing on my mind…suicide. I tried to slash my wrist but cutting my skin was so painful that I couldn’t get to the veins. I decided to take the easy route…overdose on painkillers. I was rummaging through my drug shelf when Isabella woke up from sleep. She had slept through it all…the angry words, the slaps. the hitting, the words hurled at me, calling me useless, unwanted, filth, a waste. I left my suicide mission and ran to sooth her tears. In that moment, I knew I couldn’t do it. I had to live for Isabella. I couldn’t take my life and I couldn’t remain in that house. So I called my mother.
First Step: Open up
When we go through deep issues in relationships; there is a higher tendency for us to keep quiet, keep up with appearances and shut everyone else out. Most times they see the signs that all is not well, but when they ask, we lie and cover up; feigning smiles and cooking up stories to explain the bruises on our skin. If you are on that path, realize that what you are battling with is beyond you. You need help. You need to open up to someone. Someone who would be proactive enough to take you out of that negative environment, because the truth is, you would always give yourself reasons why you shouldn’t leave. Someone has to hold you accountable. In my case, I always felt I couldn’t leave because of my daughter. But when I called my mom and told her how bad things had gotten, the first thing she said was “If you stay there and he kills you, or pushes you to kill yourself, what would happen to your daughter?” I went back to my father’s house that night, and sobbed in my mother’s arms. I had kept so much on the inside of me that we spent all night just sharing and crying together. That was the first step; even if I was tempted to go back, my mother kept me accountable and reminded me of what was truly important.
Second step: Take a break
Two days after I went back to my parents’ house, I was airborne with Isabella to Abuja. We stayed at my elder sister’s place for about four months, and she took great care of us. It was refreshing to be in a new environment. At times when you are in a relationship that sucks for so long, you forget how beautiful life can be outside. I had gotten too used to being ill-treated that, my sister showing me and Isabella love was a welcome breathe of fresh air. I needed that break. It was while in Abuja that I figured out what I truly wanted to do.I had a degree in Mass Communication, and had even worked for a year at a newspaper house before I gave birth and had to put work on hold. While in school, I had always being drawn to PR and Advertising, and I knew that was the field I wanted to play in. I bounced ideas off my sister and best friends, and together we formed a concrete plan. Tolu helped me secure a job in a Brands Agency and my career kickstarted from there. While I was in Abuja, I healed to a large extent from the abuse I had suffered, and I was able to get my mind in a good place, where I could think progressively.
Third step: Get a plan
Leaving someone you have been with for a long time is not easy…whether the person treated you bad or not, so you need a plan for when he comes back begging, threatens to kill you if you do not get back with him, or shows up at your office with flowers and an “I am sorry” red velvet cake. Kenny didn’t come back begging…at least not immediately. The problem was that I missed him, and I had severe cravings to call him. I wanted to ask him where we went wrong, why he treated me so bad and why he forgot all that we had in the beginning. Luckily, my elder sister saw all of that coming. She helped me changed my lines and ensured that she and my best friends were always there to talk to. So I could be in the middle of a deep or funny conversation with Zinny, and I would suddenly just ask “But why did he treat so bad? What did I do to deserve that?” They were so understanding and patient with me, telling me how I didn’t deserve such brutality, that nobody did. They would tell me how I was better off without him and how I would find someone who would treat me great. Their words kept me going until I was able to find my feet and didn’t miss Kenny anymore.
Fourth step: Stay true to yourself
In the long run, no matter what family and friends do as intervention for you, you have to stay through to yourself. You have to realize that you are better off without that relationship and you have to make the decision to do what is best for you. I eventually left Abuja for Lagos, and if I wanted, I could have crawled back to Kenny, because no one was babysitting me. They had done all they could do…the rest was left to me. I took a walk from the relationship and never looked back; trust me, it is the best decision I ever made! By the Kenny was crawling on all fours begging for me to take him back, I was way past that phase and I told him to his face that I do not go back to my vomit.
I hope that, at every point in time, you make a decision that your future self would thank you.
Keep me posted!! Ciao!