- Post 03 April 2006
- Last Updated on 08 November 2009
- By Anike
Broken: The heart, the spirit, the body
She had committed an offence and must be punished. His weapon? A rod. It seems like he took one of the three rods on the standing hanger in Sister Tuwo’s room.
She locks herself in her room but she can still hear everyone talking about her. There’s a guest in the living room but she can’t recall whom. She thought to attempt to escape through the burglary proof in her room. She dragged the bed to the door and set it behind the door as blockage. Turned out she has grown bigger than the spaces in between her burglary proof. So she brazed herself to go to the living room and, come what may, leave the house for good. She made it to the passage door the same moment he got there on the way to his room. Her heart froze. She is dead in every sense of the word but determined not to cry.
She woke up to the knowledge that she had been dreaming. Turned out she was sleeping on the carpet and the pains from beneath her were unbearable. But where did the dream come from? She hasn’t had a dream that clear in donkey years. And, the pains in her body, could they just be as a result of the hard surface she is feeling even with the carpet? She feels like she was indeed being hit by a rod not too long ago. Lord help her!
Would it be right to say she has grown to attribute every feeling of discomfort to abuse? That she is unconsciously marred by her past to the point that, each time a mountain gets unusually high to climb, she becomes that helpless girl all over? She tried to wake Arapa up to share this with him but she decided against disturbing his sleep cycle. She is restless. Can’t sleep. She remembers having an intense headache last night, intense enough that she watched Girlfriends and caught up on a daytime show she missed. It is so amazing how so accustomed she is to pains that, even with the worst of it, she can still live her life to the fullest. Such an enigma, she is! She steps into her daughter's room and kisses her forehead. Looks at her teenage boys and her lips curls into a smile, before she turns off the video game they left on.
She replayed the dream in her head. When she got to the passage door, he grabbed his humongous rod and kept hitting her. Having resolved never to be seen crying by him or any one, man especially, she went to the kitchen in a frenzied zombie-like silence and he kept following, hitting harder with each step. She grabbed a kitchen knife, turned around facing him and raised knife ready to plunge. At this point, Uncle Chrome (where did he get in the picture?) stopped her from tearing flesh. Where was he all the while he was hitting her?
Seems her inability to show emotions is borne out of her having gotten used to “he won’t see me break” attitude. Defense mechanism, they call it. She has built a wall around her heart that no one can hurt her. Or so she thinks.
She loves people unconditionally because she is afraid of what they’ll say or do if she does not. Or so it seems. She has no faith in herself so she hides from even her. She is successful but not complete. She is full but not filled. She is surrounded but alone. Her friends think she is always complaining about her problems during girls' night outs. Is she making a mountain out of a mole hill? Are these things connected?
In time past, she dreams, wakes up from them and go back to bed and wakes up to no memory of the dream except that it was disturbing. She turned on the TV but was still restless. Obviously, she is afraid to be hurt again. She understands that this is why she gets defensive at the most minimal provocation. As far as she is concerned, everything is an attack or a prospective one. No one can be trusted. She has to take whatever she is told with a grain of salt.
She does need therapy. This is hazardous to her health. How does she manage to be so loving yet so distant? She can’t even hate those who’ve hurt her. That’s the problem. She bottles it up until it bursts and they keep doing these hurtful things to her. She lets the sequence of abuse continue.
She thinks every guy is a monster. What man hits and rapes a helpless orphan girll? She gets controlling and terribly catty. Distant and suspicious. Paranoid. She constantly yells, “I refuse to be your slave, I am my own woman”. But these words are directed at him. Not them. And she is too smart not to know it. In turn, she treats them as slaves. They must pay for his crimes. "Pay! Pay! Pay, you must!" Afraid to face her reality, but she has to. She is too smart not to realize that. Hmmnn! And then there is Arapa. He was not even pressuring her to take it a step further. Too much of a gentleman to do that. She was in love but it hurts. It’s not supposed to happen to her. She is supposed to use men and discard like they were tampons. They do look like tampons anyway. Heck! They think as such. They think they have to suck you dry. Arapa was so different. So giving. His hands are made to love, not hurt. His lips are made to feel not crush. God, sixteen years ago, they started that journey as man and wife. How he loves her broods so!
She is determined to keep her daughter safe. Safe from men like the monster, but she wants her to be mentally stable too. So she has to free herself from years of pain and anger or she’ll ruin this great life she appears to have. As her mind came back to the present, she realized that this has to mark the beginning of the emancipation of her soul not just a lousy attempt by some dream at opening buried wounds. She has to revisit her past, ugly as they may be. Not what she has painted it to be, but what it is. And she has to overcome the pains
The knife? She has learned to react to criticisms with the knife; flaring up and blowing it any which way she sees fit through, of course, hazy eyes. What could she possibly see in that condition but havoc? She needs therapy and fast to. She needs spiritual healing and she needs to be freed from her old self. She was powerless then but now she isn’t. She does not need the knife when she’s got wisdom and age on her side.
She will stop wearing her loved ones thing with her anger. She will stop giving the monster the power to still control her life. She is, this minute, free.
Q: Fact? Fiction? Faction?
A: Someone's fact, someone's faction, someone's fiction.