Category Archives: BEING A WOMAN

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN NAIROBI: A SURVIVOR’S STORY

I can’t believe I’m finally ready to write this post.

Shit. Fucking hell.

Here goes.

I was at a funeral last Friday. Another one.

Christ, I’ve seen so many families cry this year. Remember my January posts, this one, this one, and this one?

And, this post I wrote about my friend’s passing?

It’s like every month of this year, someone around me died or lost someone they loved.

The month of May was not spared the touch of death either.

My favourite cousin’s father died this month after a short illness, and our whole extended family traveled upcountry on Friday last week to pay our last respects and lay him to rest.

The funeral service was packed, we couldn’t even get inside the church to listen to the sermon. So many of us had to stand outside and listen to the proceedings from the blaring speakers.

He was a pastor, and you could tell that he had impacted a great number of lives while he was still amongst us. It was truly humbling to see that many people come to pay their last respects to a wonderful man.

My baby brother and I were outside during the service, busy chatting with the wife to one of my other cousins. We were just catching up, making jokes. We’d missed her after months of not being together.

And then, out of the blue, with the conversation between my brother, my cousin’s wife, and I getting funnier and louder, I saw him.

He had just walked into the compound, and he was probably looking for a familiar face when our eyes met.

My heart froze. I just looked at him, into his eyes, willing him, nay, daring him, not to come and say hallo.

He quickly looked away as he walked past us, but, I kept my eyes on him for five more seconds.

I was transfixed. I didn’t want to be the first to look away because a part of me wanted to show him I wasn’t scared any more.

Another part was just trying to comprehend if this really was the man that I remembered from so many years ago.

The other part was just trying to mess with his head. ‘Boy, I see you! Run!’

But, I needed to look away because every extra second was becoming unbearable for the little girl inside.

I was a bit frazzled after that, and I remember telling my brother that I was going outside to look for another family member.

Anything to ensure that I don’t come into any contact with this individual.

I think my baby brother understood immediately because as I started to walk away, he followed suit, leaving my cousin’s wife standing there confused by the abrupt end to our engrossing conversation.

Sorry, T!😥😥😪😪😫😫

She probably thought we were so rude. I did feel slightly guilty for dragging my brother along when I was the one with the problem.

Hope she didn’t think ill of my brother. He was just being a loyal sibling and friend.

For good reason too. He’s the only witness to what I am about to tell you.

Our history with this man I was avoiding now dates back twenty years ago.

Our birth mother had just passed away, and we were living with our aunty, Wahu, and her husband (mum and dad as we now refer to them) in their huge house.

At the time, dad’s ailing grandfather was also staying with them. He was a mean old man, but my brother and I (mostly me because I was the cheeky one) always found a way to make him laugh.

Owing to his age, and his deteriorating health, he needed a constant caregiver. We too needed a minder because we were still young, and our adopted parents had full time jobs.

Their youngest son, Sam, had just joined med school, so he wasn’t available to look after the three of us.

That’s when mum made the fateful decision to hire extra help from upcountry. One of dad’s relatives was struggling with school fees for his young kids, so mum decided to hire their eldest son in the hopes that he could use part of his earnings to educate his younger siblings.

He was a teenager when he came to work for the family. I think he was in his late teens at that time.

It worked out well for the first few weeks, if I remember correctly. My grandfather was happy with the arrangement because this was someone he knew, someone he could trust, and definitely someone he could order around (my granddad loved ordering everyone around).

My mum was happy because now there was someone to take care of the old man, my baby brother and I, the house and the yard.

Everyone was seemingly covered, and life became manageable again for my adoptive parents.

But, things weren’t so rosy if you peeked below the surface.

After he had acclamatized to his new surroundings, the nightmare began.

My mind has successfully blocked out most memories from this time, but this is what I do remember;

– the taste of his mouth from him forcefully kissing me whenever he’d find me alone in some part of the house

– screaming myself hoarse and wondering why no one could hear me everytime he’d pin me on my back and mess with my privates until it hurt (usually happened on Saturday mornings- we were home from school, and the house was usually empty)

– how painful it was to take a piss after he’d touch me down there

– my baby brother’s confused and scared look when he’d heard me screaming one time from our room only to run and find me pinned to my back, kicking and screaming, with the houseboy forcibly fondling me (He stopped when he noticed my brother was at the door)

– him twisting my wrists painfully or squeezing my hands everytime that I tried to resist him, or I refused to do as he said (like touch him down there, I was not a fan)

– I remember endlessly kicking him, punching him, scratching him, trying to get him away from me, and he would be smiling and laughing all the while as he held both my hands together tight with his one hand, use his free hand to abuse me, and use his lower body to keep my legs still.

To stop me from screaming, he would be suffocating me with his mouth (his idea of kissing)

– I remember how tired I would feel after every encounter, and how sore my wrists, my hands, my arms, my privates, and my legs would feel. My head would also ache from the screaming and the crying

– I also remember how stupidly defiant I was. I would insult and berate him (with the little English and Swahili I could master back then) after every episode knowing full well he was going to come after me again.

I would fight, and I think that’s where my violent streak comes from (Don’t worry, I’m much calmer now).

This is just the gist of the abuse that probably started in 1999/2000 and ended in 2001, to the best of my recollection.

There was never any penetration. Not that I can remember. I don’t think my mind would have been able to block that out.

I never told my mum. I never told my elder brother. I never told my best friend. I never told a soul until now as I narrate to you what I went through.

I don’t know what, if anything, my baby brother remembers but he must know something. We talk about everything else in our past except those two years this man was living with us.

If I remember correctly, the man left as soon as or slightly before my grandfather died. I was in class five, quiet, withdrawn, and yet highly attention-seeking when I was out of his reach. I think I just wanted someone to ask me what’s wrong.

No one ever did.

When it hit me that he wasn’t in our lives anymore, it’s like I awoke from a deep sleep.

I remember I started making friends in school. I began to actually focus on schoolwork and getting better grades. Like better grades to a point that I started receiving academic awards in class 6 and beyond.

Before that, my grades were sucky, and I would get into my fair share of trouble with my class teachers, Mrs Okumu (class 3) and Mr Nyambu (class 4).

I was exhibiting behavioural issues at this time that no one really latched onto.

But, now that he was gone, I was a whole new girl. Making friends became easier. My studies became easier. I was finally able to flourish.

I pushed the memories of that time down so deep, and for years, I couldn’t allow myself to think about it.

Then I started writing this blog, and I began to see how events in my childhood had almost messed me up completely.

And, I began to realise the power and the healing that comes from writing about them, not so much for people to read, but for me to acknowledge my pain, and to be open and naked enough to show others where the wounds were.

It was easier to talk about my mother’s suicide, my father’s abandoning us, my dalliance with depression, drugs, and sex in my previous posts than it was talking about the sexual abuse.

But, I knew one day, I’d have to. It’s part of the journey in shaping my own narrative devoid of the horrific things that happened to me, to us, when my brother and I were kids.

Yap, that’s it!

In memory of the little girl I was before this, and in solidarity with the millions of children abused in our country, Kenya.

💜♥️💖💜♥️💖💜♥️💖💜♥️💖

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LEGALIZE ABORTION BUT EMPHASIS ON PREVENTION OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES IN KENYA

I am a 28 year old, sexually active woman.

I have been sexually active for almost a decade now.

Gosh! Reading that last part out loud makes me feel a certain kind of way about my age.

(Weird thing on the same note: I got my driving licence exactly 10 years ago, and I have never touched the wheel of a car since then. What exactly is wrong with me?).

Anyway. Where were we?

Oh yeah, sex!

I love having sex, especially now that I do it with someone I have very strong feelings for.

Nowadays, I’m very responsible about sex. Like very responsible!

But, I wasn’t always such a good girl.

Yes, there was a time when pain, confusion, depression, and stupidity of youth ran my life.

Sex was part of my poison, and boy, did I indulge! And, in many instances, I was doing it without taking the necessary precautions.

I got away with my recklessness. I’m a lucky little girl.

Not so smart but infinitely lucky.

I didn’t get sick; I didn’t get pregnant.

How? No idea. Fortunately, my stupidity phase gradually wore out as I entered my later 20s, before I could make any life changing mistakes.

I still don’t have a strong liking for children, and I shudder to think about the kind of mother I would have become had I accidentally fallen pregnant during this tumultuous stage of my life.

I don’t know why I lack the apparently ‘inherent’ motherly instinct. I guess I just wasn’t born with it.

I would have been a bad mother, that’s a fact. Why would I have been a bad mother? Because, I’m sure I wouldn’t have wanted the child. And, being forced to keep that child would have made me resent this innocent being, because, as you know, I was a dumb child back then.

I’m sure even the shape of his/her head would have ticked me off.

It sounds mean, but it’s true. I just wasn’t ready for such a huge responsibility then.

I’m ready for the financial responsibility now, but, I don’t think I’m ready for the mental, emotional, and physical responsibility as of yet. I might be 28, but I seem to mature much slower than other females.

Emotionally that is… I’m all good in the physical sector, thank you!

Abortion is illegal in our country, and I don’t know if I would have received any help in acquiring one ‘under water’.

I hear abortion is commonplace in Kenya, but, I wouldn’t know where to start. I just don’t have the streetsmarts like other girls do.

It simply wouldn’t have been an option for me, and I’m sure it isn’t an option for millions of Kenyan girls who are/were just as naive and as reckless as I was, but also unlucky.

But, it should be an option. An option made available to the millions of horny teenage girls who are as reckless and as naive as I was back then.

People make mistakes all of the time especially when it comes to sex. I don’t see why women need to be the ones bearing the brunt of mistakes that can easily be rectified with one medical procedure.

If I had fallen pregnant at this time, I would have sought an abortion with everything in me. There’s no way I would carry a baby I didn’t want, and I wasn’t ready for simply because I would have been a pretty useless mum back then.

Motherhood is serious. You need to go into it wholeheartedly. You shouldn’t just get into it accidentally, and hope for the best, especially when you are not mature enough, and cannot support yourself and the baby.

Abortion should also be an option to girls who have been raped by strangers and by family members, and ended up pregnant.

It should be an option to women whose health and lives would be in danger if they carried a high risk pregnancy to term.

An option to women carrying nonviable pregnancies; as well as an option to women who would give birth to babies with severe defects if forced to carry their pregnancies to full term.

Abortion should be an option. A legal option to any woman in this country. An option that doesn’t carry with it any shame, or ostracism.

However, it should only just be the option of last resort.

We need to focus on preventing these unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

How?

Let’s begin by educating teenage girls on using protection everytime they engage in sex.

Not just in class. Everywhere!

Let there be government sponsored ads on billboards and on TV that specifically target young girls with the aim of informing and educating them of their individual responsibility for their own sexual health.

Let it be so in their face that any teenager or young adult engaging in sex uses protection instinctively.

We also need to start proactively giving our girls and young women access to condoms, and instilling in them the confidence to demand that their sexual partners use these every time they decide to engage in consensual sex.

It would be even more proactive to give our young girls access to female condoms so that they are completely in charge of their bodies.

Such a scenario would be so liberating!

Boys too need to be trained thoroughly on the importance of using condoms in every single sexual encounter; not just for the sake of avoiding unwanted pregnancies, but, also for their own sexual health.

While providing our girls with access to condoms and birth control, we also need to be engaging our girls on the consequences of unwanted pregnancies.

The loss of education/income opportunities, the stigma associated with early pregnancies, abandonment by the father of the child, and the physical, mental, financial, and emotional burden of having a child when you are just not ready.

If you are not ready for such a heavy responsibility, you are more than likely going to make some huge mistakes along the way.

No sane woman wants to make her child suffer the consequences of her ill-preparedness for the journey that is motherhood.

Furthermore, we need to actively educate women on seeking immediate medical attention in case of rape in order to avoid the possibility of a pregnancy, or worse, an STD.

(Can I just say that I am for the castration of male rapists especially those with pedophilic tendencies. But, this then raises the question of what would be an equal punishment for female rapists?….mmmmh, I’ll have to think further on that one).

Abortion should be made a legal and accessible option for each female in this country. But, as I said, it should only come as a last resort.

Before this, we need to pursue all preventive measures at our disposal to the fullest possible extent so that we can mitigate the risks that come with abortions, regardless of how legal and safe they may be.

It’s more than a tad unfair to make young girls, who are simply dipping their toes into the turbulent waters of sex, have to live with the consequences of one bad decision for the rest of their lives.

There needs to be a fair playing field for both boys and girls.

We need to stop making girls jump through overwhelming hoops, and punishing them for silly mistakes they made in their youth while letting their counterparts go scott free.

Hence, the urgency of employing all of these measures described plus many more instead of simply burying our heads in the ground pretending they are not having sex, and throwing them under the bus completely when they fall pregnant accidentally.

Thank you for reading! Have a nice day. Kisses 💜💖💜💖💜💖

HI 28!! IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU💜💖💜💖💜💖💜

I just celebrated my 28th birthday, and it was all sorts of a blast!

Gosh, 28! I had no idea I could grow so old.

28 feels old, but in a good way. Like rustic old, that’s definitely a good thing.

There’s a sense of peace with being 28. At least for me there is.

I am no longer the jumpy little girl of yester years.

Okay, I still am, but, now, that jumpy little girl also has a sense of responsibility for the people around her.

My spirit accepts this responsibility wholeheartedly, and this acceptance gives me peace.

For the first time in a long time, I know exactly where I am going, and I don’t have to sacrifice the people that hold me dear in order to get there.

I have finally figured out how to give myself to others, and still work on myself financially, emotionally, and mentally without feeling strained or having to sacrifice one aspect of my life at the altars of the others.

It’s a beautiful feeling, and I hope this state of being continues throughout my life; adjusting where necessary, but, ultimately always being able to meaningfully balance between work and family.

If I can hold it together like this for the next decade, I might finally be ready for a child.

That’s a scary thought. Children. From my womb, nonetheless.

Wow! I don’t know if I’ll ever mentally get to that point where I declare that I am ready for kids.

I don’t think my vagina wants me to ever be mentally prepared for that.

Maybe as the years continue to pass by, I’ll become more mature about child-bearing and child rearing. Maybe. Just maybe.

In the meantime, I’ll just focus on being more empathetic and loving towards my mother, my fathers, my brothers, my nephews, and the man whose love has ignited a passion inside me, it could consume me whole without me ever realising it.

These people are my responsibilities, and I accept them wholeheartedly.

Don’t worry, I won’t forget to take care of myself, I promise.

Perhaps as the year goes on, I can accommodate others into my little love circle; hopefully get out of my cocoon more often.

We’ll see how that goes.

I will also endeavour to be a better Arsenal fan. I’ve been improving lately; no more cussing out at the players, just enjoying the games win or lose.

Speaking of Arsenal, although in no way related, did you catch Tuesday’s amazing Champions League game between Liverpool and Barcelona?

Who knew that Liverpool had the cahoonas to overturn Barca’s goal advantage, and completely destroy them in less than 90 minutes.

Absolutely no one expected this from the underdogs. I don’t think Barca had ever even considered a defeat at this stage to Liverpool, after securing a three goal advantage in the first leg, a possibility.

It wasn’t meant to happen but it did, and that’s what makes soccer, nay Liverpool, so damn orgasmic!

Jesus!!!!!

A big shout out to my namesake (I wish) Georginio, Wijnaldum, Mane, and Alexander Arnold.

These guys made me so proud Tuesday night. If they could defeat Barca with so resoundingly, then nothing that I want for my life is impossible. Nothing at all!!

Still talking about Arsenal, although we still aren’t, kudos to Hotspur’s Lucas Moura for his incredible performance last night. He singlehandedly took his team to the finals on a night where everything was stacked against them.

Beautiful football! Beautiful moments that will last a lifetime.

Love, and kisses from this bombshell May baby. 💜💖💜💖💜💖

ILLUSIONS OF LOVE, A SICK MIND, A BROKEN SPIRIT

Once upon a time,

you were the man of my dreams.

I saw my future in your eyes,

I held your dreams in my heart.

Once upon a time,

Your smile was music to my soul,

And,

you laying next to me, asleep in my arms

Felt nothing short of divine.

I felt connected to you,

Honoured to share with you,

Stolen glances

Stolen kisses

Stolen nights.

I say stolen because you were never mine.

Not wholly.

Maybe not even in the slightest.

Everything I thought we were,

The connection I thought we had,

Turns out, Was only in my imagination.

There were no lies, just subtle half truths,

Omissions you didn’t even try to cover up,

And, I, was still non the wiser.

Poor, little, confused orphan girl,

Looking for love,

Looking for salvation,

in all the wrong places

Reading too much into

the way you looked at me,

Into the little time you gave me,

Into the half-hearted attention you paid to me.

I thought this was love,

I thought this was enough,

I thought this was all I could get,

And, this was all I deserved.

Desperate for love,

I clung to the illusion

there was something more,

That we were something more,

That we were something special.

I compelled myself to believe,

That I was in love with you,

And that you were in love with me,

I was wrong.

This wasn’t love,

It was just the creation of

A love-depraved mind,

Looking for somewhere to belong.

But, I thank you,

For taking care of me,

Instead of taking advantage of my weak mind,

And misusing me.

Thank you for letting me be annoyed with you,

When really, it was never your fault.

Thank you for the stolen glances,

The teasing,

The kissing,

And the love making.

For a time, they saved me from myself.

You are a good man, AK,

And the world deserves to know it.

Sincerely,

Your once upon a time lover,

Jiggah!