The Journey

She described walking on egg shells and dreaded going home after work. I listened. She recalled episodes of her husband raging, leaving her petrified and fearful of what he may regretfully do. I listened. She explained he was not a bad man but suddenly seemed to have changed. His demanding behaviour made her and the children scared whenever he was around. I nodded, in sad acknowledgement of how difficult things were for her. I sighed: “it must have been difficult to please him”. She smiled in denial shaking her head, “no it wasn’t, it was impossible!” She said she hoped someday her story would be retold to give others hope, if she finally found a way out.

I had laughed, trying to make my concerns seem light, a bit anxious about being seen to be nosy. “We have to look after ourselves, we die once and best to make the days meaningful!” She had responded “every day is difficult” and added she could not see a way out”. Gradually more had poured out and I listened. She recalled terrifying situations ….I listened. She expressed gratitude for being able to talk, she said she felt better. She did not know what the next best step was to stop living in fear and yet fearful of leaving the dungeon she called home, darkened only by the presence of one person.

She was tired and drained, physically and emotionally. She said she had feared no one could ever understand how she could be so scarred, with no visible scars. The traumatic lashes inflicted on her for years, were unseen and the scars therefore too! She had stayed trapped, trapped in her world of respite at work which was challenging, but gave a break from irrational unrelenting demands from what she called “home”. She had dared to talk when I pointed out she had been physically present at the training session but her mind apparently not.

She asked if we could meet again. I was delighted she asked and said “yes”. She wasn’t sure how she would wangle the chance, to be out without it being work or an event related to the children’s program. He detested the idea of her meeting up with other women. We agreed to meet up during her lunch break. I had more flexibility so would come over……she smiled, we hugged and said goodbye. I walked away with tear filled eyes, another woman with unseen pain and silent victims affected too….. I was glad this was the beginning of hope for another woman, her children and others who may be involved, maybe even the pepetrator of the trauma…someday?

She hoped her pain would not be in vain. She decided to be open and share her journey with every opportunity, in hope that someone, somewhere, if only one would be set free as she hoped to be…

https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/coercive-control/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-49022703

Wifi syndrome

The young girl couldn’t wait till she started school. She had been told it wouldn’t happen till she turned 4years of age. She sat up with a bolt on that long awaited morning, her voice filled with excitement, “mummy, can I start school today? I am 4years old!”

The next few years were exciting, birthday parties with new found friends, relationships breaking and mending and girly chit chats about fall outs and boisterous boys. The excitement gradually began to wane! Phonics lessons got boring. The little fingers became itchy for pens. Soon pencils were detested and pen licenses desired to give the feel of being grown up. The glory of primary school quickly faded away for a desire to move to high school, where of course life would be more exciting.

There was no doubt, high school would be the best phase of life. Alas, it wasn’t quite as hoped so expectations of happiness were transferred to sixth form dreams. Unfortunately it didn’t happen there again, so next port of call to have it was uni. University life was fun but it was still missing. Oh! Finding the right relationship had to be the missing bit…it still didn’t happen. Marriage, examinations then qualifications, jobs and promotions, awards and recognitions, expeditions and celebrations…..it did not emerge! Decades had now gone and lifetime fast running out, yet it had not been found and it has to be somewhere.

The young girl was now in an aged body, opportunities for exciting activities apparently much less than the decades gone. If it had been in all the past moments that made up the past years, life may have been more fulfilling…… how could she have missed it? There had been times she had felt close to having it, but somehow it slipped away before she had it fully.

Whatever it be, for each person, the only assurance is now! it is now. Many nows make the memories that brightens lives in years to come.

Please don’t get trapped in WIFI! “When I Find It………”

Life is a journey, each moment lost never to be regained, so best to make the most of each season whilst moving on in hope of better things.

Enjoy it as it is now!

Against all odds

The seed was determined to grow against all odds. Threatened by pests, bad weather and stress, it made the most of what it had. The threats prevailed like fears in men and overt signs of impaired growth. Against all odds it pressed forward, through the dark earth till it shot through in vulnerable form. Its appearance was no reflection of the strength in it and though at times its form regressed, the inner core was taking form. So, more and more, the signs for growth became clearer and over time its beauty shone in spite of threats that persisted.

Bloom where you are in spite of all that threatens. Find room for growth even if just an inch and with time you’ll see beauty come forth.

Happy Father’s Day

Precious memories come to my mind on days like this for me: counting my father’s grey hairs and watching his face brighten up with a smile, as l asked for payment for each strand I pulled out. He was happy with his emerging grey hairs but my silly games were treasurable moments for both of us. I got much more than the payment I requested, the joy of those moments still warms my heart now – priceless. I miss my dad and always will! I was told the pain gets better with time, hmmm, yes…sort of.

Provider, Protector and being present, are some of the qualities that describe a good father. An earthly father may not always be present for various reasons: work demands to provide for the family may result in prolonged absences from home, unexpected illness with hospitalization… Changes in life’s circumstances may impair or impede the ability to provide. So even with the best intentions an earthly father may not be all he desires to be.

For those of us who find ourselves without a father on earth today, or with a physically present father who is emotionally absent, there is comfort in the presence of the heavenly Father if we don’t reject His outstretched arms, always waiting, always loving, never leaving, His eyes full of love for each one of us!

Father’s day for me will always be above all, the celebration of my Heavenly Father, my provider, protector and ever present King and friend, the one who knows me best and loves me most!

To all those who find Father’s day bringing memories of absent fathers, or even “fathers” present but abusive, please embrace the greatest love of all, the love of the one who knows you best and loves you most, God’s unconditional love! It will put a spring in your steps and brighten the rest of your days! ❤

Happy Father’s day to all Fathers in different ways and also to all those mothers who are doing their best to fill in the ‘gaps’….

Seasons of Life

Life is journey, with different seasons and a reason for each season. Winter gives a chance to rest and recover from the exciting activities of a beautiful summer. An extended summer may lead to burnout, a prolonged winter may result in depression. Life however, often does not tell what could be coming one’s way: loss of a loved one, job loss, a broken heart, terminal illness.

The need to be empowered with skills and strategies to cope healthily in various phases of life cannot be overemphasized! The storms of life will come in different forms to everyone and may start as unexpected rain on a bright summer day. Learning to manage stormy seasons is best done before the storms begin.

A lifetime is made up of memories and stormy seasons need not be made of bad days. You can sing and dance through floods and storms and with the right help not be overwhelmed!

The Price of Peace

It was easier to give in, for peace sake! It was easier to please him, for peace sake! Giving up her dreams was no big deal as long as there was ‘peace’… till she started wondering what peace, peace, peace? truly means.

There was no way of pleasing him…it became apparent that was impossible. Nothing was good enough whilst he did nothing! Disrespectful, disobedient, dim…were a few of the words he described her to be. She began doubting her worth, thinking she could not have been so smart if she felt she was in a mess. Was it really a mess? He was sometimes so nice, thoughtful…else she would not be in the relationship in the first place??? She wondered what she had missed. Hmmm…

Confusion began to set in, as transient ‘good’ phases clouded bad memories. She could not tell what to expect at anytime, like harsh wintrous weather intruding a bright summer day and suddenly swinging back to not knowing what next, like the confusion in her mind…..yet needing to carry on with life ‘as usual’. Attempts at keeping a mental record seemed to make no sense, for things then seemed to go well for a season….she feared she may be imagining things as he would also deny what were her vivid recollection of distressing events.

BBC News – Domestic abuse: NI charity develops app to track incidents
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-47807040

Omolola began questioning herself! What is the price of peace when pieces of her life seemed to keep getting chipped off. She feared her sanity was beginning to fall apart…could not afford that for the children’s sake if nothing else. Surely there must be a reason for living besides living to please someone for ‘peace’ sake. She knew there was more to life than what she was enduring….something had to change! This really was not peace, not for her, not for her children! She decided, “It is enough” for peace surely could not be her falling to pieces!!

Toxicity!

It’s odorless and tasteless, so often not noticed as it seeps in. The destructive effect may soon ir gradually become extensive, damaging more than can be imagined. Nerves are damaged to varying extents and many lives have too often been lost! https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

It’s no different from emotional abuse, covered by makeup, fancy clothes and looking “the part”. “Suffering and smiling” so those around do not detect that life is fast ebbing away, like an internal bleed!

Truth is what sets free! Detangling from abuse is needed to save lives! Pain physical or emotional is an indication something is not right. Continuous inhalation of the toxic fumes of abuse causes worsening damage mentally, emotionally and physically! Please don’t live with emotional distress when help is available. Reach out safely for help and break free from toxic and abusive relationships.

Get help before help becomes impossible!

BBC News – ‘Groundbreaking’ new domestic abuse law comes into force
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47764648

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The Egg

The pastor smiled in apparent amusement at the concerns I expressed of inappropriate behaviour towards me. Our finances being discussed openly, did not seem right to me. My spouse had been bragging of buying me some expensive outfits which I must admit I would not have bought without a lot of persuasion to justify spending so much on clothes. What he did not add was that it had all been paid for with my credit card.

He and his pastor seemed to enjoy their conversation, deriding his recently married wife, both smiling as the pastor declared in a soft tone, “she is an egg!” Not being one for confrontation or disagreements, I held my peace, after gently stating my bit: personal affairs were not for public discussion.

The years that followed were marked with increasing insult to the egg, who proved quite resilient but still was “an egg”. True to its nature it eventually cracked and contents that had safely been contained spilt to the surprise of many. Pressure on its shell had been tolerated for longer than one would imagine for it was not an ordinary egg. Its nature however resulted inevitably resulted in its giving in to external excessive and unjustified pressure.

The egg had apparently been deemed to be one that rolled where pushed and for many years subservient compliance was the norm. The egg rolled back and forth, as required of it but it appeared a lot more was happening on the inside and pressure seemed to bring out unexpected things. The contents of the egg when it finally cracked was a shock to many. Cheeky chick!

By Omolola.

The Ball

Keeping one’s eyes on the ball is key in any game. The game of life is no different, with a need to keep one’s eyes on individual life purpose. Distractions abound from opponents and the monkeying impulsive part of man, that may result in losing focus and beautiful purpose aborted.

A determination to keep the main thing the main thing, helps resist distractions and stay on track in fulfilling purpose!

Don’t sniff what you shouldn’t eat!

One of my dad’s favourite sayings was not to sniff what you had not considered eating. It reminds me of the story of the little trout that disregarded its mother’s warning not to go near a fly, for “that horrid fly is used to hide the sharpness of the hook!”

There are convictions that prevent making dangerous life decisions. Trouble has often been known to sooner or later follow when these healthy convictions are disregarded and other reasons are used to justify changing our minds: sniffing again at food that seemed to have gone off because it looked good or for an uncontrolled appetite may make it enticingly acceptable.

The little trout was young and not so wise, described by the poet as “young and foolish too”, so disregarding the wisdom of old of its aged mother, it ventured out “to see if it were true”. Yes, the little trout sniffed what it was not supposed to eat till it convinced itself and in confidence said “I’m sure that’s not a hook!”

The end of the story is like many regretful cases when one looks back and remembers the inside gentle safety nugde that said “don’t” and draws our attention to subtle signs of danger ahead. The trout played around the hook “with many a longing look”, its greedy mind seeing the fly and not the trap till it got caught and with last breath stated “dear mother had I minded you, I need not now have died”. Dreams have been shattered for sniffing what had been considered inedible, more disasters may be averted by heeding our safety nudges and past experiences may be used to help others avoid land mines on life’s tortuous paths!

Please don’t sniff what you are sure you shouldn’t eat!