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How To Waste Your Life- By Charla





How to waste your life
Step 1;
Be born a girl in Nigeria in the 1980's
have a strict disciplinarian father
have a very enterprising but somewhat selfish mother
be loud, bold, confident and carefree
have some of the carefree and confidence beaten out of you by your father
Also be berated by him so as to take some more away
make sure to include your mother
who will use her scathing words to destroy your confidence in your abilities and in appearance
Do not forget to remind her to call you 'useless' every chance she gets



Try to cure your loudness because you're a girl
Girls grow up to become women who should be seen and not heard
Your mother is loud and 'troublesome', so your father says.
You don't want to be troublesome, so you have to try to be the exact opposite of your mother.
You want men to like you but only when the 'time is right'
Right now, you are still young and your mother will call you a whore if you even smile at a boy.
So when Jerry-the boy whose mother has a kiosk out of their garage-touches you under the blanket during one night at church
you feel sick, dirty, upset, angry and ashamed.
But most of all you feel stupid for letting him touch you and so you tell no one
You will have to deal with it by making a detour to Mama Sam's anytime your mother sends you to Jerry's mother's kiosk

Step 2
When it is time to go to secondary school
let your parents choose for you
the school they will choose is not so bad,
You will start to have fun and be confident again
but once the holidays are upon you, ensure your mother punctures that air of confidence like a balloon
Be so afraid of your father that you hide under the dining table every morning
Note that this will get you no sympathy, but a look of utter disgust.

When you reach SS1, let your father choose whether you go to Arts or Science class.
It doesn't matter where your talents lie or what you are good at
Your feelings and dreams are irrelevant in the face of your father's decisions
Finish secondary school with good grades
Although you don’t know it yet
This may turn out to be the easiest time of your life

Step 3
 Move overseas because you want to escape the prison that is your parents’ house
However you are not totally free, you still need their money.
This new environment is fascinating
there are boys everywhere and no mother to call you a whore
so ensure that you go to town with the men folk
Be attracted to the real jerks/bad boys
ones who will beat you black and blue
ones who will break your phones, plates, cups, TVs, laptops and your heart
Fail your final exams because you get beaten so much one night that you have a blinding headache for days and a swollen black eye for weeks
This is how you will get that mark under your eye

Step 4
Leave school and get a job
spend your hard earned money on your boyfriend
When you don't feel like spending
He will give you a 'little' encouragement.
when you eventually realise you're living with a monster
try to leave but get arrested by the police for fraud
the 'monster' is a fraudster and used your details in his dealings
You're arrested just as your visa is expiring
And so you will have to be detained

You are released but your life will be in limbo
Seeing how frustrated you are,
your friend Ekene will advise you to marry for 'papers'
you will beg to get the money to pay the Britico husband
you will partake in the most depraved acts-some you never know exist until you engage in them- to get that money
There will be feelings of shame and disgust but worry not
It will be only for a fleeting moment
After all you do, you will barely come up with enough to pay your Britico ‘husband’ Martins (introduced to you by a friend of a friend of a friend of Ekene's)
You pay him and naively believe that money will be enough.

Step 5
Martins will ask you to sleep with him; you do so because although it was supposed to be just a business arrangement, you are desperately desperate.
He also already has your money in his possession, you have no choice.
At 4.30 am on the Monday you are to meet Martins to finalize plans, the UKBA will barge into Ekene's flat to arrest you
This time around, you find yourself on Lagos high street before you're fully awake.
Your father is ashamed, he doesn't say this(he got tired of saying it so much over the years) but you can see it in his eyes
Your mother calls you a whore
now she is justified
You will have nothing but a

Stony heart,

Weary soul,

Battered body,

And unfulfilled dreams

Congratulations, you have now succeeded in wasting your life


.....

Written by blog reader Charla; this is a poem addressing emotional abuse of children and how this can have lasting effects on the individuals well into adulthood.

Comments

  1. But this is the normal upbringing for every Nigerian child minus being called a whore. Does this mean we were all emotionally abused?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No it is not normal. I was not raised like this.

      Delete
    2. HUH???????????????/how is this NORMAL for EVERY Nigerian child? my goodness did u read past step 3 at all? WOW

      Delete
  2. yeah i tink we wer.bt tnk God times hav changed. Onyi

    ReplyDelete
  3. well mine was kinda like this minus being called a whore but that didn't necessarily mean my life was useless...I actually got my bsc n msc all before clocking 25 n I didn't even school in naija ...so my dear I'm sorry but I think it balls down to the individual...u let yourself go...I decided to prove to my family that I actually know what I'm doing because i was strongwilled n today they respect me....I'm sorry for your disappointment tho...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, we could either become victims or victors.Some of my siblings are so successful it is unbelievable while the other divide you just shake your head and wonder if it wasn't the same upbringing we all had.It bores down to you as a survivor and picking and dusting yourself up.Awesome poem regardless, it should be titled "How not to be a parent-Parenting 101"

      Delete
  4. will comment under anon, ah dis is normal nau! My mum called me a harlot just because she saw me greeting our neigbours son. And wen one stupid boy sent a little boy to call me and he ran into my mum..... Poor innocent me. I grew up not being close to my mum. Even wen I had I ssues wiv my mestural cycle. ( I bled for 3 months) nonstop some times it would dissapear for months I couldn't tel my mum for fear of her calling me names. Even though I was still a virgin Smh. My mum wasn't a bad woman buh I guess she was raised that way too. But I will not raise my daughter that way so help me God!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have called her harlot's mother and watch her stop the name calling!

      Delete
  5. I wanted to stay quiet too. Some mothers are just evil. I think this is what happens when society makes you believe that every woman must want to be a mother.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well I don't know if my dad was raised in the bush but he was so difficult. Always damn too angry.he wasn't like that when we were kids but with time he just became bitter. That made me always scared.. The insults, unnecessary beatings. Boarding school was an escape for me and I feared being on holiday. I was so happy when my mum and siblings were leaving the country after high school. I could finally breathe. I don't have a fantastic relationship with my dad.. He's trying to know me now.. Maybe because he's all alone and getting older idk.. But I let him in once in a while... My prayer is to avoid men with his temperament and marry one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow!Thank God I grew up in a sane family.comments I read on blogs about mothers scare me. How can someone's mum call her own daughter a harlot? J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol. Mine called me witch,devil incarnate,beast of no nation,demon spirit,medusa,amosu,bastard,etc
      My childhood was traumatic. Makes me wonder if I wld be a good wife and mother.

      Delete
    2. Sweetheart, you're none of those things you were called and your bad experience would make u cautious of being a good Mum. Don't just spoil them kids o. God bless u

      Delete
  8. I really loved this writeup cos i could relate with 80% of ur upbringing. Oh, My Dad did things to me all in the name of discipline, things I still think about & shed a lil tear. But i've grown above it all.
    I became independent at 15, handled 90% of my financial welfare by myself. Now the tables have turned, he adores me 3much!

    If it ain't fiction, Thank God for ur life Dear poster & bounce back!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Emotional abuse in children is very real. My mum hated me when I was younger. She found fault in everything I did. I remember the day my brothers stole my sisters money. She beat me senseless, searched my bags, tore my clothes, slapped me over and over again on my face that I should bring out the money even though I was begging her that I don't steal. When they eventually found the money in my brothers bag she didn't even touch them. I don't understand cos am the last child sef. Then the name calling no be here; wicked girl, useless, hopeless, fool etc. it's not so bad anymore but before i used to wonder if she's really my mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes d issues/situations a woman goes tru when pregnant &nursing a child affects d way they treat that child. Its so wrong. Ehug darl

      Delete
  10. Our parents brought us up that way bcos it was the only way they knew. Now we can call it abuse but, believe me, if my father didnt do some of the 'wickedest, vilest' things to me in the name of discipline, I wont be here today. Despite all that, if he knew of the kind of things I did, he'd probably have died earlier than he did.
    There have been instances when I want to do something and i'll still here that deep voice telling me, "remember whose son you are" or "remember the home you come from". Things have changed and i'll be smoking some damn cheap shit for me to bring up my own children in that atmosphere of constant fear and trepidation.
    Growing into adulthood, I was a very bitter and insecure person but one day was all it took and I spoke to myself that i could do better. And i did! Which is why it pisses me off when people use the excuse of having been abused as a child to commit heinous crimes ( my upgringing should have turned me into a heartless serial killer going by american standards.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess there shld be no need for thepary and counselling then since every adult who was abused as a child shld flick whatever switch in the head and act right?

      Delete
    2. Not at all, darling! My point is that we shouldnt use it as an excuse to be horrible people or for our failures.

      Delete
  11. who Naija upbringing. as an 80's kid i feel you.
    this may sound crazy but do you realise that 80's kids had fathers/mothers that were kids/young adults during the biafran civil war? any link with the way most of them were?

    www.lifeforyankee.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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