I am not damaged 

I was sexually abused by my dad. 

It had happened throughout my whole childhood. And it only stopped when I blurted it out to my boyfriend at the time at 18. 

But I was able to go about my everyday without letting it stop me. Not just after he left, but whilst he was still around. I was the cheerful and friendly girl at school, top of my class without working too hard, loving to read and travel and put myself forward for every opportunity that came up. During the day I was normal. 

And come night time, I just accepted that was something that would happen for a few minutes. I lay perfectly still, did not open my eyes, did not say a word. 

And somehow I was able to compartmentalise the two realities completely. No one would have ever guessed that anything was wrong. 

A few months ago I found out about therapy offered to all employees. I told myself out loud “well why not?” But inside I whispered “you’re broken and need fixing.”  

Therapy was not particularly enlightening and I did not completely connect with my therapist. 

But what I did find was going made me rethink about those nights in detail – something I had never done before. And in doing so, I discovered he had absolutely no control over me. I was loving life and had not let that stop me from enjoying myself. I needed to hear that. I needed to know that I was not damaged and broken. 

We discussed how I blamed myself for what had happened, for not telling someone sooner and for being so passive. But I see now that I was being brave for my family – my mum, my sisters and my brother. 

The reality was a few minutes with him touching me in a way I knew was wrong was something I could manage. Him beating up my mum, leaving us with no money or the stigma of my mum being a divorcee was much worse. 

People think the worst part of what happened was what he did. But the worst part was living with him. He was a controlling, dangerous man. The kind that beat his wife when his sick baby cried in the night. The kind that would leave her with £20 for the whole week. The kind that would openly cheat on her, knowing she had no one to go to with four young children. 

And I was not passive. I recalled how I would wet the bed – even at the age of 16 and not wash myself to make myself dirty. Admittedly these were not conscious acts of resistants but I would like to think that they were unconscious ones.   

I do still have fleeting thoughts about what happened but it does not stop me from getting on with my day. I am able to love and am loved. My family are solid and successful. I am not broke or damaged. 

Written in response to my 30 day challenge prompt “what do you wear to bed”. 

Two years gone by 

I look as I did two years ago. Not an inch taller, not a wrinkle wiser. In fact, I look as I did 10 years. Photos only revealing their age from the clothes I chose to wear.

So how have I changed in the last 2 years? Coincidently, this is not only the prompt for today’s “post a day“, but also the two year anniversary of my blog! Almost magic. Two years ago I began my career in a corporate company. Before then I had completed my masters and then worked in the charity sector. That in itself was a massive change for me. All of a sudden I was, by choice, in an environment and world I had spend much of my time the year before opposing. 

I started off hating life. Hating every morning. Spending time in the bathroom during work away from it all. Two years on, and I do still have days when I feel like this. But it’s not every day. 

That’s not to say I have given in. Quite the contrary. I know this is not the career I want, yet, I know what I am gaining from being there. And I have finally been able to distinguish between my life and my career. My job is not my life. As a woman who throws herself in fully, it took some growing to recognise this. My life exists outside of my career – for now. 

One day I may find a career that I am able to happily intertwine with my whole life. Colleagues that I consider to be friends, and even family. Work I can apply in the way I conduct my day to day. Values I can share in and out of the office. This is not it. And that’s ok. 

It is funny how I think of how I’ve changed over the last two years and focus on the area that, on the surface, hasn’t changed at all. Funny because when it comes to my personal life, so much has changed. 

I have been going to therapy (in response to my childhood sexual abuse) – and in fact next week will be my final session. And I am in a relationship with my best friend. Cheesy, I know. But cheesy I am. Those are deeper topics I’d like to dedicate a post each to. 

How have you changed in the last two years?

Acid attacks

I am terrified. They come at us from cars, on motorbikes or run up to you. You’re just driving, a passenger or a pedestrian. They throw a liquid at you and then you burn. 

There is nothing you can do. No defence you can learn. No potion you can carry. Nowhere you can hide. 

Carry a bottle of water I read. But a bottle is not enough to wash away the chemicals and in many cases will only make it worse. We are defenceless. We are helpless. 

This is happening here. In ends. Our home. Places we can’t avoid. And there is nothing we can do about it. Defenceless. Helpless. 

Yesterday I sat at the back of a cab on my way home from the station and made sure my window was shut. My throats was chocking in the heat but I could not bare to risk opening my window. Whatsapp buzzing with news of a new attack. 4 in the last 48 hours in areas, 5-15 minutes walk away from home. 

As I walked to the train station this afternoon, I watched every man with a bottle of water with suspicion, keeping my ears peeled for approaching cars and bikes. 

We have endured spitting. We have enduring beatings. We have endured the death of our elders coming home from prayer and our children going to pray. We have endured unborn children being lost in attacks. We have endured women being pushed into train tracks. 

How much more are we to endure? 

When you have too much to write 

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of news – attacks, elections, fires, another death in the hands of the state. And I have of course had thoughts on every one of them. And yet somehow I have not had the energy to put finger to phone and type them all out. 

I’ve even made a list of topics. But every time I open up a new page the words stop flowing and it all dries up. 

I have started using a handwritten journal and it could be that much of what I would have said in here is already being said there. I never started this blog for it to be read. I started it because I needed to say. And I am saying those things so I guess I don’t feel the need to write on here as much anymore. 

On a more personal level – I am in love and I am going to therapy to try and make sense of what happened here. So I guess I am enjoying being in the moment. Being present and consuming the genuine joy I am surrounded by. 

That being said, I do want to write on here. I love clicking post and interacting with this community I did not know would exist. So I will be starting a 30 day blogger challenge – get back into the habit of writing every day. 

I found this one on google and it looks like it’s from Pinterest. 


Do you ever get “writers block” specifically on your blog? 

A new thing a week

I was reading an article which suggested trying out a new thing a day. Amazing as that sounds I don’t have the energy to attempt that! So, me and my partner decided we would try doing a new thing a week. 

The rules: neither of us could have done the thing and it needs to be in the UK. 

52 sounds like a small enough number but given it’s cold and rainy it’s actually proving to be quite difficult! A real bunch of adventure hunters we’re turning out to be (!)  All the ideas we’ve come up with so far would be great in the spring / summer. But onwards we go and I’m sure this year will be better because of it. 

So far we’ve (1) gone to a book market that neither of us had been to before and (2) went inside a squat to visit a friend. 

The 2nd one is a little bit of a cheat as he has been inside squats before – just not this particular one though. And also it was more of a errand as he’d have to do as he needed to see said friend. But I had just recovered from the flu, it was pouring outside, I had an exam the next day and we were both busy on the weekend. So off to the squat it was! And it was interesting to see a space reclaimed. Not the way I could live but I appreciate people have different life experiences that would lead them to this path. 

On squats – some students have legally occupied an abandoned building in Oxford for homeless people. Please sign this petition to support them. I can’t imagine having to sleep outside in this weather – I am struggling even under my duvet. 

Other ideas we have:

  • Horse riding 
  • Learning and playing a game of chess 
  • Fly a kite 
  • Eat a cronut 
  • Visit Harry Potter world 
  • Visit Hunterian museum
  • Visit House of dreams 
  • Bake something new 
  • Volunteer in a soup kitchen 
  • Trampolining place
  • Secret cinema
  • Pottery class
  • Escape room/time run 
  • Hampton Court Palace or Crystal Palace maze

It’s been a lot of fun so far. Not too outgoing but it is only the beginning and spending that time together – no matter what we’re doing has been great. Even coming up with new ideas has been exciting. 

I would defo recommend giving this a go. I know two weeks have passed but 50 is still a huge number. And you don’t need to do it with someone. Or even with a specific someone – maybe try something new you’ve never done before even if the person you’re going with has. 

Any ideas you have of things we could try would be awesome! And I’ll update you all at the end of year on how it goes. 

An unplanned ode

Today’s my last day working from the office this year. I would love to say it’s my last day working but alas I have decided to roll over my left over holiday to next year in the hopes I will make some use of it. I did only just get back from holiday about a month ago – though how quickly a tan fades and the longing to be on a plane out of here comes back!

Given I haven’t just written in a while I thought I would do just that. I did mention in the last time I did one of these that I am now in a new relationship. It will be just three months in a few days but boy does it feel longer. It is a weird one because we have been friends for two years now, and very good friends for several months. And when I say very good friends, I mean talking to each other everyday for about 3 months before we dated. There was a lot of “does he like me”, “why did he say that”, “can he tell I like him”.

Three months ago I decided I would give him until December to tell me if he liked me. God forbid I be the one to take the leap first. A few days later he said something that melted me and I just blurted out “you and me – what’s going on?” Completely unplanned and super awkward. But we talked and of course it turned out he liked me to and the rest is history.

He’s a shy one. And when I say shy I mean significant speaking disorder, inaudible shy. In fact, barely anyone can hear him and even fewer can understand him. But somehow I manage it. When he does speak, every word is important. And when he writes, he is quick and poetic.  Continue reading

The good immigrant 

My driver this morning asked me what I thought about Brexit. Months on the conversation goes on in the radio. A polish man, was not allowed to vote himself. 

I told him I voted stay. And not because I necessarily believe in the EU – a structure designed to find strength in the weakness of others. The us against them. But because of the racists and xenophobic rhetoric. 

My boy Tom did not vote out because he wanted out. He voted to get you and I out. To keep you and I out. 

And I don’t believe in the good versus bad immigrant. Yes my people and your people built this country, died for this country and continue to keep this country running. But some of my people are unable to work. For sickness or lack of work. Others make their money through the hustle. And they too “deserve” to be here. 

Because you too have your sick, your old, your poor. 

This small island is your home. And it was your fathers home. And his father’s before him. Amongst the smoke and the concrete and the cobalt. 

My father was born in the sun, around green and blue and brown. My father lived in a mud house, in a tin house and now rules a brick house. 

He came here promised work and was given a beating and spit for free. In his 40s something burst in his stomach and he could no longer lift his arms all the way up. He sold his shares in the resturant and signed on. My father is not a good immigrant. 

And even still this too is my home. 

“Here’s to them waking up at 4a.m., calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here’s to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to international money transfers. For never forgetting home.” – first generation, questions for Ada, Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Love me now

I asked you again and again “what do you want me to do?” And you told me you don’t want you in the centre of what I wanted to do. 

And I knew you loved me. 

You never asked me what I wanted you to do. 

If you had I would have told you I wanted you to hold me tight. Drive away any space between us. Hold me so that I can forget the people around us and the people in my head. 

Kiss me. Kiss the top of my head. Kiss me on my cold cheek. Kiss me on the lip. Make my stomach flutter and my heart burst. Make the floor beneath my feet disappear. 

Tell me you will fight for me. You will never let me go. You will not lose me. Promise me. 

But you don’t hold me. And you don’t kiss me. And you don’t tell me lies. 

And I know you love me. 

So I’m gonna love you now, like it’s all I have
I know it’ll kill me when it’s over
I don’t wanna think about it, I want you to love me now – Love me now, John Legend 

I’m still spinning 

I have not been writing for a while. I’m not sure why exactly. There are many a times when I have written a whole entry out in my head, phone in hand, yet not typed it out. A few weeks ago I even wrote a whole entry in my little black book. But I did not type it out. 

The world has kept on spinning by and my little world has done the same. 

We’ve had the inspiring protests against the American anthem, the reelection of Corbyn and his cabinet being the most diverse labour has ever had, the Tory conference, and the rise of Trump and Clinton exploiting#BlackLivesMatter. 

As for updates in my little world I am stuck on an awful project and thinking of leaving my company, I am worried about the turnout of a Black History Month event I am organising and am thinking of moving it to next month – after all why stay in October to have an event that focuses on us, I have tried to reduce the amount of “student activism” I do but feel lost in what my calling is, my brother has “come out” as bi, and I am in a new relationship but am worried about whether I should be. 

So maybe last month has been eventful. Well it’s not the first day of the month but I’ve never been good at dates anyway. For the next few weeks I’d like to get back  into the habit of posting daily. Because I miss it. And the dialogue in my head is getting pretty busy. 

The mystery oil 

A bodily function of mine is not operating as it should be. And I want to tell someone other than my mum about it because it’s the weirdest thing to have happened to me perhaps ever but defiantly in a while. But it’s not the kind of thing you can mention over lunch and I’m not sure how to say it delicately over text. So I thought to myself I can blog about it. I mean what good is an anonymous blog if you cannot share all the weird things. And I have talked about using a tampon for the first time before so why not. 

I have orange oil coming out of my bum. Not oil like – but like literally oil. It floats and it horribly messy to wash (the usual bodna/lota washing is not enough). And I have no control over it. It seems to just be leaking out. 

Google says it could be because I have eaten a weird fish. I have eaten fish but it was the fish my whole family ate and no one reported such a reaction. I also ate chicken wings but again so did my whole family. So the other likely option is I’m dying. 

The problem is I am away on project all week for the next few months so cannot schedule a doctors appointment without it being a hassle. I will wait this out and see if it stops. If not I will deal with the hassle and see a professional. 

In the meantime, does anyone have any ideas of what it could be? I stayed at home today so was ok with periodically washing and changing my underwear. Not sure how tomorrow will go. I will avoid white for sure. 

Not the post I had planned for today when we will #ShutItDown (if you’re in the UK search for the nearest Black Lives Matter protest near you today) but there you go.