My father was a civil servant – well paid. My mother, although she went to nursing school, was a trader. Growing up, I always wondered what my mom saw in my dad that made her marry him out of all the men in the world; my mom is a beautiful woman with a graceful stature and I just couldn’t reconcile her with my dad. All of these thoughts began when – from a very early age – I observed that my parents always disagreed and often it would degenerate into a physical fight. My dad would beat her and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
Whenever I went to school and I was approaching the house after closing hours, my heart will begin to race hard. In short, there was hardly ever peace at home and if there was any at all, it was fragile. By the time I was 12, I was living in fear. If I was in bed and I heard a sound, fear would seize my heart that, perhaps, my dad was beating my mom again.
As I grew into my teenage years that I realized that it was mom that had been buying clothes, shoes, toys, paying school fees etc. and my dad? He never did a thing for us. In order for us to have the things we needed, mom was always away at her business. Dad, he was never around. One time, I visited my cousins in Lagos and I saw how my uncle was playing with my cousins and I thought it was strange – I was never brought up in a home like that.
Whenever my father appeared in the house, everyone vanished. He ruled his home with fear. This was the kind of home I was raised in and these ugly acts defined my childhood. It was for this reason that we began to seek for happiness in other places outside the house. I would go out and mingle with friends and play because I wanted to escape from all the drama and trauma that always generated in our house. We all found our escape. What no one ever told us was that no one can give you happiness and that you’re your own ultimate source of happiness.
The state of the house affected my elder sister real bad. She dropped out school and since she had no school to attend she would march out and do whatever she chose with thugs in the neighbourhood. At some point, there was almost no one that hadn’t slept with her and it was then it became a source of worry to our uncles and aunties. Everyone wondered how my father, a graduate with a very decent job, will have his daughter drop out of school and watch her get lost to the wildness of the street and not care.
My mom, through it all, felt helpless. She would turn to me and beg me not to follow the footsteps of my big sister. What my mom did not know was that I had begun to wrestle with my own demons in the form of bad habits too. Even though I never did drugs, I had taken to sex as a way of life.
As young as age 11, I had already been raped and had become exposed to active sex. So from a young girl I made up my mind to be cruel to guys. As I grew into my teenage years, the word love meant nothing to me. If a guy should toast me, I’ll just ask him to sleep with me because I believed that was what every guy wanted from me – to sleep with me. I also believed that once they’ve satisfied their curiosities about my body they’d go.
I remember showing my dad my WAEC result and he was not moved at all. Instead, he said he didn’t care if I passed or not; or if I even wanted to take my studies to the next level. I went straight to my mom and asked if the man she called her husband was really my father. By the time I finished secondary school, I had done a lot of things and I was in a really bad place. Even though I maintained a good girl appearance in my neighbourhood, I knew the things I did in private and I could not escape from that.
After secondary school, one of my teachers called me and asked if I was interested in going further with my education. I told him that I wanted to but I didn’t have the means. He let me know that he could help me, if I had sex with him. At that point, sex was not a new thing to me anymore so I agreed. After sleeping with me, this man obtained UME form for me. At that time, the forms for University and Polytechnic admissions were sold separately. I passed my UME and I was invited for Post UME at the University of Ilorin but I didn’t write the Post UME test because I didn’t have transport fare to travel.
At some point, my mom called me and confided in me that her business was crashing; that she did not have the means to pay my school fees and support me through school. She suggested that, perhaps, I should give up on pursuing my education further but I was determined to go to school so I went back to the man and he obtained PCE form for me. I passed the exam and then I got admitted in the College of Education in Oyo.
When it was time to resume, I had no money, I had no accommodation and I knew no one. I was crying and so was my mom because neither of us could figure out how I’d survive. I got to the entrance of the school and I put all my things there. However when I went for screening, before resuming, I had met a guy and so when I moved my things down to school, I went to him and explained my predicament to him. I told him I needed a place to pass the night. He was shocked. He offered that I stayed with him in their house and because I did not have any other option, I agreed. That night he slept with me and that became our life.
We were not dating, I was just a girl who had nowhere to turn to and every night he’d ask for sex. One night, I refused to give in to his demand – I was tired of everything. He threatened to beat me but by then, my frustrations had turned on my rage so I dared him to beat me. He didn’t beat me but he threw out my things the next morning and, once again, I had no roof over my head.
I called my mom and begged her to send whatever amount she could find so I could rent a place. I found a room for N6000 per year. The house was unplastered, one of the windows was unhinged and almost falling off, the floor was not cemented. It was pure sand. The house was a mess. I had no mattress, I had nothing. I began to manage the room like that.
When I went to cash the money my mother had sent for the apartment, the cashier who attended to me was a man. He’d seen my picture in my passbook and he had complimented my looks and in the end, we had exchanged phone numbers. When I couldn’t keep sleeping on the bare floor, I called him and asked if he could assist me by getting a mattress for me. He offered to buy me a mattress in exchange for sex. I agreed. We went to the market and bought a mattress. After the cashier had sex with me he went his way, just as expected.
I kept struggling through school – many days when I had nothing. At this time, my mind was beginning to get messed up.
Things began to look good when one of my lecturers took a liking to me. Every week, he’d give me allowances and buy foodstuff for me. Everything went well until one day when he accused me of spreading word round campus that me and him were in a relationship. I still don’t know where he got the idea that I would spill such a thing but after then we severed the romantic relationship and went back to the teacher-student mode. By then, I had become addicted to sex.
Think about it – my first sex experience was when I was 11 or 12 years old and it kept recurring through the years – it was the only way I had learned to survive. No one was there to guide or put me (or any of my siblings) in check. We simply figured out life on our terms.
In my 200 level, I met a policeman at my mom’s shop. He was a much younger man and he was one of my mother’s customers. I had met him at the shop during a holiday period when I came home. He told me he loved me and we began to date, However, three months into the relationship, I discovered that he was married. It was difficult for me to cut off the relationship because he was giving me everything I wanted – he was giving me money and sex. Gradually, things took a serious turn that I began to consider the idea of marrying him and being a second wife. He loved me so much and his wife knew.
One day his wife called me and she was crying, begging me to leave her man for her. I felt so bad because at that point, my mind went back to my own family – how dysfunctional it was simply because of my father’s irresponsibility and unwarranted fraternizing with women. I never wanted that for the woman so I ended the relationship. That relationship lasted for over two years. The man was sad and heartbroken. He sent people to plead with me but I refused to return. It wasn’t easy but I had to take that stand.
I couldn’t share these experiences with anyone so I kept storing them up inside of me and they were piling up. Everything stored up in my head and whenever they came rushing back to me, I’d get angry and take it out on whomever was near me at the time. I’d get very angry at myself, at my father, at my family, at everyone for setting me on a course that led me down this path and not protecting me and shielding me when they should have. I’d get angry at myself for my indulgences and stupid decisions even though I knew I did the things I did for survival.
It hurt so much because if my father had lived up to his responsibilities and had seen me for all that I could be and had considered me a worthy investment, I wouldn’t have been exposed to this horrible sexual life up to the point of addiction. All these things always made me angry.
After breaking up with the policeman, time passed and eventually, I met someone new. We had just begun to date when he travelled to Malaysia for a professional program so we never had sex in the relationship till he travelled. When he returned from Malaysia and we had our wedding.
It was after we got married that I discovered that my husband does not like sex. He never wants me to ask for sex, he doesn’t take it lightly trying to push for sex. Except when he wants it. In fact, we don’t even share the same room despite the fact that we were married. I would long for sex and he wouldn’t touch me.
When the craving and desire for wanting to be touched and lovedbecame unbearable, I went back to my old ways. I couldn’t help myself at that point anymore. I’d call up or chat with the long standing friends that I had slept with in my past and initiate a linkup. Sometimes, itwas the men that would even offer that we hook-up and I’d agree. I just needed to keep getting what I was craving.
Things went on like that and suddenly, my husband’s once booming business began to sink! My salary was nothing to write home about and everything just became tough. The family was back to managing again. Money that has ceased to be an issue, once again, became an issue. So the motive for the affairs became both money and sex. It felt like I was right back where I had begun.
I began to listen to a program by a popular female preacher and from her sermons, I found the courage to try and retrace myself and fix whatever was wrong in my marriage.
One day, I sat my husband down and begged him. I told him I didn’t ever want to cheat in our marriage and that he should take steps towards allowing room for more sex between us. He just ignored me and told me that if sex was my problem I should go find my sex somewhere else and that he couldn’t be bothered.
I was so angry at his response but I had made up my mind and so I just left. I had to come clean to my pastor and explain everything that was happening to him. He prayed with me and counsels me from time to time.
Since August last year till now, I haven’t slept with anyone else apart from my husband. In December, one of my friends asked that we should hook up but I turned him down. It has not been easy but God has helped me this far. The trauma of everything I have been through is still there.
Last month, my father called me because he had a disagreement with my mother and I was just very pissed at him for all the things that I have been through because he did not play the role he was supposed to play in my life. It would have been a different story if was dead, or he didn’t have money. He was alive and he had money yet he never took care of us. Till now, he hasn’t changed.
What led me down this path was seeking for the joy, comfort and acceptance which my parents couldn’t give. It took so long and so huge mistakes for me to learn that no one can make you truly happy.
Your happiness lies with you.