"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Friday, October 23, 2015

My Invisible Handicap




I remember when I was younger, mama would sit us down and give us, “the talk”.  I had no trouble with them at first. When you are 5 or 7, your least preoccupation is a boy. Yes, she started us off young.  Each time, it was an urgent warning. One I perceived from a very early age that I had to heed. Amongst the recollection of such multiple occasions, one has been particularly seared into my mind.  I remember baby sis and I sitting in the living room, innocently watching the kids playing outside through our windows, mesmerized by their constant frenzy, laughter and chatter. We only wanted one thing: to join them. But back then, our parents didn’t let us play with every kid on the block. It was either because their parents were this or the kids did that. But we were just kids, all we cared about was playing without all the drama adults attach to simple life. That day, mama came and sat on one of our over bloated stuffed sofas, her eyes on the small television set at first. Then, seeing us watching the other kids, it was time to give us the talk. I cannot remember exactly what she said, but one sentence has forever stuck to me: “if you play with a boy, you will get pregnant”. She said the sentence with such fervor and even anger, I knew it was serious stuff. The thought of “getting pregnant” sent chills down my back. Then, my understanding of the statement was this: you so much as play innocent childish games with a boy and pregnancy will fall on you. Years later, I realized mama had purposely exaggerated her statement. I had not misunderstood.

Now a woman, her words still haunt and taunt me. Those words forged my mindset when it came to boys. I grew up with a fear of them. I saw them as you would see a dangerous pet that many lusted after, yet ended up getting dangerously wounded by. My perception of boys was terribly warped. While other girls were growing into young teenagers and learning to interact with and attract the opposite sex, I was too busy being tormented by what they could do to hurt me and what could go wrong. I literally sidetracked boys in my early years. My parents reinforced this and personally saw to it I did not do what the other girls do: go to parties, go to sleep vers, talk to boys or even simply talk about boys. I never took their interests in me seriously and I actually remember getting aggressive sometimes. Their efforts seemed like a joke to me or even an aggressive move. I was unable to understand the fact that they were just being boys and they just wanted to know me or show their interest.

However, during my middle school years, guys became hard to ignore. They were everywhere. A new species.  With friends also going through the same phase of puberty, it was impossible to not notice them not to talk of not talk about them. It was a pandemic. That was when I started desiring the attention of a guy and started to realize, what this whole boy & girl thing was all about. Mama hadn’t told me this side. She had given a strange idea of boys and I was finally trying to see them with my own eyes. But it was too late. My teenage years sped by and I could not seem to claim having experienced half of what most of what girls my age had with boys. Now I’m not even talking about the physical stuff. I mean just plain talking, flirting, showing interest, going out without being mischievous oh and slow dancing! I could not understand it. But thank God for the books. I had my studies to occupy me moments at a time and even projects and hobbies I was into so these took my mind off my “love” life. However, during the last few years of high school, I realized something was wrong. I realized I had an handicap. The worst thing is, it’s an handicap that you cannot diagnose and you certainly cannot see it. It was upstairs, in my head and it was crippling. The clinical manifestations were simple: I was incapable of knowing how to act with a guy or even imagining me with a guy. The thought was scary. What would I do? What would I say? How could I act? Whaaaat? I realized I had skipped a part of my education. I had certainly skipped a phase of my development. I couldn’t cope when a guy showed interest. I didn’t know how to act or be. Another thing about this handicap is that it is so difficult to put in words. Perhaps you understand? Maybe not. By 20 and in university, I was just wondering if I was only meant to read romance or if I was only supposed to hear it from others. By 22, I told myself I was not thinking about it when in fact it was brewing at the back of my head. 23 came and with it the “I am an independent woman and I do not need a man” sentence came with it. By 25, I try not to think about the love stories I would have been eager to play the lead role in.

Why am I saying all this? Well, I don’t really know. All I know is this is what God has put in my heart to share. So, the moral of the story? I see non. But I do see some points to hold on to. Our education as young girls will determine how we see men, how we treat them, the kind of relationships we have with them and eventually, the message we will pass on to our little girls and boys about the opposite sex. I’m not here to point fingers at our parents – God bless their souls, they did what they thought was best – but whatever miseducation we may have received, it is very important to recognize it and accept the fact that it has to be corrected. This is very hard. A lot of women go around with baggage from their past, either from things experience has taught them or that their entourage has told them about men and these things ruin their relationships and contact with men and even those of other women around them by wrongly advising them.


Know that your journey is not a coincidence or a mistake and everything has a purpose, do not let that determine where you go or what you do.

I believe God wants us, as women, to come to Him for a fresh understanding of what being in a relationship is all about and what we should expect and accept from a man. Another important thing I believe God is asking us as His dear daughters is to not give up on our brothers. Whatever you may have seen, trust God that He has the best for you.

4 comments:

  1. You were so on point in this article.
    I believe God is in a place to tell us what we need in a relationship.

    www.deargoddiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Funmi: Amen! Yes, He is indeed! Thank you for passing by Funmi, I always enjoy your comments :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh My Goodness, I feel like you just wrote my life out! Almost exactly. And I thought I was the only one with this handicap. Sometimes it makes me feel bad because I don't know what to do about it or how to correct it. Funbi you are my absolute favorite blogger. I know this had to be hard to share.

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  4. Although I can't remember her exact words, my mum drummed a lot along similar lines to me. And as her only child you can imagine how often I heard those words.
    God really is the true educator on all things including relationships.

    ReplyDelete

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