“My story is not revolutionary or extra ordinary but it is my story and I want to share it. My first encounter with love was from my father, he was an amazing man. He was always there for me, he always made me feel safe when I was growing up and that is such an important feeling for a young girl growing up in this big bad world. However, when I was 7 years old he left my mother and I and my entire world shattered. I did not understand why he left. I don’t think that even now at the age of 22 that I fully understand. There were no warning signs really; I just came home one day and he was gone no explanations… nothing. When something like that happens you grow up with this feeling of ‘not being enough’ that your lack of ‘enoughness’ is why he left.
There is a certain phrase you hear growing up as a girl, “Anakuchokoza kwa sababu anakupenda,” which makes you grow up equating meanness and violence with love which is what I did. When I was in class 4 there was a guy called Chris who lived in my estate. I liked him and we would sometimes play together with his friends. These play dates were often in the evenings after school. One evening I’m excitedly walking to go join Chris and his friends when I feel something hit my back. It was hard and extremely painful; it was a rock. I turn back and there is Chris with his friends’ kokoto in hand hurling them at me and laughing. I started to run but they followed me throwing the stones as they ran behind me. They finally got to me and threw me down; some started to hit me as the others started to feel me up. I pretty much blocked out everything that happened after. I have never really told anyone about what happened and for some sick twisted reason I felt like deep down he did it because he liked me. They must have all liked me. “If he’s mean to you he must like you.” I resent that statement so much.
A few years later just after high school I started dating. I was so deeply and madly in love with my then boyfriend. If he would have said jump, I would jump. There’s nothing that I would not have done for him. He was however, emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive. It took me a long while to realize that it was not a healthy situation. I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details. I feel that I stayed mostly because of things that happened in my past but I know better now. I know that we can be better. When I tell these stories I have a tendency to sanctify the men in my life who hurt me. Would things have been better for me emotionally if I had been told that it was not my fault that my father left? Probably. Would I have cut off toxic entitled boys like Chris if I had been raised to know that violence is never a display of affection? Definitely.
A man’s view of you does not determine your worth. If he is mean and disrespectful he does not love you. If he is abusive, he does not love you. You are deserving and worthy of love do not let anyone convince you otherwise. Romantic love is not the only one out there, invest in yourself and in your friendships because there is such a joy in that kind of love. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are deserving of love. It took me a long time to learn these lessons and I’m honestly still learning, I hope my story helps someone start their own journey.”
That right there is Sandra’s story, thank you for sharing! The name has been changed for anonymity. Do you have a story you would like to share? Please send me an email or a dm, all the links to our socials are at the top of the page. Your story is important; I’d love to tell it. Till next week, love and light to you all 🙂