This heartbreaking story of a Nigerian woman who was r*ped at 17 and made to marry her r*pist who put her through all manner of ills will leave you crying.
Joy Chinenye Azubike
A Nigerian writer, Joy Chinenye Azubike has shared one heartbreaking story that will leave many people in tears. The woman who was hosted on “TRIPLES WITH S-BUCHI” by Solomon Buchi Bartholomew opened her heart to share her story with the world.
She revealed details of abuse, beating and forced marriage. Azubike narrated how fear of the unknown forced her to stay with her tormentor and r*pist.
She wrote: “I am Azubuike Jhoy Chinenye. A single mother of three from a nuclear family of five children. I am child number three. I was raised in strict home of a military father and my mother a business woman and a teacher. I am also A business woman. A speaker. A teacher and a writer. I guess that’s all for now.
Oh yes. Really tough but thank God for His grace.
I met him when I was 17. Started off as friends. I was asleep in my hostel in a private university when my phone rang, I answered and it was a wrong number. He called two days later and said he hasn’t been himself since he gave me that wrong call. I never gave him much time but we ended up as good friends and kicked off as boyfriend and girlfriend as you people call it.
So, we never met. We kept dating via phone calls and messages. He finally came to visit me in school and I never liked what I saw physically but he was a man full of vision. Such an hard working man. A growing man with dreams. I had to ignore his physical appearance and just love him for who is he and not what he had.
We vacated that semester in school for Christmas vacation and my birthday was December 14, we vacated 12th. He offered to celebrate my birthday in Port Harcourt which I agreed to after all he is my boyfriend. I got to PH, he picked me up from the park and treated me like a princess. He introduced me to his friends and his younger sister. I felt loved and accepted but didn’t know another lane of destiny was awaiting ahead.
Day 12 passed and day 13 at night, we had our dinner, watched movies, discussed a lot about careers and other stuff. I just had my bath, wore my bum short and still had my towel tied to my chest and he tickled me first, he started acting funny and I cautioned him.
He repeatedly misbehaved and he kept saying be mature and stop being childish. Then I knew I was in trouble. I managed to put on my top and told him if he continued then I will leave his house. He apologised and promised to behave. I sat on the bed and he pushed me down on the bed, his face changed. I started begging him not to do what I am thinking. He said I should calm down. I started thinking, God is this how I will die, is this what my parents sent me to school to do? What have I done? Joy who sent you? All these thoughts in my head and I was struggling with him. I later told him to calm down that I have something to tell him.
I told him the truth, that I was a virgin and I am just 17years. I said tomorrow being my birthday will make me 18. He shouted that I was a liar. Which lady will be a virgin in this jet age. You don’t even look your age. I managed to convince him that when next I visit he can have his way but he shouldn’t do this. Unknown to me I was talking on deaf ears. We kept struggling. We kept fighting. He tore my shorts. And I managed to stand up, we kept running round his centre table like animals. I was crying and begging. I called God a million times. I screamed. I shouted hundred times. Sorry was my case because his DVD player was on loud volume and the generator was also on.
He eventually got me. He threw me over and ripped my shorts apart, dragged it down and as he got to my feet, I kicked him on the face and managed to escape. Got out but his gate was locked. I kept screaming but my voice was just returning to my throat. No one could hear me. After all he told them he was celebrating my birthday. He kept laughing and said can you see you’re outside naked? In tears, I begged him to stop this. I reminded him of our love. I told him how much of a Christian we are. He calmed down, he hugged me and apologised. He asked me to come in, I refused that I am comfortable outside. He sat outside with me at least for 30mins and insisted we go in.
I was foolish. I believed him. I was just too stupid and trusted him. We got in, slept off and he woke me up. This time, all I could see were his red eyes and manhood facing me. He had his way, I screamed till my voice disappeared. He was done. Blood everywhere. He started crying. He started shaking. He started apologising. “I never knew you were telling the truth.” Those were his words.
Oh well, he drove me to the airport in the morning. I flew to Lagos to meet with my family who prepared birthday things. I was happy to see them and dying inside. I couldn’t tell anyone what just happened. My mother suspected. My elder sister also suspected something was wrong but I kept lying that turbulence in the air affected me. I would have told my mum but I know my father. He will kill me. He is so strict and harsh. I didn’t want drama. I didn’t want plenty talk. Did I send you to school to have boyfriend? Did I pay school fees for you to follow a man? All these typical Nigerian parents talk, I wasn’t ready for it. I kept it to myself. I was raped by a man I loved. Better die with it than talk.
I resumed school in January and started lectures , still facing trauma. Can’t sleep. Always crying. Then my room mates knew me to be a lively funny person but I wasn’t anymore. I kept to myself, hardly spoke to anyone and January passed. Anyway, he kept calling and sent series of messages apologising but I blocked him off.
February came and it dawned on me that I haven’t used my pad. I became worried. I asked my friend Nanya Okoma what could be wrong? She said sometimes we miss our periods. It is called escape month. I believed her. She couldn’t mention pregnancy because she knew me too well. I started having bigger breast, just like that, my bra won’t fit in. I was worried. Just like that I wake up late for lectures. I just didn’t like that feeling. Next thing I noticed I started cautioning my room mates to stop spraying some certain body spray. In my confused state, I unblocked him and told him what was happening. I started crying and begging him to tell me if he used me for rituals. He calmed me down and said, Joy you’re pregnant. I am coming to school to pick you just get an exit.
I laid on my bed and if I say I was confused, that was an understatement. I cried until tears were no more. I cursed and cursed him until curses finished. I blamed myself endlessly. I begged the ground to happen and swallow me but it refused. We went to the hospital and ran tests and yes, I was pregnant at 18. This is me in a dilemma. What is all these? Why me? God why me? Even if I made a mistake to have a boyfriend why give me this punishment? Joy who asked you to answer that wrong number? Why? Wrong number has led you into wrong mess. Joy! I kept crying. This is me with my rapist. I couldn’t trust anyone now but him. Joy, what do we do? He said. He wiped my tears. He blamed himself. He even cried. He kept begging. He kept saying how much he loved me. He hugged me a million times. Then he said, can we abort it?
I was shocked. This man, you just did one and you’re mentioning this? Do you want to kill me? I can’t do that. I have heard stories about abortion. I can not. He said no problem that he’s by my side. The doctor came and said he will fix me on drip because I had malaria. I trusted them because his friends and younger sister were there. I was on drip and slept off. I managed to wake up and saw the drip yellow colour. I asked the nurse who was attending to another patient, that why was my drip yellow. She called the doctor and his response, I thought you wanted to abort the baby? I knew this was another plan. I asked him to discharge me and I went to school that night.
I decided to call my pastor and tell him my problem. He was highly disappointed. He ended up telling my father and my father days later told my mother and the whole family went into shock. My mother didn’t leave her room for two weeks because of the devastating news. I was a good girl. An obedient child. Intelligent girl who was studying law in her 300L. I had a bright future but I got pregnant. My father called and in his words, my daughter how are you? Daddy am fine. How is your study going? I am doing great. OK, information reaching us says that you are pregnant and I called to tell you, please don’t climb the bunk bed that is high, don’t lift buckets, don’t engage in that your school exercise to avoid miscarriage. Eat well and be strong. But while doing that, do not come any inch close to my house until you bring the young chap responsible for that baby. Hope am clear? In tears, I said yes daddy.
This is me alone in my misery. I had no option than to call the same rapist and potential murderer. He was my only option. He stood by me. He accepted to go see my father. He assured me that he will be there for me since I have refused abortion. He went to Lagos, met with my dad, my father loved him immediately because he was a sea sailor just like my dad who was a Naval officer with a shipping company. So they clicked fast. My mother also liked him because she saw those things I saw in him.
Long story short, I thought my dad accepted him because I was pregnant, little did I know he was given list for marriage. I was in school when my elder sister brought a bag which contained asoebi materials and wedding card. That was it! My own traditional wedding card. I had no say. I couldn’t talk. My father was the final say. Did I blame him? No. He was only protecting the image of the family and I brought this upon myself. April 18 at the age of 18 I was married to my rapist, my wrong number and my destiny changed for worse.
Well marriage came. I wasn’t ready but I had to live each day as it came. Now drama started.
I was to visit my mother Inlaw who I have never met. I must meet her before the marriage holds. I left school to go see her and got to her house, I met a scattered, dirty and smelling home. He held my hands, I asked him is this where your parents live? He said yes. I was shocked but couldn’t condemn after all I have experienced poverty with my parents. I sat there waiting for 45 minutes before she came out. He immediately left me there and said he will pick up once am done. I greeted her on my knees and she said, ehen so you’re the Joy? I said yes ma. She said she’s going to church for service and we would talk when she’s back. I was surprised. Because when we were dating, I told him I am a Christian who worships with Winners Chapel and he said ha, he worships there too and his mother is women’s leader. But this is me faced with a woman dressed like a Deeper Life. I asked her, but I thought you go to church on Wednesdays? She said, no I worship with Deeper Life Bible Church. I was mad. Very mad. Did this man just lie to me? I am not only marrying my rapist but a liar as well?
I was just in a deep mess and unfortunately there’s no one to tell. No one. Who will even believe me? Who will save me? Just who? I cried and refused to smile thought out the wedding. I was just in my world of pains.
She returned from church and gave me rules. In her words.
Since my son is going to marry you, you have to worship where he worships which is deeper life.
You can’t wear trousers. You can’t fix all these weavons. You can’t do all these paintings am seeing. I was like, but your son told me his family is Winners and you’re women’s leader. She said God forbid! Not her. That she can never worship in a church that encourages sin. I wanted to cry but I didn’t see tears. We ended our talk and he picked me. I couldn’t talk. I didn’t know where to start with him. I was just there sitted quiet till we got home.
Reality is, she never liked me and I never liked her. You that feeling you get when your spirit doesn’t accept someone? That was it.
During the wedding, she started drama. My family rented about 12 canopies, live band, buffet service, palm trees weaved on the canopies, calabash designed on the canopies, palm wine gourds used as decorators everywhere. She refused to sit down that this is a worldly and fetish marriage. Well, we left her alone.
We got to the point of dowry, she started shouting that her son has never tasted alcohol and he will never taste it. That one became a drama that almost didn’t end until the elders refused and made conclusions. Next stage we were to dance our way into the field to sit as a couple and I started crying. But he kept encouraging me and begging me to stop making people think he forced me. I just stood there and said, what does this look like? Am I not being forced? Just leave me and let’s keep dancing in pretence. We did everything and it was time to dance our couple dance and I cried more and more. My mother came and kept wiping my tears. She knew I wasn’t happy but what can she do? My father danced happily that day. Everyone congratulating us.
My asoebi girls came to pack the spray money, surprisingly the MC stopped them and beckoned to his left only for me to see his family with poly bags picking my money. My girls wanted to fight them out but my mother stopped and told them to leave them to pick. If that is what they want, let them pick. I was mad. So mad that I didn’t follow them that night to pH. I stayed in my father’s village until 2days later I returned to pH.
Another drama started. He started shouting at me, why will your people pick the money? Why was my mother not given a chair to sit? Why were they not served food. His younger sister was there. I was surprised and said, your mother refused to sit, and in my place, its the bride that takes the spray money. He said not so with his place, I was tired, I told him, shebi you’ve taken the money why are you talking about it? Eat it na. He said was that why food wasn’t served? I said, I just returned from Anambra state and no welcome from you, just questions upon questions. He said Joy, let me tell you, I don’t joke with my family, I love and respect my mother and you should do same! If you want peace in this home then love my family. I just nodded and said no problem. I brought out the CD of the marriage and played it. While watching , we saw his mother seated under the canopy she condemned busy tearing her chicken laps into her mouth. I said, I thought she didn’t eat? He couldn’t talk. I quietly went to sleep.
The following day he went to work. I was discussing with his sister and I asked her something that bothered me. I said, laura, when the elders asked for the dowry and father of the groom, two men came out before the other came out. I know the other one as your father but why did the other come out to stand as witness? She laughed and said hahan, that’s your FIL. I said how? Explain? She said , my MIL got married to him at an early age and she left him after bearing three kids. Which is my husband(at least I have to use this word) , his elder sister and his younger sister who later died. I was dumbfounded. She said my FIL was a chronic cheat and womaniser and never cared for his family but kept bringing in children he had with other women for my mom to take care of. She got fed up and left. She married my dad 10 years later. I was speechless. I screamed. She said what is it? I said your brother has killed me. He never told me this. He said he comes from a nuclear family. He never mentioned this to me. If not because of the tiny drama at the dowry ground, I wouldn’t have known. I said , joy you’ve entered one chance. Lies upon lies. OK so this your mother was once married? Ehen. Ok Oooo.
He came home and chased his sister home after I confronted him.
I resumed school and unfortunately a rule came out, that pregnant women will not be accepted anymore. That they were tired of seeing babies in the gutter. I was forced to defer my admission until I put to bed. I returned to pH when he told me how he lost his job. Life became difficult for us. We started suffering. To feed was a problem. Then I suggested he use his car to run taxi and I became his conductor. I will use the money from our hustle to arrange food and fuel his car. We couldn’t even afford baby items. We managed and kept believing God for a miracle. Our house was just a room with kitchen and toilet, I couldn’t pass the bathroom door without scrubbing the door. I couldn’t endure the pains since I was heavy, I resulted to bathing outside very early.
I managed until I suggested to travel to Lagos. I said, let’s lie to my parents that am coming for holiday since they have money, they can take care of me. He agreed. But behind his back I opened up to my mother and told her the truth. She sent money for flight tickets and I was in Lagos. Under one week, baby things were bought. I started taking good supplements and she started prayers with me every night for his job and my safe delivery.
I was asleep again when a number called me. She kept shouting at me over the phone and I hung up. She called again, saying, Joy leave my husband alone. If you know you don’t want to die leave my husband alone. If you dare me I will make sure you vomit that baby through your nose. I couldn’t even say a word she hung up.
I called my husband and told him. He said its his ex and I shouldn’t mind her. I told him to settle his scores because I don’t need such calls. He apologised.
August 28th labour started. The whole family went into panic except my mother. She rubbed my waist. I was in labour until 29th mid day, I delivered a baby girl named Mirabel. She looked so much like her father , weighed 4.6kg. I slept off to rest and woke up hours later to hear that she was dead. This time I asked God to just kill me. Take my life. What was I living for? I was raped. I refused to abort you. Because of you I got married. I left school because of you. I endured pains, I endured suffering. I endured hunger. I endured insults just for your sake and what happens? You die. What is now the essence of everything? I held her warm self and kept talking to her. I begged her to just sneeze. Just wake up. Let me use you to console this stupid life I am into. (Sorry I am crying now while typing). I begged her but she was gone. I watched her turn green. I watched her go cold. I watched her leave me. I held her until my father took her from me in tears and went to bury her. I came in heavily pregnant and left empty.
I returned to pH and everyone mourned. My MIL said, why won’t she die. Why she no go die when you carry Rivers Pikin go Lagos go born. Pikin no chop isam, no chop ngolo, why she no go die. You use belle tie my son down now Pipkin don die. I was shocked to my bones. I quietly stood up and left. This woman was 46years then and I wondered why she reasons with hate.
That was it. I lost my first child also at the age of 18.
I went back to school and was asked to start afresh from 200l. What nonsense? How? I am to resume 400l but they didn’t listen. My parents encouraged me to write Jamb again.
We moved to Bonny Island so that I could heal from the loss. I started reading for my jamb exams. He was good. He stood by me. He encouraged me. We were living in peace. No issues. He was caring and lovely. He would do anything I wanted. The man I loved when I was 17 came to reality until one day, I wasn’t sleeping this time, I was watching Africa Magic when I heard a knock. I came out, met two young men. Yes can I help you? Are you Mrs Green? Yes I am. OK. We are here to warn you. If you do not leave this marriage, we will use Army to bundle you out. I said, what does that mean? I started shouting, his cousin’s wife who was living in same compound different flat, came out and said, Emma what are you doing here? I told her what he said, she shouted at him to get out. Who you be? I know say your sister send you come here. Abeg leave this young girl to enjoy her home. Una don kill her baby, leave her. He left. I picked my phone and called my dear husband. He was at Oron. I forgot to say, he finally got a job. He asked me to leave the house and stay with his cousin which I obeyed. He returned two days later and his cousin sat him down and forced him to go to the girls home and warn them that your family is at risk. He obliged. They went and left me behind. Hours later I was picked up and joined them. It was a family meeting between myself, my dear husband, his cousin and the whole family of his ex. I sat down. They apologised and sympathised with me. That was how my dear husband was exposed. He was a pastor with Deeper life and she was a chorister. They dated and kept dating until the church suspended her parents on grounds of formication from his daughter which they denied then. Now he refused marrying her because according to him, all his friends has slept with her and she has done 7 abortions. He broke up with her and met me and took me serious. I was just sitted in shame and drama. He finally warned them that should anything happen to me they would be held responsible. I was shocked. God what sort of marriage is this? Different drama and lies every day. What is all these? We returned home and he kept saying sorry. His conscience was pricking him. I forgave him and continued my wifely duties. I cook, I go to the public water board where I fetch water and carry on my head. Wash our clothes. The money I saved from feeding allowance, I used it to buy big GP water tank because I can’t continue fetching water on the head.
So, during festive seasons, his cousin opened up and said alot to me. That was how I knew his cousin also knew him to be a liar and a proud person. Guess what? I found out that while I was in Lagos, my Darling jobless husband was sleeping with his ex on my matrimonial bed. Jesus! I confronted him and he didn’t deny it. Rather he started shouting at me telling me why did I discuss with his cousin? Well, I was young and naive, I couldn’t hide things from him. I said to him, don’t end up like your father who has different children for different women. I can’t take that. He ran mad. I knew those words hurt him. He picked the boiling ring and hit me with it. He warned me never to compare him with his dad.
After delivery of my baby, the doctor took me to his office with my mother and broke the news that I had Herpes. And I have to be placed on drugs. We were like, which one is Herpes? He explained and made us understand it is a sexually transmitted infection. We commenced treatment. I used drugs and no changes. My mom told her friend who took us to a woman that sells herbs. She mixed this herbal soap to me to use and when I use it, I go to hell fire and returned. So painful and peppery. I saw the herpes fall off every day until I was cured.
Now, this exposure made me understand that my husband was an infection carrier. The shocking part of everything is that a woman with herpes must not deliver her child through vagina. It must be CS if not the baby won’t survive.
This is me married to a rapist, a liar, a cheat and infection carrier. I almost called my father one day to end this marriage. I don’t want again after all the baby is dead. But I couldn’t because I come from a society where a woman must remain married.
Let me cut the story short. I later changed from running away to doing anything to keep my home. I returned to PH and wrote my jamb. We became friends again. Husband and wife. He told me his plans. We planned together. We were sweet and lovely and when you see us, you’d wish to be like us. He started disturbing me for a baby. That he needed a child badly. Every month he took me for pregnancy test. He just wanted a baby. Then I noticed whenever we were in Bonny Island, I enjoy peace in my home but once we get to PH, its another drama. I finally took in and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was also a still birth but emergency CS was done to save our lives. He was at work when I delivered and he returned first thing in the morning to welcome his baby. He dropped small money for us while my mother sent some money so we could pay for the CS. His mother refused to sign the surgery papers saying, in my family we dey born like woman. My elder sister came from work, signed the papers, deposited and surgery started. (This life, if you have a good family, please appreciate them). She started shouting at her son., why did you leave work, to come here?
Because of this small girl, you risk your life, enter sea dey come hospital. He said, he had to because he was restless. He kept calling me his wife. My baby. My love. I was feeling cool. I didn’t know another wahala was in front waiting for me.
I had language barrier issues and on the 6th day after delivery she reported me to her son saying that I refused her cooking for the naming. My mother was around for omugwo and he called me, Joy why did you refuse my mother to cook? I said that is not true, my church member offered to cook free for me and that was it, even your mother was there when we concluded plans and she prayed for her. He said am i calling his mother a liar? I said no but I never refused her cooking. We started arguing on top of our voice and my mother came and said, since your mother wants to cook, why not alow her and allow my daughter to rest.She shamelessly stood up and took half bag from the full bag my mother brought from Lagos for omugwo. She asked for the meat, my mother refused and said when they cook and want to package it, they can come for the meat. The naming ceremony started, we were almost done and no food. We were living in Abuloma while she lived in Borokiri, she was held up in traffic while my mum called my sister, they bought nylons and drinks, my mum came with a carton of fried chicken and turkey, they packaged two pieces and a can drink for everyone to cover up the shame. They left happily. She returned by 8pm and her son ordered her to go back with the food, he said see the embarrassment you caused, if no be my inlaw wey cover my shame how we for do? no be people don go so? who go chop this food. She started shouting that she developed waist pain while cooking, that her son is an ingrate, they started quarrel. I started separating fight, rain started pouring, i begged her to stop shouting she refused, my step FIL wasnt helping matters sef, i went on my knees in the rain begging her to calm down, she pushed me away with her leg, my mother rushed out to lift m and asked me to go inside. My mother looked at her and said, its shame that you have to reduce yourself to have a public display with your son. She left and told my sister to move the coolers of food out. The food wasted in the rain. Shebi if my church friend cooked, all these wouldnt have happened
That one passed, different drama happened but because of time I can’t talk about it.
I have a soft skin and was advised to carry my plaster on the surgery site for two weeks so I can heal well. A month passed we became broke. I was with my sister alone and we kept eating her salary. I wasn’t working. I just passed my Jamb exams where I scored 270 and passed the post UME with Uniport. I called my husband and reported situations to him but he swore not to have anything. I believed him. He returned home for his normal break and I saw him with a Black Berry phone. This was 2010. I asked him how he got the phone. He said he bought it as UK used. I shouted. What?! You bought a phone? Do you know I have been drinking garri? I couldn’t feed well to the extent breast milk stopped flowing. To buy baby’s food was hell. My sister has exhausted her salary. Even my mother managed to send baby’s milk from Lagos and you went to buy a phone? Are you this heartless? I took the phone and smashed it. Yes I can be stubborn. I can be angry but my stubbornness is reason am alive today. He locked the room and gave me a dirty slap. I slapped him back which was a wrong move, but what do I know? He gave me double slaps, I tore his singlet. He held my neck and punched me. I held his boxers and was aiming for his manhood. He knew what I wanted to do he kept moving back. I started shouting. My sister came to rescue me but the door was locked. His sister was around shouting. He beat me until I was weak. He opened the door and drove out. I was in the hospital the following day, my stitches were torn and I was bleeding, bringing out pores and I was restitched and dressed with gauze and whatever it is that took me to hell and I returned. I was coming for dressing every two days. His cousin came for a course, he was the one driving me to the hospital and my husband never called to say sorry. I begged my sister not to tell my parents anything.
I resumed school. Kept going to school with my baby, jumping public transportation. I did that for two months and he bought me a car. A car he asked me to lie about if his mum asked me who owned it, I should say his friend. Did I tell you we were living in a furnished apartment? Yes we were doing well. He started seeing money. He started travelling abroad.
Mr. Green give me money for driving school, he refused that he will teach me. Okay, come and teach me na, we will end up in quarrel. I kuku went to driving school, paid with my money and started using my car. I will drive very early to meet up with lectures. If my baby cries I will park and feed her and continue my journey. This car, for one day he never bought fuel, he never repaired the brake when it went flat, he never repaired the clutch when it got burnt. I did all. Whether this car was a blessing or a curse, I knew not. I still managed. When you see me, you’ll envy me. You’d think am a captain’s wife enjoying money but I was suffering I was weting my bed in tears.
He will return home on his breaks and come with new shoes and clothes. I will beg him, since you married me you’ve never bought a bathroom slippers. That was the truth, my husband never bought a pad for me or even a slippers. My mother did all. She buys and sends. Every phone I used was my mother. He never bought one but he uses smartphones and iPad. He never placed me on salary but his mother was on a monthly pay. I refused to talk. I kept my cool.
My baby’s dedication guess what, he refuses buying me clothes but he sewed etibo for himself. I ended up wearing his elder sister’s blouse, his mother’s wrapper and my traditional wedding shoe. What a shame but it meant nothing to him. My elder brother saw all these and advised me to leave. He said this isn’t marriage. You have a child which is OK. Plan your exit.
I continued enduring. He continued cheating. He kept cheating and didn’t hide it anymore. I kept treating different infections until he stopped making love and I even told him not to bother. I was tired of treating one thing or the other. Funny enough we were friends. I knew him like my palm. I knew all his babes including some on Facebook. Some of his babes are also on my page but they don’t know. Sometimes I chat with them pretending to be him, I even gave up and when we are driving home maybe from his mother’s place, I will tell him to see fine babe and carry. He will say, haba baby see this one no set na. She no get waist. You no know say your waist na im make I love you die.
Cheating increased. I started prayers. I prayed to the extent if God was crowning women with title, I would have been a Bishop. I dressed sexy just so my husband can stop cheating. I cook good meals. I tried every trick I knew until I tried the communication trick. He will refuse to talk but I kept pressing until he said, I was fat I should go and reduce. I bought clean 9 and started my slimming journey and he came again and complained that I was too slim I should add weight. I finally fainted one day and was diagnosed chronic ulcer. He started shouting in the hospital that I want to tell the world he’s not b feeding me? Can I see how am wasting his money unnecessarily? I no fit talk. Now he started frustrating me. If we quarrel he will seize my car keys.
At night he will wake me up by 1am to fry plantain for him to eat. Nothing I ever do pleases him. Any little thing he will slap. One day we had a misunderstanding. He used his belt to beat me until he tore my skin with the head of his belt.
One night he was discussing with his friend. This was their discussion; o boy bible talk say person wey marry don find favour. This joy bring you better favour. See you for better house, dey ride two cars. Na wa oh. He said, its God, but no be lie that girl na blessing. His friend said, go complete her marriage, at least do court marriage. He said, for wetin na, you no know say if I die she go remarry and another man go enjoy my sweat. Abeg make she born like five children first then we go do court by then no man go fit marry her. Body go don scatter. You get. His friend said, no be so oh, na wicked thing be that. I mistakenly broke the glass cup I was holding because of shock. So I wasn’t only married to an animal but a heartless beast. I started mapping out plans. My daughter already started changing. Any little thing she will cry. Any small noise she will shake. She kept watching her father beat her mother. I didn’t want such upbringing after all my father never laid hands on my mother. He resumed work, I drove to the airport, I flew to Lagos, dropped her in my mother’s office and returned. He came for his break, didn’t see his daughter and asked, I said my parents requested her visit. He called them and they said yes they even begged him to allow her stay longer because they were lonely.
My school grade wasn’t good so I used this opportunity to read and do well. He continued with his frustration. One week we are good friends next week we are cat and rat. I kept praying for him. Taking communion. Do you even know that early years of my marriage, my MIL will call me asking me what they preached in church because she wanted to make sure I was going to deeper life. Until I couldn’t bear it, she called one day, joy, what did they preach today? I told her covenant day of restoration. She said no be so oh. I said ehn that’s because I went to winners. Why? Did I not give you rules? Well, mummy since I have been with your son he hasn’t stepped feet in church so why should I go there? That was the end of her call.
He beat me one day that I carried my swollen face to show her. She rather scolded me and said I deserved it. That Lagos girls are stubborn. Why will you check his phone? Even if he’s cheating? Must you talk? Do you know how many times I’ve caught my husband? Did I talk? No vex you hear? Come make I massage your face. I swore never to tell her anything.
I also never told my family anything. I kept pretending all was well. I pretended so well.
My life continued like that until he introduced another type of frustration. I can be watching movies, he will come home, switch it off and say am wasting his light. He is such a neat freak, he can come home and tell me i didn’t sweep the house well, I should sweep again. I kept praying this time in tears. God where have I gone wrong ? Who did I offend? Is this a spell? God even if it is deliver him. I stopped talking in the house so that I don’t get slapped. I obeyed him every time. Sometimes he will poo and ask me to go flush. I did it with joy because I don’t want wahala. Sex was thing of the past because we can stay a year without sex and I can’t bother him because he raped me so what do I know about urge?
This continued, he knew I wasn’t bothered with different styles of frustration he brought then he advanced to rape. When am asleep, he will touch me, I will gently stand up to leave the room, he will draw me back, fling me and force himself from behind. I endured that one because when I told my friend, she said there’s nothing like rape in marriage.
My mother got an infinix phone, I joined Facebook, read different types of stories of domestic violence. I started planning my exit until I fell sick. Lo and behold that rape resulted to pregnancy. I did everything to flush it. I took different pills. Finally I saw my menses I was happy. I didn’t want to leave with plenty children so that I can fight well for custody. I read lots of stories of women leaving with five kids, four, as the case may be. I wanted just my daughter. Five months later, I was sick, he took me to the hospital and I was declared pregnant. Ran scan and it was a set of twins. So the flushing I did didn’t work. The bleeding sef was just nothing but pregnancy. I was now scared of birthing imbeciles because of the drugs I took. He started shouting that I should find the father because he’s not responsible. We started living like strangers.
I went through another surgery because of safety again and tight pelvic. We never made love for another year so its expected. I gave birth, a set of twins, boy and a girl.
Another challenge, I was alone, after my mum did omugwo. No help. None of his family came to help. I nursed the twins alone from 2 till they were 5 months. I will bath them, massage them, dress them, feed them, make them sleep so that I can wash, I will sweep, arrange, cook his food, before I know it’s evening, I will bath them, dress and feed them, have my bath and I can stay two days before I remember I have not eaten. I resumed school, I drive them alone, if they cry, I park and cuddle or feed them, but they were nice children, they understood my pain, so they didn’t cry all the time. In class my course mates will carry them until I close. Finally my mom sent me a nanny. Now I am faced with plenty responsibilities. He will drop 35k for allowance. I buy drugs for the babies, buy food stuffs, repair the generator whenever its faulty, buy water dispenser when it finishes, buy toiletries for the house and the nanny. Buy fuel for gen and car. Whatever spoils i repair. That money finishes under two weeks and that’s money for a month. I ended up being a mechanic. I change my car oil myself. I fix the generator myself. Whether plug or oil or choke, I can repair. I fix bulbs myself. I do carpentry work well. Just to save money. Do I have a choice
“One day I went to church with his car, I don’t know who sent me sef. Someone bashed me oh and begged. He really begged and I let him go. A panel beater hit the punch on the car out. Church closed heavy rain fell we got home. The following day in the morning he noticed it and came in and asked me if I drove his car I said yes.
He said why? I said there was no fuel in mine. He said why didn’t you use public? I said we went to church. He said OK. He said so who you jam abi who jam you? Fear gripped me, what will I say? Joy shebi you for no go church. He shouted again, no be you I dey ask question? I said eeerrrrrrm, its a stone oh. Rain fell I didn’t see the Stone. Mehn, he gave me a dirty slap that blinded me for 5seconds, I almost saw stars I held my cheek. I started crying he said stop lying and say the truth. I finally said the truth.
He gave me the second one, and insisted I said the truth, I shouted, I said, I am not lying, ask Kemi (the nanny) she came in tears and said, oga, aunty is not lying, that man hit us and begged. He believed her. I broke down in tears holding my cheek, I said so it has reached this extent you believe a nanny more than me.? Please, Mr. Green tell me what I’ve done wrong? I have tried my best to be a good wife, yet you don’t appreciate it. You don’t buy me clothes, not even shoes, not even pad, the children you have my mother all the way from Lagos sends food, sends clothes. You opened baby’s shop for your mother yet one day she hasn’t dashed her grand kids Common diapers.
You placed her salary and give me nothing yet I don’t complain. Please tell me where I’ve gone wrong let me correct myself. Please. I was in pool of my own tears. He looked at me and said he was sorry that he didn’t know what came over him. I wore sunshade for five days and used eye drop for two weeks.
Finally, to end this long story, I noticed my palms was yellow. Fingers yellow. I was weak. I still managed to go to the market to get stew things when I lost consciousness. I ran to a nearby hospital the moment I was strong, called my doctor at Ada George explained what was wrong, he asked me to give the phone to the lab doctor and asked him to run general test. I went home and he started shouting that why did I delay? Why did I waste time? Don’t I know he’s going out? I apologised and told him what happened and said, I was charged 18.000 for the test. He said for what, do you see why I said you’re stupid? Sense you no get. Since we got married have you seen me do test reach this amount? He said I know say you don get belle na the only thing you sabi, he brought out 2500 and threw at me. I chuckled and cried and told him not to worry. 3days later in my weak state I went to the hospital with the result and my doctor said I had high bp, 230/110, malaria 3+. Typhoid was 320:160 all I know the typhoid had red writings everywhere. I had jaundice of the kidney abi liver. I had migraine, depression, and severe heart palpitations. The doctor said, please tell me how you’re alive.
This is a result of a dead person. You’re not going home, am sorry we ave to place you on emergency treatment. I called him and told him, he said no problem come home and carry your children to stay with you there. I just hung up on him. I called his mother and told her same thing she said and I quote, “Dr. Kumuyi come PH for easter program I no fit leave here oh. I said who will help me nurse the children? She said don’t you have a nanny? I said she’s a small girl who needs adult supervision. She said she will pray for me but she can’t leave. I ended up calling my neighbour who agreed to take care of things because my husband resumed work that evening.
I laid on the bed, thinking, Joy what sort of life is this? You have given your life for this man, no appreciation , no love. You sacrificed your academics because of him, treated different STDs, what about the beatings, you were raped, abused, treated like a slave? What if you die? Who will take care of your kids? Is this how you will continue? Tell yourself the truth, stop blaming the devil. It is not spiritual. You’ve prayed. You’ve fasted. You’ve sown seed, you’ve gone to different prayer house yet what happened? Say the truth, you married a wrong man. He’s a mistake. He’s not your man. God didn’t destine your life like this. I was crying and talking to myself until I woke up and was told that I passed out for four days. I recovered, went home and guess who I saw? My mother.
The doctor called her that if you don’t want your child dead come and carry her. She took the next flight to PH. She’s been with the twins. I got home and cried. I left, went to ATM, withdrew 200k from different account, came home parked his cars well. Covered it with trampoline. Packed my things, told the nanny to pack her things and the kids things, I arranged his house well. The following day, we drove to the airport, paid all necessary bills, flew to Lagos and that was the end. I ended my misery. Since March 2014 his mother has never called me. He has never heard from the kids because he refused to call. I managed to finish my school but graduated with 2.2 at least e better pass say I no finish.
We were even building out 7room bungalow before I left. After that bash I had with his car, he got a jeep. I left him for good and ran for my life. I told my father all these and more I wrote here, we were in his study for 19hours. He cried. He really cried. He called the lawyer and the rest is history. It hasn’t been an easy road especially with society and their rude talks. I found out I loved writing and I started with Facebook. I have also been insulted and called names on faced but I forgive them because they know nothing.
This is me. My story. My lessons. My victory. Like I said, do not pity me. I am healing, still healing. I also learnt to call myself a widow because its better than being a wife to such a monster.
This is me. Joy survived. You can also survive. 6 years of torture and I ended it with a single step.”