I sat in a foreign country in a room alone because the feelings took over. I sat, cried myself silly then walked out with a smile on avoiding people seeing the pain that had dropped down my glowing skin. This was becoming a norm again. The familiarity of still living in the space where hurt was what made life completely unbearable.
It consumed parts of me that were once so beautiful.
I’ve been violated – raped, abused in every way and still expected to exude the beauty of a flower left without being tampered with, expected to move in a way that reminds me that my experiences have hardened my heart and filled me with doubt and living daily questioning the motives of every person you encounter. I don’t like the world I’ve lived in for the last couple of years. The hyper visibility has made me a target of public humiliation and violation in the most vile and harmful way that people think it’s okay to do that to me whenever the opportunity prevents itself.
My name has been dragged through the mud more times than I can count and a consistent rebuttal and deliverance of my version of events has been expected every single time and yet, I have found ways to remain mum about it each and every time because that’s just the kind of person I’ve always been. I’ve always had a tough, unapproachable demeanor about me, and the softest and kindest heart. So it shouldn’t phase me but it has and I only noticed how deeply it has since November. Where I’m even too scared to hang out or take out my nieces and nephews alone because I don’t know whether I will have an episode or not. Whether my heart will be able to protect them if being around people becomes too much. Yet, being around my nieces and nephews has been the focal point of my life lately.
Kids have this insane ability to sense when someone has good energy, and them being drawn to me has never been a problem. I’ve always loved kids but my inability to stabilize myself has consumed parts of me that I am no longer familiar with. It hurts.
I’ve cried in the most bizarre spaces because I didn’t want anybody to see what I was really going through. I am not the most difficult person to deal with, it just seems that way because I’ve had to learn to roll with the punches. My cousin has come to me so many times talking to me about what’s going on with me and I’ve never told anybody about it at all. I’d just gotten to a point where I wanted to go through hell without the additional struggle of 1000 external voices fighting with the 5000 internal ones.
I’ve had my heart ripped apart and supposed to have bounced back immediately because that’s what I’ve had to learn to do. The changes have gone from me being extremely vile to me being vulnerable and helping others because I guess for some strange reason people feel like I am a safe space – which is one quality I will never change about myself even if I could, however for me this has become such a massive part of my core that it really feels as though my purpose on this planet is a really heavy and painful one.
Thabang was right when he said that, he didn’t even know how deep it was.
A few weeks ago, I walked a girl through her decision to commit suicide – it actually made sense to me but I knew it wouldn’t make sense to other people, a week after that I had a friend tell me about her being in an emotionally abusive relationship and how she’s struggling to leave – I’ve been in her position before and I couldn’t advise her because telling her to leave has been done so many times before that it’s become redundant, then I had more than 4 women disclose their experiences with being either raped, harassed or molested as a child – and the hopelessness that comes with going to try and report it and being met with the ‘go work it out’ talk.
To sit and actually try and digest betrayal from “friends” has been the most painful thing ever. Friendships where people seem as though they have your best interests at heart and then violate you more than Satan himself has had the worst impact on not only my emotional well being but my mental and also physical. The irony of this whole thing, an apology only came after it escalated to a legal matter, and even with that I’ve had to be as mature as I’m expected to be because my reputation is more known than theirs, and I am honestly over it.
For years I’ve been the butt of all jokes and the collateral damage that has existed online, some of that was well deserved but others were just cruel and vile, without people dealing with any consequences, then approaching me out in public. It’s exhausting. For everyone who has said that I’m fake, or living an alternative life and looking for things to ‘have me’ about has shown me just how many of the people you think are friends online are fake – both online and offline.
Hyper visibility on social media will open you up to a lot of vile abuse and harm, it will open you up to people thinking that they really know you, then being confused as to who you really are.
A lot of people have spoken about me, and yet the nicest people are still around me and continue to choose to be with me through it all, adding to my life experience and holding my hand while I let the pain run down my cheeks – they have loved me, unconditionally and have helped me even when it wasn’t something they needed to do.
What this has resulted in? I no longer have the energy to invest in people the way I did before because people will drain you so much so that you will end up hating yourself and your life.
Social media aggravates your mental illnesses without you even realizing it’s happening. It makes you want to run away even when it’s an outlet from what you need to release. This has been such a grueling process, I just hope one day I manage to come out of it with an ability to love whole-heartedly, trust openly and care without being guarded.
I am in such a good space in my life now, things are getting better and looking up for me. It would seem that the moment I finally let go and placed things in God’s hands that He took over. I guess it’s true, God removes people from your life when they no longer add value to your life, and replaces them with even better people.
To my friends (my family), I love you endlessly. We have walked through hell together and we’re still going to walk through more chaos together, but one thing I know is that no matter what comes my way, no matter how I’m triggered, I can always rely on you to get me through it.
I’ve spent many nights drowning my pillows in tears and I’m finally at a point where my happiness is becoming a consistent thing. I’m happy, blessed and radiating – life couldn’t be better.
You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @leratomannya