A CHAPTER FROM MY LIFE

This is an achingly sad story from a fellow brother, a story I can totally relate to because it echoes my own life in some ways. Perhaps some of you readers will connect to it, perhaps you won’t. Read though, and learn how not-so-rosy some lives can be.

*

African-Amerian-man-thinkingAs I lie on my bed writing this short piece, in my head I try to trace how it all began. I am not one of those guys you associate with cute, cuddly or nice. I am more of a recluse, introverted, and I find it hard connecting with people. I know it may be tagged as some form of social disease, but in truth I simply do not like people. I don’t trust them, and I am most happy and comfortable when I am alone. I hate that I have a phone, I hate calls but I could manage texts. Due to the nature of my job I have to stomach long hours of conversation every day. Some days I put on my headphones and get lost in Beyoncé’s latest hits – all to dodge any form of interference. Those are my happiest moments.

But I wasn’t always this way.

In a faint very distant memory, I can remember a young handsome kid whom everybody loved, and who loved everybody. Kids are so innocent, everything happening around them just breezes through. Everyone loves to protect a kid, so adults weave webs of lies, fantasies and create fairytale worlds to protect their children. But immediately I became of age, all that changed!

As I entered into my teenage years, I began to notice I was different. And that my perfect world was nothing like a fairytale. I noticed I was more interested in the male movie stars than the females, that there was a little more to the connection I felt with my neighbour’s son, that everyone felt my high pitched voice was too weird and girly, that it was wrong to talk and wave your hands, sway your hips or catwalk.

I learnt all this the hard way – meaning I was mocked, insulted, bullied and beaten.

To make matters worse, as I grew up I noticed my step brother was a little bit too ‘interested’ in me. Ours quickly became a tale of love and wars. He would make love to me at night and beat me to a pulp during the day. I am the only child of my mother, who had the unfortunate luck of marrying a monster, whose son was also a monster. I lived through all these for years, and slowly the once lively boy began to withdraw. Slowly everything that seemed green, bright and bursting with colours turned gray. I cried way too much, way too often. My mother never understood. I was just a weird kid to her. But maybe she loved me in her own way, I can’t tell anymore.

I read so many blogs and books about falling in love and instantly my mouth turns sour. I know that reality is not, and can never be for me. I have thought of ending my life so many times.

Even now that I am older and wiser, I still have serious moments of depression. And I am just hanging on to life by a thread. Some days, I am so down I can hardly get out of bed. I want to shut the windows, curtains and hide myself under a blanket.

Every smile I put on is strained and plastic. My ‘friends’ think I am a snub and most just hang on because of what they hope to benefit. I am tired. I’ve been running, running but I am so tired. Next month I turn 28 and my family has already tagged me a failure. Why? Because I have never had a girlfriend, let alone plans to marry. Never mind that I have completed my masters, have a job and am able to afford my needs independently. The longest relationship I had with a guy lasted 6months. They all end the same – I lose interest!

I am me. I am troubled. I won, but I am about to lose it all.

Written by Ken George

Do follow us on twitter: @panther_blog or to SHARE and DROP YOUR COMMENTS. And for any submissions, let us have your stories at pantherptb@yahoo.com.

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54 Comments

  1. Dennis Macauley
    June 10, 06:05 Reply

    We all have terrible demons from the past who torment us! I still have mine. In the end however I think you just make up your mind to move forward. I was raped as a teenager, so I can relate totally! Having great friends help, getting together over the weekend to share bouts of wine fueled laughter for example helps a great deal. You will be fine sweetheart

    • trystham
      June 10, 07:18 Reply

      Seeing ur comment again, I have always wondered how many of us had been harrassed sexually as growing kids by older people. I also wonder A LOT of times if that experience contributes to my current sexual preferences.

      • Chuck
        June 11, 04:30 Reply

        Trystham, your comment has struck a cord (pardon the cliche). We all hear of people being converted and so on. Are those people really gay or not? Is that why they are promiscuous? Is that why they don’t commit to relationships?

  2. Chizzie
    June 10, 06:53 Reply

    This is too depressing to read. to be honest I don’t see anything particularly unique in your story. many gay guys had similar childhoods. ..some even had it worse. I was constantly bullied by everyone as a child, my cousins and my siblings. Every person at some point will experience bullying or ridicule. such is life.

    Depression to a far extent is a choice and a state of mind. You can choose to constantly throw a pity party for yourself and be depressed, or you can choose to be happy. I’m not going to go all preachy o n you but Scripture advices us that we should “…hold all thoughts captive” In other words its our responsibility as humans to not just allow any thoughts zoom In and out of our head at will. We must analyse each thought and see if its beneficial, if it contributes to our lives or if it does nothing but makes us sad

    Everyone at one point in their life would experience depression but those that let it linger for so long are mentally passive people. Our mind is a constant battlefield so don’t believe everything you think

    Lastly like my role model Alyssa Edwards from drag race once said : Get a grip, Get a life and Get over it.

  3. xpressivejboy
    June 10, 06:55 Reply

    *teary eyed*

    Ken, be good to yourself by telling the U in you the sincere truth; which is, Losing isn’t an option, you WON and a Winner you’ll forever remain. We all had our past, some we still live with its regrets, but here I bubble with so much radiance…PinkPanther knows all ’bout me, you can ask him and he’ll feed you on them. Just shake it off…and be Happy; that’s the whole duty you owe yourself.
    Make new friends you can trust and hang-out, have a drink, chat and laugh hard, visit beautiful places, see a movie together and always make every weekend out of work a memorable one. I’m sure you’ll fine…that I’m so SURE of.

  4. trystham
    June 10, 06:56 Reply

    You get bored easy n you are already jaded with the monotony work, and current relationships bring. Then try something new and different each day. Even if it might not take ur attention for long. It probably would help you discover something u like doing. Oh, make A LOT of cyber pals-the REALLY crazy ones. You don’t have to hook-up with them but then they make life VERY interesting. Hopefully, your cyber relationships will transfer to real life.

    P.S I am DESPERATELY trying to take my own advice

  5. JustJames
    June 10, 07:41 Reply

    I get your distrust in humans… but unless you enjoy being depressed then go do something about it. Make friends… they don’t have to be a lot but at least people you can call on in your dark moments.
    And those that label you a failure, you only become a failure as long as you agree with them. Just keep in mind that there’s nothing you can do to keep any society happy. Just live your life as it pleases you and try your best to dwell on the good things of life.

  6. Dominic
    June 10, 08:36 Reply

    I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows, if I fail, if I succeed, at least I live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they cant take away my dignity…. learning to love yourself..it is the greatest love of all!

    Brother you have the responsibility for your own happiness. You really need to cheer up and be damn selfish about your life and happiness. Yes you don’t like people….but sure you there are things u love so much….i don’t know maybe…books, music, movies, shows, sports….etc get drunk in them and find on the internet those who love same and relate with them..there are thousands of internet blogs, forums and the likes where u can do that. The past 28 years have been sad…so make the rest of the years count. No one can truly make u sad or depressed without ur permission. Peace.

  7. Deola
    June 10, 08:48 Reply

    This felt like it was written by me, because this was me 3years ago. You’re absolutely right in your distrust of people, we live in Nigeria, one of the most homophobic places in the world.
    But here is my advice to you, screw what them bitches have to say, you are beautiful just the way you are and anyone that can’t see that cut them out of your life.
    Just cause there are horrible people in the world doesn’t mean there aren’t also compassionate people who get you.
    You need to fight, cause anytime you get depressed or let some snide comment get to you, you’re letting them win.
    You need to tell them bitches to sashay to one side, cause my dear you need to LIVE and not just exist. @Adeola_lfc

  8. Anonymous
    June 10, 09:19 Reply

    I promised myself to just b a regular reader & not comment but after reading d story above i hav to,i was never molested as a child i had only 1 bully in secondary skool who hardly troubles me, d 1 in my estate dat tot he could trouble me i gave him d insult of his life (when am angry i hav a bad mouth 4 words),just make sure u happy everyday never think of suicide cus we will all still die so enjoy life while it last.ITS OKAY TO B SELFISH SOMETIMES,spoil urself buy stuffs u dont need, go out travel see d world(or Nigeria),party hard u will see dat making friends is not so difficult,bros life is gud.

  9. Dominic
    June 10, 09:56 Reply

    @anonymous pls may I know why u promised yourself to only be a reader?

  10. luke
    June 10, 10:16 Reply

    5 years ago on a flight from Ghana, l took out my sim card from my phone broke it, when l arrived lagos, said hi to my brothers packed some bag, told them I was going to a friend in yaba, and l have never looked back since.l had just lost my Dad and my aunties other extended family was trying to ask the gay Question and they were ready to make hell for me.so l packed up, changed jobs, change everything and made me happy.Me happy, yea many might say it selfish, but am happy.
    I know you may ask what my story has to do with yours, but in life you owe it to your self to think about you first and enjoy something out of the sick world, even if just for a tiny little bit, yes you may say it difficult, or you wouldn’t know how to start, but always a step a day and min helps, be self and be happy.kill you self, they win and you be come a faded memory.

    • pinkpanthertb
      June 10, 10:20 Reply

      Your bold step to make you happy is really quite admirable.

    • kendigin
      June 10, 16:42 Reply

      Its really hard turning ur back on family. But I guess if one is pushed to the wall e.g if they disown u or try to harm u, then getting away will not be a bad idea.
      But this is Africa, our entire existence is tied to family, extended family. Turning ur back will almost mean starting ur life over. And its not that easy.

      • luke
        June 10, 21:05 Reply

        I know, not the best move, but at that time, that was my only option, or they hang me dry and emotional I wasn’t ready, so cutting them off then was my way out, l called it building my self for the future, I speak to my brother and a cousin, but l have my peace, am seeing my mum to tell her am gay, it’s just an information, wouldn’t care how she takes it, cause that is what 4 and half years taught me away from them, now am ready to talk that talk with them

    • trystham
      June 10, 16:43 Reply

      Choi!!!! Biko, u have tried. I guess for u its true what they say. Family isn’t ur flesh and blood, its people who are always there when it matters the most. I hope I can try that shii too

    • CeeCee
      June 10, 17:21 Reply

      wow, so true, yet such a difficult step to take, family is usually all we r tethered to our entire lives, its only one in a million of us that can suddenly cut that tether and walk loose … you took a bold step and it obviously worked for you, how many can actually have the heart/courage to do the same?

  11. sensuousensei
    June 10, 10:40 Reply

    Dear Ken George,
    Listen to me very carefully, brother. I am bisexual and have not suffered as you have regarding sexuality. But I am human and I understand sadness and lonliness. First, I offer you my friendship if you want it. Ask pinkpanther for details about me. Second, I will not tell you what to do because I understand how difficult it is to fight and overcome hurt, pain and depression. Don’t feel something is wrong with you because you are reacting this way to what others have fought and overcome. Your story is unique and there is not another story in the world like it. You are also unique in every way. You are also human. Therefore your response is human, unique and understandable. Thirdly, now what next? Life is about happiness. And you are not happy. Do you want happiness? I can assume you do. Its what everyone does. There next question arises: what can you do to be happy? Your brothers here have clue as to the answer to this questions. Talk to them (I hope they are willing). Be their friends. Talking with people with similar stories will go a long way. Finally, pulling yourself out from where you are is no mean feat. It will be the hardest thing you have ever done. Make no mistake about that. But it will be worth your while because it will make you another person entirely and turn your life around. All hope is not gone. Something can be done about the situation. Are you willing to try? If you aren’t, how will you ever know what you are capable of overcoming?

    • kendigin
      June 10, 16:35 Reply

      Wow, this is a big bro speaking. Sure can learn a lot. Its great to have smone who understands

  12. Blaq Jaqs
    June 10, 11:03 Reply

    Nice piece (not meant in an offensive way) but because it feels like something I’d have written about two years ago. Or even on some bad days…
    However gloomy and dreary life is. Suicide is never the option, at least in my opinion. I think people here have given you valuable advice and if heeded (I hope that’s grammatically correct), you could be on your way to being at peace with yourself. The hard part always come from implementing, and the road is long and hard but if you constantly keep at it it is achievable.
    So reiterating what everyone else has said. Take a salsa class or join a bookclub. If you hate your job, start working towards getting something you enjoy. Make new friends on social media that you don’t necessarily have to meet. If you aren’t comfortable with your body, work on it. Fortunately you have a job and that gives you a certain measure of independence and liberty.
    No matter how bleak things, it could always be much more worse…

  13. therealsalte
    June 10, 12:01 Reply

    I really feel your pain and I know u must have tried moving on but its not easy (Awanna easy) but you have to trust somehow and move on. Stand your ground and remain true to yourself. We’ve all been there somehow. Finally, I would love you to be my friend. Follow me on twitter @realsalte. Ask 4 a ff bk n let’s DM. Ok? It will end in laughter soon.

    P.S.: Guys let’s hook up one day and hang out, discuss issues and just laugh. Or what do you guys say?

    • fiqiyahaya
      June 10, 12:42 Reply

      i dont plan on being a party wrecker but….
      …………
      …………
      ………….

      the “Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill,
      2011” prohibit the registration of “gay clubs, societies and organisations, their sustenance, processions and meetings”

      • luke
        June 10, 15:06 Reply

        My learned fellow am sure you do understand what that term you yourself just stated means and in any why discribe the people here, it is called twitter, there for you can’t put a face to it, two even if you could put a face to it, the only (crime) here being gay or reading stories share and posted by gay folks,which in any ways we do not care for.so sir take a breathe and this post can’t be spoilt by you, it is about a brother who needs help and shared his story.no you not a party wrecker what so ever.far from that you are what is called busy body.

    • CeeCee
      June 10, 17:17 Reply

      It sounds tempting to hook up and … fuck the bill abeg, we can still do it if we plan it well, but .. i feel the anonymity and connecting magic might be gone if we meet up, so for now, lets remain behind our phones/conmputers/tablets and throw our tantrums here on the blog …

  14. kendigin
    June 10, 16:28 Reply

    Wow, I am just teary eyed reading all your comments. So much love and support. Sometimes just realising that ur not the only one going through a particular challenging is quite relieving.

    Thanks to you all for kind words.

  15. CeeCee
    June 10, 17:13 Reply

    Hi Ken, I have read your story several times during the course of the day, what can i say? Being gay in what has got to be the Earth’s most homophobic and hypocritical spot is no easy feat – we all deserve medals of bravery/honour, sometimes, it feels like god deliberately screwed me over …
    Anyone who grew up knowing he was gay from a young age, will necessarily have gone through a lot of emotional turbluence and heartache, for some of us; like me, we emerge stronger, so much so that the ones who bullied and reviled us as children are amazed when they see how strong, tall and beautiful we have become, while they scratch their heads in amazement and struggle to play catch up!! Obviously, your combination of circumstances have left you with a lot of unresolved and deeply etched scars.
    I have to tell you, you are not alone!! There are soooo many like you out there, several of us go through regular emotional trauma, hence this blog is a good outlet for pouring out innermost feelings and building some sort of support network (however fragile).
    You need friends!! a lot of us in an attempt to remain coded/anonymous/discreet, refuse to have friends – i mean friends (preferably gay or at least gay friendly) who know who you truly are and who accept you the way you are. This lack of friends further deepens your isolation and the end result is usually severe depression which seems like what you are currently experiencing. As no human is an island, you really do need friends who rlly understand and accept you. Am not too sure how you can go about making these friends, but gladly some other bloggers have extended their hands in friendship, hopefully, it works out.
    And then, I feel like smacking you across the face – hard!! You’re 28, have a job, have a masters’ degree (i had to work my ass off to get mine so its one of my most cherished possessions on the entire earth – *tears of joy*!!), you’re obviously smart and talented. Pull it together Sister!!!! You’re amazing!! do you know how many people would die to be like you. We all know many 30 – something yr olds who are jobless with/without education and generally living loser-ish lives. So fucking what if you aren’t married??!! You may or may not get married, only time will tell, but plzzzz dont let depression stop you from reaching your potential. You have so much to give the world, dont let the hypocritical, judgmental attitudes of bigots extinguish your bright flame!!
    Lastly, remember that Nigeria is but a small spot on the global map, there are lots of other places where you can live openly, happily and be proud of who you are – if you cant be happy here, you might want to consider moving to some other spot on the map.
    but please, wipe your tears and smile, and then succeed not because of but inspite of your challenges.

    **hugs**

  16. alpha papi
    June 10, 22:05 Reply

    dis ken george is not just serious, u even hv a job nd ur complainin,nd y shld havin a GF b a problem to u?ur own problem is from ur village….nd pls y’all shld STOP soundin lik evryone was bullied.if u were bullied ,it shows ur a weaklin.

    • CeeCee
      June 10, 22:17 Reply

      *mouth wide open* I have finally confirmed that this sleazy scumbag alpha papi is severely mentally disturbed. Dude, you’re so spaced out, your comments dont make sense, you cant keep track of simple conversations, like I said few days ago, all the blame lies with the bigger buffoons who like a pair of rats, bred an eyesore such as you are and then unleashed and continue to leave you unleashed to all of decent humanity’s deep sorrow … *spits in your ugly face and walks away clutching my expensive designer handbag tightly*

      • Deola
        June 12, 09:40 Reply

        Here is the thing about Alpha Papi, he likes the attention so he seeks out trouble by dropping comments that he knows would get a rise out of people. When y’all see his comments just ignore it, when he gets tired he will straighten up (no pun intended)

    • pinkpanthertb
      June 11, 01:01 Reply

      Please grow up. Please grow a brain. And please grow some reasoning. If you can’t attain any of these, please kindly stop commenting.

  17. Dominic
    June 10, 22:16 Reply

    damn…..unleash the dragons…comments for this post sha….

  18. Iduke
    June 10, 22:19 Reply

    Forgive me all (this may just be the eba talking). Ken. Listen to rascal flatts God.bless the broken road. Also listen to what the new wise guy on d group said. Chizzie grow up. Cold hearted bluntness sum times makes u seem stuck up. Panther stop staying on d side lines. A piece like this should be embraced. Someday I hope to write a piece. It sure isn’t haunted but it’s me. I hope chizzie won’t rip up my stuff sha.

    • pinkpanthertb
      June 11, 00:59 Reply

      *blink blink* Um, did you just rope me into an admonition?

  19. Chizzie
    June 10, 22:34 Reply

    Pink Panther. .I use a wordpress so I know u can delete comments even after they’ve been posted. Why do u continue to indulge Alpha Papi? I know u can delete his comments and spare us all his rubbish yet u continue to post them. Can u pls prohibit him from posting abusive and completely senseless comments, and d same goes for anyone whose comments are just intended to display stupidity and senselessness.

    I love the sanity and respect we all have for each other in this blog. lets keep it dt way. Use the delete button if necessary.

    • pinkpanthertb
      June 11, 00:59 Reply

      After reading that last comment of his, I’m strongly considering taking your advice. I had initially intended for this forum to serve as an impartial place for the airing of whatever views best builds us as a people. But this Alpha Papi guy tests the reason of even the most impartial person.

  20. sensuousensei
    June 11, 00:05 Reply

    Ken biko why have you left my “friendship request” pending? Okay I may have sounded like it was optional but its not. Reply else I send thunder to locate you wherever you are…

  21. lluvmua
    June 11, 23:35 Reply

    Awwwwwww sweerie *cleans tears from hair* don’t worry ok it all be over. We can become fwends ff me n twitter @andre_hayford……. Now first and foremost I don’t like pple quarrelling around me nd I always tend to settle issues. But after reading alpha papi’s comment I have come to the conclusion that alpha papi is a very big FOOL that alwys look 4 attention and has no brain!!!. I fink he should get a brain. (Its not expensive like 2 50naira ) *roll eyes* *flips hair nd walk out * rubbish!!!!

  22. QueerBoi
    June 12, 07:37 Reply

    Hi all. Ken, they’ve said it all. The power to be happy is in ur hands….. Permit me to jump into Alpha papi’s defence. Wtf is wrong with y’all?????? If u r mature enough, as u think u are, u should ignore the comment and move on. However u r drawn into it and then u abuse and insult him.. Just d way u r abused and insulted by society.. Smh. Kesimawo o, did u people even bother to check the meaning of weakling in a dictionary?? Cuz u r all jumping up and down clutching hand bags and what-not. And ken, u’ve got a job!!! U can afford ur needs independently.. I think u should “count ur blessings” and name them. Cuz to me it seems like u don’t knw how many graduates, first-class included, are jobless and hopless and can’t even afford a 3-square meal. Anyway.. Pinkpanther ion wanna go personal.. Buh if u block/delete alpha papi’s comments.. I’ll feel stabbed in the back. Tbh without his comments this blog is kinda flat.. Wether u admit it or not, all of u anticipate his comments. And even tho they might be controversial, out-of-order, off-point, or whatever u wanna term them.. They are HIS! Its a comment, u r nt obliged to respond. And finally, I’m still in d dark abt this, buh why do y’all call urselves sister, auntie etc. Pls anyone help me out here.

  23. Williams
    June 12, 15:13 Reply

    @CeeCee #Phenomenal#Sassy#Fabulous#BrilliantChap.

    • CeeCee
      June 12, 23:44 Reply

      Omg! Am flattered, thanx for all the love! Am just doing my lil bit to ease the pain, make things a lil better in this homophobic hell we unfortunate found ourselves, *flips hair, curtsies deeply and flips hair again*

  24. Enkayced
    June 17, 13:02 Reply

    I really never wanted to comment but y’all are a great bunch. Can’t wait to get back to Lag… Dear Ken, most peeps here have just dropped some great advice.
    I think alpha papi is one of those dudes who are extremely sarcastic, the kind who view life from the ‘half-empty’ perspective.
    All in all, Ken, you owe it to yourself to live a fulfilled life. So try and do just that.

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