A Tiny Glimmer Of Hope

A Tiny Glimmer Of Hope

It was profoundly tough for me to write this, but I guess this is the only way I can find some release.

My parents got divorced when I was just two. I have a younger sister who’s married now. I’m 23. She’s 21. We pretty much had a tough childhood, numerous awful memories. My father remarried and turned his back on us, stopped bothering about us and my mother struggled to raise us all on her own.

My mother then lost her job when I was in SS2, and this made things even more difficult. We didn’t have any source of income, so I dropped out of school to assist. Once my sister was done writing her WAEC, I went back to school to write mine. And we both got admission into a polytechnic in the same year. Things were really tough, because there was no assistance from anyone – that is, apart from an uncle who offered us accommodation after our rent expired and we couldn’t pay up, because paying up would mean my sister and I would have to give up school.

I knew from the age of 8 that there was something different about me. But admitting this truth to myself was difficult all the way into my teenage years. My family, especially the extended one, are conservative churchgoers, so of course, things relating to homosexuality were taboo to them.

So, when I realized I was attracted to guys, I denied it for years. I fought it. I prayed about it in the Chapel of Adoration. But my efforts were futile, because the more I tried to kill this attraction, the more the urge grew and strengthened, and the more my attraction developed.

I was slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that I needed to be who I am.

But how?

One day, one of my cousins (you know, a child of the uncle we were staying with) borrowed my phone to text her friend. I don’t know how she got into my video collections, but she did and she saw the video clips of gay porn that I’d downloaded. She showed them to my uncle, who confronted me. I didn’t know how to deny what was being thrown at me. The evidence was there. I didn’t see any out but to tell the truth.

And that was how I came out to my family.

My mother cried and begged me to change. But in the face of the terror I felt at being this open to my family, I felt some relief. And with that relief came defiance. To my crying mother, I told her that this was who I am, not who I became. Who I’d always been.

Through all of this drama, my uncle was quieter than usual. And then, out of nowhere, he said, “If you choose to be gay, then you’re no longer part of this family. If you want to live that lifestyle, then do it somewhere else. Not in my house.”

He went on to say how ashamed he was of me, how gladly my father would react to this news, the shame it would bring to my family. He smashed my phone and within minutes, I was thrown out of his house.

That became the beginning of my journey to being homeless, helpless and with no family.

As I was getting thrown out, I looked to my mother, hoping for her intervention. But she wouldn’t look at me. From her expression, it was apparent that she was sickened by me. And for the first time since I was outed, shame overcame me. Sweat drenched my body as bile rose in my throat.

I love my mother. We have been through so much. And seeing that I was causing her pain with something I couldn’t help was beyond hurtful to me. But she turned her back on me.

Within few hours, my bag was packed, and I was out on a journey of the Unknown. I don’t have friends, apart from a coursemate I was close to back in school. We were however done with our ND programs, so it was tricky to get in touch with him. He was in the next town close to mine. I told him of my predicament, and he asked me over to his place.

And so, that is where I am. In Ebonyi State. Squatting with a friend, in a situation that is dependent on his mother returning home from her travels.

All the fears I have harboured all these years came to fruition. I’ve been found out, rejected and disowned. Lost everything. And oftentimes, I feel so terribly alone.

For anyone of any age, rejection like this can be devastating. But I couldn’t help my truth, especially seeing as I had struggled against it enough of my entire life. I’d finally come to the realisation that I can’t change myself. Trust me, I have tried.

Surrounded by intolerance and homophobia, I tried to be something that I’m not. Girls are beautiful, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help but stare at men. Not even the threat of losing everything could stop this.

When my friend’s mother comes back, I sincerely do not know where else to go, how to start up my life. I am trying but it is hard to get a job here. I don’t know who to reach out to because my heart cannot take more rejections.

I’m trying desperately to cling on to the tiny glimmer of hope that whispers to me, saying: You’re going to find a way through this.

That voice however is growing quieter and quieter every night I survive.

I get by with the help of Mariah Carey’s music and my friend’s assurances. These are the things that are keeping me here still, because as the voice of hope gets quieter, the other voice – the dark one – offers me an escape, a way to end it all so I can finally be free of my pains.

Written by Udechukwu

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23 Comments

  1. Houston
    January 30, 07:43 Reply

    I am deeply emotionally moved by this piece. I want you to know that you are a survivor. Remember the “Adversity Hypothesis” which says that people need adversity, setbacks, and perhaps even trauma to reach the highest levels of strength, fulfillment, and personal development. This phase will soon pass and it will become part of your success story.

    With the exception of being outed to my family, I went through a similar journey and a very traumatic childhood experience. Parental divorce from a polygamous family of 50 wives and 105 children. I was number 20 in the list of children. At age 4, my mother fled with my siblings and me because of domestic violence and this was when I started my long journey of altercasting. She went through unbearable pain raising us and I remember the different periods we were homeless and had to squat with different families every two weeks. This journey is exactly why I shield my sexuality from my mother. At age 27, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and I felt my whole life was torn apart until I became a cancer survivor.

    But you know what, the traumatic experiences of life provides us with confidence and posttraumatic growth to deal with future life challenges. You are a survivor Udechukwu. Although traumas, crises, and tragedies come in thousand forms, our hidden abilities are made known to us during those difficult periods. You will survive and look back at this piece in the near future with gratitude.

    I will ask for your contact details from PP and hopefully forward my little support to you. Please stay strong brother.

      • Black Dynasty
        January 30, 16:48 Reply

        Hi PP,

        Could you please pass my details across to the gentleman? I can’t offer accommodation or a job but I can offer some financial assistance.

    • Mandy
      January 30, 11:12 Reply

      These are the testimonies that should be told. The actual life victories that should be turned on loud so people can hear and be inspired by it.
      Houston, you’re a true victory story.

  2. Mark
    January 30, 07:44 Reply

    Wow! You really need some support & comforting. If you want someone to talk to, connect me via my e-mail address; rolexdoby@gmail.com.

  3. Opal
    January 30, 07:47 Reply

    Hi Ude, I can imagine what you’re going through. Please hang in there… don’t give up. With your ND, look out for any job you can do for now to earn and stabilize. You have what it takes… Please don’t give up.
    If you feel okay… reach me on jeffopal89@gmail.com

  4. Kayeze
    January 30, 10:18 Reply

    Udechukwu what state are you in
    Send it to me on slykp@yahoo.com

    Let me help u sort out the accommodation there if I can and any other thing I can help with

  5. Mandy
    January 30, 11:10 Reply

    Stories like this give you perspective on how different our lives are in the community, and yet how alike they are as sufferers of the cruelty of homophobia.

    Udechukwu, please stay strong. Hold on to Mariah Carey. Refuse to let that voice fade away. Stories like yours won’t end in distress and pain. Everything will become good for you if you’ll just hold on.

  6. Law9
    January 30, 15:41 Reply

    Your not alone jst keep hope dnt gve up better dey ahead.

  7. Black Dynasty
    January 30, 16:47 Reply

    I can only imagine just how extra difficult things are facing everything you’re going through.

    A lot of us have been through horrible situations, some as bad and others not as bad but know this… you can survive if you hang in there.

  8. frankie
    January 30, 19:24 Reply

    I sympathize with u. We just av to b careful about pple stories because there are a lot of scam n fraudsters, kittos studying d Gay world like book n knowing how to reach n harm pple via stories that touches the heart

    • kristo
      January 30, 20:12 Reply

      I think his story has been vetted

    • J
      January 30, 21:33 Reply

      Karma will fuck up the life of anyone that tries to take advantage of kind people. If anyone brings up a story like this and it is just to deceive innocent people, may that person meets the greatest failure and pain he has never experienced in his life. Can I get an amen?

  9. J
    January 30, 21:27 Reply

    Wow there are kind people on KD. It’s really nice to see people trying to give a helping hand to a brother. I’m proud of you all 😍😍😍😘😘😘

  10. Audrey
    January 30, 23:07 Reply

    This actually a first time for me giving my opinions to issues here but I’m greatly touched by your story.
    what’s your course of study and if you have an updated Cv feel free to reach me on Orjichimex1@gmail.com let’s see what God can do and whilst at it inbox me your account details so I’d send in my widows mite.

  11. DBS
    January 31, 00:00 Reply

    Young man,

    You’ve come this far already and believe me that took great bravity on your part. I must applaud your courage. I hope you stay strong and use whatever resources you get from now on, well to your advantage. Never let go of that glimmer you bear, for it will certainly lead you to all the right places. Remain strong, Ude. Jide ka iji.

  12. Smart
    January 31, 08:01 Reply

    Wow! Seeing this much support from the community is just incredible.

  13. Peace
    January 31, 09:55 Reply

    I’m not mincing my words when I say that I’m proud to be a KDian. The love here is overwhelming, it brings tears to my eyes. Ude nnam, I wish I could say that everything would end abruptly but truth is, we would keep on struggling till we get there. I want you to also know this, you have a strong support system here with kind hearted people, we are your brothers and sisters. In the end you’ll be fine nnam. Jisie Ike.

  14. Paul
    February 03, 01:26 Reply

    Am deeply touched by your story and I’ll advise that you stay strong and not do anything stupid to yourself because you have a future and a hope to hold on to.However,I stayed in Lagos so offering you an accommodation is out of it but you can contact me on my facebook page @Paul Olowu with the smile symbol as my profile pics.STAY STRONG.

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