DAMAGED (Part 2)

DAMAGED (Part 2)

Previously on DAMAGED

*

My first week in the hostel was nice. All my classmates were nice to me. They visited my room often to see me. The ones that were my roommates, we’d talk almost every time. I wasn’t as playful; I now enjoyed conversations more. Communicating with the hostel matron, patron, housemates and all the other resident staff in school was quite easy for me. Much easier than conversing with my classmates or juniors. I was the youngest in my class and the whole school, but only the principal knew that.

I really thought I was going to have a lot of fun being away from home and in the hostel, but I wasn’t even ready for that life yet. I couldn’t wash my clothes properly. I was too soft to fight, and I was too timid to speak against anything or defend myself against anyone. Being quite dull in class didn’t help.

It didn’t take long before my classmates began to taunt me and make me feel less than. Before some seniors started punishing me, beating me, and calling me names. Before most of my juniors in JSS1 who were physically stronger than me began disrespecting me. I was made fun of in every possible way kids knew how to. In class, in the dorms, during excursions, at the chapel – everywhere. Even some teachers started picking on me; it was a delight for them. There was a small holiday that term and when I had to resume school, I resumed super late. Like three weeks late, due to my mother’s negligent behaviour. I had a ton of notes to copy, and because of that and me being a super slow writer, I was unable to focus on anything, unable to study, unable to meet up with assignments and all that. Things kept getting worse. My provisions and everything I owned for cleaning were stolen by other students.

Sigh.

Sometime during that term, on a particular school night, someone came to call me. He was an SS1 student. He told me one of the SS3 seniors was searching for me. I went to the hostel and found the senior, and he told me to follow him. Let’s call him Enwongo. The hostel was quite empty that night, as most people were outside, gisting or running around. I followed Enwongo to the bathroom, to a part of the bathroom/toilet I had never bothered exploring. He said he wanted me to carry water for him, but I knew that wasn’t true. I didn’t know what he wanted though, but I was scared that if I didn’t follow him, I’d get beat up. So, I quietly followed.

At a corner of the bathroom/toilet area, he started asking me odd questions.

“Have you ever been with a boy?”

I said no.

“Do you have a sister?”

I said no.

“You’re lying,” he said.

I really didn’t like this senior. He wasn’t a bully or anything, I just wasn’t fond of him. One thing led to another and he was soon thrusting his penis in and out of my closed thighs. I had initially said no to this violation, but I was too timid to maintain my defiance.

I returned to my room that night feeling very dirty and humiliated. I couldn’t tell anyone what had just happened, not at the time. This thing with Enwongo happened a lot of nights after. With some other seniors as well. A term later, a cousin of mine, Daniel, transferred to my school. I decided I’d tell him all that had been happening to me; maybe he’d be my confidant or something. Before the end of that term, another cousin, older than us both – Etim is his name – had to come to my school just for WAEC. He came from a French-speaking country; he was smart and all that. Daniel told Etim everything I told him, and Etim promptly took me under his wing. Every night, he made sure I was in his room. He even got into a fight once because he was trying to keep me from these predators. When Etim left, I was in JSS3, and someone else, Kayode, transferred to my school. He was also very protective of me. He kept me out of sight of predatory eyes, until other students began thinking we were fucking. He was a good person.

Much later, on a sunny and boring Saturday, I told someone I thought was a friend of every single gay experience I’d had since I got into the school. The ones I wanted, the ones I didn’t want, the ones I enjoyed and the ones I hated, the feelings of confusion I first had with Enwongo when we started, the resentment I felt for those who I didn’t like but who had their way with me. I told this friend all of this, thinking he could keep a secret. But the next day, boys started coming to me for stories, some others to call me names. They called me “fag” and all sorts of names.

And in a matter of days, I became more hated by my class than I normally was. By the following week, I heard a rumour. The school was planning to expel every student involved in homosexuality. I got scared and called my father. I told him of how a senior kept coming to my bed at night to do unspeakable things to me as I slept. This really did happen, but it was all I confessed to my father. Then I told him that the school was gearing up to expel students for homosexuality, and that because of what I’d just told him, I was considered a part of it. I don’t know if he believed me, but he drove into school that night to talk to the staff living in the school.

The next day at about 5 pm, the housemaster called a compulsory assembly to address everyone in the hostel about homosexuality and how students caught engaging in it would be punished.

Later that week (I think it was the next day), a lot of students were called into a dormitory by SS3s, ordered to strip naked, and the sounds of their cries and screams and lash of belts against skin began rending the air. I got so scared, and began staying away from the hostel after classes, only going back late in the night. I did this for three days. I knew what was happening in the hostel had to do with homosexuality, so I stayed away. Skipped some meals. Stole into the hostel under the cover of darkness and spent the night hidden in my room or the toilet.

I finally decided to face my fear one day that same week. I got into the hostel after school in broad daylight, and when my hostel mates saw me, they began going off. Slurs were thrown at me.

“Faggot!” some said.

“Gay!” others said.

I didn’t even know what “gay” meant at the time. “Faggot” however wasn’t unfamiliar. A friend of my older brother had called me a faggot once and I reported him to my mother. I think it ended badly for him.

Now that I was back in the hostel, I was pounced on and taken to the dorm from where there’d been sounds of crying and whipping. In it, I saw a lot of boys who had bullied and called me names naked. They were mostly SS2s and SS1s. They were in various positions of distress. Some were squatting and others were getting flogged by the SS3s. It wasn’t fun to watch.

I was told to sit on a bed in the corner, next to some other boys who were either my mates or my juniors or a class above me. most of them were effeminate.

They were not getting subjected to the same humiliation that the naked ones were undergoing. We sat huddled together, fully clothed, legs trembling. Apparently, these boys I was with had gone to the housemaster to confess to him about all the homosexual things they were involved in, and were exonerated. The ones getting beaten were those who hadn’t acted that wisely, but had clouds of suspicion hanging over them.

I cried a lot that period. I remember a classmate telling me, “See what you have caused. See how all those boys are suffering because of you.”

That broke me. These classmates believed that the homosexual can of worms was opened because I told my secrets to that boy who I thought was my friend. Ironically, I caught the heat of the blame, while he who blabbed my secrets to everyone stayed blameless. I felt terrible. I got depressed. I was in a bad place emotionally and mentally. This was when my trauma began. After that experience, I swore to die with my secrets, even if they could save someone.

After JSS3, I left the school, but I struggled to bury all the bad memories I got from there. I succeeded in keeping them buried for as long as I could, but they kept coming back. Resurrecting. Threatening to eclipse me.

When I got into the university, a private school, I met two people from that secondary school there. One from the hostel who suffered for my mistake and another who was a day student but heard all that happened. I met the first one at the bursary, and he told me he wasn’t the only one from our secondary school who was here. He mentioned a few others, some had apparently already graduated. I got back to my room that day, trying to still the panic rising inside me. And I was thinking. About how bad things could get.

The next day, I saw the second guy. The feeling like I was being entrapped began coming over me at this point. I started feeling like people were talking about me and laughing at me wherever I went. I began spiraling when I realised that my past had crashed into my present. Undue humiliation. Depression. I started withdrawing. Began developing social anxiety. I began getting too scared to leave my room for any reason, except when I got hungry. My roommates thought I’d gone mad because I was foregoing lectures and tests. I was petrified by the thought that the scandal that wrecked me in secondary school would repeat itself here. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to die.

Eventually, a kind soul reached out to me. He tried to help me. He got me to see a psychologist. I was having weekly sessions after which I was able to control the emotions I had all over the place. I picked up academically after that.

I am still scarred by that experience. The ripple effect of all that turmoil in my educational past is still resonating in my life now. These days, when I have to meet a queer person, I remember, and then I don’t want to meet him anymore. I get very scared and sad. I cut the person off, and then much later, I’ll apologise and make up a lame excuse. Even with the people I already know; I’d cut them off and go off everyone’s radar, and then much later, I will try to come back into their lives, like nothing has happened.

I don’t trust people. When I do, I really do, but it’s just hard to get me there. My relationships don’t last. Nothing is stable for me. The older I get, the more I find that I have to fight for my mental and emotional stability. I struggle with keeping people in my life. I am starting to get cosy with the idea of being lonely in the end. Even though I have a boyfriend, there are days when I just don’t want to be bothered by him or communicate with him, and there are days when I really need him.

I don’t know if I can be fixed. I don’t think I can be fixed. I think I’m getting worse. Memories from secondary school, growing up with my family and other things – as much as I try to bury them, they come surging to the surface. And whenever they do, I spiral into depression.

I suppose we all have demons digging into our souls. Spirits haunting us. We smile and keep it sunny on the outside, but inside, we are dark and damaged. We build personas to mask the ugly struggles that we have to deal with.

We are all damaged somehow, and this is how I got damaged.

THE END

Written by Jinchuriki

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23 Comments

  1. Bussy
    February 02, 07:47 Reply

    phew!!! relieved it didn’t turn out as I thought it would, when i read the part 1
    jin, the more your blame yourself, the mire depressed you get. just try and move on, forget about the past, and focus on your studies.
    Having at lease one trusted queer friend helps alot, they’re like twin you never, who atyms will sit and hear you talk about problems bothering you, or normal dates, or whatever worth a discussion. it helps
    like your friend who betrayed you, brother like I keep telling others, don’t don’t don’t tell anyone about your sexuality just be you feel you can trust the person, sometimes secrets are worth taking to the grave.
    I’ve got a female bff, we’re close, she gives me details about her daily life including sex apart, and I do the same except my sexuality, even she tease me about being gay, I just don’t give her a nod but laugh it over and let her have her thoughts, I just can trust anyone.
    All the same wen you get out if that bubble and get into the world you’ll know that all this differences are like your greatest strength.
    you’ll survive bro 😃✌

  2. Higwe
    February 02, 08:17 Reply

    ” we are all damaged somehow ”
    Na bro, we aren’t.

    You can only be damaged, when you let people infest you with their negativity and kill a part of you.

    Try as much as you can, the past can never be changed. It’s gone and it’s gone, it’s ancient history. One thing you can definitely change is your future.
    You can either let your past damage it for you or you can simply focus squarely on it and make something meaningful out of the only shot you have at life.

    Humans are natural bullies; we are sadistic and cruel ,and once you make yourself a life’s “Bitch ” , the cruelty we will met out to you will be irreparable.

    It’s time you stopped living in your past and embraced your future.
    It’s time you saw yourself as an entity and understand, that no one will stand up for you as much as you can stand up for yourself.

    Pity elapses
    Mercy saturates ..

    One thing that will stay with you for the rest of your life- is you.

    Do not waste YOU ‘ obsessing over the thoughts of people, who will move on with their lives thirty seconds after you’re dead.

      • Lorde
        February 06, 10:29 Reply

        True talk….. I’m so sorry about what you went through…while everyone responds to bullying and emotional trauma… this story was like a regular Saturday in my school back in the day….

  3. Lammy
    February 02, 08:53 Reply

    Hey Dear! All I have to say is you are strong…thats what you always have to tell yourself I also attended a boarding school I had my mates and seniors disturb me… People call my friends and I names we still moved on.
    The most painful experience for me was when one of my friend and another guy got expelled for homosexuality but I see him today and I’m super proud of who he is becoming.
    No one can dictate your life.. Lay ur head down and move dear
    Be strong bcoz u are

  4. Rainbow Nova
    February 02, 09:50 Reply

    Jinchuriki,
    My brother my friend
    I know not your face nor can I claim to know your pain
    But this deep of sorrow dug deeply for years uncounted
    Has made you forget who you are
    Has torn away your hope, the smile on your lips, your childhood cheer-filled face
    Come back to us dear brother
    Your family is here, we wait
    Eagerly, anxiously for you to be alive again
    The breath of joy has left your heart
    Your soul distraught, your mind over plays relapses of your undeserved torture
    This pain is not yours to bear
    But for the murderers of joy, monsters of dreadful hurts born from hate and selfish wickedness, the hypocrites and accursed accusers
    Bring back your love Jinchuriki
    Please let your soul heal from this unfair self-condemnation
    I wait eagerly with my brothers and sisters who hold the peace we so craved to build, create, protect and keep
    Only you can choose this path, only you can bring you back
    So we will wait oh dear friend
    For you to come back home
    Love awaits you, you’re so much powerful than all that pain

  5. Blue
    February 02, 10:35 Reply

    Jinchukiri nothing is happening it is just your mind set. Assuming you had earlier let go of that mind set when you got into the university, it would not be this hard for you now. You have to learn to kick out negative thoughts away from your mind as early as possible

  6. Kamsi
    February 02, 11:23 Reply

    These are just scars that are there to remind you who you are, how you started and where you are going.

    Let the experience be your source of inspiration and motivation instead of allowing it to ruin your life.

  7. peace
    February 02, 12:56 Reply

    Nnam,
    Let me say I know how you feel. I went to a same sex secondary school, when I was in jss2, it was announced to the whole set that I was a homosexual, hopefully I’ll write about it someday. That day it was announced, it spread round the whole school, and everyone wwas looking for me, and guess what? It was exam period then, in fact I don’t know how I passed that exam. Long story cut short I was found and beaten to a pulp. In fact I became numb, I didn’t leave my bed for a week cause I couldn’t move, my friends had to bring food to me.

    Fast forward to SS1 the same thing happened again, this time it was the school chaplain that prevented them from beating me. I hated myself, I hated everyone. Truth is if someone from my school wants to describe me to another person, he’ll be like “ah ah don’t you remember peace? The gay peace” so it’s more like my identity. But over the years I’ve left my past behind. I may not be able to change everyone’s perception of me, but I can change how I see myself. So I’ve decided to love myself, as for being gay? Honey I’m as gay as the rainbow heavens. So please don’t be hard on yourself, let the past go cause nothing you do can change it. Work on being a better version of you my darling and trust me, you’ll be happier. If you need to talk more, holla @pink pather. Jisie Ike Nnam.

  8. bamidele
    February 02, 15:31 Reply

    Man You have to understand that you’re us ad we’re all you. Many of us have undergone such experience, especially in term oof loeliness and disappointment from people we trusted. But it is good that you’ve been able to achieve your education and (probably) an enviable career. All I can see is you should make every effort to forget the past and look forward to the future. Pick up hobbies that fascinate and put smiles on your face. Move on! Thanks for sharing this emotional story!

  9. kwesi
    February 03, 06:21 Reply

    my whole life in a write-up😑😣😣😣😣😣 i can over relate to this sef. sigh
    you’d be fine dear. i hope i have the strength to tell my story too one day. sending you love and light💛

  10. Dimkpa
    February 03, 15:12 Reply

    I’m really sorry to read about your story. It is quite sad and I was really heartbroken to read about your subsequent mental health problems from it. I’m glad to see you got help. It is a trauma that you’ve suffered and it will take a while to heal. I suggest you continue with therapy if you can, that’s a helpful way back.

    I think it is rather patronising for people to say “just forget about…” or “stop living in the past”, if it were easy, he would have done it by now. His story suggests some elements of PTSD/ anxiety disorder and it is not helped by just forgetting. He needs help and that is what we should advise.

    • Jinchuriki
      February 03, 19:45 Reply

      Thanks a lot Dimkpa. A lot of people don’t understand traumatized people.

  11. Buzzy
    February 04, 03:19 Reply

    I related well to this probably because the location is same as mine. Jin, you are amazing. You are powerful. Never feel belittled. You’ll be fine. I love you.

  12. mike
    February 04, 17:58 Reply

    Yhur anxiety stems your inability to face the truth, you keep trying to put it behind, and when it pops up, you don’t know how to deal, cause you’ve never dealt with it.

    I was expelled twice from two different secondary schools, same story only yhu seem the victim in yours story, I was more of the initiator, I don’t see myself as a perpetrator. I was a teenage boy riding on hormones I did not understand, instead I was told unnatural n demonic,emm powers from my mothers stuff like that.

    So I couldn’t deal, I was handling it all wrong, humping mates and seniors alike, I just want to fuck somehow male or female, how I gt my fix, I didn’t care, a hole is a hole, so I gt in trouble a lot, till the day, I was bashed.

    Got into university, how it happened I dnt know. Like yhu decided to put it behind me. All of a sudden I developed social anxiety and was getting panic attacks from no where, in my secondary I was 3 time best debate, both senior and junior, I can control, stand n speak. All of a sudden that kid was having social anxiety, I could not relate, my 100 -200l was hell. This panic attacks comes up at random, I see a guy I like coming, paranoia cause I felt everyone knew or was talking abt me etc.

    How I dealt with it.

    A form of psychotherapy, read about it in secondary school, when religion failed to cure me, I turned to science, during my search I bumped into it.
    Forgotten the name, but this form of therapy, you are your therapist.
    You close your eyes and go back to that place of drama, you relieve the event, trust me its not fun, the whole shit would come rushing down, as I am my own heart is picking up pace.
    The goal is to relieve it, be there embrace it, then forgive yourself, remember

    1. You are not the same person you were back then
    I refer to myself back then as a kid.

    2.even back then you are far more than that person.
    To me , intelligent loud, wide reader, best debator, fun and great dancer multi talented kid.
    I hold on to those titles in my past, and choose to see myself backend, that kid as that not the homo, that was called behind my back, cause ever few people can stand me in person, I was a angry kid, and waste no time in defending myself, so I fight a lot.

    The processes I took is too long to type but those are the fundamentals. You have to know that kid is not you, you had very little power over circumstances then.

    And the next time you have a panic attack or something, take one deep breath, and let it go. In time you’ll come to see it wasn’t all bad. And you’ve survived the worst in life, and guess what, your still alive.

  13. mike
    February 04, 18:02 Reply

    4give the errors n long epistle. But yhu should b able to get the gist, all the best.

  14. Dozie
    February 11, 15:33 Reply

    I dont know u … But I really wish I can see you and talk. My email is at the comment section. I would love love if u can reach out .

    • Jinchuriki
      February 26, 15:27 Reply

      You can send your contact deets to the admin, then I’ll try to reach out.

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