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ACPN - BREATHE (Ekwere Jessica Emmanuel)
  • 02 / 06 / 2022

BREATHE (Ekwere Jessica Emmanuel)


Ekwere Jessica Emmanuel


She sat there in the doctor’s office, but you could tell her mind was anywhere but there. Her heart was now heavy with untold grief. One look at her and one would think she was admiring the center piece, but truth be told she tilted her head slightly because she was lost in the thoughts and troubles of her head.


“Are you ok Jenny?” Dr. Halima asked, an attempt to break the deafening silence that filled the room. Jenny didn’t know how to answer that question. She was far from ‘ok’ at this point.


“Look, Jenny, I understand it’s been rough and I can’t even imagine what it must have taken you to be here today. You don’t need to be scared anymore. Now you just need to let me help you. Do you want to go through with it?”


Jenny avoided her eyes, because there was too much sadness in hers .She struggled for a while to let the words come out. They finally did, “yes”, she said lifting up her head to look at the doctor. Those eyes were filled with undeniable despondency. The doctor adjusted her seat as she said, “ok Jenny. I really want to help you, but in order to do that you’ll have to tell me everything so I can figure out just ‘how’ to help. So let’s start from the beginning. “The beginning of my end” she thought. She took a deep breath before she started speaking.


“It goes a long way back, some twenty years. All my life……I’ve had something trapped inside. I tried to suffocate it, hoped it would die. It didn’t .It’s been twenty long years but it still feels like yesterday.


June of 2001,I was six years old back then. A cold Saturday evening, it was raining. It didn’t look like the rain would stop anytime soon. Mum wasn’t home, dad wasn’t home either. It was better that way, peaceful even. They weren’t arguing, dad wasn’t yelling, mum wasn’t screaming at dad to let go or to stop hitting her, she wasn’t crying. I didn’t have to see her treat her wounds. The rain continued and so did the thunderclaps, one louder than the last, but itpeaceful. At least for me it was. People were under the impression that we were one big happy family. I mean who wouldn’t, we went to a good school, wore the best clothes, my parents attended literally every high class function in Akwa Ibom, and not to mention we lived in a nice house. It really was a nice house, it had a lot of room and beautiful paintings on the living room walls. My beautiful house was far from a home, that was what people never knew, the truth. On days like that when they weren’t home, it would feel like maybe those things were true.  Harold, my twin, got scared when he heard thunderclaps. He’d let out a scream then he’d say he wasn’t scared, but I knew he was. He was a softie, but I liked him that way. He would cry when my mum got hurt, then he’d go cuddle her. Mum loved it a lot, knowing her kids loved her. Esther, our care taker, was with us that evening. Mum had called her up earlier and told her to make dinner that she’d be home late. Harold and I were in the living room playing avideo game when Udoh, our security guard came inside the house. Udoh had been our security guard for four years now.We called him Yhudiee.  He use to help us around with chores and other things. He would play football with Harold when dad refused him. We grew fond of him in no time.


It was quite cold outside and he knew that my parents wouldn’t be back soon, so he came in. Esther came out of kitchen, she was done making dinner and she was tired too. She asked Udoh to give the food to us later on then she went to bed. I wasn’t really hungry so I went to my room. I felt like drawing something so I got my drawing book, perched on my bed and just let my hand move on the paper. After some time I heard my room door creak open. I was startled at first but then I saw it was Udoh, I just waved and he waved back. I went on with my drawing. I could feel that I was being watched, I found it disturbing. Ten seconds gone and he was standing there, looking at me. The bright look in his eyes were gone, now there was this cynical look.  Then he smiled, not that sweet friendly smile, this one was sick……twisted….psychotic……petrifying.  He shut the door very slowly, then he locked it. He placed a finger over his lips, indicating that I….Should be quiet. I was scared because I had no idea what was happening and he just kept on coming closer till he sat beside me.”

She couldn’t continue anymore, it was over whelming for her. She ran her hands through her hair avoiding eye contact with the doctor as she spoke with a rather vague impression, “do you want me to continue…..or …..have you figured it out yet. You seem like a smart woman so,you know what happened already”. There was a sudden inconvenient silence in the room for a few seconds from the doctor. The thought of what could have possibly happened to Jenny had her skeptical. Brushing off her feelings, she kept things professional and went on with the questions. She cleared her throat and went on, “He… abused you, I’m I correct?” Jenny diverted her eyes to another corner of the room, not looking at anything in particular, and she nodded slowly as she tightened her lips and released them again.


“My brother was downstairs still playing video games so he didn’t hear me, and neither did Esther. She was asleep almost three rooms away. I had never felt pain so intense in all my life. Not even when my father would hit me when I did something ‘wrong’. He seemed to be fine, as if he actually liked hurting me, like my pain gave him pleasure. He left me there crying, bleeding, hating myself, wishing my mother was there with me, to hold me and tell me I’d be fine”. She was crying now, she tried so hard to hold back her tears, but that part of her that she lost so many years before was killing her inside now. She cried so much that the doctor offered her a box of tissues. Jenny continued to speak even though she was crying which caused her to break and sniff in between words, “I ….. couldn’t  ……I couldn’t tell anyone after it happened. I was literally scared for my life. I wore a fake smile for days, cried when I was alone and cried myself to sleep.  No one noticed it, except Harold. He came to me one night and said to me, “Jen, you know you can tell me anything right? We’re twins remember? I’ve felt your sadness for the past few days now. It‘s ok to cry but please tell me what’s wrong so I can help, I promise to do anything I can tohelp”. My six year old brother could tell that something was wrong with me. He was the only one who I could confide in at the time, so I told him everything. I begged him not to tell my father but he wouldn’t listen. I told him he could help me by not saying anything and just being there with me. He did just that. He didn’t leave me, he ….helped get through those horrible times, even if both of us were still too young to understand what really happened. I was scared of him now, too scared to play outside, too scared to ask for help from him like I use to, too scared to go anywhere without my brother. During that period of time, my brother and I became inseparable.


Two years went by so quickly. It suddenly became a bad memory for me, nothing more. Our lives were still the same as ever, more bad times than good times. It still baffles me how bad turned to worse in just one night”. Halima adjusted herself, she was eager to hear what Jenny was about to say. “Esther was on leave that day, she had to head back to the village because took ill a few days before. This was around maybe seven or eight in the evening. Mum was making dinner which was taking a lot of time. Dad was getting impatient. He was sitting on the table with a glass and a bottle of whiskey, the usual. Whiskey caused a lot of problems in that house. The arguments they’d have when mum would complain that dad drank too much, or the ones that happened when he actually ‘drank too much’. This was one of those times he did. Harold and I were in my room playing a board game. In the middle of our game we heard something, a plate maybe crash and break. It startled the both of us. The crash was followed by a scream, a loud pain filled scream, my mother’s scream. We could hear my dad yelling and ranting about something and every time he paused, mum’s scream would intensify. It sounded like a scene from a horror movie and they were starring in it. Mum was crying and begging but…. He didn’t care. The sound of my mother’s voice was taunting us in that room. We couldn’t even try to ignore it, it was unbearable. Harold couldn’t stand it any longer. So he got up and went downstairs.


I followed him, even though I was scared. We stood at the top of the stairs, the sight of what was going on sunk my heart immediately. He was using a belt on her. Not one of those cheap little ones you find in stores, it was one of those expensive, heavy, original leather belts. They could inflict more pain than the other ones. Mum was on the ground covered in bruises, screaming her lungs out, waving her hands as an attempt to stop the belt from hitting her face. I didn’t even realize when Harold had ran over there and tried to stop my dad from hurting her anymore. Harold couldn’t bear to see our mother in pain, my mother on the other hand was begging him to go back upstairs. Harold didn’t listen, instead he stood in front of my father so he wouldn’t hurt my mother anymore. I was scared for both of them, mostly Harold, he was younger and undeniably weaker. That didn’t stop my father, nothing and no one could at that point. I watched my father fling my brother right across the room. The way and manner that Harold hit the marble ground was almost as if he was lifeless. 


My mum and I let out a scream, out of fear and disbelief of what we had just witnessed. My mum jerked and pushed my dad away and fell at my brother’s side. He wasn’t breathing, I was worried sick, I was scared of losing him. Mum shook him violently while crying and calling out his name, but he wasn’t responding. Mum got the keys from the table and ran outside to call for help. Udoh heard her screaming and came out of the gate house wondering what had just happened. Mum just kept on repeating Harold’s name and smacking his shoulder signaling him to follow her into the house. I was there beside my brother’s almost lifeless body when they both rushed into the house. Mum carried him out of the house and he helped her put him in the car. He opened the gate for her and she drove off. That image of my brother being carried into the car, my last memory of him, the last time I ever saw him.”

She wiped her tears quickly with the back of her hand before she continued, “mum came home almost two days later. She wasn’t with Harold so I presumed he was still in the hospital. She came with some police officers and she looked angry, really angry. Dad was home, on his way out actually. When I saw them approach the house so I ran upstairs to my room. There were some noises, sounded like struggling. I wasn’t sure of what was happening and for some reason I really didn’t want to. I knew it wasn’t anything good. Finally the noises stopped, I came out of my room only to realize that there was no one home. I went back to my room, locked the door and fell asleep.


I felt it was the best thing I could do. When mum got home I asked her when Harold was coming back home. I got shattered inside when she just said, “Honey….Harold isn’t coming back. Harold is…is in a better place now”. My brother, my twin, my confidant, he was gone now. She said the doctors couldn’t save him. He lost a lot of blood from the fall and he damaged some sensitive areas. I lost my brother to the monster that was my father. I could never forgive him for that and I still can’t”. She sunk into her chair with a clenched fist over her jaw. You could tell she was angry now.

“I think it was wise and brave decision for your mum to take legal action against him”, Halima said. Jenny heaved a sigh of uncertainty. That decision had its good and bad effects. She continued, “she… she sued him for domestic violence and murder charges right after she filed for a divorce.  He signed the divorce papers without hesitation, he wanted to get rid of her and so did she. The trial for the other cases went on for weeks. I testified in both cases, ‘a material witness’, they called me. Udoh was brought in once to testify. He confessed to the court about my father’s behavior towards my mother throughout the period of their marriage. When it was finally over, dad got a thirty year sentence. I had mixed feelings about his arrest, but  then any time I thought about my brother, all the times we spent together, the manner of his death, and my last memory of him, I would wish he got a death sentence”. She paused for a while before she continued with a rather aggressive tone.


“After his arrest, I thought the hardest part was over. I didn’t know it was just beginning. My mother put the man who had hurt her for so many years behind bars, the man who was responsible for the death of her eight year old son was rotting away in prison because of her, but the shallow minded Nigerians that were our relatives chose to look at the fact that she put her husband in prison. They said we wanted his wealth, that we might have possibly killed his only son and locked him up so we could have it all to ourselves. We had no support from our relatives what so ever. But that wasn’t even the biggest problem. My mother lost her smile, her purpose, her will to live. She was now a divorcee who had buried her eight year old son. No degree of punishment could bring back her son, the cause of her joy. The worse thing was that she blamed herself for everything that happened. She felt that if she had the courage Harold had to defend her and she had left him a long time ago then Harold would still be with us. That was the first phase of our afflictions, the second phase began with painkillers, lots of painkillers. She would take them in large doses, I’d wonder if that was normal. I can never forget the evening she sat at the table which had white tablets spilled in one spot with a glass of water. Her hands were shaky when she picked them up to swallow them. Painkillers progressed into antidepressants, antidepressants progressed into alcohol, alcohol led to depression. She was slowly losing herself and I don’t think she realized it. She would drink herself to stupor and fall asleep at the table. I was beginning to see my father in her, like a side that had being trying to manifest. This phase only lasted a few months then it stopped. I don’t know what made her quit drinking, but I was glad she did. She bounced back so quickly and got her life back. That was a huge step for the both of us, we only had each other now so we had to keep each other happy.

In a couple of years I was done with primary school. I wouldn’t say it was easy because people look at you different when your father was a wife beater, a murderer and was serving time in Federal prison. Secondary school was easier for me. I was the most antisocial person I knew. Didn’t talk to many people, mainly because I wasn’t boarding like most of them, but then I really wasn’t a ‘people person’.  I made a friend while I was there. Mayowa, the tall, beautiful Yoruba girl I looked forward to seeing every day. She was full of life and positive energy, she was smart, strong willed and she had the most beautiful eyes I ever saw. We got close in our senior class. She hadheard all the stories about my family but she didn’t let them define the person I was. We were literally inseparable, just like Harold and I were.  Eight years had gone by like the wind. I was sixteen years old already.


Mayowa was seventeen. We grew up so fast. We were two young, Nigerian girls who not quite ready for the world and all it had to offer. Nevertheless, we had hope that we would figure it all out soon. We were done with all our examinations by now and we had to look to the future. We both had an admission to a private university in Abuja. VERITAS UNIVERSITY was going to be a huge step for the both of us. A new chapter in our lives, hopefully a new beginning. We; Mayowa , my mother and I, were overjoyed about this, but my mum, being my mum, had her concerns. VERITAS was far from home, far from her. She wouldn’t be able to see me every day and know how I was doing. We could talk on the phone but it wouldn’t be the same. Before I left she called me to her room and spoke to me. She said a lot of things but the one that stuck was when she said, “one day you’ll have to learn how to stand on your own two feet, you’ll have to learn how to walk alone and you’ll have to strong for that”. Those words were never forgotten and they never will be”. Halima took her glasses off to clean them, she put them back on and asked with a slight smile and optimistic tone in her voice, “so… how was it for the both of you”. Jenny let out a sigh of relief and her face brightened up with a sweet smile, “It was the best. Mayowa and I didn’t live on campus. We got ourselves a nice flat not far away from the school. We weren’t exactly doing the same course so we couldn’t see each other every time. We just had each other, we didn’t like parties so we skipped literally every campus party there was. We found time to study together as well. Our lives were simple and quiet, with a touch of classic.


We would visit home during long holidays and just stayed in Abuja for the short ones. There were days I wished Harold was there with us, to keep things interesting like he used to. I missed his smile, his voice, everything”. Jenny’s smile suddenly faded away slowly and she looked lost as she did when the session had just begun.  It made the doctor wonder if she had seen something unpleasant in the office. Once again she was blank, looking at nothing in particular and stroking her neck. Her piercing eyes were filled with rage and disgust as she slowly turned her head to different sides. What she was about to say was something that needed a lot of strength. “Our lives seemed to be getting better, it made me forget that nothing last forever, not bad times and not even good times.  I went for a walk that evening, not to get anything really. I just really needed some fresh air and some time to think. Mayowa wasn’t home so I got really lonely anyway. I didn’t go so far from the house when my phone rang, it was my mother. We spoke for a really long time, about home, how board she was without me, she said she wished I was there to cook for her. We could only wish for so much but we had to face reality. The semester wasn’t half way over so she’d have to get use to not having me around. When our phone call ended, I realized I had walked so far away from the house, I lost track of time too. I spent an hour on the road. I started walking back, it was late already. My heart raced when I felt a huge hand on my left shoulder and one over my mouth. I was dragged violently into the deep bushes that surrounded the area. There’s no way to explain what I felt that day……but it felt like my soul left my body as I was being dragged through those bushes. The feeling of wet grass and the pungent smell of cigarettes, stale sweat and alcohol felt so unreal. When we got to a secluded area where no one could possibly hear us, he threw me on the ground so viciously and I let out a scream. I turned around to see who this person was but it was worthless. He had a mask on, not the ski masks that burglars wore, it was like one of those masks from the movie ‘scream’. I was scared now. I got up and tried to make a run for it… he didn’t let me. He came after me and I struggled with him.


I kept on calling and screaming for help but we were so far away from everyone and everything. He slapped me right across the face and I hit the ground so hard. I still struggled with him when he got on top of me and I paid for it. He started hitting me over….and over….and over…..till he had his way with me. I lost all the strength in my body at that moment. I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t happening, that it was just another nightmare I would wake up from…..but the pain made me realize it was real, all of it was real. When he felt he had gotten enough of me, he got off. He turned his back at me and adjusted his clothes. He turned around, looked at me with his mask still on, then he just….he just walked away. I was still on the ground, the pain I felt was excruciating, literally unbearable. I cried my heart out that night in the middle of nowhere. I had no idea where I was, I lost my phone during the struggle, I was weak and it felt like I was going to die. I dragged myself through that cold forest, it was dark and I was scared beyond compare, stumbling and falling a couple of times before I got to the door of our house. My strength was gone now, I knocked the door with all I had left before I finally passed out.”

Halima’s heart was aching, breaking at this point. Before being a professional therapist, she was a woman, even if she didn’t put that first in cases of most patients. That part of her felt the pain of the woman that sat before her. Her attempts to hold back her tears couldn’t work anymore. She didn’t let the tears roll down her cheeks, she wiped them away with a handkerchief she had with her.  Jenny wasn’t crying, she just kept on sniffing, an attempt to hide the pain she felt from the old wounds she had opened up. She ran her hand through her hair and continued, “I woke up in some sort of unfamiliar place that had a lot of lights. For a moment I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was in the hospital, Mayowa was asleep beside me on a chair, resting her head on the cupboard beside the bed. I recall what happened, everything seemed foggy then in a moment I had flashbacks of everything that happened. I wished I never went out that night, I wished I didn’t spend so much time on the phone with my mum that I lost track of the time, I wished that demon wasn’t on the street at that time. All I could do was wish it didn’t happen, but that was all it was going to be, a wish. Now I had to live with that memory for the rest of my life. When I fully gained consciousness, I told Mayowa everything that happened to me. She cried so much when I told her, it felt heart wrenching for her to hear that I went through all that alone and she wasn’t there to help. She was devastated. I was on some sort of medication for a period of time, then I got discharged. I missed a few classes but that didn’t bug me, I had a bigger problem to face. Mayowa took care of me till I recuperated, but I never got over the trauma of that incident. It haunted me like a ghost for weeks. I couldn’t tell my mother anything. It would be too much for her, it would break her heart if she heard that I got attacked and raped by some stranger. A week had gone by since the incident happened.  


I wasn’t myself anymore, I became a shadow of the person I use to be, I hit rock bottom, I became a walking dead. Mayowa said I would get better with time, she told me that everything would get back to normal, but in fact I got worse. I read that narcotic painkillers had a lot of side effects, one of them being memory loss. I wanted to forget that incident so badly, I wanted to get rid of the weight I was carrying on my shoulders. So I started taking them, but I didn’t take them following a certain time table or anything, I took them whenever I felt like, with or without water. When I ran out of them I would make sure I replaced them immediately. Slowly I continued this obsession until it became an addiction. I became frustrated when I realized that the painkillers weren’t working. I was forgetting little details about everything. I couldn’t remember things that happened a day or two before, I forgot where I put things, I even forgot about my time for lectures, and if I was able to attend a class I wouldn’t understand anything, and if I understood….I forgot instantly. I was a mess, a big hot mess. I went back to that pharmacy again because I felt the solution to my problems were in a plastic labeled bottle. I walked around the store for a while before I found these antidepressants, contraceptives, sleeping pills and more painkillers. I bought about three bottles of each using the credit mum gave me for expenses and important things. It was important that I got my life back, got myself back which I believed these drugs would do, so as well these drugs were important. I took them back home afternoon and hid them away from Mayowa, she would freak out if she saw them. I wasn’t sure of why exactly I bought those contraceptives but I just thought I would need them.” Jenny had tears in her eyes which she tried her best to hold back. Her voice began to shake and she sniffed uncontrollably as she continued.  “My mother called me that night to check on me like she usually did. She said she hadn’t been sleeping well for the last couple of days, that she had been worried sick about me. She scolded me for not calling her to talk to her or just to say…. ‘hi’ and tell her how I was doing and find out how she was doing. I apologized and told her it wasn’t my fault that…. I had a lot of things on my mind and I dealing with a lot of things that she wouldn’t understand. At that point the tone in her voice changed, she wasn’t upset any more, and she sounded concerned.


She said, “if there’s anything troubling you….anything at all, you can tell me. I’m here for you and I always will be because I am your mother and I love you. Just talk to me and I promise to help in anyway I can.” I wanted to tell her everything, I wanted to tell that I got raped a week before, I wanted to tell her that I was suffering inside because I was taking all those drugs to forget what happened to me, that I was losing myself slowly. But I couldn’t, I couldn’t hurt her any more. She had been through enough already in her life. I…. couldn’t be selfish. I closed my eyes and stopped myself from crying my heart out over the phone. I told her I was having problems with my classes that the stress of the lectures were too much for me. She told me that all those things were normal and I would get used to it. We talked a little while longer before she prayed for me in our native language like she usually did. She kept on asking God to give me the strength to pull through any train wreck I find myself. I just answered ‘amen’ to all the prayers then she ended the call.

Two weeks had gone by, more lectures, more stress, more sleepless nights, more antidepressants, more painkillers. I fell sick all of the sudden. I had a really bad headache, fever, nausea, and even severe abdominal pains. I took a few drugs because I thought they were just symptoms of malaria. The symptoms persisted and got worse so I had to go to the hospital to run a few tests just to be sure. I got my test result a few days later. It was delivered to our house. I got home from school that evening and saw it. I went inside before I opened it. When I finally opened it, I swear I felt my heart sink into my stomach, the result was shocking, it seemed impossible. I wasn’t sick with any sort of ailment, I was pregnant! I covered my mouth in disbelief as I fell slowly to the ground. I buried my face in my hands and cried. I was going to be the mother of a child whose father I didn’t know. That was it, my life was over. I could hide anything from my mother but not this, not the child that was growing inside me. I was devastated that day. I showed the result to Mayowa when she got home. She was as shocked as I was when she saw the result. She didn’t know what to do or say at that point and neither did I.”


Halima was confused now, she had to ask, “it doesn’t say here in your file that you have any children so…… what happened?” Jenny took her time to answer the question, “I….. I took some drastic measures to solve my problem and I ended up creating a bigger one. I panicked and I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t ready to be a mother so soon so I had to make sure it didn’t happen. I ….. Took the contraceptives, all of it …. In one shot.I emptied the three bottles down my throat and trust me I paid for it. A couple minutes later there was this sharp and excruciating pain, it was persistent, it didn’t stop and it grew worse with each minute. I…. started bleeding, I was scared, and alone, and in pain. Before I knew it I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital. Everything happened so fast. I got admitted and I stayed there for weeks. The fact that I missed more classes was not the biggest problem at the time, it was the effect the drugs had on me. I lost….the… the child I was carrying, and I lost my womb too. The drugs had damaged my womb so badly that the doctors said I wouldn’t be able to conceive again.


Devastation, frustration, sadness, guilt? Nothing could explain the way I felt that day. I felt like such an idiot for killing my own child. And now I had to pay for it by never being able to have one ever again because I didn’t know just how priceless children were. I crawled into that hole of depression that revolved around drugs and my newly found friend, alcohol. I started drinking about a week after I was discharged. I hadn’t even fully recovered yet but that didn’t matter. I wanted to punish myself for what I did. I didn’t deserve to be happy, to be loved or to be cared for after what I did. Mayowa tried her best to stop me several times but I fought of her off or I’d lock myself in my room until I knocked myself out. It went on like that for four months. I didn’t even look like myself anymore. I was this thin skinny figure that I couldn’t bear to look at in the mirror. My grades suffered a lot because of me. My health was deteriorating day by day and I could care less. I spent most nights crying with a bottle of whiskey in my hand. Everything that happened became too much for me to handle. Being defiled before I was even old enough to know what it meant, growing up in a broken home, my brother’s death, getting assaulted by someone whose identity was still unknown to me, and now knowing I would never be a mother. I wanted to die, I was tired of living. When I thought of my mother, the look on her face if she knew what I was going through, it broke my heart even more. I couldn’t pick her calls anymore, I didn’t have the strength, the courage to hear her voice anymore. She called Mayowa to ask how I was doing and why I wasn’t responding to her calls anymore. She just told her we were fine that maybe she just called at the wrong time. Everything changed in one night. I was in our living room, on the ground with a bottle as usual. I looked as wretched as I ever did that night. Mayowa came out of her room an saw me. She told me hand over the bottle to her. I refused. We ended up struggling for it but she got it away from me. I told her to give it back and she pushed me to the chair. She was furious now, she had had enough of my sulking and childish attitude.


She said,  “Is this really how you want this to end? Is this how you want your life to go? You want to throw everything away because of some bad incidents that happened! What do you think your mother would do if she saw you like this?  Consoling yourself with alcohol Jenny, alcohol? The same alcohol that made your father hurt your mother for all those years, the same alcohol that made him take Harold’s life, the same alcohol that had your mother depressed for so long after everything happened, is that what you felt was the solution to your problem!All those drugs dint help you one bit Jenny, they changed you, into the worse version of yourself. Now just let yourself see that there’s still a way out of this. If you let me, I can help you. Jenny please let me help you get through this”. I cried everything out that night. I broke down in her arms and just cried. She held me and I felt like maybe there was hope for me. Those words made me realize just how much of an idiot I was. We called my mother that night, I told her everything while crying over the phone. I could tell she was sad but she did her best to console me. We set out on this mission together, this mission of redemption for me. I stopped drinking, I threw all the dugs away, I wanted to start over, I wanted to be a better person for me self. I started this awareness program for young people on the dangers of drugs and not just the hard ones. I wanted every addict out there to know that no matter how bad the situation was, there as always hope. Even every day drugs can be quite dangerous as well. I let people know that domestic violence also has it effects on children as well. I let them know that rape is the most traumatizing thing any woman could go through. I got myself back in no time. There were times where I would sit and ponder over everything again. It would feel like I wanted to go back to that place again. I decided it was time to do the one thing I was afraid of, therapy.


I heard stories of lots of people who got over problems like this with therapy. And I’m glad I came here today”. Halima couldn’t help but smile at her. She was impressed how far this young woman had come, how strong she was. She said to her, “I’m glad you came too. I really was a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to our next session”. Both women got off their seats and shook hands smiling. Jenny was about to take her leave when the doctor called her back and asked her, “when is your graduation anyway?” Jenny smiled back and said, “soon, two weeks actually”. She walked out of the office, confident and stronger than ever. Ready for whatever curve ball the world had to offer, spreading hope to the people around her and proud of the person she had become.


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