Fast forward to 2014, I had secretly been seeing a counsellor to help me through the traumatic experience. I decided that, my attitude towards Nnamdi after the Holiday had changed, I was no longer interested in Sex and I never wanted to be left alone. I would have nightmare about that night and wake up screaming, unable to tell the love of my life why. Not being able to talk about the ordeal was starting to affect me in ways I never thought it would. The day I decided I would definitely not tell my mum, was the day I told her about my story but pretended I had read it in the papers. I told her exactly what happened but changed the characters names, here is what my mum said.
“Ah...stupid girl, very very dense individual. How will you go to an unfamiliar location with your husband and then go and be taking shege walk on the beach on your own"
"But mama her and her husband had just quarrelled"
"Ehen na them go quarrel first for this world? Abeg leave that side. The thing that upset me pass, na why she know go straight to the police, if na me, I will be ready to die, which kind them go commot in eye. She should have reported jare"
"But mama, wont the police be asking all these questions you are asking, saying why did she do this, why did she do that?"
"Ehen so you see, she stupid"
At that point, any temptations I had to tell my mum or anyone else about this vanished immediately. To be honest, what mama said did not upset me, I fully expected that reaction, it’s the sort of reaction I would have had to the same story had I not been the victim on this occasion. It’s amazing how as human beings, we judge other people’s situations from the outside and place blame on people that are already hurt. We enjoy kicking people when they are down, my Nigeria people have a masters degree in this art. Someone says, my husband left me, some of my Nigerian people will respond saying "Na the woman cause am" without even knowing facts or details.
I did not blame them for thinking this way, because I thought this way too. I spent the rest of 2013 blaming myself for wearing what that dress, for being on the beach at night on my own, for walking so freely and carelessly. With the help of Doctor Ogunkoya, I was made to realise that none of it was my fault. She showed me cases from all around the world of women being raped in burkas, women being raped in their homes, one Grandma was raped at her nursing home. She quickly got me to place the blame on the perpetrators alone. She made me realise that these men would have raped anyone else on that beach, they were very capable of even breaking into my room when they were sure Nnamdi had gone out. She said the where and why does not matter in rape. The only thing that matters is the apprehension of the Rapist. She quickly made me realise that Rapist, stalk their prey and it is very hard for someone to protect themselves from a danger they are unaware of. The sessions were so amazing, she never judged me, she never forced me give any information I was not comfortable giving. I quickly felt at ease with her, these sessions lifted the huge feeling of guilt from my heart. She had tried to get me to tell my husband about the rape. But things had become a lot more complicated.
After the rape, I fell pregnant and gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy. I had no intentions of letting that rape determine what happens to the rest of my life, these are kids I have prayed and hoped for all of my married life. In the midst of such sadness and pain, God gave me life and hope. It’s like seeing a beautiful flower growing in the middle of rubble. I have made so much progress moving pass the ordeal, I will not let a confession ruin that for me. Nnamdi loves these kids and contrary to what you may be thinking, those kids have never reminded me of the rape. I look at them and the only thing I think is that God compensated me for the torture I endured.
I am starting to get some normality back in my life. The twins have brought so much happiness into our lives. Nnamdi’s mum now treats me like a full time Queen. I am no longer treated like a part time Queen i.e. when Nnamdi is around. She adores the twins so much. She swears they look just like Nnamdi. The other day my mum brought 2litres of Huntu and ordered me to pour it into their feeding bottles. When I saw my mum approaching my house with the Huntu, I wanted to pretend we were not in. But I didn’t have the heart to have the old lady standing outside. Everything was perfect, Nnamdi and I are living life like it’s a fairy tale. I am so thankful for Dr Ogunkoya, if it weren’t for her, I would not feel like as liberated as I do now.
This was all about to end. I had kept missing my mother in-laws calls on my phone. Every time I tried to ring her back, we would miss each other. I had not had a chance to speak with her since she left on her pilgrimage a week ago. That evening Nnamdi's mum called my phone, I was so glad, I was available to pick the call. I gathered the twins together to say a big Hello to Grandma. As I picked the call, My Mother in law said my name in a very cold way, it sounded like the way she said my name pre-twins.
“Who do the twins belong to" She cut me off and paused.
My heart skipped several beats, I felt like my utopia was about to come crashing down. I had managed to live so free of these thoughts for a long time and almost forgot the truth completely. I put the twins down and walked out of the room.
“Mama I don’t understand your question"
Mama put the phone down on me.