If someone asked me how has my life’s journey been so far, I would answer it has been a wonderful life. Yet deep down, I would look at myself from beneath quizzically and ask my self has it? If I pressed myself to answer, I would still admit that it has been a wonderful life, it truly has. There were times when I wondered if I would ever get over the beatings my father gave me without cause.
I was disturbed by them growing up, because here was a man over 6feet tall, beating me with all his might (I watched as he heaved and flogged me, taking all the strength he had to hit me hard, he was a construction worker and very strong, I was around 1o years old when the beatings became much). My mother would not stop him, even though in my mind I willed her to. She didn’t. The beatings would not have been so bad (so I tell myself) if I knew the reasons why I got them.
I was a good child, a studious one. I did not have friends and was obedient to my parents. He had always slapped me when growing up, but the hard flogging began when I passed common entrance for St Andrews High School for Girls (one of the best times of my life in Jamaica, oh the memories). One day I asked my mom, why was he beating me? I had just come in from school and she told me to hurry up and have my bath, eat and go to sleep before he came home. My heart began to race, and I asked her why, what was my offense, she said nothing. Worried and afraid that evening, I hurriedly went to the bathroom and began to soap up, only to have him come in and beat me on my wet skin, de panty line (Jamaicans remember de panty line) popped dung.
Eventually, I found out that this half white girl named Sharon would tell my father that since I began going to the high school I was hanging out with boys. This was not true at all. Boys were never on my mind. He believed her and it was from there he decided to beat me every evening I came home from school, (licks in case perhaps?). The beating stopped when we migrated without him to America, but continued (only once though) when he eventually came up. Believe me when I tell you all that I never resented him for this. He would beat me, I would cry, and in my innocence as a child, my love for him or her (my mother) never wavered, never. The innocence of children protects them always.
If I were to list all the bad things I experienced while traveling along life’s way, I would not stop writing for months. Most of them are here already on the blog however, most especially the famous “wicked Baby Father” that son of a bitch, and he really is a son of a bitch (his mother). The Oxford dictionary should have her picture beside the word “Evil” to show what the word means and the person the word was formed from, or it should be Devil Almighty, or Super Demon. The woman made my life a living hell with her son. I never thought I would get over the trauma of them, and the baby mother (the outside woman), the whole entire bad breed family who nearly gave me a nervous break down. I remember times when I would call my mother, crying, wanting comfort from the bad treatment from these people. I would shake, anything held in my hands would drop. My nerves seemed as if they were fried, I saw a padded room and a straight jacket in my enemies future, prayer was not helping, I felt alone and troubled.
I wished to be a small girl of five again, missing my thumb which I was forced to stop sucking (still miss mi finger) because Jamaican wicked people teased me about going to high school and still sucking finga, so they shamed me into abandoning my best friend, my comforter, my thumb. One day mi aguh record a song dedicated to mi thumb. I sucked my thumb so much that the thumb was white like chalk and wrinkled like prunes, it was tired and haggard looking, but it never denied me comfort.
I have never gone through any tradgedy, and for that I am thankful. Some people have some very bad stories, so sad. Human beings have been my biggest disappointments, and the hurt and pain for me always comes from betrayal. in fact, during a recent initiation, Obatala took possession of a priestess and spoke to me through the woman. The woman (the medium) was dressed in a pristine white cloth wrapped around her breast very long breasts, she was a woman who seemed as if she had nursed quite o lot of children, this added to her beauty.
She had low hair with the hair in the front shaved like Buddhist monks, she was rail thin and extremely black which showed up her beauty, for I had never seen black skin like hers like that, it was as if God had painted her himself and had chosen her complexion to reflect his talent of coloring, she was the walking advertisement of the saying “Black is Beautiful” and so it is. She had gnarly fingers which told the tale of a hard worker, her hands looked strong for such a thin woman. She was possessed and so her eyes were glazed as she seemed as if she was not there, and indeed she was not, as if she was unreachable, as if she the priestess had been removed and someone else was looking at us through her, someone not of this world. It was Obatala, mi love him ei si!
I knew I was in the presence of the great Obatala. The message was that I wrote betrayal from heaven, meaning that betrayal was apart of my destiny because I had written it in my contract before I came here to live. Tears sprung to my eyes, embarrassing me, because we do not cry in any traditional house and I know that. But this was something I knew and to hear the great Obatala tell me himself was painful. Painful because I loved people and wanted them to love me in return, but have always been disappointed by them. I wanted it to change. Because of all that I have been through in life, I had gathered compassion for anyone who suffered. I helped all who needed me whether they asked or not, most times I would not even allow people to ask me, because I realized that most often pride was something many people held on to, no matter the poverty, no matter the struggle.
When my mother threw me out, I walked around (after I had gotten my own place) and took in anyone who needed a home. I would give them my bed and sleep on the floor, there have been many people who I would take in, and the wicked baby father once told his evil mother that he was annoyed that I was always taking in people and giving away food. But today, I have gotten to the point where no one is ever allowed to spend a single night ever again in my house. I did it last December 2015, by assisting someone, and she bit me so hard, I still have not healed as yet. Never again! I did tell her she would betray me, she swore to almighty God that she would not… but my words came to pass.
The reason for this post is to share with you a reckoning I had with my self recently. I was in Surulere, a town in Lagos, at a tyre shop changing two of truck my tyres. Nigerians love money more dan God, and most often will take advantage of anyone in distress. I am not talking bad about them, I am telling the truth. Oladayo who was with me, bargained with them about the price. He, being Nigerian, knows how to haggle with them. They were hard, (they had peeped into the car and saw my daughter and myself and had drawn their own conclusions, de big woman inna de back (dat ah me) ah she have de money) and would not relent. Eventually they came down just a little and they began the work. Oladayo came to me and said “Empress, should we give them the tyres?” I immediately snapped “No!” So dark with anger at the nerve of leaving my tyres with these people who (in my eyes at the moment) were thieves. The snap was harsh and Oladayo stepped back from the car. He knew the snap was not for him, but he also knew that I was extremely giving (mi too kind) and was surprised by my reaction and the resentment which showed on my face. My daughter looked at me. She knew that I was fed up with people.
My being in Nigeria so long was me fighting this thief who had stolen my properties, my dream for my school and who had plotted with people I introduced him to, to ruin my enemy any way they could. This year was the tip of the iceberg for me, and I was embarrassed within myself for letting an illiterate fool me because I trusted him naively like a child. I relaxed and ignored all the warnings given to me by spirits and had now or was now becoming bitter because of all that I was going through. Once I cried to a Babalawo while we sat together and asked him why did God allow this to happen to me. He laughed and looked at me as if saying “Are you serious?” but instead he asked “Don’t you know?” He continued to say, “It is your destiny to go through these things or else how can you do your work as a teacher? If you don’t have experience, how can you assist people in their life choices, how can you lead them to their correct path, or tell them that what they have gone through, they are not alone?” I did not want to hear that because what it translated to me is that there was more to come, and I wondered if I could take another betrayal, another set of hurt and pain, how could I deal with anymore?
Oladayo came back into the car after some minutes, and said “Empress, you shouldn’t allow what you have experienced to change the naturally sweet and loving person you are.” My daughter chimed in and said “Yes mommy, don’t allow what people have done to you to distort how you see or treat everyone. Don’t let wicked people change you.” These two young people took turns and softly lectured me into finding Obara again and release all the bitterness and resentment that had been building up. As they spoke, I listened, but I also was rejoicing in my heart that I was in the presence of my elders. These two young physical beings in front of me were my elders, my teachers, my guardians. They were not ordinary and they sought to deliver me from myself. I ended up leaving one of the tyres, still trying to hold onto some of the resentment. When I got home, washed my face and slipped into my bed, I laid there remembering their words… And I cried.
I cried because they were correct. I cried because I realize how blessed I was to have salvation (not in the Christian sense) within a moment of absurdity on my behalf. They interceded on my behalf and lifted me from the pool of despondence which I sought to drown my self in. How cool was God to use them. It was there within the moment of them bringing me back to myself, that I saw the love of God for me. How many people are blessed enough to have children such as these around them? Awake and conscious, I am truly blessed.
Do not allow how people treat or respond to you in life or on your journey to change who you truly are. Hold on to you, love yourself, live your life for you, as long as you know you are not hurting anyone or your environment. Continue on your journey, complete your mission fulfill your life, live for you and you will live forever. Let go of old haunts, let go of old hurt, once you have life, know that your mission is not complete, seek to fulfill your own life and be of service to your fellow man. Love God and each other, teach from your experiences, be kind to old people, little children and animals. Be kind to each other, but if you are met with reproach, move on, do not let it change you, move on with hope. Continue to pray, pray for me also. I will always pray for you all.
I love you,