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#BN2015Epilogues: Jennifer G’s Story – Through It All, I Still Have Reasons to Smile

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Last year BellaNaija Features put together an inspiring feature series to round off the year. The 2014 Epilogues featured 10 real people who took an introspective look at their year and wrote about it. This year, we decided to make the call public to our readers. {Click here if you missed it} It is our hope and desire that we will have enough entries to have a story up every day from the 1st to the 31st of December. We have received an impressive number of entries and we hope that you will share yours with us.

We’re pleased to kick off the 2015 Epilogues series with Jennifer G’s story: Through It All. We hope her story resonates with someone, and foster a spirit of community love. We thank Jennifer for sharing this with us. Thank you BN Fam! You guys rock…ALWAYS!


Ah! 2015 you have not been my best in fact you are my worst year. Though past years have had their highs and lows but the events therein have contributed to this year being my worst in my very short time on earth. I think a succinct account of some of the past years that have resulted to the issues of this year will be a great start.

Sometime in 1999 I had to move from the place I knew as home to a totally different niche. Needless to say I did not leave without dissent but my voice of reason, the only voice so far that keeps me going said, “go, I’ll come meet you.” That was what my mother said. So, I went from a home to an abusive house both physically and verbally.

Hey! I was not the abused but a woman was. I can remember this night I heard the woman cry, run around in the night and the next morning I saw a broken dented torch (one of the weapons) and I understood what happened. This particular incident was lost somewhere, after that day I could not remember until I think two years ago.

However, the verbal abuse was something else, she was yelled upon even in front of guests. It was just too much for her. So I lived and experienced this for close to seventeen years. I had no one to talk to, I did not even trust anyone to hear/listen to what I had to say let alone understand. I hated the house (still do) but I could not get out and I wondered why. Why was I in a house I hate? Why am I not packing my things to walk away? In fact why was I even here?

I had forgotten why I came. Amidst the abuse and having no one to talk to I had forgotten why I came. Now I remember (after thirteen years) but there is no mother here with me. The woman who was abused is my stepmother and the house is my father’s (there are days I wish…). Well, aside from dormant memories, I became an angry child; easily provoked, pushed people away, bottled up my feelings (hurts and joys). I mean I longed to have someone that I could give my 100% to but I just could not let myself.

I am caged in this shell that I have now happen to find closure and comfort in. I denied my mother and sisters – not because I wanted to, but because in my head I was the illegal child – the product of an affair, so how do I tell people that? How do I explain it? Who do I defend; father or mother?

For all I know I could be the result of a one-night stand. Jeez! So it was safer and easier for me for my mother to be my aunt and my sisters my cousins (and for that I am sorry, because they are the ones who give me reason to hold on).

Now for some reason, I don’t know, but my father thinks he is best, perfect, righteous man. I mean you f**ed another woman (I don’t think she was the first or last sef) while you have wife and kids yet he would not let me go stay with my mother.
So I wonder why a man will be so self-conceited, not minding how the next person feels or is coping. To him, he is protecting me but from something.

My mother is no danger to me; she is just not a millionaire. By the way how do you protect someone you do not even know? Father and I are like two parallel lines; we have no relationship and I do not even want/need it.

My mother’s people think I’m the one who has abandoned them because they do not have money; they do not have a big house or cars (no be say I dey see or chop the kind money they think say I dey chop). I am just the grass in-between two elephants (I think my mother has joined me to being grass).

So this is how I have lived for sixteen years and counting, Sotey school was my safe haven. I had a countdown for going back to school. I just always wanted to be away from the house and him. I think what I really wanted was to forget everything and start HEALING. And when last year was winding up, I just hoped that this year will be fresh, better, and that my healing will start because I will be out of his house God’s grace.

So you can just imagine how I felt when this year began with the death of my maternal mother, and father did not think I should go [incidentally, I found out this year with evidence that papa and mama marry for court]. Instead of me, his money went. Oh! Hohohoo! That did not just happen.

Even the death of my grandmother he still plays Lord. Starting from that time, all I felt was rage, bitterness and resentment and I just wanted to leave the house. But the job will not come, I have prayed or maybe my faith is not good enough yet I am still in this house. To make matters worse he decided to get an early retirement so I sleep and awake seeing him. Hmm! Oh dear.

Despite all these, after all I have been through indeed through it all I have PEACE. I cannot explain it, but I just have this peace, calmness and joy.

I have not lost myself or hope in all these, I am not depressed or worse dead. I still have reasons to smile. I may not be with my mother right now but I know she is still alive and this plight is almost over. My nieces and nephew are growing up without me, but they are well.

I don’t fight to be happy or smile each day because I’m comfortable with where am at, but I know I will testify someday that I came out strong and my “issues” did not swallow me. Going through every day I tell God that all these have to be worth it, it should not be that I went through this pain for nothing. So I may not have gotten the job or away from this house or the man (side eye) but I have peace and God’s love which is constantly keeping me and for that I am grateful.

Dear reader(s) my situation may not be as bad as yours but you must keep your head high and fight for you because no one will do that for you. I hope you find peace in your tight corner and also help. God bless you and give you a reason to laugh even as the year is winding up. Thank you BN for sharing my epilogue. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance!

P.S: I have forgiven my father I just wish to forget.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang