Monthly Archives: September 2012

Once Upon A Time

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I just feel I should write this down just so I dont forget.
I got my heart broken last night by the guy I spoke of before in the previous post. We don’t see very often because of his committments ( another story) so you can imagine my excitement when we had a date for yesterday evening at a restaurant in Ikeja.
I had a meeting in Ikeja and I decided to wait for him to come from work at a restaurant my friend works in nearby. My friend is a young, bubbly girl I met on twitter who I decided to take under my wing, especially as she seemed so naive and vulnerable in her free spirited nature.

To cut a long story short,  before he came I received yet another email from my boss changing the terms of our employment contract AGAIN, so I was a bit sad because the new terms were way too steep. Anyway, I waited about 3 or so hours before he came. I didnt expect him to kiss me or anything because I noticed lately that he’s wary of PDA. When he settled down I wanted to tell him about the job issues as I just needed to talk but in his characteristic way he rationalised it and dismissed it. Then my friend came over to my table and everything changed.

They hit it off because like I said she has a vibrant,  although overly effusive personality, and because they both drink and smoke ( I don’t). But as the evening went on they began to get expressive,  slightly uncomfortably so for me, they drank with straws from the same glass, she hugged him and sat on his lap,  he danced with her, etc. It became their event and I was just watching. Once in a while they would address me of course, or at least that was how it felt. But I guess the whole thing got to me because he was doing all the things with her that he wouldnt do with me, and at times when he even held my hand or put his arm around me he would take it off fast, especially if she looked. He liked her.

I assumed that when we had had drinks and were ready to leave he would gravitate towards me again. Though he did kiss me when everyone had left the room, when they came back in he ‘disengaged’, and when we were done at the restaurant he saw me off to my taxi, hugged me and walked off even after I called him back asking why he was leaving me. My friend, however,he gave a ride so she could hook up with her boyfriend down the road.

I won’t go as far as saying anything happened between them but for that brief moment when he hugged me and walked away I felt like nothing. Nothing. My mind went to all the things I am not, all my flaws, all my demons. It hurt that a man who has known you for a while and professes to love you would almost totally disregard your feelings in public like that. I am not even upset at the girl’s crossing the line because in truth I did not expect much from her. But I guess what hurts the most is that at the back of my mind I feel I might as well let them get together; I have a poor physical offering to give him so what’s the point anyway?

As an update, my office had to accept my terms of service. I sent an email drawing the line, albeit emotionally. My boyfriend/crush/lover(?) also called me telling me he was coming over. When he heard how I sounded he asked if I was mad at him, I asked if I should be. He said I should because he allowed me go yesterday. He then said he was coming over. He called about 30 minutes after that apologising that he could not make it because of his ‘committments’ again. At this point I told him I should be wise enough by now to know my priorities and that his visit or lack of it, was not one. He wanted to know what was wrong and I just told him I was tired. Of everything.

I get very lonely in this office hence my need for companionship. Unfortunately I cannot afford to go out as much as I would need. But that said, I cannot bear to be heartbroken again. I have not felt so bad in this way in a very long time.

But then what else is new!

Joie

How/When Do You Have The Conversation

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My fears came to life a few days ago. I reconnected with an old friend, a guy I refer to as my ex but with whom I have never shared any physical intimacy. I like him a great deal. Mostly because we had such intense conversations.
Over the time I was away, he seemed to develop an even stronger affection for me. Now he calls regularly and tries to see me often. If there is anyone who sees into my heart it is him.

A few days ago he was here and things got a little heated-kisses, touching- I dont know how I mustered the self control to make him stop before it became dangerous.

Last night I tried to broach the subject with him.  He said he loved me and I asked if he would love me if I had a terminal illness. He said ‘what sort of talk is that,do you have a terminal illness?’ Then he went on to say he could only be compassionate if ever something like that happens but it would be a different kind of compassion if I was self destructing and putting other people’s lives in danger because of my illness. He then described his experience with people living with HIV – he works for a foundation that handles community health- and how they could easily become depressed and start to self-destruct because of the restrictions to physical intimacy they have to live with and the (fear of) stigmatization from those they know.

After this very clinical analysis I couldn’t tell him anything anymore. I was scared that he would be angry with me for not letting him know earlier on. For allowing any level of intimacy albeit safe. I just said to him afterwards that I would never sleep with him because I did not think our relationship will work. I knew, I know I have hurt him but I cannot help it

I will not put anyone I care about in the situation I am in now. Hell, I would not put someone I DONT care about in this situation. I realised last night that I may just have to avoid becoming close to anyone especially as I am so afraid of ‘coming out of the closet’. Already subconsciously I push men away but I never thought I would have to do it with someone I care about and already know so well. I cannot explain how much this hurts me primarily because I am a person who attaches a lot of importance to feelings. But this is the reality of the illness I am dealing with. And the burden I have to live with till, unfortunately,I die.

…And Out.

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Today I am happy. Not the kind of happiness that makes you want to jump up and slap your soles together, but the type of happiness that makes you feel like your soul is smiling. A few things have been happening to me over the past few weeks that struck me as odd. I just did not write about them because I felt ‘what have titbits of my mundane existence got to do with the main issue: being HIV +’. But now I realise it has EVERYTHING to do with it. That’s what the word ‘living’ means.

So I have been very depressed as I said before, angry with God, and life, and everything, about how things have not worked out right. Also, by some weird coincidence, I have been running into exes, who for whatever reason known to them, kept trying to ‘get with’ me. Their bold attempts, even after so many years, and even though they are all now married, made me wonder how easy I was then, and what sort of person I was, that they didn’t marry me.

A little background to these exes- and this is by no means an excuse, I own the way I have allowed myself to be treated. I was sexually abused at 13/14 by my grand uncle who was a 52 year old priest. It was a long, systematic, strategic, abuse. Because of that and the tempestuous relationship my parents had as a marriage I was terribly confused about men, love and sex. It didn’t help that I was pretty. Men would come,  and, if he ticked the right boxes I would sleep with him. I was not promiscuous in the technical sense, I was most likely easy. But even then all I was thinking was if I was sexy enough, attractive enough, he would love me. It never occurred to me to check if I wanted that man’s love. It never occurred to me that he might not be worthy of me, of my body. And it never occurred to me that I was battling with a crushing low self esteem issue, with feelings of worthlessness, and with a terrible anger from that period of sexual molestation, that would haunt me until the last day of last year, when I finally spoke to -ironically- a priest about it.

Anyway, back to the present, and the most recent ex to call me was one with whom I had a torrid past. In my warped mentality, even though I didn’t want to sleep with him, I went to his room because I liked him. I was a young university student, he was a young man about town. He had his way, my resistance was weak, the sex was lame, but the die was cast. I became pregnant, and he more or less disappeared, only coming back when my mum had, against her religious and moral convictions, secured an abortion with her gynaecologist for me.( Her problem with the whole thing was that I was just 18.) And even when he came back, he just skirted around the subject, stayed for 10 minutes, and left. I guess back then he was also scared but he was much older than me so….And he called me last night, after a chance meeting, during a night out with my colleagues, two nights before. And I didn’t bristle at the temerity, I just shrugged it off. I am so over that kind of life.

Today I was spring cleaning and I decided to organise a box of old documents I had in this my room. I happened upon an old exercise book that used to be my journal. Reading through that book made me sit up and see things! I saw how I refused to listen to my intuition in 2003 when I got enough signs that my baby’s biological dad was not in for anything serious. How he showed up one morning at my house and said he had been at a party the night before, and ended up at another girl’s house. How I had wondered what they did together but could not summon the courage to ask. How he said he usually started hating a girl he was dating within 2 weeks but that he liked me because of my sexy body- and I knew he was speaking of sex but chose to concentrate on the fact that he asked for a broom to sweep my room and that he came with lots of fast food for us. How we kept going on and off this relationship.

I saw how I found out that another ex-probably the only man I ever loved- had finally had a baby girl with his wife. He was involved in a relationship with both of us, but her for longer, and one day, he went and married her and informed me via email. LOL. Leafing through my journal, I saw how he tried to fend me off by saying he couldn’t marry me because he couldn’t have kids. Of course I asked why he would want to put the other lady in that predicament and he said he didn’t either. Then he had a child with her. I was so upset. Until a few months later when he died. A massive stroke / heart attack. He was 33.

I also saw how my battles and fears with career hopes and aspirations made me feel powerless, and aided my feelings of worthlessness. Fears that are so unfounded today, because I have achieved and surpassed those dreams. Except for those of material possession and shelter, which I am still battling today. Then I realised. Everything I have gone through, and endured, and survived, has happened to bring me to where I am today, where I am now. I am not in the wrong place, or in the wrong situation, actually all those years I never was, but my fears, and the devil’s work that happened upon me, misled me. All I need is faith and action. There’s no wrong decision except one that takes you away from the zeal and the passion to be who you were meant to be. The past may look rough, the present may seem empty but that future is certainly there and is certainly bright. And it will happen.

I hope I am making sense. I am not writing these down to fill up my blog. Understand that admitting a questionable past, against the backdrop of the illness I now battle, is very difficult for me. Even anonymously. But, just as the dots connect to make a picture, all this needs to be said to protect our future. The one thing I must do before I die is to ensure as many girls as possible are emotionally self-sufficient, very confident and very informed, beginning with my daughter. And I thank God that today I finally discovered the path that led to destruction, and I can shut that door so no one goes that way anymore. That is exactly my life’s purpose.

How ya living

Joie

The Waiting Place

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You know that poem by Dr Seuss, ‘The Waiting Place’? Here’s an extract
The Waiting Place… …for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to goor the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

It’s the way I feel now. I have felt that way quite a number of times but right now I feel like I am waiting for my life to start. And the subconscious fear is that while waiting it will end.
I apologize deeply for not updating this blog- especially to you Jemima, who was so concerned- I did not want to seem perpetually pessimistic hence my silence. I finally arrived at the inevtiable disillusionment stage on this job I have. But for stronger reasons than just unbridled expectations.

The offers of a car and a house seem to be fading farther and farther away. The house may still come into play but they decide how much they will give me as rent and I have to find a place within that budget on my own time and with my own money. So meanwhile and for the past 4months I have been living in a room in the office. The office is a 5 room duplex and I had to move a mattress into one of the rooms. (I am even embarrassed to say it.)And money has not really been the main issue: I, like a lot of important issues in the office, have not just been a priority.
I had a huge fight with my boss recently which resulted in him telling me that the plans he had for some funding fell through. But as soon as one of our clients paid I woild get the money for rent, and subsequently the money would be added in monthly installments to my salary. The car however he was silent on. But I think even if the funds were there the lack of structure in this place would ensure that I am overlooked.

But the worst part of this is the job I am doing. I am mostly sitting in the office attending to recalcitrant staff and paperwork. I am starving my soul.

So, anyone know where I can rent a 2 bedroom flat in the not-flooded areas of lekki, before the 3rd roubdabout for 1m? Agency and Legal fees inclusive?

In other news my baby, that gorgeous little squirt I gave birth to a short while ago, is starting school! And I paid the school fees!

Joie