11 July 2013

REFLECTIONS: MY TEENAGE YEARS

Image Credit: medindia.net
I haven’t always been this sane. I was as crazy as they come. You never could get me to sit down in one place, not put my hands in that jar, not taste that drink, and not have that fun…not live that life. You never could tell me what to do if you wanted to survive to say you ‘advised’ me. I was my own person, and I made my own mistakes and lived with them. Hell, I always wanted to make mistakes! I was daring and took risks a lot. I considered this living. The fast lane of life was for me. This makes me remember my friends, my cliques. We had dubbed ourselves the risk takers. Well, that was before everything changed for us.

We had gotten an ‘invite’ (that’s the tush way to call it) to a party that weekend and as was our practice (me and my friends) went shopping for the ‘deadliest’ of clothes and accessories. We were to have the time of our lives; drinks, sex and every other package. So, the day came and we stormed the party, painted red, and enjoyed ourselves with wild abandon. It was the following month we realized the effect of the party on us. My friends and I, four of us, had gotten pregnant. We were confused and shocked because this was a first timer. Not that we haven’t had sex before, we do that almost every time but we’d never gotten pregnant. Slowly, we began to realize that our lives had taken a new turn down a route none of us wanted to take. So we sat down and looked for solutions.

Tola began first, talking about her life in the village before she came to the city and met the rest of us. It was then we all got to know about a child she already has for one uncle Biokpo, the first man she ‘knew’ that had promised to marry her later in life. She couldn't have another child. She just couldn’t; her parents were having a hard time raising that one. 

Image Credit: teenpregnancy190
Next was Cynthia. In her family, it is a taboo to abort a child. If the lady doesn’t die in the process, the family would kill her for purification. If one thing leads to the other and this kind of situation happens, the lady just bears the child and bears the shame. That was why she always used protection. Her mum had discovered that streak of waywardness in her early and proffered that solution when she couldn’t find a way around it but as fate would have it, she had been too drunk that night to remember the gold circle lying snugly in her fashion purse. She couldn't have an abortion.

Kadijat started by weeping. We all didn’t pay attention to her tears but looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to say what her plan was and if we all could adopt it. After crying for five whole minutes (who does that?), she sniffed and started talking about how her father, Mallam Bilya has forbidden any member of his family to ever partake in abortion and laid down a curse should it ever happen, and if his daughters were to get pregnant outside wedlock, he would kill them himself, literally. The only solution she could see was suicide. We all slumped. Then, they all turned to me.

Hmmmm… I am an orphan. Perhaps, this explains my 'independence' but certainly not the way I live my life. I cannot explain it myself but there is something in me that just won’t let me live a straight clean life and even though this craziness is deep within me, there is a voice crying out for release and I shut it down every time. That explains the wild way I react to those ‘do-gooders’ who are always peddling their 'piece of advice' about. Every time they come to me, the voice struggles to break free and I just shut it out. I have no explanation for that. Now, I am at this junction and the voice is crying out once more, ’it’s time to get help, you need help’. I looked at my buddies and said it out loud, ‘it’s time to get help. We need help’. I had given expression to that voice and we did sought for help and found it.

Image credit: wellsphere
Today is World Population Day and this year’s focus in on adolescent pregnancy. I can’t help but take a look at my life, where I’ve been and what would have happened to me had my friends and I not made the decision to seek help. Too many times, I see a young lady with her tummy shooting out and it brings tears to my eyes. I know better than to judge so I don’t. I don’t even offer advice, because of what my reaction used to be to those who tried to help me in the past. The only thing I think I can do right now, is share my story and how we found help. This is a little part of it and I’ll be sharing the whole thing very soon.

To adolescents out there who through various circumstances and situations have found their selves having to take responsibility for their actions and a new life, face it. It may not be easy but abortion will not solve it. To those who think living life on the fast lane like my friends and I did, you’re grossly mistaken. We thought that was living because that was the only thing we tried out and we found out eventually that the life we were living was not the best for us and it certainly wasn’t the life our creator wanted us to live. Today, take a walk, look at your life, make decisions, and get help if necessary.


By: Mary Ajayi (@Megadoxa)
Paragraphs For World Population Day 2013
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1 comment:

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