HOW I SURVIVED TEN YEARS OF PAIN AND HURT – BOLD & BEAUTIFUL

Guest Post: She went through hell… but came out on the other side bold and beautiful. Olusola Haastrup shares her story. 

Marriage should be a thing of joy and a dream come true for any single lady looking to settle down but mine was a Nightmare from day one. People asked why I stayed for ten years since the pain was as long as the marriage, all I did was give excuses for his monstrous cruelty.

Initially, I thought it was as a result of his Joblessness and I did everything within my capacity to help him secure a job. Luckily, he got a job paying better than mine. This never alleviated my pain but rather aggravated it. I was in the marriage praying for my life to be spared as each day passed. I made different attempts to quit the marriage but every move proved abortive. I was considering suicide at some point, but, the love for my children kept me on. My children were the reason all attempts to leave him failed because he was always abducting them each time I left and security agents would Not do anything since he is the father of the children. I will return to him after leaving; crawling and apologizing for leaving the house.

We were living in Ilesha then, on 24th March 2014, I left with my children and my credential after another round of severe beating. It started on the night of 23rd and while my pastor and his wife pleaded with him but he told them to take me away or else he will kill me overnight. My pastor hastily adhered to his advice and took me to their home. I slept there and in the morning I returned home because my children were with him. He continued with the beating and threatened to kill me. Fortunately for me, he got a call and left the house at that moment. I hurriedly packed my credentials, wore school uniforms for my children as if I was taking them to school. We took a bus and landed in Ibadan wearing bathroom slippers. I left all I ever worked for including landed property which he sold eventually.

I was able to secure a transfer from my office and he didn’t know where I and the children were. At work, I changed my name all in a bid to avoid being found by him. After a year he finally got to know where we were and he came looking for us. Afraid he would take the children away from me, I agreed to get back with him. I thought I would only have to endure him as a weekend husband since he worked out of town. Things turned for the worse, he came home one night threatening to kill me as usual. I had to hide somewhere within the compound, hoping he will get tired and go to bed. When he couldn’t find me, he started hitting the children against the wall and as he was about to throw the youngest off the balcony upstairs, my neighbors ran to our rescue and saved my two years old baby. The older two didn’t struggle with him because they were used to his abuse.

I found myself sleeping in police stations, uncompleted buildings, the frontage of locked shops at night while trying to escape from his beatings. On the 7th of January 2017, I left my house, after another round of beating with bruises all over my body.

A friend called to say “No pain No gain, if you want to stay alive you have to let go of these children”. I had to do something and so I decided to hide my children somewhere. I was wearing a hijab(headscarf) to cover my head and face so that he won’t spot me while I kept the children away from school for a term since he was using them as bait.

After a school term, I took them to boarding school; the youngest was only three years old then and it really broke my heart, but that was the only choice I had at the time. At that point, I was ready for war; I realized he was only leveraging on my weakness and timidity. One day, he came to my office and he asked for the children, I boldly asked him to sue me for keeping the children away from him. He went away and started begging.

I later went to court to file for divorce, a process that showed me how painful and slow the Nigerian judicial System could be. I later withdrew my children from the boarding school when I realized the coast was clear and I was strong enough to stand up to him. 

In all of these I am sure someone would be wondering what my offenses were to deserve the beatings, let me list them:

When he wanted me to borrow money from my friends and colleagues and they declined.
When my salary was delayed for like a week
He must not knock the door twice before I opened or else according to him I was trying to hide a man
My phone must not ring for too long when he calls
When I didn’t wash his shoes because I stayed late at work
When I refused to give him the children’s school fees
I bought a car which he claimed, so whenever the car had issues and I dIdn’t have money to fix it, then, I must be ready for another round of beating; mind you I was not allowed to learn driving let alone driving the car.
When I refused to apply for the third bank loan because he could not account for the first two loans I obtained for him even though he earns more than I do; to mention but a few.

Finally, I got my self-esteem back and I realized life could be beautiful. It’s all in the past now, I do tell myself every time that I AM BOLD, STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL. I now strongly believe that I can go places if only I see myself doing so. My children and I are one big happy family. Trust me: I am loving my life. I have risen above my hurt and pain and gladly facing the future with boldness and determination.

Abuse stops when you say so and stand up for yourself. Stop excusing your abuser! Do not wait until one of you gets killed!

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

#IWD2020 Women in Community Support Childrens’ Education

Women Community mobilizers during a meeting

In the last five months, I have been opportune to meet ordinary day-to-day women while working in communities under Local Government Areas where the Northern Education Initiative Plus is providing basic education for out-of-school children. These women groups who are farmers, traders, housewives, volunteer to visit house-to-house to educate parents of the benefits of sending their children to school. They engage community leaders who in turn lend their support to the importance of education. These efforts have increased the number of children enrolled in non-formal centers across communities in Bauchi and Sokoto states Nigeria.

The Darazzo women’s story shows that when women come together they can achieve so much in their communities. 

As we mark another International Women’s Day, Femininematerz celebrates the sacrifices and efforts of these women who though uneducated have decided to ensure that children in their communities go to school through individual and collective sacrifice. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

How I Landed a Job in my Dream Industry – Goal Setting

Just me staring ahead into the future and dreaming big!

Goal Setting

The first place to start with achieving any goal is to ruminate over what you want. What is that change or new thing you desire? Your desire must be strong enough in order to attract a fulfillment of it. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. What you think about, you attract. So the first thing to do about changing your situation or have your dreams come true is to think about what you want and want it badly enough.

Think about it/Want that change badly enough

I had been working in a media organization for over 10 years and for a long while I wanted to change my workplace and career. There is this window view where I stood the first time I came to the organization, it felt good staring at rooftops of houses across the city. I took in a deep breath of fresh air, and I had this satisfying feeling that my dream of working in a media organization had just come true at the time. Fast forward a few years later, I would look at that view every morning dissatisfied! I wanted something different, I had grown and wanted to express myself differently. I wanted a change and so one day I took a photograph of that window view and kept praying and telling myself that my window view will change one day.
As I sit down to write this article, I am working in a new environment, and looking over a different window with a brand new view! Because I wanted my job to change badly enough to the point of thinking, dreaming and speaking about it, It happened for me.

Come up with an Action Plan

I did not stop with thinking and dreaming about the change I wanted, I began to ask myself some questions. To get your desired goal or dream, you need to think and come up with an action plan. You need to think of how to get from point A to point B. Nowadays we depend a lot on the Google map to help navigate from point A to our desired destination. To get anywhere there are routes and streets you must pass through. Sometimes more than one route can lead you to your destination but you need to know these routes. And if you do not know, you either ask someone who knows or get Google compass to help you reach your destination.

To get anywhere there are routes and streets you must pass through. Sometimes more than one route can lead you to your destination but you need to know these routes.

In my job change case, after making up my mind about where and what I wanted to do, I had to answer these questions: How do I get a new job? What kind of job will I like to do? What do I need to do to land a new job? So I decided to get a jotter to write down my thoughts. I wanted a job in the development space, an international non-governmental organization. Then I checked on whether I had the required skills to land a job with such an organization and I began to work on myself. Next, I subscribed to a website that gave updates on new jobs available in the industry I wanted to work in. Then I began to apply for jobs and I must tell you, I have loads of applications spanning two years to prove my seriousness. Now that’s funny but I must say it was share determination that kept me going.

Not Giving Up on Your Dream/Goal will get you there

At some point, I got discouraged sending in applications and wanted to give up. At first, nobody invited me for an interview but soon I began to get invited to some job openings. My next frustration was that I got invited for interviews but ended up not landing the jobs. Tempted to give up but my dream was stronger than failures and disappointments I faced. So I decided to use those interviews as a learning curve. I went back to prepare well for the next interview and the next…

Try Again

At that point when I was about giving up applying for any more job, two new positions were advertised by two different organizations. I tried talking myself out of attempting to send any application but that sense of try again stared me up. My applications were sent in and I forgot about them. Not long I got invited for an interview in the two organizations and eventually landed a new job just when I had given up! So have you tried something over and over again and you are about giving up, can I encourage you to “Try Again”! Often we give up when our breakthrough is just around the corner.

“Try Again”! Often we give up when our breakthrough is just around the corner.

Remember to Learn from Your Failures

It is not how many times you failed that matters, but how you apply lessons learned and use it to your advantage. Some goals and dreams can be achieved easily but some daring goals take time. You must be willing to stay through, grow through the process of waiting. Keep building your capacity and get yourself ready to achieve that desired goal/dream.
Your goal might simply be knowing how to cook, making new friends, dressing up smarter, building new relationships or building a skyscraper! It is all about you, what you want and your dreams and goals are valid. Keep trying, keep pushing and soon you will get there.

 Some goals and dreams can be achieved easily but some daring goals take time.

Be willing to have new dreams and Goals

Success is not a destination but progress in motion. Do not sit down on your laurels and achievement, dare to have new dreams and goals. Yes, you started a business, congratulations! But you need to remember that, that business needs to grow. What new level will you like to take your business, surely you will like to expand your clientele base. So dreams and goals have no end in sight. Keep dreaming, keep setting new goals, don’t remain static, keep moving.
As you achieve one goal after another remember to celebrate your milestones and enjoy it too even as you look forward to the next thing on your agenda. Enjoy your journey and enjoy your life!

Adebisi Adetunji(c)

#MondayMotivation Afraid of the Crowd/Competition?

This morning I got out of the house a few minutes earlier than my usual time only to get to the bus stop and meet with a crowd waiting to board a taxi. “Now I am going to be late for work”, I said to myself.

I stood there for another 20minutes feeling frustrated before finally getting a taxi. A Monday morning lesson popped up in my heart – Eventually each person’s taxi arrived 😀 of course with having to wait for a while.

Now, I want to challenge you in this short video about not fearing the crowd or competition even as you wait for your own bus or taxi to come in…Not necessarily at the bus stop but in the hustle and bustling of life 

#MondayMotivation A Bus stop lesson. Have a great week!

Have a great week ahead!
Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Welcome to 2020! A Quick Note from Me

The pressure to set goals and ensure that you achieve more is in the air.

As much as it is good to plan your year and make efforts to be a better version of yourself/succeed at different aspects of life… REMEMBER TO TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME!

Do not try to achieve too many things at a time or rush things up. You are not competing against anyone but yourself!

Enjoy the ride through 2020! May your dreams come true.

Let’s talk about goals & plans soon 👊 For now… Happy new year!

Love,
Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Saying Hello… Where Have I been?!

Well Hello to you!
I know, it’s been a while! You know that feeling of wanting to write, publish and keep up with managing your blog but somehow, it is put on hold for so many reasons… Sometimes you need to just step back, catch your breath, sort out what is important at the moment, go into a “reset mode” and repackage.

Never feel guilty about taking a break when you need one. Take time to sort through stuff.

So my life has been a mixed bag of sorting out life! But I never forgot the reason why I started this blog…to find my voice, share stories, give a voice to women like me, and somehow impact someone positively.

Guess what?! After trusting God for a change, applying the strategies of planning, taking necessary steps to achieve my desired change I landed a new job position !! (I will be sharing stories about the new lessons I am learning with you here soon).

 

For now, I am simply grateful for you and everything that has happened in the last few months. It has been a roller coaster of mountain top and valley experiences, through it all, I am still here, going on strong. I am excited about a new horizon…great things loading!

You are stronger than you think, things will eventually work out for your good. Don’t give in.

Enjoy the different seasons of your life. Tears will always give way to joy, keep trusting, keep believing. Sending a silent prayer your way to pull you through whatever rough season, you might be experiencing.

 

Warm Regards,
Adebisi Adetunji (C)