I just read this post on a whatsapp group I belong to. It is the personal testimony of Njideka Athalia Adrika. I am still speechless and really moved about what she had been through. You need to read her story… Don’t give in to that suicidal thought! I know life can be hard and tough and you have been through a lot. But YOU ARE IMPORTANT & THERE IS HOPE OF A GREATER FUTURE.
I ingested 120 aspirin when I was 14 because I wanted out. I laid in bed that night waiting for death. What I experienced was a floating sensation as if my body was hovering above me. There was a continuous ringing in my ears and ten thousand drummers banging in my head. I was sleeping but wasn’t asleep; slipping in and out of consciousness. I was glad I have finally ended it…
My mother woke me up the next morning to get ready for school, I was heart broken that I was still alive. I couldn’t eat breakfast that morning, my belly felt shallow and empty, but no one asked me why I wasn’t eating.
As I stood at the Assembly ground, a wave of dizziness overcame me, I started throwing up foamy white liquid. The last thing I heard were screams and commotions.
When I finally came to in the hospital, the doctor questioned mother who smirked and said I was a drama queen.
My mother didn’t ask me why I did such a silly thing. She was only mad that I gave people reasons to talk about us.
I did it again at 18. This time I was wiser. I made sure that I had everything properly planned. No need for a note, they already knew why.
I increased the dosage of the aspirin to 300. I dissolved it in a drink and gulped it down. Then, I started throwing up. The maid heard. Screams.
I woke up in the hospital. But I shut my eyes, willing myself to die. The longer they believe I’m still unconscious, the chances the doctor will keep topping the medication to wake me up, then, it will be too much for me system, I will go.
Beep … beep…beep… what is that sound? It is distracting my dying process. I opened my eyes. The doctor asked why I did it? My mother said I was seeking attention.
I was kept overnight for observation. The hospital psychiatrist came to see me. He wanted to know my motive. “Your life is not yours to take” he said. He asked thousand and one questions but I didn’t utter a word. He was booking another appointment to see me when my mother busted into the room and raised hell.
She threatened to sue the hospital, they had no right to traumatize me the more (like she cared), she was so mad that the veins on her forehead and neck was popping out. She wanted to find out everything I had said in her absence. When she was assured, I didn’t utter a word, she took the doctor’s notes and erased our records from that hospital. We never used the same hospital twice for medical ‘emergencies’.
On our way home, my mother shifted all her frustration on me. I was slapped, pushed, shoved and verbally abused. She called me terrible names and reminded me of how my stupid stunts were attracting unnecessary attention to us. Not once did she ask my reasons, my motives, my triggers… She knows.
My mother – Eberechukwu Adirika nee Ofodili had a tough childhood. Her father was a village policeman with no atom of integrity. He was a criminal with uniform. He was a hired hand for whomever needed police protection, the shadier your business the better. He had three wives and thirteen children and never bothered about any of them. My mother was the fifth child of her father and the first of her mother. Her mother made sure she had primary and secondary education. Before, her father could pimp her out to one of his associates, with the help of her mother she ran to Awka and never returned.
When she got to the state capital, she did odd jobs to survive. She won’t tell us what the jobs were, but it was in one of those jobs she met my father – Chris Ozoemena Adrika.
An undergraduate from a wealthy family.
He helped my mother secure an accommodation, started a restaurant for her, and in turn she took care of his ‘supplies’. Though the ‘supplies’ came later when my mother was solely dependent on my father. He had her where he wanted. In other words, she ran from a brute of a father and ended up with worse for a husband.
At 22, I drank 75cl of kerosene, but death eluded me. I did a thorough research. People died through this method. I didn’t. I was once again taken to the hospital. Stomach pumped, doctors wondered why, mother waved them off. The only difference is that this time my father told me that he is the only one that will decide when I die.
I gained admission into a university in the South – South, I was overjoyed. Freedom!
My hopes were dashed. My father got me into a private Uni at Nkpor, a few kilometers from Onitsha and assigned a driver and car to me.
I have never slept outside my father’s house, apart from my nights in hospitals. My life was already drawn and mapped out for me from birth.
My mates envied me. They think I’m a snob. They had no idea. I’m not allowed to make friends so that I won’t mistakenly get emotional and divulge the family secret. My driver is also my parents’ spy. Every movement I made is reported verbatim. I have no life. I am so depressed. My daily thoughts centers around taking my life yet I’m envied by many.
I was never one to have hope or faith. I was never one to think it will get better. I’m never one to think there will be a way out that is not death. I couldn’t attempt again because I was never alone. My parents made sure of that. I was watched 24/7. I had no privacy. But I needed to die.
After 7 years I met him again. The psychiatrist. He remembered me and my mother’s outburst. He was a medical student when we met years ago. He wanted my phone number. I told him I didn’t own a phone. He asked me out on a date I told him I couldn’t. “Why” he asked. “Too complicated “I said. “I want to be your friend, boyfriend, whatever you are comfortable with” he pressed on. He was running a Masters program and started coming into my lecture room, sitting close to me and we would talk about everything except the “reason”.
He invited me to church programs but I turned him down. So, he started giving me books to read, articles and my first Bible. He never pushed me to tell him my story but always ends our meetings with a prayer; “Father Lord we thank you for yet another day. Thank you for your daughter. You have already started a good thing in her life, and we are confident you will bring it to an expected end. In Jesus name we pray, Amen “.
How will I explain my breakthrough. I don’t know the word to use but maybe just maybe Sylvester’s prayer is working (Yes. That’s his name: Doctor Sylvester Ifediba).
I decided to read the Bible and ask God to speak to me through the Bible, since he has refused to take my life. If he wants me to live, he should give me a purpose. Sly said that the answer to all my questions lies in the bible.
I flipped the pages and ended up in first John, chapter four. I was marveled. God loves me even though my life is so messed up!
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. God loves me. His love is for me. I needed assurance. I needed more explanation. I asked God to show me more:
I turned my bible to Corinthians;
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
My hand had a mind of its own, I kept opening scriptures and reading: John 3: 3; 16, Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, etc.
I couldn’t sleep that night, I cried, I read, I pleaded to God to renew my life. At a point, I think my parents came into my room, but I didn’t care. I needed what I was reading in the Bible; Peace. I surrendered my life to Christ that night in my room, where so many evil deeds have been committed. I felt a heavy burden lifted off my life. I felt renewed, I had Peace and finally I was free.
I couldn’t wait to talk to Sly. At school the next day, not caring about my parent’s surveillance, I took him to a quiet corner told him of my experience last night, he hugged me and said a thankful prayer to God. Then, I told him my story.
My name is Njideka Athalia Adrika. The last child and only girl of Chief & Mrs. Chris Adrika. I have 4 older brothers who I was never close to. By the time I was old enough to play with them they were already in boarding schools. We never had relationship till date.
Naturally, I was close to my father. When I was around 3 years old, my nanny then asked me a simple question: have anyone being putting their finger in your pee – pee because I always flinch in pain when she is bathing me. I said yes. “Who” she asked. “Daddy” I answered excitedly. She told my mother and she lost her job (or her life, who knows).
My mother sat me down that day and told me that I shouldn’t tell anyone how much my father loves me, that is how father’s show love to their daughters.
I found out years later that the girls in my class didn’t receive such love from their fathers. My father was an animal and my mother aided him to keep her place in the society.
My mother took me to my first and numerous abortions. When I was not ‘available’, my mother ‘supplied’ my father with young girls. I was a sex toy for my father and my mother made sure I was well polished and shiny for his use. I tried taking my life several times because it was not worth living.
By the time I ended my story, Sly was weeping. He followed me home that day and asked my father to release me to him or he’ll expose him. My father of course threatened him with death. Sly said and I quote; “The story is in the pipeline, any day I go missing, it hits social media and all news agencies “.
I think about that sometimes and am thankful and glad I didn’t t die.
I am 58 years old today, a wife, a mother and have had a wonderful life, one I wouldn’t have otherwise had.
I can’t stress how important it is to seek a good friend, a pastor, or professional help if the feelings of suicide or depression overtake you.
I attempted suicide several times because I believed I wasn’t worth anything. Death was my only way out.
Thank God for salvation; for forgiveness; for my faith in Him. For making me a vessel unto honour.
I am Worthy.
Adebisi Adetunji – Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – firstname.lastname@example.org