SALTY BROOKS – May 2016

One marriage down. The second one divorce-bound.

Broke, by the world’s standard, but rich and wealthy by divine standards. She had three lovely wide mouths to feed and a business that struggled for a while but has just taken off. Alone and lonely, scorned, shamed and pitied, but still standing.

She has not given up on love. Heck, she loves love itself and even with two matrimonies in her kitty, she believes the best is on its way to her. She has learnt to lean on God for everything. She calls Him Jehovah and learnt to forgive herself (for her arrogant assumptions and presumptuousness), her parents, her exes, her friends and everyone else. This chick is still a work in progress and is on the path to very great things.

For this month’s session, I hosted Stella Uchechi Nnodi to share her story….

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I was born a day after Valentine’s day in 1974. I believe I have come a long way and I am still on that journey; of life, of coming into myself. We are all shaped the things we saw growing up in our immediate environments and homes.

My parents fought in front of us kids and I grew with with a steely resolve that no man will treat me like crap. So, I grew up with a mentality that was everything defiant, passively arrogant and presumptuous. Then I saw the blatant adultery all over the place and I swore that I will not tolerate infidelity in a relationship. But beneath, there was an inferiority complex. My parents were civil servants so we couldnt get all the cool things. 

I was brilliant in senior secondary. I got prizes in arts subjects though I wasn’t one of the cool girls in school. We lived a sheltered life, so the very first night I slept outside my father’s roof, I had sex!! Boom! at 17. It was horrible. I cursed Mills & Boons for the lie they sold to me reading their novels. I couldn’t understand why it was so painful! 

Before then, I’d started masturbating in Js3, at 14. I wanted to experience the ‘orgasm’ that night but hey, the pain. Kai. In 1991 I was 17. I didn’t know penile orgasm until 1995. I was an expert in faking the O. For some strange reason, I felt I was doing any guy I was with a favour. Heck, you can’t make me come, so what da heck!

My first marriage was in 2000 and ended in 2004. We were both immature and let pride and ego mess us up. I got a job in the bank in 2001 and in hindsight, that didn’t help my arrogance. It got worse but it was passive. The bride price was returned in 2004 and I felt he didnt care because I ‘ran away’ and he never came to ‘look for me.’ So, I dived into my job and taking care of my kid. As a banker I moved around a lot, transfers here and there.

All this time, I discovered I liked boys. I met this chap in 2006 who I thought was all that. He was big on PDAs and I was tripping. We were a hot item in our circle and I was the envy of my ‘friends’. I woke up one Saturday morning in January 2007 and voila, he was getting married that day, to some chick. Shuo!

My work suffered. I was suicidal. I didn’t care about anything. I locked myself in my office everyday and C-R-I-E-D! I was devastated mostly because I was like, ‘How could he? How dared he? I recovered eventually. In 2008, someone in Lagos saw my picture in a friend’s place and said he wanted to meet me. He boarded a flight and landed in Port Harcourt.

This man was wealthy and was also very big on PDAs. He got to Port Harcourt on a Friday, 16th May, 2008. Bought me flowers. Flowers kwa! He kissed me in full glare of people everywhere and alarm bells just went off in my head. I said no, not again. All these PDA people, they are like China product: they don’t last. So, I ran. How did I run? 

I answered the altar call the following day, Sunday, in church. I ran away from the world and got born again. Phew!  Another journey started for me. I was still working in the bank and in 2009 I got transferred to Abuja in July 2009.

I met my second husband in Abuja and by February 2010, I was remarried. We all have our character flaws but i overlooked his which for me were fundamental. When yawa gassed, my father asked me why I married him if I knew he had these issues I was alleging. 

Till today I have no answer to that. I guess i just needed to prove I could get a ‘fresh’ man who had no previous marriage and all, as against my being previously married. In hindsight, that was unfair of me.

We have two girls between us.The character flaws didn’t allow me respect him. They beclouded my senses. I didn’t like my husband.

 I didn’t like him. I hope he gets to see this and know that no matter what, I am sorry for everything. Anyway, I didn’t like him, so… 

He was also very big on PDAs. In fact he has multiple Ph.Ds in that field. I was stupid not to ignore the bad side of him. They were fundamental value system issues for me so I went on and on about it. In my case, I take the larger chunk of the blame, yes. I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven them both. And I am exhaling.

Then he walks out of the marriage, with me 4-month pregnant. I was arrogant remember, so I said “Shucks, he’ll come back.” He is a believer, so I thought, “Anyhow im go come back.” He didn’t. When it was obvious he wasn’t coming back I went crazy. Family members, church, and friends, weighed in to ‘settle us.’ It was too late. 

On Tuesday 14th October 2014, I woke to a facebook post of him in a traditional wedding ceremony with this chick. He married her on 11th October, a Saturday. I will never forget that date till the day I die. Never. NEVER! Ah! 

I saw the pictures three days later, 14 October, a Tuesday. The following day, Wednesday, 15th, I had a spattering of grey hairs all over my front hairline. That reached my spirit. I fell to the bottom of the bottomless pit. The devil met me there and whooped my ass! Aaah!

I suffered. Mentally. Emotionally. He taunted me, the devil.He laughed in my face. He called me names : Fucker! Bitch! Bitch! The devil attacked my finances, my sanity, my mind. I looked at myself in the mirror the whole of 2014 and what I  saw was an ugly bitch. Shapeless, fucking bitch.

Then I turned to God, in that pit where I was. Aaah, the warmth of His unconditional love. It thawed me. Slowly. Slowly. When the Bible says, we should approach Him with boldness, it meant it literally. I turned, and faced Him and I said, “Heal me.” I said to Him, heal me, help me, forgive me. Hold me, hold me, hold me. Get me out of this mess. You gotta help me, Lord. Just hold me.

You know what? He did. Slowly.

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Throughout my last pregnancy, I forgot about God. I figured He couldnt be bothered with an arrogant tart like me. But I knew that was the devil’s lie. Jehovah loves me. It was a gradual process. I had so much negative energy. I began to pray in the Holy Spirit more.  I joined the choir and the theatre group in church to expend this energy. I would be driving and suddenly burst into tears.

Now to the issue of remarriage. People have asked me if i will remarry, a third time and I say, “Hell, yeah.” Yes I will. It is His will that we live good life and a happy marriage is part of His plan.  He is a God of fresh starts. I have forgiven myself. He loves me unconditionally and that is all I need to know.

Do I still feel residual pain? Yes, but I am a lot better now than I was in 2014 and early/mid 2015. How have I coped with sexual desires? A few times, I have given in to masturbation, but recently, I pray in tongues and wring my toes when the urge comes.

It is an enjoyable journey I am on, I tell ya. http://www.lsdcltd.com  is also on the path to great things, so is Abuja Grammar Clinic With Stella Nnodi where coach people on improving their spoken and written English. Great things!

When people look at me and say that I’m such a strong woman, I laugh.I thought I was strong. Nobody is. It’s all God, Jehovah. 

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Stella owns and runs LANGUAGE & SKILLS DEVELOPMENT CONSULTING LTD - LSDC. Visit her website http://www.lsdcltd.com  today and let them help you. She also edits books, journals, any written work.

For HR Consulting, Training, Mystery Shopping and Language Consulting services, please visit http://lsdcltd.com  or call +234(8)099298495

Stella is on Facebook as http://www.facebook.com/TheGrammarLady