I just googled ‘windeck’ the title of the Cabo Snoop hit song and it means ‘sex’ *scream! Did i actually promise to make a 2 second sex video for my fans if I win? Course not! Paris Hilton I am not!!! 😉
I got a shocking blackberry broadcast this morning about some dude killing his wife 5 days ago. Heaven knows why on earth I got the news so many days late since some of the contacts on my BB are self-proclaimed CNN reporters abi na WikiLeaks?!! They somehow manage to be at all places at once. Informing us about police fights in Mushin and Agbero fights in Bauchi at the same time! Anyway this broadcast was very different because it not only carried the news of Titilayo’s demise but a picture of her husband grinning menacingly at her on the wedding day! Also there was a note attached to it about domestic violence and that got me thinking…
When I was younger I used to think stories like that only happened to poor people living in face me, I face you apartments cos every time Frank Olize’s Newsline reported a gruesome story such as this, it was always in that setting but Titilayo (May her soul rest in peace) was a Lagos girl and worked at Skye Bank, I imagine she did the same things we did and gave her man the same dose of shakara that we all have given our significant others so why is she six feet under while we are going about our daily business doing the same old s**t? It hardly seems fair! How does a sane prince charming morph into an unrestrained beast? One who not only stabbed his wife to death but took delight in cutting off parts of her body, parts that probably attracted him to her in the first place. What could she possibly have done to deserve this? Reports say her parents warned her about him but hey, everyone knows someone whose parents warned them about a certain man and they ain’t dead! Heck! My mama warned me about two of the men I dated and though mama turned out to have old people’s foresight, my heart was the only part of me scarred.
I look at the cute little boy sitting across from me in his mama’s laps. He has the cutest dimples in the world and he definitely will become a heart-stopper one day but will he be a Kolade? How can one tell? Some people blame it on dysfunctional families but hey, I know lots of men with family drama and they haven’t murdered anyone yet neither have their fathers. Could it be an evil spirit masked as blinding rage or a borderline case of schizophrenia? In those days parents would investigate families before giving out their daughters but nowadays if there’s money and prestige, mental stability and psychiatric history seem to be pushed aside. Could Titilayo have cheated on him and if she did was that enough reason? How many signs did she ignore while they were dating? How many times did she forget a hot slap after a reaffirmation of his undying love?
I can relate with domestic violence because I was hit by a guy once. We’ll call him K. He’d been on my case and I’d been giving him the regular UNILAG girl shakara, one day we got into an argument late at night while walking down the street of my house and he flipped and threw me slaps that made me see stars yet undiscovered. He pushed me on the floor kicking and cursing like I was a lifeless sack of garri. I screamed, I begged, I tried to run and I fought back but it was a lonely road, he was high on weed (a later discovery) and I was on my own. An hour later (nose almost broken), he had calmed down sufficiently and with tears in his eyes, threatened to jump into the silent lagoon because he knew he had lost me. The irony of the matter was that while my insides were screaming bloody murder and ordering all the mammy waters not to have mercy on him when he jumped in, I mustered all the energy I had left into an audible plea. I was actually begging him. I reasoned that if his body was found floating in the Lagoon, I would be charged with murder even though I was innocent. He walked me to my house giving me strict orders to put ice packs on my swollen face and not let my family see me till the morning. I barely made it to my house. Now little did he know that my family is close knit and akin to the Italian mafia. By morning my neighbourhood was crawling with police and he was on the run. Some days later, he checked himself voluntarily into Yaba Left. I heard that he had abused every one of his ex-girlfriends yet each of them had dated him for years at a time. I wondered what would make a woman stay in a relationship while a man got his kicks off punching her.
Over the years I have heard stories of women who have lived with violent men, some getting maimed, others long dead. They stayed cos of their children, they stayed cos they couldn’t live with the shame of a failed marriage. Who is taking care of the children of the deceased now? Who is paying the hospital bills of the battered wife? My friend W said she stayed in an abusive relationship for years because when he was not abusing her, he was the kindest, sweetest, most generous man alive. It makes me remember Eminem and Rihanna’s song; ‘Love the way you lie’, I love that song but no one should willingly be in a relationship that burns them to the ground. My friend became a bully after a while, taking out her aggression on course mates and room mates and beating them up at the slightest provocation. Some people would have envied her for having such a devoted boyfriend but only her inner caucus knew about the stone in her shoe. Thankfully today she is with a good man who may have faults but would never raise his hand to hit her.
When I first started dating, my mum gave me two nuggets of wisdom. First of all, she said; ‘Never manage a boyfriend, because he will do much worse as a husband’ and secondly, ‘Before you commit to a man, make sure you know the limits of his temper’. Yes once in a while, you can find me provoking an otherwise sleeping lion (aka boyfriend) just to see if he bites. Many times it isn’t intentional, PMS ensures it happens often enough! Marriage may hold surprises but we don’t want our jack-in-the-box to be a coffin!
So what to look out for in a man….(I know it can be hard to spot an abusive man when love blinds our eyes)
-He pushes too far, too fast, planning your future together right away. (The relationship moves forward very fast. Abusive men woo as fast as they can. They know that they can’t sustain consistent good behaviour for very long)
-He hates his mother and is nasty to her.
-He wants your undivided attention at all times and it is mandatory.
-He must always be in charge. (Overly controlling and always wants things to go the way he wants them to go).
-He always has to win.
-He breaks promises all the time.
-He can’t take criticism and always justifies his actions. (He makes excuses to justify his behavior or actions instead of feeling sorry).
-He blames someone else for anything that goes wrong. (Denies every single mistake and refuses to claim responsibility for his actions).
-He’s jealous of your close friends, family members, and all other men. (He can always find reasons for not spending time with your friends and family and he may try to discourage you from spending time with them also.)
-He always asks you where you went and whom you saw. (Uncontrollably jealous and extremely possessive).
-He has extreme highs and lows that are unpredictable. (Mood swings and Bi-polar behaviour)
-He has a mean temper. He starts fights and always wants to bicker and start conflict with others.
-He often says you don’t know what you’re talking about. (Invades your personal space and treats you without respect).
-He makes you feel like you’re not good enough. (He’s not happy to accept you the way you are and reminds you regularly what a wonderful guy he is and how lucky you are to have him)
-He withdraws his love or approval as punishment and destroys objects around you, especially those that are dear to you when angry.
-He pushes you to do things that make you feel uneasy, like taking the day off from work or even breaking the law.
– His vulnerability may appeal to you. (You might find yourself saying: “he just needs someone to really, really love him (and heal his pain.) Why does it need to be you? Feeling sorry for someone is no basis for a loving, equal relationship.)
– He expects a big return on his investments. (He may seem happy to put your needs and wishes first for a little while, but it won’t be long before he starts saying: “Look at everything I do for you. You should be doing X, Y and Z for me.”)
– All the women who he’s had relationships with in the past didn’t understand him and let him down or behaved badly and he admits to hurting and attacking a woman in the past but blames that person for making him do it.
– There are areas of his life he refuses to talk about.
– He’s got a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse, and possibly violence.
– When you first meet him, there’s something about him that you don’t like. If you choose not to trust your intuition, you’ll probably pay for it. Big time.
– He’s all sweet with you, but he acts differently with other people. (Rest assured that, with time, you’ll become ‘other people’.)
– There are times when his behaviour leaves you feeling like you’re dealing with someone you don’t even know.
– He exhibits low self-esteem.
– He is unable to identify and express emotions in the right way and shows it by being angry with you when he is angry with somebody else.
– He lies to you constantly and plays with your emotions in any way possible such as calling you names, degrading your being, ignoring your emotions, depreciating your achievements, insults you in front of others and poisons your mind with constant bad-mouthing and threats.
– He is cruel to animals and weaker people.
– He forces you to have sex even when you are ill.
– He has an over bearing, aggressive personality which you have mistaken for confidence and he is a control freak.
If you have any doubts that your partner may be, or may become, abusive, take the relationship slowly and listen to the advice of friends and family whose judgement you can trust. If you don’t like what they say and find yourself replying: “But you don’t understand. He’s not like that…”, the chances are, you’re wrong and they’re right.
For one woman (Titilayo), it is too late. She will never hear the birds sing or the wind in the trees or more appropriately the horns blaring in Lagos traffic! She loved a man, she gave her all and he repaid her with death! May she find rest for her soul. I sympathize with her family and friends.
Dear reader, it is not too late to get out of that abusive relationship!
Men please take note, women can be abusive too! I guess the reports are less because it’s far more embarrassing. Pele dear but if you are in that situation run for dear life oh cos women have been known to murder their better halves!
Please treat your wife like the delicate flower that she is…whether she’s a rose or a wall flower!
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