You are sweating profusely in a properly ventilated room, you have your back against the wall — in this case, it’s both literally and figuratively. You start to hyperventilate but you try to keep it on the low.

You are angry. You are tired. People are a handful, you think to yourself.

‘’Kachiwi, I did not mean it that way though.’’ Your friend says. Her voice sounds like grinding machine to your ears. You’d rather be alone but she won’t leave. She is adamant.

You are tired you can’t speak much. Your partner of 2 years just called it quits, a few hours before you find out your best friend is getting married and you had no idea!

‘’You are always too busy with work!’’ she tells you. You are stunned because you are swamped and your boss is driving you nuts. You have been trying to reach out but apparently, you had been ‘ostracized’ by your friends INCLUDING the so-called best friend.

‘‘Please, leave, will you? Let’s do this some other time, ok? I am fine.’’ You stutter a bit but you stand your ground regardless.

‘’So what’s the deal with him?’’ she asks as she turns the doorknob.

You shrug. She opens the door and leaves quietly.

You slump on the cold tiled floor and you weep. Crying comes easy but what to cry about was the problem.

You are not weeping over your partner who left because your trust issues drove him out like a rat being chased by a famished cat. A wedding ceremony is the least of your worries so you are not exactly upset with your friend.

You really wish you could talk to someone but even your father is somewhere still searching for purpose in a glass of alcohol.

You are hurt and in pain but you don’t blame him neither do you blame your ex and half-sister who eloped together a couple of years back or your mother who felt a couple of strangers were better at raising you than she was.

You shut your eyes yet you can recall vividly the day your cousin put you out in the rain because she felt you had overstayed your welcome.

You are still overwhelmed by this, it hurts like yesterday because she was your buddy back in the day. You made sacrifices and just thought maybe, it would not hurt her to help when you are in need but no, the universe does not work that way.

The soreness is deep-rooted but it’s too complex for even you to comprehend.

It’s hard to keep up with any kind of relationship because you are always expecting a stab in the back.

You are grating your jaws hard as you squeeze the hem of your asymmetrical beige coloured chiffon. You try to forget all the hurt that has brought you right here.

Your phone rings, you reluctantly reach out for it and the caller ID reads, ‘Ekanem’. You let out a deep sigh. She has been super nice to you these past few weeks but you have been resolute.

You purposefully do not want to let her in because you cannot stomach another disappointment/betrayal. You have had enough…You drop the phone and bury your face in your hands and as usual, the tears are free falling.

For you, life is like a battlefield…love, friendships, family, everything.

Are you like Kachiwi? Living a life ingrained in paranoia with trust issues louder than a school bell after school hours because life has dealt you several blows.

You feel you did not get a fair deal out of life-from family, love to opportunities.

You think you are ‘damaged goods’…

You are insecure, overanxious and mistrustful but to mention a few. You always think the next person wants to set you ablaze. You have been betrayed and deceived too much that recognizing real becomes tasking.

Even when you do, you ditch it like a hot plate because you do not understand how to deal with love and care from a sincere heart.

I am not an expert in these things but I know for sure, that life is never exactly fair to anybody. You think some people have it all together? Perfect lives and all? You’d be shocked.

Some just know how to play the part or are better at nursing their wounds silently.

You are not damaged goods. No matter how bad you think your life is and because people have hurt and betrayed you does not mean there would not be people or someone who is willing to stick their neck out for you.

You are not damaged goods. You are traumatized by the hurt you have had to go through.

You are not damaged goods. You have not just received love in the same magnitude at which you give.

You are not damaged goods. You just were not selected for the job like millions of others.

You are not damaged goods. You are from a dysfunctional home and it’s not your fault.

You are not damaged goods. You are just broke.

You are not damaged goods. You see that friend, who kicked you to the curb when you were at your lowest does not understand the concept of loyalty.

You are not damaged goods. You see that situation you found yourself in, you may have orchestrated it, you may not have, regardless, it’s called life.

I reiterate I am not an expert but I put it to you today, albeit your mountain of problems (illnesses included) — You are not damaged goods. Choose to rise above your pain, we all have our battles and for as long as we are alive, we must keep fighting.

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