THE COMMON FACTOR

Recently, the not so single Miss Gidi and I had an interesting conversation about self and the effects of relationships on you as a person. That conversation made me go back to the self-reflective notes my therapist made me write when I was in counselling. I know what you think; seeing a therapist is such an oyibo behavior abi? Eh, well when I kept getting involved with men that had no respect for me, I had to look within, and maybe the fault was mine because the common factor in all of this was me.

Can you believe, the day I  returned the unlucky guy’s ring, was the same day he proposed to a girl he lied about for two years with the same ring and plastered the pictures all over social media. I swear, I almost went crazy, this is someone I gave my life and to think he had another option on standby was what even upset me the most. He had given me the keys to his house, but out of respect (after all it’s his house), I sent him a text that I was coming to get my things. On getting there, I found my things outside and he also changed the locks of his house.

That was the lowest point of my life, I was ashamed but didn’t want people to see me falling apart. See, I grew up with this bloated self-esteem thanks to my grandparents filling my head with how great I was and how I could achieve anything I wanted in life. So as an adult, I have this positivity that is almost delusional; no matter gloomy things may appear, ImaRose believes tomorrow will be a better day. It’s a good thing right? but when you have such mentality, handling failure is a huge struggle. My exterior may show this confident opinionated talkative woman, but on the inside, I’m shy and is often quiet in the mornings, when I’m upset, feel insecure or maybe when I feel inadequate.

Pardon, my scattered thought processes, today I really just want to reflect on myself.

Mind you this was at the peak of the rainy season and he lived in Lekki, so imagine meeting your things outside like a refugee who got kicked out of an asylum shelter. This was a guy I had a joint savings account with, don’t blame me, we were almost married, even that house, I looked for it with him, I am not ashamed to say I added money to the rent and we even did up the place together, after all we were getting married. I believe in financial accountability between significant others so I still don’t see anything wrong with that. Besides, I know married guys with no savings because their working wives do nothing to help and they kill themselves to provide, sometimes refunding her when she does stuff with her money for their own home, to me that is absolute rubbish. It shouldn’t matter how much a man earns, a woman should contribute to anything no matter how little, if she is earning an income.

His neighbours looked at me with pity as I sat on wet floor looking lost and confused. So I tried to move on, by then Mr A was my emotional support, see how easy it was for a baseless relationship to develop? The unlucky guy had always suspected me of liking  Mr A, but really he was just that guy I could talk to, he listened to me, talked to me not at me; everything the unlucky guy wasn’t. After Mr A’s mess, Mr B was next in line as the transition guy, with only difference being Mr B was a good friend of over 12 years. Because of the friendship, walking away was so hard even when it wasn’t working. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in burning bridges, but it’s harder with someone who was your friend before being your romantic interest.

Because men are creatures of habit, Mr B always reappeared every now and then with things like “I miss you” or  “The day you have sex with another man, I will kill you”, followed by “I’m sorry, you are frustrating me” then to “I just can’t believe you sometimes, that you loved me yet moved on already acting so cold”.  He used to abuse me, and I would say nothing because I am the “whatever girl”, I don’t trade insults, it’s too low and I am too old for that nonsense. Whenever any of his friends got married he would send a text saying “I really wanted to marry before 30, now you are messing up my plan” or say “all my friends will laugh at me, if you are serious about this thing, reconsider” Mr B is the height of a toxic man; nothing is his fault, everything is an attack, proud, condescending and entitled, then whenever he is ignored, he acts like world is coming to an end, toxic. By the way, when he eventually said “we are not dating”, it was his way to make sure I don’t feel big-headed, imagine that?

Did I ever say I studied psychology for my first degree and forensic science was one of my favourite module?  A good detective will tell you to keep surveillance of the crime scene because guilty criminals always return there. Their crime scene feeds their ego and is an avenue for them to control and make sure you don’t move on. More often than not, people come back because they realised it’s a wicked world out there and you are a safe haven. Interestingly, ALL my exes always come back begging, but, I lock them out, criminals are selfish and love the attention, you have to starve them of it, it’s the only healthy way.

Once he called me persistently , said he was struggling to sleep if I could come with him to therapy. At some point, communication between us became war; he threw daggers and I threw some right back. Eventually I agreed to go; this person was my friend, so it was hard to see him suffering even though I too was in pain. He offered to buy my ticket, I declined, even though I was broke at the time, I bought my own ticket and stayed with friends for accountability.

When I got there, I realized he had booked a relationship counsellor with the hopes that we could fix things. See, if something is broken, a micro-wave quick-fix won’t do. So to his surprise, after much yelling and tears, from Mr B and I, the therapist goes, “my only job here is to help both of you communicate your feelings without fear (on my part) and as adults, but on repairing this, I will have individual sessions with you on personal growth and how respect and co-dependency works in relationships, at the end of the sessions, one of two things will happen; both of you will either see that you really want to be together or one person will outgrow the relationship and not want to continue”.

To be honest up until that therapy session, the part of me that loved still wanted to make it work if he tried and was serious. I watched Mr B cry after every session, it was so hard, but, heck, I cried daily for four months.  In the end, I became aware of the patterns I had developed since unlucky guy’s rejection that made me make terrible choices. I was the common factor, I made those choices, I had let my previous experience affect who I was, my positive outlook on life and almost destroy my self-esteem. I had become needy, moving from one relationship to another, not giving myself the chance to heal and love again.

True to what the therapist said, I knew Mr B was not for me so I thanked him for the free therapy session and returned home with a better outlook and plan towards my life.

I believe it was Oprah who said “once we understand that we all go into relationships with certain level of brokenness, we will handle each other with care, love, kindness and grace; because the people we choose, may represent something we have been looking for and vis-visa, so help each other heal”.

While talking listening to Miss Gidi talk about her experience and its effect on her, she said “I have learnt that the consequences of having a large heart is people will take advantage of you but you must NOT change who you are; you must continue to be yourself, God rewards a large heart with greater and a more superior love with time”.

Can I hear an AMEN, church?!

Love Always,

ImaRose


 

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13 thoughts on “THE COMMON FACTOR

  1. I think you blame yourself too much, these men are horrible creatures, nothing wrong with acknowledging a terrible person. Like miss-gidi right said, God will surprise you with overwhelming love, and ImaRose say “amen”

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    1. I think its wrong for you to just put it at the feet of these “terrible men”.
      You heard when Ima Rose said she had let her past experiences affect who she was and that really is a recipe for disaster: when you judge someone new, based on what someone in the past did.
      As long as two people are in a relationship, they each have varying degrees of blame to carry when the relationship does not work and also when it does they are also responsible.

      ImaRose, I am glad you have moved on. You will be a better person for this. you will find out that you will find joy in you and on your own and that is key.
      when you finally meet someone, he will just be an icing on the cake and there will be no pressure.
      none at all.

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  2. I swear we have the same ex, only difference being my own Mr B is a 43-year-old man-child. Thank you for sharing this. Miss gidi thank you for lifting ImaRose up and helping her in her journey; I love you, girls.

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  3. ImaRose I dont agree with you, a man must take care of a woman, this your mentality is the reason why men in Lagos now want women who drive cars and earn more money so women can take care of them. My sister married a jobless man, my parents did the wedding, paid their rent, giving them monthly allowance because both of them are not working and have small children. It is a curse for an unemployed men to say he want marry, talk-less of having an erection to impregnant a woman, abeg talk another thing, I am not saving any money with man jare…………….

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    1. I think there is a very big difference between joining hands with your husband to build your own home and marrying a jobless person with no ambition. Haba, if the man has been chronically unemployed, has no business, and wants to do marriage on credit that is a warning sign to stay away! It’s very different from a situation where husband and wife work together to maximize their earnings and develop their home while putting away some money for a rainy day.

      Just my 2 kobo 🙂

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  4. I hope you collected your money back, rubbish……. I dont believe in joint-savings, Nigerian men are not trustworthy at all and a man must take care of his household

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    1. This sort of generalization about Nigerian men is the reason most women enter relationships with pre-conceived biases and the relationships end even before they start.
      Of course a man must take care of his family… but putting a gun to his head will not make him face up to his responsibilities, anymore than he would have without the gun.
      Either he is aware of it or he is not. Period.
      so choose wisely.

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  5. I can see why you might gravitate to an Oyibo man – quite an interesting cast of characters you’ve picked up over the year 🙂

    And a loud resounding amen to that prayer – we all could use that!

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  6. I saw this link on twitter and clicked, I almost got teary eyed reading this, this exact same thing just happened to my friend, the evil that men do will live with them. I pray that God will give you someone whose heart is just like yours.
    In future, that joint account savings is not for the Nigerian marriages, men are evil, my sister, learn.

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  7. Did you get your money back though? I really want to know, if not tell me will find this guy and collect your money, rubbish. Yes its paining me like say na me

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