Ugly memories overwhelmed her. She wanted to draw the curtains, but she knew better than to waste her time on such wish again. God did not honour them in times past, she is sure He will not honour them now. Like Jesus, she surrendered her spirit; not unto death, but she gave up the fight, recklessly abandoning herself to God’s care. If it be death, so be it.
She closed the app and managed to drag herself to the bathroom to prepare for the day’s work.
It was going to be a big busy day at work. Everyone was excited about it. Everyone, except her. Her performance was stellar at work, but her spirit was down. Her managers could see it. “Try and speak up. Try and raise your voice. Try and engage more. Try and add some cheerfulness.” She would agree to every evaluation and try to raise her voice but her voice would not go up by a decibel extra. How would she explain that she needed to raise her soul for her voice to add a decibel and she has been struggling to raise her soul? She thought of lying that her voice was heavy because of the advent of winter but the lie made no sense, so she aborted it in her head and promised each time to do better. Each time, her performance improved, but her cheerfulness declined, and she got the same evaluation.
She hid in the bathroom during her break and ignored the pangs in her stomach. Anger? How did I get here? She splashed some cool water on her face to reduce puffiness from tears and returned to work.
“Are you comfortable talking to people?” Her manager had asked at some point.
“Yes, I am. I’m sorry it’s been a tough day for me. I promise to do better.” She responded and actively tried to put in effort. How would she have explained that she had avoided her mother’s call because she felt enormous pressure about the video call, and was hiding because she was ashamed, embarrassed, and defeated? She was hiding her face and her voice.
She wrapped up work, assuring herself that the next day was going to be a better day. She knew the traits: outbursts of anger, tears, apathy, panic, withdrawal, lethargy. Lethargy was all easy for her to manage with pills, glucose, and vitamins. She excused withdrawal as some self-development, when in reality, she was hiding. Panic was all new to her, and she could not properly rationalise it. Apathy could be scary. She recently asked a friend : “is it okay to like someone one day, and the next, I do not care about them though they’ve done no wrong?”
“It’s totally okay, dear”
“Ah! Thank you!” she relaxed “I thought it wasn’t normal and something was wrong with me.”
“You’re absolutely fine, my dear.” He loved her, so he saw no wrong but she knew a lot was wrong and she needed help. Nothing tells her that a lot was wrong as the unnecessary tears, apathy, and outbursts of anger. The most shameful and embarrassing was anger – lashing out at people and overreacting to issues. How does she walk into a clinic and tell the doctor “I have some problems. One of them is anger. I think I’m struggling with depression.” She would most likely say it with a smile and a calm voice, making the doctor think she’s absolutely crazy for wasting his time. Yet, she does not just smile because she is pleasant or something is funny, she smiles when she is embarrassed.
Lashing out at someone is embarrassing. More embarrassing when you beat yourself up for it and drag yourself in humility to apologise for your indiscretion. It did not matter to her if the other person was wrong, overreacting demands an apology because you have unnecessarily hurt the other person’s feelings and probably strained a relationship. When did she become this?
2018 was a hard year to forget. It is no secret that everytime she thinks about an ex or somebody mentions an ex, her mind goes to just one person. It was a very hurtful heartbreak. It snapped her body and snapped her mind. She remembered that a doctor looked after her body, but she left her mind unlooked after. She was a naturally shy person, and quite reticent by primary nature. She could not take time off work to deal with the heartbreak, so she bottled the pain as she returned to work. Her best friend had called a day after the heart break and instead of offering comfort, she was cold and cruel. Tola remembered how she had travelled to comfort her friend when she was in a fix, and got offended at how cold her friend was. She told her to back off. Her friend got upset and ended the call. The following day in her pain, she decided to reach out to her friend and iron out the matter, but her friend had already called off the friendship. The pain became real. How do you go through a cruel heartbreak without your friend? She spoke with her friend’s mom and brother and realised that her friend had given her mom a standing order to not communicate with her. The rejection aggravated. She was forced to confront a heartbreak from a lover and a heartbreak from a friend alone. She could not face it alone, so she buried it.
That was when she started lashing out. She would apologise for lashing out, then it would happen again. She became quite easily irritated. She had been running from an unwholesome adaptation. The abandonment and hurtful words from family even when she was homeless haunted her. 2018 pulled all toxins from history into present. Her first job was to cater to the family. She remembered when her colleagues had saved up enough to further their lives after a year but she had only saved a fraction, her sister whom she had been the most financially committed to asked her what she had done with her money that she had no savings.
“Beauty without brains”, “you’re a useless sanctimonious plastic Saint”, “this person is a choice child and will do better than you”. Words from her parents that she had buried with kirk Franklin’s Imagine me came back to punish her.
“Over what my momma said and healed from what my daddy did. I wanna live and not read that page again.” She’d sang at first in tears, and then with joy, celebrating a breakthrough.
However, 2018 made it seem like her breakthrough broke her through. Not for once did her father call to offer comfort. Neither did her mother. For comfort, she went talking to the ex-lover who disrespected her some more and this aggravated Tola who begged her mother to not open the door for disrespect. She felt a fresh start might help her get a new beginning, so she changed her environment and changed her job. Changed her church, changed her car picked up a craft, changed her job. It greatly helped in moving on, and moving on she did till she embarked on a project bigger than her hustle. For 2years, she begged, grovelled, she even asked that the assistance came as a loan, yet she got none. It would have been better if she got none because there was lack. Unfortunately, she got none because she was a nonentity. After declaring that there was no money, her parents had thrown two big parties that were the talk of the town. That was the idea, if the town would not talk about the parties you threw two months apart, why throw them? She saw how money was lavished and she felt raw pain. She remembered another year.