Musings

Differentiate

‘Learn to differentiate between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you’. As seen with Opeyemi Gaji, Poet.

It took me a while to learn this difference. Before I learnt, I still put myself out there. Being hopeful, not holding on to bitterness whenever new hurt stabbed again.

Then I learnt, many times our intuition will warn us of danger. Especially when we haven’t fully healed ourselves from traumatic occurences. We’ll unknowingly continue vicious cycles.

I’m trying to say: HEAL, Reflect, Hope and LISTEN to yourself Gem.

Life Lessons from The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I read this bestselling psychological thriller yesterday evening and couldn’t help but deeply sigh.

I’ll admit I have the habit of storing up classics and bestsellers for future times when I’ll need an amazing read. So, I was reading My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren and the heroine, a criminology professor, mentioned the book while trying to remind her caller about their past movie date. It made me realise I have this book!

I began reading this ebook narrated in first person by unreliable Rachel, Megan and Anna. A spell-binding, emotional and delightful read. I didn’t drop the book until I finished it 4 hours later. The spectacular end was worth it! Yay Rachel!

I love that the book truthfully depicts infertility, infidelity, mental health care, psychological and emotional abuse, gaslighting partners, alcoholism, crime and dangers of assumptions. This novel, its plot twists and revelations, Rachael’s growth all made me think of some of my experiences with blackouts, gaslighting partners and effects of infertility to a marriage.

Description

The plot revolves around Rachel Watson an alcoholic, downtrodden divorcée who takes the same commuter train into London every day, despite having being unemployed for months.

What she sees on these gin-fuelled, tear-streaked journeys, as her train winds its way through a London suburb, draws her into the disappearance of one of the residents she regularly watches, an uncomfortable relationship with her ex-husband’s new partner and a grisly murder investigation.

It’s a slow-building, suspense-wrapped plot that takes a peek at the dark reality of suburbia, as told from the point of view of three, at times startlingly unhinged, women.

This book made me grateful I haven’t had my trauma-induced blackouts taken advantage of by my loved ones. I’m also grateful I ended my first toxic relationship years ago. I don’t take my Stepdad’s intervention for granted. He noticed how anxious and unsure I was becoming in the relationship with a guy who always criticized me and my efforts amongst other hurtful things. I stayed strong in the relationship. But after the break up I had to heal the unnoticed hurt to my esteem and trust in others.

I think that’s why I completed the book. To know if Rachel would pull herself together, garner some self worth, stop relapsing with alcohol, remember how she acted when she has blackouts. We learn a lot more about suburban London life, Megan and her affairs, unstable Rachel fighting alcoholism, psychological and emotional abuse by male spouses (Scott, Megan’s husband and Tom), kindness, lying Tom, frightened Anna and some much more. Some new words were added to my vocabulary. I enjoyed the way the narrators filled in the plot from different timelines.

Life Lessons from The Girl on the Train

  • Get professional psychological help when getting depression, anxiety, blackouts and other forms of disorders from traumatic experiences. This will provide in depth, insight into your mental and emotional well-being. It usually isn’t enough to speak with loved ones.
  • Heal yourself. Dont help others when broken. It will drain you and likely hurt them too.
  • Take responsibility for your actions in other people’s lives. You might not know the gravity of damage your denial, refusal to apologise, lies are causing.
  • Sometimes staying away from source of trauma isn’t the best. Lean into your emotions. They hardly lie even when the brain doesn’t remember. Self reflection is so powerful. Assess your emotions vis-a-vis your actions.
  • Be very careful how you react in anger. Don’t say things you’ll regret or harm others. Control yourself.
  • You don’t own another human being. I always say a person should never feel entitled to another person’s self, polite anger, blind trust or respect because they love them.
  • If you are saying too many sorrys in a relationship you and your partner need to evaluate.
  • Our actions are interpreted by people’s insecurities, assumptions and perspectives.
  • Strangers are watching you live your life from afar.

More info..

It was published by 13 January 2015 by Riverhead Books in US, 15 January 2015 by Doubleday in UK. This bestseller has a same named movie adaptation directed by Tate Taylor starring Emily Blunt released 7 October, 2016.

Valentine Safety Tips

Sunday night my friends and I had drinks at AUN Club, chatted about Bail and life. A bit buzzed i walked back to my hostel on the dimmly lit road at a quarter to 11pm while they returned to the conference room.

In the shadow, a group of loud Yoruba speaking young men were behind me with some ladies. I heard a male voice call my name repeatedly. Initially, i ignored. It isn’t safe to plug your ears while walking in the dark. #RapePrevention/SafetyTip But the persistence of my caller made me wonder. I asked twice, ‘who is that? Who is calling me?’ He doesn’t answer so I hasten my pace because i felt sleepy. Alcohol makes me sleepy, even 5%.

I turn back and say, ‘I’m asking because its dark i can’t see you.’ Next thing the man beside him, begins ranting in English. ‘You didn’t need to be impolite’. The one beside him responds in Yoruba, ‘she is a small girl.’ Another joins saying, ‘what does she feel like?’ The person who called me is silent. The women are laughing. I note but ignore and continue walking. Irritated, I abruptly turn back and shout out, ‘You are the one calling a small girl in the dark without introducing yourself.’ I walked towards the female hostel faster. While they continued loudly insulting me and my ‘audacity’ in Yoruba.

This isn’t a men are scum post. Earlier that evening a young man had escorted me to my friends even though he had sore legs. Neither is it a women are scum post. I have female friends who defend and check on me regularly. “Scum has no gender”-Rasaq Ola.

You are not entitled to someone’s politeness or anything! Men, NOTE this. It is nowhere safe or mature to call a lone woman in the dark without introducing yourself. Even if you know her. It’s immature showing your insecurities by insulting someone else in your native language. It’s rude, especially if they might not know your language. I hate when people are silent. I was being accosted and the women could laugh at their insults? The guy could stay silent when asked to introduce himself and couldn’t correct his friends.

See Gem, many unreported cases of abuse come from the victim’s close friends or acquaintances. My own sexual assault came from experiences with males friends (you know yourselves, stop tumbling into my dms) more than random strangers.

It’s Valentine, don’t feel pressured or silenced into having sex. Or making expenses you can’t afford. Don’t feel guilty when you walk away from bullshit. If a friend keeps making you feel sexually unsafe, CUT THEM OFF. I shared this with my teenage brother in uni. Talk to the teenagers in your life this February and 2019. My message is for both female and male teenagers. Advice them to respect other people’s choices and make good choices themselves. ‘There is usually a lot of pressure on boys and young men to do the wrong things.’- Oluchi Jennifer. Check on them regularly, listen to them and their insecurities, give them gifts too, encourage and compliment them. Encourage teenagers to be aware of their sexual safety.

It’s the month of love, stay safe Gems.

Adaeze Feyisayo

Image source: the_amakaa

Once i curled my tongue and dipped its ticklish tip into my soul. I wanted to know what my eternal immortality tasted like. Would I recognise it when I shared it? Is it’s depth truly as endless as the fiery, bright, hope-giving soul I give out?

So when my tongue is burnt while I’m sharing. I dip into my soul. I lap up my own healing. Then note my depth swirl higher in abundance.

So still raw, I open up and share. Because closing up bitterness and pain makes my soul drown them. Then I feel myself choke on overflow.

Springing forth, I share. Because a few of us are here to pour, illuminate, fill and exude glory and indescribable joy.