This blog in part, chronicles the experiences that have helped to shape my life. Initially, the blog began as a venue for me to white board, organize, catalog and map the disparate components of my life. It has subsequently provided me with an outside in view of my life, and enabled me to witness the profound effect my stories of personal survival have for other people who are also struggling with challenging life issues.
Hence, the blog's emphasis changed from introspection to a platform from which I could highlight human rights, women's rights and child abuses tied to real experiences in my life. I discovered that I could now utilize my personal history to effect positive change in the world and the lives of the people I encounter. It was through this transformation that I embraced two of my most profound truths: "I am not my memories, I am my dreams" by Terry Hostetler and “My life is my message” by Gandhi.
I do this best through writing and public speaking since it is how I am gifted. As Viktor Frankl says, "everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life......Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's tasks is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it." Over the years I have grappled not with an inability to write; because I have been writing continuously since the age of 15; but how to package seemingly disparate lives and experiences into an authentic meaningful story that will inspire and encourage the reader.
I have leveraged a troubled and sometimes deeply painful history into a triumphant life. My resiliency and artistic nature has provided me with joy of exploring the gamut of my talents. Essentially, my life is typical in its trajectory based upon the psychology of an impaired father daughter relationship. The subsequent pressures of my father's rage against systemic injustice and racism, manifested in tyrannous and capricious behavior. This ultimately culminated in the physical abuse of my mother and an absolute disdain for any displays of weakness, and of women in particular. Islam only served to reinforce his misogyny, and the pressures of living as an expatriate accelerated his psychological break.
My father died on August 28, 2015 in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa where he had resided for nearly half a century, but prior to my going there to bury him, the last time that I had seen him was when we traveled to Nigeria. Yet, his impact on my life has been as pervasive and protracted as venom from a snake's bite. He inculcated me with self-doubt and hatred which manifested in low self-esteem and destructive behavior, that I cunningly hid beneath a tough emotional exterior. These brothers of slow death, gestated in the fecund soil of my mind, and produced a vine so serpentine, the pattern of behavior eluded the most skilled generic therapists. As I matured into womanhood, I became adept in the use of charisma, sex and its trade to fill a hole that could never be filled. A perfectly sculpted recess in the center of my chest, wherein my father was supposed to dwell and to protect my fragile heart.
I learned from the challenges in my life that a person can tolerate any situation, if they believe in its ultimate satisfactory resolution. Many fail because they accept as reality the untruths implanted by inadequate and defective begetters. Now as an adult and a parent, I recognize the demarcation between my father's fallibility and my own choices. I seek not to lay the blame for my glorious and sometimes sordid history, at this man's feet, however; it is because of our intertwined destinies, that the pattern was revealed to me of very beautiful people doing very self-destructive things.
This was the world that I inhabited and escaped from, that I will explore and chronicle, that has culminated in this particular moment in time and history, where I can recall without pain and use effectively my experiences to encourage, educate and inspire others to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.