The Devil Wears Tattoo's: Of A Painful Past, PTSD and Healing In 412 words. #HereMeToo

Red Clouds by Patrick Hendry, unsplash

Have you ever watched a three second meme, it repeats the expression of the person in the clip over and over and over again. My mind is sort of like a meme on repeat.
      Boot, Tattoo, Pain - Repeat.

Its been five years, five years since I offered to give a stranger directions, how does a girl go from giving directions to waking up in the trunk of a car? Am I so light weight? To be tossed to and fro like a bag of beans from road to boot. And for what? A quick indulgence, all my hopes, dreams, choice, future, all that I considered mine, relinquished at the tight fists of a tattooed beast.

Now Joe thought I was paranoid, because every time he walked by or said hi, I looked him straight in the eye and walk away. Just like I should have done five years ago.

Normal days were a luxury. I would sew and paint adire for my customers in Ikeja, Badagry And Ogun state. But the nights would come and last longer than my sunny days. 

Joe was interested in my work, or so he claimed. He's my best friends brother who had just returned from the U.S.  I did not care,  I simply wanted nothing to do with him.

His tattoo and brown eyes further increased my fury, those eyes, so familiar. I wanted nothing to do with them in another person.

Watching him talk, laugh and relate with others was a constant reminder of the hell I went through. The way he touched my art work.. And gave me compliments that bounced off the walls in my mind.
So even when my friend said "why are you acting funny, as if you don't know Joe likes you". I rejected the thought hundred times over before saying " I'm not interested ". Her face fell, " don't tell me you're still trapped in 2007" she held me as I sobbed deeply. 

I wonder how he knew to start wearing long sleeved shirts around me. His sister must have told him what happened. It was Joe who suggested we see a therapist again. To talk things through. To get my mind renewed.

I am not there yet, and I certainly do not like Joe, or maybe I do, I don't know.  For now, I'm taking care of my mind And my body. Learning bit by bit to shed off my past like an old unwanted skin.

Let's Talk About It... (Think, Reflect and Resolve To Act)

Sometimes we might notice unusual, anti social or strange behaviors in our friends, peers, or family members. How we handle these issues might be a matter of life and death.

1. Don't Judge: If you are unsure of what the problem might be, avoid making unfounded conclusions before you investigate.

2. Be Loving: Survivors often have a tough time coping with new relationships and people in general. Give them their healthy space but love them in any way you can.

3. Get Help: If a survivors symptoms are consistent with those of a mental health disorder, endeavor to refer them to the appropriate health centers.


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