Wednesday, October 9, 2013

6. How I Became A Different Person as an Abused Woman - One Woman's Domestic Violence Story

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My name is Omalinze Okonkwo. I am a 33 year old Nigerian woman, who fled to the US to get away from a violently abusive husband/marriage. It had been hell, pretty much from day one of our 10 year marriage, with lots of hospitalizations and two separations in between. And it was ALL forms of abuse, from physical to emotional to psychological to mental to financial. This is the story of how I left, it was not and has not been easy, but I'm glad I'm free.

I became a different person while I was in my abusive marriage and I didn't like that person. I was always depressed and ashamed. I stopped taking care of myself and would be seen in oversize T shirts and baggy jeans with unkempt hair and no make-up. I couldn't sleep and was tired all the time. I lost my faith and stopped praying to a God who I believed had abandoned me. I avoided people and fluctuated between general emotional numbness and over-emotional crying bouts.

I thought constantly about killing myself and would literally pull my son to my chest to remind me of why I had to live.I withdrew into myself to shield myself from scrutiny and pain. I started drinking heavily to numb the intensity of the pain till alcohol became like water. On Valentine's night, 2011 as I cried beside my sleeping children while I drank an entire bottle of Absolut Vodka without even getting high, I resolved then to end the cycle and claw my way out of the darkness.

This cycle has to end with me. It has to end with us. The cycle has to be broken by the women of our generation. We have to teach our sons to respect the females around them ESPECIALLY the ones who have made them the custodians of their bodies and hearts. We must teach our daughters to walk away from ANY appearance of abuse and disrespect; to believe in and love themselves SO that they know the difference between *true love and unhealthy bonds*.

If u were to read my "letter to my daughter" again, a few things would start to make more sense. Our parents have failed us...they have failed us by raising a generation of young men who run around beating , maiming and killing women. They failed us by letting us women to enable this sort of behaviour by allowing ourselves to be disrespected by these men.

And we must lend a hand, an ear, a shoulder to any woman who is in distress. We have that female intuition so the excuse that "I didn't know" does not count. If she gets the strength to walk away ,applaud her and walk beside her and behind her. If she still is unable to for some reason, keep your judgemental opinions to yourselves and just let her know that you're available even if it just for her to vent. Don't push but be supportive.

Empathy, sisters! It is a man's world so the mantle falls on us. These women are not strangers. They are your sisters. They are your neighbours. They are your friends, colleagues, next-door-neighbours. They are the woman you see while dropping of your kids at school, your prayer-partner in church, the woman who sells pepper to you every Saturday. They are YOU!!

My journey to healing is not over. In fact,I'm only just beginning. I'm finding myself and enjoying my kids.I'm slowly but surely finding my way back to HIM ,trusting that He will give me Beauty for ashes.But I'm no longer going to be a victim to him or anyone else. This I promise MYSELF!

1. How I Got the Courage to Leave
2. How I Met my Abusive Husband
3. A Fatal Kind of Attraction
4. My Attempts to Leave or Separate
5. The Beginning of The Nightmare
6. How I Became A Different Person as an Abused Woman
7. The Red Flags I Overlooked Before my Abusive Marriage
8. Why I Kept Going Back To My Abusive Husband
9. When I Decided That I Will Not Die But Live
10. It Was Tough, But I Was Finally Able to Leave


Myne's note - October is Domestic Violence awareness month and Oma thinks this was a great time to share her story and reach out to other women for support and also to encourage others to speak out or take action.

Over the next few days, you'll read more of Oma's story. Names, Dates and Places have been changed to protect Oma and her children. Oma is currently in need of help, financial and otherwise and if you're able to, please contact me at We're trying to work as quickly as possible for the safety of Oma and her ability to keep her children.


  1. Not to be mean but please Myne, next time someone sends you this kind of story, limit it to 1 blog posting. it's becoming ridiculously long! Seven parts already!!!! People like myself got uninterested after "part 3' of her story.

    1. If you are uninterested then just ignore the piece, there are other stories to read on the site to read. I am not like you, and I am interested in reading every word she has to share, even if it is in 100 parts.

    2. Pretty sure you're not Myne. Have a sit & thanks.

    3. Hi Anon, we don't often hear in detail from women who have experienced abuse, so when one like Oma who has gone through the fire, wants to write and share, I'm more inclined to give her all the space she needs.

    4. I'm not Myne but I will reply you Anon. If you find it boring, that's understandable and you shouldn't read it. Try cartoonnetwork. com, I'm pretty sure you will find something short and simple there.



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