And then she was born. Sweet 14.

💕I will kiss her even at 100 💕

It was December 2004, that time around Christmas. At my grandparents home where most of the extended family had gathered to make merry. And I vividly remember hanging out with some cousins and then one of them, Njeri whispered to me after seeing my stepmom tending to guests.

She innocently uttered , “aki Ciru mama yako aneshiba leo.” (Ciru your mum is so full today). If I answered her, it had to be something like,”eeeh amekula sana leo.” (Yes she has eaten a lot today) Njeri is younger than me. So I think she wasn’t trying to be silly, she just had no Idea. I don’t even remember if I/we laughed or I let it sink in. But we didn’t discuss further. By then I don’t remember if I knew what pregnancy even entailed.

Let me put it this way. My stepmom was very pregnant. But those days no one sat you down to tell you details. Sometimes you came home to a baby and voila, you were a bigger sister or brother to someone. Some of our mothers like my biological mum had those pregnancies that don’t show much. And If I did see them, then my mind didn’t register them.

I had just finished my Primary school education and was waiting on my results. Then came January 16 2005 I and my other siblings were blessed with the most light skinned black gorgeous sister. We all fell in love.

This baby was the cutest thing. Her skin. Her hair. Her tiny fingers. She was EVERYTHING. Dad told us she came exactly the way he had always dreamed. Yes, he used to dream with his unborn baby. This baby was the best thing that happened in our family.

Traditionally, in the Kikuyu Culture, we are named after our parents parents. So basically, if a couple gets their first baby boy it is named after the mans father and the first baby girl after the mans mother. The third child takes the name of the mothers mother or father depending on the sex of the child. If the couple goes on to have more kids they start naming them after their brothers or sisters. My grandma, dads mom had 14 children. She even started repeating names. Funny right.

Anyway, my grandparents had an agreement that if my stepmom gave birth to a child depending on their sex it would take their name. So my sister was named after my grandma. Which I am also named after. That is how we ended up being two girls with the same exact names in my family.

This bundle of joy came and changed our lives. Literally. We took care of her and especially me because I was big sissy. I did everything for her and still do. She is spoiled. But she has her own brains. She is responsible, mature and has the biggest heart. She is funny too. At 13 she already had an Ex. She told me the story. I was disturbed and didn’t sleep for days. Thank God it is an ex. I’m not prepared to go down that road.

If there is anything this little girl loves and has loved all her life other than life itself is handbags. It is funny that she has more handbags at fourteen than I ever had at 25. I used to buy her different types of purses now she buys her own. All types. It’s that crazy. And she will hold on to every one of them till they are worn out and ugly. I don’t get it. I took it up on myself to declutter her room recently when I was home.

(One of her first bags 😁)

Above all, I always prayed to have a sister since I was always surrounded by boys. My stepmom gave me two sisters that I love to pieces. I will do anything for them. I will pray for them. I will protect them. I will be your enemy if you hurt them.

We fight of course and that is the beauty of having a sister. We wear each others clothes. They steal my make up and shoes. We teach each other a lot. I am overprotective of them (given what I have seen and gone through) and that is where most of our fights are born. But in the end we hug our issues out. Because we all want the best for each other.

So I toast to my youngest sisters 14th birthday. Wishing her the best of this life. She just started her high school and is boarding. I pray she walks in protected paths and that no evil shall seek her. That she always stays strong no matter what. That she always knows how beautiful she is and no human will convince her otherwise. That she believes she has got it and that she can be whatever she wants.

I know she will one day read this. She must.

My baby. And much more. You are loved

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Did dad fail me…?

It’s important that you know that I’m writing this from my own perspective. My personal feelings, experience(s) and own reflection.

As some of you already know, my mum died when I was 9. And after she died it felt like she died and that was it. We never spoke about her. Nobody ever initiated a talk that involved her in our household.

I tried on few occasions but I usually got vague responses and so we never had a meaningful successful talk about her. Now older and finding healing I try to poke and suck out information about mum from anyone I knew was close to her every opportunity I get. Sometimes I succeed. And sometimes with people like my dad I don’t usually succeed.

So I guess just like in most families, relatives or the extended family jump in and take charge where they are able. And sometimes consciously or unconsciously they take full charge without clear communication. Mine was no exception. Extended family literally jumped in to help my dad. A young widower with 5 little kids. The eldest been 10 and youngest been 2.

So my siblings and I were drifted apart. One taken by one relative and the other by another. We barely heard from one another. We were mostly in different towns.

So after my mums demise, my elder brother and I were directly taken to boarding school miles away. We stayed in one boarding school together for a year and before we could adjust to the new school we were separated. Pap! we landed in different schools.

I was admitted to a girls boarding school in Kerugoya. And my brother in a mixed boarding school in the same town. I remember we went for a whole year without seeing each other or hearing from each other.

Those were the days not everyone had a telephone. My dad had a cheap mobile phone that he mostly used to only receive calls. But even this been the case, I can’t remember having phone call conversations with my siblings or anyone else for that matter.

If you have been to a boarding school in Kenya then you know the system. We had only 3 long breaks in a year where we could go home. They were mostly 3-4weeks long. So during these breaks I found myself at an aunties or uncles place. I would ask where my siblings were and of course they were at another relatives place and sometimes home with dad.

When we were lucky to be in the same city, we saw each other after church service because our relatives happened to go to the same church. We met on other rare occasions. Some cousins birthday or an extended family gathering.

What I‘m trying to say is this whole experience affected me in little and major ways and the relationship and bond between me and my family was somehow indifferent. At times the mere connection I felt we had was just blood.

How we related to each other was different. Now as an adult and observing closely I see my relationship with my siblings and theirs with each other would have been better if we were not tossed around the way we were.

Don’t get confused, we love each other very much. We would literally climb mountains and swim oceans to see each other happy and content. Maybe after all, this experience(s) made us even stronger.

I‘m probably drifting from my point which is, parents should actively communicate with their kids authentically and with intention about even those situations that seem small and insignificant in their eyes but to the child they aren’t. Parents of more than one child should see to it that their children grow lovingly together if it is within their power.

Which should actually be so because again, having children should be a decision or choice you soberly make. Reminds me of this article I wrote way back (https://wanjirusworld.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/__trashed-3/)

I don’t blame my dad or my relatives for how my childhood was laid out. They all just had the best interests for us, I trust. I only wish I/we was/were given space to feel and deal with the loss of someone so close and loving and that someone literally talked to us about our mum every now and then. Then probably I would have one less demon to deal with till date.

I feel it is important to know that in such situations when a child looses a parent, there is much more important things like mental health of the child than a better school. (I mean you can also give both if you proactively learn to also listen to the feelings and needs of your child).

A child can get great grades but if they are mentally unstable they will only derail in other significant aspects of their life. Mostly trauma experienced during childhood will manifest itself sooner or even later in life. It is very sad to see grown ups still stuck up in loss (could be anything) that happened while they were children.

Parents should help their children to fight some demons earlier in life than later. I know there is no recipe of how to live life, but I‘m a strong believer that each and everyone has some power to change at least one thing around them.

Have you ever gone through a certain kind of loss as a child and if yes is there anything you think would have been done that would have helped you then but wasn’t done?

How do you deal with loss? Do you think sometimes relatives overstep while trying to help? Please let me know below.

Your story is yours.

Everyone has a story and some people not only find it therapeutic telling their stories but also love seeing change happening through the stories they tell. I mean, aren’t some stories better off told? Mostly for our own good and at times for the good of others around us.

I had a discussion with a friend a while back that made me realize how afraid or scared some people (me included) are to share certain stories out there even when we aren’t supposed to feel that way. Of course we all have different reasons why we choose not to share what we don’t. And we all have that right!

I have a friend who told me a little about her deadbeat father. She has wanted to tell her story and maybe even write about it but she fears. Her relationship with her father was never great. There are things that transpired in her life while growing up that she would love to get off her chest but she gets distracted. She is afraid of what most of us are afraid of. The MONSTER of the FEAR of the UKNOWN.

So apparently, her father left her and her sister when they were young. And he wasn’t present in any way, nor was he supportive. He turned his back on them, and to cut the long story short when they were all grown up and doing their life on their own terms their father suddenly wants to be recognized and fully accepted.

He wants to be shown respect where it’s not even due. You might know or have heard about such deadbeat fathers and sometimes mothers.

So my friend knows that talking about certain things regarding her father that hurt her would help her in moving on and probably give her closure, but she is taken aback by the close relationship she sees her father having with members of the family. She feels like her feelings will not be acknowledged and that sets her back.

Back to my point. I think that any person who has hurt you in any way is someone’s child and they mean the world to someone else out there. Those certain people who do ugly inhuman things do on the contrary mean something to at least one person out there and you can’t do anything about it.

What you can do is realize that you owe yourself the good life, and that good life is standing for yourself and unapologetically owning and telling your story regardless. So what if telling your story won’t sit well with a few others? If standing by your truth will make you walk with your head up a little higher and heal the hurt you suffer, then I would encourage you to not be afraid.

I told you I was over and over again sexually abused by my cousin. (https://wanjirusworld.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/she-ordeal/ )He has a great relationship with my parents. Sucks I know! He has a wife and children. And all my life I was in fear that if I ever told this story I would be responsible for a few broken relationships. This held me back, ate me up like a cancer until late last year when I wrote the story down and shared it. I didn’t expose the name of the person but having the courage to tell that story did wonders for my sanity. I felt peaceful and free.I still do. And I’m glad I did tell it.

Talking to someone or anyone about whatever bothers us is always a step forward to resolving most of our problems. You might not hear what you wanted to hear or get the reaction you expected but there will always be a reaction, and that is what you might have needed at that moment.

There is no greater agony than hoarding an untold story within you. A story that wants to be told is better of told. I applaud anyone who tell their story or stories the best way they can. Whether through writing, music, dance, photography, fashion, through spoken narrative, art or whatever way. You matter! And may you keep doing that because someone somewhere watches, listens and gets inspired. And you at the end of it all, you get to smile.

My mantra this year is to continue telling my stories as raw and as true as they are. Not excusing bullshit. Fighting and standing for myself and having room to hear other people’s opinions and if they don’t correspond to mine learn not to take them personally. And while at it challenging my mindset.

Pic:Courtesy of google

Good tidings.

Awesome reader, It dawned on me that I forget to tell you the slightest thank you for always stopping by this space, reading, commenting and sharing with your people. Now that is bad manners considering my last blog entry.

Click here->https://wanjirusworld.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/help-and-walk-away/

I am not the only reason I write but you are. I can choose to keep my stories to myself but I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. You encourage me to put out more of my stories out there. Your feedback and how we literally embark and dismantle a topic I write about gives me so much joy. Thank you also for sliding in my dm or WhatsApp for more talk.

I acknowledge your feedback and how you thank me for somehow putting out a post that talks to you at the moment you need it. You humble me when you tell me that my posts talk to you and touch you. You humble me when you ask for me to write a book.( I’m not YET there though so for now let’s enjoy the blog ☺️)

Also, I realized I never had to ask you to subscribe to this blog and you did that totally by your own will. So you who hasn’t done that yet and find my articles worth reading please do so.

I admit I at times slack at posting. I won’t give excuses but what I know is I have so many more stories in store for you. Some already written and some screaming to be written. Too much in store people and I get confused what to post first.

I also know that if you have read my previous articles, more so the “She” sequel https://wanjirusworld.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/she-ordeal/ then there are still some unanswered questions you might have. I have in mind to post a “She closure” ( if at all there is closure on that topic. If you know what I mean.) soon.

So to get straight to the point, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart my reader. Your loyalty since I started. Your encouragement. Your patience. Your love. Your rawness. Your time. Your everything. This blog is literally nothing without you.

And this is also the first blog article where I wish you happy holidays with you and yours. Have merry or create merry with your loved ones. Wishing you all the great things come 2019.

Also see https://wanjirusworld.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/flirty-christmas-%e2%98%ba%ef%b8%8f/

Happy new year to you and I hope you visit this blog next year. Of course you will, I’m I silly? 😄 You better bring your awesomeness back here next year.

Good tidings y’all.

Flirty Christmas. ☺️

Pic is from last years Christmas 🎄

Is Christmas a choice?

Living in Shags (village) made Christmas celebration more of an obligation than a sincere acknowledgement of Christ has been born. I was condemned to celebrate the birth of Christ since birth because I descended from a christian family. I honestly don’t care much about religion but I am me.

Outfit(s)/ Sunday best

Well, if you didn’t get new clothes any other time of the year then you literally prayed for the end the year. You knew your parents would get you a new pair of jeans, shoe or dress. The so called cinderella dresses…men those were everything for most girls. If you had a “beef” going on with your parents and for some reason you knew they wouldn’t get you a new something you hoped to get a new outfit from your far away/ town relatives.

There are some who automatically bought you new outfits every Christmas. On Christmas eve I’m not sure there was a child/kid who slept due to the anticipation of wearing something new which would later become a Sunday outfit. We called them Sunday best outfit. Worn only on Sundays or on special occasions. The 90’s kids feel me on this one.

Food

I mean that is the time you know you will eat Chapatis/Fladenbrot/flatbread like no other time of the year. Talking of those days I was young and we all looked forward to this time of year. The number Goats, cows and chicken that were/are sacrificed around this time of year is insanely massive. People swim in meat and dogs dance to the bone as they slurp the marrow. The chicken cries you hear from one homestead to the next as you walk to the village town to show off your new shoes that don’t even match your jacket almost deafen you but what is Christmas?

Drinks

So us kids anticipated on all the different types of juices and sodas that would be circulated around the whole day. I mean I can talk about the alcohol, but normally that was for the wazee’s (men/older guys). I only came to see my aunties sipping wine during Christmas when I was a teenager. And I was shocked. My inner expression was surely anything is possible on this earth.

Christmas is not Christmas if on Christmas eve you don’t hear that one drunken drunkard singing the latest gospel song over and over and surrendering his life to Christ. Only come new years he’s back to the bottle. Vicious alcoholic circle.

Mood

You have left a few members of the family sitting in circles each with either a knife, a carrot peeler or a carrot grater and definitely some armed with the funniest story ever. All of them have shukas/kanga/leso (A special cloth) tied on the waists.

(In the background you can here one auntie telling Shiro to bring her a leso.) “dehera shuka usio wi hau”

The bursty laughters stamp the mood ‘“A Christmas mood.”

You all have that auntie who commands attention by that one hilarious story she keeps going over every Christmas and it never grows old.

Relatives

So if you happen to live with your grandparents and you have some relatives who live in other towns but they value Christmas, then you are sure they will visit. Some come a few days to Christmas and stay till new years and most leave on 26th. You in the village are excited to see them and of course can’t wait to receive their presents. You see and treat them like the gods of the city. They sleep under the best bedsheets washed in softener.

They bring with them many benefits . You know you’ll take a break from Githeri (Kenyan chili).

The hard maize especially that is if you usually find this on the menu 3-4 times a week. By the way what is a menu in Shags? Other benefits are you know some of them will give you their pocket change and you will spend it buying balloons at your favorite shopkeepers shop. It’s time for chopping & blowing money.

Cousins

Except that you are completely excited to spend time with your cousins and show them the rabbits you can play with and take them to the stream downhill you also want to hear some of them bragging about the town life. The newest playstation or doll they have. It is a competition of who got what and from who and who went where with who.

And there is that one cousin if not two who is the one you have been waiting to see and you are complete. That cousin crush of yours. That cousin who makes Christmas more Christmas-ssy. You will both be over each other shamelessly telling each other that you wish you were not cousins. And if you don’t tell then the glares you steal from each tell that.

Church

There is church of course. Depending on your denomination some have to go witness the birth of Jesus through the programs and acts specially made on this day. And also Ironically take/receive/eat the body of Christ. Youngsters like us were mostly halfway or noway following. Our stomachs were rambling and screaming to be fed. Everyone is absolutely ravenous and can’t wait to dive into the mutura(Filled intestines) and Chapati. Why lie!

Joy

It is absolutely beautiful seeing that in all corners everyone is sincerely happy. Even if it’s for a moment. The joy and happiness can be seen on almost everyones face. Family putting aside their differences and actually coming together to spend time and eat together. Reminiscing on the good old days and making moves to forgive each other. Nothings beats that.

I’m not sure there is any other event that I have witnessed bring family together such as this. I honestly miss a Kenyan Christmas setting. Next year I hope I don’t miss out. This FOMO is real.

I might be confused on the real meaning of Christmas, but seeing even the most needy people smile and greet you merry Christmas and exchange laughter, that is is Christmas enough.

Ps: To those of you who take on projects of like lets say feeding and dressing those in need, keep doing good and may it come back in tenth-folds. Thank you for your kindness.

May you Never loose inspiration.

Make Merry

Merry Christmas

Help and Walk Away.

I thought to start off with a few simple questions.

How do you feel when you help someone?

Do you love to hear a thank you?

Do you forget and walk away after you helped someone?

Do you dwell there and expect them to pay you back?

You might have someone who came through for you at one point when you hit rock bottom. Might be a relative. (Mostly is). You might find these characters will sometimes or always try to make you feel small years later. It can be they helped you directly or through someone.

Some of these characters will make you feel like they want you to bow for them anytime. Or narrate to others in their presence how God sent them to you. A simple oral thank you is not enough for them. They probably want you to slaughter a goat and invite the whole village to show how great full you are that they helped you.

When you meet these characters, you will always feel like you owe them. Not a good feeling. You feel like you have to adjust to be how they want to see you at that moment and this is toxic.

There are definitely certain characters I’ve witnessed both directly and indirectly, who after a fall out they will count to you everything they have ever done for you. Isn’t that total BS? Hilarious too. But also sad. And they will let people around them know what they did for you. Paint a very ugly picture of you for their friends to see and try to poison your mutual friends minds to dislike you.

They can’t talk about the nice things you also did for them because they are so consumed in their anger. And excuse me aren’t friendships or relationships supposed to be two way and not one sided? So you also did something for them to land that title, “friends”.

If you have gone through this there is only much you can do. Move forward and accept that people come into your life to teach you one thing or another.

Some of them will even keep reminding you how they helped you and you get to a point where you don’t even know how to keep up with that relationship.

If it is family you are doomed to meet up here and there and maybe another family member will whisper to you about the help you got and wasn’t great full about. Sucks!

This is one reason many families are too scandalous and fall apart. Like petty stuff. Why won’t you want to see your brother or sister or nephew or niece or friend prospering? Sort out the issues between you and help each other to achieving your dreams.

I mean, can’t people just uplift others without expectations? Can’t you help another person because you are in a position to help and just turn around and leave it to God. You know, “tenda wema nenda zako” (Do good and walk away)

There are two simple things I personally love. Thank you and Sorry. Where it is due. And for me it is enough when it is said. I don’t really need a physical or materialistic thank you gift. I consciously try not to expect too much from anyone I help because I feel the universe finds ways to thank me.

The good we do to and for other people comes back to us knowingly or unknowingly. You just need to reflect on your life and you will see your deeds were paid in different forms.

Also know that not everyone is meant to be your friend for life. Some people cross your life once or twice just to help you at that certain point and they go. And vice versa. Don’t dwell in trying to save all your relationships with the hundreds of people you have met. At times you just need to let go.

If you keep expecting things from people around you, you will waste too much time and energy and end up spoiling beautiful relationships with your friends or relatives. Invest that energy in wanting to do good and actually doing it. Leave the rest to the universe or to God.

Adjust your expectations of other people and you will realize no one will really disappoint you.

Be happy

She. Follow up

Dear lovely people. I still can’t fully comprehend what has happened the past few days. I honestly tried to write that story so many times over the last few years but every time I started I would tremble, start crying and would stop at the second sentence. I have no idea where the strength and the courage came from.

I would like to lay down some facts about that story. She is me. It was very much easier for me to write that story in 3rd person. Don’t say I was living in denial. If you have gone through whatever trauma you must resonate and know how hard it is to put the pain into I or me.

As of me sharing my story out there means I have accepted what happened to me. Yes I could go back and save that little me if I could. But I have chosen to fully accept the pain and hurt I have gone through and that way I can decide to take steps to cope and eventually heal.

On that note, many people sent me messages asking if I was the one who went through the animosity and I couldn’t help but think, does it really matter who went through it? If I was writing a story about someone else it wouldn’t make it better. Fact remains it happened and I‘m afraid these inhuman acts still happen.

Your responsibility and mine towards this would be to try and do the little or best we can to stop the rape culture. And in doing so, not forgetting or ignoring the victims cry to be heard. You don’t have to do much, Listening, hugging and encouragement to let go the pain does magic. Not tolerating victim shaming, because that is the monster eating up so many victims.

My mind went blank from receiving so many messages from other girls who went through the same or similar experiences. I was astounded by the fact that many kept it a secret till now. Mostly because of the shame. Some were blackmailed and threatened and so they have lived in fear and still continue to do so.

I pray for healing for any person who has ever been sexually harassed and abused and I also hope and pray that they find someone or anyone to talk to. That is the hardest part. Talking about it.

In the next days I will be sharing some insights I have on how we can help protect our vulnerable girls.

I’m not ignoring the fact that this injustices also happen to boys too. I talk more about girls because I resonate more with them.

Ps: To all those who called me or reached out in any way, you top up to the reason why I’m still sane.

To those whose calls I didn’t pick, I was too overwhelmed to find a hello and have a conversation. We will talk soon.

Thank you for the love

Ciru