“We will hold three days vigil in your house, then the remaining four days in my house,” was Pastor Adeleke’s first statement after asking me numerous suspicious questions.
The tall and very skinny god of man (or woman, as his word was law to Bukky’s mother) struck me as a scammer from the moment he stepped into my apartment. He was brought by my neighbour whom we call Iya Bukky, simply because she is Bukky’s mother.
My health had started nosediving again. It was on a Friday that I started becoming numb. I just felt empty and weepy for no apparent reason. Then, my memory started to fail me. When friends called, requesting information I had earlier promised to send them, I was shocked because I couldn’t remember making such promises in the first place.
Rita, who is also in recovery, suspected I was relapsing. She was right.
Within 48 hours, I had started hearing the voices I used to hear three years ago. They told me how worthless I was; that I didn’t deserve to live.
I hated myself and felt more empty. I was angry. I was so angry at everything and everyone, that I had picked a fight with Ivara the previous day. I deliberately hauled mean words at him via Facebook messenger; words that he simply ignored. When I sent him a text message later in the night that he should please call me, he did. Again, I vented. He was calm, but he never suspected that I was on the path of losing it again. Our discussion ended that night when his airtime was exhausted.
Ivara realised what was going on the next day afternoon when we spoke.
The voices had started telling me to throw in the towel because I was too worthless to be alive. But unlike in 2013 and 2014 when I made attempts to take my life, I struggled this time. Thoughts of Ivara not recovering from the news that I committed suicide, killed me. My mum living in sorrow for the rest of her days, that her only daughter was no more – had hung herself – murdered me. Thoughts of my friends never recovering from the anger and shock they would feel at the news of my deliberate death, made me struggle with the voices.
I struggled till Tuesday, when I almost did it. But Ivara’s birthday was on the following Sunday and I remembered how I promised that I would be with him on his birthday. Yet, as I sat at my writing table, I wondered if I would be able to keep my promise. When I began to be convinced that I would instead keep my self-made appointment with death, I sent Ivara a text message. I told him that I was sorry I didn’t want to see him before ending it. He must have called me a thousand times, before I answered the phone. I couldn’t tell him anything he wanted to hear. He became more worried when I couldn’t promise not to throw in the towel. Not even reminding me of how beautiful our daughters would be, with one of them looking exactly like me and the other being his carbon copy but with long hair, could make me laugh. When he tried to help me recall our dreams and aspirations, I went blank. So, he called my therapist.
Dr. Iwolomo called immediately Ivara phoned him. I answered the phone, only out of irritation. I hated the sound of the ringing phone and wanted to switch it off. But he told me what I needed to do, in order to calm down. I was alive on Ivara’s birthday.
On Monday, I took 3mg of Lexotan to help me sleep as per Dr Iwolomo’s instructions. But sleep eluded me. Later that night, I took another dose and double of my Seroxate, Epilim and Risperdal prescriptions. Yet, my eyes wouldn’t shut, even as a pounding headache refused to go away. Yet, I became calm; no, subdued. I felt weak … too weak to even attempt suicide.
As usual, there was no electricity, so I decided to check my emails before heading for the room to rest my head, especially as I was sure I would not be sleeping.
That was when another blow hit me.
I clicked on Nwachukwu’s email, to read that I was being informed to tender my resignation letter. I froze over and over again. Lost count of the number of times I read the email, before the contents sank in. The Head of Human Resources of my office, was ‘advising me to resign’. My crime was my anti-human trafficking advocacy involvement with a non-profit organisation, and publishing an anthology on human trafficking. I was told it would give me enough time for my campaigns. It was better than having my appointment terminated, they said.
I became confused. Yes, I was heavily involved with the anti-human trafficking advocacy, but that hadn’t affected y day job. I had been sending in stories, which my immediate boss hadn’t been editing and passing for publication. Each time I called his attention to it, he told me that he forgot because he was overworked. I had even sent in a story before 7am earlier in the day. I had also spoken to Akpan, my line manager, who then discovered I was ill and scolded me for sending in a story while ill. He promised to use the story. Again, he failed to.
That was when hell was let loose …
EROBOT ON TRIAL is a serialised, true story.
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