Thursday 16 May 2024

Since We Are All Mad Now

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels

by Marire Adebanjo

"This isn’t the first time this has happened", I said. The room went quiet for what felt like an eternity. The deepening silence nearly broke my eardrums.


I can not take it anymore. I have to speak up. I thought this to myself. I am hoping something different will happen this time. I have tried several things before resorting to telling my family.

I tried talking to him after the first few times it happened. I always got an apology each time. It was neither sincere nor heartfelt. It almost always had an undertone of mockery. After a while, he began to blame me for his actions. He once said, “You intentionally served the food very hot food so that it will burn me. You are trying to get revenge, aren’t you?” That was a lie. I always make sure his food is warm enough for him to eat at once even if he wants to eat his food hurriedly. That night, I got beat up.

Another crazy reason he gave for physically abusing me was that I didn’t open the door for him on time and I was being intentionally disrespectful. I was washing the bathroom at the time. Of course, I offend him sometimes but am I not past the age of getting beat up for my wrongs? I never really understood the concept behind hitting a child, talkless of an adult: your spouse at that.  I have been to the hospital more than ten times in a month already.

Even our Reverend has spoken to him on several occasions. In the beginning, he would act sane for a few weeks. Just when I begin to think he has changed, he will strike again. Worse than the previous times. As he got used to hearing advice from the Pastor, the level of regard he had for the Pastor reduced and he paid less and less  heed to his word.

He threatened me so often and it really felt like he would carry out those threats. He said he would make sure he killed me if I ever thought of reporting to my family. So, I didn’t tell my family.


“I can not believe what I’m hearing. You mean this same man that shows so much respect and showers us with gifts, physically abuses you?”, my mother finally broke the silence. Hearing that really broke me. I couldn’t help but break down in tears. My sister immediately came to my side to comfort me.

“Was that why you always said you were busy? So that we won’t see the marks and scars from the beating?”, my Mother added.

I nodded my head in agreement.

“Have you told his parents?”,  my Father asked.

After a few minutes, I managed to speak. “Yes, but his mother begged me each time and his father said he would talk to him but that didn’t help. It only got me more threats and beatings from him.”

“Don’t worry. We know what we will do. I will make sure he gets arrested for this.”

My Father proceeds to call the police. My elder brother who has been silent all through, finally exploded.

“Who does he think he is? Does he think we won’t believe you or we won’t do anything about it? Oh…abi he thinks because he shows respect or gives gifts to mum and dad, we won’t retaliate? He needs to be taught a lesson! He needs a taste of his own medicine. I will show him that he is not the only madman here!! Since we are all mad…when I am done with him, he will never lay his hands on her or anyone ever again, even if he sees a thief!”

He kept on raging about my husband and started heading to the door. My sister immediately ran to him to stop him.

“I promise you that what you are about to do won’t help one bit. I will reach out to some women-led organizations working to prevent sexual and gender-based violence to report this. Just remain calm. We will go and get Modupe’s stuff from her husband’s house so that she can stay here.”

I was extremely relieved. I didn’t realize how deep of a trauma I was dealing with. Hearing them mention my husband’s house alone scared me and the thought of going there again – even if it was to get my things – was not something I relished. 

I am grateful that my family is supportive and helping me through this journey. I didn’t think my family would support me as they have. I really do not know what I would have done if they had responded to this any other way.


Going through any form of domestic violence? We want you to know that you are not alone. When you can, please speak up. Do not blame yourself for someone’s bad habits, abuse, or dysfunction. You do not deserve that kind of life. At Shades of Us, we understand that standing against abuse is not an easy task, but we hope that walking away is easier than staying with abuse that can easily graduate to murder. 

If you have a story of domestic violence that you would like to share, reach out to us on any of our social media platforms or via email. Together, we can fight women's domestic violence and abuse.

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