Category Archives: What I Never Told Anyone

HE ALSO ASKED ME TO SIT ON HIS LAPS – WHAT PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HEAR OR SAY ABOUT THEIR PASTORS

I didn’t want to write this story. Never ever! It’s one of those things as they say, one should cover up, especially when one considers the human beings involved. But I thank God that someone like Ese Walter came out and shared her story. I am not God, so I can’t disprove her and say she’s lying, nor can I say she’s telling the truth. I’m only here to share my own story because something has been stirred in me.

Mine is a little different from hers but it runs along the same lines and I will combine it with a similar story because I want to expose a few things today. It is not easy to come out and share this. I stand to be judged for sharing it, especially by those who share the same faith as me and who have known me from home. But I make no apologies. I am a grown woman, a mother, a wife. And my husband approves. Nobody’s judgmental opinions matter.

Before I go to the main, story, read this intro. I hoped to hide this too through some random blog post about child abuse. I wrote this a long time ago and tried so many times to post it but my guts failed me. Today I share it. Here’s my story:

She was only six years old when her father’s friend visited their home. She didn’t know much about the visitor but she called him Uncle Cameroun because that was where she was told he lived. His name began with a C too but now she doesn’t remember. He could have been very fair or very dark. After all these years his face still chooses to be a mystery to her.

The first time she enters the guest room to see him, her whole family is in the parlor watching Another Life. A curious child she is, she wants to know what is in his bag. Earlier, he had promised her some goodies. But she finds nothing. The bag is full of books. Her eyes stroll to the dressing table and she sees a sachet of red pills. They look inviting and she picks the sachet.

“Uncle, what is this?”

“Blood medicine.”

“Blood medicine? What are they doing with it?”

“Bring it here.”

She takes the pills to him and he pops one into his hand. He puts it in her mouth and she instantly likes it.

“Iz sweet!”

“Yes. And it gives you blood.”

“Why?”

“Because you need blood to be strong.”

She keeps licking the pill and when the sugar-coated part of the blood supplement is over, she spits it out.

“Iz not sweet again.”

He takes her hand and draws her towards him.

“There is another thing that can give you blood.”

“What?”

“Let me show you. Turn around.”

She turns away from his face but she’s very curious and tries to look back.

“Face your front,” his voice is a little gruff and she obeys it.

Next thing she knows, his hands lift her dress and runs over her sides.

She is innocent. She doesn’t know what he is doing. There is no danger alert device installed in her system. Her brain has no explanation for what is going on. She stands there and takes his abuse, oblivious. After he is done, he tells her she’s a good girl.

“Don’t tell anybody. When you come back from school tomorrow, come back here and collect more blood so that you can be strong. Don’t wear any pant. Don’t tell anybody o!”

She is happy to leave the room but she can’t wait for more blood tomorrow. As he has instructed her, she tells no one.

The next day, after school, she runs into his room in her school uniform. He does as he pleases with her; gives ten kobo afterwards. She uses it to buy local sweets and shares with her sister and cousins. She looks forward to the following day.

This continues for the entire week—she collects ‘blood’ everyday and he buys her sweets. Finally, his visit is over and he must return to Cameroun.

The little girl is sad.

“Uncle, you will come again?”

“Of course, he will,” her dad says, oblivious of what his daughter has gone through.

He never comes back. She grows up, forgets him.

Years later, in her friend’s room on campus, she gets into a conversation with a bunch of girls. All of them have a secret to share; they have all been sexually molested as children. Every one of them.

It is then she remembers… A scene from a girl’s story sparks something in her and she remembers everything Uncle Cameroun did to her. Somehow, her mind had blanked him out all these years but now she sees everything in detail. It should not be in her memory if it has been quiet all these years but strangely, it is there—the picture of a six year old girl who was the object of a man’s dark sexual fantasies. He had pleasured himself while looking at her naked body for one full week.

She cannot handle the recollections as she leaves her friend’s room and goes home. Tears are her food for days. For weeks, she goes through the horror of her past over and over. Time makes her forget because she commands it to. She pushes it all into that blank place it came from and she moves on with life, unhealed, scarred, broken.

Uncle Cameroun was a pastor.

In 2004, while in school in my second semester, I fell really ill. I had the dreaded combo of typhoid, malaria and brokeness, so I did what every normal student would do. I went home. I had one other reason for going home: my ‘uncle’ was in the country. Not, Uncle Cameroun. Another one. And I needed to tax him for house rent which he promised me. Now, this uncle is not a blood relative. He is that uncle that one grew up knowing as one’s parents’ friend. He lived outside the shores of Nigeria and visited the country at least twice a year and spent both times at our home. We were very close. Now, this uncle, because of his oyinbo orientation, was very open with us and we were the same way with him. In short, I shared with him my relationship issues at some point and he gave me good advice on what to do. I trusted him that much.

Now, my dad’s a gentleman of the cloth (pastor) and so is this uncle. Let’s call him Z. Now, Z was a bishop. A well-respected bishop overseas; a doctor, a theologian, a learned man and member of the Jewish community. Whenever he came into the country, he was always so booked that it was hard to see him except for the little time he spent at ours. Therefore I was lucky to meet him at home. I arrived home on a Sunday really, really ill. By Monday, I wasn’t any better. My dad left the house early to the church for a preaching engagement. My mom left to work, my aunt to some place, my sister to some place and everyone just vanished and I was left alone with Bishop Z.

He called me out to the sitting room and asked how I was doing. I told him I was getting better as per the normal answer na. Next, he asked me to sit on his laps. I did. Without hesitation. It wasn’t anything new. My sis and I had been innocently sitting on that man’s laps for as long as I can remember. He was like a father to us. So I sat and he started asking me about the house rent issue and I told him how much I wanted. He told me he was going to give it to me before he travelled. I thanked him and he asked why I was thanking him, that he would do anything for me, that after all I was getting married to his son. I laughed and while I was laughing innocently, I felt his hand on my breast. Now, I was a girl and I had been in situations when a guy wants to start getting fresh with you and he makes a move that you think is a mistake, that maybe his hand just mistakenly brushes against your body.

That was how I felt. It had to be a mistake. But I felt it a second time and I froze. I was shocked. I couldn’t move because I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. When he saw that he got me immobile, he became bolder and started groping. That was when I found the strength to move away. I asked what he was doing and he laughed and said, ‘why are you acting like you don’t know what’s happening? Are you a virgin?’

I couldn’t reply. I got up to move away but he pulled me back and became very forceful. Guys, I was scared for my life. I was very weak; if you know what typhoid can do to you, you’ll know how frail I was. I could hardly move and it seemed my struggles were useless but this man just kept on touching me all over, oblivious of my begging and tears and he was in the process of lifting my dress when God sent an angel to the front door.

My dad had sent someone to come pick him up. Mind you, he was to be speaking in the church in less than an hour at a pastor’s conference. I ran to the door, opened it for the driver and ran back inside crying. My heart was beating faster than a racecar. I was scared to death. I could hardly breathe. Minutes later, he left with the guy and I called my boyfriend and told him everything. Naturally, he was mad and told me to report it but I couldn’t.

And here’s why.

I told you my dad is a pastor. Before this, I have heard of stories like this and have gotten in-depth gist of such situations and always, the blame fell on the girls or women that were involved either in a rape situation or a consensual sexual affair with a man of God. Thus, I knew, nothing would be done to him if I reported and I knew I would be blamed for seducing him or something of the likes. So I kept it all in; I didn’t even tell my sister immediately. That man stayed in our house for a whole week and even on Wednesday, I went for midweek service and watched him preach. As usual, the church was slain in the spirit by his theatrics and I sat in one corner and asked myself what in God’s world was going on. This was the man that almost raped me on Monday, now here he was talking about living a holy life? Nothing made sense.

I kept that story to myself and told my sister when I noticed he was getting close to her. She wasted no time in telling my mom who got mad at his behavior. Things went awry after that and I will not expose family issues here. But later on, I was told by a close friend who travelled around the country on his preaching engagements with Bishop Z, that my case was small. There were more vulnerable women out there that fell into his trap – wives, daughters, including orphaned twins who had come to him for help. But like I said, he was just another randy MOG amongst so many others I knew.

Unless you have been a victim to the wiles of these fake pastors or have witnessed firsthand what the disgusting things they do in the name of God, you will not understand where Ese Walter is coming from. Her case was not like mine. She had consensual sex with the pastor in question and she has no right to play the victim. But was she a victim? Yes, she was. To what extent? To the extent that these men, if they have the oratory power to make their members believe anything they tell them, they also have that same power to make spiritually weak women fall into sin with them.

I visited a church earlier this year and the senior pastor towards the end of the service, picked me out of the crowd and shamelessly told me I was beautiful and when I got embarrassed, he told me not to be, that God had a calling for my life and that I should see him after church. I obeyed and waited after the service. He came to me and continued the whole you’re beautiful speech and then asked to be my ‘personal’ pastor. No, scratch that. He begged. Not once, not twice; three times and when he saw the shock I carried, he went on to ask why I was shocked, that hasn’t anyone ever been that bold towards me? He continued, saying that there’s a calling of God for me, blah-blah-blah, he will publish my books and give me a job with a publishing company that has offices in London and South Africa. I should just let him bring out God’s gift in me. Nobody told me twice to leave that church with speed. He even had the guts to call me the next day by 10pm and my husband tore my ear with warning about him. Now, is that a man of God? But if I told his members? What do you think they would say?

On the top of the list of women’s problems are infertility, lack of husband, spousal abuse and financial issues. Such women are vulnerable and the closest spiritual figures they have next to God are their pastors. They will believe anything they’re told and might even do anything and these evil men prey on them and use them and when these women come out to speak, we open our mouths and tell them to shut up.

So, just because he carries the title of MOG, he is automatically sinless and untouchable by human scrutiny and investigation?

Of course, I have seen a case where a lady had consensual sex with her pastor and came out and told the world he raped her. There will always be lies by crazy people but this should only push us to make our spiritual leaders more accountable.

Cases like Ese Walter’s happen every damn day and people know about it and do nothing! I have seen a church where a man was caught in adultery and instead of having the backseat to shame him, he was given the seat in front with the leaders because he was a pastor while his cohorts in sin sat behind because they were members. Reason: I quote “one has to be careful when dealing with a man of God. He’s not to be handled the same way a normal Christian is handled.” But (excuse my language here) he has a dick abi? Or is it a spiritual dick? And he has sex the normal way or is there a biblical kind of sex that we don’t know about which makes it okay for these men to commit blatant adultery and God does not look?

Oh, okay, my bad. There is a different level of grace on them, abi?

Well, for those of you who believe this, I ask: what if this MOG is screwing your wife, daughter or sister or mother? Do your lyrics remain the same or do you scream bloody murder?

We Nigerians are so quick to jump into the “Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm” verse when it concerns our pastors. But have we read that passage to find out who God was referring to? Please go read 1st Chronicles 16.

More quick questions here: if my pastor tries to have sex with me and I report him to someone who can bring him to order, am I harming him? If I try to speak out against what he’s doing and nobody is listening and I am getting threats instead, am I harming a prophet? It’s bad enough that we live in a society where women are often blamed for rape and consensual extramarital affairs while the men are left free. The church is supposed to be the place where none of that is allowed, where hypocrisy is unveiled and truth abounds. Why then do we carry that same spirit into our places of worship?

I am one of the strong proponents of us not judging each other, though I too, still fall into this sin many times. But what gives us the right to damn politicians and everyday people to hell and even in our prayers but when we see the wrong in our pastors, we keep quiet about it and venerate them to a pedestal that is sometimes shockingly higher than Christ’s?

Let us face the truth: These are mere men. Sadder is the fact that people seem to believe that the super apostles (with private jets and huge churches and massive followings) are void of sin. If a small pastor in a mushroom church is caught in adultery, he should be persecuted but if a super apostle is caught, the whistle blower should be persecuted, silenced and delivered of her evils. Bet why?! Strip one of these super apostles of their wealth and his congregation would be the first to cast their stones and blogs will not be enough to post their sins on.

I repeat: They are mere men. As a Christian, you should know that we (not just one man) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Not one man. Not some men. Me and you as long as we believe, God will use us. He spoke through a donkey. Jesus sat and ate with people that even in our church today, we would turn our noses against. From some of such sinners came the gospel which we preach today because it was God who chose the vessels.

What criteria then do we use to know true men of God today? Sadly, there is none. At least, doctors spend eight years in school and every other profession has some form of accreditation. Yet there is none for pastors. Even theological seminary is not enough because we have atheists who have studied Christianity better than Christians themselves and can quote the Bible word for word, yet do not believe in God.

So what criterion do we use? We have only one standard and that is the word of God. If you’re a true Christian, you will not judge Peter and let Paul go free if both of them committed the same crime. You will judge neither but will bring their sins under the light of truth to weigh and see if they are on the right path or not, also being mindful that one day, you could be in their shoes as well. And when you see the wrong, you ask for mercy on their behalf and do not claim one is righteous over the other.

What then should be done to men in position who abuse their office? We demand from them to lead by example or else what they feed on, they feed back to their followers. If they refuse to lead a godly life, they should not lead us at all! The principle when last I checked is ‘follow me as I follow Christ’. If a man is following the lusts of his flesh, and we want to keep to rules and principles for order in God’s house, let us expel such a person as the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 5 because a little yeast works through a whole batch of dough. Makes me wonder why there is so much immoral lifestyle in the church. It is because predators, victims, partakers, spectators, contributors, judges, people on the fence, all of them keep quiet and it spreads from the head to the least person. Just because we don’t want to expose our sins and seek for mercy.

I don’t claim to be a saint. And I feel bad that I kept quiet and watched a man whom I should have exposed for what he did, continue doing it because I was afraid. Today, I keep his identity a secret because he is no longer in that position and has fallen from grace. Am I happy about it? Yes, I’m happy that he is not manipulating any more vulnerable and weak women. But at the same time, I am sad because that was a man God had deposited his word into and given the occasion to speak the truth but because he hid his sin and others like me helped him lock it with a huge padlock, he imploded on the inside and took many down with him.

Ladies, stop seducing your pastor. God has given you the strength to flee if he is too weak to flee. Go to church, face your God. Stop disturbing pastor for special prayers biko; that’s why women leaders are there. Leave those pastors! They are just men and last I checked, can still be affected by your boobs and bom-bom.

Let us be the donkey and not be afraid to speak the truth when we see things go wrong in the pulpit but let us also do so in love, remembering that it could be us in the shoes of our neighbor tomorrow.

Thanks to @OD_lifecoach, @larriepeniel and @ameh_arome

They gave me the strength to write this.

©Sally @moskedapages

Makayla’s True Story (what i never told anyone) by Sally

The amazing story of miraculous recovery and healing of Makayla continues. i’m aware that some of you never got to reading the second page because of technical difficulties and i apologize for that. If you are one of such people, please scroll down and click on page 2 for the concluding part of the story.

I want to tag this category What I Never Told Anyone. I’m leaving it open for anyone who has a true life experience to share. This is a forum for open and honest conversation and I would be glad if you’re bold enough to talk about your life as I am about to do. Of course, if you choose not to reveal your identity, it is okay.

MAKAYLA’S STORY

I struggled with the choice of whether to share my story or not. I struggled for months. At a point when I was going through what I was going through, I was very certain I would share it but later down the road, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to let this part of my life out. However, lately, people have been asking me questions on Facebook and I just felt it would be best if I told my story or rather my baby’s story.

Makayla was born on the 5th of July 2011. I didn’t have a hard labor because the doctor made things easy for me and Owen (my husband) was there the whole time. She came at exactly 6am that day and after excruciating pushing, I was finally relieved to be free of her. I can remember clearly how the doctor lifter her in the air to pass her to the nurse when my eyes caught something unusual on the lower part of her back. I thought maybe I wasn’t seeing clearly but I focused my eyes again and sure enough there was something like an extra skin or so (like a growth) in that area. Immediately my smile drained but I was not so cheerless because she was very beautiful. However, I couldn’t ask the doctor what it was for fear of what he might tell me, so Owen did and his reply was that it was nothing that couldn’t be handled.

I left the hospital less than two hours later but with a letter from the doctor referring us to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). He emphasized the urgency and told us that the earlier they treated her, the better. Up until that moment, none of us knew how serious the case was going to be. Two days later, my mother-in-law accompanied Makayla and I to Luth to Children’s Emergency and there began my journey of shock. It started with a boy brought in burnt from head to toe in a domestic fire which claimed his mother and almost his sister. The boy was just eight months old.

The attending doctor saw us and started asking me routine questions about my pregnancy if I drank alcohol or took hard or prescription drugs and all that, and I answered him (still I was oblivious about what was happening). Then he took Makayla’s blood for some tests and told us we were going to be put on admission because she was going to be in surgery the next day. I didn’t like this. I hated hospitals. I really hated hospitals. We were given space in a crowded room where I could sit and watch her while the doctors did their rounds. I think I must have been sleeping when the first set of doctors came. I answered routine questions politely and then one of them, Doctor Ojo said, “madam, do you know what is wrong with your baby?” and I answered that I knew she had Spina Bifida according to what my doctor had written in the letter. Prior to this, I had not Googled it. I was too tired. Then, the doctor began breaking it down in layman’s terms for me, “Spina Bifida is congenital disease that occurs in babies in the first month of conception. Something happens and the spinal cord does not close up properly and that is why you see that thing on your baby’s back. We are going to do a surgical repair on that area and you can go home in a few days.”

I was happy to hear that but if any of you know me well, you would know that I didn’t let things just go like that. I asked how this disease could affect her and he looked at me (for he was kind) and thought I was too young to tell me the truth and then he asked for my husband. Owen was at work. I told him to tell me whatever, that I could take it.

“Spina Bifida does damage to the spinal cord and this affects the lower part of the baby’s body. She might not be able to walk and may have to use a wheelchair all her life. she won’t also be able to control her bowel and bladder movement and it may also affect her brain.”

He finished and I was staring at him blankly. He tapped me gently, told his other junior doctors to take notes and walked away. I sat down dazedly and it didn’t take long for reality to bite and I began to cry. Owen came and I told him and my mother-in-law what the doctor said and though they did their best to reassure me that everything will be fine, I wasn’t seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.

Surgery was slated for the next day and the dawn of light on a bright morning filled me with hope and that was what took me through the day. The surgery was successful and we were led to the post surgery ward. We walked in and were offered bed. The nurses were kind at first until they laid down their rules.

  1. The mother is not provided sleeping space. She would sit beside the baby during her whole stay in the hospital. Should she get tired and desire to lie down, she can do so in the visitor’s room. Her baby would be looked after y the nurses (big lie).
  2. The mother must be up as early as 4am to bathe herself and the baby and clean her corner (was this secondary school?).
  3. Visiting hours are from 5.30 to 6.30pm (ridiculous!).
  4. Mothers are not allowed to eat around their babies for hygienic reasons (understandable but I broke the rules so many times).
  5. And they added many more other rules that I can’t remember now.

I hated the place instantly and I asked what it would cost to get a private ward. I would find out later that deposit alone cost over a hundred grand and one week’s stay could amount up to half a million. I had no option than to manage. What I thought was going to be a few days’ stay turned out to almost three months. These were the factors that prolonged our stay.

  1. 1.       A Nurse’s Carelessness

Four days after the surgery, the doctors were doing their morning rounds and discovered that Makayla was healing nicely and ordered a particular nurse to apply fresh dressing. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stopped her when she was disinfecting that wound. She dipped the cotton wool in saline water and rubbed Makayla’s skin like she was rubbing a footballer’s knee. I cringed at what she was doing but I thought it was normal. The next day, the doctors returned, opened the place and what we all saw shocked us. The stitches had loosened and there was a gaping hole so large I could even see her spinal cord. They blamed me for allowing feaces  come in contact with the area. I said nothing to defend myself because I was scared that if I told the truth, I would have to face the wrath of the nurses who cared for my baby day and night. That wound kept us in the hospital for over two months as they applied honey and dressed it twice daily.

  1. 2.       A Weird Infection

Makayla, one strange night started coughing. I thought she was cold because the windows were constantly open but by the next morning, she could hardly stay awake, milk spilled from the side of her lips each time she fed because she was too weak to swallow and her skin turned ashen. The neurosurgeons who were in charge of her case wrote a letter inviting the pediatrics to come check on her but it took two full days for them to show. At this point my chubby Makayla was now reduced to a skinny fragile soul and she was dying. Tests were run and nothing was found to be the problem. All I had was prayers from home because at that point I could not go past “Dear Lord…” Five days later, she recovered but the strange illness that made her cry five nights without stopping had left her with a coarse voice.

  1. 3.       Hydrocephalus

While Makaya was recovering from the first surgery, she developed hydrocephalus which is common with 80% cases of spina bifida. Hydrocephalus is simply a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain enlarging the head and sometimes causes brain damage. Each day, the doctors came with a measuring tape to measure the circumference of her head and slowly, they discovered it was increasing. The only solution to this was brain surgery. I remember fighting that decision and praying strongly against it but God wanted it that way. I gave into his will and on the 19th of September, she went for her second surgery. We were told she had a 50/50 chance at success with that procedure and may have to come back to have a shunt placed in her brain which would drain the excess fluid and distribute it around the body as needed. By this time, I was the second longest staying mother of a patient in that ward and even the nurses jokingly begged me to go home. I had watched people come and go and seen their babies get better. I prayed each day that God free me from the place.

THE PAIN WE WENT THROUGH

  • Medical Procedures

Words cannot describe the turmoil people go through in hospitals. if you have not gone through it, you will never understand. It is a lot different for a helpless, little baby who has to daily take drugs intravenously, drugs I was told by the doctors that made adults cry when infused into their veins and in addition had to probed and checked with hardly any sleep. There were vital signs check every six hours or so and don’t get me started on the needles. I remember one time before her CT scan, Makayla was laid out on the bed and the doctors were searching for just one vein to insert a catheter and it took one whole hour until I begged them to stop.

  • The Nurses

Granted, there are angels amongst them but seriously, some of them are nurses from hell! One of them actually told me, when trying to explain to me how to minimize the use of diapers, that I would (in her words) ‘waste my money on babies like this’. I was in utter shock and cried for a long time and when I shared it with my doctor who is also a consultant at LUTH, he urged me to report her to SERVICOM. Like I said, you don’t report the one that takes care of you. It is like a cabal in there. You look for their trouble, they get diabolical. But I am not always known for my long-suffering and so I gave a good mouth bashing to one of them who told me my faith in God didn’t count for anything and that the doctors were pampering me with lies. What she was implying was that Makayla would not get better because in her experience, cases like this turn out for the worse. I didn’t stop at giving her my mind, I had Owen threaten the entire nursing unit of that ward with a report to SERVICOM and it worked like magic. The senior CNOs came kissing my ass the next morning and right up until I left, they handled me like royalty. They knew Nurse ‘Hellga’ as we called her had gone too far. Yes, most of the nurses in our public hospitals in Nigeria are very mean and uncaring. Yes, I said it! Quote me anywhere! They have no human feelings whatsoever and they’d rather have you die to prove their point than see you better.

  • My Own Health

I had just given birth. All the customary care a first time mother was supposed to have was alas something I couldn’t experience. For my whole duration I sat and slept on a plastic chair in that hospital that when I finally left the hospital, my bum was flat. I’m still trying to get it back to shape (lol). At some point, the nurses picking on me, exchanged my chair for a wooden chair and I went mad. Yeah you would too if you hardly slept at night or day. I fell ill so many times I was past caring. My face was filled with post-birth eczema and my sister joked that I looked like a soldier’s uniform. I was emaciated and didn’t have the appetite for food. Peppersoups and hefty meals my mom prepared for me where shared amongst the other women in the ward. I hardly went on after the first two spoons. I developed not only skin infections but vaginal ones due to the poor state of the toilets. My mental facilities were really messed up. Somewhere along the line. It was understandable. Every mother there went through it.

  • Financial Stress

Government hospitals are a lot cheaper than private ones but when you get to stay for an extended period, you accumulate a whooping bill. Thank God for my parents who supported us the whole time. I don’t know how we would have been able to handle the repeated CT scans and numerous blood tests and all.

  • Owen’s Own Stress

Each day, he left the office and came to see me for just one hour and braced the traffic for about four hours or so to Lekki. Each day, he spent money on drugs and tests and transportation. I never saw him cry because he was my strength but I knew he was going through hell.

Now, to the good part. This one I won’t forget easily at all.

Continue reading Makayla’s True Story (what i never told anyone) by Sally