Many Boko Haram victims , mostly females have expressed their desires to return to their terrorist captors whom they regard as ‘husbands’ and many can’t understand why they would want to go back to living in captivity. It is simply ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ a psychological condition where people held against their will, in time, bond emotionally with their captors. Unfortunately , Stolkholm syndrome is a reality we take for granted as many other issues.
For clarity’s sake, I am typing this post before my actual story so nobody gets the wrong message. I consider rape as a form of social violence and I won’t hesitate to break the testicles of anybody guilty of the crime. It is also noteworthy that the Stockholm syndrome is really only one very specific manifestation of the broader phenomenon of “misplaced attachment”.
People in abusive relationships, mostly women and children, are known to suffer from it too because their wills have been broken. After being abused for so long they begin to ” see things” from the point of view of their abusers and even blame themselves for their violent action.
Effort must be made to ensure that awareness about this syndrome is widespread so victims are given an equal chance to live a normal life.
She felt utterly helpless, sixteen going on seventeen and her world had just about ended, she was frantic for answers in whatever form to bring this nightmare to an end or just blot it out of her memory forever. Suicide was beginning to seem like the best bet.
On her third day in the house, it was obvious he had his hat set on her. His eyes roved all over her body as she went about the house chores and it felt like walking into a spider’s web. The next day, he came home from work with a Blackberry phone which he gave to her as a reward for her hard work.
While brushing her teeth in the bathroom, he slipped behind her and shoved his crotch on her behind. She turned around, obviously alarmed at such rude behaviour. He smiled and winked at her ,saying “Amaka ,your nyash na die”. She thought about reporting the incident to Chinenye but that would be cutting off the nose to spite the face since her foolish sister who she always seemed to be on a consistent collision course with would never believe her and she had nowhere to go.
That afternoon, she sought solace in her books and her phone. As she chatted with Matthew , she thought about telling him but decided to let sleeping dogs lie, some feathers were best left unruffled. She only prayed that the incident did not repeat itself again. The second encounter proved to be more humiliating and degrading than the first. She had been driven to her wits’ end and not doing anything was stoking his sexual fire. She felt the need to read him the riot act like she did to her little cousins in the village or just scream blue murder. He had groped her breasts and that action resulted in a light scuffle as she pushed him viciously and threatened to stab him. He , only grinned and walked out, whistling with his hands in his pocket.
She was sixteen but already, she knew what went through the minds of most men when they were inches of her. Her body already had noticeable contours. She was budding faster than her grandmother’s tomatoes anytime she visited the village. The men in the neighborhood were falling over themselves to be with her. She had told her friend, playfully that she wore invisible suspenders and a chastity belt to boot. Making it clear that the apex of her feminity was her secret grove and it would only take a vow and a ring to explore that center but that obviously isn’t the reality now as her prized trophy has been whisked away.
Uncle had no idea of the mental torture she was undergoing. Was it destined to happen this way? If it had not been destined to happen this way, her loving father wouldn’t have died of stroke, her mother wouldn’t have moved to France with her new husband and she wouldn’t have moved in with her sister and her husband. Was it unavoidably possible for this to happen? was it Fate?
What would Matthew say? that she had been fooling around even after bending over backwards to please her every time. She remembered snapping at him when he gave a light smack on her behind. That was when he asked her if she was a virgin. He exclaimed in disbelief and excitement. For a moment, she thought he was going to dance. His friends had told him , aliens were easier to find than virgins. Oh, how she loved Matthew. Till this day, she has no idea of how he had stolen her heart. They had both playfully concluded that it was juju since his lineage was famous for their herbalists.
That evening, as they ate eba and egusi soup in the dining section of the living room, he kept touching her legs and thighs under the table. She excused herself from the table and she could feel his eyes fastened on her behind as she walked away.
Last night was the straw that broke the camel’s back and sent it toppling to the ground. Her tears came fast as she replayed the scenario in her mind. He had crept into her room and tapped her. She turned around sleepily to the face of her swarthy uncle. He tapped her again on her left thigh and untied his wrapper, his turgid penis already awaiting action.
“Shhh, keep it down, your sister is not around and we have the place to ourselves, oya…wriggling his waist
She stood up and screamed , “Leave here now, Uncle”.
“Look, you can scream all you want, its just you and me here, nothing will happen”.
She was almost on the verge of tears and retorted “Uncle , leave me alone. I am your wife’s sister , I could even be your daughter”.
“And so ,abeg, forget story ,na me and you, today. You are a very fine girl and it will be unfair of me to allow all this small boys to be touching you”.
He struggled to untie her wrapper and makes for her panty. She got angry and slapped him in the face. He growled like a wild bear and retaliated. She fell and he pounced , heaving his frame on her.
“Uncle, no , no..She yelled as he thrust in and out of her. He kept saying ,”I will buy you another phone, I will buy you new underwear. Like a new phone or underwear could bring relief and succour to the thought of losing her virginity to a man she had no emotional connection with. After the dastardly act was done, he got up and screamed at her to shut up.
“All I did was be nice to you so shut your dirty mouth”.
She screamed at the walls “He deserves to die, he must die” . That afternoon, she planned her course of action. Soon, he would beckon her to serve his dinner. Should she poison the meal or just creep into his bedroom at night and stab him in the chest? She decided to stab him. It was going to be perfect and he would have to feel the pain she also felt. Could she bring herself to do it?
As soon as the clock struck twelve, she got out of bed and slipped out of her room, cradling the kitchen knife. Tears streamed down her face as she walked slowly towards the bedroom he shared with her sister since they became man and wife twelve years ago. This was it, she was about to get revenge. She felt the cold steel of the blade on her palm, as cold as her revenge would be. Halfway to the door, she suddenly felt a wave of loneliness wash over her and a longing for company and warmth. Her shoulders drooped but at the same time, she reminded herself to focus on the task at hand and get revenge once and for all. She opened the door and went over to him. The monsterman was snoring heavily. She looked down at him for some seconds , shook her head as the knife fell out of her hand and quietly lay down on his chest.