Updated: Dec 11, 2019
What is worse than getting your heart broken?? Getting heart broken in a Nigerian home!! You wake up everyday wanting to crawl under your bed, with little contact with anyone. But will your Nigerian parents allow you to rest? NOO! You will hear your parent screeaaam: "Funke!!!! come here right now, this food will not cook itself !!"
A few months after graduating from my undergraduate studies, I got out of a relationship. Before that, I didn't understand why trying to break away from strong emotions for another person caused so much pain. I struggled. It was nights of soaked pillows and headaches. I felt like I failed in my feelings because I was so sure in that relationship and had never imagined not being in it.
I remember the first few weeks after the breakup, at work, I would feel the tears roll down uncontrollably as I sat at my desk finishing my tasks. I felt actual pain in my chest, and my body hurt even though I did not need any medication. I was lost on most days. I was desperate to get over my ex but the more I tried, the more I missed him. I am not sure if this is a normal experience but I am aware that I feel things pretty intensely. It was a challenging period for me.
During this time, I lived at home with my parents, and I wasn't ready to let them know about the situation. Even though I was mostly a loner and someone who disappeared into her room growing up, I believe I became extremely withdrawn and moody. I wanted to be left alone but those chores won't do themselves. My mom won't let me be. I would receive a text or call while at work saying "Abi, I brought out the meat from the freezer, MAKE SURE you cook it when you get home!!". A girl couldn't even be heart broken in peace. When I got too moody and kept insisting that nothing was wrong, I think my parents got frustrated and demanded that I fixed up my act. Guys! double pain!! You can't even curl under your mattress and cry loool.
Anyways, on one regular day after work, I got home to meet my mom. I went to her room to say hi, and she started chatting about something. I wasn't really paying attention as I half-heartedly listened to her, I could barely hear her over the voices in my mind. My heart was heavy and I was tired. After sometime, she looked at me and asked what was wrong. She had noticed my complete shift in mood and attitude and was getting real worried.
She was sitting up on her bed, with her upper body resting against the headboard. I sat beside her with my back slightly resting on her legs. I turned to her and said something like, "We broke up, I love(d) him, I really love(d) him, I thought this was it".. and the water works burst into an ocean. My mom drew me closer, hugged me as my tears dripped on her neck and shoulders.
All she said was "I know", "I know, I understand", as she hugged me tighter. She allowed me cry. In that moment that's all I needed. No judgment, no preaching, just someone to remind me that I wasn't crazy for loving so hard, that it was okay, to completely love.
.... & This is one of my most special moments with my mother.
African parents can surprise you, and may even pleasantly do so. I think that our parents are still learning how to parent, and it is always beautiful to experience the growth over the years. I don't think my mom would have reacted in the same manner a few years prior. But maybe the more we open parts of ourselves to them, the more they can learn how to love us better, how to love us right.
Going through a heart break can be difficult but the most wonderful thing about it is realizing the people who hold you in those moments. I am blessed that day, in those pressing minutes, my mother allowed herself to be mine.
I hope you all have really enjoyed the dating series. I also hope that I was able to speak to you one way or the other! SADLY, this is the final post for the dating series but don't worry, I will continue to share with you as I do life, and learn. Please make sure to come back to read about the things in life in my corner.