I met a friend by the name mark through my roommate in the year 2013. He was a former associate pastor in my campus fellowship. In 2014, we fell in love. The relationship was like heaven on earth. He was mentoring me and at the same time we were in a relationship. What a perfect mix huh? Hahahaha. He was helped improve my reading habit, we also fasted and prayed together. It was really an interesting ride.
I came to my sister’s house in Lagos the same year we fell in love. One of the days I was in my sisters house she made me up of which I posted the picture of the makeover on my WhatsApp status. Immediately, Mark saw my WhatsApp status, he called and instructed me to remove the picture. I tried explaining to him that it was no big deal but he got angry, told me to shut up and hung the call on me. After the incident, he didn’t call for close to three days. So I called his friend and let him know what was happening between the two of us of which he promised to call him. Mark eventually called me back the same day and warned me never to involve a third party in our relationship again. The whole incident made me reserved and withdrawn. I couldn’t communicate with anyone even when I was going through hell in the relationship.
Who would have thought that this was just the beginning of my journey through depression?
One fateful day my pastor found out that we were in a relationship. He was not aware of our relationship because Mark instructed me not to let him know. My pastor was infuriated on finding out about our relationship that he denounced giving me a pastoral title even after I have been informed earlier that I would be the first female pastor in my fellowship. I didn’t know they had issues in the past which had to do with mark always challenging my pastor when he was still under him as an associate pastor. Mark was no longer an associate pastor when my pastor discovered that we were in a relationship. My pastor and his wife always used me as topic to preach in almost all of the church gatherings. I was ridiculed, castigated and punished in church for no reason simply because I was dating mark. It really reduced my self confidence and I quickly became a shadow of myself.
Earlier before my relationship with mark, I was close with my pastor and his wife. When his wife put to bed, I was literally reduced to their house help that I even washed the wife’s pants on several occasions. It was that bad! I didn’t know that they will abandon me when they found out of my relationship with mark. I was punished unnecessarily. To think that these happened in church, is really appalling.
My pastor clearly told me that I will not be allowed in their new church because people like myself have the capacity to destroy ones’ church. I was really feeling bad that I decided to leave the church till God specifically told me not to leave. So I stayed in the church until my pastor relocated to their new church.
Mark and I were still having so many issues in our relationship which I felt will get better over time. He was always bossing me around and trying to control me. Any time I complain about how he tries to control me, he easily becomes defensive. He will say things like,” this is my character and I can’t change it” , “stop focusing on my weakness” . I can remember putting up a friends picture on my WhatsApp status to celebrate his birthday, mark saw it and instructed me to take down the picture immediately. He was always making me feel less of myself that I couldn’t recognize myself any longer. I was in deep identity crisis. He always reminds me that God told him that he was my covering more like his wife whenever I threatened to leave the relationship. It’s so funny how we are easily brainwashed with God’s name. You guessed right. I fell for it!
I didn’t know that when a man professes his love for you that his deeds is meant to match up with his creeds. I had no idea that a man can have charisma and profess Christ constantly but without character. I never knew all of this. He claimed he loves God , he professed his love for me and abused me emotionally at the same time. How can a man love and abuse at the same time? It was a mystery to me.
Meanwhile when I was in camp for my youths service program, it was always from one trouble to another. I started seeing a part of him I never knew existed or rather I didn’t pay attention to. He doesn’t want me to mingle with other people. I dare not miss his calls else he will rain abuses on me the entire day. He was always monitoring my movements.That was the height of his insecurity!
3 days before we were meant to leave the camp, I collapsed and was rushed to a medical centre. I couldn’t stand or do anything. I was transferred to hospital on completion of camp. Mark contacted a youth service official who helped me with accommodation after my stay in the hospital. The night I was with the lady, I had serious seizures and was rushed to a private hospital. It felt like I already gave up the ghost because I saw myself on the sky and I couldn’t move forward but backwards. Fortunately, I heard someone call my name and I came back to life only to find out that my mum has been screaming my name. I was taken immediately to FMC Umuahia where I remained unconscious for 3days. When I started regaining consciousness, I was surprised that mark was not in the hospital with me. He was already my fiancé then. He started giving lame excuses that he didn’t have enough money to visit me, so I told him not to bother coming. While in the hospital, I called him seeing that my medical bills was pilling up, I begged him to support my mum in offsetting the bills since we were going to be getting married soon. I was diagnosed with brain tumor and still had countless tests to run. The day I asked him to support my medical bills which was more than N200,000 but unknowingly for him , my phone was on loud speaker and my sister was there when he made this statement; “ I will send you N10,000 but don’t use my money to buy medicine ”. my sister was so pissed with the statement. He went further to say that I don’t have faith and that his prayers have been keeping me. I didn’t even tell my mum about it in order not to upset her and pleaded with my sister to let it go.
The day he sent the money, I used it to purchase antibiotics for my treatment. That night, mark called me saying that my mum didn’t call him to thank him for the money he sent and that my mum is ungrateful. I shunned him immediately and let him know that my mum is going through a whole lot with the trauma of seeing me unconscious for 3 days of which he replied that he doesn’t care about my mums’ state of mind. We were shouting on phone that night till I started having seizures of which my mum alerted the doctors. My poor mum didn’t know what was going on or what resulted to the seizures. After that incident, I started having serious doubts about the relationship.
A man who loves you will want you whole not broken.
I was in severe pain as a result of the sickness that I begged God to take my life. After the discharge, I became withdrawn and I started having psychological trauma as a result of the strain the relationship exerted on my mental health.
In 2017, I started having seizures. I was falling down on staircase and all that. My mum sent a private cab that took me from Awka to Lagos state teaching hospital. That same day, mark kept calling and shouting over the phone because I was not able to pick his call as a result of the seizures. That week, he said I should come to Abuja of which I turned him down with the reason that I was not strong to travel. He sent me N12,000 and instructed me to start coming immediately. To avoid quarrelling with him, I entered the next available bus and started coming to Abuja. I collapsed immediately I got to Abuja because I was too weak to travel, only for mark to tell me when I regained consciousness that I don’t have faith in God and that was the cause of my sickness. UNBELIEVABLE!
Sometimes we become so weak to fight for ourselves in a toxic relationship probably because the relationship has patterned us in such a way that we cannot ask for what we rightly deserve. We may tell ourselves in our head that there’s actually nothing to ask for, so we settle for less. That was my state!
Mark told me not to ask my mum for help that it makes him look like he is not competent of taking care of me. So I was always hungry and in need because he didn’t have any money to provide for me. My mum is always trying her best to make ends meet ever since I lost my dad at the age of 13. One faithful day, I was so sick without money to go to the hospital that I couldn’t help but call my mum. Immediately I told my mum the situation of things, she sent me money to come back to Lagos. A guy volunteered to help bring me to Lagos because I was not strong to travel on my own. On my way to Lagos, mark kept calling me but I didn’t pick up till the guy who volunteered to help take me home spoke with him. When I arrived home, he started shouting on the phone that I left with a guy without telling him. He didn’t even notice that I was too sick to deal with all of his drama so I ended the call.
I started seeing him for who he really is. He was always telling me that, “he was just managing me and no man will ever be interested in me”. He was so manipulative that I was dying on the inside. I told him to get a job so that he can be able to cater for us but he told me that he won’t do that because of his ministry. He went further to let me know that I will keep working for the both of us while he focus on ministry. I told him that I can’t be working all my life because I have my own vision and purpose. He emphatically told me that HIS VISION IS MY VISION!
I went to see a neurologist during my stay in Lagos and after that I was instructed to stay outside but my family members were told to come to the doctors office to discuss the outcome of the result. After that day, my sister made me know that my result is not a good one. According to the neurologist, if there is no improvement within some weeks, I will be sent to a psychiatric hospital. I was shocked. I never knew that my relationship with mark was really driving me crazy. So my sister encouraged me to speak up to get healing. She asked me, “what is your greatest fear? Then I said, “marriage”. I told my sister that I am already under pressure and am not yet married. I told her how mark is not supportive of my dreams. He has already confined me into who he wants me to be not who I really want to be. It’s more like he has shaped my life.
After the conversation with my sister, I called mark and asked him how he was going to take care of us. He told me that he was going to start a crayfish business of which I told him that I will wait for him till he starts the business. I suggested we wait for 2years , so I can work and save up in order to cater for us. I was thinking we were cool till he called the next day. He said he needed answers on the questions I asked the previous day. He was so angry that I asked him how he was going to take care of us. He told me over the phone that my questions meant that I don’t trust God any longer and I lacked faith. He told me that he is even questioning my salvation, after that statement, I cut the call on him.
The next day, he sent me a text that says, “thank you for the three years, goodbye”. When I saw the message, I called him back immediately to confirm if he has actually broken up with me, like the three years of my life wasted just like that?. He confirmed that we have broken up and he wanted me to feel the pain he felt when I asked him questions on how he was going to take care of us. So I cut the call on him and broke down in tears till I started gasping for breath that I almost had seizures. My sister saw my state, tried her best to revive me and started talking sense into me. She let me know that no man is worth dying for and that I am the owner of my life. Seeing the pain I have caused my family and the tears in my sisters’ eyes, I resolved that I will not allow any man make my family cry. So I took the bold step, called him and broke up with him officially.
I have suffered insomnia ever since I was diagnosed with brain tumor. I could not sleep without the drug diazepam . I was on this drug for more than one year. It will be shocking for you to know that I slept for the first time in more than a year without the drug the day we broke up. I don’t know what happened but I slept like a baby and without diazepam that fateful day.
Sometimes all you have to do is LET GO, so you can have access to a better version of YOU!
He kept calling me tirelessly and was apologizing but I promised myself not to go down this road with him again. He begged many pastors to call me and plead with me to accept him back. The lord gave me strength. So I blocked him including his friends on all social media handles and from my phone. I can remember him calling with a strange number and begging that we start all over again. He introduced himself with another name saying that he was no longer mark but a changed person. I laughed hard and told him that I can see he is mad and has gone hay wire.
I have come to accept the reality that people’s names can change but not their patterns.
Mark has tried slapping me twice in the past. This really made me feel low of myself. After that incident, I promised to stay single than marry someone that will hit me at any slightest chance he gets.
He tracked me down to Awka and on November 19 , 2017 he came to my house. I thought he finally came to apologize properly for all that he put me through. He saw me and started saying negative things about me. Immediately he was saying that, I collapsed and his friends drove him off while abandoning me in my state at the moment. That was when I knew he was the cause of my mental illness. I allowed him to have my mind. If you are reading this post and your mind is being attacked, I want to let you know that the enemy will not have your mind. If he can’t have my mind, then he can’t have yours.
Fortunately my lodge mates in NCCF rescued me till I became conscious. While in Awka after our break up, life became entirely different for me. I was lonely and his words kept playing in my mind. Words like, ”you will not result to anything” “ no man will accept you” and so on. I was so hurt and feeling so much pain in my heart that I resorted to using blade to cutting myself till I bled. I was in pain and I couldn’t talk to anyone. It was as if the pain was so much in my heart that I transferred it to my body by cutting it so as to relieve the pain in my heart. I was always wearing long sleeves so that nobody will see the scars that came as a result of the blades I used to cut my body.
God delivered me the day I met a Muslim girl. She told me she was suffering from bipolar disorder and showed me knife marks. Immediately I saw that, Holy spirit dropped these words in my spirit “debby this is the person you should be preaching to, you are not supposed to be a victim”!. After that encounter, it was as if something left me and I stopped cutting myself. Suicidal thoughts left me too because I was always taking drug overdose for almost a year.
One day my former roommate called me on the phone and wanted to inquire if what his uncle told her about me was true. Her uncle which happened to be my ex-fiance’ friend told her to stay away from me because I am a bad influence. He told her that I broke up with my ex and started following men. She said she never believed her uncle and called to know what was happening. After the break up, I made sure I didn’t speak ill of marks’ name. Speaking ill of my name broke my heart and I started questioning God for being silent on this matter. While I was still angry at God for remaining silent, holy spirit dropped an illustration in my spirit which goes like this, “ if you have a precious bracelet you cherish and hand it over to someone only for you to find out that the person was misusing it and trampling on it, what will you do? Then I answered, “I will collect the bracelet and give it someone that will value it like I do”.
That was when I stopped questioning God about the failure of my relationship with mark. God assured me that I am a precious jewel and he will never allow any man treat me like trash. The reassurance from God gave me the grace to go out from the relationship mentally. I know we broke up physically but it had not happened mentally.
I passed out from youths service in may 2018 after which I came back to Lagos. I was always feeling a bit depressed with constant headache at the centre of my head. My church conducted a programme in June and during one of the sessions, I felt a hand remove something from my head. That was the last time I had an ache on my head and started sleeping properly.
I was still feeling lonely till my assistant pastor came to me and told me that he was always seeing me in a secluded place in his dream and God instructed him to talk to me. He had a family with a son. This man showed me so much love. He took me for book shopping and sent me money. He was always praying for me and mentored me. I was seeing God in him and that helped me heal properly. Previously, my hand starts shaking anytime I have anxiety and that stopped during this time. I didn’t even know how it stopped. I started taking charge of my emotions.
One of the book the lord led me to read was, “mind connection by Joyce Meyer”. This book made me take charge of my mind. It let me know that my mind is powerful and that I have the power to change it.
Last year during evangelism, I noticed a girl whose hand was shaking. I met her and asked if she was going through any form of emotional stress, before I knew what was happening, she broke down and told me that am the only one that understands what she is passing through. While with the girl, I heard holy spirit say,“ that’s why I allowed you to go through this to be an agent of God to bring forth healing and exposure to the mind”. I spoke to the girl and sent her “mind connection by Joyce Meyer”. We read the book and reviewed it together. I was sending her scriptures regarding the mind. I mentored her till she got her healing. She is completely healed.
I also realized that I have forgiven mark as I don’t feel any pain in my heart whenever I remember him and I also pray for him.
I am thankful to God that I am completely healed. I am fully aware of my identity and I REFUSE TO SETTLE FOR LESS!
The devil tried to have my mind in the form of a toxic relationship but MERCY SAID NO!
Sending you prayers and all the strength you need to settle for a better version of YOU!
God Loves You Like Crazy