🏠 » My Encounter With Shades of Trauma and How I Pulled Through – Ushie

My Encounter With Shades of Trauma and How I Pulled Through – Ushie

Dive into how Ushie Theresa Ushang, an undergraduate of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, navigated through her challenges of life. It will be interesting to learn how she coped with Trauma,  Depression in this revealing life of resilience


– Odusanya Adedeji Ademola (Clinical Psychologist – Interviewer)

Can you share a personal challenge you’ve encountered in the past and how you overcame it?

I need to go down memory lane to call back some experiences. I’m trying to let go of it. So, okay, I’m the kind of person that didn’t grow up with my parents. First, I left my parents at the age of nine years old. So I was staying with people from one place to another. I lived with two people like that, let me even say three. Staying with the first person, I went through hell, but then I didn’t see it like suffering or anything. I only see it as my aunty says I should do things I’m doing. I came back to Abuja in 2013 to stay with my uncle. At my uncle’s house I went through hell – not in terms of feeding.

He provided me with everything that I needed, but if there’s something in humans – that’s change. I don’t know if I am putting that word right, but along the way, everything changed. My uncle changed. Things that were not an issue became an issue at home. So, when I first came that time, I was this kind of girl that do not want anyone to complain about her that I did something wrong. I was always trying to please everyone around me. So even if I did it, or I didn’t, if they talked I would just keep quiet, and they’d shift the blame on me. It got to some point that I was no longer okay with these things and I became depressed.

Nobody knew that I was actually depressed, but I was very depressed in that house when I started looking for admission to come to school. Before I got admission in 2019, it was almost like eight years. I wrote my WAEC in 2013. So I was writing JAMB, and I was not getting this cut-off mark that I needed. This went on like that while no one back home was showing concern, like they really wanted me to go to school or stuff like that. I was just there, and I would do all their work, clean, wash, cook, do everything for everybody. Yet I was still struggling for me to get admission. So I wrote JAMB three times and those three times I did not get the Cut-Off mark that I wanted till the third attempt, when I was able to get 180. So, when the admission process began, it was like no one really wanted me to go to school.

But all I wanted was leave and go to school. In that house I can’t go to my brother’s house. I can’t go, even if my mother comes. I can’t even go to see her. I was never given an opportunity to air out my point of view. My life was practically taken away from me. But nobody wants to see it. It’s always about what they want.

Even when the admission came, I was already 25. I was almost deprived because it was like they didn’t want it themselves. I was at home. So it got to a point when they released the admission list. I was trying to check. Like if you look at me, I was just shivering. I was just so scared. I was thinking. What if I did not get it? What if I got it like that? When I checked, I did not see my name. And that was my only hope of leaving the house, because I was so frustrated with so many things at that time. I may not give you exactly how it was from that time because I was trying to forget everything.

So I was so down, I cried throughout the night because that was my only opportunity to get out of the house, because I was tired of so many things that were going on around me. Things that were not an issue will become an issue between me and my uncle. He would blame me and things were not just okay. I don’t have a say in things of my own. Even if my brother comes, and I say I want to go and see her, the kind of statement I will hear is – “Can you stay with your brother?” Everything about me was practically decided for me. Even if my mother was sick, I cannot even go and see her for 2 days.

There was a time when my dad came. He was sick. I was not even given an opportunity to go and see him. The whole thing was just traumatising. It got to a point when it seemed admission was no longer possible, and I got tired of the whole thing. I was really down because there was no other option for me to leave the house. The only option in my head to get out of that house was for me to get admission.

So I was just crying, crying, and praying, but I was depressed. It actually got to a point that if somebody just came and tapped me, I would just feel shock. There was pain inside me, but I didn’t know how to express it. I was just holding the pain and everything inside my mind. The pain was just there. If it were a balloon, that balloon would just burst.

Thinking never left me – my age, time, another year. The thoughts of having to still stay in this house. Oh my God! My life revolves around a cycle, as if I am kept in just one room. You wake up in the morning, you sleep, you cook, you mop, you wash the toilet, you do all you do in the evening, you come back to that room. That’s how my life was. I was tired of the whole thing. So I was just there, hoping and praying.

As God would have it, I was able to get admission through the help of someone. That was when I had a little bit of relief. But then everybody was on top of this admission. They kept saying this admission was not real, its fake, it’s not real. As in, they killed that joy in me. You see that joy when you are going to university that people are so excited about? I don’t have that joy of going to school.

When I was in school, if you asked me why I was in school, I wouldn’t know what to tell you as to why I’m in school. Because the depression that I had at home followed me to school. You can imagine, there was a time in class when I started crying like a baby that was thrown into the mess because they were not allowing me to associate with any other people. So I don’t know how to associate with them. I don’t know how to communicate. Like I was just on my own up until I was able to get this admission.

I started looking for who I could read with, who to talk to, because all the things they’d said to me back home were just ringing in my head. I will sleep, my eyes are closed, but in my mind, I am thinking. I had a sleepless night upon sleepless night. I think to the extent that my heart started hurting me. But what helped me to overcome this is the people that I started talking to.

I got to school, I started trying to talk to… Is this my friend Priscilla? She was the only person that was there for me that time when I came to school. She would talk to me. She said no matter what you are going through, you don’t have to show the world that you are going through this. You don’t have to be crying like a child. You are not in primary school, you are not in secondary school, so why would you be crying in the university like that?

In those times I was going through those things in my uncle’s house, the only thing that kept me going, that made me smile, was television. I watched movies. Movies were my therapy. When I’m sad, I cry, I go inside the bathroom, I cry and later come out. I watched movies, I slept off to forget.

On the next day I will say I have to face another experience that is even bigger than that of the previous day. If you stay with somebody you will understand all this that I’m saying. You see, I watch movies. That’s why I love movies, because movies often take away my pain. At that time, I would just watch on television.

If I watch Ruth Katiri and Yvonne Jegede movies, the drama they would just perform inside would make me smile. I don’t have who to talk to. It was just me and myself. Like I was just caged, no friends. Calling my brothers to talk to them was not even forthcoming in my memory because I was disturbed. I can’t! Even if I want to talk to my cousin, it’s just like I’m sending a message to their father. So there was no way for me to talk to them.

So the only therapy that was working for me was movies. I was just watching movies to pass away time. I went to school and the thing dealt with me. I was like someone who knew nothing. And I knew nothing because I didn’t have a mind of my own. All my decisions were made for me. They decide when I go out. I don’t even go out.

So, that was a very big challenge that affected me. I’m trying, I’m overcoming it, but I still see some signs that it’s still there, it still has an effect on me, because I don’t know, I don’t know how to put it. So the only therapy I had back then was movies. I watch movies, that’s why I love movies [Laughter]

I even want to become an actress someday because I’ve watched a lot of movies. If you are on television now, I will be calling the names of movies that I have watched. You will be surprised. Like my friend Susan, she will ask, “is it everybody you know in the film?” But, as it is now, I’m better. Because I don’t like those things to bother me. I don’t like being idle, because if I stay idle, it makes me go back and think about that life, and then that brings back that pain. It’s really a pain!

As it is now, I’m leaving a lot of things out of my mind. So I might not be able to remember exactly some things that happened. Because it’s better I clear my mind than be holding on to the past.

Then, in 2022, precisely December 23rd, there is this accident that I had. It only took the grace of God to still be alive today. So, God helped me. God spared my life. I was bleeding to death. I was shouting. The people I called for help were my lecturers.  I called on Mrs. Arua. She is my school mother. I loved that woman. When that thing happened, she was the one I called. I said, Ma, this is what happened to me. I sent her a picture of what happened to me. She started talking to me. She said, how did this happen? She told me that I should calm down and not to worry or think. She was like I should not think because I felt like my whole world had come down. I felt like the courage that I am trying to build has been shattered. She would tell me, including my friend Pricilla, that I wasn’t the only one that this kind of thing would happen to.

She encouraged me and I went on to ask for her help. I kept asking myself, “You of all people, why is this happening to you?” So I was just there like that. The accident was terrible. I can’t give you the details bit by bit though. Life is not easy. I’ve gone through a lot, a lot, so I can’t give you every detail the way it went exactly, but I think this kind of summarises everything,

Thank you.

Adedeji Odusanya

Odusanya Adedeji A., is a Licensed & Certified Clinical Psychologist whose domain of expertise cuts across management of specific mental health issues such as, Depression, PTSD, Anxiety & Anxiety related disorders, Substance Use Disorder, etc


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