There is Light at the end of the Tunnel.
“Just be anything you choose to be. You’re somebody”
(Bryn Morgan Evans- Dare to Believe)
My name is Johnson. I hope to inspire you to believe in yourself that you are a very special person no matter your present or past experience with mental health, abuse, torture, and false accusation.
My abuse experience started when I was age nine. I was falsely accused of inflicting malaria through witchcraft on a senior student at our boarding school. I was subjected to catalogues of abuses and torture as well as been stigmatised. I was treated like a plague by all my friends and the entire community. I was also wrongly accused of writing 2 petitions which culminated in my further alienation and ostracisation by the entire community. I was psychologically anaemic and emotionally bankrupt as I was treated with contempt and socially excluded. These experiences haunted me through my transition to adulthood.
From the foregoing I decided to travel to Germany in 1990 after my one year in the university in Nigeria was marred with abuse and stigmatisation which caused me distress as well as fear for my life. I was detained in Germany in 1993 due to immigration offences. I became depress and whilst in detention and I was administer 4 tablets which triggered my first episode of psychosis. I commenced having visual hallucination coupled with insomnia. I was taken to hospital and discharged back to detention with medication. However I went through the worst time of my life when I was sent to Bonn to collect my travelling certificate. I went through various prisons and I was tortured, abused, and regularly stripped naked and mocked as well as starved of food and fluids.
I was deported back to Nigeria in 1993 where I was handed over to Nigeria authorities who abused and tortured me. I was injected several times which caused me distress. I was only released after my father paid a ransom. I was florid psychotic exhibiting both positive and negative symptoms. I was at the bottom of my life. However the fighter in me kicked in. I knew I was now psychotic and the society will treat me with disdain coupled with my childhood experiences. I knew my days on earth was numbered if I stay in Nigeria.
I left Nigeria for Austria through Ukraine. I felt like ending it all several times however I drew strength from my inner self as a fighter that I will survive and beat this scourge in my life. I was in a very dark place however I was very optimistic that there will be a light at the end of this horrible tunnel. I was admitted to hospital in Austria twice and given a diagnosis of Schizophrenia and was granted political asylum.
Austria was like heaven on earth. My treatment was second to none. I was introduced to a club manager by a friend and I commenced working as a door supervisor and later DJ.Music helped me as I started to have a feeling of happiness within me. The sense of hopelessness began to disappear gradually. I started to love myself and accept who I am. I am not ashamed to say I live with mental illness. I felt it was time for me to use my experience as an opportunity to push towards my growth in life.
I came to the UK to pursue a career in Law and Mental Health Nursing. I graduated from Queen Mary University of London with LLB honours and Mental Health Nursing from London South Bank University. Today I practice as a Mental Health Nurse looking after people like me with mental health needs.
My hope is to help you recreate your life going forward. I have experience this journey, going through the shame and stigma society throws at us. My story is not a bed of roses but I had a choice to either destroy myself or make my life a positive one. I chose the latter. you being able to leave your past behind you is crucial to your recovery. This also is not an easy concept to apply and can take time. "Recovery is something you have to work on every single day and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off”- Demi Lovato.
please hold on to hope and always know that your life is not wasted . My advice to you is therefore discover your abilities and potential . Don’t allow the stigma of mental illness to rob you off your joy there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Feel free to share your own experiences.