Self-Worth Issues

Do you usually feel like you don’t deserve every good thing that comes your way? Like you are the main trait to your success?

When you get a job and second-guess your skills, like why would they employ you? Why would they choose you among all those potentially good candidates? …which will eventually affect your work.

When you’re being appreciated by many people in every aspect of your life; at work, at home, at the university and even in the streets. But somehow you can’t seem to digest the fact that you might actually be a good person?

When someone is genuinly interested in you or loves you, but you won’t stop asking yourself why in the world it’s you they chose? …that’s how you push them away.

When you always give to others and are always ready to help, but for whatever reasons you can’t let people give you or help you?

When you won’t ask for help either because you don’t think you deserve to be helped?

When sometimes there’s an opportunity that you won’t take because you don’t believe in your skills, like you think you’ll not be good enough?

It’s so many things that contribute to not living up to your full potential and enjoying life.

I’ve been that person, but I’ve decided to change. I want to embrace all the good that is meant to happen to me. I wish to trust myself more to accept that I might be great and deserve greatness.

The process is hard but it’s worth it.

What I fear as a black person

I portray myself as a very strong lady. However, strong people have weaknesses too.

It’s always been difficult for me to understand why a human being can judge another human being for whatsoever reason. If we learn how to mind the business that serves us personally, we will be great individuals.

Being in a foreign country and travelling a lot has made me discover a multitude of cultures. I have come to understand that people who judge others are insecure. They’re not happy, are lacking in some aspects of their life and therefore decide to criticize others in order to feel better about their flaws, to make them feel superior, and comfort them in their failures.

I like talking about racism because it’s real. You can pretend it doesn’t exist but when you see it, no matter how confident you are, it makes you feel bad. It can take some seconds or some days and even months to regain your self-esteem.

So after an incident that happened 2 weeks ago, where I was spit on because of my skin colour, I started fearing the following things:

1. To sit in the public transport next to someone, because they might be uncomfortable and even change seats.

2. To enter the tram and someone looks at you to see if you will buy a ticket.

3. To enter a shop but find nothing and decide to leave, hopefully they don’t follow me thinking I put something in my pocket.

4. To walk around in a shop for minutes without finding what I want and the workers start keeping an eye on me.

5. To enter a swimming pool and some people leave.

6. To share an idea for a group work and no one actually considers it.

7. To walk behind someone at night and they stop so I can walk pass them.

8. To not be given an information which literally everyone is given or deserves to know.

9. To have people pretend to appreciate you but are uncomfortable to be seen with you in public.

Whenever I experience something racist, it makes me have more and more fears. But I am working on me, to keep my head high always.

When you’re losing a friend

During studies we go through a lot with exams and stuffs. We usually have a group of friends or a few people who are always there for us.

They become kind of our family on campus, so when we have issues with them it’s like a big deal. Because we care for them.

These issues can sometimes be critical such that we lose our friend slowly. When that person is really of great importance to us, we do what we can to make up.

However there’s this one question which is always hard to answer to: who will reach out first? Coz the only way to fix anything is to communicate.

I used to believe that the strongest person is the one who gets called or texted to initiate a conversation. Like they probably were less faulty than the one who reached out.

Today I know it’s wrong in so many ways. If you can’t put your ego aside to tell someone: hey can we talk? Then you must be somehow weak. That’s how I feel.

And there’s a difference between trying to talk with someone and trying to talk to someone.

Coz it’s a conversation and you’re not willing to make it worse, reaching out like you want to tell them why they’re wrong and why you’re right.

The person now has the choice to accept to talk with you or not. And you can’t do anything about that. It’s how they feel. At the end of the day you did what you had to do.

Some of us hurt because we’re always the ones reaching out. You must understand that it’s very mature and should not diminish this character of yours which is very noble.

My Town under Construction Everyday

I really love this town Karlsruhe, however it’s getting on my nerves. Many people who live here would definitely agree with me. Especially the old folks.

Photo: http://www.ka-news.de

It’s great to have mind-blowing goals, but we are here stressed out because the town basically constructs major roads every year.

Of course they inform us beforehand, but damn we’re never totally prepared.

Yesterday I took the usual tram after work to go home. I was reading this book about a drug addict; Go ask Alice. She’s 15 years old and very disturbed. Mentally disturbed. Her parents won’t let her breathe and keep on comparing her insignificant life with that of her brilliant siblings. They’re younger but have a juicier social life than her.

I understand her pressure, but I find it extreme to start doing drugs because you feel lonely and unattractive and non-interesting.

In the beginning she thinks everything she’s read about drugs is fake, because for a moment in her boring life, she feels like a bird. She forgets about all the problems of her daily life and believes it’s worth it to have 1min of exciting illusions than 24h of painful reality.

I don’t blame her. Hopefully her parents will pay attention to her. She’s hurting and her soul is escaping bit by bit. Anyway I guess she’ll learn how destructive drugs are, but it might be too late.

We were at a station halfway to Germersheim when we heard the driver ask everyone to alight. I was so unbothered, that I just kept reading my book.

30mins down and we were still waiting. Every train that arrived at the station was emptied and redirected to the opposite direction. It was like final destination, literally. There was a sort of accident some stations further and I heard furious people around me calling the KVV(transport company of Karlsruhe) all sorts of names. Still I was reading my book and minding my business.

The girl is now an addict and does all kinds of drugs with her new friends. She even starts pushing drugs at school to help her drug addict boyfriend financially. He’s a med student and doesn’t have time to hustle around like she has. Hence she promises to do everything she can to support him.

Turns out he is cheating on her. Hence there she goes again deep in her depressive life. Attending parties where she ends up completely unconscious. One day she decides to runaway with her friend Chris. Another mentally disturbed teenager who also does drugs. Coincidence? Of course not! Who else can understand her if they’re not broken, sick and hurting? Her plan? To live her life without being judged. To meet people who have no clue who she is. Maybe they’ll find her interesting.

They go to this party and do drugs like everyone. In the midst of losing their mind, she realises they’re being raped and they can’t help it. That’s what opened her eyes about the damages she’s causing to herself. Thus returns home after being away for more than 3 months.How will her parents react? What about school? Is she going to learn? Well, I’ll find out.

The tramway was cleared and I could finally go home. In total, I stood up for more than an hour waiting for a train. And eventhough my time was perfectly used, I was exhausted and wanted to watch money heist.

Should I thank the KVV for that? Surely not!

How often do you visit Home?

Photo: Psycholocrazy

Friends always ask me this question and they don’t know how annoying it can be. Most of them can’t believe that I would spend more than a year without seeing my mum. And I’m here thinking, how can I go home at least every three years? Yea 3 whole years, because it takes a lot of time and money.

A flight ticket is about 500€ to and fro if you book early enough. Yea you think it’s not expensive? Guess what, congratulations you are rich. For me that’s a lot of money. It represents a monthly student salary. I struggle to pay my rent already. However, when I find the money to buy a flight ticket, I must have enough money to pay for my rent and my health insurance during the time I plan to be away and the month after. Best believe I just give up, because why should I stress up like that?

Some of my friends don’t know all it takes to actually plan a trip like this one, because they either live one train or a bus away from home. Many don’t have to pay for their flight tickets and others just have the guts to use their savings. The only category I could fall in is the savings one, because as much as my mum and siblings miss me, they won’t buy me any ticket. I have to figure that out on my own, plus they casually expect me to bring them gifts whenever I come back. The audacity! Haha!

Most Cameroonians think we make money quite easily here. A savage cliche, that pushes them to believe that we can go back to Cameroon when we want. Which implies that we don’t want to? Seriously? Let me make it clear, I would travel every year if I could, because Germany is a stressful country. Our best way to break the studies or work routine is to escape, literally. To go somewhere else and have fun. Another option is to sleep, to eat and drink, to watch movies all day and avoid the letterbox for maybe 2 weeks. A really cheap break.

I had been choosing the last option for 5 years straight, before finally travelling to Cameroon last December during lectures. I bought my ticket after working for 2 months during lectures the semester before. I had just had a crazy semester and I needed to go far away for some time. And like I mentioned before, I had to buy gifts for all my family.

Believe me you don’t want to know how many we are, because eventhough not everyone is in Cameroon, I had 2 baggage full of gifts. It was my first time since I arrived Germany 5 years ago to go back home. Yea! They were all waiting for their made in Germany everything. Thank God for sales. Eventhough I still was very broke after buying all those stuffs.

Another issue is saving money for Cameroon . The truth is you can’t go to Cameroon without pocket money, because no one is waiting there to take care of your expenses. You need enough money to go to cool restaurants, make a trip to the beach, hang around town and buy a lot of things. But if you just want to stay at home once you’re there, well you might not need money at all.

For these reasons I can’t go home as much as I want. Last year was an emergency trip, in order to finally see my family. Some of you keep saying, “how about you really miss your family and all?”. Guys I miss them a lot, but honestly I’m not spending money that I don’t have to have fun. I’m thankful I could see them again. But there’s quite never a perfect timing and I don’t know when next I’ll see my mum and siblings. We just hold on to texts and video calls. Maybe another five years? Who knows?

A story like many others (Toxic Relationship)

Photo credits: http://www.36ng.ng

After my last post, a friend of mine asked me if I could write her story. She says she’s fine today and wants people to know that, they can escape and live a better life.

The story is about 2 foreign students in Germany. What they went through, how one managed to quit their poisonous relationship and where they are today.

Nuru is a 26 years old Kenyan who started studying in Kaiserslautern and then Berlin, where she finished her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering 2 years ago. A brave woman who left her country with a stipend to pursue her dreams of becoming one of the best engineers there. She always dreamt of bringing electricity in her small village in Thika and nothing else was more important. Her family was supportive and proud of her. The day she got her scholarship, they threw up a party and invited all the village. Her parents were not rich, so it was more about dancing and giving her all the blessings and protection for her upcoming life.

After passing her German language exam, she was eligible to start her studies. This was the first big achievement in Germany. She was such a sweet person and got along with so many people from different countries. However she always hanged out with her fellow Kenyans who could understand her struggle best. She became friends with a guy called Feye, which means the beginning. And this is where the story really starts.

He was a tall good looking man who also happened to come from Thika. They fell in love quite rapidly and started dating during their 1st semester. A passionate romance which quickly turned into a nightmare. Feye began to skip lectures and hide from Nuru. She was really worried, because she knew him as a serious person who had great plans for a his future. How could he not attend lectures, what for? Maybe learning at home ? They talked everyday on the phone but didn’t see each other. He didn’t want videocalls. She never asked him what he was doing, because she expected him to say something. He was so distant and it really hurt her. He always asked her to lend him some money, which she did without hesitating. He said he really needed it and she loved him so much she gave him part of her scholarship every month.

This handicapped her so much, because she couldn’t pay all her bills and help her parents like She usually did. She could not focus anymore, meanwhile her exams were approaching. She asked some of their friends if they knew where he was and what he was doing, but they always said, <<Don’t worry, he’s fine.>>. Therefore, she decided to go to his place after lectures one day.

It was a mildly cold Thursday in spring. Birds were singing and the sky was blue. She waited for someone to enter the building in order to follow them inside. She walked to his room and knocked at the door gently. Nobody answered so she knocked at the door of the nearest room. His Tunisian flatmate opened the door and she asked him if he had seen Feye around. << Yea, he came back lastnight and hasn’t left his room today. I heard him talk on the phone 2h ago.>>, he said smiling.

Was he sure about that? Because she had been knocking for minutes. Then she tried to call him and he answered the phone. She asked him where he was and he said he was doing his groceries, but she was hearing his voice. He was in his room and didn’t know she was in front of his door. It broke her and she left crying. Why was he lying to her? What was he hiding? So many questions that became her main focus. She had an exam due in 2 weeks, but wasn’t ready at all. All she was thinking about was to find out what was happening to him. Thus, she went back to his place on a saturday afternoon and waited all day to see him come in or out of the building. He left his room about an hour later and she followed him cautiously as he walked for almost half a mile. He arrived at a bar and stayed there till midnight after which he left drunk. She was watching him from afar extremely shocked by what she was seeing. Feye drinking all his life out like someone who has nothing to loose. He couldn’t walk alone, so she ran to help him. She didn’t care that he would know she had been following him. He was drunk anyways. She tried to hold him and put his arm over her shoulder, but he pushed her away. She fell on the sidewalks and he continued walking.

I can’t find the words to explain how she felt. It was heart breaking and she didn’t want to talk to him anymore. Her exams came up and she wrote none. Somehow, her relationship with Feye had become the most important thing to her at that point of her life. She went through a series of mental breakdowns and stopped caring about any thing. She didn’t call home anymore, she cut contact with the other Kenyans and fell into a very deep depression.

Her mum called the university to find out what was happening to her. They told her she didn’t write any exam that semester. She begged them to try to find her. Therefore they investigated by questioning the other Kenyans who told them Feye had also been missing lectures and that they could probably be together. The university then sent both of them letters threatening to send them back to Kenya if they didn’t focus on their degree.

A friend of both Nuru and Feye went to visit her. She was not leaving her building anymore and had a flatmate do her groceries from time to time. He saw her and could not believe his eyes. She looked horrific and he decided it was enough. He told her what was going on with Feye. He said Feye owed someone a lot of money because he had started betting on football games with his stipend. He got addicted and burrowed money from this guy which he all lost. And that the guy was threatening to hurt him if he didn’t find the money.

She collapsed in his arms and he took her to the hospital where she was interned. He called her parents who urged the university to let her come back home. They talked with her and she agreed it was a good idea. She was ready to quit and give up on all her dreams. Parallely, they found Feye and he started seeing a psychologist weekly.

Two months passed and Nuru was happy to be with her family. But she could not spend a day without thinking about her studies and the goals she once had. Her mum who saw her pain asked her if she wanted to go back. She hesitated but finally told her mum she still wishes to be an engineer. Sadly she had ruined her only opportunity to study in Germany with financial support from her country. So, her father called a cousin who had a cousin that worked at the ministry of education in Kenya. And after a long fight they gladly renewed her scholarship for another university in another town. There she finished her bachelor’s degree and later found a job back home. She was appointed by a German company who wanted to build electricity plants in Kenya.

Feye finally graduated 1 year after her and reached out to apologise. She had blocked him everywhere, so he sent her an email. She responded and told him she didn’t hate him anymore and that she was happy for him. However she decided it was better to not talk to each other ever again.

Nuru hasn’t found love since then, but considers herself the love of her life. She lives a very successful life and she is surrounded by people she loves. She’s so thankful to every person that helped her during those hard times. She believes she was really lucky and wishes many people in her case also receive support to become more emotionally stable.

Nuru or Feye could be you. Will you do something about it?

Are you in a Toxic Relationship?

A dysfunctional relationship that leads to suicide
Photo credit: http://www.meaww.com

Before we even start discussing why you are still holding on to that person, it’s necessary to refresh our minds on what a toxic relationship is. You might at the end realise you are just going through a difficult time, because no relationship is perfect. Therefore do not jump to conclusions too fast.

A toxic relationship is basically one that constantly drains you. http://www.psychologytoday.com says it is one that is unfavourable to you or to others. This means, at least one person is unhappy because of how they’re treated. I talked with some friends and family members who had a lot to say about toxic relationships. This is what I gathered:

  1. I can’t be myself around him
  2. She’s not supportive of my dreams
  3. He always makes me feel like I am worth a cent and no one will take me if he left me
  4. When I need her she’s never around, meanwhile I am always there for her
  5. They never show concern about what is happening to me, all they care about is themselves
  6. He wants to shape me into an imaginary perfect person
  7. She wants me to live her dreams, damn I just want to do my thing
  8. We keep on fighting about everything
  9. She doesn’t trust me
  10. I am never enough no matter what I do
  11. We don’t communicate
  12. I am always trying to please him
  13. She has hurt me multiple times and keep promising she’ll change
  14. He disrespects me anytime he can
  15. There is no good news, non stop issues and I can’t do this anymore
  16. I decided to jeopardise my life to help him
  17. I give everytime and get nothing in return
  18. She threatens to hurt herself when we have a problem
  19. I purposely make him jealous to get a reaction
  20. I stopped talking to my friends and family for him
  21. He can’t stand my success
  22. I don’t feel comfortable with him, sometimes I have to lie because I can’t tell him exactly how I feel
  23. She’s always blaming me
  24. He buys me gifts to ask for forgiveness and I always fall for it
  25. They’re ashamed of who I am and what I do

So much about toxic relationships and even more. You don’t have to keep on hurting. If it’s not working, talk about it. You both or all deserve to be happy, even if it means putting an end to the relationship. Some people are just not meant to stay together. “Toxic partners, friends and family members.” They are here for a time, to make us mature for example. Life is too short to hold on to a person that will cause your downfall. Let go!

If they are willing but don’t know how to love you, are you teaching them how to ? Do they get it ? Is the love you want to receive detrimental to them in any kind of way ? Could you be part of the problem ? Let them go!

Sometimes we stay because we lack self-love.

Vanick Kam
This is a genius description of; you love others fully when you love yourself fully.
Image by: files.brightside.me

Once you escape from a toxic relationship you might still be traumatised for a long time. You might not let anybody else love you, because you don’t trust anymore or you don’t think you deserve to be loved. Learn how to love yourself. It is the second step to healing. Speaking from personal experience.

Nonetheless, like I said, do not give up on someone with whom you’re just going through a rough time. It doesn’t happen everyday. If you walk hand in hand and do not constantly live the same issues that were solved before, then you’re not in a toxic relationship.