Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Parenting

Painful flashbacks and handling the trauma/anxiety from a missing school bag

What can a missing school bag do to a 39 years old mother? Well, read on!

33 years ago, I received one of the beatings of my life, the type known as ‘I’ll skin you alive’. My crime and sin and all put together: I had misplaced my school bag (probably again if I can recall well)

33 years later, my son Gaby came back home last Wednesday without his school bag.

Once I was told, I gave myself timeout very fast because my head started to spin. I was so angry and frustrated at Gaby and my first impulse was to ‘skim him alive’. I was also angry at myself for thinking that, and for not being able to not pass on that ‘negligent and zam zam’ gene to Gaby.

I recalled the beating which drew blood and blisters and left me sore. My friends in the neighbourhood didn’t see me for some days, and I must have skipped school the next day not only because dad had to buy a new bag and books, but because I was bed ridden. I despised life and wished I could run away or disappear.

Those memories actually helped me decide not to ‘skin Gaby alive’, actually I didn’t even beat him. They know I hate beating them because it hurts and pains me double to beat them or anyone. I just think I had taken all the beatings for us all there ever could be.

And so, after my time out, I had a discussion with Gaby who has had some attention and other pranky attitudes this week. I just needed to know if the school bag could be found, as in any idea where he may have left it. (Two days prior, he had gotten home 2 good hours late because he stopped by a field to play football with friends on his way back, and lost all notion of time).

It turned out he forgot the bag at his aunty’s place which is midway between his school and home. I went there myself yesterday for the tripple reassurance that he had collected same that mornimg on his way to school. Some books are once again missing but that’s not as alarming as losing an entire school bag.

Ha, I also recall having to buy all his school needs on the eve of back to school because it was dropped on me just that eve, that was my p.o.s henceforth.

All is well that ends well, I beat no one and was able to stay calm and temper my upset. Am so grateful for my GA who helped me, for the other boys who stayed calm while David even went out that afternoon to go try to find it.



Marie Abanga aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist, a minister of the Word of God and...! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled over 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

11 thoughts on “Painful flashbacks and handling the trauma/anxiety from a missing school bag

    1. Thanks Linda, I can now laugh at some of those moments because I now see who was suffering. You know when you are told you will be taught a lesson by that beating and you somehow step out, dissociate and watch in horror as someone is beaten until the belt cuts all and the one beating starts crying? Na, I loathe that waste of precious energy and I think ‘lessons’ can be taught ‘difficult’ children differently. I have come to conclude from experience and evidence, that sometimes the one beaten is merely receiving the venting meant for someone who can’t be beaten. We will call that scapegoat right?


  1. Discovering items can certainly drum up a lot of emotions even if we’ve worked through them. I’m a believer that “letting go” kind of doesn’t truly exist, but rather releasing the emotions attached to the event. Therefore, we can still experience these type of feelings from time to time! I’ve definitely been there💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You summed it up so well. One day in Belgium, I went to a hospital and passed by a nursery, I broke down and instantly couldn’t walk. My boyfriend had to come in and get me. I thought I had finished mourning and let go the grief from losing my daughter 6hrs prior.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup indeed and some people are confused and think people shouldn’t have those moments. Even something on a lower scale like a breakup, but I still think if it’s an impactful experience, it can always be triggered. It’s just how we deal with the trigger that we can change once we’ve released feelings that no longer serve us😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Darling, a breakup may be on any scale. The good news is, there are more better coping mechanisms for trigger and challenges and it’s awesome to be learning and sharing all this right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Absolutely!!! I agree, it’s all subjective and no one can judge. Yes, I like to bring up this topics to learn and grow from each other😊

        Liked by 1 person

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