Category Archives: Mental Health Advocacy

A World free of Violence is possible: Let’s commit to giving this a chance


 

I used to wonder as a child, why one parent beat me up so often and even ‘mercilessly’, while the other had discussions with me especially when I did something they or everyone was not so proud of. The only time this other parent gave me a total of 8 lashes, was when I broke the TV set (unintentionally of course – but then again…) back in 1985 when TVs especially in my country cameroon in West Africa, were still a big thing. Back then, TVs slept in your parents’ room or were locked up in an iron cage in the living room for fear of robbers. I used to wonder if this other parent who would use phrases such as ‘I will skin you alive’, thought of the adverse childhood experiences that trauma could and indeed has come to have in my life today. My relationship with this parent is still strained today although we are on terms with that past (I have long made my peace with all of that); that with the other parent has survived and it is still on discussions’ level especially when there is any issue at stake.

With the above example from my own life, I want to look at the possibility of a violence free world if we become aware of what we get when we are violent in anyway. Was it worth it all those violent outbursts of anger and relay of frustrations on the kid I was and was just trying to be? What was achieved if anything at all? What is the consequences today, not only on our relationship but on the other ones we have with others?

I will again be candid here, intending to spark serious reflections into the imperative need to commit to a world free of violence starting right there in our home and not on the streets or in conferences.

The first answer to my own rhetoric question is no; no it was worth the ‘skinning me alive’ – all that made me more rebellious and ‘difficult’ to handle. I recall today I would just dissociate at some point and one day ended up collapsing and only found myself in bed all embalmed. I wish I could say that was the last time I was violated and abused as a child. What could be achieved after such violence? Hate, loathing, spite, urge for revenge whichever way possible, more rebellion and the list goes on. But, we have I must admit, a two side coined consequence. I emphasize on this ‘two side’ because it could have been a single consequence: ‘More violence’ even if only subtle say non communications or outbursts of rage and tantrums into adulthood and ruined relationships. But, in my case, I am happy to say while the relationship with parent took big hits and is still on its way to recoveryville, I decided long ago I wasn’t going to ever ‘skin any child alive’. Indeed, my 4 sons know I don’t do beatings, I hold discussions or find alternative ways of dealing with what issue comes up.

I couldn’t some how for the sanity of me ever understand why one parents had to ‘hate’ me so to find violence the only or best way possible to call me to order, which one I still don’t know since it would appear even up till date they still think I am ‘a lost case’ needing some further call to order.

Violence does not necessarily result only in violence; indeed it leads very often to worst case scenarios. Lives may be lost completely, or to a mental health disorder, relationships may be forever ruined, the children may grow up so volatile they become easy preys for gangs, armed rebellion, drugs and debauchery, in short any and all things contrary to what must have ever been foreseen in the beginning. Girls may grow up so insecure and fall prey to abusive relationships, unwanted pregnancies or further gender based violence. What kind of mothers and parents/partners can they be expected to become or replicate?

Non violence is possible. I enrolled in an online course on non-violent communication last year and it was such a turning point. When one of my sons was ‘mercilessly’ spanked by a teacher in school because as a 9 year active child he wasn’t expected to be talking in class when bored, I opted for non-violent but firm communication until the issue was resolved to my satisfaction. The teacher met with the dean of studies and myself, we reviewed what happened and why, we looked at alternative ways all that could have been handled, we appreciated the issue currently at stake and the consequences if I pressed charges both with the school administration and the national delegation of education, and he made all amends as tabled including apologizing to my son and his classmates. I organized a talk and he shared our experience in a light manner, encouraging his colleagues not to resort to violence in school again.

That is the commitment I am talking about. It is possible, we have to give it a chance; It however has to start from the ‘grass roots’ that is from our own homes. In my neighbourhood, I am known as the ‘lawyer of children’. When I moved in here in 2016, one particular neighbour made me have violent flashbacks because they were always on their 4 year old ‘skinning the poor child alive’. One day, I refused to ‘mind my business’, and stormed to their gate hitting same with so much anger in me. When they finally opened up, I told them I was calling the commissioner of police for our area because they had no right to beat up a child like that (it mattered not if it were their child as they initially insisted). Their spouse probably tired by then to make any attempt at getting the beating to stop, just watched as our ‘drama unfolded’. Anyway, my involvement put an end to those beatings and the news spread in the neighbourhood like a wild fire – even spouses ever on each other’s neck started reviewing all that thereafter.

I don’t beat and all the other kids especially the young girls who are still sadly over laden with the chores more than the boys, love playing in my compound or just being around me, especially those termed ‘difficult’. I hold neighbourhood gatherings as part of activities of my association Hope for the Abused and the Battered, as well the other one I am involved in as Secretary General called Ripples of love – a name I am proud to say I chose.

Love is all we need; love is what we get when we sow love and not violence; a violence free world is possible let’s all commit to giving it a chance and be the hope for the world we want. Let’s have discussions on the table and not use our hands, whips or guns.

I am doing a fundraising campaign to open a mental health care support center for my association Hope for the Abused and Battered. If you can donate or share the campaign, please do. Attached is the budget in PDF, who knows where a funder or partner can be found?

budget mhbudget mhcsc and shelter 05.01.19 p1 budget mhcsc and shelter 05.01.19 p2csc and shelter 05.01.19 p2

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A mental health care support center is my dream birthday gift – donate and make it happen


Hello World,

By Grace I have come up with a budget for my organization, as well as clear tasks. It is getting clearer and clearer. I am merely an instrument and I know my God is able. No knowledge gotten is ever wasted. Thank you papa for all the ways you took to teach me all I know today. I am forever grateful to all my past employers who pushed me to learn and gave me feedback I could constructively rely on to improve my performance today. Nothing is ever easy, sacrificing a saturday morning because you have to do it and no one else, is worth the cheer. Thank you to all Angels on my path, those who believe in this project enough and donate, those who will through their cynicism teach me more prudence, those who will through their prayer make it more spiritually grounded and ordained.
#Nothingistoohardtolearn
#attitudeofgratitude
#Hopefortheabusedandbattered
#thereishope
#bethehope

Visit my campaign and donate, thank you very much

Please Donate for my association Hope 4 the Abused $ Battered


 

 

Hello World, I turn 40 years in 16 days (18. 01. 79) and my wish is to open a mental health care support center and shelter for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence and Gender based violence in my city.

Please, just click here and donate whatever you have. Donate to/for me while I am still alive. My association Hope for the Abused and Battered is a precious baby who was born pursuant to a 39 year tough pregnancy with various traumatic twists and turn leaving me with different physical and mental health challenges. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2008 and PTSD in 2014. In 2013 I was almost all deaf and had to start wearing hearing aids immediately. In the midst of it all, Hope kept me going.

Thank you very much for your generous donations

Yes, total Healing from an Abusive past is possible: It took me 7 years


Hello Word Press world, I hope everyone is off to a magic filled start of a new week.

I want to share a personal experience which helped me find total healing from an abusive marriage. I left my marriage in 2011, and when I ran into my ex husband last week, the 5 minutes we shared made me realize my total healing was finally here.

I mean, I have been working and looking so forward to it, I am so happy it happened this month which is the last month of a year full of so much Grace for me.

Below is what I shared on Facebook on that day (14.12.18):

“I just ran into my ex-husband like after more than a year. The last time (01.09.17) we saw each other was at the police station where he had taken me to for breaking his door. I recall breaking the glass on that door with a stick so I could collect my sons ahead of their back to school on 03.09.17. He was called and he came with two cops. The kids and I went there with himself and we spent 4 hours in a cell – they refused to leave me alone or go with him. We were release after I signed a to never go near his house again. We got home at midnight that day, it was super traumatic especially for them. And since then they haven’t seen him either. They refused to go spend summer holidays with neither him nor their paternal grandma, and I refused to force them. He accused me of manipulation. That was a déjà entendu for me. He threatened to ‘disown’ them, and the last I told him during that very heated phone call was that he wasn’t our God. And so, running into him here at Gicam Bonanjo a year and plus later, was cool. Cool because I was happy to see him looking so good. He had some big nerves stuff last year and both his mum and wife called me alarmed and asking me to pray for him. That I did. I don’t have any grudge against him, no energy to hate or whatsoever. I just wish him so much well. I greeted him so warm and asked how he was feeling. I equally asked if he thought of the children and he said yes. He seemed to want to chit chat more but I didn’t want to. Anyways, I am sharing this to encourage especially my fellow sisters going through any such similar, to let all that be. I mean even if you prefer the saying “let sleeping dogs lie” use it and release (find it in you to deal+heal) all that ‘crap’. I just wish we had even taken a selfie hahahaha”
#releasethehurts
#notoshame
#notostigma
#forgiveandmoveon
#IamMAGnectic

We each have our unique journeys, I just share mine to inspire+motivate by Amazing Grace.

Watch “My Brother’s Journey with a mental illness reviewed by another Peer living with a mental illness.” on YouTube


In my country Cameroon, mental health and mental illness are still so much taboo.

As a passionate mental health advocate,a peer and now the Country Representative of the Global Mental Health Peer Network, I ceaselessly raise awareness as often as I can using any tools at my disposal.

I am honoured Ekema 39, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 25 years ago, agreed to review my brother’s journey (diagnosed with bipolar disorder and died in 2014 after 18 years of turmoil). The similarities he points out in his own journey is striking.

She told me she had AIDS and I told her that was ok: In memory of Violet gone too soon


HIV

I met Violet in September 2009 and in December 2009 she was dead. I had sent word to the village looking for a nanny and when Violet said she was available, I arranged for her to come very fast. Little did I know what I was signing up for. But here is the deal, I had already made a covenant with God that if he spared me of AIDS especially after the turbulent ‘sexually’ irresponsible life I had led so far and was again pregnant, I was never going to ‘reject’ any person on my path because of their status. That was in 2003 in the city of Yaounde inside a church after I had just given my blood to be tested for HIV at the CHU hospital. How could I therefore send Violet back a few hours after her arrival and following her revelation? I feel out with my husband and mother but I wasn’t going to fall out with God. My baby was 3 months old and I knew Violet wasn’t going to deliberately or accidentally harm my baby. We loved each other till the end. Her last words to me 3 days before dying however still tear me up on days like these: “mummy why have you abandoned me?”

She had returned to the village to spend that ‘last’ Christmas with her own daughter, leaving the hospital here on her signature because she felt her end was near after all.

The Following is a conversation I had this (this post was written (01.12.18) morning with my neice who lived with us back then: [01/12, 07:36] .Marie A. Abanga: Morning mama Ndolo [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: You remember Violet who lived with us for like 3 months to take care of Gaby? [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: If yes, did you know she had AIDS? [01/12, 07:37] .Marie A. Abanga: If yes, how did that make you feel especially as you guys slept in the same room? [01/12, 07:38] .Marie A. Abanga: Please I will like to share your answers in a live video am doing at 8 am to talk about her. Today is world AIDS Day. Thank you baby [01/12, 08:13] Malaika Moki Linonge: Hello mama [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: Sorry I am in the mkt [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: But it was a good experience [01/12, 08:14] Malaika Moki Linonge: I was afraid that we could be contaminated, especially for the bb [01/12, 08:15] Malaika Moki Linonge: And also as I stayed with her at the hospital [01/12, 08:20] Malaika Moki Linonge: It was wonderful when we knew she had AIDS, we where surprised why u took her in and understood why u excepted her for some work at home [01/12, 08:20] .Marie A. Abanga: Thank you baby so much [01/12, 08:20] Malaika Moki Linonge: U are welcome mama

Anyone wanting to watch the live video I did could click the link below

https://web.facebook.com/marieangeleAbanga/videos/1253824834759318/

#thankyouviolet #notostigma #knowyourstatus #liveyourtruth #safesex #Showsomeempathy

Although World Aids Day is come and gone, we are still in the month of December. I shared this on my Facebook on the day itself, along with a live video. I just thought to share this here again, to inspire+motivate us all.

A recent brain+body break & a book review


My body+brain break last Nov 30th led me to hole up in a library with an awesome book titled: “A Woman after God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George.

I needed a brain+body break and yes, what I had been planning to do over two weeks ago, that’s spend an entire day in conclave at B4Kids library, reading a good book, was seemingly the ideal thing to do to relax this brain+body.

I was there as early as 8:15 am after an early start at home and some meh workout. I had slept visualizing this day.

And yes, it was simply relaxing and blissful. Like I was with God all day in a special place ie, next to His Heart found in this soulful but thought provoking and action challenging book.

He knew I needed to read this book, this day, and to be assured and reassured of He having my back as I kept on in His Vineyard after 3+decades of grooming just for that.

I mean you will need to read the book too to get a feel…that is if you are ready.
The book is divided into 4 parts worth the read and I mean every letter of each sentence… grateful for the reading maniac I seem to be lol

P1: The Pursuit of God. How do you pursue God with your Heart, your words, your actions, your obedience to His own Word?
P2: The Pursuit of God’s priorities. How do you discover them as laid out for your life, and serve God with your heart and all your love in whichever corner of his vineyard He’s assigned you to?
P3: The Practice of God’s priorities: Do you seek God’s Heart and Grace to do the work you got according to His own priority?
P4: In praise of God’s priorities. What’s your praise if you got all the above going? What’s your legacy, and soul and commitment to keep being after God’s own Heart?

The author Elizabeth George makes no claims of sainthood in her own journey of being a woman after God’s Own Heart. Maybe this is what endeared me to the book so much and made me determined to finish it in one sitting? I read that she and her husband have been active in ministry for more than 30 years…which should actually be over 40 years of we consider that version was updated and expanded in 2006.

I am forever grateful to my new sister and friend Etonde NBA who has this beautiful kids’ library called B4Kids, and graciously told me I was welcome anytime. I don’t know what this book is doing in a kids’ library, maybe so that mothers read some while their kids are reading/doing their own stuffs?
To God be the Glory…
#brainbodybreak
#womanafterGodsHeart
#selfcarebestcare
#IamMAGnectic

Ekema my hero mindful of his Schizophrenia diagnosis


First day as an intern, ready to go face that world and conquer Amen
Cross section of the psy ward
Ekema was in one of those cells the first time we met on April 02-12-18

Dear world,

I want to celebrate Ekema today. It is equally his 39th Birthday. He lives with us since June after his last discharge from the Psychiatry ward. You see, I was an intern at the Psychiatry ward and on my very first day there I went into the ‘infamous cabano’ and Ekema spoke to my spirit without my knowing then we would still be together 8 months later. And so on his special day, I am sharing what I just wrote to him on Facebook because I want the world to know #itispossible and that #ThereisHope, let’s #BetheHope

Dear Ekema: I want the world to know.
I remember April 02-2018 very well. That was my 1st day there and I was told not to go into the Cabano. I was told only the most crazy are kept there…and yes, when I finally defied and went in there a few hours later, you appealed to me immediately because you spoke English and offered me your journal to read all the projects you had in there for your family and society. The only words I recall hearing and understanding were Buea, Fakoship, Lawyer Makolo…the rest I couldn’t catch because you spoke them through your ‘forest-like’ beard at the speed of lightening. Your gaze seemed piercing and you paced so ferociously in your cell. I didn’t know then I will welcome you into my home, but I knew I wanted to help you out as most as I could. 8 months later, we are still helping each other out. You are a great uncle Ekema to to the boys, and a wonderful small brother to me. I have a wonderful family in that Buea now thanks to you and the world also knows about you. On this special day of yours, as you turn 39, what else can I wish you other than that your journey here on earth keeps getting better and better? You told me last night ma it’s 5th and not 15th, I was so proud of you for that because back in the hospital you had told me you don’t know and you don’t really care because you had never celebrated any. God will help celebrate this one. I appreciate you, you are my hero, you are an inspiration to many. God bless you always dear Albert Ekema Makolo. To God be the Glory great things he has done…
#itispossible
#notostigma
#mentalhealthmatters

A week after moving in with us in June
Picture taken Dec 02-18 . Notice the same shirt and new aura lol
The first day in my office he trembled, sweated and was so nervous

Would you take free candies from such a bag?


What a halloween display lol

Friday is here and it is a Funny Friday for me. So my darling Phoebe shared the above picture with me and this is what she wrote:

This was my Halloween display with candy for passers by in the pumpkin bag  The arms are papier-mâché complete with fake painted wounds!! I think I scared people away with it!!!
Dunno about you but men, would I have fled hahahaha