I started to share the traumatic experience I had gone through on Monday the 19th (Click here if you missed the post) and I have had people ask me if it really happened to me. It did happen to me y'al and God did bring me through it in one piece...

Here's the concluding part of my experience; 

After a while, they took the phone back from me and told me that they were going to drop me off now. They helped me off the floor and placed me on the seat I was when I first boarded the bus. 

In a low voice, I said; “Please don’t push me off”, the one who had lifted my legs off the floor of the bus assured me that I wouldn’t be pushed off. He then promptly checked the collar of my top to see if I had any jewelry on, I told him I didn’t wear jewelry but the conductor checked again and slid his hand lower to see if it was hidden because I had a turtle neck top on.

My heart stopped because I remembered the money I had hidden in my blouse. He didn’t find anything so they handed me my hand bag, my purse and my shoes; warned me not to scream and stopped the bus so I could get off.

When I got off, I went straight on my knees... I can't remember what I prayed but it wasn't a prayer of thanksgiving. 

I learned a few lessons from this horrific experience and I would like for you to find the testimonies in there;

1. God is always with His own: While I was on the bus, I did feel a peace, a sense of knowing that I would be fine irrespective of how the ordeal went; I can’t explain it enough for you to get it if you don’t know Christ. Then among the thieves, the guy who had lifted my legs off the floor held on to my legs through out the 15minutes as though to give me extra comfort. He wouldn’t allow anyone hit me; when the man in front tried to slap me, I think, he pushed the man’s hand away. He was also the one who assured me that I wouldn’t be pushed off the bus.

Then I was dropped off close to my house. Recall that I was heading for another appointment, not home vied off course towards where my house is and dropped me off. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, because they had asked me where I lived of which I told them a general area and not my house address, still I knew where I was when I was dropped off. 
I found a bike from that spot to my house, guess how much the bike fare was? 

The amount of money I had hid in my blouse.

I don’t know how to say this without coming off as been arrogant but I say it with all sense of gratitude to God who had kept me through the ordeal; when I got home I discovered that I had not been ‘robbed’ properly or totally or cleaned out. 
I hope you get what I mean. I mentioned earlier that they were looking for jewelry but they didn’t find my wristwatch which was on my wrist all the while. I had 2k and some loose change in my purse but they took only a thousand box.
More importantly, I was dropped off. I wasn’t taken away, I wasn’t abused or molested, I wasn’t pawed or abducted or pushed off the bus, I don’t have a scratch on my body. Yes, I had aches from being strangled or choked or grabbed around my throat. And yes, my mind is a hot mess right now but….I am grateful that I am here to share the story.

2. Trust your instincts: I had plenty opportunities to delay and not be at the bus stop at that time but I didn’t know not to. I had the opportunity to hitch a ride but I didn’t take it. I had asked the thief conductor if he would take me all the way to where I was going to before I got on the bus, he hesitated then nodded. Hesitation is a sign that a person may be lying. Again, I shrugged it off and still went on the bus. I joke not, I know body language to an extent - ask my friends Stepheny and Edward, they will explain how this is true. I just shrugged it. 

Before heading out that morning, I felt like leaving my iPhone at work alongside my laptop and some extra cash I had made for my mom; especially because the job I was going to is usually so stressful that one barely has time for anything else. I left my laptop, the extra cash at work; but hid my iPhone at the bottom of the bag I was taking with me. 
See why you should trust your guts? 
Some may argue that this could have gone worse if they hadn't found anything of value with me, the truth is no one knows that for sure except God.

3. Don’t get complacent: I had plied that route for at least 6 years in total, but consistently for 3 ½ of the 6 years. So it wasn’t because it was my first time or too early or for whatever reasons except that I had become comfortable in that environment. So please be careful even if it were your area or an environment you are used to been in. Sometimes, change your route home; do not board the bus if it doesn’t feel right or if it’s too dark. Don't take the bus, call a cabbie or hitch a ride with a friend or colleague. 
Do not go on the bus if the men look like body builders and the bus conductor looks fat. Most conductors should have lost weight from running all around and getting passengers, this one looked like he was living large with pot belly et al. LOL. 
So be conscious of your environment at all times, bearing in mind that not everyone is a honest hustler hence the need to be on the look out.

4.The Blame Game: If anyone begins to make it out like it was your fault, be it intentionally or mistakenly,  that you got robbed, shut them down. Walk away, don’t take their calls… do anything but listen to them tell you what they would have done differently or how they would have acted afterwards. Some times, people can be so inconsiderate plus insensitive.

I was blamed for being out too early but most people in Lagos leave their houses earlier than 5 am. Did you hear of the robbery that happened at Ojota recently by 4pm? I guess the victims would be blamed for been out TOO late in the afternoon. 

I was also blamed for giving them the right passcode to my phone and I wonder how I could have lied when they had the phone in hand and me right there. I was told that I shouldn’t have boarded the bus at all as though if the guys had told me they wanted to rob me I would have still jumped on.

People say all sorts when they think they know exactly what you went through. I was robbed, for Christ sake and held to the floor of a moving bus without seeing where I was been led to, yet you think I should have done this or that before or afterwards? 

I am still stunned by this form of reasoning...

Yes, they may also have been in similar situations, but they were not in this with me neither do they handle trauma the same way I would.
So do not, for any reason, in any condition, allow anyone blame you for other people’s wrong doings. If they try it, shut them down!

5. Expectations: Have you been in a situation in which you felt that you would have acted in some sort of way and thereby expect that others could do the exact same thing you would have done if you were in their shoes? Maybe check up on them more? Or gone extra with the calls if you couldn’t be there physically? Irrespective of how not so bad or how badly soul wrenching the situation was, one just looks to some sort of people to drop everything and be there to hold your hand while you cry. You just plain expect more show of concern for your well-being and when you don’t get it, you begin to sulk.

Mama Nkechi of NHN Couture said it best and I quote, 

“It’s easy to feel uncared for when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need. And it’s so hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection on your worth. But the truth is that the way other people operate is not about you. Most people are so caught up in their own responsibilities, struggles, and anxiety that the thought of asking someone else how they’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind. They aren’t inherently bad or uncaring — they’re just busy and self-focused. And that’s okay. It’s not evidence of some fundamental failing on your part. It doesn’t make you unlovable or invisible. It just means that those people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own world.
But the fact that you are — that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others — is a strength. Your work isn’t to change who you are; it’s to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much,  you are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone’s acknowledgment or affection, you are enough.”

Got it? You enjoy the one or two people who actually have been placed in your life by God to help you through that period. Your expectation is misplaced if it's on people and not on God. 

I do not wish this ordeal on anyone, even those who robbed me, because it is a truly traumatic experience and most people told me I was one of the lucky ones. I don’t even want to imagine how those who had it worse came out of this situation strong and well because I still don’t sleep well, I couldn't get on the bus on my way to work yesterday morning and I have moments when my eyes are showing me things that are not there.

Time heals everything and God gives speedy recovery; so I am taking it one day at a time and hoping that everyone who has had to go through any sort of trauma at all, would be restored to the healthy state of well being.

Like my friend, Dare Fasure, told me I will just keep on concentrating on what God has done for me and not what people did to me. Those guys didn’t have to rob me but they did it anyway, in spite of their wrong choice, God kept me and brought me through without a scratch. Same God is gonna heal my heart and clear my mind of all phobia and emotional issues that are as a result of this experience.



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