‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you’ — Maya Angelou

Conversation between a grandmother and a child

Nne.

Yes, my heart?

I’ve been having a dream, a recurring dream.

Tell me about it, beloved.

It is a strange one, my dream. In it, I am never more than a child even though I am no longer a child.

Mmmh.

I am also always in an unknown but somehow familiar house, pursued by dark forces, powerful forces — who reach for me with long, bony fingers, and nails like the talons of a vulture. Nne?

Go ahead, child. I am listening.

They scare me, Nne, these dark beings. Sometimes in my dream, I take wings and fly. But just when I think I’ve managed to escape one of my wings would break…clipped by the branch of an unseen tree. And I would come tumbling down, straight again into the dark house. Tell me, Nne, what can it all mean?

Mmmh. What it means is that you have an untold story inside you, my heart. For you to escape, for your wings to carry you, sustain you, away from that which seeks to devour you, you must own your story.

Own my story? How?

By telling it.

What if I don’t know how!

Child, there is a difference between not knowing and not wanting.

Then teach me please, Nne. Show me!

Start from the beginning, beloved. From the very beginning.

And I did.

Welcome to the journey of my self-realisation.

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Sarah Udoh-Grossfurthner

Sarah Udoh-Grossfurthner

FROM FEARFUL TO FIERCE: the true-life story of a woman who was abused, bullied and told she would never amount to anything of worth.