my unheard anger by olaoluwa oluwadun.


I’m one of those people who can’t help but cry when anger takes over. It’s not because I want to hurtsomeone or resort to violence, but because my voice feels lost. It’s like I never had one, to begin with.

Being a Nigerian first-born female, you can imagine the struggles. I often envy those outspoken girls who fearlessly stand up to their parents when they’re being unfair. I wish I could do the same, but it seemsimpossible for me.

So, I’ve become an expert at silently shedding tears because I’ve had to do it so often.I’m constantly pushed against the wall, trapped in every conversation I have with them. It’s like I lose myvoice whenever I’m around them.

I turn into this brooding, silent 10-year-old, and every time I find myself in that situation, I hate myself a little more. Helplessness engulfs me, and I cry until I can’t breathe. It’s the only way I know how to cope.

My parents believe they’re raising a good Christian daughter, but if only they knew the turmoil they’ve pushed me into. If only they understood the anger and bitterness buried deep within me.

I’m exhausted from always feeling like I’m on the verge of exploding. It happens every single time. I remember watching Ginny and Georgia for the first time and seeing Ginny hurting herself with fire. She described how it concentrated all her pain and anger into one burn.

I’ll be honest—I was tempted to try ittoo. Fortunately, I was at school, far away from the fire, and that saved me. But as I write this, I can’t denythat the thought still crosses my mind. I don’t want to feel this way; it’s not something I enjoy.

Repressed emotions weigh me down, and it tarnishes the beauty of expressing myself. Writing has always been my escape, my way of finding solace. Most people who know me might notrealize it. I remember the first time I wrote something out of anger—it was a letter to myself, a reminderof the date and what my mother had done to me. It was also the first time I considered self-harm.

I’m no tproud of that thought, but it did cross my mind. However, when I finished writing and read through it, tears staining the page, I felt a strange calmness wash over me. Writing became my ritual, my safe space.

Whenever my mom discovered my writings during our arguments—or rather, when she was the only onedoing the talking—she would say, “So, you’re going to write about me, huh?” It hurt. I wondered how she knew about my safe space, where my thoughts found refuge and my emotions flowed freely.

And so, I would cry and continue writing. Looking back, I’m grateful for discovering the power of words. They’vehelped me in ways I can’t fully explain.

Even now, as I write this, trembling, caught in another “argument” I know that when I finally put the last period on this piece, a sense of peace will wash over me. Writing validates my feelings, my emotions, and my decisions. It’s a way for me to express myself and find validation in my own words.

In the vulnerability of my writing, I find solace and reclaim the voice that is often silenced. Writing grants me the strength to confront and process my emotions, offering a path to peace amidst the chaos.

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.