A Naked Coward and a Kindergarten Trauma Tale

Adedolapo Olisa
9 min readJul 23, 2023

Facts

It is showing 1:54AM on my laptop but it is really 12:54AM.

I just got out of the shower.

In the shower, I got this revelation and decided on the title.

The plan was to run out of the shower, sit on my chair with my clean ass, and pen this sucker.

But my routine kicked in, I had my new boxers and new singlet on the countertop; and halfway through putting my boxers on, I realized that I won't be penning this naked after all.

BUTt

I will be vulnerable, which as I recall is the same as being naked.

Context

After I started writing in the past 2 years. I stumbled for the first time on the connection between the most significant trauma of my life but I didn't make the connection between it and why I am single. I did infact try to make the connection but as an untrained therapist; I didn't ask the right questions or zoom out far enough to see the big picture.

Suits, the show starring Harvey Specter, just did it for me.

But first, a moment of silent and also a picture for medium.

Photo by Gigi on Unsplash

What I typed in unsplash for that picture was unavailable attraction but before then, I typed Harvery Specter but none of them returned the kinds of hits that are relevant to this case. So I chose one at random. It also gives me a little bit more time to stall because I don't even know where I want to begin.

I have stated this fact before: when I was 6 years old. My family friend, my first best friend, my first female friend colluded with my other female classmates and accused me of raping her. I didn't know what rape was, so when I took it to my mom she screamed bloody murder and it was my cue to not tell my mom the full story. I settled the case in court and agreed to terms with the girls that orchestrated this shakedown.

Their terms were that I stop beating them or they go to the principal of my school and get me kicked out. The very next semester, my dear friend travelled out of the country and I never saw her again.

The story is pretty bland as far as gists go. Its a memory I will never forget but its also mostly bland and uneventful. So uneventful that for the next 6 years, I went to the same school and every day after, I had it hanging over my head long after the ladies that orchestrated the shakedown completely even forgot about it.

Suits

You will have to stick with me and stitch the relationship between the events together because I may not do it for you.

I have been binge-watching Suits. I told Yewande and Usine about it. In less than two weeks with a hectic work schedule and travels to Kansas City Mo, and MN. I have managed to start from scratch and end up in season 8. I love the show. I do because I feel like its not really about law. Its a show about love, friendships, loyalty, and the boundaries of relationships. They used legal cases to push and prod these 4 things and showcased priorities to different characters.

What is relevant to this story is the therapists woven into the show. My epiphany began when I started to explore Harvey Specter and Donna’s love. The closer I looked at it, the more I realized that I was staring at patterns that I have exhibited in my love life.

My ability to be vulnerable to a woman requires my firm belief that for some reason or another, we are not available to each other when it counts. I want to love her knowing I wont have her and her ability to love me when she wont have me or at least doesn't know that she will. Its the deepest form of love that I can feel.

It is however Louis Litt and his therapist that flat out states this. There is an episode where the root cause of Louis’ preference for unavailable women comes to light. He had been with a woman in high school that was with him because his parents would approve; and she used him to see the bad boy. When he found out, she kissed him in public and he continued to date her.

HISTORY

Here is the thing that makes me the most sick.

I have gone to some pretty extreme lengths to be unavailable or to make relationships with me extremely frustrating.

For one, I wont have sex until marriage. Sounds Christlike and godly and churchy. But even now when I have basically thoroughly violated the holiness of such a commitment, I still choose to be a technical virgin.

Why? I have believed that I made a vow to God when I was young and I intend to keep it.

The only problem with that is I don't even know when I made that vow. I don't have a memory of it. I am not saying that I didn't vow it but I also remember that if ever there was a vow to not have sex before marriage, then I believe it included not kissing before marriage either.

I can tell you categorically that I have been kissing since my first year in college and I dare say that I maybe a pretty decent kisser. That is neither here nor there. The point is that I most definitely broke that vow with God if there ever was one. And as for sex, I have had sex multiple times, I just choose not to call it sex. Yes there is a technicality that I can say I haven't done but its a mockery to point to a vow with God and then turn around to use technicality to claim obedience when God doesn't deal in actions, he deals in heart — intention.

So in the shower, as I processed suits and tried thinking what my moment could be that created my pattern of dating. The only place my mind could go to was the rape accusation but I could not find a relationship with my patterns in relationship.

What IF?

What if I have not had sex because I believe only a wife can offer the trust and level of protection that I didn't have in my friend as a kid?

What if I felt betrayed by my friend and the worst part is that she became available to me for the whole 6 years I endured the daily reminder of my accusation?

What if I am afraid of being abandoned and instead of pursuing those that love me and that I love, I pursue those that I cannot get, and for those that I can get that love me, I find reasons to first commit myself to never choosing them so that I can have permission to love them?

SPECIMEN ASSESSMENT

There are three women that stick to mind when I think of women that I loved and could see myself being married to. The only problem is that all three of them were out of my league and even when they decided to choose me. When I won! When I got them to choose me. There were circumstances that would preclude anything from working out.

  • High School Sweet Heart: I saw her and from that moment as a 13 year old. I knew she was gonna be my wife. Except, I was never gonna date in secondary school and I went to school in the US while she did in Nigeria.
  • Sexiest Bella in College: See there is sexy, then there is drop dead gorgeous. I saw her and locked eyes. Right away, I knew I had no chance but I spent the rest of my college days obsessed over her so much so that I confessed it to an auditorium full to the brim of students at our college basketball game day.
  • Ex-Fiance: She lived in the very opposite coast as me and we overcame everything but sure enough, we would not overcome the distance and the fact that I didn't have papers that would allow me just move because my legal status to remain in the country was tied to my job and she had just started her dream school.
  • Bonus: One of the girls in my elementary school, who accused me of rape was in fact my crush. My first crush. I knew she would never welcome it as she was a chief player in my trauma but it felt safe and comfortable to be madly in love with someone I could not have.

Its so funny thinking back at it now how hard I loved, how hard I tried to find a way and make it all work. How hard I fell in love. How much I gave. How obsessed I was. In every single one of these stories, I experienced obsession. I spent so much time in my head, trying to crack and tear down the walls that was in the way.

When in truth, It was like I intentionally committed a criminal offence just so I could love my heartthrob from prison and make the very best effort to hold onto her in hopes that she would love me despite the bars and walls that kept us apart.

TRAUMA

That wall everytime was the distance that kept me away from redemption everyday for 6 years. The woman that could tell the truth about me not raping her was gone and there was nothing that I could do about it. She was alive, I did miss our friendship, and I don't recollect enough to know if I had a romantic interest or infatuation with her, I mean, we were 6!

I am not even sure writing this makes a difference. But I sure as heck wasn't gonna explore it and let it help me define my problem.

HOW IT WORKS

I meet a woman, if I find her attractive; I check her for my three keys — sexy, godly, smart. My goal is to get into a situationship where we can be physically involved or even exclusive but I have already struck away the possibility of us being long term because she didn't meet some criteria.

In the rare event that she meets all three criteria. Then I kick into sabotage mode. This is when I essentially imagine her as the friend that betrayed me. And I immediately start to test her and push her away. I tell myself that I want to find out if she will stick it through for the long run. Because how else do you know if someone will love you forever if you don't give them the ultimate test of loyalty on the first date?

Miraculously, there have been women that have come through all that then I move on to culture.

This is the part that I am most ashamed of. For so long, I have believed that I want a Nigerian woman, and even more specifically, I want a Yoruba woman. I believed that I did by telling myself that they were statistically the best option for marriage because shared culture is the incubator that nurtures love.

In the shower, a thought flashed my mind and I do not know how true it is but I will not shy away from exposing it.

I believe that I want a Yoruba woman because I am seeking redemption from the betrayal that I felt. Its like if the woman I end up with is not similar to the girl that betrayed me all those years, then I will not be whole. I will not have the completion of a mad cycle to believe that I am worth standing up for even when I was in the wrong for beating girls at such an early age then.

More than that though, I believe another sinister reason why I pursue Yoruba women is because our culture is forgiving of hurt men that hurt women. I want a wife that will love me like my mom loves my dad. Except my mom has mostly known suffering because of generational hurt and trauma that my dad was dealt as a kid.

I am not looking for a marriage that is full of love; I am insuring against divorce so that I have license to not complete my healing journey. Who needs to be fully healed when you can eat your cake and have it to?

There is MORE but I am tired

My laptop now says 2:57AM. Which is 1:57AM. Which is over an hour of writing in the middle of the night and I feel there is more to say.

But I conclude with this:

I, Dolapo, this night decide to be vulnerable. To seek to love and be loved risking the hurt of it. I let go of my betrayal and I embrace the heart pounding risk of being seeing fully yet accepted wholely. While I wait, I commit to continue doing the work of becoming.

To her:

I accept that you are imperfect and I am grateful for the journey that led you to me. Hold me accountable. Be true to yourself. Love yourself for you cannot love anyone more. You will hurt me but I forgive you, I embrace you. And when you are unsure of what to do, hug me and tell me that you are going nowhere.

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Adedolapo Olisa

I’m an aspiring story teller that is learning to let stories tell their own morals. You’ll find me where Faith-Tech-Art meet.