I was the sick one, or so I felt anyway. The rest of my family got sick too obviously. But I got the weird illnesses, the illnesses that were biblical. Like god was trying to teach me a lesson for my future transgressions, or for just being alive. He was able to easily punish me then, I was little and weak.
Like Job in the bible, I got boils. They weren’t completely from the “sole of my feet to the crown of my head” (Job 2:7) but they covered enough of my body that the pain is etched in my memory and the scars are engraved all over my body, like small circular trademarks of the devil.
I was marked. I was told that my body was not my own, that god could do what he wanted with it and hurt me for being me. That is what it meant then. There must have been something wrong with me – why else would I have got boils? I don’t know how I got the infection. All I know is I was a child. I hadn’t done anything wrong to deserve that pain and now I still don’t believe I have done anything to deserve having those huge sores on my body. I didn’t deserve to have them and have to put up with them being lanced. The searing pain from the lancing is as close as I will get to the fiery pain from hot pokers in hell. The pain that I was threatened with in death, was a reality in life.
The boils went away with antibiotics. Science created medicine. Science was evil. But it was a necessary evil, to ward off evil created by the sin of Eve.
Prayer was the first and last barrier to malaria. We had mosquito nets. We had disgusting white tablets we had to take on a Sunday and weird blue ones we took every day. But those tablets and the nets didn’t stop the little devils. Prayer was always the explanation for why we didn’t get sick. When we did, it was because we maybe didn’t pray enough or god was testing us in some way.
My little stomach got tested, it couldn’t handle what we ate once, it was so sore and I felt awful. So they got me charcoal and I ate it, to make the soreness go away. My teeth and tongue went black as if they were rotten.
My knee felt rotten once. I went flying over the handlebars of my bike and shredded my leg. The scar on my knee was so deep and wide, the pain was awful, the blood was everywhere. I was afraid to go too fast after that. I didn’t fly down the hills anymore. I loved being on a bike but the pain saw to that.
I was tortured for doing another thing I loved. I was diving in a swimming pool in Ouagadougou and my ear drum exploded as I touched the bottom of the pool. The pain was horrendous, I felt like I was being punished for hearing or thinking something I shouldn’t have.
When I grew up, I rarely got sick. I had gone through a lot of pain, that I had grown scared. Scared to live. Scared to ride that bike. Scared to play outside in case I got an infection. Scared to do something wrong, in case I got hurt again.
God got his scared submissive follower for a time. And then I got away, ready to embrace what comes. My head did explode again, while I figured out who I really am. My mind hurt from figuring out the truth but it recovered, and now it is stronger than ever.
I am no longer smitten.