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“I attempted my first suicide at age Fifteen” — Toyin Falaiye

“I attempted my first suicide at age Fifteen” — Toyin Falaiye

May 1, 2023

I always say to people that sexual abuse was the price I had to pay for an education. The abuse went on for seven long years and it was killing me – I was dying slowly. 

I attempted my first suicide at age fifteen and I remember that day vividly. It was the Ikeja cantonment bomb blast day and mummy (My aunt) wasn’t coming back that night. It was just Daddy and me at home when the neighbours came around to assure us that she would be back the following morning. That night, as soon as everyone left, I knew it was going to be a long and agonizing night on their matrimonial bed. The next morning when my mother miraculously returned, Daddy was the first person to rush to the door, give her a kiss, and hug her. I was shattered inside, wondering how he could play two roles so convincingly.

I went into the kitchen and picked up a knife. I didn’t know what to do with it. One part of my mind said, “Stab yourself” while another part of it said, “Go and stab him”. I was still trying to make the decision and I started slitting my wrist when my mum entered the kitchen. I quickly dropped the knife and told her that I was trying to arrange the plates I washed earlier. That was the day I could define depression because I didn’t know I had been dying slowly all along. It continued till I was seventeen. I was smart and was a good girl – but I was dying slowly.

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