Approaching the Elephant in our room.

DSC_0919Here I am trying to breastfeed my 2 month-old-baby, MY GOODNESS!! She’s making such a fuss! It seems like she’s having difficulty latching on or even not sure how to work my nipples! I smiled and said to myself, “Oh, it’s my third baby, so I should be a pro at this” (inward consolation thing). Phew!

I’m admiring this beautiful full curly black-haired baby, her tiny cheek so soft and round like one drenched with precious memories of the sweetness of a baker’s delight; A sugar-covered-jelly donut! Her little black eyes twitched as the bright morning reflection of sunray brushes over her face.

Ah! My post-cancer baby! So squishy and velvety, radiating the most enchanting features of love and beauty.

But there was a problem.

I wasn’t getting enough direct eye contact from her.

Is it that those around me didn’t recognize it or had decided to ignore it? Am I the only one seeing the mighty footprints? Or was I getting paranoid for no darn reason! After all, that’s what I do 5 days a week for other families.

My heart skipped a beat! And when it finally found its way back to my body, it broke into a million pieces when she wouldn’t trace my finger across her face! I quickly went shopping in my brain and bargained for all the best nursery rhymes I could find. Fetched all the Early Intervention child developmental milestones books I could read! As a therapist for child-development myself, it was harder for me to accept the intruding delay that could be, but so much easier for me to bring in all the best child developmental services in Delaware county into my room.ele 1

Even though it was my own child needing early childhood intervention, my commitment was stronger than that of Lady Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. #GOT

So, Elephant in the room is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth of chaos that is going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to talk about, discuss or address.ele 3

In the real world where you and I live, it is regarded as our state of mind! It is that nicely swept problem that forcefully resides with us; based on dis-approval, denial and dis-illusion.

But, in the make-believe world we feign, it is an abode for that hush-hush marital insecurity issue, it is that heavy feeling of pain and anguish when one is being used and betrayed, it is that status-quo inadequacy, it is that child still wondering if the term ‘bastard’ is a middle name! It is that sexuality problem never discussed and still un-resolved/that beautiful young lady wondering if true love really still exists after a horrid heart break!

It is that delayed passage of breakthrough or diabolical hunger and quest to make it big and fast in life! It is that infertility no-go area discussion! The nights of free-flowing tears on the loss of a baby or pregnancy, those complicated medical results, un-resolved family drama, carried on from generation to generation! All those frightening controversial issues which is so obvious to everyone who knows about the situation, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, or trigger arguments or is simply a taboo. What’s the fear? That we could be judged? that the issue ought to be discussed openly, or it can simply be an acknowledgment that the issue is there and not going to go away by itself!

Aren’t some of the things we go through today similar to an Elephant in a room that’s impossible to overlook? like seriously!! ‘Hello…’Am still here!ele 5

Issues that involve social taboo, discussion of race, religion, gender equality or even suicide. Should the people who might have spoken up decide that it is probably best avoided?

I don’t think so. How else would the elephant make an exit? Or am I wrong?

Could it be because our infirmity has now become our identity or because our crisis now defines who we are and forms the familiar guidelines of our life?

With the entrance of an elephant in their room, some people use their weaknesses to get the attention they crave or to keep from assuming any responsibility in their own lives, but not with a huge animal like an elephant starring you in the face day in day out!

What about our own situation that’s so glaring, yet we cover it up with nicely packaged-fragrance, expensive line of make-up with ambiguous price tags to suck in the scars or marks? Or that sensual erotic 6-pack image that attracts only what the eyes can see as the soul bleeds and begs to run far away from its misery!

Isn’t that a cover up for obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about?ele 4

Our helplessness can be our most powerful offering – Only if we are willing to be honest and transparent. Admitting the obvious. Sometimes it is a lot easier to just stay in the room and wait than to struggle toward the light without acceptance.

Can you see yourself in this room, with an invisible elephant? Have you been trapped or paralyzed by the pain of loss or rejection or the weight of an intruder in your personal space? Are you taking care of a child with special needs and feeling overwhelmed? Have friends betrayed you and left you lying by a pool of crushed hopes and dreams?

God sees your helplessness. He knows your heart and hears your desperate cry. Stand up today to that intruder in your room, and let God direct your path.

Yours in HOPE as I share ‘Am I Wrong’ by Nico & Vinz.





19 thoughts on “Approaching the Elephant in our room.

  1. Dear Yinka, thank you so much for sharing this, I remember the first time I met with you in Lagos last year when you organised the autism support group ngo, I was so taken back by your transparency in talking about your daughter and what you decide to do to help others, It was in deed an eye opener for me! A Nigerian freely discussing an issue we mothers with special needs children ever dare to thread..
    You are an amazing point of contact, a force to reckon with (as the entire support group you created in Lagos addresses you).
    Thanks for lending us your voice! Thanks for sharing your stories! Thanks for believing in our special needs children! Thanks for approaching our elephants.
    We look forward to seeing you soon, and stand by your ngo anyday.
    God bless.
    Mrs. Lawani.
    Lagos State.


  2. Oh my Yinka, this is heartfelt, refreshing and very deep and by the way superbly written too. Living with an elephant in your space is suffocating and denying its presence unfortunately won’t make it go away. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm….very deep! Yinka, this one is another artistic composition; laden with intrinsic therapeutic virtues. So refreshing and exhortative. Thanks and well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have nailed it once again. You are a natural!!! I’m glad u did what you had to do to get the best result. We humans generally need a broader and better understanding of situations/circumstances before actually facing it head on and dealing with it as appropriate! I love you sis!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is this command Victoria Island Yinka Gonzallo? Gina wilcox and Ann Asije’s pals? Mrs Benson class of 83!
    What a beautiful write up!
    I connected with every single line of your article so glad our paths crossed again, but you not on Facebook!!! Why!! Lol!!
    Anyways, good one, I always knew you were gifted!
    DB, Alli Esq.
    Abuja HQ.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yinka, honestly, no one else can tell a strory more unless they’ve experienced somethings in their lives..
    You bring your story to life by taking us into your journey, all of it. And I feel it all.
    God bless you! This has really made my day, knowing that I am not alone or afraid of confronting the painful situation in my life, in my room!
    Thank you Sister girl!😍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a very interesting article, straight from the heart of a mother, therapist and a soul-searching woman. I really enjoyed reading your blog, always fresh and deep, do you happen to have a podcast too? You are inspiring lives with every line of your story, am impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

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