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WPGM Commentary: Onyi Moss Finally Breaks Free Of Her Abuser On ‘Miracle Man’

Hi, I’m Onyi Moss – a British/Nigerian singer-songwriter, based in Manchester UK. “Miracle Man” is a song about my personal journey on liberation and self discovery. A song inspired by true events in my life.

I guess this is the point where I have to give a trigger warning as what I’m about to share below does contain some element of emotional and physical abuse.

Growing up, I was always surrounded by people. Most of them cared for and loved me. First starting off with my family. I was the middle child of five children. We lived very modestly and it was hard to be alone as I was always sharing a room with my siblings or other extended family members.

Then when I was nine years old, I found myself in boarding school surrounded by other kids with certainly no room to be alone. I focused on my studies and got into university by sixteen where there were more people from different backgrounds, some of whom I had to live closely with as the accommodation style was that of a hostel situation.

I never quite got to spend time with myself let alone know myself. And before I knew it, there was this boy who would seek me out for this very reason. He managed to convince me and my friends that he was a kind and gentle soul – a decent human being. And so we began dating.

Not long after, he started to break me. Slowly but surely chipping away at any sense of self that existed in me. First with his words and then it progressed to physical abuse. I would try to end things on numerous occasions but failed as he would aggressively stalk me as well as convince my friends who were also young and naive that it was all a misunderstanding and they would plead on his behalf.

He was nonchalant about his studies and wouldn’t attend his lectures or even turn in his assignments and I would pick up his work and cover for him because I really did care for him and was convinced I could set him on the right path. But boy was I wrong.

The abuse continued because the truth is abusive people don’t change on the accord of wishful thinking. Something I’m well aware of now. He too tried to convince himself that he’d change with all his apologies. But anyone who truly knew him knew it would take more than a miracle for him to change. A miracle he was incapable of.

What really surprised me was how he would physically abuse me in public and people would not bother to intervene but instead act like it was normal. And he did have a bit of a reputation so people were genuinely scared of him.

When I eventually decided to hold my ground and end the relationship (a much needed awakening that finally came about because I nearly lost my life at his hands), I had to play a tedious game of hide and seek.

I would avoid going to lectures and only turned up for my exams where I knew some form of security was in place. And when I did go out, I would make sure I was always with my friends. But one day, a large assembly was called by the Chancellor, and my friends got lost in the crowd. I found myself alone. He was next to me. Demanding to speak with me. I ignored him as if to say he wasn’t there. And that was enough to set him off.

The next thing I knew, I was the recipient of five effective and quick front and backhanded slaps. On his sixth attempt, I ducked, burying my face in my hands as I squatted. The crowd around us drew back to create a circle. But not one of them stepped in.

He began dragging me on the floor to come with him. Before he could successfully pull me away, one of my friends came charging at him and raging. And that scared him as he was used to being the one scaring people off. He let go of me and she took me back to our hostel.

Not long after, I graduated. And my journey of freedom would begin. But he would still find a way to stalk and taunt me even though we lived nine hours away. He would constantly call me at my work to harass me and one time showed up. It would take me leaving the country to be rid of him almost completely.

I say almost because he managed to get a hold of my UK number and carried on harassing me. He even approached my parents in Nigeria (who at the time didn’t know about the abuse) for my hand in marriage and they rightly told him he needed to speak with me as they weren’t aware we were together especially given my move to the UK.

To stop the harassment, I decided to take his call. He told me he wants us to be married and I needed to move back to Nigeria to be with him. I think he was used to me falling prey to his vicious and spiteful words that ultimately broke me during our time together that he failed to see I was a changed woman.

You see, coming to the UK was a way for me to heal. I had a lot of privacy and could spend time alone with myself. I started to know me and I wasn’t any of the things he convinced me I was. I started to like myself.

I started to love and respect myself. But he failed to see this new side of me. And so I played along and told him I would definitely move back to be with him and was so eager that I couldn’t wait and would love to get on the next available flight back.

He offered to book the flight and I convinced him to wire me the money instead, that way everything was booked right. I sent him links to the most expensive flights which at the time was over £1,500. This was in 2009. He didn’t waste time sending me the funds. As soon as it hit my account, I booked myself a holiday to Cancun, Mexico for the following year.

On the day I was supposed to arrive in Nigeria as he expected, I switched off my phone. He sent me numerous emails which were met with an out of office saying I was off on holiday somewhere sunny with my new boyfriend (he wasn’t real).

The next day when I switched on my phone, I received a number of messages from him demanding his money back. I said to him unfortunately for him it had gone towards the pain and suffering I endured at his hands all these years and as far as I was concerned, I was still owed a lot more. And that was the end of it. He finally stayed away.

When the following year came round, I went to Cancun, Mexico on an adventure alone and had the time of my life. I’ve since learnt a lot about myself and know who I am as a person that way nobody can convince me otherwise.

That noxious relationship somehow liberated me and has moulded me into the woman I am today. And if you find yourself in a similar position as I was at this moment in time, I’d like you to know that it is possible to break free.

There is another life that you can have that centres you and your needs. Keep your friends very close so they know when you need them. And of course seek professional help and guidance if you can. Find out more about getting help here.

I wrote “Miracle Man” this year because I‘ve finally reached a point in my journey where I’m able to share this experience without it taking a toll on my mental health.

The song writing process was rather simple. I was in the shower where most of my songs seem to come to me (I think it might have something to do with me being in a relaxed state) and the chorus and bridge of “Miracle Man’ came to me.

When I got out of the shower, I made a voice note of it and began working out the lyrics for the verses. I had it all done by the following day. Not long after, I scheduled some time at the studio and sang it to my producer and we began working on the instrumentals to accompany it. Within a few weeks we had something we were happy with and I did the vocals ready for it to be mixed and mastered.

When I heard the final version, my soul was filled with peace. The kind that made me feel relief above all else. There’s something powerful about having a voice and being able to use it to express oneself in ways that free them from the pain and burden they have carried for so many years and “Miracle Man” was that medium for me.

Listen to “Miracle Man” below.

Words by Onyi Moss // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram

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