Naomi Oni’s Acid Attack Story – My Thoughts
A beautiful, young Naomi Oni’s whole life was turned upside down when she became the victim of an acid attack, aged just 20, on 29th December 2012 as she was completing her journey home after work. I’ve just finished watching the BBC Three documentary produced by RAW, in which she tells her story to the world properly for the first time and I am stunned; not only because of who the perpetrator behind the cold act was, but also at her strength, courage and her true beauty that shines through, despite everything that she has been through.
What stood out to me first during watching the 45-minute film was the fact that her mother was someone who had always stood out from the crowd due to the way she looked; having been born an albino into a black family. People can be such idiots when they don’t think about the effects of their actions; when you stare and point and look at someone who looks different to most people, you don’t realise just how damaging that can be to the persons self esteem and self worth. You also don’t realise how impressionable youngsters pick up on such actions and vibes. Young Naomi must have grown up seeing the way people looked at and maybe even treated her mother, and subconsciously this must have had an impact on her, on a deep and emotional level – so much so, that somehow her life experience became uncannily similar to that of her mums.
The second thing that stood out to me was that Naomi was seemingly a bit of a misfit in her schooldays and found comfort and friendship with a small, tightknit group of friends. Shockingly, the woman behind the coldhearted attack turned out to be one of her closest ‘friends’, Mary, from this group; a girl who in her schooldays Naomi had taken under her wing, and in a way protected from the cruel words that high school girls can chuck around thoughtlessly. They both kind of found a strange comfort in their companionship; as they didn’t quite fit anywhere else.
Mary was/is clearly a girl with major, major issues – something that Naomi and the other friends in the group were aware of. She was insecure about the way she looked and I think maybe she had faced some kind of destructive childhood trauma in her life, which she had never recovered from – eventually leading her to destroy the life of one of her closest friends. It’s interesting to note here that not only did Naomi lose her looks in the attack, but in the aftermath upon finding out who was behind it all, she also lost one of her closest ‘friends’ and the grief that follows the breakdown of a friendship is not an easy thing to deal with at all.
I am, as I’m sure many people are, someone who has faced the loss of friends and friendships, and the grief that follows is immense. It’s something they don’t show in movies or write about in books, but it is so, so real – the sorrow you feel when a friendship breaks down. When you give so much of yourself to another person only to have that person let you down in a way that you never even saw coming… damn, it’s heartbreaking. Naomi dealt with this, but on a whole other level. Imagine losing a friend because they wanted to destroy your life so badly that they calculated a cold, heartless plan to throw acid across your face and body in the hope that they would break you beyond repair? All I can say is, nothing and no one in this world belongs to you. You come alone and you leave alone, and although there is comfort in the relationships you form along the way, ultimately you can never truly and fully know another person and the trials and tribulations they are facing.
Just through watching this, I have been reminded of lessons that I have learnt along my journey of life and on my path of spirituality. We all must enter the pain that resides within; we must face it, we must sit with it, come to know it, talk with it, caress it and allow it to leave us, freely. Pain that remains inside will fester and fester, and as we saw in this particular real-life story, it can ultimately destroy not only you but also those that you claim to love. Today I pray not only for Naomi, but for Mary too – I pray from the bottom of my heart that they can both come to heal all of the pain that lives inside of them, so they can live their best, fullest and happiest lives.
Watch ‘Acid Attack: My Story’ here and please feel free to share your thoughts too.
Photo credits: Daily Mail.