am writing, Interests, Lifestyle, Series, Soul Stuff, Uncategorized

Anonymous: The Strength of a Woman

Hey everyone!

While, my Birthday Series just ended, Anonymous soldiers on until the end of the year! Basically, this series is monthly installments written by people who would like to remain – wait for it- anonymous! I’ve had this one in my drafts just waiting for the right time and I’m so glad that it’s finally here! Enjoy the post!

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On Mother’s Day, while spending the day with the woman I call mom and the rest of our family, there was a moment as we gave my mom flowers when I saw her smile. I have seen her smile a lot in my life but on this day, it got me reflecting on a lot of things that have happened to us as a family and to her as a woman.

This reflection was different as a lot of emotions came trickling in. I’ve always had to hide my emotions growing up because men were taught never to get emotional. This is unhealthy and becomes a bad habit that leads to a lot of hurt being kept inside – but that’s a topic for another day.

Back to my story. My mom smiling is nothing new, but this was different because I got to ask myself how she does it. Years ago, my late sister was raped by a very close relative of ours who is still a free man; he never faced justice. This brought up so much pain for me, because when you see your parent cry because her family accuses her daughter, a rape victim, of lying and everyone around you, even her siblings, cover up for this man, calling her daughter a liar, I can’t begin to imagine the pain my sister went through and the pain my mother went through when all of this happened.

Well they moved on somewhat and my sister met a guy a few years later and tried picking up the pieces of her life. She would later have a son from that relationship, but she never got to raise his as she passed away soon after that.

Where did my mother get all that strength to bury her daughter who died without ever finding justice for a crime that befell her?

I am still amazed by my mother’s strength and even as I write this, tears are streaming down my face. I have never talked to anyone about this but you. When trouble comes my way, I always remember to put everything in the hands of God. This is my mom’s source of strength. Countless things have happened in my mother’s life and I have seen her at her lowest but when I saw her smile on Mother’s Day, that was a sure sign to me that God is real.

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Lifestyle, Love & War, Soul Stuff

4 Signs of Emotional Abuse

Hey everyone!

Sunday found me mentally and emotionally exhausted. I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything, because what is really weighing on my heart seemed too intimate to share.

I started the Anonymous series for this very reason. I find that I keep many things to myself because I’m worried about what people I know will think of me if I shared certain aspects of my life experiences. People would be surprised and shocked and would probably respect me less if I shared some things about myself. And so it occurred to me that I may not be the only one who wants to shout from the rooftops while remaining completely unknown.

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I am a child of divorce. My mother left my father at 30 years old with 2 young boys and a 1 year old little girl: me. When my mom talks about that now, her reasons for leaving were purely for peace of mind and safety. My father was a physically abusive man, and after over a decade of living in that kind of fear, she left. I grew up grateful for her decision because I was spared seeing that violence and such an abusive display of what was supposed to be a loving relationship. But I have also grown up in fear of ending up in such a relationship myself. When my mother speaks about my father, she speaks not only about the abuse but also the good husband and father he was sometimes, so I learned very quickly that my father, while abusive, was not a completely bad man; there was good in him too.

I don’t think women always marry men who are abusive from the get go. Sometimes they start out being very good men who treat them well and one day, a slap across the face spirals into much worse. This was my fear: that I would not see it coming and I would find myself stuck in a situation that I would not be able to get myself out of.

Fortunately for me, I have never been with a man that has ever been physically violent. but not so long ago, I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship which is, from conversations with many women who have been physically abused, exactly the same thing. Today, I will share some of the indicators I picked up from that experience.

It’s the little things

A phrase we have heard many times about showing someone that you care about them. There were little red flags in my case. In the same way that physical abuse starts with a slap, emotional abuse starts with an insult or a small comment intended to bring you down. I think back on so many insults that were hurled my way in an argument that often had nothing to do with what the fight was even about. I remember telling him after the dust had settled on our very first argument that it was not OK to speak to someone you cared about the way he spoke to me, even during a disagreement. I remember an apology and a disbelief on his part for the things he said. But it continued that way for a few months in our arguments. I also remember the comments. These are said with more tact: almost like a tip about how to be better – for him. These comments clearly indicated that I was not doing that one thing well enough to please him. They poked at my self esteem and my need to be affirmed that I am good enough and made it very clear that I wasn’t. And they were everywhere, like little paper cut flaws in all aspects of our relationship. Both of these eventually accumulated to much bigger insults and flaws about me and sometimes even merged into one. If I was a weaker person, I would have believed everything he said and I would have worked my tail off to be more worthy of him to no avail.

Grand Gestures

These land from the clear blue sky, after weeks of fighting and being broken down, just when you, no matter how strong you think you are, start believing that all these things he says to you are true. He would pour out his heart to you; the very thing you’ve been wanting him to do for the longest time. He will tell you how much he appreciates you and all that you have done for him. He will promise that he will do better by you in the future. There will be hugs and kisses, violins will play in the background, just like the chick flicks when they reunite at the end and your hope in him will be restored! But then a week later, it will be back to square one, back to the comments, unanswered calls and messages and even a disappearing act and coming back with no explanation or even that you are not owed an explanation. Your life essentially swings back and forth. You dread the little things and suffer through them while hoping for the grand gestures that will make this roller coaster worth the pain.

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It’s Your fault

I’ve heard physically abused women say that eventually, they get so tired of being hit that they start hitting back. Of course, he hits harder but at least you get some shots in in the process. I got angry over time too. I was outraged that this man thought so little of me and that even now as I am typing, I can think of only a handful of times that he was actually nice to me. The more he dragged me down the more frustrated and angry I got even though it was mixed with the hurt of believing him and eventually, I learned to give as good as I got. After weeks of being cold yet demanding; after tactics and spun stories about people who have done more for him in order to make me feel obliged to do more, I would throw insults back at him and tell him his flaws that were so much bigger than mine and then, it would be my fault for lashing out. I would then be the one making amends in the end. He would then have full rights to bringing me down because I would have started it!

Control

He controlled everything: we saw each other on his terms, we drove his way to a mall I visit on my own on a regular basis from the same area, we ate what he liked, drank what he liked, watched what he liked and he left when he liked. I did all the giving: we discussed in detail what he wanted for his birthday and I was not to surprise him. My birthday, on the other hand passed without a word ( our birthdays are 2 weeks apart). I did all the prescribed giving while he showed up empty handed and expectant for more because what I gave was never enough. I was under his thumb.

The End

I knew a long time ago that this was not the life I wanted for myself, but I chose to believe and hope in the best of him. Eventually, though, I saw that very little would change in the future and I would be stuck in this cycle with him and it may even escalate to physical abuse. I also hated the person I was becoming: defensive and unengaging and beginning to see my flaws getting bigger and bigger. And so I ran for my life. There are days when the deepest darkest rejected parts of me think that amends can be made and things can be fixed, but I know the reality. My father remarried after my mother left and the physical abuse continue in his new home. And I know that it is very unlikely that anything will change if I go back to this…

Phew, that was really hard to share with you and I am anxious about anyone I know reading any of this, but I do believe that someone may read this and be in the same situation and not know it. This is for you: You are enough and you are strong and a life alone is better than a life of anguish! Protect yourself always, dear readers!

Thank you for visiting today. I hope this was helpful. I’ll see you on Sunday!

Activities, am writing, Interests, Lifestyle, Ramblings, Series, Soul Stuff

34 things I Learned in 34 Years – Part 6

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday!

It’s my birthday! It’s finally here! Thank you so much for staying on this 6-week journey with me! It’s been great to be able to share what I’ve learned in my life so far and I look forward to what lies ahead! Here are the last few pearls to end off this amazing series!

Don’t think about it. Jump in and get it done!

I have a tendency of putting off the things I don’t feel like doing. The more I put them off, the bigger and more difficult they seem and the more I put them off! The trick is to start without thinking about it. I’ve been able to get things done much faster this way

It’s going to work out

I’m surprised at the difficulties I’ve survived. In the moment, it feels like I will never come out of the abyss, but I soon find that things work out. At worst, you learn to smile again and at best, you get exactly what you wanted! Either way, it works out for the best!

Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same

Doing the right thing is never easy, and nobody tells you that it seldom feels good either. But it is still the right thing to do and in the long run, you will be better for it.

You’re stronger than you think

Don’t ever underestimate yourself! You are strong and capable. Don’t look at that obstacle and think that you can’t overcome it; you really can conquer! You’ve got this!

Life is fun

Learn to put the crappy things aside once in a while and enjoy what life has to offer. There’s a lot of bad things in the world, but an equal amount of good as well! Focus on that! Order a gigantic pizza and eat it all if that’s your kind of thing! Kick off your pants and dance your butt off! It doesn’t have to be anything big. That one little thing can do wonders to lift your spirits!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this series as much as I have! I may not be around on Saturdays until the next series I cook up, but you can still catch me on Sundays and Wednesdays for all my trivia!

I’m off to play with my friends! I’ll chat to you tomorrow! Thanks for popping in😘

Activities, Interests, Lifestyle, my adventures, Series, Soul Stuff

34 Things I Learned in 34 Years – Part 5

Happy Sunday, dear readers!

The big day is in 1 week! I love my birthday month! I love celebrating with the other babies born in this month and of course celebrating my own birthday… Anyway! It’s not here yet! The Birthday Series continues in the meantime!

Whether you Think it or Not. You’re Right.

Sade says it best: You’re so much better than you know! Stop doubting yourself so much and just take the leap! Do the thing that scares you and you will find that you will do better than you believed! Trust me!

Silence is Good

I’ve always thought of myself as an extrovert. I love being around all kinds of people. It’s my favourite thing about being a teacher! But man, nothing beats coming home after a night out or a full day of kids to silence! For about an hour, when I get home, I wonder around the house in silence. It. Is. Bliss! It’s so good for regrouping and relaxing! Seriously! Try it!

Let it go

We experience way too much pain not because we have been hurt, but because we don’t let go of the hurtful experience. We nurse that pain and wallow in it! Cry, if you must but get back up and keep moving, dear one!

Keep a Variety of Friends

I love the variety of friends I have. Different people from different walks of life make for a much more colour world! Keep all your different wierdo friends close!

Own Your Throne

This is your life. This life right here and right now. It’s important to own it, possess it, it is yours! Once you do that, you enjoy every simple moment more than before. There is always something good to find in this life. Always. Believe me!

I hope you enjoyed the penultimate post, erbody!

Before I go, I’d like to take a moment to wish this ☝ beautiful, vibrant woman a very Happy Birthday! Thuli, I think you’re so amazing and I’m glad I have you in my life! Have a beautiful day, my love!


Ok, I’m done for real! I’ll see you guys tomorrow! I hope you are having a great weekend😘

am writing, Interests, Lifestyle, Series, Soul Stuff, Uncategorized

34 Things I learned in 34 Years – Part 4

Happy Saturday Erbody!

I hope you’ve had a great week! life is pretty busy on my side of the world. There’s barely any time to catch my breath! But we soldier on to the other side where sleep and rest awaits! Anyway, the series continues today:

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Social Media May be the Death of Us!

3 years ago, I learned the hard way how social media opens us up to so many difficulties that would have been avoidable! While having an account or many accounts keeps us in touch with those who were in our lives before and gives us access to so much more of the world than we can imagine, it can also makes us victims to depression, feelings of inadequacy and sadness. Because of pretty filters and an inclination to display ourselves and our lives as perfectly as possible, it leads to us comparing ourselves to other people who travel more than we do, have bigger houses and generally appear more successful than we are. We very quickly find ourselves in competition with these people. I think it’s good to keep your business off line and focus more on actually living your life as opposed to recording it for the world to see.

Ignorance is Bliss… Sometimes

It’s OK not to know why certain doors were closed to you. It’s OK to be kept in the dark about why things didn’t work out the way you had hoped. You have no idea the difficulties and heartaches you are spared by being rejected, be it at a job that seemed amazing or a relationship that had potential. Be grateful for the way things are instead of pining for what could have been!

Your Gut is Right

Your gut feeling is sometimes that knee jerk reaction you have in the heat of the moment. Trust it sometimes and see how it saves and takes you to better places in your life. I never really believed my gut much until it was too late and I think if I believed the red flags that shot up in so many situations, I would have made wiser decisions in my life.

Laugh at the mess

It’s such a good feeling when you have survived a difficulty in life and you look back on that experience and are able to chuckle at how you cried and declared you would never survive and you actually realize that you did survive despite all that disappointment. I want to learn to laugh at the mess while I am in the mess because of the guarantee that better days are coming!

Adulting gets Harder

I hate to break it to you but adulting gets more difficult the older you get. The goals move higher up the ladder and life often moves the goal posts around, just to remind you that you are not in full control. But the good news is that you will be stronger and better equipped to handle what is thrown at you if you choose to learn from past blunders and when those plot twists come, you know for a fact that you will survive because you have come so far as it is.

The Grass is not Always Greener on the Other Side

I have many friends that I envy sometimes. I envy their lives, who they turned out to be and the better opportunities they have. To my surprise, I found that those same friends envy me too! They sometimes wish they had some of the benefits I have of being me! It’s important to dust off your life and look after it. Find everything that is good about your life and enjoy the hell out of it because there will come a time when you have the things you are praying for now and you will look back on the time when you were still praying for those things and a small part of you will wish you could go back – trust me! Water your own lawn and stop wishing you could live next door!

Well that’s all from me for today! There still 2 more posts left before this series is done and dusted and 2 more weeks before I actually turn 34! I cannot wait! It’s gonna be a good one!

Thank you for popping in! It’s always a pleasure to have you hear and to know that someone out there is reading and enjoying this as much I enjoy writing it! We’ll chat again tomorrow😘