The lies we tell ourselves …. to get by

You know the part where I said I was fine and coping really well.

The sheer magnitude of that “lie” became apparent yesterday as I proceeded to have what can only be described as a shit-fucking day, and a total break with reality.

I am not sure if shit and fucking should be combined, but it was the sort of the day where there were few other options that would work.

I have managed to cope pretty well.  I told you I was coping well.  I told me I was coping well.

I told my psychologist I was “fine actually” …. anyone who would listen I told them I was fine.

It appears coping and just putting things into neat boxes, and avoiding dealing with them is almost the same thing.

On Sunday I had been invited to a really lovely day away with my friend and her lovely guy.  We had a relaxing day.

Went out for dinner, and it was really just really great.

view

I am not a big “sea” person – possibly because I have always lived at the sea, or near the sea, the sea holds very little in the way of wonder for me.

Mountains are far more my thing.

My divine friend and her significant man person, were nice enough to “evacuate” their room and let me have the room with a view - I know I should have said “no, really guys, no” but then I didn’t.

But then I saw the view — and well then I rethought that I might in fact be a “sea person.”

Monday pulled around.  And then I had a poes collapse.

The epic kind.  I know we tend to use rather “epic” liberally but if I can direct you to one of it’s meanings of unusually great size or extent” then I get to use the word epic for my day yesterday.

The sort of day where I stood wondering how many sleeping tablets would be sufficient to have a really long sleep, say versus off”ing yourself.  My personal feeling on numbers is 22.

I am not sure why, but I feel that 22 is the “magic number.”

I have not done any personal investigation, it just is the number that I think would be the number.

I opted not for 22.  I just wanted enough to sleep for most of the day.

I figured THAT range would be more than 1 less than 10 –  like sleep for the day and maybe the rest of April, but wake up refreshed, or at least not crying.

Kennith had the kids with him.

I lay on my bed curled up in a ball.

I cried like I have not cried since that time I fell whilst roller-skating and broke my coccyx. And then realised I still had to get off my sorry arse and roller-skate the rest of the way home.

Do you know how much fun roller skating is when you have a broken coccyx.  Not as much as you would think.

That kind of cry.

I would swap a broken coccyx for the way I feel right now.

I cried so hard my eyes looked not dissimilar to sheep’s vaginas.  I will be honest and tell you I have not really looked at a sheep’s vagina, but I just have this picture.

And my eyes sort of filled the mental picture I had created of a sheep hoo-ha.

The humour, or the part that is slightly funny, is that I didn’t sleep.  I dozed for a bit.

I did not sleep last night. I did not sleep this morning.  I have not slept since Monday night.

I have ingested two week’s worth of sleeping tablets and I did not go to sleep.  Do you think LIFE is laughing right now?

Or possibly I misread the box, and I took two weeks’ worth of diarrhea medication.  My eyes were red and very swollen, it could have happened.

I hope someone is laughing, because we know it is not me.

I did some more crying last night, and usually crying makes me very tired.

I had to do it (cry) quietly into my pillow as I had two kids sleeping in my bed, and a dog.

This morning dawned and I put my big girl panties on, showered, brushed teeth, attempted to arrange my hair around my now swollen face, dropped kids off and then drove to work.

I am attempting to not cry at work — well I can cry, but only when I know no one is looking.   I am moving between no mascara and panda-eyes.

How much can one person cry?  Is there a number?  Is there a liters per capita?  Is there a point where your fucking tear ducts just burst into flames?

Yeah, so anyway, in answer to the previous question no, I am not fucking fine.

Next person who asks gets punched in the vagina.

 

{this post is not a cry for help —– it is just a cry}

 

 

 

 

 

Struggling to fit into the Living and Loving Mommy mould …..

This is the third part of a few parts.  What you can surmise from this is my inability to plan.  

The first part is here, the second part is here and the third part is here ….  if you wish to catch up on the “story” – alternately you can just skip those and read only this bit:

…………………….

I started blogging not because I wanted to chronicle my journey through motherhood.

I wanted to understand what was flying around in my head.

None of it felt normal.  None of it felt right.  I know people say that motherhood is difficult and and and …. my issue was that it was not difficult it was bloody impossible.

I kept looking for the escape clause.  It was as if I was acting a part, and I just could not “get into character.”

The only workable option was to find a way to put it down.  There was something cathartic about putting it down on paper/on a blog as then it was not knocking around in my head.

Not because I wanted treasured moments put down, and recorded for my children to come and read later.  But because I wanted to understand the way I was thinking and the way I was feeling.

My head is too busy and too chaotic most of the time, for me to work through my thoughts and come out with a solution.

I thought I would start at the beginning, and like all things I got bogged down in the detail.

Then I stopped writing.

As usual I had a picture in my head of how it was going to go and then when I struggled to put the reality into the picture or visa versa then I just stopped.  I could not continue.

In January 2010 I went out to dinner with a friend’s husband – he mentioned that he read my blog.

I was a bit surprised, as at that point I thought I wrote the blog, and some guy with his dog who lived in Parow were reading it. Just the three of us.

I was not writing thinking anyone was reading.  I was writing because I needed to write.

Mike (the friend’s husband) said that Anita (his wife) had struggled with post partum depression with both of her pregnancies and he never really understood what she was going through – until he read my blog.

He realised the pain, the confusion and what she was feeling because I could write it down.

He understood.  He got it.  He wished he had known that before when she needed his support the most.  But he just did not understand.

Mike said “Keep writing your blog, no one else is saying what you are saying, and there are people out there who it will help” ……

I didn’t believe him, but it did give me renewed energy to return to my blog and start writing again.

I wrote about everything, and I decide to write like I talk, and not worry about whether someone as reading it, but just that I was saying what I thought —-

I wrote passionately and sometimes in a deranged frenzy.  If I thought about it, then I wrote about it.

This post was about how I struggled to fit in with Mother and Baby Groups.

  I hate Mommy and Baby Groups – Part 1

I realize this rant is totally out of context, but I belong to a few women-with-baby forums and when I read through some of the threads I start to get a dull ache in my bum area.

For some reason this morning I recalled how much I loathed mommy and baby groups.

There is so much pressure to join one with your new little mushroom.

As soon as you get out of hospital and are able to take more than five steps, you start figuring out which group you are going to join.  You call the group leader and it all sounds so wonderful .

They are generally really really happy bubbly people.  Usually at this point I start to get uneasy – I am deeply suspicious of happy shiny people – I like my people a little bruised, a little dirty, a lot pessimistic.

You get your little bundle ready – dressed in their best clothes – you have already starting to buy into this under current of competition that exists at these things.

You don’t even realize you are doing it, but there you go.  You are so proud of your little Joshua/Sarah and can’t wait to get to the group, because your little one is going to be the best kid there – you know this.

In the car with your safety seat, getting the pram, the nappy bag and your bag in, buckled up, sort of figuring out where to go – because usually it is in a suburb off a side street that you really don’t know.

In your area, but you are not so sure, so odds are you take a few wrong turns, drive at 20km/hour to try to figure out street signs and basically get yourself lost.

You finally get there and it is usually a house in suburbia that has been revamped by a mommy with one or more likely two kids, who is using her love of kids to work from home, so there is a garage converted and lots of TreeHouse themed cushions and curtains.

You get all your kit unloaded.

By now you are a little flustered as you are late, and you have had to park about 500 metres away as all the more eager moms got there before you.  So you drag all your stuff all the way there.

By the time you get there and go through the alternate entrance, which usually is a narrow gate that your huge gi-normous pram does not quite fit in through the door, so there you are fighting the good fight, and starting to sweat a little, because odds you have over dressed, because you have not been out of the house by yourself for 6 weeks.

The weather has changed since you were last outdoors, and the only clothes that fit you are from the wrong season.

You sort of fall inside the sliding door.

To be greeted by a sea of usually attractive moms wearing their Sunday best and all their Joshuas and Sarahs are on little mats or cushions and everyone is so damn happy.

You, of course, have worked up a bit of a sweat, your Joshua or Sarah is a little cranky as you have transferred baby from safety seat, to pram, and now have to get baby out of pram as pram does not fit into room, so you are trying to juggle baby, your bag, the nappy bag, snug and safe and what is left of your composure.

The far-too-friendly leader of this little ensemble, comes over to greet you and refers to you usually as Mommy <well, it is tricky referring to everyone by name, so Mommy sort of makes it easy, and because you are a new Mommy, it kind of makes you smile that you have a new important title>.

You find a space and try to settle down.

At some point you are trying to assess the mood of the room, and then you start realizing that these moms are generally over achievers – like really over achievers.

When you are trying to find 10 minutes to read or sleep, while you are forcing junior to take a nap, more for your benefit than for theirs, these moms are busy reading Baby’s First Words or doing some sort of Baby Gym with their babies.

Damn, you are clearly behind with your baby’s development as you look down and your little imp is quietly gurgling and dribbling on his chin.

The leader takes her seat in the front centre, with her “baby doll” and everyone smiles and the excitement is tangible.  Everyone beings introducing them selves.

You start practicing a bit in your mind how you are going to introduce yourself and show off your offspring as you really only have about 4 seconds for introductions and really want to get bang for your buck here.

At the same time you are trying to remember names and baby names and ages …. and the reality is that you can barely remember your own.  So your turn comes around and all you can muster up is

“Hi I’m Celeste, and this is er…. Connor….. and he is ……hmmm….. his 4 months old.”  And the spot light moves away from you.

Then the real show begins  …….

 

I wrote subsequent posts about my issues with Mother and Baby Groups.

Expressing how I really felt about things, and showing people that I was not finding this motherhood malarkey easy, was so much easier than hiding it from people and saying “oh yes, everything is fine” — it was far easier.

I think the part that I found amazing and incredible, is that I realised I was not the only person crying in the bathroom at 2am.

I felt so alone, but I realised there was sea of moms out there, who felt the same.

Crying knowing you are not the only one does not make it easier, but somehow does make it less lonely.

Somehow.

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The week that was raw, brutal and painful ….

{for those who are not on point with the subject matter, Kennith and I are going through a divorce process, and instead of using litigation we are using mediators and facilitators – we have had three sessions, and pretty much wrapped up our 20 year relationship in a mere 6 hours —–}

Thursday was the day.

It was the epic and highly anticipated mediation and facilitation session.  Number 4.  The big one.

The one I have been dreading, lost sleep over, had fear that I was losing my mind which at best I have a very tentative hold on – I had escalated anxiety “moments” and this week was raw, rough and painful.

I was at my best when I was sleeping.  During my waking moments I was a total disaster.

I sleep like a fucking champion!

I had worked myself into quite a froth by the time Thursday rolled around.

I did make one good decision this week, and that was to book an interview with my head doctor from 10h00 – 11h00, and then the mediation session would run from 11h00 – 13h00.

The hour before was just so that I did not have a total melt down during the m&f.

Dr A was great, and he kept me centered, and focused, and definitely help to reduce the “flight or flight” process that was happening on my side.  I needed to keep it together for the two hour m&f, and I needed him to just keep me focused and my anxiety at bay.

I had already bailed on the earlier booking we had for about two weeks ago and I knew I could not postpone again.

I have been erratic, slightly insane (okay very insane), totally off the wall bonkers on several occasions, and have lived in fear of Thursday dawning.

I was scared. Petrified.  Afraid.  I felt like I was walking into a gladiator’s arena with absolutely no protection.

I had escalated the entire thing to the point where it consumed my every thought, breath and fear for the last month.  And every day that got closer to Thursday I could feel my anxiety, and stress growing …..

Thursday arrived.  As it has want to do.

Like with all things, it was not as bad as I had feared.  It was not as brutal as I had anticipated.

It was painful.  It was excruciating.  It was horrible, it was all of those things.  At it’s worst it was not worse than the anticipation, fear and anxiety that I had created.

I recall at one point seeing the time and it was 11h40.  I could not believe we had only been in there for 40 minutes it felt like several life times had passed in that office.

I walked out of the session at one point to have a good cry.  We were on a subject that I just could not look at in a non-emotional way, and I think I also had a moment of clarity when I realised I was fighting for something that I had to accept I was going to lose.

When I say “good cry” I mean the kind where you are tjunking, loudly with snot and tears spilling down your face whilst people walking past hold their children a little closer in case crazy crying lady outside the psyche clinic really lost the last thread of the plot.

This week has felt like every cell in my body was vibrating and the hamster in my head was running at full throttle. On ritalin.

I have honestly never been as scared as I was of Thursday.

I was jumpy, distracted.  I felt like my head was constantly losing the plot.  I have had wild erratic thoughts, found it difficult to remain on point, and this week has totally overwhelmed me.  Consumed me.

And spat me out.  Wet, shivering and feeling weak.

I have made so many mistakes this week, so many bad decisions, so many things I wish I could get a re-do on.   I wish I had more control over my emotions and my spinning head. I wish I had.  I just wish I had differently.

alone-2014

 

 

Win Family Tickets for FAMFEST at the Wild Clover Farm on Sunday, 13 April 2014.

FamFest, the festival that puts kids and families at the forefront, will be making its return in 2014 to the Wild Clover Farm just outside of Stellenbosch on Sunday, April 13th and we are offering two lucky families tickets to the event!

famfest

Having successfully launched a year ago at the Claremont Cricket Club in Constantia this family festival will be strutting its stuff in the Northern Suburbs.

With an action-packed day full of kiddies entertainment there is plenty to look forward to including jumping castles, petting farm, face painting, balloon sculpturing, roaming magician, kids movies and interactive dance sessions brought to you by Jelly Bean Events – specialists in kids entertainment and events.

Whilst the event is geared towards kids, FamFest has plenty for mums and dads to enjoy with a wonderful selection of live music entertainment, delicious food, a fully stocked bar and shaded seating areas.

In addition to this, with the help of a controlled entry, tight security, an on-site medic, labelled wristbands and FamFest child-minders parents can sit back and enjoy the day while the kids run amok.

Do not miss out on this day of excitement at the beautiful Wild Clover Farm in April, and grab your tickets today!

Founder of Famfest - Frankie Hannigan

 

Jumping castles and plenty more inflatables for kids to enjoy

 

Kiddies facepainting

 

LB1_5169

 

Petting zoo

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: Sunday, 13 April, 2014

Venue: Wild Clover Farm, R304, Cape Town

Tickets: R60 per person available from www.quicket.co.za/events/4622-famfest. Kids under 2 get in free.

WIN TICKETS: To win 4 tickets for your family comment on the post with your name, email address and comment with what your kids would enjoy MOST about FamFest!

Check out the video from FamFest last year – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DGXIEiORSM

For more information visit the website at www.famfest.co.za or contact info@4leafagency.com, 021 462 1529.

Follow the action on Twitter @FamFestSA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4LeafFamFest

For media enquiries and images please contact Andrea at KL PR & Events at andrea@klprsa.com or call 021 671 4127. 

Illusions of the Body by Grace Hagan

Illusions of the Body

This series was made to tackle the supposed norms of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like. Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images. We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering. That contrast would help a lot of body image issues we as a culture have.

Imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles & photoshop. People can look extremely attractive under the right circumstances & two seconds later transform into something completely different.

Within the series I tried to get a range of body types, ethnicities & genders to show how everyone is a different shape & size; there is no “normal”. Each photo was taken with the same lighting & the same angle.

Celebrate your shapes, sizes & the odd contortions your body can get itself into. The human body is a weird & beautiful thing.

Note: This series is product of passion on the part of the artist & volunteers. If there seems to be certain body types, genders, ethnicities etc that are underrepresented, it is because that type of person has not chosen to be apart of it.

I have not intentionally excluded anyone. 

I received this email from Grace Hagan – I had mentioned her work in an earlier post — see here.

I wanted to thank you for putting my series Illusions of the Body on your website, doing that allowed me to reach millions of people.

Some of them felt relieved that they were normal, some were amazed about how much someone could change within the span of two photographs, some told me they wished they had seen this when they were younger & they were going to teach their kids this lesson.

It even caused people to want to participate in the series!

Due to the positive response I’ve created a lovely coffee table book of the series. I felt that Illusions of the Body was best consumed with multiple body types to look at rather than a single print of one person.

 

Illusions of the Body Book Cover

Includes 17 never before released images.

All advance purchases will be numbered & signed by the artist

Full Color

100 page

Bound Softcover

Matte Cover Finish

8.5”x11”

 

Limited Edition Signed Pre-Order $50

unsigned post release $60

Books will be shipped May 1st.

They can buy the book directly from my website. I made an easy URL for people to remember: http://IllusionsOfTheBody.com/

Gracie Hagen lllusions of the body 2

 

gracie hagen illusions of the body

Book Launch Party April 26th, 2014 at 8pm -11pm for those people in Chicago.

Location Forte Framing & Gallery, 2301 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

People can pick up their book early & I’ll be there doing a book signing.

 

 

Pharrell’s Happy will totally make you fall in love with Cape Town … all over again

If you haven’t seen the Pharrell Williams “Happy” shot around Cape Town, then grab a cup of tea, and watch this.

I guarantee you will sit there smiling like an idjut the entire way through this video.

Directed by Shamiel Soni and Tannan Woods and produced by Nicki Priem, this absolutely great video will make you fall head over heels in love with the beautiful Mother City.

 

 

Its not the you that holds you back …… part three of a few parts

The first part is here, the second part is here ….  if you wish to catch up on the “story”  ….

At some point between 10 June and the 19 August, I realised that I just did not feel like my friends or the other people I knew who had babies.

Moms I knew were happy, and thrilled with being moms.   They always seemed to be just so damn happy all of the time.  And shiny.

This was the exact opposite of how I felt.

Everyone I told would tell me it was a phase, and I was just tired – would pat my hand kindly and then offer to make tea.  Telling me it was normal, and not really listening to what I needed to say, I think was the part where I learnt it is best to be quiet in these issues.

I had all these thoughts in my head that needed to get out.

I felt terrible for being such a terrible mother, and why did I not feel the same as all the happy shiny moms that I saw all around me.

What was wrong with me?

I wanted to start writing my thoughts down.  Then I got caught up in buying just the right journal and just the right pen, with just the right ink flow —– and I did not get to writing.

Because the details was where I got stuck.

At some point I recalled that there was something called blogging.

I had never read a blog, did not really know who blogged, and how to blog —- and based on that I went along to wordpress, and registered my blog, and then stared at the screen and waited for my epiphany.

It never really came, and I just started to write – here is my first blog post:

 

Pee on a Stick why don’t you?

 

For those who don’t know me, it’s okay, I often wake up at night wondering if I know myself.

I do often wonder how I managed to get myself into this position – the position of being mom to three children.

When the number one issue is that I don’t actually like children (sure I like my own now, but I never played with dolls, and really tend to cringe back in terror when a young snotty happy faced short person runs towards me), and more importantly number two, I was very sure that I never wanted children.

My partner – Kennith – wanted children from the get go.

I was very very reluctant and every time we had the conversation would wrap it up by saying “next year” knowing full well that next year was not going to be coming.

Six years into our relationship we had reached a cross-roads/an impasse and I fell pregnant with our first child when I was 28.  It was a totally planned endeavour.  This did not stop me sitting in the bath and crying like a knocked up 15 year old.

I do wish to place some blame on our friends Mike and Anita (names have not been changed to protect the innocent) – as they had exposed us to their child and it all seemed like such a jolly good idea from our vantage point.

I’ve never told them that they are to blame (if only partly), so hopefully they suffer sufficient guilt to bring me something great from the U2 concert that they are travelling overseas to go and see.

So there I was 28, unmarried, pregnant and frightened beyond measure …..

 

I wanted to chronicle my journey through motherhood.

Not because I wanted treasured moments put down.  Recorded for my children to come and read later.  Nope, that is not how I was rolling.  I wrote to {try to} understand the way I was thinking and the way I was feeling.

My head was too busy and too chaotic for me to work through my thoughts and come out with a solution.

I thought I would start at the beginning, and like all things I got bogged down in the detail.

I got stuck in where to start and how to get it all down —- I felt I needed to go back to 2001 and write from there to now, but that was tiresome and the problem was I could not remember everything in the detail I felt it in my heart.

Then I stopped writing.

its not the you

Facebook Relationship Status married to …. actually that is no longer relevant

I really have not blogged a great deal about the process of divorce.

This process we are going through.

I keep looking at my Facebook relationship status and it says “married” and then I think, no that is not what we are.

Is it complicated or are we separated ….or should I just leave it until we are divorced, and then I only have to push one button.

It is not the time it takes to press the one button, it is just that it again adds “a time stamp” to this process.

It is just another marker on this shit route.  This festival of fucked-up-ness.  I am sure that isn’t a word, but today I really am not giving two flamingos.

Looking at “married” on Facebook somehow disturbs me.   It really does.  I think we aren’t actually – we are in the “between place” — that place of nearly and not at all.

We are no longer married.  Sure we are going through the process so we can get an official document that tells us we aren’t.  But that is just waiting for a sheet of paper?

In my head, and my heart, we are no longer married.  The 20 December 2013 was a defining date in my world.  When things shifted.  A great deal.

In some ways good, in some ways not so good.  I really have tried to constantly keep my eye fixed on the silver lining …. and anyone who knows me will tell you that that is decidedly not my normal style.

I have moved through the various processes of grief a lot faster than I thought I would be able to.  No doubt it is more of a circle of grief, and I will have to go over a few of the ones I breezed over before.

I have been stoic and accepting, and have rolled with this process like a fucking trooper I have.  If there is a shirt for being “accepting and adult” then shits bells I need to get it.

We are no longer married.  We have both stopped wearing our wedding rings.

He did first, and that really hurt me.  It really distressed me.  I know it is silly, but it really distressed me.  I kept thinking “put your freaking ring on …… do it” and then he didn’t.

I kept wearing mine.  Maybe it was whilst I thought that things were not going to go the way I was being told they were going to go.

Then one morning I realised that I can’t actually wear it anymore.  And I took it off.

On that day I told three people we were going through a divorce.  And then three more.  I do not feel married anymore.

No matter how long this process is or how long that piece of paper takes to come through, it is over.  We are no longer married.

This is just the details of that process.

The upcoming m&f (mediation and facilitation) meeting has got me feeling anxious and terrified.  I feel like I am going to be stepping into a room that I am ill prepared to face, and I am terrified of going there.  I know it is a process and we will all sit there like grown ups, but I am not sure I am quite ready to be that grown up, not today.

Every part of me is screaming to postpone to just give myself a few more days to get my head into the right place.

I have asked to postpone it.

I do realise that pushing out and rescheduling something that is horrible and frightening, is not the best way to deal with a heightened anxiety issue.

Anxiety is a bitch, and she crawls in and whispers.

Eventually you can’t actually remember what the problem was because she has created an entirely different set of issues, fueled by anxiety and your mind winding out of control.

So that is how I am feeling today.  Riding that Anxiety Bitch into the sunset as I drink a large glass of wine and listen to Eminem (yep, that tells you something about my mind set right now)

I do want this divorce over with.

I want to click my heels three times like Dorothy and I want it all to be done.  And dusted.

I just do not want to go through the process as we divvy up our lives — it is now down to a spreadsheet, costs, and who should pay and how much ……. cheese and rice how the hell did we get here?

It doesn’t really matter anymore.  We are here.

And no we are no longer married.  But why am I so reluctant to click that stooopid button on Facebook?  But that bitch is getting clicked tomorrow.  Not today, I am just going to stare at it a bit more and sip my wine and listen to Slim Shady.

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The art of drowning ……….. part two of the story

I gave a talk recently and left writing or preparing anything until the night before, and then I sat bleary eyed cobbling some thoughts together.  I used a bit of this “looking at my journey with Reluctant Mom” so I am sharing it with you here.

Looking back over a few years of Reluctant Mom ….. part two

The first part is here if you wish to catch up on the “story”  …. and this is the follow on to that piece.

————————————————————–

The art of drowning ……

My daughter suckled non-stop.

I became adept at doing everything whilst she fed.  I could not put her down as she would immediately spring awake and start to SCREAM. Not meow like a newborn, but scream like a maniac.

She showed every symptom of colic, without actually having colic.

She screamed non-stop and only stopped if she was feeding, or being rocked to sleep.  If one more person looked at her screaming and said “are you sure you have fed her enough” I was seriously going to stab someone in the head with a squirrel.

I learnt to sleep sitting up straight in bed whilst doing this mad rocking motion to just get her to sleep.

I rocked her whilst I sat on the toilet, I rocked her when I was working on my computer.

I rocked her whilst doing everything.

I was always feeding her, which though is supported by various breast feeding organisations it is hell on your nipples, and leaves very little time for niceties like napping, showering or teeth brushing.

I was a mess — I had visions of taking my daughter, my sweet gorgeous daughter and throwing her across the room.

I knew it would be very bad – but I fantasised about the few moments of peace I would have whilst she flew though the air.  Before she hit the wall.

I know I sound flippant about it now – but the thoughts of how to get her to be quiet and the absolute lack of sleep, and trying to juggle a house and two other children were draining to say the least.

I used to think about it —- and often.

Then I took myself along to a psychiatrist for a little chat and a script.  I wasn’t coping.  I was giving a semblance of coping, but the reality is that I was not coping.

I felt quite devastated that I just could not get this motherhood thing right.

I realised that this having babies was seriously hard work.  NO matter how much you prepared.  NO matter how much you thought you knew it all or read, you actually do not know how it is until you are there.

As a mom I felt that I could not explain to anyone how difficult it was.

How hard this process was, and how I felt like I was dying every day.

Drowning in it all.

Instead of being joyous and excited about life – I was exhausted, frantic and really not enjoying motherhood at all.

I doubted myself and wondered how on earth I could have got myself into this hole with three children, and a fast depleting grasp on sanity.

To be continued ……..

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Pug Rescue South Africa {Guest Post}

I do like all things dogs —- and I really like people who work so hard to rehome and rehabilitate dogs ….

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The purpose of Pug Rescue South Africa is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home Pugs in need, irrespective of their age or breed standard.  We also offer a sanctuary to Pugs and other small breed dogs who are not adopted.

In the past three years we have rescued in excess of 500 Pugs, four  Maltese dogs, a German Shepherd, a Miniature Schnauzer, a Boston Terrier Cross, a few Spaniels, a St Bernard, two Pitbull puppies, and some cross breeds, around South Africa.

All funds received by Pug Rescue SA are used for the care of the Pugs in rescue and being fostered around South Africa, with the majority of the funds being used for veterinary care.  No funding is used for administration purposes and the only salaries we pay are for four kennel hands and one cleaner.  All other functions are conducted by volunteers.

In order for us to keep doing this, we host a number of Fundraising events throughout the year across South Africa.

Our next event will take place in Cape Town on the 6th April at John Graham Primary School (Milford Road Plumstead) themed Pugs Bunny’s Easter Fair from 11am till 4pm.

Guaranteed to be loads of fun with fantastic merchandise for sale from our Pugtique and Pugs Pantry, delicious food and cool drinks on sale, sweet goodies and games for the 2 legged kiddies and of course activities for the 4 legged kiddies as well.

We will also run a competition for the best dressed Pug Bunny and owner, so dress up your beloved Puglets and bring a heart full of love and smiles and come support our wonderful cause.

R20 for adults and R10 for children will get you in. Any pet food donation will be welcome :)

You can contact Taryn on 079 697 7634 or Jess on 082 551 1926 for any other information.

Visit www.pugrescue.co.za or like us over on Facebook  Pug Rescue South Africa.

All socialised, non-aggressive dogs are welcome.

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Looking back over a few years of Reluctant Mom ….. a quick stroll, not a delayed walk

I have been blogging under the name Reluctant Mom since AUGUST 21, 2009.  It’s been a while, I thought I would reflect on a few things.  I know that there are many readers who have known me for all the years, whilst there are new blog followers who have recently joined.

So allow me a few posts to look back over the years and the journey that brought me here.  I will not delay you too long.

I had my third child in June 2009.

It was a planned pregnancy.

I was prepared – I had two children already.  I wanted this baby to be the one where I got it all right.

Baby one and two, I put down to learning exercises.

But Baby Three was going to be the one where I got it all right.  All of the stuff I got so wrong before, I was going to have sorted

I was hardly surprised at how this worked.  I knew all about post natal depression, cracked and bleeding nipples.

I knew what being tired really meant.

I read it all, I knew it all.  {thumbs nose at the What to Expect books, because I have this taped ….. ha ha ha ….}

I went in to this with a bit of a swagger in my step, and a glint in my eye.  Because I was so damn sure of myself.

My third child was the gorgeous blue eyed, blonde haired girl that I had dreamt about.

Planned c-section, everything went as one would expect.  Nothing bad.

Other than the usual being cut up on the operating table, with someone up to their elbows in your abdomen.  But other than that, sort of a normal day out in the delivery ward at Medi Clinic.

In my dreams my daughter Isabelle slept with that serene expression on her face as only a newborn baby can.  And that little bit of milk caught on her rosebud lips, to convey the sense that she was well fed and content.

That is how I pictured it in my dreams.  No doubt fuelled by every image I had ever seen in Living and Loving.

Reality I am afraid was very different.

This was my third c-section, and it appeared to get more painful with each one.

No doubt due to the fact that I was older, fatter and they had to cut out huge hunks of scar tissue from the earlier c-sections.

I had my daughter on the Wednesday. Kennith collected me from the Panorama Medi-Clinic on Saturday morning at 10h00.

Then he told me at about 15h00 just as I was suckling my three day old child, that we were expected at dinner that evening and I should get myself ready.

After checking that he was not trying to play a practical joke on me/really fucking serious – I realised that he was being quite serious.

I tried to indicate with the huge cut in my uterus and my blood soaked sanitary pads that I was in no state to sit around a dinner table with 5 other couples.

His rationale was that I had done this twice before, and really what was the big deal.

And so the rapid drop into madness began.

To be continued ……

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Because some days I can’t be expected to write anything funnier than this ….

How not to pose with …. just about anything …. but especially with your “beige coloured” dog.

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Perceptions and boundaries …… {guest blog}

I asked the very famous and absolutely divine Jana Engelbrecht if she would write a guest post for The Reluctant Mom.  Of course she said yes, and asked me for an idea of what she should write, and then I said “I dunno, anything really….” I am specific like that.

Jana is famous for many things —- not the least of which her ability to be cover model for Finweek and her ability to bring people together on her forum http://www.moomie.co.za/.

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Perceptions and Boundaries by Jana Engelbrecht

I am often amazed at how we all perceive things differently.

I will look at someone and think they have it all sorted out, they know what their goals are, they are well-groomed, their kids are well-behaved, they have this perfect life.

In a way, Facebook and social media is to blame for this phenomenon, because the more I speak to people, I realize that it’s not just me that feels this way. We each have a perception of what another’s life is like but we never really know, do we?

You can create this picture-perfect online-ideal but it can be shattered by reality.

That is one of the reasons I believe blogs like Reluctant Mom and The Bloggess are so popular. And why a forum is such a great platform to voice your fears, dreams and reality.

Hardly anyone wants to read about how shiny-happy-people your life is like all.the.time. It’s depressing. Even though I just adore positive people and every day is a challenge to focus on opportunities instead of obstacles, excitement instead of irritation and joy instead of frustration, it can get a bit too much. Reading is a leisure activity that with two toddlers and a humongous belly with another one on the way, I savour.

I don’t read anything that is not gripping, extremely out of the box inspiring and/or makes me laugh. Blogs? I have three bookmarked on my phone and I check it every night. I LOVE a good blog. To get a peek into someone else’s life and you know that person bared a little piece of her soul. To read an entry you know she didn’t necessarily read through, because she was so caught up in the moment. It’s honest and real. Reality sells and the more raw the emotion, the easier other people identify with the writer.

When I stumble on little treasures like: “It unfortunately gives me a really good view of myself taking a morning squat – and my guess is, that it is not the best time to look at yourself under any conditions. Ever. Unless you are into that sort of that look,” it makes my day.

Especially if that day comprised of trying on 110 different “pregnancy looks” in the horrific mirrors of Truworths. You feel beaten when you walk out the store you vowed you would boycott – if only for their horrifying cellulite-enhancing mirrors.

And that’s what makes me tick. When people are real and honest and put their real thoughts out there. I am not that brave. I provide a platform for women to do exactly that but my own insecurities, un-plucked eyebrows, badly shaven legs and cracked heels, I like to keep to myself. Not brave at all.

That is one of the reasons that www.moomie.co.za is still, to this day and four years down the line, my passion.

I know it provides a platform for women to really open up about their feelings – in a safe and respectful environment.

I am eternally grateful to the women on there. They care for each other, they know each other’s stories and they become friends in “real-life” as well. When I receive an email or Facebook message about how Moomie impacted their lives, it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. And I want to push forward to provide so much more.

Reading what women write on Moomie breaks down the perception we have of certain situations.

The biggest lesson I have learned in the past four years is not to judge. Not to let my own perceptions stand in the way of helping someone else. Just because I have a certain idea about something, is not to say you have to think the same way. We are all different and each of us comes with her own bag of skeletons. No-one is exempt from that.

And to this I look forward to: to try this year to put information, stories, articles out there that can stretch your comfort zone. That makes you think and push your own boundaries.

It’s so easy to judge another because of what you perceive or think. Meanwhile back at the ranch we each struggle with our own challenges. But sometimes it just takes a minute to step back, go wait a minute and think twice about giving a new idea a place in your mind.

I want to keep learning, keep stretching my own boundaries of my mind and stay in touch with that source of magnificent power that a mother has. Because it’s true.

Being a mother is an amazing opportunity to become more of what you already are. Embrace it.

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Image source:  Finweek, 6 February 2014.

How are you doing? {said as someone leans in close with sincerity}

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I am asked several times a day “how are you doing?” — and the person is really wanting to know “how are you coping with this divorce?  how are you getting through your day?  have you cried much today?  how are you doing when everyone is asking you how you are doing?”

Well that is what I hear.

The answer is that I am doing better than I thought I would be.

I am not fine, everything is not great, but I seem to be okay.

I have moved through the various steps of grief with alarming speed.   I realise this may mean I will need return to one of the steps that I have progressed through too quickly at a later stage.  Really “unpack my feelings” or “really be honest with myself” about how I actually feel.  Or what I think, or what ever.

I know that, or I suspect that.  But I can deal with that later.  Then when I need to.

Nothing in this process is great.  Nothing in this process makes me smile or gives me joy.

I find myself running out of steam a bit each day – and feeling an overwhelming urge just to lie down and take a really long sleep. And when I wake up, it will all be over.  Done and dusted.   I will not have to face all the details and stuff of a life being pulled apart one strand at a time.

Most of me does not want to be here.  I just want it to be over, done.  I want to wake up on the other side of this.

Kennith and I are working through a divorce facilitator and  mediator.  Together we sit with them for 2 hour sessions.  In these sessions we finalise our lives together.  And apart. Decide and try to agree on how we will move forward.  Apart.  Separated legally.

We are forever connected, forever joined, forever part, but we are facing this so that we can be a part, no longer together, no longer joined.

It is clean and neat.  There is far less crockery being thrown than I would imagine are associated with most “marriages that end….”

There are a lot of spreadsheets, and lists, and agreeing and giving in when you realise it is not worth the fight, and to try to keep the process amicable.  And moving forward.

I think no matter how mature a couple is, someone is going to end up arguing about the carpet.

It is not about the carpet.  It never is.  It is the carpet that will make you cry, and swear and curse.  If your partner leaves with the carpet even though you have agreed they can have the carpet, then you will feel like you have died —- and you are really just trying to live and survive the day.

I think the one redeeming thing in this process — and to be honest I am finding it hard to notice this as a redeeming factor, so bear with me as I go off on a bit of a tangent  — I am not trapped in the “what if?” in the breakdown of this relationship.

Nothing in me is going “what if we got back together? what if he changes his mind?  what if he realises that this has all been a massive bad decision?  what if he realises that I am what he needs? what if? what if? what if? what the fuck if?”

I know that Kennith is not going to retract what he has said and done.  He is resolute on this path.

It is not easy for him, but he did not go into this lightly.  This is what he wants, and he is not going to appear on my doorstep, hat in hand asking me for forgiveness because he has changed his mind.

There is no “what if” scenario here.

He has made that abundantly clear.  I have asked him to change his mind, to reconsider, to not do this — I did in the first month when I was trying to really understand that THIS, THIS was actually happening.

Nothing I could say or do was going to change the course of this action.  The outcome.

I could choose to fight it — but I realised that fighting it would not change the outcome.

It would just make it harder for everyone, and me and my kids.  I can’t be {more} broken in this process.  I still need to get up every morning, face my day and be the support to my kids that they need because their lives are on their heads – no matter how much of a shocker of a day I have had, I need to give a semblance of sanity and “wearing my big girl panties.”

My “lose my shit” time is after 20h30 — kids are asleep, I am alone and if I want, I can go monkey then.

This way I know that if I need to have a total loss of sanity, I can diarise it for after 20h30.  Inevitably at that point, I am content to sit on the couch, drink my wine, eat some olives and let the feelings wash over me.  Sometimes crash over me.

As painful as it was to grasp that “he is not going to change his mind” is that it have given me certainty to hold on to.

It has given me the insight to not have to dwell on the “what if?” and the fantasy of waking up tomorrow, with my husband back and my family not broken anymore.

Not to set my course of action by a bobbing forever moving, and unrealistic mirage on the ocean.

I have only fixed details to work with.  It has kept the voices in my head free from arguing with me about the “what if” component.

Not being stuck in that repeat cycle of “what if?” has been a real gift.

It is a strange gift – but it is a gift, because all my energy is focused on moving ahead.

Looking up and forward.  Not looking back and hoping, dreaming, pining, fantasizing.

Looking up and forward. Not always with a happy countenance, often with red swollen eyelids, and a rather haggard expression, but I only have to look one way.

Looking up and forward.  I do not need to spend the scarce energy resources I have looking back and wishing, dreaming and wondering “what if” …

Does that sound as insane to you as it does to me?

The one about the Clinical Psychologist …..

We have received such great advise from the Clinical Psychologist who is acting as a mediator and facilitator and that is in short — and really not verbatim was – “kids are kids, and kids are moody, and things happen — do not assume every time your child does something wrong, or does badly at school or misbehaves that it is because you are going through a divorce.  Kids will continue being kids, and things will happen.  Treat them the same.”

That alone is almost worth the gazillion rand owed on the statement she emailed through earlier.

I think the knee-jerk reaction is that every time one of my kids throws a wobbly, Connor is upset, the kids fight at the dinner table, the kids slam a door, or they ignore me to go “aaawwww shame, it is because we are going through a divorce” – then I experience the guilt, the {sigh} of resignation that I am breaking my kids, and start to think whether they should start therapy soon.

The reason that kids throws wobbly, Connor is upset, the kids fight at the dinner table, the kids slam a door, or they ignore me is that they are kids, and this is what kids do.

Divorce or not.

I think the Clinical Psychologist was trying to tell us in better phrased words to just “calm the fuck down when it comes to your kids and this process of kids growing up – don’t overreact.”

Sane words.

She did not actually say “calm the fuck down” but that was sort of what she indicated my the tilt of her head and the knowing look in her eyes.

Connor has been a bit more “sensitive,” Georgia has been a bit more “weird” and Isabelle has learnt the value of a really good thrombie throwing which includes doors being slammed.

At this juncture I wish to remind you that Isabelle is 4 – and that I will be blogging soon about her being a problem teen – she is as strong willed as I would think endearing in other people’s children, but for me she is a handful — and she is only 4.  She beats the crap out of her siblings, she is always getting her own way, and she does not take being disciplined well.  I gave her one smack on her bum last night for lying, and she cried and screamed for about 30 minutes.  I had to keep reminding her that I actually only gave her one smack —- I think she thought I had ripped her leg off by the way she was acting.

I would have been quick to send them off to play therapy or some other therapy — but my guess is they would have been doing this even if we weren’t playing “breaking up a family.”

The best advise here is “carry on like normal” if we start treating our kids differently, they are going to act differently.

Otherwise, carry on as you were – have a good weekend, and all that stuff.

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This post has nothing to do with American Hustle … nothing at all

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err … it is not okay, but I like the quote, so there we go – I could have photoshopped it, but I really just could not be arsed right now.

I have realised that in this process I am emotionally removed.

I am so busy ticking of blocks in my head, worrying about the “who, where and how” that I have parked any emotional reaction to what is clearly a cluster f*ck of note.

I have had two total snot cries, but the rest of the time I have kept a “chin up” and a “you just gotta move through it” attitude, which is great.  Yep, pretty great.

I know that the tsunami of “what the hell happened” is going to hit me.  Soon.

The part I fear that when it hits, it will be the storm of 2011 – and I do not have the resources to deal with another one of those sucker punches.  I can well work out my abilities, and facing that sort of “down” is just not possible.

I can’t face that climb up out of the quagmire.  The sticky grabbing mud that suffocates you.  It is too difficult.  It requires more energy than I have right now.

I met with new head doctor yesterday – it was hardly a match made in heaven, but I really have no interest in trying to shop around.  I will give him three sessions and take it from there.  He indicated that my rather fun sides effects were clearly more anxiety driven than depression driven.

Yay – I love doing multiple choice questions.

For all the stuff I say about depression – he has managed to be on the fringes and has not really come to play in some time.  He has sent his dark side kick anxiety and stress which makes for interesting days.  And nights.

Super villains without capes.  And often less appealing personalities than you would expect.

Kennith and I are using “mediation and facilitation” which I strongly recommend to anyone who wishes to end a marriage.  Cheaper than lawyers, and if you find the right m&f team, you can aim to have your marriage done and dusted in about 5 visits.

Then the paperwork is sent to a lawyer person, who will present it at court and hey presto, it is all over.

Both of you can act like it never happened.  Unless you have kids, then well you are fucked either way.

I saw a pregnant woman at Pick ‘n Pay today and I felt an overriding urge to run up and warn her – but she looked so happy, and I figured I might appear someone unhinged holding my bag of apples, two bottles of wine and 2 liters of milk, that I decided to leave her alone.

I am sort of glad I never changed my signature.

I am sort of wondering if I should head back to home affairs and change my name back — but then my name is different from my kids, and that alone is a bit of a mind f*ck on all sorts of levels.

If someone asks me then I am “fine” … but the reality is that I am anxious, over wrought, stressed and about a flick away from going off my head.

The kids seem fine.

The dogs do not seem to be bothered.

I however appear not to be fully cogniscent of what is happening, and that is where I worry.

On the other hand Darren, I saw American Hustle earlier this week – fantastic movie!!!! Nothing I did not love in that movie.

Kennith moved out today ….

donotgoToday was easily one of the most difficult days of my life.

Kennith moved out today.

Tomorrow will be the first day that I wake up without him as part of my every day life, which has been a constant for nearly 20 years.

I realised today that I have not fully absorbed the “emotional” side of this process.

I have been so busy with the logistics.

How we will divvy up the house.

What happens with the children and what happens financially for the children that I have not really “sat” with the emotional fall out.

I am really good at ticking off the blocks, making lists, and ensuring that things get done in an organised efficient manner.

I am not always so good at dealing with the “emotional stuff” – I avoid it and defer it until it all hits me in one giant mother of a smack against the side of my head.

I have been so focused on the “details” that I have not had a chance to really take this process IN.

I have had two instances where I sobbed.  Where I cried like a lunatic.

The one I sat in my car and I cried with snot bubbles and that silent scream that you do when you are on the edge of insanity.

Then I stopped crying because I have shit to do, and stuff to get sorted.  I do not have the time to lie in a heap on the floor with a pack of Kleenex.

I have the odd tear, and sniffle, but I have not had a cry.

I chew it back.  I nod and say “I am fine” ….. I just do not have the time.  I am afraid and I barely have the energy to hold my shit together.

I am too afraid that if I start crying that I will not be able to stop.  Ever.

And then the world will come to an end.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a new psychologist.

I think it is time to meet a new man.  Sit on the couch and have a good all-fall-down.  Then pay him as I leave for listening to my problems.  Sounds almost like a date, just no possibility of a split bill.

I “feel” like I am “okay” but I have learnt a long time ago that actually that I am pretty awesome at constructing and maintaining facades of sanity.  If you need someone who puts a “chin up” on anything, please contact me – I have it so taped, I could give classes.

I realise I need to get a good psychologist in my corner — because at some point this is all going to crack.  Going to break.

And then all the king’s horses and men will not be able to put this Humpty Dumpty together again.

Today is not a fun day.

My guess is that tomorrow is not going to be any better.

I wanted to say “any fucking better” but then I decided I should really try to stop saying “fuck” “fucking” or “for fuck sake” so fucking much.  Then I decided, well fuck that.

Cyclist Hooligans in Beach Road, Cape Town ….

 

Earlier yesterday morning I was driving on Beach Road towards Cape Town, just past the Pavilion.

There are two lanes and I was in the right hand lane. I found myself approaching a bunch of about twenty cyclists, probably practicing for the Argus Cycle Tour. They were in the left lane, but many were riding abreast so some were even encroaching into the right hand lane, past the center line.

Aware of the new 1.5 meter rule, I slowed to give them space and was unwilling to overtake.

Further ahead was a stationary vehicle that was double parked but it went unnoticed by the leader of the group who was looking back and communicating to the rest of the team. The group were moving swiftly and only at the last second when the leader again faced forwards, did he see the vehicle…. Just in the nick of time. He had to swerve to avoid the vehicle and this obviously upset him.

He stopped his bicycle abruptly and flew into a violent rage.

The entire peleton pulled up in support and some followed his lead.

I fumbled with my phone for valuable seconds and eventually got the camera going, and filmed the violence unfolding before me.

You can clearly see how they battered the vehicle, bent the windscreen wipers, pepper sprayed the driver, tried to steal his keys, assaulted him with a bicycle wheel and punched him and the passenger in the face repeatedly. There was a lot more going down than what you can see in the video.

I drove away as the vehicles further behind me grew impatient but a few hundred meters further I decided to do the right thing and return to assist the driver and his passenger.

By the time I got there, the cyclists had left (I passed them) and the Van was nowhere to be seen.

I stopped at my friend Dave D’Aguiar, and shared the video. Dave was equally disturbed by the video and took it to Sea Point Police Station himself about two hours later.

He inquired at the charge office if anyone had laid a charge against cyclists for road rage and, as coincidence would have it, the victims were themselves in the police station doing exactly that!

As it turns out, they were volunteer workers cleaning up the hydration bags and other litter after the finish of the 10KM Sunshine D, Nelson Mandela Commemorative Walk.

If you would like to be instrumental in bringing these hooligans to justice then please SHARE this post now.

Like minded citizens may recognize some of the perpetrators and the clubs they ride for. If you recognize any of the cyclists in the video then either ‘name and shame’ or call the investigating officer directly, Warrant Officer Olivier on 021 430 3700.

Original post and video supplied by:  Symon Scott

 

What screws us up most in life …..

A day does not go by where I do not think about a blog post.

I  run the idea of what I want to post about, or more importantly what is running around inside my head and think of the words I will use to get it out.

Then I sit and stare at the screen.

Right now I need blogging — it is my life raft in what appears to be a rather chaotic ocean.

The default thought that overpowers my thinking is “divorce.”  I do apologise as this is going to be a recurring theme of this blog moving forward.  I can’t tell you when I will stop bleating about it.

If you can’t bear to watch, then please click away.

Kennith was hoping we could discuss the details about us parting company like adults and be amicable about the entire thing.  My guess is a spreadsheet and the possibility of a pie chart of some sort would be what moved across the table.

I realised that  is just not going to be possible.  Even with the best hope in the world.

And I love a pretty graph or pie chart.

The problem with a partner of 20 years who asks you for divorce, is that you are thrown into a situation where the person who was your best mate, your partner through it all, the person who was always looking out for you, is no longer THE person who is looking out for you.

Their agenda, their focus has shifted.  It has to.  We are both trying to survive this and get to the other side with as little damage as possible to ourselves and our children.  Kennith’s desire to cut his ties with me, does not mean that he is reaffirming his need to remain connected to me forever.

He is looking at ways that we can be independent of each other – and that unfortunately flies in the face of  what is good for me, or in my best interests.

“Divorce” or “being divorced from” has become a constant in my day – a feeling of rejection, of concern for my welfare, worry whether my children are going to be okay, worrying where we will live, what form our lives will take from here on in and and and …

There is an overriding sense bit of humiliation because I could not make this work. I failed.

This is not what I had planned and FUCK YOU UNIVERSE!! THE UNIVERSE IT APPEARS DOES GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN ACTUALLY DEAL WITH.

I wake up and it is the first thought that rolls through my head, and the last thought as Morpheus takes me away somewhere quiet.

Sitting across a table with Kennith and working out how the next few years of our lives will pan out is not something I think he is the best qualified to decide on. Admittedly I lost my voice a long time ago in this relationship.  So maybe I might not be the best person to make the BIG decisions either.

I don’t think Kennith is a bad person, or a person who plans badly.

Nope, I think he is jolly good at looking at something logically and divvying up a home and making plans in a very logical and calculating manner.

The problem is that nothing in this process is logical.  It requires me to negotiate with someone who is no longer my ally, and who emotionally is just not on the same page as me.

He is not the person I can trust in my darkest hour.  He is not the guy I can run to when I have had a scary day.  He is the guy who asked to leave the island.

I know he says he will look out for me and the kids, and you know I believe he believes that he will.  I do.  I believe he believes that.

But he has not been through this divorce.

I have had a little over 60 days to absorb : a divorce, my partner who I have lived with for nearly 20 years will no longer be living with me.  Every plan, every goal I have needs to be revised.  Every way I saw 2014 going will no longer be heading in the direction I thought it would.  Every solitary aspect of my children’s lives with be altered, revised, and changed and possibly change again.

Everything I know being broken down in some way.  I am feeling under constant threat.

Someone asked me last week what is the thing I fear the most about getting divorced and I said “being more broken ….. making my kids broken people…” and then I cried so many snot bubbles I could not finish my thought or the sentence.  I needed to move along as people were staring at me in the fruit and vegetable aisle at Pick ‘n Pay.

I cannot and will not get into a discussion with Kennith about how we should decide our lives from this point on wards.

I cannot afford a divorce lawyer.

I have asked Kennith that we use a mediator and facilitator, who was recommended to me.  He met with her and has agreed that we will work through her.

I am not suggesting that mediation will be pretty and lovely and have rainbows shooting out of unicorns, but it seems like the best option right now.

Next hurdle – Kennith moves out at the end of the month.

How the fuck did we get here so quickly?

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Please note : I appreciate that this process is one that Kennith and I are both going through.  Please be gentle and careful with your comments.  I am not painting Kennith as the villain and me as the superhero.  

I think we will have different hats to wear throughout this relationship – and some days we will be the dog’s bullocks and some days the shit on the sheep’s arse.  No doubt we will take turns with who gets to wear the white hat.

What I share here is “public knowledge” to a large degree, and I would also appreciate it if you would be as kind and as gentle as possible.

I need this blog as “my place” – I have thought about having a private blog, but that is just not the way I can do things — and all of these things are part of who I am and how I got here, or where I will be going.  I need this blog right now.

I am not talking on behalf of Kennith  - this is my blog and this is about how I feel on a particular day.  I reserve the right to be selfish with my feelings and to write about what concerns me most – my perception may be blurred by the fact that I see things from my own perspective.

 Nothing here is in Kennith’s words – and he is free to disagree with me on all and everything.  He is quite entitled to those thoughts.  This blog is written for me, by me and about me.  Kennith gets to tell his own story, when and how he pleases.

Please play nicely on this blog – no shit talk, no slandering and no being a dick.  Please, I really do not have the energy for trolls rights now.

#semicolonproject218

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Not usually a fan of these “one day wonders” that float around the cyber web, but this one has given me pause for thought today.  

It has brought many people to mind who are often in a far worse state than others realise, and whose every day is a battle to breath, just to breath.

 

February 18th is #semicolonproject218

For anyone who has suffered mental illness, trauma, self harming and suicidal thoughts, draw a semicolon on your wrist. A semicolon represents a sentence the author could’ve ended but chose not to.

The author is you and the sentence is your body. 

 

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