Shit about divorce that you forget is coming …. this might be part one of a whole fucking series …. so brace yourself

I cannot explain the profound effect that this divorce has had on me.

It has changed something about me.  I appear to have lost my muchness.

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Initially I got caught up in the spreadsheet nature of this divorce.

Who would take what and who would get left with what.

Why Kennith wanting to take the red carpet would prove to be so upsetting.  And a thousand other things which now appear minuscule, but at the time it felt like my life was being wrenched apart

I often listen the The Script, and this line from one of their songs always resonates with me “I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing, just prayin’ to a god that I don’t believe in. ‘Cause I got time while she got freedom, ’cause when a heart breaks, no, it don’t break even.”

{swapping the he for her and so on….}

I am not “over” this divorce.   I keep thinking I am.  Or I have got over the worst of it.  But there are too many reminders that I am still struggling with this fucking beast.

It is actually like time makes it worse.  Time softens the edges of the things you thought you would cut your wrists on, but brings the things that you feel are going to crush you into sharp focus.

I think time reveals things you did not realise you needed to factor into this thing called divorce.

And then you are put into a situation and faced with something that makes you realise that you are not coping.  You have a semblance of coping, you might even look like you are skipping down the hill with the Trapp Family close at your heels.

But then something will come and remind you that this shit is not over.  Not by a long shot mate!

My most harrowing day of the year, was a wedding I attended in February.

It is a cousin of Kennith’s.

I have always had a close relationship with Thelma, her husband and her children.  During the relationship and after the relationship, I would stay over there often, pop in to see them and it was all really great.  I easily saw them socially once a month and Thelma and I taught many bottles of wine a lesson in what an hostage drama would look like.

Thelma and Zef had planned a Vow Renewal Ceremony and I was feeling very nervous about the day.

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Everyone was going to be in the same room, there was going to be this awkwardness (mine, I figured no one else would give a continental).

I really wanted it to be a wonderful day for Thelma and Zef, but I wanted to get through it without any more bleeding than I felt was probably going to occur.  On my part.

I took my partner W with and I had the three children with me.

The venue was the One and Only which is gorgeous.  The weather was on the side of baking, but everything was beautiful.

I could not quite put my finger on it what it was that I was so nervous about.

Maybe it was the thought of having to be introduced to Kennith’s partner ……. yeh, I am not ready for that.  Excuse me whilst I go and cower in the toilets.  See how much of a grown up I can be?

By the time I got there I had already worked myself up into a bit of a lather.  You know the moment when you are just one missing button from a full scale melt-down.  Like that.

Then it hit me.  And it hit me.  And then it just continued to hit me for what seemed like a very long time – I knew what the thing was that I was “fearing” the most.

I had been axed as a family member.  Through no fault of my own.

Kennith’s extended family was there and to be honest few, if any of them had reached out to me when Kennith asked for a divorce and he moved out.  And it really hurt. And this would be the first time I was seeing many of them.

I just disappeared.  Instantly from everyone’s consciousness.

I had (more often times than not) been the instigator in getting everyone together and making sure we kept regular contact with Kennith’s family.

I was now at a function that had clearly demarcated lines of “family” and “not family.”

It started with his family being together on one side and the other rabble being close to the bar.  I realised as I walked in to the room, that though I would naturally walk over to “the family” and say “hello” this was not going to happen.

In short Kennith was the MC so his partner was sitting with the “family.”  I sometimes think I have steel gonads, but not even I would venture into this without some sort of head injury.

I got that “cotton ball sort of feeling in your throat” as I summed up what was happening, and it just made me feel uneasy.  And there was no way I was going to drift over there and swan around saying “helllooooooo” to everyone.

It did not help when Kennith came over and told me the kids should sit in a certain section of the “ceremony area” where the “family” was sitting.  And I would be in the “other section…”

And so this “family” thing persisted for the balance of the evening.

Eventually I tried to “rise above” just fucking “rise above this shit” but these people were “my family” for the last 20 fucking years.  Then in one swoop, none of my doing, I get kicked off the “table.”

I do not have a big family – so it was nice to get a larger family from Kennith’s side to bulk up the numbers where mine sort of fell flat.

The evening proved to be excruciating.  I could have happily gone to sit in the bathroom and spent the evening crying.

Instead I took a stab at looking like I was having the best time imaginable.  I did my utmost to do 5 glasses of soda water for every 1 glass of wine, or I was pretty sure this evening was going to end in me having a “moment…”

One of the nicest and sweetest things that was Kennith’s grandmother’s husband – Kennith grandmother had passed away a few years back – came and asked to dance with me.  So for a song we danced together, I probably stood on his feet the majority of the time, but it was really such a sweet gesture.

Divorce.

Being excommunicated from “the family” and this really horrible feeling of not knowing where you stand is just shit.

I had spent years developing some of these relationships and “poof” there I was, not quite being invited to the family photograph.

I know I am not expressing myself correctly.

I think if I was drinking wine and not hot chocolate I probably may be able to word this better – with some really descriptive words and probably a bit more fucks than I am using right now.

It is this profound sense of rejection that the day represented for me.  And the realisation of what I thought I felt, to what was in actual fact reality.

This sense that all the time and energy I put into these relationships for the better part of my adult life have disintegrated into nothing.  Gone.  And I could basically just fuck off, but to leave the children because they were family.

The message is clear.  This is not my family.  These people do not give a flying fek about me.

Which of course makes me start to wonder, what the hell was it that went on for two decades there?

During a divorce you worry and fret about a lot of things, but the family you will lose usually does not come into the equation.  Or maybe it does, and I just did not buy the right “What to expect ….. when you are getting divorced from” book.

Yeah, so there is that.

Right now I am in a “just fuck it all frame of mind…”  I ap0logise for the frequent use of the word FUCK moving forward.  I don’t actually, but I want to sound like a courteous host.

Reading to your children ….. free podcasts with stories

There is huge value in spending time sitting with your child and reading them a story.

No doubt there are studies and experiments, and scientific journals dedicated to just this area of parenting and whether a child that has been read to, fares better at school than a child that was not read to.

 

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I enjoy reading to my children.  Sometimes I am reluctant to abandon my tv show to go and sit on their beds and read “Find Teddy Bear” or what ever the book is called.

Once I have read the story, I always feel good.  I get that little warm glow that you do when your realised you have done parenting well, or just a bit well.  I also enjoy, as the kids age, the changing levels at which they participate in the stories.

How they remember the “punch lines” or realise too quickly if you have tried to skip three pages. Or make the sounds of the character eating, or sleeping or falling.

Connor is too cool for me to read him a story.

I usually read stories to Georgia and Isabelle together.

There are times however when you can’t always read your child a book, but it would be nice to have some of the classic tales read to them, or have good podcasts on hand.

I know it is easier to pop on a DVD to pass the time, but the beauty of reading is that it creates the story in your child’s head, and your child’s imagination fills in the details — which often they can’t do with a DVD, because all the details are supplied.

I like what goes on in my head when someone tells me a story, or when I read a story.

My brain is able to imagine the tastes, the smells, the sights and the sounds.  My “hearing” of the story differs from everyone else’s, and that is the power of reading and books.

I read the Book Thief and it was one of those stories, the easily evokes the scenes and the characters in your head.  Everyone who I now who has read it, was equally enthralled with the story, and how their mind was able to sketch and colour in the characters.

I am always looking for audio stories that I can play to the kids either when we are driving, or maybe when they are tucked into my bed, and I prefer them not to watch a movie.

I found a few on this site – IONA.FM  this morning, and it includes

Alice in Wonderland

Playtime (BBC Learning)

Step inside a Story

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Secret Garden

There are also several Afrikaans podcasts, which are pretty good, and really useful if your child is learning Afrikaans at school and you have an accent like I do when you are trying to help them with their pronunciation.

There are 25 podcast channels for books for children at this stage.

If you were wondering where Gareth Cliff went to –  you can also find him here:

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There are several podcasts – you may want to listen to : Clinical Sexologist Prof Elna McIntosh in studio chatting to Gareth on the Gareth Cliff Show would be an interesting one to start with.

 

Happy podcasting.

Alice in Wonderland inspired body art ….

Alice in Wonderland has been inspiring people for decades – it no small wonder that Alice and her characters appears in body art, and has done for many years.

I am a Burton fan, so do like the images that fit that “image” of Alice in Wonderland.

Of all the things that resonate with me – Alice in Wonderland quotes and the “wisdom” of the Cheshire Cat have been an on-going sense of fascination for me.

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These aren’t body art, but there are certain aspects of these images that I really like … oh how my brain is already sketching out a potential tattoo …. xmas gift to myself maybe ….

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Alice in Wonderland …

I finished reading the original Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

I have not researched Lewis Carroll, and do not know his lot in life, but I can only assume that Lewis was not your normal run of the mill lad in the late 19th century.

I think even by today’s standards if he came out with this little gem, people might have tapped the glass on the side of his medicated syringe, and said soothing things like “It will be alright Lewis … just have a little sleep…” and then given him a large shot of anti-psychotic straight into his neck.

The most memorable part for me – and no doubt if I read it again, I would find another nugget to take with me – Alice meeting the Duchess.

The Duchess’s baby sneezes constantly and the reaction of the Duchess.  One can only conclude he has probably suffered quite a bit at the Duchess’s hands. Taking pity on him, Alice spirits him away, only to find that he has transformed into a pig.

It is never explained why this happens, but Alice looks on the bright side, concluding that while the baby wasn’t a very attractive baby, it makes for a good-looking pig.

I enjoyed the story.  I do not think it is something I would read to a child and then try to explain it.  I may well end up trying to explain this one for longer than the actual story progresses.

Makes me feel that maybe I am a bit more sane than Lewis, which is great if you are in people-who-are-nuttier-than-you mode.

I do love the Tim Burton movie – probably one of my favourite movies.  I adored Johnny Depp as the MadHatter in it and the divine Helena Bonham was fantastic as the Queen.  But it is one of those things you watch, and just try not to wrap your mind around too tightly.  Because then your head starts to hurt.

I probably liked the representation of the Cheshire Cat the least in Tim Burton’s movie – it was probably because for me he is such a strong character in the story, but I did not like the way he was represented/rendered in the movie.

The Cheshire Cat has so many great lines throughout the book (and the movie), one of the ones I like the most are:  “Every adventure requires a first step. Trite, but true, even here.”

I saw this cartoon by the brilliant SeeMikeDraw and thought it was a suitable alternate outcome to the trials and tribulations of young Alice …

Acknowledge image source: http://seemikedraw.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/i-found-a-strange-bottle-labelled-drink-me-so-i-drank-it-when-i-awoke-id-drawn-this-cartoon/