To Love, or Not to Love…

…Either way, you’re going to end up broken-hearted.

While Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote the poem, In Memoriam A.H.H. about his best friend who died while travelling abroad, it is often mistaken to be about heartbreak following a breakup.  After all Tis better to have loved and lost,/Than never to have loved at all is one of the most famous lines.

I was triggered into a spiral of sadness this morning, by a well-meaning colleague who joked, “is it age that’s making you forgetful?  Or are you in love?” I merely replied, “Being in love brings trouble.” He laughed and said, “Not too long ago you were so in love you were glowing.” I wanted to reply, something witty of course, to hide the stab of immense pain I suddenly felt at his correct observation, but my mouth had turned to the Sahara and my brain was completely blank: an empty, dark void.  In that moment that felt like an eternity, I could feel the burn in my eyes and the longing for being in love with my best friend, who just wasn’t able to reciprocate my deep-seeded starry-eyed passions.  In those fleeting few seconds, I felt like a complete failure, wondering why I’m always the proverbial bridesmaid, but never the bride; why I’m always one of the boys, but never the one for the boys.

I don’t have a bad life; not at all.  I have abundant blessings:

Incredible parents; solid, reliable friends, a well-paying job with decent colleagues, a car to drive, a comfortable flat, food when I’m hungry, my health and opportunities to see new places and experience new things (not as often as I’d like, but still).

I embrace my singledom, because I know many people would love to be in my shoes; not tied down by a husband, wife, kids or even pets, but sometimes it is lonely.  Sometimes there are things that would be so much more enjoyable coupled with a romantic partner.

So today I’m in a mood of reflection… was Lord Tennyson right?  Today it doesn’t feel like it ☹

 

Sexual Abuse Leaves Scars…Forever!

Many of you who read my blog know this already, but for those of you who don’t. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I was abused by my biological father, who, if I had to see him in the street, I probably wouldn’t recognize, and, if I did, I would probably spit on him and carry on walking. As far as I’m concerned, he’s dead. I locked the horrors away in the dark recesses of my mind for years and, it was only in high school, that something triggered the memories. Whether or not there has been a complete healing process, I don’t think so. I have problems with certain intimacies and at a certain point in some intimate situations, my brain totally shuts the rest of my body off and I just can’t carry on. Needless to say, this doesn’t exactly bode well for my sexual relationships. A close friend of mine has recommended hypnosis, but part of me is too scared at just what I might remember.

So, when I heard this on the radio this afternoon, I was immediately heartbroken. What drives men to steal a child’s innocence.

Humansdorp Grandfather Guilty of Sexual Assault

Tears of anger and heartache sprang into my eyes as I listened – and then I got to thinking, “If this man molested his own daughter, the likelihood of her letting her own daughters near him would be nil, so he must be the father of the children’s father. Kudos to the courts for convicting him. Now sentencing awaits…although whatever faces him in prison will be some kind of justice. The stories one hears of what happens to child molesters in South African prisons is enough to give you sleepless nights.

One thing I wonder about though, is, after not seeing my father for 21 years (we left him when I was 9) and still harbouring resentment towards him, how are these people going to feel towards the man (their father(in-law)) stealing their daughters’ innocence. All I can do is pray for the family – while the scars the children have might not be so visible now, they will be as soon as these young girls start forming relationships with members of the opposite sex. It’s the sad reality of cases like this.

I wrote this poem in the car, once I’d finally managed to stop the flood of tears. If you are sensitive, you might want to stop reading now.

The image is courtesy of tclj.toasted-cheese.com


Growing Up Too Soon

I’m blind
My eyes see the pretty flowers
But here, I can’t see, I don’t want to watch!
But you make me look at “your power”

I’m deaf
My ears hear the birds outside
But here, I can’t hear, I don’t want to listen!
But you whisper “secrets” in my ear

I’m numb
My legs run on the playground
But here, I’m paralysed, I can’t move!
But you make me open them so you can touch my “womanhood”

I’m cold
My little body shivers when it rains
But here, I’m frozen, I’m dead
You cover my body with yours to “warm me from the inside”

I don’t understand
You’re not a monster like those in my storybooks
Everybody likes you, Mommy loves you…
Do they know the truth?

I’m not blind
But instead of seeing pretty flowers outside
All I see around me is hurt
“Your power” has harmed me

I’m not deaf
But instead of the hearing the singing birds outside
All I hear is heartbroken cries
Your “secrets” have made me hateful

I’m not numb
But instead of running on the playground
I run away from people who want to love me properly
My “womanhood” is tainted

I’m not cold
My body is warm to a touch
But then the fire goes out
Your “warming me from the inside” has turned me cold

I don’t understand
You are the monster in my dreams
The truth is out, you’re shunned and unloved
Yet I struggle to be free…