Day 151: Remembering Honey

On Thursday last week I had a MS Teams meeting at 11 and I was out of data, along with money to buy, so Eliza offered that I work at her and Nathan’s place for the day. Their little boy, Lambert, aged almost four called for Eliza and I to ‘come look’ and eventually we got round to it. There on the ground in front of the sliding door lay a tiny bird, clearly stunned from flying into the sliding glass door.

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This Star is Being Swallowed by a Black Hole

I’ve had a foreboding for quite some time that something is amiss, but I have yet to pinpoint exactly what it is. I’m so out of sorts – a chameleon on a Smartie box doesn’t even come close to me.

I’ve had ridiculous migraines the past few weeks, and insomnia for ages again.  But for the first time in almost two years I had a panic attack on Thursday night during my mandatory sleep over at Erica and Nathan.  It was one of the worst I’ve ever had, but I didn’t want to disturb them or their two boys aged 2 and 5, so I dealt with it as best I could.  The attacks exhaust me physically and mess with my brain chemistry, which may also explain why I am feeling like the world should just end and be over with it.

As a result of the physical tiredness, I spent virtually the whole weekend sleeping as I was able to.  My body and my brain are taking strain and I’m doing the best I can, under the circumstances not to be the proverbial camel.

February is one of the worst months of the year for me.  It has been ever since I can remember.  It brings with it the Hearts & Roses Hallmark Holiday (excuse me a second while I go an vomit in the nearest trashcan, will you?) and with that reminders of how I’m always good enough to be with until someone younger, prettier and less intellectual comes along.  Every year it gets worse, and as the big four-oh looms later this year, I am feeling it extra hard this year.  This month also brings with it memories of loss that make my heart ache with melancholy.

Yesterday Malcolm would have been 48. I wanted to send Aunty Lynn and Uncle Derick a message to say I was thinking of them (I was!), but I was too afraid they’d call and want to talk about him.  June he will be gone four years; his death hit me harder than I care to admit. What I’d give to have one more conversation with him.  I miss him so much. For an entire lifetime he was my cousin, but for a few years he was my best friend.  He’d totally get what I’m going through now.  He’d probably crack some corny joke to get me to smile, but more than that, he’d open his arms and let me cry on his shoulders until my eyes were swollen enough to resemble those of a boxer on the wrong side of a tight left hook.  In this screwed up world, he was one of the few people that ‘got’ me and he loved me with no judgement.

I had been very reflective as a result of the pending date, and already feeling a downer on the prowl during the work-week, I made arrangements to take a walk with Carla yesterday.  We walked for almost an hour and I measured it with the car – 3.2 Km, because the stupid GPS froze and according to the fitness app I was using to map our walk, we did less than a mile.  Argh!  The walk didn’t have the desired effect of physically exhausting me to the point I’d have liked, so I lay on the couch reading The Book of Joy, which I borrowed from Erica.

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I’m enjoying it, although I will concede whatever I read yesterday, I’ll have to reread, because I wasn’t in the right mindset.  The book deals with the very feelings I am having now, and how to still have joy despite them.  I definitely want to get myself a copy because it will be a book I will definitely reread in the years to come.

The heavy cloud that has been following me for the last few days was also darkened by the fact that the guy who I was good enough to see through his divorce four years ago before leaving me for a blond 10 years my junior (17 years his) and getting engaged to her on Valentine’s Day (a mere two weeks after meeting her) decided it would be a good time to try and catch up by following my (very seldomly used) Instagram.  The first thought that went through my head, was Fuck you, Jack and the second one was block.  I had heard rumours from a quite trustworthy source that there is trouble in paradise and shortly after he pulls a (dick) move, thinking I won’t notice.  It angers me immensely when people insult my intelligence and my intuition.  I’m probably one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet, but I can cut you off like a dead branch and toss you into the fire without looking back.

The heaviness I feel is because of many small things all rolling towards me at the same time.  Think scourge of mosquitoes and you’ll have an idea of what I mean.  The only difference is that I could be sleeping with the G.O.D fan on and they’d still get to me.  I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass and that everything happens for a reason, but right now those mantras are not grounding me enough to focus.  I’m a mess -Shattered, hopeless and resentful and I hate it!  I’m a strong person, but sometimes I just need someone to take my hand and tell me Everything’s going to be alright.

So, I’m going to do what I must, to look after myself first, because I’ve been too strong for too long and it’s catching up to me.  The best thing I can do for myself is to rest, even if that means sleeping for two days straight and saying NO! when I can’t take on more straw.  I try to get away once a quarter, but I have a goal I’m saving for (the silver lining is already out in The Universe :)), so the rest will have to be at my flat, where I’ll have to fight the distractions that are all over the show.  Another thing I should do is write more, I know, but right now, that in its own is undue pressure.  I’ll get there. Eventually.

I will also remind myself of this every day until I feel better:

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I promise my next post will be more positive.  Who knows, maybe I’ll do something I haven’t done since school and review a book – The Book of Joy

Friends: They Leave Imprints on your Heart

I rant when I’m particularly irritated or feel that there is injustice happening to those I care about – many of you who have been following my blog for a long time will know this. I feel the urge to rant, because I am tired of the same shit repeatedly, but realize that it isn’t going to solve anything; it is only going to steal my joy.

On the subject of joy, I’m going to share its opposite with you for a paragraph or two and then end off on a happy note, because while it’s normal to experience negative emotions, it’s not okay to allow them to take root in our minds – after all, our thoughts become our actions, not so?

Yesterday was an extremely busy day at the office, so when I got the news that a good friend of mine, Frances, had left this world for the next, I felt a pang of shock (although she’d been ill for a long while), but I couldn’t really think about it.  We hadn’t seen each other in a very long time, but for the last nine months or so, we’d reconnected online.  I often chatted to her about alternative things, and she always gave me her honest take –  No holds barred.  Even when she was at her worst, she always gave her best.  She listened without judgement and never hesitated to tell me the truth, even when it was hard to hear.  Now she’s gone, and part of me feels lost.  It’s odd really, because we were close for a short time, then so far removed from one another for over two decades and then close again.  A kind of ‘concertina friendship’ if you will.  She leaves behind an ex-husband, who despite the divorce, I know she loved ‘til her dying breath, and two children, who I’ve not met.  I’m devastatingly sad at her departure.  I’ve lost close people – even family – before, but with her it’s different.  I can’t articulate it, because I don’t know what it is.  The world is emptier without her.  One thing that is a relief, despite the heartache, is that she is finally pain free.

I said to Charlie yesterday that I think I have only a single photo of Frances and I together, and that if I do, it is in a dusty album in storage somewhere. I hope one day I’ll find it and be able to have a proper reminisce over it. Until then though, I’ll remember her for the amazing person she was: mother, fighter, friend.

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Onto a less sad subject, Saskia, who “adopted” me as her big, but thin sister (we met in the gym…) is tying the knot in November and asked Yours Truly a while ago if I would be a bridesmaid. I was like, “is a duck’s arse damp?” followed by unexpected tears, of both joy, and surprise – because she has so many friends, and well, in comparison to them, I’m old.  She and her beau too live far away, but they are here for a few days, and she, her best friend of the past eighteen years (and Maid of Honour), another bridesmaid and I are getting together for dinner this evening to talk about the shindig.  I’m counting the hours because I just know we’re going to have a great time.

As I type this post, thinking about these two incredibly special ladies, I am reminded that making memories is important.  The digital era in which we live affords us the ability to capture those memories at the click of a smartphone button.  Sure, it’s amazing, but we need to caution against being lost in that action, as opposed to being lost in the people we’re with – so tonight, while I know the young ‘uns will be doing their millennial selfie thing, I’m not going to even take my phone with me. This evening, I’m going to imprint memories of this jubilant occasion in my mind’s eye.

Here’s to a night of uproarious fun, hysterical laughter, and most of all, the love of friends!

 

Solitude…

Octavio Paz wisely said:


(Photo found on archdelhi.wordpress.com)

As I approach my 33rd birthday this Saturday, I’m reminded just how “profound this fact of the human condition” is in my life. Cousin Lorian passed a comment on Friday night at Mom’s birthday dinner, “We’re going to have to dust you off; you’re on the shelf now!” Normally I would simply let it fly over my head, but like I said in my previous post, I do hear the loud ding-dong-tick-tock of Big Ben in my brain and belly. And yes, I know and believe that God is still writing my love story, but sometimes the loneliness of not having my own “someone special” does get to me. I find myself almost resenting my coupled friends because they have something I don’t – and I keep wondering why God has chosen them to be, for lack of better expression, happier than me. Some days I feel so incredibly alone, despite having wonderful parents, extended family and some of the most loyal, true friends a girl could ask for. I am loved by so many, except that “special one”.

I’ve met some wonderful potential “special ones”, but I know in my heart, romantic relationships with them would not go the distance. The majority of them are at least a decade older than I am, some being divorced with kids already half my age, some having never been married, but with zero ambition…

I’ve fancied someone for quite some time, someone who could be the “another” that I could realize myself in, and he knows it, despite his pretence of obliviousness. In many ways, he is what my heart desires – well mannered, ambitious, gentle, caring, fun, stable, focused, attractive, diligent…the list can go on for quite a while…but for reasons unbeknownst to me, nothing more than a semi-stable friendship has evolved. I say semi-stable, because we’ve made progress as friends, but it is as if he is afraid of really showing who he is…fear, perhaps? Trust issues? Closeted skeletons? I’m naturally an open person, and (much to my shock and horror), some people are intimated by this. Mom has always told me to be who I am and if people can’t deal with me the way I am, it’s their loss, not mine. But, like I’ve said before, I have this deep-rooted yearning to be liked.

Mom, Elizabeth and I were having coffee at a local franchise on Saturday and there was a couple with their son (about eleven or so), and a little baby girl. She was so beautiful, so precious, so perfect, so…something I long for. And I don’t only mean the baby…I mean the whole family unit…MY family unit.

Time will tell, I suppose… until then, I’ll just have to continue to hope that soon it will be my turn.

Love, Trust, Harm…

Apologies readers, if this post is a bit disjointed, but I wanted to get my thoughts down, and I’m extremely pressed for time!

In Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, he tells the reader:

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

A colleague of mine has this quotation taped to her PC monitor and it is a permanent BBM status. The other day I was chatting to Steve at the gym and he too said, “Trust few people…”

I understand the concept, but I simply can’t trust a select few, despite having experienced a form of ultimate betrayal myself  (and yes, it has bitten me in the arse more times than I care to admit). My boss even told me in my personnel evaluation two weeks ago, that I need to be meaner, because people take advantage of my good nature and tackle me emotionally. I was a little hurt by what he’d said, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized, he is right. The reason people take advantage of my good nature is simple – I trust them too easily, and beyond that, I trust them to do the right thing. Taking advantage of people isn’t right, so I trust them not to do it… I know it sounds like I’m talking in circles, but I’m sure you get the point.

That brings me to another story. For the sake of anonymity, I am not going to mention names, but refer to the people involved as Jack and Sarah.

I became friends with Jack and Sarah through a mutual friend. Sarah and I immediately hit it off. She was a bit of a rebel and part of me envies that because I’ve always been a goody-two-shoes. Jack came across as aloof, but as time passed, he defrosted a bit. As we got to know each other better, I’d learned that Sarah and Jack have been together for over a decade, and, while not married, they have two beautiful children. Sarah was a stay-at-home-mom; Jack a successful businessman.

One day during my recuperative period (after my diagnosis with depression), Sarah called asking me to join her for a drive in the country to go and visit her mum. I went and she shared some things about her past that I found shocking. She’d had a long problem with drug abuse, cocaine being her drug of choice. She had already been with Jack at the time, but left him and her (at that time) only child because of the spell of the drugs. Jack had to support his child, and not knowing what to do, as his job takes him away from home quite often, he put the child in the care of his parents, in another town. He fought tooth and nail to help Sarah, and eventually, she got clean. She continued her rhetoric, telling me that between then and getting back together with Jack, she’d been in a relationship with a much younger guy. I sat wondering how a person can love someone, yet not trust them enough to help them during one of the darkest times of their life. She’d fallen pregnant shortly after getting back together with Jack and this time it was for keeps. She was so emphatic in her statement that I couldn’t help but trust her.  She was my friend, she’d paid her dues, she wouldn’t lie to me, surely?

Four years down the line I bumped into another mutual friend of Sarah and I who told me that she and Jack aren’t together anymore. She’d apparently fallen prey to the wrong crowd again. I felt so sad – strangely though, not for Sarah, who I’d forged a strong bond with that day (she trusted me enough to share her dark secret), but for her two beautiful children and Jack, who has seen to it that she has never wanted for anything, a few rules notwithstanding.

About a month ago, during a window-shopping session, I heard someone whistle at me. I was not amused, but I turned around to see Jack standing there, a shadow of his former self. I told him I’d heard that things at home were a bit stormy and he told me the whole story. Sarah’s moved out – and he wants to help her (he loves her so much), but he doesn’t know if she wants to be helped. I can’t begin to imagine how he feels – having his trust betrayed for a second time. I wonder if she ever stopped to consider how her behaviour will influence her children and their ability to trust authority figures, when they can’t even count on their own mother to provide their most fundamental needs.

It was Jack’s birthday yesterday and I sent a simple text, saying, “Hey Jack, wishing you a great birthday. All the best for the year ahead!”

He replied, thanking me for remembering.

Part of me can’t help but wonder, if we love someone so much, do we stupidly trust them not to harm us? Or do we trust them, knowing they most likely will hurt or betray us, hoping that love will conquer all in the end and that there will be no long-term harm done?

Yearning

I woke up on Sunday morning, opened the blinds and smiled with relief when I saw the blue skies because I wanted to take a solitary nature walk, to connect with a part of myself that I miss.

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(Photo from saidaonline)

Alas, the weather has turned foul, so my plans were shelved for the moment.

I had had some friends round the night before for a small get together.  We had a few laughs and when everyone had left and I was doing the last of the dishes, I suddenly felt like someone had ripped my heart out.  Just.  Like.  That.  I waited until everyone had let me know they’d arrived home safely and I crawled into bed.  Horrid dreams plagued me all night.  I was awake at five am again…

I had my morning shower and put on some Lady Antebellum – it’s great Sunday music.  The strangest thing happened when All We’d Ever Needed started playing – I was overwhelmed by a flood of tears and a gut-wrenching yearning…for someone.  The question is who?  Some days being alone really gets to me; it makes my heart ache so badly. My folks got home from a weekend away and we went out for lunch to a local steak house called Cattle Baron.  Elizabeth joined us, as did Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry.  Lunch was divine, as were some shooters…but even more scrumptious was our waiter, a tall, dark haired, blue eyed god called G.T.  The old folks left and Elizabeth and I stayed behind, drinking coffee – but G.T I’m sure knew we stuck around to just perv over him.

After I got home, the Sunday blues grabbed me again, so I forced myself to write something – I have had no inspiration for quite a while now and many people notice that I’m devouring books.  What they don’t know is that as long as I’m reading, I’m not writing much.  I read three novels last week…

Yearning

A simple tune drowns out the white noise

But it doesn’t stop the raging storm

Waves of emotion crash over my rocky heart

Changing its exterior with each swell

A deep, insatiable yearning sets in

Tears blur my vision

The melody continues to taunt me

Rubbing my solitude in my face

Taking pleasure in my heartache

Evil voices laugh in my head

Making me doubt my worthiness

I wonder if you see what I see

Is that why you keep your distance?

I know you’ve noticed me

Yet you keep me at arm’s length

Or do I just blend into the background?

The yearning to be part of your life

Devours my mind

Day and Night

Dawn and Dusk

Through my soft sobs

I wipe my tears

The yearning isn’t gone, but the ditty is finished

I have to carry on, face the day…and not lose hope.

Curiouser, and Curiouser…

…is what Valentine’s Day has been for me.  I feel like I have been abducted by aliens.  Seriously, WTF is going on?!

For the first time since I have been on the anti-depressants, or as I like to refer to them, my anti-mental pills, I hit a really bad downer.  I have been teary, irritable, heart sore, hopeless, bitter and angry the entire day.  Not knowing how to deal with this sudden rush of well, depression, I trotted off to town and had lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in ages.  I let rip and she sat there, totally engrossed in what I was saying and proceeded to do what most of my friends do when I am on the brink of an apoplectic fit – she shoved a double thick milkshake in front of me and told me everything would be okay.

I needed some advice on another issue and because I needed an honest, insightful answer on the male psyche I gave Allan a call.  The first words out of his mouth were, “Happy Valentine’s Day Honey Child!” and I nearly burst into a flood of tears.  I told him that it has been a really crap day (it would have been whether it was Valentine’s or not).  He was the first person to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day which just added insult to injury.  I have wished a number of people, getting the obligatory replies back.  He was relaying his advice when the wonderful invention of call waiting signaled a call waiting – from the West Coast.  I don’t know anyone there, so I ignored the call, thinking that if it was important the caller could leave a message.  He did, but more about that in a moment.  Allan gave me the insightful, honest answer I was looking for, as well as advice on how to handle the sensitive matter at hand.  I rang off feeling a bit better, but I’m still second guessing myself a bit.  I think I will have an indulgent Glenfiddich 12 year tonight.  Maybe that will give me the “oh fuck, who cares” attitude I need to get through this dip.

Anyhow, back to the mystery caller…”Hi MTM, it’s Morris here.  Morris Benjamin, not sure if you remember me.  Please give me a call at xxx xxx xxxx.  Thank you.”  I think to myself, “Okay, uhm, WTF?!  Who??”  True as nuts, when I logged into FB, I see an invitation from this chap, san profile pic (not helpful if I don’t remember you!) and then a message too…”Hi, it’s me, Morris.  Randolph’s friend from Cape Town…”  Still not having a clue who this bloke is, I rang up Elizabeth who was able to vaguely jog my memory.  I don’t know what he wants but if it’s important, he can call back.  From what is stored in my hazy memory, he was a somewhat strange (read scary-strange-weird-creepy) character…

Also, of all the songs that could be stuck in my head, it would have to be the Beatles’s “Blackbird”.  And then I heard the Rolling Stones’s “Paint it Black” and KT Tunstall’s “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree…”  WTF?  Red is the colour of love, not black…

Although, come to think of it, Black is the colour of my spirit today, so maybe that’s why those songs stood out more for me today.

Curiouser, and Curiouser…

ANOTHER Sad Day…

Mom’s phone rang just after 8 last night.  It was Kayla, one of my most dear friends in the whole world, whom I don’t get to see enough because she lives in Johannesburg and I live down here.  She was the bearer of bad news.  Our mutual friend, Rentia’s mother passed away last night.  Like Steph, she too died after a long illness, but unlike Steph who died on her own birthday, Rentia’s mom died on her youngest daughter,  Sarah’s birthday.  How tragic…

I will admit that I haven’t had much contact with Rentia in quite some time – as life happens, so people sometimes drift apart.  I sent her a message last night and again this morning.  My heart is with Rentia, her father, her siblings and her children.  Again, I am reminded of my own mortality…