Personal Blog

Call him by name

Does naming and “shaming” out abusers truly liberate us? Are we overwhelmed with a great sense of freedom when our peers, family and friends are invited to what was happening behind closed doors? Do our open mouths and bleeding hearts fix even a fraction of the frame?

What happens when your abuser is say a celebrity, wealthy or good looking? Say he is a respected member of society or a man of the cloth. Perhaps you were involved in a romantic relationship with your abuser and he is married and the wife sits quietly in her home and marriage. Who is the fool now? The abuser could be a family member who lacks deeply in emotional intelligence. What if the abuser was abused as well, and suffered a little more than you if that is at all possible.

Shame. We seem to believe that we can cultivate sympathy and grow consciences through shaming. Not realising that our sheltered upbringing kept very essential truths from us for a very long time. What we assume to be shameful, hurtful, abusive or self destructive could be considered absolutely normal on these circular streets. We also do not realize how deeply embedded the roots of patriarchy are planted within our so called new age, new thinking beings.

We hold men to a much higher esteem. We teach men not to be accountable for their thoughts or actions. We aid them in the abusing of our time, means and bodies by pretending that “sorry” fixes a damn thing. We pick up the phone to chase. We buy the birthday gifts, do the cooking, drop the panties before we are wooed. Shame? No longer a thing when females are buying condoms and lubricant because we are now in charge of our sexual appetites. No, we are definitely not teaching our younger sisters that cultivating ones mind is a safer bet in possibly retaining ones dignity if all hell breaks loose. Do we discuss that your womb will be scrapped bear when he finally confesses to having a much more preferable being in his life who his mom who always greeted you lovingly completely adores.

Run to Twitter, compile the hashtags and shame him.

Did it work?

Did he lose his job? Did his following decrease? Are the women who encouraged you to air your laundry standing in solidarity with you or are they his new most frequent Whatsapp contact?

How much time did you spend with your therapist understanding that you may never expect an apology but may have to move on as though you received one. How much do you understand about personality disorders, attachment styles, relationships, abuse beyond the physical, sociopaths, narcissism and the demons mothers marry their children to through neglect?

Before we sensationalize our truths and cause their testimony to lay void, let us stop to think;

What good will it do me to invest more time in my abusers publicity. Are all my wounds well bandaged and my mind sitting in good balance that I can handle the possible backlash. Will I cope with the means of retaliation when he drops buckets of my deepest darkest secrets. Will my family understand why it became necessary to leave us all raw and exposed. Did I prepare them for this? Did I prepare my children, my current partner.

A moments glory is never worth a lifetime of brokenness. Who is shaming who

Advertisements

A Good Goodbye

I desperately want to close this chapter of my life. As a matter of fact I have to. In doing so I am required to make a couple of changes.

I am saying goodbye to my blog.

Before anything else, THANK YOU.

My readers, friends, supporters, and yes the judgy Judy’s too; thank you for allowing me to share my heart. That you for allowing me to split open and spill generously. My personal life, work, lifestyle, thoughts, ideals and so much more has been splattered all over this WordPress medium and I have found much pleasure in discovering that like you I am simply human.

I’d like to create a more professional blog for my personal brand and my lifestyle blog. This will become available with the next http://www.mathunzi.com website update. I also wished to be booked for more professional writing work in various spaces, so rather that be my resume of all things “vocab”. The opportunity to study further has me taking advantage of the chance to better my technical writing technique. Allow me to grow and prepare to do better by my audience in future.

I will spend what is left of 2018 catching up. I have promised you so much and I will deliver as far as my being and time permits. I will then only manage comments and communication on this page and leave it open simple as a reminder of where I have come from.

The book

Turns out it isn’t as simple as one would assume or prefer. As much as “best selling author” is seemingly a popular title of late, putting actual pen to paper is not as breezy as a Sunday morning.

This how ever is a story that I must tell and I will tell it. On my own terms! This is where I will shift the pieces of both the making and the breaking of my heart to. I pray that someday someone picks up a copy and says “God must be real”.

Please do not categorise my work amongst the memoirs of victims. I am not here for that. I have ingested enough pity, mostly from self, to drown me for decades. Take me as I am. She who loved even after loves wrote her multiple goodbyes. She who said yes, again.

2018

Less than 90 days of this indescribably turbulent year. Stay with me if you dare as we say goodbye to that which was and can no longer be.

DM me for lunch dates. Email me for collaborations. Invite me to talks, campaigns, NGO’s and events. Let’s have those conversations

Mathunzi MacDonald

Will that basket of vows be card or cash?

Confidence it extremely sexy. Arrogance on the other had leaves very little to be desired. The line in between the two? Rather thin!

I recently discovered that I have been carrying a very inflated and superficial idea of self in relation to my marital status. My psychologist reduced me to tears when she explained where a bulk of my issues stemmed from. I was failing to reconcile what I thought I already knew to the constantly changing state of a regular marriage and what the changes implied. I had dropped my value and esteem into a matrimonial jar and had begun to suffocate once the lid was closed shut.

Men treat you differently depending on what they see or do not see on your left hand. Will the ambitious handful still make an attempt for your affections? indeed. But, it comes with a bit more consideration, finesse and “respect”. In fact, some men will walk you through the muted yet merited CV that your wedding band is. How another man is currently leading the charge in using your potentially dwarfed view of womanhood and marriage. Further perpetuating the culture of religious bred patriarchy, which your mother continues to advocate for in the annual #TeamBekezela meetings. And how he simple is purposed to empty what’s left of your reserve before society deems you a whore and him a hero.

Women will treat your differently, usually depending on how deeply their own minds are crippled and/or how limited their ambitions are. A woman will side eye off a sidewalk simply because your war began at 21 and they have had to wait till 30 to hear anything more than “thank you for a good time”. Gossip is definitely the perfect tool to screw up what was left of our dignities and defiance. Spitting and swallowing conflicting commentary such as “marriage is not an achievement” alongside “her man was in my DM’s before she trapped him with her families money”. Rarely do we discuss as woman how to protect the next generation of daughters from this form of femicide by sacrifice. Some will glorify your status by starting to dress like you, speaking as you do and completely abolishing anything that remotely reflects a standard.

There is no warmer embrace by the church family than that which they offer one who is married. Oh no goodness, there are the “blessed tithers” but that is definitely a conversation for another day. If you offer the church and it’s affiliates the bragging rights of your upbringing, engagement announcement, wedding ceremony and blessing of children, you are well on your way to earth’s paradise which is governed by mortal salvation. I still long to weigh in on conversations with congregational elders about pursuing education, careers and true self actualization before cooking classes and knee bending for in laws. I still hear very few sermons that articulate the concept of ‘submission’ in marriage appropriately without subtly encouraging various forms of abuse and an invitation and acceptance of these. Will our mothers ever tell us the truth of what to look forward to before the clockwork reminders that you dare not embarrass the family name?

And somehow I’ve been wondering why any space outside of being a partner or a wife has been gravely uncomfortable for me in the past few years.

My yoke is not only furnished with the general marriage title. With me it has always mattered “who” I am married to. Before anyone else, to myself. So much so I completely lost Mathunzi and found myself walking around with the stinking corpse that is “Mrs Someone”.

Mrs MacDonald. Hah! Listen to that. How could I not trip over my own ankles at every glimpse of my new signature? The branding on my handbag was also of world class standards; what a gorgeous man. So gorgeous some of my “friends” had him as the wallpaper on their cellphones and for years I was completely oblivious to the insult and disrespect of this. It bothered me little to hear that chitter chatter suggested that I sought material gain in my agreeing to be betrothed because how many envied me? How many begged for a life that replicated what I chose to post on Instagram? How many praised me for my wife material personality, what ever that means, and helped me ignore the necessary investment in personal growth that I abandoned for the grace and dignity of being a modern makoti.

Marriage made me someone without me having to be someone of substantial value. At least that is what I thought. The price would be constant deposits and very few withdrawals leaving my being bankrupt. If fact at some points leaving me financially bankrupt as well.

What breaks my heart is an inability to break the cycle because of a failure to realize how deeply embedded this social and psychological conditioning of what defines a woman is. Worser so in religious settings and homes; and I assume our parents have no cooking clue as to the deep dark pits their good intentions keep digging.

I no longer hold being married to such great esteem. Marriage as an institution I do respect, honour and advocate for but I am completely against the mess we have made of it. Especially in assuming that in becoming one flesh we no longer have to cultivate our individual existence. And please stop organizing your vision board with images and text from Instagram and the likes. Why would we not ONLY show you what we know you wish to see? Could we also respect each other on a basic human level and not the possession of a certificate void of actual qualification. Most of these rings are cubic zirconia anyway and with time will fade like the broken glass that they are.

And with that out of the way let me get back to the Confessions of a young Wife series as promised.

Remember that the value is on you. Not your marital status as defined by law or life.

The death of me

I have this thought; that I may not wake up in the morning. That someone else’s bad day could result in my family receiving that dreaded call that I am no more. I do not think that death in itself is what I fear. I am instead constantly troubled by how I would be remembered, and if any tangible meaning could be attached to my name beyond it’s lyrical and potent meaning.

Would I have given birth to a child with the same big eyes who would give those who mourned for me promise of a better day? Would I have made my parents proud and returned enough for their countless sacrifices. Would God know me by name, works and the effects of grace?

Would I have told my story?

‘Intrusive thoughts’ they call them. The monsters that live both under and inside of your bed if you suffer from Anxiety and/or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I won’t be hiding behind my many ailments today. I’d like to bring to your attention something that constricts my thoughts in a far more greater way; the truth.

I had decided that a book would be my chosen medium. Forgetting that I most probably form part of the world’s top ten list of people who are lazy to type. An opportunity to create a reality tv show was a dream only a few steps away from being actualized. But God knew that I was not ready. I would have been so far gone in the gimmicks and soul draining tactics of money making and high ranking seeking that I would shift from testimony to tabloid star.

So I’ve had to wait. Wait to be further taunted, abused and humiliated. Wait to fall in and out of love again. Wait for others to pen down their preferred version of my story. I would have to wait to be completely broken before I could begin to rebuild.

I currently have very little to no desire to drag you all back to the early 90’s where some of the madness began. I will tell you this however as a prelude to the bitter kiss I pray my book will place on you. I too was born a female in South Africa. My odd personality put me on a self driven family shaming adventure at the age of 4. Malnutrition in the presence of plenty.

I was a coconut by the age of six which meant that I did not quite fit in. English speaking dark skinned girls with skinny legs were fair game for all sorts of verbal abuse.

Fist fights with members of the opposite sex were a norm by age 11. By age 14 I had been labelled a bitch by the greater popular church society. I had changed schools because my lesbian suitor did not take well to the word no and had a personal relationship with the HOD who would have expelled me for breathing loudly if he could. I lied to my father about being molested by the resident pedophile for fear he would snap his neck after my then 8 year old cousin had bravely shared her horrors with her mother. The other girls and I had kept this secret well enough so far and he had told me of my ever so attractive maturity and promised to stop with the other girls if I didn’t let go of his hand.

I honestly didn’t think the 20 year old was doing anything out of the ordinary when he shoved me against a wall in Tasbet Park and shoved his rough tongue down my throat. It wouldn’t happen again would it? His future fiancè had already given me a piece of her mind and must have taken my number from him so we all should be square then.

Fast forward past the dating a medical student at 16, followed by rumours of abortions and another man’s hands up my thighs uninvited. He is a pastor now so let us do as we are taught and shame him not.

I would get married at 19 until my engagement was broken by the man of my dreams.

I was engaged again to a different man when I discovered that I had spent age 20 with a married man. He passed away two weeks later and my heart has never been the same again.

My story has not begun. Not the story that I need to tell before life signs me off with my last breathe.

I have been open about the loss of my two children before birth. Recently I discovered that I am sometimes blamed for Aya’s death because of my “infidelity”. And even when these stories that disgustingly dim the lights of my miracles are told, I still pause on the truth.

On the 18th of September 2018 I will continue with the Confessions of a young Wife series yet I warn you not to hold your breathe. My truth will remain on mute.

Pray that I see the tomorrow that I so desperately seek. Because…

“In 2010 I met a boy and he was not handsome; he was beautiful…”

http://www.mathunzi.com

Instagram @mathunzimacdonald

info@mathunzi.com

Yes I do but no, I don’t

Backspace;

The opportunity to begin again with the telling of what it truly on my mind.

Interruptions have forced me to reconsider the structure of this post. This being the fourth attempt, I hope that what I wish to share translates as it should.

I hate asking you for help. I hate the crippling and shameful feeling that follows minutes after you agree. Agree to step into the gaps that I am yet to separate into the categories of “just human” and “all my fault”. I hate the marks left on my small round mirror when I spit mouthfuls of insults to self. See, I’m failing to get my script right as I rehearse my plea, and I can’t seem to find any ticket holders to the seats of my plight’s screening.

You laughed at me when I last told you that my petrol tank was empty. Audi drivers carry fat purses which cover the exhausted engines of our tireless hustles. So we laugh with you when we have to pretend that our vulnerabilities are but a big fat stomach turning joke.

I called my mother who scolded my tears because what are a few hundreds between family?

They are the story between 18 and 28 and every thing that did not go your way. They are the fees you donated to your lover which left you unqualified. The job you lost when tabloids were distributed as your curriculum vitae. Those tears are the exam you missed when the GAD you are constantly mocked for robbed you of sleep until the sun sung you a lullaby.

I stopped crying when you offered to drive me to the hospital. We both knew what could be otherwise. I had successfully dismantled the back bumper of that man’s NP200 when I so elegantly rammed my car into his at 40km’s p/h because my legs decided it was more fitting to be still. Sadly, you would be at work the next time I needed to visit the hospital, so I took an Uber to my 2nd child’s funeral. Card not cash.

I couldn’t blend my makeup for my social media appearance, where I would beg anyone who was going through even a fraction of what I was, to never shy away from asking for help. I opened the doors to my email and DM’s then tip toed to quickly shut the windows of my ever dramatic life. The light may expose the poor application of the foundation you suggested I purchase to cover my embarrassing skin. I noticed that you do not invite me to “our spots” anymore. Needy me might need you to defend me to your posh, prim and proper, ‘we only exist for the good times’ friends.

I needed a hand walking into September. I needed a hand packing what’s left of my photo albums. I needed a ride to pick up my medication. I needed a prayer. I needed you.

But I dare not burden you.

I dare not burden myself, as I already have by giving you parts of me that you never deserved and failing still to simply say no.

You remain entitled to my time, money, mind, body and soul. You get to laugh it off and forget my birthday. You have permission to remind me of what you think my father makes and how by some miracle it has become ours yet he does not know your first name.

What then do you call me? You call me Empath. Co dependent. Sucker for punishment

empath

ˈɛmpaθ/

noun

  1. (chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to perceive the mental or emotional state of another individual.

    Deemed ‘kind to a fault’. A fault perceived as a gift. A gift that gives but leaks through the cracks of my naivety.

    Teach me to ask

    (H) Hope
    (E) Empathy
    (L) Love
    (P) Progress

    God grant me the diligence to discern when my being needs to be mounted on the wings of those who’s intentions are moulded by Your will.

    (Share if you struggle to ask for help even when you desperately need it)

    info@mathunzi.com

    Deemed ‘kind to a fault’. A fault perceived as a gift. A gift that gives but leaks through the cracks of my naivety.

    Teach me to ask

    (H) Hope
    (E) Empathy
    (L) Love
    (P) Progress

    God grant me the diligence to discern when my being needs to be mounted on the wings of those who’s intentions are moulded by Your will.

    (Share if you struggle to ask for help even when you desperately need it)

    info@mathunzi.com

    Deemed ‘kind to a fault’. A fault perceived as a gift. A gift that gives but leaks through the cracks of my naivety.

    Teach me to ask

    (H) Hope
    (E) Empathy
    (L) Love
    (P) Progress

    God grant me the diligence to discern when my being needs to be mounted on the wings of those who’s intentions are moulded by Your will.

    (Share if you struggle to ask for help even when you desperately need it)

    info@mathunzi.com

    Deemed ‘kind to a fault’. A fault perceived as a gift. A gift that gives but leaks through the cracks of my naivety.

    Teach me to ask

    (H) Hope
    (E) Empathy
    (L) Love
    (P) Progress

    God grant me the diligence to discern when my being needs to be mounted on the wings of those who’s intentions are moulded by Your will.

    (Share if you struggle to ask for help even when you desperately need it)

    info@mathunzi.com

It isn’t all in my head

I was alone in my humble apartment when I fell just the other day whilst on the phone with my assistant, trying to make a cup of tea. I had been struggling to sleep well for a few days, even with the aid of prescribed sleeping pills. So after a very taxing weekend of driving, singing gigs and the usual struggles of “adulting” I took a much anticipated nap. I took my pills as prescribed and climbed into bed, savouring roughly two hours of decent slumber. I woke up and picked up my phone to inform a few close friends that I had managed to get some sleep even though I woke up to a pounding headache. This isn’t unusual. I suffer from migraines now and then mainly due to tension. The hamster wheel in my mind is running on a V8 engine of late, therapy and calming agents aside.

The kettle was boiling and I mentioned to my assistant that I would climb back into bed as soon as I had used the bathroom which I desperately needed. I remembered feeling light headed and telling Vuyo that I would call her back in two minutes. I had convinced myself that two minutes was all I needed for my bathroom visit, pouring of the water into the already prepared cup and sliding comfortably back into bed. I repeated the phrase to Vuyo and whilst questioning why I had in all of 30 seconds forgotten that I had already pardoned myself I heard my phone fall. When I came to I realised that I had fallen with it. I sat in a daze and used my more sober voice to convince my self that it was safer to stay on the floor until my eyes weren’t cloudy and my head did not feel like I was hit by an unruly Putco bus. A quick scan of my body once I made it to the pillow confirmed that I wasn’t physically hurt. My mind however was in turmoil; Is this normal? Would it happen again? Should I call my psychiatrist?

Truth is that I was exhausted and had jumped back into work prematurely. My fear of going hungry due to insufficient funds had trumped the doctors orders to take it easy after my discharge. That and something I am not quite ready to share (keep reading, I will divulge the juicy details in due time).

My discharge from Vista Clinic in Centurion, a psychiatric and wellness hospital, was followed by rather vile tasting events. I was coming to terms with the reaffirmation of my existing disorders; anxiety, ocd and the likes but had two more to wrap my already clustered head around. The more pressing one being MDD.

MDD is the abbreviation for Major Depressive Disorder. I discovered that depression at this level may be caused or exasperated by events, circumstances and trauma but the main cause is a chemical imbalance. Therapy is a wonderful aid but medication (let me stress, the right kind for your body’s make up and other affiliated disorders) is necessary to alleviate the sometimes crippling symptoms. Symptoms range from instrusive thoughts, crying spells, fatigue to body aches and numbness. Insomnia and more frequent anxiety and panick attacks may also form part of this list of unpleasant symptoms if you have also been diagnosed with anxiety. Take note that only a psychiatrist can diagnosis and prescribe appropriately for this disorder.

I had lost a month of work during my admission and there were people who needed my assistance with pressing matters.

Why not top it all off with a flimsy, misinformed and quite honestly annoying newspaper article. Being in the public eye is not all that it is cut out to be, trust me. It’s crazy what the art of writing and journalism has been turned into a playground for sensationalism. And how carelessly we speak about people, their lives and families, around issues that society formerly deemed as both personal and delicate. I guess this “comes with the job” but one can’t help but wish humans would be a little more sensible and considerate of the effects, especially on the extended members of our circles who did not choose to dabble in this industry.

I am not writing this to complain about the pros and cons of celebrity status (a status I honestly believe I have not personally reached in any case) but rather about the lack of awareness, knowledge and understanding of mental health issues. How they can affect one physically, how they are not a “white peoples sickness” and how I’ve realised just how many people don’t know how to treat it because they can not call it by name.

I would love to collaborate with professionals to better explain the issues around mental health. I mainly have my own experiences and those of family members and close friends to share at this point. I do not wish to overwhelm you so we will take it a post at a time.

Keep this in mind in the meantime; YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. You are simply human burdened with a force most persons do not understand. You are allowed to ask for help, in fact you should. Asking for help does not make you a burden, it makes you brave. Brave enough to find ways to survive, overcome and conquer. You are not alone and you are amazing. Waking up to face the world with any or many of the mental health issues we suffer from is almost supernatural.

Take time out. If you need a minute, take it. I needed a month and found some quiet during my visit at the Clinic. Feel free to email me for more info regarding the clinic and other institutions that are setup to help, sometimes with the simple burden of being an adult.

A brave and compassionate creative @mluart had a conversation with me which resulted in an agreement to take a more creative route in creating awareness around mental health.

Follow my Instagram page @mathunzimacdonald for more on this and other awareness projects to follow in the near future.

My email address is info@mathunzi.com. Open for more information, sharing and support, business and collaboration enquiries and bucket loads of love.

I only deal in love. Let’s leave the negativity to Black Twitter.

Strength, Love and all things beautiful

Hello Google?

Timelines are flooded with the instruction to Google search “Squatter Camps South Africa”. I complied, after a friend expressed her incomparable disgust to what she had found when she made the search.

I have not laughed this much in a very long time. Responding to the first ten or so images, my lungs filled up with enough air to send rigorous vibrations through my voice box to create numerous loud and genuine boughts of laughter through the room.

The alternative was rage. The tear filled kind? The kind where you wake up mid month scrapping together money for cellphone repairs after hurling it across the wrong in anger. How was this almost perfect misrepresentation conjured up? How could what I see and what I know fail to meet at any point in agreement? How many actors or posers of caucasian decent lived in South Africa and agreed to be part of this gut wrenching showcase? Could I ever trust google again?

Maybe I don’t travel enough, that must be it. Maybe my own black and coloured family members living in informal settlements are but a handful of poverty stricken beings in this country. Black squatter camps are but a dream we all seem to slip into so as to have something to complain about and blame the white man for. Blacks must live in wealth and run endless food and blanket drives for their fellow poverty stricken, squatter camp living, caucasian countrymen.

Painful.

How the truth has been neatly buried with deliberate photo ops and catchy titles.

May I kindly leave this here post right here. Maybe we will wake up to an apology regarding a distasteful and inhumane joke and begin to read and see about the actual reality of the South African population of colour.

Please do not misunderstand. I am not arguing that there are no white families living in poverty. We are simply asking how such an obvious truth, heavily populated by black and coloured persons can be so beautifully masked?

Maybe if we search placing the words in a different order? Maybe?