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…”

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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

The pain and shame

The pain and shame of showing up alone

You can’t understand it until your body and soul was meshed into one with another in the name of love

The pain and shame

Weddings and funerals, parties and lunch dates

The pain and shame of showing up alone

Doctors appointments and surgery, recovery and holidays

The pain and shame

Of lying while smiling, protecting while crying, burning in the pit of your stomach because your value, time and efforts together cannot be matched to that of a stray dog.

The pain and shame

Of phone calls and texts that go unaswered and put on affection only when in want

The pain and shame

When a stranger decides if you get a yes or a no then laughs about it with your friends

The pain and the shame of showing up alone both at the dawn and dusk of your birthday

And now you look like pain and shame and somebody else must show up? For broken old you?

What soap does one use to scrub of the pain and the shame of showing up alone

Image Nigel Sibisi

Too much

How much is too much?

I waste so much time deleting captions and text because I can not seem to decide when too much is too much.

God forbid we appease the enemy by revealing too much of the contents stacked up in the many boxes of pain that we carry. The bigger boxes labelled shame, failure and regret. But who is the enemy?

Perhaps self; for freely giving the paintbrushes of progress that were custom made for it’s healing. When do we realise that we are on our own timetable? That the real healing begins when we stop thinking about them, thinking for them, making decisions to annoy them. Seeking their attention by continuously numbing our potential and instead squeezing our fat bruised bodies into the spaces of their dreams?

When did this become his, her or their story? Not a minute in my shoes and I have given the power to write my ending? You have already carelessly rewritten chapters in my book with ink you did not purchase. You stole the bottle that leaked of colours that looked like mine, spat your lies into it and began to paint with your unwashed feet. Now I fear your two bit opinion about the pages written with actuality? Piss off.

I love Nomfundo Xaluva’s Bayathetha. It resonates so deeply with me because wow, can people talk! For similar reasons as those relayed in this post I refrained from sharing the cover on my Soundcloud because what if;

What if I am stripped naked for the umpteenth time for the world’s laughter to gnaw at my stained skinned? I dropped out of the Jazz department to resume my administrative position in the department of your dreams and my voice dropped out of my voice box. My 3.3 octave range reduced to one. My scatting into lazy lines 2mm off the walk way of scales. Listen, I heard them talking then and I hear them talking now but I fail to learn the lesson.

I can feel this pen slipping and it shatters me to think that perhaps you, they, I was right to think I could not paint with all my talents.

Too much is the principal of myths in the institution that houses tales that teach us that yellow bones are more attractive and us berry babies should sharpen our wits if we wish to gain any attention. Too much gives a shoulder to the whining of women who stepped into the battle grounds for men who still failed at the pre primary tasks of zip up and keep your shoes on when it rains. Too much told you to bow your head in pity when I mention that my children were never born and labour is twice as hard when it is in vain.

Too much will receive it’s dismissal letter on Monday. Here’s to a weekend of forgiving ourselves and letting our ink flow as we silence the humans who have found nothing better to do but walk outside of our shoes.

All errors should be blamed on my picking up my phone at 23:30 to type and insisting on publishing at 00:05. Let’s proof read on Monday too

Glass

“Your lip is bleeding..”

So are your ears. I took a bite of your lobes in retaliation.

My pallet has acquired the taste of blood; how is your face dealing with the sensation?

Drip!

Your bastard hands fed me glass in the place of the croissant I asked for when you offered breakfast in bed. I sat soaked in the sheets now leaking in the aftermath of your poisonous passion. Your eyes travelling up and down the ridge of my nose as the tray shook.

Nervous?

The bottle of orange juice she asked you to give me was heavier than expected. The sacs were not birthed from fruit but from trees. I reached out to grab it in wanting thirst but that curtain interrupted your step and you dropped it.

“Ignore the spill, I don’t want your breakfast to get cold”.

But windows shiver with cold dew and here you carried pieces of the one that cracked when you saw my car lights as you dropped your keys after walking through our kitchen door at an unmentionable hour.

If only tongues bent like spoons off a hot stove I would still have the half that was brave enough to say you are breaking me.

Swallow…

Your bastard hands fed me glass.

Why are you pretending to be unfamiliar with the smell of my blood? On depletion you drank from my heart’s flood and still asked for more beyond the rainbow coloured by my exhaustion. The words you hear are the products of the excess waste your hands delivered to my mouth. How then is the sting of my bite unbearable when you designed this menu?

Ask me where the napkins are…

If you are kind to me for just a day I may show you in gestures how to wipe the blood just enough for cameras not to see it. If the smell begins to choke you, like me, tell yourself you signed up for this.

Don’t spit into your hands. You need them to replace her bottle of orange juice and refill it with your own sweet tea.

She like me will become accustomed to the taste of cold broken glass; If the smell of my blood doesn’t repel her first.

The sharpest piece just purchased a one way ticket to my heart.

I am no Saint 

I am no delinquent neither.

How do you confess an ill that carries the potential to topple you as the narrator before it hits anyone else? Confessions don’t begin with the person who has been wronged or situation that you have mishandled, no. There is a conversation with self that is usually held off because it begs the question, how on God’s good earth are you this person?

I am pretty good at a number of things, including playful banter right down to calculated self serving manipulation (Aries are made this way). At some point in my life I could drive almost any decision to suit and serve my wants, not needs, and sometimes I could achieve this in complete silence. Before the age of 21  I was well aware of the power of the mind and how malleable emotions can be, and I used this knowledge as a tool to chisel a world I thought I preferred. My older sister became aware of my not so pretty side very early in our childhood. For a couple of years she would not exclusively enjoy a birthday celebrations birthday gift. If I liked what she had, I would seek it and best believe I would get it. I loved her deeply and sometimes envied her “girly” disposition, her less husky and hard voice, curvy body and well manicured hands. But, I would literally die before she was dubbed “the favourite”. To combat this I learnt to pick locks so as to gain access to her diary which I offered to my mom for her early evening reading, precisely marked pages and all. I hated the boarding school we both attended and had convinced myself that it was her fault that I had grown so miserable and was subject to an openly lesbian stalker who pushed me to the verge of suspension twice, so I “retaliated”. I slow brewed the tears, called my father and went on a desperate rant about my deep worries for her spiritual life after discovering that she planned to get her tongue pierced. My father was livid. She has no piercings to date. I had my tongue pierced a year later.

My parents seem to have known about my unique personality almost from birth, but apparently had more faith in how it would shape a resilience and determined spirit that would later fuel my more noble strengths. My father is intelligent and insightful. My mother? Let’s just say she has her God on speed dial and He seems to drop what ever information or remedy she may need or want as soon as she mutters, “Hello, it’s about these children again…”. I learnt the art and gift of confession and forgiveness from my parents and through religious teachings. Confession to self, confession to whom you have wronged and confession to God. There was a greater teacher, who’s methods were not supported by cushions of grace. Her name? Karma.

Karma may force you to do one of these three things, if not all three at the same time;

• Suffer in kind, tenfold

• Take a long hard look in the mirror and see a part of you that you may not have known to exist. A part that is not easy to look at

• Announce her arrival, be visible during her stay and leave a parting card noted “That was me sharing what you deserve. Kindly do not mistake me for that boring guy called Unfair”

In my life, karma was not responsive towards my flawed personality traits. Those were handled by my ability to love to a fault, my swift call to empathy, my anxiety and God. Karma answered to mistakes, bad decisions and carelessness. I mention mistakes before decisions because a repeated mistake is a choice. If you are of sound mind with a reasonable level of common sense, there is truly no sense in a second time. A second time breeds a third, the fourth may begin to numb your guilt and the filth will suffocate your conscious. Then comes habit, weak friends called lies and the most pathetic, meaningless and over used phrase; I am sorry. Sorry? As meaningless as saying grace at a table stacked with fuel before mass indulgence in fornication.

Consequence does not bow to apologies. Consequence will have it’s day.

There are things I will take to my grave, that I only mutter when my room is dark and my windows are sealed. But please know this, I am no saint. I don’t wish to be remembered as one. I am flawed, beautifully so and that has moulded me into a being who constantly seeks to become better.

My greatest sin? The breaking of a heart. Both unintentionally and once with the greatest will. This is why the response matters more than the cause. See pain changes you, shifts you to an unrecognisable state and the easiest way to respond is to inflict it as far as your mind allows you to stretch your constructive imaginings. And when we fear facing this pain, we mask, we soothe. We give of our bodies, our time, our money. We change how we talk and switch the music we listen to. We download messager apps for easier access to the bodies that will climb us and squeeze the life out of our moral graces. We have conversations with boring minds and schedule dates in dark spaces. And when we are found out our tongues trickle the words I am sorry but sadly or hearts are streaked with cobwebs of sinful stone.

I have been afraid of a shift in perspective that could be birthed by the telling of my shortcomings. Then it stopped, the being afraid of external perspectives; How did I perceive me? I walked into the shower barely breathing, bitterly sobbing as though someone had died. I felt dirty. I felt false. I was burdened with a weighted apology but I couldn’t make one until I confessed to self, to him, to God. Perspective.

These days, I am more afraid of laughing about what should sicken me. I am afraid of the texts that are welcomed on my phone after the sun sets. I am afraid of the hearts I may have left bleeding only because mine was gushing. I am afraid of lies and smiles that hide them. I am afraid of the words “I love you”.

I am not proud of my lack but I am pleased that the extreme opposite exists and by grace, it currently dominates my being. I am no delinquent.
My sister calls me loving now and I lock her secrets in my heart. My mom still dials Jesus for intel and dad? Still shakes his head quietly when I fib about the mismanagement of my monthly budget.

And I? I am Sorry