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

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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

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

The short of it

I have successfully failed at crafting an introductory lifestyle blog whilst utilising my more common style of writing. With each paragraph I felt more like a raging fisherman’s wife rather than a blooming and contemporary lifestyle blogger. Boy did I complain about the demise of my former lifestyle city living glory and the real hacks my problematic skin has afforded me since primary school.

But, in 2018 we know better, so we do better. So here I am to very briefly share a little bit about my city life and the commencement of my wellness journey. And yes, you may raise your glasses to the more detailed blog posts that will follow because I do promise not to slack.

Before the anticipated ramble do remember to visit http://www.mathunzi.com for a look at who I am and what I do. And in future search Mathunzi Macdonald on your YouTube app for video footage of my journey, music and experiences.

Let’s begin with my beautiful addiction. Well, it isn’t contributing much to the beauty of my skin or immune system but work with me; Coffee.

You may have spotted me or notice that I spend a lot of time at Starbucks. Thankfully my addictions do not extend to WiFi even though I appreciate the uninterrupted Apple updates and music downloads that come with having my feet up on their couches. The gingerbread latte always hits the spot but nothing quite does it like their food and desserts. I can’t complain about the Jazz that plays overhead and I am grateful to have graced the Starbucks Rosebank stage performing my own music with The Verse.

But then came Naked Coffee. I think I may be in love! In support of black business and beautiful souls, Gorge Sandton will be a spor to visit. Owned by actress Mapaseka Koetle-Nyokong and her husband, an experience there has already confirmed it as my other home. At home we stick to our green packaged bestie Jacob’s K and bitterly weep over the loss of my Nespresso machine.

4th avenue in Parkhurst is ideal for easy Sunday living and seriously good food. I was also introduced to Miss Salon London on this street and has my first ever tattoo done here. I don’t frequent it as much since Menlyn Maine came to existence boasting culinary beauties such as Ribs & Burgers but it is always a safe bet if anyone were to ask where to dine in Johannesburg.

Be it a grocery cart or sit in at the cafe, Woolies stays winning. May I argue that contrary to popular belief, their regular food and household products are priced in the same category as most other popular supermarkets. Free tip; Grab a green smoothie to get regular. It gets the job done but tastes way better than green juice.

Host your breakfast and brunch meetings at Lucky bread 7. Wives and in house honeys, the breadsticks are a winner for your partner’s snack time or lunch box.

I stumbled upon a growing collaboration opportunity with The Laser Beautique Irene branch and this is where I will begin my new skin journey and continue my much needed pamper sessions. Look out for #MakeupIsOptional and more excitingly #MathunziAndFriends as I will have a few old and new friends join me at TLB from time to time. My hair care will continue at Candi & Co. Reasonable prices aside they serve free drinks and have decent WiFi like Miss Salon London does too. (Sucker for bottomless cappuccinos).

#IAmMyOwnBodyGoals Therefore, most exercise (if I successfully work through this laziness) will take place in the comfort of my home.

Speaking of collaborations, I recently discovered that a primary school companion Muhle Matthews works for one of Joburg’s most popular hubs, Maboneng. A few years before this I discovered her singing ability which is rather sweet in comparison to her husky speaking voice loaded with a strong twang, which leans more to sexy. Muhle, my photographic and digital guru Nigel and myself sat down and curated the inception of my more intentional exploration of Maboneng and the spaces with it. Let’s just say a lot of my time will be wasted there in 2018. Oh! I will glady welcome a surprise party at the Living Room, any time of the year, I’m not picky.

I think I have far superceded the confines of being “short” so let’s speed this up.

Nouveau over commercial movies anyday. Theatre is undoubtedly the most authentic way to experience the art of acting. Live music never fails to elevate the soul. Markets and rooftop events are ideal to quench YOLO and FOMO. Hiking at Hennops is all of R70 (totally worth it) considering all the zonkey’s you’ll see. Yes! Zonkey! Hahaha.

Is it considered saucy when you clarify that pumps are not ballet flats? Consider it pay back for the giggles that taunt me for shopping in the junior sneaker section because my foot freakishly shrunk to nothingness in 2009. I declare 2018 the year of pumps and sneakers and finally affording goodies at Zara out of sale season. Don’t be fooled by the TopShop merch in my closet, I have my ways that rescue my pocket from constant emptiness.

As I wrap this up, let me share what I genuinely am burdened to share in my journey; The true meaning of being kind. We preach a lot on showing kindness to others and seemingly forget to show ourselves even a smidgen of it. Listen, you cannot give what you do not have so be kind to your self. Forgive yourself, love yourself and spoil yourself rotten when the means allow. You really only get to do this life thing once, do it well; kindly.

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

UNdo (18.09.2012) 

Five years ago today, at roughly 08:00, I stood waiting outside the magistrate office. I would legally and otherwise bind myself to the picture of forever that I had carefully woven in my heart and mind. Today, I can’t commit to a celebration. So instead I will rabble in reflection below…

“That only happens in movies” they said. We defied their limited notions with a timeless kiss in the dirty streets of Johannesburg, while clinging to our pockets lest those who picked them, found them. Weeks later a meeting you would have with a familiar stranger would anger me and have me tuck my heart’s keys away lest YOU found them. But your eyes sparkled with ambition and your hands struck me with desire; I loosened my grasp.

My father said “dare not be unequally yoked, how then would you raise your children?”. He said this deeply simmering with delight at your wish to take my hand and make an honest woman of me. We lay excitedly gazing at the single pearl on my finger, speaking of what WOULD be. Rarely did we speak of what COULD be if we lost the keys we both had been entrusted with.

My diamond ring which pardoned the single pearl, after the familiar stranger made a mockery of it would be tainted still… My old lover would leave this earth. You asked me to mourn, maybe wishing that, that would wash the corners of my soul that you still hadn’t occupied. I could only dream of being called your wife. My tears were aimless. Was I mourning the one who was or what was predestined to be.

Before you watched me walk down the isle, fame, money and adoration found us. No, wait… It found you. I happily walked with you, sapphire and diamonds in hand. I had a piece of paper now that carried all the promises of “for better or worse, till death do us part”. This little piece of paper wrapped the keys inside of it and invited my mind to it’s warm abode. I became delusional. Your eyes never wandered and neither did mine, why worry about those would pry lustfully at my flesh and your status? Our cellphones carried no weight of passcodes. Our home reeked of pleasure and satisfaction. Our eyes glistening with promise. We have found what we were looking for in that timeless kiss on the dirty streets of Johannesburg.

I remember the first time I cussed at you. The first time I threw something at you. I remember how I broke the promise never to slumber in anger. See, we understood that heart’s stop beating in the mornings too. What we didn’t know was that the covenants of lovers had hearts too.

“In 5 years we will review this contract.” We laughed loudly.

I laugh now remembering the fourth. The fourth of six. Six years of analysing the colours in your eyes. Six year of birthdays and deaths, of humans and covenants too. I want to forget. The death of the colours in your eyes that painted my heart’s canvas.

Year seven pending year five, I bought a bucket of paint. Black. I poured it over my soul. It dripped. Down to my feet and left bare the lessons I HAD to learn from YOU, from LIFE, from LOVE, that were specially crafted FOR ME.

Love with no reservations. Love stupidly. Love completely. Love to death. Love beyond death. Love beyond pain. Love your scars. Love the flowers on the graves of your hand written happily ever afters. Love YOU first, after God. Love the journey. Love him. Love him despite. Love him inspite. Love prayer. Love commitment. Love recreation, rehabilitation, restoration. Love your children. Love their children. Love their joys. Love LOVE.

This piece of paper no longer holds my mind. This was no choice of mine. Life spat in my face often enough and entrenched it’s vile stench in my hands; Each time I dared to wipe my tears I would smell the struggle. The struggle to be who I promised to be while loving you. Loving us. Loving this. So my mind detached in search of cleaner spaces.

Almost eight and safely at five, I would only changed two things. The deaths of the beings we coloured in hopes of creating masterpieces.

The rest should stay the same. How else would I undo the knots of premature promises I made to you. How else would I learn to celebrate what has become at FIVE.

It was/is NECESSARY