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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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.

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

“GODritude” (an attitude of gratitude towards God.

God is described in so many different ways by different people. In fact, to some He does not exist. Not the God of christians or that of spiritualists, there simply is none.

Gratitude is relative. It is experienced and expressed in various ways and forms. I for instance have spoken of “love languages” which are sometimes used to express gratitude for the existence of others or their presence in one’s life. Or to share in what one has been blessed with.

So what is “GODritude”?

The simple answer; A term I coined whilst rolling around on my bed on a Thursday night, while trying to avoid this somber trail that has befallen my timeline. Listen, there was some quarrel about how to form the word, if to use it, how to use it and how it would be received. I honestly wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Thankfully, the meaning I have attached to my newly formed favourite word, allowed for the progress of this piece.

I complain, a lot. Sometimes in the private rooms of my mind, but boy I can go on. I sometimes complain myself into literal depression and lose an entire day sobbing hopelessly in bed (I seem to really like my bed huh?) Anxiety has it’s hand in this but we will revisit that topic another time.

I also get snippy with God a bit too often of late. I am of the Christian faith, but I have had the privilege of experiencing God as a similar but different (in a good way) entinty to friends of different religions, cultures. I suppose I have had quite a few meaningful conversations with my maker, but more recently, I imagine He has thought of extending his being into a human hand big enough to slap me upside the head and bless me with a godly dose of sense.

Yes, I wish I could only speak of good things, share good memories, make use of a completely healthy & clean tongue but as life would have it, this is pretty close to impossible. However, isn’t there still so much good surrounding one’s existence? If you have become blinded to your blessings, which happens often to most of us, try this here trick. It’s old, but it works, and we will give it a modern twist.

Thank heavens for social media (See, the gratitude seeping in). Now log on to twitter, scroll past the celebrities, blessees and bloggers and click on the handle of a reputable newspaper outlet. Now read only the titles. As you do, provoke your imagination to place you in some of those situations or events. Your mind may fail in some instances to simulate the very emotions, mental burden, trauma or confusion that would have gushed generously over your being had it been you. Unfathomable.

In my complaint state, my mind has moved from “I wouldn’t cope with this, and it could happen to me” to “God, but why should it happen at all, to anyone?”. And as written in a blog post long before He simply responds “If not you, then who”.

A friend of mine sometime ago insisted that we never fall asleep until we affirm something we are grateful for. This friend would call, listen to your long story about your long and horrible day and still remember to ask, “So what are you grateful for?”. In the same way that we make an adult choice as far as who we wish to be and how we wish to live, one must make a choice about how you perceive your God. I have the option of God the tyrant who is waiting on every false move to whip me in to shape with pain, death or disaster. The other option is God of love, the God who is love who decided to honor me with the task of proving His love, power and greatness by costantly scooping me out of the filth (sometime my very well crafted home made filth) in this already defiled world.

A heart of gratitude is so much easier to carry. So is the belief in a higher power or higher being. Too much happens in this life for me to walk about not believing that someone is walking me through it. Humans will fail you. Humans will taint your happy. You, in your human state have managed to dismantle structures of living and living well that others have built. So we choose Him. Or Her to some. I am not here to speak you into conversion. I am her to ask you to take a second, stop and say thank you or thank goodness.

Be grateful also in your ability to be. Look at what you have experienced. The moments where your heart was pretty much yelling that it was ready to stop. You lived through it and now you have this long text of mine to get through, haha. The ability to be, the potential to be more, the grace to manipulate your circumstances so that you can be in a space that constantly says no.

Now be. See God, see you, and be. Don’t forget your manners, say Thank You.

“GODritude”

Exhale (Poetry)

​I need to exhale. 

The time has seen me turn black and blue from the poison infiltrating my lungs that I refuse to spit out. I can not breathe. 

I am ashamed of failures I did not instigate or carry through. I am a victim who over time has learned to victimise. I now know how to suffocate you.

I am built to withstand the stakes darted at the lungs of my core being, but perhaps my manufacturer forgot the final piece.

I no longer feel but see the air oozing out. Left empty, there is nothing left to pick up the bicycle patch that could extend my survival. 

I have been ridden. A bicycle has seen more care. Like a horse and then like a dog used to fight for small change. I have been tossed aside and flicked out of my own space and reality to gather the pieces of me with the hands that were bitten and chewed by those who said that they love me.

I can’t blame those who take pride in the multiple punctures they have inflicted. Two punctures left a hole big enough for human life to seep through me. I partly blame myself. I saw the sharp edge. I felt it carress me. I remember the first time it grazed me. Of course it would crave depth.

I am not yellow. My color is off putting. So why not deflate what you have come to fear simply at a glance. 

Peirce me.

Poke me.

Plunge into me.
Slit my throat and quicken the torment. Maybe when my blood flows my color will turn to red. Even if it is for but a moment.
I want to breathe. I want to be the time keeper to an open heart that craves only me and not my death. 

I have been holding this evil in… inside my being. 
Where is the pen and paper? Where is bag of change? 
I need to exhale. 

Mathunzi Macdonald 

A profound and interesting take on relationships by the late Myles Munroe 

A good friend shared the following with me. I think it is something woman should consider and men should reflect on;

*Getting understanding in Marriage!*
Listen to this, often times we misplace our priorities when searching for a partner. I want to open our eyes to something using the Bible.
When you take a look at the first marriage in history, Gen 2:24… After God made man, he put him in the Garden of Eden, the word “Eden” is an Hebrew word for “where God dwells” so the first thing God gave man was *”His Presence*”. So the first thing a man needs is NOT a woman, it is the presence of God, and a woman should meet him in the presence of God. Eve met Adam in Eden.
Some women amaze me, they leave the presence of God, go outside to find a man and then try to drag him back into the presence of God.
The next thing God gave man in after putting him in the Garden was *WORK*. (Gen 2:15) God gave man work before woman. That means a man needs a job before he gets a woman. God’s priorities are very clear.
The third thing God told man was *”Cultivate”…… Cultivate here means, bring out the best in everything around you*, to maximize the potentials of everything and everyone around you, To make everything fruithful. He only said that to the male.
That’s why God will never give a man a finished woman. The male was created by God to create what he wants. The woman you are looking for doesn’t exist, she’s in your head. Your job is to take the raw material you married and cultivate her into the woman in your head. So you have been married for 20yrs and you still don’t like the product you get, that’s your fault. If your wife is putting a little weight and you don’t like that, don’t criticize her, it’s your job to wake her at 6am, ” Hey baby, let’s go jogging”  You don’t like her dress, take her to a boutique and buy her cloths you like. She can’t speak good English? Send her to school and pay her tuition fee. CULTIVATE HER!!!!
The fourth thing God said to man, he said “Guard the Garden”. The man has to be the protector of everything under his care. That’s why God gave you a stronger bone frame. A bigger muscle mass, not to abuse the woman, but to protect the woman.
The last thing God gave man was his Word… God told man not to touch the tree, God never told the woman about the tree, NEVER!!!….. Which means it was the man WHO received the word of God and his job was to teach his wife the word of God. Nothing frustrates a woman like when she asks her man “So what do you think” and the dummy answers “what ever you think is OK”….. Don’t do that bro, don’t do that. She’s looking for knowledge and direction.
That was the last command God gave to man in Vs 17, Now watch this, in vs 18, God said, “It is not good for this man to be alone” now, don’t just read the statement fast, read it again slowly ” it is not good for THIS MAN to be alone” WHAT MAN???

The man who is

*In His presence*

*Has a job (working)*

*Can Cultivate you*

*Can protect you*

*Can teach you*
So here’s the problem, if you meet a man who doesn’t like His Presence, isn’t working, can’t cultivate you, can’t protect you and can’t teach you then IT IS GOOD FOR THAT MAN TO BE ALONE…
Summary from Late Myles Munroe’s teaching on male and female relationship…

But I couldn’t 

If only I could say what I really mean.

With a passion for writing and a natural ability to engage, you would assume that I would take any opportunity to bare my raw thoughts, but I couldn’t. Not with prying eyes and spectators who are more concerned with the business of others. Not as a practioner in the entertainment industry who’s partner is growing daily in celebrity status. Not as someone who has already suffered front page stage lights and lashings on the Internet.

I am also a musician. I could have written songs that tell my stories and choreographed dance pieces that paint the picture, but I couldn’t. My eyes would swell up with tears, my chest would grow tight, my hands numb with anxiety, I would simply buckle.

For a while now I have alluded through my blog, social media and other mediums that I am having some difficulty navigating this ‘life thing’. I can now attest to a human flaw in the digital age. We rarely can draw the line between what we share and our personal lives. From rants to encrypted status updates to bible verses, we hold back very little. People close to us however can usually tell. They will send a kind text warning you of the possible repercussions of airing your dirty laundry. But, when you are filled with enough ills you begin to emit the vile toxins, sometimes without intention.

My anxiety disorders are amplified when various stressors present themselves. My disorder also presents itself physically. If you have had to say to me “Mathunzi, you look tired”, this is probably why. In itself, anxiety is something that is very hard to explain. Even those closest to you, who have perhaps observed an intense panic attack, or have read a page with your diagnosis cannot always fully grasp what you are experiencing. I have grown tired of trying to explain it or how recent events make it almost impossible to get through it quickly enough. Everyone has a solution by the way. The most popular is “Pray”.  Do not get me wrong, I sincerely appreciate these sentiments. Sadly my silence does not give you a large enough scope to allow you to prescribe a remedy. (Prayer is always appropriate, but is it enough).

An emotion I experience quite often is rage. I am angry. And even angrier that I cannot speak as I please. I am angry that some decisions about my life were made void of my presence or opinion. I am angry that my temper and reactions to being taunted and abused were used to guilt trip me into submission to suffer more, and sometimes even more aggressive abuse. It upsets me greatly that, more so as a woman, you must find ways to mask your pain and still miraculously show up. The horror in discovering that women are woman’s greatest oppressor. From vague disrespect to out right cruelty. A generation of inhumane social predators.

Not all my experiences were cultivated by another person or people, some of it was beyond human control. It however does not take away from my failure to comprehend the active and purposed participation of humans in destabilising anothers entire existence. Obviously no one has the power or capacity to achieve this, but they will at least try. With a need to feel superior or greater than, humans who are made of weak moral fibre and poor self actualization will do just about anything to “thrive”. Sometimes sadly, the people closest to you will embark on this damaging assignment, leaving not only you and loved ones empty, but themselves entirely worn. When this occurs the most likely turn is that of ambition to bitterness, causing for more evils to stir.

Someone said to me recently that I refuse to accept that there is very little good in some people. This then poses as a problem in accepting my circumstances which are conditoned by such persons. Maybe this is why I fail to speak. I fail to speak because I am yet to process. I fear being ridiculed for premature outlandish vocalisations of my truth. I fear my decisions to protect myself may not be seen as “normal” enough to be found acceptable.
I have said enough in writing this to trust that my voice has not been consumed and one day I will speak. It’s funny how I always urge others to speak. Not only speak, but seek help and support. To value themselves and the one life they get to live. To love themselves fiercely. I ask them to come to be and never fear judgment. I ask God to make things right. To elevate them from the confines of confusion and hurt. But I couldn’t do this for myself.

I am not ashamed of my scars or my fresh woulds which are salted on occasion. I am simply enslaved by the fear of exposing what lays beneath these bandages in case I fail to recover. I love myself enough to have started the process off removing things and people who do not serve me well. I simply don’t know how one learns to ‘unlove’ in learning to better love themselves.

I will write about learning to forgive myself another time. What a necessary process. My apologies again to the reader whom I did not satisfy by leaving out all the tantalising details. Maybe over a cup of coffee