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.

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

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