Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.

Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent. 

~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960


I have 14 tattoo’s at the moment – all meaningful, all specifically chosen. I get complimented most on my “hope” tattoo on my left wrist which I had done in December 2009.

I can safely say that not a single day goes by without somebody commenting, mentioning, asking, pointing out this tattoo and compliments are plenty. Commenting on the design, the placement, or the pain at that spot on the body, to have such visible tattoos or simply how pretty it is…. many, many people have said to me they wish they were as brave as me. 

Funny how I’ve never seen my tattoos as a sign of bravery… addiction maybe, a need for expression absolutely, a healing for the hurting perhaps, or a way to tell my story or purely decorative… but brave? I don’t know about that.

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” – Anthony Robbins

There is nobody I feel I need to let go. In the past month or two I have ‘let go’…… and I have made my peace with people, places and seasons.

There is however a person I wish I didn’t know. I never blog with ill intent and will therefore refrain from naming this person. I made the effort to befriend, to give of myself and offer support – honestly coming from a good place.  I came away feeling unappreciated, judged, misunderstood and hurt. I feel used – only contacted when this person needed something or someone, or when it was convenient to be my friend. 

I found this person to be a disappointing individual that lacks the basic ability to give and does not have the qualities of somebody I want to be friends with as there is no depth to them. That is all.

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

Melany, Jax and I met online via a moms e-mail group I administered, SAMomsOnline many, many years ago. As time went by we became a close knit group of woman from all over South Africa. It was a wonderful group of people and we all visited from Rustenburg to the South Coast! Nobody thought it weird to arrange a get together for waffles in the South Coast at the Waffle House. LOL I am still friends with many of these mom’s and I will treasure what we had forever.

(Never tell me the internet does not make for real friendships, connections and treasures untold)

Over time, a sub-division formed that we renamed “The Power of Three”. Gemini’s of the world unite (our birthdays are few weeks apart) – SuperMom (Mel), BroomGirl (Jax) and Wenchy (me).

At the time we were all married, we went away for weekends together and as families we spent lots of time together generally. Us girls shared EVERYTHING and thankfully the men all got along and the kids were very fond of each other (my daughter, Victoria has always had a crush on  Jax’s son Tristan and Kevin played big brother to Mel’s boys like a champion. I credit that relationship fully for Kevin’s fluency in Afrikaans!)

Life turned upside down and our white picket fences started to change colour – fast!!!! We were a great support base for each other. The standard response was that although we may not always have agreed what each chose to do, or how we responded, we will always love each other and be there for each other – AND WE WERE.

Mel drove hours to stand next to me to bury my Oupa Mike because I didn’t have anyone, Jax, I will never forgot had to come and tell me that my friend Noel had committed suicide, Jax sat next to me when my divorce summons arrived…. and cried with me as I signed it.  Mel sms’d daily and it simply said “You are more than a marriage”… They all threatened to bury Noid in the apple orchard if he should hurt me and I have no doubt they still will. LOL

Our rollercoaster had no end…  Jax and myself got divorced – Mel remained proper and is still married to Tommie.  Jax re-married and had another child and Mel had another child – I remained proper in not having another child, but I recently re-married. 🙂

A year or so ago life shifted once more…. and like the musketeers “The Power of Three” disbanded. There was no argument. No fight. No big break-up. Our friendship as a threesome became less intense, we saw less of each other and I admit, I felt the “missing/longing” daily for a long time.

Melany and I remain close as our friendship is one I cannot clearly define, it’s a bond (she is part of me, in many ways a nicer version of me and she says I am the more daring version of her)… while Jax and I work in the same building, we seldom see each other but chat occasionally via office communicator. We do remain protective of each other.

We no longer share the daily ups and downs of our lives in great detail but we are friendly. I cannot speak for the dynamic between Jax and Mel as I’ve never asked either of them. I miss seeing them both more often and I miss the times we spend together as families with kids running wild, braai on the go and laughter over absolute nonsense… but that was our season…

So, the “someone” I didn’t want to let go is “The Power of Three”…. but we did just drifted. Doesn’t mean I do not love and care for them both deeply… and I do miss the intense support, friendship and sincere love we shared. Nobody can take from us what we shared. Nobody will tell our secrets.

Here I stand, by the grace friendship – extended to me.

 

Thankfully seasons change all the time and I’ve made other meaningful connections with people whom I love and care for and who love and care for me….

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I am choosing to turn this subject on it’s head and not choose somebody whom has been a shit.

Someone who has made my life hell, or who has treated me like shit… is me.  By interacting with my many selves (being Gemini and bi-polar, we must not leave anyone out) and engaging in negative self talk, I have set myself up beautifully for self-blame. My perception of self at times have been so screwed that I would take responsibility for world hunger, world peace and the war in Bosnia.  

In my head I know negative self talk is not rational, nor based on truth…! I am exceptionally critical about myself, unforgiving and harsh – I do not allow mistakes or feel I’ve lost the war, not just the battle.

Research suggests that for a relationship to be healthy and happilly sustainable long term you need at least five positive statements to one negative made. Research also suggests that the more negative statements, the higher the rate of stress inside will be. Be it real, or perceived stress. I certainly do not give myself five positive messages for every one negative one and clearly I am creating stress inside. 😦

In the end, I suspect there is nobody who needs to think more positively of ourselves, than ourselves… Reminding  yourself that you are a worthwhile person, no matter what. It is all a learning experience. We learn one thing, climb over a mountain and the next lesson or mountain is waiting for us… and so we go.  

When my children do something that is NOT okay, I have no problem pointing out it was the ACTION or BEHAVIOR that was not okay, it is not the child – the child remains in tact and is loved. I do not label my child from that moment on to be a good or a bad child. I always say “I love YOU but I do not like what you did or said or…. ” 

If only I can apply that to myself.

Here are 10 examples of negative, and how you can turn them around…. says I, the one who struggles big time with most of these listed below:

1. Seeing all or nothing. You place people or situations in black and white categories, with no shades of gray. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
Healthy response: You recognize an error but place it in the context of all the things you did right.

 2. Generalizing. You see a single, unpleasant event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
Healthy response: You see a single, unpleasant event as a bump in the road.

3. Using mental filters. You pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so your vision of reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors an entire glass of water.
Healthy response: You pick out the most pleasing detail and dwell on it.

4. Disqualifying the healthy.
You reject healthy experiences, such as an acquaintance’s remark that you have a great sense of humor, by insisting it isn’t true. In this way you maintain an unhealthy belief such as, “People don’t like me,” even though it’s contradicted by your everyday experiences.

Healthy response: You embrace healthy experiences such as hearing a compliment about your sense of humor.

5. Jumping to conclusions. You make an unhealthy interpretation even though there are no facts that support your conclusion. Some examples:
           Mind reading: You conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t find out if you are correct.
           Fortune telling: You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction     is an already established fact.
Healthy response: You assume things are going well (that people like you, that you’re doing a good job, etc.) until you learn differently.

6. Magnifying or minimizing. You exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as your mistake or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or anther person’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
Healthy response: You celebrate your achievements and others’ small and large. If you feel jealous, you acknowledge that and then remind yourself of your own gifts and share others’ happiness.

7. Basing facts on your emotions.
You assume that your unhealthy emotions reflect he way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

Healthy response: You remind yourself that most days you feel better than you do today.

8. Using “you should” statements. You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you have to be punished before you can do anything. (“I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.”) Musts and ought’s are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration and resentment.
Healthy response: You motivate yourself by remembering good feelings or events that come with an activity. (“Exercise s hard, but I feel good afterward.”)

9. Labeling and mislabeling.
These are extreme forms of generalizing. Instead of describing your error, you attach an unhealthy label to yourself. you say, “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. Example: Instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, you might say she “abandons her children to strangers.”

Healthy response: Acknowledge your error, put it in perspective and move on. (“I’m late to the meeting. That rarely happens. I’ll be on time next time.”)

10. Personalizing.
You see yourself as the cause of some unhealthy external event that you were not responsible for. (“WE were late to the dinner party and caused the hostess to overcook the meal. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”)

Healthy response: You don’t take on the blame that belongs to other people. (“My husband wouldn’t stop watching the football game on TV and this made us late to the party. My husband was rude, but this wasn’t my fault.”)

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I have been blessed to be loved right out of my socks (an expression my Mom uses) by many people and at different times in my life different people have made my life worth living. I’m still here. 🙂 Thank you.

What keeps me alive… (because let’s face it…. I’m a dark horse soul), is the unconditional love, support and encouragement I receive from my children, the persistence my step-dad Alex, my mom Yvonne and my sister, Rentia in particular (familyand Melany, I count you as part of this analogy) have shown to wait for me to return like the “The Prodigal Son”. They have not given up… they waiting. (This need not make sense to you.)

Above all, what gets me up right now during a time I’ve unfortunately succumbed to a severe depressive episode (such is the life of the bi-polar, you never know if you are on the rollercoaster with slush puppy all over or the ghost train to hell)  –  is my absolute belief in a dream I share with my husband. A dream of truth, love, a tomorrow that will not disappoint.

My husband. Love those words. He actually married me. He actually proposed more than once??? What was he thinking? 🙂

We have walked a difficult road of flashes of angry light and thunder clashes, while filled with flowers, rainbows, the odd unicorn and wishing stars. I come from a place of a hurting heart that has many issues that haunt it, a soul that searches constantly for peace and feeling ‘enough‘… Noid came from a place of having been cheated on and lied to, wanting a serious career change and to be valued …. Our world collided and changed us both forever.

We made our relationship work on so very many levels for over two and a half years…. but we also messed up royal on other levels. We pushed each other to the limit both in good and bad… which makes life fun and filled with frustration, we are loud and neither are back down personalities…. and eventually it all gave way from under us, crashing – and we split up…. but neither seemed able to let go of the other.

Yearning… we went in search and hit that sweet spot…. Everything came together. It just worked. The questions and arguments suddenly had answers. Things that had eaten away at our happiness became clear as unimportant or redundant. We both believed in our dream, in our life together and that there was nobody we would rather be with in all the land, the sky above us, or the earth below. Seeing the imperfect person, perfectly…. I became an FHM model and Noid well…. he suddenly lit candles and I swear I could hear Barry White in the background. 🙂

At the moment, things are difficult for me personally.  Noid has been a husband under cross-fire and has run over enemy lines continuously to rescue me. I am truly thankful and grateful. He has done things I have never imagined he would do, he has shown me the words and the way in a manner I never expected, he has fought for us non-stop and there seems to be no end to his fighting for ME to be more than okay.

Unfortunate, our reality has some working title issues such as getting a new home as we currently live separately due to our flare up which left us master of none in the end, but richer forever. Imagine somebody choosing you with that much sincerity and plenty to loose? Actually that is truly our only issue because it solves all the other issues – the missing, the crying because of the missing, the longing because of the missing… I trust the love-making will be as intense and fabulously wonderful when we live in the same house again and that we will continue to leave to car, dressing room or bathroom, and other interesting places – unchallenged. LOL

My gorgeous, ever-changing for the good, committed, loving, kind, giving, lovable, sexy Noid ………. and the dreams we hold is what makes my life worth living, which covers a multitude of beauty … along with my children who continue to be a source of strength, love and wisdom. I love you all so very very very very much.

I quoted a verse from a Bruce Springsteen song as part of my vows to Noid when we got married:

“We’ll walk together, come what way. If I should stumble or fall, or lose my way – please wait for me. Should you stumble or fall, or lose your way, I will wait for you.”

My baby… with respect and gratitude, thank you for walking with me and truly, making me believe my life is worthwhile at this time that I have stumbled… while you fight so hard not to let me fall.