The obvious answer is that I hope to never have to bury one of my children…. however, as a secondary thought, I hope I never have to watch any of my children suffer – either.
Victoria, Kevin and Liam James
Douglas, Nic and Jenna-Lee
It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary. ~ David Bailey
Not a difficult question to answer this if I just go with the first thought that comes to mind. I hope to become a proper photographer…. I have no technical knowledge but I have a great eye…. I am creative and have been told I capture moments, not just memories. Besides that I’ve been called the queen of self photography more times than I can remember. heheheheh Pure vanity… and believing I capture me better than anyone else can.
I know given training, guidance an opportunity to learn, explore and exhale – I could become a wonderful photographer who may just get ordinary woman to take their kit off and feel goddess like, families to laugh and not just smile at the camera and for sunsets to parade for my pleasure.
There are two things I have done my entire life… write (is a necessity to life, I cannot go without it) and take pictures. Even as a child I had a notebook for writing (I’m talking Victoria’s age...) and a 110 camera where I would set up the shot even if I had no money for the film. Without a camera, I feel like I am missing a limb.
I may not be the greatest photographer in the world… but I know some of the pictures that I have posted over the decade I’ve had an online persona, have caused shock and horror, enjoyment and delight, tears and laughter…. it evoked emotion and that is all I could ever have asked for… oh and to the paid for the privilege wouldn’t hurt. 🙂
He was a long term lover of my Mom. Rich, short, Scottish man who thought himself to be king of the 70’s dance floor, drank JB whiskey like water and said “fucking hell” allot. She eventually married a decade later. I knew little about him to start as I did not stay with my Mom (in two separate towns all together) and he never visited my grandparents and I can’t remember once visiting for more than a night at my Mom’s house which happened to be the night my Father died.
That however all changed when my Mom decided I had to come live with her after my Father died when I was 11. (She re-married when I was 14) I had been living a comfortable life with my grandparents, I was happy, did well at school and excelled at sports… so no, I did not always have African hips. I came to the concrete jungle where I was placed in an inner city school where meals were given to kids because of poverty. No sports at all but red sand. Yay!
The following year I went to high school my Mom and my sister and I moved in with the man in a fanTy house with the biggest swimming pool I had ever seen. We had everything money could buy but life was horrible. He swore constantly, I would wake in the night with him screaming at my Mom, he was always drunk… and round the age of puberty he decided to tell me that I had no chance, I had “already let myself go“. I have never forgotten those words but I truly didn’t understand what he meant. My English was not very good and my home language had been Afrikaans which he as a Scottish man didn’t speak at all.
For the next five years (until Matric when I left, thankfully my Mom left him shortly after) I constructed my life in such a way that I had as little to do with that man as possible. I spent allot of time with my long-term boyfriend whom I eventually married at 17 and who is the boys father, I had enough money to be out and about and there was no reason to hang around at home.
Eventually I started sleeping with the bedroom door locked because I didn’t feel for his drunken rage in the middle of the night (he would shout and scream and bang on the door…. ), or climbing into the wrong bed and having a bit of a fondle. (my skin is crawling) … and I would shout for my Mom to please come fetch the fuckwit.
He is the only man, person I ever physically assaulted. The only person I ever openly spoke to and swore at as if he was an animal as that is what he taught me. I was told countless times I would amount to nothing, I was fat and ugly and needed to do something at once. I was told a million things I never want to remember.
I never saw him again after I left and I never came looking for me either. This man died alone in a house when I was an adult, many years later. Strangely he lived the street behind mine. I cried like I had lost the world at his funeral. Not because I was so sad he was dead, I was not even happy…. I cried because of what a waste of human spirit this man was. He took my formative years and made me believe the nonsense that came out of his mouth. For years I would dream about him laughing at me because I felt afraid. Until today when somebody smells of drink and says “my girl….” I want to vomit and hit them at the same time.
I cried because he had all the opportunity in the world to turn a young girls life into so much, instead he destroyed my self-worth, he emotionally left me wounded and I feel no compassion for him. Sorry. I am glad he died alone with nobody who cared.
I clearly still have something I have to forgive someone for.
Let me try end this on a positive note. What he did teach me is that all the money in the world does not buy happiness or love, he taught me to play a killer game of chess and kicked some serious ass…. and he introduced me to Billy Connolly….. and that it gave me great joy feeding our dog his imported Spam. 🙂
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
– Oprah Winfrey
It was not the ideal time to be pregnant and I found it had to acknowledge. Although I knew in my heart it was so, I saw the doctor at nine weeks and there was no great joy. It was the wrong time, the wrong partner, the wrong everything. I planned to change my life, now I was stuck.
I chose general anesthetic so not to be there for the birth. I chose to see him hours after he was born. I chose to stay in hospital eleven days before going home because I couldn’t cope. Liam James was born, couple weeks prem, 4.2kg’s with beautiful blue eyes and when I finally saw him, he seemed to look through me with the eyes of an old soul. *I* will never leave you. *I* will never forsake you…. whispered a baby’s breathe.
If I be truly honest I knew from that moment when he looked at me that Liam was different. He was a happy baby, a delightful, smiling darling but there was something just not quite…. right. He did everything in overdrive. He walked at nine months, he spoke very quickly and clearly… his first word being “No!”…. he was busy.
When Liam was five years old he was diagnosed with ADHD, he has issues with depression, anxiety – an uncontrolable spirit. Liam has been on medication since he was 5 years old… and I blame myself every day. When he was first diagnosed I honestly couldn’t even verbalise what was wrong with him. I felt so heartsore, overwhelmed and just total guilt. This is all my fault. I should have, I could have… I must have done something very wrong.
Liam has never been a child I felt I shared with his father or anyone else.The bond is ours. The difficulties are ours. We walk it, alone. Not to say other people along the way have not loved, supported, cared, given to the situation and of themselves… my guilt has made it my journey. Lee and I, we understand each other. Emotionally we are as close to a mirror as as one can get, neither always enjoying the reflection. It is Liam and it is me… and then there is the world. I protect Liam from the world and protect the world from Liam. He is my burden and my joy. My pain and my laughter. He is sunshine and he is rain. He is mine.
In my head I know Liam’s issues are pretty much genetic. He is a carbon copy of my sister Rentia. The issues run in our family and perhaps there is nothing I truly could have done to prevent it… but my heart? In my heart it is all my fault. If I had wanted him perhaps things would have been different? If only I knew the magic formula.
Fourteen years later, I still have to forgive myself for not being enough for Liam. Raising him is hard. He is constantly in trouble, we have monthly doctors appointments, he is fun and laughter the one minutes and suicide the next. He says whatever comes into his head with no thought for consequence. Sometimes he will get ready for school and declare himself a winner and other days he will not, no matter what move a muscle. Sometimes he will cry and I will have no answers… for him, or me.
Fourteen years later I adore Liam, I love him more than he or anyone knows. I will move the sun and align the stars different if it would make Liam feel better…. and will continue to fight, support and love him…. but I always know… if only he had felt that way at conception, just maybe, Liam would have felt more welcome in the world.
I am sorry Liam. I love you every day. I choose you every day. *I* will never leave you. *I* will never forsake you. You are the funniest, most entertaining deep thinking, awesome individual with a sense of humour that blows me away. You look at me and out of the blue you will smile and say: “It will be okay Mom.”…. and Liam… I believe you.
Dear friends, fuckwits and interesting creatures –
Something I do love about my own self is that I can create magic!
Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, we can create a fairy tale.
I wish you enough,