This is her story.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

This post was written by Cara who needed a platform to let out her feelings about a baby girl she miscarried when she was 17 years old.

To my unborn child

I remember the day I met you and lost you all at once like it was burnt into the back of my mind with a hot poker. I remember thinking to myself that there is something wrong with me for not knowing you were there and for not being able to keep you there.

I am truly sorry for not listening to my body when the signs were there, and doing something when I did, instead of finding excuses.

But thank you. Thank you for the miracle and the adventure that you turned out to be. You showed me who I am, that I am not made of glass and taught me how to stand tall. You taught me how to stand up again when I couldn’t even find the strength to breath.

The thought of you is what has moulded me into the person I am today. The memory of you is my greatest inspiration.

I can say will full honesty that if it wasn’t for the loss of you, I would be a law student, fiancé or friend that I am today.

Your father wouldn’t be the man he is today, and I have never been more proud of who is and who he continues to grow into.

I love you with my whole heart and I miss you every day.

To my best friend and the father of my child

People have accused me of being many things but the mother to your child will be my greatest honour, no matter how many times it is said with the intention of using it as a weapon. No matter what, you will always be my greatest adventure, and I’m sorry it had to end this way.

There are many times that I regret how you found out that the only child you will ever have, is gone. I never regret that it happened though.

That is the thing about idolising someone so much. You dehumanise that person, creating something of a demigod. You could do no wrong. And it took the greatest tragedy for that to change. But im glad it did.

You have the most amazing fiancé that wouldn’t still be around if you hadn’t gone through the horror story of us. If you didn’t break down. If you didn’t show your vulnerable side. And im really glad you did.

To the fiancé

I will never be able to explain to you how deeply and truly thankful I am for looking after my angel boy. He will always be my first love and the person I go when things are bad, but I am grateful he has someone as strong and kind-hearted as you by his side building him back up in a way that nobody else ever could. I am sorry you had to go through the wreckage but I am truly grateful you stayed. You are the biggest blessing of this whole thing. Thank you for being the person who put all his pieces back together. Thank you for making him the man he is today. I’m sorry you got caught in the shrapnel. My heart will never be able to show you the gratitude for the guardian angel you have become and remain.

To the girl in the hospital room alone.

I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you, and you are in no way alone. This is a tragedy but it’s not the end. There is no amount of time that could change it and there is nothing that can be said to make it easier. But know that there is most definitely nothing wrong with you.

We live in a society where it has become normal to speak about traumatic events and the after effects but it’s not ok to speak up about a phenomenon that is happening in almost every household. The loss of a child.

1 in 4 pregnancies result in a miscarriage. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone.

You will learn to smile again without your hand drifting to your stomach and you will learn how to walk down the baby aisle without freezing and becoming starstruck at the possibility of something that was taken away from you.

You are allowed to grieve and mourn. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe.

To my future husband.

I was 17 when it happened and the impact from the womb exploding has made it one of about 20 reasons why I will never be able to have children ever again. I am sorry.

I sit on the bed and I listen to the stories of how you will teach your son to play cricket. How to be a gamer worth of the internet, how your daughter will learn to play ballet.She will thave my eyes, your cheek bones and will be an angel.

Never lose hope. I am sorry you had to sacrifice the greatest gift on earth without having the choice to do it. I will never stop trying to make it up to you.

To the girl staring back at me in the mirror.

The stretch marks that now mark your body in places that live as reminders will soon be badges of pride. You will learn how to love yourself with them.

Your hair will frizz and curl in new and exciting ways than before, embrace the crown that frames your face.

The chubby cheeks and the soft edges around your curves is your new and improved body armour. You are a warrior and this is your battle. A battle you have already won.

You are alive and you are breathing.

Cara

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The Kindness Of Strangers

wentzel

2016 was a tough year

Hi. My name is Wentzel Lombard, I’m a 25-year-old freelance actor and (kind of) writer.

No, you don’t know who I am. I haven’t been in any big movies and I don’t do musicals. It’s not that I don’t like musicals, it’s just that I can’t sing or dance for shit. I’d like to make a film or two, but I don’t have a pretty face and I’m not masculine enough for the patriarchal Afrikaner audience. I do much better in theatre where I get to be anything I want to be.

As for writing, well that’s another case. I write on and off, and occasionally I get paid for it. The rest of the time I just scream into the abyss that is my blog. This is where her royal Wenchness (fuck you, autocorrect, that is a word). She asked me to write a guest blog post, but caught me at just the wrong time. I don’t consider myself to be the world’s greatest writer, and shortly before she asked me to do this, a major publisher rejected a manuscript that I sent to them. This hit my confidence quite a bit harder than I expected and caused me to hit a complete creative block. Also, when people ask me to write something for them I have a tendency of freaking the fuck out. When I write for myself, I feel like I can get away with not being so good, but when other people ask me to write for them, I feel like I need to pull a huge rabbit out of the hat. In fact, this is my fourth attempt to write something for Wenchy (fuck off, autocorrect, you’re beige). I didn’t finish the other three because I thought that they were shit.

Now you’re just going to have to deal with my shit.

Being a “creative” person is hard. I once read in a book about acting that you never see a plumber break down in tears because someone criticised his work. But when it comes to being creative we are so fucking desperate to be validated and successful. People can give me so many positive comments about something, but that one negative response will be the thing that swims around in my thoughts. This is necessary to a degree, of course. We need to better ourselves as artists and people. When someone points out a flaw and we deem it to be a valid point, we need to fix it if we can. The most boring artists are the ones who become stagnant and believe that they “have arrived” or know everything.

This is why I recently attended an advanced film acting course. Being a theatrical actor, I often find it difficult to make the shift to camera. Last year I did the beginner’s course and learned a lot. This year I learned even more. But I was frustrated with myself. I felt very depressed going into the course, making it very difficult for me to focus when we filmed our scenes. This was very apparent when we did playback.

After I had a huge (and embarrassing) meltdown at a rehearsal, I returned to therapy and my anti-depressant dosage got increased. This had a good and bad effect – On the upside I was no longer depressed. My feelings of gloom and doom dried up. I am again able to shower every day and not sit in my car crying for no reason. The downside was that all my feelings seem to have dried up. When people ask me how I am, I don’t really have an answer. I find myself in situations where I know that I would usually be really sad, angry, or even happy – but I feel nothing. I just shrug my shoulders through this fuck up that is life.

This mostly poses a problem with my work. Being an actor and (sort of) writer, I need to be in touch with my emotions. I don’t know how to be creative without linking it to emotions. Stories relate to people and the human condition, and if we remove the ability to feel then we become robots. Fuck, I think I just realized that I’m a robot.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes.

So, after realizing that I have been stripped of all creative ability, I started thinking that I would never finish writing something for Mother Wench. Instead, I went to the theatre with a friend. Since I’m not acting, I might as well go and watch other people act.

After the show, my friend introduced me to a few people. This kind of thing is an absolute nightmare for me. I have terrible social anxiety, but being a masochist, I also decided to choose a line of work that requires me to constantly meet new people – much to my dismay.

But then the strangest thing happened.

The one girl I got introduced to told me that I looked cool. I reacted the way that I react to most compliments: (What? Me? Oh… uhm… uh… uhm… Thanks. Haha). I’ve been called many things in my life, but “cool” definitely isn’t a regular. Next, we spoke to one of the cast members. Someone said something funny and I laughed (or maybe I was just anxious). Suddenly, the actor remarked that I had a beautiful smile. I almost died. This very attractive man (straight, unfortunately) liked my smile?

And then it clicked. I knew what to write about. Kind of.

I have always had a hard time dealing with myself, if that makes sense. Whenever I go to auditions, or even when I’m just walking down the street, I feel so ugly. Thus, when someone compliments a person like me, they have no idea of the impact it makes. We all have a certain degree of narcissism inside us, and this needs to be fed. We aren’t bad people for wanting others to validate us. We are just… people.

The other night I sat up until 4h30am talking to a friend of mine, and we discussed the topic of ghosts. I said that I don’t understand why they feel the need to manifest themselves. We then both agreed that it’s probably because they wanted to be remembered. We all want to be remembered, don’t we? Not necessarily in the way that James Dean or Marilyn Monroe are remembered, but it would be nice to think that for some time after I’m gone, people will think of me and remember that once upon a time there was a person called Wentzel and he did something.

And I realized that in asking me to write this post, I was also being validated by Madame Wench. This is something very special. Our family and friends have to be nice to us. Those who have never met us or barely know us aren’t obliged to do anything. This is why their kindness matters the most.

Thank you.

Wentzel on Twitter

Wentzel’s Blog 

 

​Striving towards the thinner side of life.

My darling Bestie, @NocturnalWenchy again asked me to write a piece for her blog. And once again, I wonder if my words will have any impact on anyone else’s life.  

You see, I am quite the opposite to my outgoing, full of life, always smiling Bestie. The topic that she chose for me to write about is my weight loss journey.  And what an epic travel it is turning out to be.

I have always been on the bigger (read larger) side.  When I was a child, the weight issue got kept in check due to the vast number of sports that I participated in at any one time or another.  

So naturally after school, the weight piled on because I longer had the disciplines of the various sports to keep me going.  

I finished school weighing 85kg and a size 16.  And so it went for many years – the yo-yo dieting, the fluctuating weight and teetering between a size 18 and size 26.

Many of the days, it was just easier to give up and eat whatever. This was fuelled by the most cutting and snide comments from the ex. I got to the point that “who cares”. No one will love me being big, and I was my worst critic and enemy. This went on until the end of last year. 

I went on a cruise with my sister. I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with me at all. I just couldn’t see exactly how whale-like I had become. 

I got the shock of my life, when on a day in January, I decided to weigh myself.  I nearly died when the numbers stopped at 157kg.  

A fact that I am most certainly not proud of, in fact the complete opposite. I was sick to my stomach. How on earth had I let things get so completely out of control?  It was in that very instant that I decided that enough was enough and so the birth of #campaignsweet16 came about.  

I decided that working to a goal weight so often ends in failing, complete with the self-loathing and guilt that normally come with these types of things. 

The last time I was a size 16 was in 1992 when I finished school.  I have managed to get to an 18 quite a few times and then I fall off the proverbial wagon again.  Each time I was doing more harm than the time before.  I found a high protein diet on the internet and decided to give it a try. 

No it’s not Banting or LCHF or anything like that. Literally I started on high protein, no starch, no sugar, no added fats, no carbs, no colours or preservatives. So basically, think of everything that is yummy and nice and cut that out of your diet.  

However, I have found that if you are craving something, then has a small piece otherwise you end up binging and the whole cycle starts from the beginning again with the added “fun” of the extra self-loathing that you end up piling on yourself. 

I have also joined the gym, and hired a biokinetist to help me along my journey. So I try as much as I can to go five times a week.  I have had to take a little sabbatical due to broken ribs and torn tendons. That is a story for another day.  I have basically concentrated on cardio with a little strengthening and toning in between.  

My specialist has suggested that I begin swimming more often and also to join a yoga and/or pilates class to strengthen my core. This in itself should help the incredible back pain that I have suffered with over a number of years.

I think that the most important thing to remember is that it takes a long time to get into the “shape” that I got to, so getting back to the shape that I want to be will also take a lot of time. 

Unfortunately there are no magic pills, potions, rubs or miracle cures.  

It is simply working hard and sticking to a regimen that in total will benefit you. You have to be beholden to your own ideals and goals. Having said which it is generally a really grand idea to set goals that are achievable and work towards smaller short-term goals instead of looking at an incredibly huge number that you want to shed ahead of you.  This, I find, not only scares you and seems unachievable, but it is also easier to fall off the proverbial wagon.  

Smaller goals are easily reached and you are then able to “reward” yourself with little treats along the way.  

Most of all be kind to yourself.  Remember that we are all human and unless you have the will power that is as unbending as a scarecrow, there will be times that you err. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Keep in mind the end goal that you want to achieve. Keep going and you will get there. 

Be realistic. You can’t expect to lose everything in one month.  Slowly seems to be the best way to keep it off – as long as there are no huge binges involved as soon as you get some sort of positive result.   

I have also discovered that the more positive your mind set, the easier it seems to be to stay on track.  

So quite simply put, the happier you are, the easier it becomes to lose weight and the happier you become because you are actually getting to where you want to be! 

Having started this journey at the end of January 2016, I am now over 40kg lighter. I still want to lose another 35kg or so.

Most importantly I want to be at least a size 14!  I want those sparkly Guess Jeans. (Every girl needs diamonds on her ass at least once in her life!)  

So my original #CampainSweet16 has morphed in #CampaignSweet14GuessJeans.  

I will get there. I haven’t set myself a time limit (way too easy to set myself up for disappointment!) 

At the moment, I am a 16 on top and an 18 on bottom. So I am getting there. Top prize would be getting into those Guess Jeans by the time it’s my birthday. 

Birthday bubbles and sparkly jeans – sounds like a plan to me!

—– ♡♡♡—–

Thank you my lovely #bestie for sharing. Congratulations on a wonderful, inspirational weight loss journey! I cannot weight to see you in them jeans.

You can interact with Gail on Twitter:  @GailvonG2  ✔

Jozi Food Whore – leaves no dish untasted.

30 Things I am grateful for:

1. My Tall, Dark & Handsome. The man has oodles of patience and tons of love and I am blessed every day for having him in my life, for those generous arms around me. And he brings me cheese.

1-jozi2. Friendships. So many amazing friends have blessed me with their light and love since 2010, when I first started “living life”. Countless, spectacular people who have come and stayed, come and gone, come and gone and come again. The list is long.

3. My brother. We used to be each others’ best friends until our respective partners came along but our connection remains deep and sometimes even just a gesture or a word or a look can have me in fits of laughter. That’s years and years and years of friendship right there.

4. My doggies, Spud and Lemon. They’ve been with me for 7 years now, and they’re crazy – completely abnormal – pavement specials. But I do love them. And they were there through the worst times of life, without ever ceasing their attempts to lick me! And that’s what you need in a good friend. Ha.

5. Family. We don’t always get along but when the chips are down, family is there for you.

6. Good people in hard positions. It’s tough to remain a generous, giving person when you’re in an ‘ard-as-nails job but I’ve met people who still remain kind and big-hearted even when they often receive only negativity in return. That’s a special characteristic I cannot claim to have but which I can definitely appreciate in wonderful people I know.

7. Food, glorious food. We are so spoilt when it comes to food. We must never take it for granted. Every single bite should always be appreciated and savoured. And when it comes to food, there are many many many things to love. So many. But some deserve their own line.

8. Cheese, all the cheese!

9. Baked cheese cake.

10. Eggplant

11. Cannolis

12. Pasteis de nata

13. Biltong

14. 90% dark chocolate

15. Coffee

16. Any paneer dish.

17. Peanut butter

18. Beer …

19. … and wine. Let’s be honest, people. Life is hard. But there are fantastic days that cannot be measured. Hot summer days where you get to put a cold beer to your lips, and swallow that goodness, and feel it tingle on your tongue, and tickle down your throat. And cold winter nights, when you sit around a fire, ignoring the fact that it’s freezing, and drink some lovely bold red wine from our very own shores. That’s when life is good.

20. Braai. Is there anything better than a braai? Tell me what. I will listen, half-heartedly. Braai has all the elements. Fire! Food! Company! Warmth! Community!

21. Laughter.

22. Sleep. I love my sleep and a good, solid, lights-out sleep is something I am extremely grateful for. It doesn’t always happen but when it does, I absolutely luxuriate in it.

23. Jo’burg thunderstorms. One of my favourite things is driving into Jozi from the north when a storm is just rolling in and you can see all the swaths of rain and the thunder going crazy from a distance.

24. My health. Though I’m not in peak physical condition (thanks, beer!), I’m in pretty good nick. I have a great many close friends and family members who are struggling with serious health issues daily. Never take your health for granted.

25. My job. I’m often heard bemoaning my day job and the fact that I can’t attend certain events as a result but truth be told, I was about to lose everything when this job came along so I’m more than a little grateful.

26. My phone. Oh, how I love my phone. This little treasure chest gives me all the functions I need to run my food-loving moonlighting life. Without it, I would be lost!

27. My car. There was a time when I almost sold it to get a scooter (cost-saving stories). But seriously, I would have missed my “Ossewa” (it’s a mommy wagon, basically) a helluva lot. Useful does not even begin to describe my MPV.

28. Nature and the great outdoors. Saffas don’t always stop to appreciate how amazing our quality of life can be. Step out your door, even in the urban sprawl of Jo’burg, and you won’t have to go far to find nature in all its glory: lush green spaces, trees, flowers, and beauty.

29. This city, Jozi. I’m not from here but I feel like I should be. If you ask me where I was born, I’ll say Rustenburg. If you ask me where I’m from, I’ll say Jozi. I love every single part of this city, even the grime and the dark bits. Yes, it needs a lot of work. Jozi is like a porn star who made some poor choices in the past, but who is also trying to kick some bad habits and come clean as a soccer mom: she’ll forever be edgy and a little dark but she’s trying to do the family thing. At least her kids will always be able to take the knocks and get back up again, even if they are a little dysfunctional.

30. This land. Say what you want, political and cultural arguments aside, this place is in my bones. I was born here and I played in the red dirt, and when I played rough and the dirt rewarded me with scratches and scrapes, it mixed with my blood. I go away, and I miss it. I meet foreign faces in foreign places, and I smile when I think about my countrymen and women. I visit a land where the sun hardly shines, even for just a few days, and I dream of turning my face into the sun at home. Not everyone loves it. Not everyone believes I should love it. It’s irrelevant. I love it.

Find me on Twitter and Instagram as @JoziFoodWhore and on Facebook at facebook.com/JoziFoodHo. I also have a blog! www.jozifoodwhore.co.za