Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

The truth of the matter is that I’m no longer the size I once was, who is right? I’m not proud of it either, trust me. I was most comfortable at a size 36-38 before I had another baby, got married and got fat. I’m not hiding it, I don’t shy away from the fact – more importantly, I cannot ignore it. I don’t make excuses, I’m not big boned, I know where I made the mistakes – I did this to myself but the older I get, the more difficult it is get back to where I was.

Like most women (and men) that gain weight, it’s not something I am proud of. It weighs on my mind permanently – pun unintended – and I’m constantly looking for a new way to lose the weight or shake the fat. This post however, is not about my battle with weight loss (for a change) but instead, how the world makes those of us with a few extra kg’s feel.

Unless you’ve been a little heavier than the norm, you will never fully understand the absolute lack of empathy for those of us who don’t fit in the size zero to 8 range. It’s not like I’m a sumo wrestler but my BMI does classify me as morbidly obese, thus making average life a little more difficult. No, I don’t want your sympathy for my weight baggage but I know for sure I’m not alone in the world and am not the only woman with these issues.

Today I went shopping and like every other day, I battled to find anything that would fit me comfortably. As a size 40 or higher, your options are Donna Claire and their odious sense of style, Mr Price’s very limited range that maxes out at a 2XL and the men’s section of most clothing stores. So basically, you’re screwed. Ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating a little bit but nowadays it’s nearly impossible to find affordable, plus size clothing that are both comfortable and sexy at the same time.

In my quest for a pair of shorts in a comfortable size 44 (yes, I’m admitting it, I’m a 44 / 20 or 3XL) I spent many hours searching in what is spring, the supposed summer season for fashion. I tend to go to stores I know have plus size clothing so first stop was Jet – absolutely nothing about Jet’s plus size clothing is sexy or feminine, in fact, I’m limited to looking like a bag lady when in Jet’s range. The colours are horrid (mustard yellow and first green for summer?!) and almost everything is denim, as if us chunkier ladies didn’t already have chafing to worry about? My next stop was a brief visit to Ackermans, Jay Jay’s and Mr Price – like previously mentioned, anything that looks good doesn’t come in my size and so the brief shopping tour put me in a miserable mood. I then visited Woolworths to see what they had in their range that does go into the 40’s but the sad reality is, they make amazing magic jeans that have panels sucking in the fat and yet nothing comfortable – how hard could it possibly be to find a pair of shorts?! Donna Claire didn’t offer up much short or parachute style shorts that were elasticated, bright red and short enough to show you breakfast.

On my shop today I went into another Mr Price and Edgar’s only to find the issue was the same. Nothing new at Mr P and Edgar’s Penny C clothing offered some office wear and a pair or two of white pants. I’m completely against wearing white pants under any circumstances so they were hardly going to be flattering on me. In a desperate attempt I ended up going into Surf Centre to try on men’s board shorts and even there, it appears larger men would have the same issue – no shorts larger than a 36 (if you consider bigger than a 36 larger).

Finally, by chance I walked into Foschini and came across their ‘News’ range which, thank the pope, came in sizes that worked for us curvier ladies. I was so excited that I bought two pairs of loose fitting pants – comfortable and fairly affordable (not Mr Price affordable). Still though, no shorts. (Note – thanks to my colleague E for recommending News to me).

I read an article when searching for statistics on weight and obesity in this country and globally. The sad fact of the matter is, medically you are considered obese even though you’re not that overweight. According to these stats, 40% of women are obese in our country. I guarantee you that equates to 40% of the female population being a size 38 or higher – a size I consider healthy, beautiful and for me – comfortable.

I get it. People don’t want to promote a fat lifestyle. Society doesn’t want to encourage or enable us to be overweight, and by health law with good reason but at the end of the day I don’t want to be fat and this is a daily battle for me. A daily struggle with myself, physically and mentally. It’s hard enough to deal with the weight issue when dealing with so much scrutiny from others, must the fashion world and the clothing industry make it so much more difficult for us by limiting our wardrobe to hideous colours and limited range – is that all we deserve? Is that all we are worth?

So I ask you, sans shorts and with tears in my eyes, where is the 3rd X? Why do I never find anything decent larger than a 2XL? That’s not entirely true, a little gem of a shop called Retrospective located in Brooklyn Mall do stock my size in their swing dresses that are brought in (Hell Bunny) for which I’m extremely grateful BUT for the rest of you commercial fashion houses, for goodness sake would you just cater for us bustier and bootiful women?!

Guys and gals who’ve experienced the same thing, tell me your thoughts? What do you wish would or could accommodate you as an ‘abnormally’ sizes human being?

Shevy*

Let’s be real. We are not idiots and so I would hope that most of the world’s internet using population participating in this wasteful and useless challenge would realise that pouring ice cold water over your head does not in fact cure ALS, cancer or any other disease for that matter. It is just another way for not so interesting people to gain a little popularity and just a little bit more online attention.

Many of my friends have already participated in the challenge and I have also been nominated myself. The truth of the matter is, it is not a challenge… in fact, if you consider dousing yourself with a precious resource like water a ‘challenge’, I would hate to see how you react to washing the dishes.

Firstly, we need to understand why the ALS ice bucket challenge came about and what exactly it is in aid of. Can those of you who have done the challenge actually say you understand its purpose? And no, the purpose is not to gain internet notoriety along with other mindless drones completing the challenge on a daily basis. Do we as a population not have better ways to show our interest in charity without pouring a bucket of water over our heads unnecessarily and walking away as if nothing ever happened? Also, it is called an ICE BUCKET challenge and more often than not, I do not see any ice. Just saying.

Let me help you out a little… What is ALS? It is not many Al’s standing in one place and no, you are not about to use Al’s ice bucket. In fact, there are no ice buckets being used as far as I can tell. Pretty much any bucket will suffice it seems, including those that look like they’ve been used to wash the kitchen floor since your mom passed it down to you when you left the house.

ALS – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Basically a motor neuron disease that leads to muscle tissue wasting away. I can think of another word for it, horrid. So, would pouring ice cold water over ones head not be a little insulting to ALS sufferers in a way? Do you think that for just a few seconds you understand what it is like to not have use of your muscles because you are too damn cold? So, the challenge is this. Pour ice cold water (not ice) over your head to make people aware of ALS (Not seeing the correlation but anyway) and then challenge others to do the same and should they not complete the challenge within 24 hours, they then need to donate to a charity or the ALS association. So, you are guilt tripping your friends and family into contributing to a charity, which they then do and post themselves doing the challenge AND donating money to charity because they want to be a hero. Did you not get the memo? One or the other. Not both, just one. It doesn’t stop there, oh no. To make sure people understand how much we care and know about ALS, we then go and post a screenshot of our donation onto Facebook because heaven forbid people think we have no soul and lie about our donation.. because, all of your Facebook friends would totally judge you if you didn’t. Right? It is not over, your cousin and his Varsity mates then decide that the ice bucket challenge is far too boring and choose to throw in a wheely bin and an ice cream truck… that is an ice bucket challenge. Next level. But your poor friends friend who featured on the daily mail screamed so loud when the cold water hit her face that she dislocated her jaw – And now she is more popular than ALS because she is on the Daily Mail. Winning.

Do you see the ridiculousness here or is it just me?

Since when did being charitable mean that we have to do such a stupid challenge? Is it too difficult to contribute to a charity without having been nominated to do so and surely you would think that charity starts at home. Before doing the ice bucket challenge for a disease you know nothing about, can you truly say that your family or your closest friends are not in need of your charity? How about your domestic worker, your colleague at work, your neighbour… Is everyone around you so happy and fulfilled and stable that you can afford to waste your time on just trying to be worldwide web famous.

So, back to being real. I cannot even near the end of this piece without mentioning the fact that throwing countless gallons of water over people’s heads who clearly are not thirsty is an insult to the impoverished. Do you take water for granted that much that you can throw it around like that? I am not perfect, I too have wasted water in my time but never to this degree and never in aid of such a pointless exercise. The point of the ice bucket challenge is to create awareness around a rather serious disease, instead it goes to show how wasteful and uncaring the world’s people truly are.

Let’s take a second to remind ourselves that there are many diseases in the world and no one disease is worse than the next. We will all be affected differently by different disease based on personal experience. I for example, have had people close to me die because of depression – A very serious illness close to my heart. Others may have more of a connection to cancer because they lost their loved one in that way… If you feel so strongly about a cause, do something about it. Your miniscule donation is not going to do much but assist in paying a tiny bit of interest on the mounds of debt some of these organisations have. Why not donate your time to the lonely? Why not donate food to the hungry? How is it possible that people on the run in Gaza have time to post a ‘rubble challenge’ video to raise awareness of their war situation and that goes wholly unnoticed?

It saddens me that so many of you have been sucked into this… jumping on a media bandwagon fuelled by the many celebrities and big names that have taken part. I would hope that you think about what you have done and why you have done it. I would hope that you recognise the true problem here is not ALS, a disease no one knows about. The problem? The ability to take something so serious as a life threatening, fatal illness and turn it into a freak show of selfishness. The ability to turn everything around to always make it about ME… because that is just what humans do.

Oh, by the way. You donated in the ice bucket challenge, did you give the car guard a tip?

 

 

 

Cherubs

Posted: May 30, 2014 in Friends, Personal, Writings
Tags: , , , , , ,

A poem for my friends…
Their loss so great, their presence not forgotten.

(Permission granted to post)

***

Mother of dragons you aren’t
Beauty and wonder far more you own
Sometimes you shan’t ever understand
Why you feel so incredibly alone

Such a gift you were given
As swiftly taken away
To walk among the living
Was for them a few weeks of play

Destined for greatness elsewhere
You were the perfect host
How cruel and unfair
You out of all will miss them most

The truth to their existence
We shall never understand
More important lifetimes they face
In spirit, always hold their hands

The pain now
Far too much to bear
In time it will hurt a little less
For a lifetime you will care

The twins of your womb
Enjoyed their brief yet loved stay
You were specifically chosen
To face this devastating day

Only you are as strong
For with this sadness to deal
No other mother on the planet
Could make their lives more real

They know how much you loved them
They know how much you cared
I’m certain that they’re sad for leaving
But know that you’re prepared

Their absence swallows many
Their presence always missed
We love the twins intensely
A soul your soul has kissed

I hold your hand, head and heart
Through this trying time
My friend I’m so sorry
My favorite, mine.

***

Shevy

I am not a a South African.

Keep calm, I’m not an illegal immigrant either. I moved to South Africa when I was 6 years old and legally obtained permanent residence here. This means I’m allowed to work, bank and reside in South Africa without having citizenship. I am permitted to apply for citizenship since I’ve naturalized in this country but sadly, South Africa, I decline your offer. I’ve not been denied citizenship, I just don’t want it.

My ID book reads NON SA CITIZEN… This means I can do everything a citizen of a South Africa can do except the one thing the country needs me to do. Vote. Yes, if I applied for citizenship and took the time and opportunity to call myself a South African, I would be able to offer that one additional vote but sadly, it’s just not worth it for me.

I never completely understood why I didn’t develop a desire to become a citizen of the country. I was so young when I moved here and remembered little of my birth country. Fortunately, I’ve been afforded a few travel opportunities which have, in my travels, led me back to the United Kingdom. I cannot begin to describe the feelings I experience when I travel to London, it’s as if I know in my heart and my head know that I’m home. Suddenly my solitary vote doesn’t seem too important.

So why am I still here? Well, once roots are planted its difficult to pull them from the ground. I have a husband, I have two children and I have family and friends, all here in a South Africa. For now it is my home, yet I’ve made it popular knowledge that I have a desire to relocate my family to England and somewhere in the not too distant future I hope to do this.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate South Africa. I’m not clambering at the embassy doors for a way out, it’s my home after all. What we have here for the most part is a beautiful country, great weather (if you like the weather, though my Anglo Saxon blood tends to favor the cool rainy seasons), good opportunities (I’ve never had a problem career wise, despite my skin color and the same goes for many I know of all races), unity (when a rugby match is on, not football, just rugby) and social media access (the same cannot be said for China). As I write this though, I battle to churn out the positives to be seen in South Africa because based on the recent ‘free and fair’ elections, I struggle to see freedom or fairness.

Of course, I encourage anyone allowed to vote to do so. It is imperative that your voice be heard as a citizen of this country. It is your valuable choice that adds up to a thousand valuable choices and hopefully an intelligent outcome… So, as someone who doesn’t (and can’t) vote, what gives me the right to complain when I cannot provide a contribution to the system that decides our countries fate? Truth is, I don’t generally complain. In fact, I’m still here, as affected by this countries bad decisions as ever. The time is coming for me to make my decision though, shall I apply for citizenship or shan’t I? My resolve remains a resounding no, sadly, I shan’t.

I refuse to be tarnished by the same brush of a country that fairly allows for the lynching of rural residents who choose to break the mould and vote against the existing government. How disgusting that a video of a woman being savagely beaten to death goes viral and shows nothing more than the backwards nature of our political freedom. How free she was as she lay grounded by the axe blows to her forehead, how free and fair was her election? It’s definitely a fair election when parties are going out of there way and taking time from their busy schedules to offer the impoverished communities money (R50) and clothing (branded t-shifts) to entice the masses into a vote. Of course, the illiterate and uneducated understand that R50 will feed their family that day but the bigger picture is in shadow, another vote won by shameless bribery, that’s fair surely but for the tax payer, definitely not free. How sad that the most valuable piece of paper you can mark for the government gets left uncounted, that boxes upon boxes of discarded ballots are being used as fire fuel to the poor, I’d say that’s a pretty free and fair election. The icing on the cake would be the theft of my mobile number to punt your criminal party to me days before and days after the election without my permission, but I guess you assumed you didn’t need this permission did you? Free and fair? Free. Fair. My arse.

So if I was a citizen, posting my thumb selfie, post voting day, would I be truly confident that the elections were free and fair and I can sleep better knowing all that could have been done was in fact done? Hardly, in fact they were probably rigged from the start and Nelson Mandela is churning in his grave at the disgusting behavior of our government and total shambles that is our backwards voting system. It can’t be that bad though right? Because google our elections and ten websites will pop up reiterating how great they actually were, going off without a hitch. Too few links come up with the truth, the anguish and the murder behind elections 2014 and what’s being done to rectify it.

I constantly say ‘our’ when referring to South Africa. The petrol price sucks but I have petrol. eTolls suck but I drive on roads. Internet prices suck but I have a modem. Food prices disgust me but I eat. Traffic is disgusting but I drive to work daily. Education is in the toilet but at least my children have schools to go to. Racism is rife but I’m free to befriend all colors and creeds. Water is dirty, but I can drink it. Eskom goes out more than an old man’s back but I have a power source. So many things here to upset me South Africa, yet I don’t complain. This time, I’m afraid you’ve pushed the boundaries and I’m no murderer nor will I be an accomplice to one. I’m sorry South Africa, citizenship denied.

Shevy

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You are good enough.

You need to tell yourself that every single day for the rest of your life, because if you don’t no one else is going to.

Happiness. What is happiness? It’s subjective. I have no answer for you, what makes one person happy could make another miserable. What is important to one soul is of little or no importance to another. What troubles and hurts me may have no effect on you but your biggest issue is the last worry on my list….

Growing up we are brain washed. Be thin, you will be happy. Be beautiful, you will be happy. Hey, be rich, you’ll be happier!! Why not get the perfect career, the perfect friends, the perfect furniture and house, the perfect man, the perfect children. All of these things will make you happy won’t they? Won’t they??? I’m sorry to tell you but as good as everything I’ve mentioned sounds, they probably won’t make you happy… Not if you’re not happy with the one thing that matters the most, not if you’re not happy with you.

I’ve grown up trying to people please. I have tried to hide the real me and have tried to conform to the standards I’ve been expected to… The old me anyway. That old me was miserable, that old me was fake, that old me was not truly me. Finally, after years of hiding me, I’m now accepting me. I’m accepting me for the faults I have and the traits that make me the person I am today. I’m not rich. I’m not thin. I don’t have the perfect career. My friends aren’t perfect. My house, my furniture, my man and my children, they too are not perfect. I’m a perfectionist with OCD but I’m no longer striving for perfection, I’m striving for happiness and that starts with me.

How do you not look in the mirror and feel worthless? How do you move past placing the responsibility of your worth on someone else? How do you learn to accept that you are human instead of constantly feeling like you’re a failure?

“Let go of the knife you are holding at your throat, the knife of shame, blame, fear and remorse.”

>No one is perfect… If you’re comparing yourself to others you’ll never feel that you’re good enough for anyone. You won’t be good enough for yourself. The scary thing is that people you think are perfect, are probably thinking about ten other people that they think are perfect. It’s a spiral, a downhill one, comparison will only hinder your happiness.

>When last did you have a conversation with yourself? Ok, not a loopy conversation but a monologue with your mind’s eye. You are good enough. Yes I am. You look great today. Yes I do. Tomorrow will be better than today, chin up. Thanks for the reassurance, I needed that. No, voices in your head don’t make you crazy. It’s one of the most intelligent conversations you’ve had.

>Remind yourself. Who you are, what you have to be thankful for and the people in your life. Before bed, over a cup of tea or lying in the bath, just remind yourself that you’re surrounded by people who love you and think you’re amazing. If they do, why can’t you?

>I say it all the time and I’ll say it again… Allow yourself to feel. Be human. There is nothing wrong with hurting, being sad, being upset but you will be ok and tomorrow the sun rises despite what you’re feeling.

>Forgiveness… There could be many reasons you’re not happy. You feel unworthy. Your confidence or self esteem is kicked in the teeth. Some of those feelings could probably be attributed to various people in your life. Parents, teachers, siblings, friends or exes. Sometime, somewhere, someone made you feel like you’ll never amount to much and that deduction has never left you. It’s time to forgive, it’s time to let go and make your own decisions about your life.

>Make a choice. I choose to be worthy. I choose to be confident. I choose forgiveness and I choose happiness. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

The key to happiness and self worth is understanding that you’re the only key. No one person makes you feel worthless or like a failure, those feelings are your own. Think of a child learning to swim… They may feel like they’re going to drown the first few times in the pool. The pool may scare the hell out of them. After a few lessons though, the confidence builds and eventually they’re winning races in swimming gala’s. It’s time to love yourself, if you don’t, no one else can.

If you want to let the good stuff in,
stop beating yourself up.
No matter what.

Everyone is different but here is a list of things that could help you love you. There is no harm in trying…

Source

Read on for steps to discover your worth and enfold yourself in affection and appreciation.

1. Begin your day with love (not technology). Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in light. Saturate your being in love.

2. Take time to meditate and journal. Spend time focusing inward daily. Begin with 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of journaling each morning. Gradually increase this time.

3. Talk yourself happy. Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. Put a wrist band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-abuse of any form, move the band to your left wrist.

4. Get emotionally honest. Let of go of numbing your feelings. Shopping, eating, and drinking are examples of avoiding discomfort, sadness, and pain. Mindfully breathe your way through your feelings and emotions.

5. Expand your interests. Try something new. Learn a language. Go places you’ve never been. Do things you haven’t done before. You have a right to an awesome life.

6. Enjoy life enhancing activities. Find exercise you like. Discover healthy foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive.

7. Become willing to surrender. Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.

8. Work on personal and spiritual development. Be willing to surrender and grow. Life is a journey. We are here to learn and love on a deeper level. Take penguin steps and life becomes difficult. One step at a time is enough to proceed forward.

9. Own your potential. Love yourself enough to believe in the limitless opportunities available to you. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself.

10. Be patient with yourself. Let go of urgency and fear. Relax and transform striving into thriving. Trust in yourself, do good work, and the Universe will reward you.

11. Live in appreciation. Train your mind to be grateful. Appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance. Love your imperfectly perfect self.

12. Be guided by your intuition. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.

13. Do what honors and respects you. Don’t participate in activities that bring you down. Don’t allow toxic people in your life. Love everyone, but be discerning on who you allow into your life.

14. Accept uncertainty. Suffering comes from living in the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace.

15. Forgive yourself. Learn from your mistakes and go forward. Use this affirmation, “I forgive myself for judging myself for __________ (fill in the blank i.e.: for getting sick, for acting out, for not doing your best.)

16. Discover the power of fun. Self-love requires time to relax, play, and create face-to-face interaction with others. Our fast-paced world creates a goal setting, competitive craziness that doesn’t leave room for play. Dr. Stuart Brow says, “The opposite of play isn’t work, it is depression.”

17. Be real. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-see).

18. Focus on the positive. Go to your heart and dwell on and praise yourself for what you get right in all areas.

19. Become aware of self neglect and rejection. Become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?”

20. Imagine what your life would look like if you believed in your worth. Dedicate your life to loving you. Make it your main event.

21. Seek professional help. Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or coach. It’s the best investment you can make.

***

I hope that I learn to love myself as much as I am loved.
I hope to be as happy as people think I am.
I will one day be as strong as others expect.
I believe I am worthy of anything I desire.

That’s what you tell yourself everyday and then, only then, when you are happy will others love you as you love yourself. As you deserve.

Shevy*

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Yesterday was an ugly day… In fact, yesterday I was ugly. To everyone. For everything. When texting a close friend, the question I posed to her was ‘Am I having a nervous breakdown or could this just be PMS’? Her response was ‘Are you batshit crazy or just grumpy’? A rather fitting response and on that high level psycho analysis I deduced that I must be having a nervous breakdown, yesterday I went batshit crazy.

We never fully understand just how much we are able to cope with until the over bearing weight on your shoulders forces you to think of all the burdens you carry simultaneously, it is at that point that you’re at risk of the anxiety catching up to you. The moment you realize that perhaps your shoulders cannot continue bearing the burdens you’ve done sub consciously for longer than you remember.

I am human.

As a mother, while you love your children, it is not impossible to wake up and think about what life would be like if they weren’t around. Forgive me if that sounded harsh and I don’t mean it to be but all mothers will know that sporadically you reach that point of ‘enough’ where the stepford mother you try to be disappears and you’re reminded that you’ve not thought about you as long as they’ve been alive. As a mother, I made the choices and decisions to birth my children and their existence is not because of them, it’s because of me. It did happen that they woke up being children, making a mess and answering back, not listening and lacking all regard for the cost of household items. All the same, I am indeed human and yesterday had a day where I was haunted by thoughts of what my life would have been without them. No doubt boring and monotonous but the financial security I’m obsessed in retaining for my family wouldn’t be nearly as important if I was on my own, which means I would not be half as concerned with spending my money and injecting it into future plans that may be quite risky but won’t come to fruition as long as I’m striving for complete financial freedom and stability for my children. Or maybe not. The point is that when these thoughts sneak into my mind I get frustrated and angry with myself and take it out on those around me, eventually having to keep quiet to avoid saying anything uglier than I already did.

As a wife, I chose to marry my husband, he is my best friend after all despite all the baggage he brings with him. I’ve chosen to stand by him and the vows I repeated in front of the Gods and him were lifelong. That said, yesterday I was already in a very ugly space and in that time it’s very easy to resent him for the things I chose to accept. The thoughts of life as a singleton, sans children, are enticing. Perhaps never having doing that (I went straight into relationship and children) means that I’ve never known what that freedom is like and I can’t help but think how much easier it must be (or is it?). It’s easy to get caught up in the ugliness and just want to escape, yesterday all I wanted to do was escape my life. I wanted to turn back time and get a do over from the age of 17.

There are so many things in life that I want, badly and yet I can’t have them. I regress to a 4 year old child and throw the tantrum of a spoiled brat and yet I still don’t have them. (Not for lack of trying may I add but responsibility does dictate my needs to a degree). This weekend, something I was working towards has had to take a back seat for a while and this of course made me angry. I was frustrated with the children, frustrated with my husband from whom I wanted more of (or a better) reaction that the one I was less than satisfied with. I am angry at myself for the thoughts in my own mind as well as the mounting pressure I place upon myself to always do, to always have, to always achieve. I can’t sit still, always planning and coming up with a new way to kill time.

It’s difficult to be a person that others turn to for advice and guidance when your own house is not in order, presently understandably so. It’s not easy to always be the strong, reassuring one when within, you’re uncertain of anything and have to bite back while playing the game of wait. It is tiring to have to always have it together because that is what is expected of you when all you’d like to do is cry and it’s incredibly frustrating to sit back and watch other people make just as important mistakes and it’s not your place to say.

I want to be the perfect mother but realistically, I’m not. I’m the best I can be and I have to hope that that is good enough. I want to be a great wife but I will never be a stepford wife, I think my husband realizes that. I try to achieve in my career but I’m learning that my decisions affect those closest to me and so prioritizing needs over wants is imperative. I want to be an amazing friend but I have to understand I cannot carry the weight of their burdens atop my own. I aim to be financially free but right now, having more money than month is more important than being rich. We have many challenges, responsibilities and numerous waits and tough times ahead. Decisions will have be agreed upon, sacrifices made and hurdles jumped, that’s life.

Am I having a nervous breakdown? No.
Is it PMS? Not even.
I am human and for one day, let myself feel.
I’d say that’s pretty healing.
I’d say it’s rational, understandable and most importantly relatable.
I’m not depressed, I don’t hate my life.
I am just human.

Do not be afraid to feel, you cannot be robotic all the time and no one should expect you to.

Shevy

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I’m better known for having opposing views to the general public on most political and controversial topics, this time however is slightly different. I’ve thought about this for a while but have been hesitant to post my thoughts because of just how controversial this topic actually is, but what kind of a writer would I be if I didn’t share my opinions with you?

I will start by saying that I definitely do not condone rape or sexual violence in any way, shape or form and by no means should any rapist (male OR female) be allowed to get away with their crime… In fact I am all for genitalia being removed and a lifetime of torture being imposed on the perpetrators, however there are a number of factors about the common ‘rape culture’ phrase being thrown around of late and the strange ideals accompanying the latest rape culture phenomena that have my knickers in a bit of a twist.

Let’s start with the basics. So many women have jumped up and down about rape and launched an onslaught on the male population, the rapists. I think that what many women do forget (and I’m advocating for the men here) is that there are just as many female rapists as there are male. I am not here to bore you with statistics and remember that this is still just my personal opinion but I feel like men are getting the wrong end of a crappy stick here. The problem with today’s society is that everything is ‘generalized’ and so the good men, and they do exist, get tarred with the same criminal brush and are assumed to be rapists like their perpetrating counterparts. So many more women are rapists than you realize, the problem is that men are too ashamed to come forward and admit rape because they think people won’t understand how a man was raped by a woman. It happens. It’s a shocking reality and it’s time that men got up there with women to protest rape against men, women and of course most importantly children.

Sexual crimes and rape all fall under the same horrible umbrella. It’s an experience a man, woman or child did not ask for and did not agree to and no one should ever have to experience, please know that I do not belittle this in any way. It is saying no and yet having to endure the experience anyway against your will. Whatever your definition of rape, the end result is clear. Broken souls, nothing fixes that. With all of that said, it is important that everyone understand the implication of accusing someone of rape. It is no menial accusation and once you have been tarnished a rapist, it is a state criminal case, criminal records are received and hopefully a terrible time in prison awaits… For the guilty. This is where it gets tricky, you have to know and be sure that someone truly is guilty. Too often, women (and some men) are very quick to make the rape accusation against someone they believe had the intention to rape, perhaps they were angry and an accusation served as revenge, or maybe they thought that a rape could have happened but they don’t know…. For whatever reason, if you truly believe you have been raped then do the necessary but if you haven’t, understand that a false accusation ruins lives and causes unnecessary heartbreak and heartache. It is a common problem that when mentioned gets quickly blown away in the shadow of the ‘rape culture’ phenomenon we are quick to feed. Recently, the twitter rape war that took place between a column writer and a rape survivor caused a social media outbreak of rape views and experiences and not once was the issue of false accusation taken seriously. Now I’m not saying he was correct or that she was lying, by no means, but what I am saying is that his implications are very real possibilities that happen to men and women every single day… I hope that we be mindful of that. Because I advocate for the innocent man or woman still does not mean I support the rapists, in fact, I abhor them.

An article on News 24 addresses 25 examples of rape culture in today’s day and age (Source). Reading through these examples I can’t help but feel like we are making mountains out of mole hills that didn’t exist to begin with (Some points are genuinely valid but I don’t believe that they all are). Point number 2 refers to the hit song ‘Blurred Lines’ and because we sing along, we are advocating rape? No. I sing along to Lady Gaga’s applause and it doesn’t mean I’m clapping. My point is that more often than not we are looking for things to read into, as if they aren’t blatantly staring at us from the news and statistics. ‘You know you want it’ clearly has sexual connotation but guess what, maybe she does want it (not rape – consensual sex)? The blurred lines may be referring to the lines between friendship and lovers, lovers and friends with benefits, nowhere do they openly sing about committing rape…why do we dig where we need not dig? Isn’t there enough in the real world?

Point 4 talks about mothers blaming girls for sexy selfies instead of talking to other mothers sons about how to behave and I do agree with his point to an extent but let’s be real, there are some sicko’s in the world. Why allow your daughter to post sexy selfie’s anyway? As an adult posting selfie’s you’re well aware of the consequences that may abound from having a slutty internet persona (not specifically rape but perhaps unwanted sexual attention) however as a parent to two daughters, I would hope that they have been raised wise in the ways of the dark side of the world. By all means, post a selfie but you have control over who sees it through various social media security settings (I use them all!) and for goodness sake, if your 12 year old daughter is taking photos of herself in a bikini and underwear and posting it on the internet, you have other problems that need addressing including a massive cry out for attention which will unfortunately attract the wrong attention as well as a very lax parenting approach which could be to your daughters detriment.

Point 6 refers to supports of athletes charged with rape… I think the operative word there is charged because as far as I’m concerned, they’ve not yet been proven guilty. We have to be very careful about false accusations and if the athletes are in fact innocent, why is there not more pressure put onto the false victims for trying to ruin that athletes career let alone their life?

To be real, we live in South Africa and the statistics used in this article refer to a worldwide rape pandemic… Let’s talk South Africa for a minute. Sadly, we cannot really even take into account in our country the statistics on rape due to their inaccuracies. It is impossible to have accurate statistics when most men and women are too afraid to come forward and report their rape or identify their known rapist and children are to small or young to understand. One in 25 women who say they’ve been raped actually report their rape, that means the other 24 live with their experience and carry on as if nothing has happened, when we know that inside they are breaking. I am no feminist but I am a realist, this rape epidemic affects everyone from men to women to children to animals, it is sick and it is horrific and again I say the guilty deserve the worst possible punishment but not death, that’s too easy, something far worse. The scary part? I don’t find many statistics on men and their reporting of rape. Six women are raped every hour in South Africa, how many men and children?

All I’m saying here is that the utmost care and fairness must be taken into consideration when looking at the subject of rape and the supposed ‘rape culture’ that we as a society are supposedly fueling. I know women that have falsely accused men of rape and have had to live with the consequences thereof. I know of cases of men that have been falsely accused. I sadly also know women that have been raped or sexually mistreated and not reported it because they didn’t ‘think’ it was rape… And in my lifetime, I have known of men who may or may not have been raped but they were uncertain. To say that we are living in a rape cultured society is saying that we fake the news… At the end of the day, the numbers are real and the cases are real and we see the facts daily thrown at us in news and media. There is no ‘rape culture’, there is rape and there is reality and giving something like this a name allows those that want to live in the darkness of rape a permission to make it real.

@lifeissavage posted in Twitter yesterday an article against rape which I thought was so fitting and gets to the crux of the problem. (As did others with it’s over 100 favorites and over 300 retweets). Two pages were stuck together in a magazine and when you tried to pull the pages apart it reads “If you have to use force, it’s rape”. This ad applies to everyone… If you use force, it’s rape and if force is being used upon you, it’s rape. It doesn’t matter if you’re man, woman or child. It’s rape. Read more on the article here – Source

It’s sad that so much talking has to happen on the subject and not enough acting. Not enough acting on the part of the human race, the government and the judicial system. I’m all for a community outcry and social media barrage but remember, there is more to rape than a vagina or a statistic… It is about real people, real lives and real consequence.

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