On Lying to Children and the General Shyteness of Parenting


I came across an article on the interwebs detailing the dilemma faced by a doctor whose patient’s mother was, without the girl’s knowledge or consent, dosing her with drugs for her mental health condition/s. The girl had chosen to stop treatment but, the mother argued, she responded well to the medication and would undoubtedly relapse into cutting and related behaviours if she stopped taking it as she almost inevitably would were she to discover her mother’s deception.

Similar stories abound in the HIV field (of minor patients unknowingly taking ARVs) and it could be argued that the HIV situation is ‘better’ since once full disclosure is achieved and any anger issues successfully dealt with, the patient is presumably able to make objective choices regarding their healthcare whereas a mental health patient might not be equally able. In either case I think the protocols are the same: disclose as soon as possible and any challenges can be dealt with as they arise with the support of a multi-disciplinary team.

Parenting is hard and with the advent of social media and a seemingly liberated society it’s becoming harder. When we acknowledge this and stop pretending it’s intuitive and instinctive we’ll be better positioned to help parents and they in turn will not feel stigmatised and forced to deceitfulness in raising their children, but will be more likely to admit that they need support and more likely to make use of existing support structures.

We’re all just walking trauma cases to a greater or lesser degree. We’re that generation of which future generations will say of our parenting: the hurt raising the hurting.
All that said, here’s some balm for your soul from House, M.D. You can take comfor in knowing that no matter what you do, your children will be messed up. You can only do your best.

Of Finding My Zen in A Bookshop

Joy oh joy (that I couldn’t afford)

On my last day in Durban I went to Musgrave Centre as I have several times before; it’s one of my favourite shopping centres. It’s quiet, never congested, and unlike Hyde Park Centre (which is another favourite) it doesn’t make me wish my rich days would arrive with a quickness.  

 I spent long minutes browsing in CNA were I perved over the journals pictured above (ring-bound, hardcover, A4, white paper!), and became almost apopletic over the farquery being done to Enid Blyton’s work. I’d explain, but honestly it hurts too much and anyway, if you follow me on Instgram you already know. But in case you don’t, here you go

Walking out of CNA I found myself in another bookshop, but this one! Oh Lord! Just thinking about it and how I felt in there…

In all the years I’ve been roaming Musgrave Centre, I never before came across this bookshop. 

AKA my happy place

It felt magical, a place of happiness, joy, growth, fulfilment…all the things that make life worth living became possible the minute I stepped into Adams. I had no idea that the joy books bring me was throttled until the valve was released and I revelled, revelled I tell you, rejoiced, in being surrounded by books. I’d found my happy place. I’d come home. 

I browsed happily and peacefully and felt quite zen. Nobody came to ask if I was looking for anything in particular (I wasn’t), and there were no bratty kids ruining my calm as there so often are in EB. They even had proper Enid Blyton!

I know it sounds a bit woo-hoo but the time I spent in Adams was the bestest part of this trip, I kid you not. 

I didn’t just browse though, I compiled a reading list -pictorial of course because 21st century things- of the books I’d like to read in this my new year, because what does one do in a bookshop when one is broke except take pictures of all the books one wants to own? And so in no particular order of importance, my reading list (wallet-dependent) for 2017/2018. 

No, I’ve never read anything by Barbara Kingsolver. Sue me.

I bet you thought that was it, huh? You underestimate how much time I spent in there and how happy I was! 

I also want these books:

And these ones:

No, I’ve never read Shantaram either. And?

And these:

The book at bottom left is titled Inferior and the subtitle is How Science Got Women Wrong…and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story

Sigh. And this one:

And this one:

Oh, and these, of course of course:

I know. Time and money, right? Trust me when I tell you that I’m on that grind. 

I want the peace I had when I read every day, before kids and work and writing and social media and trying to get to grips with the horror that is singledom (yes I know it’s been a while -by which I mean years, plural- and I should be used to it by now, but woman was not meant to live alone, ok?!). 

So what am I reading now? This. 

And I don’t know what-all I’m going to do with myself when I finish it. Still, for now I’m all zen (mostly), doing what I need to do. 

Here’s to the introverted, single bibliophiles everywhere. This one’s for you.

On How I’m Not For Everybody

​To the man who says I’m ‘too passionate’ about women’s issues not knowing that I embrace that shit like it’s my job, like I was aware of ‘Beijing’ (in fact yes, yes I was), and says I care too much about women (as if that’s even possible) and makes it sound like an insult: yes, yes I’m passionate about women, especially women who look like me. If that makes me a ‘problem woman’ well then that’s what it is and I am not for you. 

Womanism is not for everyone and womanists are definitely not for everyone.

To the man who lied to me about his whereabouts and then told me to ‘get over it’ because his movements are none of my business: I agree. Where you go and what you do is not my concern. What IS my concern is the lying, because trust matters to me and lies erode trust. Why lie about something as insignificant as where you were unless, you know, where you were is not insignificant? If that makes me a problem woman, if refusing to play along when lied to makes me an unsuitable mate, that is fine. I am not for you. 

Then there was the man who told me ‘women like you need a klaap…’ : Did I not just walk away? I didn’t even engage with this man or interrogate his statement (because my time is valuable). My face is too pretty and my soul too sensitive to EVER accept threats/promises of violence. The fact that he not only thought that but said it to my face is evidence enough for me that I am not for him. My decision in this regard is final. No further correspondence will be entered into.

To the man who tells me that monogamy is an unreasonable requirement in adult relationships: Dude, I feel you, that shyte is hard af. But what I know is that faithfulness to ME is non-negotiable, and if your value system doesn’t include fidelity in an exclusive, committed relationship, then you are not for me and I am not for you. 

I am not for everybody, and everybody is not for me, and that is OK.

And then shit happened 

So. I missed my flight. I don’t know how. No like for real, I don’t. Know. How. 

But I’m gangsta as fuck, so…when there was an evacuation at King Shaka International seconds before they punched in the details for my new ticket, I LITERALLY grabbed my money out of the lady’s hand and ran out of there like all the bats of hell where after me. Ask me again why airports make me itch and why I hate flying. Nx.

Anyway.

BECAUSE I’m gangsta as all pharq, my people are also gangsta and #team came through. My person googled bus tickets so…yeah. Your girl’s gonna be fresh off the bus at pharcken 5am tomorrow, go home, shower and change, and head to work. I know, I know, I’d also prefer to get a good night’s sleep and head to work after a one hour ten minute flight than after an eight hour busride, but like did you see where I said AIRPORT EVACUATION? I wasn’t going to hang around to see how that got resolved. 

Leo Season 2017, Epic

This Leo season has, so far, been incredible. I have given myself permission to love myself above all else and all others and I have no regrets about that choice. Loving oneself does not, as is often thought, mean selfish licentiousness – at least not to me. 

Self-love means putting in the work to meet my personal development goals as well as my relationship goals -friends, romance, womenfolk, lend me your ears!- (Geddit?) and body goals (jelly belly must fall dammit). Self love doesn’t mean behaving badly under that banner, it means behaving well because one of my words is refinement (seriously though, dainty china makes me happy). Self love is not an excuse to be hateful to others, it’s reason to be kind and generous because love is like that in expression. Did I wake up perfect? No, just near-perfect 💅 Ha! 

But on a serious note, this year has been rough. Whoever said this is 2016.2 called it. Because shyte’s been real, s’true. 

But you know what? If everything else is a lie this much is true: I’m a survivor and like Destiny’s Child sang, I’ll keep on surviving. And what I’ve learnt is that without love for self I can’t even begin to think about doing all the things I know I’m meant to do. Without self-love I would not have known how to look after myself, never have learnt how to protect myself and my heart.

If self-preservation is my super power, then self love is what fuels it. 

Yes. This leo season has been fabulous so far. I have rested because this year has already been long and hard. I have evaluated myself and catalogued all my failures, which are many, but because love reigns supreme, I forgive myself. I forgive myself and head to the coast to pamper myself, to hang with my person; to write; to enjoy a time of rest and restoration before I continue the work of becoming my best self.

Amen and amen.

On Why Telling Me I’m Beautiful Isn’t Enough

Like everyone else I like receiving compliments, and being a Leo I tend to enjoy them to a disproportionate degree (ha!), but one compliment that no longer moves me (coming from a man) is a compliment on my looks. 

Dont get me wrong, I know looks matter because people don’t walk around falling for personality at first sight but really, how is your reason to want to date me the fact that you think I’m beautiful and nothing else? Don’t be a grown-ass man texting me you like me and want to see me again because I’m beautiful. That’s lazy, and lazy men are the worst. Tell me you enjoyed meeting me because I’m funny, crazy, whatever. Tell me you want to continue the chat we were having on Bill Gates’ suggested population control measures -help me tighten (or loosen) my tinfoil hat. Inbox me to say you like that piece I posted, but don’t tell me I’m pretty and that I’d therefore be a great date. 
Am I saying I don’t want compliments? Don’t be dumb. 
I’m saying I don’t want a man who sees nothing in me BEYOND looks. 

He doesn’t value my sense of humour or my intuition or my wisdom (gathered over many years and from many books) or my intelligence or my quirky nature, and he doesn’t enjoy my company. He’s not interested in the things I write and why, and couldn’t care less about my opinion on anything. That’s ok. I’m not for everybody, and everybody is not for me. 

While I’ve been told I’m pretty enough to be a trophy wife (as a compliment!), my own perception of myself is that I’m also smart enough to be more than just a trophy. A man who doesn’t recognise that is not the man for me. When a man tells me he wants [to be with] me because I’m beautiful I feel hyper-sexualised (no, that’s not a good thing), commoditized and under-valued; it’s a turn-off, no matter how much I liked him to begin with. 
The way I look may be the reason you approach me, but it shouldn’t be why you call me the next day. Dassall.
N.