“Say mommy”, Scarlett looked me straight in the face and responded; “No”.
“Say mommy”, I tried again, completely aware that I was attempting the exact same game plan and expecting different results. She again looked at me as if I was stupid.
We stared at each other for a silent 4 seconds before I gave up and whispered, “Ag poes man” under my breathe.
“Poes” she said, triumphantly.
You may have won the battle, Scarlett. But I will win the war.
Laying the bath has become a go-to relaxation activity for me recently. I don’t relax very well. I don’t know if it is trauma or anxiety, but there’s something about laying idle for no apparent reason that causes me stress. A few months ago I fell from my elevated doorway and sprained my foot and I still felt compelled to look busy, in case anyone called me lazy. I wasn’t about to let anyone catch me slipping. Pun intended. A week later, I flew to PE for work, and hobbled through the airport and up the stairs of the house I was staying in. I even got tonsillitis as a cherry on top. A cherry I couldn’t even enjoy because my throat was so poes sore.
But as I laid in the bath last night, purposefully allowing the hot water to relax all of my muscles, I could feel the tension release from my aching joints. My stomach unclenched, even though I didn’t even know it was tense. And for ten minutes, I felt calm. This was a short-lived break, but still welcomed. It was short-lived because when I stood up from my soak, my vagina released approximately 500mls of water. I didn’t know if I was peeing or if my wideset pussy had actually absorbed a portion of my bath water. And I just stood there for the 1.5 seconds it took to drain my damn. I guess after 3 children your Kegels really do verlaat you. Oh well.
Relaxing is overrated.
But the reason for me trying to find an hour to myself and just unwind was because the last few months have been a whirlwind of several things, and now, in October I think I have finally had enough.
“Mommy, it’s too tight”, Rosie basically screamed at me inside the fitting-cubicle of the Truworths in Canal Walk.
I guess seeing the reflection of my size 16, large yet simultaneously shriveled buttocks bouncing off an eternity of mirrors wasn’t enough punishment for my carb addiction. My drug of choice was ruining my life, my body, my relationship with my family.
‘Don’t talk so loud, baby’, I knew the women in the surrounding cubicles were laughing at me. I could see them in my mind, being thin. That is really all they needed to be to be offensive. At that moment in time everyone in Canal Walk was thin. The patrons, the security, and the kin my husband is eventually gonna leave me for.
On the way into the shop, I had ambitiously grabbed 7 size 14 items, completely confident that it would slip over my shoulders, onto my post-third-baby physique. It didn’t. I heard a very faint rip, and knew it was that flimsy zip all manufacturers use on all middle-class priced items. It didn’t break, necessarily, but it certainly fired a warning shot – which was enough for me to struggle back out of it, scratching my shoulders trying to pull of the intricate exodus.
This all happened the same day the “no corporal punishment law was passed”. Now, I am not one to give hidings, but Rosie was cruising for a bruising. Mouthing off about my wrinkly bum, asking if I had a baby brother in my tummy.
And there is really no more left to that story, but I do want to use this segue to discuss why people should stop fucking beating their kids.
Before I go into my usual flashback, anecdotal story and deeply thought out conclusion, please bear in mind that I am fully aware that I don’t wys you. What you do in your home, with your children is between you, the lord… and now the government. But like any pseudo influencer, I would like to make this about me, and tell you what you should do.
Like most children from the nineties, my mommy also killed me once. I’ve committed all the unforgivable penalties in my life; I have forgotten to defrost the chicken, I have fallen pregnant, I’ve been videotaped giving blowjobs to a bra who lived two roads away from me. My mother certainly had ample reason to kick me in my poes over the years. So when I relay this next story, don’t think it is about me being a hartseer naai who was moered unjustly. But if I have mentioned this story before, my apologies. I’ve written so much about my life online, I find it hard to keep track.
When I was a child, getting a slap or a hiding or any form of corporal punishment was normal. My generation just-just missed the lashings at school. I remember getting ‘cuts’ on my hand in grade one, and after that we were no longer in danger of our teachers beating us – which was nice. And I remember the generations older than mine complaining about how they were beaten at school and were ‘fine’.
Apparently fine means emotionally unavailable and ashamed to speak about sex or anything taboo – but we will allow it for now as this isn’t the point of my story.
My mommy was the disciplinarian in my home. I was raised as an only child, and my dad was the fun parent. Any step out of line got me anything from a rapsie on the bum to a full blown, four finger klap in church, soema while the Father was doing the liturgy. I got so used to getting hidings that I accepted that my body being hit and assaulted was a given in life.
When I misbehaved, I was hit.
Cause and effect.
Also, another attitude that was shared among the adults of the time was that when a child was loud, or extroverted, or asked too many questions, they were naughty and out of line. This, coupled with giving anyone older than me authority over my actions, and believing that men and boys are in charge of dating and marriage… this was a dangerous way to raise a young mind.
It may not seem that way, but all these lessons mattered, and merged… and essentially became my sub-conscience as a woman.
Fast forward through my young adult years, and all the bullshit I told you all had happened, looking back I can specifically pinpoint how those teachings dictated my behaviour long after I was done being a child.
Being told that getting hit was a normal punishment, made me react less outraged than I should have when my body was violated – by adults, by boys…
Being told we must behave nicely so men can marry us and approve of us is a dangerous teaching, and part of why so many of us just let boys touch us, and never say anything, and then we are confused when we get blamed for not saying anything… and other confusing patterns.
And so on.
I allowed so many trespasses against my body because my autonomy wasn’t taught to me from a young age, in many ways. Getting hidings, to me, was a subconscious diminishing of my own worth.
When Rose was born, the abuse by Lyle had gotten so bad, that one time, at her baptism I think I had spoken out of line (apparently) in front of his grandma and he gave me a backhanded slap, like one would give a child, in front of his family. It wasn’t okay for him to do that to me – much like it wouldn’t have been okay if I was five, or 12, or his wife.
(Remember that time when men were allowed to hit their wives? i wonder if, when it became law that they couldn’t do that anymore, older women said “we were moered, and we are fine”…)
You see, I think when we allow others to diminish us, and when we take away children’s power over their bodies, we are training them to do the same when they are adults.
That day however I had had enough. I smashed my phone so hard into his head repeatedly, that the hair on that spot never grew back… till the day he got stabbed in the chest. Oh how much I would have liked the closure of seeing him dead and pale in his coffin.
Wow, I feel angry.
Regardless, my point is that some of the lessons we were taught as a generation were flawed, and we need to accept this if we are going to raise kids to be better and healthier adults than we are.
I am fully ready to accept the backlash for insinuating that the parents we love and respect maybe, just maybe didn’t get it all right.
And just because we were taught these particular flawed values and lessons and it was drilled into us with a few klappe, doesn’t mean that we need to perpetuate the same behaviour like nostalgic robots… and expect different results.
Let’s say we were all reprimanded with hidings as kids, for whatever reasons – can you honestly say it stopped you from smoking that entjie, or letting that bra finger you, or stop you from trying that heroin?
Or did it make you sneaky, and force you to live a life that you couldn’t share the details of because of shame?
Still, this isn’t what was on my mind, or what made me sit down and write this disjointed attempt at a blog.
What you are reading is what my brain does when it is overloaded with nonsense. I am venting, to everyone. Forgive me. But I am gonna verbal diarrhoea on you, even against my better judgement.
I will cut to the chase regarding my overflowing inbox asking me where the actual fuck I have been for the last year. The answer is, many places; mostly on Facebook – lurking and telling subpar one-liners on my personal page.
Yes, I have been writing and working and trying to be a great mother to make up for the first few years of neglecting my children… but In all honesty I’ve been too depressed to really blog every week, or commit to being a decent human.
Not like depressed, depressed; but that general apathetic non-feeling of just not caring enough to not care. It happens sometimes, then I have to realign my chi with the excessive use of cheap entjies and Black label beer. It’s definitely a time to be alive. I even found myself hugging strangers at Premium sports bar, eating a mixed grill platter with my hands and inadvertently forcing my husband to walk me home early to pass out on the couch. He really is my rock – if rocks were created to handle mental breakdowns.
But what has been really shitting on my parade for the last few weeks is the fact that no matter what I do in my life I somehow make it full circle to being overweight and bald. Without fail. I go through the same cycle and end up only being able to write about the same goddamn thing. My weight, my hair. My vagina. How absolutely fucking dull.
Though, because of my new found gluten intolerance, I could write about my bowel movements again.
Let me know in the comments below. Like and Subscribe.
And then, A few weeks ago, I received the below message from an old ‘friend’ who knew me at a time I didn’t fully know myself;
“Yor jys darm a coward ne! No wonder you still the same piece of gam dyke trash as before… But now you make like you straight just to fit in? I feel sorry for your family.”
And I remembered that there was a part of me that I hadn’t shared before with people who follow me. It isn’t necessarily a secret, I just don’t feel that I owe anyone entrance into any part of my life. I don’t think anyone owes anyone an explanation as to who they are or were, unless the journey takes you to a point where you feel you would like to open up, or even close chapters by divulging.
Regardless, this comment and consequent inboxes by this person, who himself is openly and proudly gay, took me back to a time, a feeling, a memory that I hadn’t thought of in almost a decade.
I am bisexual. And yes, everyone I love knows this. I don’t subscribe to the belief that it is a shocking secret. I believe that sexuality is fluid, and love is love. I have kept this side of myself off the internet because it hasn’t really affected my journey and my story. I can understand how someone else, from another part of the world, or from a staunch family or religion would feel the need to keep their sexuality hidden. I am grateful that I do not have to. And yes, navigating being a good Christian, and having always been attracted to women, and also having been sexually intimate with women can seem contradictory – I am a human and I have layers and I work on my personal growth every minute of every day…
But what really bothered me was the complete aggression that this individual approached me with. His intention was to cause friction in my life. His intention was to try and reveal something that he thought was potentially damaging to my image or my marriage. And it made me feel so sad someone I hadn’t seen in ten years was so annoyed with a status I posted, that he felt the desire to be malicious, and then executed it.
I felt so upset by it that I even felt the need to do damage control and message my friends about the comments and inboxes, as if I had done something wrong. It took a hot minute for my husband to tell me to calm down and disengage.
If you’re wondering, the status that I wrote, which upset this person so greatly was that I do not expect my children to be nice to adults. Whether they know you, whether they don’t. If you make my kids feel uncomfortable or unsafe, they have my permission to kick you in the nuts and scream for help.
I guess this, paired with my loudness about not hitting children made him surmise that I am a shitty parent. And of course, in retaliation to my statements that didn’t even affect his life offline; he outed me for being gay at college.
The internet is a strange place.
But also, to get back to the point, I took a bath because after being on my legs all day cooking, cleaning, baking and tending to motherly things while holding a full time job, rose sat next to me, laughed and said to Riyaahd.. “Daddy, I dare you to come smell mommy’s feet”.
I think I might actually kick her in her poes.