Friday, July 30, 2010

Scetch Book Project.

I really think this could be fun and challenge you to get involved. Take a look at this I am going to do this why don't you?

I see that Bella has been on my blog while I have been busy with other things. I am not going to make a fuss about that, shame she needs friends too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sushi and Harley

I have some lessons to teach my huMom, but not now cause she is still hurting a lot and I don't want to force my oppinions onto her. But between you and me, look at this picture and tell me!
My huMom tells me that Sushi on the left, was placid and so cute and Harley was a terror ... well hummm have I got news for her!


Mogi is my cousin. I don't know if anyone knows that Mogi means 'crazy', or mad, that's so mean, but I guess when you look at that face he looks like he got punched in the face which is a bit crazy. Sunshine says that he is a honey and she adores him like my huMOM loves me.


My huMom had a friend that had a Baboon. When I saw this picture I couldn't stop barking I thought it was so funny, with a nappie and a bottle the whole thing just like a baby. Man would I like to get hold of Coco and show him how to be a real animal - we don't wear human clothes. Coco was a baby baboon that's mother was killed and so he had to be looked after until he was bigger and they could let him go. But still... this is funny you have to agree!

Mad Max

Max was the first dog that my huMom got when she was married to X, and he was the life and soul of their home. Well yea with a smile like that I guess who wouldn't love him. But when Max was lonely my huMom decided he needed some companions and that is when they got Sushi and Harley. I have heard ALL about Max as well. He was one of the boys and didn't pay too much attention to the drama going on in the house he just wanted to play and be liked by everyone. I know humans think that animals can't smile, but my huMom says that Max smiled all the time and loved everyone and they loved him. She says, she misses him a lot and it is like having a child that you can't see cos he is with his dad. (Why can't she have visitations?)
Humans are strange... they have problems but they make their problems everyone else's the dogs, the kids the aunts and uncles, grandparents... I don't understand that. 

Sushi Poo

I mean have you ever seen teeth like that! My huMom has told me a lot about Sushi, she says that she doesn't believe in reincarnation but there are some things that are really strange about Sushi, that made her wonder. When my huMom rambles on about her other pets, I listen, shame she needs to talk to someone so I just listen. I don't really. I am listening to the birds out side, wondering what I am going to eat for the day, where I am going to play.... I hope on the beach, but I listen. She always says with this nostalgic tone to her voice "ah my Baby girl, you remind me so much of Sushi". If only she knew.


When my huMom was on her own after she left that bad man that used to beat her, she was so heart broken and lonely after Sushi and Harley died as well that she bought a little Yorkie called Squib. She told me that she was never as kind to him as she is to me... hummm I don't really believe that cos I know she loves animals. She says that she couldn't pay him as much attention as he needed so she gave him away, to a good home, she says she cried for months after that, but still... that scares the heck out of me. What happens if she can't pay me the attention that I need, and man DO I NEED ATTENTION, will she give me away too? I betta be good.
She said after Sushi and Harley died and then giving Squib away,  she would never have a pet again cos her heart was broken and pets get inside your heart and you can't help but love them and she didn't want to trust her heart again. Hell that is heavy pressure! How do you think that makes me feel !

Bella's Banner

How do you like my Banner I made? Caryl has this funny banner with multi media artist, friend and all that stuff. I thought I would make mine real simple. This is me! She say's she doesn't mind me sharing her blog as long as I keep it clean. Now what the hell is that supposed to mean. I can't poop on her computer, she would kill me.
She is busy tonight so I want to share some things and see if I also have any friends out there who will follow me.

Caryl used to have two other little dogs that she told me she loved a lot. I know she put some pictures of them somewhere here on her blog, but I want to show them to you and see if you can spot anything?
My huMom was about 45 in this picture and I must confess I do feel a little jealous when I see this picture, but those nails, they really make me smile yuk... I hate red nails. In this picture she was hugging Sushi, Harley would never have allowed her to do this. He wasn't into all that mushy stuff.

Bark Bark, yap yap yap

This is amazing. I am SO excited to finally be able to get into her blog. When my huMOM is busy I can talk to all my friends. She is a huMOM because she is a human Mom if you know what I mean. I have my own Mom and Dad and I really really love them but Caryl is my huMOM. Since the day she came to fetch me, she always says things like, come here 'my baby' girl. I mean, that sounded really weird to me cos I am not her baby girl, she has got her own baby girls in fact they aren't even babies they are really big now.

I am my own Mom and Dads puppy, but when ever I do go to Caryl when she calls me, "come here my baby girl," in that funny high pitched voice of hers, she gets so excited, kissing me all over, I decided I don't mind if she calls me her 'baby girl'.

I want to tell you all about my real mom and dad, but I will do that later.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I did this for a challenge today oh how much I would love to be there.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Freedom is priceless

I went to the beach with Bella early Friday morning as you can see there wasn't a soul on the beach. The weather was perfect, crisp and nippy but beautiful. I walked along this beach for an hour, sobbing and smiling at the same time. It has taken SO  long for me to reach this point and the mountain seemed far to hard to climb, but I can feel it in my bones, I am almost there. There will be some bad days, and that will be alright too, but the joy in my soul is back and I feel wonderful.

Breaking Free

These are the rules that have to be broken by all Co Dependents. This should be fun!

  • Don't feel or talk about feelings.
  • Don't think, figure things out, or make decisions - you probably don't know what you want or what's best for you.
  • Don't identify, mention, or solve problems - it's not okay to have them.
  • Be good, right, perfect, and strong.
  • Don't be who you are because that's not good enough.
  • Don't be selfish, put yourself first, say what you want and need, say no, set boundaries, or take care of yourself - always take care of others adn never hurt their feelings or make them angry.
  • Don't have fun, be silly or enjoy life - it costs money, makes a noise, isn't necessary and (makes you look stupid.) added by me.
  • Don't trust yourself, your Higher Power, the process of life or certain people - instead put your faith in untrustworthy people; then act surprised when they let you down.
  • Don't be open, honest, and direct - rather hint, manipulate, get others to talk for you, guess what they want and need and expect them to do the same for you.
  • Don't get close to people - it isn't safe.
  • Don't disrupt the system by growing or changing.
You cannot set boundaries, and take responsibility for the way others feel at the same time.
Beyond Codependency - Melody Beattie.

It is never too late to change I am just a little sad that I didn't know all this years ago. But what the heck, it is now or never.

Friday, July 23, 2010

When giving is not enough

I am learning so many things and not all of them are leaving me feeling good about myself. I wonder, how many people REALLY know what Co - Dependency is. If you do, please share it, because this is all new to me. How is this possible that after so many years I find that I am not only Co- Dependent, but probably have been for the most part of my life! I thought, that being kind to people, trying to help people in need, supporting the hurting, I thought that was all good and what I was supposed to do, but no one ever said to me, that it was good as long as it was coming out of the abundance of my heart and not out of my own desperation to be accepted and valued.

I have been reading an amazing book Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie, which has opened my eyes to this dreaded condition...if I can call it that. When I am doing everything I can to meet everyone else's needs except my own, and I find it difficult to accept unconditional love from others, then perhaps... I am in Co - dependency mode.

This is so hard for me to digest. I know, that I really find it hard to accept kindness without any feeling on my part that I have to earn it, and in some way I have to do something in response to that kindness to settle the debt so to speak. I can't just accept someone is being kind to me and leave it at that. I am driven to respond, that way no one can accuse me of being a selfish taker. Does that make sense? I always feel that I have to earn, or deserve whatever comes my way. Listen to what I have just said! So when I was being abused day in and day out, I must have thought I deserved it, and I had earned it, by doing something wrong! Oh my Gosh this is such a huge aha moment. Whenever I was spoilt by my ex, I had earned that too, by allowing the abuse. I was rewarded for being submissive, and beaten up when I opposed him.

This is the condition of Co- dependency. I hate it, but Dr Phil always says, you cannot change what you do not acknowledge. I don't think that many people understand this condition.... and it is serious and so many people SUFFER with this problem.

I remember when I was a teenager and I wanted to go out with my friends on a Friday night, instead of my mother saying... have a good time honey, be careful. She would say...Oh.... you just go out and have a good time, don't worry about me, and she always made me feel guilty if I did ANYTHING that I enjoyed. I owed her and she made me feel guilty for everything, if I just wanted to be me, a teenager, enjoy times with my friends..... she always made me feel that if she was happy and entertained then I could go out and have fun but if she was sad, lonely then I was expected to stay with her so that she wouldn’t have to feel the loneliness.

That was the training, make sure that you keep everyone around you happy and what ever you do, don't make anyone angry.

This kind of control has caused me to spend my whole life focusing on keeping everyone else happy no matter what. To be healthy, we have to care about ourselves and do the things that fill our own soul and life with purpose and meaning.

I am learning, to say No when I am not happy about something, this is new for me...very new and I confess every time I say that word I am filled with guilt.

I am also trying, really hard to accept that when someone is being kind, I don't have to do anything except be thankful.

Okay, I am done with this now. Moving on from this huge life lesson. For the first time in years I honestly feel there has been a break through. It is time for me to live my life MY WAY.


I am a little disappointed with my staff. She was charming in her interview, had the right hair colour, was as cute as a button but if she isn't sleeping on the job then she is checking up on me !

6 Birthday Give Aways

I came up with a brilliant idea last night. There are only 6 months left until I turn 60. I am going to try my very best to give away 60 things before my birthday, but 6 art pieces, I am going to give away on my blog, one a month until my birthday. It is far more rewarding to give than to receive. 
If you would like to take part in this give away, please email me with all your details. All you have to do to qualify is to tell me in great detail which was the HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY you ever had and answer this one question. How old is old? :o)
This is going to be fun.

I haven't done much in the way of digital manipulations for a while now. This one was a challenge on Digital Whisper, which I did last night. I need to get back into it again.

Okay, so back to the give aways. Anyone who knows me will know that I find giving things away REALLY easy and have given away a lot more than 60 'things' this year already. Don't be tempted to pat me on the back and say , 'oh how kind and generous Caryl is' - this is all part of my illness that I am trying so hard at the moment to find a cure for. I would give the last crumb off my plate, the shirt off my back and the hour in my day, to anyone in need. For 60 years I believed, that was a good thing, any good Christian person would do that.  Hummm... I think God is always concerned with the motives behind our actions and my motives are being severely challenged at the moment. I feel as though I am being whittled away to nothing. My soul is bare and my heart is bruised from all the revelations that are comming out in my therapy sessions.
I remember many years ago while 'sharing' with another troubled soul, he said
When a heart is sincere in it's desires and intentions
time will reward it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crystal Clear

Oh what a wonderful feeling when things become crystal clear.

The high price of denial.

I had a really strange experience in the past couple of days. I sent a video clip to someone who I thought might relate to the content in the video. This person and I had a relationship once and I have good reason to dislike this person and want nothing to do with them ever in my life. But when I saw the video it was quite emotional and it was sent with kind thoughts and good intention.
The response I got back was not what I expected in fact it was unpleasant to say the least. I was hurt obviously but then I was angry. Are there some people who simply wake up every day of their lives intending to be mean and nasty? Rejecting kindness that is shown to them in any way? This particular person is such an unpleasant person but I happen to know that history and I am forgiving of human frailties.
My session with the therapist today was about this incident and my question to the therapist was, "why do I always do this", and I explained the situation. It was as though he simply ignored my question and went on to ask me several questions about my mother. My relationship with her was complicated, but I have put that to rest a long time ago and in fact miss her a lot since she passed away many years ago. I decided to give the therapist a chance and answered all the questions. Suddenly I had a light bulb moment. I love my mother and have great compassion for her and the very difficult life she had, but the TRUTH is my mother abused me my entire life and I simply would not believe that, as a result I spent my life trying to win her love and acceptance. Until the day she died we just couldn't make the connection, but that didn't stop me trying to please her.
The therapist said, life is strange and we are programmed to fix that part of our psyche that was broken. He said..."Is it possible you have been doing the same thing in all your other relationships, trying to fix things that you perceived were wrong in others, instead of trying to accept that some things can't be fixed and some people can't be changed, and that it is not my 'fault', that things weren't working?" He is right, I am always driven to making things right bending over backwards, turning things over and over in my mind as to what I can do to improve a bad relationship.
I don't have to fix everything, some things just are what they are. It was really strange, because I have never allowed myself to feel angry, I deny all the time that I am angry, but today I sobbed with anger. Anger because no matter what I ever did, I could not make my mother happy. She was sad about life and she didn't do much to change things, she spent many years drowning her sorrows and she discovered they can swim!
This was such an incredible day for me. I have not been able to let go of my mothers ashes in 19 years! But I am ready to do that now. I know this sounds really weird, but I always thought I was hanging onto them because I needed her with me, macabre but true. But I don't think that is all together true, I think I always felt I had to look after her, even in death.... and so... I am planning a memorial service with my children to finally put my mothers ashes to rest.... and a lot of other 'stuff ' that I am ready to let go of too.
Just two months ago in May, I was going to dedicate the whole month to my mother and then I fell ill for the whole month... how strange! Perhaps God was trying to tell me.... let it be.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gentle Surrender

I love this photo and I am so sorry I can't give credit to the photographer I have had it for ages and don't know where I found it. If you recognise this please tell me so that I can give credit where it is due.
Sometimes I protect my children but strangely they are now protecting me.

Wise Old Soul

I am extremely emotional today. My youngest daughter came to see me all of 23. What fascinates me is how much I can see myself in my children. When they were all teenagers and going through what all teenagers do, I didn't think they were like me at all. In fact I often thought, who are these kids and why don't they go home to their families. The challenges were huge and I never thought they would all turn out just fine.
When I spend time with my kids as adults and listen to them as adults, I am moved to tears with the things that come out of there mouths. They are kind caring, beautiful people and I am proud to say, ' they are my daughters'. We have all had a hard life, really hard and my kids could have come to a place that they never want to speak to me again. They could all live separate lives not really caring about each other or anyone else, but that is not the case. My kids are wise beyond their years and to find myself in a place where they can speak into my own life is incredible.
My precious, youngest, wild, and by that I mean free spirit I don't mean unmanageable, but she is her own person, she spoke such words of wisdom today that she had me in tears.... wise Old Soul. To know that I am now being mothered when I have been mothering for so long, I thought that was all I would ever do. But she cares so much for me and I am moved by that. She said... Mom when will you give yourself permission to be YOU. You have always tried to be what everyone else wants you to be, but who ARE you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lunch Club

When the lunch club ladies all got together we had a FABULOUS time together. It was strange how we all met and too long to go into now, it is all in my book, but we were all so different and all so much a like at the same time. Meeting up with them all was the highlight of my month. We were all encouraging to one another and shared a lot of laughs. When ever it was someones birthday we would make an extra effort to bring along a little gift for the Birthday girl.

I don't see why I can't do this on my blog. Thank you Sue for joining in. Lets share each others blogs make suggestings of other blogs that we may be interested in - share and care. Since we can't actually be together, what a shame, then lets share some recipes, that could be fun. To wet the appetite here are some photo's of my lunch club friends in Johannesburg and some of the lovely meals we shared, we can pretend!

This chocolate cake I am sure would have been shared between us. I don't see how any one person could eat this!

Caryl's Onion Marmalade
I know this sounds really odd. But someone asked me yesterday what was the last thing I had to eat and I said, 2 Provita's with cottage cheese and onion marmalade. She was surprised and said she had never heard of it, so here it is.
2 large onions fry in a little olive oil until very soft and slightly golden.
 2 chopped up soft ripe pears and an apple if you have one. Both without the skins
A little ginger if you don't like it leave it out. But I love it so I used a fresh piece about the first joint of my little finger.
When this is all mooshed in together, then add 1/2 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons of honey.
Bring all of this to the boil for a minute or two and then turn down the heat and let it simmer on low for at least an hour. Nice and slow.
Then put it into 2 bottles.
Yummie, you can eat this with meat and it is divine as a dip with cottage cheese on crackers. I haven't tired this on a Pizza but I think it would be awesome.
Now I look forward to one of yours which I hope to find on your blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sunshine when she was 3
Star Sunshine and myself  1989
Moonie, my step daughter, housekeeper and Star 1988
I have been giving art workshops for ever!
Moonie 1989
All such old photo's but I love them - nostalgia!

My Beautiful Daughters

I am really  blessed to have my children and how we have managed to get through some of the stuff we have is nothing short of a miracle. I was watching a Dr Phil show with a family that had about the same amount of drama that we have been through but each member of this particular family was in such a bad way that it looked almost impossible for them ever to sort out their stuff as a family and come out happy, but I know it is.
My kids are awesome. They are very different from each other in every single way, which fascinates me as a mom and I see a little piece of me in all three of them, good and bad. We are extremely close, but I think because we are 4 girls and now 5 with my grand daughter we stick together life 5 petals of the same flower, and the boys, my son in law and two grandsons are the stalk and the leaves! I have been thinking a lot about my kids today, not that I don't always but perhaps because of all this deep work I am doing with the therapist it makes me SO grateful that I have the time to be with them and heal and change what needs to be changed. I have absolutely No regrets in life, it is what it is, but I would give my life over and over again, to have done things differently with my girls. I am so proud of them, they are incredible, loving, kind, caring, compassionate, generous, funny, talented ...but they have been hurt deeply by the choices I made.
I want to help them deal with their pain and give them a voice to express how they feel and confront me if they need to, I am okay with that. For now, they are all doing fine but I know that when you get married, have children of your own, all of a sudden the questions come...why? I am ready for that.

I am feeling wonderful today and SO HAPPY. It has been a long time. The one thing I am thankful for, is that I have made some amazing friends on the Internet over the past 5 years, very dear and special friends the only problem is that they are spread all around the world, or I promise I would have everyone over for a splashed up lunch so that I could say Cheers with a glass of bubbles...thank you.

Would you like to join Caryl's Internet lunch club? During my divorce I met with a group of girlfriends once a month and we had the most amazing times together. Let me know if your interested and we can share blogs, art, recipes and bubbles if we want to.

My Island

Found this picture today and thought I would post it just for a laugh. When I got divorced all I wanted to do, was go and live on an island all by myself. Since that wasn't going to be possible, I went there with the help of Photoshop! I took my thatch home, that I was living in at the time and plonked it on an island all by itself. I spent many hours there... in my imagination. I put the boat in the foreground just to show the tourists, 'that's close enough'.
My skills in PS have improved a lot since then anyone who knows anything about manipulations will see that the masking is not well done at all. I am going to do another one but it won't be on the same island and it won't be that house either!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Love Interest

When I was at the hair dresser the other day, the chairs, where one has ones hair rinsed etc, is not actually a chair it is a bed. The area where the washing and rinsing takes place is called the 'quiet room' and no one talks in there. While you are having your hair washed you can also have either a foot or hand massage, I chose to have the foot massage. It was absolutely impossible to keep in the giggles with my feet being tickled and my baby girl licking my face. My bladder is not so good anymore I won't go any further!


The more I have time to think about emotions, mine and all those that I love dearly, I realise that there are so many people who have been abused in one way or another, it is terribly sad to me. Most people live in denial so there is nothing strange about that. We all have to survive as best as we can. But think about it, if someone has a family, a job, their health etc etc then it really stands to reason that it would be easier for them to deal with all that life throws at them... yes? But what when people don't have that support system, the home the job the family etc. No wonder so many people struggle and turn to addictions that hurt them even more I know from first hand experience we do those things to numb the pain, but it only makes the pain worse every day. Addiction is a lonely painful way to live.

I was watching something on TV and discussed it with my "T" . We spent an hour talking yesterday about who we enable and who are the people who enable us. Enable means: helping someone to do something that they should be doing for themselves. I think we all need help now and again and especially people who are hurting, but when we continue to do things for them, help them before they get the chance to help themselves then we are enabling them.

I came home and started to journal, and instrospect about the people who have enabled me and people who I am guilty of being the enabler. When I was a teenager and my Mum had a drinking problem, she used to ask me to pour her a drink and with that action I knew what the consequence would be when she got a bit tipsy, she would be arguementative and pick a fight with me. I have repeated that behaviour all my life. Instead of having the courage to tell my Mum how much her drinking was hurting me and therefore I would NOT be pouring her drinks anymore, I continued not only with her but with everyone else and in many different ways. I just didn't ever learn how to say NO and mean it.

This is helping me a lot because straight away I could see that there were 4 people that I am continueing that behaviour with even now, my three daughters and one of my friends, a dear friend who has been through some very similar things to myself. For 5 years I have been doing every single thing I can to change, heal and win back my freedom, but she is still in exactly the same situation as she was 5 years ago and she does nothing about it. It is time for me to say... enough! I need to tell her that I love her dearly and will always be there for her, but I no longer want to hear about the same old things every single time we speak. My children... hummm they are next and I am sure they feel the same way about me! I want to give them permission to say NO to me when they feel they have to. Like wise I want to learn how to say No to them too. This is going to be a little more difficult, abandonment is my greatest fear in life and I fear losing their love for me... ridiculous because I know that will never happen. I wish people could see on my forehead how hard it is for me to say NO.... but I am going to practise!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The old me.

The new ME !

It's all gone and so has the colour. My mother was a natural red head and I spent my whole life trying everything I could not to be like her in any way at all. I am sure she will be smiling down at me with this new red hair do! My Mum's name was Sylvia but all her friends called her Red, she would love this.

Spirituality and Anger

As a child I was never allowed to be angry, and I am not just talking for me, I am sure there are so many other people out there just like me. My mother would always say things like, don't raise your voice at me, don't walk away when I am trying to talk to you, if you and your brother can't say something nice then don't say anything at all. In other words I was never allowed to disagree with anything or anyone.
That paved the way to be completely submissive in all situations, with my husbands, friends, work colleagues, pastors etc. I always felt that if I disagreed and wanted to say something they might think I was being argumentative and rebellious. So submission is my first choice when ever there is any kind of conflict.

My therapist is trying to help me have an opinion and to stand up for myself when I need to. That is going to be difficult when for 60 years I have not been able to do that. I am trying and when I do, it often doesn't come out the way I want, but in fact comes across snappy and defensive, but I want to persevere and find ways of communicating where I can respect the person I may disagree with and at the same time make my point. I am not willing to resign myself to a life of failure and live in fear of relationships in case they hurt, which is what I have done for 5 years now.

Trying to overcome my fear of being out in public, being around people and especially men, I went off the the hair dresser today. It is so weird that just having my little puppy with me, gives me comfort. My anxiety goes through the roof when I am in public.  Having men in the salon was tricky but simply ignored them.

Part of my therapy and healing is acknowledging, actually how angry I am. Being a Christian I have only ever tried to walk in forgiveness and kindness towards those who almost destroyed me. Simply talking about it with my therapist, which he has encouraged me to do has made me feel a lot better. In my opinion no matter who you are, or how spiritual we think we are, anger is a very real emotion and I AM ANGRY, REALLY ANGRY which I have been denying for far too long. I wish my X no harm or the many people who tried to destroy me, but I AM angry at them.... this too will pass.

Perhaps when I allow myself to feel that anger, and toss it into the sky with all the sea gulls the next time I go down to the beach, I will reclaim my right to have my freedom back. Living like a recluse is self abuse and I see that now. My decision to cut my hair today was a huge step for me. I have 'had' my hair for soooo long and I have been hiding behind it my whole life. People have always said, Caryl you have such beautiful long, black thick hair.... but I am not my hair! If I cut it off, perhaps it will allow people to 'see' me, the real me. It is going to take some getting used to, I feel bald. When I saw all my hair on the floor, far from feeling liberated, it hurt badly and I felt vulnerable. But I had to do it. Oh gosh how there are times that I just want to stay in my little hole and let the world pass by... but then the abuser really wins and gets the final victory ... and I will not allow that.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement I really do appreciate it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The whole truth!

Well we all know that statement, The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Well I have come to realize that many people, myself included, really believe that I speak the truth and live in truth. But I can only speak the truth as I perceive truth to be and often I am so wrong. In other words, I might say, I am Okay, when in fact I am not. I want people to think I am okay so that is what I tell them. But the truth might be that I am really having a hard time emotionally and finding it difficult to either express, or even own up to. As adults we are supposed to cope with everything...says who? When things go wrong, and they will, how long will it take for us to 'get over it'. Like the loss of a spouse, child, house etc etc. There is no time limit to recovery. I always used to say, a broken bone takes 6 wks if all goes well. Stitches come out with in 10 days, a head ache should go after medication, with in 20 minutes, but how long does it take to heal a broken heart?

My therapy is really going well at the moment... excruciatingly painful but it is going well. Sometimes in order to heal something we gotta go through even more pain. My therapist today was telling me he plays the guitar and he got a wart under one of his finger nails which was creating a problem for him when he tried to strum on the strings. He went off to his doctor who said ... hummm can you not leave this alone, it should go away in time! my therapist, responded... No, I cannot wait that long. His doc.... well then you have to know, this is going to be REALLY painful are you ready for that? My T, ...YES absolutely.

I think we have to want to heal anything that is causing us not to function and be 'fully alive'.... even if that means going deeper, hurting more, in order to bring the wholeness we all want in our lives.

Today, my therapist told me... "Caryl you want to be abused and you look for it!" Man alive I wanted to hit him. But he went on to explain... "I am not saying that to hurt you, and abuse you even more.... I am telling you that, so that you will face the truth" He then explained to me,  I grew up with abuse and emotional neglect and that is all I know. We all want familiar and that is what I am familiar with. I was angry about that, and I felt pain, but that is because it is the truth.... and I know it.

He asked my why I don't mix with normal people? I said..."because normal people don't understand what I have been through". He responded by saying, "it is not important for them to understand it is important for you to understand". He explained, that expecting other people to understand is expecting them to allow me to stay in pain. He went on to say that when one is in an abusive and controlling relationship, if we are honest, there will be many more controlling and abusive people in our lives not just our partner. In order to break that cycle we have to find acceptance with in our selves, that we are valuable and worthy to be treated with love and respect and we will begin to choose kind, loving honest people who endorse that. Other people mirror what we believe about ourselves.

When I asked him why it has taken so long for anyone to say that to me? He said... " you have probably chosen therapists who are good listeners and too afraid to tell you the truth in case they hurt you some more" .... but when the student is ready, the master will appear. I am terrified of men, but I deliberately chose a male therapist... I want to deal with my demons and live a happy, healthy fun filled life.
I am seeing him again on Wednesday, lets see what happens.

Oh and he also said... I am so used to being abused, that when there is not someone in my life to abuse me, then I abuse myself! Oh man this guy is good, how did he know that. I really struggle with being kind to my own soul even when others aren't.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Oh Dear!

Sometimes we just bumble along from day to day thinking everything is just fine, or as fine as things can be, but recently something happened that has shaken me to the core. I moved to Cape Town for a year after a rather messy divorce and after the publication of my book LOOK ME IN THE EYE. Writing the book was really painful and emotionally draining. Once it was finished and I had done all the promotional stuff I felt that I needed to take my 'gap year' so I moved to the coast. For several months I must be honest I was in a complete daze. I had gone into so much detail with the book that all I wanted to do was sit around like a zombie and paint when I felt inspired.
For several months my daily routine was to spend several hours painting, perhaps go to the local supermarket to buy some groceries or take long walks on the beach .... just to think.... and cry... a lot. It was all going to be part of the healing process. I noticed though that every time I went out in public I would have the most awful panic attacks and often abandoned what ever I was doing to rush home in tears.
The months passed quicker than I realised and I knew that I would soon have to make a decision as to what my long term plans would be. I had been up and down to Johannesburg a couple of times and spent Christmas with all my daughters and grand children but that wasn't enough. I was really missing my kids a LOT. At the end of April 2010 exactly a year, I decided it was time to go back and be with my family.

The month of May I had every intention of dedicating my blog time, to my mother who passed away in 1991. I was so looking forward to sharing all the memories. But... I suddenly got flu, and oh my did I get flu. I was sick for the entire month of May. I am not someone who ever gets sick so I was very surprised but simply thought since I don't ever get sick it was perhaps only fair that I had my fair share of the worlds germs!
I couldn't paint or go to the beach so there was not much I could do except think. I suddenly realised that the thought of going back to Jhb, was more traumatic than I had thought and I went into the most awful decline, depressed, anxious, nightmares and complete trauma. Totally fed up with the PTS (Post traumatic Stress) I decided it was time to see a therapist. I was so concerned that I decided to see a psychiatrist, thinking perhaps I was never going to be able to shake the PTS and perhaps needed medication, which I hate. After several sessions she has diagnosed me with ANDROPHOBIA, can you believe that! I have never heard the word, but now that I know what it is, everything makes so much sense. She also said that because of this I have also developed a fear of socializing.

When will this all end! I am tired and really want to move on with my life, but fear of men has completely paralyzed me and I don't know how to deal with it. I am tired and life has been such a struggle that this is just one more thing to deal with .... and I sure as heck will.

My history and experience with men has not been great, but I don't see why I should live like a recluse. Recreating a new life after an abusive marriage, is not easy and this makes me think of all the women out there who are held captive by men, either husbands or worse kidnappers. I often wondered how someone recovers from being held a prisoner, but even though there were no locks on the doors in my home, this time on my own has made me realise that I have been a prisoner most of my life.

This is going to be an interesting time, and I have several things I need to do to enjoy my freedom. It is not going to be easy, but very necessary if I am to go back to Jhb and live in the same suburb as my X husband and all of his friends. I want to go back, walking tall and I don't want to have any fear of bumping into any of them.

I have been quiet on my blog lately because I have been trying to process all of this and it hasn't been easy. What do they say, one day at a time. I have taken the first step... and I will be seeing a male therapist recommended by the psychiatrist, on Monday. Male therapist ! I don't see a male doctor, bank manager, pharmacist, I always choose to see a woman.  I honestly never gave it much thought before, but for years I have avoided men completely. Even though I was living with my abusive husband, I hid for hours and hours in my art studio, choosing to be with him as little as possible.

Because I have never heard about this phobia before I am going to share the symptoms here on my blog, just in case there might be one other person out there who might identify with me and not feel so alone.
In the last chapter of my book I speak of the reader joining me on my journey to heal and this is just part of it, so I am thrilled that I am almost there. The scars will always be there, but they pain has gone, except for when I am in male company, so watch this space, I am going all out now!