Friday, August 20, 2010

Paul Newman

When asked how come his marriage survived the test of time....Paul Newman replied, "This is a throw-away society. We throw away children, friends, marriage, enough trash to sink the planet and anything else we don't want. How sad is that truth?

He then went on to say that in his generation  they seldom threw things away but 'things' everything, was repaired and that was why his marriage was such a success, they fixed the problems when they occured.
We all want to advance in life, but so much can be learned from the elderly. Let us not delete them as quickly as we do everything else.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'll be back

I am going up to Johannesburg to see my gorgeous daughters and my yummie grandchildren, for a week. I will be back around the 1st September. Keep your soul alive by doing what you love the most.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sneak Photo

This little daughter of mine doesn't like posting pictures of her kids on the internet, she is an extremely private person. But she sent me this picture this morning and HOW CAN I NOT SHARE IT? I could eat them all with a dollop of cream and one big strawberry!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yummie white chocolate

My daughter went on a baking course yesterday and sent me a photo of what she made. The worst part of all this is that she is on a diet, so the family are going to tuck into this and all she is going to have to do is enjoy them enjoying her cake!

Friday, August 13, 2010

You look different

Sometimes I look at people and they look stuck up, but maybe they just don't like the way I am looking at them!

Half done

Do you ever feel that you are half done? I am not sure what 'well done' is but I am waiting for 'well done'.

Opposites attract

Hi, what's your name?

I could have danced all night.

My normal style of painting is nothing like this, but inspired by so many other Daily Painters I decided to give this a bash. I love it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I am so tired of hearing of all the injustice. Tonight I was watching on the crime channel a story about an American Indian convicted of a crime he didn't commit. He spent many years in jail, robbed of his right as Chief of his tribe. He was eventually released and married the wife of his deceased attorney. They had a child and he was awarded an amount by the state as compensation.
Something I didn't know is that one doesn't get that money in a lump sum but it is given as a kind of pension. The program was explaining that in what is left of his life, he will never get the full amount owed to him.

My heart truly breaks every timeI hear a story about a person who has to deal with injustice. I also watched on Oprah the story about the lady who won an oscar for her role in the movie 'Precious' , I can't wait to see it. But the whole debacle about the sexual abuse she endured with her brother.

I know that there will be people who say... Let it go! and there will be others who say she is doing the right thing by exposing him. There will be some that say, she should have dealt with it in private with her family and there will be some that say No now that she has a platform she has a voice. There will be people who say her brother is only apologizing now because she is famous and others that believe this is an opportunity for him to stand up and be counted - publicly.

No matter what the story is, there are extended families and children involved and each person is horribly affected by this kind of thing. I know from first hand experience the people  who are quick to judge -haven't been there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Give Aways

Don't forget I am giving away 6 goodies, one a month until December. This was one of them that I gave to Nancy, who also sent me a beautiful encaustic art piece a few months ago. Have a look at her blog she really is such a talented artist. I met her when we both did the workshop with DJ in march this year.

I am not going to be selective about who I send my gifts to, just would like them to go around the world. I am giving away gifts to celebrate my 60th at the end of this year.

I spoke to a friend over the weekend who is also turning 60 at the end of the year and she said 'Caryl you are so brave, with everything you have done in your life and now your 60th. I can't even bring myself to say the word siiiii...... sssssiiiiii...... sixty! For heavens sake we are all aging no matter what we try to hide that is a fact. So roll on 60 I am ready and waiting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's all in the mind

When I paint I usually have something in mind but in this case I was using an old canvas that I had painted over and there was quite a lot of texture on it already. I wanted to paint something over a period of a few days and see what transpires, but I got this far and then made the fatal mistake of using wax over it and so I have pretty much prevented it from going any further. I really don't like this and it will probably land up in the garbage, pity, because the canvas is huge and I would hate to waste it. If anyone has any ideas as to how I can remove most of the wax and continue working with it, I would appreciate the advice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I was born in Zimbabwe but what I find so strange is that I have an older brother and 4 younger half brothers who all live in the UK. They all have British Passports, but I don't and I am not entitled to get one except if I had to live there and after 4 years I could apply for an ancestoral passport. Why? Because I had the misfortune of being born in Zimbabwe, they were all born overseas. So where are my roots? I often think about that. I have fond memories of Zimbabwe when all my family still lived there which they no longer do. Most of my family are spread far and wide around the world. I classify myself as South African because my kids were born here, but I have never felt like I belonged strangely.
For anyone following my blog I wanted to suggest you read an amazing book, by far on of my best that came out of Zimbabwe. Don't Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight absolutely riveting reading. If you want to know what Zimbabwe was like for all of us during those war years I recommend this book.

There is another book I also recommend reading called Before the knife by Carolyn Slaughter.


Where we meet next Saturday !

When Ma Ma said there would be days like this!

I don't know where that comes from, it was either a book or a song or something? But NO my Ma Ma didn't tell me there would be days like this! It is a typical Cape Town winter day. That means freezing, and raining. My DSTV has gone off, I can't get hold of them to fix it so all I can do today is play all my CD's - which has not been a good idea for years now, because music has always reminded me of my X. He was a great music lover so most music reminds me of him.
I am deciding whether to persevere or go back to bed with a good book? The only problem is the Bella, the little girl that she is, can't go outside for her daily run so she is frustrated and tearing up my whole house now. She has never been out in the rain before so I let her out onto the patio to see what she would do. She had me in absolute hysterics, snapping at the rain and jumping around all over the place barking. I love this little person - yes person she really has managed to climb deep inside my heart.
Listening to all this music is making me tearful and it is just another day I have to overcome, so I decided to work on a piece of art work that I did for a challenge and transport myself to this wonderful place in Paradise. It is soooo beautiful I wish we could all go there when we have 'one of those day's'.
I am meeting some internet friends there next Saturday if you would like to join us. One lady said she will only come if there will also be little umbrella drinks. Of course there will be, little glasses filled with mixed berries, rain water and a touch of champagne. I could really do that.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Gift for my darling daughters Birthday on the 11th August.

I doubt my other two daughters would appreciate this but I really know my youngest daughter will think this is so cool. It is far from finished, but I worked late into the night last night.

When the Potion becomes Pollution

I was playing around with some stuff for another art piece and didn't like the end result. Looked like something I found on a dump. I decided I was going to play with it anyway. My therapist says I must paint for a while without 'sales' in mind! Well I didn't have any plans for this, but once I stuck it down this is what I saw, all Ihave done is enhanced it to make it more obvious. The heart was on the canvas from a previous painting I had scrapped.

Warning: Don't waste your time reading this if you aren't addicted to something!

We all understand addictions like alcoholism, drugs, sex, gambling, food - too much too little. Those are the ones that are shameful and hit the head lines and we all sit back with our noses in the air and our lips curled up under out nose. Those are the addictions that make us sit back and think, thank goodness I am not like that! Well I have some sad news, those are the ones that people go to rehab for but there are so many other addictions that we receive PRAISE for. Adrenaline junkies who get a high on speed, racing cars, jumping off mountains, running distances that animals don't, making so much money that in 10 life times both they and their children couldn't spend it. Plastic surgery that makes people look so plastic that even Barbie would suffer with jealousy and depression and more than likely ask her manufacturers to add some more botox.
Surgery that tells the world, this is not really me.

I could go on and on. But CD is to me even worse, it is so subtle, manipulative and under heavy disguise of being, the kindest sweetest, most gently, spiritual, caring, generous - do you want anymore superlatives? Trust me, it has more to do with PLEASE JUST LOVE ME. That is not to say that these people aren't nice kind caring people, they are, but they just don't believe it themselves.
But this sick disease is as harmful to those who suffer with it, as it is to those who are in relationship with someone who is CD. You see these people, myself included ARE CONTROLLING. They will do anything, to be accepted and avoid being rejected. They want everyone else to be as kind and caring as they are. But what they struggle to deal with is that other people have their own lives, make their own choices, right or wrong, and they have the freedom to live with those choices.

Some amazing books are written by people that have had such huge problems that if they were our family members or friends we would more than likely have disowned them years ago. But they are people who speak from experience, they know what it is like to fail, to be destitute and on the verge of suicide. But some of these people are able to express themselves and are willing to put themselves out there, and tell me and you how rotten their lives had become, so that perhaps we can learn from them and find happier healthier ways of living in this beautiful world.

The churches are full of addicts, divorcee's, prostitutes, drug lords, murderers. liars and thieves and people that Jesus died for. Surely that is why He came and did die for us? There are Prophets and teachers of all religions all teaching us their wisdom for a more PEACEFUL existence. Yet there are still people who don't get it. Those are the people we don't give up on, they are the ones we pray for.

Is someone going to hurt you in your life? That is a given. Will you hurt people  - absolutely. I read something last night that was expressed so well. I am reading the book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. As you know my mother was born in India, so I am fascinated to know more. But the writer was sharing an experience that made him feel ashamed that he 'did not do something to stop it'. He asks a question 'how hard does a man's heart have to become to ignore the pain of others?' and then he says (I can't find it now, or I would quote him) but he says, sometimes we want to do the right thing, for the right reasons but to do so would get the wrong result, and so we walk away. Is that having a hardened heart, perhaps the victims would say yes but perhaps ultimately not.

With all addicts, the friends and families will have to struggle at some point with this very dilemma. How much does one have to do? So much and NO MORE. For those who have healthy boundaries they will say enough, far sooner than those who don't. Does that mean that those who say NO have hearts of stone, perhaps some of them yes, but most of them no. But we get sucked in by Compassion, Sympathy, or our own feelings of needing that other person. Maybe we need them financially, or we need them because they provide a roof over our heads, or they are our children and we need them because we love them and want them to love us back.

What ever the reason, we are not God and there comes a time when if we do not step back we do not allow that person to find their own strength in God. Yes some people will die.

Boundaries - are not necessarily walls, but they might need to be.

Some of you reading this blog, have also read some of Melody Beatties books.
Codendent no more
The language of Letting Go
Stop being mean to yourself
Playing It by Heart
and the one I am reading now, Beyond Codependency. The stores are full of self help books, but when we read them and gain some insight how do we apply it in our lives. I have found in my own life that change is diffucult for me, no, DAMN difficult and it is hard on those who know me too.

When I cut my hair and change the colour from black to red, the same people will say every time they see me, 'you look so different, you look younger, you have changed so much, I like the change, I don't like the change'. What ever they say the fact remains I have changed. When I wear 'these' clothes, some people will say, 'that really suits you, I much prefer you in casual wear, others will say, I don't like it when you wear that, you look much nicer when you wear your gypsy clothes'. The point is, my wardrobe has all kinds of clothes and wear what ever I feel like wearing on any given day. Each day is different. Why do people find it so hard when one is making personal changes, that are hard to make but necessary for survival and personal growth?

Perhaps when we are not being our normal selves, or normal as people know us, we should say to them, 'please allow me some space, I am learning and growing'. I am not stopping loving you, I still care about you, but I am changing my heart today, I want it to feel something different to what I felt yesterday.

Since my divorce, my bottom of the barrel, my darkest hour ever, I had two choices, die or live. Had I chosen to die, I may not have died in the literal sense. I may have found my death in the bottom of a bottle, or in the indulgence of far too many sleeping pills, tranquilizers, another bad relationship. There are many ways of dieing slowly. But I have chosen to live and with that choice have come changes, that many people around me don't like or understand, but I must continue to find my own peace and harmony.
The people who don't like the changes or who are finding the changes unpleasant, painful for themselves are the people who's own marriages, I never want to be in again. They are people like me, pleasers who wish the world was a kinder more gentle place to live, but are not willing to make the sacrifices I have been forced to make. I am not a brave hero, I was simply desparate enough, or I would die.

I have reminders, unpleasant reminders to keep me focused on pushing forward.

Lets call him Mr B. He was married with two children and got divorced. I am not sure of the reasons for the divorce but not long after the divorce (do you see what I mean by too soon), he met and fell in love with a friend of mine. He was good to her, spoilt her rotten and there was no limit to what he would do for her. He showered her with gifts, took her to fancy restaurants, paid some of her bills, helped her around her home. This all sounds like heaven? But he suffocated her. He phoned her all the time, wanted to see her every day and hardly allowed her any time on her own. They became engaged and as time went by, he became more and more attached wanting desperately to get married, she needed some time. The longer she waited the more desperate he became until one day, she said NO. The engagement was off and she started to move on with her life. He couldn't let go and begged pleaded with her to reconsider asking her what he could do, what hadn't he done wrong? She kept telling him 'nothing', nothing, but he just couldn't accept it. (That is Co Dependency). Months went by and he would stay away for a while and then the phone calls would start again, he would drive by her house, want to know where she was and who she might be dating.

One day he went to her house and wanted to talk to her to sort out the problem between them. She told him he had done nothing wrong, but the relationship was over and she had moved on with her life. He left, in tears. She felt terrible, doubted her decision but stuck to it. She wanted to rescue him from his pain, but knew that in rescueing him and making him happy, she would end up in pain herself.

He moved closer to where she lived, making it impossible for her to go anywhere without worrying she would bump into him. One day, she invited a male friend, who is gay, to her home for dinner. Mr B happened to drive past her home and see a car there. He sneaked up and looking through one of the windows he saw that she obvioulsy had male company. He left, but phoned her the next day to call her all the names under the sun. When she explained who he was and that Mr B had no right to stalk her and if he didn't stop she would report him. Not long after, it happened to be Christmas day. My friend was getting ready to go to church and then meet some friends for Christmas lunch. Mr B arrived at her house, parked his car right outside her kitchen window and then sat on the horn. When my friend went rushing through to the kitchen to see what the noise was all about, she looked through the kitchen window and saw him sitting in the car. Before she could do anything, he pulled out a gun, held it to his head and pulled the trigger.
Statement: I can't survive without you!

He left behind his two children and at his funeral service, my friend sat next to his X wife and children and I wept. Not for him, but for them. He had ended his pain but theirs had only just begun. That is not to say I did not feel sorry for him, I was terribly sad that he could find no peace and suicide was the way out of for him.
This is not the choice of a coward, but of someone who simply couldn't go on with the pain one more day.

Oh my word have I felt that pain many times and also wanted to end it in the same way as he did. But he was an example to me of the pain that we cannot cope with gets passed on to those we love the most. After my divorce, I knew that if I was going to survive my divorce, I wanted to LIVE and not just breath each day. To acknowledge one is CD is the same as saying I am a heroin addict and I need help. The help comes one hour at a time not one year at a time. There are many relapses over and over again. What is a relapse to a CD? I find one of the biggest is telling people 'this is what I need for now'. I need to stay away from anyone who triggers my codependency, the need to rescue, be there for someone when I don't have the energy to be there for myself. Anyone who makes me want to say 'sorry I am hurting you and making you angry'. I am not hurting anyone, perhaps I am just not doing what they want me to do, thats all. All CD's need to be alone for a while to discover that they are Okay, nice people, who don't actually NEED anyone. We want people around us to enjoy the company of others, but we don't need them to validate out existance.
..... and so another day continues in my own recovery.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Remains of the day

I really love this journalling idea and worked on one virtually the whole weekend. It was great fun.

Truth Revealed

I keep wanting to post something that is cheerful, different and a complete change from what I have been posting in the past few months, but I have to be true to the process I am trying to get through.
If life is about learning, then I must be really "D" for dumb! I really thought I had learned a huge lesson with all this Co Dependency stuff, but no sooner have I had a real aha moment and think to myself, Okay Okay I got it, and I promise it is not a week later that I am put to the test to see if I really do get it.
I was just about to stop therapy and make my next step forward, when I get an SMS message out of the blue from someone I really was hoping never to hear from again. If you ever want to ask a favour of someone, borrow something, get someone to do some dirty work, trust me, seek out a CD and I promise they will jump to do it. It sickens me that fear of rejection can be So strong that it will disable the person from saying NO.
I was watching a program on Oprah the other day and there was a guy on the show who wrote a book called The Gift of Fear. I should have read that book a long long time ago. My interpretation of that is not only fear of danger from strangers etc, but fear of saying NO. No means No, and No to me means I don't want to do something, or No when someone is trying to control me. The only way we, I, will ever be free is when I learn to say No, mean it and if someone else doesn't respect that, then it is their problem, NOT MINE.
I have got to learn NOT TO CARE when people delete me on Facebook for example. I know that you are going to think I am crazy at my age to even worry about that, but I do. When someone has asked ME to be their friend!, then I am offended when they choose to delete me. What the heck is going on with people! I have never deleted anyone from my life, and that IS sometimes necessary. But my own fear of rejection is SO STRONG that I NEVER want people to feel like I do.

I was asked by my therapist the other day to think back to somewhere as a child when I felt that overwhelming sense of abandonment? Hummm I could think of dozens of times, but I knew what he was getting at, IT WAS THAT ONE TIME TOO MANY. I started to cry, because a memory flashed before me that was so vivid that I couldn't help but experience it all over again. I perhaps knew that day, that the one person you love, need and trust, is capable of letting you down totally and completely.

I am not to sure whether those memories can ever really heal. Surely it is normal when that happens to guard your heart? The times in my life when I have opened my heart to trust again, it happens again. My issue, is not that people let me down, I can handle that. My issue is not that people do things I disagree with, or that people think and do things different to me, my issue is that when I don't do things their way - it always seems to be there way or good bye. I don't get it. I NEVER wipe people out of my life when there are differences I always think exactly that, we are different.

I am a Christian and Christians do not believe in reincarnation, but I had an experience a while back that really shocked me to say the least, I mean really shocked me. I had the overwhelming sensation that my brother and I were in another life, and in that life we were also together but not necessarily as brother and sister. We were in a building when there was a natural disaster and we were trapped under rubble injured but alive. We could hear the rescuers trying to find us, but eventually we also heard them giving up the search and we were trying to call them to say "No don't go we are still alive", but they left and we died.

What that was I can't explain I have never had anything like that ever happen before, but it was so clear and so strong that it seemed to explain something deep with in my psyche. I honestly believe,what ever it was, even if it was simply my imagination these things happen for a reason and the reason for me at that point was to accept I don't ever have to be rescued.  My life is in my hands and the future is mine to enjoy, fully. I don't have to be rescued  and nor do I need to do the rescuing, which I constantly feel compelled to do. I need the tests to come fast and furious so that I can say NO, NO , NO and feel comfortable about saying that.

I had a wonderful weekend, making a journal that I found on the internet, called Remains Of the Day by Mary Ann Moss. Take a look it really was a lot of fun. The weather was cold and miserable, I had lots of recorded movies to watch, the kettle constantly on the boil for tea it was wonderful. I love journalling, it really has been my salvation.