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Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Diva and The Ritalin Pushers (2)

I woke up a few minutes ago from an awful nightmare.

I had caught a train and discovered I was going the wrong way and the station I had to get off on was populated by hundreds of frightening people lighting fires and lurking around in the smoke.

The dream then changed to living in this tiny apartment with my youngest, The Diva.

She was asleep when suddenly all these people barged in and began making themselves at home, moving my furniture and lighting cigarettes. I told them they had no right to be there and they had to stop smoking immediately as my daughter was in the room.

The one chap said that he had already lit his ciggy and wasn’t going to be rushed. I said that he and his friends could at least go to the balcony, which they did.

Two of his mates then brought in this intricate table which had to be put together like a puzzle. Once complete I saw that it looked exactly like my table, but on closer inspection I and saw that they had extra block pieces that had to be balanced and fitted right in the middle – taking up unnecessary space.

At that point my daughter woke up and she was really dirty for some reason, like she’d been dipped in mud. I picked her up and saw that her right arm was bandaged. The wrapping was coming off so I began removing it. The Diva began to cry telling me her arm was so sore.

In my dream she was the size of a child’s doll!
I woke up!

The last few days have really taken their toll on us both. After meeting with the principal and teacher I was stressed and angry and frustrated. A day later they sent home forms for me to fill in to have my daughter assessed for ADD. They put huge pressure on me when I said I couldn’t afford a psychologist and I asked instead for the local one assigned to the schools. They balked at that idea as it could take months and they said they were desperate! So there I was with a wad of forms which would cost R1350 (subsidised) to complete, not including all the meds and counselling that could follow!

By Friday night I was a total wreck. I was being hard on The Diva pressurising her to behave like some damn perfect automaton. I was hard on myself trying to figure out a way to conjure money out of thin air and then still beating myself up for not being able to figure out how.

And then I prayed for help.

The answer was like a gentle kiss:
‘The only thing that matters is your daughter and what SHE needs – forget what the teachers are saying and doing, what does your child need the most?’

The chains fell off with a resounding crash!

I realised that I had allowed myself to be propelled by the fear and loathing of two women who truly had yet to prove that they had my daughter’s best interests at heart. They wanted instant solutions at all costs and if I continued to be swayed by them, that cost would be my child’s undoing.

What my daughter needed was to be loved and accepted, not made to feel bad. What she needed most was her mommies loving arms around her, reassuring her and making her feel safe again.

Whatever steps I take must ensure the very best solution for HER – teachers be damned! She is the babe and I am the adult. The burden of change and decision must be mine to carry and teach – not hers!

As her mother it is up to me to find the strength and the faith to move mountains and to protect her from the burden of her teachers fear and influence..

If I had any doubts before, they were certainly cleared up through my dream!

I don’t know yet what the solution is, but I know the Universe ALWAYS has one.

It is my ‘job’ too look for it –
It is my daughters ‘job’ to flourish while I do!

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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Mr Sour Grapes and the Journey of Words

I’ve been thinking about my blog and the reason for it’s existence-as I see it anyway.

It’s always so interesting to me that the reasons for starting something seldom have anything to do with the reasons for continuing.
I think it’s probable that our connectivity as people is the ‘changing factor’.

I began writing about my life initially to share my adoption story and soon splashed out into the decidedly mad existence I have led. Although one is connected with the other it has also grown another arm-it’s somehow managed to connect with others just like me.

So many of us out there are struggling to stand firm, pushing against the weight of our upbringings, our understanding, weaknesses and ignorance.

What began as a need to express myself has become in many ways a small window to look through for those as foolish and lost as I was and occasionally still am.

I was confronted recently by one of my bosses who proclaimed my blogging useless and on par with tweeting garbage into the ether. He said a lot more but since it was all pretty much in the same vein it’s not worth repeating. One good thing that did however come out of ‘Mr Sour Grapes’ opinion is that it forced me to look closer at what I really wanted to achieve.

Ultimately most bloggers want to leave their often mediocre jobs to make a living out of writing – but that said, we will write anyway! As a writer, once the words begin to appear in your mind you become restless and imprisoned until they are set free.

As a slave to the craft I feel the same, but as a person starting out, I feel the call to begin another journey – one to find MY particular voice.

I am slowly discovering new passions and bigger ideas than ever before and the more I write the more confidence I gain.

So ‘Mr Sour Grapes’, as you cling desperately to your utter mediocrity I will continue with my journey of discovery, I will exercise my talent and at the end of my days, come what may, I will be able to say that I gave this life and this passion, my all.

And I can live with that!

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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Strings of Sentences

 

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The Diva and the Ritalin Pushers (1)

My youngest daughter is nicknamed The Diva. She is a gorgeous bundle of drama, stubborness, love and delight.

Every teacher that has had her has just about jumped off a building trying to get her to ‘toe the line’ and failed miserably!

She daydreams, she talks incessantly and she’s very bossy. She’ also extremely gentle with younger children, she’ll comfort anyone who’s in distress and she’ll hammer the heck out of any kid who mocks or bullies her or anyone else in any way!

She’s the Diva and she’s magnificent!

Unfortunately the school system doesn’t agree. They see her kind and gentle side, but because she’s so much work they’re now closing their eyes and freaking their lids.
Both the principal and her teacher are pushing for her to be put onto Ritalin! (their kids are on it).

Now I don’t walk with blinders on – I know how difficult she can be and I’m pretty sure she fits quite nicely into the ADD or ADHD moulds – BUT how on earth did we manage to take what is essentially a wonderful, independant and intelligent spirit and convince ourselves that it’s a mental condition?

Some of the most brilliant inventors and thinkers and entrepeneurs of our time would have been classified as ADHD! What the heck would have happened if drugs were available as they are now and we’d drugged the genius out of them?

Thomas Edison for one was thrown out of school for ADHD behaviour! Imagine if his mother had poured ‘essence of sloth’ down his throat?

One of the things the teachers are fritzing about is how much my daughter daydreams. Her reply to me was: ‘ I look at things for a long time so that I can figure out what to do with them’………she’s 8 years old!

Ritalin be damned!

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Biting the Acid Bullet

So you’re a ‘Lostling’? Adopted? No biological parents or family – you know they’re out there, so what?

I came across a blog recently called ‘Harsh Reality’ which piqued my interest. This chap has written his adoption story which reads somewhat differently to mine. He wrote that his mother had kept his sister but given him away. From what I could understand he believes it was possibly due to the fact that girls are easier to look after.

I instantly had the ‘ugly bells‘ start ringing in my head.

After what I’ve experienced I’ve come to believe that there is, or should, be a huge difference in the motivation for finding the parents and finding the sibs. The parents are easy – in their hands they hold your identitity, your roots, your further understanding of yourself and your sense of self worth.

Your siblings are another kettle of fish entirely. 

Just to be clear: Some of you will find your families and at the same time discover that devils do indeed walk the earth!  Am I trying to scare you? YES! Not every story has a happy ending.

For myself, I always imagined that my sister would be a hardcore chick fiercely protecting her mother from the onslaught of the bastard spawn. I was horribly and wonderfully wrong! As turns out she was kind and sweet and totally open to having a relationship with me – wonderful! What wasn’t so wonderful was the fact that she hadn’t grown up with mum either AND we had a brother who I didn’t even know about!

Not in my wildest imaginings could did I ever think of this version – and that’s the rub …

‘Pre-conceived ideas can be the blinders that cover your eyes to the truth and prevent you from taking action.’

Your siblings don’t have the same experience, memories and life issues as your parents and this is where the ‘HR’ blog began to torment me….

Finding your brothers and sisters could very well lead you down a path of utter nightmare because you really have no way to know who and what they are and how you will be received – BUT – what if your fears and pre-conceived ideas are bullshit? What if your sibs have been waiting their entire lives to connect with you, and more to the point…

what if your siblings need you…

I like to think that the horror stories are the exception and not the rule when it comes to finding family, perhaps I’m wrong, I don’t have the stats to prove either side. What I do know is this: inbetween all the happy and sad there are people out there, brothers and sisters, that have never been loved by anyone. What if your sibs fall into this category?

By the time we eventually hook up with our families we’re generally all grown up and it’s easy to assume that there’s no point in finding them now because whatever they went through is over, but there’s the thing – there’s no statute of limitations on childhood pain. They may well be grown with their own families, they may also be too lost for saving. But how do you know? Your appearance may well be the miracle they need to finally begin to heal whatever it is they went through, in fact let me go one step further. Your appearance might be the only miracle that CAN heal them.

The variations of what can happen are truly endless and many of you have made peace with who and what you are and don’t particularily want to open old wounds, and that’s fine. BUT – if you have even the slightest niggle that you really haven’t done all that your spirit requires, then go and find them!

The amount of pain involved in being rejected all over again is truly unquantifiable, but what if you’re wrong? What if it was you waiting for them to care enough to rescue you?

There is no way to truly prepare for the unknown, but there is a way to prepare to be the finest human you can – CHOOSE! You may be the only person that cares about them, and you may just save their lives.

Wouldn’t you want that if the roles were reversed?

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Gupta be Gone!

This country is in the toilet!

Front page news about the illegal landing of the aircraft…

As a working class South African I have to say ‘ who gives a damn!’

Not us, we’re working our fingers to the bone to survive in an economy that’s out of control.

Somewhere along the line one politician decided to whine about the Gupta’s wedding arrangements and now it’s a huge issue pursued rabidly from all sides including the President’s office.

The time and money spent on conferences, newsreels and meetings about this ‘horrendous’ situation could probably have provided school feeding or teachers salaries or transport to any of a thousand rural villages for more than a month of Sundays!

We are the people of this country and every day we work and struggle and wait in vain for the politicians to take responsibility for the offices they’ve sworn to serve – and this is what they’re busy with?

Wake up you tired and lazy fools!

We don’t care about the Gupta’s! Conduct an internal enquiry if you must, but get on with the job at hand.

You are a shameful representation of what this country is capable of.
Mandela would not have allowed you to
Behave this way – he taught you better! He taught us all better!
Shame on you ministers, shame on all you politicians – people are dying through lack of infrastructure and lack of care.

You know better – so DO better!

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Strings of Sentences

 

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My Lioness – The Extraordinary Ilona Kolbe

I’ve spent a long time thinking of how to write this tribute.I didn’t want to do a replay of previous one’s because this particular lady deserves so much more.

‘I am writing you a letter sweetheart, a very public letter, so that the things you have done for me can be appreciated and admired by whoever reads this blog.’

Dear Ilona

You’re very tall, do you know that? Of course you do!

It’s one of the things I like most about you – I always felt safe and protected and never more so than we you agreed to be my birth partner when The Diva was getting ready to arrive.

You said it was an honour to share that experience with me – I considered it a lifesaver. After all the heartache I had gone through during my pregnancy I knew I was going to end strong, because you were at my side.

There’s something to be said for kitchen tables, there’s a magic about them truly. The hours we talked and laughed and cried and bemoaned our fates. Cups of coffee, strong, one sugar and a decent dollop of milk, accompanied by the never-ending ciggy’s. Our kids were young when we first became friends. Your gorgeous daughter already a little artist and an absolute sweety and that brilliant golden-haired son who could recognise and explain every dinosaur at age 2!

I was a hardened ‘happy clapper’ when I first met you and a hardened hypocrite! Always looking down my nose at your readings and attempting to lecture you on the finer points of life – why you tolerated me I’ll never know…….actually why DID you tolerate me? Seriously?

I think If we added all the time I spent in your world there would literally be years attributed just to eating your food – funny that! I just loved visiting you. Your home was always a place of light and love, kids, animals, music, TV, pots and pans.

I’ve been mentally compiling a list of all the things you did for me and I realised that there really was no way to do it – there was too much. Then I began to think about what really touched my heart the most about our relationship, the things I remember most clearly – the answers were a little odd – just like me…….

The most obvious thing to start off with was being pregnant with The Diva. I was broken. You went shopping for me even when you were struggling financially, you kept me company even when your life was biting back, you listened to my endless maudlin monologues despite the fact that you probably wanted to tear your hair out at the replays.

Over the years I’ve relied on your friendship for a variety of reasons, but through my last pregnancy I really needed you, more so than ever before – and you were there for me. There were times I felt that I couldn’t go a step further. I experienced the blackest depression and if not for the fact that I knew I could hide at your house, I truly believe I would not have made it through.

Ok so that’s the really big stuff, well barring that magnificent stove you bought for me…….still reeling from that……

You kept me warm……..literally. Of all the people I have known, you are one of the few that has ever got just how much I suffer from the cold.

‘Great Scott, she’s a Scot????’

When I was at high school I began to put on weight and would always walk with a  jersey on. I think it’s as a result of those years that I developed a complete intolerance to cold. From the earliest years I remember you running off to find wooly blankets and hot water bottles. You would literally tuck me into a cosy chair or couch before we watched a movie.

Nobody had ever done that before. It wasn’t just a once-off either. It was ALWAYS!

Yeah I know, you saved my life, fed me for years, taught me a million ways to improve my world and this is what I remember most?…

It gets worse….

Harry Potter! You introduced me to Harry Potter. And for the next 10 years of books and movies I was in heaven! I have read thousands of books, but being introduced to this literally kept me joyous for years – and still does.

Angel cards – Oh the Devil, the Devil !!!!!! If not for your influence I would never have discovered the joy of readings. Your initial readings for me ignited such a spark that I eventually began buying my own cards. If not for your patience and tolerance I would have continued seeing demons in everything I didn’t understand, and have forfeited years of guidance and assistance and hope.

‘The Worst Mommy Society Crown’ – We took turns to wear that over the years! Where it was in my nature to beat myself up when I wasn’t perfect, it was in your nature to be forgiving to oneself. There were so many times that we were tired and worn down and you found a way for us to see the lighter side of mommy-hood. We would just need to look at each other to know whose turn it was that day!

An intellect that would make Einstein pause – and that’s no exaggeration! I have yet to find a subject you haven’t read and understood. In the early years I used to be quite intimidated, but that was due to my own insecurities. Later on I understood that just because my intellectual bus only ran on 3 wheels, there was no reason I couldn’t wobble along beside you. It became such a joy to listen to you explain your latest book or discovery of the planet and the Universe in general.

We know that there’s no such thing as perfection this side of the veil, we know that no matter how much we plan and connive, that we are all susceptible to the highs and lows that life throws at us.

For my part I’ve experienced so many of both – the difference for me was that no matter what I went through YOU were always there for me. You have taught and loved and forgiven me more than most. You have guided and encouraged and offered comfort to me and mine like none other. It was you, before anyone else, that realised my potential to be a writer – and here I am…

I can’t really figure out why you’ve put up with me to be quite honest, and true to the selfish part of myself I’ve learnt not to question but just to be grateful.

For all that you’ve done I want you to know I am indeed truly thankful. Your friendship has been a beautiful tapestry of love and learning, warmth and truth.

I wish I could say that I took such cherished care of you, but that sadly would be a lie. I like to think that perhaps one day I will be given the opportunity to bring joy and love and warmth to your world, but until then I must ask your forgiveness for the many times I didn’t.

You are a strong and magnificent woman. You have blessed and changed so many lives, I can only hope that all the good you have sown over the years will flood back to you.

For all that you have done I thank you, for all that you have forgiven me, I thank you.

Through your own tribulations you have walked the earth with light and love, often carrying your own sorrows alone.

My wish for you is the same as for myself:

‘May this the second half of your life be as prosperous and the first half was lacking’

‘Where you have struggled may you now find a smooth path to tread’

‘Where you have encountered lies, may you now found truth’

‘Where you have been ill and infirm may you now find healing’

‘Where you have been alone or lonely may you now be surrounded by Love’

‘May the obstacles that have hindered your life path now fade like the morning mist’

‘May the Love and Light of the Divine Mother Comfort, Protect, Prosper and Provide for not just your needs but for the greatest of your comforts’

So Shall it be

Be blessed my sister, my friend, my greatest teacher – it was not for nothing…

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Strings of Sentences

 

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The Attack of The Demon Hobbit (final)

My daughter’s continued fear was the impetus that sent me off to pray. My prayers went something like this:

‘Divine Mother ‘(I had decided feminine energy was warranted)

‘I want The Hobbit to die. I know that’s not going to happen soon so I ask for help in dealing with this situation in a way that will bring healing and relief for myself and my child.’

(I’m very honest when I pray).

It wasn’t long before I began to understand what I had been missing. I was still angry and that meant that I was still afraid. Despite my ‘courageous’ behaviour my daughter was still picking up on and experiencing my fear. I knew it was time to release my anger and the only way to do that was to forgive him! The thought of it made me sick to my stomach!

There and then I had to decide whether my anger was more important than my child.

The answer was obvious. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I had to try. I began by treating him like a human again. Instead of just staring I began to say good morning. In the beginning he still scurried away, but eventually he began to return my greeting. Slowly and quite often through gritted teeth I adapted my behaviour and so did he.

Children often take things at face value and this time was no different. After a while The Diva began to relax when we bumped into him. Eventually when we saw him she would chat away quite happily. Ultimately of course The Hobbit began to believe that his behaviour was now considered acceptable and began to take advantage. He would offer lifts and ask if he could give chocolate to Hannah and basically try to pick up where he left off in terms of friendship. I would always say no thank you and when he asked why as he always did I would simply reply: ‘You know why’ and leave it at that.

All through this process The Diva and I would discuss what was happening. We talked about fear and anger. We talked about people who do bad things. I explained that I was being friendly not because what he had done was OK, but rather because I didn’t want to be angry anymore. When he offered to give us something and I saw she was confused I would gently remind her that he wasn’t our friend because he had done a bad thing and he had broken our trust.

It was a long and often painful process but one which ultimately paid off. She knew that he could no longer be our friend and she understood why, but most importantly – she was no longer afraid – and I was no longer angry.

About 2 months ago The Hobbit eventually died.

He went for an operation and after being released he contracted septicaemia (spelling?). He was rushed back to hospital where his organs collapsed and he went into a semi-coma. His toes in the one foot became gangrenous, and spread up his leg. They amputated it without his consent or knowledge. He woke up a few days later to discover his leg missing. Despite the fact that he was recovering well he died a day or two later.

I had cause to ponder the intricacies of The Universe…………………………

fini

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Short side of Crazy

 

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