I Think I’m Allergic…

To human leeches that is. Apparently I have a sign on my forehead that says “unload emotional crap here”… Lord, give me strength. I know I’m not the only person on the planet to experience this, but here goes anyway, I have a friend who I love dearly, but she’s a “leech”. What I mean by leech- she is never, ever, ever fine. She always has something to complain about. If it’s not her back, it’s her sinuses, or her cramps, her lack of money, or her job, or the men in her life that give her a hard time… geez, give me a break! She’s a single mom, like me. Her son sees little of his father, my son doesn’t know his. She battles financially, helloooo- who doesn’t? She can’t have everything she wants, SO FRIGGIN WHAT. Right now I feel like screaming at her SUCK! IT! UP!

Then, whenever she’s at her lowest, she cries on my shoulder! She asks my advice when the latest man she decided she REALLY liked has walked out on her. Again. Then she flat ignores my advice. I know she comes to me because she wants someone to feel sorry for her, but I’ve never been “soft” with her, I am brutally honest- probably in a vague attempt to make her leave me alone by being mean to her. But she seems to love it when I shit her out! I know this doesn’t sound very Christian of me at all, but right now I REALLY need to vent! I cannot explain how she drains me. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve made plans to do something, and she’s bailed on me at the last minute. AAAAAARGH! It’s reached a point where I don’t want to open her emails or answer her phone calls.

But God won’t let me. No, really. It’s like he’s yelling at me when I try to ignore her. She’s on my prayer list everyday, she’s on my house church’s prayer list (and every week I invite her to go with me, as tempting as it is to “forget” to ask her). Every week I remind her what time I’m leaving to go to church, and sometimes I take her son with me. I don’t nag, or preach at her (‘coz I can’t stand it when people do that to me), I just mention that I’m going to church, or to house church. She reads her bible, she prays, and does a bible study of a sort on her own, she even sends me passages she thinks I might find relevant or useful, and I send her stuff too. But her “poor-me-nothing-is-my-fault” attitude drives me insane! I can’t help resenting her and feeling she’s a hypocrite, and then I feel bad and silently apologise- to her and to God. Today, I feel like I want someone else to look after her now. I don’t want to anymore. I’ve had my share of kak, I’ve been around the block, and back… it’s not like my life is a picnic, but it doesn’t seem to occur to her that other people also have a hard time sometimes.

I’ll keep praying for me to be patient, and for her to be okay, and on Saturday I’ll tell her I’m going to church on Sunday… I already feel better- I just had to get this off my chest!

Ready! Aim! Fire!

Me? Angry?

Currently I?m reading a book by Julie Barnhill called “She?s Gonna Blow“. It?s written specially for mothers dealing with anger by a mother who also has to deal with it.

Frankly- it?s frightening. It describes in detail the kind of “explosions” moms can have, from the gently but permanently simmering rage to the explosive murderous episode and she equates them to types of volcanoes. It also gives detailed descriptions of the types of abuse our children are subjected to? the loaded silences, the nasty sarcastic comments (the list goes on)? by us, their mothers AND describes the emotional these things can do. She also suggests ways of identifying the underlying causes of anger. And it?s a good book whether you?re a stay at home mom, a single mom, a work full day mom, a stepmom, it doesn?t matter?. The main “theme” that I have found throughout the book (I?m halfway through it) is one of hope and that I?m not alone- that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If I hadn?t seen so many of these books piled on top of each other in the bookshop I would swear she wrote it especially for me, personally. I feel like checking over my shoulder to see if anyone has registered my shock or horrified expression when I read a particularly accurate passage. Of course there?s no-one in the flat but me and Damien, but I still feel guilty as hell. The book also suggests ways to control my outbursts that actually work! If you?ve had days when you are ready to put your kid on the corner with a ?free to a good home? sign around his/her neck (and we all have) then this is the read for you. It?s also really funny and touching- definitely worth the time.

Thank you for giving me this book sister C, love you.

Bill Of Rights For Misunderstood Kids

I love the fabulous bill of rights for mothers on “mominthemirror” and it made me think of another bill of rights, this one thatmy son’s doctor gave me when we first started seeing him.

HELP ME TO FOCUS*
Please teach me through my sense of touch. I need “hands on” and body movement.
I NEED TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT*
Please give me a structured environment where there is a dependable routine. Give me an advance warning if there will be changes.
WAIT FOR ME, I’M STILL THINKING*
Please allow me to go at my own pace. If I’m rushed, I get confused and upset.
I’M STUCK, I CAN’T DO IT*!
Please offer me options for problem solving. If the road is blocked, I need to know the detours.
IS IT RIGHT? I NEED TO KNOW NOW*
Please give me rich and immediate feedback on how I’m doing.
I DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T IN MY SEAT*!
Please remind me to stop, think, and then act.
AM I ALMOST DONE*?
Please give me short work periods with short term goals.
WHAT*?
Please don’t say “I already told you that.” Tell me again, in different words. Give me a signal, draw me a symbol.
I KNOW IT’S ALL WRONG, ISNT’T IT*?
Please give me praise for partial success. Reward me for self improvement, not just for perfection.
BUT WHY DO I ALWAYS GET YELLED AT?
Please catch me doing something right and praise me for the specific positive behaviour. Remind me * and yourself * about my good points when I’m having a bad day.

Hey, I’m a Tim Burton fan.

I don’t know why it never struck me before. Tonight I saw a trailer for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, the original of which I loved, as well as devouring the book… no pun intended, and I realized that I have seen and loved a lot of Tim Burton movies. Did you know he worked for Disney? Needless to say his creations weren’t exactly what Disney was looking for- but they recognised artistic talent.
It must have happened the first time I saw my all time favourite Burton flick, the inimitable “Beetlejuice”, man I loved that movie. I think I must’ve seen it five or six times. My second favourite Burton flick- brace yourself- “Mars Attacks” which (to quote a website) “…is irresistibly perverse in its state-of-the-art tackiness…” A perfect description, couldn’t have said it better. Also a favourite of mine is “A Nightmare Before Christmas” which I think was very lost on South African audiences but Damien and I adore it. My brother worked in a shopping mall a while back and come Christmas they had a window dressing competition in the mall. My brother and his colleagues opted for “…Nightmare…”, I loved the idea but it didn’t go down too well, like I said- lost. Burton’s version of “Sleepy Hollow” was fabulously scary, and need I say it, another favourite of mine and Damien’s. And of course there was the unforgettable “Edward Scissorhands”. And two movies we thoroughly enjoyed but never knew were his were “Batman” and “Batman Returns”, and now all of a sudden The Penguin character makes sense… go figure. The one movie of his which I enjoyed but won’t watch again in a hurry (unlike his others, most of which I’ve seen many times over) is “Planet Of The Apes”. The special effects were fabulous, and it was a good movie, but not like his others. The fact that most of his movies star the delectable Johnny Depp is beside the point of course (loved him in “Pirates Of The Carribean”). Oh, note to self: rent “Ed Wood” from video shop ASAP. I have long known and stated that I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino films, but I never registered how much I loved Tim Burton movies as well. In the process, I have inadvertently turned my son into a fan (of Burton not Tarantino).

A Small Light

We went to court- we saw the probation officer / social worker- we saw the magistrate* and we survived- it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. They didn’t take my child away and they didn’t lock him up. I prayed all week for the people who would be deciding Damien’s fate to be fair, and for the whole thing to be over quickly. Well, we spent almost all of yesterday at the magistrate’s court. We arrived at 8am, with the court due to start at 8:30am. The probation officer only called for Damien at about 11am. So after freezing our backsides solid on uncomfortable chairs in the open corridor outside the courtroom for 3 hours, with all the other waiting juveniles, we almost had to run to keep up with the probation officer. We went down to where the probation officers are “holed up” which is also where the holding cells are. It was also freezing down there, and gloomy and scary. She asked Damien a bunch of questions, like why did he do it and did he learn anything from it* and was he scared? Boy was he scared! Needless to say we were both absolutely terrified. I am surprised my heart didn’t give out on the spot when they called his name. Damien clung to my hand while the social worker quizzed him, then she told him that he would have to attend a two day “youth crime prevention” programme where his attendance and attitude would be reported on (I have to be there too, on the second day), and then report back to the court, where we’ll sit for another day waiting for our case to be called. If his attendance, behaviour and attitude at the programme are good (according to what they are looking for), then his record will be expunged. We then had to go back and wait outside the court room for the actual magistrate to announce what the social worker had told us. God answered my prayer in this instance- we were literally in and out of the magistrate’s court in less than 2 minutes! We left the court house at about 1pm! We hadn’t had anything to eat or drink while we were there- we were too afraid to go anywhere in case they called Damien and decided he hadn’t arrived. He gets a second chance because he made a mistake. If he gets caught again however, there will be no second chance. He will have to plead, he will be tried and he will have a record. It’s a horrible experience. There is no sympathy, no leeway. I truly hope Damien learnt his lesson. I am so relieved that that part is over.
I slept a little better last night, but I am still worried- obviously. Damien was literally released into my custody as his mother and guardian, now I wonder how long it will be before I can let him go anywhere alone again. Before I can trust him again* it’s going to take a lot of work from both of us.
I don’t think I’ve found the lesson God wanted me to learn/ find in this yet* I’m still looking/ listening though.