“Mommy, I can’t sleep’.
Great. Another 11pm tall-tale that will most likely keep me out of sleep until Scarlett screams at me at 2am.
Sidney has been extra ‘sensitive’ lately, and I have been doing my utmost not to mantra him out and leave him outside to air overnight.
“Why, what’s wrong?”
Sidney stared at the floor through his tears.
“But we spoke about this Sidney, there’s nothing to be scared of”, I was impressed at how well I controlled my voice when I lied.
“But they keep talking to me”.
‘Who keeps talking to you?”
‘I don’t know”. His face contorted from anxiety.
I looked over at Riyaahd who offered no assistance.
“What are they saying, boy?”
“Bad stuff? Like what?”
“They say ‘Satan’ and stuff”.
Now, before you roll your eyes, this isn’t another ghost story. At least, I don’t think it is. It’s merely a recount of what my 2019 has been – in all its 10 days.
There is no magical transformation that suddenly occurs with the descent of January 1st. The perception that a new year will miraculously jump start a ‘new me’ is both naïve, and heart-breaking.
In my opinion, New Year’s resolutions open us up voluntarily to be April Fools.
April being the month I have designated as the time when the year is no longer fresh and promising, and our convictions start dying like Jesus on Good Friday. Only to resurrect again in December.
But in April we accept our shortcomings and restart smoking and eating carbohydrates.
We masturbate with renewed vigour and frequency until Christmas and New Year again force us to be around our parents and more successful cousins; starting the cycle of self-improvement from the beginning again.
And next year, 2020, will ironically and most likely lack the hindsight of 2019s failures.
And so on.
And so on.
And with that I would like to wish all my readers a satisfactory, mediocre New Year.
God knows I wouldn’t want to raise your expectations, only to disappoint you with just how average this year will be.
Sidney Jonah’s talks with demons are more than likely residual noise from all the ‘Granny’s Home’ videos he binge watches on YouTube.
I mean, or he’s talking to demons; but for the point of this specific rant, we are going to call it psychosomatic. The trauma of seeing scary things must have triggered a reaction in his brain, and in this instance, made him hear the word ‘Satan’ repeatedly in his head.
(I should probably deal with that, but in a different blog.)
It isn’t different to what my mind has been doing to me for the last few days – and the recession in my mental and spiritual health has taken away my ‘sparkle’.
Already, 2019 has me shooketh to my core.
In December, I resolved to be stronger, and finally shed the ‘victim’ label that catapulted me to lukewarm success in my blogging career. I thought that I had surpassed the initial trauma and sleepless nights that come with being beaten and raped and abused.
I thought this until I watched ‘Surviving R Kelly’.
Listening to women recount tales of a monster wasn’t the core reason for my nausea and discomfort. I was uncomfortable that I wasn’t uncomfortable.
Paedophiles have thus far been coddled by society.
It is all fair and well to be outraged that someone who could sing inspirational songs could molest children (as you all know, the vocal chords bone is directly connected to the penis bone), but still conveniently ignore paedophilia at close range.
You see, when it is at close range, you actually need to do something about it to not be a complete piece of trash.
Consider the matric boys who (at least in my high school days) competed to kiss as many grade 8 girls as possible.
When they were outed, they were merely slapped on the wrist, and treated as ‘boys (who) will be boys’.
Taxi drivers could have your daughter for the promise of free lifts and entjies – and I don’t remember any charges brought forth when Bommel impregnated young-old Stacy.
Uncles still get drunk and say your ‘tetjies’ are growing.
Even Dora the Explorer needs to be wearing a crop top on her travels, and constantly make sure that Swiper doesn’t swipe her poes.
I embellished with that one but most women know what I mean.
Paedophilia, rape, abuse – I find it all boring.
And this is terribly, terribly problematic.
When I was around 8-years old, one of my family members dated a guy from Westridge. Let’s call him Doos to preserve his identity – although Doos is such an accurate description, I might still be sued for defamation.
Doos seemed very charming. He was mediocre looking, but had enough gham element in him to at least dupe women into believing he was suave.
Coloured women really desire ‘lyn’. It isn’t always about success or money, but a man who looks like he could almost be a gangster gets me wet every time. Air Jordans, Axe Body Spray and a formal Markham’s pants and you A for away. (How do you think my husband pulled me in?)
I digress, Doos was very friendly from the moment I met him.
At 8 year’s old, I didn’t know the feelings in my body were of sexual attraction to a grown man – especially because he didn’t seem to reprimand me or encourage otherwise.
Now, everything about Doos, in retrospect screams sexual deviant.
Looking back, Doos dated my one family member for quite some time when it was revealed that he was in fact dating two of my family members at the same time. Yes, from the same side of my family.
He had been spotted at family functions chatting to Family member number 2 on several a stoep, while family member number one was under the impression that her boyfriend wouldn’t chise anyone in her bloodline.
To make a long story unrecognisable, Doos left family member number one, and actually married family member number two.
It was a mossage, juicy scandal – but not the point of my story.
Even though he was ten years my senior – when I was 16 years old, and he was married to my family member number 2; Doos tried to sleep with me.
It started with our closeness from his time with family member number one. My family had spent lots of time with that family, and as he was the boyfriend, I had become very close to him from a young age – so when he re-emerged as the boyfriend and then husband of family member number 2, naturally we gravitated towards each other at family functions.
We would go off and smoke and talk.
Most of our conversations were about how sexy I had become.
I was ‘reg virrie pot’ and ‘gonna be nat in my twenties’.
At 16, I felt so excited that a member of my family saw me as adult enough to speak about things of a sexual nature. He let me smoke cigarettes with him, which excited me and felt naughty.
Then, the naughtiness moved to text.
(SMS – I’m 30 guys – When I say text, I mean we SMSd)
My moral compass wasn’t fully active at 16, and my decisions were mostly selfish. This in my opinion is completely normal for a teenager, but for a grown man; not so much.
“What you wearing?”
“At the next family function, wear that lekker denim skirt again.”
‘I’m horny, your ‘family member’ don’t care – she just worry about the baby”.
“I’m gonna kiss you next time”.
It felt so exciting. I wanted to kiss him. If he hadn’t been booted out of my family shortly after, he and I would probably have had loads of sex. We spoke about it, but he was very careful to keep things hypothetical.
I am certain this was because he knew what he was doing was wrong.
And most of my friends growing up have similar stories.
Because we don’t monitor our young girls around family.
I still feel compelled to hug and kiss certain uncles and aunties, even if it is against my will because I was taught that saying no is rude. Subtle things are bigger lessons.
I know my thoughts are all over the place – but that’s because my thoughts are all over the place.
Basically R Kelly needs to die. All the R Kellys we know need to die.
Sidney walked into his classroom on Wednesday, without even looking back at me for confirmation. I am not sure what type of confirmation I thought he needed from me, but as a mother, I seem to draw validation from the fact that my children need me for everything.
I followed him for a second, but his teacher stopped me at the door.
“You can’t go in mommy, he is big now”.
My heart didn’t fully understand what she had said.
I resisted the urge to ask if she was taking me for a poes. My husband noticed this urge and grabbed my hand. He really is my pillar of strength.
I smiled, and waved at Sidney as he took his place on the classroom mat.
He gingerly waved back – but at that moment I knew that I was kind of embarrassing him in front of his mense.
For a moment, 3 year old Sidney flashed in my mind.
I remembered how I couldn’t wait for him to leave me alone and be big and independent.
Now here we are, and he really needs me to do the same.
We turned around and walked away from the grade three classroom, no longer leaving behind a baby, but a boy on his way to being a young man.
Not many things make me well up, but I am still a bit unsettled.
2019 has broken my heart so many times in the last ten days – and also made me realise that I am raising a man from scratch.
He could grow up to be an Obama, or he could grow up to be an R Kelly; and right now all of this rests on the things I teach him and show him.
This year, without setting myself up for disappointment, I have set only one goal for myself.
This goal encompasses my relationship towards food, how I feel about my fat body, how I tackle my heaps of work already piling up on my desk – how I feel about allowing myself to be beaten and raped and still keep going back, even though I was only a hostage to myself.
My resolution is merely to change my attitude towards things.
I want to change my attitude from victim to survivor.
I want to change my attitude towards being a mother. Instead of waiting for my children to grow up, I want to embrace the journey to their adulthood.
I don’t want to let the demons that have thus far weighed me down and whispered in my ear to have power over me anymore.