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6.9.16

Drama, drama, drama

"I have broken up with him more times than i can count."
Wrapped around their little finger....
The ultimate drama that men and women give each other in relationships seems unreasonable whenever i listen to one party complain about another. 

More often than not I have come to the realization that many people argues, fuss and threaten to leave because there isn't a sense of equality in the relationship.

Threatening to leave implies that the threatener feels they have a hold on the one who is to be left and the threats are done to induce behaviour favorable to the leaver. 


Unfortunately the masters of this art do not come dressed in an elaborate evil villainous outfit with a roaring laughter to match. They are you average Joes or plain Sallys. What is even sadder still is that these people may be unaware of the hideous trait and will torment people who care for them into uncaring. 

Psychologists say that emotional blackmailers cause 'FOG' in a relationship to get to their unknowing victims. 


Fear,  (The Real F-Word)



When you are "in love", the one thing you do is open up with your new partner, your fears, hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, some people will use that information against you to serve their purposes. One of the biggest fears people have is to be viewed as 'failures'. For many African girls, being unable to find a husband by a certain age is a real fear, though they may not be honest about it.When they then open up about it, a man can take advantage by dangling the prospects of it and threaten not to give it if she does not comply to his demands. On the other hand, a number men have the fear of being 

 One of the most painful parts of emotional blackmail is that it violates the trust that has allowed us to reveal ourselves. 

Obligation



Often our ideas about duty and obligation are reasonable, and they form an ethical and moral foundation for our lives. Sometimes these are out of balance. Blackmailers never hesitate to put our sense of obligation to the test. Reluctance to break up a family keeps many people in relationships that have gone sour. Most of us have a terrible time defining our boundaries when our sense of obligation is stronger than our sense of self-respect and self-caring; blackmailers quickly learn to take advantage. 

Guilt- Tripping


Guilt is an essential part of being a feeling, responsible person. It's a tool of conscience, in its distorted form, registers discomfort and self-reproach if we've done something to violate our personal or social code of ethics. One of the fastest ways for blackmailers to create undeserved guilt is to use blame, actively attributing whatever upset or problems they're having to their targets. Once blackmailers see that their target's guilt can serve them, time becomes irrelevant. There is no statute of limitations. 

What does it do to a relationship?

Drama comes in a variety of ways;

Displays of jealousy anytime someone whom the partner may feel is more attractive,intelligent, confident or even just nicer than them befriends their person. This is where the problem begins. In as much as you begin to "belong" to a person and they "belong" to you in a relationship, it is imperative to know that they are NOT your possession. 

A human being does not just have a single relationship and in my opinion it would be very unhealthy to just have a single relationship (as a number of horror or criminal drama movies have shown). So to expect that your partner should have you and only you in their life is absolutely selfish,unfair and to a great extent a sign of insanity.

Have reasonable expectations from your loved one and also be a little less selfish.

Once in a while (not too long of a while) ask:

Be kind, sensitive, considerate and aware of how your partner feels and how you would feel when treated in a particular way.

Hopefully we have less drama and more love in this world....

Til Next time!!


5.6.16

Not Quite...

Hello my name is Hannah. I can adjust to any situation you put me in. I can be poor and live with it; I can also be rich and live with it and I am average and living with it.


Travelling on a train with my students

What is poor, what is rich and what is average?  No one can truly define these terms easily. They are all subjective depending on one’s experiences and comparisons. Actually, these three term only exist in relation to others. They are not in a vacuum.

If all people had an orange house with the same furniture inside and the exact same food and the appetites were the same there would be no rich, poor or average.

I do not know who came up with the distinctions. Was it God? Why are some people more talented, more confident, less interesting or even less attractive? Who knows?

I don’t.

Before a work out
 Recently I was thinking of my friends; the people I am 100% myself and not feel awkward with. I did come up with a few names. I was having these thoughts because of the struggle I have had in making friends as an adult in a foreign country. So difficult finding people who I can easily fit in with. It was just when I was talking to my closest of friend’s that I realized something about myself: I am not quite…..

Let me put it poetically, maybe it will make some sense:





I am not quite poor but I am not rich either;
I should have a car by now…so they say
But I do not, I cannot afford it.
I do not have a piece of land in my name
And I live from cheque to cheque,
I have no investment account.
But I do have a microwave
I have a flat all to my own with furniture and gadgets I bought on my own
I take myself to nice places at least once a month
I have never gone to sleep on a hungry stomach
For lack of food in my rented house.

I am not quite black, not quite white either
I seem to know much about the world
I have friends of the lighter skin
My sense of humour is somewhat white
I enjoy rugby and cricket
I love green tea, quiet restaurants
And watching the stars (yes those ones in the sky)
But wait, I love my motherland

I am a conscious black woman
Who understands the effects of our colonial history
I love chicken
I love African music
I ululate loudly at weddings
I can’t play a fancy musical instrument
I find it offensive if someone calls black people
“Those people”
I am not paid as much as a white person would for the same job.

I am not quite an intellectual, neither am I a dimwit
I have a university education and pursue even more
Yet I have made many unintelligent decisions in the past
I hope I do not make them again… really I do

I am not so sophisticated but I am not so crude either
Part of me was polished, yet the rest  remained raw 
I understand the way in which cheese must go with wine
I get the intricacies of being a lady
How to sit properly, talk properly and walk properly
Yet I prefer sneakers to heels, dancing to high teas
I would be happier at a braai than a formally dressed dinner party

I am not quite anything,
No box distinguishes me…. I am a bit of this with a bit of that. It is who I am
I was unhappy about it, for a second… no more
I am a unique diamond

Perfect with mg imperfections… which I now celebrate with a new found vigour!

That is who and what I am ... Friends or no friends, i am comfortable in my beautiful skin. I can understand that the ones i have, no matter how far they are... are the coolest and most amazing friends a person could he have.


19.3.16

Hannah's View: Remembering Hannah

Hannah's View: Remembering Hannah

Remembering Hannah

As my thirtieth year drew to a close last tear, I seemed to have bells ring in my head.

I asked myself some deep life questions such as;

Was I happy with how far I had come in life? Was I accepting who I am and was I working with my talents to be where I wanted to be? Would I ever be truly successful or happy? What had I done for myself ever since I had become 'an adult'?


The answers where not simple yes/no answers.

I realized that for a long time I had harboured bitterness towards some adults who had made decisions for me which had set me on a life course I really didn't choose. A lot of times I would pine over my mother: if she had been around life would be different.I also pined for my father, the only man who truly loved me.

I missed my parents, I missed the family I wish I had had and never did. I had reached my 30's, no husband to attach myself to, no child to inherit my looks or brains or anything at all, for that matter. I had always believed that somehow I would end up in some husband and wife situation with two or three kids and finally I would have people I belonged to and they belonged to me: Hannah's next of kin.

But 30 was here and that belonging had not happened and there were no prospects of it happening any time soon. So back to my life questions, I realized, I needed to do morej to be more.

It seemed my body was in agreement with me. My health was shaken, I was not well as we approached the end of 2015, I had just applied for studies of a second degree and I was determined to get my driver's learners license (another thing which I watched those around me get and I didn't... I guess the adults in my life reasoned that I wouldn't own a car anyways...hm!). I had been working like a maniac to make money for material comforts and total neglected my physical and mental well-being.



Straight after the doctor made the remark that it would do me good to lose weight
, I looked for a personal trainer. My application for the next degree went through and I wrote and passed for my learners license.

When 2016 began I felt aomewahat dulled out as if there was nothing to look forward to. Life seemed to be dull. And then again the train began to move. Back to work, I got a side biz for Saturday mornings, started now reading for my next degree, in the mornings I exercise and evenings, I walk.

I am trying to bring meaning to my own life.

I also discovered now that I don't really need to "belong" to anyone. It would be nice if I did but it's alright that I am where I am now. I see the pressure people who have others to be accountable to have and I am not sure I could handle that well. God seems to be aware of that about me. I get lonely but not once I start on the train.... I get so engrossed in my little world that it may be cruel to ask that some other person bears with that.

It's good to know that I have people to talk to when life gets heavy. Or I can just sleep in blissfull solitude.


31.1.16

Taking each other seriously

One day I asked a cousin of mine almost jokingly why they -him and other cousins of mine- are comfortable telling me their secrets other than the fact that I keep them. He quickly answered,

“It's  because you take people seriously and genuinely listen.”




I must say I was rather flattered that he would think that about me but it was later on in life that I realised the depth of his statement.

People need and trust a person who not only takes their words seriously but how they feel about what they are talking about.


Many people in this day of kermit and his tea, social media updates and so on and so forth have lost touch with understanding real human connections. Though let me say right now that it may have been an age old problem.


This is why people have friends but others that are closer to them. I think it is perhaps why a stranger can easily poison a relationship that has been supposedly solid for years. When human beings get an ear that has a heart with it and that gives more than just time but also interest they naturally want to get close to that.

Recently on a fb book page that I am on, a mother was worried about her son's bed wetting. After taking some good advice about water drinking times and talking to the young man, who told her that he was afraid of something at night, she said she didn't buy it.

This saddened me and then inspired me to write this article.

Is that what many of us are like? We want to get to understand why people in our lives are as they are and yet when they are open to us, we have the tendency of downplaying their feelings especially when it comes to fears.
The parent child relationship is the first every human being experiences
If trust cannot be established at this level, it may never be established
with anyone else


I have come to understand that any fear that someone else has and we don't have it seems unreasonable. Automatically, we tend to think that fears are silly when we have either overcome them or never had them. Yet, we all have a fear of one thing or another and are constantly working at avoiding them or overcoming them.



I have a strange fear; going down stairs. I always wondered why, until I met an older cousin who explained that when I was very small they would visit us at our house which had stairs and as a game with an older cousin push me down stairs…. They got into big trouble for it but the fear was instilled in me. That really seems silly I am sure but guess what I am not afraid of heights. I went mountain climbing in a beautiful place called Chimanimani and I loved the mountain climbing the most and one of those cousins had the hardest time climbing a mountain face! To me it was silly because I did it, easily!

Back to the issue at hand, I believe that many issues of mistrust that families have are because for years on end individuals have never had in-depth conversations and taken each other seriously.

It also happens when it comes to achievements, goals and dreams.

Is it not funny sometimes that the people closest to you get surprised when you achieve something great? I remember  one of the prevalent comments I received after getting my poetry published was;

“I didn't know you were writing a book!"

But I tell people that I write poetry and they take it as something fickle.

Right now many of us don't take the work that our parents, children, spouses and friends seriously and yet other people will acknowledge them and hold them in high esteem. Only when someone makes it to the newspaper or television/ radio interview do we then stop to see them, when daily our eyes just pass over them. That is not right

I believe that it is vital that we start as soon as yesterday to pay attention to the people we say are close to us. Let's not just take their fears, hopes, dreams and their desire to be known by us lightly.

People are lonely though they are surrounded by people who claim to love them. Depression is rife particularly because people have no one who takes genuine interest in who they truly are. Family feuds and dysfunctions are starting because we refuse to acknowledge what others really feel until they express it in "rebellion".

Listen with your heart

Diseases, disorders and even abuses of all sorts are on the constant rise just because us the essential people in other people's lives simply choose not to go deeper in knowing those closest to us and encouraging them with whatever challenge or achievement they may have encountered.

10.1.16

Being single and unwell

Everytime I get physically sick, be it have a flu, a tummy ache or a headache, the next thing that is sure to follow is a depression that only a single by default ( I will explain a bit later) person would understand.

Being single by default means being single because one refuses to settle into a meaningless relationship just for the sake of satisfying societal norms or just so that they get rid of aloneness.

I am one such a person. I could have stayed in a toxic relationship so that I fit in to the expected societal status quo. So when people look at me they think I like being single. That would be true, to a certain extent but it's not a status I look forward to having all of my life. However, the person who will change that will be of my choice as I will be his. I intend on being comfortable with the life long choice that I will make when it comes to a life partner. And how I miss him particularly during and after illness.

Being single is not as simple as people imagine it to be. The most fascinating statement people say regularly, to me at least is; what problems do you have? You are single.

Life alone means bearing all alone.

In as much as friends and family come in to support and even look after you when you are not well, they have to squeeze you into their schedules. Whereas a partner is there because you belong to them and they to you so they must be around! (Well at least that is how I believe it should be, if it's not, then surely something is amiss, isn't it?).

I hated being in hospital recently, even though it was just overnight. I was glad to be back in me comfort zone and familiar space. However, that space felt empty and it made me sad. I came back to my space to find it as I left it. It was waiting for me to clean it up, and take care of it. Again, (it happens every time I get sick or am extremely exhausted) I wished that I could have found it different. That someone would have neatened it up in preparation of my coming home. It would have been a most pleasant experience to get home to the smell of a thick chicken and mushroom soup. But thinking of such a scenario only sent me into a deeper sadness.

For the first time, I spoke about this depression with friends. I knew only one of my friends who had also gone to hospital a few months back and like me, lives alone in a foreign country, would understand. She got me and we spoke about the sadness and anger at the universe for being unfair to us. Why weren't we also returning home to love and comforts and less worry?

I washed the dishes and sorted my laundry and reminded myself that I must eat, take my medication and rest. All these should be done by someone else but I have to do them, I am my own keeper. It's not easy and it certainly is not a comfortable situation to be in.

I hope that people may understand single- by-default people, particularly us women. I would hope that the nasty comments of us not having any problems may come to an end and that they understand why even though we may really need help we reject it from good family and friends; we are just wishing for more and for that someone who you know is not being "put out of their way" to help but has to, because you are part of them.


7.1.16

Getting Away

I am blessed to be able to write this blog on a holiday.

A friend invited me to share herholiday away as we had often planned to do all of 2015 and never got the opportunity to do so. Here we are.

This is my 2nd time to have a trip to a quite place near the ocean where the sound of ocean waves are like the air.

Something distinct hit me on both times when I came. The few numbers of black people in the beautiful coastal town of Swakopmund who are 'on holiday'. All the restaurants we passed by and most of the beach was filled with the lighter skinned counterparts. And coincidentally, a white woman in South Africa was complaining aboutblack people at the beaches there. She would certainly not complain about that here (not that we would like such characters here!)

It struck me and it hurt me all at once.

Where are young black people like myself going for holiday? Do they know that they too can go for holiday and it would not cost an arm and a leg? What about old black couples? We saw so many old white couples walking hand in hand, some with their adorable dogs walking by the beaches. Where are the old black couples?

Is it enough to hide behind economic incapacity? There are so many affordable self catering accommodations, surely if I can, they can too.

Is the level of ignorance about holidays still so deep? Do people still believe that it is the privilege of the rich to take a break and just get away?

Do we feel that as black people we have too many obligations to get away from our 'busy lives'? Or we just say, "it's for the whites"?

I wish I could educate my fellow brown skinned brothers and sisters on the importance of just taking a break and taking time away. And letting them know that they too can afford it, if they plan it.

My dream is to see more young brown skins, old couples and even families taking time out to just escape the reality of the urban rat race, even though it maybe for a short 2-3 days. It would do a world of difference to our physical, mental and spiritual well beings.

I am happy and blessed to have had such a wonderful opportunity particularly at the beginning of this year.

I hope you all can have a great 2016 and I certainly hope to be sharing my views more this year.

May respect, love and humility guide you through to happiness