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Weekend Edition – You Are Not Alone Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

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You Are Not Alone

Image by Luis Barros. Follow him on Instagram (@luishb) for wonderful images, each one brimming with story possibilities. Image by Luis Barros. Follow him on Instagram (@luishb) for wonderful images, each one brimming with story possibilities.

Being a grown up can be lonely.

Being a writer can be lonely.

Being a grown-up writer can be seriously lonely, but it doesn’t have to be.

Last weekend I watched my daughter compete in a mountain bike race. It was my first time at this kind of event. Mountain biking is something she does on weekends with her dad. The wooded trails with their steep drops, tight turns, and obstacle course of mean rocks and wily roots are his territory.

There were more than four hundred riders, many with friends and family in tow, milling around the trampled corn field that served as a staging area for the organizers preparing to release the different classes of riders onto the course. We haven’t had any real rain here…

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Knowing when to walk away before you get hurt

I have honestly come to a point in my life where I think I will be single for the rest of my life! Sad but with the way I have been so unlucky when it comes to love anybody and everybody would agree with why I feel this way. I believe I have been in love once so far in my life and even though I am obviously not with him anymore, I still love him. I believe that if you love somebody, regardless of what happens to end that relationship, how do you now switch off and unlove that person. You fight with family but you know you still do love them.

This man I love, but not inlove with, I have to stress that, we dated for about 3 years officially and sadly he left me and I hung onto him and then allowed myself to be the other woman. Yes I fell from being the main chic to being the side chic. The people closest to me hated that I allowed myself to do that to myself and even though I knew deep down it was time I let go I ignored that my head and ran with my heart. I cannot even begin to explain how shallow I felt. He was the first guy I have fallen in love with and I just couldn’t understand that he had left me. I thought we would always be together. I was so delusional that I ‘respected’ his new relationship to he point where I would not call or text him at crazy hours of the night. I had to censor my texts because I feared his new girl seeing my texts and hence causing drama.
I pushed away really good guys who tried to date me because I was telling myself I was with the guy I loved, even though I wasn’t really with him and I was now the side chic. It sounds like I was totally on something but yeah this was my life now. I would go on dates with guys but always comparing them to, let’s call him X. I would tell X about my dates, secretly hoping he would get jealous and leave his new girl. It never happened. It pains me when I look back today at the way he treated me while we dated and even worse when I was his side chic. X never loved me. All the red flags were there and I chose to ignore them. I strongly believe that if I had just let him go back then and opened up myself to date the guys that were really into me and I mean these guys were really into me, I would have been married by now.
I will never forget this, a guy who been pursuing me, proposed to me and I laughed in his face and went back to report to X who just also laughed about it. He wasn’t laughing with me, he was laughing at me. Almost 10 years later to the day I first met X, he’s happily married to that girl he left me for, almost all the guys were seriously pursuing me are either married or in happy relationships. Where am I today? I’m a single mother of one. Drum roll please. The father to my baby is X. As I kept allowing myself to sleep with him while I could have been in a good relationship with somebody else, he was all the while building a happy home with her. And I guess it won’t come as a surprise that he has never met his baby. He finally checked out the day I told him I was keeping his baby.
Now I did say we dated about 3 years and it’s hard for me to talk about but in those 3 years I fell pregnant every year we dated and all 3 pregnancies resulted in abortion. He would check out each time I announced I was pregnant and strongly suggested I abort. At the time, I was his main chic and I thought we were in love and so if we are going to have a baby, we have to be married first so I would abort with hopes of one day marrying him and starting a family in the right setting. That never happened, clearly. Now the side chic, I fell pregnant and my mind was made up that I was having this baby. He had had a baby with his new girl soon after breaking off our 3 year relationship and so I thought I would keep him by finally having his child.
I hate myself for my stupidity and my baby will probably grow up without a father in her life. I wish I had listened to inner voice of reason and just let go. I view myself as damaged goods in the sense that not a lot of men out there are keen to date a mother. I’ve seen guys check me out but the second they realise I have a baby with me they just turn away. They probably think I have a man in my life but no, I’m as lonely as they come. Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing and I would do it again in heartbeat, in the right setting of course, but to experience it alone is heartbreaking. I would go to doctors appointments alone, I went shopping for the baby alone, I had not e rub my stomach and feel for kicks nothing. Other than my family, I had nobody with me when the baby was born. It makes me cry sometimes when I see men with their babies because I wish for my baby to know what it’s like to have a father.
The moral of my story is to know when to let go and walk away. Listen to your head and let your heart dictate it’s every whim to you. Listen and take heed of the advice friends and family give you. Sometimes you don’t realise what’s really going on and you need an outside opinion. People suffering from anorexia see themselves as being so fat when they look in the mirror yet in reality everybody sees how skeletal they are. Watch out for those red flags and even though some appear small and insignificant, take them seriously because o e day you will look back and think but why did I not walk away. I might love X but it’s only now that I have finally fully understood that if you love someone, let them go and if they come back then really they are yours but if not then turn around and keep going, there’s nothing for you there.
I pray my story helps somebody, and I certainly hope there isn’t anybody as stupid as I was. Know when to let go. I wish I did.

My overbearing African mum. Interlude

It just drives me up the wall living with my parents, my mother in particular. The bible says honour your father and mother and I do, i just can’t stand living with them. EVERYDAY I’m criticised and put down by my mother about something. I’m not perfect yes I know but for my mother to constantly nag and nag and nag about mistakes I make or things I overlook. I’m only human. Yesterday she snapped at me because I left a gap when I closed the curtains. The way she went in on me was like I had lit a fire on the carpet. I RESENT HER for always putting me down. I can never do right in her eyes NEVER. I clean and cook to the best of my ability and still take care of my baby but ALWAYS I’ve done something wrong. I will do the dishes after dinner and go to bed and she will come to me telling me ‘NGILITSHAPHA'(translation: clumsy, messy) because she has gone and left a few things in the sink and I get told off for that??? What makes it worse is that I have no friends, no social life. There’s no balance in my life, all I do everyday is clean after her mostly, my baby doesn’t even make the mess she makes. I have to have an excuse to leave the house and when I do leave the house, I have to hurry back. I’m turning 28 this year. I’m here because I have no choice. If I had an alternative I would be long gone I swear on my daughters life. In order for me to continue to honour my mother and father, I desperately need to keep my distance from them and that will only happen in at least 2 years when my baby can go to preschool while I go to work and school to do my master’s degree. 

My sister is the only person on this earth who knows what my parents are like. So naturally since I have no friends here to vent to or anything like that I talk to her. She totally gets it most of the time and experiences it too when she comes here on holiday. She has told me that on more than one occasion she has actually considered walking out like no joke. I’ve been there too. My mother is the most overbearing being I know. She’s my mother, I love her but I very much dislike her. 
Guaranteed tomorrow I will get told off about something. Story of my miserable life.