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Family, oh hell the woes of family

You know, my family has been anything but peaceful. I grew up in a very strict household, where every family member was too shit scared to make any mistake. I feared my father like you can’t believe. Why? He never knew I was autistic; the first melt-down was dealt with severely. That hiding stayed with me till this day.

Religion was everything. Church twice on a Sunday, prayer meeting Wednesday, youth meeting Friday, and I never had a choice. I just had to participate. Slacks were regarded as a sin; we only wore dresses below the knee. Hats in church. No make-up. No nail polish. No movies. Sin. Absolute sin all of that.

But was there love? No. From a young age, I had to hear that I was the unplanned child. The one who wasn’t welcome. The one they didn’t want at that age. My siblings married while I was still young; when I hit the tumultuous teenage years, they were living happily married in another province. They didn’t hear what I heard. They didn’t see what I saw. They didn’t feel what I felt. They don’t understand why I am the way I am. Still today, I am just the family scapegoat. Anything that goes wrong, can be blamed on me.

And yet, even thought I knew my mother never wanted me, I craved her love, her acceptance, her appreciation. The only thing I could do better than my siblings, were to knit and crochet. And I became obsessed with it. I had to be the best. I wanted to show her that I was worthy. Worthy of her love. Worthy of her wanting me. I never happened. With each project, I always got the same response: “hmmm, not bad, not what I would have done, but I suppose it will suffice’. As a child, I never knew that was a subtle type of rejection. My soul probably knew, but my mind didn’t. It pushed me to new heights each time. Each time I gritted my teeth and tried harder.

There came a day, when I was knitting something, my mom stood watching me, and she said these words: “the learner has surpassed the teacher; you are now better than me”. I nearly fell off my chair. My heart was pounding. My mouth was dry. My hands were shaking. To her, it was just a passing remark, one she probably didn’t even mean, nor remember. To me however, it was huge. I managed to stay calm, keep a poker face and left the room to cry for a while in the toilet.

My mom lived with my sister for 11 years. In all that time, she complained about my sister and brother and law. This, that, the other, whatever. Always complaining to me, and to my brother. So eventually, she moved to my brother. So she started to complain to me and my sister. My brother this, my sister in law that. Eventually I asked her to move to me. She did and the entire family was upset with me. Apparently I caused an upset in the family through one simple question: “mom do you want to move to us?”. That is all I did. I asked a question.

Two weeks ago, out of the blue, my sister and brother in law came to see us; they wanted her to move back. Only afterwards we realised that the same thing happened. She gossiped about us, to my siblings. What she said, I don’t know. I don’t want to know either.

Today, after another incident, I decided to resign from my family. If I can resign from a crappy job, then I can resign from a crappy family. I have tried for nearly 50 years to fit in, to be worthy, to be accepted, to be understood, to be loved. And I never got it right. So why keep trying. I promised myself that today, was the last day that I spent in tears, because of my family. They never wanted me, so I gave them what they wanted. I withdrew. Completely. Does it feel nice? No. Am I happy today? No. But I will be. And I know in the long run, this is the only way I will remain happy and live a fulfilled life. Blood may be thicker than water, but blood alone won’t keep you alive. You need the water too.

I have water. I have a wonderful husband who will fiercely protect me. I have kids who will jump in the face of danger to protect me. I have soul sisters. They know who they are. They carry me when my legs don’t want to move. They encourage me when I want to give up. They love me for who I am. And they have never made me feel unwelcome. Ever.

I have to forgive. I know I do. And I do it daily. I have learned a long time ago that forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. Every day I get up and decide to live forgiveness. Unfortunately, many people confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. It isn’t the same thing. I don’t want to live a bitter, angry life, so I choose to forgive. For that exact same reason, I choose to not reconcile.

I have a gaping hole in my heart. A hole that only a mother can fill. And my mother will never fill it. She doesn’t want to, and today, I don’t want her to either. I am tired of trying to show her that I am worthy. I need another mother.

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The Fairytales of Life

Being an aspie, an empath and an introvert, I think way too much about life. I can’t help it. I am fascinated with the meaning of life, why people do the things they do, say the things they say, and ultimately my place in this mad place called life. There is not one day in my life, that I don’t sit and wonder about some aspect of life in general. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but I sure feel like an old soul. I think if I have to speak everything that comes into my mind on a daily basis, I will shock most people. It is never quiet in my mind. Never. My thoughts are like a freight train that won’t stop for anything. It just keeps going. No wonder I have trouble switching off to sleep.

Today I am on the fairytales we tell to young children. They all start with a magic romance, and end with: “And they lived happily ever after”. You know, that is a big fat lie right there. Children believe what we tell them. They don’t yet have the life experience to differentiate between reality and fairytales. Each young girl throws herself head over heels into a romance, but it seldom, if ever end with the happily after. The fairy tales don’t prepare our kids for working hard at a commitment called marriage. Marriage doesn’t last forever until two people are committed and dedicated. And many are not.

Some of the fairytales even include entire families. A mother and father with children, who just all live happily ever after. No effort! It just happens! Rubbish and poppycock. Children get 50% DNA from each parent. But still, not child will have the same DNA as his/her siblings. And often times, siblings don’t like each other. They have different personalities, different characteristics, different likes and dislikes. Hell, sometimes even parents don’t like their children and vice versa. I know I am saying things most people would never say. They might think it, but they won’t say it. That silence isn’t helping society at all.

I love my mother. But there have been many times in my life that I really didn’t like her. I love my children, but sometimes, I don’t like them. And I know they sometimes don’t like me either. Why should they? They are adults. I am now just another adult in their world. Yes, I am their mother, and for that they have to honour me, but they don’t have to like or love me. I can’t force it. Nobody can force love.

There is a lot of wisdom in this next paragraph that might sound completely crazy to you.

If people don’t like you, whether they are direct family, friends, acquaintances or whatever, they are within their right! They don’t have to like you. And there is nothing you can do about it. Absolutely nothing. What they say about you behind your back, is also none of your business. 

Take my advice today. Let go. Let go of the people you feel you HAVE to love, even though you don’t even like them. Let go of those that don’t like you. Let go of those that do not, can not, and will never understand your heart. They were not meant to complete your life journey with you. They were just a fleeting life encounter that was meant to teach you something. Nothing more, nothing less. Let go of those who never contact you, and when you contact them, you get a one word reply. Let go of those who stress you up when you are in their company. Why waste time with people who do not make you happy?

Even if they are close family. Let go. Peace and joy is much more important. This is YOUR life. Do what makes YOU happy. Surround yourself with people YOU want to have around you.

Let go. I have.

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The Wild Woman

2017 broke me. 2018 changed me. Onwards to 2019.

I spent my entire life trying to fit in, and I never could. No matter how hard I tried, nothing I did was ever good enough, or fit enough. Obviously, my Aspergers didn’t help much, and my parents not understanding that made matters even worse. Am I lamenting here? No. Not at all.

You see, I reached a pivotal point in my life. A point every woman will reach in her life. Let’s call it a point of question. I started to question everything I was taught by my mother. I started to question everything my father believed. I started to question the things society demand of me. And as time went on, I became more and more rebellious against it all.

I realised that what my parents taught me, was not all correct. Some of their teachings I threw straight out the window. Others, I spent time on. I looked. I probed. I prodded. I thought. And eventually, I formed my own opinion, based on my own research, beliefs and feelings. Nothing I believe today, is what my parents believed and taught me.

I have three different blogs. One is a Christian blog, where I write on the challenges of being a good Christian. I am closing that blog today. I am not a Christian, nor do I wish to be one. You see, Christianity is a label. A label for a religious group of people who don’t necessary believe what I believe. And I refuse to be labelled. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I have a relationship with God? Yes. Does that make me a Christian? No. I refuse. I am a child of God. Nothing more, nothing less. The word ‘Christian’ leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, and in the mouths of many others I know. What I believe is a part of me, and I will share it here on Ilona Slow Life Creations hence forth.

My poetry, is a part of me. I have been hiding it from the world since I was a child. There are only a few poems on my poetry blog. That blog too, I am closing today. If I feel like writing a poem, I will do it here.

My third blog is an Afrikaans blog. I am closing that one down too. There I wrote about life. People that got stuck in my head. Things that got stuck in my head. Things I have difficulty processing.

You see, thís website is me. It might as well be about ALL of me. Not just the craft part of me. If you stay, you will get many different blog entries. I cannot promise you anything about the topics; I can only promise that it will always be uplifting and inspiring.

I am no longer willing to divide myself into different categories out of fear of offending somebody. I am no longer willing to divide myself into different personalities to accommodate those around me. I am nearly 50 years old. It is time that the real woman is set free, and seen by all. I couldn’t care anymore.

I hope you will stay.