Tiny grains of sand

Failure – a word I dread. One, that given the choice, I would happily omit from any dictionary. I have always feared failure and yet always felt as if it has been something I do, or something that follows me around with tentacles creeping up at me trying to get hold and strangle me.

When I was younger I diligently did all that was asked or expected of me. Gave my 110% … I remember the feelings I had when test results were handed out. No matter how well I did, I never felt proud, never felt a sense of achievement. It was always a case of “if only”. If only I managed to get those few marks… If only… Even on tests where I received full marks, I still always felt that it was just ok. Never great, just ok.

All I wanted to do in life was to make my parents proud. I got married very young and had my girls at a fairly young age as well. This year has been filled with so many personal challenges for me. It’s a strange feeling maturing into the person you strive to be. I have struggled for years with so many inner demons.

Always trying to please, to be the perfect wife, daughter, mother. Somewhere along the line I completely lost sight of the fact that I stopped being who I am. I lost sight of what I needed and what fulfilled me as a person.

When my youngest daughter was eight months old I felt I needed to divorce my husband… There where so many things, the small things, tiny things… But a whole lot of tiny grains of sand end up giving you endless beaches… That’s what happened, I ended up on a vast desolated beach, alone and broken.

As a wife I always felt the need to protect the image of my husband, the father of my children. My fear of failure also played a tremendous roll in me deciding to stay married. I thought I was irrational, just had a baby a few months earlier, blamed hormones for my feelings. My husband always insisted I stay home to raise our girls, so being financially dependent on him also made it extremely difficult for me to leave.

I did not want to fail, I did not want to disappoint my family. Constantly living with someone that would give you anything you asked for seems ideal… But sometimes what you need from someone cannot be replaced by gifts or things. In my eleven years of marriage my husband gave me one complement without me having to ask for it. I remember it so vividly only because it shocked me so completely.

He never physically abused me, it was the moments where an argument arose or a little tiff, and he would end up using harsh words telling me to be quiet, or else.. Or ” just leave me”, or else. Living with a constant fear where you would rather avoid saying your say, and always backing down in every confrontation. It’s like taking a small chisel and slowly breaking down pieces of a wall. Initially the wall stands firm, but eventually the structure is so weakened that it crumbles and breaks.

I used to never be able to go have coffee with a friend or even a family member without knowing I’ll get home and I’ll have to face a super grumpy husband because I left him alone for an hour. Even though he said I could go, there it was when I returned home… That all to familiar attitude drowning me in guilt.

Not having my opinion valued was also a constant. It’s not a big thing, but sometimes you want to feel considered, and you want to feel that your view of something counts. You don’t want to hear that you are stupid, or that you are pathetic.

My husband was never hands on around the house. We did some extensions to our house years ago. I remember sitting in my new dining room with the mitre box sawing the skirtings for the dining room crying, not because I couldn’t do it, but because my hands hurt and I wanted him to do it. My dad ended up helping me put them in as I just didn’t have enough physical strength to hammer them onto the wall. I helped my dad tile our patio, put all the windows in our french doors, siliconed the bathroom, painted… Nothing I would ever mind doing, but all I wanted was for him to care enough to do it for me, or at the very least to just acknowledge that I did it and say thanks. Not to walk in and point out what still needs to be done.

I don’t consider myself overly emotional, but I had days or moments where I would cry and he would be home. All I wanted was a hug, just a hug and to be told all will be fine, but I didn’t get that. I got the “it’s pathetic to cry” attitude. So in time I had to almost schedule my emotional moments for when I was alone. I avoided crying in front of him altogether.

My husband has a way of twisting words. I would say something, and he’ll recount what I said to someone and say something entirely different.. And always in a negatively different way. I hated it, I asked and pleaded him to stop doing it. He used to embarrass me with his account of what “I said”, and would even go as far as to tell people things I never said. It was utterly frustrating.

My husband also used to use me for any excuses he had to make. If someone wanted to come over and he didn’t feel in the mood, it would always be because I didn’t want visitors, or I didn’t like this or that. I hated that he couldn’t take responsibility for anything and just passed it along to me.

There were so many more little things.. Not helping me with the girls, the insults, the harsh words, the treats. Intimate things I could never blog about

Like I say… Tiny grains of sand…

It became a part of my life and enveloped me so completely, that I ended up thinking it’s normal. It’s something I became complacent with. I ended up so lost within the daily routine of having to live the roll I had in life.

And then I woke up one morning, and realized I had a reason to live, realized I can feel happy and fulfilled… And that reason gave me strength to stand up and make a decision.

That’s what I did.. I chose.. I chose to get divorced. This is just the start of my story, my way to vent … To document the change I consciously chose to make.
There is so much more to my story… But for now I’ll leave it for another sleepless night.

Seeing as morning is only 3 hours away, I think I’ll try and get some sleep…

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Spring Blooms

I have been looking forward to the Spring equinox finally arriving, knowing that scientifically the cold chill in the air has to turn itself into a warmer embrace.
This year Spring has so much more meaning to me, because as with the new summer air slowly creeping in and soft blooms appearing on previously bare branches, so I too feel new beginnings and promise of regrowth within my own personal life.

I adore flowers, and the colour and beauty captured within the soft petals. Flowers hold so much meaning… Silent words but yet so descriptive. Words of life, celebration, grief, condolences, joy, love… I love how it connects people, or allows you to have an entire conversation when you have no words, from a single flower to an entire bunch or beautiful arrangement.

There are extensive lists of flowers and their meanings, but in the end I think what matters most is just enjoying their beauty and spring fragrances. Here is a list of a few popular flowers and their meanings:

CARNATION (GENERAL) – Fascination, Woman Love

CARNATION (PINK) – I’ll Never Forget You

CARNATION (RED) – My Heart Aches For You, Admiration

CARNATION (PURPLE) – Capriciousness, Whimsical

CARNATION (SOLID COLOR) – Yes

CARNATION (STRIPED) – No, Refusal, Sorry I Can’t Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You

CARNATION (WHITE) – Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love, Woman’s Good Luck Gift

CARNATION (YELLOW) – You Have Disappointed Me, Rejection

CHRYSANTHEMUM (GENERAL) – You’re a Wonderful Friend, Cheerfulness and Rest.

CHRYSANTHEMUM (WHITE) – Truth

CHRYSANTHEMUM (YELLOW) – Slighted Love

DAFFODIL – Respect, Regard, Unrequited Love, You’re the Only One, The Sun is Always Shining when I’m with You

DAISY – Innocence, Loyal Love, I’ll Never Tell, Purity

DANDELION – Faithfulness, Happiness

LILY OF THE VALLEY – Sweetness, Tears of the Virgin Mary, Return to Happiness, Humility, You’ve Made My Life Complete, beauty, gaiety

ORCHID – Love, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children, Thoughtful, Maturity, Charm

PETUNIA – Resentment, Anger, Your Presence Sooths Me

ROSE (BRIDAL) – Happy Love

ROSE (DARK CRIMSON) – Mourning

ROSE (PINK) – Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me

ROSE (RED) – Love, I Love You

ROSE (THORNLESS) – Love at First Sight

ROSE (WHITE) – Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You’re Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence

ROSE (WHITE AND RED MIXED) – Unity, Flower Emblem of England

ROSE (YELLOW) – Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care

ROSES (Bouquet of Mature Blooms)- Gratitude

ROSES (Single Full Bloom) – I Love You, I Still Love You

SUNFLOWER – Pride, Sunshine

TULIP (GENERAL) – Perfect Lover

TULIP (RED) – Believe Me, Declaration of Love

TULIP (VARIEGATED) – Beautiful Eyes

TULIP (YELLOW) – There’s Sunshine in Your Smile

VIOLET – Modesty

VIOLET (BLUE) – Watchfulness, Faithfulness, I’ll Always Be True

VIOLET (WHITE) – Let’s Take a Chance

The most popular flowers are Roses, Chrysanthemum and Tulips. I however feel that Roses only rank first because it’s generally just more readily available and most people see it as a general good choice. I recently saw some lilac roses which was a refreshing change to the normal shades available. I love the structure of Tulips, firm and neat flowers that always looks like perfectly formed blooms.

Different flowers are also connected to star signs and even to your specific birth month, but I found these to be generic and more in relation to the colour of birthstones. None of the flowers connected to my birth month or to my star sign really hold any appeal to me. I suppose it all comes down to personal choice.

I think like most people I love Spring! I love that the temperature is just warm enough to make my skin feel glowing, but still cool enough to provide crisp cool mornings. I love that the fields are covered in wild daisy’s, and love the soft green of new summer grass starting to grow. Living close to the winelands, the additional beauty of the vineyards starting their regrowth is an added bonus.

I think I’ll take my girls to go and get a few seedlings so we can add a splash of color and play our part in celebrating Spring 🙂