Tag Archives: Family

Day 23 – a letter to anyone


Oh dear! I’m a day late with this. So I’ll just have to do a double posting today, I guess. Here’s the letter:


I’ve been wondering who I’ll write this letter to, first considering the love of my life (but seeing as he never reads my blog unless specifically directed to – and even then it’s not guaranteed), then my mother (I’m not sure whether she reads this blog, and I decided that if not, I’d rather keep it that way), so I decided to write to you.

I miss you. I know I’m not the only one, but I also know that I was always special to you. You made such a huge contribution to the person I am today. I often wonder what you’d say about my life if you were around; it hasn’t turned out the way I had hoped, and there are aspects of it I’m sure you’d disapprove of, but overall I hope that you’d be satisfied with how I’ve coped with everything.

I would have loved for you to meet my best friends – I imagine their awkwardness at your silly jokes, them being enthralled (like strangers often were) by your tales, not being sure whether you were being serious or not, and the long discussions you would have with them about the world, religion and rugby. And about me.

I’m fortunate that my best friend of all is the love of my life, and a man who believes in me as much as you did, and who supports and encourages me in everything. It doesn’t make missing you any less painful. He also lost someone very close to him 17 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been almost two decades!

Do you know that I could feel when the end approached? I will never forget that. I will never forget you, and I hope that some day more people will know about you, your influence in my life, and how much you will always mean to me.

See you sometime in the future. Take care (of me, of mom, of us all, please).


Folly of the youth


So yesterday morning my brother’s wife apparently gave her daughter a stern talking-to about messing around in my stuff, which of course resulted in a sulking and petulant teen. And she thought I must be a total idiot (she’s not aware that I take pictures of her misdemeanours) because she went right back and fiddled.

It’s less obvious than the previous day, except…

I was sitting on my bed rubbing my hair dry when something on her desk caught my eye. A little box. A little box I keep at the back of my drawer. Inside my little box there’s a tiny fairy pendant with a round amber stone. I bought it last year at the African Mineral and Gem exhibition in Brooklyn Mall. It cost me R120 – the price was still floating on the soft cotton the pendant lays. When I opened the box, all is as I had it, except for a piece of paper from a plaster. I closed it, and waited.

When my brother came home I said I wanted to show him something. He went very quiet after I told him the box’s history, and told me to put it back in my drawer. He then offered to give me a cupboard where I can lock my stuff up. This is not a solution for me, because it means that I’m going through the hassle of locking up and fetching out my stuff everyday, while she’s getting away with being an insolent little bitch.

Then her mother came and “gave me permission” to confront her the next time she messes in my stuff. I said thanks, but thought to myself, if she has no regard for any kind of discipline her parents try to impose (when they can be bothered to), why would she pay any mind to anything I have to say. The only thing that might break her is carrying on with my daily pictures, confronting her every single day if that’s what it comes down to, showing her that she’s not as cunning as she thinks she is.


Spot the difference


Since moving in with my brother and his new family in August, I’ve been concerned about my precious (expensive) makeup being abused by the fourteen-year-old brat I share my room with. Finally I decided to do a little experiment. Yesterday, before leaving the house, I left a little note in my makeup drawer, telling her in no uncertain terms to leave my stuff alone, and took a picture. I don’t think she thought I’d do that. Below is that picture.

When I got home yesterday afternoon I had to first put away the iron and ironing board blocking the way to my bed, turn a blind eye to the scattering of sanitary pads on the floor, and then opened my top drawer. This is what I found:

Can you see the difference? I was so angry (and still, everytime I think about it I start shaking all over) I thought I was going to have a stroke. The worst part of it all is that despite having this evidence, I can’t confront her. So I repeated the experiment again, and if she’s been in my stuff again (I didn’t say anything yesterday to let on I know she’s been in my stuff, and the note I left this morning was in a different font).

I’m desperate to now find alternative residence until our place is finished (hopefully end of November) for the sake of my stuff not being used by a selfish little bitch. I’m tired of bottling up all the anger and frustration, and it’s no wonder I constantly feel tired and sick.

I just wanted to get all this out of my system, and I suppose verification that I’m not insane and that she is, in fact, messing around in my stuff.

On giving up


I’m tired. Mostly from not getting enough sleep – if it’s not the dogs, it’s the sleep walking/talking roomie, or the other inhabitants of the house going about their business while I try to get an early night to compensate for my early rise. But it’s gone beyond that.

The general consensus is that I’m overreacting. I feel like I’m heading for a break down at a great speed. I’m miserable. I feel unloved, lonely, inadequate and trapped. It feels like I’m constantly being criticised and that only the negative things about me are being highlighted by the person I rely on the most for uplifting and encouraging me: my mom. Nothing I do seems to be good enough, and her comments last night – telling me to grow up and that the world does not revolve around me – only opened up years of festering resentment about never living up to expectations.

There is nothing I can do to change the situation; there is nowhere I can go. I have nothing – no money, no desire to be alive. I spend days in tears, unable to pull myself together; unable to contemplate a light at the end of the tunnel.

Stupid universe


Stupid former sister in law. Stupid former father. Stupid life. Stupid stupid.

Every time I develop the intention of saving a bit of money, something happens. If it’s not the x-rays and doctors’ bills that fall into my self-payment gap, it’s a gross wardrobe failure, necessitating the urgent scheduling of a bit of essential and expensive shopping. Except, without the backup of a credit card, neither the shopping nor the payment of bills have happened yet, although arrangements have been made to pay the x-rays over three months. (I’m still anxiously awaiting the shock of two orthopaedic consultation bills.)

Meanwhile my mom was happily planning on buying the bath for our new flat, when she received news that a) the settlement amount on our home is about R20 000 more than she planned and b) she needs to pay close to R3 000 to the social worker assigned to my nephew’s case. Because my brother’s first wife is a fucking bitch (FB). There, I said it.

The social worker told both my brother and the FB that neither of them are allowed to tell my nephew the outcome of the mediation; that the social worker will tell him when his parents go in to sign the parenting plan. And then FB told him the morning before they signed. I feel she should pay that R550 penalty because SHE broke the rules. She also refused to drive with my mom to the social worker’s office, saying she’ll get in the car with anyone but my mom. I contemplated taking to Twitter to find her a chauffeur for the day. In the end the social worker went to FB’s home, charging an additional R790 (which I feel that miserable cow should pay for too). And for going through the plan again to ensure everyone’s familiar with the content, she charged the balance of the money my mom has to pay. And despite the plan stating that no party is allowed to bad mouth the party or their extended families, FB has got plenty nasty and untrue things to say about my mom to my nephew. There should be a fine for that too, but she’s so stingy, trying to get any money out of her is simply pissing in the wind. Have I mentioned she’s a fucking bitch?

So ja. Mom and I are both a little down in the dumps while I shake my fist at the universe, demanding… well, I don’t demand. But dammit, we need a break from all this misery!

Project fundraising


I am foolishly attempting to buy my mom’s house again – this time at market value (in order to get dad to sign the papers). Time is running out. The deal has to be finalised by the end of January, and in order to make any financial institution even consider approving my application, I need to raise a substantial amount of money.



For a donation you will receive a virtual kiss (or a hug if you prefer).

If this will work, I don’t know, but I’m sending it out to the universe, and hoping the universe will send me something back. Should anyone feel generous, please send me an email – marthatjie [at] gmail [dot] com

Happy Holidays. Travel safe, stay safe. See you soon!

Broken Christmas (Afrikaans post)


My brother just sent me this in an e-mail and I’m still crying. Apologies for the spelling – it’s never been his best; he writes the way words sound to him, and I have no desire to edit it. Somethings can do with not being clinical.

Dit is alweer daai tyd van die jaar.

Dit is vakansie en ons kuier by Oupa en Ouma.  Ouma het vanoggend gesê ons moet die kersboom opmaak en al ons kleinkinders is ewe angstig om daarme te begin. Soos gewoonlik is daar weer ‘n gestry oor wie die stêr heelbo op die boom gaan sit.
Ouma haal die boom uit met sy blink groen blaartjies met die stukkies kerswas tussen in. Die  boom is al oud, en die kerswas kom van die tyd toe daar nog nie kersliggies was nie en daar was dan klein blakertjies met regte kersies aan die boom se takke vasgeknip. Mamma het vertel hoe hulle almal die boom dopgehou het om te sien of die boom nie aan die brand gaan slaan nie, instede daarvan om na die kersboodskap te luister…..
Maar vandag het ons elektriese liggies wat soos elke ander jaar eers op die sitkamermat nagegaan moet word en eerste op die boom moet kom voor ons kinders kan begin om die boom op te maak.
Dan is dit natuurlik die blink stroke en al die versierings.  Dit waarvoor daar nie plek op die boom is nie, word sommer oral in die sitkamer opgehang.  Alerande blink goettertjies die vertrek vol.  Die boom het gewoonlik redelik, aardig, op ge-eindig  om my Ma se woorde te gebruik.

24 Desember
Dan, die dag waarna ons almal uitgesien het. Ou kersdag.  Gewoonlik was daar gebraai en waatlemoen ge-eet. Dan moet die kinders almal gaan bad en hulle splinternuwe kers-klere aantrek.  Daarna moet die kinders almal in die sonkamer gaan TV kyk terwyl die groot mense vreeslik geheimsinnig in die sitkamer vir kersvader gaan wag. Skielik is daar ‘n gestamp op die huis se dak en klokkies wat lui.  Klein niggie begin huil want sy is bang, Oupa troos en wanneer dit als oor is, kan ons sitkamer toe gaan.  My oom kom skielik by die voordeur in en ek wonder of hy vir kersvader gesien het.  Maar die opgewondenheid al daai blinkpapier geskenke het my gou van my vrae laat vergeet.

Met ‘n groot oopmond WOUW!!!! Loop ons die sitkamer binne, maar mag aan niks raak nie.  Almal gaan sit en ons kinders op die mat by ons ouers se voette.  Oupa lees uit die bybel voor, die storie van Jesus se geboorte. Hy bid en ons sing dan ‘n paar kersliedjies, vals, maar dis die idee wat tel. Daar word dan nou ook soos elke jaar afgesluit met Stillenag, Heilige nag. Ou mense sing die ou weergawe en ons kinders luidkeels die nuwe een. Waar kom hulle aan daai woorde, dis nie wat juffrou ons by die skool geleer het nie.
Dan, GESKENKEEEEEEEE…….. Oupa lees die name en die kinders kry beurte om dit uit te deel.  Almal moet eers kyk wat iemand gekry het voor daar ‘n volgende geskenkie uitgedeel word. O, en die reel (as ‘n grappie) is as dit ge-eet kan word moet jy deel, en as dit klere is moet jy dadelik aanpas.

Agterna, sê ons vir almal dankie, weet nie hoekom nie, want dit kom dan van kersvader af, maar dan word daar met die nuwe goed gespeel en/of af geshow.  Almal moet help om die geskenk papier wat die sitkamer se mat vervang het eers op te tel.
Uiteindelik met ‘n gesukkel moet die kinders tot bedaring gebring word en in die bed gesit word.

25 Desember.

As ons opstaan sê ons goeiemôre en geseënde kersvees vir almal.
Pap en melk vir ontbyt en ons gaan speel buite, maar jy mag nie vuil word nie.
Middag ete, Die groot eetkamer tafel is tjok en blok met kos. Natuurlik kan ek nie wag vir die nagereg nie.  Almal eet vir hulle knuppeldik en dan word daar ‘n middag-uiltjie geknip. Natuurlik tot die groot frustrasie van die kinders, want ons wil dan met ons nuwe speelgoed speel en nou moet ons dan slaap.

So het ek geleer hou ‘n mens kersfees. Toe raak Oupa siek, en nou dat hy nie meer daar is nie, het als verander. Ons was nog ‘n keer almal saam, maar toe daarna is daar nie meer vêr gery vir kersvees nie. Ons het ook nou al groot geword en het ons eie kinders.  Natuurlik weet ons nou daar is nie ‘n kersvader nie, maar ons vertel presies dieselfde vir ons kleingoed.  Nou bou ons, ons eie familie tradisies om Kersfees, maar dit raak ook elke jaar al hoe kleiner. Ouma kan nie meer so vêr ry nie so sy kan ook nie meer kersfees saam met ons wees nie.

Vanoggend staan ek op en dink dat ek nie eens meer ‘n kersboom besit nie.  Die geldjies is maar ‘n problem want die lewe het so ongelooflik duur geword.
Hierdie jaar gaan dit baie anders wees, Ek gaan dit als mis,
die boom,
die kos,
dit blink versierings,
die saamesyn,
die pret.

Dit het eintlik verlede jaar sleg uitmekaar geval toe daar net voor kersfees by my ouer se huis ingebreek is en daar so baie skade aangerig is. Beide materialisties en geestelik.

Ek sê dankie in my hart dat ek weet, die geboorte van Jesus is nog daar en sal altyd daar wees, want daarsonder is kersfees dood.
So vandag het ek opgestaan en met ‘n traan in my hart begin beplan aan my stukkende kersfees.

We interrupt normal programming for this WTF?! post


My brother just called me. This is rather unusual – the last time he called me the father had just tried to run him over and he was wondering if I had the father’s car registration (we usually call each other if one needs something; yes we are bad siblings), but this morning we just had a chat. About the retarded people in our life i.e. the father and the first wife.

The father has told the lawyer he moved out because “he feared for his life”. Anyone who knows my parents will know how absurd this is. And now the first wife wants to keep my nephew away from my mom. He’s approaching his teenage years and she’s not doing herself any favours, but what pisses me off the most is that my mom lives for that boy.

I found all this rather hilarious at first. Now I’m just beyond depressed and ready to go sit in a corner and cry until I die. I had an idyllic childhood, and my life was never perfect, but seriously, when did it get to be so totally screwed up?

I really don’t know how much more of this I can take. I do know that I don’t want to put up with any of this any more. I can barely take care of myself and my debt (okay, to be honest I’m nowhere near in control of even that), and part of the reason I moved away from my mother is so that she can be less dependend on me and I worry less about her, but if anything, I’m stressing more. She’s not going through an easy stint and then this alcoholic, cheating, compulsive lying bastard does this.

I hope he’s happy, because I sure as hell am not.

Day seven – Someone who has made your life worth living for


My Oupa. Always supporting, encouraging and spoiling me. Taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. The person I’d like to be like when I’m grown up 🙂

Gave me my love for words, stories, dreams. Perpetuated my habit of placing pebbles under my tongue. Taught me cool science experiments and spoke Sotho with me. Paid me with a ginormous bag of sweets and chocolates for sealing a gazillion envelopes & putting stamps on them. Issued me with my first wage slip – gross salary: R100; after PAYE, UIF, etc, net salary: R10.

I believe he also laid the foundation for my never-die sense of humour.

Day four – Something you have to forgive someone for


Oh that’s easy – naming the something, not the forgiving bit: My father for emotionally abusing my mother.

I’m sure we’ll both (mom and I) forgive him some day – maybe she already has – but until this divorce is finalised I want nothing to do with him and I pretty much hate him. Yes, I know that’s a strong word and yes, I know it’s a negative emotion that affects me more than him, but for what he’s done to her, for writing me off more times than I care to remember, I have more than just a strong dislike for him.