Tag Archives: Stress

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.

Another emotional rollercoaster


Last Wednesday I went to see the orthopaedic surgeon about the constant and rather debilitating pain sprouting from my lower back again for the last three or so months. After some pulling, prodding, twisting and x-rays, the diagnosis was an inflamed nerve. Something about Schmorl’s nodes on L1 and L2. Dispatched with a script for seriously hectic pain killers (specific for this neuropathy) and a week-long course of cortisone, as well as instructions to return in three weeks. I ended up locking my car’s keys still in the ignition (terrible and recently often recurring habit) when I stopped to pick up meds.

A week later I can report the following: despite strange and unusual shooting pains on the right side of lower back on Sunday night/Monday morning, I have not experienced any significant pain in my back or left leg since Saturday; x-rays are bloody expensive, and since my medical aid isn’t paying for it, I’ve fortunately been able to arrange to pay for it over three months; did not take any Lyrica last night – just to see how the pain is doing underneath all the chemicals and because I’d like to spend a day not feeling hazy; this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced in my life. The last bit is relevant because the colder it gets, the worse my back spasms and my leg hurts. I’ve also noticed that despite it being pain free, I often still rub my leg, just above the knee, usually when I’m feeling emotionally unbalanced. Except for now. I’m rubbing the knee because the pain is definitely still there under the Lyrica-induced relief.

Over the weekend mom and I bought some groceries (in bulk from Makro). In hindsight, my mom has had some panic attacks at the thought of how much money we spent. Considering that for the past 11 months she’s been mostly living of bread and tomato sauce, I can see how this was a shock for her. I did try to keep expenses down by choosing moderate amounts, rather than big amounts, but she chose the 9kg washing powder when I considered the 5kg, etc. So yes, we (she) spent more than what I was aiming for. For my part I spent bit at the butchery, but my days are long and cold, and I have no desire to go hungry, or in good conscience, let my mother go hungry either. How we’re going to make it to the end of the month, I’m not sure. It’s times like these that I miss the false security of credit cards, overdrafts, revolving credit, etc. It has been almost two months since I gave all of that up, and will be paying for it for about another six years (unless some miracle happens). If I still had my trusty Visa I’d have bought for the groceries without blinking. I have no desire to buy clothes or shoes or anything frivolous like that (although I need a few winter tops, evidently – after three years the couple of shirts I have are a little worse for wear, and have I mentioned that this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced?). I’d spend money to feed us.

Last night, after mom recovered from her panic attack and told me that when we move into our new flat there are likely to be no cupboards, no floor coverings and that the only room finished will be the bathroom, it was my turn to have an attack of conscience. I’m worried that moving into an unfinished place will mean we never finish it; at the very least not in a way that my mom wanted, and this was her chance to get her own little dream place. But she had to modify her plans to ensure that there is a room for me, because I’m too pathetic to take care of myself like someone of my age is supposed to. So the larger flat is going to cost more than what she’ll have left from the sale of the house (which seems to be going fine – oh, I never blogged that; the house has been sold, and plans for the flat will hopefully be submitted no later than next week. This means we’ll be moving in with my brother and his family at the end of the month at the latest).

And so I started my “everything would be so much better if I were no more” cycle of thinking. Because I’d not have to worry about medical expenses, painful limbs, thinning hair, uneven skin tone (when I get depressed, I get depressed about *everything* in my life that’s wrong); I’d not be the reason my mother spends thousands on groceries, or several thousands more on modifying her new home. In fact, if she were to get her portion of my life insurance designated to her, she’ll be able to pay for everything relating to her new place without a second thought. Similarly, my best friend would not have to borrow money against his car and work through the night to try and make ends meet.

But here I am. Pouring my misery into a blog post instead. And because I have no choice but carry on, I’m pondering how to make changes to what has become a stifling routine.  Or maybe I should just carry on and risk death by boredom.

This is apathy


I am miserable at work. Take today, for example: I got up at six, had a shower, got dressed and had breakfast at my desk shortly after seven. That was followed by checking my work inbox (message from IT, message to sign my Performance Appraisal, which hasn’t been finalised yet), checking my gmail account, checking the links of the tweets I have favourited over the weekend, etc. It is now after three and virtually nothing I did today was related to work. Not because I’m a slacker, but because I have nothing to do. I have plenty to keep me busy with, but it’s not work. For some people this would be ideal; for me, not so much.

Of course I’ve been on the lookout for alternative means of earning a salary, but I seem to be qualified for very little and greatly inexperienced in many interesting fields. I thought about what I would ideally do, if it were not for the sake of a salary alone. Well, I’d like to start as an intern at a glossy magazine and work my way up. The glossy I’d most like to work for is in Cape Town. I can’t afford to move there, and I can’t afford to work as an intern either. Aside from writing (in which I’m starting to doubt my ability to do well), I really don’t know what I would like to do. Well, read and sleep and socialising and trying out stuff will be pretty cool too, but I have no backing to do either of those for a living either.

So what’s next? Well, it’s almost home time, and maybe I’ll read a bit before climbing in bed (probably shortly after sunset – if I can manage it that long), and then I suppose I’ll do it all over again.

About stress and stuff


My body seems unable to cope with the amount of stress I’m experiencing at the moment. My one kidney aches, my skin is a mess, I’m tired and nauseous all the time.

So yesterday I (very reluctantly) applied for a professional to contact me regarding debt counselling. Which resulted in a tiny panic attack. My gut tells me this is not a good idea and that it will cause more stress than relieve it. My head tells me that if I could only get my debt consolidated (even just half of it) I’d be able to pay everything I need to without resorting to desperate measures, as I’ve had to for the last three years. But it also knows that no bank will lend me that amount of money.

And now I wait for a stranger to call me and get all up in my digits. I’m not happy about it, but it doesn’t seem like I have a choice. I’ve been avoiding the debt counselling for so long, especially after my mom told me that the past year she’s been under counselling has been the worst decision she made.

Speaking of my mom, she’s officially single again since Tuesday afternoon. Now we just need to get the house sold so she can start over. I’m going to mail her as soon as I’ve posted this, to hear what my nephew’s report card says. I miss my people – everyone I love is in Pretoria. I’ve left everything behind for a job that did not live up to its promises and expectations.

Oh well, I suppose I should be happy it’s Friday. And payday – for what that’s worth.

Day 26 – Have you ever thought about giving up on life?


1992 – The stress of high school, I suppose. 1998 – The insanity of humanity. War, murder, etc. I could not imagine living in such a place, and even less so, raising a child in such a place. (Yes, at that stage I still considered having children somewhere in my future.) 2009 – Being overwhelmed. I had never been as miserable as the first half of last year. Life seemed to have no positive purpose. NOTHING was going my way, even a little bit. I was tired. I could not see how to cope with everything beating against me.