will you be my awfully wedded wife?

Apparently, I am a married man now.

I met Tawanda when I was fifteen beers high and six feet deep into sin. That’s what my friends tell me, but I lost count somewhere around five, or was it six…or seven?

I like Tawanda very much. A woman whose beauty comes to life whenever my eyelids are barely able to themselves up, I wish I knew what her last name is. Her image is ever so fleeting, but it is a constant I crave as if my life depends on it. Tawanda, my demon in shiny Brazilian hair.

My rollercoaster ride.

I used to be a very scrawny little man. That was three months ago before I met Tawanda. I have seen 1’ns and 11’s that look fatter than I did back then. My family insists on calling me an unrepentant alcoholic. They say that I care more about the bottle than I care about the plate. They should just leave me alone. I play just as hard as I work. I deserve to enjoy my life.

I work an 8 to 5 job that requires the use of at least 95% of my brain cells in their full working capacity. Over the years, I have mastered the art of manipulating my brain into believing it is sober when it’s actually not. So I’m able to perform my duties at work just fine. I was even promoted six months ago. Wait, was it six or four months ago? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I was promoted. End of story.

My dependency on alcohol has become so intense that I strongly believe that I can’t function at my fullest potential unless I have had a drink or two, or three. But whos counting? This is a fact. I think the day I stop drinking would be the day I get fired. True story.

Tall, slender, and a set of two huge boobs that stand at odds with her tiny waist, my hands always have a home on Tawanda. I would love to talk about her rear view in more detail, but she doesn’t have one. There is just this space behind her that’s there to hold her more important front parts in place. She and I once had a deep conversation about this and we both concluded that the share that was supposed to go to her rear ended up in what is now my humble abode. But she is still my Tawanda, my favorite bartender.

So I was telling you about how Tawanda came to be my wife. Three days after our accidental meeting at the club, I came home from work to find her cooking in my kitchen. She was wearing nothing but my t-shirt. Short circuit, brain dead. By the time my eyes were finishing scanning her bare feet and her very inviting long endless legs, I had forgotten to ask her the one very important question: How did she get into my house? See, had I been drunk, I would have had my wits about me.

It was only when I carried her into the bedroom to finish off what we had started cooking in the kitchen that I noticed her massive shoe rack covering one wall of the room. And packed neatly in the far corner was a pile of her now empty suitcases. You can just imagine how quickly my cooking utensils lost their heat. I finally got to ask her the questions I should have asked the moment I walked into the house.

How did you get into my house Tawanda? And are these your things?

She was smiling at me the wholetime I was asking the questions. She moved towards me, surreptitiously tryingto revive the heat I had just lost but just then my eyes landed on the bottleof Jameson I had been drinking earlier that morning before I left for work. It was still on the dresser where I had left it. I quickly rushed over to where it was, took a long gulp from the now very hot contents and I felt sober and strong again. No way she was going to sweet-talk her way into moving to my house that easily.

Tawanda grabbed the bottle from me.

I already mixed the wicked combination you love, come.

She took my hand and led me back into the kitchen. She opened the fridge and handed me a tall glass of my most favorite poison.  Only three days after our meeting and she already knew me so well.

You still haven’t answered my question.

I said before paying my respect to the glass in my hand. She had this smile on her face as she watched me down the cocktail.

I spoke to your landlord, she nonchalantly informed me.

I laughed, thinking she was joking. My landlord lived about two hours away from my place. And I mean two hours’drive, on a good traffic day. Not walk, drive. Tawanda didn’t have a car. I would have had no trouble believing her if she told me she simply broke in and made herself comfortable. I would have probably thought it was a thrilling and sexymove on her part rather than creepy. Her boobs gave her enough license to do that sort of thing and get away with it. But she wasn’t kidding.

I told her I was your wife and she-

I can’t remember the rest of her explanation. I had passed out. To this day she has never repeated her response no matter how many times I’ve begged her. She says I drink too much that’s why I can’t remember the most important day of our lives. She even cried whilst saying that. She says she will only tell me the story again if I promise to stay sober for a whole month.

And If I say no? I asked her.

“Then forget about finding out how we got married. You can continue enjoying your beer, I don’t care.”

There’s a perfectly laminated and well-framed certificate on our bedroom wall that says she and me are legally married. I have no idea how that happened. She cooks, she’s bloody fantastic in bed, she lets me drink as much as I want, she doesn’t nag me. Why should I complain?

I’ll worry about the rest when am sober.

For now, cheers.

**************

Side Note: I know this is  waaaay shorter than my other stories. However, I thought I should honor the people messaging me and asking when I’ll post the next story or finish up on the pending ones. 

I took a break from writing my novel to share this little piece with you guys, It’s not perfect or long I know. Only had an hour to write it. I just wanted to let you know that I am still here!

Please look out for posts about my upcoming book Echoes of Betrayal in the coming weeks. I will be sharing more details soon! 

Thanks for Reading! 

Anishagold
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A thing called Vicarious Trauma

It was four years ago when I decided to set up my personal blog. It was an exciting moment for me because it meant I had finally gathered the courage needed to face my inadequacies and strengths as an aspiring writer.

I wanted to create a platform where I could interact with people that read my stories and articles that I write here and on different other platforms. I wanted to receive feedback from them, take criticism, and grow. And of course it was going to be a great place for me to share my thoughts and adventures. However, somewhere along the way, things changed. 

Over the years, I have laid naked a little piece of me with every story, article, poem, video, and picture I have shared. As the years keep going by, more and more people come across my blog and they write to me. Whereas before these conversations focused mostly on reactions to the plots and characters I created, in the recent past, the tone of the conversations turned somewhat serious. Even more so after I shared some articles about a certain tumultuous period in my life. They became very personal and very real.

Since then, I have been receiving hundreds and hundreds of emails from women mostly opening up to me about the problems they have faced (or are still facing) in their marriages and relationships. 

You got new mail!

All of this happened right around the time I was trying to deal with the aftermath of ‘that period’ which i refuse to discuss over and over again. When I shared my story back then, I wanted to soread a certain message which i think I managed to do. However, by coming out like that, I opened a gate for people in similar situations to reach out to me and share their stories. Since then, I have been listening and listening. And the more I listened, the deeper I fell into the hell hole I was desperately trying to get myself out. Eventually, I crumbled.

I was attacked by a little bug called Vicarious Trauma.

Vicarious Trauma, also known as secondary traumatic stress is the indirect trauma that occurs when one “is exposed to difficult or disturbing images and stories second-hand.”

I was not even aware that I was falling further down the sunken place until I found myself in a very brief relationship with someone that demanded too much emotional support from me that left me literally drained of all emotions and energy to want to fall in-love ever again. It was then that I realized I had no more love and care left in me to give those that needed it the most from me. I took a step back and sought professional help. 

The road to recovery wasn’t a smooth sail, obviously. Somewhere along the way I stopped blogging and abandoned all other projects I used to take on for fun and solely focused on professional writing that did not demand any sort of emotional commitment. I despised ‘peopling’ – hanging out with friends or family. LOL.

I would lock myself in my room and quietly prayed for the whole world to disappear. And through all this I kept listening and listening to those that reached out to me. In my work, I continued studying, researching and writing about the daily lives and challenges faced by women past and present. It was in the midst of this huge storm that I found the inspiration to write a book, Echoes of Betrayal.

Echoes is a book that endeavors to give a voice to all the emotions and thoughts that people that have experienced betrayal go through (perspectives of both the betrayer and the betrayed). It delves into the deepest parts of our souls and echoes those emotions and thoughts we wish people would know without us having to tell them. Every detail in the action, dialogue, and narration is as seen and experienced from the point of view of the narrator telling that specific story. Though fictional,most of the stories in Echoes were inspired by real life situations or issues faced by many in the communities we live in.

There are always two sides to every story. In my inspiration to tell these stories and complete this book, I had to undertake some deep research; having intimate conversations with couples,extended family, children, and even friends. I also had to conduct interviews with counselors, pastors, etc. And of course I had to do a lot of reading as well.

Naturally, given the nature of the stories I am telling in this book,I found myself disappearing into a very complex world that I had no business being in given the state of my mind at that time. I eventually made the decision to step back from the book and resume only after I had fixed the mayhem in my head. And I finally did!

I am really looking forward to finalizing the publication of Echoes of Betrayal. I hope you are too! 

Back to dealing with Vicarious trauma, I struggled with it for a while because I am not a professional counselor and yet I inadvertently found myself in a position where I had to listen to people share their stories because they trusted me. I might have taken psychological studies during university and I might have been trained in psycho-social counselling in my line of work but the fact still remains that I am not a professional shrink. No one ever taught me how to deal with the stories and the images I encounter in my line of work and right here on my blog. 

I have come to learn that in as much as I love listening to others, I ought to take care of myself along the way. Because of constantly listening to dark and sordid situations faced by others and constantly putting myself in the position of both sympathy and empathy, I slowly learnt how to shut down my own emotions and allowed those of others to engulf me. Every now and then I find myself feeling sad, enraged, and sometimes I even find myself crying when there is absolutely nothing wrong with my own life. I detach myself from others, resent certain people I encounter through transference, and I avoid relationships that demand emotional commitment from me. 

These days I take very long walks to unwind and refresh my mind. I meditate and listen to classical music. I dance more and I exercise whenever I can. I have made it a point to have a very active social life, to make new friends, to relentlessly chase my dreams, and to smile and laugh more. I enjoy siting by the waterfront and watching the sun set. I would definitely love to watch the sun rise but I am too lazy to wake up that early in the morning. And yes, I do pray, quiet often actually. 

This is why I encourage everyone that is or has found themselves in a similar position as mine to do the same. Take a break and feed your soul with some positivity!

My inbox is still very much open to those in need of a listening ear. Please do keep the emails and messages coming. And those with more effective tips on how to unwind, refresh and empty the mind, please do share with me and I will make sure to feed my soul with more and more positive energy!

Week 1 at Yali: The blind spots in my leadership

It’s day 6 today and we are still counting.

I am in Midrand, South Africa attending a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) training under the 16th Cohort. I’ll be sharing bits and pieces about what Yali is and why I am here in the coming days but for now let me tell you a bit about where my mind is at right now because, Jeez…it’s been one fully packed week so far! Continue reading Week 1 at Yali: The blind spots in my leadership

Ubuhle (download the e-book)

Africanism Today

It is with great pleasure that we present our second book Ubuhle. Ubuhle is a Zulu and Xhosa word that means beauty. While discussing themes, our creative director came up with “beauty”. We want to celebrate African beauty and because beauty is diverse and unique. We want to celebrate it this way – as a journey, as a process that ultimately unveils how beautiful we truly are; as individuals and as a people.

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Happy World Mental Health Day!

A few days ago I posted something on my Facebook wall asking friends to link me up with any mental health experts, doctors, or survivors. While many commented and provided the information I was looking for, there was only one friend that reached out to ask if I was ok. As it turns out, I needed the information for my research for one of my freelance gigs.

Continue reading Happy World Mental Health Day!

Whose Hands are Stained with Vespers’ Blood?

On 4th October 2018 at 22:50 hrs, a riot broke out at the University of Zambia (UNZA) Great East Road Campus. It ended the next morning, 5th October 2018 at 05:00. The riot was a reaction to ‘apparently’ delayed student allowances which the institution, together with the government claim was not actually delayed. The Zambia Police in all their excited, angry and underpaid glory were called in to assist in controlling the situation.

Continue reading Whose Hands are Stained with Vespers’ Blood?

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