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From Kindergarten to School

Another significant change for me, after dealing with the changes of moving to a new area, was my learning environment. I went from a predominantly English school to one that was mostly Afrikaans. I went from being a bit or a city slicker to attending kindergarten on a farm with sheep, chickens, horses and cows. It took some time to get used to it all but, in retrospect, it was a good change. I remember how the lambs would wait at the gate to greet me as I walked in and my father really enjoyed how I could mimic their noises and make them talk back to me!

On the down side, by the time I was ready for Grade 1, most of the kids I knew from kindergarten went to a different school and I literally walked into class without knowing a single soul. I guess that’s why I went kicking and screaming on my second day! I saw how the other kids mostly knew each other because they were all in kindergarten together but I was the odd one out and that’s really where all the trouble started.

At 7-years-old, the girls at school were already trying to act all prim and proper when I couldn’t give a hoot! I wanted to run, jump and play sports! I enjoyed playing games with the boys more than hanging out with girls who would inevitably end up stabbing me in the back. Once again, this was just the beginning of a nasty cycle that I was in for. The so-called popular kids loved making other kids feel bad and it wasn’t long before I lost my cool and developed a more aggressive approach. Yes, I physically fought back!

Just a few years into my school years, I went through something quite traumatic and I still don’t feel comfortable sharing all the details. I have put them so far in the back of my mind and I just forget rather than trying to deal with it. It was this that really changed me as a person and sent me on somewhat of a downward spiral. I blame nobody except for the one “person” at fault. I say “person” because I do not regard him to be human or worthy of human respect. I also feared opening up to my family for fear that they would not believe me or that they would some how blame or judge me. So I kept silent for years.

Yes, I went through some horrid experiences as a child but I have worked through them in my own way. I eventually opened up to my family with the help of my brother and we struggled through the healing process. At the end of the day, I now know how important it is to always make your child feel like they can talk to you about anything. My bad experiences have given me the insight to tell my daughter every single day (on multiple occasions) that I love her dearly and that she is beautiful, intelligent, funny and creative. When she starts school one day, I want her to be able to talk to me if any of the kids are being nasty to her. I want her to confide in me in a way that I mistakenly believed that I could not confide in my own mother. My mother was there for me but I neglected to go to her when I needed help. I remember the feelings I had and the fear of rejection and judgement on her part which is why I see it as a positive thing. Parenting is not just about knowing what to do but also learning what NOT to do. All parents make mistakes and it is up to all of us to learn from our own errors as well as those of others!

Another significant change for me, after dealing with the changes of moving to a new area, was my learning environment. I went from a predominantly English school to one that was mostly Afrikaans. I went from being a bit or a city slicker to attending kindergarten on a farm with sheep, chickens, horses and cows. It took some time to get used to it all but, in retrospect, it was a good change. I remember how the lambs would wait at the gate to greet me as I walked in and my father really enjoyed how I could mimic their noises and make them talk back to me!

On the down side, by the time I was ready for Grade 1, most of the kids I knew from kindergarten went to a different school and I literally walked into class without knowing a single soul. I guess that’s why I went kicking and screaming on my second day! I saw how the other kids mostly knew each other because they were all in kindergarten together but I was the odd one out and that’s really where all the trouble started.

At 7-years-old, the girls at school were already trying to act all prim and proper when I couldn’t give a hoot! I wanted to run, jump and play sports! I enjoyed playing games with the boys more than hanging out with girls who would inevitably end up stabbing me in the back. Once again, this was just the beginning of a nasty cycle that I was in for. The so-called popular kids loved making other kids feel bad and it wasn’t long before I lost my cool and developed a more aggressive approach. Yes, I physically fought back!

Class photo

Just a few years into my school years, I went through something quite traumatic and I still don’t feel comfortable sharing all the details. I have put them so far in the back of my mind and I just forget rather than trying to deal with it. It was this that really changed me as a person and sent me on somewhat of a downward spiral. I blame nobody except for the one “person” at fault. I say “person” because I do not regard them to be human or worthy of human respect. I also feared opening up to my family for fear that they would not believe me or that they would some how blame or judge me. So I kept silent for years.

Yes, I went through some horrid experiences as a child but I have worked through them in my own way. I eventually opened up to my family with the help of my brother and we struggled through the healing process. At the end of the day, I now know how important it is to always make your child feel like they can talk to you about anything. My bad experiences have given me the insight to tell my daughter every single day (on multiple occasions) that I love her dearly and that she is beautiful, intelligent, funny and creative. When she starts school one day, I want her to be able to talk to me if any of the kids are being nasty to her. I want her to confide in me in a way that I mistakenly believed that I could not confide in my own mother. My mother was there for me but I neglected to go to her when I needed help. I remember the feelings I had and the fear of rejection and judgement on her part which is why I see it as a positive thing. Parenting is not just about knowing what to do but also learning what NOT to do. All parents make mistakes and it is up to all of us to learn from our own errors as well as those of others!

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My earliest memories

My new kindergarten

Firstly, I’d like to mention that I am currently juggling several projects and I will do my utmost to write on a regular basis but my health does get in the way at times.  Not to mention other unforeseen hurdles that I find myself leaping over every other day.  I am also going to start at the very beginning for the sake of not forgetting the many lessons I’ve learned throughout my life so far.  Yes, my posts might take a somewhat negative tone BUT just continue reading until the end to get a dose of that silver lining I hold on to so dearly.

When I think back to the first few years of my life, it’s almost like I’m watching a slideshow. My memories until the age of 5 are comprised of flashes here and moments there. I remember living in a nice home with my family and enjoying the company of our energetic bull terrier. I remember “swimming” with my brothers in a portable pool in the yard and riding around on black plastic motorcycles. I remember when my mother got her first car and how excited my father was when he presented to her.

I don’t remember socialising all that much as a young child. I had two older brothers who entertained one another but I didn’t seem to fit in so I would play on my own. I guess this was a good thing given what my future would hold. I was quite independent from a young age and I enjoyed doing things for myself.

I remember starting kindergarten but my school year was somewhat disrupted when my family moved to a new home about 30km away. I remember moving and how stiflingly hot it was. The dry air almost scorched my throat and it surprised me how the weather was so different in our new neighbourhood. I remember growing up for the first five years of my life surrounded by English-speaking people. When we moved, however, we found ourselves in the company of more Afrikaans-speaking people. This was a huge culture shock for all of us and for my brothers in particular.

Now, with all of these supposed negative aspects in mind, it is also important to maintain a healthy perspective. When I look back at how I had to adjust to a different culture in my own home country, I realise that it was a kind of practice round for what was to come. I lived in Cape Town, South Africa for most of my life and I became quite accustomed to the multi-cultural society with huge freedoms afforded to me. Later, I worked and travelled through the United States and Canada. I was fortunate enough to visit Mexico as well and ended up settling in Romania! Now THAT was a culture shock! Not only did I need to adjust to a new language, but also a new culture and way of life. Everything was so different to what I was used to but I just had to dig deep to access my inner strength to make it through. So, that’s my silver lining at the end of it all! What happened years ago helped prepare me for my future and thank goodness or else I probably would never have made it!

Hello and Welcome!

It has taken some time for me to get this blog up and running. I initially signed up as a bit of an experiment (to see how WordPress works) and now I have decided that it’s high time I sink my teeth in and make something of it.

Although I have barely surmounted the three decade mark, my life has been filled with more ups and downs than I am able to count! When I look back, I see how each and every bump in the road has shaped my personality and made me who I am today. I am by no means perfect. I am a work in progress but I hope that the stories I share will bring hope and encouragement to others.

The experiences that I wish to share are of a sensitive nature but they are most certainly issues that affect many people today. My posts will cover such issues as depression, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying and the struggles of being a parent in today’s world.

My posts are based on my personal experiences and opinions. I’m NOT here to moan, groan and sing a song of “woe is me”. I want to demonstrate that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s NOT that of an oncoming train! I am preparing to share my most personal experiences in an effort to help others who are experiencing what I have been through.

Life is not easy…curve balls are bound to come your way but NOTHING is impossible! When you feel like you can’t go on, just hang in there a little bit longer! You can’t see what’s hiding around the corner if you don’t give yourself the time to sneak a peek!

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!