ART: Dryad by Séverine Pineaux 1960 | French Fantasy painter & Illustrator
Last week I attended a braai in commemoration for a dear high school friend that passed away. As somber as the reason was it was, the braai was such an uplifting and enjoyable event. And as all social events go (when women are involved anyway) the subject drifted to relationships. I shared my story and and one of women remarked ” ahh Im going through that right now”
Her boyfriend of 10 years had impregnated another woman. Her pain was so raw…I saw myself in her, instead of building her up and comforting her, telling her she deserved more and that that kind of indiscretion was usually an indication that love had left the room or rather respect. I told her that her man loved her because despite his messing up, he still came home to her, Asking her for a second chance. At least he loved her enough to try.
WHAT NON-SENSES WAS THAT?
These are the communal lies we have been feeding each other from generation to generation. And now we are finally reaping their fruit.
So when I found out my ex husband has impregnated a girl…I did nothing. I stayed put, didn’t even leave him for a day. Actually the day he told me Im almost certain he went to spend the night with her. (thats what my gut tells me). I thought to myself, perhaps it had in fact been a mistake. After all I had never caught him before, everybody deserved a second chance. After all he loved me right. Men always chose their wives in the end …right? My gut told me otherwise but I was so accustomed to being told that _this was acceptable behaviour. My mother stayed after my dad got another woman pregnant and well everyone I know has a half brother somewhere. In fact its become such a norm that when people look alike, we often tell each other to check with your father if he he has anything to tell you.
I sook the advice of many women, I respected. They all gave me different advice YET two things in common. The first being that the other woman was to blame (the general consensus was that she used muthi on him. The second was that he loved me at the end of the day (men are weak-the weaker sex...really) and I should make an effort to be the wife he needed me to be. This meant of course that I was to blame. My mother told me though that the moment he did that-she knew my marriage was over- she just couldn’t tell me. It was a realisation I had to come to myself. I understand where she coming from…I just wished she had told me anyway.
So I stayed ; with a man I could obviously see…no longer loved me. He never came clean…completely. Didn’t want to go to counselling. Threw himself into the church and made every excuse not to spend time with me. Perhaps I can not blame him for no wanting to spend time with me. I was so angry…HOW COULD HE LIE TO ME FOR SO LONG? NO I was LIVID…. I was never allowed to express my concern, my hurt because I was told that he loved me and every time I brought it up it would be focussing on the past. He was a changed man.
Nobody shared in my outrage… except for my closest friend. Nobody held me and cried with me. Nobody told me it was okay to hurt … nobody allowed me to grieve. The anger just built up and built up…..A seed of bitterness was planted. A seed of unworthiness took root.
Almost 3 years later I found myself passing on that bitter fruit to another hurting woman. How I wished I could take back that moment….and break this painful cycle in our society.