I started this year feeling overwhelmed.There were chaos in my house and to much to do . Because of that I would end up on my couch, doing nothing!
I finally did another podcast, the first one for 2019! It took 13hours 31 minutes to upload and I just remembered why I stopped! https://youtu.be/FqVk6JkkhZw
I am talking about what I have been up to, conscious fashion, and how labels create boundaries between people
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Song, Dancing over Africa, by Desiree Smith
Rug by Junko Okamoto
Aidez by Cirilia Rose
I mentioned the Boer War and the scorched-earth policy because of its connection to my house.
As I tried to find a link to it, I came across this article that is a very good summery of what took place.
Today I am going to tell you a story. One of healing, loss and self-discovery. This story dates back to 2015 but the lessons learned are still relevant.
There is music out there that has the ability to call back emotions, smells, sounds and feelings. A few notes can recreate a memory where all your senses are stimulated. In the same way, there are people or animals that come into our lives at certain times and that person or animal encompass all you are dealing with at the time.
Wollie, my rescue cat, was one of these animals.
He entered my life in a time when I had to face the fact that I most likely will not have children of my own. A time where I had to make peace with being single and what it entails. Where I was trying to finish my degree, only needing one subject that I kept on failing. A time where I was looking at closing the doors on Aknitak Creations.
My friend called me and asked if I would foster this baby. He was found in a drain pipe under a dumpster at our local shopping mall by an employee. I went straight from work to fetch him but was adamant that they need to start looking for a home for him since I was not going to keep him.
He was about two and a half weeks old, very thin and very cold. With a terrible eye and ear infection, a bad stomach, a wonky hip and flea infested. He was so thin that I was too afraid to handle him, scared of breaking his ribs and after a bath; the fight for his life began. Every hour he was given 2mils of a special concoction. Seed bags and hot water bottles were kept warm, and between me and the Husky, we kept an eye on him. He was very quiet and it scared me.
Finances were tight at the time, and kitty milk is expensive, but my friends came to the rescue, one bought the milk, another brought me some cream for his eyes and ears, another looked after him the day after I got him, when I had to go for training in another city. But on the morning of day 3, after his feed, he sat up and started licking his paws. Later on, he threw a tantrum when the Husky was doing the poo duty. At that moment I knew that he was going to be okay and this is where our adventure with Wollie began.
He needed to be fed every 3 to 4 hours, so in the mornings he got dropped off at his day mother. A friend and her 2 children looked after him for me. After work, I would rush home, fetch him and go and finish orders and make stock for the next market ( since I needed the money to pay for his vet bills; kitty milk and special food).
While I worked he would be sleeping in his basket on the table and later he would sleep on the materials on the table. At night I studied and he would sleep on my lap.
He was feisty and funny, loved the Husky and tried to befriend the Oriental. When he was bigger, the Oriental would bring him mice to teach him about hunting, but he never quite caught the drift of it, and in all his life, he only once caught a baby mouse and a mole. He kissed my nose, fetched his toys, sat for his food, came running like a dog when you called him. He would stage attacks on the dogs and I and loved eating and sleeping. He seldom went out through windows and waited for doors to be opened for him, making the sweetest little squeaks to get your attention. He would call me for bedtime around 10, and slept at my feet at night. In all the time he was with me, he never ventured further than hearing distance and I only had to shake his food bucket and he would come running.
Days rolled into months and months into years. I finished my degree and with Aknitak Creations I got the courage to make what I like and not what I think people would buy. The responsibility of looking after him gave me purpose and hope.
Until the 30th of April 2015; one month short of his 3 birthday. He was lazy as usual, sleeping on my cutting out table. At 6pm I woke him to give him a treat and told him to go play outside. By 7 I had a blinding headache. I called him and he did not come, but I was not worried because it was early, so I took the dogs and went to sleep. I woke up at 10pm and he was nowhere to be found.
The dogs and I walked the smallholding and the roads, looking for him until 3am. It was market weekend and I had to make stock, but in between, we went looking. We never found him and I do not know what happened, but I knew he was dead and my heart was broken.
He was just a cat, but he represented hope, joy and family. I was mourning his loss, but I was also mourning the things he represented.
The music his life created around me was quiet and at first, the silence threatened to drown me. But slowly the backup notes started surfacing again.
He was one instrument in my life’s symphony, and his song was the one I heard most because of where I was sitting, but by moving position I started to hear the other instruments. There were some pieces were his instrument was vital, and for a while, I would not play those, but in others, he was just a backup, and those were the ones I focus on.
I know there are some of you who have lost pets or people lately and I hope this post will encouradge you.
Every year for the last 12 years, I would start the year with a word. Sometimes it would have an abstract meaning and other times it would be more literal but that word would be the guideline for my year.
This year the word is : FRIENDS.
I am blessed with amazing friends and I am truly thankful, but a recent situation showed me some things about myself that was quite an eye opener.
I offered to do something large for a friend’s family. This thing took lots of my time and huge amounts of my resources. It put me under a lot of pressure in the end. But I did it and did it well. Afterward I was left feeling like there were no appreciation from my friend’s family. Now I could focus on that and be all self righteous and feel like a victim, but that is not what this is about.
This is not about me feeling used, it is about me putting myself in these types of situations. WHY?
So ofcourse, being the psychology student that I am, I started looking in to it. And found some intresting theories. One was that it starts in childhood if you feel rejected, neglected,are abused verbally or physically and a few other things.
Being the single cell in triplets where the other 2 sheared a placenta and developed out of one sell, it left me open for that feeling of rejection from day one. (Have you ever tried to be included in the word of Identical twins?……. It is not easy!) I was basically trying to fit in and be accepted right through my childhood .
I had a good look at my heart and my motivation and realized that part of me are still acting like that child looking for acceptance and to be liked.
As a parent, if you see behaviour in your child that is causing him or her stress, you will step in and help your child to work through it. So here I am, ready for some self parenting. I am working on the feelings of rejection and not being good enough, of trying to be liked . What I am realizing is that I often use my skills and abilities to do that . That I have part of my identity in these skills and abilities.
So, how do I parent myself, You may ask?
- My first step is to change my self talk: I am good enough and don’t need to be a doormat in other for me to feel worthy.
- I am spending time on my own and making a decision to enjoy it.
- I am practicing to say no and to keep quiet instead of offering my services and help.
- Even if I like people, it is not to say that they are friends. This is something I have to remind my inner child of on a regular basis: friends are people who have your best interests at heart as you have theirs.
- I am taking time to listen to how I justify things and am finding that oftentimes I am actually using this justification to get myself into these situations. ( things like, they can’t afford it so I will do it for free. The poor person is in pain, and then I do a few treatments that result in my hands getting inflamed. But I am feeling like a hero or savior afterwards and so I keep doing it).
So for 2019, I am learning about healthy friendships, healthy boundaries and most of all to be a friend to myself first.