My Dad, Pt.1

The funniest memory I have of my dad is from when I was about 13 years old. My sister and I were in our bedroom, our conversation had been interrupted by the gradually escalating aggressive tone in my dad’s voice who kept repeating his surname over and over again…


30 seconds pause



My sister was the braver of us and she went into the living room to see what was happening.

It turned out that he was trying to set up his voicemail (this was back in 2003 when a businessman absolutely needed to have a set up voice mail)…

He was annoyed because the lady on the phone kept asking him to insert his password and then press #. My dad, being who he was, skipped forward a few years and he expected that his password would be voice recognized and saved that way.

“Who the hell does she think she is, telling me whether my password is correct or not? How would she know anyway?! ”

We all laughed a while when we eventually managed to explain to him how voice-mail set-up works.

The decision to start writing this series of blogs is because as a flawed human, I’m bound to forget some things, and I really do not want to. We’ve moved around so much and lost so many things in the process that I really have no way of remembering him apart from the photos I have.

He had the most infectious laughter, and just like me he went into hysteria if he laughed long enough… to the point where you can’t figure out whether that’s laughter or tears or pain or death. And like me he was imperfect. He had a short temper and he was a little too sensitive sometimes, he cried during most movies and always reminded me that real men cry sometimes whenever he’d realize I was watching him. In a nutshell, he was the biggest softy I had ever met… but also the toughest softy I’d ever met.

My dad didn’t believe in toughening me up physically or emotionally, but rather – mentally.

I had a friend named Iva back in the day… our friendship was special because we had so many things in common. We shared the same name, we were born in the same month 1 year apart, both Bulgarian, both with parents who had the same age gap… our dads had military background and we lived in the same block of flats. We were on the 3rd floor, they were on the 4th. So naturally, we were inseparable. My grown ups did not appreciate this friendship, I was very innocent and naive, easily swayed and influenced… so it was no surprise when shortly after that I started going out to clubs and smoking, drinking and skipping school. My dad never said anything about it, but at the end of that school year when I was supposed to have the most fun with my friend, I was taken away to Rietspruit which is somewhere in Mpumalanga. My dad was in charge of a  farming and self-sustainability community project over there. For 4 weeks my day started at 04:30 am, we would have breakfast then head over to the fields. I would plant potatoes and work the land, water the land, tie up the tomato stems to supporting rods and sometimes when I’d tie something too tight, my dad would cut off all the strings I had tied and I’d have to start all over again. This was possibly the toughest he’s ever been. We wouldn’t speak. Not at the field and not at home. When I wasn’t at the field, I was making food, washing, cleaning or reading. So by 8pm every evening I’d be out.

I was supposed to work with him for 6 weeks, he gave me 2 weeks off because he was proud of me for not complaining or throwing tantrums or crying. What he didn’t realize is that Iva had nothing to do with my bad choices, they were mine and I was willing to take responsibility for them. That month for me was a lesson in consequence and owning up to my mistakes. I didn’t see it as punishment and I knew that in the end I’d come out stronger, wiser and with a little farming knowledge (just in case I ever need it).

Sometimes when realizing I’ve messed up and begin to panic about the consequences, I imagine being back there with the tomato plans. The pain in my back, my calves, my arms, my neck, my thighs and I remember wanting to break down and freak out… but with every tied string, I stepped past the frantic tantrums of knowing you can’t undo what’s already been done.

So I breathe, furrow my brow a little and hope that the universe would cut me some slack if I work hard enough at owning up to my mistakes.

One of which is… not recording memories with him while I still had the chance.


The Inner Bell

Some people like to call this instrument your intuition.

It’s all good and well that we attempt to be as intuitive as possible. Some authors even offer up a good few ways to sharpen this instinct, but here’s where I have a problem with this;

When your survival is based off of fight or flight, and the experiences you have had trigger specific reactions – how accurate is the inner bell?

For example;

a friend of mine is currently battling with trust when it comes to a new interest in her life. She says that he’s predominantly different from most people she’s been with thus far in his character, but there are a number of behavioral patterns which set off the alarm in her.

‘He’s excruciatingly honest some days,” she says with this playful sparkle in her eyes, ” and on other days I don’t know whether or not he even wants me to speak to him at all. He’s short tempered and secretive. Before I can confront him though he goes right back to being charming and interested, he calls, he shows interest, he shares. I on the other hand feel like I’m losing my mind from all the back and forth.”

Funny, I know how that feels and the best advice I had was to trust until she has reason not to… but, I’m concerned about having said this. The attitude of the all-forgiving, easy going, trusting saint has shattered me more times than I can count. The most infuriating part is knowing that you could have walked away earlier, you saw this unfold and yet; you chose to stay. Masochism at its  finest.

This is where this “inner bell” could be useful… if it looks rotten and smells rotten – don’t eat it!

What if it isn’t rotten though?

Ever smelled some of the pre-basted meat you buy at some stores? It’s nauseating!

Does that mean you just chuck the bulk away and never set foot in that particular store again? Maybe… but there is a way to fix that. There is also a way to find out whether someone is worth the effort or not – get to know them.

The urge at first is to word vomit about all the strange and scary yet wonderful feelings your chosen other heart-beat evokes in you. Don’t do it. It’s scary for the person and most times unnecessary.  Besides there’s all the time in the world to be romantic and silly. Rushing it might trigger the behavior you fear most them.

Ever considered that they too might have this so called “inner bell”? What if they too were hurt, by the exact opposite of who they are? Just because someone spends more time on the phone with you or is good at creating habits in order to keep you from questioning does not mean that they are not hiding anything.

Then there are the people who hide temporarily. The people who want to expose themselves but need to be coaxed out of their shells…

The possibilities are endless and people are different… our experiences (although shared in the collective) differ. Our fears, doubts and triggers are all different. As a younger me, I was all about the intuition thing. To an extent I still am, but here’s the difference; if I doubt I ask… in other words, if it looks rotten and it smells rotten then taste it. Not saying eat the whole thing – just try it out.

Many of the worst situations I ended up in were because I FELT that I was being messed about. Work wise, with friendships and love… and in all the other ways in which our triggers warn us. Fear tends to be the most powerful emotion. Yeah, we all like to think that love conquers all but in most cases fear trumps love.

I’ve also been at the receiving end of someone else’s “inner bell” .  It is absolutely the most frustrating battle I’ve ever had to fight, and lose. You don’t FEEL like you can trust me? Why? Have I done something wrong? No, your fears are greater than your feelings and there isn’t a damn thing I can do or say to change that. I was angry for the longest of time until I saw the hypocrite in me.

Tasting is so much better. Firstly because there is never the ongoing “what if” scenario. Secondly … you might be surprised where you end up if you just force your brain to just keep quiet or at least whisper. I definitely don’t have all the answers, nor am I saying you should leap off every cliff without even checking for depth…

Just stop allowing your fears to dictate how you live your life.

We have politicians doing that for us already.

There is nothing sweeter than the elevated feeling you get when you can’t get someone off your mind. It takes over and suddenly, you see colors you couldn’t see before, taste things differently. Random heart palpitations happen and dreams become a constant state of being. Enjoy that. Revel in it. Be a kid…

And if it doesn’t taste rotten… soak it in vinegar for a few minutes.

Tattooed Everything

‘Sheets of empty canvas
Untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me
As her body once did’

Sometime in the future…

“Poets are liars.”

Jennifer walked out on me today, because I called her Abby… but really I think it’s cause she got sick of my inability to give. Orgasms are one thing I guess, but most people want to feel some sort of “connection”, some scorching in the throat to convince themselves they’re feeling. No judgement will be passed from my side, plus I wish her all the best; after all… I used to be someone who felt things and loved people.

Used to…’

‘All five horizons
Revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed
Has taken a turn’

Sometime in the past

“Poets are liars.”

I experienced love  in my dreams. Perhaps it has something to do with all the dreaming about her . My long haired, pale-skinned dream. The first time it happened I cried in my sleep and I felt the burn of her lips on mine for years thereafter… I still do. To stare into nothingness, or the most picturesque landscape was to be thrown back into that snapshot moment of forever, and she had no idea I was reaching for her, but then neither did I.

Oh but she found me, and everything changed in my knowing I’d be temporary, and she would be the end.

It’s only fair to end off where one began.

‘ and all I taught her was everything
Oh I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands
Chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything’

We were aimless at first. Just two souls dancing and clashing and sometimes, meeting perfectly in semblance. Almost choreographed in awkward bumpy, rhythm-less touches of one to the other. She taught me that to create was to give everything away, not expecting anything in return. I could only teach her how to survive, to pretend, and never to trust poets.

I’ve stopped being a poet since… now I draw the fantasies of silly little Abbys, Jennifers and generally girls who romanticize the permanence of ink on their gullible, sapped skins.

I remember her every kind word…that permanence will be mine.

‘Oh the pictures have
All been washed in black
Tattooed everything’

Sometime or other

“poets are liars.”

I wake-up drenched and shivering with my arm outstretched towards that side of my bed that was once occupied. That’s when the itch begins. It starts behind my vocal chords and I can’t even scream. My eyes are next, but I can’t cry so the shaking and drenching only worsens.

So I lift the machine, I tare off my shirt and distribute just enough ink to cover my “heart”. Not that I believe I still own one.

This is a madman meditating to the sound of a needle and not to stop until the itching subsides, or at least until I am able to cry.

I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by
Some kids at play
I can feel their laughter
So why do I sear

Present time

“poets are liars.”

I chose this repetitive phrase, because it is true, which is why I can’t poem anymore. I’ve been learning the value of honesty… truth…transparency…fighting for the woman I love. This is a forward to a time where I might be alone, but maybe I won’t. There are no givens, no certainties, but I can’t help but give myself away for what I hope is the last time. The itch is ever present and it reminds me it is there as I trip over my shoe laces, though in the park; no one cares about embarrassment.

I hope.

‘Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin
Round my head
I’m spinning
Oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away’

Sometime or other

“poets are liars.”

I can feel my hand pressing way harder than is recommended for proper ink work… but it makes no difference now. Let me be the embryo of ugly grey scar-tissue. Let it bleed and tare and scream in its muted expression, how much it feels like being abandoned or worse, being lied to. I’m no longer a poet…

My drawing lines thicken.

‘And now my bitter hands
Cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures had
All been washed in black
Tattooed everything’

…and thicken…

All the love gone bad
Turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see
All that I am
All I’ll be

…and thicken…

‘I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky
But why
Why can’t it be
Why can’t it be mine’

But I am not a poet, and grammatically this sentence is incorrect because of the first word. Also… I don’t own a tattoo machine (yet) and I’m only still learning to draw, as I am learning to love, to interact… to live and not feel guilty for it. And if you are to be someone else’s star, my love I’d look up to you while my lines thicken. But until that day comes, I refuse to be a poet, I refuse to think back or forward or sideways. Promise me to look here and I will lock gazes with you and we can paint and laugh and love and fight… do all the things I’d miss, while you’re still mine.

I love you.

Step 1: The Realization

Since last week’s blog, I’ve come to realize a few things:

  1. There are always people who care and those people are not always the closest to you, in fact they are probably far away or so busy they might as well be on the other side of the world.
  2. There really is help for anyone who dares to ask for it. I can say that with the help of a very special human friend in my life, and the interest of a good human far away, I now have a little bit of hope in the form of online therapy whenever I feel the need to reach out. It’s not particularly difficult though sometimes it is uncomfortable while I am in the act of typing it all out, the real trouble lies in what happens in the hours and sometimes days that follow. But there is help and that is all I really asked for, and I cannot express how grateful I am to both of these people for giving of their time and effort to make a difference.
  3. Some people won’t regard your depression as a real struggle: In fact I used to be one of those people since I had been brought up in a very Bulgarian family who really do not consider feelings to be of any importance and who regard depression as a phase and sadness as weakness. I still struggle to share any of what is really going on with my family because I do not, at this stage; need to validate what I am going through. A few years back, I had an admirer who unfortunately was also struggling with depression and I found it very unattractive at the time. I feel awful about it now, but I am glad that I have a better understanding and I must admit that I feel rather insecure about what I am going through at the moment, but I have someone who’s slowly proving to me that it is okay to break sometimes and it is not anything to be ashamed of.
  4. Thunder-storms, rain and cuddles combined are a great re-energizer. It happened a night ago. My partner gently woke me up and I got to experience the first summer rain and thunder-storm while in the safest, most wonderful embrace. The storm itself was soft and though the rain didn’t last long, the moment was one that I had never in my life imagined possible for me, it was just perfect. It made me hungry to feel that way more often, as opposed to feeling guilty or undeserving of my own happiness. I deserve to be happy, and even if I may not really know how to be happy at this point, I have glimpses of what it feels to be that way and I am eager to have more of that.
  5. Harry Potter is good for the soul! It may sound off topic, but I think it is very relevant. The story itself is a manifestation of a struggling human’s strength, and in this world I found my own bit of strength. I remember going to watch Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets when I was about 12, it was a very sad day for me and since I had no one to talk to I walked a few km just to go see the movie and get away from home and from my own thoughts… I just felt so easily comforted by every single aspect of the story. I had not read the books back then (I still haven’t because then it all comes to an end. I have decided to read one more book every few years, but I want to drag it out for as long as possible). It took me 12 years since the release of Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The KIng; to watch that because I did not want it to end either, but in any event. It’s nice to have a little magic in your life even in the form of stories and what gives me hope is the fact that I can slowly but surely begin to feel the meaning of those words: magic, adventure, love, trust, hope… it’s not going to be an easy fix but as a much stronger me used to say, ” Nothing is impossible!”

Figuring Out How To Deal With Not Coping

Last week I wrote a blog about my struggle with depression in an attempt to reach out to the rest of everyone out there who may have been through or is currently going through the same thing.

After completing the blog I then personally messaged those people I considered closest to me and/or would be in connection with someone who might know how to help. I mailed just under 20 people. I was hopeful and looking forward to the new doors this might open, because I have been told that there is always help for those who ask for it.

Well I haven’t just asked for it; I pretty much at this point am begging for it. Out of the 18 or so that I shared my blog with 3 people read and adequately responded… either with concern or a suggestion, 2 others said it was an “awesome” blog to which … when I asked if they had actually read the thing, I pretty soon figured out that they hadn’t even bothered.

This past week I have had to deal with not just the sadness but also with realizing that the people I have been referring to as my closest friends actually couldn’t care less. I’ve had to deal with flash backs from traumatic experiences from my childhood, insecurities, being frustrated that moving to a different city with its different dynamics whilst not knowing anyone is scarier than moving to a new country. Not only am I leaving the people I know in the old city, I am leaving them behind because if I am to find real help and truly move on, I have to start by surrounding myself with people who actually care always and not just when it suits them.

So, here’s the thing. Since there is clearly no one out there who is really willing to help, I guess I will just rant and rave on this blog. I will spill my secrets (as uncomfortable as that might be at first), and I will hope that the process of writing everything down and going through the motions and emotions of it all, might actually help the process.

For sure though, I’m done with being the one who always makes the effort, always forgives and makes excuses for how badly other people treat me. It’s not fair to anyone, especially to me and those who are closest to me because in the end it takes away from the trust I have in them and their intentions for me.

I’m tired of crying for everything, because it feels like everything is just going from grey to black and I see nothing bu feel everything. This blog was started with the intention of being something positive in a really negative world.

Perhaps this world has to be my own.


When You Can’t Afford A Therapist:

You don’t get help.

I was going to title this something along the lines of getting mental health help in South Africa, but just yesterday I experienced something that kind of set me back a little. Let me start off by sharing this story.

At some point last year a friend of mine suggested an online counselor to me, she’s from the USA and she seemed pretty willing to help, she was even willing to drop her prices in order to accommodate my income at that point in time. I was supposed to hear from her in January 2017. I emailed her again yesterday (14 August 2017) only to be told that her slots are full but I could try again in September 2017. Cool, so she didn’t bother with me because her slots (luckily for her) were filled with people for whom she obviously didn’t need to drop her prices. She was kind enough though to refer me to, they are supposed to be a group of affordable online therapists, BUT before you can even contact them, you have to fill out a form that is supposed to help them place you with the right therapist. It was a very short questionnaire and it went something like this:

Q: Are you currently experiencing anxiety and depression?


Q: Are you currently experiencing suicidal thoughts?

A: Yes

Q: Are you suicidal?


Q: How would you rate your current income: good, fair, poor.

A: Poor.

End of questionnaire. What does my income have to do with finding the right therapist for me?



We understand it takes a tremendous amount of courage to reach out and ask for help. Unfortunately, based on the answers given when you signed up, we determined that online counseling with BetterHelp may not be the best option for you.

Online counseling is still new and is not the most effective form of therapy for everybody. However, you deserve to get the best help possible, and seeking for help is certainly a step in the right direction. We recommend considering traditional face-to-face therapy and you can find many available therapists in your area by clicking here. If you are in a crisis, or if you need immediate help, please look at these resources.

We are sorry that we couldn’t be helpful to you at this time. Please note that your records, including any information you submitted when you signed up, have been deleted and removed from our database.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

BetterHelp Team

This was the response I received shortly after completing the question form.

I have been looking for an affordable therapist for the past few years. I have tried researching our local government institutions and the reviews are frightening, and so I figured I have better chance of surviving without attending a government institution. Private institutions are out of the question as they obviously cost a whole lot more than I can afford to spend, and the cheapest therapist I’ve managed to find, costs 2 times more than what is within my price range, and even if I managed to find someone that is technically within that range, it would still be a struggle for me to see them once a week or even once a month.

The point is: I know I need help, I am actively looking for it, and in the meantime I’m picking at all kinds of scabs and wounds in order to find some sort of root or cause for whatever it was that brought me to this point.

I’m not going to go into how I actually feel at this point in time. This is not a pity party blog, but rather – a final attempt at finding someone who may be willing to help, because I am more than willing to work towards getting better.

For the very first time ever, I have found a home and someone who loves me not just on my good days, but on my bad days too, and if not just for myself, I would like to be better for my partner too.

So this is my plea, if you know of someone, or might even know someone who might know of someone, please send a link to this post and I hope that at some point, someone will realize that a human life is worth more than a few dollars/rands/pounds. I don’t even mind being a research subject if that means finding my feet again.

Thank you for your time,


Traditional Witchcraft for Woods and Forests; A review.

Traditional Witchcraft for the Woods & Forests by Melusine Draco is a wonderful read for anyone who feels the need to get away from the pressures of the city for a moment or few.

One of the very first books I read from Moon Books had to do with spirit animals and animal magic, and as a wolf I definitely need the comfort of the forest. This book isn’t just an instruction manual (like so many of these type of books are) it cuddles you up in forest and that for me is priceless.

I am lucky enough to have the follow up books to this first gem, and I am excited to start on my next adventure with lady Draco. I strongly recommend this book and probably will ( I’m pretty sure) the rest of her books. I also found her page Traditional Witchcraft so go have a look at that too.


In terms of style I enjoy that she is more of a story teller like I mentioned earlier. It also makes me happy that old lore is a recurring topic and that we get to learn and bathe in the wonders of things that we will possibly never be able to fully comprehend.

I think I have exhausted my thesaurus and just writing this review makes the hairs on my body stand up in excitement and admiration.


Definitely worth the time it took to get to this book.twwf

What Is?

‘She asked me if I enjoyed listening to poetry’…

I could not reply,

Instead I turned and ran away.

Not noticing that the sky had begun to paint a landscape filled with neon

halfheartedly I passed by each section of this little world and stumbled,

evidently unaware of how deeply her unanswered question moved me

– haha – literally

To the point of falling –

over a little pit of nothingness ,

a picturesque silence of stories yet to be created, and after all what is poetry?


Is it not the symphony of breaths paired in passion?

Could one find poetry in hands trembling in fear of touching…

The uncertainty of possibly losing control if those palms were to connect?

How poetic is that look?

You know?

The one…


When knees and veins react to it as though that stranger’s stare is everything your life has been preparing you for.

If such sights induce poetic thoughts then :

how do we hear them?

Unless you press your ear hard to her chest in a rested attempt to caress the nestled bit of love in her arms.

She asked me whether I liked hearing poetry –

Well I’d sure like to find out about the sounds of her heart…

Until then I will keep walking, stumbling as I convince myself that the question was merely a passing of time in an exchange of casual conversation…

After all – What is poetry?