Toxic Love

This has been a short week as today is a public holiday (hence publishing a day early).

I mentioned in my post last week about Tim, a family friend who passed away. I phoned Joy, his wife, to express our condolences and one of the things we discussed was how to recognise the signs from our loved ones. The next morning when I went out to do my prayers I asked the ancestors to guide Tim in a smooth transition to the spirit world and to provide comfort to Joy. When I said his name, a white butterfly flew up from the other side of our wall and came right up to me and circled around me a few times then flew off and I started laughing with delight at confirmation of the sign. Then a second butterfly came up and circled me, this one was yellow and black.

The following day the same thing happened, when I asked for a safe passage for Tim two white butterflies flew up to me. I told Joy what happened and it gave her some comfort. The memorial service will be held while we are in the States so I am glad that we can offer her some support.

On Wednesday my client held a project end of year meeting where we were presented with commendations to the team members who had received nominations from our peers. I was so surprised to receive four commendations. It made me feel like I am making a difference.

They also hosted a celebration for the local Cape Town people on our project. Our team is distributed over multiple countries and cities. The event was hosted at The Bungalow which is literally on the beach in Camp’s Bay. Norm dropped me off so that I could relax and have a cocktail.

I had not been since they changed ownership and it was really lovely. We filled the entire patio area. The theme was ‘Mauritian’ so we all received a Bermuda hat and a paper lei.

We popped the hats on and off as it was a really hot day. There was no electricity that morning so I had to let my hair dry naturally which makes it a bit frizzier than usual.

The leis were very scratchy so we abandoned those too. It was so nice to party with the people we normally only see on MS teams video meetings.

For the food we had a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts. Those who are halal had a separate menu which looked even nicer than ours.

Starters were either prawns, carpaccio or goats cheese. I chose the prawns. They were a nice size and were perfectly cooked and firm. Nothing worse than a squishy prawn. The sauce had a kick of chili in it and was perfect with the prawns.

Main course was either kingklip (fish) fillet, fillet of beef or chicken skewers. I chose the beef fillet which came with a peppercorn sauce. It was tender and perfectly cooked.

Dessert was either cheesecake with pineapple sorbet or a lemon tart with vanilla ice cream, both had a bit of pineapple salsa. I had the lemon tart and it was perfect, not too sour and lovely and creamy.

It was a gorgeous day and we all mingled and enjoyed the view of paragliders landing on the green next to the restaurant.

I was sitting on a cushion around the edge of the covered area and it had rained the night before so my cushion was soaked. I looked like I had peed on my dress when I stood up. Luckily my dress was very thin so it dried quickly. Other than that it was a lovely day.

On Thursday I had my final day of work and I tried to tidy up all of the loose ends because I will not be available while I am on leave.

My doctor wanted me to have a blood test so Norm and I nipped down to the local branch of Pathcare in our village to get it done only to be told I need to be fasting overnight for some of the tests. The nurse told me that we could go to the hospital as their branch is closed on public holidays and weekends. I then went to get my glasses adjusted as Finn sat on them and squashed them. Except since it was load shedding the machine does not work. So both missions were failures and a waste of time.

That evening we had plans to go to dinner with Wes and Caitlin. We met them at Brauhaus in Steenberg. I was glad I had booked as it was rammed with very loud people. They told me they did not have a table available for us. I was highly annoyed since I had booked. They then tried to persuade us to go and sit upstairs in this tiny area but it was too noisy inside for Norm and too hot inside for me. I put my foot down and said I would wait for them to clear a table for me outside. She suggested I wait at the available table upstairs but I told her I have arthritis and will not be climbing the stairs for a 5 minute wait and I stood annoyingly near her until she found a table for me, shooting her grumpy old lady ‘get off my lawn vibes’. I was hangry. Eventually a group paid and left so they sat us down outside on the patio.

Just as we were seated Caitlin and Wes arrived.

We were so busy chatting that we forgot to take any pics of the food. Oops. Caitlin and I shared an order of the chili poppers and Wes and Norm shared the lamb croquettes. I can take hot food but those jalapenos were like chewing molten lava. We ended up having one each then chopping up the leftovers to go into our main. Norm said the croquettes were just average but Wes seemed to enjoy them.

For our mains Caitlin and I could not decide what we wanted so we decided to share 2 mains. We ordered Kasespatzle which is a German version of ‘mac and cheese’ with bacon and crispy onions on top. We also ordered the chicken schnitzel with fries and cheese sauce. They were both OK, but not exceptional.

For his main Wes ordered the Eisbein which is a ham knuckle served on a bed of sauerkraut and he asked to have it with onion rings. Norm chose the Fish and Calamari combo and said it was just OK.

All in all the food gets about a 3. But it was lovely to spend time with the kids so the food was an added bonus.

Today we got up early and missioned over to the hospital to do my fasting blood test only to discover on arrival that they are closed on public holidays. So we have to try again tomorrow. Hopefully three times is a charm!

After we got home the heavens opened and it started pouring rain and thundering and lightning. Our grass needs it.

This week I have had a better week mentally than last week but I also had a few twinges of PTSD. First I spotted this video about domestic abuse. Somewhat less common than the traditionally known Gender Based Violence, there are cases where the female partner abuses the male.

We are finally starting to remove some of the stigma and shame on female domestic abuse to men but there are a large number of men who suffer in silence following abuse from their partners. This was such an upsetting video to see but it is worth watching if you have a son who is controlled by his partner or is in a relationship where a woman has tried to isolate him from his friends and family.

The patterns and behaviours are often the same regardless of gender. Isolation and control. Slowly chipping away at their self worth and confidence.

This song is about an unhealthy, toxic relationship between a woman and someone she desperately wants to be with. On the surface it is a beautiful mournful song about longing and desire, and therein often lies the rub. Many abusive relationships are also based in a deep passionate bond when the abuser is in their charming phase. Love bombing is a real thing in these types of relationships and when it is turned off many women crave it like a drug. “Love bombing is characterized by excessive attention, admiration, and affection with the goal to make the recipient feel dependent and obligated to that person,” explains licensed therapist Sasha Jackson.

I think the album version of the track is better and you can listen to it here. I just find these still images of an artist over the audio terribly boring, so always try to give the video in my posts if I can find them. I alternate between music and crime podcasts as my background while I work and I discovered the first video on the same day as the video below which triggered those same emotions.

Today I will be packing for our trip and sorting out what I need to take with me. We have arranged for some friends to come and stay over to look after the animals. Finn loves them as do the poms so we know that we can relax and trust that our home and babies will be safe. We are so lucky to have that option as I could not put them into kennels, especially with all of Panda’s medications.

We are in a high stage of load shedding and have a 4 hour period right now with no electricity. It is so hard to get to sleep in the heat without a fan or air conditioning. Few batteries will last for 4 hours so my laptop is about to crash.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you stay safe. Next time we chat I will be in the good ole US of A with my Mommy!!

Much love to all. Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

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