Wednesday evenings, when the little one comes to stay over, have become the latest battlefield. And in the middle of the fight is a little girl, unable to defend herself, ill-equipped to cope, and thrown to the wolves.
Fighting parents appear as a factor in just about all the literature where children start showing signs of deviant behaviour – a simple Google search showed hundreds of thousands of hits, for example: Here and Here and Here
Then this morning I saw on facebook, on the SADSA page a quote that made me think. I am going to copy the quote with full acknowledgement – it is just too precious not to send it out to all fighting parents:
“Getting over someone you want to forget is easy enough. Getting over someone who is the other parent of your child is another mission.
I had no problem getting over the lying, the cheating, the dysfunctional behaviour. It was all just a relief to let go of it all. The hard part is witnessing a dysfunctional parent. Being reminded almost daily that you wish you children did not have to deal with an irresponsible, inconsistent and unreliable parent, yet, that too you must learn to let go and trust your children to decide what is best for them and how to deal with that parent, because a perfect, uneventful life is not going to equip them to discover their full potential. “The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem”
Therefore, instead of showing a sad photo, I’m choosing to show a picture of her during one of the happy moments I was privileged to share with her. And to remind me that my job, as the responsible parent, is to hold her hand when we are walking, not to carry her.
Quote attributed to SADSA | The South African Divorce Support Association
First I’ll tell you the technical details relating to this picture: It was taken, by me, on 31 May 2009 in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in the Doha Marriott Hotel – one of the better hotels in the region, if not the world. It shows the view towards the lifts, and you will notice the podium near the lifts announcing the events of the day (unfortunately it is too small to read in this picture).
Now, the story.
This was after my divorce, where the woman I loved more than any other person in the world broke me down into nothing; where she pulled my heart from my chest and stomped on it, rejected my love, scorned my manhood. I was abused and manipulated. She made me feel worthless, a nothing, somebody who didn’t achieve anything in life and is not worthy of her love. That’s how I felt – I was a broken man.
Yet, I was invited to be the leader of a conference in the Middle East, in a super-luxury 5-star hotel, speaking to a select audience. The sign in the photo announced that Leon Uys is the Expert Speaker at the Conference to be held in the Grande Hall. And I put my bags down for a minute (OK, I wasn’t carrying my luggage, the porter was doing that. I put my “baggage” down) and I took stock of my life. Here I was in a foreign country, people from all over come to listen to me, and my ratings for previous conferences were very high. I was in demand for my knowledge and my ability to confer that knowledge to others. I stared at the sign for a long time, waiting for the message to be fully absorbed.
The message said: I’m not worthless.
Gradually I realised that I am ok. I am actually not this bad person that my ex made me out to be. I allowed a woman to take away something that inherently belongs to me: My self-esteem, my power, my manhood. I am who I am, a good person, and there in front of my very eyes was the very evidence that I was not a failure. It was a life changing moment for me. I left my baggage right there on the floor and walked away from years of guilt and abuse, my head proudly up for the first time in many years. It turned out to be the best conference I ever had.
When things go bad, look out for the signs to help you make good decisions, get over the obstacles, and get your life on track again. The signs are always there, but we sometimes don’t notice them.
And that is the story behind the picture.
Tiffiny built the worlds best hamster cage ever. They are getting special treats every day, and being bored is just not possible.
Came across this really really interesting question: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
In other words, if we didn’t have a system of counting the years, and you had only to rely on how you feel and look, what would people say?
Alternatively, maybe if we had 4 seasons in life instead of 80 years, in which season are you now? How do you decide to change to the next season?
I feel rather blessed in the sense that I am young enough to still do (and want to do) a lot of things. Thus it happens that I felt it was the 26th of August, and 26 is the turn-around of 62, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to turn my life around: From 62, to 26. Yup, I was going to be YOUNG again!
It was such a happy occasion. Everybody was there! We went to Die Sinkhuisie Restaurant in Rietondale, Pretoria. Some people like Harm came from far, others like Elna just rolled down the road. We packed out a whole section of the house, all 30 of us. And we partied! The sound levels were astonishing! And while I didn’t get a picture with everybody standing in a row, I got lots of pictures with everybody represented in one or the other. If you’d like to enjoy the show, mosey over to the gallery.
I’ve decided to turn my age around from 62 to 26. I am living in a fresh new world filled with opportunities, curiosities, excitement, great energy and no limitations. Its actually fresh.