Random Thoughts On: Relationships

I have managed to fail at another relationship. An off-hand comment triggered a series of events that have lead to the demise of yet another promising love affair.

After I tweeted that I was single again, a friend suggested that maybe, I wasn’t meant to be in relationships. And I get her point. When I was younger, I failed at relationships because I was insecure as fuck (see previous posts). The older I became, I destroyed my relationships because I loved obsessively. And now, I make reckless (sober) comments which get me into trouble. So maybe I’m just meant to stay single and be the chief ‘Hoe Is Life’ administrator.

But I really like relationships. I like the exclusivity monogamy sometimes brings. I love the feeling of falling into someone new. I love sending morning, afternoon and good night texts. I love the drunk sex, the morning blow jobs and day drinking with a significant other. I love surprising them with my knowledge of seemingly mundane things. I love introducing them to my weird musical tastes (current obsession: ‘Ancient Voices’ aka the Survivor theme song). I just love love, fam. But love isn’t overly fond of me.

I live in the hope that one day, I’ll meet a man who’ll be so in love with me that my flaws (and to be honest, there are a lot. #MenAreTrash) won’t scare him. A man who’ll love me so much that it’ll overwhelm me. A man with the right politics or at least one open to learning about the intersectionality of life, love and politics.

I am over the idea of a Mr Right. The thought of a Mr Right Now isn’t appealing to me anymore. I want to just find someone who wants to stay and fight for me. For us. I know he’ll come (and cum 😏). So for now, I’ll just focus on my career, drink a bit more liquor and work on my mental health so that I’m ready to be overwhelmed when he does show up.

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Staying Alive When You Really Don’t Want To

2016 has been trash. Consistently. There was no time to rest before we were bombarded with more bad news.

Here in TsheggLand, the year started off fine (not counting antidepressants that left me constipated or that time the antidepressants I liked nearly got me killed) and gradually transgressed into a total shitpile. The details are unimportant but I am now almost 10 grand in debt, probably have some sort of health issue (because cigarettes, booze and fast food), single and very unhappy with my life.

Checking Out

For the past 3 months, I’ve been contemplating suicide. Not just once a month when the going gets tough. No. Daily. I have written several suicide notes and have thought of ways to do it that won’t be too painful or too slow. The suicide note is a complete list of my failures, people to call in case I finally do it and succeed and even a playlist. 24 whole songs to celebrate a life I don’t want anymore.

One of the main reasons I haven’t done it yet (one being that ironically, I’m afraid of death) is because of my Mother. See, I live with just her and she is quite elderly (yep, I’m a living cliché: 20 something year old failure still living at home). I don’t want to burden and scar her by letting her find my body. I also think my death would kill her, not that I’m important or anything. The thought of putting her through all that pain again (pain she surely felt after my Father died) is the reason I’m still on this miserable rock. I love my Mother too much to hurt her. 

It is the worst thing being alive when you no longer have the desire to. Nothing gives you pleasure anymore. Everything hurts all the time. You’re confronted, daily, by all your failures. The failure to make a success of yourself. The failure to make a relationship work. The failure at being a good son, brother, uncle and friend. It’s all there and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. I keep being told to go back to therapy. Here’s my thing: I’ll still be the no good failure when I leave the psychologist’s office, bbz. 

Here’s to hoping (haha!) that 2017 is better. If it isn’t, at least I’ll have enough courage to join the Forever 27 Club. But then I’d need some sort of talent to get in, no? Sigh. Even in death, I can’t win.

The Guilt That Comes With Being Depressed

Sometime in November last year, I was diagnosed with depression. It was after I broke up with a guy I had been with for 6 months. All I remember about the days that followed was the crying, the insomnia and the obsession to have this man take me back. I was then diagnosed and started on a regiment of Amitriptyline to help me sleep. And it worked. For a while.

Then the pills didn’t work anymore. I started taking two at a time, hoping that they’ll help with the crippling pain I felt. I started drinking more than usual (because I’m basically borderline alcoholic, it’s hard to tell when this happens. A good sign: passing out at Lacantina) and then shit hit the proverbial fan. I can now reveal that the whole last week of December, I made plans to kill myself. If my family’s plans hadn’t been ruined, I probably wouldn’t have written this. I realised then that I needed urgent help and I sought it.

That’s when my psychiatrist started me on Fluoxetine, the drug I credit for making my life so much more bearable for the days I can’t speak to my psychologist.

Here’s the problem now: I feel guilty. Not guilty over being depressed as the title might suggest, but guilt about the trigger. I mean how dare I become depressed after a man leaves me when I didn’t become depressed after my father died? I feel like instead of resorting to heavy drinking and sleeping with all and sundry, I should have broken down then. Or when Leko died. After I found out, I bought two bottles of wine and sleeping pills. I think even then the plan was suicide but the wine got to me before I could do anything. How does one get over this guilt? You should hear and see people’s reactions when I tell them what triggered my depression. Said reactions add to my feelings of shame over being depressed over lost love instead of lost lives.

Not only that but I have close friends who have been dealing with depression their whole lives. I feel like my diagnosis, however valid, makes a mockery of all the pain and challenges they’ve been through. It makes me feel like I got diagnosed just for show. Like it’s some cool fad. All the cool kids are depressed, right?

Way forward? I have to resolve these feelings of guilt and shame (tautology?). A part of me has always been depressed but I couldn’t communicate it because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. I remember writing a suicide note in grade 11 or 12 and I had my friends give it to the school counsellor, just for laughs. I realise now that this was my first cry for help. She called my dad and when I got home, the first question I was asked was whether I was on drugs. I learnt then to keep my feelings and thoughts to myself especially where family’s involved. Occasionally, I’d slip up and explode on social media and because I’m Tshego, the dramatic gay bloke, people would just drum it up to an attention seeking stunt. I have no doubts that even now, there are people who feel/think like this.

All I can do, truly, is to keep up with my therapy and focus on a happier, healthier me. I know that I need to get over this guilt or otherwise I’m just setting myself back.

On Attempting To Move On: A Word

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It’s been a month. It hasn’t been an easy one but it’s been a month. And I survived. I survived the pain, the confusion, the anger.

I find myself having moments of weakness when all I want to do is confess my undying love for him and beg him to take me back. But I know that won’t work. I deserve better. He deserves better.

I keep convincing myself that I’ll stop breaking down whenever the memories come. I skip songs that I had subconsciously linked to him. I limit the number of times a day I stalk him on Twitter. I try not to look at that one picture of us that I haven’t deleted.

Quite convinced that the pain from break ups shouldn’t last this long. I’ve felt whatever I needed to feel. I’ve cried, I’ve medicated, I’ve been like Carrie Bradshaw to my friends. You know. The whole “my problems are far more important than yours”. It needs to stop. All of it.

I need to get to a point where I completely let go. Where I stop worrying and caring about him. For own sanity. I need to get to a point where I completely forget his number. It’s weird how I don’t even know my own mother’s phone number off by heart but I know his. Speaks to the stupid investments we make in temporary people.

But what’s funny is, all the time I spent loving him, I was dead sure that I had met my (first) husband. I look back at the texts and I try to pinpoint where exactly things went wrong. Sigh.

It’s time I stopped having sleepless nights wondering about what could’ve been or wondering if he still thinks of me.

Look at me trying to convince myself. Another sad night. But I’m confident these will be the last few.

10 Reasons I Don’t Like Black Straight Men

1. Most of them do not want to learn about anything that has nothing to do with them. They then go on to comment on said topics like bloody experts.

2. Deny it all you want but most BSM feel entitled to women’s bodies. From policing how they dress to trash talk about weaves, they think their opinions surpasses those of womyn + queer + nonconforming persons.

3. Their homophobia, misogyny, biphobia and transphobia is incredibly strong. Even with self proclaimed allies. We see you.

4. Every single place with #BSM is dangerous for womyn,  queer, trans and nonconforming persons. Danger level shoots up 100%

5. They’re the first to believe and create harmful stereotypes about other groups like “gay men want all men”  or “all women need dick”.

6. When them or their defenders go #NotAllMen. Fuck outta here.

7. #BSM refuse to problematise their masculinity and privilege.

8. #BSM refuse to call out their problematic, predatory friends. Take it from someone who experienced homophobia and witnessed the ones who were quiet laughing at the slurs being thrown at me.

9. They don’t go to church regularly but will be the first to quote Leviticus or tell a womyn that the Bible/Quran/Torah (because black Muslims and Jews exist) says she/they must be subservient.

10. The way they catcall womyn and then swear at them when their advances are rejected. There’s also this common misconception by #BSM that sex is all about them.

Granted,  #BSM have suffered from systematic oppression but he still enjoys his male privilege. Unabated. He has no problem questioning queer love + identities (using heteronormative concepts of gender) bit refuses to problematise his own masculinity. Black masculinity is so fragile because most #BSM refuse to better themselves. To unlearn and relearn. I am so tired of them.

Things to consider on World Aids Day 2015

We need to stop making all talk about sex, HIV/Aids and safe sex heteronormative. Heterosexual people are not the only ones walking the planet even though they like to think they are.

We shouldn’t treat loved ones who disclose to us any differently than we normally would. Yes, being too nice suddenly counts.

When someone discloses to you,  you have absolutely no right to tell other people what they trusted you with. It is up to them to share their status with the world,  not you.

Do not force safe sex practices on everyone. It isn’t always someone’s first choice.

We need to talk even more openly about the reality of queer HIV infections. The truth is that because of the homophobia and the fragile nature of society’s interactions with queer individuals, most queer identifying people don’t get timeous treatment.

We need to stop survivor shaming. Yes, asking why somebody did not use a condom is survivor shaming.

We need to admit that stigma still exists. We might go around saying that “it isn’t a death sentence anymore” but the majority of us harbour internal stigma and fear. Education is key here.

While we’re striving for an HIV free world, we must be careful not to leave survivors behind.

Reconciling with Myself Part 1

I had a very happy childhood. I grew up in a loving home, with two loving parents and 3 loving sisters. As the last born and only boy, I was showered with unadulterated affection, tons of toys, hours and hours of attention from my family. One could say I had the life of a young prince.

It wasn’t only my family that loved me. The whole street did. I attribute this to my dad’s helpful role in the community and my sisters’ popularity. I don’t remember a lot about my life as a toddler but I know and feel that I was probably the happiest child on Earth.

I started primary school in 1996. I don’t think I cried on the first day of school. No,  I didn’t. I was, well, I am a very curious being. Something about being in school fascinated me. I could read a little bit thanks to my parents getting me Disney books the previous year. One of my sisters had taught me how to.

I knew I was attracted to men the moment I walked into my Grade One class. When I spotted a boy named Matthews. I was a six year old in love. He was in Grade 3, he was what the kids are now calling a ‘yellowbone’. I was smitten. Whenever we’d play house, I’d be the mom and he’d be the dad. Pure bliss!!

I was so confident and not bothered by what anybody thought of me as a kid. I was also very flamboyant. I earned the nickname “Masebotsana” which means ‘beautiful girl’ in SePedi . The prince was morphing into a very confident queen.

I have no doubt that my father knew of my sexuality. It made him uncomfortable that the other kids were calling me “masebotsana”. I remember him asking me twice to tone down my femininity. But he just let me be in the end.