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Why make it public?

A friend read the ‘Closure’ post and asked why I chose to make it public and what this says about me.  The answer is very simple.  I have been sharing my emotional journey of healing from the start.  I wanted others to celebrate with me the fact that in my head and heart I had made a huge leap, from blame and victimhood to owning responsibility for my part in the tragedy.  If you had seen or heard me five years ago, you would hard believe the transformation and breakthrough.  It is also a vital part of the process of acceptance and letting go. 

It begs the question, why make anything public?  Why blog, why post your status on fb, why tweet?  Why invite friends and family to witness your wedding?  After all marriage and that commitment to be part of each other’s life from this time forth is between you two, why make it public?  Why go to AA meetings, stand up, introduce yourself and admit in front of strangers that you have a problem with alcohol?

My question is why not?  I have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide.  Yes I want a pat on the back, a high five.  I also want to share with those experiencing heartache and breakups now that however long it takes and how deeply you feel hurt, you will be able to forgiveness and get beyond the anger, sadness and sense of tremendous loss.  The scar will remain, you can’t pretend it never happened, that you suffered great pain but you can grieve, let it go and begin anew.  A sequel.  My birth, childhood, formative years were the prologue, marriage, depression, cancer, recurrence, separation, divorce, depression, struggles the main chapter and Shiny New Life in HK the sequel.  Not just another chapter but a brand new book which carries on the story but has a happy ending. 

It is our life, it is up to us to write the script, the plot, which characters to include or cut.  We can change tragedy to a comedy.  We get to decide the ending because we are the writer, producer, director and protagonist.  Such power.  Make it a good one.  One worth living and sharing.


I sent this letter today because it is time for closure, for the hurt, anger, resentment eating me up and stopping me from engaging fully in life to end.
Dear K

How are you?  I hope you are well and happy.

Since we stopped being a couple I have grown up a lot, I guessed I had to.  I’m sorry that I made it difficult for you to carry on loving me.  I acknowledge my part in our marriage ending; I did lean on you too much and that was unfair and no doubt stifling.  Perhaps I never felt loved by my parents so subconsciously I was looking for someone strong to take good care of me.

I would like to thank you for being such a star during my first encounter with cancer and for all the support you did give me during my on/off depression.

I realise that with the recurrence and your business failing it was all too much and you couldn’t be there for me.

And I am sorry I made you piggy in the middle with your parents, it must have been a nightmare.  In retrospect maybe I could have handled things better.

And of course you were a superb dad and we gave M a wonderful and happy childhood.  And you were a responsible and hard-working husband and father who alway worked to provide for the family.  For that I thank you.

Having said all that, I don’t take full responsibility for what wrong.  I think life would have been a lot easier for both of us if you could have opened up more emotionally and was prepared to hear what I had to say, especially regarding money.  You took your parents’ side with the car accident when you should have stood up for me, your wife.  You could have been less critical and not put me down in front of friends and family.

And at the end yes you have a right to your life and happiness but you did not have to be so brutal.  There were things said that were unnecessary and hurt me more than chemo and is more lasting.  Kicking someone when she is down is not cool.

I thank you for your love and the good times and happy memories.  For a while I had the happy family I had always dreamed of, where I could love and be loved and of course experience the miracle of childbirth and seeing our beautiful baby grow.  M will be 21 in two days’ time, doesn’t time fly?

Married to you, I have experienced moments of happiness but also of great loneliness and isolation.  Sometimes, like at the chapter meets, I felt like a puppy following you but that you’d much rather I wasn’t there.  You know, that is an awful feeling.  And at the end you just did not talk to me.  It was clear you didn’t want to be there and you were already planning your exit.  Working on making your Harley solo was part of that.

We had something very real and very special.  Of my three long-term relationships you were the only one I loved.  I loved and trusted you unreservedly.  I guess there will always be a space in my heart for you.

I hope that you have become less logical and more human.  I hope too that you and I one day can be friends, for M’s sake, as I don’t want any awkwardness at her graduation or wedding or with our grandkids if we ever have any.

Though we have not seen or spoken to each other for years and you have put me away neatly in the compartment in your head labelled Past, I’m afraid you and I will always be linked by the beautiful life we created out of love.

M has turned out to be a mature, well-balanced, intelligent, independent and compassionate young woman.  We should be proud.  We did a good job, K.  Please do make more effort to see her.  She is the best gift you’ll ever have.  But for her, I would definitely be dead.  She was the reason for me to fight to stay alive.

I miss our family.  I miss you.  But nothing lasts forever, I know that now.


So l get on the train and get the first free seat on a bench for four.   Three people immediately filled the space but the fourth member of that family proceeds to squeeze into the non- existent space. He is not a little kid or dwarf but a strapping 6ft adult.   Thus mama g who though a petite size 10 is squashed flat onto the glass panel of at the end ! WTF!   Utter idocy or ultra self-centredness?! 

The old me would have given them a mouthful but since l want to be a more chilled version l remind them t!hat there is a person at the end! Be so kind as to not flatten me as I am rather fat. l think they got the message and my blood pressure did not go up.

You see what Mama G has to put up with. Do l have to educate the whole of HK, neighbours, kids, parents and now commuters.




Finding Love In HK

I am learning to love again, in my newly chosen home.  Today, Valentine’s Day, the men are raking their brains for fresh ideas to show their appreciation.  Yet on this day I want to celebrate other kinds of love.

They say everything happens for a reason; I think this is true.  Cleo has entered my life at exactly the point that I am ready to learn to love again.  She is of course my four-legged friend, who is happy to see me when I come through the door and follows me from room to room.  I have put a blanket on the floor and we go to bed together.  When I wake she rolls onto her back with paws up and wags her tail like mad.

We go out for walks.  When off the lead she runs ahead like an excited kid but always stops to look for me and run back.  I leave her lead in the same spot and she always runs there to remind me to pick it up before leaving.

As she is very smart I have devised games to play such as hide and seek.  She finds me in record time due to her excellent sense of smell.  We have now moved on to playing football and she is probably the world’s best canine defender and she does a superb header.  David Beckham eat your heart out.  Though she doesn’t ‘talk’ as such, we communicate just fine.  She lets me know when she needs her walk and protests at the lack of attention when I’ve been on the laptop too long.  She’s a keeper.

Then there is love from the human variety, friends old and new.  Some parents have been incredibly kind to me, knowing I am on my own in Hong Kong.  One grandmother gave me presents for Christmas and recently for Chinese New Year and even a red packet for ‘starting work’!  And I only teach her grand-daughter one and a half hours a week.  Another has come back from a family holiday during the New Year period and gave me a box of chocolates from Australia.  How very ,very thoughtful and I have only started teaching his son.

Then there are old friends looking out for me, reminding me to get past the hurt and anger and regrets and move on.  One friend that I have known for 30 years told me that he would listen to me for as long as it takes.  Nobody has ever said that to me.  He has recommended a personal development course which he has benefitted from and I have decided to go for it.  Even more touching is he has offered to fork out the fees which is not a small sum.  He just wants me to be able to get on with my life and be happy.

Looking out for me like a big brother.  He cares that I am still hurting and stuck, even after six years and that my financial situation is very dodgy.  I am touched beyond words.  You see, the males in my family haven’t been the best role models and then the ex …  I don’t hate men, in fact I really enjoy their company but I have learnt to be wary and to put my defences up.  I don’t really trust them, if I am totally honest.  Once burnt twice shy.  He is the same guy that has introduced me to a friend for the complete makeover, befitting a finger on the pulse professional in the Pearl of the Orient.

On this Valentine’s Day 2014 I will not be receiving any card, flowers nor be wined and dined.  But that’s ok.  I have a cosy and homely roof over my head, food on the table, work that I enjoy, friends who care and the occasional treat such as seeing ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ last night.

I am blessed.  What more can a gal want?

Loving yourself is lonely

I am sick and tired of people telling me to learn to love myself and to be positive.  It is hard enough to keep calm and carry on when shit keeps hitting the fan but to have to put a positive spin on it, smile and be grateful for whatever damn lesson it is supposed to be teaching you is a bit much.

Yes, yes, yes I hear you protest: you cannot love others or find true love unless you have learnt to love yourself.  But you know loving yourself is very lonely.  And most of the people who tell me this are in loving stable relationships.  Which is kind of a double slap to the face.  What do they know about heartbreak and rejection? Going home to be greeted by the blank four walls which do not greet you back nor wipe away your tears?

Not only do you have to suffer but you have to do it graciously; no resentment, anger, swearing, screaming, pulling of hair, smashing of plates.  Just meditate, breathe in breathe out and thank God for caring about you so much to send you these precious lessons.  Be still and contemplate what you can learn from all this.  It will make you stronger, after all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Whoever coined that phrase should be shot!

Ah appreciate all that you had cos now you have lost it all.  But never mind, be positive, for then you can achieve anything and be anyone you want to be. Accept.  This is how it is not how it should be.  Live in the moment, breathe in breathe out.  To be born is to suffer.  All attachment bring pain.

If one more person tells me to be positive and to love myself I am going to scream at the top of my voice and I don’t care if the men in white with the designer fitted jackets cart me off.

Rescue Mission

An old dear friend has taken it upon himself to launch a ‘Save Mama G’ rescue.  Apart from throwing gems of wisdom my way, he has a friend lined up to do a complete makeover.  This is to get me back on the horse and on track for my shiny new life. Maybe he’s fed up of hearing tales of woe and me crying in public.  Maybe he doesn’t want to be mistaken for a bastard!  Who knows?

The Mission is to get me looking like the Tuition Queens featured in huge posters on buses.  Young, confident, smiley beautiful faces with credentials who could give celebrities a run for their money.  Looks and brains, who can resist?  I’d hate to tell the friend I may be past it, that this is Mission Impossible; but being an eternal optimist she’s going to give it a damn go. 

So next week we are going to shop for on the pulse professional gear.  Looking the part is all important in Hong Kong.  You can be casual but it has to be subtly smart casual.  It is a very shallow society and to succeed you have to play the game.  A haircut is urgent too as are facials.  I told her I am having them already and she looked dubious.  Are they not working?  Have I been conned???  I paid good money.

So the damsel in distress is to be rescued from the tower while the fire breathing dragon is keeping watch.  Will it be successful?  Watch this space.  Bless their little cotton socks.

However I am gutted as she thought I was over 55.  No one but no one has ever told me I look older than my age.  I am surprised she didn’t suggest a face lift, not that I can afford one.  I have even been told I look 10 years younger and no scalpels were hurt in the process.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I am just going to jump off the nearest skyscraper.  It was nice knowing you.  Mama G. Over and out, for the last time …Please no flowers to the funeral home but donations to the Rescue Mama G. Foundation will be most welcome.


Not even a toad

Valentine’s Day is fast on our heels but I am not holding my breath.  No prince on white horse, no, nay, not even a toad in sight.  Secret admirers, please form an orderly queue and apply within.  Must be tall, dark, handsome and think I am the best thing since sliced bread.  Integrity is an advantage as is a good heart.  Selfish bastards and control freaks need not apply. 

The problem with ‘like’

Inspired by a post by dysfunctional literacy.

The problem with ‘like’ on fb, other social media and blogs is people click that button for the most inappropriate and tragic of posts.  My status could read My mum died last night and in the blink of an eye there’ll be likes from friends and friends of friends.  In a sane non-social media dominated world, who would do a thumbs up for someone’s mother’s death?  It is not a good thing unless you hated your mother but she still left you her huge inheritance and cut all your siblings out of the will.  Otherwise no.

Whoever invented this like button should be shot!  Does anyone know where it first reared its ugly head?  Was it fb, which celebrates its 10th anniversary?  Is it really that young?  I can’t remember a pre-fb time or the era of no computers and people resorted to pen and paper and the humble typewriter.  Do you remember those white bits of correction paper you had to put in front of the offending key called tippex?  If you do then you are admitting your age!  Things were oh so simple then, not a hacker in sight nor the computer going down stopping the world turning.

The good old days.  I must be getting old.  The youths of today …


Pet hates

Warning: if you are religious and easily offended please do not read.

There are some expressions which I really hate.  Some cos they are stating the obvious like Life goes on or There are always people worse off!  Then there is the Half glass full or half glass empty.

Recently I have added another to the list;  Suffering makes you strong.  Or words to that effect.  Bullshit.  I think religious people made that way up because they couldn’t find an answer to why bad things happen to good people.  So in order to justify its existence and that God is not just a sadistic bastard the purpose of suffering is to ennoble us to make us stronger to make us appreciate the good times.  Without the rain clouds how would we appreciate the sunshine? 

Why is it bullshit?  Because you were already strong before the suffering, otherwise where would you find the inner strength to come through?  Chicken and egg?  It doesn’t make you stronger.  It just gives you an overdose of reality.  Hey kid the world is a harsh unfair place and random, it doesn’t matter how good you are, get used to it! 

Recently I have been trigger lucky with clicking like pages on motivational quotes on fb and maybe this is a reaction to all the sugary pearls of wisdom.  Some are just downright lies.  Ones like as long as you are positive and believe you can do or be whatever you want.  Absolute baloney.  I can safely say I will never be a brain surgeon or Olympic sprinter however much I believe and visualise and utter affirmations.  No amount of post-its on my mirror and around the flat will do the trick.

Anaesthetics for the heart

Just back from the dentist, the verdict I need two crowns which would set me back a hefty sum which I can ill afford, especially after the hiatus of the New Year period.  But needs must, teeth is not a luxury; they come in pretty handy when chewing your food which is essential for survival.  So no more weekly trip to the first movie of the day which is $30 cheaper nor the odd lunch out or snacks.

During the procedure out came the trusted needle and syringe containing anaesthetics.  It occured to me lying on the dentist chair about to be tortured the side of my mouth numbing nicely how wonderful it would be if there was anaesthesia for broken hearts.  No searing pain of loss, rejection, betrayal.  No trauma.  No anger, confusion, despair, disbelief, shock.  Zilch. Numb. Nothingness.

The dental work began but I screwed up my face in pain.  No problem.  A top of the anaesthetics and I could relax, spared of any pain, lie back and think of …

Definitely a gap in the market, even more than rent-a-husband.  I am such an entrepreneur coming up with such ingenius original ideas.  Sir Alan Sugar eat your heart out.  I don’t need to be The Apprentice.  I am already the Master!

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