Dis Ekke

My vreugdes en frustrasies

A - Z (2018)

#AtoZchallenge (2018) G is for feeling Guilty

My theme for this challenge is “feelings” of a sexagenarian and the influence of social media.

My tema vir hierdie uitdaging is “gevoelens” van ‘n sestig-plusser en die invloed van sosiale media.

English (Afrikaans below):

Guilty: conscious of, affected by, or suffering from pangs of conscience. The women of my generation grew up covered in a cloak of guilt. I spent my first decade on earth feeling guilty because I could not achieve the ideal of the little princess of that era.

My mother intensely disliked my propensity to play in the mud or climb in trees wearing my beautiful handmade floral cotton dresses and matching underpants. Cartwheeling on the lawn was strictly forbidden. Wearing pants was a definite no-go zone. Despite all these precautions and ministrations, I never acquired the ladylike qualities that my mother valued so much.

This bad beginning was only a foreboding of what was still to come. During the next decade, I spent my life in guilt-ridden misery and praying hard to be forgiven for my sinful hormonal awakening. My father’s strict “hands-off” policy and his manifest fear of having a pregnant teenage daughter on his hands, drove both of us crazy. He must have been so relieved when I entered the state of holy matrimony unscathed.

The next three decades were spent feeling guilty about my obvious failure to be a superwoman; it was hard work juggling a career, being a wife and bringing up three children. To add insult to injury, I was also a bad cook and an inadequate housekeeper (thank goodness for the hired help who saved my life). Looking back, I only now realised how unbalanced my lifestyle was during that period. I, the real me, almost disappeared due to the struggle of being everything for everyone else.

With the arrival of my fifth decade and simultaneously the realisation that my children no longer needed me as much as before, I started to relax. Finally, in my sixth decade on earth, I was able to throw off my mantle of guilt. These days, I pretty much wear, eat, talk about and do anything that catches my fancy. Life is no longer a pain in the neck.

The role of social media: I remember, when I first starting surfing the internet and using social media a few years ago, I was mildly shocked (maybe this is an understatement) to read so many different opinions about various topics. Today, I also have my own opinions about everything and I certainly don’t mind sharing them with the world. Today’s emoji: 😳

Afrikaans:

Skuldig: bewus van, beïnvloed deur, of onthulling van gewetenswroeginge. Die vroue van my geslag het grootgeword onder ‘n mantel van skuldgevoelens. Ek het my eerste dekade op die aarde skuldig gevoel omdat ek nie die tipiese klein prinsessie van daardie era kon wees nie.

My ma het niks gehou van my geneigdheid om in die modder te speel of om bome te klim met my pragtige handgemaakte blom-katoenrokkies en bypassende broekies nie. Wawieldraai op die grasperk was streng verbode. Om broeke te dra was definitief nie op die kaarte nie. Ten spyte van al hierdie voorsorg- en opvoedings-maatreëls het ek nooit die eienskappe van ‘n dametjie, wat my ma soveel waardeer het, verwerf nie.

Hierdie slegte begin was net die voorhoede van wat nog sou kom. Gedurende die volgende dekade het ek my lewe in die ellende van ‘n skuldige gewete deurgebring en hard gebid om vergewe te word vir my sondige hormonale ontwaking. My pa se streng “hands-off” beleid en sy duidelike vrees om ‘n swanger tienerdogter op sy hande te hê, het ons albei gek gemaak. Hy moes so verlig gewees het toe ek die staat van die heilige huwelik ongeskonde betree het.

Die volgende drie dekades is daaraan bestee om skuldig te voel oor my ooglopende onvermoë om ‘n supervrou te wees; dit was moeilik om ‘n loopbaan te volg, ‘n getroude vrou te wees en drie kinders groot te maak. Om die kersie op die koek te sit, was ek ook ‘n slegte kok en ‘n onbekwame huishoudster (dankie tog vir die huishulpe wat my lewe gered het). ‘n Terugblik op die verlede laat my besef hoe ongebalanseerd my leefwyse gedurende daardie tydperk was. Ek, die ware ek, het amper verdwyn as gevolg van die stryd om alles vir almal te wees.

Met die aanbreek van my vyfde dekade en terselfdertyd die besef dat my kinders my nie meer soveel nodig gehad het nie, het ek begin ontspan. Uiteindelik, in my sesde dekade op aarde, was ek in staat om van my skuldgevoelens ontslae te raak. Deesdae doen, dra, eet en praat ek openlik oor enigiets wat my aandag trek. Die lewe is nie meer ‘n pyn in die nek nie.

Die rol van sosiale media: Ek onthou, toe ek jare gelede die eerste keer op die internet begin swerf en sosiale media begin gebruik het, was ek ietwat geskok (miskien is dit ‘n afgewaterde stelling) om soveel verskillende menings oor ‘n verskeidenheid onderwerpe te lees. Deesdae het ek ook my eie mening oor alles en ek gee beslis nie om dit met die wêreld te deel nie. Emoji vir vandag: 😳

Read all my entries for the #AtoZchallenge (April 2018) here.

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25 Comments

  1. In die modder speel en boomklim – die heerlikste doenighede! My ouers het my laat begaan, my mammie het net vir my ‘n “crawler”-kledingstuk geprakseer i.p.v. ‘n rokkie!

    • HesterLeyNel

      Prakties en jy was baie gelukkig in daardie opsig. Ek het tussen ‘n klomp seuns grootgeword, maar kon die helfte van die tyd nie deelneem aan die spelery nie,

  2. Lucky me: growing up with three brothers, I played in the mud, climbed trees and scratched my knees. Dresses were a real pain though and, thankfully, my mother sewed shorts for me. I empathise with your ‘suprwoman’ phase though – men were brought up differently then and had ingrained unreasonable expectations of women. I loved turning fifty – and turning sixty was the most liberating birthday of all! The freedom to be – let us all enjoy that!

  3. Sjoe, ja ons het almal die rubberband van “dienende Martha” om ons nek gehad. Gelukkig was my ma ‘n baie opstandige persoon..sy het daarteen gerebelleer en ons baie vryhede toegelaat. Maar kerk, skool en samelewing het daarin geslaag om ‘n vrou minderwaardig te laat voel. Vandag steur ek my niks daaraan nie.Goed geskryf, Hester!

  4. Kyk, ek identifiseer darem so so baie met wat jy opnoem. Ek is amper by die sesde dekade, kan werklik nie daarvoor wag nie. Jy gee my moed!!!

    • HesterLeyNel

      Dat ‘n mens nou kan uitsien na oud word! Haha, jy kan sommer noual begin werk aan jou attitude, jy hoef nie so lank te wag nie, dan het jy sommer meer tyd om dit te geniet ook.

      • Ek kry nie tyd om op die oomblik al daaraan te werk nie, Hester. Of laat ek liewer sê, as ek probeer, boemerang dit! Ek is te verdomp sag met my mense, of ek is nou daai een wat nie net kan wees wie sy regtig wil wees nie. Eish, hierdie opstandigheid hier binne wat so sy kop uitsteek!!!

        • HesterLeyNel

          Ek ken daai gevoel maar te goed, maar op ‘n dag ontplof jy en dan is almal vreeslik verbaas.

  5. I have found my sixties to be liberating, also. It’s nice to finally
    do your thing sans guilt!

  6. I agree Hester, guilt can be hard one to handle. :/

    • HesterLeyNel

      It gets better once you realise that you are suffering because of prejudices and preconceptions forced on you by society’s narrow-mindedness.

  7. Mary was never much of a girly-girl, either, but her folks were fine wth it. In fact, they were two of the most easy-going people I knew.

  8. Nilanjana Bose

    The details are different, but I can relate to the feeling of trying to be everything to everyone else. Like the fear, guilt too erodes with age. Thank goodness.

  9. Ai ja… die skuldgevoelens! Ek dink ek dra nou nog van die letsels!
    My vroulief koggel my dikwels me… “what would your mother say now if she saw you??” 😉

    • HesterLeyNel

      Ja, die moeders … hulle is nare wesens.

  10. You sound as if you have overcome your guilty feelings and become more accepting of the you that you are. Bravo! Visting from https://oil4tinman.com/learn-about-oils-here/ for the A-Z Challenge.

  11. I always feel guilt is essential to grow. 🙂

    • HesterLeyNel

      Yes, the kind of guilt that makes your conscious twitch because deep down you know you are doing wrong, but not the unnecessary guilt thrust upon you by society who wants you to conform, no matter what. The latter is detrimental to your spiritual and intellectual growth.

  12. I feel you, Hester! So true. I’m a Filipino Catholic. Guilt trips come with the territory. I even feel guilty for being blessed because not everyone has my blessings. Then again, I try to remember, they don’t have my curse either. ☺🤗❤

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