People-pleasing? I’ve tapped out

My future successes, both big and small, don’t need applauding from people I once wished cared about me but don’t, never could, or never will. ~ Maureen Wambaire, My Mantra

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This post was first written- one sec- more than a month ago. I just returned to edit and add some things because I realized something. Not picking up phone calls or calling people out with a final bow might invite them to take laps and reassess their relationship with me. To try grasping the person I am because we are healing from A LOT of things, baby!

You know those chats that you should have kept scrolling past because you know how that vibe gets stale and fast? This one ended with me asking, “Why did I say that? Why do I care if he thinks I’m different?” Even pre-pandemic, we’d stopped hanging out, not just him but many people.

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy a bottle of something hard as I groove to Agolo by Angelique Kidjo during my downtime. I don’t mind having fun late into the night with good company and keeping up until I log out like a Windows PC. Clubs and the CBD give me increased irritation with every passing day.

But let’s skip the part about anxiety and sensory overload for now.

I have changed, though. But whether or not people who once knew me do get to know about it, experience it, and even affirm it is irrelevant. I just archived that chat after apologizing for the turn the convo took. Why. Was. I. Explaining. My. Self? The people who matter and know me… I don’t need to do that or even feel awkward.

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As a neighbor plays, Shake Your Bumbum by Sauti Soul. Take a break and come back if you’re feeling triggered. Ni weekend!

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Healing souls is something I have been doing in my tiny corner of the internet, which is maureenwambaire.com. Just because I can now practice counseling (after also being in therapy for years) and see tangible changes in a human being doesn’t mean I have to announce it. “Hey, guys! Remember how broken, busted, and bleeding I was? Look at me now! I’m much better and even now helping people!”

But why was I feeling the need? What nonsense is this? Alas! Let me tell you. It is called poor differentiation. Google Scholar and other sources are your friends. Don’t screenshot this part and inbox me, please.  

I call that “instinct” to people please nonsense, and here’s why. I have a tribe of people who have been with me through my falling, stumbling, epic fails, slow growth, and healing and have loved me through it. They have cried with me, been angry on my behalf, prayed with me, told me I was foolish, and I listened, and finally, people I get to share my heart and soul with as they do the same.

The best part is I don’t have to please them.

So, people-pleasing dash. Issovaaaaaaaa! And this is what therapy, a sound support system even with people you never thought of, trusting the process and all that do for you.

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And it’s not an attack on humans; it’s just an awareness that many people in my past saw me as a fool. I wasn’t being intentionally foolish; it was just evidence that I should have started therapy WAY sooner. Relatives, cousins, employers, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers have all seen me act and say things that I cringe over. The worst part is there are the people I “want” to please with this more “self-aware” version of myself.

Am I making sense? And the subconscious *close your eyes* FUCKERY *now open* of it?!

I’m glad this time around, I caught myself. I have bent over backward to please people who are nowhere to be seen in my life now. When I stopped doing that, people fell off like flies, even the ones I tried to hold on to. A tiny part of me still goes, “I wish they could see me now,” but my healed part goes, “Nope! You aren’t bringing them, crazy makers, back into your life, you hear me!”

Special shout-out: This is to the guys who thought I was into them that much. Thank you for being a conversation starter with my girlfriends as I walk into the chat with a screenshot like, “Get which fucker decided to slide into my DM today?!?!” It brings my friends and me so much joy to talk about how foolish I was before we tear your character into shreds. Good times.

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You’ve read my mantra.

See where you’re actively or subconsciously seeking approval at your own expense, whether financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically. You’d rather be home or doing something else, but there’s a person or people that will take you to expensive gigs you don’t care about that leave you broke, drained, disappointed, and hurt. Most of all, feeling used.

Also, people-pleasing is a trauma response. But that’s a post for another day.

Join me in the great exodus to healthy relationships, won’t you?

Let’s talk about shame for a minute (or two)

I was minding the Erik Erikson theory of personality development when I got to the toddler stage. 1-3 years, independence/autonomy versus shame. A jab in my chest-soul- made me stop. I’ve just moved past the balancing tears. Yet here I was doing some refresher reading ati to help a client. Now see; a blog post, pain, and near tears.

When did you first experience the feeling of shame? I’ll go first.

I remember my introduction to shame very well. I was maybe 3-4 years old. I had never felt it before, but something told me I was in trouble with my mum after putting up an impromptu dance performance for some guests my parents had over. They said “whoa” and even clapped for me, saying how good that was. I covered my face, giggling, and ran back into the bedroom. I was exploring something I liked that I’d done in my room alone for a while before that day.

She followed me into the room, and I asked her if I was in trouble, and she said no. She paused and said, “You are big for your age.” Read: you are fat for your age. FAM.

We have forgiven mum. She had her own insecurities.

I started wearing somewhat fitting clothes halfway through high school. You won’t find me in a body suit or anything close today. I shy off stylish outfits to avoid attention. We don’t want people staring at this “big” body, now, do we? Oh, and when I got my first job, mum told me I could go for that body wrap at a spa that tightens you up because I have a fat back.

Enter body dysmorphia. Wanders off to look for parts of lost self-esteem.

That was the starting point, but since then, I did EVERYTHING STUPID to lessen myself and fit in. I felt that I had to do something all the time just to get liked, entering levels of desperation most times. In the process, I collected more shame and enlarged my baggage along the way. So, if you say I’ve changed, no, I am just healing. My whole life has been a HUGE FAT CRINGE FEST with a few positive highlights. I just recently, through “meditation,” learned to stop and observe memories and not engage them. They used to eat me up alive my guy! That means no self-pity, blaming, or anything. Just observe. I fall asleep faster these days. But it’s taken me what, 31+ years?

I have lost relationships, jobs, and opportunities, stagnated, and I have not been my best because of shame. So, any attention I got, in my mind, was good attention, and I did whatever I could, to a degree, to keep it. It was after age 25 that I was like, wait, the neighbor molested me at 3-4 years; never mind that I thought it was such a privilege at the time.

Shame can just mess you up in ways beyond what you can think with your conscious mind. It is this poison that reaches every corner of your life. “Woke” parents today would say that if their child did what I did, they would enroll them to dance classes, whether in person or at the School of YouTube, but this was the early 90s. I’ve always been a good dancer, not the shake your ass, pop-lock-and-drop, but generally where if my parents walked in, I wouldn’t be slapped and showered with anointing oil.

Now we might never know. Issokay.

The interesting thing though is I recently rediscovered dancing and did a whole dance routine in the kitchen while preparing a meal. For the first time, earbuds on, I did not care if my mother or father passed by and saw me. I. Did. Not. Care. Before I’d dance in my room and stop when someone walked past the door. The horror and shame of them “hearing” me dance! The good news is there’s the other side, however long it takes.

I’ve worked through most of the shame whereby I no longer feel the need to please people. I distance myself from those who appear like their “allowing me” in their lives is a favor. I dish out “nope!” endlessly like how Jesus multiplied the five loaves and two fish. I no longer want to please anyone. Finally! It’s the awareness of shame that got me here and the very many sources of it. Oh and Salima my therapist. God bless her soul. The short of it is I can now say earnestly and confidently that I, Wambaire, am worthy of the space I occupy in this world, just as I am. Fat-backed or not.

And yes, mother and I are good. All’s forgiven.

I invite you to consider how shame may be impacting your life. When did you first feel this feeling? How may that be secretly running operations in your life?

Stay sane.

Cheers.

Peris, Morah, and the other two women

Warning: Triggering content as it covers domestic violence and suicide. All characters are fictional, and any likeness to a real story is purely coincidental.

It wasn’t the bruises that sent her off the edge. It was the silence. The silence came after he punched her everywhere apart from her face. It drove her to walk off on the 5th-floor rooftop edge at Kasarani. She left half of the wet laundry in a basin. I was opening the gate when only what I can call a sickening thud had me jump and spin around, only to find her eyes looking straight at me. The rest was a mess I tried to forget.

It was clockwork, and the walls were thin, so I could hear almost everything. I had only been there one month, but it was soon evident that what was happening was the norm. He would leave at around 6:00 am because that’s when I’d go to bed. The sound of their metal door opening is what told me I needed to get off my computer and go to bed. It’d finish the article or whatever video had distracted me, and I’d prep for bed. Mornings were quiet.

The war began at about 10 pm when I was well into work my “day.” The first two times it happened, I sat behind my computer traumatized. On the third time, I had to ask the caretaker about my neighbors.

“Is how that couple for 401 are fighting like that? Si, they will kill each other?”

He chuckled and told me they had lived there for three years, and the fights were the norm. He only noted that the beatings had become more frequent in the past three to four months. He told me not to worry about it. That’s how these things go, he finished, going off to sweep some corner of the parking lot. So I started wearing earphones at around 9 pm so that I was in the flow. I didn’t know which days they’d fight, and I didn’t want to know anymore.

I can’t tell you how many times they fought that month before the suicide.

What I do, though, remember is that last week, I was talking a break and had chanced back to sleeping nights. Almost every night, at random times, I was woken up by the commotion. The houses were differently built but the same on all floors. For mine, 402 shared a bedroom wall and bathroom with 401. On that last night, I’d wake up startled by slamming or smashing on the bedroom wall. From the window, I would hear a muffled voice, and then a scream stopped halfway. Then silence. I picked up her low distressed voice, which I’d say was loud given that I could hear it. I didn’t hear his voice.

That night the fight must have started in the living room because I heard her shout after a minute, “Don’t lock me in the bedroom!” and after banging, “Why do you do this and not tell me why? AKI!” that the last sentence haunted me of a few days wishing I had gone over to their place and said something. But as who? If the caretaker and the neighbor didn’t, who was I? I just got up and closed my window. I’d rather sleep without the duvet because of the heat than hear more of that drama.

I’d seen her about five times in total. Twice in the stairwell, once when hanging laundry on the rooftop, and the other times I was leaving the house, she was passing by. We always exchanged polite ‘hi’s. I never saw any bruising on her face. When I saw her, she was always in a baggy sweater and a leso. I only knew about the bruising because I looked at her body longer than I should have and noticed the back of her legs was bruised; the leso was up to her waist as she lay on the untarmacked ground. It takes a lot for someone with my complexion to bruise.

For me, it was the audacity. I’d only seen the guy once before and only because I was leaving for an early meeting. About three months after the incident, I heard the metal door opening. It was 6:00 am, time to wrap up and go to bed. I was curious; there hadn’t been any activity for a while, and I assumed he had relocated or had been arrested. It was a Monday morning, and I’d only gotten in the night before from a weekend at my parents’ in shags. I assumed something had happened when I was away.

I only left the house on weekends for lunches and night outs from Friday night, and the most I’d do was a late Sunday lunch. I had just moved out from my relative’s house, and the idea of not being able to pay rent gave me intense focus.

In my curious state, I walked to my kitchen curtain, wondering if the person who lives there now knew what had happened three months prior. He passed by. He looked down at his phone and missed the slightly parted sheer. As he walked past, I heard “good day, babe!” a pause and the door closing. He didn’t respond to the woman.

This again? I started working longer hours. There was still silence from the apartment. I started looking for flats the week of his return. I found one after two months that I liked and could live comfortably, having saved for rent for two extra months. Two weeks before leaving, I heard the first commotion. During the week I was going, it happened twice.

I saw the young woman several times, and we exchanged polite hi’s. Six months later, I saw her face alongside my former residence on a muted screen at a local pub that I’d started frequenting. It was small, and most of us knew each other.

“Njoki! Ongeza volume!!”

The urgency with which I said it had everyone stop, glance at me, and stare at the screen as Njoki, the bartender, unmuted the tv and increased the volume.”

“… investigations are underway.” The bottom of the screen read, “WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN A KASARANI APARTMENT” I tuned out and snapped back when the caretaker came to the screen among other faces I did not recognize. “We spoke to some residents that don’t want to be mentioned, but it is alleged that the man was abusive and that a woman he previously lived with had jumped to her death from the same rooftop about a year ago.”

I’d caught the final part of the report. I was talking to a fellow frequenter and had turned to ask Njoki for a double shot of gin. She inquired who she was, and I only said, “I used to live in that building.” People went back to their business.

I made excuses that I had an early morning and left. My parents had summoned me. I went to the wines and spirits, asked for a bottle of gin, and went home to drink alone.

Three months later, when I yelled at my mother at a family function while drunk, it was evident that I had a problem. There were threats of rehab because my drinking had become a daily affair, but I pleaded to see a counselor instead. I had blamed myself for those two women’s death. If only I had said something or if I had stayed.

The truth is, there were a total of four families over ten years that had blamed him for their daughter’s death. First was an overdose, and second was a “robbery gone wrong” in which he claimed he too was a victim hence the bruises he had. She died of head trauma from a blunt object. The third claimed the woman was mentally unwell and the bruising was from the fall or something else. This one, he couldn’t get away with. She left a note in her panties before taking poison as the reason she was taking her own life. The coroner found she had bruising on her stomach and back, as though he had learned not to injure her arms and legs from his past sins.

I wondered how friends and families couldn’t have known the abuse he took those women through but a column in the online newspaper about the rise of domestic abuse in the lifestyle section answered me. He was in IT, making good money. He cloned their phones and monitored their every move. He threatened the women by showing them messages of him flirting with the women’s younger sisters or cousins saying it was either they stayed, or he’d go for them. I didn’t read all of it. I was sickened by then.

I still think about Peris and Morah. I still drink more than I ought to. I don’t see their faces anymore, but the guilt will take some time to go away. I wonder if it’s just me who feels this way for letting a 37-year-old man cause this much pain and trauma. He’s in remand as the investigations continue.

It’s not the doctors- humans just do fail

I have this annoying thing; I take other people’s emotions, and it gets worse the older I get. The irony is that I cannot tell when I am having an extremely emotional experience until much later, in this case, a year plus later. But sometimes, it is evident, a LOT of alcohol, and tears, and locked up in my room. In the same way, there was a notification on my laptop of extreme UV light until there wasn’t, and then later, you’re like, ah, cancer.

The trigger

I nearly died a year ago, and it wasn’t COVID. It would have been due to negligence. Oxygen levels in your blood are happy at 95+ percent. I won’t even google that. Later the levels were 96 consistently. That morning, before 6 am, I was at a friend’s, and I called my dad and told him I couldn’t breathe. At least properly. I could feel the onset because of my breathing… and after the call, I fell to the ground. I remember sounds around me a few seconds later, “help me carry her,” and then being in the car.

I was lucky. I need you to understand that. I had a friend who was 1) Awake at the time and 2) Acted fast enough.

And no, doctors still don’t know what caused it.

Also, a special fuck you to XYZ Hospital for discharging me only to find myself in another hospital overnight because COVID was the money maker. I was brought there, unable to walk and on oxygen. She wore a beige hijab and told me not to miss my bipolar medication again. I am not calling out her religion, but that asshole stunt. And also, the hospital for wanting to admit me until my dad fought for me to get a rapid test. It wasn’t COVID. I was unwell.

On the way to the nearest hospital, I could hear them but could not respond. I was aware that I wasn’t seeing but looking through what were my eyes.

Shout out to the next shitty nearer Xyz hospital at the time for putting an intern in my case when I was brought in, barely unable to walk.

It started with my fingers going numb; it was about 6 am. I am cold. I am on a hospital bed at this time. Then my feet. They are cold, but I can’t feel them. Then my lips, I am barely there. I was later told they had gone blue. I am black-skinned. I talk funny and tell my friend, “Tell my parents sorry, and I love them.”

Again, I was there but not there. It’s like using binoculars. I am staring at the ceiling. I hear, “Her oxygen is 69…” I hear, “The oxygen tank is empty???!!” I hear, “carry here to this bed; this tank can’t reach there.”

Out.

I remember there was more light in the room when I came around. My parents had arrived. Calls are being made. Ambulance. XYZ hospital. I was wheeled in.

I was in and out of consciousness for 3 hours (I think) before I was deemed okay enough to walk myself to that bitch of a doctor who deemed quetiapine a reason my body lacked oxygen. I had tried to OD on that medication during a depressive episode, and it didn’t work. I was brought in an ambulance, and it took me a couple of hours, maybe 5, to be able to walk, only to end up back in another hospital. Dizzy. Nearly fell. A nurse and my dad were there to hold me up while waiting to see a doctor.

Shout out to Doreen Gakii. Thank you, my old friend, along with Nimaro Loyol, for telling me, “We got your near-death selfie from the ambulance, but take your ass back to the hospital.” What? Gallows humor. Look it up. I was sure I was dying, but sentimental to friends, not quite. They know I love them.

Where I am coming from

How many people die from a wrong diagnosis? I had a cousin, Kamore, who visited us to see an optician because he couldn’t see well. KCSE was coming. He needed to see his papers. One year in Kenyatta hospital from an inoperable tumor in his brain. He was sent home to die. Doctors in his hometown this whole time just said he needed glasses. His head and face were disfigured when he was visiting before ending up in hospital.

On the day he died, he was sharing a room with his mom in the village, and she said at about 4 am, there about, she felt super-hot. Less than 2hrs later, she had changed his clothes and was on her way to the police station to file a report.

How many people have died from a wrong diagnosis???

I am tired.

PS: I never met you, and I am moaning with your people. I hope it was painless. And know that you are loved. As your spirit left the room and you couldn’t signal for help, know you were loved. I am sorry this world failed you.

The apology that will never come, and how it’s ruining your future

I did something absolutely foolish about three months ago. I had a good reason for doing it, but it was still quite foolish. Does that make sense? It did at the time but nearly cost me a beautiful relationship.

For this next paragraph is heavy, but I’ve since healed from it. It was a painful teachable moment that I chose to use to empower myself and others.  

Context: I didn’t realize how important hearing “sorry” was for me. Until I messed up.

Scenario

You’re having pillow talk with the best thing- sorry- human- sorry- man that has ever happened to your life. You are both committed to open and honest communication, no matter what it is. As two emotionally mature grown-ups, you’ve set up boundaries and guardrails so that the other person feels safe talking about what goes on in the deepest or darkest corners of their minds and hearts.

And then he asks, “Why did you go to his place?”

The case of the ex

From where I am seated, I am owed an apology, not just from Confused Brother in Mother’s Armpits, but from the other armpits he’s been under. My mental health was used to desecrate my character so that they don’t have to be accountable for the bullshit they put me through.

By the time, you, a woman who’s also been in a shit relationship and went back home to your parents with a child, tells me, “Here we wash our onions before we cut them” it becomes very apparent that there are conversations going on in that household about me behind my back. The total lack of respect for me as an individual.

Rant: The fuck you think raised me? What are you saying about my mother? Do you even know me? What the fuck you mean you have to wash onions after peeling them and before you cut them? The fuck you think I am stating such commonsense bullshit to me? What? Because I have been to Thailand and the closest you’ve been to a plane is JKIA to pick someone? See that? Assumption. But you suddenly think that I am too bougie to understand the art of cutting onions as a Kenyan and Kikuyu? What? Is it the schools I went to and how I speak and my career that has you so intimidated that you’d pull that line on me? Fucking hell.

Also, there were carrots, tomatoes, cabbage etc. that needed chopping but let’s give her the onions. Like a real OG, I did not tear up. Also their counter is lower than ours so that helped lol

Oh! And his mother looking me up and down and sneering whenever she saw me. Offering breakfast and snacks that featured barely ripe and clearly not fit for human consumption watermelons and stale peanuts that even her son didn’t touch.

Or throwing sachets of coffee on the table, spite and disgust on her face because, like her son, I take coffee and not tea.

And now to the son. How a conversation about me not wanting to cook turns into a lecture about how I don’t respect his parents is beyond me. I don’t like your mother, deal with it. It is not about respect, it is about her behavior, and where I come from, we don’t kiss ass. I was told by a good friend that I have balls of steel. No, what I have is self-respect. I don’t give a flying fuck who you are. My parents are the yardstick I use for respect and boundaries. If they respect me, and, you don’t guess what’s going to happen?

You will be featured on this blog as an example of shit not to put up with.

Boundaries, those are important, but he had none with his parents. At 31, they would call him every morning. And no, those conversations did not end with “I love you” but more of, what else can we place on this donkey of a son that we have that is willing to do anything for us because the other one doesn’t want shit to do with us?

I now respect his brother for all the times he did not pick up his phone or was offline. He didn’t want to deal with all that shit. Or so I think. I don’t know. He could have been fighting his private demons that his family couldn’t understand.

Why am I saying all this?

Because everything changed when I went to a psychiatric facility and them realizing it was my second time. I still remember this stupid question, “Why didn’t you tell me you had an issue?” Because taking medication while I was with you and saying I am bipolar was  just something I did for fun…

Here’s the thing. They were nice to me before that. And then the monsters came out to play.

This is me making it clear to people like them that being a shitty human to a person, once you learn their mental health status, makes you the scourge of the earth. And a hearty fuck you for that.

I am already going through shit. I am dealing with parents who hardly understand what I am going through but are doing their best even if it means praying and soaking me in anointing oil. I am already dealing with a sibling convinced I am a toxic bitch, and another, quite ironically, thinks I am dramatic. I am dealing with self-hatred, and fighting not to end my life on a bad day. I have panic attacks and chronic anxiety, along with depression. And then you treat me like shit over faulty mental wiring I have nothing to do with.

Another hearty fuck you.

I am sure my parents and whoever else benefited are enjoying that KES170,000 (ish) dowry down payment they made. And yes, I found that out more than a year after the separation. Let’s call it, “my bad!” money.

Back to me trying to sabotage the relationship that grounds me…

Also, the relationship that helped me not end up in rehab. We shall talk about the 5 bottles of liquor that used to fill my dustbin every week some other time.

So I took my foolish ass to his place thinking that I would get an apology. Like a proper apology. Note, it was not for the purpose of getting back together.

Not marrying a man because of his mother is a thing. Like that woman… Let’s say the endless stories of women who’ve been terrorized by their mother in law flashed before my eyes. Also, not marrying a man who is intimidated by your background, character, personality, intellect (we are learning more each day), common sense, love for peace and cursing, among other things, is not ideal. They will psychologically try to break you down, question your mental stability, assassinate your character, and when all fails, get physical. I have seen this script in my backyard.

So you can see why it was foolish of me to go over expecting an apology?

The apology that will never come

I am sure there’s some people reading this and going, “Bitch, where is MY apology??!!” You know what, you are right to ask that. It is likely I don’t know that I owe you one. It is also likely that I burned that bridge, scotched the earth, and set you on fire because when you get on Wambaire’s bad side you get the full hell spa treatment.

So this pillow talk turned into my explaining what I have on this blog. And it was followed by an apology because I should never have done that in the first place. I was wrong to do that. I could have gone for counseling instead of chasing ghosts. I could have called him. I could have done so much instead of going to his place. It hurt him, and rightly so, because that was a betrayal. Shall this amazing man have to worry about the case of the ex?

No.

I will never get that apology. That is fine. I am okay with that now. It hurt me for so long but now I see it. I am better off forgiving, letting go, and hopefully, finally forgetting. That’s while watering my garden. Loving my future husband and father of my children with my all. Checking up on my tribe and being there for them. Focusing on what is flowering and not the weeds that, quite honestly, should have been in a furnace by now.

Now to you

What apology are you wanting for that, deep within you, know will never come? They could be alive or no longer with us, but stop to ask yourself, “How is this potentially ruining my future?”

Not touching that sh*t, even with a 10-foot pole

Happy new year!

Actually, I could care less. It’s the same nonsense just staggered forth to another lap around the sun. We still have a pandemic, and I still don’t give a fuck about a lot of things. But that’s not the point of this blog. Let me take you on the journey of the “not with a 10-foot pole” policy. And yes, I know we use the metric measurements in Kenya, with the US being the only people dumb enough to hold on to whatever the fuck they are using, but it has a ring to it. Humor me.

I’ve been a rebel all my life

I have a scary morning face. It is something between the grinch and being so upset that I didn’t somehow die in my sleep? Too dark? Welcome to 2022, where the fucks were left in 2020. So I am generally not pleasant to interact with in the morning. Two, I have a mouth on me. My opinions are strong, something my younger brother wrongly mislabeled as facts. Are you being an idiot? Yes. Will I communicate that to you in no uncertain terms? Also yes. Am I always right? No. But mostly, yes.

Not partaking in family drama

I will not expose my parents (lol), but the simple truth is that they are not perfect. There is this- I don’t know- pedestal mentality that people have about their parents and that they cannot do anything wrong? Yea, I missed that class, and if it wasn’t being taught, that gene escaped me. I have no problem telling my parents when they are out of line. And please, don’t try this at home. You might catch a flying slipper or get excommunicated. I put this down to basically who I am as a person. And my parents made peace.

In my 20s (girl, you is old), my mum told me the reason she stopped beating me as a child (welcome to Africa, my non-Africa readers!) was that she thought she’d kill me. That’s how hard-headed I was from the jump. She’d tell me to do something, and I was okay doing it, but I’d always ask why if it didn’t make sense. She thought I was a witch at some point.

Last year, my dad slapped me for being vocal and standing up for my mum, but that is neither here nor there. We are cool now. But also, when I was in high school when he was lecturing me about something, I would laugh as I watched him all worked up about something I did that he was complaining about that didn’t even make sense. He was being extra, and it was funny. So, I suppose that slap was a long time coming.

Either way, when my parents are being extra, I talk back or walk out. According to the 5th commandment, I might die at an early age. Thank God I am not an Israelite. Smiley face.

After the drama in the family, I adopted the “not with a 10-foot pole” principle.

How I learned that minding my own business was important

So, if you follow this blog, you know I nearly threw my life away to a useless man and his mother in the name of marriage. I am so glad that being in a psych ward brought out their true colors. In my true fashion, I can say “fuck you and your mama” because I didn’t know I was getting into a relationship with him and his parents. And that’s where my lessons began. 2020 was indeed a shit show for a lot of us.

And then came the realization of empathy. I was in that relationship to help him with his family drama. Yes, it was also my fault. And then 2021 just rolled in. I realized that most of my friendships were an act of charity. I was there to be a wing woman, a listening ear, a therapist, a sponsor (btw if you’re a guy and I’ve religiously bought you drinks for the duration I’ve known you, FUCK YOU), and basically someone that, you’re okay if we hang out, but you don’t want to hang out with me with your regular circle. I would be rich right now for all the unofficial therapy sessions I’ve had.

But it’s 2022 bitch!

This is where I knew that I needed to turn off the empath tap and channel it to better use: some stupid kid who’d been in Russia for 7 years. Her AUNT is someone I was in uni with, but we never quite hang out. He gets his aunt to call me to hang out at their place. Then he proceeds to take me to his cousin’s house in the name of “moving the party to another place,” only for me to be shown to the bedroom we’d both sleep in. Never mind, I’d listened to his struggles, how being back is hard, his mum, getting a job, passing exams to be able to practice medicine here…

I called Mr. King’ori and asked for uber money to get back home (Yes, I am back in school, but actively looking for a job. I am available.)

This little shit. So, you try to get me drunk, and then you think- This little piece of shit.

I thought that I was helping this 27-year-old out to get his bearing after being out of the country for so long and all that. I really was. But behold. Oh, and there’s that guy who invited me to the local, only for him to talk about his family the entire time, like it was a therapy session? Thank you for the beers, but no. It’s why I didn’t pick your calls after that. At least even ask me my favorite color. I’ll refer you to my curtains, duvet, and nail polish.

The business I am minding in 2022

One word: Henry

Other business I will mind in 2022

I am back in school—diploma in Counselling Psychology, Certificate in Life Skills and Diploma in Trainer of Trainers.

If you have an evil eye, keep eyeing.

The other business is my tribe; you know yourselves. From fries dates to laughing at memes that even the devil wouldn’t- you are my people.

What I will not mind in 2022 with a 10-foot pole

My parent’s marriage.

My younger brother (I stopped minding the elder one a long time ago)

Your drama because you refuse to go to therapy.

Conclusion

Overall, I am tired and done with being used as a therapist for people in my life. I am an empath, and things hit me hard. I cannot spend another day in bed crying over someone else and the battle they are going through. Not my family and not people I call friends. You’ve been wondering what is wrong with me? I feel too much. I am on medication for anxiety and panic attacks because I dare sit with another person’s issues, knowingly or not.

I don’t intend to make this medication a habit. My tribe is doing their inner work. If you aren’t my tribe, please, don’t call me for a therapy session. If you want to, KES 2,000. Thanks.

For my other readers, protect your space and your mind, especially if you’re an empath.

Cheers, my lovelies.

The Science of Depression: A handy resource

*Out here addressing the pseudoscientists in these streets. I can’t keep stopping mid conversation to explain myself yo!

When you have a chemical imbalance in your brain, certain buzz words and phrases are not only annoying but relatively insensitive.

“You have to think positively!”

“Look on the bright side of things!”

“Why are you always negative?”

“I don’t like being around you; you’re no fun.”

“You’re too much in your head.”

“You just want attention.”

“You’re difficult.”

I could go on.

It’s not that I don’t want to be happy, cheerful, or even content. I do. It’s just that my neurotransmitters aren’t working okay; dopamine and serotonin. In my case, they are either low or high. Let’s throw in genetics and the environment, and behold, a secret handshake in your brain.

Can things be done to improve and manage this issue? Yes. But that’s not what this blog is about.

Science lesson in session

Let’s look at two hormones/ neurotransmitters mentioned: dopamine and serotonin. Sources are after the article.

Dopamine

Dopamine is integral in the brain’s reward system, which controls motivation, desire, and cravings.

You’re not lazy; you’re just not motivated. You’re not a dark cloud; you literally don’t feel like there’s a point to live. You’re not a hog or trying to starve yourself, fam; your cravings are just out of hand. Oh, and cravings also include taking alcohol or illicit drugs and engaging in behavior that gives you a rush. Snorting cocaine, sex, gambling, shopping too much- list an addiction here.

These addictions come about because one is trying to chase the euphoria, bliss, motivation, and increased concentration that too much dopamine produces.

When your dopamine levels are off-balance, your mood, sleep, learning ability, alertness, movement, blood flow, and yes, even your urine output gets affected.

Serotonin

Serotonin is another neurotransmitter, with most of it found in gut cells since it regulates movement in the digestive system.

Other stuff serotonin does is regulate your sleep-wake cycle, emotions and mood, appetite and metabolism, concentration and cognition, hormonal activity, blood clotting, and body temperature.

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Commercial break: Award speech

I want to give a shout-out to “my” ulcers, insomnia, erratic moods, lack of appetite, and mental slowness for being a part of my life for this long. We’ve come from far. And let’s not forget you, body temperature, for giving me heat rash in Nairobi weather. Thank you all.

You’ve been loyal!

~~~~~~~~~~

How do the two work together?

Dopamine and serotonin need to create a balance in the body; otherwise, things will go haywire. For example, having low levels of serotonin can cause an overproduction of dopamine for compensation.

In short, if you have too much serotonin, then you have impulsive aggression, aka mania. Too much dopamine? Impulsive reward-seeking behavior and addiction, here we come!

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Commercial break: Dark humor at its finest

I’ve lost mass- what are curves?- and I’ve been asked about it.

Them: What diet are you on?

Me: It’s called Depression. It’s working great for my weight loss, though I wouldn’t recommend it.

~~~~~~~~~~

So, what am I saying?

If you’re not down with this explanation on depression and have theories on it, that’s fine. I’m more than happy to hook you up with the four psychiatrists I’ve seen in the past three years. Then, you can discuss your science with them. Otherwise, I am tired of having to stop and educate people.

Read, damn it!

I’ve written this to act as a resource and a blog post I can link to.

Otherwise, cheers, and as always, thanks for stopping by.

References

NHS UK: Causes- Bipolar disorder: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/bipolar-disorder/causes/

Medical News Today: Dopamine and serotonin: Brain chemicals explained: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326090

NCBI: Role of Serotonin and Dopamine System Interactions in the Neurobiology of Impulsive Aggression and its Comorbidity with other Clinical Disorders: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2612120/

Just checking in

I haven’t been here for quite a while, and with good reason. I do not believe in posting for the sake of it in the name of having a regular schedule. Even this post is more of an update than anything. A couple of things:

1. New relationship

That’s all for now. Do so now if you want to send the evil eye my way, see your local witch doctor, or just wish me bad luck. Otherwise…. Otherwise.

2. Podcast

I have been singing to myself and others about starting a podcast. I’ve had two “false” starts, but that’s about to change. I’m currently getting equipment and working on a line up of guests and my content that I’ll be sharing so stay tuned. For now you can click here to listen to Just Checking In with Mundi, where I was a guest. Honest and raw with a dash of potty mouth hehehe!

3. School

I am in the second semester of a seven-semester-long Diploma in Psychological Counseling, and your girl over here is triggered in all the ways one can get triggered. It’s nice to explore various theories and get reminded of all the ways that you are messed up. I don’t need Eric Ericson telling me about a personality crisis. I have lived it. I still have my moments. Could you leave me alone? So once in a while, I will pop up here, the podcast or IG to talk about that.

4. Mental health

I have mellowed out. For most of this year, I was in a HORRIBLE state. For one, I was worried about being committed to a psych ward or rehab against my will. Weh, the people I live with. What’s helped is keeping a long ass distance from people who don’t want to see me prosper mentally. It mainly meant keeping to my room for a month straight and only having meals when no one was home or asleep. I even had a stash of snacks in my room. Boundaries are both essential and healthy. I made it clear that I will emotionally and mentally cut you off; I don’t care if you’re family. Yes, I love myself that much these days

5. Friendships

My circle is small. Like. Small. And ever since I shrunk it, I have been so peaceful. Oh. My. Goodness. I didn’t realize how many friendships I was carrying on my back! The ones I have left are just the best; shout out to Queen Petty and Cat Lady. I love these two intelligent women and their right amount of crazy. There’s also Nyambura; this woman is just gangsta. I’m hoping to have her on the podcast to share her story, but I love that we currently share the theme of “and no fucks were given that day.” I can’t shout out everyone, but you know yourselves. Though I am sad about some friendships I have lost, so there’s that.

6. Idiots

These will forever exist. Some stray into my inbox, and like the rodents they are, I just blue tick and keep it pushing. Imagine you don’t have to engage. Some people are just bored and out here trying to test you.

7. How are YOU doing?

When was the last time you stopped to check in with yourself to see how you’re doing? Take a moment, scan your body and your mind. It doesn’t have to be for long; even three minutes is enough. Where’s the tension? What’s bugging you in the background? Don’t forget to extend love and grace to yourself; life is hard as it is.

Thanks for taking the time. Until next time, cheers, my good people.

Can I please have a refund for my 30th year?

Whoever was handing out my 30th year, you have won, by the way. I turned 30 in a freaking psych ward with a black forest from my then-husband. Apart from losing my job and everything else, I was 5 minutes away from check myself into a freaking rehab two weeks ago because your sister over here is apparently considered to be an alcoholic!!!!!!!!!! After realizing that the institution’s owner was broke and full of poop, I hang up, schedule a call with my therapist, and put my ass back into bed.

To whoever was handing out my 30, kudos.

The anger that is within my body is ridiculous. And I cannot let it out because some uninformed humans are waiting to take me back to the psych ward or rehab. God forbid the trauma in your body catches up with you after years of suppression. And more so if it comes out as anger, pain, sadness, and a large portion of retribution. Molestation, witnessing and experiencing things a child should never have within the home, rape, domestic abuse, low self-esteem, self-sabotage- you name it, has been stewing for so long that only one phrase remained, “Scotch the earth.”

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And I have been scorned.

As with everything I write, I do it for, one, pure compulsion, and two, an inability to stay silent because there’s no way I am the only person on this planet dealing with that I go through. It is to tell that one person, I hear you, and I see you. I feel your pain. I can not take it away from you, but I can walk with you.

And that’s the kind of support system I’ve been blessed to have. It is an odd mix and match, but in the end, it’s working out for my sanity. It is these people who tell me that I am not crazy. These people tell me that my anger and pain are valid even when those around me want me to shoosh it. They rally behind me as I walk through the years of trauma that people will never know anything about because who empathizes with someone from my parent’s financial background? I have been opinionated and vocal about many things, so hey, that’s that crazy bitch, don’t mind her, she just wants attention!

I don’t have the answers right now, but what I have done is scotch the earth because I am tired of adopting a reaction formation response. Showing my true feelings will get me ostracized from people within my family, both nuclear and extended. Let me put patriarchy in there because, my goodness, the men in my life have spectacularly failed me. And guess who has to fix me? ME. So while I am here allocating blame, I am aware that healing is my job to do. I don’t need to remain a victim. But you! I will speak up!

I have to be true to what is going on within me and damn the consequences. I have given it up because I learned in class that you are only meant to have your defense mechanisms up for a short time as your body recovers from the information received. Anything longer than that causes mental disturbance. CASE IN POINT *pointing at self*. I am giving that defense mechanism up no matter the consequences. I can’t live like this.

You want to demonize me; that’s cool. Do you. Do your worst. I have been living in mental hell for a long time; nothing can be done to make this shit worse than it already is. Since suicide has refused to be an option (and not from lack of trying), I choose to face all of this head-on.

Here is how I am choosing to see this, with a bit of help from google.

“Slash and burn agriculture is a widely used method of growing food in which wild or forested land is clear cut and any remaining vegetation burned. The resulting layer of ash provides the newly-cleared land with a nutrient-rich layer to help fertilize crops.”

This metaphor just came to me as I was writing this, but it’s a fitting complement to the scotch the earth mantra I’ve adopted. It’s probably going to be hell and probably worse than I feel right now, but that’s okay. I am daring to hope. And If god-forbid I don’t make it, know I tried my best, and you too can succeed.

Cheers, to a year I refuse to have again.

But for real, 30 has been mostly rubbish. I am all here for the growth, and I love it, but it’s really been rubbish.

Thirst traps, scripture and guilt-trips

My posts fall under three main categories: psychoeducation, outright rants, or, like today, juicy conversations.

Exhibit

Shared with permission.

Context

So, there is a FINE gentleman that is back in the market. It’s normal, so what’s the big deal, Wambaire? A lot of females, in uni and beyond, liked him. Even those who didn’t want to boyfriend him would blush at how fine he was, myself included. I won’t say much, lest some of y’all realize who it is and snitch on a sister.

However!

What made this guy different, and a feature on my blog, was the caliber of girls he went for. Christian, holy, virgin. You can see why I didn’t bother to waste a wish? LOL!

And he did get the girl, and they did get married. And you know the conclusion. For me, the circumstances in which the relationship started makes this whole thing all the more hilarious. Fam. Cool, y’all did it the “holy” church route, but even so, the beginning was sketchy as hell!

Disclaimer: I am not throwing rocks; church route or not, sketchy beginnings don’t get you far! Look at me! That asaid, when it’s new, it’s fantastic so I get why people take the leap. However, when reality sets in… weh!

Now back to the PG18 chat

This chat began with Cat Lady sharing a Thirst Trap of this fine-back-in-the-market guy. You’re allowed to look sexy, it’s okay.

Now, Cat Lady; she a church girl. She love the Lord with all her heart, mind and soul. BUT MY PEOPLE, the FLESH IS WEAK!

Christians!

Everyone is allowed moments of weakness, and that’s cool. What I wasn’t gonna allow is the backing up of a thirst trap with scripture!

I see y’all adding scripture under your thirst traps!

So of course I had to come for her, and hard. Let’s not pretend this angle you’re coming at is Christianity!

AND THAT’S THE THING!

The beginning of your relationship is sketchy, only that it’s cloaked in what you call Christianity. For example, you waited till after marriage to move in together but y’all had been fornicating before that, only that we didn’t get to know about it. The rest of us over here are feeling like sinners for taking the traditional route with your judgy “You weren’t married in church” questions. Whatever it is, a red flag is a red flag.

Which reminds me… I went on a rant on IG, as I always do, to address this breed of women that make what we single women do their business. Sawa, you’re married and now you think you have some moral high ground. You come quote scripture for the rest of us for going on dates.

Please, go mind your marriage, and your cheating husband while you’re at it, sawa?

Another disclaimer: You may have to be open minded to survive my posts, but for those struggling- I am not here for couples that honor God and are pillars in the Christian faith when it comes to marriage. I am here for those who make us feel like rubbish while quoting scripture only for the façade to crumble.

Be careful, that burden ain’t light!

I’ve tried to play holy and ended up playing off the devil’s handbook. That humbled me a good one. You could have three men, I won’t hang out with you, but I won’t judge you either.

So you, if you want to take that holy route and rub it in our faces during conversations, unknowingly or otherwise, that’s okay. But just know I’ll blog about you when I find out you’re cheating, being cheated on, or your divorced self is back in the market.

Si we be honest?

I am not here to question people’s Christianity. I’m just saying the version I got is problematic. I’ve made more headway in relationships through healing my childhood trauma than quoting scripture over and over.

So please, ladies, gents, let’s not lie to ourselves about our Christianity. You are not sliding into their DM because you want to know how they are doing. Like Cat Lady, you have an angle. And here’s how you know you have an angle, and not a genuine one:

“I don’t know why they are/were with so-and-so…” ati because you’re the better and holier option.

Cat Lady is honest with herself, hence the laughter and making fun of people’s version of Christianity.

Be like Cat Lady.

Now go yee forth and have a conversation with God about your horny ass self.

Cheers.