When Love Isn’t Enough- Amateur Love Doctor

One of my all time favorite poems is Unending love by Rabindranath Tagore. Often, during the worst years of feeling abandoned, self doubt accompanied by self hate, feeling lost, feeling used & misused etc ; I have gone back to this poem to find inspiration on how to love myself.

I don’t know when I first knew, but I have known for a while that love is a verb. Hard work. Still, when I met love, I almost missed it! Like driving by the turn you are supposed to take on your way home and realizing it when you see the road sign for the next junction. Thinking no. no.no.no I don’t want to go there. I want to go home.

I almost missed love because, like most of us who have a complicated childhood, I had little idea how love should look like. How love should feel like.

I knew I didn’t want the love I saw or experienced during childhood. Love that abuses. Love that ignores. Love that belittles. Love that leaves. Love that stays but is not really available. Love that controls. Love that goes behind you back. Love that cheats. Love that mocks. Love that hurts constantly. Love that kills. Shattering love.

So I have been learning about love through living & making mistakes. Here goes!

4 times when love is not enough:

(1) Low or non-existent Compatibility. Intellectual, emotional & sexual. If 2 people are not compatible, eventually it becomes such a struggle to communicate, to have sex, to just sit together & have breakfast that love turns out to NOT be enough. BUT, the complexity is, it doesn’t matter how compatible a couple is, keeping the compatibility relevant is essential.

(2) Low or lacking Respect is the end of love.love-respect-cycle For every relationship, boundaries have to be set & boundaries have to be respected. If the boundaries sound unreasonable, re-negotiate them respectfully or leave. Boundaries cannot be over-stepped without re-negotiation where respect is present.

In my experience, when compatibility and respect are properly balanced, communication issues are few and severe misunderstandings far in between. Apologies are genuine and forgiveness easy. A person who feels appreciated, loved & respected will be more forgiving. A person who feels unappreciated, unloved & disrespected is more antagonistic, bitter & unforgiving.

(3) Lack of We are our own little Gang mentality/attitude. Politically correct members of society say “we are in this together” or “we are a team”.

For love to be enough, one has to feel that they belong with the other person. Totally. Like Lily & Marshall. So glued together that when a 3rd person even considers attacking, annoying, gossiping, looking down etc on one of you; the other jumps the 3rd person! Immediately & brutally. You have each others backs & you keep each others secrets. Your safety, well being and/or success is not more important that your partners.

(4) Plan Bs are a love killer or a love challenge at the least. In my limited experience, a case of one foot in one foot out usually means both feet out. If there is some other person, place or experience that feels more interesting, more important, more exciting than your partner; then love will not be enough. Especially if most of these things feel more fun when done without the partner. If mother dear is better at most things. If your best friend understands you better, always. If that fight you had yesterday made you wonder if you really should be together.

 

 

 

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Recommended Art: The 2 movies to watch this Month

If you don’t do anything else this month, do this!

2016 ended with the hysteria of Have a Valentine Dinner with Idris Elba. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had my moments with Idris, but he is getting on; isn’t he?

trevanteDare: In 2017, let anyone, & I mean anyone, up a video like that with Trevante Rhodes on it! I will be all over that shit like a bad rash. Oh. God. Please. Let Someone.

Last weekend I had 2 dates. Good dates.

The 2nd date was on Saturday with a friend who is culturally cultivated. The movie was the highly recommended Moonlight.

Forget about the movie. I don’t really care about the movie. It is him, he doesn’t become wonderful until the end.

First, it is a clumsy boy who everyone loves to abuse, disabuse & ignore. Except the drug dealer of course. Whatever his name is.

And then it is a teenager who is gay and lost. Abused, disabused & ignored. Or not. And there is another teenage boy who is not so important touching him at some point.

chironSuddenly, from no where, he is this man. No, he is these muscles. these fantastic muscles and the wonderful eyes. He has these awful golden teeth but who cares when you look at those eyes and those muscles.

His regular smile, without the golden teeth, is beautiful.

He is supposed to be gay but I don’t believe it. I would not be having all those feels if he was gay. or? Because if he was gay, only the gay guys would be feeling anything looking at his muscles and his so “come here” eyes. And the lips; just slightly open. Just look at those eyes and those lips!

After Moonlight, I left the movies wondering: “what do I do with all this heat, warmth, wanting love?”

The explanation for my not so lady-ish, catholic nun-recommended feels? I watched Moonlight just 24 hours after watching 50 shades darker. As you can guess, this was with a kind of loose canons gang of friends.

50 shades is ART. Real art. The shit. There is even an art display room called the Red Room. Art in its best form.

I never saw 50 shades of Grey. I read the book. I am pretending to be better that those who watched the movie.

smiley-emoji

Someone once said to me that the 50 shades franchise is for middle aged women who are starved for fun and sex. This was during a weak moment when I was pretending to be better that those who watched 50 Shades of Grey.

That someone was wrong! Totally not true! They were speaking about the movie. Not Mr Grey.

Mr Grey, the master is h.o.o.o.t. Watch 1:02-1:04 and let me know if that is for middle aged ladies!

I left the movies wondering “what do I do with all this heat, warmth, wanting love??” My wonderful friends recommended a sex shop where I can actually buy the “balls” and other paraphernalia that can be useful.

But just for this night, it was too late to buy any of these wonderful recommendations.

You will thank me after you’ve watched these! Or not.

Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes and listens with the soul – Part 2

Part 1 is here

Yes. the Carmelite sisters taught me all I know about discipline, hard work, rebellion and self respect. They also opened all our letters, read them, censored them with a marking pen and then handed them Carmelitasover. I was a small thin girl with short hair. So sister Paula called me to the “letter reader’s office” [there really was a letter reader!] and she said “Linnie, if you weren’t so small and innocent I would think this is a boy disguised in a girl’s name. But I am happy to think that it will take a while before boys notice you at all! You have no breasts!!?” She looked me over, smiled and handed the letter to me. She then shooed me out of the office.

Encouraging. Very encouraging. I have a lot to thank the sisters for. Although puberty and discipline (rules) were at odds with each other for the four years they shared a compound.

For  many years, I thought the two verses were the whole song. Until I moved to Sweden 10 years ago and looked it up because I wanted to send the CD/LP to Sessa back in Nairobi. I then found the whole.

In mid November 2002, the end of my 2nd year in high school, I received another letter from Sessa. Nothing special with that, I received a letter from Sessa bi-weekly. If the nuns didn’t keep it too long, then I received two letters at once. Which was fine with me.

Dearest, dearest, good things are happening!! the letter began

Hope you are ok and hope the nuns are treating you as Christians should treat each other. She was, and still is cheeky when she sets her mind to changing status quo

Are you really a good street child in the play? I know you can act but you are so proud! A street child has to be dirty, humble and broken. That is what you have to be good at.Taking care of the garden in the mornings sounds like fun. I would have liked to do that with you. But mass in the morning feels exaggerated. Do you really think the priest would be having a relationship with sister Paula or are you just mean? Is it because she reads your letters?

thank you for the book about Anna Frank. Mom said you are keeping my head in the sky so I am hiding all new books at the Salon. The ladies like it. They say it fools the customers that we are classy ladies. Sessa had been training/working at the Rwandan owned salon outside our court, musaponi court, in Komarock, Nairobi. She was learning to be a hairdresser.

Be kind, be nice, be strong, be happy.

Chari has been to visit and yesterday, she informed me that I could find a job at a tourist restaurant at the coast. A place called Watamu. It sounds tamu tamu (sweet sweet) already. I plan to go and see. But I won’t leave until you have come home for Christmas holidays. When will we see each other if I leave without seeing you in December? Only God knows. I am now earning a little more at the salon so I am saving a little money for you so you can come with me and see where I will live. We need to move to a bigger place so Tensa & I can have a room. If I move to the coast, then at least Tensa can have the room to herself. It is no longer comfortable to sleep in the living room. Some privacy is needed since you know what… [referring to puberty, breasts and menstruation] Hopefully I will earn some more in Watamu.

I am happy that I did not rush to marry Timo. When I move and work far from here, I may be able to wait so we can  marry at the same time!! Nobody will bother with me then and I can just wait. [If you become a sister, I will also become a sister.] I thought she did that to please the nuns

Number 52 fought all night last night again. And she is pregnant again. Remember last time we wondered if you can get pregnant from fighting??!! But I will tell you more when you come home.

I don’t know, do you think it is a waste that I am better at hairdressing now  and then I am going to work at a restaurant?

Lots of love from Sessa Sessa.

We both knew my parents would never allow me to come with Sessa. And we also knew that I would come with her anyways. But we never spoke about permission or the lack of permission. We just planned our lives and went about it.

Where mother felt Sessa was holding me back, a bad influence with no prospects; Sessa’s mother felt I was keeping Sessa fed on a dream that would never come true. A dream of independence, freedom, own income.

Schools opened during the 2nd week of January. We would have plenty of time.

Valentine’s day & the rabbit stew

It is valentine’s day tomorrow. I will be quite happy if an sms/whatsapp/messenger message finds its way to me asking how I am doing. Genuinely asking.

This weekend, we spoke about valentine’s day. For some reason it was almost ½hr dialog about “how rabbits celebrate valentine’s day”.

How decent, adult people; and lady brought up by nuns come to that question?

Thanks for asking!

Stockholm has so many rabbits, sometimes, they have to be shot to control the population. So maybe, just maybe, we saw a couple of rabbits running around happily, completely oblivious of the fact that they could be shot any minute.

Or stewed.

I was busy thinking of valentine’s day and what it means for rabbits when the memory of childhood rabbits popped in my head.

A boy needed a pair of shoes. He really wanted a specific make that lasts long. In his tactical planning, if he got a pair of Safari boots, a size too big, he could have them for 2 years before he needed a new pair. In 2 years, he would have saved enough for a new pair of the same.

The boy was 10. maybe 11. maybe 12. not older than 12. The boy & his older sister have tried to remember exactly without success. Repression.

If you know how alcohol infected families work, you know that needing something does not translate to you getting it. You can walk around in too tight or torn shoes. Too small or torn clothes. Too messy hair. Dying of malaria etc Regardless, an adult will prioritize alcohol over your need.

The boy got an entrepreneurial idea. He would rear rabbits. Rabbits breed fast. He could sell the kittens/bunnies. Keep the mother rabbit for continuous breeding. within 6 months, he calculated, he would have his first pair of safari boots.

He worked after school, for over a month! Helping a neighbor with one thing or the other.1 Kenya shilling a day.

Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

He paid 30 Kenya shillings for the mother rabbit. He borrowed a buck from a neighbor two villages away (2 hours walk from home). Within a month and a half, the boy had 4 kittens! The sister could hear, feel, sense and help him count the money that was on the way into his little torn pockets.

Everyday, on their way home from school, the boy & his sister picked weeds by the roadside. For weeks. Food for the rabbits. On Tuesdays, market day, they ran by the market, which was forbidden by the adults toxic people; to collect cabbage pieces left lying around when market closed.

About 3 weeks after the birth of the kittens, they came home from school with their small handfuls of weed. They head to the rabbit house. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the boy had built that little rabbit house, with little help from his sister, with sticks, nails, iron sheets, reeds, anything they could scavenge, borrow or steal without being caught.

The rabbit house is empty. The boy starts to shake. They can remember a cat. And a goat.

They finds mother. In adulthood, they can’t remember if they looked for mother specifically, called out, or just found her in the kitchen. He asks about his rabbits. In character, she avoids looking at him. “ask your father” she says.

He goes towards the main house to ask father. Halfway across the corridor, he turns around. Back to the kitchen.

The rabbit mother, the doe is stew. In the kitchen. In a cooking pot just beside mother.

He asks, tears running down his face without a sound:

“the babies?”

mother: “he sold them and went drinking”

he: “where were you?”

mother: “what could I do?” still not looking at him.

The sister takes his hand & leads him away towards the river. To the big stone by the oak tree where the big snake may or may not be hiding her babies.

The boy is still entrepreneurial. A teacher who runs all sorts of small businesses together with his wife to supplement their income.

Where there is even a little love, some things can be salvaged.

 

 

Too good to stay relationships?

I suppose we all have, ok.

maybe not all of us.

some of us maybe?

a few of us?

Never mind! For those of us who have read the book, Too good to leave, Too bad to stay, the knowledge that it could be time to leave, or time to commit, probably comes after Diagnostic question #20. Is there a clearly formulated, passionately held difference between you that has to do with the shape and texture and quality of your life as you actually experience it?

Well, my passionately held belief regarding marriage proposals is: “nothing shall be so extravagant to make me feel coerced, in debt or guilt-tripped”.

Imagine, then, my utter horror every time I read or hear of proposals where helicopters, expensive antique cars, serenades, videos on social media etc are involved.

If you are raised by an Nmom who cares lots about how things look outwards, they will enjoy the proposal so much they will say yes on your behalf. If you have a totally “balanced” mom NOTE: DOES. NOT. EXIST, they will see the nice guy you are turning down.

a-lady Being “a lady“, brought up by narcissists, I get my knickers in a twist, and see vividly imagine all the limitations that come with this kind of proposal.

  1. will I ever be able to get pissed at this guy without feeling like the biggest A-hole of this city??! A guy who proposed with a helicopter; can I get really, really pissed at him? Scream/shout at him? slam the door behind me? throw an IKEA plate at the wall near him I am conscious enough to NOT throw an expensive plate? lock him out of the house when he promises to come home early and then “looses track of time” 2 weekends running?
  2. Can I say NO to sex with this guy? You know; I am tired. I have a headache. a backache. an ear ache. my hand hurts. my toe feels weird etc NO. TO. SEX.  with super nice guy without guilt?
  3. Can I dislike this guy’s morning breath? mother? feet? can I dislike anything of him without feeling like the worst person EVER? I mean, poor guy, he proposed with a helicopter. He has a bank loan since then.
  4. Can I question this guy? not too much, this ego apparently needs stroking just ask him “are you sure about that darling?” without feeling like the most disloyal lady in the world? I mean he is the best, isn’t he?
  5. Will anyone ever want or bear listening to me when I want/need to vent about the dysfunctional relationship I am living within? Most people I know may enjoy my dysfunctional relationship a little too much to want to loose it. Yes, I know, crazy world!
    • The frenemies were not impressed with the proposal in the first place. According to them: “OMG! you are soooo strong, I never thought anyone would want to marry you!! & now this??! Congratulations!!”?
    • Nmom is more worried for my welfare: “Is he hitting you? violent? drinking too much? unfaithful to you?” answer:”no mom”. He just treats me like maybe worse than he treats his car.
  6. My real friends are exhausted by all the attention I have been getting from my beau boo boo, babie, babe, darling, lovie boo boo, strawberry muffins, cheese cake, tea with honey, who “works less” in order to spend more time loving me.

You can see why I am not married, eh? I win the “Overthink everything!” contest.