Anathi: A Lifeless Womb has done more for me than I had imagined. It has been a wild ride these last 12 months and I am eternally grateful to all who have read and have taken the time to send me their thoughts, you guys are legends!
Generational Family Secrets and Lies – Anathi
“When generational secrets and lies make life hard, you have to go in search of the truth…”
I wrote Anathi after a scary time in my life (more on this in another post) and I was focused on healing certain parts of my psyche. A year later and there are some shifts that I will talk about below, first I want to reminisce over the last 12 months.
Last year was a hard year. Little did we know that it was a teaser, 2020 has been Jumanji on steroids. We all needed a group hug at the end of 2019 and so the launch was just that! A room filled with women, with the explicit intent, to hold each other’s stuff.
I was blown away by first, the number of women who needed this safe space. I was sad to have to turn people away. Secondly, by how open these women were with each other, it was an afternoon filled with tears, laughter and the sense that none of us is alone. It was all I envisioned and more.
It did start off to a rocky start with my event planner running super late (but that’s a story for another day.)
I met women I didn’t know from a bar of soap and I have since kept in touch with some of them. And then there were women who always show up for me, without being asked to. These women aren’t people I call everyday friends but they hold a special place in my heart because they ALWAYS show up! And have helped me process hard things, whether they know it or not.
So I want to take this moment to thank Zuko, Thando and Karabo. Thank you for always heeding the call and bringing sunshine into my life whenever our paths cross. Ningadinwa and may your own paths forever shine bright.
The launch could not have happened without the help and full bouquet service from Phumzile and Nkosinathi, the owners of Zulu Republik, a creative hub aimed at helping artists do their best work! They are multi-award winning photographers meaning they fully grasp the struggles artists in South Africa face and are focused on changing the status quo.
The stories from other women
The stories I have heard from other women have been heartbreaking. But as Rumi reminds us “the wound is where the light enters you.” I have lived this through the sharing Anathi: A Lifeless Womb has afforded me. The power to healing lies in sharing our stories with people who know what it feels like to suffer alone.
And who knows more about suffering alone than a mother who has lost a child she didn’t get to hold? Or a person who has tried for something and watch it all implode?
In 2020 we still don’t know how to navigate these waters. I’ve had women share some of the comments they have had to endure from others, “at least you’re still young you can try again,” or “have you thought about adoption?” or “well, you at least have two kids!”
Yes, people mean well but these comments speak to our inability to comfort the grieving mother. We don’t tell people, “Well you can go to an old age home and pick a new mother.” Or whatever ridiculous pacifier we tend to use for mothers who have lost their babies.
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month child, and we need to keep women who have lost their babies in our hearts and minds and educate ourselves around the sensitivity their loss needs.
And on goals missed, we are still scared to share our failures not recognizing that it is on sharing where we can help the collective do better.
Generational traumas came up more times than I can count during these talks. Many around lies about who a child’s father is or where the family originally belongs. Others were around the fear of embracing a spiritual gift because the family has turned its back on African spirituality when the truth is the family’s genesis is rooted in African spirituality.
The consensus is that grown folk are economical with the truth and we need to be the generation that changes this. Too many families do not share the genesis of their roots and this lands the younger generations in difficult situations later in life.
We need to be the generation who gathers all we can about our families and guard our history against dying off with the generation that precedes us.
Writing Anathi gave me the courage to ask the questions I needed answers to. It gave me the strength to move away from people who are not concerned about my peace and growth. It also put into perspective some of the issues that plague our family, and no one wants to speak about.
More than anything, it helped me understand my grandmother a little more. I got the opportunity to put my little girl feelings aside and see her as a young woman filled with grief over the loss of her babies.
A woman who had no one to talk to about her pain and opted to carry it all alone. And what we know about suppressed pain is that it manifests in all other areas of your life, and my grandmother has been in pain and playing it out ever since I can remember. Writing helped me let go of the relationship I believe was owed to me and focus on the loving relationships I have.
My growth this last 12 months has been noteworthy. I am allowing people to be, a lot more than I used to. I have recognised that we truly are fighting internal struggles and I have no authority on how the next person should process their pain.
I am learning each day that my only responsibility is to figure out what I can or cannot live with. It is not my job to tell others how to be. It is a hard pill to swallow especially when you’re recovering from control freak syndrome.
Since writing the book, there’s been healing within the family. I will not attribute everyone’s healing to the book but, the book has opened up the conversation around the issues that matter, for me at least.
It has allowed me to be vocal about the lies grown ups in my family have locked away! And although I had hope my grandmother would open up like a flower and spray us with the truth, her decision is we should leave her alone with her lies. It hurts but, as I said, I am letting people be.
I do wish my grandmother all the peace every human being deserves. I pray she will one day know what joy feels like and will yearn for the lightness telling the truth affords one. I accept that I can no longer force her to help me on my healing journey, even though her input would make a few things a little clearer, it is my responsibility to heal what I can and to strive to live my truth.
I wish you this kind of acceptance on your healing journey.
The Future- A Cover Reveal!
For those who have read the book, you guys know there are two more books to complete the series. And yes, I have been slapped left and right by your hostile question. “When is Amahle coming out?”
Here is your answer: I want to take you on a journey that will leave a mark in your life and encourage you to make the changes that you may need to make. For this to happen, it takes time. I want to make the wait worth it. Amahle will be released before the end of 2020.
For now I would like to reveal the book cover and a pre-order link…
The pre-order will start at R200 and will go up every week until the release date. In short, get it while it is at R200 for a signed copy and free shipping.
I have had a beautiful journey with Anathi. The book won an award within a year of release. I am excited that this is only the beginning. The world is opening up to healing past traumas and I believe fiction is the best way to investigate the parts that hurt, without being intrusive. It is an amazing medium to help us remember we aren’t alone. What you feel and ache from, someone out there feels and aches it from too.
I am eager to welcome more readers to the fold, yes we have a whole thing going on here. I am grateful to all of you have touched my heart and have checked in throughout the year and have fully invested in this journey of healing through stories.
Help me wish Anathi: A Lifeless Womb a 1st HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
And my gift to those who already own a copy of Anathi is an additional 10% OFF when you pre-order Amahle.
Thank you all so much. May we all continue on our healing journey and may we remain open to all life has to offer.