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How The Phoenix Came To Be

You might be wondering why I have chosen the Phoenix to symbolise me.  Like the mythological bird, I’m a survivor who (every so often) destroys itself only to be born anew. I was inspired to start this blog by all the wonderful contributors to World Moms Blog, who were supportive of my first posts. I don’t claim to be particularly wise or intelligent.  I am simply a person who has been through a lot … and keeps on going!

Recently I came across the following quote:  “Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.” (Alfred Sheinwold)

Blog by the Phoenix is a space where I will honestly share my life experiences with you, in the hope that they can help you in your own journey through life. What follows is a very brief of synopsis of my life.  I’ll elaborate on the most pertinent facts in future posts, however this should give you an idea of where I’m coming from.

I’d also like to add a disclaimer before we go any further.  Everyone (whether they are aware of it or not) views things through their own “filter”.  Two people can live through the same experience and yet remember it completely differently. There is no “right” or “wrong” here, just different points of view. This is my truth, as I have lived it.

I was born in Rome, Italy, in 1969.  My family emigrated to South Africa in 1978 and I grew up in Cape Town (where I still reside together with my husband, 2 teen children, 2 cats and 2 dogs)!

My recently deceased father sired 5 children.  I’m the oldest of the 3 he had with my mother … and I only found out that I actually had an older brother when I was already an adult. The family dynamics are “complicated” to put it mildly!

I lost my virginity to date rape and remained in this abusive relationship for approximately 2 years. You see, I totally believed that no “decent” man could possibly ever love me since I was no longer a virgin.  I stopped caring about everything and was “happy” to let Mr X make all the decisions (down to what I should wear and when I should speak).

The same year I had to write my final Matric exams, my parents divorced. It was not an amicable divorce and the “fallout” from it caused a lot of pain to a lot of people for a very long time.

A few months after my 18th birthday I suffered my first bout of Clinical Depression.  I was suicidal.  I was saved by the love of the man whom I eventually married in 1991.  He put me on a plane back to my grandparents in Italy (my grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a doctor and my grandmother is an expert at “tough love”).  It took 3 months of therapy and medication before I recovered enough to return to Cape Town.

All I ever wanted to be when I gew up was a wife and mother … and maybe an author!  Just before my wedding I was told that I’d be unlikely to fall pregnant without medical intervention.  I wanted to call off the wedding as I didn’t think there was any point in getting married if we couldn’t have children.  Luckily my wonderful man convinced me that it didn’t matter.  Two years later (without trying!) I fell pregnant after all!  I immediately quit my job as a Medical Receptionist and devoted myself to my “miracle” baby boy.  After we survived the first 2 years (there will be a series of posts on this subject!!) my husband convinced me to try for a second miracle.  Again, with no medical intervention, it only took 6 months before I conceived our daughter.  I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my son for 22 months after his birth, and with my daughter for the first 11 months of her life.  Unfortunately the economic reality of our society is that it’s quite rare nowdays for a household to survive on only one income, so (reluctantly) I eventually had to go back to paid employment.

Since I always only worked because we needed the money (and had no career aspirations at all) I ended up being a Jill-of-all-trades!  My work experience runs the gamut from babysitter to telemarketer to sales representative to tour guide to librarian to optometric practice assistant (just to mention a few)!

I feel I have a lot to share and I hope you will walk by my side as I take my first tenatative steps into the world of bloggers.


Based on what you now know about me, what would you like my next post to be about?


14 Responses to How The Phoenix Came To Be

  • Alison says:

    I’m so glad to see you take the plunge to start a blog and share your writing and life stories.

    Despite your tough start in life, look at where you are today! That’s a great testament of your amazing spirit. You kick ass, basically. :)

  • Kirsten says:

    Welcome to the Blogosphere – later today I will add you to my blogroll! I look forward to reading your posts. For one of your posts I think you should expand on the date rape. Many people don’t regard date rape as “real”. People need to know that it does happen. Hearing more about your experiences could help teens and parents alike.

  • Welcome to the Blogosphere. It sounds like you’ve got so much to share! I’m sorry to hear you had a such a bad experiences in your life. It is great that finally you have found your love! Great to have you here!!!

  • Vixy :) says:

    :) you are and always will be amazing !
    You have helped me through plenty of tough situations with your dynamic thinking and you caring spirit.
    I dont know where i would be without you !
    Im proud that you are finally taking that step :)
    and i know you’ll be able to help so many more with your wise words

    <3 i love you :)

    Now go kick some metophorical ass :) :)

  • Congrats on your new blog. I so love the name and what it really means for you. Your posts and experiences will undoubtedly inspired a lot of people so keep on writing. YAY for you!

  • Maman Aya ;-) says:

    Congrats on the blog and taking the plunge! Your posts on WMB are always so interesting and well written, I look forward to reading them here as well! I agree with Kristen, too many people don’t view date rape as real. Tell that to all of the victims!
    Hugs from NY!

  • I’m so THRILLED for you!!! I think this blog is and is going to be fantastic!

    I want to hear more about EVERYTHING! Kirsten said date rape, and I agree, but I also am curious about your experiences recovering from your depression in Italy with your grandparents. You’ve emerged from so much. The Phoenix is certainly the right name for this blog!

    Jen :)

  • Lady Jennie says:

    Beautiful courageous post. :-)

  • Karyn says:

    This blog is going to be fabulous because you are fabulous. Shadows can haunt or transform – I love that you’re using the phoenix as a symbol of transformation for you. Yay for you!!

  • Liz says:

    Knowing you first hand, and having worked with you for the past 3 years, I know a lot about your life experiences. I believe that even though we have a big age gap, that we have become really good friends. We always have very honest discussions about our lives, giving each other advice and some times a shoulder to cry on!
    Sometimes we bump heads, and have a bit of a “tiff” – but in the end we always apologize and carry on like the good friends we are. My heart goes out to you when I recall some of our many discussions about some of your life experiences. I admire that even dispite all of your current health issues and depression, you still keep going on, and that you can be of some help to other people through your blog and in just sharing your experiences.
    You are a stronger person than you give yourself credit for! Big up to you! xxx

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