Life · Love · Psychology

The Stockholm Syndrome

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot–it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”
– Maya Angelou-

We all know about the Stockholm syndrome, right? Or maybe I am being too presumptuous? Anywho, the Stockholm syndrome is where the kidnapped person after some time begins to develop feelings of empathy and sympathy towards the kidnapper. Downright crazy, right? Maybe not. The human psyche is nothing short of amazing. The things human beings do! *rolls eyes*

So anyway, this phenomenon came to mind the other day when I was talking to a friend of mine. I have been recently going through a break up from a long term relationship and I was going crazy trying to come to terms with it. So we analysed the relationship and looking at the negatives, she suggested that every time I found myself crying over him, I should think -Stockholm Syndrome! I found this hilarious. At the same time I thought about how many times we are wronged, yet we keep sympathizing and empathising with our so called captor. I say captor because, aren’t you a captive? A captive of your own feelings? Your soul is sold. No matter what this person does to you, you still make excuses for them.

A long time ago, I was married to an abusive man. Physical,verbal and emotional abuse. I have never spoken out about it in depth for the trauma and horror of it all. It changes people’s perception of you as they know you. I digress…story for another day. The point is, I made excuses for this man for a long time. he made me believe I was nothing. It was always MY fault.  I stayed, why? Stockholm Syndrome. I would sympathise and believe that I actually made him mad. I made him hit me. I was young.  I didn’t realise that he was wholly in charge of his actions, until the day I realised I was a captive. I had developed the Stockholm Syndrome and it was about time I took charge of my life. The problem was, I had so long been used to being treated this way that I took it to my next relationships. I was a sum total of all I had ever experienced.

In this recent case, I allowed myself to be manipulated emotionally. I was making excuses for being treated badly..oh maybe he is going through issues, oh maybe..maybe…maybe… There will always be a reason why people do things, but it should be none of my concern to a point.  I have no business allowing someone to treat me like a second option. I am work in progress. We are always evolving, learning to become better versions of ourselves.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”

So whenever you start identifying with your ‘captor’ and making excuses for lousy behaviour, STOP! Think Stockholm Syndrome and Run! Identifying only means you keep getting the short end of the stick. It is not easy to break habits that are set. You need to realise you are worthy. You deserve better.

“The past has no power over the present moment.”
– Eckhart Tolle


Life · Love


“He started to estrange her..

and they became strangers

who knew each other’s heart,

so broken as they drifted apart.”

~Ana Claudia Antunes~

I talk a lot about love.Maybe it’s because I believe in love. I believe that loving someone is not something that you just wake up and decide to do.You grow that love over time, and as hard as it may be, you keep loving that person no matter what.

Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

This is one of my favourite quotes from The Velveteen Rabbit, a children’s book by Margery Williams.I read it a long, long time ago, but these words have never left me. In essence, love just is. You love someone for who they are, not for what they have, or what they can do for you.It is unfortunate in today’s world, love is a word that is bandied around a lot.It lost meaning a long time ago. Love is becoming real like the Skin Horse says.It takes a long time, and even when you are old and grey, love is still blind to any imperfections.Once you love someone, they can never be ugly, except to those on the outside looking in.

Lots of times we say we love someone, and we may mean it at the time.We are constantly changing, and those feelings may change with time. Unless two people make a conscious effort to keep up with these changes and make compromises as they go along, they may end up estranging each other. Two people who happen to know each other’s hearts so well, and yet are complete strangers. I have been a victim of this in the past.I changed, and someone was not willing to make compromises for me.We became estranged.Someone has changed in the recent past and I have not been willing to let go while it is what was required of me.It has been so hard to make that compromise, yet I have no option but to.I love this person deeply, so it is only fair that I let him go because it is what is right for him. We have become estranged, and I have been clinging on, which is not fair to me, or him. Promises were made, and broken.I need to forgive and move on.I need to find closure.

In these situations, the best thing is to love them still, but from a distance.Let them go.If things are meant to be, they will be. To me, he is real, he will never be unreal.For sure, when you are real, you don’t mind being hurt, and being real only happens to those who don’t break easily.I am real, more real than I ever have been, and I will not break, as much as I feel like I am coming apart at the seams.It wasn’t anything I did, yet I have tried everything to make things right. The only thing that I can do now, is to let go and let God.

Life · Love

The Fourth Floor

I turn  40 in exactly 8 months and 13 days!!! Forty!!How?Where did the years evaporate to?Just the other day I was 25.Now I am a turning 40 year old woman who is more than ever aware of her mortality and the dreaded monster called aging.Since time immemorial,man has been searching for the mythical and yet elusive fountain of youth.We all desire to stay young and being called young is a compliment.When we are young,we hate being called kids and when we age,we want to be called young…(rolls eyes)

“I am convinced that most people do not grow up..we marry and dare to have children and call that growing up.I think what we do mostly is growing old.We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves,the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” Maya Angelou captured it perfectly in these few words.We just accumulate years and gain a little more knowledge every day.I have not grown up, I am still the little girl I was years ago, I have just gained some experience and known a few more things than I did then.Did I grow up? I may have, to please society- because it is expected of me, but it does not necessarily mean I enjoy it.What I am sure of, is I am as young as I feel.Growing older does not mean you lose sight of the excitement.It’s interesting what society expects of us when we reach a certain age.Why do I have to be all prim and proper because I am a Mom?Who gets to decide what is right or wrong? Who says I cannot wear ripped jeans because I am 40? Who died and made anyone judge and jury?

Life is fickle.You may be here today,gone tomorrow.Life is for the living. You ought to really live.Read all the books you can, walk in the rain,enjoy sunsets.Sit outside on a moonlit night and watch the stars.Fall in love.Play with your children, keep in touch with family.The best thing about growing older is the realisation that I live life on my terms. I have no tolerance for fake people.Two faced individuals with fake smiles and fake love.I keep it real.I have realised that how I love now and how I loved in my twenties is different.Experience teaches you a thing or two about character judgement.If today I had the same choices, but knowing what I know now, I would not choose some-actually, most of them.

I am looking forward to being 40.They say life begins then.I am not afraid to love.To give my all. I am not afraid to try out new things.To be bold. My bucket list is overflowing with things I would love to do before I die.I will strive to do as much as I can, but I will enjoy life in the process.Life is too short to be wasted on trivialities.

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”~George Bernard Shaw~

Life · Love


There is a sacredness in tears.They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” ~Washington Irving~

We all crave for love.It is only human.Thousands of songs have been written about love,many tears shed because of love, millions  of books written-poems, prose…What is romantic love- really? Shakespeare called it a smoke made with the fume of sighs, a choking gall and a preserving sweet.We all desire to be loved and for sweet nothings to be whispered in our ears…whether in sincerity or not.It’s just the way it is.We cannot change our  nature, but we can easily get disillusioned and become bitter.

I have had my heart broken in the past.It is the nature of love.You love, you cry over it and your heart feels like it could break into a thousand little pieces.The feeling that nothing is ever going to be right with the world takes over your mind.You think of nothing else..could I have done more?Could I have been a better person?Can I make amends?Was it my fault?You think and rethink.You wish you could turn back the hands of time, to a better time and place when you were happy, and in love.The unfortunate bit is that people change, feelings change.You cannot teach someone how to love you better,or make them love you more than they already do.When the time comes for them, or for you to move on, it is inevitable that hearts will be wounded and tears shed.The beauty of it all is that no matter how much it hurts, you shall eventually get over it.It may take some time,but time is the greatest balm for wounded hearts.With time you stop hurting and move on, and probably fall in love again.We are broken to be made whole.


I  have a soft spot for single parents because they seem to have a myriad of issues, and I write from a place of relation.Are single parents human?Do they crave for love? To find someone who loves them and their children?Of course they do!They kiss lots of frogs on the way, frogs who purport to be princes and princesses, but turn out to be just plain frogs.Some frogs do have the best of intentions-but we all know, good intentions never last…and one is left feeling cheated, wondering if it was your fault that he/she left.We cannot undo our children and we cannot wish them away.The question of:” you want me and don’t want my children?”is one that seems to pop up most.Is it so difficult to love another man’s  children or another woman’s children? It most definitely is.It is a conscious effort that you make when you meet a woman/man who already has children.

marry me

Ask yourself from the onset if you are willing to take on that responsibility.If you are not willing, don’t let the relationship blossom and then back track after a while when you realise that you are actually expected to take the children into consideration.This single parent has feelings too.What do you think it does to someone to say after a while, I am sorry..I just can’t deal with your children?Is it even fair?You do not fall in love, rather you grow in love.The more time you spend with someone, the more you grow on them, and it is certainly not fair to expect someone to just pack up their feelings and walk away cos you can’t deal with issues.Not fair even to children you had probably been introduced to and formed a bond.

single Mom

Many have cried and have wished that things could be different, but it is what it is.It is not about you, rather, it is about the person walking away.I repeat,your kids can never be wished away.Some day, someone will come along who cares not whether you have kids or not, but will love you anyway.Maybe I am too much of a romantic airhead who needs to get her head up from the clouds and realise that love is not worth it,but it is who I am.I believe in love, even when everything and everyone  around me tells me otherwise.I do not want to be cynical and disillusioned.Desiderata asks of us,”…neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.” So cry if you must, but remember, those tears give you power to heal.Remember also,that the walls you build around yourself to keep out the sadness, also keep out happiness.As for me, I still keep believing that this love I so believe in should not hurt.Don’t be  disillusioned, and trust in a better tomorrow.Your tomorrow is definitely coming.

~Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion~ Charles Swindoll




Jaded: ramblings of a muse

I have said time and again that I am a hopeless romantic.I believe in love,yet I am cynical about it at the same time- oxymoron of the year!I believe in soul mates,in the premise that everyone has someone out there, just waiting to be discovered.Sometimes I wonder too if I am not being silly and overly optimistic..maybe a tad naive to believe in things that only sound beautiful in theory,stuff that love stories and poetry are made of.
There are things that we all look for in a partner but most people are unrealistic as they come, and in the end wind up alone,or with the wrong partner,and most stay in relationships or marriages for all the wrong reasons. Financial security,kids,and many varied reasons.This begs the question, how many people are out there living a lie?Smiling on the outside, broken and miserable on the inside-lacking the courage to end the facade?Is it as simple as it sounds?Only the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most and for the people who actually walk away, it is a nightmare.No one understands, and why would anyone?It comes across as selfish and vain, but is it really?The human mind can only take so much and at some point it’ll buckle under the weight of the lies and pretense.All it takes is one small thing and everything comes down like a house of cards.”Tibi Ipsi dic verum”- To thine own self be true.”
Enough said.

When I was 18,I got married to a man I thought was my dream come true…I mean,what did I really know at 18 about life?I was fresh out of school,naive and impressionable.They say at 4 years,children have all the questions, and at 18,they have all the answers!I had met my Prince charming, and were definitely gonna ride together into the sunset no matter what anyone said about it.Thing about me is,I absolutely hate rules.I hate being confined into one place and told I can’t do this or the other, and so I eloped and got hitched to my prince charming,why?Because they all said I couldn’t. Yihaaaaaa!Right? Wrong!Everything that could go wrong, did.As I started discovering myself, serious conflicts arose.I was in love with the idea of being in love,influenced by love stories of happily ever after and this man was 7,almost 8 years older than me, so he clearly knew what he wanted in life.10 years later?Divorced.Do I have any regrets?None at all,I have just grown up and become jaded about marriage and love…and yet still dare to hope that this soul mate notion is not just a mirage,it can become reality.

Almost a year ago I met someone.He was, and still is my soul mate.A male version of myself,a hell lot more intelligent though! Just the way I like them.I am attracted by intelligence,a superb sense of humour. They call people like us sapiosexual-people who are attracted by intelligence,which is a good thing,but is severely limiting sometimes.The human brain is the largest sex organ and basically, our sexuality is rooted in our childhood events,especially how we related to our opposite sex parent.I had a great relationship with my Dad, and he loved books…and so after the foolish marriage venture and I discovered what I really liked.I discovered I love intelligent men who love to read!Go figure!So anyway,I meet this man and we have almost everything in common.He is an introvert of sorts and I am ‘extrovertish'(will explain the ish in a bit)…but we clicked right from the word go and I discover we share the same taste in music,most books..he loves autobiographies and I hate them..loves politics and I hate it..but bottom line,he gets me.Understands all my weird thoughts,my constant craving for solitude-this explains the ish in extrovert.Extroverts love being the centre of attention and adore being among people.I am one chatty Cathy,but I crave solitude and love my own company,nothing a good book and some nice music can’t cure.

And so here we are,almost a year later and I am feeling a bit jaded.Questioning my beliefs and a lot of the things I believe in.Wondering whether love does exist or at best, what it is.Is it the chemistry that exists between two people,the heart flutters when you see them,the severe twisting pangs of jealousy when another woman/man so much as looks at him/her,the longing to spend time with the other person,the feelings of inadequacy when you look at your flaws and failings..just what is love?Is there anything you can ever do, or is there any particular way to love someone? James Ingram soulfully asks…”How do you keep the music playing?How do you make it last?How do you keep the song from fading too fast?How do you lose yourself to someone and never lose your way?How do you not run out of new things to say?And since we know we are always changing,how can it be the same?”
The worst and best thing about being a sapio is the fact that you are not able to date non readers-crippling and limiting.We associate reading with intelligence, which is not necessarily true.There are many people out there who are not readers but are highly intelligent, and the best part about it is you learn not to compromise on your standards,and as with everything else, pros and cons exist.We are at a cross road,not sure which direction to go.We acknowledge we hit a 90% match..but is it enough?We have to consider other factors like family…we are left feeling torn between.Where do our loyalties lie?With each other?Our children?Our parents?Do you throw caution to the wind and pray things fall neatly into place? Is there a right or wrong way?

The truth is I do not have the answers,no one does.Some people come into our lives for a season and a purpose,the best we can do is live for the moment, but also seizing those moments- “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” simply..seize the day, trusting as little as possible in tomorrow, for tomorrow is not promised.DO I regret anything?Regret falling in love,regret that there is a possibility we may not have a future together?I have realised that the answer is an emphatic NO!I have lived,I have loved.They say better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.I am okay with that.I have gained a life long friend in him, which is more important, having a friend you can always count on,one who will get your weird moods and will listen, not judging because he too, is just like you.

And so I remain shaken, but not completely stirred.