a thousand words…

  • dscn6413_2
  • april 7th, 1993


it’s rather ironic that last night i was on tv in a wedding dress – or at least jennifer,  the character that i play in the soap that is my day-job, was in a wedding dress – because 16 years ago today, at about 1:15pm, my friend jean, took this picture. she was the only person who witnessed the two people in the picture, get married 15 minutes before.

yes, the person on the left is me. and yes, today it’s been 16 years since i got married  to the man standing beside me, actor **** ****** (his name is easily found when you google mine, i just choose not to mention it here).  so it’s our 16th anniversary, yet it just so happens that we have not lived under the same roof since about october 2003, right after my first trip to burning man – but that’s another story…

they say a picture never lies, so what can we tell from this photo?

  • fact: it’s down town at the los angeles court house. #111 hill str. 111  being one of my lucky numbers.
  • fact: note the round granny glasses. they were oliver peoples’ and flippen expensive let me tell you! i loved them and wore them for years. (even replaced a pair which got washed away after a champagne induced night time swim on camps bay beach!).
  • fact: echoes of hippydom – the hat in my hand has a flower and a peace-sign on it.
  • fact: the dress was his choice – bought the day before and proof that i who now live in pants, at one stage wore long, flowing, floral dresses. and yes, i got married in a(n almost) black dress.
  • fact: the rings which you can’t really see were bought on monday, sized and picked up on tuesday, at which point we said, ok, i let’s  make it tomorrow. so i guess this pic was taken on wednesday.
  • fact: he’s holding a sprig of bougeanvilla with which my friend jean (who i met in an elevator in the hotel ingelterra in rome) arrived, saying, you have to have a bouquet!
  • fact: i still used to smoke and the little red drawstring bag  which i bought from someone at the old market theatre fleamarket in johannesburg, and which i thought looked like a strawberry, contained my  cigarettes and lighter. i LOVED that bag, b.t.w. and i used it till it fell apart.
  • fact: you can’t see them, but i’m wearing red shoes.
  • fact: i was really messed up – it was about 6 months after i’d gotten raped and 1 month after i’d, without realizing it,  moved to l.a., where i would live for the next 12 years.
  • fact: after going on 6 years of separation, for whatever reasons, we are still married – a fact which my long-time BF abhors and which has (almost) derailed our relationship a number of times.

so, i’ll let the picture tell the rest of the thousand words, but today, on our 16th anniversary i think i need to call my husband and ask him for a divorce.

it’s about time, don’t you think?

a dubious anniversary

my phoenix woman image

my phoenix woman image

at 02:45 a.m., on this day in 1992, right here in johannesburg, a man came flying through my door while i was lying sketching  in bed and over the next half hour, proceeded to rape me at knife-point. 

it was the yeoville rapist, at the time, on a spree terrorizing the women in my neighborhood (now in jail due to his fingerprint on the glass of water i handed him). the police had put out a profile saying that he was targeting young white, blonde women. i certainly wasn’t white (the government at the time made sure i was aware of that) and i wasn’t blonde and being a 12 year incest survivor, i certainly didn’t think the universe had this ordeal in mind for me as well. so when the neighbor’s dogs barked all night, i ignored them. when i heard the creaking of the floorboards, i thought that i really should ask my tenants in my duplex next door, to be a little quieter at this time of night. little did i know.

half an hour later when my friend who was staying with me for the week, came home, preventing the threatened encore to my involuntary experience, the guy finally took off over the back wall and any plans for my immediate future came crashing domino-down. the worst violation was not being raped, it was that he stole my sense of immunity, that thing we all need to get through the day, past the horrendous leading news stories, the thing that helps us believe “it won’t happen to me”. once it does, it’s as if you can never let your guard down. every noise you hear is the warning you didn’t heed, every person you see who looks vaguely like the guy, is a threat. the only night i spent alone in the house after that night, was spent walking from the front door to the back, investigating every little rustle. and i was probaby right, because 2 weeks later when i flew to new york to be with the man who would become my husband, he broke into my house again and attacked 2 women who were house-sitting for me.

6 months later i had, even though i didn’t yet know it at the time, moved to the states, gotten married and developed both ovarian cysts and grave’s disease, a hereditary hyper-thyroid condition which i didn’t even know i had, but which can manifest itself after a major trauma. i walked away from my house, my career, my life, my family and friends and i did not come back till i got the role on this soap 3 years ago. i really never envisioned myself coming back to jhb ever again.

it took me years to recover from that night. in fact i don’t know that i will ever be fully “recovered”, but coming back to jhb forced me to stop running and face the demon, acknowledge it and say “namaste”. for many years this day would bite me. i spent at least the first year in bed with the duvet pulled over my head. a measure of my recovery is that i only remembered what day it was as i was driving to work this morning. a far cry from the constricting dread that would overcome me in the weeks leading up to this day in other years.

i drew this around the 1st "anniversary"

i drew this as therapy that first year



man with a gun (lyrics to a song i wrote)
it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

then through the door you came
your knifing eyes foretold my pain
and though it wasn't for my life you came
now it will never be the same

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

now i never can again
look the same at other men
though they didn't lie me on the floor
to take what they had come there for

even while i hid inside my head
imagining you in pools of red
i remember staring at the carpet
the one i'd chosen from the market

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

3.15 you took with you
my feeling of immunity
and in it's stead you left in lieu
hell in perpetuity

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts




http:phoenixflying.net – my site for survivors