Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom

I’M CONFUSED!


Holidays… hmmm – I always find them more stressful than relaxing! My husband and I spend our long holidays with the two different families, as we live far away and thus rarely see them throughout the year.

But putting different families together with entirely different ways of perceiving the world can make a holiday exhausting. I cringe everytime I hear someone call a black man a ‘boy’ or when someone talk about ‘those people’. Keeping your own opinion about these matters to yourself for three weeks is no easy task! So I end up seriously needing to head back home at the end of our time away – needing a HOLIDAY!

My husband, on the other hand, does not find holidays such as these stressful. He tells me I am oversensitive and that I see things that aren’t there – or that I should just not worry so much about everything and not let myself get upset so easily. Yet, I can’t get myself to ‘chill’ about life in general…

Help! I'm confused!

So, I guess I am wondering: is my attitude bad, or is it okay – to be so sensitive about certain topics and to feel so serious about specific, say political, matters? It’s probably not worth estranging family members for the sake of making your opinion clear (such as the fact that black people aren’t inherently bad), but keeping quiet might lead to me being checked in at some kind of mental health institution… Seriously!

I found myself wanting to pray this morning: Lord, please set me free from all this stress (thinking of the Scripture that says that when the Lord sets you free you will be free indeed). But then I found myself not praying it – because what if the Lord indeed sets me free from worries about these things (for example, people making racist comments?). It doesn’t make sense… how can I just let things (important matters) go, when I know they are wrong, for the sake of peace? HOW do you find the balance between ‘letting go’ and standing up for what you believe in – especially when it comes to loved/close ones?

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10 thoughts on “I’M CONFUSED!

  1. Ek hoor jou. Ek voel ook baie so en weet nooit wanneer om iets te se of wanneer om net weg te loop nie! Het ook nou al geleer partykeer – for the sake of peace – is dit net beter om te SMILE & te WAVE 🙂

    • Alida! Dankie vir jou comment! Ek probeer dikwels myself uit die voete maak wanneer sulke praatjies begin, net om ‘n bakleiery te vermy, maar soms is mens vasgevang en kan nie uitkom nie! En ek kan myself net nie so ver kry om instemmend ‘hmmm-hmmm’ te knik wanneer iemand iets sE wat ek dink baie rassisties is nie! Haha – oi!!!!

      ***

  2. Sjoe… SO bly om te weet daar’s nog mense wat so voel! Ek dink egter dat die meeste van ons nie noodwendig die guts het om selfs aan ander te erken dat ons families sulke onsinnighede kwytraak nie! Well done Nicolette!

    • Hehe! Ja, skrywers moet seker maar soms hulleself ‘out there’ sit… Ek het een keer hierdie quote gelees wat vir my baie beteken het: ‘To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive’ – R.L. Stevenson

      😀

      Nicolette

  3. Martha on said:

    As ek moet stilbly sAl ek doodgAn en die rebelse mArtha sal een of Ander tyd uitkom. Ek glo in opstaan vir ander as hul nie self in die vertrek is nie. So ek sAl dit loooove om iets te sê though! As ek weet eks reg in ‘n saAk is dit nogál moeilik vi my om my mond te hou. Ek moet net voorÀf bid en vi Jesus vrA om my kAlm te hou en my opinie/geloofsoortuiging met kalmte en respek en in liefde oor te drA, Anders doen ek miskien meer skAde. Jou stndpunt gn mos nie oor die wen nie, maAr om die liefde wAt God vir ÁlmAl het oor te drA. En wanneer hul weet hoe jy voel, hoef jy dt nie heeltyd te herhaAl nie. StAAn op (sonder om eers verskoning te mak) en gaAn rustig voort met iets Anders wAt jy moet doen in die dAg :-). Dit lyk soos niks mar die agtergeblyde partye gAAn tog geraak wees deur jou optrede sonder dat jy iets verkeerds gedoen het. Nics ek bid vijo dt die Gees jou sAl lei, en ook vi jou mense dAt hul ook openbaring sal kry!

    • Dankie Martha vir jou comment! Ek’s verlig om te hoor daar is nog mense wat so ‘feisty’ soos ek kan raak wanneer dit by sulke ‘sakies’ kom! 🙂
      Dit maak my veral vies wanneer Christene rassistiese aanmerkings maak – en hulle dink dan dis glad nie rassisties nie – dis mos die ‘waarheid’! Oe la la!! Ek moet asemhalingsoefeninge doen!! 😉

      Nicci*

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Oh my gosh we have similar issues with a very close family member who is also a racist..where my hubby shouts and tells him he’s not welcome in our home which caused horrible sadness and estrangement for older innocent family members. THAT is awful. What I do, is a simple “OY!” and point my finger then he (the racist) says “OOPS, SORRY” and he really tries to stop, instead of trying to get a rise out of my husband. HOWEVER it is extremely difficult if we are in their household if that language starts…we just leave BUT they live down the road so we can. If we were staying with them (as we used to when we lived far away) we’d just go out for the evening (it used to happen) and eventually the pcture became clear..if they wanted to see us, that language had to stop. I feel for you..to get your message across in a way that doesn’t hurt the entire famdamily is no easy task! Another thought Nicolette…this is their stuff not yours and as long as you never agree with it, you don’t have to take it on … its their anger, their prejudice and ultimately their loss. So in your heart and with your husband you can agree to disagree. Hope this helps, my sweet friend X

    • Dear Anonymous

      Your comment means so much to me! I guess you can say ‘the light went on’ 🙂 As long as I don’t agree with any inappropriate comments, I can rest and find peace in the fact that it is THEIR opinion and NOT MINE: My heart and mind can remain light and free, knowing what my own opinions are. And I have indeed seen that sometimes giving no reaction, or getting up and walking out to go do something else (especially when someone is trying on purpose to ‘get to you’), takes the fun out of it for the person saying something racist/inappropriate. So no reaction, or removing yourself from such a conversation might just be the answer…

      Thanks so much***
      Nicolette

  5. Melanie Horn on said:

    I have found great freedom in the “that’s your opinion, this is mine” approach. Unfortunately, conversation is unlikely to convert someone who is comfortable with their own racism. I can never resist the little, “Well, you know I don’t agree with you.” There is no comfortable way out of this.

    • Hi Melanie!

      Thanks so much for your comment! It seems impossible to change some people’s minds, so the approach of ‘that’s your opinion, this is mine’, is probably best, yes!
      Sigh! I was at a braai this holiday where an older man made extremely racist remarks – I actually managed not to take him on: I said nothing, rather changing the subject or getting up to get something from the kitchen – it was not the appropriate time to take him on, as this braai was held as a special event for a special and close friend. I have learned that you also need to choose the right time for your battles…
      Looking forward to seeing you!***

      Nicolette

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