My Life After School

The day I left school for good was probably one of the most happiest moments in my life. So much has happened in my school years that has messed me up for a very long time. I hated boarding school. I developed a fear of everything and thus I went through life tensed and stressed and always in fight or flight mode. Not just in school per se but being a functional teenager was difficult for me. So Mum and step dad (PC) came and fetched me, as we drove out and over the cattle grid of the agricultural college I was at, I looked back and silently said ‘I never want to see you again, ever.’ That cattle grid gave me nightmares, krrk, it’s like a jail door being closed behind you whenever you come back to school and then drive up the road towards your dorm, oh how I hated it, yet it was also one of the most joyful sounds in the whole world whenever I left, krrk…. aaaah, freedom my old friend, til today I have not been back.Life After School

It was situation critical at home. During my matrix year my step dad had molested my younger sister, shattering her life and ours. Older brother Jakes went into a rage and got into a tussle with PC and would have killed him if he could. Oldest brother Broeks handled it in his always quiet and controlled manner but he too was seething inside. I went numb and smiled at the whole thing, putting up barriers so no one can get too close. I found escape in humor and laughter but I was most likely broken into a thousand pieces, I just couldn’t feel it and I never knew why I never felt what I ought to have, sigh, everything was one big emotional stuff up. Youngest sister Anna just kept on going while Poppie tried to comprehend why this has happened to her, again.

I don’t know how my sisters and mother coped. I was too busy smiling and joking around, growing to loathe myself for being so “insensitive” to the whole thing to even try and fathom what they must be going through. My dad found out about this and came face to face with PC one day. No punches thrown, no big confrontation or show down we all hoped for. Nothing, just quiet talk for few minutes and that was it. What was that dad? All my life you preach about fighting and manning up and here you are, timid as a mouse when another man had just ruined your precious daughter’s life. I’m confused, hit the guy dad, break him, kick his skull in, take revenge for all of us, do something!!!! Still, nothing.

I left with dad that time on his truck to spend some time with him. My mom was in tears, her youngest boy wants to go away with his father and she could not stop him. After so much has gone down with the family she knew dad with his manipulation will try and get into my head and turn me against my mother and everyone else. And he did try. Maybe I was happy to be away from all the drama a bit. We drove all over South Africa and it was nice actually. I slept a lot though. I remember dad saying that he couldn’t really bond with me because all I did was sleep.Life After School

During my last year at school mom bought a small apartment down by the river with inheritance she got from her dad. Mom and PC lived separately but she would still let him come and visit after all that happened. She later told me he used to threaten her a lot with suicide and he’ll kill her if she leaves him, so I understand now. He eventually died of some liver cancer or something. Broeks managed to make enough money for himself and went to the UK on a 2 year working holiday visa. In 2004 he borrowed Jakes some money to come over to England too but then he’s visa got denied.

That was a very low point for Jakes and I really felt sorry for him. I then took the money and managed to get a 2 year working visa and off I went to the UK. I was very excited, I almost pooped my pants on the plane from some bug or food I ate and all the stalls were occupied. If it was a second later things would have been ugly. I stayed with Broeks for 3 three weeks until I got a job and my own room in a shared house, actually I was too busy enjoying myself to try and find work, until he sternly told me, you need to work bro, that was in Farnborough.

I worked for a friend of ours Jason at his dad’s butchery and went to watch the Springboks play rugby against Wales in Cardiff arms park selling biltong and droewors. I was even a postman with a 3 speed bicycle cruising around in the snow delivering mail. Worked in a big industrial freezer packing frozen food in -30degrees temperature. The boogers in my nose froze solid and I could only stay in there for 10 min at a time. That gig lasted 3 days. Also carried plaster boards and did laboring jobs on building sites. Saw red hot chili peppers live in London Hyde Park but that was not so cool.Life After School

Broeks eventually came and lived in the same house I was in, above an Indian restaurant. I had an ok job at johnson and johnson factory. They made all sorts of scented stuff and my room was always full of scented candles. Broeks and I got along well and my drinking continued. It was at this time when Jakes finally got his visa and joined us in Farnborough. Now the free wheeling trio was back together and we bonded like never before. I still cried a lot like a little girl whenever I got drunk and wanted the attention of my brothers. I was possessive over them and wanted their protection all the time. Wanted them to care for me and I needed to know how much they loved me and I would test their loyalty and patience and love for me all the time.

They truly loved me and sometimes I would cry when I’m drunk because I’m so happy we’re together and I have their attention all to myself. They would just look at me whenever I teared up and smiled, deep down they knew Mannie was hurting badly and Jakes would always put his arm around me and just say ‘ja Mannie, I know’ something he still does today.Whenever we had a few drinks we’d talk intensely about the horrible things that happened to our family and how our dad excessively preached to us, we were truly sons of preacher man. We chatted about mom and how strong she is and the suffering she must have gone through, 3 perplexed guys trying to make sense of a life that has wronged us so as children and teenagers, a mom who saw her two daughters most sacred virtue get invaded and violated by a man she loved, her sons being manipulated into confused, angry young adults.

I don’t think we even tried to put ourselves in the shoe’s of our sisters, it’s too painful and heartbroken. We did cry for them though, many tears were shed for them and mom, we missed our sisters and love them dearly and I felt so tormented that I was never there for them the way Jakes and Broeks was, strong and bold to confront anything and destroy the monsters in our midst.

They were fearless and here I am, helpless and scared with seemingly no function. We were taught that men don’t cry, we fight, drink, smoke and there’s no time for sissies. So I never felt like a man and that crushed me. During all this bonding in Farnborough there was one night when we were in the kitchen in our place when Broeks and I got into an argument, both had too much to drink. I can’t remember what was said but we played some blame game or who was there and who wasn’t and then I pushed him too far, he swung at me and nicked me on the jaw and I manage to hit him on the cheek with an open palm.That was the only time he ever tried to hit me and I never went that far again with him. Felt really bad for years about that night because he did more for our us than I can ever imagine. I had hurt him that night, I saw it in his eyes just as he swung at me. Jakes came charging into the kitchen and pulled us apart and said hey what are you guys doing. Took some time to get over what was said.

Another friend had joined us from home, a school friend TN, so Jakes, Broeks, Jason and TN decided they are going to Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. I had a nice job and didn’t feel like an adventure like that because I was comfortable and was making my own money. So off they went and I stayed behind. I did get to see Wimbledon lawn tennis and that was awesome. About 2 months later I packed up and joined them in Edinburgh. I remember my bag was so overweight that I had to pay £250 just to get it on the plane. That was all my money gone. I was really excited and have been hearing of the wild parties they’re having and all the beautiful women. I couldn’t wait to join them, but I was most excited to see them and bond again.Life After School

So I arrived in Edinburgh with hardly any cash and I remember walking out of the train station in the city central and up princess street and this beautiful city just opened up before me and the castle was sitting high up on a cliff. Scotsman dressed in kilts and dresses played the bagpipe on every corner, the city was alive with activity and here I was on my way to see the two most important people in my whole existence, my heroes, Jakes and Broeks. They stayed in the Caledonian backpackers and when I saw them all again I was so happy. This was in the summer of 2005 also in the time of the G8 Make Poverty History negotiations. Huge amounts of people would march around the castle to try and put pressure on the world leaders to stand together and eradicate poverty from the world. Jakes and I once got caught up in a serious riot and riot police we’re closing in on everyone inside princess gardens. We were in the middle of it but got out safely. I continued drinking, smoking weed and cigarettes, but I added something else in the mix, ecstacy.Life After School

I’ll take drugs and we’ll all go out and play in the city, deepening our brotherly bond. Our childhood was snatched away from us, hurting and angry we face the world trying to forget and heal in each other’s love. Broeks also met an American girl and he’s been telling me about her ever since I got there, he was smitten. She was in Wales for some time and it was nice for her to finally be here and share this journey with us. I also had a girlfriend by then, Ellie, a Spanish girl who helped me financially because I partied too much whom I cheated on with Cobie. I rarely got work and relied on everybody else to provide for me. Played on their love and feelings to pay my rent and food because I took no responsibility to go out and look for work.Life After School

Broeks then moved away with his girlfriend and one night Jakes and I went to liquid room and got into a huge brawl with another group of Scottish lads. Jakes loves a good punch up, I mean the man has single malt whiskey running through his veins, standing tall and chiseled from African stone, as hard as a coffin nail and the hammer that crosses it. I can’t tell you how many villains he battled in his life time and still walked out unscathed, it’s just impossible to kill the bastard. So here we find ourselves, outnumbered and trapped in an underground club, side by side we stood and fought our way out, but alas, we were overpowered by the bouncers and got taken out. I got slammed into the dirt and Jakes lost it, it took two big guys to restrain him and after quite some time of trying to rope down this wild man he came crashing down next to me, two bouncers on top of him. The police got called out because it was a massive brawl. Jakes went to jail for the night and I was released to go home. He then eventually left for London leaving me alone in Edinburgh with my girlfriend.Life After School

Before I came to Scotland, back in Farnborough Broeks and I joined the British army. He did not get in due to his right eye not being 100%, had some accident when he went on a bender back in high school and messed up his eye a bit so couldn’t go on. Yours truly got accepted and was sworn in at the Edinburgh office to defend the queen, heirs and successors and got send back to England to begin basic training at Pirbright. I was in Edinburgh for 5 months, three of which I partied and then I stopped all drugs and some drinking because of the army intake. My relationship was on the death row and we sort of broke up when I went to the military. During basics I got cabin fever badly and needed to get out soon or go a.w.o.l.

Now in the army you can’t just walk out and say I’m leaving. There are procedures and forms to be filled in and must be approved by certain delegates. During Christmas of 2005 we got leave for two weeks and some pay. My ex Cobie flew back from Australia to be with me and we stayed with Jakes for some time. New years eve I got locked up in jail for the night because Cobie and were fighting and I was aggressive so they put me in slammer.

Got back to Pirbright and about seven weeks in I got released back into society, first went on a world war one tour with my platoon and then left. That was another good day for me, knowing I won’t be going to war and being institutionalized like I was back in school. Cobie and I were back together and went and worked on a dairy farm. This was 2006 and my visa was about to expire. We were sitting in bed one evening in our room on the farm and the discussion came up about marrying someone for citizenship. I have been thinking about asking her to marry me not just because of getting to Australia but I was crazy about this sheila. She said she could never marry for a visa and we left it at that. The next day she skipped over to me while I was laying bedding for the cows and said she’ll do it, she’ll marry me for a visa. I smiled and said cool, thanks. Immediately she got upset and said ‘well you don’t look happy, no I’m not going to do it anymore’. I’m like ok whatever.Life After School

One day she laughed at me and I got so upset and shouted ‘that is it, I’m leaving you, I’m leaving this farm and I’m leaving England, I am going home right now’ and I stormed off to pack my stuff. She hurried after me clearly seeing that I’m not joking. I’ve left her many times, at train stations or in the cold because she hacked me off and made me angry. She pleaded for me to stay but I had enough. I called the farm owner and said I’m leaving due to illness at home or something like that.Life After School

Well I couldn’t shake her and she followed me all the way back to South Africa. I actually manipulated the situation so she’d come with me. I didn’t want to break up. The fighting got worse, and resentment grew, we went to Kruger National Park and she got tick bite fever. We got back I sent her packing again, she left for Britain on Friday, surely never to return, the Monday she flew back to me, said she loved and missed me too much. My mom then sat me down one night and told me something very interesting.

I can’t remember when she announced this but she told me a story of when she was young, her and dad had a baby outside of wedlock, and in those days it was an absolute disgrace to you, your family and the dog if you have a child out of wedlock. Yes the dog also gets it 😉 The child was given up for adoption and he’s made contact with her for some time now.

Everyone knew about this chap and some even met him. I was the last to know, don’t know why, maybe because I’ll freak out or something and they don’t want to add this to my endless list of issues. Thought she was joking or pulled a prank on me but then the pictures and letters came out, even his mom who adopted him sent letters. I was stunned for some time. This was a lot to take in.

Cobie was there and we took a trip to Cape Town where he lived. We met my long lost brother and he is a very pleasant guy, just like us. Jakes and dad has met him before but dad says our brother is not his. Ok dad. He knows it is his child. Dad stayed over for a night or so and as always we argued about the old days and when he was in the house. I can’t remember the rest of the trip so well but we went home. Cobie left for the last time and never returned. That romance lasted 9 months, I was 21 at the time.

Life After School