• My Story

    Chapter 7 – Health, Anxiety, Depression

    My moods dropped very very low in those final days of January, even though some special friends were doing their utmost to keep me busy. I worry that I will not be able to earn an income in the future. I feel like I have some kind of technical burn out. A complete inability to to handle any form of stress.  Deadlines and stressed colleagues basically send me into a catatonic state.  I can do physical labour for hours… but a computer? Can’t bear to open it… Relationships? Who wants to be with someone who is fine as long as everything is fine… why would anyone choose that uncertainty for a…

  • My Story

    Chapter 6 – Life…. WTF?!

    Diary insert from 5 February 2014 – “Couldn’t sleep again last night… migraine making me want to shoot myself in the head. By 6:30, I was nearly in full blown panic mode.   By the time it was ready to leave for work, I was convinced I would have a heart attack any second. I have felt that tightness way too many times over the last few months… feeling the beat of my heart, the sweat on my lip, the shaking of my body, and the anxiety that tightens around my heart making me feel like my chest is going to explode.  I can’t do this… I can’t go to work today.…

  • My Story

    Chapter 5 – Love

    My stepsister, and Nick’s other half-sister, went to visit him for his birthday in November 2011. She phoned me immediately afterward to question the state of my mother, and the whole story of her alcohol and drug abuse came out. Carina was horrified and we decided to meet to discuss the next step. She was adamant that Nicholas needed to be removed from that home environment, and I was in full agreement. We met with a counsellor at SACS Junior School, Lindy Ackermann, who had been seeing Nicholas for a few years. We explained the full story, a lot of which she knew or had gathered from her sessions with…

  • My Story

    Chapter 4 – Addiction

    We left for a pre-booked Thailand holiday and my mom and I grew to be best friends for a short while. But after a while she completely fell apart due to my brother’s suicide. she started drinking way too much, and taking more and more cocaine to get through each day. What followed since 2006 were years of alcohol and drug abuse, paranoid delusions, verbal and physical aggression, talks of suicide, being beaten by her boyfriend, rehabs and overdoses. She was going through her inheritance from Ossi very quickly and I would have conversation after conversation with her, discussing budget cuts and how she needed to save. That was in the times…

  • My Story

    Chapter 3 – Death, Grief and Guilt

    I started studying Travel and Tourism Diploma at Varsity College in 2004. I still am not sure how the woman got me to sign up to study tourism when I went there to sign up to do a UNISA Psychology course after my mom and Ossi had talked me out of studying animal behaviour as a job with animals wouldn’t pay enough. Studying Travel and Tourism turned out to be one of the best moves I ever made… I absolutely LOVED learning about the world and excelled, for the first time in my life achieving over 95% for all my subjects. I got mugged on Noordhoek beach with a friend…

  • My Story

    Chapter 2 – Adolescent Years

    My mom made sure that before I got to high school, I looked a bit prettier. By prettier I mean I got braces for two years and my Dumbo ears were pinned back to my head. Full brain surgery looking patient for a few days!! Highlights were put in my hair, my legs were waxed, and she wanted to fix my pimples by putting me on the pill. Yikes! I had lied about getting my periods that year to impress her as all the other girls had been getting theirs, and now had to come clean that I hadn’t in fact had my first period yet.  Things improved slightly after…

  • My Story

    Chapter 1 – Early Childhood

    I was born at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, making an early arrival at 1.55am on 24 November 1984. I was born to William and Janet McIntosh, and joined a brother of 2 years, Ryan.  Unknown at the time, my birth was unfortunately the beginning of the end for the small McIntosh family. My mother developed post-natal depression and found it incredibly difficult to cope with a new born as well as a demanding 2 year old. Within 18 months after my birth she had moved out, leaving my brother and I under our father’s care.  A divorce followed when I was 2, and a few months later she started dating our…