Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

Burgsworld: The Essential Collection – Part 3: Surviving Love & Life

February 28, 2011

Welcome to the third and final partof The Essential Collection. This selection of blogs recollects the blogs that shocked so many people. From skeletons in my closet to details of the tragedies i have faced (and avoiding several of my own from suicide to being hijacked). These all took so much out of me, and opened myself up to a LOT of criticism. However, it also provided a lot of people with solace in their own lives. From dealing with abuse, or feelings of inadequacy, or even surviving a tragedy of their own, there were so many of you who contact me to thank me for being “brave” enough to write the words i did, and for that I will always continue to be honest in my words.

Part 3.1: Surviving Love

My 100th Blog post: XoXoXo – My Feelings on Hugs & Kisses
My 100th blog turned into something a bit heavier than I was planning on. My feelings on getting physical.

“Hey didn’t I see you out with a hot girl last night…?”
Yes you did. I still like her, but we haven’t seen each other since this day

The Dating Dilemma – An Anatomy of My Love Life
An expose into my current love life situation. It’s explosive…if somewhat embarrassing.

Back then we called it Charming. Today they call it Stalking
I’ve always been able to find out everyone about someone I knew nothing about…now it just seems a tad creepy.

I Fell in Like Last Week…
Pretty self explanatory right?

Burg’s Laws of Attraction – A Tale of Sex and Romance
Exactly what kind of girl gets my attention? Who am I most likely to pick out of a crowd? The answers may surprise you.

The Trouble With Love

Yeah, I’ve been in love. A few times in my life. This is one such time, and as usual…I was love’s beeyatch.

The Contenders – Take A little piece of my heart now baby…
I love the feeling of having a crush on someone…sometimes a few people at a time. This was a list of the 15 women I was crushing on a few months ago. As of today only 4 remain of that list (with a few new ones of course) The Columnist, The Newbie, The Girl and The Muse.

I Just Landed in NYC!!! A Look at Love, Sex, and Friendly Relations
Without a male influence in my life, my view on love and sex is somewhat…skewed.

The Guy with The Awesome Personality
OF course guys have body issues. I swim in a t-shirt for a reason. This is the blog guys don’t want you to read.

Dude, babe at 9 o’clock giving you the eye…
My original thoughts on signals girls give off…they clearly haven’t change much over the years.

The Little Green Guy (no not mini Hulk)
I’m a walking contradiction when it comes to love and friendships. This could be due to my bipolar disorder I’m sure….

Part 3.2: Surviving Life

You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry….

A terrible year in my life started off with a mugging…

Rich Burg, Poor Burg: A story about Money

The Riches to rags, to riches story of ….me.

How to leave a job – The Burg way…(Part 1) How To Leave A Job – The Burg Way (Part 2)
A classic two part blog covering almost 13 years of my life and the jobs I loved and left. A favourite amongst former colleagues.

What Would The Neighbors Think? (Part 1)

A deeply draining blog that reveals only a portion of the things that have happened in the house of Burg. I will come back to part 2 eventually.

High School Confidential: Part 1 – NEVER FAIL!
For the first time I revealed the pain and darkness I had to deal with while trying to survive school. Including the details behind my own brother’s suicide.

High School Confidential: Part 2 – When It Rains, It Pours
Part 2 of the hardest blog I ever had to write. The secrets continue to be revealed.

Hey, remember that time I tried to end it?
Yup. Another suicide story. This time I think we got the answers we wanted.

The One With All The Birthdays (Part 1) The One With All The Birthdays (Part 2)
Finally everyone understands why I hate my own birthday. A selection of the worst birthday’s I’ve had to endure.

A Normal Day in South Africa..
The day I got hijacked and lost the last remaining iota of love and respect I had for this country I’m stuck in. I have not been the same since.

So that’s it…after 100 blogs, I’ve picked out the best of the best. Did I leave of anything you would of liked to have seen here? My book will expand on so many of these topics, and fill in a lot of blanks i have deliberately left out in some stories. I hope you will continue to support my work, because I really do believe these are the blog that helped me define who I am as a writer, and for the first time…I’m excited and confident that this is what I am meant to do with my life.


What Would The Neighbors Think? (Part 1)

November 23, 2010

I’ve never been one to give a hoot about what people think about me…which I suppose goes a long way in explaining the many experimental hairstyles and beards I’ve had (and continue to have), but the one thing I’ve often wondered about, is what the neighbors must think about us.

There has been so much drama in my house, even more so than Wysteria Lane. In fact, for the last 25 years, I’m pretty sure this house I live in has provided the inspiration behind everything from an E! True Hollywood Story, to an episode of The Last 48 hours on the Crime & Investigation channel to an episode of Takeshi’s Castle.

It’s hard for me to pick out a single good memory here, although I’m sure there is (right?), but I would like to share a few stories with you dramatic events that I’ve been through.

My Dad The Sharpshooter

The rest of my family always knew about my dads problems, and I guess as a child it was hard not to look up to your dad as your idol. It was this juxtaposition that always left me confused as a kid. I knew my dad could get angry…really angry. Especially when he came home drunk, which he so often did. My mom always did her best to keep my brother and I out his line of fire, often taken the beatings and herself while my brother and I would be hiding under the bed in a locked room holding each other for dear life and blocking the arguing with our tiny hands covering our tiny ears.

One night was particularly bad, there was a bad fight between my mom and dad, and he threatened to take us all out of this world and proceeded to get his gun (ironically the same gun my brother would years later take his life with), my mom fearing for our lives locked my brother and I in the car and then locked the garage so that my dad couldn’t get to us.

My mom had managed to phone our aunt and uncle to come help and keep the peace, as they did on many occasion (a fact my cousin actually recently confirm to me, which made me feel slightly better that I didn’t imagine all of this.).

Clearly the situation got sorted…but I always wonder what the neighbors thought…

Master of The Universe

Beatings were a regular occurrence at home, I guess it was my moms way of transferring the anger and lack of power she felt against my dad against us kids. I’ve already told you about one such beating in my High School confidential, but there was so many more that happened, and even more that I’ve probably forgotten about.

I was always a huge Masters of the Universe fan, and my love for collecting action figures and merchandise went back to those days already.

When the live action movie came out, I was a kid in love! He –Man was real! Along with the movie came a whole new range of action figures. The new range had some cool new characters, and I begged and begged my mom to get me one.

Which she did. As a kid we never really appreciate things like this, and I remember when I opened it I saw that it was a character named Gwildor (yes I’m sure the spelling may be wrong, but go with me on this). Now Gwildor was a dwarf life character whose action figure didn’t do all that much. Being disappointed, I ended up being ungrateful and mocked the toy saying “all he does is twirl his weapon” and I sarcastically twirled his accessory, my mom was so angry that she grabbed the toy out my hand and threw it out the car window.

Then when we got home she beat me with a belt. And told me that I need to pay her back for the toy immediately and for every hour I don’t have the money I will get another beating.

Of course I didn’t have money. I was what…10?

Like clockwork, every hour I got a beating. When my dad got home she told me I better get the money from him.

I told him about this toy I saw and begged him to give me the money for it…My dad always treated me like gold, and said sure, but he’d get me the money the next day.

Phew…probably solved right? Not exactly. My mom continued to beat me every hour until bedtime that night. She would come into my room beat me with the belt and tell me not to let my father hear.

Longest. Night. Ever. but I always wonder what the neighbors thought…

Dad Dies

I remember the day of my dad’s death crystal clear. I guess I’m thankfully that the night before his early morning heart attack, I had in fact spent a loving night with my dad watching wrestling I had taped on the TV. Survivor Series 1989 to be exact. I, as a child does, ending up ruining the ending for him, but I’m so glad I had that moment with him.

In the early hours of the morning, I woke up to screaming by my mom, and as I wondered out of my room there was chaos…my mom running around, one of our neighbors was there, and I had no idea what was going on…until I looked to my left and saw my dad laying dead on the bathroom floor. Suddenly I felt as if I was floating away, but in reality it was our neighbor who picked me up and carried me to the lounge to be with my brother while all this madness was going on. There was an ambulance outside the house, and soon…the coroner.

The next few days, the cars that were parked outside came and went, from family to flower delivery guys, to people I hadn’t the foggiest who they were.

As time does, it moves on…but I always wonder what the neighbors thought…

Wow, this blog is so much more draining than I originally planned it to be.

I’m going to take a break, but I will post part 2 a bit later…so please come back for that – plenty more stories!

High School Confidential: Part 2 – When It Rains, It Pours

November 8, 2010

I didn’t think last nights blog (Part 1 of High School Confidential) would be as draining as it ways. Or make me feel as guilty as it did.

Mmm…doing something that leaves you feeling exhausted and guilty…sounds like something else I do – on occasion.

Anyways, enough with the getting sidetracked. You all wanna hear the conclusion of my story.

If you haven’t got up to spead, I suggest you click here to read Part 1 first .

You may now continue reading.

When we last left off, I discussed the events that led to the night my brother killed himself, and how a few years later I was about to experience something very similar.

As I said, Standard 8 was the year I completely let my mind slip in terms of school work. I was angry at myself for allowing this to happen. After all, I was the guy who was winning academic awards left right and centre in Primary school. Ah, those special book prizes…they really made me feel worth something. And being Head Boy was something I felt truly honored to be.

Sure it was under controversial circumstances, but I don’t think anyone can argue that I wasn’t a good Head Boy. Despite losing my brother and dad within a year, I lead pretty damn well.

High School was different though. I was lost and alone, and even though I felt I had a best friend, I don’t think anyone saw me as THEIR best friend.

Living out the area was tough as nobody really wanted to come to “my side of town”.

As I allowed my school work to suffer, I mistakenly created a snowball effect in my home life too.

Failure was NOT at option. Cliché alert!

But my mom made it clear even after what had happened with my brother that I needed to focus on my school work and if I ever failed, I was on my own…in more ways than one.

Talk about peer pressure.

Of course I ended up failing tests…one by one.

Now back then when you failed something or got in trouble, you had to get your parents to sign your diary or test. (Oh how I loathed those little red books!)

I’m a pretty brave guy…but there was NO CHANCE IN HELL I was going to show my mom a failed test…so, I did the only thing that made sense. I forged her signature on my tests.

Of course it was the worse signature imaginable, but in my head I always though it “looked pretty damn good”.

There was always that weird rush when a teacher checked the signed test. To be honest, I think they knew it was fake, but they had a soft spot for me and always let me get away with it.

It got worse and worse, and I got into the habit of “getting away with it” because it was easier than the alternative of facing my mom.

Till one day.

I remember the day quite clearly.

As I walked out of school one day, I put my bag in the car and got in the front said. As I wanted to kiss my mom hello as I always did, she ignored me.

Uh oh. This spelt trouble.

I asked what was wrong, and she coldly replied “Just you wait till we get home”.

My blood ran cold. What now?

The ride felt like it was over in two minutes and when we got home, the first think I saw was the red school diary on the kitchen counter.

I had inexplicably left it at home!

My mom question the forged signature immediately. I um’d and ah’d and came up with all sorts of excuses.
“what else are you hiding shaun!”

Seething with anger, she through the hardback diary at my face.
Then took my school bag from me and emptied it out.

She found some more forged tests. (why did I not destroy them!)

What I remember most was her finding some little plastic toy pigs in my bag.
My friend and I at the time were on a huge Bill & Ted vibe, and constantly quoted the Ziggy Piggy line in the movie. So the pigs were an inside joke.

Of course, Ziggy became the term that refers to this incident.

My mom became violently angry and grabbed me by my fringe (which was quite long at the time), she dragged me to the bathroom and began to cut the fringe off. She ripped at my fringe so hard that I swear it hasn’t been able to grow long since (because well it hasn’t).

It was about 2.30pm. and what began was one of the longest beatings of my life. Anything and everything became a weapon to my mom.

Of course it had been a rainy day, so what just happened to be laying about? Yup, you guessed it. An umbrella.

This particular umbrella had been one of my favourite things (not after this of course), because it had some decorative dice on it.

My mom proceeded to beat me over and over with the umbrella, until I could no longer stand. In fake the umbrella had bend practically in half by now, and the dice marks were embedded in my bloodied skin on my back.

The welt were so thick, that I actually stopped feeling the pain.

Angry but what “I had made her do” grabbed her car keys and said she was going to go drive her car into a bus.

Smashing ornaments and she left, she locked me in the house and left.

About an hour later she returned, with my aunt.

When she saw how badly I was beaten, she was in shock and asked my mom how she could do this. My mom of course was irrational (as she still is today), and asked to explain the story.

Which I did, and simply just said I was scared to show her a failed test.

The rest of the evening is a bit blurred, and I don’t remember much more than my mom telling me not to dare tell anyone what happens in that house.

Of course the morning, I was battered and blue, but nothing a school uniform couldn’t hide.

At school, I couldn’t hardly talk, let alone move muscle without being in pain.
Thought the excuse escapes me, I managed to get out of gym class.

I think I briefly mentioned something about the previous night’s events to my best friend, but with a casualness that never warranted further enquiry into my troubles.

The cruel humour that is my life leaves me with one moment that still makes me laugh to myself.

Someone said to me “ah man, you cut your fringe off.”

….yes….yes I did.

High School Confidential: Part 1 – NEVER FAIL!

November 7, 2010

They are supposed to be the best years of our lives.
The times when ever lasting friendships are made…

But when I look back at High School, I don’t see any of that. In fact only one word comes to mind when I think of the “old days”…Survival.

I’m touched by the regular comments I get from old school mates about how fondly they look back on me. Sometimes I think to myself…if only they knew the truth.

In the greater scheme of things, “The Truth” is nothing more than the sadness I hid behind in order to make everyone thing I was the funny crazy guy who always had a joke or a smile for people.

Being what can be referred to as a “floater”, I was friends with most everyone. I never judged people by the cliques they were in. I had a group of people I considered my “clique”, but I would speak to most anyone in a heart beat. At the risk of sounding egotistic, I would go as far as saying I was liked by most everyone too.

I went to the High school I did for one sole reason. After my brother’s suicide the year before Standard 6, there was no way I could go to his school. He was a legend there. I’m sure he had his own problems too, but he was one of the most well known guys there, thanks mostly to his athletics records and achievements.

For my own selfish reasons, I could never go there and be judged and have to live up to the stories.

So I went to an out of the area high school, I had a cousin there, and I knew all of 2 people who also went there from my primary school.

It was tough going at first, but I made my way through the years.

What most people don’t know is that I’m something of a genius. So I can get by pretty easily academically. Truth be told though, I was burned out by the end of Primary School thanks to what happened to me, and in High School I did just enough to get by.

The reason I’m giving you this history lesson, is mostly to set the groundwork behind a life changing incident (yes another one) that happened in Standard 8.

As the years went on, I lost more and more interest in my school work, and by Std 8 I really couldn’t handle it anymore. Between the problems at home and the loneliness that growing inside me, I just wanted to get through it all.

That year, I was put in strange class. Comprised mostly of the trouble makers and hooligans of my year, it was by far the misfit class out of all the classes. Nobody could quite understand how I got lumped with them. The class was always, and I mean ALWAYS in trouble, and we got punished as a group.

It took its toll on me, and I battled to stay focused on tests and exams.

Eventually I started failing test on occasion. This hurt me big time. And also set off a mode of panic inside me.

You see, there was a rule around my house. If you failed a test, you better not come home or you would get the beating of your life.

I had never failed before, so this had never been a direct problem….but it was soon to become reminiscant of a tragedy a few years earlier.

Now…for a big reveal.

The day of my brothers suicide there had been a massive argument in my home. My mom had found a lighter in my brother blazer pocket, and this set her off into a serious rage.

Regardless if my brother had been smoking or note, my mom decided to go through the rest of his belongings, and proceeded to ransack his room, school bags clothes etc.

In the end, she found something.

A school test. A test he failed. Crumpled up in his closet, this set of a course of tragic events that changed all our lives.

I wont go into the details (like how she tried to set him on fire…or how she broke a telephone over him), but what I will tell you is this piece of cruelty.

My mom made my brother frame the test and put it in the lounge for “everyone to see”.

Well, later that night. He killed himself.

The next few days I remember in absolute detail. What I remember most was how an Aunt on my late father’s site came to pay their condolences, and while we all sat in the lounge, she saw the test. Picked it up and proceeded to show everyone, asking if this was maybe a clue to what happened. Bingo.

Now…fast forward 4 years later…
Continued in Part 2.