Ladybird: My house burnt down, my head is on fire!, by Janita Sakoschek
When quantity surveyor and builder Janita Sakoschek's house burnt down it unleashed a catastrophic chain of events, which are described in her book Ladybird: My house burnt down, my head is on fire!
From: Call from Babs
I've kept my cellphone on because I have children, and their school may call in case of an emergency. I'm a good mother. It rings. The ring-tone is "The Blue Danube", our wedding waltz. I check the caller identity and prepare to answer: I suck in my drool, put my cigarette in the ashtray and, taking my thumb out of my mouth but keeping my other fingers around Pooki's ear, grasp the phone, saying in my usual fantastic and upbeat manner, "Hello, Babs, what's up?" She's wearing her husky voice. "My love, I made the appointment for you, and you didn't pitch." I hate it when she calls me "my love" because I reserve this term of endearment for Stef and me only. I squirm and manage, "I'm not going because I can't smoke there." The "can't smoke" response is instinctive because I'm dazed. But I remember that Babs told me she asked her psychologist to call me, and her psychologist did. I cringe as I remember our conversation. I told this Tulula-shrink that I'm not the kind of person who would ever see a psychologist, and was certainly not going to entertain any psychological mumbo-jumbo. I told Tulula that I was a professional and very much in tune with the ins and outs of my brain, and on no uncertain terms was I going to have anyone ask me what my first memory was, or how I got on with my father. I told her that I hated depressed people who needed psychologists. I told her that people who were depressed were bored, and paid for conversations with people who really didn't give a shit about them and were only financially interested in the number of patients they could see in a day. I told her that it was only Hollywood actors and bored housewives who needed shrinks, because they didn't live in the real world, and needed some hocus-pocus to make them feel that they did. In my more exhaustive hypothesising with Tulula, I compared this parody to a doctor s Hippocratic Oath. I told her that it was despicable that shrinks could sympathise with depressed people, when they actually felt nothing for them.
I even went as far as pointing out the correct pronunciation of the oath, and said with a sarcastic laugh, "It should be 'hypocritical' and not 'Hippocratic'. Tulula didn't utter a word while I talked, so I felt a little embarrassed by this outburst because I knew I was treading on dangerous ground. She was sort-ofa doctor, and this insult would have dug deep. But I persisted with my insults, telling her that psycho-babble was a very sad situation because all patients really wanted was to talk to someone other than themselves, and that they would probably kill themselves anyway. I think I went overboard with Tulula, but when I finally stopped talking, she very calmly said that analysis wasn't like that, and that we definitely should have a nice chat. Then I felt that I had wasted her phone-call money, because she had called me and I had spent a long time bending her ear.
I felt she probably wanted to tell me to bugger off, but that she had a fiduciary duty to endure my ranting. I wanted to tell her that I would call her back so as not to waste her professionally earned money and, more importantly, that is the way I am. Even if I didn't have a penny to my name, I would be generous. I can't bear anyone spending money on me. I also admit that I was desperate to force my point across and was unwittingly enjoying the conversation. After all, I was a Bachelor of Science graduate, with tons of adult experience under my belt, who could stand up to a psychologist whose education specification was not nearly as difficult as mine. I could have talked to her about this, and my adverse impressions of psycho-mumbo-jumbo, for hours.
Unexpectedly, Tulula was quite composed and I respected this. I inadvertently believed that she had sincerely tried to convince me to consult with her, so I finally said OK, and asked her if I could smoke in her rooms. She said no, and that I could manage an hour without one. I said no thanks and goodbye. I smoke ten cigarettes per hour. She's got to be joking! Babs sighs and says, "Oh, my love, what are we going to do with you?" I sigh and say, "Babs, I'm fine ... really. I'm busy with something. I'll call you back." She sighs. "OK, my love, I'm here for you. Bye, my love." Babs is a professional consultant who makes lots of money and lives in the real world. Why the hell would she give a fat shit about a boring waste-case like me? [...]
This is an excerpt from the book: My house burnt down, my head is on fire!
Title: Ladybird: My house burnt down, my head is on fire!
Author: Janita Sakoschek
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781415201336 / ISBN 978-1-4152-0133-6
Softcover, 15x22 cm, 320 pages
Sakoschek, Janita im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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