Wednesday, August 9, 2017

All The Posts I Do Not Write

This last month or so has been rough,
 Really rough.

It has also been enlightening.

I see now that I am still living under the threats of another person.
I'm not quite sure how I am going to deal with this person yet,
or shift my perspective to make them powerless over me...
But at least I am aware of it.

My child support has been cut in half so I'm fucking broke,
Which means I'm working way more hours,
Which has me spending less time with my kids,
Which makes me fear this threat even more.

Not to mention the mother guilt.

I started dating again, so naturally, the nightmares started again too.

I saw him. My knees buckled, my throat tightened and my hands shook.
I was a wreck for the next three days.

I'm brittle and cracking a little,
But a wise man once said,
That's how the light gets in

I looked in the mirror and I saw a beautiful woman.

I looked in the mirror and I saw my mother.

I miss my friends.
I have friends I love enough to miss.

There is light at the end of the financial tunnel.
5 more weeks.

I am learning that not all problems need to be faced head on.
That there are gentler ways.

Lying can be okay.
Black and white and grey.
It's all in the tone.

I almost cried at work,
Pricing books I read to my toddlers,
When the future looked so different
And I always thought I'd keep them safe.









Thursday, July 6, 2017

Small Things

When I moved to the shelter, I was petrified.  I couldn't believe what I was doing or where I would end up next. I was so full of adrenalin coffee was not an option.  But it was in the little graces, I found peace.

I picked up a book and read it at night, for as long as I wanted, with no interruptions and no comments from anyone about it.  I did this nightly and it reminded me how small freedoms added up.

I bought myself flowers, flowers I liked and for no other reason than they make me feel good.  Too often flowers and the like were given as apologies and served as reminders of unpleasant situations.  I wanted to break that pattern. So I did, they smelled wonderful, I brought them into every room I planned on spending time in. I put them on the night stand in the evening and while reading paused to smell them.

I brought my kids into bed with me.  We all needed a bit more love and security and the bed didn't seem empty and lonely anymore.  It was an interesting metaphor for how much more space and energy I would have in my life for them now that I was no longer trying to make it work with my ex.

I cleaned and organized things at my own pace in a manner that suited me.  I savoured the fact that I need not consult anyone else about where my possessions would be placed.  My space would be MINE.

I crocheted myself a beautiful skirt.  I deserved something beautiful, I also needed something to keep my hands busy.  It was a bit meditative which calmed my nerves, but it also served as something new, that my ex had never seen or touched.  My time and energy once again was focussed on something for me only.

I wrote. I wrote. I wrote. No one interrupted me because they understood how important writing was to me.  I wrote for up to a whole hour at a time.  It was bliss.

I ate cheesecake. Good cheesecake.  I savoured the silence of the evening in which I ate it, pure undemanding silence that no one was going to break.

I reduced my presence on social media, blocked my ex, unfollowed his family members and close mutual friends.  This was more for stress reduction, not necessarily because they had done anything wrong.  I just needed a break from all things him.

I'd like to say it was a clean break, but it wasn't.  We were on and off for 2 months after I moved to the shelter.  However, it was focussing on these small freedoms (and the realization that these basic acts had become luxuries to me over the last 4 years) that had me ending the relationship for the last and final time.

So, why blog about this now? It's been two years.  I tried having a relationship one year later, but it was too soon and I talked myself out of it.  I have blundered my way through a couple dates here and there.  Practised full abstinence (not even lustful thoughts allowed) for 3 months, mistook an awesome friendship for a possible relationship and have since happily realized we are way better together as friends than as romantic partners.  There's potential out there for something.  I'm not quite sure what, but something.  I want to be able to make decisions about relationships and not panic and bolt.  That said, I want to be cautious as well.  In order not to let your fears rule you, you must first know your fears.

I fear giving up my ability to read, write, create, clean and set up my space as I wish, when I wish.  I fear that I will allow another person to dictate what I can spend my time, energy and money on.

Reading those last two sentences, I can tell that it's not that I don't trust men, it's that I don't trust
myself.  I associated falling in love with giving up freedom.

However, after two years of living on my own and these luxuries becoming daily routines, I can't see myself giving them up easily for anyone or staying with anyone who would make these things
 inconvenient for me.

I have discovered that love can exist without any power or control, that neither person needs to possess the other or demand attention/time/energy  in order to feel love.

Love is a feeling that you have for another person, not the feeling of the other person loving you.

I think I finally understand this.  I can love someone without changing them or myself.  I can still feel love even without their  support and attention reaffirming their feelings for me.  I can enjoy the love for another even if the relationship doesn't suit me.  My feeling of love is non-dependant on the other person's actions,  as such, I can adjust my relationship with them according to my own level of comfort and independence.  Love is not defined by the relationship, or the degree of seriousness of said relationship.

Love doesn't hurt, the need to be loved by someone does.

I'm sitting in bed with my Harry Potter book beside me, my mister noodles mug on the floor.  My room is messy and no one is going to get on my case about it.  I've  been writing for over an hour and I'm going to sleep in tomorrow. I like living this way. I see now that my heart is not going to put any
of this in jepardy.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I am not here to...

I have found that my whole life people have been giving me advice to be more lady-like, prettier, more attractive to the opposite sex.  I'd like to take a moment to thank my parents for never making that a priority in my upbringing.  In fact, they raised me to be proud of my intelligence and my tendency to be outspoken.  My mother would often brag about what a great lawyer I would make. My father taught me how and where to strike a man who doesn't respect my physical boundaries.  He taught self defence classes in our basement and I sat in the corner and soaked it in when I wasn't actually on the mats with him myself.  When I think back to it, it was never directly implied I would get married, have children or have any traditional role (except when I was giving my mother a hard time and she would say: Just wait until you have kids). It was not our family culture to assume any of these things. That is why as I got older I felt confused and annoyed by people who offered advice on these subjects.  As if for some reason my goals and aspirations would revolve around a male's attention.

"You would be even prettier if you grew out your hair."
"Don't play in the dirt with the boys, you'll ruin your clothes."
"You shouldn't talk so much, boys don't like that."

I often answered "So?"

As a grown woman the assumption is still the same:
You obviously want to be attractive to men.

Dating sites are offering up suggestions for me to be "successful". Which actually means having many suitors.  As in the more you attract the better chance you have of finding a match.  I don't have the fucking (swearing, how unlady-like) time to sort through a huge group of men, many of which may not be attracted to me when I decide it's okay to show more of who I am.

It's not only dating sites that participate in this this women-want-to-be-attractive-to-men, paradigm:

I deal with men who feel like they need to reaffirm that they find me physically attractive after I have stated something political. There are men on social networks trying to let me know I have to stop being so forward with men, that is why I'm not continuing onto third and fourth dates. Why would I want to put more energy into a romantic partner who doesn't find this portion of my personality attractive?


Turning guys off is a fantastic way to save my time and energy.

Why do people want so badly for me not to be rejected?
Oh wait...
Because I am suppose to feel bad when someone doesn't want to make me their mate.
They don't understand that I don't base my self worth on whether or not someone wants to be with me.  Sure, it can be disappointing if I thought there was a connection, but if someone doesn't want a romantic relationship with me, that doesn't mean there's something wrong with me.

It means that they know that I'm not a good fit for them.

Just like I know when someone is not a good fit for me.

It's not personal.

I appreciate not being lead on and thus wasting my time on a relationship that will never work.

It has been suggested that my forwardness is actually just a front to protect myself.  My personality is naturally forward, so it's not a front, but HELL YES I'm protecting myself.  I protect everything I love. Why this is brought up as a flaw and something that should be remedied is beyond me.  Like stating and enforcing one's boundaries is to be discouraged.  No way, it took a lot of crappy relationships and a couple of stalkers to learn how to set and stand behind healthy boundaries.

I get that people are looking for soul mates.  Through many relationships I have found mine; Me.
I am picky about my romantic companions, because my time, my body, and my heart are precious.

I am not here to be attractive to men.
I am here to improve my planet through actions of kindness, bravery and love.
A companion would be nice, but is by no means necessary for me to fulfill my life goals.





Monday, June 19, 2017

Acceptable Behaviour and Other Things I Suck At.

Sometimes I lack inhibition. I think some of this is obvious through the extremely personal things I work through publicly on this blog.  I do choose to keep some secrets secret, if they will hurt others.  I try not to embarrass my kids.  However, I love the freedom of doing spontaneous things without worrying too much about what others will think of me.

Life is short, blah, blah, blah.
Actually, life is what it is.
Death, those last moments of looking back and wondering why the hell you didn't just: tell that person you had a crush on them? Go for that swim? Wear that fabulous dress? Be silly? That is what concerns me.  I've faced the prospect of death a few times now,  and every time it just goes to remind me that nothing lasts forever.  It also reminds me of how ridiculously heavy the chains of what others might think really are.  When I'm dying, I'm not going to pat myself on the back for everything I avoided out of fear.  There's no angel on the other side of the tunnel waiting to give me an extra fluffy cloud because I never did anything spontaneous.  Also, I believe in reincarnation, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't give every life a good go of it, right?

In fact, I want my life to flash before my eyes in a spectrum of colour, laughter, and skin (like one of those foreign artsy movies on Netflix that may actually be considered pornographic, but it's pretty and has subtitles...).  I don't hesitate to strip down to my underwear and dive into lakes, I actually forget that this is not normal behaviour until I review it later and realize that to me, anything that covers the jiggly bits is an acceptable bathing suit.  But that new guy I just started hanging out with may not see it that way.  I also don't hold back on telling people my ridiculous theories, taking a joke too far, making fun of myself and wearing an outrageous outfit for the sake of art.

I talk about sex as casually as I would talk about a recent walk I went on.  I'm blunt. I break out into song and dance, randomly. I like to imagine I am in a novel and that at any moment something extraordinary is about to happen, then I ask people to imagine it did happen...

I've realized I'm a bit of a handful for those who are used to self-restraint.  I think about if the thing I am going to do will hurt myself/someone else, or if will have negative financial effects.  Would I be able to tell someone I did it without feeling guilt or shame?  If all of the questions are answered properly, I do it.

I used to believe as a child that I was writing a story with my life and that one day I would die (wake up) and the higher beings would download the story from my brain and read it like a book.  Actually, I believed this so much that I began to describe everything that happened to me and my feelings about it in PRINT in my mind... all the time. However, I learned about the subconscious mind taking in everything and soon I began just speaking a loud in my head as a way easier way to record my experiences. The point is, I believe and have always believed that life is a series of stories and that I can choose what kinds of people, places, things, and experiences I can make this book up of.

Every once in a while someone rejects my personality as too strong or unpredictable.  Just for a minute or two I ask myself if I should tone it down a little... Am I getting too old to be behaving this way? Then I see myself trapped in the last moments of death and I imagine the type of people who have chosen to have me in their lives and to even celebrate our mutual weirdness.

 I'm not tempering myself.

I am having way too much fun.  Maybe someone else writing their own life story would like a character like me in theirs.





Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wonder Woman

I watched Wonder Woman and something crumbled in me.  I realized that I couldn't love the people closest to me.  My children the exception. However, to people who are physically close and people who are blood related, anyone I feel there is any obligation to love them,  I have become so cold, so hard.  I only saw them for the emotional energy they would need, I saw them as points for potential conflict and heartache.

See, I wasn't broken by my last love, I was built.  I am so built, that the more scared I am, the calmer I look on the outside.  I can look a friend in the eye and say to him calmly:

I'm totally triggered right now, I need to know that we are cool.

Then as my chest feels like it is imploding, I can stride to the washroom, take 3 deep breaths, tell myself I'm safe and carry on.

I literally lose the use of my legs and the ability to speak while out at a pub and I smile, and write notes about it with emoji faces.

It's so easy to hold it together, when you are too scared to fall apart.
Show no negative emotion.
You are safer when you look calm.
Don't relax and don't feel loved.
Love is the illusion that keeps you where you get hurt
Don't let your guard down.
Love the people who are too far away to hurt you.
Love the people you owe nothing to.

I can very calmly describe horrific things that have happened to me.  My vocabulary increases exponentially,  my posture pristine.  I cross my legs, fold my hands in my lap and use proper terminology:

trauma, triggers, adrenalin, fight or flight,

disassociation.

My body tells one story while my insides scream another.
I desperately need to break down in front of someone who loves me.
I need to crumble into their arms and
I need for them to not get angry at me for it.

I know some people who think that I am invincible,

I used to want to be invincible,

Now I want to be strong instead.





Sunday, April 30, 2017

Subconscious

Everytime I start dating I get nightmares.  Not even serious dating, even just me putting myself out there saying "I'm ready to meet someone I'll really like." then going on a dating app, kind of thing.

In these dreams everything starts out great, I'm with a significant other (I usually don't know them in real life, they just feel like my significant other) then they slowly morph into my ex, until I'm staring at them thinking, "No, I didn't go back... Did I?  Why did I do this? How did this happen? How do I get out now?" Then I wake up deeply disturbed. Part of me knows that this is just left over fear, but another part of me wonders if this is really my intuition telling me that the latest guy I met for drinks actually has some of the same traits as my ex and I'm going to end up in another unhealthy relationship.

So I read into everything, and even when the person "clicks" so well, just the slightest thing reminds me of my last unhealthy relationship and I'm done.  That said, I try to honour myself as much as possible,  my reasons are good ones to be cautious, but do I have to react by cutting it off completely?

Apparently.

I want to be able to relax, watch things play out... not panic and run for the hills.

I want someone I like to make it past the second date.

I want to be healed.

I suppose I'm not as ready as I thought I was.

You know what? Fuck that shit. It was ignoring my intuition that got me into such a bad place to begin with.  I trust it now.  As much as I've been taught almost my entire life that hunches and intuitive feelings are bullshit, it almost always turns out that my intuition was right and that something was "off".

Part of my healing is learning to fully embrace my intuition.

I embrace you, guts, in all your viscous glory.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dear daughter,

I always want you to feel like, in general, the human race is good and our drive is to become better. However, I would be doing you a great disservice if I did not point out where we need improvement. At this time in your life, when your body is in metamorphosis you are vulnerable to the persuasion of companies who profit off  your insecurities about your body.  They do it  by creating a feeling that you are not good enough and more recently, by using advertising campaigns whose purpose is to give some of the empowerment you will crave after believing you are not good enough.

You are my beautiful, smart, joyful girl, who is capable of amazing things, but unfortunately,
to corporations you are not a multidimensional human being with feelings, you are a consumer. Essentially, you are someone they can target and make money from. I give to you the commercial that had a very young me pinching my sides and being dissatisfied with my appearance, wishing I could just cut into my hips take out inches of skin and sew the sides back together.  This is Kellogg's "Can't pinch an inch" marketing scheme:


Now 30 years later, after profiting off of the idea that women should be slim, effectively teaching young women that their "inches" were undesirable, Kellogg's has decided to jump on the positive body image band wagon.







Kellogg's literally contributed to the very body issues that they are describing in this video. They made money putting women down, now they are making money building us back up.  At least they are bringing us back up right?  This is where social responsibility comes in.  Has Kellogg's formally taken responsibility for it's contribution to body image issues? I went to investigate their website myself. Though they discussed accountability and integrity under the heading of "Our Values", I searched the website and did not see an official statement, apologetic or otherwise about their "Can't Pinch an Inch" campaign.  If the company can't admit to their responsibility for harm done, they lack both integrity and accountability and really are just in it for your money.

Dove's Real Beauty campaign:



 Did you notice the women burning their bras?  This was a demonstration done by feminists, is has actually become iconic of feminism. In fact a slang term for the word feminist is "bra burner."Dove literally used feminism to sell their product and market themselves to feminists. However, the advertisement calling for models for this campaign had unrealistic expectations for women in their
commercials and photo shoots.  Flawless skin was just one of the perfections the models were
expected to have, nymag.com reported during the peak of the campaign in 2010. http://nymag.com/thecut/2010/06/dove_seeks_women_with_flawless.html   

So how can you be sure that you are purchasing from companies who aren't trying to profit from your insecurities?  You could buy as local as possible from small companies who don't run large advertising campaigns...  But more importantly, before you buy these products you could ask yourself: Am I buying this because I feel like I am not good enough with out it? Or am I buying it because it helps me celebrate the things I love about myself?  If your answer is the first one, you don't need it, take time before buying it to realize that you are whole and beautiful without it. If it's the second answer, then go ahead, but ask yourself first: is there an amazing experience I'd rather be spending this money on?

If you ever do find yourself in front of a mirror critiquing your body, please remember, that these negative voices in your head telling you that you are not good enough, were put there by thousands of images made by companies that need you to buy your beauty. I give you full permission to tell  those voices and the companies responsible for them to go f$ck themselves.

Love,
Mom