Monday, September 26, 2016

Purge

I got the family iPad when I left. My mother paid for half, we paid for the other.  I took a dive financially for it, but whatever, I needed it for business and communication. Problem is it's in my ex's name and iTunes account.  Although I can get into my iTunes for music, I can't update a damn thing without his password.  Every time an update would pop up I'd see his Apple id and I'd feel nauseous and/or anxious.

So today I am transferring my favourite photos, videos and documents to a new computer, then wiping this one clean and staring fresh on my iTunes account.  This is pretty much the last tie between us, and I would have done it earlier but my little computer is dying and couldn't take the load.  Thankfully, my mother and father gave me a gently used lap top with plenty of memory space.

So here's to a fresh start.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Love: It's Not About You

Pain and discomfort after a break-up is usually due to the feeling that you can't have what you want.  It's selfish and all encompassing, but with time and space it wanes.  Soon you are less melodramatic and your friends aren't rolling their eyes at your Facebook posts anymore.  Then you run into the ex and that little bit of sadness creeps back in.  Perhaps you spend the afternoon imagining that s/he pulls you off to the side, pins you against the wall with their body and explains between passionate kisses how they've realized how perfect you are together... Ahem... or something like that.

You know you are torturing yourself.  You wish you could just get over it.  You wish you didn't still want them.

Here's the deal though, if you truly love someone, it shouldn't be about what you want from them.  Wanting them to love you/want to be with you, is essentially asking for them not to feel the way they feel, so that you can feel good.  That's not love.  If you truly want them to follow their heart, do what they think is best for themselves, then it is impossible to want them to be with you at the same time.

Want to know the best way to get over someone? Love them. Fully, unconditionally, love them.  Wish the best for them and the rest of their journey wether or not you will be a part of it.

Love isn't about you, it's about the other person.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I've Been Selfish (an exercise in compassion)

Something shifts when you feel the need to protect yourself emotionally all the time.  Your self-worth disintegrates and it takes a while to get it back.  You have to fight the voices in your head telling you that you are selfish and even delusional for believing you deserve better.  Like you are not being grateful for what you do have by wanting something different.  Most of the time those voices are not your own...

So you do it.  Every morning you get up and you tell yourself that you are worthy of wearing your favourite clothes.  You deserve to enjoy your breakfast, you remind yourself just as you were about to stuff something in your mouth in order to be there for someone else.  Next thing you know, you are taking the time to fix your coffee just right and buying jeans that fit.  You are letting go of conflicts and letting go of the people who always seem to be in the middle of them.  You are beginning to do more than just dream of the things that bring you joy; you are doing them.  You surround yourself with people who make you feel good.

Then you look around one day and ask yourself, do I make the people around me feel good too?

Because for so long you focused on just you, that you forgot how to think of others.  Maybe you thought that it would come naturally.  Maybe you thought that if you were happy you'd simply bring others joy... And you do.  But are you kind? Are you considerate? Can you now turn back on that part of yourself who thought about other's feelings before you said or did something?

Because to leave, you had to turn that off didn't you?  You had to put yourself first, you had to ignore the pleas, the explanations, the tears of those you knew  would only bring you harm.

You also know that this loving part of you is what got you so stuck to begin with.  You feel like your empathy betrayed you, your compassion made you a target. You blame your naivety for this last traumatic disaster.

Maybe it's time.  Maybe it's okay to look back into another person's heart, to care about how they would feel about your actions.  It's okay that you turned cold to get out of a hot mess.  It's okay that you built this wall of ice. Now try to remember: you chose these people carefully, let them in and care about them.

Trust yourself.

Trust your heart.

The last step in complete worthiness is knowing you are worthy of the joy of giving without fear.

You are safe now.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Didn't Mess Her Up

One of the heaviest things I have carried about my unhealthy relationship was how it affected my kids.  The common belief is that you and your partner teach your children how to treat their partners or what to expect as treatment from their partners.  Well on the first day of school, my 10 year old girl was asked "out".  She came home and told me this boy wanted to be her boyfriend.  I took a deep cleansing breath and asked:
"What did you say?"
"I said I'd think about it tonight and tell him tomorrow."
That was promising.
"Do you like him?" I asked.
"Yeah, he's kind and compassionate. He showed me around, introduced me to his friends and played with me at recess."
I liked her criteria for liking him.
"Well, what do you think you are going to say?"
"I think I'll say 'yes'. "
And so it begins, I thought.

I walked into the kitchen tonight and she was writing a letter. It was a break up letter.  I asked her why she wanted to break up with him.  She described a scenario where she felt her personal boundaries were violated. She said:
"I didn't feel like he respected me."
"Do you want to talk to him about it, and see if it gets better?" I asked.
"No. I want to break up with him.  I don't want to hurt his feelings because I know he really likes me... but..." She looked lost for words.
"...But your boundaries are important and you need to do what you know is right for you." I answered.
She nodded emphatically.
I told her I was proud of her and managed to hold back the tears of relief until I got into my room.

Tonight I was going to click "publish" on my first sex blog and toast myself with a glass of wine.
Instead, I shall raise a glass to myself as a mother and woman.  She did learn how a relationship should be, the relationship with herself.  She learned that her boundaries are to be respected and how to uphold them even when it's tough and the amazing thing is...

She learned it from me.

She's going to be alright. I didn't fuck her up.

 I think I'll be sleeping a lot easier now.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Little Herstory

The other day I had a friend over and I mentioned something that I thought was common knowledge about myself.  He looked at me point blank and said. "I don't know anything about you."
So here's a brief history:

Born and raised just outside of Toronto, in a relatively small town. I have two older sisters and my parents were together until I was in my 20's.  Incredibly independent, head strong and intelligent, I was that kid who got in shit all the time for finishing her work early then talking to everyone while they were suppose to be working.
My parents were in scouting so I was often an unofficial boy scout.
I Irish danced.
I rode horses, including my own, Cowboy.
Kissed a boy for the first time, last day of grade 6.
Jumped out a second story window suffered from amnesia, last week of Summer grade7.
Ended up in an abusive relationship in highschool, got out of it.
Dated the captain of the senior boys basketball team. His mother died. I became Buddhist as a result.
Parents moved away when I was 17.
Promptly got hit by a GMC van.
Suffered another concussion.
Got my first on the books job at a European Deli.
Lived in various friends' homes, got an apartment of my own at 17.
Moved back in with parents to finish semester.
Started an alternative 'zine for my high school
Began apprentiship piercing. Quit.
Had a meth addiction.
Kicked a meth addiction.
Kissed a girl for the first time: St.Patrick's day grade 12.
Moved back out at 18 to become full time bong shop worker and part-time writer.
(By moved out I mean couch-surfed)
Got my very own non-basement apartment at 18.
Met a woman, fell in love. She broke my heart.
Acquired stalker: a convicted rapist.
Transferred to St.Catharine's bong shop to escape him.
Met boy, fell in love, he broke my heart.
Met another boy, married him.
Got two other jobs, pizza dough maker and organic sprout farmer.
Moved to Huntsville.
Had two kids.
Became a doula, then childbirth educator.
Big blur for a couple of years.
Got a divorce, well a separation... Not sure if we are even legally married... That's a whole other blog.
Met another boy, fell in love.
Got sick, left boy, got better.
Now I work at a Toystore and write a couple of blogs.

Any questions?




Monday, August 29, 2016

What Happens in the TARDIS Stays in the TARDIS

So I met my email friend for coffee.  Well it was suppose to be for coffee, then it was pouring rain so we had to switch to a closer coffee shop, then that coffee shop was closing, so we ducked into the nearest restaurant where I promptly broke a plate. Seriously, I ate before I left so that I wouldn't slop food on myself or break anything while I was out with this guy.  This is the kind of restaurant where the tables are already set.  If I had any sense I would have turned around and walked out the second I saw that. Then I ordered a coffee that they didn't have the ingredients for, so the barista (gorgeous young man) came over with caramel he made ON THE SPOT and asked me taste it so they could add it to my cappuccino, except it was on a stick and it vaguely made me think of fellacio and I didn't want them staring at me while I tested it... So it was kind of awkward.  Did I mention it was the opening night?  No? Well it was.  Also, I'm pretty sure it is a TARDIS.  It was way bigger on the inside and well look at the picture.  I just realized though, that if I had smashed the plate in a restaurant outside of the TARDIS we (the doctor and I, of course) could go back in time and he could catch the plate, and order a normal cappuccino for me. However a TARDIS cannot travel through time within itself.  So what happens in a TARDIS stays in the TARDIS.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Up To Me

I've mentioned my email friend before.  Someone I met while I was at work.  He is and has always been a perfect gentleman in all of our communications.  He doesn't flirt or make any insinuations beyond friendship.  I'm traveling to Toronto next week and we've agreed to meet for coffee.  He asked what area of Toronto I'm staying in, in answer to me asking him to find a place with good mochaccinos (I have a serious mochaccino habit dating back to my first one when I was 12 at the Erin Mills Mall) that we could meet at.  I typed the name of the hotel and the address because I really didn't know what area of Toronto that would be considered.  Then this creepy sensation crawled up my back and the voices of many women I have known over the years said to me: "Is it safe for you to tell him where you are staying? How well do you know this guy? He could wait outside of your hotel, harass you, try to kidnap you... rape you." I can see them shaking their heads at me as if they are so disappointed that I would even consider giving out that information to someone I hardly know. It reminds me a bit of the boyfriend who told me not to get raped when I was going to go out for a late night stroll.

Well you know what? Fuck that. Here's some real statistics.

I'm not going to list them all but the general idea is this:

Most sexual assaults are committed by someone close to the victim.

I should have told my boyfriend, that statistically speaking, I was more likely to be raped lying next to him than on the late night walk I was planning...

This idea that it is mainly strangers that sexually assault women is incredibly damaging and endangers all of us.  The more we speak up about sexual assault and abuse within families and romantic relationships the easier it will be for victims to step forward and get help. As long as we point the finger at shadows in the dark the reality of sexual violence will not come to light.

I tried to explain this to a friend of mine and she immediately mentioned a rape on our local hiking trail.  Yes, rape by strangers happens. Yes, that rape got a lot of media time.  But really, incestuous assault happens every fucking day in our town.  People get coerced  by their romantic partners and though they feel horrible after giving in when their requests for their partner to stop are ignored, they don't realize that this was assault, because rape only happens to women who walk alone at night.

I get why we believe this as a community.  It gives us a false sense of control to believe these things.  It makes us feel that our friends, family members and partners won't be assaulted -if they just follow the safety rules.  But statistics say otherwise and burying our heads in the media-induced, culturally-accepted sand of ignorance is putting our love ones at risk and discouraging women and girls from coming forward.

It also gives the idea to young people that sexual assault is stalking a woman then forcibly taking her. Whereas the idea that they could be sexually assaulting their girlfriend/boyfriend by touching them in a way they had said "No." to but seemed "into" an hour later does not cross their mind.  All forms of
sexual assault need to be addressed by our community based on frequency of incident. No matter how
uncomfortable it makes us.  Our silence around the most common types of sexual assault is the
perfect set up for perpetrators to continue without consequence.  This needs to stop.


So, yes I walk alone at night. Yes, I will let my friend know which hotel I'm staying at. It's not up to me to police my (what should be normal) behaviour (walking at night by myself) to appease my friend's and family's fears.  I'm going to be straight-up with you all.  You may mean well, but you are perpetuating a false (and harmful) idea around sexual assault and abuse.  Instead let your loved ones know that if they ever feel that their physical/sexual boundaries are not being respected by ANYONE, that you are there to listen and offer support in whatever way they need it.

Let's face it:

Statistically speaking:  I'm less likely to be sexually assaulted walking home by myself  than letting a male I know very well walk with me.

That is truly scary.