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




Monday, March 20, 2017

Porcelain

It's 4:30 am.  I have awoken from a dream.  My eyes opened with a sinking sadness. A feeling of deep loss.  In my dream, I was packing my little girl's dolls into a bin and thinking about which one's she would like to keep to rediscover when she was an adult.  Would it be the flashy porcelain ones, or the ones she played with til they were worn?  All the while, the room around me morphed into my childhood bedroom.

This day of packing away dolls is not so far away.  The knowledge that I have been taking our time together for granted is sharp in the pre-dawn darkness.  I have a little girl who writes me emails telling me that she misses me, thanking me for hanging out with her and trying to make plans.  Here I am spending hours talking online with people, who I don't doubt love me, but will never love me like she does.  They don't need me like she does.

I'm not one to sit in these discoveries of sadness and guilt.  I am not one who believes that feeling bad about something is a good for motivation. I used to, but then I spent too much time feeling guilty and not enough time fixing things to move on.

As mentioned, we email eachother, I will set aside time to do that more often. The warm weather is coming and I'd like to go hiking with her again.  I used to read to them... But now I wonder is she too old for this?  Has something else slipped through my fingers without me noticing?

Perhaps I should just ask her what she would like to do (what a novel idea).

The 4am wake up call of despair, ugh.  It happens to the most resilient of us.

It's times like this that I am tempted to take her from her bed and lie her down next to me and hold her little hand (now almost the same size as mine) as she dozes off.  Perhaps I will.

Every step begins with now.




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Think Again and Again

So I thought I was good, but apparently passing someone on the street is not the same as being in an enclosed space with them, where they are between you and the door.

When I recognized him, I tried to shrug it off. But my insides began to shake.  I focused on my homework, but nothing would stick.  I was sweating profusely.  I felt incredibly alone, I got dizzy my hand tremors were making my writing illegible.

I want to make something VERY clear. I don't think he will talk to me.  Not only because of legal repercussions, but because I'm pretty sure he'd just rather move on. Logically, I know I am in not in any danger.  But when your body is used to acting a certain way around someone, it doesn't listen to logic.

It took me 20 minutes to realize that I don't have to feel this way alone. I messaged a good friend, just to share my feelings.  She asked me if I knew anyone there.  I knew one girl and one of the servers.  So I got up on my shakey legs walked over and asked if I could sit with her.
"My ex is here, and I'm scared of him. He won't do anything."
"Yes, of course you can sit with us."

I went back and clumsily packed up my school stuff.  I left my tea dishes behind. Then sat with her and her friends.  I attempted to make conversation, but it was obvious my mind was elsewhere, none the less, I felt safer and I am grateful for that.
The server I knew approached me.
"Sorry I left my tea stuff there... I just wanted to get out of the vicinity."
He looked at me and nodded slowly: "I know."  There was a lot of compassion in his voice. I nearly cried.

(Why do I cry when someone is nice to me in a stressful situation?)

Anyways, he left and I walked home on two fairly strong legs, which means I composed myself.  All the while I tried to take my power back. My thought process went like this:

You were disabled and unemployed with two children and you still left him.
He is aware that you chose to face the risk of poverty and homelessness rather than to continue living with him.
You left even though you still loved him.
You stated healthy boundaries and when he didn't respect them, you created more and when he pushed those ones, you enforced them legally.
Your children thanked you for leaving.  They thanked you for ending contact. This alone proves you did the right thing.

You are not a victim.  You are a fuckng powerhouse of a woman who can come back from anything.

It is him that should feel uncomfortable in your presence, not the other way around.  (Not that I would wish what I felt on anyone else) but really, looking at it this way:

Why am I scared of him?