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.


























Thursday, August 11, 2016

Coward

Today I am a coward.  I'm completely giving into procrastination and fear.  To be technical, I've been practising cowardice around this particular situation since I left for St.John's.

Today was suppose to be my ultrasound on my breast lumps.  You may remember back to the post White Coats and Small Steps about me contacting the social worker and the ultrasound booking department... Well the booking department fucked up.  I was very specific that the appointment had to  be on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in order for the social worker to be there. They told me the 11th, I did not question if this was on one of the days I asked for because I believed they had listened to my request.  Well the 11th was a Thursday.  So I get a call from the social worker on my cellphone on the bus on my way to Toronto to catch a flight to St.John's. She can't be there.  Ugh, so she's trying to work it out with the booking staff but they won't let her, so there's three back and forth phone calls and I am getting more and more stressed out.  Finally, we agree to cancel the appointment and that I will rebook when I get back to town.

I haven't yet.

I really dislike that hospital.  I have had so many horrible experiences in it.  It is one of the reasons I have white coat syndrome.

So I could have called today to reschedule my appointment... but I just don't have it in me. I'm seriously considering asking my Nurse Practioner's office to send a requisition to the hospital 30 minutes down the road so I can deal with them instead.  I think that a major part of my anxiety is that I simply do not trust the staff of my local hospital.  I know that not all of them are bad or incompetent...

Fool me once...

We'll just say that I am a few bad experiences beyond "twice".

So today I forgive myself for being a coward and instead I will label it "self care".  The lumps aren't going anywhere, trust me, I can feel them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

By Comparison

St. John's both exhilarated and exhausted me.  I really did fit in what would normally be a month's worth of activity into 1 week. I got home tired and began my increased work hours.  I broke up with my boyfriend and that is draining in and of itself, as was the roller coaster of trying to maintain a friendship afterwards. I was napping any afternoon I could.  I was looking for ways to make nutritiously balanced meals as easily as possible.  I stopped allowing the kids to help me make dinner simply because it was faster to do it myself.  I became increasingly angry with them for not picking up after themselves because I simply did not have the energy to do it for them.   I was starting to yell again.  I felt horrible.  Worst of all, I felt them being "clingy" and that irritated me, a lot.   Instead of doing what needed to be done to make them feel loved and secure I sent them off to leave me alone.  Then the guilt set in.  Guilt leads to a worse mood and so the cycle begins.

I have this email friend (he lives in Toronto and we only communicate via email) and he was telling me about all the things he does with his daughter during the Summer.  I fell into the comparison trap. Man, I was sucking at parenting.  He's a single parent too, so I couldn't claim that as my excuse. I called my good friend Kyle who pep talked me.  He reminded me that it wasn't about grandiose gestures, it was about me spending quality time with my kids.  It didn't have to be a lot, it didn't have to be perfect, it just had to be loving.  I'm paraphrasing but I'm pretty sure that's what he was trying to get across.

So this afternoon I decided to start with a clean slate.  I would pretend I wasn't a bitchy mommy for the last few weeks and just  do something small and not too tiring with them tonight.
So I picked them up after work, brought them home, then took them out for ice cream, a walk on the docks and a peek at the fish in the lake using a flashlight.  We walked home holding hands and I savoured it.

Sometimes we set our expectations too high and we get tired of always being let down or letting down others.  So we give up.  I'd like to call it taking a break to re-evaluate. Either way, I've got it now.  I don't have to be an awesome mom/woman/writer/friend/daughter all the time. It's okay just to be good and sometimes not even reaching that standard is alright.  My children will learn that they don't have to be awesome all the time either and that's a good thing.  I think some mornings when I am grumpy and they are not doing as they are told I might just announce in a loud silly voice:

"Today we are not awesome and that's okay! Say it with me folks!"

And have them repeat after me in their own silly voices.  Heck you can say it with me too:

Today I am not awesome and that's okay.

Doesn't that feel better already?


Monday, August 1, 2016

I Give In

I thought I knew what I wanted.  I thought if I named it, labeled it, looked for it...
But really I was just trying to find some sort of control, where there is no control. 

I wanted a relationship in which I could have both a boyfriend and a girlfriend.  The ultimate in non-commitment, and emotional and physical fulfillment.  

But tonight I spoke with a beautiful and honest woman, and she described to me a relationship that was so perfect... 

It seemed impossible.  Everything she described spoke to my heart.  It was what I wanted, but recently given up on.   She was incredibly brave, she was willing to believe that was possible enough to desire it.  

I didn't realize until now that I had given up on finding a beautiful meaningful relationship.  That I was purposely just skimming the surface to avoid getting my heart broken....again. 

I've experienced a few things of late that have proven to me that I am a hopeless romantic who finds sexual acts without love to be unfulfilling, perhaps even soul-damaging. That I really enjoy being in love.  I fall fast and I fall hard.  I love giving and receiving affection and gifts.  I love showing someone that I love them and I need someone who wants to be loved.  Why do I feel like these are bad things?  Why do I feel like wanting this is foolish? So many people that I know are looking for the opposite, so many people preaching non-attachment and taking it slow.  After a few experiments and this talk, I'm realizing that simply is not who I am. No matter how much I try.

And that's okay.  
I now know that there are others out there like me.
We will find each other, if we haven't already...