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For the People that Can’t Say Abusive

Words can explain actions, but never excuse them.

From my ex I have received a semi-explanation and an apology (though this wasn’t given under their own volition, and was instead offered when I finally called them out on their past behaviour) but it doesn’t change the fact that while we were together, they made conscious, repeated decisions to refuse to listen to my ‘no’.

And this is why, almost 2 years later, I find myself both over our relationship but also still angry whenever I think about them. Perhaps this is due to a lack of outlet for my thoughts or emotions. Or because they get to be out there maybe doing the same things all over again to someone else. Or just because of my sense of justice. Whatever the reason, this post has been floating around as a possibility for cathartic release.

The anger over somebodies actions towards you will eat you alive. It will. It will feel so unfair and hurtful and unjust that somebody can hurt you and then go on and live their lives however they want and have friends and jobs and lovers etc as if they have never woken you up in the night with their hands touching you, their legs kicking you when you wake up and disturb them. The anger will sit in your gut and throat and make you lash out at them in words and wish that you could just not feel at all.

Telling your friends how your partner has bluntly told you to ‘shut the fuck up’ at 3am when you ask them to please turn the lights and noise off and let you sleep for once will elicit a stunned reaction. At least, this was my ‘a-ha’ moment for realising that my relationship was toxic and abnormal. Yours was probably different – or maybe it hasn’t happened yet and you’re wondering if your current relationship is worth all your crying (it isn’t). It turned out the people around me don’t have boyfriends who say these kind of things to them. It turns out they don’t have boyfriends who cause your gynecologist to comment, ‘You have some bruising and trauma here.’ Who knew? Who knew that other people’s boyfriends weren’t hot balls of pressure on their everyday lives? Madness!

Whatever the actions that have happened, if you’re someone who has left a relationship that was detrimental to your mental health, you may find yourself realising slowly that things were worse than you thought at the time. I think this is part protection from feeling overwhelmed by your situations and part lack of education over what a toxic relationship is.

See, I was young when I got into my past relationship and I had never been in a serious or sexual relationship before. This was my normal. On top of that, this person shared my morals (or seemed to) and my humour and my interests and a lot of the time we spent laughing and watching movies and chatting. So we were happy, weren’t we? Besides, I was never told I was fat or ugly and I was never punched in the face, and that’s what abuse is, isn’t it?

Abuse is what has happened to those women in the news, not me. Well, emotional blackmail, manipulation, sexual manipulation, sexual coercion, turning your concerns about their treatment of you into you being the one who’s mean to them, and all the other insidiously subtler forms of domestic abuse are actually all really shitty actions that you should not put up with. They’ll make you mentally unwell, they’ll make you angry, they’ll cause damage that can be lasting.

It’s just that the word ‘abuse’ doesn’t sit right sometimes. It feels so extreme, as if you should have been able to tell from the first time they manipulated you, or shifted blame, or touched you, what it was. Some of us need magical warning signs that say ‘DANGER AHEAD’ above the heads of our significant others when they say something like, ‘Stop crying, I don’t care when you cry. You’re just trying to get me to do something.’ It sure would clear things up! I know I woulda appreciated someone then coming in and saying ‘Hey, guess what? This guy sucks as a boyfriend and you’re gonna be so much happier when you ditch ’em and start livin’.”

And it’s true; I am happier. I am living. I really am. But I’m also angry from time to time. And maybe that’s to do with this labeling of the past. Was I ‘abused’? Or was I just dating a shitty arsehole with a shitty childhood who wasn’t capable or willing to ever take responsibility for anything in his life? Maybe it’s because ‘abused’ sounds like I should have known the whole time that things were wrong, and that means it was my fault. It feels like I’m just playing into that over-reacting female stereotype which makes me hate that it even exists as a stereotype because it cheapens your valid emotions. Maybe it’s an inability to voice all these things bubbling away inside and eating me up. Whatever the reason for the anger, I know now that it isn’t a feeling I want to keep having so often. I want to speak up. In toxic relationships you are often silenced, and this silence only adds icing to your grumpy cake. Which tastes shit by the way.

I’ve spoken to some friends who have had similar issues with their exes and I was surprised and comforted to find that they also get angry. So you know what I’ve realised? We’re allowed to be. It doesn’t mean we haven’t moved on or that we’re not okay it just means that we recognised that we were treated badly.

We might not be able to say our partners were abusive, but dammit if we can’t say that we get angry. All together now: we had a shitty time, being mad is okay, but learning to let the anger go will release us from their memory once and for all.

Good luck you shitty-partner survivors.

Doc, I know my own vagina

I was 11 when I got my first period and I’m now in my late twenties. I am well-versed in my period-cyclopedia. I know when something is normal and when something is different or wrong.

Doctors, however, don’t share my confidence in knowing my own body. It started when I was a teenager and my very heavy periods sent me to the GP to ask for help. Continue reading “Doc, I know my own vagina”

Published

I mentioned in a 2014 recap post that I had a short story accepted for publication by a literary magazine. Having been asked by everyone around me, “Are you proud? Because you should be.” I thought that I should let myself really be proud and give it a short post to itself. Preemptive apologies for this festival of self-love. Continue reading “Published”

In Defence of the Teenage Girl

With the burgeoning success of posting videos on Vine, Instagram, Facebook etc, it is likely that you have come across some kind of short video of teenage girls doing something ’embarrassing’. Most likely you will see that these videos are accompanied by comments such as, “dumb sluts” / “would like to see them try that in my house” / “fuck this generation”. And so on because people need to type their own variation of the comment despite the 1000 comments already there. Continue reading “In Defence of the Teenage Girl”

Favourite Book Covers

This idea came from the wonderfully blog-talented, Wanton Creation / the Other Watson, click the link to check his favourites out.

Shall I open with the perhaps over-used line, you can’t judge a book by its cover? I know this is true for a lot of books (dodgy cover, good plot) and for people, the true subjects of the analogy, (pretty cover, ugly soul) but for whatever reason, I tend to feel more connected to the books whose covers caught my eye first. Picking a preferred cover for a specific books helps the book feel personal. When different books by the same author have covers in a similar style, I like to buy the one that matches what I have. Continue reading “Favourite Book Covers”

Brother’s Grimm

I am constantly reminded that the internet is brilliant because it can put you back in touch with things you thought you’d never see, hear or watch again. Remember having to listen to the radio for 3 hours so you could press record on your tape when the one song you wanted finally played? Good times.

Continue reading “Brother’s Grimm”

When a Goose Meets a Moose

When a goose meets a moose,
At the house of a mouse,
I wonder if all three,
Sit down and drink tea

I wish that I could explain to you what the stories and poems I read turn into in my mind. A collage of emotions and thoughts and pictures, all mixed together. An image isn’t simply an image but has attached to it the emotion of the writing’s tone and circumstance. Imagination is behind all this. The mind’s eye acting out another’s imagination through symbols typed on a page. If you are a person who enjoys reading you know what I am trying to say, don’t you?

Continue reading “When a Goose Meets a Moose”

How To Spend a Friday Night Alone

It’s Friday night and you are not throwing a dinner party or dancing at a new club or hooking up with a date or seeing a live show. You’re actually in your pajamas, alone, at home. Let me guess, it’s probably cold outside, you haven’t even spoken to any friends today and you’re on the cusp of ordering pizza to at least have some human contact today. Well don’t worry about being bored, being home alone on the weekend isn’t a bad thing! This is for those of us home alone on a Friday night with that restless feeling.

Continue reading “How To Spend a Friday Night Alone”

Glorious Sadness! Books With Sad Endings

For the most part, stories end well. That’s kind of how our story-telling works: character gets into conflict, then the conflict is resolved and he’s okay again. In fact, he’s probably better than before.

everything-will-be-ok-in-the-end-if-it-s-not-ok-it-s-not-the-end-368781-475-559_large

Sometimes, though, stories don’t follow this formula exactly and that ‘it’s now okay’ sentiment above proves false. Sometimes, characters end up in way worse situations than what they started with. These are the books that give you a downlift over an uplift. These are a sampling of the books that have tugged my heart the most, two of them actually made a tear roll down my cheek. But just one tear, one manly, strong tear. Pfft, I don’t sob over fiction. Whatever.

Continue reading “Glorious Sadness! Books With Sad Endings”

On Friendship

One of the saddest parts of growing older is that the number of friends you have goes down after highschool. People simply disappear into their own lives and journeys, and it can be a long time before you start building up new friendships. If you’re a shy person, well, you might have to prepare for some tough years of loneliness. Combat some shyness by taking a deep breath, smile, listen to the person, ask questions, just talk politely- it gets easier.

Continue reading “On Friendship”

Read What Makes You Happy

There is a certain amount of pressure on people who call themselves writers or literary students / lovers, to read and love particular books. Sometimes though, the best thing to do for these masterpieces is to acknowledge their intelligence, appreciate it, but admit that you just personally didn’t like it. Continue reading “Read What Makes You Happy”