“We accept the love we think we deserve” – Stephen Chbosky

Ivybelle: We accept the love we think we deserve is one of my favourite quotes of all time! To me it’s a quote that reminds me that I deserve the best and not what I think I deserve. I haven’t really been with a lot of people however, all of them ended badly. I should be able to be with someone who makes me happy, who can open a door for me, be nice and respectful.

Madison: what I think this quote means to me is, when it comes down to falling in love if we think we deserve negativity we will look for a negative relationship. An example of this is when say you found someone you really care about and everything is going well, you will start doubting yourself and your relationship, and pulling way because you don’t believe you deserve to be happy. This can be very upsetting because this can lead to you putting yourself in a dangerous situation. On the brighter side there is always a positive side and if you believe you deserve the best, you will get the best. The meaning of this quote I feel is a lot about self-worth, and having confidence in yourself. I was always told if I did not believe I worth anything then how could anyone one else. If you think about how much you are really worth, how high would that be? Would you keep yourself on a pedestal or would you be down in the showdowns? I believe it is all about how you present yourself, I’m not the most attractive women in the world, but I still believe I’m beautiful which my fiancé find the most beautiful. So no matter what you believe you deserve, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and you are so much more then you are worth.

Marie: I’ve read plenty of things on why we have this idea of what type of love we deserve, and I’ve read many reasons. For instance no one sees a person in the same way as others do, and no one can see themselves for what others see them as. We know every dark secret, every mistake we’ve made, and know all of our own baggage; which affects how we see ourselves and sometimes for the worse. We also know how we’ve been treated whether in past relationships, by family, friends or others in general and all of that impacts how we see ourselves and how we think we deserve. Sometimes it goes beyond that and to the relationships we see our loved ones go through. However one thing that is definitely true is that we deserve better than we think when it comes to love.

Howie: The quote happens to be very true about some people,especially the ones who have been ‘scorned’ and hurt in th past.  For we put up walls and barriers made of the hurtful things and words used against us. The words there to make us feel like we don’t deserve the love we are given by anyone. Even people that truly love because we have been conditioned to think we do not deserve it, that it is too good for us. We do not even believe it sometimes we are shown genuine affection. Too afraid risk the belief, the faith, and the trust that we can be loved for who we are. The sad thing is that often we are proven right in that aspect for there are so many people that will hurt a person in their lives.

Even the people you do not let in, will hurt you sometimes or trigger those walls. We have to find a way to love ourselves and accept that we will get hurt. If we don’t those walls could trap us, making us bitter and cold. Afraid that we don’t deserve love and we’ll just be hurt again.

Fear of relationships Pt.2

It’s been 3 years since then, I thought that by now I would have healed and I would be able to get in a relationship no problem. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. Today, I am 25, single, living on my own and still no relationship.

When I came back to Vancouver, my ex was the last one to know. My best friend and I would take pictures together, hang out and post it on social media but without the location. For a few weeks he didn’t catch on I was back. He asked me a couple times if they were old picture or if I was back and I would just ignore his messages. Eventually, I figured me and my ex needed to talk so I told him I’ve been back for weeks and he got really mad at me. I didn’t feel bad about it and I felt like I didn’t owe him anything. I didn’t have to tell him anything but I did it because I wanted to move on with my life by talking to him face to face.

When my best friend and I went to go talk to him, it made me realize that I really did make the right decision by leaving him. He was still acting like a little boy and being selfish. He didn’t see the mistakes he made and the hurtful things he has said. He believed that I was at fault. I knew at that moment I didn’t need him in my life.

A year past when I saw him next. We are working on being friends and I get to see my Nephew more often. Him giving me my space was the best thing he could do. I had to think about where I was going in my life and who was I going to be as a person- was I going to hold grudges for the rest of my life or was I going to live my life in happiness? I admit, I feel better now that I’m not holding a grudges. It doesn’t mean though that I have forgotten or forgiven what happened, it just means that I’m not going to hate him for the rest of my life.

Hating on my Ex-Fiancé and holding on to my other Ex was killing me inside. I was holding on to things that are never going to come back or be like it used to be. I had to learn to let go of someone I loved and someone I resented. I had to learn that everything happens for a reason and not everything will go my way. What happened in my past has made me stronger and wiser.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I will react if I ever see ex again. I know there’s still a part of me that breaks when I hear his name, when I hear about his family. I still wonder if he thinks of me, wonders what I’m doing with my life or even if I’m happy.

I still wonder “what if”. I still carry a picture of him with me. Sometimes I think I torture myself by doing so. I do wish him happiness. I wish him the best of luck and I hope his wife gives him everything he needs and wants. I hope he lives in a beautiful house and has a job he loves. However at the end of day, I miss him.

Another reason why I fear relationships… Many men and women have sexually abused me. All these people would blame me and makes me feel so tiny, like I was nothing! They would say that I’m fat, ugly and that I pretty much deserved it. How does someone trust anyone if everyone they trusted betrayed them? I cannot say that I trust people because I don’t entirely. However, one day i hope that i will be able to do so.

Dear Marie

Dear Self,

I know you are hurting, and have been for a very long time. I want you to know that it’s ok to hurt. I know that a lot of people have hurt you over the years, and that in dealing with that you hurt yourself. You made choices that affected your future and you put the blame on yourself when it shouldn’t have been there. I watch you day after day let the hurt that is inside you influence your decisions, and I need you to let it go.

Let go of the pain caused by being bullied in elementary school, it’s far behind you now. In fact you have made amends with most of your bullies, most questions have been answered, and you’ve grown from it. You have learnt many things from those eight years, academically and about yourself as well as those around you. So let that go, it’s been a decade, don’t let that hurt spend one second longer lingering around.
Move past all those failed relationships and all the nasty words flung into the air, you know many of them don’t hold any real footing. Let go of all of the downs, and don’t dwell on the goods.

What I am asking of you is to dig deep down into that hurt and let everything go. I know this is not an easy thing to ask and it’s going to hurt, which makes it hard to ask anyone to do so. I need you to believe me, to have faith in yourself, that in the end the results will be worth it. You don’t need to carry around the burden of old guilt and hurt. So look deep inside and work through all that hurt sitting heavy on your heart piece by piece. Work out why it hurts and what it taught you, focus on that and not the pain. You do not need to forget what happened or forgive the person, but let it go and let it be no more than a stone in the road to the person you are today. Look inside yourself and try and answer those loose ends and unanswered questions, to put the hurt to rest.

Most of all I need you to understand that some things are not your fault, don’t victim blame yourself. Some one did something horrible to you and you never asked them to do so, you are not responsible for their actions. You did not consent to their actions, and there was nothing you could do to stop it. You were sexually assaulted; that person took from you something they were not meant to take, that you tried to stop them from taking. You can not put blame on yourself, there’s nothing you could do to prevent it. Even more so, you need to let it go because there is nothing you can do now to change the events that happened. Please forgive your self, as if you can’t do that how can you be happy?


Marie Olsson

Ivy belle: Fear of relationships Pt.1

Fear of relationships


“It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” – Mandy Hale

Have you ever stopped yourself from being in a relationship because you’re too scared to get hurt or be in one? I have.

The last time I was in a relationship was when I was 19 and left him when I was 22. I was engaged to this guy and we lived together even though he put me through a lot. From cheating, to lying & even using me, I stayed with him because I thought that I was just being a bad girlfriend and I was overreacting. When you’re in a relationship with someone who blames you for everything and tells you it’s your fault- you start to believe it. That relationship was my first serious relationship and I think that’s why I kept forgiving him because I also thought that this is the only relationship I will ever have and that no one else will love me but him.

I remember being vulnerable, angry, anxiety, hurt and I felt betrayed 90% of our relationship. He would be with another woman but lie to me, and even if he wasn’t I got so paranoid that I couldn’t sleep at night until he would show up. When I would ask him where he’s been, he would get very defensive. I didn’t know at the time that lies could really destroy a person. I took him back at least 8 times but every time I told myself “ this time is it! Me and him are over for good.” However, I would always take him back even when I knew it was bad news. I stayed with him until I literally hated him. I couldn’t stand having him around anymore. I didn’t want to be intimate, I wanted him to go sleep over at his friends, I would get upset for no reason and I was angry all the time.

Instead of leaving him and saving myself the pain I stayed with him to the point that I hated him more than my dad. Later on, when we broke off the engagement and everything I told myself I wouldn’t get into another relationship but then my ex’s sister introduced me to someone else. He was a nice guy and with time I fell hard for him. He would always try to surprise me but little did I know, my ex knew him too and he didn’t like him- apparently he’s a “goof” whatever that means. My ex did everything in his power to make sure that we broke up. One say my ex called me and told me I had to chose to break up with my boyfriend or having no where to live. I remember being hurt, torn and I told him that I wasn’t going to break up with my boyfriend for him.

One night my ex called me really angry and told me we needed to talk face to face. When I showed up we got into a heated argument about my boyfriend and he kept asking me if I broke up with my boyfriend, I told him no. At this point it was 2 am and I was ready to walk out the door until he wouldn’t let me leave because it was late. Eventually I gave in and he told me we would watch a movie together until we fell asleep. At that moment I knew all this was wrong and I just wanted to sit in a corner and cry. When we were watching a moving my ex put his hands on me and I kept telling him no to take his hands off me. I thought he would of understood but next thing I know I was pinned to his bed and he forced me to have sex with him. I felt disgusted even though I kept telling him that this is a bad idea that we shouldn’t do this. It was too late. The next morning he left for work and I hurried to get all my stuff together to leave but his roommate told me that I shouldn’t of slept with him that I would hurt my ex’s feelings. I tried to explain to him that I tried to tell him no but he kept blaming me. When I got back to my ex sister’s place (where I lived) and I tried to avoided talking about the night before.

When I got home I was trying to get a hold of my boyfriend but I wasn’t able to get a hold of him. My ex’s sister confronted me about what happened last night because apparently my ex called her. I tried to explain the situation but she sided with him by saying that he didn’t point a gun to my head and I could of left at any point, I was hurt. I texted my ex telling him that that night wasn’t supposed to happened that he pressured me into sleeping with him but he said that I could of walked away. In that moment I was so confused if it was rape or if it was actual sex. My ex threatened to tell my boyfriend that I cheated on him and that I liked it and etc.. After 3 days I finally got a message from my boyfriend asking me what the hell happened and explained that he got a message from my ex and he was really mad. I explained that I didn’t want to sleep with him but he pressured me but my boyfriend only saw it as cheating not rape. At the moment, he broke up with me and I was devastated.

I didn’t really have anyone to talk to because I wasn’t on good terms with any of my friends and I didn’t want to have this talk with my mom. I had so many plans with my boyfriend: we were suppose to move in together, build a family and get married but that night of the break up he got back with his ex girlfriend and got engaged. Now he’s happily married and has 4 kids. Still today I miss him. I wish we could talk things through and be friends but I know that’s not possible. I keep telling myself that I might actually have had a good life right now and be happy.

After all the heartache I moved back to Quebec with my family to get my life back together. I told myself that I would be doing a job that I love, that I could heal my heart again, and take care of my family- but that wasn’t the case for most part. My ex-fiancé was always trying to get a hold of me-texting, snap chatting, Facebook, etc. I kept telling him to leave me alone but he wouldn’t. It took me a long time for me to be able to supress my anger and bitterness. I stayed single even though my friends and family tried to hook me up with people. I’ve had people ask me for one night stands but I’ve turned them all down because I don’t personally think that sleeping with someone while I’m healing will help me at all or just sleeping with someone for the pleasure of it.

To be continued….

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Keep fighting -Ivybelle- Xx



Ivybelle On The Fear Of Intimacy

The Fear Of Intimacy

 “Aphenphosmphobia. The fear of intimacy phobia is known by several other names such as  Aphenphosmphobia (which is the fear of being touched) as well as Philophobia
(which is the fear of love).” – www.fearof.net/fear-of-intimacyphobia-aphenphosmphobia/

Intimacy means being vulnerable and that’s something that I’ve been struggling with for years. Growing up being sexually abused, bullied, and feeling like I’m not good enough or pretty; I think it has a lot to do with fearing intimacy. A lot of people knew I was vulnerable as a kid and they took that for granted by doing what they pleased with me.

Standing there and letting someone else put their hands on me or take off my clothes off is something that scares me a lot, I become very vulnerable. Knowing that the man standing in front of me and seeing every part of me is very hard. How do I know if they like what they see? How do I know that they aren’t using me? How do I know if I can please them?

When they lay their hands on my leg, on my arms or grab my hand and give me a back massage all I can feel is my heart pounding, my stomach is in knots and my legs start bouncing and hands shaking. All I want to do is cry and scream and for them to go away. There’s nothing wrong with the men who I try to date or who try to get intimate with me, there’s just an issue with me that I need to fix. Often I feel the pressure that I need to sleep with them to sleep with them but most of the time I’ll walk away or wont bother going on dates or get into relationships.

A few months after my dad sexually abused me, I moved with my mom and she could tell I needed help. Sometimes my mom would put her hands on my knees and I would start shaking and bouncing my leg. I knew that she wouldn’t sexually abuse me but there’s another part of me that wasn’t sure anymore. I would get very uncomfortable when someone would hug me or touch me…I really hope that one day I can face my fear.

Here are some things that might help understand the fear a bit…

(This may or may not be accurate for everyone)

What causes the fear of intimacy

  • Being sexually abused as a child
  • An abusive Childhood
  • Alcoholism
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Body image issues
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Previous Abusive Relationship
  • Betrayal

How to know if someone fears intimacy

  • They avoid any physical contact
  • They become very distant
  • They struggle expressing their feelings
  • They blush a lot when talking about anything intimate
  • They may be a bit shaky. Eg Hands shaking, bouncing their legs, etc.

How to Heal from it

  • Therapy
  • Taking time to fully trust someone
  • Try to find closure with the source of the problem

Please remember that even though you may be struggling with the fear of intimacy, it doesn’t mean that you’re not normal and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you need help please do not be afraid to communicate it with your partner or get some therapy. One day you will be able to trust and be able to be intimate with someone.
Don’t give up. Have faith.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Keep Fighting.
~Ivybelle~ Xx

Lynn Rascal’s Issues in Her Current Workplace

(plus touching on why mental illness is as important as physical illness)
So I work in the fast food industry and let me tell you, it is chaotic. Large orders, impatient customers, constantly restocking inventory. It’s a lot for me to handle. Luckily I don’t have to work alone often, but when I do and things get hectic, I can literally break down crying. I’m not entirely sure what the cause of it is, be it mental illness or just a weak spine, but I have a hunch it’s the former if not just a mix of both. Anyway, I’m going to explain what exactly happens when I “freak out” at work.

Most of the time it happens when I mess up an order or when something will take a while to be made or something like that. I start to panic, my breathing gets really shallow, and I start to make either whining like noises or sob sounds. Oftentimes, I start to feel like I’m drowning and gasp for air. If it gets worse, I will have actual tears start falling and lose almost all of my focus. The worst that’s happened so far is that I started outright crying, hyperventilating, and almost wound up on the floor (I did actually fall onto the floor once but that due to physical illness and I was promptly sent home). My coworker often has to step in for me when that happens and that just makes me feel even worse about the whole thing.

Now maybe I’m just not cut out for the food business, and trust me I’m looking for a new field like the dickens, but all this has got me thinking. If this doesn’t scream that mental illness should be treated just as importantly as physical illness, I don’t know what does. Like I said though, I might not be mentally ill and should really really really see a professional, but that just proves my point even more. Mentally, I might be right as rain! (though looking at my reactions in actual words I highly doubt it) But if I’m mentally fine, how would someone who was actually mentally ill be on a bad day?

Personally, I feel we should be able to call in when we really aren’t mentally capable of handling work that day. Hell, one of the effects of depression is not even having the physical/mental energy to get out of bed, let alone go into work and get stuff done. Sometimes the effects of mental illness are much more powerful and crippling than that of a physical one and it kinda makes me sad that not a lot of people get that. I wish more people could understand, but I get that it’s kinda hard to explain, let alone have someone wrap their head around. Maybe in the future things will be better…

Anyway, I’ve rambled on and I have to get a few other things done too. Heck I still have to pack my uniform for work tomorrow! Whoops… Again though, I’m still not entirely sure what my issue at work is and should see a professional most definitely, but like I said I work in fast food. I get paid practically peanuts, so that’s probably not happening anytime soon. I wish you all the best of luck in your life and I hope you all wish me the best in my work. Trust me guys, I need it…

Madison Talks About Family Relationships

What is family to me?
Honestly Family is everything. I have five wonderful siblings and my son that mean the world to me. My mother is my Idol, I’ve looked up to her my whole life and I always will. I’ve got two fathers, both impacted my life differently. I have an amazing fiancé, really cool in-laws, and a few friends that I’ve adopted into my family.
When I think of family I think of everyone who is standing beside me. It doesn’t matter if we are blood or not. I want to know who will be there for me when I fall and who I can catch before they do. Family is supposed to stand by you in the darkest of days, then beg for money when you are on top 😛 hahaha just joking.  No family is something you build and create not bought or stolen. I would go the distance and move mountains if my siblings asked. The way I can tell if you are family or not is that no matter how short time ago I saw you I starting missing you the moment you leave. Like most people say you don’t know you have something till it’s gone.
Speaking of family, if anyone is wondering I’m going to finally get a chance to do some self-care this weekend. Hahaha only a couple months late but hey I need it… anyways my cousin’s coming down this weekend from the island, and my cousin has always been like a sister to me. Since my two actual sister who are also coming out this weekend are 8.5 years and 13 years apart from me, we never got that sisterly bond, I was always more of the mother figure. With my cousin though we are really close in age and when we were younger we’d spend as much time as we could together, to the point we were like inseparable until it was time to leave grandma and grandpa house. Sadly we always lived this far from each other I’ve always been on the main land and her on the island, and it’s even harder now with both of us working so seeing each other is getting harder. But hey got to make do with the time you have right.
So my five younger siblings, I love them to death. To break it down I have three brothers and two sisters. With two of my brothers they didn’t live with me until I was a lot older, so we never got the chance to build that closeness which pains me, because I would really like that brother sister relationship with the two of them. It is something we are working on but I find it a little harder now that we are so much older. The youngest three, I help raise all of them. My youngest brother is 15 years younger than me, one big age gap. I am really close to them and I try my hardest to be there for them, but every time I go over it’s like a fight for my attention. I defiantly do enjoy there company and listening to their day and everything they learnt in school. I try to see them once a week but sometime due to timing it ends up once every two weeks.
Now the one everyone knows I’m going to talk about. My son is my pride and joy, I love him so much, he has brought a lot of happiness into my life. Of course the life of a mother can be stressful but hey, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So my son’s birthday just past in April, he just turned five. It’s really exciting because we are starting to prep him for kindergarten now. You can tell he is very nervous but he will not admit it, it was so cute the other day we were talking about school and letting him know we are going to orientation to meet the teacher and he turns around and goes “ I want a boy teacher”, I told him we have to wait and see. My son has a very strong personality, all of us are praying we don’t get a call from the principle too many times. It funny though mixed with his strong personality he has a very shy side that comes out so you never know right. My fiancé and I were really proud of him the other day, while we were at the park my son had made friends with this cute little kid about the same age. That got along well until they got to the zip line, all of a sudden it was like a flip of a switch the kid started hitting him and pushing him not letting him have a turn. It got to the point where we had to intervene and then remove are son from the situation.  We were proud our son did not hit or push back, yes he told him off a couple times but nothing too bad, where a couple years ago he punch my brother square on the nose for doing the same thing to him. I do have a feeling he was debating it and we removed him before anything really got on his nerves.
Thanks everyone for reading, I’d love to hear Question, Concerns, Answer, and Statements, anything you want to through at me in the comment section below.
“The only people you need in your life are the ones who need you in theirs. Never make someone a priority if they only see you as an option” –Maya Angelou

~Madison Taylor

Ivybelle: Safer Sex

Today in 2016 it’s so easy to get sex, whither it’s a friend or a girlfriend/boyfriend, a stranger, etc. However, how safe are we being when it comes to having sex? How many people out there use protection? How many people have gotten diseases or pregnant?

At 13-14 years old girls/boys are already having sex either from pressure or they are just sexually active at such a young age. A lot of these Teens look up to these celebrities/role models and want to be everything they are; dress up like them, talk like them etc. Whither it’s on TV, Magazines, radio, Sex is selling and people want it.
I know a lot of people as they got older they didn’t like using protection but they ended up pregnant (not that they regret it or anything) but wasn’t expected. I heard some people have got diseases from not having protection or not getting checked by a doctor.

It’s very important to remember;

  • Make sure its consensual
  • Make sure to use protection
  • (If you feel irritated, uncomfortable or sore it’s important to say something)

When you don’t use protection you can get HIV, Aids, STD’s, chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, and syphilis. It’s very important to do checks up at either a walk in clinic or family doctor to make sure that you are okay. If you can’t use specific condoms, talk to your doctor about other options for you and your partner. If you do catch something please don’t be ashamed of talking to someone about it, it’s important to get help…

When I was young I didn’t really think about sex or boys. After I turned 12 boys started catching my attention but I was never the one to send pictures or run after boys. I was very shy and awkward. I didn’t sleep with anyone until after I was legal of age and I was very proud of myself for doing so. When I was in a serious relationship, me and my partner made sure that we were protected to make sure I wouldn’t get pregnant and we wouldn’t catch anything. Even though we were together for over 4 years, we didn’t want to risk it yet. And still today I think it’s very important for me and whoever I have that relationship with, to make sure to be protected.

I find it interesting how quickly kids want to grow up nowadays. They dress up like they are 18 and have that intimacy at young age already or sending naked  pictures like it’s not a big deal. What happened to just playing in the park and going to the movie theater and etc.? I mean, I can’t blame the kids at all, and I’m not judging but even myself I’m trying to understand. Kids don’t want to use protection but then one of them leaves because they have a kid or they got something. No matter what, it’s important to stick together. A person’s life can change in a split second by not protecting themselves. They can lose their job, their home, their partner, anything really. Please think twice and protect yourselves.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Stay You.

Howie Defranco on Sexual Health

Hey blog readers, it’s me Howie Defranco and today we are going to talk about sexual health. Sexual health is a topic that encompasses multiple other topics, including sexuality, rights, the obvious medical side and relationships. Today we’re going to touch on all those points because they’re all important aspects of maintaining sexual health. I will include some personal stuff along the way, about my own limited sexual experiences as well. Anyways though let’s get started, so ya see there are these birds and these bees and… Oh wait that’s not the right conversation.
First let’s start with sexuality, a fun part of this topic because it’s about who you are sexually and being comfortable with it. Sexuality, is our gender, our sexual orientation, our desires, our preferences, everything that makes sex fun is sexuality. Now being comfortable with what you like is part of being sexual healthy, I mean let’s just say you like something and you’re ashamed of it. That statement just doesn’t work because it hurts your mental state to think that way and that’s not good. Find a way to be comfortable with what you like and your sexual health and mental state will improve greatly. For example, I’m very comfortable with my sexuality, I know what I like and what I don’t and I let my partners know that and because of that I always enjoy it, and they generally do the same with me.
If you’ve read my other blogs you know I’ve never had a relationship, but I’ve had sex a few times now. It has always been consensual though which is important when you start talking about sexual health. The rights of people matter just as much in the bedroom as they do out of it, I mean sex without consent is nothing it has no meaning and it is something that just hurts people. There are lots of different kinds of sex but none are worth it without respecting the other persons rights.
Between the ages of 16 and 19 I was obsessed with the idea of losing my virginity, and it like consumed me. The reason I’m talking about this is because my sexual health back then was horrible, I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality. I wasn’t comfortable because I was confused about what I even liked back then, I questioned everything did I like this, would I like this, I feel ashamed for liking this. It went on and on but at 19 it came to a point where it was enough, I did something to lose my virginity, and it was only a good experience because the other person consented to it. I’m just making the point that without those things not only is sex not fun, it’s not healthy for you, it hurts you.
Which brings us to the medical side, look if you’re having sex then be safe, wear a condom, use birth control. Be aware of possible diseases and how to prevent the, because in this day and age there’s every way to avoid catching something but it only takes one wrong move for that to go bad.
Finally it brings us to sexual relationships, sex is intimacy it really is and it brings two people closer by having it. I know a couple of the girls I been with after I felt like I could feel their heart beat with mine and it made a connection I don’t have with anyone. Just make sure that the relationship is both mutually beneficial and is in no way, something controlling you or hurting you. It’s supposed to be fun and feel good for everyone involved just remember that.
To end this all off I’m gonna say that sex is healing, it does relieve stress and clear your mind. Just make sure you do it right and that you are safe about it.

Marie Talks: Safe Sex

I don’t want to come off sounding like a PSA with this topic but it is one that we can hear a thousand times but still not completely use in our lives. We have heard it a thousand times.. ‘Wrap it before you tap it’ ‘Wear a condom’ etc. But how many people can say that advice is always taken to heart. Who can say that they don’t know anyone who doesn’t use a condom on a regular basis with a partner who is not a long term partner? Whether it’s you, your friend, or sexual partner (current, ex, or just a fling), do every one of you make sure you are not at risk of contracting an STI or creating a child when you get intimate? Most likely we all know one person who has carelessly forgone using a condom because sex isn’t the same with one on or they don’t have one ready, even just once.

Chances we’ve all heard it before but I’ll cover this because you can never hear it enough. Wear a condom, not just to avoid an unwanted pregnancy but to avoid STIs. No one wants to find out that they caught anything from a fun night, whether it’s anything from Chlamydia to HIV.

Get tested regularly, make sure you haven’t contracted anything.

Be honest with your partner if you do have anything, whether it be Chlamydia, herpes, herpes, HIV or anything.

YOU CAN WALK AWAY AT ANY POINT IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLEWITH ANYTHING. JUST BECAUSE YOU GAVE YOUR CONSENT AT ONE POINT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR MIND AND NOT CONSENT. It doesn’t matter why you changed your mind… whether it’s because you aren’t in the mood any more, they won’t wear a condom even though you want them to, they have a weird bump on their privates/mouth or they do something you don’t approve of, it does not matter you are not obligated to have any contact with each other’s genitals or any other intimate act.

Questions You Should Ask a New Sexual Partner?

  • Do you have a condom?
  • Do you have an STI? Is there anything I should know about?
  • When was the last time you were tested for STIs? Are you clean?
  • Are you on a form of contraceptive? If so what? (You should still use a condom)

You should also divulge all this information to your partner as well, it’s not a one way street, you both should be fully aware of what you are getting yourselves into.

There is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of about asking these questions to the person you are wanting to be intimate with. You are not bound by contract to have sex with them, you can change your mind at any point and there is nothing fun about having a fun night only to find out it led to a not so fun consequence. You can make a decision regardless of what comes out of their mouth, and you should not feel guilty if you find yourself doubting anything they say, it is your personal health that you are protecting.
Story Time:

When I was eighteen I started dating this guy, lets call him Dion. I had gone to get a STI screening and Pap smear recently and just gotten the results back, I was clean. I had the ritual of going every three months regardless of whether I was sleeping with a single partner, wasn’t sleeping with anyone or had had more than one partner. I also was getting tested after I slept with a new partner. Anyways me and Dion had the conversation about our sexual health and been through all these questions and I had trusted his answers. We used condoms the first few times and he agreed to get tested as it had been a while since he had been, he said he came back clean. We had been dating for a while and we stopped using condoms, as I was on depo provera (The shot), and I had felt comfortable trusting him.

A month or two later my birth control was running out which meant I needed to go back to the doctors for the shot and my routine screenings.  As always I thought nothing of this visit it was routine, take a pregnancy test, do all the STI testing, Pap test, get the shot, and come back in three months. However I got a call a week or two later, it was the clinic asking me to come back in asap, that they needed to talk to me. When I went back in they told me I had Chlamydia then gave me the pills I needed and did all that fun jazz, I immediately thought there was a mix up, both Dion and I were clean, and he wouldn’t lie to me. Afterwards I called Dion and asked him if we could talk about something, he was reluctant but finally agreed and met up with me to talk. When I told him what happened he started screaming at me that I was cheating on him, it was impossible for him to have something and all that. Through all of his fuss I had determined he had three things set in stone 1) he did not have chlamydia, 2) he would not get tested (nor would he take the pills to be safe), and 3) we weren’t breaking up over this. Well I was not happy with his response nor did I want to put myself in this position where I would be constantly putting myself in risk of getting chlamydia again, so I broke up with him and got retested two weeks later coming back clean.

I learnt a few things from this experience and the most important one being people can and some will lie about important aspects just so they can sleep with you. That I should trust my gut instinct when someone tells me something, and safe is always better than sorry, even if it means putting a barrier in between me and my partner in a moment of intimacy.

Stay True. Stay You. Stay Healthy Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

Madison Taylor on Cross Culture Relationships

What is a cross culture relationship? it’s when you have any kind of relationship between friends whether it be an intimate relationship, or a professional relationship, and there is a cultural difference between the two people. It can go three very different ways. First way can be positive, second can be neutral and the third can be negatively. I’ve encountered all three different ways in very different ways, my family is very multicultural i’m half Caucasian half Chinese, my grandmother first nations, two of my brother are half east Indian and my other 3 siblings are half Italian. So I grew up around different cultures my whole life. I’ll be going into it more later on, first I wanted to give some facts on cross culture relationships and how they affect us in are every day lives
I think one of the biggest thing that we our impacted by is the food. every culture has their traditional, their delicacy and their stereotypical food. if anyone has gone to a multicultural fair my favorite part is going around and trying all the cool food. The other affect it can have is the celebrations and different holidays, as an example I celebrate Christmas, new years and Chinese new years, and a couple other mixed holidays from my mixed culture. One that was really fun was I got a chance to go to a coming of age ceremony, it was a lot of fun but I ended up wearing the wrong colours. It was really fascinating though to see and participate in the ceremony, it was a great learning experience.
So now I’ll talk about the positive side of cross culture relationships. This can go as far as welcoming and accepting the other persons views and culture, this does not mean you have to participate in them or believe in them but it means that you’re willing to understand and listen to them when they talk about it. It’s not always easy being positive about stuff you do not fully understand but keeping your mind open is a great start.
Now the neutral side is most common, it’s one of the ways where both parties have a greater chance of not getting hurt. it’s pretty much you do your thing and I’ll do mine, and you keep it to your self. like my boyfriend doesn’t always agree with some of my Asian customs, but as long as I don’t shove them in his face he just let’s me do my thing and doesn’t participate. That is alright, he doesn’t have to because they’re my beliefs and my customs, just like how I don’t follow some of his.
The negative side is where thing get messy, because it all comes down to trying to change the person into something they are not. though it’s not right to do so it happens. It is when you start telling people to change their ways of their beliefs and discourage them from doing there practices, that is when you start to harm them. Other words for that are discrimination and racism, this position ends up being a lose lose for every one.

Marie Talks: Cross Culture Relationships

I have never put in any real thought into the difficulties of being in a Cross-Culture relationships, in the end of the day we are all human right? I kept this opinion up until quite recently,  and was making this a difficult topic to put together a blog worth putting out.

It wasn’t until I approached my boyfriend about the struggles I was having trying to write something more than the first paragraph down.  What he pointed out to me was the differences me and him share culturally. I’m Canadian, raised in a more British fashion,  he was born in Hong Kong, raised in that fashion. Which does make a bigger impact on our relationship than I give a second thought to.

In a lot of senses every relationship is to some degree a Cross-Culture relationship. No one is raised in a household with the same beliefs, morals, and traditions, etc. No one’s culture is the same as their partners, as even being raised in the same country, eg. England, there can be multiple different cultural differences.

For my relationship a few things stood out to me after we talked that do differ between us culturally.

1) Religion
I was raised in a Christian family, he was not. Sometimes when beliefs come into the conversation, we have differing views. I find it fascinating to hear what he believes and at this point in time does cause no issues in our relationship. However I do know down the road that it can cause some dilemmas and serious discussions between us. Such as if we decide to get married, both of us have different cultural aspects in ceremonies.
As well as if we decide to have children, which religion will they be raised with? Will we incorporate both into their life or neither? Religion can be a really difficult decision to make for a child if your views differ from one another.

Personally I speak English and only English, however my boyfriend also speaks Cantonese. We talk in English and that’s no issues, however it can be awkward when he’s having a conversation with someone in Cantonese and I don’t know what they’re saying and just awkwardly standing there. It’s also difficult when he’s trying to explain something that he has to translate from Cantonese to English and isn’t sure how. Realistically neither of these barriers are horribly detrimental to our relationship, but are just awkward bumps in the discussion. At the end of the day it can make it difficult with his family, but we’ll take that one step at a time. I do want to learn Cantonese one day, to be able to communicate better with his family, and if we have kids to also help pass not only English but Cantonese on to them as well.

3)Family Expectations
All my family wants for me relationship wise, is to find someone who I love, is respectful and makes me happy. However his family has always wanted him to find a nice Chinese girl to settle down with, and shocker, I’m not Chinese. Luckily I have not been put through the ringer for that yet, and hopefully we will not have to ever face that possible outcome.

There are many other issues and speed bumps we and other couples will and have faced due to cultural differences, but I think those three for me have been the ones that come up the most in my relationship. Yes culturally our food, diets, and table manners differ. As do some of our manners and things we do in our day to day routines differ between our cultural upbringings. I could write a blog on the differences between our cultures but let’s be honest I’d never be done writing, because everyday we learn something new about each other.

Stay Beautiful Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

Lynn Cross Culture

I’d like to start this off by saying that this is just my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the entire group. I don’t believe it’s a bad opinion, I just want to state that if I come off as a bit…”jerkish”, that’s me being jerkish, not TIME. I will try my best not to be harsh, though. To be honest, it’ll be pretty hard for me to come up with something to write. I mean, this doesn’t even seem like something that should be an issue, but lo and behold, it is, so I’ll take a crack at it.
I remember in high school, we had exchange students that came in from Germany for a while. I made friends with a few of them and learned a lot about them and their country. It was really nice and I doubt I’ll ever forget them. My co-workers are Hindi and are some of the sweetest ladies I have ever met and often look out for me when I get escpecially overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter to them that I’m a different ethnicity and it doesn’t to me either. They treat me like a person and I return in kind.
Look, my point is the world is a big place and I feel we should all strive to have a viewpoint that’s just as big. People are all different, from our race to our personalities to even our fingerprints. This may come off as awkwardly written and poorly planned out, and I’m sorry for that, but it really is because this is just such a baffling issue to me. I can’t imagine what it’s like being, at the very least, disliked solely because of your race and I’d like to apologize on behalf of…well everyone. I just hope people can learn and grow and love one another someday and we can finally find some semblance of peace.

Howie on cross cultural relationships

Hey blog readers, it’s me Howie Defranco and our topic today is cross cultural relationships, a topic I’ve been looking forward to writing! Let me explain why first, simply put I have a lot of them like ok sure there’s the small group of friends I grew up with who have similar ones. Today though I have a lot of people I talk to who are from different backgrounds, culturally speaking and it’s awesome. Who doesn’t think it’s cool to learn about other ways people live in this world, or have friends that were raised differently from you. It’s something that makes me fairly happy to have in my life.
First a small shout out to my few American friends, ok culturally speaking there are minor differences but I love to debate them over. From there I’ve had close friends from various backgrounds who’ve walked in and out of my life. There’s my friend Paris, she’s from India and she’s very proud of her heritage and whenever we’re talking about something she tells me stories or about how things are in her culture and it’s fun to listen too. In the same breath she likes learning about like my culture and how we’d do thing in it, lol she gets mad at me cause I say she’s Canadian. See she isn’t a citizen yet and doesn’t want to be called Canadian since she’s not a citizen yet but I like to cause well to me she is. She lives here and I never think oh hey you weren’t born here, therefore I’m gonna identify you as something else.
I think my best cross cultural relationship though is the one with the bulk of my co workers who are Filipino. Every day while I’m working with them they speak Tagalog, and taught me a few words and I usually get the gist of it. They laugh when I have to ask them to translate though because, of how often I get the gist. They always bring lots of food I’ve never even heard of before that I enjoy partaking in and they’ve told me a lot about their homeland. In the same breath I’ve tried teaching them about my culture, like showing them around town or bringing them food or helping them with English. It’s kinda fun being the guy they come to when they don’t know a word and need me to define it.
I’ve never cared about someone’s background in the sense of where they came from so I love these kinds of friendships. It’s nice when all you need to see is who a person is to be friends with them.

Lynn’s Warnings On Unhealthy Relationships

I’ve seen a lot of bad romantic relationships in my life. Never been in any myself mind you, good or bad, but I digress. Since I don’t have any experience in this I’ll be talking about a couple of bad relationships I’ve had front row seats for in watching, seeing as they were my older sister’s wild rides. The relationships weren’t unhealthy just…not good, so blog will probably be more about bad romantic relationships and what not to do to not end up in one.

Her first relationship was, as I remember and personally see it, very much like how many first relationships go. Lots of lovey-dovey daydreams, seeing the world through rose colored glasses, and being more in love with the fact that you’re actually in a relationship. That lasted for a while until the honeymoon period wore off and my sister realized she was basically taking care of a controlling boyfriend with no ambition and trust issues. It wasn’t for a while after she came out of that high that she decided to break up with him. The moral of this story; don’t be controlling or put up with controlling behaviour and if you don’t like someone’s personality, you don’t have to simply put up with it.

Her next relationship was, at least the rest of our family and I felt, bound to be a trainwreck from the start. Regardless, it was my sister’s decision to make and she stuck with it for five years. She endured his temper tantrums and anger issues with a sigh and a smile and stayed with him through his stupid ideas and faults which he never owned up to or recognized. Now when I say “stupid ideas” in this case, I don’t mean just some dumb teenager plan, I mean getting yourself hospitalized for a week, promising not to do the thing that got you hospitalized again, and then getting hospitalized for the same thing a month later. That was essentially the cut off point for her in that relationship. The moral of this story; someone else’s anger issues are not your fault or yours to deal with, own up to your faults and mistakes and don’t let someone else’s weigh you down.

I keep hearing a sort of point going around that if you wouldn’t take some sort of behaviour from your best friend, you definitely shouldn’t take it from your romantic partner. To be honest, I agree. A relationship isn’t really something that should be put on a pedestal, they’re supposed to be natural and fun. Again, I’ve never been in a relationship and am mostly just projecting my thoughts here, but I hope that you try to see what I see and strive to find a nice, healthy, and fun relationship to be in yourself, romantic or not.