Lynn On: Depression and Me

Here’s a little warning before you start getting into this. I’ll be writing on my experience with depression and how I manage. My way may not work for everyone and if it’s extreme enough for suicidal thoughts and tendencies, I suggest going to a medical and/or mental profressional instead.

So I’ve suffered from depression for a long time and still do to this day. I used to take antidepressants for it, almost every dosage doctors could legally give me, but nothing really worked. Nothing really made me “happy” or “stopped the sadness”. I realized later in life that that’s not what the pills are supposed to do anyway and even if they did, a lot of my depression came from my situation at the time so there was really no way of fixing that. Leaving the situation I was in did help, but it was more than that. I still have depression and it’s still affecting me, but I’m trying to figure out a way to manage.

When my depression hits hard, I feel…empty. Like I’m not supposed to exist. Like I should, and I’m going to get stupidly artsy here, melt into the night sky or sink into the sea. Something like that that leads to me vanishing and putting and end to something that’s gone on too long. It’s not a suicidal thought process I don’t think, just a very empty, lonely, and all around sad feeling. It may take a long time to push on sometimes like weeks or months, and I doubt the feeling will ever really go away, but I learned something that helps me feel better about it all.

It’s okay. It’s okay for me to be upset. It’s okay for me to feel down and out and tired of life in general. I know it’s a mental illness but I also know that there’s no real ‘end all’ cure. Like I said, it’ll probably be with me my whole life and in my case it’s not all consumming, so I think I can handle on my own for the most part.

It’s like a really pesky cat in my case. I should know, I own one. Sometimes it’ll do everything in it’s power to get my attention and most of the time I hand it over. I pet it and talk to it as it meows at me, but sorting it out tends to quite it down enough to take it’s attention off me a while. Other times, like now as I’m writing this for example, I have to push it aside to get this done. It’s tried to get my undivided attention, but I put on some chill music while I work. That seems to shut it up for a while and makes it like a cat sleeping on my lap or something akin to that.

After I’m finished this though, I’ll probably keep the music going while thinking on this whole thing on my own. Which is fine since I usually do that anyway, even when I’m out with friends or at meetings. Sometimes, I just need to stop and step away to sort it out. Again, it may take a while and I may not get it all done, but I’ll be good enough to make it the rest of the way. And I think that’s all I need at the end of the day.

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Madison’s Struggle with Depression

I suffer from Depression, which is no news flash for anyone who knows me. I struggle every day with it, it is not something that will ever go away. I know that, and I’ve grown to accept it, so in a way I have it under control with just the acceptation. I’ll give you a definition on depression then I’ll get into a little more detail about what brought upon this topic.

Depression: a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

I got this definition from Dictionary.com

I wanted to bring this topic to light because I have been struggling with my emotions lately, and it’s starting to drain me physically as well as emotionally. With people who have depression of any kind go through emotional detachment between them self and others or themselves and object/activity they enjoy. They may even withdraw from people or certain objects due to their emotional detachment. A big one for me is a loss in energy or motivation to do anything. There can be days where I don’t even have the motive to lay in bed, and all I want to do is disappear. Another one that I go through is feeling lost and alone even though I may have 2-200 people around me. Sometimes my emotions will get the best of me and I have thoughts. Thoughts about packing my stuff up and taking a trip no phone, not internet, nothing, and only telling family where I’m going and seeing how many people notice. Though that may be fun and relaxing that’s nothing more than a thought for two reasons. One: because I do not want to put my friends through that, two: I don’t want to know the answer. Depression can send your head through so many situations and put every day fears in you then times them by 10.

There are some pros that my depression has brought into my life. One of the pros in my depression are that I feel it has given me is empathy. I have a great sense of empathy for those around me, and with that it’s given me the strength to help and relate to others who are struggling, and the power to say you are not alone. The second pro is my friends, it’s given me a group of friends to relate to and confide in. And the biggest pro is me, I wouldn’t be me without my depression, nor would I be capable of being who I am at without going through the struggles I have.

What I am about to talk about is going to be a little touchy because it’s going to be of how I feel and act when I’m the middle of my depression, so I advise you to read with caution from here.

I go through what I call episodes where my depression affecting me the most  and then I have my highs which means I’m alright and then my lows where I’m not doing so well. My episodes only typically happen for a week maybe a week and a half at most before I reach out for help. Right now I’m sitting at my 12th week in a very bad low, my worst in a long time. This episode has taken over me emotionally, right now I feel like an empty shell with over bearing emotions that aren’t mine. Because of this it is causing paranoia, fear, desperation, OCD, and anger. I’ve been going through multiple anxiety attacks, yet I got it in my head that I cannot show it, because I’m afraid of being judged and it’s funny because the only one who would judge me is me. I was once told that we are our own worst critics. In many ways that is too true and I am afraid of letting myself down, I have been trying for so many years to prove to everyone around me that I am better then what I am now. I have pushed myself further than I ever thought possible, but not for the right reasons. I shouldn’t have had to prove I was better to anyone else but myself. My depression stems from a lot of my fears, my worries, my lack of self-worth, my lack of self-confidence, etc.… I don’t know how to correct it, but I have learn to live with the fact that I am better then what I think I am. People always tell me it will get better if you talk to someone, but what I don’t understand is how you are supposed to approach someone and go “hey I feel depressed today because I feel unimportant”. One if I say that to someone all there going to say back is that I am important to them, which is nice to hear don’t get me wrong but that not what I need to hear. But at the same time I don’t know what I want to hear. It’s funny cause I just said that my friends are a pro to my depression and in many ways they are, but sometimes I just feel that if I keep them in the dark I give them a better chances to let go of their emotions and help them deal with what their struggling with.

I have always been told I act older for my age when I’m having to deal with situations, yet every other time I act too young for my age and people always seem to wonder why. It’s simple that’s a wall I’ve had up since I was little, you can’t hurt someone who is already insulting themselves it takes the fun out of it. The same way how I always talk myself down, because no I’m not the smartest pea in the pod but you can’t talk me down when I’ve already said it myself. It is not a healthy way to live and I’m trying to break the habit just for the fact that I’m not a dumb women I can be smart if I tried but after being told that so many times it’s hard not to always believe that, but hey I’m still working on it and my boyfriend is calling me out on it. As well as a son that always tells me I’m beautiful, when I’m feeling down.

I apologize, I know it’s not really a blog it’s more just vomit of words and emotion, but to be honest I am feeling a bit better now that it is out. Feel free to leave any comment, concerns, questions anything I’d love to hear from you.

 

~Madison

Madison On: The Unknown

I’ve been listening to others struggle as well as myself struggle with the fear of change, or the fear of the unknown. This is something that is very common, it happens to everyone. But the reason I wanted to talk about it is because it something that I’m struggling with right now and I could use some help. Right now I’m at a stale mate, pretty much a struggle between hope and necessity. My boyfriend who I live with works full time and a pretty alright paying job, I work part time at a job I love ( 2 days a week, plus on call), the biggest problem is our bills are starting to stack and I’m not getting enough shift. This is where the fear of changes come in. I have multiple options 1.) I could do nothing but hope to get more shifts at my current job. 2.) I could find a second part time/ on call job with the risk of working 7 days a week. 3.) I can start looking for a new full time job. This is where my fear kick in the most because no matter what I do something going to change and I do not know if it is going to be for the good or the worst. See I know I need to at least look into getting a new job but then the “what if” pop into my head and I end up avoiding everything all together and I’m stuck standing still and hoping again. I want to make things better but I’m afraid to take that leap into the unknown just because it’s the unknown.

People tend to stick with bad situations instead of moving forward and taking the chance, because it feels safe and familiar. That a big one for me I don’t like the money situation but I know what going to happen every month, I know my shift and I know how everything at my work runs. I personally has never liked change not because of the fact it the unknown but the fact that it put a physical stress on me. The fear of change can come from almost anything a couple examples are: changing habits, change of a relationship status, moving, birthdays. Like I’m supper excited for the day my boyfriend going to ask me to marry him, yet I’m terrified about actually taking that next step in our relationship. I’m afraid what we got now going to change. My birthday just pasted in June, I’m getting older that in itself is a big fear just for the fact our bodies are changing every year, what if one day mine decides to stop working. I think that’s a fear that runs in the family because one of my uncles have that same fear.
Change and fear is a normal part of life, no matter what happens we cannot avoid it. But it is up to use to decide whether or not to take that chance to get an outcome we want or need. I will be writing another blog about the difference between Needs and Want in parenting. But yet in some ways fear is good for you. Fear helps your body figure out when danger is near, or when not to be around something/someone.  But if everyone lives in fear it will start consuming you, and sooner or later you will not be able to leave him with panicking. It starts feeling like there is a constant shadow behind you that always watching and it can also lead to paranoia.  Or the fear of going outside, it can turn you into a hermit. I think the way to overcome fear is by accepting that it is okay to be afraid, and reassuring yourself that it going to be alright.

 

I’m always open to hearing your guy’s comments, questions, and concerns. So feel free to leave a message for me down in the comments section, I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I can.

~Madison.

Lynn’s Views on Tattoos, Piercings, and Hair Colour

It really bewilders me that workplaces, schools, and even society in general would refuse people admittance to something solely based on something they decided to do to their looks. Even something as having a place that isn’t your earlobes pierced or having a small yet visible tattoo can cost people a job, education, or service. A person decided to change something about themselves to feel and/or look nice by their standards and, as long as it’s not offensive or going to actively cause an issue, I really see no problem with it. The story I’m about to tell may not fit in super cleanly with this, but I feel it’s…kind of related.

During the summer of last year, I dyed my hair bright pink. It was a drastic change and honestly I hardly recognized myself when we were finished. I loved it. I felt more confident with myself than I ever had before and all I did was change my hair color. But then I started worrying about getting a job. I didn’t have one at that point and I doubted anyone would take me in with my hair as it was. It left me having panic attacks about even applying for jobs at all. Even so, I still loved my hair and the me that went along with it and I wasn’t willing to change it back for some minimum wage job.

My point here is that I was so afraid of this stigma society’s enforced on anything “out of the ordinary” in the looks department that I literally had mental breakdowns. People get turned away for having nose rings or tongue piercings or visible tattoos. While the stigma seems to be slowly lifting, that doesn’t mean everything’s fixed. People still judge other people based solely on looks and it’s just downright silly.

Marie Talks: Tattoos and Piercings In Society

I remember growing up being told to not get tattoos, they’re ugly, dangerous, and makes you labeled a delinquent.  I remember being told not to get any visible piercings, nothing on my face or body, on my ears only. Even at the age of 12 I was when I saw a tattoo or piercing I thought was awesome I immediately thought of the potential implications and issues that could come with it later on I life.  I was taught from a young age that having tattoos, piercings, and unnaturally dyed hair made you basically unemployable, irresponsible, and ugly.

When I was twelve my parents finally allowed me to get my ears pierced.  They are of the belief that piercing a child’s ears before they are old enough to make the decision themselves isn’t right.  Not for the reason of it “promotes body piercings”; but for the sheer fact that it is altering the child’s body without their consent. They waited until they felt I was mature enough to make a decision to put holes in my body for a pointless reason other than that it’s pretty.  They wanted to make sure I was old enough to make a well thought out decision myself when it came to my body, and take care of them on my own.  No parent is wrong in the decision of when to pierce their child’s ears, if to even do so at all.  However I feel my parents made the right decision for me, they instilled the belief that I should be the only one to decide what is done to my body from a very young age and promoted it with the decision of piercing my ears.

However they also instilled societies stand point on how tattoos and piercings were viewed.  Which as I stated previously meant no piercings anywhere besides my ears and definitely no tattoos. When I was sixteen I went and got my tragus pierced, the cartilage that protrudes out in front of the ear canal. Needless to say my parents had no idea I was going to get this done, and were furious when they found out.  See I went with the loop hole that it was part of my ear, whereas my mother saw it as part of the face. Now I expected this drama, and had also worries of my own.  I was worried about how society would view this piercing and what it may imply about me.  Down the road seven years later I’ve learnt the only troubles having my tragus pierced caused is the pain in the bottom that healing was, trying to not get snagged while getting my hair cut, and children love yanking on it. If I haven’t pointed it out people rarely even realize it is there.

As soon as my tragus was fully healed, which was six months later I decided that I wanted my tongue pierced.  I had always thought it looked pretty and I wanted it for that fact alone. So again off I went and got my tongue pierced.  I had doubts and almost chickened out last minute. I worried that it would tell society that I was promiscuous, or tell men I was easy. I worried what future employers would think and if it would make me unemployable.  What pushed me to actually walk in the room and let the lady covered in beautiful tattoos and piercings stick a needle through my tongue is the knowledge of why I was getting it. I remembered at the end of the day I liked how the piercing looks and I cannot let society dictate what decisions I make for my body. That my opinion the only one that truly mattered, because the piercing, and my body, are for me and me alone to decide what I do with. A week and a half later when my parents finally saw the piercing they were furious,  I disobeyed them,  I ruined my beautiful face,  and I made myself look unemployable.  To me the only one I really held dear to me was the fact that I went against my parents and did something they had strictly forbidden me from doing. I did not feel as though I ruined anything, nor was I unemployable. All that happened is I put a piece of jewelry in my body that I found esthetically pleasing to look at.

When I was eighteen I got my first tattoo, I’ll admit I was terrified.  I was getting my grandpa’s nickname on the back of my neck, three months after he had passed.  As I mentioned in my Grieving a Loved One blog, I hadn’t taken his passing very well. I thought maybe putting his nickname on my body would help me move past my loss and have a piece of his memory visibly with me at all times.  I had thought it out, he was a big part of making me who I am and I loved him dearly. I had wanted to put it somewhere I could see the reminder when I needed, however with not knowing what I wanted in my future and how the tattoo would affect my career I put it in a more hidden place. As I was getting ready to get it done I was worried that it would hurt and how my parents would react. In the end my mother was upset that I got the tattoo as she is not a fan, and that I hid this decision from her; however she was touched that what I had done was in memory of her father.

The next fall I approached my mom, I wanted a tattoo in memory of my grandma who I had lost three years prior.  She was iffy with the idea but agreed to allow me to get it done as it was something that meant a lot to me and I had clearly thought it out.  I got an angel holding three hearts (one for my mom and both her brothers) on my shoulder with her name and the words “first and foremost my heart and soul, forever and always my guardian angel” on my left shoulder blade.  I had chosen those words as much like my grandpa she had a large part of shaping me into the woman I am today and will forever be one of my closest relatives. As well as I used to always call her my guardian angel as she was always there for me and always seemed to know when I needed her.  I now despise the tattoo as some of the detail was horribly done and ruined it for me. I want to get that covered and put something new on my body for my grandmother when I can afford it.

My last tattoo I got just after my twenty-first birthday, is a black and grey tiger lily on my right shoulder blade.  I love it, it holds two different meanings to me and is absolutely beautiful. My original plan for the tattoo was for it to be in full colour and also have forget-me-not flowers and my daughter’s name; however with a lot of thought going into it I decided to leave out the extra details as I knew what the tattoo meant and didn’t feel as all the extra details were necessary. As I mentioned in my teen pregnancy blog I miscarried at sixteen and had kept it fairly secret. Therefore I didn’t want to put this extravagant display on my body for everyone to see. To me a tiger lily represents beauty, strength and resilience, which I thought was fitting to use in her memory.  Over time before I got that tattoo it also gained a second meaning.  It also became a personal reminder to always keep fighting my battle against bipolar type two.  It was a reminder that I can get past even the darkest times, that things get better. A reminder that I didn’t let the Sorrow of my miscarriage drown me, that I shouldn’t let anything else. To me this is my most powerful tattoo that serves as the biggest reminder to me that nothings worth giving up fighting over.

I do believe that tattoos and piercings make it harder to find a job, but as the years pass it is becoming easier to find jobs that allow piercings and tattoos. There is still a stigma attached to tattoos and piercings, although it is slowly losing its wide spread influence on society and more and more people are appreciating the beauty and self-expression, over the belief it makes you ugly or a delinquent.

My personal belief is that every tattoo you put on your body is a piece of artwork, and each one tells a story, holds a meaning.  As long as it means something to the person who put it on their body and/or they like it, that is all that matters. As for piercings as long as the person who has it likes it and it does not pose a health or safety risk to them, go for it.  Your body is your own, tattoo it, dress it, and pierce it as you wish. But remember tattoos are permanent, so think it through before you get it done.

Stay Beautiful. Stay You. Stay Unique Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

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.

Howie discusses self esteem

Hey blog readers, it’s Howie Defranco and today we will be talking about self esteem and this is going to mostly be a personal story. Self esteem is how you see your own personal worth, and how you judge yourself. Often people confuse it with confidence as that is believing in yourself and I suppose if you have confidence you should have a good self esteem. As there is a correlation between believing in yourself and having a good view of yourself. In this day and age though self esteem just seems to be a fleeting thought though when you hear stories of people hating themselves, hurting themselves, or just not trying because they think there’s no point.
Which brings us to the personal story, about my own level of self esteem and how it came to be. I truly think sometimes that I do not have a great amount of worth in my life, as a kid I was raised to believe I could do anything, or be anything. Every time I try though I mean yes obstacles come up in life, but when it feels like life is taking a baseball bat to your head for trying you lose faith in that. It all starts with my mom who is a yo yo of emotions, as in one minute she’s the best mom in the world, the next she’s saying she wishes you were never born. Sometimes this is said in the heat of an argument and sometimes it is just said, growing up with that I never could tell if I was doing the right thing.
All I’ve ever wanted to do as far back as I can remember is be a good person, and I love my mom but stuff like that is why I question things in my head so much. I mean can you blame me there was that, and then in elementary school I was the smartest kid in the class but my teacher always said I acted like a 40 year old in a 10 year olds body. A part of that I like to think meant I had a good head on my shoulders, truthfully though he meant that I didn’t fit in. I was an outcast in elementary school except for like two close friends and I don’t even mean the guys I’m friends with today. We weren’t close back then and I spent quite a few lunches aimlessly walking around the school.
Then you know if you read my blogs I had a rough time emotionally in high school, after high school and recently. Even now I question my worth everyday at my job and in my social life. At work they’ve been talking about promoting me for two years and I feel like it’s an eternity, every time they say it’s gonna be you Howie and then they’re like oh sorry. In my social life I just I can’t help my own brain, it always thinks someone is mad or upset and I obsess over it and over apologize and I don’t know I just can’t accept when my friends say I’m the best guy they know.
Self esteem is one of the most important things for you to have in this life. It can drive you to be better and believe in yourself so if you have it hold on to it and don’t let anyone destroy it.

Madison Talking About Eating Disorders

When it comes to eating disorders it’s a hard thing to talk about. It’s very difficult to explain exactly how it feels to experience what it’s like  because it differs from person to person.  Although I will tell you this, I would not want to go back to the way I was back then. When I was 16 I was anorexic, I only ate food when I had to, I would freak out if I went over 110 pounds, and no one questioned it until I really started showing how much I actually had lost. I don’t think l was truly happy with myself, nor did l believe that anyone would like me if I gained any weight.

So today I’m going to go over different Stereotypes as well as the different types of eating disorders.

 

Stereotypes.

  1. Only types of eating disorder are anorexia or Bulimia:

Actually there is multiple different types, but I’ll be only talking about 7 today. The first one is a simple one I think everyone knows a little bit about so I won’t spend too much time on it.

Anorexia Nervosa: Characterized by the clients refusal or inability to maintain a normal body weight, intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, significantly disturbed perception of the shape or size of the body, and steadfast inability or refusal to acknowledge the existence or seriousness of the problem.

Bulimia Nervosa: recurrent episode of binge eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors to avoid weight gain such as purging, fasting or excessively exercising.

Binge eating disorder: uncontrolled, excessive intake of any available food and often occurring following stressful events.

This is when someone over eats, without the vomiting. This is another very popular eating disorder but is not typically labeled as an eating disorder. Most people will binge eat after a bad break up or a difficult day at work, something stressful that can trigger it. Some won’t even notice their binge eating. This also happens when people are trying to gain weight but in an unhealthy way. Most people don’t realize that putting that much food in you all at once doesn’t sit well with your digestion, and it’s harder for your body to break down.

Avoidance/restrictive food intake disorder: this eating disorder is more like anorexia but instead of refusing food it’s more of fear. Most people will avoid the food they dislike, for them they have a fear of the texture or of vomiting.

Calorie counting: for this there is a healthy way and an extreme way to count your calories. The unhealthy way is to the point where you will not even go one thing over your limit and ignore any nutrition if it happens to go over. It can also lead to a lot of health issues and make you sick without the proper balance.

Pica: it’s most commonly found in children. This eating disorder is when you eat mainly nonfood items such as dirt or glue and you typically outgrow this eating disorder after a certain age. There are still some people who still struggle with this eating disorder past that point. Don’t get me wrong the stage in life that kids go through eating everything is perfectly normal but at the age of say 20 for example it is not normal to be eating dirt off the side of the road for dinner.

Last one I’m going to be talking about is nocturnal sleep related eating disorder: these are interesting because people who are fully asleep will still eat this also ties into sleep walking as well.  Having it happen on a regular bases can be considered a nocturnal sleep eating disorder. I’m not sure exactly how it works but it does happen.

These are only a few of the eating disorder that are out there if you want to check out more I got my info from dictionary.com and healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-overview/type-of-eating-disorder-list-of-eating-disorder/ check it out they have a lot of good information on there about the different types, they will also give you better detail on the different topics I’ve talked about as well.

  1. People chose to have an eating disorder to get attention and can snap out of it if they want. 

It’s funny when you hear someone say that, especially when you’re someone who has been through it, because most people don’t even realize they are doing it till someone points it out. I know for a fact I didn’t and after someone pointed it out I honestly tried to hide it after that because I felt so ashamed of my actions and I didn’t know how to stop either. Something like an eating disorder can differ between people and some people can’t even control it without help, and a lot of the time there is no help to be found at that time.

  1. it’s a girl thing. 

It’s definitely not a girl thing. I would say probably 50/50 or 40/60 at minimum. Yes you hear about girls more often but males go through the same situation and same struggle we females do. It’s a normal teenage phase that almost everyone one goes through, because of the stigma the media put out there of what we should look like. I’m sorry but half the models now don’t even look like that, it’s all computerized and Photoshop. No one is perfect and no one should be, imagining the world perfect to me it would get boring because everyone is the same.

  1. Eating disorder are unrelated to other behavioral disorders. 

Actually they can be related to some, as I said earlier one of the eating disorder can be related to sleep walking. other behavioral disorders that related to eating disorder are depression and anxiety. Depression is a very common one because a side effect from depression is lack of appetite or over eating, and that can cause or start the eating disorder habits. That being said not everyone who has an eating disorder has depression and vice versa.

“You can’t feel happiness with out sadness, you also can’t feel excitement without disappointment.”

~Madison Taylor.

Brian View on Suicide

Suicide is a scary thought that no one should ever consider doing. Some of us I know if not most of us in the world go through a lot in our life and often times all we want to do is go somewhere far and just give up and end our life. Let me tell you something, I have been there many times in the past couple years and I cant even count the times I have attempted to end my life, at times I’m like why didn’t I kill myself when I had the perfect chase, why cant I just give up and go somewhere no one knows me or find me and kill myself, like why am I living, let me tell you something I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for the support of a couple friends holding me down and breaking me emotionally telling me how much life is going to get better soon. I should have been dead years ago when I held a gun to my head and couldn’t pull the trigger no matter how hard I tried to I just couldn’t do it, the one person that came to my mind when I closed my eyes was my baby niece, whenever I feel low I think of her and she just makes me feel better. Even though I can’t see her she is always close to me when I close my eyes.
I know how hard it is, where there’s days you just want to die and not live because you feel alone boys and girls whoever is reading this I want you to know, you are never ever going be alone in the world there is always going to be someone else in the world that is going through the same situation as you and that is ready to give up but I want you to know hang in there. No matter how hard life feels like its the end of the world its not, life is tough, life is rough, and often times we don’t know what to do, but there is so much you can do about it, when you feel like you want to end it all think of a love one and how hurt they would be if they found out you died? Think about the people that care and love you even when you deny that no one loves you, honestly you are loved and cared for its our intentions and negative thoughts that make us believe and think different. I know we all heard it before in life don’t be so negative and don’t be so upset, honestly its not a bad thing to be upset often times its good to be upset so you can release emotions and crying is good.
When you feel upset when you feel like the world is giving you hard times and feel like ending your life, think of someone you love dearly and talk to someone, talk to someone you can trust and tell them how your feeling, tell them that you want to give up be honest with them, I know I wouldn’t want anyone to go to that extreme, I know the struggle of suicide but remember there is someone else wanting to give up but don’t. The pain your battling, and your scars will change someone else’s life, I have my scars and I have my wounds but I’m still here surviving but what didn’t kill me in the past only made me stronger, I am a stronger and better person each day that goes by, each day I learn new things from people and talk to them about what I went through because I realized what I hid from everyone else only made things worse. Talk to someone about how you feel and don’t worry everyday is going to get better and better you are not alone.
this is Brian O’Connor stay beautiful

Brian’s Views on Addiction

Addiction is one common thing that can go two major ways in life, one it will break your family and friends apart and two it will end up with you being six feet deep, harsh I know but its true. I have seen a lot of my close family and friends go through addiction and trust me its not a pretty seen when you have to see your own blood smoke crack right in front of you. I have had my own share of addiction from drugs and alcohol, I have lost a lot of family and friends because they got fed up seeing me struggle with it, my mom walked away, my best friends everyone I ever cared about walked away, and I thought I would never see them again. I don’t know which was worse though at the time losing them or loving the addiction…? I know we all make mistakes in life not one of us is perfect but addictions kill us slowly.
How would you feel seeing your loved one walk away from you? Or seeing you kids get hurt by not having their mom or dad around, because they would rather party and drink or go do drugs…? Its the worse feeling ever putting someone you love in that position, I hated the fact I put everyone I love in the position seeing them walk away and leave me, I had to chose between liquor or family and sadly I chose liquor over them for a year, until I hated myself because I was lonely and hurt for not having anyone. But to be honest, after everyone walked away from me and after couple months of thinking I stopped because family and friends means more to me than liquor. I can say yes there are days where I can have a couple drinks and stop but there nights where I’ll go a couple days drinking then stop, I have gotten better after realizing what is more important in your life addiction or family?
We all have our addictions rather that is drugs or alcohol but we can all get better one day. It takes time for some of us to quit completely and for some of us we can quit cold turkey, either way we can quit on our own or quit with someone’s help. Don’t try to do something by yourself if you are unsure if its the right thing to do, talk to someone about the addiction, attend addiction seminars or meetings, find something that you can get help from, check into a rehab or treatment center. Once you get the help you need don’t think that its punishment think of it as a brand new start and a brand new beginning to a new you, life gets better when you have the love and support from your family and friends, sure it maybe tough but the reward at the end of it is worth all the stress. Believe in yourself and think positive and if your going through any addictions right now i believe in you that you can get better and you will.
Much love,
Brian O’Connor

Howie’s take on Healthy relationships mixed with unhealthy relationships

Hey blog readers it’s me Howie Defranco and this week’s topic is healthy relationships.   A healthy relationship is a mutually beneficial bond between to people based on mutual trust, mutual compromise and mutual interests.  In this day and age finding something like that is getting harder and harder, just look at the topics we’ve wrote about so far here that are about relations between people.  I mean the relationship, whether it be friendship, family or a love relation can turn bitter sweet, or even sour before you even know what caused it to turn.  I’m going to talk today about the very healthy relationships I have in my life in contrast to the unhealthy ones I’ve had.

Let’s start off actually with sour and bitter sweet relationships, these come from a few different things, broken trust, heart ache, jealousy, unbalanced feelings and power struggle being the chief among them.
Broken trust is one that has haunted me quite a bit, it’s pulled me to the point where I went from being someone who trusted people until they did something wrong to someone who holds back more.  There’s a lot that doesn’t go outside my inner circle that used to be public I didn’t care how much people knew about me because it was my life, why hide it?  If you’ve read my depression blog you know I had a friend blow a secret I kept for basically a year and a half to the one person I was keeping it from.  I’d say though the real kicker came about a year ago though, I did something I shouldn’t have… It is the one thing I refuse to share on this blog.  To this day I regret getting involved in it and falling back on it for almost a year at my lowest points.  I told a few people, just a few about it and of course next thing I know everyone knows.  I told them to keep it secret but no, now I don’t mind that a few people know they know everything about my life but it pains me that some people, people that treat me differently because of it know.
There’s not much more I can say on heartache I haven’t said in a previous blog, it poisons a relationship.  It can cause turmoil, feelings of doubt, and can turn you into someone you don’t like.  So let’s move on to jealousy, when a person is jealous it can cause them to do things that cause the relationship to become unhealthy.  These include but are not limited to, insults, belittling you, talking about you behind your back.  The people in your life that turn out this way are what should be called two faced and unlike the batman villain you don’t see the other side till its to late.
Which brings us to unbalanced feelings, the person on one side cares way more than the person on the other side.  I guess this category is pretty fitting for me, as I always seem to be the one that cares more.  It almost always ends up hurting me, once again I refer to my depression blog but beyond that.  Let’s start with the fact I’ve been friend zoned by almost every other girl I’ve ever liked beside Sarah.  I can list them all in fake names just for fun here, Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary, Jessica (please someone get the reference haha).  Anyways it never ends well there’s a point yes we’re gets a bit better but there is that part of you that is always hurt the other person didn’t care as much as you.
Finally power struggle, this is where a person becomes that micro managing, controlling person we all know and love.  I’m talking more so about the ones that it’s there way, no highway option, then just a person who is the leader of the friendship.  Basically the person who decides everything, overshadows you, bosses you around and generally makes you feel small.  I used to have a friend like that, we’ll call her Amy, like amazing Amy from Gone Girl.  She basically controlled everything we did everything our group of friends did and got really upset when it wasn’t her way.  So much so that when I finally just decided I was done with her she went behind my back and made some people I considered good friends stop spending time with me.  Told them I wasn’t a good person and to stop hanging out with me, more than one person told me what she said.  When I was friends with her though it felt like she always came first like I wasn’t as important as her.  I’m a big guy and she’s the only person in this world that made me feel like I was Jiminy Cricket sized.
Let’s move on though and talk about what a healthy relationship looks like to describe it I’m going to talk about Raph, Leo, Karai, Mikey, Paris, Marie and Madison.  Raph and Madison, are to very good friends of mine that I don’t get to see that much anymore.  Well more since I joined time, I’ve helped them out of a couple jams and there always a phone call away if I need them despite the fact there always busy, then again so am I.  Leo and Karai, first they just got married so happy for them, they live a few blocks from me and I see them probably once a week.  They’re always there when I need them too and I’ve been there for them through some of there toughest times, were planning on moving out all together somewhere.  In reference to Raph and Leo, I’ve given both a lot and they’ve paid me back in spades with their friendships for what I have done.  Then there’s Mikey, now Mikey and I have drifted apart over the years and have only recently become close again but he’s probably the most understanding friend there is, and he always has my back and vice versa.  Paris, oddly enough is a bond that was strengthened by unbalanced, her and I became closer because she knows how I feel about her.  Which is kinda cool, she’s pretty awesome and never judges me for anything.  Finally there’s Marie who with Madison invited me to be a part of this very organization, by doing so she’s given me something to do that’s helping me feel better about me and in return, I’m doing my best.
I love my friends through the good and the bad because at the end of the day we just make each other laugh and forget our worries, there are more I could of listed here but hey maybe they’ll be in another blog.  I leave you with a final thought, what’s the point of a relationship if both people don’t feel good about themselves because of it.

Madison Take on Learning Disability

This week during the learning disability, I wanted to talk about Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disability that is really misunderstood. It’s also something that myself and my family struggle with? So like always I’ll start off with a definition I got off of Dictionary.com.

Dyslexia: Any of various reading disorders associated with impairment of the ability to interpret spatial relationship or integrate auditory and visual.

People with Dyslexia don’t always just struggle with reading. We also struggle with writing, spelling, math and many more that I’ll list later on in the Blog. I constantly have to check my writing over because I know how to spell most words now that I’m older but it doesn’t always come out on paper the right way. Numbers have to be the hardest for me because I would always draw them backwards so now that I have reversed that I can’t tell if there backwards or forward. It took a while for people to figure out what was wrong, and why I struggled so much as school. Most people don’t know is that Dyslexia doesn’t show up when taking a learning disability test, because it’s not that we don’t know the information it’s that are brain process things differently. For example I have weird tricks to remember my mathematics. I’ll try and make a video of the cool tricks I’ve learned and attach it to the Blog another week. The biggest issue with Dyslexia is that the warning signs for it can be so similar to other learning disability and mental health concerns that it’s typically over looked.

I wanted to write down a few of the most common warning signs for dyslexia

Pre-school/ Kindergarten

  • Has trouble recognizing the letters of the alphabet
  • Struggles to pronounce words correctly, such as saying “mawn lower” instead of “lawn mower”
  • Has difficulty learning new words
  • Has a smaller vocabulary than other kids the same age
  • Has trouble learning to count or say the days of the week and other common word sequences

Grade school/ Middle School.

  • Struggles with reading and spelling
  • Confuses the order of letters, such as writing “left” instead of “felt”
  • Has trouble remembering facts and numbers
  • Has trouble learning new skills and relies heavily on memorization
  • Gets tripped up by word problems in math
  • Has a tough time sounding out unfamiliar words
  • Has trouble following a sequence of directions

High School

  • Struggles with reading out loud
  • Doesn’t read at the expected grade level
  • Has trouble understanding jokes or idioms
  • Has difficulty organizing and managing time
  • Struggles to summarize a story
  • Has difficulty learning a foreign language

Here are a few more general warning signs that are not linked with age.

  • Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough,” or “behavior problem.”
  • Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
  • Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don’t reveal a problem.
  • Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.

Every one struggles with Dyslexia in their own way. Not something that you can outgrow but it’s something you can understand and work around. I struggled my whole child not understanding anything, I couldn’t figure out why people kept telling me I wasn’t trying hard enough when I was giving it my all. It wasn’t until grade 5 till I was Diagnosed and started understanding that I could learn I just had to focus on what my strengths were and use those. I learn allot through picture, I can remember stranding and mathematics through images in my head. It’s like flipping through a photo album and remembering everything you’ve done. That’s kind of similar to the way I think except I can’t always understand what I’m remembering or even chose what I want to remember.

A few sites that I suggest checking out I’ll link them to the Blog. It’s where I got the info above, they have great information on them, take a read if your infested on learning more :).

Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! By Audrey Hepburn

-Madison Taylor ❤

Madison View on Infidelity

Like always I’ll start off with the definition of infidelity that I got off of Dictionary.com.

Infidelity: a breach of trust or a disloyal act; transgression.”

When it comes to infidelity there are so many different name for it; Cheating, adultery, affair. Honestly I’ve been through it all I’ve been cheated on, accused of cheating, and cheater. At the time being the cheater felt good at first since I had already been cheated on so many time before. But after a while I started hurting because I knew my partner at the time trusted me yet I didn’t know how to stop and tell him. In the end it ruined both relationship and I didn’t just lose one I lost both guys. When my ex found out I got put into one of the worse situations I had ever been in. let’s just say I never want to go back there again. Infidelity is not something I recommended people do, but everyone does their own thing. I just want everyone to remember that you don’t just hurt your sexual partner, you could also end up hurting yourself as well and maybe even people around you.

Everyone can take infidelity in all different types of ways. For some people the whole act of sleeping with another can be one way. As well as kissing can be another way to some people. It’s the break of trust to your partner, I know one of my ex’s that as soon as I told anyone else that I loved them he considered that cheating. So an open commutation is always the key. Plus it’s always better when the truth comes out it’s from the person telling the truth and not a friend. I always saw it that way, I would be a lot easier on my partner if he came up to me and told me the truth, then hearing it from one of our friends.

 Myths and stereotypes.

Affairs almost always spell the end of marriage

  • That’s not always true, it all depends on the couple. I also depend on circumstances as well, I mean say if It’s me and I’m sitting around with a group of friends and as my boyfriend walking in and someone kisses me, if I talk to my partner and there is communication and explanation, yes he will probably be mad at first but after the initial anger I’d be pretty sure we would be able to work on it. Same thing goes for if he cheated on me, if it comes from him yes I’d be angry but that doesn’t mean I would walk away from what we have. But hey that’s just me, I cannot speak for anyone else.

Once a cheater, always a cheater.

  • That is not true, some people can make honest mistakes. Also depends on the outcome, once an affair is brought to light, it’s up to that person to take the next step. Some people can have multiple affairs and others will do it once and never again. I have cheated before on my ex, I wasn’t happy and I was too afraid to end it. I will forever regret that choice, and I will never put someone through that again. It’s something I do not wish on anyone, that regret will pain me till the day I die. Yes it’s been 4 years now and my ex and I are now friends but now I can see how much I have really scared him, and it pains me to see how much he has trust issue and I can’t help to feel that it is my fault. I am now in a relationship with someone that I’m happy with and because of my past mistakes I never want to hurt him in the same way.

 Once an affair is out in the open, even if a couple stay together, they can never be happy together again.

  • Again not always the case. A couple can overcome anything if they want to, but it will take work and not everyone can get through it and that’s alright. It all depends on the relationship you have already built. If it is already a rocky relationship then there is a 50/50 chance the relationship can fall apart or it will bring you strong. I don’t mean go and test this theory because nothing I say is definite because every relationship is different. My current partner knows about my Past and has accepted me for who I am. Doesn’t fully agree with my choice but know the whole back story behind it as well.

That the end of my blog. Leave any comment, questions or concerns below, I’d love to hear from you guys. I’ll talk to you guys next week.

-Madison Taylor.

http://www.yourtango.com/experts/scott-haltzman/10-myths-about-infidelity

Sexual Abuse Myths #3

Welcome to the Fourth Installment of the Five part collaboration on Sexual abuse, thank you for the read. This Week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Monday Was of myths

Tuesday was answering questions

Wednesday was more baffling myths

Today is even more mind boggling myths

Finally Friday we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

Enjoy!

  1. Women get raped because they are dressed provocatively

Marie: As I stated previously in my last response, I could be standing there absolutely naked and that still does not say I want to take part in any sexual activity. The first time I was sexually assaulted I was seven wearing jeans and a fully buttoned up shirt. The last time I was sexually assaulted I was wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt. However I will sound like a broken record by saying it does not matter what I am wearing, even if I am absolutely naked in front of you I am not asking for it. Every time I was raped or sexually assaulted I had on pants and a shirt that did not show off my body. A woman does not get raped because of what she is wearing; they get raped because the other person had no concept of consent or controlling their urges.

Ivybelle: This is a big no, a girl can be wearing a long baggy shirt with baggy pants and she will still get sexually abused/rape. I know this for a fact because when it happened to me when I was younger. I was wearing a covered up with baggy t-shirt and baggy pants and yet I was sexually abused. A girl can wear a mini skirt and just a bra, or walk around naked but that still doesn’t mean a man or woman have the right to touch her body. A women should have the right to wear whatever she wants and still feel safe and not judged. It’s like saying if a guy walks around just in boxers, shorts or walks around naked then he is asking to be raped. It doesn’t make any sense.

Madison: when it comes to clothing it shouldn’t matter if a female wears short shorts and heels or baggy pants and a t-shirt, when it comes down to rape it could happen to anyone. Females do not go in to a store to pick out an outfit going “does this outfit help me get raped tonight” most females look for outfits that best fits their body, and makes them feel good.

Lynn: How one dresses has no relation to anything, sexual desires especially. The only thing it has relation to is what clothes a person feels happy and comfortable in and making them feel less so is a really dick move.

  1. When men become sexually aroused they have to have sex and cannot stop.

Marie: No, that’s rapists. Men respect women, they make sure their partner is consenting. Men do not rape. A man is able to control his urges when he becomes sexually aroused, he does not absolutely have to have sex. Males are not the only gender of rapists, women can be rapists too.

Ivybelle: It doesn’t matter if a man has sexual urges. If the person does not give you consent, you can’t just continue because you want it. If you really need to get some relief, pleasure yourself or find another consenting partner.

Madison: No, men can get an erection at random points of the day. Men aren’t always aroused when they have an  erection. Also men have just as much self-control as a female does.

 

  1. Rape only happens to young sexy women.

Marie: Then explain to me all the children, men and older women who are raped or sexually assaulted. Rape is not just a pretty young women issue, it’s everyone’s issue. Anyone can be a victim of rape, no one is safe. I was 7 the first time I was sexually assaulted, and I was barely 13 years old the first time I was raped… If that’s the definition of a young and sexy woman, what’s the definition of an innocent child?

Ivybelle: It happens to children and men too. There’s no specifics to who it happens, it just does. You can be 3 or 17, man or woman, be 90 lbs or 200, unfortunately it happens.

 

  1. A weapon is used.

Marie: One’s hands and body are a weapon in this kind of assault. I don’t need a gun pointed at me or a knife to know I am at danger. A weapon is not always necessary, the fear is more than enough to freeze someone and give their attacker an advantage. Never mind the fact that if your assailant overpowers you they don’t need a weapon to get their way.

Ivybelle: Weapons are not always used. Sometimes force is all they need and some people are too afraid to say no.

Madison: A weapon doesn’t always have to be used. A person could use body strength to overpower someone. You do not need to put a knife or a gun to someone head to assault someone else.

  1. If the attacker is drunk at the time of the assault then they cannot be accused of rape.

Marie: I’m torn on this, it all depends. I’d have to know all the facts as this varies from situation to situation. However just because the attacker is drunk it does not excuse raping another person.

Ivybelle: That’s like saying if a murderer was drunk then he cannot be charged for murder… how does that make sense? Whether you are drunk or not you still know that rape is wrong. Unless the person gives you their consent (says yes I want this), then you are not to have sex with them.

Madison: Yes and no, it all depends on the person. Some people can be much disoriented after it happens. But then there are some who are able to hide their pain better than other. There not really a toll tell sign of how someone acts after sexual assault.

 

  1. Women lie about being sexually assaulted to get revenge, for their own benefit, or because they feel guilty afterwards about having sex.

Marie: Why would a woman do that? It’s not funny nor is it something to be taken lightly. It’s a scary, life altering event and it’s not a scapegoat. If a woman uses it as an excuse then there’s something wrong with the whole picture.

Ivybelle: I’ve heard cases that a woman would lie about being raped out of revenge but some of them have a mental illness. I am not saying that they are right for doing it, but it happens. When women/men lie about that it makes it hard for cops to believe us victims. I once knew a guy who met this girl at a bar and they both agreed to a one night stand, but the next day she got attached. He told her that he made it clear that there’s nothing going on between them. She got so mad that she told the cops that he raped her and he had to go to court. He never got charged guilty because of proof, however she went to jail for falsely accusing him of rape. It was really sad because it had an impact on his career.

Madison: No not all of the sexually assault case are going to be lie. There may be the odd case where a female was upset. Majority of case that have to do with sexual assault are actual case and no matter what should be taken seriously. No assaults should be joked about it’s not a method to be taken likely because it can physically and mentally harm someone.

 

  1. You can tell if a woman is really sexually assaulted by the way she acts.

Marie: You may be able to tell she is uncomfortable in certain situations; but in no way can you tell for sure she has been sexually assaulted.

Ivybelle: Yes and no, everyone reacts differently. Some people will act distant yet others will act like nothing happened. Some people will want to stay single and not sleep with anyone for years while others will want to sleep around or want to be in a relationship. However most people, will have a bit of a change to their personality or attitude. They may either be bitter or just withdraw themselves from everything.

Madison: Yes and no, it all depends on the person. Some people can be much disoriented after it happens. But then there are some who are able to hide their pain better than other. There not really a toll tell sign of how someone acts after sexual assault.

 

We’d love to hear your opinion on this what if question and if to you there is still consent.

“Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?”

We’ll be sharing our opinions on this on Friday!

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for more. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on any of these myths, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until tomorrow,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, Ivybelle Teller, and Lynn Rascal

Sexual Abuse Myths #2

Welcome to the Third Installment of the Five part collaboration on Sexual abuse, thank you for the read. This Week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Monday Was of myths

Tuesday was answering questions

Today is more baffling myths

Thursday was even more mind boggling myths

Finally Friday we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

Enjoy!

A rapist is a stranger.

Marie: No, the rapist is not always a stranger. Personally I have been raped by 6 different men, only one of those six men was a stranger to me. Of the others 2 were friends and 3 were boyfriends. This isn’t even taking into account just sexual abuse that did not end in sex, but I think rape alone painted a good enough picture. This idea that you don’t know your rapist is not always true, many times you know your assailant well. It is very likely that your rapist be someone you trust.  Realistically 80% of assailants are friends and family of the victim making it a lot more likely that you are more likely to be assaulted when you feel safe then walking home alone.

Ivybelle: No, a rapist can be anyone: family, friend, boyfriend, ex, stranger, co-worker, etc… I personally know this because I was abused by family members, an ex-boyfriend, school mates and friends. A lot of people who go through abuse, rape is by someone you know and it makes it a lot harder to admit.

Madison: No, it’s not always the case. In cases when a child is the one being sexual assaulted it is typically coming from someone they already trust. In the case of a stanger taking sexually assaulting someone that has already been stalking them a while or they were an object of opportunity.

Lynn: Not always. Rapists can be strangers, but they can also acquaintances or friends or even family. Personally, I really trusted my sexual abuser until I found out what it was he was doing to me, seeing as it was my mom’s boyfriend at the time.

 

They didn’t struggle so they were not raped.

Marie: Personally I have fought back; but I only fought back the first few times or if it was a new assailant. I learnt pretty quickly that it hurt less and was over faster if I didn’t struggle or put my all into it. Overpowering my assailant was a fight I could not win, I was left drained and hurt but that did not stop me from being raped. That’s not to say that trying to stop your attacker from sexually assaulting you is useless or will not make a difference and I am not saying you should not try. All I am saying is that I knew my struggling was futile and I gave up, but that does not mean I consented. I was much younger and much weaker then all my rapists, leaving me at a disadvantage. But just because I did not give it my all to fight back does not mean I consented and was not raped.

Ivybelle:  That’s not true. Not everyone reacts the same way in the moment. Some people are too scared to do anything, some people are in shock mode, some people already have their trauma’s and they don’t just don’t want to fight it cause they know there’s no point. I can say that I’ve been sexually abused and raped but I’ve never actually fought to make it stop. I remember being scared and telling myself that if I tried anything I would probably get hurt.  When fear takes over you never know what’s going to happen. You cannot blame a victim for not defending themselves.

Madison: In my past I was sexually assaulted by the same guy for almost a year. After a certain point I couldn’t fight anymore. That is still considered rape, I was half the guy’s age and I did not consent to any sexual activity but after a certain point I couldn’t fight any longer. When it comes to rape it doesn’t matter if the female fight back or not, there was no consent. Your brain goes into the 3 f’s mode (Fight Flight or Freeze), if a person doesn’t fight back it could either they froze in fear or in a state of shock. If your judging someone on how much they fight back, that could be more harmful to their mental and emotional state the not giving any support.

There are always visible injuries when someone is sexually assaulted.

Marie: Just because there are no marks left on a victim’s body does not mean it did not happen. Just because you cannot see an injury doesn’t mean it’s not there; they could have hidden it or could be somewhere no one else should see. The trauma of sexual assault can scar you mentally, and that’s more than enough.

Ivybelle: No. Not everyone has marks left behind. It depends on the force of the rapist/abuser.

Madison: Not all sexual assault is rape. It can be anything, sexual assault can be; Groping, kissing, touching inappropriately, rape, it’s can be anything that would make you feel violated. It comes to a point where if that person crosses your boundaries willing or after you have clearly stated you are unwilling then that is clearly sexual assault.

You can identify a rapist by just looking at them – and they are usually from a particular race, or from a disadvantaged background.

Marie: yeah, sure, that makes complete sense… I mean just looking at my assailants you could clearly tell they were. I mean a couple white guys, an Asian and a Hispanic, how did I not see the pattern. Majority of my assailants came from a relatively advantaged background and most seemed like perfectly sweet gentlemen until you really got to know them. The only way to know someone is a rapist is from being told or experiencing it.

Ivybelle: The rapist can be anyone. Sometimes it can be a friend, family member but sometimes it can be a complete stranger. When it happens in the street or anywhere, you can’t always identify the rapist.  There’s no specific race or background that makes someone an abuser. The rapist can be white, black, Asian or any race.

Madison: If you are walking down the street I wouldn’t be able to honestly tell if someone has sexually assaulted someone or not. I believe there is no particular race or background that sexually assault someone, it honestly can be anyone. You may be able to tell if there is something off by their behavior, not by the way they look. If we start judging people by the way they look are jails will be ten time more crowded with innocent people. Let’s stop judging people by their ethnicity and cultural background and start looking at people with their own personality, because every person is their own person.

Lynn: Not at all. There is no “poster child” for rapists. Rapists come in all different shapes, sizes, races, and genders. Anyone could be a rapist.

 

Unless she is physically harmed, a sexual assault victim will not suffer any long-term effects.

Marie: Sometimes the most harmful events are the ones that don’t (always) leave physical scars. PTSD is a very real problem, and it can be an issue for sexual assault survivours. I personally have a hard time being intimate with another person in fear that if I say no they’ll ignore it or force me.

Ivybelle: No matter what way you were harmed; physically, mentally, or emotionally, you may suffer in the long term.  When you are being sexually abused it takes a big toll on you emotionally and verbally. You could spend most of your life looking over your shoulder, not being able to trust others. You may feel worthless and disgusting. When it comes to relationships you could have a hard time giving everything you have because you’re scared of what they can do to you or you may have problems expressing yourself. You may have trouble focusing in school or at work. Sexual assault trauma isn’t something that just goes away. Your life may change after that.

 

Rape is a sexual act that is taken too far.

Marie: Rape is rape. Rape is assault; it is violence. Rape is not a sexual act nor is it is not a sexual act gone too far. Rape is a physical assault violating someone’s body.  It is something to not be down played, justified or made excuses for; it is a vile act of ignoring a person’s wishes to not perform a sexual act upon them. Without consent a sexual act is not sexual, it is rape.

Madison: At what point is it too far? The moment the person says no or when the person is screaming in pain. For me as soon as a person says no and the other person continues then that is already going too far.

If a woman has had many sexual partners then she cannot be sexually assaulted.

Marie: Without consent a sexual act is sexual assault or rape, regardless of how many or few sexual partners the person has had.

Ivybelle: Sexual assault has nothing to do with how many partners you’ve had.  When’s there’s no consent, it is rape. Even if you are in a relationship it’s possible to be sexually abused.

Madison: It should not matter how many sexual partner she may have, it’s about having her rights stripped from her. What is the different is a female has 2-30 partners. The point is that no matter what no one deserves to be sexually assaulted

 

 

We’d love to hear your opinion on this what if question and if to you there is still consent.

“Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?”

We’ll be sharing our opinions on this on Friday!

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for more. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on any of these myths, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until tomorrow,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, Ivybelle Teller, and Lynn Rascal

 

Source:

“Sexual Assault Statistics in Canada.” N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.sexassault.ca/statistics.htm&gt;.