“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.

Advertisements

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.

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

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

Lynn self care part 2

So this subject honestly could and couldn’t have come up at a better time. A couple months ago, I got my first job. I’m now working in a kitchen at a fast food joint in a mall food court. It gets stressful and I’ve broken down almost every day since I’ve started. Since that’s a pretty bad thing to happen on the clock, I’ve been trying to find ways to improve my mental health. I’ll be talking about how I handle my self care, so if it isn’t what you’re looking for or it doesn’t work for you, I’m sorry and I hope you find something that does.

Taking the little things life has to offer has kept me going for years now and honestly some of these things really help lift attitudes, both mine and other peoples, even if it’s just by a small amount. Putting on a clean pair of pants seems to work well, even if you’re not planning on going anywhere. Not sure why it helps, but it does. Taking a shower and getting yourself cleaned up works too. Heck, go all out and give yourself a pampering day!

Getting yourself out of the house on free days works too, even for just grabbing a snack or a drink but sometimes you just need a day indoors and that’s fine too. Just make sure to let people around you know what’s going on if and before you close yourself off. I’ve been pretty guilty of that lately with TIME actually and I feel super bad about that. Thinking is all well and good too, but just be sure not to overthink things and dwell until you’ve drained yourself even more. Make sure to have some fun and keep yourself preoccupied.

If all else fails and this problem seems to be out of your hands, you might want to seek professional help, like a therapist. Don’t worry, it’s been suggested to me a few times too and I’m told there are some that are there solely for people with low income. I have yet to find any myself, but I trust that there are.

I hope you guys find a method of self care that works for you! Remember, you have your whole life ahead of you!

Howie, Self Care Part 2

Ok so today as I’m writing this it’s coming up on my 21st birthday so I’m actually gonna talk a bit about that.  Also hey blog readers it’s, Howie Defranco and you might be wondering why I started this differently because it’s what I did for self care this month.  So let’s see to start with this Thursday my friends from work and I are going to go see Hail,Caeser! and then go get some dinner at my favourite restaurant Boston Pizza.  Movie and pizza what can I say I’m a simple kinda guy, but it’s gonna be a fun night.  Friday I’m going with my main crew of friends to see a movie I’ve been waiting for since I knew who the character was…… Deadpool!!!!!!! like geez one of my all time favourites gets a movie release on my birthday.  I’m so excited to see it and then spend another night in great company.

A week and a bit after that because it’s mine and my friends 21st’s this weekend were gonna go on a road trip down. To the states for few days.  For one to get a break and get away from everything for a few days and just relax, go gamble, meet some new faces, do something stupid.  Whatever we do it is dedicated to just forgetting our responsibilities for a while and taking care of our mental health.  So yeah that’s what I’m doing for my self care this month I think it’s a pretty good thing to do for it.

Madison: Stereotypes of Youth Homelessness

There are sadly lots of stereotypes around youth homelessness. So fist like always I’ll give you the definition of homelessness from dictionary.com.
Homelessness: “persons who lack permanent housing.”
Stereotypes/Myths
All homeless youth are heavy drug users;

As a youth worker I work with a lot of homeless youth. I say about 80% of the youth I’ve encountered haven’t even touched any drugs or smoke weed in their spare time. A lot of the youth I’ve worked with are really good kids just in a bad situation. Just like the homeless adult not all of them are on drugs.

There can’t be a homeless crisis because I don’t see that many youth living on the streets or in parks;

​That’s because not many youth do, they either try for a shelter, a friend’s house or somewhere isolated and can’t be found. It’s safer for them that way. Because some youth are only 14 when they go to the streets it’s not safe for them to be out in the open sleeping, they would be an open target that way. Also just because you can’t see a crisis happening around you doesn’t mean it’s not going on. There is a lot more homeless then we think out there and not enough resources to help.

MOST ARE RUNAWAYS;

​Very few of the homeless youth population are runaways otherwise a missing person report would be filled and the youth would be brought home. Most youth are either custody of the ministry or have been kicked out of their homes. Most runaways only stay out for a couple of days and then return home 2-5 days later and never really become homeless. Because there is still a home for them to go back to, which sadly some youth don’t have and find safety in a shelter or with a friend.

Homeless youth are scruffy, smelly, criminals who couldn’t care less about their communities;

​Most youth who are homeless aren’t, most still attend school and some even have part time jobs to help pay for their necessities. But yes some youth who can’t find shelter will tend to be a bit scruffy or smelly. But just like other youth they still do care about there hygiene, because hey who wants to go up to their friends smelling like a pig. Most youth will respect the community as long as the community stops putting negative stigmas on the youth. As a youth myself I’d walk into a store and I’d have the cashier either tell me to leave and to come back with an adult or follow me around the store until I left. I myself worked 6 days a week I had the money to buy what I wanted but because I was a youth I was automatically a thief and could not be trusted. I remember once when I was 13 my mom asked me to pick up the groceries while she went across the street to get gas. The cashier made me empty my purse and pockets before she would ring in anything, I was shocked, my mom gave me a $100 for 4 things if I wanted something I would of just bought it, the bill only came to $35. Let’s just say my dad started screaming when he found out and they tried to tell him it was protocol.

I hope you guys liked my blog. Leave a comment down below if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you guys.

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

-Madison Taylor

Madison’s View of Abortion

​I’ll say flat out that I’m pro-choice, it’s up to the mother and what they decide is best for her. In my next few paragraphs I’ll be talking about my point of view towards abortion so my apology’s to anyone I may offend.  Just because I’m pro-choice, I’m also pro-life when it comes to my own child. I do not believe I could ever take the life of my own child. I’ve always said that I would’ve put my child up for adoption if I could not keep the baby. That actual situation came up when I was pregnant with my son, I was unsure if I was going to keep him or not.

My father tried really hard to get me to abort my child, we fought over it for weeks but I knew in my heart I was keeping my child. Yes I was lucky my grandmother was on my side and helped my father see that he was unreasonable but was he really?  I had just turned 17, my boyfriend at the time was 19, we hadn’t even hit are one year yet. Looking back now I can see why he was so pushy he was probably scared for me, I am his only girl and in his eyes he still wants to believe I was a virgin. I’m not upset with my father any more, at the time I was because I didn’t want to have an abortion and my grandmother was really against it. My grandmother was unable to have kids because her uterus was misshaped since birth and caused her to miscarry every child she concieved. So both my father and aunt had been adopted, so for her she felt that if someone wasn’t ready, they should give it to a family that wasn’t able to have their own.

I had another experience in my life, it happened right after my mother and father divorced and my mother started looking for comfort in other men. My mother got pregnant with one of the men she had seen, my grandmother was not pleased. My mother got the ultimatum either she gave the baby away or she was kicking both of us out. My mom was desperate she didn’t believe that she could raise two children on her own with nowhere to call home. My mother felt that she really didn’t have a choice and she aborted the baby that week. Its 20 years later and she still wonders what her life would have been like. I wouldn’t say she regrets her decision but she defiantly does wonder and think about what could have been.

​In my belief, I think there are certain situations where abortion can be okay. For example if a female is raped and got pregnant from that, would you really want to force her to keep that child? How painful would it be having to look at the face of your child and seeing the face of the man who raped you? I know there are some women that have kept their children and that is also fine, there is a lot of different ways people could go. If though someone is not comfortable with the situation then don’t force them to carry the child knowing that is uncomfortable. Another situation that I think abortion can be okay is say the mother had been on hard drugs or heavy medications that can be harmful to the baby. For me I feel that is unfair to the child because once that baby is born it can start going through withdrawals just like the adult on the drug/medication, and that can cause severe consequences or even death after birth.  In that situation what would you do? I certainly wouldn’t be able to watch my child suffer for the rest of his or her life because of one of my mistakes. I don’t know, to me that should be a reason for an abortion.

The one thing I can not agree with is using an abortion as a form of birth control. It’s something that can be very harmful to the female. After every abortion you damage your uterus and the more times you do it can make you less likely to conceive a child when you want one. So I beg of you, especially younger females, think before you jump into things, your body is just as fragile as a babies. There are so many different types of birth control methods. Research them, talk to your doctor experiment different kinds till you find the right ones. I know some times they don’t always work but don’t just leave it up to chance, because honestly 9 times out of 10 right after you leave your guard down you’ll get pregnant and remember there is always a choice and only you can know what the right answer is. Also hey you ever need someone to talk to, there is always someone in a similar situation as you on the internet.

I hope you guys liked my blog. Leave a comment down below if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you guys. I know this is a touchy subject, and I apologize again if I offended anyone.

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

-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

Marie’s Discussion of Addiction

“Even when I took the drugs I realized that this just wasn’t fun anymore. The drugs had become a part of my routine. Something to wake me up. Something to help me sleep. Something to calm my nerves. There was a time when I was able to wake up, go to sleep, and have fun without a pill or a line to help me function. These days it felt like I might have a nervous breakdown if I didn’t have them.”
– Cherie Currie

I have never been addicted to a drug such as cocaine or heroin, however I do have addictions. I am addicted to nicotine, but even more so to the act and ritual of smoking. I can not compare the need for crystal meth to my need of nicotine as I don’t know how it feels to need meth. I can not compare trying to quit smoking to what it takes to quit drinking as I have never been an alcoholic. So I’m not going to talk about those things.

What I do know is what it is like to grow up loving an alcoholic. How much your intoxicated loved one’s actions can impact another’s life. How their words can slice like a blade or their actions can endanger the lives of everyone around them. How their addiction is not only their issue but the whole families. How useless you feel watching your loved one lose themselves in their addiction, in their need to feel normal. The fear you have when they go out, taking their car keys and disappearing; the fear not only for their wellbeing, but for everyone else who’s out and about: people you don’t even know. The uncertainty of whether they will be home tonight, or if they will get in trouble with the law. Or the nightmare of getting that phone call in the middle of the night telling you that they will never walk through the front door again.

My uncle was an alcoholic and had been for longer than I’ve been alive. My family for the most part has always been a fairly tight-knit group. I would be visiting my grandparents at least two days a week for as long as I could remember, and many times it was closer to four days a week. With my uncle’s health and drinking he was unable to hold a solid job and ended up living with his parents, my grandparents. Despite my uncle’s drinking and ignorant remarks I adored him and wanted to spend endless hours with him as a small child. That was before I really understood why he was like he was and when he would make an effort to control his outbursts in front of me. When all I saw was his humour, playfulness, woodworking skills and his musical talent. I was probably around seven when I started seeing how nasty his addiction made him. I started to hear his racist comments and see his ‘grown-up’ temper tantrums. I would witness how mean, controlling, manipulative and abusive he could be towards my grandparents. It had seemed to me that the only time he could be nice was when he was just playing around. Looking back a couple instances stand out to me, some are good but most are bad and it hurts me to think that these are the memories I have to remember him by.

I remember when I was still a toddler and my uncle was trying to teach me to play the guitar and I was not getting it. I remember how he told me that I have no hope, Im a lost cause and I shouldn’t bother trying to learn a musical instrument, ever. It hurt, but I never consciously dwelled on it until I tried to learn an instrument later on in my childhood.
I remember through out my childhood my uncle and I would laugh and sing along to old rock music while he taught me how to play pool. As a kid this was my favourite thing to do with him, as we never argued over it and became something that even to this day I love doing. In a way I also thank him for my love of math for that reason as he would explain to me how successfully playing pool was nothing more then the use of trigonometry when aiming. Playing pool was when I started realising how smart he really was, as he’d explain why it would work and talk about formulas as though it was something you learned as a small child. Which contradicted the comments about how he was dumb and useless, seeing as he was a high school drop out.

I was eight when he flipped out on my granddad for leaving an empty jar in the cupboard. He was in my granddad’s face yelling, calling him nasty demeaning names and had grabbed him. I remember crying and yelling at my uncle, telling him that his behaviour was unacceptable and that he should learn some respect. I remember calling him a monster and thinking that I didn’t recognise him anymore, that I couldn’t love someone like that.

I remember growing up I used to beg him constantly to bring his guitar out and play something for us. How he’d refuse a couple times telling me he had nothing new to play before he would agree and bring his guitar down to the living room and play a couple songs.

I remember when I first found out my uncle was really sick. How drunk and upset he was when he turned around and told me not to get used to him being around. How my granddad would out live him even if my granddad passed away in a couple years time.

I remember when I was in grade seven band and was trying to learn the clarinet and all the hours we spent practicing. How when I would get something right we’d play it, me on my clarinet and him on his guitar. That same year him trying to help me understand how to play the guitar when I was taking lessons. Teaching me how to tune my guitar, all of which would dwindle to me watching him play and sing something due to my insistence.

During Christmas or any holiday dinner I remember the debates our family would get in. Or the comments made that would hurt my uncle. I remember the hurt in his eyes. I remember how clumsy he is (I’m just as clumsy, sober) and would sometimes spill his wine. If anything embarrassed him or didn’t go his way he would hastily excuse himself and hide in his room for a couple hours. I learnt earlier this year that all he wanted was my granddad’s approval, for his dad to be proud of him. How he never saw it, because he saw himself as failure.

I remember when I was sixteen and we had my grandma’s wake at the house. How my uncle made himself scarce after he greeted everyone. How later on he came back downstairs, drunk and crying, carrying his guitar. How he sat down beside my granddad and started playing his guitar, how sad his voice was while he sung hallelujah. How he started crying, successfully bringing us all to tears, when he started to play the song he wrote for his mom. How his voice cracked when he hit the chorus. How he blushed and apologized for screwing the songs up and excused himself. How I wanted to run after him but I couldn’t.
How he took to taking care of my granddad after my grandma’s passing, how hard it was on him. How sick he looked, how drained he was. How he had to get a friend to help manage the day to day tasks. To help answer my granddad, who at this point had a bad case of Alzheimer’s, when he asked where my grandma was. I remember how broken he looked.

​I remember how when I was eighteen he secluded himself when my grandad passed away. How mad he was that he outlived his father, that that wasn’t supposed to be the order it went, my grandad was healthy and he wasn’t. How lonely he was when he was on his own for the first time in decades.

I remember when I was nineteen and he was diagnosed with lung cancer. How he tried to quit smoking and drinking, but couldn’t. I remember when he admitted he had a problem shortly afterwards.

Then shortly after having undergone surgery to remove his lung cancer he started to feel weak, dizzy and disorientated. How he tried to drive to the hospital, but ended up hitting a pole by a bridge. How he’d been sober that day and a week later ended up in a coma. How dehydrated he was, how big of a toll his sickness had taken on his body. How up and down his vitals were before he passed away.

I can’t count how many different stories I have heard about my uncle driving under the influence and the accidents he’s been in, thankfully no one got hurt in any (besides him once or twice.)

​It’s heartbreaking to think only one of these memories he was sober for, and it’s also the saddest. How many years I had thought I had detested him, that he was a monster. How what made him a monster in my eyes was his escape from the monster he thought he was. How many years he lived believing he was worthless and didn’t want to live that reality. How this ‘monster’ was really just a boy who was lost and broken in a mans body.

I don’t think there was anything I could have done for my uncle, by the point I was born. I don’t think there was much any of us could do, he had it cemented in his head that he was a failure n everyone’s eyes regardless of their words or actions. Nor did he want the help, or accept anything we say.

​An addict can’t be helped unless they want to change. That’s not to say they won’t ever want to change or you can’t help them see why change is good and possible. Everyone, even addicts, need love and validation. Sometimes love and validation that they are worth something, that there is something better for them besides their addiction. Sometimes it takes seeing that to get it through to them sometimes they need to see what it’s like without it to help make the change. But there is always hope for everyone and help available, it may take a couple tries for recovery to successful though. Addiction is a life long struggle and is not easy to beat. A recovering addict shouldn’t be alone, they need the support and love of their sober loved ones, whether it’s their first attempt at sobriety or twentieth.

Stay Loud. Stay Proud. Stay Sober Lovies,
Marie Olsson

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 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;.