Marie Talks: Bullying; Do We Know Enough?

 

So I’ve shared my story about Smith in my The use of LGBTQ2IA terms as an insult blog, my high school bully that tried to use being a lesbian as an insult (among other things). Now however I am going to share a few snippets of my experience with bullying throughout my descriptions of the types of bullying. Growing up I had this friend, let’s call her Janice, I had known her since we were four and she was great when she wanted to be which is why I do recognize her as a friend. However I also recognize her as my childhood bully. A lot of my stories will probably involve her to some degree. Any I have no experience with I will not share a story on, however if anyone has any stories they’d like to share feel free to leave it in the comments.

What are some things that can make someone a bully:

1) Physical violence:
– eg. pushing, spitting, shoving, hitting,  grabbing, stealing, damaging property, hair pulling, etc.. for the younger kids (and everyone else as well, it’s just more common in the younger years) biting
– Any act that invades another persons personal bubble with ill intent, intentionally threatens a person’s physical safety or well being.

At the age of eight me and Janice had class together, some days were fine and we’d laugh and talk, or not interact at all. Others however were not so great. Sometimes it would be arguing, others I would be shoved or tripped. Sometimes when she pushed or tripped me I would end up covered in mud other days I would just have a face full of whatever the floor was made of. One day I don’t remember what it was over, or how it started.  At lunch I was running for all I had from Janice. I ran and ran and she was yelling threats out at me as she followed. I remember losing her and spending a good fifteen minutes under a table in our classroom hiding from her, afraid of being seriously injured if not worse. Lucky for me that day the teacher came into the room before Janice did and so I felt safer.

However That is not the only cases of physical bullying I have experienced so I will share two more. 

  • Age eight: I made the mistake of bringing my diary to school as I hadn’t spent the night at home. At lunchtime I had a group of boys steal it, they tried to get into it to read it and when that did not work they tried to destroy it. All fun and games right? Not in my eyes, the stuff inside of it was pretty embarrassing.. trust me I’ve read what my eight year old self decided to write in it. Right there that’s theft and damaging property.
  • Age eleven: Janice and me were helping take some photos off the wall. We were given butter knives to take the staples out, we weren’t talking but she decided I have pissed her off and tried to stab me with it. No major harm was done, but I learnt butter knives hurt. Later that year at our after school center she decided she didn’t want to help clean up the mess she had help create and hit me over the head with a folding metal chair. I don’t remember the next few moments but I do remember the throbbing pain and bump that was left from that incident.

2) Verbal Bullying:
– eg. Name-calling, mocking, insults, slurs, threatening, humiliating, sexual harassment, telling them to “kill themself” etc.
– Anything said to make another person uncomfortable. Or anything said with the intent (or possibility of) to hurt, humiliate, or shame another.

All through out elementary school I was made fun of, one common thing we all go through is making fun of our names with rhymes or mispronouncing them to make them sound funny or teasing. That happened a lot. I was a heavier kid and that never ceased to be one of the many things I was teased about. Whether it was to call me thunder, tell me that I’d break something if I put my weight on it, told I wouldn’t fit places, or questioned if I was capable of doing something due to my weight.  Along with Smith, who I talked about in my other blog who bullied me through high school, was pretty nifty with his large vocabulary of insults.. please note the sarcasm.

3) Electronic bullying (or Cyberbullying)
– eg. threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude, or damage reputation/friendships with the use of texting, email, the dirty, Facebook, etc.
– Using electronics and any social platform, whether it be to blast something around to multiple people, or a private message to another or about another, to hurt another person.

I was seventeen and I had dated this guy for awhile, after we broke up he started seeing this other woman, lets call her Leila. Now maybe a month or two into their relationship I started getting these Facebook messages from his new girlfriend without even having any contact with them. Originally they were nothing special the ‘so your his ex’ type of stuff, however they soon progressed into much worse without me even replying or opening the chat. Leila then started calling me some pretty nasty things and using a lot of profanity. Okay so she has a stick up her bottom, I could handle that I thought. I hadn’t thought much of it until she started threatening me, and sending me photos she took of places I frequented such as my house and my school. Now that freaked me out, then out of the blue one day she texted me, after probably getting my number out of my exes phone, trying to blackmail me. At this point I was pretty sketched out, what was this woman’s end game and how much longer do I have to deal with her for was one of the things constantly running through my mind. Skip forward a month or two after this all started and we run into each other, Leila starts yelling at me and ye get into a huge argument.  Luckily for me everything was resolved that night and we realized someone was trying to pin us on each other for their own personal entertainment.

There you have it, the three most recognized forms of bullying, at least from what I have seen.

Don’t forget to hit like and/or drop a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say on the topic, did I miss something? Is there another form of bullying you think is more prevalent? Or is there a form of bullying you think is always overlooked?

Stay Proud. Stay Loud. Stay Strong Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

Advertisements

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.

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.

Ivybelle On The Fear Of Intimacy

The Fear Of Intimacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

(This may or may not be accurate for everyone)

What causes the fear of intimacy

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

How to know if someone fears intimacy

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

How to Heal from it

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

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

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

Ivybelle on Bullying

“Things will get easier, people’s minds will change, and you should be alive to see It.”
-Ellen DeGeneres

“You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re stupid. Your mom doesn’t love you. Who would like you? You’re fat and ugly! You’re worthless. Nobody will care if you die.”
Those are a few of what I was told ever since I was a kid.

I remember being in first grade and a classmate (a boy) didn’t like me very much. I never knew why but he always picked on me. I remember one day trying to look at a book that I wasn’t supposed to touch and he punched me in the chest. I also remember crying in pain and the teacher not doing much about it but he kept yelling at me. Most of the class didn’t like me to be honest. I only had 1 friend in my class but most of the girls would steal my things and the boys were always making fun of what I was eating and throwing my things. They would throw my backpack, my notebooks, my jacket, etc. At some point my backpack fell apart. When I was young, I was very shy and reserved so I didn’t really communicate with people. ASL was my first language then English and French but because my mom is deaf, she couldn’t help me pronounce words properly. For the longest time people used to make fun of me because of my accent and not knowing the difference between some words; e.g. “Fork” and “Fort”.

When I was in grade 4 I was the new girl. I moved from Ontario to Quebec at this point and I didn’t know anyone. I was the girl with the deaf mom again and I was the one who didn’t wear clothing with brands. I remember one guy and his best friend were the school meanies. They bullied a lot of people at school and ¾ of the students were scared of them. One day I played basketball and the ball ended up rolling beside him and I tried to get the ball but he kept kicking it away. I got annoyed and told him to stop it but he got pissed off and started pushing me and at some point I fell to the ground. Him and his friends started laughing at me. He called me every name in the book. “ Ugly, fat, dumb, stupid, trash, loser” among other things that is not PG rated.

I stayed at that school for 3 years. I kept telling my mom that I was getting bullied and she would tell me to tell the teachers, but they never really did anything. I was scared of going to that school. When I was 10 years old a few girls and I were talking (I thought we were friends), they were telling me how my friends are pretending to be my friends- that they told them. I argued with them for a good 30 minutes about how they are lying but I was still really hurt and I felt really alone. That’s when one of the girls said that if I was to die no one would care. I told her that she was lying but she was so convincing. After arguing for a while, she started a petition called “Who wants Ivybelle to kill herself?” Every time someone wanted me dead she would add a mark on the sheet. She came back with 4 sheets filled. I told the girl that I would commit suicide and wont show up the next morning. The next morning I didn’t show up and my mom didn’t know. However, The teacher caught her and she got in trouble. She talked to her dad and she was grounded.

In high school I bullied too. From being thrown basketballs at, to turning people against me, to telling classes my deepest secrets, to getting abused, etc. The first 4 years were hard. I didn’t fit in anywhere, I was depressed, my mom moved to BC and I stayed behind. I was sexually abused, being bullied and I was struggling in school. I started self-harming, drinking and smoking. I was being discriminated by my dad for being hearing and not deaf and on top of that he and my half-sister were bullying me. The bullying didn’t really stop until I moved to BC and went to a good high school where there was no tolerance for bullying.

Bullying is really hard to go through and see someone go through. Over the years it seems to be getting worse every year. It’s gotten so bad that 12-year-old kids are turning to serious physical abuse and even murder. When I hear/see things like that on the news, my heart breaks and I worry so much about what the future holds. Some of these situations happen at school and some out of school.. If you know anyone that is getting bullied here are some steps to help.
10 Steps to Stop and Prevent Bullying:
Credit: http://www.nea.org/home/51629.htm
Whether you are a parent, an educator, or a concerned friend of the family, there are ten steps you can take to stop and prevent bullying:
1. Pay attention. There are many warning signs that may point to a bullying problem, such as unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed personal items, changes in eating habits, and avoidance of school or other social situations. However, every student may not exhibit warning signs, or may go to great lengths to hide it. This is where paying attention is most valuable. Engage students on a
daily basis and ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation.

2. Don’t ignore it. Never assume that a situation is harmless teasing. Different students have different levels of coping; what may be considered teasing to one may be humiliating and devastating to another. Whenever a student feels threatened in any way, take it seriously, and assure the student that you are there for them and will help.

3. When you see something — do something. Intervene as soon as you even think there may be a problem between students. Don’t brush it off, as “kids are just being kids They’ll get over it.” Some never do, and it affects them for a lifetime. All questionable behaviour should be addressed immediately to keep a situation from escalating. Summon other adults if you deem the situation may get out of hand. Be sure to always refer to your school’s anti-bullying policy.

4. Remain calm. When you intervene, refuse to argue with either student. Model the respectful behaviour you expect from the students. First make sure everyone is safe and that no one needs immediate medical attention. Reassure the students involved, as well as the bystanders. Explain to them what needs to happen next — bystanders go on to their expected destination while the students involved should be taken separately to a safe place.

5. Deal with students individually. Don’t attempt to sort out the facts while everyone is present, don’t allow the students involved to talk with one another, and don’t ask bystanders to tell what they saw in front of others. Instead, talk with the individuals involved — including bystanders — on a one-on-one basis. This way, everyone will be able to tell their side of the story without worrying about what others may think or say.

6. Don’t make the students involved apologize and/or shake hands on the spot. Label the behaviour as bullying. Explain that you take this type of behaviour very seriously and that you plan to get to the bottom of it before you determine what should be done next and any resulting consequences based on your school’s anti-bullying policy. This empowers the bullied child — and the bystanders — to feel that someone will finally listen to their concerns and be fair about outcomes.

7. Hold bystanders accountable. Bystanders provide bullies an audience, and often actually encourage bullying. Explain that this type of behaviour is wrong, will not be tolerated, and that they also have a right and a responsibility to stop bullying. Identify yourself as a caring adult that they can always approach if they are being bullied and/or see or suspect bullying.

8. Listen and don’t pre-judge. It is very possible that the person you suspect to be the bully may actually be a bullied student retaliating or a “bully’s” cry for help. It may also be the result of an undiagnosed medical, emotional or psychological issue. Rather than make any assumptions, listen to each child with an open mind.

9. Get appropriate professional help. Be careful not to give any advice beyond your level of expertise. Rather than make any assumptions, if you deem there are any underlying and/or unsolved issues, refer the student to a nurse, counsellor, school psychologist, social worker, or other appropriate professional.

10. Become trained to handle bullying situations. If you work with students in any capacity, it is important to learn the proper ways to address bullying. Visit http://www.nea.org/bullyfree for information and resources. You can also take the pledge to stop bullying, as well as learn how to create a Bully Free program in your school and/or community.

If you are a victim of bullying, please talk to someone. I know it might be scary right now, but please hold on and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not your fault.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Stay You.
Keep Fighting.
-Ivybelle-Xx

Marie Talks: Safe Sex

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

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

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

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

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

Questions You Should Ask a New Sexual Partner?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howie Defranco on Self Care Part 1

Hey blog readers it’s Howie Defranco and today we’re going to discuss the all too important concept of self care. Self care is basically looking after you, your needs and nurturing them, which we all need to do to keep ourselves sane. I mean if all you ever do in life is for someone else, then even if out of love your life is their life not your own. Something to think about for all you altruistic do gooders out there who never think about your own needs. I’m completely calling myself out with that line but I do try to maintain a certain level of self care to but will get to that later. For this is about self care as a whole.
Now all those of you reading this I want you to get in a comfortable position, breathe deep and think of the greatest moment in your life. Then hold that feeling, feel the warmth it brings into your soul and then do it every time you get mad or upset or lose your confidence. Heal yourself with the strength of your memories, it’s an easy form of self care just to choose to remember the good times, to feel that emotion again. Then go find a book, a movie, a song you love and read it, watch it, listen to it and feel good about who you are. For self care is about taking care of who you are and that should matter most to you.

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.

Marie Talks: Anxiety -Calming Techniques

In this blog I will be touching on:

  1. Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
  2. Different Tricks To Help You Calm Down
  3. Grounding Techniques
  4. How To Help Your Friend Calm Down

Anxiety:
noun: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
From a Psychiatry stand point: a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

There are seven main types of anxiety disorders and they are:

    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
      • characterized by chronic, persistent anxiety without a specific cause.
      • This may be seen in a variety of ways:
        • Disaster Thinking
          they may convince themselves of worst case scenarios
        • Unyielding Thoughts
          may be unable to turn off minor worries, focusing on them and possibly obsessing over them.
    • Social Phobia
      • Experience profound anxiety at the thought of social interaction.
      • Often overly worried about being judged by others.
      • Avoid situations that may force them out of their social comfort zone.
      • Often overly concerned about how they’ll act in public.
      • May experience worst case scenario thinking towards social situations.
    • Panic Disorder
      • Had more than one panic attack in the past month.
      • Fear having more panic attacks.
      • Change who you are because of your panic attacks.
      • Panic attacks cause you distress regularly.
      • Panic attacks are not caused by any underlying health problems.
    • Agoraphobia
      • Fear of being out in the open or in public.
      • Fear of being in an area with no easy escape.
      • Fear of being in unfamiliar places.
      • Fear of leaving your home.
    • Phobias
      • Experience severe anxiety when faced with a stimulus (the thing that causes fear).
      • Experience severe anxiety when anticipating the possibility of facing the stimulus.
      • The fear is uncontrollable, to the point where it can escalate – possibly into an anxiety attack.
      • Alter life in some way to avoid the stimulus.
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
      • Reliving the trauma through memories, sensations, nightmares, flashbacks or more.
      • Experience anxiety, emotional numbness, or detachment.
      • Go out of the way to avoid situations that may relate to the event.
      • Are hyper-vigilant, often with an easy startle reflex, the inability to concentrate on tasks, or becoming easily irritable.
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
      • You must have either obsessions or compulsions or both.
      • You may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable.
      • Obsessions and compulsions are significantly time-consuming and interfere with your daily routine and social or work functioning.

How do I deal with your anxiety when it gets too much?
I’ll be talking about the different tricks that may help you calm down, things that work for some people. I included just a few that I have found, and used.

Abdominal Breathing Technique
Step 1) place one hand on chest and your other hand on your belly
Step 2) Take a deep breath in through your nose making sure your diaphragm (belly) not your chest inflates.
Step 3) Repeat breaths eight time (or however long it takes to calm yourself down)

Progressive Relaxation
Step 1) Close your eyes
Step 2) Focus on tensing your toes and feet and inhaling for a count of five  then exhale through mouth and release the tension at the same time.
Step 3) Repeat step 2 for your knees, thighs, rear, stomach, chest, hands, arms, neck, face and eyes.

“Going Crazy”
If you are struggling with relaxation techniques due to your anxiety causing too much pent up energy, sometimes it can help to let out the energy and anxiety in a more unorthodox way. For this one you may want to be in a quiet and private place to avoid the worries about being embarrassed.
Step 1) Let everything out. Run in circles, flail your arms, throw a tantrum and scream.. The list is endless do anything that lets it out, this also includes: laughing hysterically, jumping on your bed and throwing your pillow.Whatever you wan to do, do it, let go of you sense of what is ridiculous.
Step 2) Do this until you feel as though you’ve let it all out. Then you keep going, do this until you have let go of so much pent up anxiety, stress and frustrations that you are left feeling drained and satisfied. Let it out for 5 to 10 minutes straight.

Other ways:

Grounding Techniques
For these make sure your eyes are open and lights are on, as these exercises are meant to bring you out of your fears/traumatic memories, etc. and back into the present.

5-4-3-2-1
Step 1) Think of 5 things you can see. (or say it out loud if it helps more)
Step 2) Think of 4 things you can hear.
Step 3) Think of 3 things you can touch, and physically touch them.
Step 4) Think of 2 things you can smell or like the smell of.
Step 5) Take 1 slow, deep breath. (Or as I have learnt prior, name 1 good thing about yourself)

Categories
Play the categories game with yourself. Choose a category (eg. types of dogs) and list any you can think of (eg. Rottweiler, Husky, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier)

Safety Statement
‘My name is _________; I am safe right now. I am in the present, not the past.
I am located in _____________ the date is _____________.’

Take a Shower
Jump in a hot (as hot as you are comfortable with) shower, not because you’re dirty but to release the tension in your body and relax.

Find more here:

How Can I help my friend calm down if they’re feeling anxious?
While going to college we were taught a few tricks on how to calm someone down. I found one fairly helpful but can cause the anxiety to worsen for some. This is particularly helpful when someone is having difficulty focusing on one thought or one thing.

We learnt it as the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise however it may have other names.

As the person to help another through this it is important for you to speak in a calm, friendly, and quiet voice. As well as to focus solely on them and remember to ask them periodically through the exercise how they are feeling.

Step 1) Have them sit (preferably if possible), and ask them if they want to close their eyes, but if closing their eyes causes them more anxiety or don’t want to assure them keeping their eyes open is okay as well.
Step 2) Have them take a deep breathe.
Step 3) Ask them if they can tell you five things they can remember seeing around them. (eg. clock, chair, food or a person) Remember to validate what they are telling you, and to repeat what they have told you in a calm, friendly voice.
When they’ve told you five things tell them that they have done a good job.
Step 4) Ask them to tell you five things they can hear around them. (eg. clock, breathing, vehicles) Again don’t forget to repeat back and reassure them on what they are saying in a calm friendly voice. If they get stuck make a sound (cough, tap the ground, or humm etc.)
When they’re done again reassure them that they’re doing well.
Step 5) Ask them how they are feeling and how they feel about the exercise.
Step 6) Repeat steps 3 and 4 except instead of asking for five things ask for four. Then repeat the steps for three instead five. Then repeat step 5.
Step 7) Repeat steps 3 and 4 for two things they see and hear and then one.
Step 8) Ask them to open their eyes and ask how they are feeling.

I hope everyone can take something out of this, even if it’s not what you are looking for.

Love, Peace and Serenity Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

 

Source:

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

Marie’s Talk on Suicide

“Don’t do it.”
“You’ll be ok.”
“Things get better.”
“Think of us, we love you.”
Anyone who has contemplated suicide has probably heard these words countless times.

When suicide feels like it’s the best option, over staying alive, it doesn’t mean the person is weak. When you are at the point that death seems like the best solution it’s because you have fought so hard to be at the point you are and you feel like you have no fight left. You feel like you are drowning, that there is no way out and nothing is getting better or easier and it can feel like everything is just getting worse. You have no will power, energy or reasons to keep fighting. You have lost that glimmer of light to see that things get better. You don’t know what else to do to make things better.

“Just kill yourself already.”
“Suicide is the pussies way out,”
“Stop being a whiney brat.”
“We’d be better off without you anyways.”
Words hurt and they can be taken to heart.

Words alone are not enough to convince someone not to commit suicide but they can help push them farther towards it. When you hit such a low point in life where you feel as though suicide is your only option your loved ones words are not the only thing you need to be alright. You need their support, love, actions, encouragement and you need help. In some ways you can compare suicide to drowning. Like drowning words alone will not save you from suicide.

Imagine you are drowning, are words alone going to save you? If someone is standing somewhere safe and telling you ‘don’t drown’ or ‘just swim to safety’ that’s not going to help a lot. Just like if you are suicidal being told ‘don’t commit suicide’ or ‘just fight harder’ does not help you get through it. If you are drowning it is helpful for the person to give you a flotation device, it will keep you afloat; but that can be only a temporary saviour if you can’t bring yourself to safety. Just with suicidal thoughts it can be temporary fix to have your mind and time occupied; but as soon as you are alone again it’s easy to slip right back down into your thoughts and plans of suicide. If you are drowning it is helpful for the person to come out to you and help you pull yourself to safety or give you a device that’ll help keep you afloat and bring you to safety. Much like drowning, when dealing with suicide it is helpful for a loved one to talk to you, find out what is wrong. It’s also helpful for them to show (not just say) they care and are listening, for them to try and understand. For them to be there for you when you are struggling, and to get you help. To help you and not just give you the tools and expect you to figure out how to work it, to be by your side and help you. It is helpful for them to meet you where you are at and not expect you to just come to where they are first.

“I’m here for you.”
“What’s wrong?”
“You don’t have to do this alone, we can get through this together.”
Having support can make all the difference.

If you are feeling suicidal reach out to someone you trust.
If you notice someone may be suicidal reach out to them, don’t just turn a blind eye.
If someone expresses that they are suicidal help them, support them. Help them work through it, and get professional help.
You are never alone. Don’t suffer in silence.

Stay Loud. Stay Proud. Stay Strong, Lovies.
Marie Olsson xx

Healthy Relationships – Marie

I have been through my fair share of relationships, which is something I am not very proud of. However they have taught me a couple of things about relationships that I didn’t know prior or did but had not put into play. As with anything in life, relationships are full of a lot of guessing games and are definitely a long process of learning, as every relationship is different.

When I hear ‘healthy relationship’ a list comes to mind. Which I will share along with my reasons.

Communication
* Communication is key to any relationship, whether it’s between you and your significant other, parent, friend or boss. Being able to discuss what’s wrong or just what makes you happy will make the biggest difference in the long run. To build or maintain a strong healthy relationship both parties need to be able to vocalize what is going on or what they have an issue with.  It is important to be able to discuss a problem civilly without saying something to purposefully hurt your partner or getting physical.

Trust
*   What is any sort of relationship whether it is romantic,  platonic or family without trust? Now I don’t mean you have to give it to them all at once,  trust should be earned, however a relationship would not last without being able to trust the actions and words of the other person.  Blind trust is not healthy,  but trust is,  without trust you can spend hours analyzing every word and action of the other person trying to disect what their motives are.

Balance of Give and Take
*Whether we are talking attention,  money,  blame or any resources it is healthy for both parties to take some of weight.  Don’t expect your partner to pay for everything,  or expect to pay for everything yourself.  There’s nothing wrong with both or either parties splitting the cost of things or taking turns.  We all crave the affection and attention of our partner but it’s a two way street,  both need to relieve and give the attention. Both parties also need to be able to give credit and blame where it’s due not just push it on one party.  For anything it needs a balance,  and I don’t mean it needs to be equal in all aspects but for both parties to make an effort into the relationship not leave it all up to the other.

Ability to admit you need your partner
* This I’ll admit I struggle with,  the ability to admit I need my partner,  however it is important.  Your partner should enhance your life and support you not just sit there on the sidelines.  Your partner is your equal,  and can be one of your best supporters. If you need a hug or just to talk to them there’s nothing wrong with expressing that need.  Beyond that though when I say that it’s important that you have the ability to admit you need your partner I mean that you can admit they do make your life better,  that things would be different.  I don’t just mean that you should be able to express when you need your partner for something,  but also that just their presence in your life makes a positive impact on your life.

Future
* Being able to see a future with your partner and not just a here and now is important, as is striving towards having that future.

Commitment
*Being committed to your relationship,  to your partner. Willing to work on your relationship,  to put an effort into it. The ability to not put it off to the sidelines so you can focus on everything else but keeping a balance.  Along with being loyal,  faithful to your partner.

Compromise
*We will never always see eye to eye with our partner and it’s important to find a happy medium between the two. Or being able to come to an understanding of where your partner is coming from and vice versa., not everything is black and white being able to see the grey (or colourful) and find a happy place there.

Balance of time spent with and without your partner
* Just like it is important to spend time together it is also just as important to have time apart. Whether the time is spent alone or with friends space from the other person is good and healthy.

Forgiveness
* I’m not saying that you should forgive your partner for cheating (especially not repeatedly) or anything else that crosses your personal boundaries. What I am saying letting go of the little things when appropriate (like after an apology) and not holding it over your partners head.

Listening
* This goes with communication but it’s a whole different topic. As with any relationship whether it’s romantic, platonic, family or work related you need to use put your active listening skills to work. By active listening skills I mean not putting your attention anywhere else but on the other person. Paying attention to their words, their tone, facial expressions and body language.

Don’t just be partners be best friends 
* In a relationship with all these previous points it’s hard to not become best friends but this is also an important one. The want to share your joys and your downs with the person. The wanting to include them in the things you do and wanting to spend lots of time together.

It is healthy to disagree
You don’t have to agree everything, and not always having the same point of view is good, and discussing both sides. However it is not healthy to argue in the sense of yelling, belittling or anything possibly hurtful.

Hard work
* Just like anything good in life, a relationship takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of dedication, time, and is a non stop process. Whether it’s been one month or sixty years the relationship still needs to be fed. In the end though it can be very worthwhile.

Stay Proud. Stay Loud. Stay Loving Lovies.
Marie Olsson xx

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;.