Ivy belle: Fear of relationships Pt.1

Fear of relationships

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

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

 

 

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Madison’s Struggle with Depression

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

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

I got this definition from Dictionary.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

~Madison

Madison On: The Unknown

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

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

 

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

~Madison.

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

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;.

Questions on Sexual Abuse

Welcome to the Second installment of our five part Collaboration!

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

Today we’re answering questions

Wednesday is more baffling myths

Thursday even more mind boggling myths

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

 

 

Questions about Sexual Abuse:

 

  1. Was it my fault?

Marie: No. When you are sexual assaulted or raped it is never your fault. It does not matter how many ‘what if..’ and ‘if only I had..’ thoughts went through your head, not consenting for a sexual act that took place makes it not your fault. Did you ask for it to happen? Did you consent to the activities that took place? If you answered no to either of these questions it was not your fault. I asked myself this question when it happened to me and sometimes I still do, but I have to keep reminding myself that I do not take any blame in my sexual abuse.

Ivybelle: No. No matter what people say, it is never your fault. When something is taken away from you without your consent, it is not your fault. Someone took advantage of you. For the longest time I thought it was my fault that I got abused because everyone told me that I started it, that I wanted it. At first I blamed them, but then I thought “what if I did start it? What if it was my fault” and I started to believe myself. I was lucky to have my best friend around at that time to help me and remind me that it’s not my fault and what they did is wrong.

Madison: No, if you are sexually assaulted it is not your fault.

 

Q: Will I ever feel better?

Marie: You may, it varies from person to person. You will not always feel as bad as you did right after it happened, but it may never fully go away. Personally I still have a lot of triggers and trust issues when it comes to touching me, which I don’t think will ever disappear. However I can say they are not as bad as they were, and I can learn to trust others and let them in. It may take baby steps but I no longer cringe every time a male is near me and I have managed to have a physical relationship since with a lot of trust building. Having support from friends, family and, if you decide to seek it, therapy.

Ivybelle: Honestly.. No. It doesn’t go away. The memories are still there sitting in the back of your mind. One day you may be fine and the next you might have a meltdown or not even want to get out of bed. You may be angry and push people away without realizing it. You have built this wall between you and the world, you might shut down. You may not be able to be intimate with someone for a long time. You may become more protective of your friends and family. You may always look over your shoulder. When a guy/girl flirts with you, you may get scared. When you drink you might feel vulnerable. You may have trouble sleeping at night, sometimes you may feel like someone is on top of you. Sometimes you may feel like you are being watched. There’s a lot of things that may happen. This constant fear might take over. I’m not saying that this will happen to everyone, but for a lot of people that’s the case. Please, don’t be afraid to get some help.

Madison: I agree with Ivy belle the memories will all be there, and it may not fully go away. But it’s the also the part of us that can make us stronger. I wouldn’t be where I am today if my past was not what it was.

Q: What do I do, or whom do I tell, if I am sexually assaulted or my child is sexually abused?

Ivybelle: Tell someone you trust, whether it’s a friend or a family member, also call the cops. It’s a scary thing to do, but the cops will be able to help you. If you can’t call the cops, try to get someone who you trust to call for you so he/she can send the cops to your home or wherever you feel safe. Maybe if you are scared to be alone with the cops, get someone to sit down with you and support you. The cops will give you a phone number or reference you to some therapy or someone to talk to. Therapy does help.  The cop will ask you to go to the hospital, so try to not take a shower after the assault has happened.

Madison: if my child or I had gotten sexually assaulted then I’d so to my family doctor or the police. But in a different situation especially when fear is involved then the only thing I can recommend is go to someone you trust. That can be anyone from friend and family to a social support work and counsellor.

Q: I do not know how to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted.

Marie: Be there for them. Be supportive and patient with them. When you find out they have been sexually assaulted ask if they’re safe, are they in any danger. Ask if they’ve reported, and if they have not ask why. They may be unsure of the process, they may be scared of their assailant, or they could feel like reporting it is not going to help. They could also be afraid of talking about it out loud, in a lot of detail over and over again; or that they will not be believed. Those on top of many other things are legitimate thoughts to think in that sort of situation; but urge your friend to report the incident and reassure them that you will be there for them and that it is a good thing to do. But never pressure your friend into anything, whether it’s talking to you or the police, that’s the last thing they need at that moment. Talk to them about the possibility of support groups or therapy and help them look for that if they’re interested. When someone reports their sexual assault to the police they can also be referred to services such as support groups and/or counselling through them as well. If they don’t want to report it or go to therapy or support groups don’t force them, be supportive of them. You can also ask if they have thought of seeing a doctor for screening (STI testing and such) to ensure their health.  All you can do is ensure their safety, and be there for them, reaching out is their job and you cannot force that to happen.

Ivybelle: All you can do is be there for them and don’t judge them. They are already struggling with expressing themselves and they feel like everyone will judge them. Tell them that things will work out, but never tell them to just get over it. Ask them if they have reported it, if not ask if they plan to. If they haven’t yet because they are afraid, ask them if there’s anything you can do to help. Sometimes they just need a little push to help them get the ball rolling. After I was sexually abused, I didn’t report it to the cops or get help, but my mom knew I needed help. She took me to therapy and my therapist gave me 2 choices. Either I go to the police station myself or he was going to call the cops to get them to meet me at my place. It took me a week, my mom knew I didn’t go. She grabbed me by the arm and made me make a report. It was hard, they didn’t want my mom to be in the same room, but I told them that the only way I was going to do this is if my mom joins me. They let her come in but I wasn’t allowed to talk to her. After the report, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I thank my mom and my therapist for it. I still struggled and when I needed a friend the most, my best friend was there for me. She gave me comfort, gave me hugs, reminded me it’s not my fault and talked a bit. It was a relief to know that my best friend wasn’t judging me. Sometimes people need a little push. Before taking that step, make sure the person asks for your help.

Madison: The one thing I needed most after mine attack was compassion. The only thing you can do is try to just listening and supporting them.

Q: Aren’t gay people more likely to sexually abuse children than straight people?

Marie: I hear this quite a lot and honestly, no they are not. That’s like saying girls are more likely to be smart then boys are. It’s quite an outdated, uneducated and baffling way to think. It’s not true and it never has nor will it ever be.

Ivybelle: Yes, I also ride a polar bear to work, live in an igloo and I drink maple syrup… No! I’ve never heard this before but no. Gays are just like straight people, there’s no need to label people. Anyone can be a rapist, gay, straight, transgender, etc..

Madison: No, Being gay does not automatically mean you will sexually abuse a child. People who sexually assault children struggle with something more the sexual identity. I don’t think it matters if you are straight, gay, bi sexual, lesbian when it comes down to it anyone could be anyone.

 

Q: Can I be sexually assaulted by my boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or acquaintance?

Marie: I cannot say this enough, without consent it is sexual assault. It does not matter what your relationship with the person is you still have to give consent for it to be a sexual act.

Ivybelle: Yes. I know this can be confusing for a lot of people… “He’s my boyfriend, they can’t rape me.” Yes there is. If you tell your boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or whoever else that you are not in the mood or no and the person is still being pushy about it – it is rape. Whether you are married or not, if you don’t want it and they force it, it is rape. It’s something that not a lot of people mention but yes it does happen. If there’s no consent, it’s rape.

Madison: not every person get raped or assaulted by their partners but it can happen. As soon as you say no and your partner does not stop it is consider assault/rape.  Doesn’t matter who it may be, as soon as you say no it means no.

 

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 questions, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth or question 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

Marie Olsson on Grieving a Loved One (In honour of her Granddad)

Personally I am struggling even trying to write this blog for you; as I am still struggling with accepting the loss of my loved ones. However I am going to do my best to give you guys something, even if it is short. For that I apologise. Without further ado here is my blog on grieving a loved on.

—-

  “There are as many sorrows as there are people who feel them and there are no rules…

It is solitary… Grief is such a lonely thing. There is no-one in it with you – others may grieve for the same soul, but they do not grieve exactly for what you also grieve. No-one has lost precisely what you have lost. Not exactly, never exactly. We are in it alone…

 Oh it is wild and it is lonely. It is as if you’ve woken to a world that you recognise but it has been tilted, somehow – coated, or rubbed down, or made colder or less bright. It echoes where it should not echo; where it should echo, it is as echoless as a single, muffled thud. And grief is not merely sadness, as if sadness alone was not enough to bear. I had imagined the sorrow to be as deep as a well, a howling grief, but I had not imagined the other feelings that have no right to be there, which seem wholly misplaced in a state of grieving – rage, impatience, self-pity, disgust. They come from the dark and rush in upon you…”

― Susan Fletcher, The Silver Dark Sea

No one does things the same way another person does, no one feels the same way either. For some people moving forward is easier and for others it feels a lot harder. Everyone takes different amounts of time to move through the steps of grieving and encounters them in a different order; but everyone who has ever lost someone has been through them, and could still be going through it.  However I feel as though you’ll have seen all about the stages of grieving in at least one other blog so I will not be covering that.

As I am currently writing this it is five days before the fourth anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, and as the date (Saturday, Sept. 26) grows closer I am realising that I really am not done grieving. I’ve yet to accept he is really gone, that I will never hear his voice on the other end of the line, or be able to give him a hug.  For months after he passed I would still call my grandparents’ house hoping to hear his voice, asking me how I’ve been, yet I was met with a short clipped message of him apologising for not reaching the phone. I tried again and again, not ready to come to terms that he wouldn’t one day pick the phone up and we’d talk and laugh together. Eventually the number was disconnected and that’s when I started to really feel the loss. When reality hit me I didn’t break out sobbing or lock myself in my room for days, although I would have much preferred that, instead I felt numb… absolutely numb.  I continued on with life as I had been prior, I was just void of any and all emotions.

For months after the loss of my granddad I tried to fill the void in my heart and find some emotions by drinking every weekend. I found comfort in the alcohol induced emotions, figuring that even a ‘fake’ emotion was better than the nothingness I was feeling.  However that did not get me anywhere, when I would sober up I was back to feeling nothing, it did not help me move forward.

“You can’t truly heal from a loss until you allow yourself to really FEEL the loss.”

Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

I didn’t realise by feeling numb it wasn’t really helping me and the worst hadn’t even started yet. I had thought feeling numb had been a good step towards healing. However when the numbness faded I was not prepared for the tidal wave of emotions which rushed over me. I was a mess, I was crying, I wanted to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth, but I expected that. What I wasn’t expecting the short temper, exhaustion or codependency that came along with it.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I have come a long way in my process of grieving for my granddad, but I still have a long road ahead of me. I don’t think the hurt will ever go away but I’m closer to fully accepting that he’s not with me anymore. I’ll love him forever and always, and he’ll always be alive and well in my heart, and that’s good enough for me.

“But in all of the sadness, when you’re feeling that your heart is empty, and lacking,

You’ve got to remember that grief isn’t the absence of love.

Grief is the proof that love is still there.”

― Tessa Shaffer, Heaven Has No Regrets

 In Loving Memory of my Grandad,

Marie Olsson xoxo

Madison’s Grieving a Love One.

Defintion of Grief: Keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.

When it comes to grief there are 7 stages. Not everyone goes through them in the same order, also stages can last longer for diffrenet people. Not one grieving is the same. I also believe that there is not time limit to grieving.

Stages of Grief.

  1. Shock & Denial.

In this stage typicaly come right after the anishal event happens. Your body and mind uses this time as a defence to shield you from the pain that you can’t quite understand yet.

2. Pain & Guilt.

When this stage comes it can hit everyone diffrently. For me my mind started to go through all the “what ifs?”, and “I should have’s”. I started dewlling on the past and I was unable to look forward. 

3. Anger & Bargaining

This is where your mind grabs on to the one emotion it can understand, because it’s alot easier to be angry at something then feel the loss sometime. This is also the stage where you will try anything to get that person back and start trying to feel alive again.

4. “Depression”, Reflection & Loneliness.

This stage is when you start feeling the effects of the loss. You start missing there presants, but it’s also the time you start to reflect on all the good memorys you once had with that person.

5. Upwards turn.

This point your starting to straighten out, and pick all the pieces you had dropped. This is also the time where you get control of your emotions again. you will also start thinking clearly and more positive again. 

6. Reconstuction & working through.

This is where we start working through anything that need to be delt with such as: work, school, funneral perperation, other family, ect… This is also the start of where you rebuild your self, by lying everything on the table and re-organize yourself to better fit this new situation. 

7. Acceptance & Hope.

At this stage you start moving forwards again, and accepting what has just happend. you will also start gaining some of that hope back. Hope can be a very powerful thing. I believe there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, my glass may not always be half full but I will chase that light. Just because you may have lost some hope doesn’t mean it is gone for ever, you can regain it. I found this quote that I feel best fit’s this paraghraft, “prehaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of are lost ones pour through and shine down to let us not that they are happy.” -Eskino Proverb. I believe it’s an amazing quote because it gives you something to believe in.

This is the end of my blog. I Appoligize for it being so short, I really had a hard time writing this with out tears. I lost 2 very close people to me when I was 8 and 1 only a couple months ago. But I will be posting a resource blog attacted to this, as the sencond half of my blog.

Marie Olsson Talks about Depression

“I think one thing is that anybody who’s had to contend with mental illness – whether it’s depression, bipolar illness or severe anxiety, whatever – actually has a fair amount of resilience in the sense that they’ve had to deal with suffering already, personal suffering.” –Kay Redfield Jamison

I am Bipolar type II. It is a form of depression and it is something I am learning how to live with. My experience with depression will differ from others; but no one’s experience is the same.

When I think of depression I don’t think of writing on symptoms and how I know I have depression or how to spot it. I think of the endless questions I encounter when someone finds out I am depressed. I think it’s best suited for my blog to be on some of the most common questions I get asked. I could go on for hours but I’ll sum it up in just a few.

“You’re just lazy.”

Sure ok I may seem like I’m just being lazy, but to me it feels like I’ve just ran 12 kilometers and you are asking me to run another 10 kilometers. For me this is a constant feeling that does not pass, it’s with me when I wake until I go to bed and is there again as soon as I wake up the next day. I may have the day or couple hours where I feel like I want to do something and want to get up, get dressed look pretty and go out, but that never lasts long. I cannot remember a time when I woke up and wanted to do something even two times in the same week, let alone two days in a row. So yeah it may take me longer to start my day or gain the will to go do a task but I feel like I have no motivation or any energy to start the task.

“It’s not that hard to get up in the morning.”

When I go to get up in the morning my whole body feels like it’s made of molasses, my blankets feel like an indescribable amount of weight on top of me, and it feels like I haven’t actually slept at all. Yes I should fight harder, yes I could try something different, yes I know it impacts things, yes I know it messes up my schedule, and yes I know it’s an unnecessary evil. However I do not need to hear you tell me things I already know, I already struggle with. I hear these words and it doesn’t help; if anything it makes things worse.

A lot of people I know who struggle with depression say that sleeping is their safe place, their escape from their never ending nightmare. But for me it feels as though my nightmares never end, with my bipolar when I am awake and night terrors while I am asleep it wears me out. I wake up feeling just as tired, if not more so, then when I went to sleep. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that I am dependent on my mother even to this day when I have a really bad night terror. Some nights I wake up having a panic attack and cannot breathe, the only thing that can soothe me is curling up with someone I love and trust. I hate knowing that at night I can never be truly independent, I will probably always have to rely on knowing there is someone I trust nearby that I can go to if I need them. The only time sleeping is my escape is when I am sleeping beside someone and it’s sad; but over time I have grown fond of knowing that I have an escape and that only those I love and care for can help me achieve it. So yes it’s hard for me to wake up in the morning, yes I’m grumpy and lethargic; but at least I am trying to get up.

“So you self-harm?”

No I do not; yes they can be linked but just because I am depressed does not mean I self-harm, that is not an outlet I am using. Not everyone who is depressed self-harms, so please do not put those two together.

“It just takes time”

How much time? Is there a magical number of hours, days, weeks, months, or years that I have to deal with this and then it just goes away?

“You’ll find happiness when you find someone.”

My happiness is not dependent on another human being, thanks. I need to be happy being me, and be accepting of who I am before I can find happiness with another. No that does not mean I need to be cured, it just means I need to accept that some days I may struggle more with my moods then others.

“Others have it worse than you.”

Is life a competition? By that idea plenty of people have it better too. This point it irrelevant for many reasons. One reason is everyone is different, we all handle situations differently. Things that really affect me could not affect you nearly as much; but on the other hand it could also be completely reversed.

“Just smile.”

If I do not want to smile I won’t. You are not helping anyone by telling someone to smile. Maybe I don’t feel like smiling but I am happy. Even if I am not happy I shouldn’t have to plaster on a fake smile to please others, unless I am at work that’s another story. As long as I am not growling at you or bawling my eyes out the fact that I am not smiling should be the least of your concern. I cannot think of a reason you should tell me to smile unless I am having my photo taken, so please keep that input to yourself. Yes, jokingly it is fine but I do not need to hear it in a serious manner or from someone I hardly know.

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

“Depression isn’t about, ‘Woe is me, my life is this, that and the other’, it’s like having the worst flu all day that you just can’t kick.” –Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams sums it up perfectly in my opinion. Depression is not about feeling sorry for yourself, that’s not depression. I often find when people think of depression they think of a temporary period of time of suffering; however I find it is more of a constant weight on my shoulders, just some days are worse than others. Depression is not about anything and it is not stuck to a certain amount of time, it has no concept of boundaries. Depression is a state of feeling lost, a feeling of floating through dark clouds.

Depression is not a word to throw around lightly.
Depression cannot be summed up in an article or a blog.
Depression is not the same for everyone.
Depression is not something someone likes to answer endless questions on.
Depression is not fun.
Depression is depression.

Stay Loud, Stay Proud and Keep on Being You Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

For More Information:

On Depression: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression

On Bipolar type II: http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

Madison Opinion on Depression

hey first things first I’ll be giving you a brief definition that I got off of Dictionary.com. Then alittle about my opinion, with alittle back story about me :). Then it’s alittle bit about breaking some common stereotypes.

Depression: a depression so severe as to be considered abnormal,either because of no obvious environmental causes, or because thereaction to unfortunate life circumstances is more intense or prolongedthan would generally be expected.

When it comes to depression every one goes through it diffrently and there are so many diffrent kinds of depression. I’ve struggeled with depression for majority of my life, it hasn’t been easy but I’ve been able to get through it. I know for me It come in episodes where I may have a couple really good days then it’s like a switch had been flipped. I don’t know how exactly to describe it but I feel every empty, I alway feel lonely even if there people around, and there times where I just cry, and when I cry I can’t undersand why. the feeling of depression can very from mild to exstrem that it’s hard to stand back from. I know people tell me all the time that “I’ll grow out of it.” but sadly I know I wont. It has gotten better through the years, I have been through alot of doctors to help train myself how to better control it. But it’s still is apart of me and a strong part of who I am. I’m also really proud to have made it this far in my life because it’s also the part that keep me motivated, when I stop to think about where I’ve come from and where I’ve been I do not want to go back to that place so I push forward.

Next thing I want to talk about are some of the stereotypes.

Depression is only dictated by life circumstances.

  • Not all depression come from life circumstances, some can be but that does not mean everyone with a life chaning event is now going to struggle with depresson. Depression is caused by a cemical imbalence in your brain.

People who experience depression aren’t mentally strong.

  • weather you have depression or not it doesn’t determine weither or not you are strong or weak. Just like how someone with out depression can be mentally strong or weak. It all goes down to the person in a hole not a lable or a stigma.

Everyone with depression takes medication

  • I didn’t take anymeds for mine. That comes down to the person again, some people need medication and some people don’t. whatever you feels right for you is what your going to do. I wanted to try working it out on my own before consulting medication, but hey that’s just me.

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.

~You Always Have A Choice~

-Madison Taylor

Education For Educators On Mental Health -Marie Olsson

“Kids are falling through the cracks and nobody notices it. That to me is what’s wrong with the school system.” – Melinda Gates

The educational system is rich in topics for us to learn: English, math, science, etc.; however it is lacking in the education on learning disorders and mental health for the school staff.  School can be difficult for youth as it is, which can be heightened further with undiagnosed issues or educators not understanding how they affect a student’s learning process. I believe if educators had a higher level of training in understanding how learning disabilities and (at least the most) common mental health diagnoses affect how one learns and/or focuses, along with how to spot them it could make learning easier for the youth that are struggling.

When I was in school I was going to see a therapist and I had fairly regular appointments, which unfortunately meant I had to leave early from class those days to make the appointment. The teacher I had that block was very understanding on the matter; however my vice principal was not as lenient. My vice principal one day pulled me into her office wanting to know where I went when I had to leave early, to which I responded honestly telling her I went to see a therapist and where my appointments were. From there she went on to demand to know who they were with and wanting to speak to them.  When I told her that she had no need to know that information, she threatened me with expulsion. For  her to talk with my therapist I would have to first give my therapist permission to talk with her, which I was not comfortable with. My vice principal pulled up the page of therapists who worked at the facility I was going to and was trying to figure out which one I was seeing, she went as far as to try and contact all of them, I felt like all my rights were taken from me at that moment. My parents were dragged into this mess that was created and it went from ugly to worse.

At the time I had not been officially diagnosed with anything specific besides ADHD, we were still working on diagnosing what we now know is bipolar type II but at the time had just labeled as depression. This is information I was not very willing to share with many people, nor was it of anyone else’s concern at the time, as it was not impacting my learning besides having to leave early from class. However it got me thinking that if that is how my vice principal handled my situation how would they handle another student struggling with a mental disorder. My vice principal’s blatant disrespect for the confidentiality between a therapist and client concerned me; how would they handle a similar or worse situation with another student.  Their careless, insensitive, and under educated approach to the matter could cause a lot of unneeded stress and damage to someone’s mental state.

When it comes to one’s mental health and how others actions affect the person dealing with a mental disorder it can feel like you’re running through a mine field if you are not fully aware of what repercussions your actions can bring.  Which is why I think the educators should be well educated on not only mental health but also the legal boundaries surrounding mental health. Whether or not a student wants to share that they are struggling with their mental health, the people we put in charge of their education should be fully aware of what boundaries (legal or personal) they cannot cross and fully equipped to help their student’s excel even if they are struggling with their mental health.

No one should be alone when they need someone there the most.  Sometimes having a teacher put the effort in making sure you have the tools you need to succeed makes the difference between graduating or not.

Stay Strong. Stay Brave. Keep Fighting Lovies,

Marie Olsson xx