Fear of relationships Pt.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Marie

Dear Self,

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Marie Olsson

Ivy belle: Fear of relationships Pt.1

Fear of relationships

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

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

 

 

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

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

Madison Talks About Family Relationships

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

~Madison Taylor

Howie on cross cultural relationships

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

Marie Talks: Domestic Abuse

Disclaimer: None of what I say is definite it varies case to case. I can only speak of my personal experiences.

Domestic Violencealso known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, battering or family violence,  is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Domestic Abuse can come in many forms,  the five types are: physical,  emotional,  sexual,  psychological and economic (financial).  It can also include spiritual abuse which is belittling a person’s beliefs.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone: female, male, young, or old.

Domestic abuse is a scary thought, and it can be down right terrifying to the person living it. It can be draining, traumatizing and seemingly endless.  Many times you are constantly making excuses for your abuser whether to yourself or to others.  Or you believe that they’re just struggling and you can help them,  that you are the only one who can fix them. It can be hard to imagine that you can’t: help this person, get back the person you fell for before the abuse started, make things better and have a healthy and happy relationship.

You try to justify that the abuse only happens when they had a bad day or only once in a while, it’s not that bad – it could be worse. Your partner had a rough day at work, they just failed a test, they got laid off, or it only happens when they’re drunk. It’s a vicious circle of being abused and justifying your partners actions, whether with your reasoning or the reasons they feed you. The excuses, the countless reasons, they all add up until you could probably write a novel with all the justification given for their actions. For every action there’s a reason and whether consciously or subconsciously you give or accept the reason for the action.

You justify their actions believing you deserved it, you brought it upon yourself. They hit you and yell demeaning, hurtful things at you; but that’s ok you didn’t do what they asked of you. You’re forbidden from seeing your friends or family because you don’t tell them everything you do (how can they trust you if you don’t give them a minute by minute run through) or you stay out too long. You hug a friend of an opposite sex, or look or talk to anyone of the opposite sex, that’s punishable, how can you be trusted to be faithful. You dress or act not exactly as they want you to, they don’t like it, you did wrong by them and you deserve what happened. You buy things they see as petty and unnecessary, how can you be trusted to manage your own money.

The first time your partner abused you they apologize and promise they will not do so again, you believe them. You tell your partner that you forgive them, and for a while it may not happen again. But one day they hit you or demean you (use any form of abuse really) again, and you wonder why you believed them the first time that they were truly sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again. Your partner apologizes again, giving another reason for why it happened and maybe they promise again that it was the last time, they care for you and it hurts them just as much as you if not more. Or they tell you that you deserved it for something you did and tell you that they were really angry and you crossed a line. Maybe you forgive them again, holding on to the belief that what they are saying is true. However they don’t stay true to their words it happens again and again. Maybe the abuse is widely spread out a year between the first two, a couple months, a month, weeks or days; but it starts becoming more frequent with even more excuses. The abuse gets worse, you start looking over your shoulder, start isolating yourself and living in fear of your partner. You are probably still holding on to the happy memories, how great they can be, how they used to be; they are still that person just troubled. Maybe you keep forgiving them, maybe you want out. Your partner may threaten you with what they will do if you tell someone, if you try to leave them, if someone finds out.. and that just adds to your fear.

I think it’s important for the victim of domestic abuse to remember the excuses made for their partners actions, the justification either of you give does not make your partners actions alright. That you do not and never did deserve how you were treated, and that it’s not your job to ‘fix’ them. That the abuse you are/were put through is not your fault and there is no reason for you to have been treated like that. That all the apologies and jestures can not make up for your partners actions. Whether you decide to stay or not should not be up to your partner. That you should not put or keep yourself in a situation that is harmful to yourself. That there is always a way out, and there is help. Remember that there is no reason to be ashamed of being abused, that you can reach out to get help to recover.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Stay Safe.
Marie Olsson xx

RESOURCES:

International Resources
http://www.hotpeachpages.net/a/countries.html
Helpline 24/7 (VictimLink) (BC, Canada)
http://www.domesticviolencebc.ca/dvbc/index.page?
1-800-563-0808
Surrey Woman’s Center: http://www.surreywomenscentre.ca/
(Surrey, BC, Canada)

Sources: http://www.woodbridgedvrt.org/pages/fiveforms.html

Lynn’s Warnings On Unhealthy Relationships

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

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

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

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

Healthy Relationships – Brian O’Connor

What makes a healthy relationship? The number one thing that makes a healthy relationship in life is communication, then there’s trust. Every relationship should have great communication between involved parties or else the relationship won’t really go anywhere; because if not you’re going to question whether something is wrong, or if something happened. In order to have great communication you need to speak up, talk about what is going on, talk about if there is something bothering you, or even talk about what you both can do to make things better for the relationship. A relationship is a two person job not one, and nobody else should be involved either. When other people get involved in a relationship it becomes to get iffy because your friends may not like the person you’re with or they tend to try to take you away from that person. I know I’ve been in a couple relationships where my friends would take me away from my girlfriend and stop me from seeing or talking to her because of how jealous they were since I was spending more time with her then them and I had some people who I thought were my friends try to hit on my girlfriend and I’m going “are you kidding me right now.” Stand up for yourself and stand up for your partner don’t let anyone walk all over them because they don’t like the person, communication is the key to a healthy relationship.

The other thing that makes a healthy relationship is trust, and I know for some people trust is a big issue now a day’s that most of us have. I for one have trust issues and don’t get me wrong some people think I’m stupid for having trust issues but what do you expect having being cheated on multiple times by people I trusted… If you’re going to be in a relationship with someone get to know them first, see how they are, try and build yourself up to talk to them about anything and everything gain their trust because it’s not given just like that its earned. Everyone in a relationship should be able to go out and do things with their friends or even have time to themselves relax and chill just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you need to be each other 24/7. Often times it’s good to have some space and just do you, go out and have a boys or girls night, go out to a sporting event or go out with the girls to the spa do something away from each other where you can still make time for others and know that you can trust them that their not going to do something else. Trust each other, compromise on something that works for both of you. Work things out together and know that if you have been with the person for a long time they’re not going to do anything to break that, have faith in them trust them and work it out.

If you’re like me that gives to people and don’t expect anything in return just know that it will cost you big time in the long run. It’s good to give in a relationship like buy a gift here and there or even go for dinner and treat your partner out, but remember don’t go overboard with it. Don’t get me wrong if I had a girl I would do whatever I can to make sure she’s happy and has what she needs but at the same time make sure you don’t go blowing all your money and stuff, guys don’t feel bad either though if your girl wants to pay a bill instead just split it or something. If your girl buys you gifts or something you like, thank her with flowers or surprise her by making dinner at home or something she loves, it’s the small things in life that goes a long way. At times do something you both love to do go for a walk, join a cooking group, or book club, or have movie nights. Do something you love to do together or chill at home watch T.V and play video games. Doing what you both enjoy will give you a strong and healthy relationship plus you can have fun while doing it, plus a relationship doesn’t always have to be so serious, you can always make time for each other. Regardless what your schedule looks like.

One thing for certain is that don’t let anybody come in between your relationship, don’t let people bring you down, you guys can still have them as friends but if they’re trying to ruin your relationship then they’re not really friends at all are they? But that’s just my opinion, I wouldn’t want anyone coming in between my relationship if I had one, because of who I’m seeing, who I see is my business no one else’s. If you love someone or like someone and are together or planning to be just remember appreciate the small things in life you have together and build on each other’s weakness learn from one another and see where your relationship takes you guys. Think of it this way where you guys are right now rather in a relationship or not just know communication and trust comes first talk to each other and don’t hide anything, it’s your relationship and no one else’s.

Much love I hope you can have that strong and healthy relationship.
Brian O’Connor

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

Howie’s take on Healthy relationships mixed with unhealthy relationships

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

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