R A C E

Race.

Not the kind of race in which we run and see who crosses the finish line first, that’s simple; No, I’m talking about the color of our skin, the place our ancestors came from, the box we check when we’re asked about our ethnicity. Our roots, while very important, are not suppose to be all the outside world sees; our ethnicity isn’t suppose to separate us from other people or stick us in subcategories that we really don’t fit into. The year is 2016, but sometimes I feel like it is still 1916, 1816.

Why does the pigment of our skin, the religion we follow, the language we speak, the customs we participate in, or the place our families migrated from matter? Why do we still base every little thing on race. Why do we group people of the same religion in with the “bad” people who fall within the same religion, ethnicity, etc. We stereotype people based on what we think we “know”. People assume Syrian refugees are only here to harm us, or bring their war over seas, those same people assume all African American men are thugs or that all Indigenous people are all lazy drunks. We blame an entire group of people for what happened on September 11th many years ago, and we belittle an entire race of people for the way they coped with residential school trauma.

But why?

Why do we continue down this hatred paved path where we allow our ignorance to cloud our judgement and continuously blame innocent people for things that they weren’t even a part of? I don’t know, But I know it needs to stop. Something needs to change, we need to stop looking into the roots of people, at the color of their skin, or of how they decide to dress and base our judgements – because people will always judge – on the person they personally are, not who they remind us of or on who they may be related to. We need to realise that our world started out as one, whether you believe in creation untitledor evolution, we all came from the same place. We all began, every race, every ancestor,  in Pangea. Our world was one. I am one of the palest white girls I have ever known, mostly because I hate bugs and being hot so I don’t go tanning in the summer, but its also my genetics. I was born with blue eyes and dark blonde hair and so the world just sees me as a Caucasian. I like to surprise them and inform them that, yes mostly white/Caucasian/European and I haven’t had to deal with racism and (as much) hate, I am also Middle eastern, Native American, and a whole handful of other ethnicities. What I’m trying to prove is that we are not our race or the color of our skin. We are not our religion, we are not the language we speak or the god we pray to, we are not the same as the bad people who share the same home land, we are all unique and beautiful and we shouldn’t fear being who we are or be procescuted for what our ancestors did before we were even a thought in our parents minds; we are all one.

I realize that most people don’t see it that way, or perhaps I’m generalizing as well, but I have met more people who judge others by what happened in the past or by what they look like. I’m not going to sit here and act like I haven’t been that kind of person, I can’t say I never placed a certain religion, race or type of people in one group based on what the media reports or because of one bad person. But ive realized that no one deserves to be judged based on what we don’t know or understand or because of their skin tone. I guess once the roles are reversed and you get a taste of how much it hurts you change.

I’m not perfect and I know that, I use to fear middle eastern people and judge East Asian families based on their ability to build dream homes – which in reality was just my jealousy – but I also judged my primary race. I use to speak down on catholic people because of Residential schools. I would judge Europeans for taking land that wasn’t available to be “claimed”, for enslaving other races, for their ignorance and holy-er than thou attitudes. I was always trying to cope with the fact that my primary ethnicity, my ancestors, hurt – and continue to hurt – so many people in so many ways and in my own way make up for their mistakes.  But when I fell in love with a boy from another ethnicity he only saw me as a white girl. He knew who I was inside, he knew how much I hated the fact that Europeans caused so much pain to other races, he knew I wasn’t the same and yet he grouped me into that category and used it against me. I let him. I won’t put it all on him because I was already struggling with it. I allowed him to stay close to me because I thought he would change his mind one day, if he saw how much I loved him, how much I hated my own “kind”. It never worked, it just allowed the wound to fester and cause irreversible pain.

That pain changed me. Every time I see or hear someone judging someone based on what they looked like on the outside I remember the pain I felt. I put myself in their shoes and I understand; I empathize, I can’t understand the depths of the pain people feel when they love with the racism daily, but I can empathize, And it kills me. It kills me to know that people deal with this daily.

I wish one day we’ll be one again; but I think we all know that won’t happen anytime soon…

Perspective

If you change the way YOU look at things, The things you look at change.

– Unknown

I have written about this before, how I have never really been the type of person who was overly social or keen on meeting people. I was always happy – er, content, with my small group of “friends”. I perceived the people outside of my group as people who wanted to hurt me, or to belittle me; only to find out along the way that the people in “my corner” were the ones who were truly out to hurt, embarrass and belittle me.

I wish I had known earlier the beauty in the world. The beauty that each and every person can bring into it and into my life. I was always so concerned with being a certain way, or not socializing with other people because my “friends” didn’t like them, or thought they were lame, or because the year that we were born weren’t the same. I was naïve in the ways of the world, the real world, and I am grateful for everything and every being that got me this far in life because without them, without the little things that helped me seek help  or face up to the demons that still hide in the corners of my soul and scream at me to be weary of strangers, I wouldn’t of been able to meet the people I know now. Working in retail has taught me a lot, mostly that we cant always judge a person by what we think we know about them. I use to look at someone and judge them based on what they looked like and write them off as weird, or snobby, or some other adjective that didn’t describe their true selves. From co-workers, like one of my most treasured of friends Stephanie, to regulars I can talk to for hours I have been reminded of the beauty and goodness in the world that my pain and past blinded me from. I have had the opportunity to work with people who have opened my eyes in ways I never knew possible. Who changed my opinions of people, who’ve shown me that no matter their nationality or religion there are good and bad people. That we all have something that changed us, some of us have gone through unspeakable things and still see the beauty in the world; those people are my heros.

But that’s not the point I’m trying to get at.

I have looked at men and judged them based on the few unsavory characters I have allowed into my life and head. I judge people I don’t know based on the people I know, and the things men have said to me in regards to women. I allow the things that others have done blind me from realizing that just because I have been hurt in the arms of many men not all men are the same. I fail to recognize effort, I allow my assumptions to cause problems, and I throw away good things before they even get the chance to become anything. My perspective of men are that they are all the same, all liars and cheaters who drink to much and proclaim their love to girls who take it too seriously. That they make bets and joke about women, that men aren’t concerned with building anything real anymore. I fear men, I fear their touch, I fear allowing them into my life because trusting men has caused me more anxiety and emotional distress then I’d like to admit. But this is also hurting me. The loneliness that comes hand in hand with trust issues is enough to make anyone go crazy. Its human nature to want to be close to someone, it has been scientifically proven that hugging or being close to someone you love and trust can lower anxiety and increase oxytocin, and because I am fearful of being close to anyone my mental well being is being significantly impacted. But I still, after 12 years, have no idea how to move on from my past.

There’s this girl I work with, she’s a refugee of two different wars. She was born in Iraq to a family who are Christian and from the tiny amount of information she’s told me life was far from easy. She told me that because her family was Christian her father received death threats from people who followed the other religion almost daily. I wanted to cry for her, for all the pain that she must have went through. She told me they fled to Syria in hopes that they would be able to live a safer life; but it wasn’t. She told me that she wasn’t aloud to go to school because her parents feared that she would get hurt, that she would be somewhere and it would be bombed. They waited for 5 years before north America would accept their family as refugees and on the day they were suppose to leave the air port was bombed. She’s only 22 and she has witnessed so much death and trauma and yet she is still happy, and smiling and still believes in god and the goodness in the world. I wish I had her will to live and her disposition.

I think I really need to buckle down and work on myself, and the things insecurities I have so I can move on with life.

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That night..

Living through a traumatic or stressful experience hits people in different ways, we may suppress our feelings, we may deal with them and heal properly, or we may break.

[Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault]

I’ve talked about it a lot, wrote endless posts about ryan and what he did to me; but I’ve never really addressed the toll it took on me emotionally, physically and psychologically. When I was sexually assaulted I was thrown into a whirlwind of emotions. Not just because of what happened either.

I was 16, its been ten years and I haven’t been able to form a meaningful relationship since the night I lost sight of who I was. Beyond the crippling feeling associated with being assaulted, I hurled myself into the dark hole that has become my life. I thought that because my “friends” didn’t believe me, including the one person who was lying in that bed with me, no one would. My mom would say I was just drunk and because he was native people would assume that I asked for it, or perhaps that I lead him on. Those thoughts often run through my mind, maybe I did lead him on, but whether I lead him on or not I said no. I pushed his hands away and I said no. I wanted to sleep, that’s all and so I was the only one who convinced him to get out of the bed my “friend” and I were sleeping in, while two grown men watched on. I was the one who got him to the couch and then ran to the bedroom to lock the door. I was alone from that night on.

I suppressed myself, I suppressed the memories of that night as much as I could. I tried with all my energy to ignore the pounding in my head and the triggers and memories that enclosed around me. Until I couldn’t take it anymore, until the walls around me began to close in and I avoided people and places that he knew and went to. I avoided the world. I lived in a make believe world on the internet, where I could pretend I was happy, full of life and unharmed. I flirted and engaged with men on the internet, I took pictures that showed a side of me that wasn’t really there. I did not feel sexual, I did not feel like a normal 17 year old, or 18, or frankly today an almost 26 year old. I lost all need for intimacy and for sex, I began feeling as though I was broken, that he had turned off a switch most humans (and dolphins) have. It was hard enough when I was just living with the fact that my ex boyfriend came out after I lost my virginity to him but now I was broken goods, I was used and abused and afraid to tell anyone. I couldn’t tell my friends that the reason I dropped out of school and couldn’t come back was because being in that school, the school his picture hung on the wall of, was more difficult then I imagined. And I couldn’t explain to them why, at times, I was unreachable. Why I went months and years before I would work up the courage to see them again. They did not know me, this me, and I didn’t give them the chance to. I hid away so much that even my mom, dad and sister rarely saw me for more than 10 minutes. I stayed in my dark room for days, with my laptop and my fake smile photos and slept all day. I often thought about ending it all, it would be easier, it would be peaceful and I would be free. I would be free. Over the span of 6 years I watched as the world turned and aged around me and I felt as though I was trapped in the same place and time I was shortly after that night. I lived in a constant state of fear, fearful of being touched, being within two feet of a male. I was fearful of someone seeing it in my eyes that my world had gone black. I began to lash out in anger, I banged on doors trying to break them down, I told my pregnant sister I was gonna kick her in the stomach, I resented the world. I sat alone in my room and saw pictures and videos of other people living life, having babies, falling in love and I hated them all. I hated the fact that because I didn’t know how to heal, I didn’t have the courage to face what had happened that night, I wasn’t able to move on. I wasn’t able to fall in love, or trust someone. I felt stripped of the one thing all these girls were taking advantage of – being a mother. I can’t proclaim that it was only his touch made me this way, because there are girls and guys out there that have been sexually assaulted who have sex more, have kids from different dads, but my own self hatred over what I allowed to happen that night, the fact that I didn’t trust anyone to talk about it, I allowed his memories and his touch eat me alive and change the person I was suppose to become.

I realise now that the sexual assault was the first of many things I couldn’t heal from.

I didn’t know how to be happy, or how to move on from things, I still don’t. I didn’t know how to put my anger and pain aside to be happy for my sister and my friends when they had their first bundle of joys. I wasn’t able to put aside my selfish emotions long enough to be genuinely happy for anyone. I lost sight of my own health and I gained weight I still can’t lose. I hated myself more with everyday that passed, every pound I gained, every night I laid in bed and visions of that night circled in my mind. I just assumed I was depressed. I assumed a lot of things, okay I assume a lot of things. It hasn’t changed. Nothing has changed. I am still that 16 year old girl who was to scared to do anything about the night I was ruined. I speak about it, but I’ve never confronted the people that were involved, I suppressed my voice on subjects that needed to be expressed in a hopes that I would never be put in the position where I wouldn’t be believed – because I never told people my thoughts, my opinions, I never expressed my voice. I allowed the boy who molested me add me on facebook, and while he had no idea how broken I had become with every message he sent me asking me to hang out, I marinated in the pain. With every asd.pngmessage the pain sunk deeper into me, with every “wanna grab a coffee” the memories and smells and feelings rushed back to me. I couldn’t move, I cried, I froze, I wanted to scream but had no way of explaining it to my mom had she heard. I cut myself hoping it would stop, but he still continued to message me. I finally blocked him from ever messaging me again, in hopes that if I was not readily available he could not make his way into my life. But I was wrong I was wrong to think that just because I was able to block him on social media I was blocking him from my life. He started messaging me on any form of social media or dating sites (which I made in hopes of finding a person who would help me heal) reopening a healing wound. He referred to that night as a little mistake or something he didn’t remember and my entire body shook in anger, in fear, in realizing that he will never admit to being or doing wrong. And I know that I must forgive someone who will never apologize and I must grow from this experience but with every minute that goes by, and every memory that resurfaces I lose hope and manifest in this anger and pain.

People have often asked and wondered why losing Jayda was so much more traumatic for me than losing my dad, and I tell them because she was always here. I tend to leave out that she was my comfort, she calmed me down and kissed(licked) away my tears. I would snuggle up with her and stroke her soft fur and it felt safe. I felt like no one and nothing could hurt me in that moment. That’s why it hurts so much. I am now without the only thing that kept me alive in the darkest days. I stayed alive because I didn’t want Jayda to be alone, I am still here because of her; and I failed to keep her here. But that’s a whole other story. I guess it was the fact that she would lay with me and I had someone who always wanted to be next to me, even to the point that she would sleep inside a sweater or zip up jacket. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss having someone close to me, and I think that is the worst part of all of this. The fact that being physically and emotionally close to someone scares me beyond belief now. I use to love to be close to people, to hug my friends, to interlock arms while we walked anywhere, hug people, be near people; and now the only person I get that close to are my nephews and sometimes my mom. I miss the feeling of a strong, steady arm holding me, that sense of security and love. Now if an arm goes near me I flinch in remembrance of that night. I forget what its like to look into the eyes of a man and feel love, and the gentle touch of a hand while watching a movie or driving. I miss being able to feel calm in the presence of a man. I miss being kissed, I miss the rush that goes with new love, and those feelings that could almost make you sick. I miss love.

I know I need to face the people and things that hurt me, I know I need to stop living in the past and suppressing who I am, but knowing and doing are two drastically different things and I don’t know how to fix the way my brain has adapted to my trauma. I don’t know how to fix the scar the molestation left on my soul, or how to love another man when I’ve always been hurt.

***

Creator,

I pray to you in hopes that you can lead me towards the path of healing. That one day I will be free of the pain that started in the hands of a boy who was lost. I pray for the strength to forgive him for his wrong doings, to move on from the darkness of my past, and to grow into someone who perceivers through the pain.

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Days like today..

Its days like today that make me wonder why I still try to be or do anything, why I am still alive. Its days like today where I am unable to see the good in the world, to see the light at
14358759_557978631058165_4162404389811629166_n the end of the dark tunnel that has become my life. I know its such a drastic statement to make – “why I’m still alive” but I have accomplished nothing, I have done nothing and I feel like nothing. I am 26 years old in less then 2 weeks and the idea of being so old with nothing to show for it depresses me more than I ever thought possible.

I’m not suppose to still be like this, I went to the doctor, I got help. But it hasn’t helped.. nothing seems to “fix” me.

I’m told I should learn to forgive the people who hurt me in the past.. to move on from it. I hold a lot in, so many grudges, hatred for people who probably aren’t even aware that they matter that much in my life. People who have hurt me in ways I didn’t know was possible and in a way took away my ability to move on from the things that are holding me back. But its hard to forgive people and situations when you have had no closure, no opportunity to change who or what you are. Its hard to forgive people when you cant forgive yourself.

I am my own worst enemy.

I have done so many things in the past that I find unforgivable, so many things that I proclaim to hate are things I do or have done as well. I allow myself to become stuck in places and situations that are not helpful to anyone. I avoid things I should confess to or face. My entire life is a series of unfortunate events I put myself in. And maybe that’s it.. Maybe I am unable to move on not because of the things people did to me, but what I did to myself. I’ve allowed myself to be the victim of peoples torment, the quiet friend who does what you say, the push over, the one that’s afraid. I allowed situations that weren’t that significant to my life impact my life severely. I’ve allowed insignificant people to have the power to control my moods, my actions and I’ve allowed a certain person’s actions strip me of everything I’ve always wanted. I’ve allowed people to treat me the way they have because I hated myself so much that they’re actions and words proved what I already felt. 

I have no problem forgiving other people, I’ve even gone as far as accepting the guy who molested me’s friend request on social media – but that was before the weight of my self hatred crashed down around me and I felt the need to blame anyone else but me. I have forgiven and remained friends with the only guy I truly ever loved and imagined having a family with after B. I have forgiven old friends, time and time again, for things no one else would put up with. I have dug this hole around me, I have buried myself so deep that the only way I can move on from anything is to forgive myself for all the things I did, or didn’t, do.

But I haven’t learnt how to forgive myself, how to move on from the things that I regret and wish I could change. I don’t know how to make peace with my past decisions because through it all it has brought me no where, and nothing. I can’t proclaim that my past was just a lesson learnt, or that if it wasn’t for this or that I wouldn’t be where I am; because I know if it wasn’t for the things that haunt me at night I probably would be further into living, more alive then I am now. I know that without the things that are haunting me, the things that are eating me alive I could be happy. My past has done nothing but tear me apart, shown me who I’m not, what I’m not. My past made me untrusting and unwilling to let down my guard for anyone. My past lead me down the road of depression, of self loathing, of being 26 still living with my mom and working a shitty part time retail job, with no boyfriend and no kids and nothing of any substance.

There are days, like today, where I wish I could forgive myself and move on.

 

 


 

 

 

Sometimes, well… Okay most of the time I suppose, I wish I could turn back time.

I wish I could go back to being 14 and change my entire life, I wish I had been smarter, tried harder and maybe move slower. I wish I had been more open and honest with my mom at the time, but I was fed such horror stories about how “mean” she was to my sister that I feared she’d be mad at me for my mistakes.

***

I’m getting so tired – both emotionally and physically – of being so sad, so stuck in the img_7885past, so unable to move forward, so insecure and unable to be a “normal” almost 26 year old. I’m so tired of being alone. Its human nature to crave closeness, to want to be around someone. Cuddling helps soothe anxiety and can actually help fight depression – basically the needs we had when we were infants are the same as what we need and crave now, but this world is so scared to admit that. Myself included.

When did we become so unhuman, so bot like? Why do we glamorize and promote sexuality but fear admitting that we need a hug or to be close to someone. I don’t understand why and how we became so unable to express love the way generations before us did. I don’t get it. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the ways of this world though.

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If, you were secure with yourself you would know your worth; you would know what you stood for.

I just wish that angels and fairy godmothers were real, i wish someone would tell me what to do and where to do it and how to be the person i was born to be. I want someone who will tell me to stop living in the past, who will show me that life has so much to offer and I am wasting a luxury many people were stripped of.

And yes I know that my life is mine to make the mistakes and choices for, and that sadlyimg_7881 its a dog eat dog world- or perhaps i should say an insect eat insect world because we are nothing more then tiny insects fighting over that crumb of cake – or promotion and hours at work. But I just wish i had someone to bounce ideas off of, someone who will help me understand who i am suppose to be, someone to guide me in the right path. Someone to show me where i am meant to be, because i know that this can’t be where I am meant to stay. I am not meant to live in a city that has the highest overdose rate of drugs laced with Fentanyl or a city where theres more and more addicts living on the street and the age in which they are injects, snorting and smoking drugs is dropping to an alarmingly low one. I cant see how my future could be tied to the walls of this prison of underaged drug addicts, drug dealing migrants and white trash people. I am not that person, i have not fought my entire life to be grouped into this disgusting cluster of human waste my city has turned into.

And yes, I know I am single and only 25 and I could leave this place but when you barely make enough money to pay bills, saving money to leave is almost impossible.

Having said that, however, I know i need to stop making excuses. I need to start living for myself and not worry as much about my family, as hard as that may be. I think about img_7838killing myself almost daily because of the bad memories and sorrow this house, city, place is surrounded in and living this way isn’t productive or healthy for anyone. I know that if i dont get out of this city soon, my sorrow and pain will only be felt by the people in my life, because I will end up ending mine. That I will turn into the kind of person I hate just to escape the feeling of failure I wake up to everyday; to numb the hate in my soul. I need to stop living in the city I lost my ability to trust in. I know running away isn’t the answer, that my memories will always be with me but I can’t help but think that leaving will help quiet the demons inside me.

And yes I know I’ve been singing the same tune – talking about leaving – for.. Well forever it seems. But I’m at the point in my life where I am not able to find any real reason to stay. After loosing Jayda I felt like my entire world was crumbling around me and I realized that when push comes to shove no one is 100% here for me, so why should I always make myself readily available to people who may share the same blood as me but cares very little about my well being. Who may claim they love me but their actions show otherwise, and who calls me a friend but never acts like one. I have always been there for people, to listen to their troubles, to provide comfort. I would stay up all night for people, bend backwards for people only to be belittled and I would allow people to treat me like I was stupid or wrong, even when I knew I wasn’t. I was denied the opportunity to graduate high school because my parents, who I love deeply, decided that moving to a house rather then a basement suite was more important then keeping me in my school for the last two years. While I understand why they made this decision, they didn’t put my needs before their wants. It sometimes feels like my needs and wants don’t matter.

So I need to make me matter, I need to be selfish and make myself a priority.

But why does that seem so hard?

Dear Future Love

A million moments ago I believed that I would meet you and life would be wonderful, that life would be magical. That I would see you and my heart would beat 10 times faster and we’d fall in love in a way that wouldn’t make us question each other. But as life proceeded and my heart was broken and left jagged, my outlook on the possibility of forever and on love changed to the point where I no longer know if I’d even allow my heart or self to become vulnerable enough to let you in. The stone walls surrounding my heart have been there for so long I haven’t been able to let anyone in – or out for that matter. There’s been many who have begun to break down the layers of stone, but I push them away before they can get close enough and I hope that I haven’t pushed you out already.

I want to tell you all about my life but, too many people before you have used my demons against me. I want to give you the chance to prove to me that your different from the rest but I’m resistant to it. I pull every time someone tries to push, I push when people pull. I am my own worse nightmare, my own enemy. I apologize that you somehow got caught up in my tornado, the emotional break downs and my inability to be completely yours is my own baggage and you didn’t sign up for this nightmare. I’m sorry that I introduced you to my nightmares and the dark parts of my soul, probably before you were ready.

But at the same time I want to thank you, in order for you to become a part of me you must of withstood the storm, you must of pull harder then I pushed and you must of held on to me tight enough during the storm. I want to thank you for understanding that I have had a world of pain before I met you, that I lost that sparkle in my eyes long ago. I’m thankful that you are there to hold my hand through all those tough nights that I miss my dad, my grandma, my dog or those nights where my anxiety is telling me that your gonna leave me. I’m grateful to you because I know I am a handful, I do not trust easily and my fear of being touch is hard on everyone. I’m forever in debt to you for showing me that being close to someone, being intimate with the right person can be magical and make you feel better – not dirty or forceful. Thank you for loving me for who I am, thank you for not using what I’m not as a reason that I am not worthy of you. Thank you for allowing me to finally break down those walls and know that love still exists in small parts of this disgusting world. 

I love you, and I can’t wait to meet you.