Em

Isolation

Somewhere over the last couple of years I earned myself the nickname "gypsy". I get it, I can't stay in one place, I like the rush of visiting a new city, standing in a crowd of a million people with the knowledge that not one of them knows anything about me, I like being invisible there, at least during the day, but then in the early hours of the morning in some run down hostel I always end up laying awake wondering how I can stop the feeling of isolation from ripping me apart. I don't get it.

Being alone has been a norm for me since I was a kid, I was always the loner in my family, and it seems to me that the more I expressed myself, and stood up for myself, the more isolated I became, some of that I cherish and some of it I hate. Feminism is one of those things, it can be isolating, it can be hard to express for fear of isolation, for me anyway. Especially in a community which supports abuse against women and pretty much encourages silence. In lots of ways I love it because it is an instant separator between me and them. People who I don't want to know or befriend or even try to convince that I have a voice in this damn community and I should be able to use it when I want to, and how I want to.

My life, My body

Just lately I have been trying to perform a whole bunch of turn around's in my life, I guess an easier way to say that is I have been reviewing my flaw's (which sounds terrible, but it has been anything but, more therapeutic than anything else). One thing that has come out of this is that I am at my best, happiest and most inspired when I am not living in New Zealand, and was at my most happiest when I moved to Canada for a whole year, even though that also involved a whole lot of regrouping and dealing with the stuff I left behind, which was not a lot of fun, but it was necessary to say the least.

This is not justice

This: http://msn.nzherald.co.nz/canterbury/news/article.cfm?l_id=121&objectid=10569808

Makes me feel completely ill. How can that be justice?? He raped little girl's, but oh he is a model prisoner so off he goes?? Our justice system sucks. I can't wait to get out of here.

Will it be different?

I have had an an odd relationship with (who once was) my best friend since we met. We met when we were like 7, because she was new at school and I was assigned to show her around and be her friend. It worked, we became inseparable. We grew up together, both of us had big issues at home, I never really told her any of mine, but she knew I had some, where she told me everything and often we would escape to the park or library and not come home for hours after dark. I lived with her for a while, with her and her boyfriend, and my boyfriend Nick who stayed with us often but didn’t actually live with us, this is where things went wrong. One of my first posts here at the AGA was about my escaping that house. I remember being so glad to leave and be safe and away from all of those people. Then I went to Canada and to Asia and decided to come back to New Zealand and go back to school, and being back in my old city lead me to meeting up with my friend again.

Given the floor

This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up in a really good mood, my mother was on the "up" last night (so I didnt have my usual monday of her crying on the floor and throwing things at me), but after about ten minutes in my first class I was feeling pretty damn down and out about living in this country. We were discussing how different people identify themselves in certain cultural groups, whether that is ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, whatever, and how we as nurses need to be aware of this in our practice. Awesome, that part is great and I understand, here was where it got a bit pear shaped for me....

I am the "Yes Girl"

I work part time in a bar, and I have worked there on and off for years now. This is mostly due to convenience but also because I really like the people who I work with (most of the time) and it fits into my school schedule as I can be at school in the day and work at night. Most of the time I just kinda turn up, do the job, listen to drunk people talk to me all night about how I am wasting my time at school and should just take the general manager’s job they keep offering me at work (I would rather be run over by a bus, I think), but sometimes I hate the place more than anywhere on earth.

Insecurity....

As a kid I was always being told that I needed to act more like a young lady and stop following my older brother into trouble all the time. I was never very interested in any of the things my older sister was into, such as wearing nice pink dresses and making tea parties in the garden, in fact I was more the kid who would ruin those by spraying her and her friends with the hose and end up in my room after a beating from either of my parents (at the time I was pretty sure that it was worth it for how funny this game was). I was pretty secure about who I was in those early years, even with the constant torments from girls at school about how I always hung out with the boys (who apparently had cooties of some description) but it was pretty evident that my family, particularly the Women in my family, were not at all okay with who I was and my behaviour was not acceptable for a young girl.

When will it be the right time?

I met a woman on a beach once in Canada, trying to sell everything she owned on that beach, laid out in the sand, everything, clothes, jewellery, even photographs. At first I was pretty intrigued by this woman, and why she was there selling all of her stuff, and being a bit of the blunt kiwi I am (so I was called by my Canadian friends); I asked her why she was there. She was leaving Vancouver to go back east, where she was originally from, to see if things had changed much there, she told us she wanted to get rid of all her stuff before she left because the last thing she needed when she was going back home was any extra baggage. My friends were still very confused, but I totally knew what she meant.

This is what they do to us

This is what drives me crazy about abuse and abusive people:

They screw up EVERY memory you have of childhood, to the point where I feel like smashing photos of myself out of frames in my house, because everytime I look at that kid I see what he did to me written all over my damn face.

They take and take and take untill your whole sense of self is so screwed up that you think thats all you can do for people, is give and give untill you realise oneday that that is all a big load of crap and that you wasted the majority of your life doing that when you could have, i don't know, LIVED?

A day in the life of Em

Blinking in the dark at 4 am, pretty typical of a Monday. Sunday is a sober day, most of the time, nice, although sleep is a constant battle. Up at 6. All the in between is a blur of torturous silence, where some may find solace I find torment in my own company.

All those hour's but somehow I am always late for school, usually due to my inability to function without caffeine and nicotine. Damn the change I saved for parking, still at home tucked in the pocket of my other jacket.

Embarrassingly late to first class, and it drags, god it drags. I hate my glasses, yet without I can never see the board, never early enough to class to sit even remotely close to the front. More blur.

Don't start

One thing I learnt from travelling is that sometimes you meet people that are just not worth getting into it with. I usually (well these days, usually :P) don't have a problem with expressing disagreement on certain issues, particularly from a feminist perspective, but I have learnt something about myself, and that is that when I am not heard or allowed to speak up it REALLY annoys me, more than it should. I know that is ignorant, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I cant help but sometimes I am just not able to see where on earth they are coming from, and my inquisitiveness is often misinterpreted as me being very rude.

Women meeting Women

Today was an interesting day, to say the least. One of my classes at school is all about learning how to communicate with each other, it's almost like group counselling for student nurses, and today was our first session for that class. My group is mostly Women; in fact out of 150 students there are only 3 men in the whole course, which means I get to hang out with a group of very cool women every day at school, which is always a plus.

So, today my small group (which is about 20 of us) piled into a little class room to learn how to communicate with each other. At first, I must admit I was prepared to dismiss the whole effing thing as lame and intended on staring blankly out of the window for the entire two hours that I was required to sit there. Apparently this was not going to be okay. And yes, I do know that that is a terrible attitude to have, but I close off very easily with any mention of sitting in a circle with strangers and sharing my feelings, my personal life, Jesus, it took me months to figure out counselling with only one other person in the room. To begin the class we all had to go around the group and tell the class what our weaknesses were in communicating with people, and much to my surprise many of the girl's there voiced that they have a much harder time communicating with Women than they do with Men upon first meeting someone.

Letting go

Today I got in touch with my counsellor again. Yes, me who is SO done with counselling finished forever and never to go back, yeah right. Apparently everyone but me was expecting this to happen.

I decided that the more I am travelling and seeing in the world, the more I realise how absolutely out of control sexual violence is. And I guess I realised that I am not the only person in the world who it happened to, and am also not the only person who feels ashamed that it takes SO much time and SO much help to rebuild some kind of normal life in the aftermath of abuse, whatever normal even means.

One night in Bangkok

Here I am once again back in New Zealand, after managing to happily avoid christmas (which I just don't do) and take off to Asia for a few months. I wish I could say I am happy to be home, but that would just be one big fat lie.

I seem to just spiral into the same old patterns whenever I am back here, which I am trying hard not to let happen this time around, but god it is hard. Some of the places I travelled to in Asia saddened me to no end at how hard it is for Women there, and how frustrating it is for many of the young Women who i spoke to during my travel's to be told that they can either get married, or sell themselves to tourists night after night, as if their whole exsistance is to satisfy men.

Face to face with my past

It's funny how a perfectly normal day can suddenly become a nightmare, but even more strange is that it wasn't even my nightmare. Although I felt it should be, it usually is, but this time it wasn't me.

Friday was a normal day, I dragged myself up in the morning, to the gym, to work, to my next work, and then to the next one. Just the usual, painful working three jobs in 24 hours kinda crappy weekday. Untill late friday evening when I was just starting to wind down and relax at work. As people were starting to leave, and I was thinking about closing up shop, when in about 10 seconds everything changed. A young Woman walked in and rang the bell at reception, as soon as I walked through the door I stopped in my tracks recognising the (oh so painfully familiar) shaking, confused, and pretty much terrified look about her. She started trying to tell me something, but couldn't get the words out, she was shaking uncontrollably and eventually she managed to tell me that she was raped by one of the other guest's. A friend of a gal she works with, who she offered to give a lift out to our hostel as he was a bit lost in our city.

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