Em

It's my choice, just be okay with it already.

Due to my upcoming trip to Asia, I have had to have a few visits to the Doctor, for my shots etc, which I really don't enjoy doing at all, but more than that, I am totally sick of them talking about how I need to do this and that if I want to have children, because of my endometriosis etc. I patiently explain to them each time I go that it really is not a concern I have as I am not planning on having any anyway. This is apparently not the right answer.

Most of the time they think it's because I am young, and that I will change my mind in a few years, and order tests and things anyway. I am not concerned about whether or not I can get pregnant, now or in the future. I believe that if I can't for whatever reason then maybe I should look after one of the many kids in this country who are in desperate need of a good home, or just not have any at all. And I am happy with this.

Can we play?

This last weekend marked the end (finally) of the Rugby season in my village. I look forward to that every year, as I work in the local bar, and do get tired of the drunken idiots from the rugby club pinching my butt as I work and urinating on our door. On Saturday night the local rugby club had their annual prize giving at our bar as we sponsor their club. I had to work, much to my disgrace, but cash is not exactly flying into my wallet these days, so of course I agreed.

About half way through the evening, most of the wives/girlfriends of the guys at the event had drifted away from the drunken crowd of men and were leaning on the bar chatting to the four of us who were working. We were all pretty unenthusiastic about the event and it was when one of the women mentioned that it might be nice if the women who attended the damn thing were actually included and spoken to, that I asked why we don’t actually have any Women’s sports teams in our village, other than one Netball team, and why don’t we have a women’s rugby team, soccer team, cricket team, when there were so many men’s sports teams playing for our village each week. Most of the Women sitting at the bar laughed loudly and wished me good luck with that one, as most of the time we are barely allowed to stand on the sidelines let alone participate and actually play. But a few of the younger gals expressed interest in being able to play some sort of sport.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

This post comes after day of hell being super Nanny to a family, a new one, who, while I do love these kids, think their parents are great and enjoy my job, I also just cant help but shake my head at how much these kids have, how little they know about the world outside of their very nice four walls. Sometimes I have to catch myself while doing this and question whether my feelings are fair or if this is how we should all have been as children, but because my life was such a contrast to theirs I just cant seem to work out my feelings on this.

I was raised very aware of what goes on the world, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of it unfortunatly I learnt the hard way, being abused etc. But the rest was because my parents were very open with us about such things. My dad especially took us to protests, friends houses who were going through crisis and it was always explained to us what was going on, sometimes I must admit this was overwhelming and probably a bit inappropriate for the age I was at the time. But most of the time, I think it was okay, good in fact, as by the time I went to high school I was very aware of the issues in not only my community, but in many parts of the world. I guess though, that my Dad being so relaxed about me interacting with people, trusting people and trusting that I knew dangerous from safe situations a little more than I did at age 11 was really how I got hurt in the first place.

A new understanding

Today is the first day of my new course. I have decided to study to be a nurse; I have decided that New Zealand really is not the place for me. I have family here, friends here, but I miss the brand new life which I carefully sculpted, spent a year doing so, a brand new family full of people who I adore as though we all have the same blood running through our veins, a happy life in Canada. I miss my life there, so much that at times since I have been back in New Zealand, I feel as though maybe I left my voice at Vancouver airport and I don’t know how to get it back without returning.

Upon returning I also discovered something about myself which I don’t think I ever would have if I had not escaped my life here for that whole year, if I had not had that year of safety. And that is that I am capable of changing my own life no matter what or who is standing right in the middle of my path. I was a feminist before I left New Zealand, I have read the books, I had very strong feelings and thoughts and opinions on such things, but I feel that now that I have really used my own strength as a woman to stand up and say enough. Walk out on everything I had ever known because I am better than that, I really truly understand what Feminism means to me, what it is.

"Commission calls for overhaul of rape trials"

This morning I awoke to a Newspaper story that really made me want to cry with relief, as it is something that really is ahuge deal for New Zealand, and we are in desperate need of. The Law Commission of New Zealand have finally recognised that rape trials in this country are so extremly unfair and taxing on survivors that many women dont bother reporting, or following through with reports, I am one of them. The law commission has stated that how rape trials are carried out in this country are "brutalising and distressing victims, and the system must be overhauled".

I have been to counselling on and off for a while now, to more than one counsellor, all of whom have explained to me that if I was to go to trial, the process is often not worth it and moving on is the best step. So often the male sex offenders are found not guilty, especially in my case when it is a wealthy man, and the survivor comes out worse off than before. This has been a decision that has haunted me since the day I chose to make it, and to se it written on the front page that many of the senior lawyers in our country wouldnt advise women who have been raped to go to trial because of the harsh process they would have to endure and the outcome is likely to be against them, almost made me weep.

Girl's beating girl's - what's wrong here?

The latest incident in Florida, where a group of teenage girls attacked and beat a fellow class,ate and video taped it to put it on Myspace saddened me greatly. Girl's beating up other girl's. Just the thought of that really bothers me. Women physically overpowering another woman, and often, as I found out from a number of teenage girls (and boys) who work with me the fight is about a guy who both girls are interested in or something along those lines.

I never experienced girl's at my high school actually physically fighting with each other, although sadly we had a whole lot of verbal bashing and rumors going on, which really is no better.

Time is almost up

Wow it has been a while since my last post, and as much as I missed this place, it was somewhat on purpose. Coming to a new country where although we speak the same language and life is very much the same in New Zealand, life up here is something different for me, not all bad, not all good either, but I have managed to work my way into a very comfortable spot where I am, in this small town, and now suddenly Im leaving in just over a month.

A lot has happened so far in 2008 for me, and I am hoping that going home I will be able to keep the strength that I have worked hard to build up while I have been away from home. It will be a short visit home, then I am off to do some more exploring of the planet, but I much needed one. I feel like I am going home a very different person than the person who first got onto the plane to escape to Canada, I'm returning on my terms and I have made that pretty clear with the folks at home.

Understanding starts with acknowledging we exist

The older I get, the less I seem to understand about the world and life in general. At five my life was about being close to my loved ones, being outdoors as much as possible and making new friends. Now I guess I really dont understand people a whole lot at all. I dont understand why men rape and beat their wives who they once fell in love with, I dont understand why children are starving and cold on the streets when there are people out shopping who already own twenty pairs of pants, I dont understand why parents are putting their children on medications to make them behave when really they are just not wanting to parent. But what makes me so angry and so confused about is how people can see all of this happening everyday and turn away from it, understand it or not, its there in our faces and it is our responsibility to turn this all around while we still can, and people just dont want to.

Sober truths

The weekend was a whirlwind of drunk days and drunker nights, people I dont know sleeping on the floor of our apartment, someone I know even less sleeping next to me in my bed. At the time it was all a fantastic idea, who doesnt love a weekend where they can just let loose and party day and night? But come monday I was not proud of myself. I had not been sober for seventy two hours and the reality of that hit me, hard, harder than a headache and a shakey morning. I do this to myself more than I should. Its easier for me to be drunk then sober, a lot of the time, and that is something I am not proud of, but its the truth.

Catch up New Zealand

One thing I have noticed in the three weeks I have spent in Canada so far is that society here is much less forgiving of sexism than in my own home of New Zealand. The first night I arrived in Canada I managed to catch a bit of the news where a rapist had been released from prison and there was a huge crowd protesting his release so near to a school. At home it seems people are not so vocal about such things, especially when it is about the safety of women.

I always had a hard time explaining to friends over the internet who are from this area how hard it is for a woman to really be vocal about being a survivor at home. Reporting is hard in any case, but at home once you report, as a woman you are stirring up a whole lot of trouble that people dont want to know about. Especially in my case where the man was so close to my family.

A house full of memories

I am spending this week in the house I grew up in, my mothers house. We moved out of here when I was Twelve and into my step fathers house, my mother never sold this place but rented it out to a family instead. Now she wants to sell it, so here we are again. This week she is on holiday, so I am taking car of the place, and my cat, while she is away which is more than a little challenging. I am sleeping in my sisters old bedroom, as my old bedroom is the size of a closet (being the youngest and the unplanned child I lucked out on the bedroom choosing). Its odd to be back, to see the bedroom where I would come home from my fathers house and hide under that bed. Where I slept in the toy box as a little girl because I thought my teddy bears needed the warmth of the bed more than I did. This is the place where I hid as my parents fought loudly in the living room, where the police came to take away my big brother to prison, where I fell off the garage roof, while hiding up there so that I didnt have to go with the man who was abusing me who was supposed to be taking us to my fathers house.

Her decision, but not a good one

Last week at work I was faced with a big decision. A Woman, who we know well at work, who is also quite pregnant right now, came into the bar. She had obviously been drinking and she ordered some more drinks for herself and her friends who were with her from my boss.

First of all, I was pretty shocked that my boss, who has 3 children, served her the alcohol, but also that the friends who she was there with were encouraging her to drink when she is pregnant. So when she went to sit down at a table, I asked my boss what we can do about that, and why he served her when it is harming the child inside of her. He said that there is nothing we can do about it because it is her decision and we are not allowed to get involved in it.

Remembering Women

Today I got in the car in the pouring rain and sat in the drivers seat wondering where shall I go? It's the first whole day off I have had in a while and with all my friend's back at university I really was at a loss for what to do today. So I decided to drive out to the country to visit my Nana's grave to say goodbye before I leave to Canada in a few week's. I hadn't visited her there in a long time and as I drove out there I was thinking about her the whole time. And it made me think how sad it is the way we remember people. She died when I was 12 years old, after a long battle with cancer. I remember how much everyone at the funeral kept saying what a great wife and mother she was, and how nice she was, and thinking they were right, but also that they are all forgetting what an amazing Woman she was and how those things they all were saying did not do her justice.

Bra Burning Weirdo's?

I don't tend to watch a whole lot of TV most of all because I just don’t have that much time or attention for it, and most of the time when I turn it on there is something there that will trigger me so I tend to just avoid it as much as I can. But the other night while trying to wind down after work, I saw a show on TV that has been running in New Zealand for the last few weeks. It is a documentary on the difference's between the sexes, I started to pay some attention to it at the beginning but was not surprised to find that it was nothing really informative or interesting, but was mostly just the stereotypical "differences" such as women love to shop and men love to drink beer.

Taking all of the responsibility

Yesterday as I sat on the couch after work comforting my friend who was sobbing on my shoulder due to an arguement she had with her boyfriend and how she didnt know how to fix it, I started to think about the many times I have been in this situation, sometimes it was me there sobbing on someones shoulder. Most of the time it happened I found out later that the guy was just out having a beer and a good time while I was at home trying to make everything good and nice for if he came over after and I could fix the arguement. So I asked my friend why do we do this? We didn't really know the answer to that question so we blamed our parent's for 30 minutes and then we went out for a beer.

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