Proof of Love.

Showering of gifts

filter on through 

proving your love

in ridiculous ways

Drenched in luxury

soaked in hurt

proving your love

means no control

Downpours of decadence

wash over me

proving your love

showing your power

Floods of extravagance

fearing your rule

proving your love

wasted on me

Tsunami of treats

backed into corners

proving your love

cannot be tempted

Submerged in gluttony

a callous mistake

proving your love

proving my hate.

 

Street Harassment

Street Harassment

A friend shared this link on Facebook and of course, relating to my most recent post, it resonated with me. Why should women stand for street “harassment”? This link from The Guardian On-line, highlights that very topic.

I have my strategies as so many other women do to feel safe. I often put headphones in my ears but switch my music off. That way, I look preoccupied but I’m totally aware. If I need to find safety or somewhere public to wait – I can. To them, I look unaware and an easy target. For me, I’m completely on guard.

How bizarre that I see two articles (including my own) in one night on this very subject. It just emphasises how current and common this topic is right now.

It’s quite sad that we are living in the 21st century and times still remain so backward.

A Very Different World.

I want to reblog this piece as it is such a provocative film. As I blogged quite late yesterday, it seemed to go a little unnoticed. This film about a world of female sexual predators, switches an already taboo subject on it’s head. Please take a look. Sadly, the director received many abusive messages (predominately from angry men), lets show our support. Ros x

freefromhim

I do not normally blog past 7pm (UK time) but something compelled me to add this quick post. Excuse me for not posting another poem, I will add two more tomorrow. This seems far more important. After finishing my bath and drying off whilst reading my favourite magazine “Look”, I came across an article about a YouTube video that has had over 5 million hits. I needed to check it out immediately.

Oppressed Majority is a powerful and inspiring short film. Directed by Eleanore Pourriat, it portrays a world of predominately women. A world where women are the ‘superior’ gender. It flips around the culture women these days are so sadly objected to. For some women, sexism is a daily battle. To see a man be subjected to it feels wrong. Yet it is accepted to treat a woman in the same way.

I can think of many times where…

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The cost of kindness.

I sometimes forget all the things that are free in this world. Kindness is one of them. After being sent a link on Facebook, (35 pictures to prove there is some good in this world) it made me think about how easy it is to take such a basic emotion for granted.

When living with my abuser, kindness was almost forbidden – certainly on his part and especially towards me. His exterior often portrayed a kind and generous man but behind closed doors was a different matter. I ached for an ounce of kindness from him. I wanted him to be gentle and thoughtful with me, to be considerate of my feelings and character. I longed for him to empathise with me and have compassion. These are characteristics that he would have certainly classed himself as having as he did not see himself as ever being without these traits. Many would agree that my father was a thoughtful man but they only saw what he wanted them to.

I will never forget this memory.

One summer evening after a shopping trip, my father was driving us home. It had been a bad visit to the supermarket and we had spent the majority of the journey arguing in the car as we drove back. It was a stupid and dangerous thing to partake in. Arguing while he was driving was my worst place to fight as I never could trust what kind of risks he would take. He was happy to risk our lives and leave me fearing for my life. I cannot remember the subject of our row only that he was attempting to drill in his point. It wasn’t so much of a two way argument; more of a barrage of anger from his end. I had done the unthinkable and spoken back to him. His questions were NOT to be answered. Silly me for forgetting.

I began to feel claustrophobic and tried to avert my eyes from his powerful gaze. Even as he drove he was still finding a way to bury his burning glare into my soul. As my eyes darted from window to window, something caught a hold of my attention. The car slowly pulled up to a bit of traffic as I focussed in on a man lying face down on the ground at a bus stop ahead of us. The day was fading into night and the sunlight had now disappeared into the distance. My father was still continuing his tirade at me but by now, my concentration was fully placed on the stranger.

As we slowly approached the man, I dared to interrupt my father. I could feel his shock and momentary build up of rage. Once again, I interrupted his flow and as I was too frightened to speak in fear of him screaming, I just pointed. I pointed to the lonely man lying face down on the floor.

“Ignore it,” my abuser muttered as he keep his eyes ahead of him.

His comment immediately broke my gaze.

“What?”

“Ignore. It.” He repeated defiantly.

I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t fathom his own ignorance. I was horrified.

“There’s a man over there. Pull over.”

“Did you not hear me the first time Babitago?! IGNORE IT!” He shouted violently and slammed his hands on the wheel.

I lost it.

I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I was not that kind of a person.

“He could be dead!” I screamed. “Pull over! We need to call an ambulance!”

“You are a insolent moron! Evil! Disgusting! What is wrong with you? You have no respect for me!”

“This isn’t about you!”

My final comment was enough for my father to release his fury. He let out an almighty roar and I practically jumped out of my seat. The traffic had subsided and he gradually began to pick up speed. I had unleashed his inner monster and it was not about to go into hiding. I turned to see the stranger still on the ground. His lifeless body waited to be found yet no one stopped to help. I wanted to show some kindness, to reach out, to help in some way but the demon beside me was preventing it. He had total control and even when we returned home he made it very clear that I was not to follow through with my plans. Even suggesting anonymously ringing for an ambulance was useless. He wanted nothing to do with it. To him, it was a problem and someone else’s for that matter. That man could have been dying and it did not matter.

I was subjected to an hours worth of abuse and insult when we were hidden behind closed doors. My father reprimanded my concern instead of praising my worry.

I was ashamed to be his daughter.

I never knew what happened to that man.

Last night in hospital.

One week into the new year and I’ve already managed to gain a trip to the hospital via ambulance yesterday! Not what I was expecting for a Tuesday afternoon. I am off work today under the advice of the paramedics and doctors. A painful and poorly two weeks have passed where it was clear that either I was becoming ill or that I was patently run down. I have been having mild asthma attacks over the holiday but nothing so worrying that a doctor would be needed. However, since Sunday and after two nights without sleep, it was obvious that something was not quite right. 

Yesterday at work, around lunchtime, I noticed my chest had tightened so much that even standing up from my seat felt like a chore. My face had become slightly bloated and most frighteningly, the Asthma medication that I use to relieve any pain was not working. There was no relief. 

I left work early and made my way home. I called my mother on my way. It is safer to not be alone in these circumstances. Luckily, she was there and waited for my arrival. As soon as I entered the front door, my mother was alarmed. To her, I looked awful. I was finding it hard to string a full sentence together. She knew what to do. The doctors’ surgery wouldn’t give us an early appointment and in all honesty, I felt like I had to convince them of how ill I actually was. Not something you should have to go through when you can barely breathe. My mum called an Ambulance. It was too big of a risk to leave it.

They came immediately and quickly put me at ease. 

The paramedics were angels. They are amazing people who probably aren’t acknowledged enough for the job they do. With an oxygen tank beside me and a mask over my mouth, the medication quickly soothed my aching and wheezy chest. I felt calmer too as the paramedics joked with me. My chest opened up and I began to feel slightly normal again.

We all take breathing for granted. Such a basic thing we do day to day. Yet without the ability to breathe, life would not exist. Many people do not understand that Asthma is a life-threatening condition. The paramedic described it well. Imagine breathing underwater: no mask, no oxygen, just you, stuck underwater for hours and struggling to breathe, struggling to get your head above water. That is what it feels like inside an Asthma sufferer’s body during an attack. It is fiercely dangerous, and although we may look fine, we are not necessarily okay. Believe us when we say something is wrong. Some of the deadliest diseases and conditions are ones that lie silently and hide themselves well.

I was taken to hospital to be checked over. After four hours, my ordeal was over and I was welcomed home by my worried husband. My chest remains tight today. I have a dry cough that ends with a melodic wheeze. It is still difficult to breathe hence my choice to listen to the professionals and stay at home today. Hopefully, with the help of antibiotics, it’ll sort itself out by tonight. 

I wake up every day and I think, ‘I’m breathing! It’s a good day.’
Eve Ensler 

Boxing Day revelations.

I mentioned in my last post that my mother had seemed out of sorts on Christmas day and that on Boxing day, her reasons were very much revealed.

It was what I had predicted.

A few days before Christmas, my mother received an envelope in the post. The label had been printed on so it was not clear who it was from. My mother however, instantly knew. I had no idea this envelope had arrived. My mother had kept it out of my sight. I hate secrets so was frustrated to find out she had deliberately hidden it from me. I understand why though. It would’ve played on my mind all Christmas if she had revealed it earlier.

On Boxing Day as my mother chatted about how my she missed her sister’s daughter’s child that she had spent so much time with in India, I began talking about my nephew – my sister’s son and how much I miss him. Memories filled my mind, memories of him as a baby, drooling and smiling at me. He was beautiful. He was kept from me and I have barely seen him in the last four years. My sister has taken away that basic right and for no clear reason. Her anger and hatred for my mother four years ago grew into immense anger and hatred for me. I was getting closer to Ma. I was trying to get as far away from my father. She was always my mother too. Why I had to “compete” for her affection I’ll never know. A mother’s love should be unconditional. As should a father. But my father held conditions on his love. Conditions and expectations that I could never reach. Only one person met his expectations – my sister.

“Something came you know,” uttered my mother as she listened to me reminisce.

My heart dropped. I understood immediately what she meant.

“Well let me see it,” I needed to see it.

She brought out the envelope and handed it to me explaining that it arrived a few days back. I was horrified that this had been a secret. That she kept it private. I no longer want to be kept in the dark, to be the last person to discover shocks and be told that I have to accept them.

As I opened it, a card fell out. Within that card lay several photos of my nephew and the niece I have only ever seen once (at my father’s hospital bed where my sister told him that her daughter “does not go to strangers” as he handed my niece to me). I couldn’t believe my eyes at how much he had grown. It was beautiful and devastating at the same time. I tried not to let my emotion show. As I looked at the card I saw my sister’s handwriting. Her words were affectionate towards my mother. To a stranger’s eyes you would believe that this mother and daughter had a lovely relationship; close even. That of course is not the case. My mother and sister are strangers too. My sister estranged herself four years ago from my mother. She sent an appalling letter documenting lies about her. Lies that my mother accepted.

Was it an olive branch? Was she reaching out? Maybe. I won’t be too negative. Perhaps she genuinely wants her mother back in her life. There is no way that I would stand in the way of that but why be so distant and ignore her for the past four years. At my father’s funeral last year, my sister blanked my mother. Her husband ignored the both of us. That is not the behaviour of a person who wants to make amends.

I am suspicious. I have every right to be.

I have warned my mother that I cannot go through it all again. In 2004, at the end of the year my sister got married, something changed in her. Anger consumed her and it became increasingly difficult to say the right thing around her. I especially grated on her. She will forever look at me as a teenager. A view that is distorted. That opinion will never change. She holds no respect for me as an adult or a woman. The few years that followed were an emotional nightmare. My mother attempted to bend and bow to my sister’s commands but she never met her expectations. Sounds familiar right? So my sister eventually cut her out of her life and within a year or so, she had walked straight back into my abuser’s life.

My father’s prodigal daughter had returned.

She is my mother’s prodigal daughter too. I worry and fear for the future. I can never match their relationship. I have no longing to. Their relationship was unhealthy and suffocating. I do not want that to happen to our relationship.

I had hoped 2014 would be a new start. Where the past would not return and I could move forward.

Now I’m not so sure.

Pregnancy pressures.

David and I have been married now for 18 months. We made a conscious decision that we would try to enjoy a bit of our life together before bringing in a new life to share ours with. These last 18 months however have not been the most enjoyable and life has thrown almost every stress our way. We are under pressure and exhausted. Career, home and family have all played their part in this. The thought of a baby joining this stress is unheard of to me. 

My husband is broody. People all around us seem to be falling pregnant. His family and friends are having the kind of experiences he longs for. The only problem is that he has a wife who wants to wait. I’m not saying forever. I just want to feel right. Not in circumstance, but in myself. I’m sure I’ll know when that will be. 

I’ve always wanted children. I love them, hell, I even work with them! However, surprisingly, in the last few years I have even questioned whether or not I could see myself as a mother. 

It’s only been 14 months since I’ve been free. I feel like I should focus on myself. Of course I get the habitual comment, “you don’t want to leave it too late!” or “it’ll be your turn next!”. Nightmare. Give me a chance! It’s quite a private subject to interrogate someone on yet people target you if you’re married and ‘childless’ with free will.

I suppose it is expected.

I just hate the pressure, it only adds to the stress and I doubt having that will help conceiving!  

“I’m really proud of you”

Are five words I have never heard from my parents. 

My father never saw anything I did as an achievement. I never made him proud. He saw me as “scum” and “fungus” so how could I ever make him proud? I tried; constantly. At home with chores, making sure I was focused and met his demanding standards, sometimes I attempted to outdo them, I rarely succeeded. Even if I did, he always found something to attack. There was always room for wrong.

I would go out of my way to cook for him, often creating exciting meals for him to try. This would only led to criticism however. 

“There isn’t enough salt in here is there?” or “Is this all you’ve made?”

I just couldn’t please him.

If I landed a good job his only comment would be, “Good”. 

‘Good’ for god’s sake, that’s all I got! 

My mother, growing up, only witnessed my sister’s achievements and my lord were there hundreds of those (!) Her achievements were flaunted and put on exhibition – mine were neglected and buried. They weren’t anything in comparison to hers. 

My mother has praised me on my ability to deal with things. Although I would class myself as sensitive and in touch with my emotions, I would not call myself emotional. My sister was and is emotional, allowing her feelings (especially negative) to control her actions although in no way would she ever describe herself as this. I tend to look at situations more calmly. I always have done. It just helps to cope.

I’ll never know if my father was proud of anything I did. Perhaps it’s better that way.

It only takes a year.

It only takes a year

just twelve months,

for you to change your mind.

With no reason I can find

It only takes that long.

It only takes that long,

just twelve months,

for your loyalty to dissipate.

For you to demonstrate,

that our friendship has gone.

Our friendship has now gone,

in just twelve months,

you are like a stranger to me.

It is what you wanted to be

in this year that has gone by.

In this year that has gone by,

in just twelve short months,

Our lives move side by side.

Yet you have just denied

me from even talking to you.

I cannot even talk to you,

these past twelve months.

Your distance is surprising,

suspicions are arising,

it’s only been one year.

It’s only been one year

just twelve little months,

and I feel like it’s been a waste,

that time can’t be erased.

That you have left me with regret.

Why leave me with regret?

In these last twelve months?

Why hurt me so easily?

Or treat me so sleazily?

You had choices at the start.

You had a choice at the start,

before these past twelve months,

if I wasn’t as you had hoped,

I think I would have coped,

without you in my life.

Your face sickens me.

Whilst flicking through my wedding album on the weekend, I came across a photo of my father with my husband. An innocent photo, a pleasant one even but nonetheless, it was one that caused an immediate reaction from me. My mother was taken aback by my display. Without control or realisation, I burst into tears, feeling sick from the image I was staring at. I instantaneously covered his face with my hand and tried to focus on something else. 

“It’s just a photo!” flew from my mother’s lips. She could not believe he was still able to provoke this emotion in me. But it was more than that to me. It was a reminder of the feelings I had on my wedding day. When I should have been thrilled and excited, I was cagey and fraught. The notion and fact that he was at my wedding completely ruined my day. He had caused so much trouble in the months leading up to it that he never should have been invited but there was many other opinions flying around and plenty of judgement targeted at me, the unkind and selfish daughter.

Looking at him just brought it all back and now, there he is, embedded in my album, etched into the page and I cannot remove him. 

Dramatic? Ridiculous?

I never expected to react that way especially to a simple photo.