What everybody else sees.

It’s very difficult to live with someone who appears to be something they’re not. I’ve lived my whole life with a variation of these sorts of people.

Life is hard at the moment. Take out my wonderful daughter who gives me nothing but pleasure and I’m left with many dilemmas.

I suppose I have to be cryptic but whoever they are will clearly know when I describe my current situation.

What do you do when you lose communication? When you feel like you can’t access the people you rely on, the people who are supposed to be by your side. In recent years, I have felt very much alone. My support system is crumbling. The people who were once so strong are now so distant and guarded. It happened gradually only revealing itself fully late last year. When I myself was having to deal with the trauma of giving birth seven weeks early and coping with being a mother way before I had expected. Not only that, but my precious daughter remained in hospital, trying to thrive and I had no certainty of when she would be home with her mummy.

I needed support. Someone to be there for me.

Instead I am forgotten. My struggles are forgotten and this past eight months have felt incredibly lonely.

I don’t really talk any more to anyone. Friends know what they need to know. I’m used to hiding. It’s almost like a second skin. I did it for twelve years with my father. Friends I did tell never fully grasped the extent of his abuse. People tend to look for the good in others. It’s natural but not everyone is good. My father was a very bad man. There were no excuses for his actions. They weren’t a result of anything. He was how he was because he chose to be that way.

We all have choices. Life is a series of them. I’ve made some really bad ones in my past. I chose to stand by my father, through the abuse and allowed him to treat me abhorrently. All because I longed for my father’s love. A love that never was.

Now I hold onto hope once again. It’s a bad trait. One I wish I didn’t have. One that holds me back and makes me weak.

I will always cling to hope. A hope that one day I can be strong again, find myself and be able to do it alone if I needed to.

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Popular, I want to be popular!

As the song from WICKED The Musical goes: “Popular, you’re gonna be popular!”

Now into my early thirties. I am certainly less needy when it comes to friendships. Gone is the want to be popular but that is just me. That is not to say I am not witness to grown women desperate for the title of ‘Little Miss Popular’. In fact I am witness to it right now. A small cohort is forming before me. It doesn’t seem to matter what age you are. Twenties, thirties, even sixties. My mother has seen it happen to the people around her within the last ten years and even recently many of her friendship dynamics have changed.

Why the need to be liked by everyone?

Yes. I am one who doesn’t enjoy being disliked but I am realistic. I am not everyone’s cup of tea and have, within the last few years, I have certainly felt that happen. You cannot be best buds with everyone. It isn’t possible. Yet there are people out there who cannot cope with the idea of not being liked, they need to be popular.

Well what is ‘popular’?

Define it. Well the dictionary deems it as:

pop·u·lar

adjective

1.

regarded with favour, approval, or affection by people in general: a popular preacher.
The movies portray it as someone who’s fashionable, fun, attractive, confident and borderline conceited. On the other side the most popular characters seem to have the most obvious faults and problems. There is the reality.
To me being popular is a combination of the two. It is common nature to want people to like you but to what extent do you go to to get that. I cannot trust someone who longs for popularity. That person is flaky and never truly anyone’s friend. The bounce back and forth like a tennis ball, never forming honest bonds and the people (or should I say sheep) around them allow it because they are also desperate for popularity too.
  • In ‘Grease’, Sandy becomes the epitome of beautiful and popular when she changes her entire appearance. She gets the guy and the respect from her fellow females.
  • In ‘Mean Girls’, Cady pretends to be popular by adhering to their rules and essentially dumbing herself down to fit in. Eventually she begins to like the new her. Well what does that say about popularity?
  • In ‘She’s All That’, another ‘transformation’ story, Laney Boggs is a renowned geek and ugly duckling until her date’s sister transforms her into a beautiful swan. Only then is she popular.
Of course, in two of these movies, the girls come to a frank and bitter revelation by the end realising that popularity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
If only it were like that in real life eh?
   
*Courtesy of Google*

Self-indulgent Bullshit.

Luckily on WordPress there are filters. Thankfully – there are filters. Unfortunately, you may attract some haters, people that are looking to make a point, to insult and patronise. People who believe they know what counts as “abuse”, that it is as black and white as being slapped across the face. Well it isn’t. I may have not suffered physical violence. I may not have been slapped across the face. However, unless you yourself has suffered from abuse, you cannot dare to comment on what I have been through. To the rude man who decided to comment on my last post, my life, my past is just that. It is mine. If you do not agree with it then do not read it. I am not playing a victim. I do not want that label. I set out on my own journey last year and I do not have to justify it to you – a total stranger. You clearly have no idea what emotional abuse is.

My photos are only a small element of my past. I am not ungrateful for having a life. Everyone is ‘allowed’ to look back. I do not compare myself to anyone else. I am not belittling other’s abuse nor am I expecting anyone’s sympathy or “pity” as you so kindly say. Other survivors on WordPress have been incredibly supportive. They (having experienced it themselves) understand. They can see through the darkness. YOU however, will remain hidden from the light in your miserable little world, looking for someone to attack and criticise for your own personal gain.

Perhaps you have been abused yourself. I hope not. I do not wish that on anyone.

My photos are a part of my old life. My “basic human right” was to eat, not to have a cooker. Clearly that needed to be spelled out to you. Of course food is a human right and obviously there are many people in this world who cannot access that. I am not comparing myself to them. I am born and bred in the Western world. My life would always have been different to theirs abuse or no abuse.

My father had a history of abuse. He terrorised my mother for thirty years. He was a very generous man, so generous that not only did he emotionally abuse her, he battered her too! The man was clever, he learnt his lessons, he never touched me. How lucky for me (!) You are a weak human being. A troll. You do not know me yet you feel free to, behind your computer shielded from view, manipulate my words and condemn my truth. Good luck on your quest to break someone. You haven’t succeeded here.

Now tell me WordPress readers, from the rudeness of this stranger:

Am I “undermining the voices of the real victims of abuse”?

Oh and cheers for your bright and breezy comment that my life is “self-indulgent bullshit”. You really are a pleasant man.

We appreciate frankness from those who like us. Frankness from others is called insolence.
Andre Maurois

4 spiteful girls – Part 3.

was a girl I met at secondary school. Our friendship became closer when we were fourteen as before that we had a different set of friends. She and I came from similar backgrounds, we both had sisters and our families were from the same part of the world. We could laugh about the stereotypical values and characters of our relatives and relax in the thought that we weren’t alone.

Her father was controlling in some ways too. He had a constant, watchful eye over her as a teenager even though she was incredibly innocent. It was often suffocating as she just wanted to be trusted by the people she loved.

On one trip to the cinema aged fifteen to see “Jerry Maguire”, N’s parents actually followed us to check what she was watching. She had told them we were seeing “Mars Attack” – a perfectly harmless film about aliens to them. They should have checked and realised that it a satirical, political comedy that also had a 15 certificate. They just did not want N to see a film based on romance with the possibility of N seeing any nudity or sex scenes. It was ridiculous. They berated her when they discovered her lie, but what could she do? She needed to live her life.

At secondary school N and I were like sisters. We weren’t the most popular girls in our class but we both shared the ability to move from each friendship group and talk to anyone. We were friendly and likeable; rarely getting into any conflicts with other girls, something that was unheard of in a small girl’s school as a teenager. I felt a strong connection to her and our friendship eventually strengthened.

I was happy that we both continued our A-Levels at the same school too. This school was much larger and we did not share any classes. Our tight friendship became relaxed and as she built up new friendships with others, my shock revelation and discovery of my real father was hindering my chance and confidence to find new friends of my own. However, within the second year of college, I had managed to establish some different mates of my own. It felt good to meet new people. They were fun and vibrant, something completely opposite to what I had been exposed to before. They were cultured and experienced and in many ways I was in awe of them, never really feeling a true part of their lives.

N and I still caught up and gossiped about life.

She lived quite locally to me so we spent a lot of weekends together. I had always talked honestly about my father to her. She was the only person I felt I could truly be honest with. We spent hours on the phone both complaining and chatting about our parents, both exhausted and stressed by the pressures put on us.

She was my confidante for many years. All the truths and discoveries I had found out was heard by her. She was supportive, regularly building up my confidence and reassuring me that I was better than him. Our friendship was one of the most important things in my life.

At Drama School, N and I began to see less of each other. We were taking very different directions in life. I only saw her a few times in my first year. I don’t think she was very happy about that. Drama School was a release for me. It helped me to gain strength and channel my hurt and anger against my father into something much more focused and something I gained immense enjoyment from, it was an escape. I did throw myself wholeheartedly into it perhaps forsaking our tight friendship in the process. N and I began to disagree more. Our personalities were changing.

N became obsessed with appearing “trendy”. She ached to be popular, surrounding herself with countless “friends”. She loved attention and to be praised for her character. It became tiring, I did not want to constantly compliment and feed her ego. Her other friends did that. Gone were the days where we laughed on the phone till we couldn’t breathe. Phone calls in general were a rarity.

I was confused when I met her friends. They were all so different. It was like she had a contrasting set for each mood she was in. Some were pretentious and snobby like her, others down to earth and easy to talk to. Then there were the ones she went to gigs with and lived out her trendsetting life with. None of them crossed over and I was unsure of where I fitted in.

She had changed significantly as well. She was someone I no longer recognised. I was struggling to find a sense of who I was at the time. My life was moving quicker than I could keep up with and with the constant abuse at home I was straining to keep myself mentally afloat. N had what she had dreamt of: popularity. She was admired by others, climbing the social ladder and placing herself firmly at the top. There was no depth to our friendship and she slowly slipped out of my reach. I didn’t want to compete for her affection, I felt I shouldn’t have to. She was my friend to begin with.

We started to find fault in each other. I wanted her to spend time with me alone instead of parading her army of followers at every chance. She wouldn’t let them go or give me what I wanted. I was expected to fit in to her fashionable circle and bond equally with everyone. They weren’t my sort of girls. They were catty and aggressive, intimidating and bitchy. It was too much hard work when I just wanted an easy life or to grab a latte with my best friend.

There was never a moment alone together. Things were only worsening at home and all N ever talked about was music, clothes and men. I felt I could no longer speak openly when I was crying inside for support and help. She did not want to face my truths, that I was depressed and silently screaming to be heard. She brushed over any upsets changing the subject back to her own selfish life. I had become a problem to her.

Her friends mocked me too. N and I had become total opposites and they could not see why we were still in each other’s lives. She was heavily influenced by them and respected whatever they said to be true. I have no idea what kind of things they had said to her but they certainly had a negative impact.

Soon, I felt useless to her.

In August 2003, aged 21, I went on a holiday for two weeks to Corfu with her and four of her friends.

It would be the holiday from hell. A holiday that would destroy any hope of our seven year friendship lasting.

Keep reading to find out the future of our friendship.

It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly, Can never know what true friendship means.
Charles Kingsley