Mental Health is the One True Wealth

A Princess and her Journey to Health

Category: Feminism, feminist, gender equality, equal rights, equality

Healing, at Last

Today I took my first big step towards healing. For months, for years, I’ve been fighting this mental battle with myself. My mental health is really good at times and this can last anywhere from days to months but always, that good spell comes to an end and I’m feeling very low and anxious again, without reason, cause or explanation. Last week it all finally came to a head when I was just mentally exhausted and I wanted to give up. I’ve never quit this battle with my mental health in my life so this was a terrifying experience for me. I’ve never reached that point where I’ve just thought fuck it, I’ve had enough. I was in this terrible place where I just couldn’t muster a happy thought and it scared me. I have finally reached the point in my life where I can’t keep riding these highs and lows anymore. I’m too exhausted to constantly have to got through this. So, I asked for help.

I’m officially on the waitlist for childhood abuse counselling. That phone call was the hardest, most necessary, thing I have ever done for myself. I’m so ready to be free from this suffocating feeling that has come from my silence. I’m tired of trying to cope with and understand this trauma by myself. This was never my fault and it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with that. I still haven’t grasped why this happened to me and maybe I’ll never have an answer for that.

It had become unbearable these past few months to have to work through the PTSD of these supressed memories alone. There are horrible, traumatic incidents that I’ve gone through that sometimes just surface and I have no idea what to do with them because in general, I feel over-dramatic when I think of myself as a survivor. I downplay all these things that happened to me, just so that I can function in my day to day life, at any capacity. I can’t verbalise some of the things I remember because I just cannot comprehend the evilness of some of it.

My eating disorder stemmed from these situations. I have an excellent memory and yet I haven’t a single memory of a time before I was made conscious of my weight. I had a complex about my weight at 8 years old. At 8 years old….I can’t finish that sentence. There’s unrest in my soul that I’m finally ready to deal with and I need help for that. I’m done with trying to deal with all of this alone, without the tools to do so. I’ve already given this too much of my life and I know that I can never have kids when I feel like this. I am aching to start a family, I have so much love I want to pass on, but I also have trauma that I won’t ever knowingly pass on. I’m so grateful that there is a free service out there that will help me through this.

I’m ready to start healing and living my very best life. It’s taken me so long to get here but I’m glad I finally made it.

person holding purple badge you are loved text printed

Photo by Mark Tacatani on Pexels.com

Sticks and Stones

There’s this rhyme that goes around the school yard and it goes like this, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. It means that the shitty kids on the playground can say what they want and those insults will just bounce off you. But I’m calling bullshit. Physical wounds will heal, verbal wounds seep into your system and poison your mind. Keep hearing something over and over and pretty soon you’ll start believing in it.

I grew up in a toxic environment. It’s taken me so long to openly admit that to those that are not closest to me. On a level, I was still trying to protect my abuser, but I can’t anymore. My father was a bully. His family were his victims. My whole life I’ve lived with this negative, draining presence in my life. He worms his way into every area of my life and takes the goodness out of it. For years I went through this constant onslaught of abuse. I was fat, lazy, useless. As a kid, this hurt me. I was a smart kid, I was always popular at school, I had a lot of friends. I was never bullied at school, but my bully was always waiting at home for me. When my teens started creeping in, I started taking all this stuff I was being told to heart. I was self conscious. About everything. My weight, the way I laughed, my accent for crying out loud. He pointed out everything about me, every single thing, and all of it was wrong. So I became cut off. I pretended to be someone else. My home life was miserable for the most part because I was afraid to draw attention to myself and set him off. He flipped in a second and those rages were unbearable. I was severely uncomfortable in my own home, always on edge.

It was around age 15 that this started really taking a toll. I developed an eating disorder because I thought I was fat and ugly, I suffered major anxiety, I developed depression. I was obsessive, a perfectionist. I had to have control. I had to be everything I wasn’t because the real me wasn’t good enough. I blamed my mother. We’re two completely different people. I didn’t know why she didn’t leave him. Why she didn’t protect us from him. But as I’ve gotten older I know that he manipulated her. Fed her lies and messed with her head so she couldn’t leave. He told her that all her family were tired of her, he was the only person that loved her. He’s a complete narcissist. Everything is always about him, he’s always, always, the victim. I recovered from my eating disorder 4 years ago but I still feel the effects of it. I moved away from home for almost 2 years. In that time, he couldn’t reach me. I finally found peace and happiness. I found self love. But now I’m back in my home town. He calls to my house. I hate it. But he won’t leave me alone. I don’t know how to cut him out of my life for good, because he’s so convincing. I still fall for the lies. Today is the day I call an end to it. Today I finally told him how much he hurt me. That he put me through hell, that he caused my eating disorder, my depression. I told him that he was supposed to protect me but he did the opposite, he instead was the person that put me through the most shit.

His reply was that he’s sorry I feel that way. His reply was that I’m just dramatic. His reply was essentially him dismissing my struggles. Belittling what he has done to me, worse, not even acknowledging it. All I wanted was for him to just once say sorry. He’s incapable of doing even that for me and so I’m finished. I don’t pity him. I have no more compassion left for him. I don’t hate him because that’s a waste of my energy. I simply don’t wish to acknowledge him anymore. He’s irrelevant to me. My mother took us out of that environment eventually. Now he doesn’t get to see his kids. He doesn’t get to do to my younger siblings what he did to us. My little sister needs to grow up knowing she is smart, she is beautiful and she is loved.

He tried to ingrain his beliefs in me. His beliefs about me, his racism and sexism. His intolerance, his nastiness. It didn’t work. I’m still here, a proud intersectional feminist. I am strong. This bully will not win.

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Things my future daughter should know

This post has been brewing inside of me for weeks now and an event this morning just finally triggered me to write it. So basically, I want to know what the whole deal with slut shaming is. I was scrolling through Facebook when I got up and I came across a post from a girl. This post was a rant about teenage girls she encountered while she was walking her dog yesterday. This post outlined the problems with teenagers today and it honestly bothered the hell out of me. Firstly, you are still a teenager. Stop acting so superior. And secondly, it is not okay to assume a girl is a “slut” based on how she was dressed. If she wants to wear leggings and a thong, good for her. If she wants to wear an ankle length skirt, good for her. If she wants her ass hanging out of her shorts, that is her decision and it sure as hell is not any of your business. Do you know why? I’ll tell you. That is her body. You have no say in what she does with it. She is owning her body and her rights to express herself and I’m sorry that you feel the need to shame her for that. A world in which women feel as though they are in constant competition is a sad place.

I admit that in the past, I have called other girls sluts and I really do regret that. Girls are brought up to compete with each other. We’re taught to fight other girls for the guy, to be the prettiest, to be the most popular. But I just don’t buy into it anymore. Are you really that dissatisfied with your own life that you can’t pay another woman a compliment? When you are confident and happy with yourself, maybe then you’ll get to that place where you can spread the love and appreciation for other women.

I hate the words slut and hoe. I especially hate them coming from the mouths of women. You know how hard it is out there, why are you calling out another female for doing what men do all the time? Why is it only okay if a man does it? If you want to sleep with hundreds of men, you go do it. It’s your choice. Women are constantly reprimanded for doing things men get away with. Because boys will be boys and it’s not ladylike behaviour.

Bullshit. I’m tired of it. Girls are brought up to believe that if a boy hits her, he secretly likes her. When you tell a little girl that, you’re telling her that boys express their love through violence. You’re letting her grow up to be a woman who will sit back and take a punch because deep down, he loves her really. My daughter will never think like that. If a boy hits her, she can hit him back. It won’t be unladylike. And damn right I hope she hits like a girl because that is not an insult. Girls have a power that boys can’t even comprehend. We are beings full of this strange energy and ability to do great things, it’s something a man can only hope to witness. 

Growing up, I didn’t know much about feminism. I thought it was a bunch of man-hating, bra-burning lesbians. That is what I thought feminists were. I’m embarrassed about that now. But that is just how I perceived it and how our patriarchal society would have me see it. These days, I know better. I wear makeup, I love skirts, high heels are my weakness and I am a feminist. If you’re not, you’re doing it wrong. I believe in equality between the sexes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think women should be paid the same as men and treated the same as men. I believe education should be the same for both males and females. I don’t believe in gender roles. Don’t set limitations for children, you’re stunting their growth and squashing their potential. 

If I’m ever lucky enough to give birth to a daughter there are some things I’d like her to know.

  • Don’t ever let anybody tell you you can’t do something because you’re a girl
  • You don’t need a man to make you complete, you were born with everything you need
  • If he hits you, he isn’t worth shit. Walk away from him, and if you feel it, hit him back
  • You have the potential to do anything you work for

Lastly, I’d like to share this short verse I found on tumblr :

“Don’t you dare
Shrink yourself
For someone else’s comfort-
Do not become small
For people who refuse to grow”