Blog post share: “I am not offended,” by The Daily Annagram

In this post I share a blog post that I have not long started following. Her blog post is called, “I Am Not Offended” by The Daily Annagram.
While you there reading this post, which comes with a trigger warning, as it raises violence and assault, I recommend you read other blog posts from this wonderful blogger too and follow.

This post was written because of something she read, which if you visit this post, you will find out more. The particular words that have sparked this post; “mistakes,” which I can totally relate to and understand and so this post is powerfully written. As this blogger has said and I agree and I have put this short here, when someone assaults, rapes, hits someone, or threaten, you cannot say they were “mistakes.”

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Blog post share: “It isn’t just #metoo”

Having once been in a relationship where a man once thought he could have sex when he wanted, learning mum had experienced similar experiences to me after that experience I had in that relationship and discovering another ex has abused a child 10 years earlier, when I learnt last he was jailed, which questions what was I during that time? I feel I need to share this blog post I discovered today.
This blog post will take you to a blog called, “Her Patchwork Heart” and it comes with trigger warnings, as the post discusses sexual assault many times. As hard as it is to read and hear about stories like this, it is important that we hear, because when we have been abused some way, we are scared to talk about it because we wonder if we will be believed. We can also be told it was our fault or to be quiet. But being quiet about it does lots of harm, on top of harm and damage already caused from being abused.
Victims are no longer going to stand in being quiet and are now speaking up. We won’t be made to be quiet or shut up! We might be moving forward in the right direction in speaking up about this, but someone out there may be still going through something similar and feeling the same; scared, not believed, told to be quiet. It needs to stop and people need to realise that you don’t own your partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, just because you go out with them, or are married to them. It does not give you the right to abuse.

Her Patchwork Heart

TW: sexual assault is mentioned many times in this post, so please keep yourself safe while reading.

Today, while on a date, I was told that perhaps my “timid” demeanor and my soft voice are the reasons I have had so many “odd” encounters with men, whereby they think it is okay to ambush me with kisses on the mouth or brazenly graze my breasts or slip a hand up my dress. I was told that this makes me seem like “easy prey”, like I’m the type of person that would stay quiet. And, you know what? I am. I am that quiet woman, conditioned to stay silent. When I was little and was coaxed into playing doctor under the bed it wasn’t him that got into trouble, it was me. I was made to feel bad and dirty. When grownups tricked me into touching their “private parts” I was…

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You don’t always know

(Content warning: childhood assault and rape.)

As I revealed in my first blog post of this year, I discovered by accident last year, while doing some local research, that my ex boyfriend had been jailed back in June, for assault to a child.

When I used to read about these kind of stories, or see it on the news and it happened that close in the circle of family/friends, I used to think, surely they knew. But as I found out for myself, no, you don’t always know. I went out with him for 6 years and I knew him as a friend before that, for a year or so. (Or I thought I knew him.) Never, did I sense something was wrong, or that something happened in the years I was going out with him, or when I knew him beforehand as a friend.
The only problem I had with him and the reason I broke up with him, was because he seemed to not be able to commit. I patiently waited in the last 4 years of our 6 year relationship in hoping we would live together. (The last 2 years of our relationship, I asked him when he would move in with me. But I always got the same response, “Back end of the year.” With a shrug of the shoulders before he would say this. So after the second time he did that when I asked him, I decided on that we have a year break, in which I told him I think you better have a good think about what you want. He asked if we would ever get back together and I said, unlike him, I don’t make promises I don’t keep. But I could promise that if he had the balls to ask me to go back with him in our year break, the answer would be no. I wanted to make sure he had thought out about what he exactly wanted, because like this, there was another situation he could not give an answer to. I asked him that one again while I was at it, warning him I wanted a straight answer, but he could not do it. I got the same response as before when I asked him.
In the end, after our year break, I broke off with him, but I was willing to be his friend still, even though it would hurt. He said he would like to be friends too, but in the end, he was crap at that as well before the year was out, so I had nothing more to do with him.

All of the 6 years I was going out with him, I felt our relationship was part-time. When I was ill, I would tell him. When he was ill, I would not know until he was back at work, or when he had been ill by half of way through the week.

I always thought when he could not commit and the other situation he could not give me a straight answer to, that he would not commit because he lived where he had lived for too long. But in the end, now I know about this, this was why. He knew he was not good enough for me and as my family and friends learnt of his true colours, they thought thank god I wasn’t with him.

I look at the man in the police photograph, (before I even knew what he had done) and he looks like a crim. He does not look like the person I knew. I felt I was in a nightmare when I first discovered and I still feel I am in a nightmare.

When I first learnt about what he was through that news article, I was distressed and I found it difficult. All sorts of emotions were running through me. (These I wrote out in a sharpie drawing, which you will see below.) These emotions to start with were repetitive.

Sharpie drawing of words I felt when discovering about my ex

I have still been relying heavily on colouring since this disgusting discovery, as well as my family bereavement I am going through.

I now question, what was I to him?

He knew about the time I was raped in another relationship and how it affected me.
I even had a situation when I was 9 years old, where I felt vulnerable, that he knew about.
I have been in situations where I have been around a man on more than one occasion that I would not care to be around, because of the vibe I felt; feeling really uncomfortable, or giving me the creeps. So I have got away. But I never picked up anything like that with him.
There were times when we were together at his we would see the news on TV where some bloke had harmed a child and how long he got. Both agreeing that he deserves to be locked up and how he will get it once inside, because no one in prison likes a person who has harmed a child. Yet he was one!

I will never be intimate with a man again

After I had spilt up in a much earlier relationship, (before I knew him,) I was never interested in about another relationship again, because ever since I was raped, I have never been bothered about sex since. Now I have learnt about this sick secret of my last ex, I will NEVER be in another relationship.

People that I have disclosed this to, have said don’t let him ruin a loving relationship with another man.
Or they say, not all men are like this.
But when I went out with this one, he was my third relationship and the longest I have been in. But another that has not turned out well.
I am sick with learning about what he is and it’s like I have been raped again. But I know I haven’t. It is my past triggers that have set this off because of him. It’s sick knowing he has been intimate with me, knowing what he is. I don’t want another man to touch me sexually again.
I feel that I have wasted 6 years of my life, when being with him and I am not wasting anymore. This is why I don’t intend to be in another relationship and I shall carry on living on my own and doing the things I want. I know all men are not like him, but I just don’t want to be in an intimate relationship again.
I can be a very faithful friend to a man I trust and when I trust that man, I can hug them, (I could not do this one time and knowing about my ex could have easily have set me back. But it hasn’t.) I can have laughs and time out with them, look out for them and help them. But I will never be more than just friends.
I want my time, my space and to do my own things. But as I have learnt last year, to allow friends in a little bit more, which I know is still a work-in-progress, but I have allowed friends to be there more than I used to.

I will leave with my final words of thank you to all my friends, that have helped me through a difficult year towards the end of last year, whether you be a blogger friend, a long distant friend, close friend, or family.

Thank you, with all my heart. x

First chit-chat of 2018

Happy New Year to my readers and I hope you are well. I am back with my first post of the New Year, a couple of days earlier than planned.

So my final post of 2017 was a chit-chat post and I thought it would be best to start the first post of 2018 as a chit-chat post too. If there are any new readers reading this one, you may find reading that post will help with what I mention here in places.

(Before I allow you to continue reading this post, I have to give you a ‘Content Warning,’ as later on in this post I discuss child assault and rape. This is discussed where sub-title is called, “A sickening discovery.”

Double heartbreak

I finished my blogging early last year, after finding it difficult regarding my cousin and her husband’s death. The day I learnt of their death, my world went black and I just seemed to not be able to write.
As the days went on, getting more painful, as much as some words were floating around, I could not get them out and so I decided to finish blogging early for 2017, hoping I would be able to write by the New Year. During this dark time, doodling and colouring were my therapy while around supportive friends.

sharpie drawing of words i felt while dealing with a double bereavment

Their funeral was beautifully done, but going to it and saying goodbye was painfully hard. Through this though, I am back in touch with a couple of friends and a family member.

I gave up my volunteering role with LEAP (REBOOT), so I could give my time to help in any way in regards to changing the speed limit on the road they were killed on. I messaged a particular person via a contact form and my mum wrote a letter with whatever she wanted to discuss. My mum heard from him, but I didn’t, so just in case something went wrong on their end and he did not receive the message, I emailed him directly after coming across his details in a local paper, while in the area signing a petition for the road. I still did not hear anything though.

I have decided to start researching my family tree again and sticking with it this time round, than when I was younger. I don’t know how far I may go back, but I am not rushing about it. I will take it slow and enjoy what I find.

Tooth

Thankfully, I had no further problems, after my tooth was removed and I later had impressions taken for the making of a false tooth. I did not feel self-conscious over my missing tooth, compared to my tooth itself. On the day I was fitted with my false tooth, I was surprised to see how small it was. I was surprised to find how I was getting on with it, which was better than I thought I would. Each day I would see some difference for the better, as I got used to it.

My new job

After my medical and references were satisfactory, I left my old job before Christmas and started the new one this year, on the 2nd January. It was such a weight off my shoulder, to find I got the job and leaving the old one. I never after all the years of applying, thought I would get out. I am hoping down the line, that if a job came up in the morning, I would be able to apply for that one, so I am working morning and evening there. Failing that, if I can’t, then just keep getting what ever hours I can get with them and asking them permission to get another job elsewhere, that won’t affect working with my current employer. So if this was the case, this job would have to be around lunchtime, for a couple of hours each day.

My driving lessons

My driving lessons I had last year were tough. The course was a Pass Express course. I had 20 hours of driving over 5 days, the fifth day I had my last driving lesson in the morning just for a couple of hours and in the afternoon, I had 30 minutes of driving before focusing on show me tell me questions, before my driving test. Reading the car number plate was no problem I found, with, or without reading glasses.
I ended up with 5 faults on my first driving test, but because one of them was a serious fault, it meant I failed my test. I was fine and I did not lose my confident from this. I took it as a learning experience just like I did when I failed my theory test the first time.
My second driving test was just under a month later. I had to learn a couple of new things in my lessons prior to the test, with the test changing. I started so well with this driving test, but towards the end, there were a few occasions I were close to a parked car, while giving way to an approaching car, so this developed into a serious fault, which resulted in me failing. I don’t argue the test and totally agree with why I did not pass, but it did hurt this time round.
I shall look into booking another test sometime this year, after contacting my driving instructor to arrange a mutual day to use his car.

Christmas

Leading up to Christmas was stressful and people had to accept that I was not going to be jolly or in the Christmas spirit. I was stressed and emotional in ways I had not experienced before.
It was one year without my aunt come by new years eve and I was determined I would have my Christmas tree up and lit in memory of her as planned. But with losing two members of my family at the same time and learning about an ex, it has made it very hard. I could not celebrate.
Christmas was with my mum at mine, which she stayed with me a four nights and I cooked Christmas dinner, which we had chicken, potatoes and veg cooked in the slow cooker.
Christmas was quiet for us as we dealt with our own emotions, but we had a relaxing Christmas. When mum slept, I painted my nails and later a friend came after she had her Christmas dinner nearby. We all chatted and before I knew it, I painted their nails. 🙂
Being around people who understood my moods leading up to Christmas and on Christmas day, made it easier for me relax and not feel pressured into expecting to be happy around this time, so because of this, it meant I could smile, or laugh at times. For those that had a problem of me not being in a Christmas mood, I warned in advance in a Facebook post that they can just piss off then.
Boxing Day me and mum watched a DVD, then afterwards we coloured for the rest of the afternoon, (in between a family member visiting.) We also watched another DVD the next day, followed by colouring.

I also wore a jogging bottom and top set that was nice and soft and relaxing to be in. Just what I needed and perfect timing, as I felt leading up to Christmas that I needed something soft and simple. It was so comfortable too.

PIP

I learnt in November that I was denied PIP. Readers will know that this has come to no surprise to me, as I have felt from the very beginning that PIP is totally against supporting the deaf. My DLA that was given to me for life originally, stopped in December. Although I could have appealed, I wasn’t going to give myself any extra stress for a system that is so fucked up and messing with people’s lives. I had no time and energy to appeal. I had to concentrate on other things that were coming up that mattered to me and I did not need any distraction to do those things.

My two older posts where I talked about PIP:

Chit-chat September
PIP assessment

Even though I expected this to happen, I was still left fuming and regardless that I am still getting over the double-death in my family, it doesn’t change how I feel that I WON’T BE APPEALING. So please don’t ask, or tell me to appeal in the comment section thank you. (Although appealing will be too late when this post airs anyway.)
Ever since I have been deaf, I feel I have to prove to others just how deaf I am and I am sick of proving to DWP again, regardless that I will NEVER get my hearing back and that I had DLA originally for life. If I ever have worser disabilities/illness, then yes, I will apply for PIP again, but until then, it can fuck. After the dark experiences I have had, I had to think about my own mental health and I am not fucking going to lose it, or lose my aims I am after, because PIP took away any further strength I had left. I wasn’t going to waste my energy, that I had little of left.
Losing PIP, means I lose my WTC, because I only received this because of my disabilities. I am not working enough hours to carry on claiming it, so that meant I had to inform them of the changes. Also, because of these changes, I will now look to downsizing from my two-bed property. This will be hard though, because flats going for rent tend to not allow pets. I need to be in a one bed property, whether that be a house, or a flat. (Preferably, I would like a downstairs flat, but if a first floor came up, I would take. I would take a one-bed house too, but these are rare.)
Readers will know I have had the urge to leave my current area for some time, so when I do look for properties, it will be in my next chosen area to move to, for a fresh start.

A sickening discovery

I discovered by accident while researching history of Meden Bank, that an ex boyfriend was jailed in June, last year, for assault to a child. The news article I came across mentioned that this happened to the victim when she was 6 years old. She came forward when she was 16. He was charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault against a child under the age of 13. He was a figure of trust to this child and he abused his position to take advantage of the 6-year-old.
To find this out only 4 days after attending the burial of my cousin and her husband left me at total breaking point. My coping strategies went out of the window, but during this time, a reader of my blog and blogger herself reminded me of those coping strategies.  It took me a good couple of hours to regain composure, but I was luckily not far away from support of close friends whether near, or far during this difficult time of this and the double-death I also had to deal with.
I burnt photos of my ex the next day from discovering this sickening news, which brought a little closure and made me feel I could approach the next day better, but I found I was still having my moments. I contacted Samaritans, regardless of the support I received around me from friends, as I was still struggling and I was zoning out at times.

The last time I spoke about my ex on my blog, was in this post: “Broken heart.” Now I know about this truth, then the feelings I had before, have now changed. Me and my family are shocked and we feel sick for allowing him into our lives. I hope he rots and he never sees freedom again. He was given 4 years and 6 months behind bars. (Not long enough sentence in my opinion.) If he does ever see freedom again, then I hope I never bump into him. He is also on the sex offenders register for life and has been issued with a sexual harm prevention order disallowing him to contact the victim, go to a school, or live with a girl under the age of 16.
I thought I knew him, but the whole of the 6 years we were together, he managed to keep this hidden.
I thought when he could not commit to me, that it was because of how long he had lived where he had lived, but now I know about this, he knew he wasn’t good enough for me and did not want to risk me finding him out. It has made me question everything and re-evaluate things. I look at the police photo at a person I thought I knew and all I see is a crim. It was his photo I seen first before knowing what he done and I thought he’d looked different and a crim, before I knew what he actually had done.

So when you ask the question as I used to ask, surely that person knew he was one? Well no, you don’t always know, as I found out myself. 😦

Cut my head

In the very early hours of Friday morning, (the week following the funeral and finding out about the ex,) I got out of bed one morning and lost my balance. I banged my head on the bedside cabinet and cut my head. I got myself a taxi to A&E and about two and a half hours later, I was discharged. While at the hospital, I thought I might as well wait another half an hour so I could see them personally, to let them know I would be off work that night because of it. Once I done that, I let friends know and my mum know what went off. I slept most of the time, due to concussion for the next couple of days. I did not really get over it until the third day where everything was fine. Well fine, except for sore head where I knocked myself.

I plan to move

As i mentioned earlier in this post, readers will know last year, that I had the urge for some time to start in a new area, but I was going to hold on and try to make do until I no longer had my cat. But because of finding out about my ex, that strong urge to move came back and I have finally had enough and I plan to move. I need to downsize to a one-bed property, so I can avoid the bedroom tax, with my money situation changing. This move will be difficult, because not many will not accept cats in a flat, but I will look around and try. In the mean time, I have started clearing my yard, in preparation when this one day happens, so there will be no more posts from my garden.
My garden posts will have already been deleted as this post airs.

Bullet journals and Positive Jar

Bullet journals as been around for some time and although I have used journals myself in some way, I have never used any of the bullet journal ideas. During the time of my break from blogging, I thought I would give it a go and try some of the ideas that would be good for me, or nice to try. This has been a bit of therapy too, during the dark times I mentioned above.
If you have not tried doing a bullet journal, just by googling, you will bring up loads of ideas.
Does any of my readers bullet journal? I will share my bullet journal in a post, sometime in February. 🙂

I have started doing the Positive Jar again this year, instead of the journal. This was because after trying the journal way about a year, for the following couple of years after, I started to slack at it, till I neglected it. Doing it the jar way was so more effective for me, so I now recommend it this way now, instead of the journal. If you want to read more about this when I first talked about it here, then just look to the right of my blog, where the ‘tags’ are and click on ‘Positive Jar/Journal.’

My learning

I have just my pet sitting course to work on as you know, if you are a regular reader. But I have nothing to report on this much, other than I need to try to get back into it. My brain felt like mush, after my family bereavements and I just could not focus. I have only been able to focus on driving.

Looking forward to what the year brings

To say what a year it has been for me near the end of last year, I am looking forward to what the year brings this year.

#ITSNOTOK

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6th to 12th February 2017, is “Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.” I have spoken recently in a couple of posts about rape. The first post was rather brief in ‘Unseen.’ I then spoke about it a bit more, in my post called, ‘To feel clean.’

Sexual abuse and violence is unacceptable and this type of abuse can happen to anyone, all ages, any gender, ethnicity or cultural background.

Sexual abuse and violence is unacceptable.

Perpetrators need to know that this will NOT be tolerated and more action is being taken.

The awareness week is an opportunity for everyone to participate in a discussion and raise the awareness on this matter.

For events and ways to get involved, visit: http://sexualabuseandsexualviolenceawarenessweek.org 

For help and support:

Women’s Aid Integrated Service 24 hr helpline: 0808 800 0340
Topaz Centre (Males and females): 0845 600 1588
Nottinghamshire Rape Crisis Centre (NRCC) (Men and women) – 0115 9507696
Victim Support – 0808 168 9111
ChildLine – 0800 1111
http://thesurvivorstrust.org/ – 0808 801 0818
http://napac.org.uk/ – 0808 801 0331
http://www.SurvivorsUk.org (Males) – 020 3598 3898