Regarding Grace and her consent

opinions, personal, Things That Bug Me

So I was shook when I saw this article by BBC, for a company that holds values in hardline journalistic integrity, they were incredibly biased and made it seem like a bashticle that serves just the negative and one sided view upon the situation. It was when my friend sent me this Babe article, I could taste the sick in my stomach, knowing that something similar has happened to me and probably other people before.

The thing that many in the comment section said that got me to actually writing about the issue is along the lines of these words:

Why didn’t she leave earlier? Why even go down and accept the back rub?

Which is where my story comes in, this happened when I was in college, and he was a friend I would hang with at the campus coffee shop.

What had started as flirtation led itself to occasionally hooking up. Damien* and I would be barely friendly in public spaces, but behind closed doors he would be more commanding. He masked it as an interest in role-play and BDSM – I followed along because in my head at that time it was what college students did.

The consent I gave to him soon was ill-fated when he wanted to try choking during intercourse. I generally don’t like constricting my neck area, even with scarves and turtlenecks I would always fidget around with it. So when he said he wanted to try I had already said no, he agreed until he was in a different headspace and continued to place his hands around my neck… I froze and let him finish because it I struggled, he would think it was a game (even with the safe word).

In that moment I relied on my ability to hold my breath, I racked my mind hoping no marks would have been left behind, I hoped that because I let him do that then he would not bring our twisted relationship out in conversations.

I barely told anyone about my fuckship with Damien even if it lasted a few months. I continued hooking up with him because of my fear of other people finding out. Another time he put true terror in my head was our night out with his cousins; wanting to just have a night out dancing turned real fast when it was bout time to go home.

He had promised to send me back before my parents woke up, “it’ll just be a minute” was what he said when he had to stop by his cousin’s apartment so I said I’ll wait in the car, we both had been drinking and I should have gotten a taxi home but again when he clenched his hands on the wheel of the car, I froze. Knowing if I tried to get away there’s a higher chance of him hurting me.

So, I went up to the apartment and we hooked up again – it was in my head that his cousins were looking  at me like vultures waiting for a meal, but I was sober and I made sure the lock worked because when he was “getting the keys” as I cleaned myself up, I was holding my tears hoping they wouldn’t barge in – especially since he told his cousins to “go ahead” when dancing at the club.

That was my last outing with him, slowly I started to ignore him altogether and after a few months of excuses not to see him alone, I was rid of him. Yet the memories remain.

Time isn’t a factor when it comes to these encounters, until I read other #metoo stories I thought my past encounters had been dismissed. But yesterday at work, on a smoke break I had a flashback that made it hard to breathe easy. A lingering scent of musk followed me from the club, the apartment, the car, and now it was in my cigarette – before I knew it, this post was created.

 

In light of my story, I can confirm that it’s not as easy as calling them out, even to their faces – the factors to consider are more than just the “it’s his words against yours…,” it is the overwhelming sense of being in danger, it’s knowing the person is stronger, it’s being called out for something else that could be worst (which Damien still did, fyi!).

So no, fellas in the BBC comment section, it’s not as simple as walking out the door.

In his position, Grace could’ve lost her credibility if Aziz were to just mention her badly. His reply was a PR message drafted in 31 hours by his team of people. I was rooting on him being an example of how you can be a successful comedian no matter your gender, race, or sexuality – without being predatory!

But I won’t go on about him, for too long we’ve been talking about his narrative, his actions, his POV, him being a POC, the unpredictability of the scandal… no, it’s not his story to glorify while a female photographer, working her hustle, speaking out anonymously, is nowhere close to being the first in the cookie cut scenario.

Grace like many women in schools, colleges, offices, social media and even public transportation, go through or have gone through conformity in lieu of consent. Not for the thrill of rough sex, but for the safety from it.

I, until today knew I could have done things differently those times with Damien, but the person that I was did not see it that way, she, I, we used to think it’s our fault, to a sick point thinking that we deserved it, because we stepped away from the “good girl” life we were brought up in, because “boys play rough honey, get used to it!,” because “God wouldn’t have put you in that situation if you had been more religious.”

I guess that’s all I have for now, there are a few other instances with different persons but I’ll ease into those stories on my other posts sometime this year (I’m a horrible blogger I know!).

But if you slide into my DMs or drop a comment, maybe I’ll post sooner 🙂

* Not his real name, but he probably knows who he is.

Advertisements

Relations and relationships

LGBT, personal

It’s funny when you think about it, the other day I was on a tea-date with this wonderful person and she said “why can’t it be just like this?”

Truth is, I don’t know.

I know that I’m more dependent as a friend than I am as a significant other, in terms of relationships I tend to be more guarded – I know how to cut myself off when it seems like it’s going nowhere, and I know how to control my fall.

It’s relations that I find tricky. I have a handful of close friends and they know how to deal with me, my clingy and my crazy. Even my mentors that I vowed my life to know that as a friend, I put myself last. I guess the reason I would prefer a relationship is so at least, even if it takes time and effort, I would be more of a priority.

So lately I’ve been trying to be more gutsy when it comes to relations and relationships. I show her the me my friends see. My stubbornness she encountered when I fell sick, the raw reactions I let slip cause she deserves to know that her presence is enough to make a hothead like me blush. But I couldn’t tell her that in person. She’s confident and strong, but in the nano second when she checks her phone she shows her soft vulnerability. So many little things she does makes me want to let her know that it’s going to be okay and that I’m here even if I don’t know how much longer she’s gonna let me be here.

See she thinks my friends hate her, they don’t. Not in the way she thinks they do at least.

Has anyone else been here? If yes please comment in or drop a line in my dm’s cause I’d like to hear about how you handle relationships. I think there’s a vast difference and everyone is each their own but if you have/are experiencing something similar what do you do? What do you do when everyone else but you see that there’s an issue?

 

Living with rose tinted lenses

opinions, personal

The 2011 song “wait for me” by Motopony plays and I think of how lovely it would be to be that girl they wrote it for. To be given that confirmation of desire, even if there’s time to wait before that happy ending. It’s the hope that the song brings, that hope and yearning to be one entity with another person without losing one’s self on their own.

I’ve been told that the way I jump into love straight forward like a cannonball in the deep end of a pool “radiates hope” which I find amusing cause half the time I have no idea what I’m doing. But hey, if it makes even the darkest of bitter souls hope then I think it’s a good thing. Right?

Ask any one of my friends, they would be very wary when I get involved with anybody. Not that it’s a bad thing, no… I just tend to scare people away. My tinder profile says “I put the dom in domestication” as a warning.

Truth be told, I’m tired of just dating.

I want to be romanticised and be able to just be the person someone calls to nap together. I want picnics and random trips but it seems like that type of romance is limited to songs and blogposts these days. I know I’ve written about this before (maybe even exactly a year ago) but my stance on romance will ever change. Yes, I’m sick and tired of giving my all and getting zilch back but I don’t stop hoping.

Why? Why shouldn’t I hope? Why shouldn’t I try? Why does romance have to die in the world where nobody buys flowers anymore?

Sure, Amy Winehouse sung “love is a losing game,” Paloma Faith sang “only love hurts like this,” and Alextbh sings how love “stoops so low,” but it’s not about the pain and tears.

tumblr_nozq3jsufr1rd5ubzo1_500

It’s the giggles under the blanket, the moments where words were not said, it’s the linger of intertwined fingers. The tiny details of where wrinkles turn into smile lines. It’s introducing that person to your best friends and seeing the reaction on their face when you say something gutsy. It’s offering them tea when you want to lean in to kiss them. It’s letting them lay their heads to rest and ensuring them that they’re safe with you.

Can someone tell me how that kind of love is painful? Cause until the day comes where the stampeding rush in my chest, that makes me bite my lip instead of telling them how wonderful it is to have them in my life stops, I don’t think I’ll ever stop seeing stars in the cloudy night sky.

Dear Anxiety,

personal

We’ve  been together for how long now? I remember you first coming into my life around the time I had my first wave of uncertainty – 20 years ago. I was five when you slipped under my covers, I remember that cause it was the first big fight my parents had that I heard beyond the teak doors.

You’ve changed your reason to show up over the years – the divorce, the new schools, the move, that first rejection, the bad grades, the body weight, the fake friends, the bad haircuts, the words those bullies said, the doubt in my mother’s eyes of whether I’d succeed in life or not, that long winded breakup, and many more I can’t recollect now.

Anxiety, you’ve become kin to the demon within me. As much as you hurt and scare me, you motivate me to prove those reasons wrong. But now it’s as if you’ve turned undyingly strong.

How did my adulthood end up depending on whether or not you show up? I feel your smirk when I do a double-take on the WhatsApp last seen, I hear your cackle when I pass by mirrors in public spaces, and I hear you whisper to the demon “there’s our girl” when I pour my glass of wine. Your glare radiates from my inked shoulders and I feel sick to my stretch mark ridden stomach, and there goes another day of me not wanting to eat.

My demon is my own, but you are not welcomed in my life. You come in episodes and series of not wanting to get out of bed. You take my hand and put the water to boiling hot in the shower I can’t walk away from, like a drug that has contaminated my system, you make my ears ring sirens with the voice of my mother. You make me fear for my brothers, you make me cry over my father.

“Why do you still bother?” you ask as I look over the balcony.

This time I have a reason to stop you, I can float above you and the waves you bring. I’m okay now even if the thought of saying it out loud still makes me shake. This time I’m awake. So please, dear anxiety, please just give me a fucking break.

Ringing the new year right

personal

Happy New Year!

I’m sitting with a cup of Earl Grey tea on the balcony of my first apartment, an apartment I have yet to take pictures of since I moved in 370 days ago.

Before I go into what I’m hoping for in 2018, I’d like to appreciate what 2017 has brought me and peacefully release myself of it.

I should have posted this yesterday but just as 2017 was, plans change and people do too.

So many events happened from being an assistant lecturer, a freelance writer, a journalist and now a writer for a few magazines. Yes, disappointment showed its face a few times over through toxic people, but I survived.

I performed both my comedy and poetry on a public stage, I fell in and out of love with others and myself, I lost directions and found purpose, but most importantly I saw the bigger picture and didn’t shut off myself due to pressure.

My anxiety was an unwelcome guest in the corner of my life that brought so much pain and doubt but like my demons, I’ve managed to be acquainted with it – and I’m okay.

Overall 2017 was a mammoth or a workout, and I’m relieved that it has passed.

This year I’m hoping to aim higher and hustle harder for what I want. I’ll try more instead of bowing out when I get to a bump. This year I plan to finish my book, create content, and learn more and love unforgivingly.

My 2018 will be jumping in the pool in a cannonball instead of tipping my toes around the edges.

This year will be amazing and filled with adventure and I hope that your year will be too.

So cheers to 2018, and I’ll try to post more stuff on the site soon (and regularly)!

a 25-year-old’s Christmas wish

personal

Dear Santa,

It’s your time of year again, I’ve definitely been fluctuating my naughty and nice.  I can’t say I’m sorry but I also know I could’ve done a few things differently.

Last year around I heard my brother’s laugh and my dad’s chuckles. I won’t ask that this year – budget-wise it’s illogical so it’s okay. Can I ask just for one thing? As cheesy as it is, I want what you gave the Grinch. Grow my heart three times its size.

After a year of having it chipped away by all the wrong people, I’ll just ask for my heart back to 100% please. I want the next person that you have cupid send me to deserve it.

I think I’ve proven myself enough going through the struggles, can you tell cupid to aim right next time? I thought I made my birthday wish clear enough.

To be fair, I put up my tree early and I have my stockings up. I had planned a nice quiet day with somebody who decided to not be around.

Anyway, you know what I want,

Love,

Your  25-year-old believer

Why I won’t apologise for being me

personal

It’s been a while since I wrote something that isn’t work related.

But today, since I have a minute to spare I thought I’d write an update.

I’m working now – yes, no more freelancing from my couch. As fun as that was, it was time for progress. I love where I’m at now, every day I learn something new and I think I’m doing alright.

My personal life, it’s been a rollercoaster.

I was seeing this guy and while I was sure that I made myself clear that things had to be light and casual, his selective hearing thought I was playing around with his emotions.

First of all, nothing emotional next to me ranting about my day happened. I didn’t want any involvement because when we were meeting each other, I had just started work and my schedule was erratic. This fella calls in the dead of the night, drunk, while I had only 3 hours left to sleep. Was it wrong that I got upset? I told him off and made clear if he were to call me, there are proper times. The following weekend, I texted him, but he said he’d already been seeing someone else.

Another guy I met for a date over the holidays, we hit it off fine. Or so I thought… this guy worked evenings while I tend to fall asleep around 11pm. So when he wanted to meet up, I made an exception to wait for him, little did I know humans are just as flaky if not more compared to a freshly baked pastry. So I sent him a goodnight text, stating clearly how I was disappointed because I actually liked him enough to want to get to know him.

Now I don’t understand why these two guys, when I say I’m busy, I have work, and I generally just want to rest – would treat it as if I said they needed to work harder for me.

So I want to throw this question out to the internet, WHY DO GUYS HAVE SELECTIVE HEARING?

Additionally, while it is a rhetoric question – why are hardworking girls put down for chasing their career?

I was in a Grab car earlier this week, I merely mentioned that I happened to be working the weekend. The first thing the driver asked was about the status of my relationship, as if it would have made a difference if I had a boyfriend/girlfriend.

It’s mid 2017, why is a girl that would rather work or learn more skills is still being judged if they are single and over 23 years old?

I would just like to put out to the cyberspace, that I choose to work hard – and even if I didn’t have to… I would still be chasing something more than a marriage proposal. It’s as simple as me also not planning to procreate. Why do I have to follow an archaic stigma put upon women that would rather buy a plane ticket to Fiji than a stroller that’s adjustable? Come on, peeps it’s time for progress.

Another thing I would like to touch on this long rant post – I’ve held back a lot – is about my anxiety and how I choose to control the outbursts that it comes with.

I like cleaning my apartment, it is organised in a way that I know where everything is. Little things like my ballerina figurine or my ceramic monkey have meaning to me. So when somebody else whom I knew less than a few hours suggest change or offer to tidy up – I get triggered because I’ve set a system and while tape may not be able to hold the bed slats up, I will eventually find a time to figure out what will.

It’s not an overreaction when I set rules that will allow me not to go full on homicidal – it’s a preventive action from my overreaction if things were done different from how I set my first home to be.

I make my points very straightforward, I’ll bend if I feel like it’s the only way I won’t break. I make known my mental illness only to those who should know – this case being the housemate I live with. I will accept negotiations to a certain point where it does not create a ticking time bomb in my head.

People should be aware that for cases like mine, I control tiny figurines and pink spray bottles filled with cleaning chemicals in replacement of the bigger things in my head that I cannot. Approach carefully and be wary on how my tone changes in a defensive way when the little things are tinkered with.

At the end of the day, I do not want to snap because of movements of objects that I had set for a specific reason, and saying “Oh it’s just in your head” will never help me from not curling in the corner of my queen size bed validating your dismissal of my issues.

I’m done apologising for being true to myself, I’m over making adjustments to my boundaries because others ridicule the system that keeps me at bay, I will not tolerate or be pushed over to apologise about my mental state or choices. I’ve worked on myself too hard for anyone to dismiss my best efforts to be a better person.

Anyway, that’s all for tonight.

For those feeling the same way or are in similar situations, leave a comment or tweet me on my twitter @shenntyara 🙂 I update (almost) daily.

For others, please take account on your actions and words because to those “overreacting”, it matters more than you think.

X.