Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Dreaded Blog Post: Rape Survivor

I think this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it is the right thing to do. This is necessary to me, despite what other people may think, and I hope that there are some people who will take comfort in reading this. Once I realised that I wasn’t alone, I felt better. I don’t have other victims to talk to but I’m going to extend an invitation to everyone, feel free to talk to me or reach out in confidence. That’s all I really want, to get past this by helping others because not everyone can see they have the strength in them to say it out loud. So here it goes; I am a rape survivor.

I have been shown unwavering, and somewhat unexpected support, in my decision to make this blog post. There is still a long way to go in regards to dealing with it but it starts here. I have made a lot of mistakes in the past four years because of a secret I’ve held with guilt and shame. I have made a lot of poor decisions, drank too much on various occasions and still do, and I have had a lot of silent sad days.  I realised one day that I was hiding from myself, and that I didn’t have to be okay for everyone else. I didn’t have to hold back from the highs and lows anymore just to make people comfortable. It should be talked about, it’s rape. It’s a violation of your body and it needs to be talked about because it’s so overwhelmingly common, more so than people can imagine.
  
The last four years had been filled with denial, confusion and avoidance until I hit rock bottom and forced myself to realise I needed to deal with it and recognize it for what it is. It is rape. There is no rationalizing any sexual abuse, assault or anything of the sort; I felt a lot of anger when I stopped rationalising it. I was angry at myself for accepting the most disgusting crime that could happen to me and angry at society for allowing a stigmatism to be built around the idea of discussing rape openly. It is rape. I know it is a hard word for people to hear and use, but it shouldn’t be hidden. It shouldn’t be hidden because the discomfort experienced when people hear the word is nothing compared to actually going through it. I am not dying, I am not diseased, but what I am is a survivor and I need to be able to express myself just like everyone else. I don’t believe in tolerance; I am not going out of my way anymore to make sure people don’t feel uncomfortable with hearing this. It’s easier to accept the way oppression is normalised in our society, but it’s not right to have to feel like you should internalise the pain and indirectly maintain the traumas affecting us. Society says don’t get raped rather than don’t rape and that mentality needs to change. I listened to a video by Kat Blaque, and believe she’s right when she says we live in a society that celebrates the result of overcoming a trauma but looks down on people who haven’t been able to as successful. She says that in a way all these things has to happen in order to shape the person she is today but no one should ever be that strong or get use to it. No one should have to endure and internalize the trauma. As she says in her video, oppression is not the answer. 

I was good at internalising the pain for a long time, even fooling myself for a while. I went from losing my friends and eating alone in school bathrooms to making better friends and meeting a great guy. This positive transition helped me ignore what I was feeling, I was happy with the wall I had built between me and the pain, but cracks formed in times of pressure and over time that wall tumbled down and the pain was still there waiting for me to acknowledge it. Being the master repressor that I am didn’t help me in the end, but getting to the lowest point in my life was necessary in order for me to face it. I wasn’t ready to deal with it at the young age that I was.

This year I told my parents and everyone important in my life. It helped me realise that I'm not in the wrong, or alone, or someone that needs to be pitied. I need to be heard and I need people not to confront the topic, even if they’re uncomfortable with it. Rape survivors need to feel that they can talk about it, but people avoid what they can't comprehend and avoid things that make them stop and consider their actions. It’s more than okay to feel what you're feeling and admitting you've been torn apart by another is not weakness. It’s important not to judge yourself on what others have done to you. I didn't want to admit weakness but what I didn't understand four years ago was that this isn't weakness, but strength. I am strong and so is every rape survivor, but we shouldn’t have to be. Everyone I have told so far were glad I told them, because those who are closest to you will understand that you need to be heard and supported, and their strength gives you strength. The first step is to talk about it; no one should blame you. You're still standing at the end of the day and they should respect and admire you for that.

I am still angry; every now and then I fall apart and this still affects big parts of my life, but it's not going to dictate how I live. It may cripple me some days, but some days are not all days and that's what matters in the end; it means you're getting there. Healing doesn’t mean the damage isn’t there, it just means that it can’t control your life anymore.

What I want people to take from this is that it's okay to talk and that we need to create a world where it's safe to talk about rape, not a world where a rape occurs every two minutes. Talking about things that are perceived as weak is a big issue we have in our society. I can't just sit and shrug while saying to myself that this is just the way things are anymore; this is the way things shouldn't be. We live in a society that judges those who embrace their sexuality, where the victim is to blame for what they wear, or, for not having their full wits about them, for drinking, for not covering their drink, for not watching out for predators and for not staying safe in numbers. The victims are not the ones that need to change. The way I dress is not an invitation or a free pass to my body. I don't think that my inability to say no is a yes. One problem today is that the severity of sexual assault, rape and crimes of a similar nature are rated on this imaginary scale of how bad they are. No one can tell you that some complete stranger touching your butt without invitation is not sexual assault. Rape and sexual assault cannot be measured and don't you let anyone try to. No one has the right to tell you how bad that experience was compared to others. In my twenty years I have encountered three serious accounts of sexual assault. Once was rape and the other two happened two years later, one by a friend and the other by a stranger. I reported the stranger, because I wasn't about to brush it off anymore and let it seem like it was okay, and cut all ties with this friend, I wasn't about to change my morals and discount my own self worth by making excuses for her anymore. Sexual assault is still sexual assault no matter the gender of the perpetrator or how good of a friend they were. They’re nothing if they would violate you.

People may think that I've had a long time to deal with it but the fact is I'm going to live with it for the rest of my life. It’s not that I don’t feel the pain; it’s just that I’m not afraid of hurting anymore. There are going to be moments where I'm genuinely happy, and then there will be the memories of those dark moments that I let slip through the cracks. I wanted to be alone in the past, but it's my friends that keep me afloat. I'm happiest in their company, even if we are just driving around, singing and pretending to be without a care. You just have to find those people that help you find yourself again, even if they don't know that's what they do for you. For me, I think you all know who you are and I don’t know where I’d be without all of you.

Just remember you’re not on your own and it wasn’t your fault. Inhale the future and exhale the past; whatever you do don’t stop breathing, because you’re stronger than you think. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I chose to become” – Carl Jung

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SupUmg566js – What is Rape Culture: Kat Blaque
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gITJqqsmMFc – The Victim’s Complex: Kat Blaque

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

I Rather Be a Mermaid.


I may be clouded by my obsession with mythical (and non mythical) aquatic creatures, but these super cute and comfortable pjs definitely deserve a blog post. I bought these Disney pjs in +Primark (Penneys), the t-shirt is 7 and the leggings are €10. 
One thing to keep in mind if you plan on getting these is that I found the sizes to be generous, I bought a medium in the leggings because of the junk in the trunk but I actually find them a little too big! I bought a small in the t-shirt and it is also plenty big, so keep that in mind if you're similar in frame to me. The Little Mermaid was definitely in my top favourite movies as a kid.. And now.. Plus I use to collect lots of shells as a kid and the leggings are covered with a cute shell pattern. Remember, even your pjs can have a positive affect on your morning mood! My only complaint is that I haven't experienced any mermaid dreams while sleeping in them! 

Happy Sleeping xox

Feelin' like a cute little kid... Even my phone case as aquatic creatures on it. Penguins are basically sea birds right?

(I found this picture on +eBay)




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Monday, 21 March 2016

Black & White

I had a family party a couple of weeks ago and decided to go very casual considering it was a black and white masquerade ball! I just wasn't feeling the party mode so I went for an all black outfit (nearly) with a white tattoo cape. I still felt pretty glam I will admit. 
The lace bodysuit was a steal for 6.99 in +TK Maxx, my jeans are my ultimate go to black skinnies from +River Island and the shoes are from +Primark. I have a few pairs of those court shoes in different colours from Penney's (Primark). Sometimes on a night out my shoes get destroyed from whatever is on the floor (AND whoever is stepping on me), so why take out those favourite expensive shoes? I couldn't find the tattoo cape to link, but it's from +FOLKSTER, like a lot of my super pretty pieces. I found a white cape here though at +OfficialPLT : https://www.prettylittlething.com/aleta-cream-cape.html
Right now there is 15% student discount! Perks of being a student. 







Red eyes from battling with my contacts. 







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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Casual Wear for Town


I always misjudge the amount of time I have to get ready to face the real world, so this outfit was really just the first pieces I touched. Not to shabby, super comfortable for running around town taking care of business and mostly black. What is there to fault? Unless you don't like the plain understated look. Nothing beats a granny cardigan on those busy days, it was super warm though for spring. Weather is always questionable..

 



I'm obsessed with wearing these all the time. Frilly frilly socks purchased in +River Island.
Shoes from +schuh 


Super sad I forgot I was wearing one of those necklaces with your name written on a rice grain floating in water... Anyone remember those from holidays? I got mine in Korea when I was younger.


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xox





Tuesday, 1 March 2016

College - Outfit of the Day




I use to always think it was going to be great going to college and ridding myself of having to wear that uniform everyday. Now that I'm here in college for my second year, I understand it's a struggle to pick an outfit each day, even a pressure for some. I sometimes find myself wanting that blue skirt and grey jumper back. The student life definitely does not allow for constant shopping for new things to make different outfits so you're not recycling the same outfit every week. SOO, for this outfit I wore what usually is a dress I throw on for a quick option on a night out with a turtle neck top. I opted for my new kicks instead of the usual ankle boots because I thought it looked cute with the denim jacket! The bag I use for college most days is my +Michael Kors backpack and I love it. It was in a really good sale at +Macy's reduced down to about 80 dollars from 200. I couldn't leave it there, so it became an early birthday present to myself.. the only annoying thing about it is that my laptop doesn't fit in it. I use my iPad way more now because of that so that's a plus within a con! The Nikes were on sale as well in +schuh, only 50 euros with the sale and the student discount (early anniversary present for me). Anyways the point was suppose to be that it's not difficult to switch pieces around to make different styles! 

Here's some early morning pictures before my lecture, 30 minutes prior to these I was in bed.



Dress from +Forever 21 and the top is from +River Island.


Just can't stop checkin' out my shoes it seems. 




Old denim jacket was my mothers, it's from +Levi's®.


Until next time buds xox
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Getting Back to Fitness

I have been making slow but good progress is getting back to my fitness. Looking back at my old post about sports wear I can really see how fit I was and toned (sigh)! I find it to be disheartening when I keep looking back on photos of my previous physique, so from here on out I'm putting a stop to that. Or at least for this week. 

I've started back with my old eating patterns such as; not eating late at night, having a portion of carbs once a day, high intensity interval training (way to go for weight loss), more fruit and veggies etc. I'm not as impressive as I use to be in the fitness area but I'm getting there. The key is to start of with small goals. For example when I first started back using the treadmill, I was only running for a minute and a half (9 km/hr) and briskly walking for five (6km/hr). Then I started running for two minutes at 9km and walking for five minutes at 6km, then two minutes running and three minutes walking till I reached where I am currently at two minutes at 9.5 km and walking for three at 6.5 km. It may not sound like much but for two weeks it's still progress. I was going to start shortening the gap between the running and the walking but since I'm not looking to increase my endurance it's not too much of a big deal if I don't. I read a study actually that said running for two minutes and walking/jogging for three burns more calories!   Of course I do my cardio and then move on to weight training, I don't over rely on cardio.

Example of some of the exercises I do after cardio come from +FitnessBlender
I did my abs yesterday using this work out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yk_z7CK6Ig

Workout Structure: (45 seconds on and 10 seconds off for each exercise.  Do each group twice through without a break before moving on to the next group)



Group One:
Jackknife Crunch
Knee Tuck Crunch
Standing Dumbbell Oblique Crunch
Back Bow Cross Over
Group Two:
Criss Cross Crunch
Russian Twist
Side Hip Raise
Back Bow Pull
Group Three:
Toe Touch Drops
Reverse Crunch
Ab Rocker
Swimmers

I have to say it was hard, because my abs are weaaaak. It's important to take your time though to do each rep right. Don't forget to stretch before and after as well! 
I started wearing some new gym gear by the way and I love them. I've opted for three quarter length work out pants instead of my usual straight leg yoga pants. They're still high waisted (just the way I like it) like the yoga pants. I also wear loose fitted X back tanks. I got them in +Old Navy, they don't seem to have the patterns I bought anymore but this is the style anyways: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1049018&vid=1&pid=487010182 From time to time I use my full length leggings from Penneys as well. I wear my +Nike roshe flyknits to the gym, they don't seem to sell this pattern anymore but they have plenty of others. http://store.nike.com/ie/en_gb/pw/n/1j7?sl=women%20roshe%20.  As for the sports bra, I use the same brand always: http://www.panache-lingerie.com/en/products/details/panache-sport/sports-bra/sports-bra/geo-print 







Happy gym-ing! 

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xox







Friday, 19 February 2016

Catchin' Up & What's in My Make-up Bag.. (what's spilling out of it.)

It has been a long time no posting, but never fear I'm back to keep the ball rolling. This is my first official post back since I stopped blogging for some time, so I have a sense of nervousness and I'll try to get back into the swing of it. There is plenty of time for catching up and explanations for my absences but right now I feel like talking about what's in my make up bag.. Or as the title says, what's spilling out of it (ha-ha). Traveling to and from college requires packing light right? Well, I obviously haven't mastered that packing skill yet and I only have one and a half years left to learn. Anyways, nuff' about that. Since my last make up post, I have changed products and brands while also staying with some of my favourites. I have fallen to the the almighty M.A.C, if you're like me then you know that having a collection of their bullet shaped lipsticks is the ultimate make up goals to most girls you know. Including yourself. Don't get me wrong, I like other brands and their lipsticks but I just particularly love all the shades M.A.C offers with a wide range of different finishes. I could probably go on about lipstick but I'm going to stop myself now.




The +MAC Cosmetics lipstick all lined up, they might be mainstream but I love them and especially all the different textures they come in. 


From left to right: Pervette, High Tea, Whirl, Spirit, Dare You, Fresh Moroccan, "O", Antique Velvet and Insta-gator. 
They can be bought online from M.A.C, +Macy's +Nordstrom and if you're in Ireland Brown Thomas. 




I try to get lip pencils that match more than one lipstick, for example Burgundy I use for Fresh Moroccan and Dare You. (Sorry for the picture - not so clear) From the top: Hip 'n' Happy (Pervette, High Tea), Burgundy (Dare You, Fresh Moroccan), Nightmoth (Insta-gator), Bittersweet (Antique Velvet, "O"), Whirl (Whirl, High Tea, Spirit).




I've had this for a long time, I'm pretty sure +Sephora doesn't make this anymore. I'm planning on trying +e.l.f. Cosmetics one next. This really helps me with my wings. 



I love this because it helps the lipstick (especially matte) glide on better if your lips are on the dry side. 




I don't wear eyeliner on my bottom lash line that often but when I do I use this from Eyeko, it was actually a free gift with my other purchase! Which was great because I like this eye liner. I actually came across the brand when I was reading about Kylie Jenner's make up (back when they were claiming the explanation for her lips was over lip lining).


I didn't think I was a pen girl, but this has changed my mind. I was using the +Benefit Cosmetics gel liner but I decided to give this a try. Like the Benefit one, it avoids clumping up your eye lashes. It actually has widelash lash enhancer in it and it's waterproof! What more do you want from a liquid liner? 



This is an oil free lotion that I use on my face to prime it. I find that a little goes a long way which is great and it smooths my skin. It's also one of their time check products.. Gotta start sometime.



This may not smell like chocolate like some of their other products but I'm still a fan! This is +Too Faced Cosmetics Shadow Insurance is anti-crease and  really does keep my eye shadow poppin' for hours and hours. A little goes a long way for this product as well. 



I love +Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional primer because I have an oily skin type and this really smooths the pores on my T zone. 




I still use +Benefit Cosmetics They're Real mascara, I don't really like the spider look for my eye lashes and this one is dramatic enough for my lashes without looking like I'm wearing a lot of it. 






I use some +EcoTools and +realtechniques brushes with my powder and concealer. I actually went into the M.A.C cosmetics team twice and bought the products one of the girls tried on me the second time. It's important to take your time, I wore the make up around for the day to see how it held up. I didn't really want anything heavy, but I still wanted an even skin tone with a decent amount of coverage. Basically, I think we all want to look good without looking like we are wearing a lot of make up. So she recommended I buff the concealer in the areas I needed more coverage to help the powder stay in those areas. So I use the Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation (oil control, matte and medium coverage) and the pro longwear concealer (water resistant and medium to full matte coverage)










I am definitely not a master at contouring, mainly because I'm afraid of making it too dramatic and I prefer a little more of a subtle look. So, I've started out using +Too Faced Cosmetics contour palette, and yes it smells like chocolate. 





Old faithful, I have had this for years.. (I probably shouldn't) I love the original Naked palette too much to stop.


SO that is my usual make up routine for both day and night. 

Thanks and stay tuned folks.

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xox