This is probably one of the hardest blogs I have ever had to write. I had been umming and ahhing for months if I should really pen this down and I decided that now is a better time than any.
Firstly before I start this. This is no way intended to be a finger pointing exercise. It isn’t about me pointing fingers or shifting blame. What it is about is letting go, moving on, walking away, re-discovering myself and being happy. It is also to reach out to those who feel they don’t have anyone to turn to.
I took a walk on Takapuna beach after work today. Purely to enjoy the sunshine and the longer hours that we in NZ are now enjoying. It was also to gather my thoughts. It only really hit me today that it is October and that this October is so different to the one I was experiencing last year.
To put it bluntly I was miserable last year. I was stuck in a emotionally abusive relationship with a man who had no respect for me or for how I felt.
In the beginning it was great. He was this very charming person who while being very different from me, seemed to take a great interest in what I was about. He pushed for he and I to become something more and we shifted in together shortly after. In the back of my mind knew it wasn’t a good idea but I pushed these thoughts aside and figured I should give it a shot. Looking back now I see so many red flags I should have been more alarmed about but let them go because I figured not everyone is perfect. We’re not designed that way.
I knew he had his insecurities. Which was fine I had mine. But I didn’t realise how much of a problem it was going to be until it became my own personal prison.
It began slowly. Little things. Like when I wanted my space he’d sulk and say I hated spending time with him for example.
Then it got worse.
There were days that I would dread going home. The same arguments, the same doubts resurfacing every single day. I was always painted as the bad guy if I tried to defend myself. It was always my fault.Soon the accusations started. My phone would be under constant surveillance as was my Facebook. Anyone new who entered my life was constantly questioned. I constantly felt as thought I needed to justify my actions or justify why anyone (including my close friends) was trying to get in touch with me. Because to him, why? Why do they feel the need to always stay in touch?
I became this withdrawn shell of myself. I would constantly be on edge, the more he pushed the further away I withdrew. To the point where I stopped caring all together. Tears were a frequent occurrence. Even when someone would say the smallest comment, I couldn’t figure out why. I felt defensive all the time. He hated my friends so it would become an ordeal if I wanted to go out somewhere without him. He would constantly state that I was cheating on him or that I was seeing someone else, or looking for another partner.
Pressure to leave my job increased because he didn’t like my workplace. Which was odd as he had onced worked there himself. I became tense at work all the time and everyone noticed. While my job is stressful and often I can get stressed out, it had never been that bad. Being belittled was a daily occurrence. I was never smart enough, my degree was useless (this is despite him not going to university) that I was a whore and most of all that I was a terrible partner. When I shared pieces about my past, he would use it as a weapon against me. So I stopped sharing. I admit, I am not the most affectionate person and sometimes I can be standoffish. But it doesn’t mean I care any less.
I couldn’t bring myself to admit that this was happening. When people would ask if I was okay I would smile and say “of course!” then sink back into the black hole of depression that I had found myself in.
Push finally came to shove when after a heated argument via text occurred while I was trying to work ended with me in tears once again. (note awkward crying at work) I stepped back inside after trying to console myself. This is when my CEO came across me. He ordered me into the ice box (a room we call the ice box) and already knew what was wrong. He told me he had known for months that I wasn’t happy. He could see it every time I passed in the hallways at work or interacted with people. His advice was to leave to pack my things, leave work for the day and go to seek refuge at my Grans. His advice was clear. I had made my decision and I needed to stick to it. And I did. Although I couldn’t physically leave for months I could leave emotionally.
The oddest thing is that I didn’t see it until someone put it in front of me. Until that very moment that I realised I deserved better.
I regained myself almost instantly. My friends who stood by me hugged me and told me they were so glad to have me back. My CEO and work colleagues said it was so good to have me smiling, joking and being fun again. My Gran breathed a sign of relief because she was happy to have me be me again.
I walked away because it was the best thing for my mind, my soul and my self esteem. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. No one should constantly spend time in tears because of another person. Have their privacy taken away and have their character chipped at constantly. Emotional abuse isn’t okay and its a realistic problem that a lot of people have to deal with. I deem mine at the lower end of the scale but not okay in any case no matter the severity.
If you are going through something like this or you see the signs in someone else, reach out. Its hard to recognise . But its there and its real. Sometimes they leave deeper scars than you realise .
I felt it was time that I wrote this one out. Not because I still deem it an issue but because I feel like I was getting a weight off my chest that I had never really shifted.
As one last thought. Thank you to all my beautiful, wonderful, amazing friends who were there for me. Emma, Katie, Ina, Simona and Jay to name a few you guys were my lights at the end of the tunnel.
This was only a very small chapter in the book of my life and one i’m glad to close.
You cannot hangout with negative people and expect a positive life.
Firstly before I start this blog entry I want to say congratulations to my friends Jessica and Mike on their engagement. I couldn’t be happier for you two and I’m wishing you both a lifetime of happiness.
I was clearing out my computer today..Basically going through all the documents on here that I needed to get rid of. Things that were taking up memory space that just needed to be deleted.
I came across a short piece of writing I had done from 3 years ago now. It was a piece of nostalgia and a bit of pain locked away on my laptop that I had truly forgotten about. I have since deleted it.
It served as a reminder of all the things I couldn’t say back then. All the things I was too scared to admit to myself. It also served as a reminder that some memories are better filed away and forgotten than constantly in front of you.
It also caused me a lot of pain reading it and remembering again that I have now lost two of my photo albums that hold an era of memories. Snapshots of people I love and also people who have walked out of my life. Memories that I will have to be content with only holding in my mind and never again in my hands.
But it also made me realize how far I had come. How much has changed, how much has stayed the same. But most of all how much I am looking forward to the future. To my next big adventure. To the new memories I will make and the new lessons I will learn.
Sometimes the only reason that people hold on to memories so tightly is because memories are the only things that don’t change while everyone else does.
The last month has been one of those roller coaster rides where I simply just wish I could get off. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.
When times like this occur it generally brings out the worst in me. And loops in some sort of vicious cycle until I take a step back and gain some perspective.
Thankfully I managed to gain some today. And I realized some flaws or rather traits of my personality that I have when it comes to dealing when things go wrong. So I suppose this is like an open confession of me knowing I am flawed, not perfect and that’s okay.
Sometimes I let one person or one thing go wrong ruin my day. To the point where it really does ruin everything and then carries on for the rest of the week. I need to remind myself that it’s water off a ducks back! Play my happy song and move on. (for those who are curious - its Paulo Nutinis Pencil full of lead)
I’m too blunt. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I often forget that some people aren’t used to me giving my direct thoughts and I unintentionally offend people. It often results in me having to go back and explain.
I don’t like asking for help. This is one that i’m slowly learning I really need to work on. In all aspects of my life. Work and personal. Its a slow process but I’m hoping I can get there. The issue with this is that it builds and all of a sudden a set of small problems flood and I become overwhelmed. By speaking up sooner I could have avoided the whole situation. The bigger the situation the more withdrawn I become.
I’m okay with knowing that I’m flawed and not perfect. Everyone has their little traits. I suppose the biggest thing is to remember that you are always a work in progress. The book isn’t written yet, the journey isn’t over and the only person who can travel your path is you.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day with both my brother and sister. Its a rare occurrence when it happens as my sister resides overseas and so when the three of us get together its pretty special. We’ve always lived apart and lead all pretty independent lives.
I’ve always I guessed kind of taken for granted the time I get to spend with the two of them Being the eldest I sometimes feel its a sense of duty to be looking out for both of you. Sometimes its a hard reminder that you are both old enough to take care of yourselves that you don’t need me anymore..
And so, here I sit. Typing out a letter to the both of you. Some things you know, some things you don’t and some things I forget to tell you guys.
By default you were born to be my best friend. All the photos of us growing up together. You claim there aren’t any of you alone. That’s probably because I insisted on being in every one of your photos anyway. I remember when I first got my car and you were my partner in crime. All the little trips we’d do out of TK just because we could, singing as loud as we could to my music and playing songs on repeat because we couldn’t get enough of them.
When you first told me you were leaving for Thailand I was devastated. I hid it well because I didn’t want you to know how badly I wanted you to stay. I don’t think it would have mattered. You’re this independent soul. I wanted you to spread your wings, and sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice in staying or if I should be following in your footsteps.
Sometimes it makes me chuckle, when you think I have all the answers. I don’t. Sometimes I have no idea. But I’ll go ahead and research anyway because I hate letting you down. It amazes me sometimes because at times you know me better than I know myself. Believe it or not, I actually started this tumblr blog thanks to something you posted a long time ago.
In my eyes, you are the bravest person I know. A lot of the time I’m in awe of everything you have accomplished at 24 years old. At the same time, I will always want to protect you. It’s been that way since we were kids and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. But just remember, you can still come to me, still ask me questions. I maybe on the other side of the world but i’m only a message away.
I know you’ve always seen me as this pain in the ass, bossy older sister and we’ve never had an easy relationship. Sometimes I think that four year age difference makes it seem like we’re worlds apart.
Believe it or not you are actually some of my very first memories. I remember when Mum was pregnant with you and I used to try and listen for the baby. And then when you were born, I remember standing in the hall way of the hospital listening to Mum and Dad throw names around. (I distinctly remember Dad vetoing Alexander)
We only really started to learn about each other when you turned 18. Which makes me sad, so much time we wasted. I enjoy our brunch dates and it never fails to surprise me when you ask me for advice.
I keep reminding you that your 22, you’re young and you literally have the world at your feet. Your worried about a job and making a name for yourself. I’ll let you in on a secret. No one really has their shit together at 22 kiddo. I know I sure as hell didn’t. You need to remember that everyone travels a different path. I have every faith that you will get there. But just take your time, there is no rush!
There is so much more I wish I could tell the both of you but I’ll save it for another time. I’m looking forward to us all spending some serious time together in Asia and seeing another year out.
"Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago - the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider…. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled." - Jane Mersky Leder
There are some days when I wake up and realize how incredibly lucky I am.
Today was one of them.
While it wasn’t the greatest day in history, it was a day where I am reminded how the army of people you surrounded yourself with can so often reflect how you feel about yourself.
One of my girlfriends sent me a quote to blog about today. It stated;
Don’t talk, act
Don’t say, Show
Don’t promise, prove
I found this interesting. Quite often I find myself surrounded by people who find it easy to talk and promise but the follow through isn’t always the best.
I feel that promises are too easily made these days. That its the norm to promise something and never really keep it. Sometimes circumstances don’t allow you too and there are acceptable reasons but I feel a promise should never be made if it can’t be kept.
Now i’m not a person who beats around the proverbial bush. If I have an issue about something I have no hesitations in telling you exactly what is my problem. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and I don’t plan on changing that any time soon. (yet I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve..how does that work?)
I’d rather be shown affection, or friendship than have it said. Sometimes I’ll be speaking to Katie (the author http://thecupcakecrumbles.tumblr.com/) and she’ll randomly remember something I had mentioned weeks ago. It indicates shes listening. Sometimes I need to remind myself to be a better listener also. But she leads by example.
I think we often forget how powerful our words can be. We forget that by using them flippantly we fail to realize how they can affect others. Be it bad or good.
I had someone tell me today they were surprised at how much of my soul I bare of here. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. But then I saw this quote below. And I wondered…
An old friend of mine whom I have known since I was 13 turned 27 yesterday. I realized that in two months i’ll be the ripe age of 26. Old I know.
It also occurred to me that it means its been a decade since I was 16 years old. I can’t believe a whole 10 years has passed just like that. It literally seems like yesterday I was 16.
I kind of laugh thinking about it, what I was doing, who I was friends with and what seemed so important to me. Yet some of my biggest life lessons were learned when I was 16.
Some of you might know I started blogging at 16. Some of you might even have read the crap I wrote. (more crap than what it is now I’m sure) I actually thought I’d have my life together by the time I turned 23 when I was that age. God knows it took me a little longer but I’m slowly getting there.
I was a fairly stubborn teen and really I’ve just evolved into a stubborn adult. Except i’m more willing to admit it. I wasn’t very shy either, I found talking to people easier then. Whereas now…I tend to have a mild panic attack if I’m placed in a large party and I don’t know anyone.
At 16 I was also reeling from my very first heartbreak to my first love. That was the biggest learning curve for me. It shattered me to the very core and the recovery process was one I wasn’t familiar with. I insisted I was fine, and we both continuously broke each other hearts for years afterwards by trying to be friends. Neither of us were ready for that. So I learned that a clean break is always best.
I also learnt not to try and down a bottle of chilli sauce after drinking beer…unpleasant results to say the least.
I remember spiraling at the loss of my friend Jess and not being able to understand why someone so beautiful was taken away so soon.
I remember all the trips my best friend Ash and I used to take to Auckland sneakingly. Driving, busing however we could to get away from the small town that confined us. More still, dreaming of all the places we would travel to. Some of which I managed to tick off my list. Others I’m yet to get to.
I couldn’t have guessed how my life would have turned out at that age. I’d like to think if I ever met my 16 year old self she’d tell me she was proud at how we managed. I don’t think I’d ever wish for a do-over. I’d even take the bad times. All those lessons I learned as a 16 year old, all the days I’d spend plotting my next adventure have led me to be the (almost) 26 year old I am today.
I hope I can look back in another 10 years and smile just as much.
Sometimes I struggle to write. And some days I’m not even sure if I should be blogging. But I do it anyway, knowing that I always feel better after.
I’ve built my blog on brutal honesty. And sometimes truths I never knew until I typed them out. So all of a sudden I’m shy? And quite often I can be a contradiction.
Two months ago I was floating along fine. Happily being alone and figuring out what I wanted in life. I was in no way shape or form prepared for what would happen.
I’ve always been a cynic. In some shape or form I can never quite be the complete optimist. I fear that if I allow myself to be happy I’m not sure what will happen once its taken away from me. And so a cynic I remained.
That was until two months ago.
I was unprepared. You were this tall stranger gazing at me intently while I jabbered away about the first things that came to my head while choking on my coffee. I felt myself falter when you came close and so I did the only thing I knew.
I kept resisting. I don’t trust easily and its not without good reason. I’ve had my fair share of disappointments and it just made more sense to me to keep on keeping those walls up. That didn’t deter you and little by little I let you in. You told me to keep my heart open. So I did. You read all my strange facial expressions and gauged what I was thinking. I was afraid of what would happen. I thought I knew how this would play out. I really had no idea of what was coming. And maybe that’s a good thing. I remember telling you in no uncertain terms that you would either be a very bad thing or a very good thing. But I was too scared to find out. I decided to jump blindly anyway and let the cards fall where they may.
Sometimes I’m a lost soul. I can be indifferent and cold sometimes. A fact that has been told to me many times. It’s not always intentional (sometimes its just resting bitchy face) and when it is its because I’m trying to protect number 1 first. I’ve never been good with wearing my heart on my sleeve. I’m bad with words and sometimes I feel I don’t come across as sincere. No matter how hard I try to be.
I realize now what I’ve hypocritically telling my friends after all. That being vulnerable can be powerful. And sometimes it takes vulnerability for you to really move ahead. I could have kept myself locked up. Taking a chance was a much better gamble and one that I doubt I’ll regret no matter the out come.
We all take risks. Not all of them end up the way we want. But when they do oh is it worth it.
Falling in love, romance, matters of the heart - when you fall in love, on some biochemical level you know there is a chance it won’t work out. It’s ingrained in us that if you take such an enormous risk on someone with your heart that it might not pay off. I gamble all my chips and I might actually lose everything.
I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog. Reality is that it has only been a couple of weeks. Truth be told I had actually been sick so this wasn’t a priority during that time. But I’m a million times better now and looking forward to hitting the keyboard and venting some thoughts.
A friend of mine a few weeks back requested I write my thoughts on why modern women have it good.
We grew up in an era where we simply have the privilege and freedom of choice. I don’t think many of us realize how powerful that is until it is taken away from us.
We all grew up with the ability to choose who we want to be, how we are treated and who our friends are. Our decisions are purely of our own making. Yet we take this for granted in a lot of ways.
The ability to choose our own paths in life is something that shouldn’t be thrown away or taken for granted. And I think for some having that ability terrifies them. It takes a special sort of bravery to pull away from the accepted norm and carve your own path. But I promise it will be worth it.
I see my path but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.
Those days where things feel impossible that the world is falling apart around you or that you just want to hide away from everything.
And sometimes we need someone, to talk to, to confide in or someone to simply say “your mess is mine”. That they will take on that day with you, give you the courage you need when you can’t find it. Or simply let you know that when your ready..they will be there for you.
These people are rare beautiful lights that come into our lives. Some stay forever, some stay for a fleeting moment and others flicker in and out.
Its easy to stand by people when their happy. When the sun is shining and the birds are singing. It takes a different kind of love to stand by someone when their sad, worried or just generally feeling blue.
Your mess is mine.
“The heart has fallen for many things, the best by far being you.”