Tuesday, March 28, 2006
South African inventor creates 'rapex' device fitted with hooks and barbs
KLEINMOND, South Africa - A South African inventor unveiled a new anti-rape female condom on Wednesday that hooks onto an attacker’s penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.
“Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time,” Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex," a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime.
Police statistics show more than 50,000 rapes are reported every year, while experts say the real figure could be four times that as they say most rapes of acquaintances or children are never reported.
Ehlers said the “rapex” hooks onto the rapist’s skin, allowing the victim time to escape and helping to identify perpetrators.
“He will obviously be too preoccupied at this stage,” Ehlers told reporters in Kleinmond, a small village about 60 miles east of Cape Town. “I promise you he is going to be too sore. He will go straight to hospital.”
The device, made of latex and held firm by shafts of sharp barbs, can only be removed from the man through surgery which will alert hospital staff, and ultimately, the police, she said.
It also reduces the chances of a woman falling pregnant or contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from the attacker by acting in the same way as a female condom.
South Africa has more people with HIV/AIDS than any other country, with one in nine of its 45 million population infected.
Ehlers, who showed off a prototype on Wednesday, said women had tried it for comfort and it had been tested on a plastic male model but not yet on a live man. Production was planned to start next year.
But the “rapex” has raised fears amongst anti-rape activists that it could escalate violence against women.
“If a victim is wearing such a device it may enrage the attacker further and possibly result in more harm being caused,” said Sam Waterhouse, advocacy coordinator for Rape Crisis.
Other critics say the condom is medieval and barbaric — an accusation Ehlers says should be directed rather at the act of rape.
“This is not about vengeance ... but the deed, that is what I hate,” she said.
I am not fully supportive of this device. The only positive thing about this flawed barbed condom is that it would possibly protect you from contracting an STD, especially HIV. It DOES NOT protect your from being raped
I agree with Sam Waterhouse that it may increase the violent behaviour of a rapist. Once "bitten" he may strike out and severely injure or perhaps kill the victim in a fit of rage. I won't claim to know how a rapists mind works, or even if I want to for that matter, but I am fairly confident that they may attack the victim with such fervor to render them incapacitated...
This contraption is not a preventative method for rape - a woman would have to be penetrated for it to be of any use, therefore they would already have suffered violation and immense terror prior to the Rapex being effective thus not limiting or reducing the impact of such an assault.
It is not a practical rape repellent. Personally, as a survivor of rape I would still not insert this contraption and wear it continuously inside and outside of my home. Statistically, most rapists are someone you already know, so in order for this device to be effective it would have to be "worn" twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. On a a lighter more sillier note, I don't think this would be a hygienic approach...
It is a rather ingenious concept, but not one that in my opinion is practical.
Something more practical is pepper spray, taser, whistle and self defence classes. If we are trying to prevent rape, we should PREVENT it.
It's a damned if I do, damned if I don't type of device...
Now don't get me wrong either, I'd absolutely enjoy inflicting excruciating pain on any rapist, but that's not the point here...
Friday, March 24, 2006
I think this is a wonderful idea to raise awareness and support for sexual abuse. If you're interested in the cause, please take a moment to visit the above link or leave a comment on either site.
Lets work together and make this dream a reality!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
By Jeff Griswold
The best and quickest way to improve your life is simple: just think more positively. You've probably heard this many times before. And you're probably thinking, "That's a great idea, but in the real world it's much easier said than done." That's true; like a lot of things in life, becoming a "positive" person is an idea that is simple but not necessarily easy. The goal of this brief article is to give you a few simple and practical techniques that will help you make positive thinking an automatic and permanent part of your life.
Your thought patterns have a huge influence over every aspect of your life. Your thoughts determine your personality, the quality of your relationships, your financial success, your physical health, and much more. You probably have an idea of the power of your thoughts. The fact that you're reading this indicates you know it's important. But if you're like most people, you still grossly underestimate the powerful physiological effects your thoughts can have. For example, by simply thinking of biting into a juicy, yellow lemon you can make your mouth water. That's just a small example of how a thought can create chemical changes in the body.
The fact is that your thoughts greatly influence much more important things than saliva production. Science has shown that positive thoughts increase your white blood cell count which helps you fight infection and disease. In a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of Wisconsin proved that people who practice positive thinking are better equipped to fight disease. In the study, a team of neuroscientists used electroencephalography to measure brain activity and then gave all the subjects flu shots. What they found is that positive thinking individuals had a significantly stronger immune response than those who exhibited more negative thought patterns. The bottom line: positive thinking can make you not only happier but healthier as well.
If you currently have habitual negative thought patterns - and most everyone does - you can learn to eliminate them and replace them with positive thought habits. But it won't happen on its own. You have to make a conscious decision to make a change. Once you do that - and with the help of a few simple techniques - it's actually pretty easy to become totally positive. Here are a few simple techniques you can start using right now:
Smile and Let the Tail Wag the Dog
Being happy can make you smile. But does it also work the other way? Can smiling make you happy? Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have discovered that mimicking the facial expressions associated with such emotions as happiness, sadness, and anger can trigger some of the same physical changes produced by actually feeling these emotions. By measuring an array of biometrics - such as heart rate, body temperature, and the electrical resistance of the skin - they demonstrated that simply smiling made the body "happy." Apparently moving facial muscles sends signals to the autonomic nervous system, which controls certain muscle and gland activity. This, in turn, spurs the physical reactions. So, smile and you'll be happy!
Create a Triggering Mechanism for Yourself
Now try your own smiling experiment. Put a big smile on your face right now. You may have to force it at first but do it anyway and see what happens. It's okay if you feel silly. Let the silliness make you smile even more.
As you smile, think of anytime in the past when you felt very happy, joyful and positive. We've all had experiences in our lives when we have felt very positive. Let yourself replay some of those positive moments right now. Let yourself relive feelings of being positive and confident. Continue to smile. Release all cares and concerns and with a big smile on your face, feel yourself becoming more and more positive and carefree.
As your positive feelings continue to build, press the thumb and middle finger of either hand together gently but firmly, and say to yourself "I am positive!" Again, while you're feeling very positive, press your thumb and middle finger together and say "I am positive!"
You have just programmed yourself with a mechanism that you can use to trigger these same positive thoughts and feeling anytime you choose. Practice this frequently and soon you'll notice that you can have a positive attitude in any situation merely by pressing your thumb and middle finger together and saying "I am positive!"
Choose Your Words Carefully
What you say and the words you choose are very important to maintaining a positive perspective and eliciting positive outcomes. For example, consider the word "don't". If you call out to a child "Don't slam the door!" what's the next sound we usually hear? Bam!! That's right, the door slamming. It's as if the child didn't hear the "don't." Only the positive part of the statement got through: "Slam the door!" However, if you say "Close the door softly," the child will be much more likely to comply.
Another dangerous word is "can't." People often say I can't lose weight, or I can't quit smoking, or I can't remember names. The more they say that, the more it becomes reality. From now on, let the use of that word be like a red light flashing as a warning that this is negative programming that can create false limitations. Don't let this word rob you of your true potential.
Eject Negative Self-Talk
More important than the words you say to others are the words you say to yourself. We all have an inner voice that reflects our subconscious thinking. Unfortunately, a lot of our self-talk is negative. For example: "I'll never be able to do it", or "I'll never understand it", or "I'm not smart enough", or "If something can go wrong, it will".
To eliminate negative self-talk you must first become aware of it. What are the things that you say to yourself that limit your potential? The moment you become aware of the negativity eject it! You can eject it just as easily as you can eject a tape from a tape deck.
To make that ejection more vivid, you can press your index finger against your thumb, or against a table or a dashboard, as if you're pressing a button, and at the same time emphatically say "EJECT!" Then immediately replace the negative with a positive such as "I can!" Over time, repeating this simple physical action will go a long way to helping you become totally positive.
Train Your Brain through Meditation
Research has shown that meditation increases activity in the left prefrontal cortex; the same area of the brain that scientists associate with positive thinking. And people who meditate regularly are typically found to be more positive and healthier than the population in general. So learn how to meditate - and practice it often. You'll train your brain to use its positive thinking centers more readily and quickly become a more positive person.
Remind Yourself of What's Important
A friend of ours who is a salesman and who's away from his home and family more than he'd like to be, told us about a tape he put together that never fails to lift his spirits. The tape consists of a series of messages from the most important people in his life: his wife, his father, his kids, and his closest friend. On his tape, each of these people says, in his or her own words, how important this man is to them. They say what they like, admire, and respect about him. They say how much they appreciate him, love him, and miss him when he's away. He says that after a tough sales call, or anytime he needs a lift, he plays that tape and instantly he feels very fortunate, very happy, and has greater sense of self-worth. It puts everything back in its proper perspective, and gives him renewed strength and a very positive attitude. Perhaps you could benefit from creating a similar tape of your own.
Wash Away Negativity with a Powerful Visualization
Another technique for feeling totally positive is called the funnel of energy. It's a simple visualization exercise that can take less than a minute, but it makes you feel great. Here's how you do it. Imagine there's a funnel of positive energy flowing in through the top of your head. This positive energy comes from the purist, highest, most divine source of energy in the universe. It makes you feel more alive, stronger, more aware and alert. The moment it enters your body you sense its positive, loving, healing effect. You feel it cleansing you of negativity. Washing away any past negative programming you have experienced.
It's dissolving all the old fears, the old inhibitions, the old limitations. Feel this positive, loving, healing energy washing away all negative thoughts, images and feelings. Feel it releasing your inner strength. The energy continues to flow in, through your shoulders, arms and hands, your chest, your back, abdomen, hips, legs and feet, reaching every part of your body dissolving all negativity. It's converting your entire body to healthful positive energy. Imagine all the negativity flowing out of your hands and feet leaving your body filled with only the purest positive energy. If feels so good to free yourself from negativity, it feels so good to be totally positive.
Practice this visualization any time you'd like. Allow the visualization to last as long as you need to feel revived and purged of all negativity. It's great any time you need a lift.
Welcome Life's Obstacles - Adversity is Opportunity
Life throws each of us a lot of curves. No one goes through life without problems, or without running into obstacles. And some of these problems or obstacles can be huge. But what's really important is how we face these obstacles. If we think negatively, we can be overwhelmed, give up or become ineffective in dealing with them. But there is a much better way to handle them. We can choose to look for something positive in the situation. We can choose to consider it a blessing in disguise - even if we have no idea what that blessing might be.
We can look for an advantage or opportunity in any situation. As Richard Bach points out in his book Illusions, "There is no such thing as a problem without a gift in its hands." And the Chinese word for crisis is written with two characters. One of them means opportunity.
Many of our students have become so positive that when an unexpected problem arises they automatically say "Oh good!" They then immediately start looking for the opportunity presented by the situation. And they inevitably find it. This can work for you, too. Learning to deal successfully with obstacles can help you live a more fulfilling life. As Booker T. Washington said, "Success is to be measured not so much by the positions that we have reached in life, as by the obstacles which we have overcome while trying to succeed."
Don't Worry - Be Happy
In order to be totally positive, we need to know how to deal with worry. Every thought we have affects us physically as well as mentally, and worry can be very harmful. Dr. Charles Mayo said; "Worry affects circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the health."
Think about the process you go through when you worry. In your mind you picture a negative end result. It takes no effort or willpower; you just dwell on it. And in a short time this negative end result appears very real to you and you generate the same emotions that you'd experience if it really happened. You experience the same fear, anxiety, or discouragement. Consequently, you end up feeling bad right now for something that is merely a thought in your mind. At the same time you are setting up patterns in your mind for future negative experiences. The more you worry, the more you train your mind to expect bad things. Even if your "problem" never manifests itself, the worry takes its toll through immediate discomfort and the harmful effects of excessive stress.
It's said that worry is interest paid in advance on a debt you may never owe. And Mark Twain put it this way; "I've had a lot of troubles in my day - most of which never happened." So, most worry is useless. You're better off ejecting it.
But you can take the same process you use to worry, change just one thing, and it can help you immensely. Instead of imagining a negative end result, imagine a positive one! This, too, takes very little effort or willpower. Just dwell on that positive end result and in no time at all you'll be generating the emotions that are associated with that experience. You'll feel great immediately as a result of something that is merely a thought in your mind. You'll feel joy, happiness, and self-confidence. Plus, you'll be setting up patterns in your mind for future positive experiences. So make the worry process work for you rather than against you. Get into the habit of expecting good things.
There are many other things you can do to become more positive, but this handful of ideas is a great start. Begin today and you'll soon realize what a tremendous impact they'll have on your life.
Published on Survivor of Rape and Incest with permission from the Author, Jeff Griswold.
Copyright © 2005 Jeff Griswold, Effective Learning Systems, Inc.
About the Authors:
Bob and Jeff Griswold are the Founder and President, respectively, of Effective Learning Systems, Inc., the leading creator of audio CDs and tapes for personal development and self-improvement. With over 100 titles available, their programs are among the bestselling self-improvement audio programs in national bookstores - including Barnes & Noble and Borders. Bob’s book, How to Attract Money, has been printed in 7 languages and he has personally taught over 50,000 people techniques for relaxation, memory, stress management, goal achievement and self-esteem through seminars for corporations, government agencies, and the general public. You can find Effective Learning Systems online at www.efflearn.com/101 or by phone at (800) 966-5683.
I really want to hurt myself right now. I want nothing more than to cut my arm, to have that momentary high and wave of relief wash over me. I'm fighting the urge. I'm writing instead. I'm doing what I know is better for me regardless of what I want. I need to keep the control I've had on SI, and I don't want to dissapoint myself or anyone else with a lapse.
I used to wonder why I had these breakdowns every so often - it hit me this morning. It's because I ignore my feelings, I stuff everything down until I'm about ready to explode, like today, and it happens when I'm emotionally and physically exhausted.
I do this to myself.
I'm scared to feel everything on a day to day basis. I wonder where I'd be, what I'd be doing to myself... I know it wouldn't be as extreme as what I'm going through right now, but it's still FEELING! This constant circle I go in with this is driving me fucking bananas!!
Fuck I want to cut
sad... for everything I have lost, for getting angry with myself instead of my abusers
scared...I want to hurt myself
ashamed... I want to hurt myself, for being raped, for being sexually abused by my father
vulnerable... for having feelings
alone... I don't know - I just do…
embarrassed... for having feelings
angry... at myself for having feelings, for not letting myself feel what I feel, for being abused and raped, for being vulnerable, for not protecting myself better, for not fighting back harder, for
frustrated... for feeling sad and vulnerable, for letting my past control me, for stuffing everything down
stupid... for having feelings
Wish I had a magic wand....
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
If just one person believes in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you...
Hard enough, and long enough,
It stands to reason, that someone else will think
"If he can do it, I can do it."
Making it: two whole people, who believe in you
Deep enough, and strong enough,
Believe in you.
Hard enough and long enough
There's bound to be some other person who
Believes in making it a threesome,
Making it three.....
People you can say: believe in me.....
And if three whole people,
Why not -- four?
And if four whole people,
Why not--more, and
And when all those people,
Believe in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough,
Believe in you...
Hard enough, and long enough
It stands to reason that you yourself will
Start to see what everybody sees in
And maybe even you,
Can believe in you... too!
Monday, March 20, 2006
I came to this realization by way of emailing with a friend I met through this blog. She pointed out that she considers the people she has connected with through her blog as being dear friends even though we are completely anonymous. I feel the same way. I have connected more deeply with these anonymous people than I have with the "real" people in my life. I'm not always able to comment or offer my support via comments because sometimes it feels like they are in my head, writing exactly how I feel and it sometimes it scares the hell out of me. At the same time it offers much comfort to know I'm not alone in these feelings or thoughts, that there are people out there struggling with similar things and continuing to survive...
Are the one sided relationships healthy? That's a question that is now plaguing me and troubling me.
Are they completely one sided? I would say no. If I have a fluffy problem, such as a work issue they are there to listen to me and help me if I need it, anything deeper and I'm on my own.
As if I was broken
I've been trying so hard to keep my head above water these past few weeks, and as I mentioned previously I'm doing it by not allowing myself to feel. I need to create a safe space for myself so I can feel and then neatly tuck those feelings away until I can handle it again. I've tried doing this, but I suck at it! I have a hell of a time trying to put my feelings back in the "container".
I started smoking again... I'm going to try quitting soon though, next Monday I think.
I had a really hard time with the contract for no pot this weekend. I was partying it up Saturday night and a friend handed me a blunt - I stood there, like I was frozen and just held it staring at it. I have to admit it smelled good! My counsellors voice popped in my head... disappointed... I passed it to another friend and left the room. I disappeared into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub and slammed back a bottle of wine, still not a wise choice and I'm not sure which is worse... I didn't break the contract even though I came close to it!
I dunno... just gonna pull the covers over my head and pretend the world doesn't exist...
Friday, March 17, 2006
I feel like I was starting to come out of my cocoon, only to step right back into it.
This is my constant battle - feeling!
I want to feel, yet at the same I don't. I'm scared of my feelings and don't really know how to handle them. I've been doing so well with the self injury and smoking pot and drinking I'm afraid that if I let myself feel what's there I might slip and break a contract with my counsellor - I CANNOT break either contract. At the same time, I can't not let myself feel either.
It's weird, I know the sadness is there, but I'm not letting it surface. I don't understand how this works, and I guess maybe that is part of the problem - if I can learn how I control my feelings maybe I won't need to control them? Does that even make sense?
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Saddie was my little buddy. She would run around my desk while I worked and would sleep on the keyboard of my laptop. She would ride around my shoulder and bury herself in my hair while we watched TV.
I noticed she was sick this morning before I started work. I took her out of her cage and she was cold and shivering, I wrapped her up in a towel and put her on my keyboard, her favorite daytime nap spot. I gave her water with a dropper and talked to her all day.
A few minutes after I got off work she started gasping for air, I picked her up and gently stroked her head. I told her it was OK to go, she opened one eye and looked at me, took a couple more breaths and let go.
She may have been a hamster, but she was my buddy and I will miss her.
Monday, March 13, 2006
My dogs! I have 2 labs and I love them to death! They're more like my kids than anything. I spoil them rotten with toys and treats, they sleep with me every night and get more of the bed than I do!
I got Spazz first, he's a black lab mix and is now about six years old. I got him from the animal shelter when I lived in Alaska for a few years back in 2000. I've always had a dog my entire life and moving to Alaska and being isolated by my ex-husband, I had to get a dog!
I walked up to the chain link fence at the shelter and a couple of dogs growled and one tried to bite my hand. This medium sized black dog with a white patch on his chest came up and looked at me and started licking my hand. He had the most beautiful brown eyes and looked like he was wearing a tuxedo with the way white patch ran down his chest and how it crested under his chin. I fell in love instantly!
I talked to the lady who ran the shelter and she said there was important information I needed to know about Rusty (they named him Rusty at the shelter) before she could consider adopting him out. We sat down in her office and she told me his story.
They found him tied to a tree near death. His front legs were broken and his mouth was full of blood. His belly also had stitches in it that was NOT done by a Vet, and half of the wound was ripped open.
They took him to one of the Vets in town and they discovered through XRAYS that someone had neutered him, basically slaughtered his insides. The Vet fixed him up, put his front legs in casts and removed the remaining pieces of his molars that appeared to have been kicked out of his mouth. The Vet estimated his age at around 9 months.
This broke my heart. I was almost in tears listening to her and decided at that very second that he was mine. I was going to take care of him, love him like he deserved to be loved and give him one heck of a good doggie life! I told her that and we filled out the papers and later that day I got to take Rusty home.
I went to Walmart and got him a kennel, a doggie bed, a TON of toys, dishes, food and a leash.
When I picked up Rusty that afternoon I hooked on his leash and I almost got my arm yanked off! He took off running and I was being dragged behind him, this is where the name Spazz came in! (He didn't look like a Rusty anyway)
I loaded him up into my ex-husbands truck and we went home. I tied him up outside while I set up a running line for him, he didn't take his eyes off me the entire time.
It was a very trying first few weeks. Spazz was scared of everything, you couldn't pet him on his head, he would cower and pee. Every time the furnace turned on, he'd cry and pee. He was terrified of flashlights and rubber boots. He also hated my ex-husband (smart dog!!) and chewed on everything he owned. I would end up getting smacked around for Spazz's actions but I didn't care, I wasn't giving up on this dog.
I saw myself in Spazz, here was this little innocent puppy who had been abused and beaten to near death, and just like me he was abandoned. I had felt abandoned my entire life, I had no one to protect me, rescue me or love me as a child, I had been hurt ineffable ways. As far as I was concerned Spazz and I were in this together, we'd help each other. I took care of him and he took care of me.
It took a very long time to establish trust with Spazz, to let him know I wasn't going to hurt him or let anyone else hurt him either. My ex-husband kicked him a couple of times and I stood up for Spazz, in turn I got my fair share of black eyes and bruised ribs.
It was completely worth it!
Today Spazz is nothing like he was when I got him. He wouldn't cuddle, rarely gave kisses and wouldn't listen to me AT ALL! Now he thinks he's a lap dog, and at 110 pounds it's a struggle to have him sit in my lap, but I wrap my arms around him and struggle to breathe regardless.
Sandy is a purebred yellow lab, she turned five in January! She's my baby, my little girl! I got her 5 months after I got Spazz because I was working a lot and didn't want Spazz to be alone.
When I brought her home she was seven weeks old and tiny as could be! Spazz looked at her, looked at me, let out a big WOOF! which sent Sandy running under a chair scared to death! That night I had separated them in kennels (the ex wouldn't let them share our bed) and Sandy cried and whined for 2 hours straight. I finally got up, took her out of her kennel and put her in Spazz's kennel. Spazz looked at me with this "what the hell is THAT thing doing in my bed?" look and sat there. Sandy curled up between his paws and promptly went to sleep. I thanked Spazz and went back to bed. When I got up the next morning Spazz and Sandy were snuggled up together. They were friends!
Sandy is strictly my dog. She always has been and always will be. She has protected me numerous times from my ex-husband and once got seriously injured in the process. He had me pinned on the floor with his knees on my chest and was choking me, Sandy was growling at him and for the first time ever she lunged and bit him. He jumped off of me and kicked her so hard in the stomach she hit the wall. It was like this switch was flicked on in me, I lost it! I grabbed him and punched him repeatedly as hard as I could, I flipped him on the floor and started choking him screaming "how the fuck do you like it" I told him if he EVER touched my dogs again I'd kill him. I think he knew I would too because that was the last time he mistreated them and a very long time passed before he laid a hand on me.
Today, Sandy is still very protective of me. I'm very protective of Spazz.
Friday, March 10, 2006
I am now registered for my BA in Psych!
My first course starts May 1, 2006.
I am sooooooo excited. I've wanted to do this for such a long time but I have been too scared to actually pursue it. Thanks to my counsellor for giving me this as homework!
I need some help making a decision.
My father and his new wife have offered me an all expenses paid trip to New York for my birthday. I'm not sure what to do. I really want to go to New York! At the same time, I'm nervous and scared of what may happen with my father. I confirmed with his wife that I would have my own hotel room and that I don't have to spend any time with them if I'm not interested in what they want to do. The only time I have to see them is for the Broadway play and maybe a dinner or two. They won't even be at the same hotel as they are going for a wedding and will be staying with his wife's relatives.
I think I can keep myself safe.
A large part of me wants to go. A smaller part thinks it's not such a good idea to put myself in that type of situation.
I talked to my boyfriend about it, he thinks if I can keep my distance and do my own thing except for the above mentioned dinner and play then I shouldn't pass up the opportunity.
I talked to a really good friend who is also a survivor of CSA and she said if she had the opportunity she would also go. She also said that as she lives fairly close to New York we could get together for a few days and sight see and support each other if needed. She also offered me an out if I need it and that would be staying with her until we leave.
I think I have my bases covered... and I wanna go!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
It hits very close to home. The character was raped and experienced severe severe sexual harassment in the workplace. She took her case to court, endured much character scrutiny and still persevered and managed to win.
I did the same, only I gave up halfway through and settled for a small sum of money because it was too emotionally draining.
Watching the movie brought the sexual harassment back.
A man I worked with cornered me in a cubicle and undid my blouse pulling it away to look at my breasts - all to coerce me into returning from my lunch break 5 minutes early so he could go.
It was a rough night last night.
A very brutal day today.
I need to bitch about work for a second so it doesn't ebb at me for the rest of the day. We are yet again severely short staffed and the workload is insane. I got my ass chewed by my manager for making a spelling mistake on a page out this morning after responding to 32 calls in less than 2 hours. (I'm a senior tech with a major technology company) Then I get a call from my TL to yell at me for the same thing not 20 minutes later. In a moment of sheer frustration I asked her how the company thinks only providing negative feedback is a good driving force for the team? I was met with dead silence on the line so I continued and told her that negative feedback, threats, being treated as a child, etc is not a way to motivate me or the team but quite the opposite. I said I am very well aware when I make a mistake and I am not perfect and cannot do the job of 4 people but would appreciate a more professional approach when being informed of an error while I am undertaking such duties and responsibilities. I thanked her and hung up. I have absolutely had it. It took everything I had not to put in my resignation today!
Add that with my sleepless night of crying in bed after watching the movie...
I'm doing great!!
Still holding onto the day of skating... there are good things in this life, just gotta find 'em...
Sunday, March 05, 2006
It was amazing.
I was flooded with good memories of my childhood; the ones which have been tainted with the bad.
I remembered being a little girl and my father (yes, my father) was teaching me how to skate, I was clutching onto his hands for dear life. I remember giggling and how much fun it was.
I used to spend most days at the skating rink a block from my house.
It was great to be back on the ice today. To be skating, to have the cold wind in my lungs and the burn in my legs, the biggest grin on my face.
I felt free - weightless!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
She's seen the books I've been reading.
She put two and two together.
I was sitting on the couch watching TV, she in her recliner. I'm wearing a T-shirt, the sleeve pulled up a bit when I reached for my can of diet Pepsi, she caught the scars out of the corner of her eye.
She flipped out.
Are you cutting yourself? she screamed. She had this disgusted look on her face.
I laughed my nervous laugh, grinned my oh fuck grin and said no.
She grabbed my arm and yanked up the sleeve and was greeted with dozens of inch long cuts and burns, cigarette burns and smaller cuts - all scars except for the slip last week.
She looked at me you're really sick.
I laughed and said don't worry about it, it's nothing.
It's not funny. You're sick and I'm really worried about you.
I'm starting to think unhealthy relationships are easier as there is less invested and less room for hurt.
OK, so even I can see the problems with my above statement!
I had another session with my counselor today and we did a lot of work, a big correlation came up and in talking about it another correlation came up. It took a fair amount out of me actually but while this is alive for me I need to write about it.
My boyfriend cancelled plans with me today to go to a hockey game, we were supposed to do dinner and relax watching TV/movies. He told me this afternoon he was going and I said cool. I acted like it was no big deal, but it kind of is. Before we can make plans he checks with the boys to see what's going on with them. This really bothers me - makes me feel second fiddle.
I was really angry earlier this afternoon and my first reaction was to just run, to break up with him rather than look at my feelings and talk to him.
It's my normal. The normal that we're changing. Slowly.
I understand why I just take things like this in stride and make it OK - because he's sacrificing something for me. Rather, to be with me. And it's his decision to give up this "thing" but I feel guilty because I know it's something he would enjoy and probably prefer to have. But he said it's OK, he would never expect this "thing" from me and that he absolutely understands why it would be an issue. I also think that because he's giving this up, I should just accept his constantly checking with the boys before making plans with me or breaking the plans if something "better" comes along. Because of this I'm scared to talk to him about it, to let him know that it bothers me, makes me feel second fiddle and kind of hurts.
There's another reason as well...
My ex-husband. If I expressed any feelings or let him know if something he did hurt me, made me angry, anything, it would turn into a fight. A huge fight. Usually resulting in a black eye or imprints of his hands around my throat.
On an intellectual level (somewhere in me at least) I KNOW my boyfriend would never hurt me like that. The terror of my ex is still there though, it's very much real. It's incredibly scary to think about talking to my boyfriend and expressing how his actions hurt me. It's almost as if I'm expecting he's going to wind up and punch me in the head. It's an unrealistic and realistic fear at the same time. It is again my normal.
Tomorrow I am going to muster up the very same courage I used last week and talk to my boyfriend about it. Not make it a big deal, but get my feelings across and come to some kind of a mutual understanding.
Looking at this and realizing just how much my past has affected me is the reminder and drive I need to keep going with counselling and this healing stuff.
This is hard. Really really hard. But it's worth it.