Automatic Name Suppression

When I was told I had automatic name suppression I wasn’t sure how I felt.  

I think it’s an important and a respectful idea and I completely understand why this exists as a law to protect victims of sex crimes.  

But I wasn’t sure how I felt as it had already taken me 7 years to come forward and now that I finally had it was a very difficult thing to get my head around that I was being silenced once again – this time not by myself but by the courts.  I had no choice in the matter, it’s not just to protect me but also to protect my family they said.

It added to my feels, I should protect my family, make sure no one knows this happened to me, they might feel embarrassed, what if one of my nephews or nieces gets asked about it at school..  But I feel no shame in this. I believe I will make my nieces and nephews proud knowing that I came forward to the police, I know it.

We are so wrapped up in the shame factor.  

I’d spent all that time, 7 years,  feeling ashamed in myself and responsible for something that happened to me, the walls of guilt that I built up around myself were like a name suppression in their own right and I was locked down within that embarrassment of something that was not of my control.

No one wants to get raped.  No one chooses to be sexually violated.  I don’t understand why I should still have to feel shame over something that someone else did, yes I was victim to it, but I did nothing to feel ashamed about, the only person worthy of those adjectives is the rapist.

I wanted to hold my head up, I wanted to feel proud, feel brave, I wanted to bask in my new found freedom which was that I was NOT responsible for what happened.

I couldn’t.  I couldn’t tell a soul about what was happening, I couldn’t now talk about something that I had kept secret for so long.  It felt like the shaming around rape was smothering the fire of strength I had just lit beneath me.

The courts were on my side, they wanted accountability for this crime committed against me, yet by my automatic name suppression I felt they were telling me I should be embarrassed; not to put my family through the grief of finding out what had happened to me 7 years before.

I was so confused, so conflicted.  I think if I had been given a choice I would have chosen the name suppression but the fact that I had no choice felt violating in itself.

It concreted in those feelings I was trying so hard to strip away.  Rape culture is not going anywhere if we continue to have this secrecy and shame surrounding the sex crimes.  Absolute respect for anyone who doesn’t want to share the story, and after going through the entire court process I know it was definitely the right thing to have name suppression and I wouldn’t want it to have been any other way.

So it’s not in anyway a bad thing to have automatic name suppression.  It’s one hundred percent the right thing to have, it absolutely protects the victim in so many ways.  I do wish that it wasn’t such a process to have it lifted. , for it to have to go before a judge to decide whether or not it would be.

It’s a crazy thing, it empowers and disempowers me all at once.  

 

Advertisements

Hang up your art already

Just moved house.  Fucking hell.  It’s never not a mission.  But it’s so great that it’s done and I find myself landed here in a lovely room in between the lounge and the kitchen, at my dining table with bowls laden with fruit and flowers as fresh and as new as the beginnings I’m now in.  Walls still empty and the blank whiteness is clearing and mellowing on my soul.

There’s a fireplace that doesn’t function and it’s become my nappy station of nappies, wipes, powders, creams, and the heat pump remote.  I haven’t got my first power bill to know how heavy I have to limit my heat pump usage and the novelty of it is battling with my power usage brain.  I still have all my undies and bras in the top shelf of my now sons dresser in his room and kinder surprise toys are absolutely no good for little people, there are small pockets of madness all about the place and my minds much the same.

Life’s good, with little people about it always is and couldn’t not be.  So freaking beautiful are those fast, young years, it could fill your eyes with tears anytime of the day to think on it.  Through the stumbles and the tantrums and the tears, the confusion and the laughter and the joy, little hearts bursting with love like sunflowers that don’t even know the meaning of hope because they haven’t had to hope yet and their eyes show it.

Totally feels like home this place, even without any art up yet.

Let’s Shag

There are many different types of shags.  As you get older, wiser, more experienced, you start to be able to differentiate pretty quickly.  I’m not talking positions, I’m talking about them feels which can make or break a good shag, regardless of how great either of you are in the sack, these feels make up the goodness of the type of sexual connection you will have.

In no particular order:

THE DISINTERSTED

One of you has lost your zest for sex.  Strangely this doesn’t affect your want to have sex, but once you’re past the fore play it’s pretty much a dead zone as the other party or yourself has pretty much left the room already and is just going through the perfunctory actions of.   This is one of the worst shag types.  Why bother.

THE MALE MOANER

This affects even the greatest sex.  You’re wild, he may have just gone down on you like your the worlds tastiest all you can eat buffet but as soon as he enters you he omits with each thrust a high pitched almost feminine moan.  Not good.  We want the masculinity.  Moaning is great and you probably only know this one if you’ve unfortunately experienced it, but that little feminine moan kills all your desire no matter how great he weilds his member, one word – unfortunate.

THE WHERE THE FUCK DID THIS COME FROM

This is when you end up in bed with someone and you’re not even sure if there’s any chemistry and all of a sudden you’re naked and the fireworks and passion throws you into orgasm overdrive.  Often only experienced with unavailables.

THE ALL SIGNS POINTED TO YES

But once you get intimate, it’s a no.

THE PAST LIVES ONE

When you don’t know the other partner from Adam, the most unlikely of likely unions, the how did we end up here getting naked together, the who even are you, and all of a sudden you are making sweet love like you’ve shared intimacies for a lifetime and know exactly what works for each other.

THE SUPER NOVA

You have never cum like this before in your life.

THE TOO EAGER

The vibe is great, the passion is there, the chemistry is rocking, everything is going perfect you know great sex is in the room and you’re welcoming the night and then it’s over, in less than 3 minutes.  Such a shame.

THE BORING

No matter how inventive or gymnastically fantastical you get, twisting yourself into positions never dreamt up before, it’s just flat, you’re deadlining.  If you orgasm with one of these, you have faked it.

THE ESSENTIAL

This one comes about whether dating or in a long term dalliance.  It’s when it’s barely about the sex, it’s a primal need to get physical and you almost disregard each other as you ride your way to your own individual satisfaction.  Quite like this one to be honest.

THE SENSUAL

Love this one.  It’s slow, intimate, beautiful.  It’s giving, sharing and eye-locking.  It’s passion from the moment you first touch.

THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

No emotions here.  This is straight fucking, okay if that’s a mutual thing but can oft leave you feeling slightly used and like this person is only looking after their own needs.

THE RIP YOUR CLOTHES OFF

Come on, we all love it.

THE MIND IS ELSEWHERE ONE

You can’t make eye contact, you’re just not connecting.  It can be amazing, beautiful even, but when you open your eyes your partner is looking into the corner of the room and not at all at you and so your mind spins into overdrive of how you can you not be fully focused on me and voila the vibe is lost.

THE EVERYDAY NOTHING FANCY

Something sexy as hell about this one.  Otherwise known as the quickee.  You both know what you’re doing and the end game is both getting off, not making any records as to what and how you get there.  Super intimate, don’t confuse with boring.

THE LAZY

Oh yes, fabulous, no effort required sex.

THE AFTERNOON DELIGHT

You’ve found a moment and the naughtiness of that quick escape leads to a super quick orgasm, often in a work break or when you’ve distracted the kids with a movie and popcorn.  Always brings you closer together and you’ll share love eyes with each other into the evening.

THE BEND ME OVER THE HOOD OF THE CAR IN THE RAIN LIKE I’M IN A MOVIE

Okay, so I haven’t had this one, but dreams are free.  I know someone who has, so it does happen.

 

And last but not least,

THE ENERGISER BUNNY

Oh dear.  Tiring.  Exhausting.  We ain’t 20 anymore and would you just stop already.  You’ve missed the most important part of sex which is the end game.  Much to learn young jedi, much to learn.

 

C4B722A5-C34B-460D-B382-24C3078876D7.jpeg

 

 

Wildflowers

Why is it so hard for us to choose to leave.  When it’s clear to ourselves and everyone around us that the relationship is no longer healthy we come up with more and more elaborate and complicated reasons as to why we should stay.   

Last night my girlfriend confidently said to me as part of the endless explanation of why she should remain in a now unhappy union that ‘life is not about happiness’.  This is how far her brain had warped all of her innate knowings to find a way to convince herself to stay – life is not about happiness, I couldn’t believe I heard these words spill forth from my most intelligent and beautiful friend.   If not happiness, than what?

Is life about UN-happiness?  

Is life about dissatisfaction?

Is life about constant raised eyebrows and biting your tongue?

Is life about glimpses of joy?

Is life about the happiness you know could be there but always seems just out of reach?

N O.  It’s really not.  Life IS about happiness.  It’s really as simple as that.  I’m all about fighting for your love and relationship believe me, but I’m that person who believed in it so much I ended up in an abusive and damaging relationship for bloody years as I excused so much behaviour because I so desperately wanted to keep my illusion of love and happiness.  The reality is once certain behaviour starts it never stops. Once a line is crossed it doesn’t go back to how it was when you excuse it and ‘move on’, it becomes the norm and by tolerating it you are accepting it and inadvertently creating new lines for your partner to jump over.

When you’re spending more time appeasing and normalising behaviour you don’t agree with than you are having normal connections and good conversations; then it’s time to seriously consider whether staying in that relationship is the best thing you can be doing for you.  When you get to the point you are telling your best friend that it’s okay because life isn’t about happiness after all, yup, it’s absolutely time to have that conversation with yourself.
What you are really saying with such a statement is not about life at all it’s about you.  You are saying I am not happy right now but I have got so used to being unhappy that I’ve begun thinking that this is all there is and all there should be.  You are saying I do not believe I am worth happiness. You are saying I deserve to be unhappy. You are probably blaming yourself for all the reasons things are not working out.  You’re in a bad ass cycle. You’re the mouse on the wheel who’s running so fast you’re scared to jump out in case you never find another wheel.

I don’t know anyone who has ever regretted leaving an unhappy relationship but I know many men and women, myself included who have regretted staying in one.

So what and why is it that it’s so hard to choose to leave?  Is it the giving up on the investment you have made for the last x amount of years?  Is it saying goodbye to the dreams you held for this person? Is it embarrassment or ego that it didn’t work out?

It’s always the thought of breaking up your family unit.  It’s the thought that you may inadvertently be responsible for others unhappiness and when you are dealing with hiding and masking your own all the time that thought is purely unbearable.  Yet your actions are what your children will emulate, do you want your children to believe that life is not about happiness? How would you feel if you heard them say this? After all it’s not about what career they end up in, it’s not about how much money they make, all you want for your kids is for them to be happy in life.  We should hold ourselves in the same regard.

Our happiness is our own responsibility.  If a relationship is making you more unhappy than happy then it’s up to you to do something about it.  Counselling, therapy, date nights, quality time, deep discussions with your girlfriends.  Don’t hide it and carry on keeping on, don’t paint a smile on your face for mere glimpses of love and good times.  Be open with yourself, be open with your partner, be open with your girlfriends. With honesty and clarity try find that spark again, but don’t be afraid to look after you, and chase your own happiness, even if that’s down the road and into a different house.

It took me a long time after leaving to accept that I was worthy of a happy life.  It snuck up on me, day after day, as everyday was better than the last, regardless of whatever mundane tribulations were going on.   If there’s one thing I learnt from it, it was that putting my happiness first was the best thing for my kids as I literally saw them bloom like wildflowers before my eyes.

Once I finally made the decision, everything felt right and the logistics that were before holding me back and seemed so daunting and impossible were suddenly just that – logistics.  One by one they all got worked out. Nothing is too difficult. Step by step you get there and when you are happy and in a better living space those things which you thought tied you to the relationship seem so trivial that you can laugh at how all your trapped-ness was in your own head.

 

Love yourself my babe.  Value yourself. You are worth it.  Bloom like the wildflower you are.

3AAF3D59-202F-47FC-A5EE-E964B8FFA500

 

Rookie Moves

I put on a dress.  Take it off.  It looks too much like I’m making an effort and I want to look like I’m making an effort but I don’t want to feel like I am.  I put on pants. Pants are good, I love these pants. Wide legged, half split on each side, high waisted, so comfy. Perfect.

I’ve had a handful of one night stands, but this was my first tinder date.  I’d been talking to him for awhile, a couple of weeks, he was one of the first persons I connected with.  I was feeling a bit nervous, my goal was to complete a tap n gap, this might just be terminology from New Zealand, but it’s when you meet someone, have a shag and leave, no strings attached.  Your leaving can be straight after or first thing in the morning, so long as you leave with no strings attached you have completed a successful tap n gap.

We meet at a pub halfway between where we live.  When he greets me as I cross the road a fair way up from the pub I wonder if he saw that that was my second attempt at parking my car and then saw me taking an age sitting there furiously hunting through my handbag like my life depended on it to refresh my lipstick whilst giving myself some quick out loud reassurance and confidence boosting before I opened the car door and crossed the road.  It was a fair bit strange that he was right there across from where I’d parked.

Tinder date #1 is tall as a Totara tree and has a glimmer in his eye that I quite like and thought I could fancy.  I start feeling pretty confident and hold my head up a little higher remembering how organised I am what with having packed a pair of tights into my handbag so that I’m comfy on my exit and ride home and not having to feel super seedy in my night before dress pants.  I can do this.  Tap. N. Gap.  I’m almost like a pro already I think to myself.

I pull off casual banter and probably laugh too loud as I drink too fast, how long does this part have to go on for I think, how much small talk do we need?  We can’t keep drinking, we are both driving,  he’s so super polite and lovely I don’t think he would ever suggest we go back to his house, or end our date, I have to take this one by the horns and steer it where I want it to go.

I have a moment of doubt, do I really want to sleep with this stranger I have only just met, can I do this, am I being rational?  As this is going through my head I lock eyes with #1 and there’s a confidence in his gaze that isn’t present in his outward manner and it’s so seductive and sexy that I feel our mutual pheromones drown out any rational thought that I have left.  I bite my lip, touch his hand, lean in and suggest we resume this date back at his. He downs the last of his drink in one swallow, stands and holds my jacket out for me to put on.  No words are needed.  I like it.

Tinder date #1’s house is well kept and professional.  I procure from my bag of I’m Ready For Anything a nice bottle of wine, I am seriously pre-planned.  He’s not a first move kind of guy so I proceed to drink the majority of the bottle trying to give myself the fake confidence to make some kind of a move – we’ve watched about a million music videos and I’m worried my fake confidence drinking might instead have me close my eyes and fall asleep instead.

I messed up,  I don’t feel confident – I feel drunk!  We are sitting so close to each other but just not touching, I have to do something or I’m going to crash out I can feel it.  So I drunkenly lean in towards him.  Turns out I never needed to make a move, just an indication, as he has his hand behind my head and is pulling me in for a rather fantastic first kiss and it’s all on.  Beneath his reserved and shy demeanour there’s a sex loving, woman pleasing force of nature, my drunkenness has knocked down any inhibitions I might have had and having sex with this guy I’ve just met feels almost natural.  

I wouldn’t call it amazing sex, but it was absolutely great fucking and a lot of fun, and lots of it.

********

I wake up bleary eyed and can feel the shadow of a hangover wanting to come live above my head like a personal raincloud.   He makes me coffee as I splash water over myself and throw my tights on, so very grateful I was organised to have thought of this moment when I packed my bag.  Less grateful of the bottle of wine I had put in there.

I drink my coffee quick, thank him for the fun date and I’m out the door, in the car, music up and I’m mentally high fiving myself for my first tapngap success.  What a legend I’m thinking. That’s how you do that.  Pro.  Nailed it.  Like a pinterest craft idea that worked.  Like a tinder hero.  I’ve never felt so single and in charge.  Ruthless even, I’m going to unmatch him and never see him again, no strings attached, no emotions. I’ve got the windows down and I’m singing my heart out.  Can’t wait to tell my girlfriends of my success.  Mission Accomplished.

I get home as my hangover catches up with me.  My exuberance has faded dramatically, though I’m still feeling like a first time dating rock star.

My phone lets me know there’s a message there, I wonder if this is a new tinder match trying to start up conversation..  It’s not.

It’s tinder date #1 letting me know that I’ve left my pants there.

My favourite, best pants.  In my haste to leave I hadn’t even thought about them, I must have left them by the couch where we began our romantic antics.   Leaving your trousers behind is definitely leaving with strings attached.  What a rookie.  Seems I still have much to learn.

CE205E49-0B96-47D8-BFE1-E534E7013FA8

The Silent Revolution

It’s a lifetime’s crime sometimes.  Women are the nigger of the world so John Lennon did say.

To me, it’s not about who does the dishes more regularly or if I can force my body to use heavy equipment and tools, or about how many hours a week are equally shared out each for parenting, or about how many times a week I cook dinner.

What I think feminism is and should be about is honoring the womb, the ovaries, the ability to grow entire new organs, motherhood and the one million and sixty two hours a week that that entails.  It’s the choice to use those superpowers or not.  

When as women, we stood up and made a stand, that was feminism, to say we have a right to earn our own living, we have a right to vote, we can do everything in this man’s world as well as the men.  It was a long fight over generations but we overcame and carved out our right and our place as equal members of society.  Which is the most fucking brilliant thing.

But society and that man’s world didn’t change a bit to accommodate the fact that a huge percentage of staff and workers are female, we just jumped in with the attitude that we can do it all.  And so we have been, we’re so incredibly amazing.

But it’s hard and for some reason it still doesn’t feel fair.  The discrimination is so blanketed in generations of fighting to be seen, respected and heard that we can barely distinguish what it is that’s unsettling.   I think it comes from the fact that we jumped in and staked our claim and our ability to be able to do just as well as men and because we are so wonderfully multi talented we succeeded but the man’s world  n e v e r  c h a n g e d.

Maternity leave is great but it doesn’t honour motherhood.  Here, employee, take 3 months break at our inconvenience to birth and get to know your new addition to the family and then come back into the same job as per normal and resume your career.  Except we all know that this woman, no matter how liberated and hands on a partner she has, well, her workload has just quadrupled, she is also now incorporating an extra one million and sixty two hours a week around that work time, daycare and drop offs.  

And yet we sit and wonder and scratch our heads at why there’s this sense of things not being fair..

Why are there barely 30% of women in positions of power? No pay equality?  What’s happening, we’re here, we made it in the sense we can apply for any job we want, we share parenting, we choose whether or not we want to become a parent, we can safely choose whether or not to carry a baby or have an abortion, we have every much as much right as a man does in every aspect of our society, workforce, tertiary institutions and government.

In my humble opinion I think it’s not people who are holding women back.  I don’t think it’s men, I don’t think it’s society, I don’t think it’s anti feminists if there even is such a thing.  I don’t know one man in my small world who thinks himself greater than me because of his sex. Yes, I am lucky. I think it’s that we barged our way into this man’s world and this man’s world never shifted it’s perimeters to accommodate all we have to offer.

The choice to be a mother shouldn’t be at the sacrifice of your career.  The choice to go after a career shouldn’t mean the sacrifice of not having children.  The problem is all of our workforce, society and governments are set up to accommodate men who hadn’t needed time out for baking, birthing and raising babies, and we came along screaming we can do it all and proceeded to.  Not a thing wrong with that. Just that it’s exhausting and a lot harder than it is for men, even in our ‘equal society’. I don’t need to spout statistical facts at anyone we all know that in a two parent family with both parents working it is the woman who does the majority of household organising, child care arranging and chores on top of her day job.  Of course there will be exceptions to this but here we are talking in hugely general terms.

I think what is holding us back is just the history of how we got to liberation in the first place, it’s no ones fault, there’s no right person or wrong person, it’s just that no one caught up with us standing up and demanding our right to be treated equally and somehow in the fight to do as much as men we lost our sense of respect, pride and importance in the role of the feminine.

I love femininity, it’s not weakness it’s the oldest, most sacred, most beautiful quality we as women possess.  We need our workplaces to respect our femininity, we need to create job sharing roles so that if a woman wants to resume working after having a child she can keep her foot in the door, work as is appropriate whilst spending enough time with her family, of course the same for fathers.  We need to have sanitary supplies in every workplace. We need to have understanding and not use up our few sick days if we have a worst period in the world, I can’t move and yet I need to be here at work and pretend I’m fine period.

The undercurrent of unfairness that we just can’t place will only go away when we are not just equal in a man’s world but when the blueprint of the structure of workforces and society has changed to accept the fact that we are a part of it.  It’s no wonder women make up less than 30% of positions of power globally – the ones who lean in and get to the top have done so at huge sacrifice and that’s just not available or an option to the majority.

What we have achieved is magnificent but now we need to work on a solution to let women carve out careers, stay in the game and simultaneously be allowed to simply be women and be honored and respected for just that.

It’s a conversation we need to have with each other and the more we talk about it the more likely and the faster change and solutions will come.  We need to turn this man’s world into OUR world, and the only way forward is together.

 

Home is where the Heart is

I think I’m going to be sick my girlfriend said as she bolted off the couch bed and hurtled into the bathroom to greet the porcelain bowl full force.  I’d picked her up earlier that day, as her entire family world had just been thrown left hand sidewise ass ways up.

End of a somehow turned bad relationship, lease on a 6 bedroom house that’s just been renewed for another year, with her name on it, a full time and thankfully understanding job, teenagers and babies, facing single parenthood and singledom.  Again.

Of course we have a few wines.  Emergency cunt session.

It’s not the wines that are the cause of the vomit, though that would be the most obvious connection.  It wasn’t an ordinary puke. It was a life puke. Expelling all the stress and negativity, anxiety and exhaustion. A cleanse.  A release of months, maybe years of toxic energy, the wine was just a trigger. She came out triumphant, arms extended, ready for this new place, no room for holding on to that which she’d just ended, she’s not just out of there, it’s out of her.

Transition.

The elation that comes after a life puke makes the trauma of getting out turn into an almost happiness.  There’s no going back if you life puke it out.  You feel different, lighter, released, changed, free. Where did it come from?  There’s pieces in there you recognise from dinner 3 months back, nothing about this spew makes sense. You’ve never felt good after vomiting, you never knew your body could hold onto emotions like that and and power surge them out when you finally physically, mentally and assuredly leave the situation that was causing said bad vibes.

It’s like you need to get empty to start again.

And you will, you don’t have a choice. Each day you will get up and do what needs to be done until suddenly you’re not doing what needs to be done anymore, you’re just living your new life and everything is better, and brighter, and there’s laughter where there used to be arguments and you’ve started to find those bits of yourself that seem to have fallen off.

All of the things that you are able to love about yourself are suddenly shining like burning meteors hurtling through space, and the smallest parts of life that you didn’t even know caused you happiness are suddenly your highlights of life and all of a sudden you’re appreciating everything that you do for you.  At the end of the day we only ever have ourselves to look after ourselves and when you’re all that’s left and you’re picking up your own pieces you can either love yourself and make joy in the ordinary or give in to the overwhelms.

Much respect to the women out there who haven’t had to switch that restart button in their lives – you’ve either struck gold or you are endlessly patient and well equipped to evolving and learning and changing.  For anyone that has experienced a life puke, deepest acknowledgement to you all, it’s not something anyone wants to be facing but if you are there, or have been there, then you are doing the first thing for yourself in a long long time.  Shits gonna get hard. But even those darkest and bleakest moments that you are about to face, the fact that you had enough self love and self respect to get out means that EVERYTHING WILL GET EASIER. Everything will always be better than that place you have just been, even your worst days will be a treasure compared to living the life you have been.

Never forget the life puke – if something was so toxic to your very soul that it stuck to you in such a physical way that the only way to get it out of you was half an hour of power vomit, well then, no matter how bleak everything is feeling, know that you will never, ever again be in such a bad environment that created that.  You are empowered, you are strength, you are beauty, you deserve love, laughter, joy, help, support, encouragement, you don’t need to face it alone. In the bleakness find the beauty, everything is reset and you’re more than capable of coming through this with grace as your homelife once again becomes a refuge and a safe comfort.  If you can’t find a smile reach out because you need a cunt session with a few wines, no vomits and the laughter and wit to see the humour in the pain and reality of what you’re going through.

Home is where the heart is, so look after your heart and the good home vibes will follow. Just breathe, and moment by moment things will start to get easier and flow until before you know it you are living and breathing the life and home life that you want.  Be the best you for you.

IMG_7468