Being Single isn’t Shameful, it’s Empowering!

When I look back at my choices in guys when I was younger, I think OMG what on earth was I thinking. I used to find it much easier to find a boyfriend. These days its not so easy and that is not because I have less options or because women are no longer attractive as they get older. It is because I am clearer on what I want and have higher standards. When I was younger I put up with so much shit that there is no way I would put up with now.  I didn’t know what I wanted. I liked the idea of finding some one and being in love, especially since I was insecure. Therefore I had this habit of jumping into relationships too quickly. I didn’t even think of the possibility of looking around because there were  other options and other guys out there that were more compatible. I created these fantasy versions of the guy I was with and fantasy version of how it was supposed to be, when in fact they didn’t represent reality or who the guy really was. Now that I’ve said good by to fantasy world, I don’t so easily fall for guys. I know exactly what I’m looking for, not that I’m looking but I know what I want for when I do meet some one.

When I first signed up to do online dating, I was asked by a few guys ‘what are looking for in a guy’ and ‘what do you want in life’.  I would think to myself ‘oh shit, I don’t actually know’. There’s all these things I had to think about, for example what are my values and beliefs? I had to ask myself what do I actually want out of life and a relationship? What things won’t I compromise on in a relationship. What traits do I want in a guy? Some of the things I came up with were he must accept my kids and preferably have kids of his own. He must  be honest, treat me with respect, be intelligent, emotionally mature, have a sense of humour, be supportive of things that are important to me, be attentive but not over bearing. He wants to improve so he can be a better version of himself. Being compassionate and wanting to make a difference in the world is an admirable quality. This is just a short list of answers I came up with but being clear about these things meant the majority of guys on these dating sites were not people I would actually be interested in.  It’s amazing how the tables completely turned. Now it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are so many options with online dating yet I can barely find any one that sparks my interest. Then even if I do come across some one I usually decide they aren’t right after chatting with them for a bit. It is so easy to waste your time dating heaps of people and the wrong when you are not clear about what you want.

I’m not in any hurry to find some one, I am happy with my life as it is. The biggest thing I have learned from it all this is that we can make bad decisions and have poor judgement when our actions are driven by loneliness and insecurity. Once I found my own self worth with in, then I would only find a man who’s worthy of me. I am a complete person on my own, I don’t need any one to make me whole. No one can complete me, although one day some one may compliment me.  Most of all, I can live a happy and fulfilled life being single. I have had things said to me like ‘why are you single, some one like you shouldn’t be single’ but I ask ‘why do I have to be with some one’? Why one earth would I want to waste my time being with some one for the sake of being with some one. I prefer to use my time and energy on some one who is worth it. Being single is empowering, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about myself and focus on the things that I am passionate about. Then when some one comes a long, it is an added bonus.



The Impact of the Internet and Porn on Sex

I briefly wrote about my experiences with casual sex last year and they were absolutely awful. I had spent years shut down in my marriage and was really dying for a connection. I was conflicted about meaningless one night stands yet I also wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. I did make this clear but of course there are guys that will do anything to get just one thing and then discard you like a piece of rubbish. I was quite naïve because I’d never dated or had one night stands. I think I had a sign on my head that said naive and vulnerable because I attracted the wrong type of guys. Some guys are really good actors and I think my radar was switched off. It was a huge blow to be lied to, used and manipulated for sex. I basically wasn’t a person, I was just a number and a way to get off.  Growing up my Mum used to tell me to wait before sleeping with a guy because then you know that they like and respect you. I actually think it is good advice, in an ideal world women can experiment, enjoy themselves and feel empowered but in reality it’s not always the case.  I understand there are women who take the good with the bad and are happy to continue experimenting with casual sex. I respect their choice. My experiences last year were traumatic enough for me to not want to participate in casual sex. Aside from traumatic sex (I’ll go into more detail later in this blog), there’s shit sex and then there’s too many arseholes that only care about themselves getting off. It’s a waste of time for me and I’d prefer to be drinking tea and watching Netflix. I can take care of my own needs much better than any man can. Yes physical intimacy is something we crave and I hope to be intimate again with some one in the future who likes and respects me.

In this day and age there is a big hook up culture. When I was sixteen and in high school it was normal for a lot of girls have sex with their boyfriends and I do have some friends who have had a period of experimenting with casual sex, but that was before smart phones, the internet and social media. Sadly today many teenage boys grow up on porn and they think that is how sex is supposed to be. There is a big difference between two consenting adults who have a mutual interest in BDSM, at least they have a safe word, compared to boys who grow up on hardcore porn and then try to act it out during sex because they think it is normal. These are two completely different things. They don’t understand women and they don’t know how to show emotion or be intimate. Which of course most young men  learn these things as they mature. What I’m talking about is much worse than the typical young man who was around I was younger. Of course the typical young man usually has one thing on their minds but how some treat women and act during sex seems to be worse. There are also young women also think this is normal and that they have to put out. I have younger friends who are afraid of losing their boyfriends if they don’t sleep with them and they have only been today a couple of weeks or not even official yet.

Last year I had a terrible very drunk one night stand which left me bruised and with flash backs of being chocked, forced to do a blow job that made me gag and then awaking alone in the car in a car park with the doors unlocked. It was a shameful moment and the experience that broke the camels back. I had separated from my husband earlier that year of ten years and it was only eight weeks earlier I had been date raped. The first three months after my break down were very emotional and then the following five months I was constantly physically sick. I had so many tests but nothing showed. On wards and upwards, I’m beginning to feel good and it was only last night I watched a couple of documentaries.  I discovered choking during sex was a thing.  I found out a friend because a friend of mine had the same thing happen. I googled it and sure enough it is a thing. Another friend of mine said she had a guy try and spit into her mouth and that spitting was also a thing. I didn’t realise until last night a forced blow job was a thing. The documentary was about teen girls aged eighteen to nineteen who were promised money, glamour and popularity. At first they were amazed at how much money they were making, how many followers they were getting on social media and how much of an ego boost it was to be treated like a princess and have guys want them so badly. They ended up in some really messed up situations. Abuse porn is a big thing and it is where the girls are raped and abused on film. One of the girls was forced to do a blow job and it was so hardcore that she vomited and the guy forced her to lick it up off the floor. They may have agreed to it and were getting paid but I don’t think they realised what they were getting into because they looked traumatised. Most of the girls didn’t last long doing porn and returned to their families shaken, wondering what on earth they were doing and why did they want money so badly.

I understand there are people out there who are happy to have casual sex, who aren’t monogamous, that there are people who like porn and who have fetishes. I’m not going to judge, I’m all for free choice, people feeling empowered and doing things they enjoy. What I have trouble getting my head around is why totally unemotional sex with out respect is such a big thing. Nearly one third of all internet pornography clips contain physical acts of aggression. Women are the targets of that aggression 94% of the time. It is as though the rise of the internet and social media has actually disconnected us more instead of connecting us. It seems it is more common to be socially awkward, lack emotional depth and the ability to be intimate. So many people are engrossed in this digital world that they lack connection to the world around them.

While watching the life beyond porn it was interesting to hear one of the women say that it is all acting and that they don’t feel anything during sex, it is just like a cavity being filled, for example putting a finger in your ear or nostril. It feels like a nothing. One of the ex male porn stars said it is dehumanising and even after leaving, you can never escape it. Some one will always recognise you and that it is the same people that were jacking of to you who shun you. Another former male porn star said it is very animalistic. The documentary was actually a bit sad how some women want attention and to be accepted that much, that porn temporarily gives that ego boost. I didn’t find it surprising that some end up alcoholics and taking drugs. Some had difficult childhoods and were abused, some were single Mums. I’m aware that there are people who love doing porn and who revel in it, but there are a lot of people who don’t and are there for other reasons.

Whatever peoples reasons are for doing things, they still made choices. Just as I got myself into the situations I was in last year. We don’t always make choices that are good for us. That’s life and in my experience, all I can do is forgive myself, see it as an experience and some lessons learned. I can’t do much about my past, but as a parent, I do worry about my kids. Statistics say 40% of kids has watched porn by the time they are 14 years old. I do plan to talk to my kids about my experiences when they are older, I even want to show them documentaries like these so they are more educated. I want my girls to be informed and to have a strong sense of self worth so they make good decisions and are able to say know when something doesn’t feel right. I want them to do things because they truly make them happy and fulfilled, not because they lack self worth or short term money. I want them to know their worth and not to accept anything less than they deserve. I want to raise my son to be understanding of women and to treat them with respect. Sex is the oldest profession in the world, porn is not a new thing and casual sex has always existed  but I think the dangers are much greater since the rise of the internet and social media.  Our kids have to deal with things like online bullying, online dating, online porn, grooming and pedaphiles. These are things we never had to deal with when I was younger. At some point kids  when I was younger may have stumbled across a play boy mag or a porn video but it was not something that was easily accessible or that we were constantly bombarded with. It seems like the world is a minefield when it comes to parenting and I’m going to have a navigate this minefield.  I know I can’t live my life in fear, living in fear isn’t much of a life. All I can do is my best. I would love hear peoples thoughts and feedback on this blog)

(note: some of the information in the blog is from the  Netflix documentaries ‘Life Beyond Porn’, ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ and ‘Turned On.’)

We choose how we want to be

I often hear and read about parents who spend too much time on their phone and who are emotionally unavailable. I am actually one of them and I won’t write a blog to defend myself. I will explain my awareness of this and how I’m trying to improve. I’ve always been a person that holds back a lot and found it difficult to show emotion. I definitely feel emotion, I’m a pretty emotional person but it just doesn’t show on the outside. I am naturally a bit introverted by nature and my whole life have struggled with social anxiety. Both things would contribute to the way I am. Growing up my Mum was similar when it came to showing emotion and affection. I always felt she wasn’t available emotionally or really understood me. I guess the way I am has been learned and is something that is quite deeply ingrained. I’m not going to blame my mother either. I know people often like to use their past or up bringing as an excuse for the way they are. I acknowledge it can greatly impact us but we have to want to change.

I’m aware of where I need improving and awareness is the first step towards change. I’m not as emotionally available for my kids as I’d like to be. I’d like to connect with them more and I’d like to be less awkward in general. Every day I am aware of this but despite the awareness, change is not happening naturally. I am continually reminding myself to be aware and bringing myself back to the present. I have this tendency to escape off into my own world. My phone, social media and Netflix series are great escapes for me. I find my phone can be a bit of crutch in social situations. I’m definitely not awkward around my kids though but I still have this continual urge to escape? I know I have a default tendency to disassociate and become numb. Maybe it is my temperament, maybe it is learned, maybe it is part of anxiety and maybe it is also due to some of the trauma I’ve experienced in life.

The reasons aren’t important, working towards change is most important. It’s about taking baby steps over and over until they become habit. One thing I have come up with is hug time. I have talked to my kids about hug time and hug time is regularly at the end of the day having a five-minute hug with each child. During that time we can talk about their day or what ever is on their mind. It doesn’t happen all the time but the kids love hug time. They even ask for it. I have noticed since introducing hug time they have also become more affectionate towards me in daily life. Change is hard but its worth it. Sometimes change doesn’t have to be a big thing, it can be as simple as being more aware and introducing something like hug time. Over time I may be able to add more things and then the little changes over time will result in big change. I have along way to go but I’ve made progress. These days I’m a bit better socially because I kept bringing myself back to the present, I pushed myself to attend things and make some effort to interact with people. Sometimes I felt like an outsider, stumbled on my words and just wanted to escape but over time I managed to get to know some people and make friends.

If you are reading this and also trying to make some sort of change, I urge you not to give up.  Don’t worry about any one else, it’s hard enough to change ourselves let alone changing any one else. Keep taking baby steps, don’t be too hard one yourself and be proud of the progress you have made. We don’t just have to stay the way we are, we can change if we that is what we choose. We can choose how we want to be.

Having an attitude of gratitude!

Being told to be thankful or grateful when you aren’t in a good space can be rather annoying. I personally don’t think it is helpful to say these things when some one is struggling and in need of support. Listening, being supportive and non-judgemental as well as adding in something that is actually helpful or beneficial, for example ‘the way you are feeling is perfectly understandable, I’m glad it wasn’t any worse’ or ‘I know how much you are struggling, it’s a good thing you have  such as x, y, z in your life’.

At the end of the day we are the only ones who can choose to be grateful and thankful for the things we do and don’t have in our lives. No one else can do it for us and being told to be grateful is just annoying. It is an internal decision, a daily choice to be thankful for our lives and everything in it. Always look for the good, no matter how down you are or how difficult things life is. There is always something to be thankful for. At the very least, you had the opportunity to learn, grow and become a better person. Through your experience you may even be able to help or guide others.

When we regularly practice forgiveness our awareness moves from the lack in our live to the things we do have. This results in feeling more fulfilled and opens us up to receiving more. What you focus on grows, we have the choice whether to focus on how we are deficient and without or how we are blessed and abundant. I know I choose to always be grateful, my life seems much  enjoyable when I think this way. It doesn’t mean it is easier but the difficult isn’t as difficult. Everything just flows a little bit better, like a car does when adding oil.

Forgiveness will set you free

We all carry unforgiveness at some point in our life. Often it is over trivial things and it is therefore easy to forgive. Sometimes things are a bit hard to forgive and may take weeks, months or even years. Then there’s the type of wound that is so deep, we never completely heal. There will always be a scar as a reminder. Sometimes we have trouble forgiving some of the smaller things, how on earth can we forgive these life altering and unforgivable things? The best thing to do is start with the smaller things and make this a regular daily practise. Then work your way up to the bigger thing. Always remember that forgiveness does not excuse another persons behaviour, it doesn’t make it ok. If they have done wrong they deserve their own karma and if they have broken the law, they deserve the consequences of breaking the law.

Forgiveness does not mean that you have to remain in contact with a person. You can still forgive some one and have nothing to do with them. When you hold resentment and unforgiveness in your heart, it is actually more damaging to yourself than to the other person. It is even more frustrating to be hurting so deeply when you are not even registering on the other persons radar. Forgive for your benefit, not because the other person deserves it but you deserve to be from. Carrying unforgiveness is a burden and carrying the negative thoughts and emotions is heavy. It weights us down and this type of  negativity can impact us physically. Our immune system weakens, symptoms similar to fibromyalgia and burn out can manifest in our bodies. It seems rather unfair that the other person seems to have no repercussions whilst day in day out you are struggling emotionally and physically. You can not do anything about them, they have their own karma coming but you can do something about how you are. Being able to rise above, from victim to victor is the ultimate power.

Despite what has happened to you or what any one did, you have become a stronger and better person. If some one treats your poorly, that is a reflection on them. Normal people don’t go around causing harm to others and taking advantage of them. Some one who is causing harm to others is suffering with in themselves. Due to this suffering they are not fulfilled. Their behaviour is a reflection of how they feel about themselves and the things they are lacking. They are trying to fill that lack in ways that harm others.  Try to remember this when practising forgiveness. They may be suffering but suffering within is not an excuse to cause harm to others. We can’t force other people to be accountable for their behaviour. The best we can do is to acknowledge they are suffering and hope that one day they will take responsibility for their own behaviour and there for chose not to harm.

Practising forgiveness can be as simple as saying something along the lines of;

I forgive “insert name”, I understand their actions and behaviour is a reflection of their own internal suffering. I release ‘insert name’ to their highest  good.’

. Another very important person to forgive is yourself. We can be very hard on ourselves and put ourselves down for everything we did or didn’t do should or shouldn’t have done. When forgiving yourself it can also a simple line like the following;

I forgive myself for ‘insert reason/s why you are forgiving yourself’. I know I am not perfect and just like every one else, I too have my own challenges and sufferings. I was doing the best I could at the time and my best is good enough. 

Repeat forgiveness of others and yourself as often as necessary, whether it be days, weeks, months or years.  It may take a while for you to begin to feel the benefits, but you will feel much lighter when you do. Good luck with it ❤


Wake up call

It was Friday morning and I was driving to work. I was driving down busy pennant hills road, sipping on a chai latte that I had bought at a service station. All of sudden the car in the middle lane did a sharp turn, lost control and did a 180 degree turn. They were flowing in the same direction of the rest of the traffic until they suddenly were driving head on towards me. I hit the brakes, it have only been a second but everything seemed to go in slow motion as I was heading towards the car. I was thinking to myself `we`re going to hit`. Sure enough we did collide head on, but luckily we didn`t hit each other very hard. Every one was ok and the cars only had very minor scratching. I was in a little bit of shock but was able to continue to drive to work and have a relatively normal day at work. Well as normal as you can get when you work in the disability industry, lol.

The accident was a bit of a wake up call to me. I have written blogs about some of my experiences, my marriage separation last year and some of the ways it has impacted me. After having a break down later in the year last year, I had spent this year trying to recover and for most of it being unwell. It is now towards the end of May and I`m  in a much better space. Although I did feel I was still in a rut. Some how the accident motivated me to once again realise that life is so fragile. One minute you can be minding your own business, then in the blink of an eye it can be taken from you. I was lucky peak hour traffic was relatively slow and that I was no longer on the freeway. A head on collision has the potential to be very devastating if we were going any faster. I have seen it many times before, especially on the freeway.

The accident some how motivated me to get out of my rut and find my passion for life again. I did a spectacular fall off the horse, but now I feel I`m getting back on the horse. I can now feel an inner joy and this appreciation for life. My goals and plans are all still there and I`m now able to take action on working on making them happen. I feel very excited that I`m getting myself back. I always knew I had a purpose, for a while there I was in a dark spot but now I feel my purpose.

I would encourage any one who feels they have lost themselves, their clarity or who is going through a dark patch. Don`t put too much pressure on yourself. You are the way you are for a reason and it is a signal that you need to take care of you. For the past few months I have been doing the basics. That is going to work, looking after the kids and taking care of my wellbeing. You will come back, your clarity will come back. Healing takes times. The first step is believing, the second is regularly doing little things for you and third is being patient. It will happen in time. I just hope when it does happen for you, that you don`t have to have a car accident for it to happen. Honestly I was heading back to myself any way, the accident just made it happen a faster. Like a wake up call to remind me I can take control of my life and that I have something to offer. All of the things that have happened in my life have contributed to where I am now. No matter what has happened in your life. You don’t have to remain powerless. They are opportunities for you to learn and become a better stronger, version of yourself.


A Message of Hope for Survivors

If you have experience dv or sexual assault or if you know some one, this may be worth you reading. I am writing this because you are not alone. There are many people around the world who have experienced similar, who are also thinking and feeling similar. Except we all don’t know each other, therefore you feel isolated and alone. I am one of those people. When writing about things like this, I often wonder whether I am the right person to be sharing my experience and this message of hope? Every day I feel like hiding under a rock, yet my passion to talk about this and empower other women drives me out from under that rock. I have mentioned in other blogs that I was molested by a family friend on and off between the ages of four to twelve. I think it is appalling and absolutely unacceptable behaviour by any one that does that to a child. Yet I’m also aware that there are many other people who’ve had much more horrific experiences than me. It’s not an uncommon thing for people to have their own family not believe them. I’m lucky my parents believed me. I may have been bullied at school but it was mainly name calling, exclusion and I was slut shamed at the same time I was taking the man who molested me to court, but there are plenty of kids out there who are brutally beaten up every day by other kids. I was in a dv relationship from 2002 to 2007. It was mainly verbal and emotional abuse, intimidation and there were a few physical incidents but we didn’t have kids and I didn’t have horrific injuries. There are plenty  of women who experience horrific injuries, who fear for their lives and they also have kids to worry about. Last year I was raped, it was by some one I knew but it wasn’t a violent attack in a dark alley with a stranger. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who may be in a better position to write this but I think what I have to say is worth sharing. There are many forms of abuse, physical and sexual are just two types. There’s also emotional, verbal, financial, social, not to mention stalking. My thought process about down playing my experience is probably similar to many other people who are survivors. I don’t particularly like to go around calling myself a survivor but at the same time I also don’t think of myself as a victim. We  tell ourselves that other peoples experiences are worse, that we should have done things differently and that it shouldn’t be affecting us so much. We not only beat ourselves up but the rest of the world tells us we should be over it by now. We are constantly blamed for what we did and didn’t do. So we carry this burden with in ourselves and become careful who we share it with. We have learned the hard way that people find this type of thing terrible,  they are aware it happens yet it is often too confronting for them to think about it any more than just having some sort of awareness. Often people don’t know how to react when it is some one they know. They don’t have the skills  to support the person and there are many common misconceptions. Yes it’s very frustrating when it seems so many people seem to judge and not understand. It’s easy to feel angry for what happened and angry at the world but often people can’t truly understand what they haven’t experienced, especially if they aren’t very well informed. It’s perfectly reasonable and human to feel anger but it is unhealthy, a waste of time and energy to live in that state. The only person anger will affect is ourselves. It’s not going to make any difference to the perpetrator or any one else. Perpetrators are usually skilled at doing things behind closed doors or when no one is around. Often they are well liked people and there fore it’s difficult to believe they would do such things. It’s much easier for people to believe the person they put on show to the rest of the world than to accept they are a predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

You may already know this but your experience is real. How you feel is valid.  There is no time limit on healing from these experiences. Trauma may last weeks, months or even years. You were abused, there is nothing wrong with you. Normal human beings don’t go around hurting and destroying other people. You haven’t done anything wrong, they are in the wrong. In fact, you have the strength with in to heal and rise again. When you rise, you will be a much better and stronger version of yourself. These unfortunate experiences don’t define us. As you read these words it may be hard to believe you can get past where you are now. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it takes time. Do what you need to for you so you are in a better space. Whether it be counselling, journaling, art and craft or joining a support group. I’m doing all of the above but my support groups are a couple of Facebook groups, message me if you would like to know what groups they are. There are plenty of people in the groups who have similar experiences, thoughts and feelings. The groups are very well moderated by admin. I’ve found it good to connect with people who understand. Honestly I’m still not entirely over my experiences but I’m fighting to be a better person and to help empower others who are have experienced similar.  A blog and joining a local committee might not be much, but I’m doing my best. We are all doing our best and as I always say ‘our best is enough.’

I thought I might mention here that this also happens to boys and men. The majority may be women but it does happen to men. They are also in need of support. Violence and abuse is awful no matter who it happens to.

(note: I found the wording to this image on Instagram via