Sexual Violence and Rape: No More White Socks Part 1

I’ve never felt so helpless researching or writing a story as I did with this story. It took me twice as long as it normally does to write and I’m still not sure I’ve managed to capture the essence of the story.

The strength of the human spirit astounded me as I listened to this tale unfold and realised how many times this innocent soul was shattered and fought back. This is the story of a girl whose fate was decided by everyone around her. This is the story of the cycle of shame.

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Sexual Violence and Rape: The Family Girl

This is a story of a girl who sacrificed her sanity to protect her family from falling apart. Please understand that the victim is still plagued by the ordeal and for the first time in almost two decades since the incident has she decided to finally talk about her experience.

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Sexual Violence and Rape: The Definition

Recently social media has been inundated with victims of sexual violence and rape coming forward and telling their stories, rape statistics being put on display and hashtags that (while controversial) have finally started the conversation many victims, and campaigns such as the Red My Lips Campaign, have been trying to have for years .

I’ve heard tons of victims say, “but it could have been worse”, “I wasn’t raped so I pretended it didn’t happen because he was family…” or “no one will believe me over him so I didn’t say anything.”

The more often I hear victims belittling or down playing their experiences the starker it became to me that as a community we’ve made victim blaming and protecting the reputation of the offender a norm.

So before we can delve into the depths into the necessary discussions and look for solutions to the problem we need to clearly define both sexual violence and rape to ensure that when we discuss these issues we understand that there is no such thing as a small or big offence, both are  devastating to the victims and the offenders reputation should play no role in the discussion.

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I’ll see you on the Rainbow Bridge.

Thought I’d introduce you to a new blogger who’s thoughts and views are fresh and different.

RAMBLINGS OF A DARK ANGEL

Many years ago, I rescued a dog that happened to run past my sister’s house while I was there. As fate would have it, it was a Siberian Husky. My dog of choice.

Being the Husky whisperer, I chased it down while making a big noise and as soon as I caught its attention, I turned around and ran back.

Well, the Husky is the most intelligent dog known to man and built to run like the wind; but it also can’t ignore an opportunity to race a lesser being so it predictably turned around and sprinted at me with intent and as it beat me, I grabbed it.

My cursory inspection revealed a maggot infested bloody neck wound caused by a permanent chain. I wasn’t guessing – the chain was still there, embedded in its flesh.

The dog was still skittish so my brother in law offered to keep…

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Media v.s. Reality: Monster-in-law Hoax?

After opening myself up to questions from my readers, I was inundated with girls asking me how I decided to get married and whether I had been as terrified as they are about getting married in case I had a terrible mum-in-law. These questions truly scare me. Have we really lost our ability to trust in love and happiness?

It’s sad to see that generations of girls no longer see marriage as something beautiful. Instead they fear becoming a statistic or a horror story told on Facebook and in magazines (with their names concealed and changed). An entire age of women feel terror instead of dreamy-eyed bliss when thinking about their big day. They dread having a new family, moving out of their comfy homes and into another but most of all they fear the idea of marriage itself…

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Writers Block Q&A: Everything From Myself To The Burning Marriage Questions Answered

Since returning from honeymoon I’ve suffered a serious case of writers block. Now that we’re all settled into our new home I decided it’s time to break the block. So in a creative attempt to get me back to writing I opened myself up to being questioned. The response was a little overwhelming, especially the number of questions sent to me in private, so in an attempt to answer everything I will be doing this in two posts.

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The Engaged Girl: Wedding or Marriage

 Jane Austen said, ” A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a second.”

As the wedding draws ever closer, I am starting to realize that I’ve been narrow-mindedly focused on the wedding while the reality of my impending marriage has not become a conscious thought yet. I’ve imagined everything from the center pieces for the wedding to driving away with my groom at my side while waving out the back window as we drive to our happily ever after. But, in all honesty, I’ve only considered very small details about the marriage that lays ahead.

IMG_20161025_163236.jpgYesterday, as I sat packing my (rather extensive) book shelves into tiny boxes. Sorting out what I .am taking with me and deciding who gets specific books from my gigantic collection of novels, it hit me. Next year this time, I am not going to be sitting in a pair of old worn denims and a spaghetti top day dreaming on my bedroom floor. I’ll be in a different country with a
different family and a completely different routine. I will be responsible for way more than a few books and making my bed.

There’ll be dinners and family time with people I am not familiar with yet. People I’d see every day and spend hours with. There’ll be another mummy in my life to turn to for  quick advice because mine will be a little too far away. Another dad who’ll ask me to grab him stuff from the fridge when I’m walking past it and more siblings to laugh and joke with. Next year this time home (in my mind at least) will be more there than here.

To be honest…

That terrifies me.

I grew up super close to my family. We have “Sunday Family Days” and eat together every night. There’s an unspoken rule that regardless of whether or not you’re hungry you find your butt to your seat at the supper table and spend at least an hour with everyone in the house. We’re a big family and while we may have issues (like any family does) we are close. Thus, the thought that pretty soon I will go from having seven or eight other people in the house at any given time to sharing a home with only my husband is a tiny bit intimidating.

Don’t get me wrong, I do look forward to having my own space and being with the person I love. I never really considered what a change like this would entail. From the beginning, I’ve been subconsciously aware that I will be leaving this comfy reality of mine to create a new one once I get married. We all know there’s a ring to come and a house or some nice clothes. We’re conditioned from a young age to associate marriage and weddings with the princess life.

Alas even though I’ve always known there’s more to getting married than just the wedding and the fancy outfits, I never sat down to contemplate the realities of marriage. See, I’ve no interest inthe material objects (if I did I would simply buy them for myself not get hitched). No ring will tell me how much or how little to love… And yet, I (like most brides) have focused my attention to the smallest objects for a single day.

Perhaps it is a distraction or a coping mechanism to focus on the tangible and ignore the intangible until it becomes tangible? What ever it is, I’ve used it to ignore the change that is looming closer. But now as the months disappear and the days flutter away I find my attention shifting. My thoughts are slowly focusing on the tiny details that lead me down the road and towards my new home. The important things. The marriage to come.

So, I sit here contemplating all the questions I haven’t asked and all the situations I can’t imagine yet and I’ve decided that for me the wedding is but a distraction and the marriage to come is the part I’m truly excited for…

Contemplating Changes To Come,

Brokebella

 

I Said Yes

Today marks three months to go to the biggest day of my life. A day that will change not only the city I live in but my last name too..

That’s right, I’m getting married…

Now I could say we have a corny love story to share but… Oh who am I kidding, this is as fairy tale corny as one can find. An unusual string of random events brought two complete strangers together and left us just a tiny bit winded.

Let’s set the scene. Around June of 2015, a groggy (and well medicated) girl in the grip of a strange illness finds herself randomly added to a Whatsapp group full of strangers. As usual my big mouth put me directly in the spotlight and the fact that all I could do was lay in bed I was probably the most active member in the group. Pretty soon the two of us moved our friendship off the group and I bagged myself a best friend and co-conspirator. The group probably rued the day we started talking. Thinking back, the two of us were the equivalent of a group of kids who spent the day devouring a candy stores entire contents and then washed it all down with a can of coke. We spoke about everything from cars to weddings and even pranked the group on more than one occasion. Never once thinking that a year later our pranks would be reality.

This amazing man would call me every day after my classes ended and talk till someone picked me up from varsity. These calls quickly evolved and we began video calling and learning the nuances of each others personalities. Perhaps the long distance gave us a chance to become best friends before falling in love or maybe it just removed the physical element for us so we’d be able to do things the right way.

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Now I’ll skip all the boring stuff and get to the good stuff.

By the time we decided we wanted to be more than friends we’d already been acting that way for months. So it was pretty normal to us that our first meeting involved our entire families meeting each other. We were pretty confident that this was what we wanted and didn’t see the point in delaying it. So first meeting aside, I can say that I suddenly understand that cheesy “click” everyone always tells us about. You really do just know when the person is right. There’s a sense of virtue that encompasses the entire meeting. So, it was no surprise when his mum phoned mine to ask if we could “make it official” after the meeting. But the surprise was still to come.

You guessed it. In typical movie fashion he surprised me by showing up on the day turning the day into an engagement. Though we officially did the more traditional route (I’ll skip the sweetmeat feeding details), he made sure to catch me alone.  In a cute moment sank down on one knee and asked me to be his…

And I (obviously) said “Hell Yes!” 

Still glowing,

Brokebella

Death,  thou art strange… 

Death,

Thou art strange… 

So far from what we expect.
Unpredictable and eccentric in your choices, you leave shock waves that linger.

Alas,  you have snatched another unsuspecting soul, 

And while we’ve always known

you work in mysterious ways, 

We are still caught off guard. 

In shock,  this poem is created. 

At first as a tribute to you…

But now as the pen shapes these verses

It seems to be more a reminder

Of life’s short span.

A way to remember

the loved ones we’ve lost.
But  mostly,

an attempt to understand…

For Death,

You are a mystery.

A surprise guest.

Unexpected and  often unwelcome.

Yet you visit everyone any way.

Death,

Thou art truly strange.

*In memory of the loved ones who’s lives ended much sooner than we expected. In our prayers, you will always be remembered*

The Emperors New Condition

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far away, there was an emperor who ruled in what most perceived a truly lack-luster manner. He slept all day and walked the halls of the palace by night. He was moody (temperamental even) and would always complain he felt sick. At first the palace had scrambled to find answers but slowly everyone began to believe he was simply putting on a show.

The servants grew irate at the man’s impossible demands and his irrational sleeping patterns. You could hear the frustration growing and when he fell asleep in the middle of a state of the nation address the kingdom threw their arms up in uproar. Matters grew worst  from that point on, for no one in the kingdom could understand how he could be so careless.

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