l like her: My dragon

My dragon tattoo has nothing to do with game of thrones, unfortunately. When I get a tattoo it has to be a concept that means a lot to me. I have a yin-yang tattoo that is both a symbol of my 6 year friendiversary with my best friend and it is also how I see the world. Balance is so important to me. Finding a silver lining has been severely critical to my life. I’ve known that I was a strange child from a young age. I tried very hard to accept taught cultures but my own personal observations could not be ignored. For a while, I thought I was meant for hell since I had too many questions about life. My pastor kept saying how reason is the devil trying to take you away from god. That confused me. I’m not someone who can accept another human’s idea if it does not make sense to me. Being a girl meant I had to hang out with the women in the church. Their empty, limited conversations would send me into a state of severe melancholy. There’s only so many times that I can hear about childbirth and cooking. How do you find a reason to live when your life is dictated to you? Who are you? Do you even know? How can you find yourself or even know what you’re about when so many restrictions are placed on you? There is a common saying that kids (including myself) eventually succumb to. “I’m not a Christian because my parents told me. I have a personal relationship with god.” I’ve said this many times. But that’s ridiculously untrue. Yes, it was because of them. I call it religious Stockholm syndrome. There are many reasons for people choosing religion. Mostly it’s because it’s been passed down. Most people are born into it and follow their parental guidance into the same traditions and cultures. Some people desperately need something to hold onto because they’ve had their lives messed up or they’ve lost someone. Some just don’t want to be alone and to me, that’s the adult version of having imaginary friends. It’s quite strange how much disconnect there is when it comes to a person’s mindset for everyday life and their religious life. I just could not separate the two. In normal life, I read, analysed and understood. I did not just take adults’ ideas as truth very early on in life. I’ve been told on multiple occasions that my quest for knowledge is a dangerous mindset; especially for a woman. I was asked by an older man for my religious opinion so I gave a quick minute summary on how I see it. He listened quietly and left. A few days later he came to me saying how I need to be careful about what I say since my star sign has too much power and my words are dangerous. Seriously man, if a few seconds of my opinion made you require your religious leader’s reassurance of your faith then you might want to rethink your core beliefs. It’s you, not me.

For a few of my teen years, I shoved all my questions aside and threw myself into religious faith and finding a connection with god. I did achieve what I thought I wanted but every single time there would be a sermon about female submission, predestination for hell, dress codes, knowing your place, god creating evil and so on I’d feel this extreme moral rejection. I could not accept this. I believed in religion because I felt like the concept of Jesus was about love, empathy and helping others. I wanted to believe it. But I could not ignore the rest of the Bible once I started studying it. The nice-ish parts are a minuscule fraction of the actual bible. The rest is murder, slavery, stoning, rules, etc. The church environment is one of the most dangerous places for developing children; especially girl children. I’ve been hearing that men feel “attacked” by my views. I don’t understand why. I love men. I respect your issues too. Female equality has nothing against the good men. You are not the patriarchy. You’ve been harmed by it too. You’re expected to be less human, show less emotion, protect women with your lives and so on. I hate that. I hate the idea of toxic masculinity. I saw what it did to the boys I’ve loved so dearly. The childhood innocence and empathetic nature are ripped away when they’re expected to be overly aggressive to survive as men. It broke my heart. The beautiful boys I once would have done anything for have become strangers to me. Socially expected behaviours from the different genders divide loved ones. It drives differences between us that aren’t even real. This is what I’m against; not you, not your sexuality, not your male side. Millennial men are the best kind of men I’ve met. College introduces you to like-minded people. Since then I’ve had quite a few men add value and genuine happiness to my life. They make me laugh, have deep conversations with me, and make me feel comfortable to be myself around them. It’s so valuable to be able to make fun of yourself and your problems. This is how millennials bond. Prejudiced terms don’t mean the same thing to us. I think that that’s beautiful. Bitch means anything. Racist and sexist terms and ideas are used affectionately or purely for humour. It means so much to me to hear the difference in conversations between the different generations. Homophobia is accepted and perpetuated in the older generation, but try taking that shit to a group of young people. You will receive silence and disapproving looks. And someone will undoubtedly try to make a light-hearted comment to ease the tension. “That’s messed up man. If you like to suck a dick, you like to suck a dick. That’s it. It doesn’t matter.” The laughter that followed melted the awkwardness away. I thought about that for days. It would make me laugh randomly. The world is changing. People are changing. Mindsets are changing. However, the world is also still very much fucked up. We don’t have much say in how the world is run. But we know how it should be.

People have forgotten the value of vaccines simply because vaccines have a preventative nature. You don’t see polio around because you’ve been vaccinated. Take away the vaccines, and epidemics will consume mankind. It’s quite similar to freedom actually. People are losing touch with how important the fight for equality is. I’m baffled by the things people say about this generation.

“I believe that I was born in the wrong era when it comes to relationships. The love that I want is not in this generation.”

A reporter asked an old couple,
“How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?”
The woman replied,
“We were born in a time when if something was broken, we would FIX it, not throw it away…”

To me, that’s like old white men talking about “the good old days”. Good days for who? Only you. Everyone else was suffering while your families had all the money, land and humans by force. It’s a clear indication of racism to openly declare that the world was run better in the past. I get it when men say things like this. They would be fine if we had to relive the past. But women? Which era do you want to be in? The one where you had no right to vote? The one where your survival depended on the mercy of men? In my opinion, too many people have a toxic view on long-lasting relationships. Staying together for a long time isn’t necessarily a good accomplishment. Older generations marriages lasted forever because one person ruled it and the other submitted to their will through emotional, mental, physical and even sexual abuse. I will not apologise or beat myself up for ending relationships that become toxic in my life. Logically speaking, breakups happen for so many various reasons. It’s possible to discuss the differences and accept the other person as they are; even if that means that you don’t stay together to save the friendship. People are not projects. They are not yours to fix. True change comes from the person’s own wishes. Don’t ask anyone to change for you. That never works out. Every single human has a different set of goals for their life. If someone’s goals don’t match yours but you’re insistent on being with them then it’s you that’s the problem. I value honesty. Be upfront with me. What are you expecting? And if we don’t match, so be it. People change over time. It’s inevitable. New information and experiences do that. I worry if I find myself stagnating in self-progression. Every year has been an entirely different experience. I might match you today but 2 years from now I can’t say that I will want the same things. My only real life goal is contentment with life and myself. I want to be able to appreciate my own reflection. I want to smile at the person I see looking back at me. Don’t strive to fit the life template that stone age humans created. You could die tomorrow. Would you be happy with the life you’ve lived? Were you truly happy? So many people want the reassurance of a better life after death. They’re expecting a magic invisible man to give them everything they’ve ever wanted. We have no evidence that there is anything after we die. Why not just build your own life here and now? There is nothing that you must do. Just do you and you will find true happiness. I know loads of selfish men hate my views, particularly on anal sex for women. If you like it, then good for you. Carry on. But if you don’t and it only causes you pain and damage to your body why the fuck would you do it. You’re getting nothing good in return. Respect what your body wants. If you don’t want it and the person who claims to love you pressures you into painful situations for their own pleasure, I’ve got news for you; he does not care for you. If he waits until you’re drunk or otherwise more vulnerable to convince you to do it, run. If he does it anyway when you’re incapacitated then he’s a fucking rapist. Walk away. Men do not own sex. They should not dictate how and when it happens. It’s up to the individuals involved. Seriously, take control. The nice ones want to be good to you but they don’t know how. I mean, think about it. If we know so little about our own anatomy down there; imagine how clueless they are. Figure it out. You’ve got to work towards losing the shyness and show them what to do.

I don’t like the portrayal of women being psychotic and severely insecure. That is not something to embrace as who you are. A lot of men use these insulting concepts to undermine any real issue women have with them. “Oh, that bitch is crazy”. Crazy for not wanting to be treated badly? Crazy for standing up for herself? At one point I overheard my previous ex’s friends referring to me as the “police” when I walked over to him while he was with them. It made no sense. I’d never told him what to do or bothered to try the stereotypical micromanagement. I found out that he would use me as an excuse every time he didn’t want to go out drinking with them. That was so annoying. Men just assume that we’re desperate for attention. Spend all your time with me. Pay for everything. Wait for hours while I fix my face. What is that bullshit? No, I don’t want you in my space all the time. Anyone has the potential to be annoying which is directly proportional to the amount of time spent together. If you aren’t adding enough good to my life what’s the point of this? I don’t need help or anything from a relationship besides someone I enjoy being with having my goddamn back and adding happiness (all the types if you know what I mean) to my life. There is a Sarah’s scribbles cartoon that disappointed me a lot. I usually like her cute accuracies on everyday life but in this one, every frame of a couple growing old together has the woman constantly needing reassurance that her partner is sure that he loves her. That’s sad. Being insecure for your entire life must be an awful life. Why would you not love me if you choose to be around me? Besides, I don’t have such a low opinion of my own worth. He doesn’t choose you. You choose each other. So many old “love stories” depict a kitchen girl praying for a husband every day. Men seem to think that they have their pick once women reach “marriageable age”. I witnessed a bunch of dudes laughing about how girls should enjoy themselves now while they can be picky about men because they have an expiry date and will soon take anything when their marriage window is closing. The girl they spoke to laughed and said she knows she’ll always be hot and rich even when she gets old. Good for her. I know loads of women like makeup as a hobby. It is a form of art and can be quite fun at times. This is my personal preference when it comes to makeup. I use it occasionally although I’m not very good at it. It’s super fun for going out and events like Halloween parties, festivals, etc. On an everyday or regular basis though I think it is bad. It clogs the pores on your skin.  It’s also time-consuming. To me, it’s too much time and money wastage. I’d sleep longer or just do more with my life in that time. I need my money to cover my lifestyle and hobbies. But that’s just me. If you do it purely because you like it and think the side effects are worth it, I see no issue. It’s your life and your body. But in all honesty, even though it’s not my business, I do wish makeup wasn’t as popular as it is now… mostly because the main marketing strategy for makeup is pointing out flaws to get people feeling insecure about their appearance. 

I believe that our humanity and morals come from within ourselves. It has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Many religions condone or encourage slavery. It was the human race that decided it was immoral to own another person and ended the practice. No religion needed. No god needed. I don’t need a book threatening me with eternal torture to deter me from murder, rape and harming other lifeforms. I really just don’t want to. The religious cult that I grew up in had no punishment for violence against women. My last resort for justice within that miserable life was to write a letter to my pastor telling him what was happening to me. I received absolutely no response from him. Of course, I didn’t matter; it’s the people giving their 10% salary that did. I don’t care for anonymity. Whatever happened to me as a child was not in my control. Why must I be the one to be ashamed of it while the perpetrators live their lives happily fearing no consequence for their actions? I feel a moral obligation to at least try to prevent it from occurring to someone else, even if that means being open about my experiences. It took me 3 years to open up to my best friend and 10 years to open up publicly. Try to imagine living your life with absolutely no safe space and having the people that you’re supposed to trust entirely be the ones you’re desperate to run from. Yeah, I’m well aware of how much my experiences fucked up my own life. Women who go through abuse usually tend to end up on either end of the emotional spectrum. Some develop Stockholm syndrome, become suicidal and draw into themselves. That side opens you up to further abuse. Stop putting yourself down for what others have done to you. Then there exists another spectrum where you actually go through the phases of getting better. It begins when you start to feel indignation. Indignation is strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting; righteous anger. Revel in it. Feel the anger. How dare you do this to me and still feel holier than thou after a “sorry”. I know that the perception of female nature is being soft, caring, forgiving, and so on. Yes, it is one side of a person but it is not the side that should present itself in these situations. Boys are taught to stand up for themselves, shake hands firmly, threaten those who look at them “funny” or accidentally bump them but girls are expected to forgive after any crime is done to them. Fuck that. There is no difference in injustice for a crime committed to either gender. “If you prick me, will I not bleed?” Stop trying to tell me what I’m supposed to feel from your idea of what my gender should be. That’s not how human beings work.

Don’t forgive unless that is truly your personal way of surviving. Forgiveness often ends up with recurring incidents. Don’t ask for my forgiveness; face the motherfucking consequences. The only reason you are still breathing is that I still have work to do. I do not think prison life will help other people like me. And that is what I have set as my life goal. Having to save your own self takes time and sanity. Who do you tell? Who do you ask for help? I did not know. I was cut off from most of the world and people’s opinion of what transpired sickened me. So, ask me. That is all. As a child, I’d fantasise and escape into mental scenarios of rescuing little boys and girls who needed it. Be the hero you needed when you were younger. That is my life motto. I survived because the forgiving girl who cried at night died. I forget that she even existed. Needlessly aggressive people irritate me. I’m not trying to be this way. I am who I needed to be to survive. There were quite a number of years that I legitimately did not feel human. I was cruel to myself. I called it tough love. It was what I needed. But my lack of understanding the way forward led me to also make massive mistakes. There are things I’ve done and said that I deeply regret; things that keep me up at night. The guilt, sadness, emptiness, and trauma consumed me for so long. My method of coping became to kill my human emotions. I became someone that, in retrospect, I hope I never have to be again. People’s opinion of me means literally nothing to me. I do enjoy, like every other human, being liked but if I’m not it does not matter to me. It used to bother me that people thought I had a perfect life solely because I was attractive. It used to bother me that people viewed me differently when they found out the truth. Curiosity about my personal life irritated me. Opening up made me feel vulnerable and when I felt vulnerable I reacted with aggression. It was my defense mechanism. Storing all that fucked up shit in your head damages your brain. I did not know this. Even in high school I never really considered or acknowledged being physically attractive. I know I emitted confidence and inevitably people assumed that I thought “too much of myself”. But that wasn’t it. I was angry at the world. I was angry at what society had done to children. I preferred education to religion. Being in my own head was my escape. Human children cannot survive on their own. They are entirely dependant on the people who physically brought them into the world. How do you survive when those are the people allowing bad things to happen to you. My harsh truth had to be spoken to myself. No one was coming to save me. No one was coming to save those I loved. This is critical to abuse victims. You’re allowed to be fucked up. You’re allowed to struggle with it. You’re allowed to be broken. Give yourself that time when you’re alone or with people you actually trust. But it is not in my nature to go down quietly and submissively. It is a core human instinct to survive and defend yourself. There comes a time when you have to stop crying and get angry. Embrace the monster that they made you become. Don’t harm innocents around you but yes, you’re allowed to defend the shit out of yourself. I have hypervigilance and the inability to trust another human but I’m not going to live afraid of men. I will not. I’m tired of having to fight everyone all the time. So, I won’t. But any human wishing to harm me should be fully aware that I’m not prepared to deal with anymore shit in my life. I know that I probably the capacity to deal with further trauma but why should I have to. I’m tired. So we will die together, buddy. And I’m not kidding. I’d rather die and take a fucker with me before anything happens. You don’t have to adopt this attitude in the slightest. In fact, I hope you don’t. But this is where I am at.

Eventually, after over 10 years, I accepted that I needed help. My therapist made me open up scarring memories that I still wasn’t successful in dealing with. To calm me down she asked me to go to my happy place. I closed my eyes and then after a few minutes began to smile. She asked me to describe it to her. I could not. She did help me in some ways but I did not trust her. So I made some shit up because telling her that my happy place was me standing in front of a terrified kneeling man with a gun to his head scares everyone. The second my imaginary trigger is pulled; the smile appears. If anyone judges me for feeling this way you should properly know that I don’t give a fuck. There are many people around us who are not fit to exist in society. There is a missed massive flaw in the idea of female inferiority that directly impacts men. If you assume that all women are weak and emotional, you overlook the fact that women can be equally as terrible as men. The world brushes off sexual abuse done to men by women because that would mean accepting that there are no true personality stereotypes that match a person based on gender. But you’re putting yourself and your sons in danger. I’ve personally known women who are abusers. The average man assumes that rape and harassment aren’t a big enough deal because they believe that since they desperately want sex from women it would not bother them. This is sort of like people who say that they would die for others. You cannot possibly know what you would feel in a life threatening situation until you’re in it. You will find out things about yourself that you wish weren’t true. Intentions do not matter. Actions do. Besides, the idea of sex with women revolves around attractive women. When guys say stupid shit like that it’s so clearly because they’re imagining harassment from someone they would be eager to sleep with. That is not how any of this happens. Even if the woman was attractive, you’re underestimating your human need for choice. Choice is what human dignity revolves around. When that is ripped away from you, regardless of the circumstance or individual, it will be a traumatic experience that steals much from your life. That is what angers me most. I will never know my true capabilities. I know that I was a child prodigy. Over time trauma literally damages your brain and your physical ability to function on an everyday capacity. Learning new things, passions for life, memory capacity, comprehensiveness, desire and ability to see a future for yourself; these all start to feel impossible. My brain’s abilities gave me everything I have. It was my way out. So when it got fucked up I was forced to get help. I truly wish I did sooner. Complex PTSD and major depressive disorder needs medical help. There are many scientific papers published on the physical effects that prolonged trauma have on the brain. People assume that “messing with your brain” is dangerous; that antidepressants and other brain medication turns you into a “zombie”. When you break your arm, do you ignore it and live with it? Just because you cannot see your brain on an everyday basis doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fix it when it gets hurt. Trauma, depression, OCD, bipolar disorders and so on are serious illnesses. There exists a chemical imbalance in your brain that you need to treat. That is what these medications do. They don’t change your personality. They just give your brain a chance to heal itself as much as possible. I will have a separate piece on mental illnesses. It is so widely misunderstood. The world is not becoming more depressed. We just didn’t know that we were. This is what I mean when I say that it’s very inaccurate to assume that we can understand women from past behaviours. That is tainted data. Trauma and depression damages brains and steals so much from a person. Apart from abuse, women have been denied opportunities not just by the law but by everyone around them. Women don’t even know their own capabilities. I saw this old video of a talk show interview where one of the guests was a stunningly beautiful young blonde woman. Her general knowledge and vocabulary was so limited. She didn’t know the answer to most questions and the meaning of so many words. The host kept asking her more questions spurred on by the mocking laughter of his audience. She just looked confused. She did not know why they were mocking her. She just seemed lost. When she looked as if she was about to burst into tears I just switched my TV off. That’s how much I couldn’t handle the inhumanity of how this uneducated woman was being treated for not knowing things during a time that denied her education and basic human rights. The playing field is not levelled for men and women. It’s not. I do honestly feel that female accomplishments are worth more simply because of how much harder we have to work and how much more we have to overcome to gain the same success. As time goes by we will level it out. That’s what I’m hoping for. I never asked for this life. And I don’t want our future generations to go through the same bullshit. If men truly believe that women’s lives aren’t that much more difficult than theirs then let’s all swap gender issues. I am disgusted at the illogical prejudices; not proud of how hard we have to work. I don’t want to have to deal with this. It’s not a fucking competition for who has the harder life. There’s something insane about someone who genuinely boasts about a fucked up life. It’s not a happy thing. We don’t make this shit up to gain anything. It’s so ridiculous to even think that.

Why should victims take on the burden and damage with no justice. I’m not a victim. I was as a child. But I stopped being one a long time ago. I will not apologise for invoking fear in those who have harmed me. You should be afraid. I don’t need anyone to save me. I fucking saved myself and the people I loved. This is where my confidence comes from. I know who I am and what I’m capable of. I want all abused women and abused men to feel the same. I am no longer dwelling in the darkness of my mind. I cannot explain how far I’ve come in self-fulfillment and happiness. I don’t wish to be anyone else anymore. I love who and what I am right now and I want to share all that I have learned with those who need it. I really do. Protect your own self. Stop the crying. Stop the self hate. You are not what they made you. Shame them. Tell people. Don’t let them live on to do it to someone else. You can make a real difference to a life. Be your own protector. In a strange way I am weirdly content with how I’ve handled my past. I mean I do have regrets but I would never want to redo any part of my life. Child me had this image of what she wanted adult me to be like. She would be proud and that brings me indescribable satisfaction.

Just as a side note: It’s not a compliment to tell me how different I am to other girls. Negative brownie points will follow you. I refuse to believe that the stereotypical girls in the world know their true face let alone show it to the world. Dude, seriously. All women are vastly different. Like human beings. I live how I feel. That’s the part I’d want women to want to use of mine. Just be yourself. The inner you is way cooler than the portrayed images that are trending. You don’t need to hang out with the cool kids to be one. Conventional popularity is stupid. Don’t only focus on your sweet side. You won’t survive this world well. All of your emotions are valid; not just the nice ones. Anger, indignation, defensiveness, etc. in the required situations are critical to a healthy mind.

“Don’t paint me as a maiden in need of saving from a dragon. I am the dragon. And I will eat you whole.”

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