There is one side of me that is really airy fairy and understanding and wants to educate people rather than making them my enemy. This side of me is unconditionally loving and just wants the best for everyone.
There’s another side to me that is inconsolably angry and finds it hard to get over everything that’s happened. It’s like Jekyll and hyde.
Being angry has been pretty self-sabotaging throughout my life because it’s hard to understand raw emotion, but in writing this I’m gonna try and merge the two sides to explain why I’m angry, what’s wrong on a bigger scale, and what needs to change.
I don’t like talking about myself, but sometimes sharing your own story is the way that you can convey a bigger sociological point and demonstrate how big societal issues have such an affect on the individuals.
As it’s Halloween, it’s the season where girls are getting shamed left right and centre for basically being alive and trying to have a nice time. I’m being triggered a LOT, so I’ll start here.
I overheard a co-worker talking about how the father of her daughter was shaming the 12 year old for her Halloween costume. He said it was ‘too low cut’ and she ‘should wear tights’. She was wearing a sleeveless dress that covered her from chest to below the knee, had her face painted like a skeleton, and she LOOKED LIKE A 12 YEAR OLD.
I’m mad about this because it reminds me of the way mass groups of men in society aren’t growing up the way they should, and I’m mad because that girl is gonna suffer for it. And it’s not her fault.
I love men. I want a husband, I love my brothers, my friends are brilliant company; but I’m so wounded by the men in my life you would not believe.
It’s just a fact that groups of men need to step up right now because things just aren’t getting done, and I don’t want to say that to emasculate anyone, I’m saying that because I’m tired and I want a hug. Toxic themes are just continually being passed down from generation to generation and I can’t quite believe my eyes. Why are so many men struggling to check themselves?
Men need to take responsibility for their own urges so that they stop becoming fearful of their loved ones getting attention. Then, they need to spread that mentality and self-control to the rest of menkind through their social influence and power. Men need to stop sexualising young girls, and they need to concentrate on empowering women as opposed to shaming them- unless you wanna be at war for the next couple of centuries.
Parents, please stop trying to raise mini men because you’re intimidated by femininity. Please stop raising mini me’s or mini women to make yourself feel better. You will never be able to mould a child into the person you want them to be, you need to roll with the punches. They will be so much better off if you raise them out of love and not fear.
The world is moving on.
Kids aren’t stupid. They really aren’t. They’re the future. Listen to them.
Nobody ever listened to me when I was a kid, and being honest aside from having more life experience I am still pretty much the same person I was back then. My body growing meant I was deemed to be ‘listened to’ (somewhat).
Despite me having valid points and positively contributing to thought provoking conversation and progressive movements when I was younger, the amount of conflict me speaking the truth caused was damaging.
Do you want your son or daughter to grow up into a person who constantly second guesses themselves, sticks to a terrible job, settles for a safe partner they’re not really in love with and lives a below par life because you were unknowingly cruel to them? Do you want them to blame you?
Asking yourself these questions and admitting ‘huh, maybe I could improve’ doesn’t make you a bad person- it makes you the best type of person, and your kid will love and admire you so much for doing that for them. They will hate you for trying to keep them in a box.
So now I’m on one about school.
Filtering these attitudes and old timey beliefs down to your kids is causing them to be insecure, bitter, judgemental and vicious.
I was bullied and I was a bully in high school, because that was what adolescent survival felt like. Everyone was suffering in their own way and nobody seemed to be developed enough to raise the vibe.
I had an eating disorder that went unnoticed for most of my teenage years. It was never an attention thing, but I never really got help it just got to the point where I realised nobody would notice and I was getting older and I want to have kids one day.
There’s a point where you excuse it and it’s kind of like ‘this is okay’, and then eventually you realise that what you’re doing is wrong but you’re not ready to stop yet, and then for me at least- I kind of scared myself out of it with my body feeling weaker and educating myself on the consequences. Like teeth falling out, infertility, etc.
I went through a time in adolescence where I didn’t want to be alive anymore, but even in my lowest moments I thought ‘well if I’m gonna live I’m gonna have kids’. That was basically why I stopped.
For me my eating disorder was about control. I didn’t have much control at all, my life was really unstable, I didn’t feel taken care of and things generally felt manic. I felt unseen and out of control, so I came to find that the only thing I could control was my weight.
It also had this really weird and kind of sick competitive aspect to it where I thought in the back of my mind “if I’m going to be thin, I’ll be the thinnest”. Obviously I never was, I’ve always kinda had the hip structure despite at one point not having much meat to me- but that was the mentality.
High school in particular was like a breeding ground for mental health issues and shame. Shame attached to the mental health issues was the real kicker. You never wanted to speak about it for fear of being called an ‘attention seeker’ or being pressured to ‘prove it’, which is just so fucked up and repulsive. Can you imagine now talking out about going through something that’s literally ruining your life and making your hair fall out and being cornered by people asking you ‘so you throw up yeah? You just like don’t eat? How come you’re not skinny? Why do you hide your food?’.
I saw that happen to people, and it happened to me once when I spoke out about depression caused by what was going on at home, so like FUCK was I ever going to let myself be cornered about my body.
If kids keep repeating themselves and ‘glorifying’ their own mental illness it’s because they’re either taught that
- Disorders are normal and a part of life, get on with it
- They refuse to be shamed because deep down, they know they need help and they’re not getting it
- They feel unheard and helpless.
NIP IT IN THE BUD while they’re young. LISTEN to what they are telling you.
Despite what you’ve been through or where you’ve come from, when you’re an adult, an adult who has chosen to be a guardian to a child, it is your duty to step the fuck up and be a better person for the sake of this life and the future.
For so many years I literally just wanted to hide up.
I’ve never spoken about my eating disorder, apart from one time when I was drunk as fuck throwing up and confessed to my best friend and her mum that I had one. Basically as a way of saying like lol nah I’m not THAT drunk it just be like this my insides are fragile.
I think I probably was incredibly drunk though.
Anyways that’s besides the point.
When I was constantly on a quest to be thin some of the things I was told by older women, who I considered to be role models, were FUCKED up.
It was conditioned into me “no boys like crazy girls”, “people don’t like girls with mental disorders it’s a turn off” and “men like something to hold onto” (despite going into school and seeing them shame girls with different body types with their select group of girlfriends).
First of all, I developed my mental disorder because I couldn’t cope nor get help, not because of male attention. But yeah of fucking course male attention came into it and I’m not gonna pretend it didn’t just because someone might shame me for it. I wanted to be noticed, I didn’t really care how.
High school still makes me shudder. I was literally bullied for my HAIR (with people insisting it was actually straight for 5 years as if that’s something I’d actively construct and upkeep a lie about), I was bullied for my height, the way the uniform fitted, the way I carried myself- absolutely everything.
Nobody prioritised children growing up into decent people, and that’s messed up.
I literally remember my younger sisters best mate being in the pastoral care office because he was having identity issues and mental health issues which resulted in self harm. He was bullied, beat up, held my his neck in the toilets. When seeing his scars because of the very strict school uniform insisting on the fit of his shirt being the way it was, the HEAD OF PASTORAL CARE just told him ‘cover them up, they’re disgusting’ when she saw his arm full of scars.
St. Albans Catholic High School in Ipswich.
But the bottom line is, it’s everyone’s fault.
It’s the parents fault, the parents parents fault, the teachers faults, the kids faults.
So there’s no point playing the blame game when internally we’re all just damaged kids ourselves.
Now it’s time to step up, break the chain, and stop our kids from suffering the same way that we did.