“The way someone treats you isn’t meant to be taken lightly. How they treat you, is how they view you.”
You’re probably thinking, why do you even care since you’re Canadian. I care because I am an educated woman, a minority, and a global citizen.
I get it, Trump winning was not a surprise, I knew it was coming as soon as the debates began to start. Everyone keeps talking about how it was “unanticipated” that Trump would win. That because his campaign was misogynistic and sexist it would lead to his downfall. But when you followed the media and the voices of the people you could see the dissatisfaction at the bureaucratic level and the need to get rid of the “typical” lifetime politician. We live in an age where mainstream media controls what we see in the sense that there is more negative news broadcasted than positive. It’s framed how society views things in that the media did a solid job at painting a bleak picture of why the economy was doing so poorly, why unemployment, natural disaster, and terrorism was on the rise.
There’s no justification in calling a woman “disgusting” for requesting to a break in order to allow her to pump breast milk for her young child. There’s no reason to publicly humiliate a woman by calling her a “big, fat pig” and there is absolutely no rationale to insinuate just because you have the power and fame you’re entitled to grab a woman by the p***y. That with his new Cabinet many women may lose access to getting preventative reproductive care, whether it be access to birth control, pap smears, and abortion.
It’s completely frightening. How do I look at a young girl with big dreams to change the world and tell her that she will be reduced to just her looks and body parts rather than her intelligence. That in order to achieve power, money, and rank, you have to be submissive to the big man up top if you want to get anywhere. That a man who has the top role in one of the most powerful countries in the world and a large social media following can influence a large following particularly with views on women, the LGBTQ community, people of colour, and evidence-based science.
We need to do more to empower women across the globe and Trump’s influence can seek to impede or even worse reverse the social progress made in helping women succeed. In developing countries, women are often forced to play the role of “stay at home” mom, often locked in centuries of misogynistic power crusades impeding them from obtaining education and income. Even worse is the fact that because many of these women are not able to contribute “financially” to their household, let alone society it further cripples the development and economies of developing nations and keeps them locked in a vicious cycle of poverty.
Even more so we need to empower minorities, especially people of colour to seek greater opportunities. Often these are some of the most disadvantaged groups in our society, whether it be in access to healthy foods/activities, safe housing and community conditions, adequate healthcare, stable employment, and importantly educational opportunities. These are the people least likely to get out of the cycle of poverty and have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to society.
One cannot look at how Trump has discriminated against black individuals or encouraged hatred of immigrants and fear of Muslims without understanding that his policies would almost certainly be discriminatory. With blatant racism protruding through his campaign (ex. Building a wall) how do we go about creating an inclusive society when his opinions and influence create a divided mindset. It’s not just in America, it’s happening in Canada and Europe as well. It’s not an issue about “immigrants” stealing our jobs, after all both our societies thrive on the need for immigrants to help be contributing members to the economy. We can’t blame these individuals who often come from more “stable/prosperous” positions in their respective countries and blame them for when things go wrong. To immigrate to a country such as the USA or Canada is not easy, you have to be able to “offer” something that cannot be done by regular citizens or have the financial resources to support yourself and your family as well as other factors such as level of education and linguistic abilities.
As a society, maintaining the economy is a group effort, we all have a part to play and it is our civic responsibility to seek change and accountability, hence the right to vote. Our voices hold enormous power as a group but yet people seem to show little enthusiasm in becoming engaged with matters that pertain to them. It was not the “immigrants” that caused the recession in 2008, it was the failure of government to create protocol and monitor the major banks who often when after the most vulnerable in society in offering them the resources to “procure their dream homes” (aka The American Dream).
I don’t think Obama and Biden got enough credit for the work they helped partake in. Thanks to their roles, millions of Americans have access to health insurance which not only saved many from bankruptcy but also saved lived. Thanks to Obama, foreign relations were at an all time high helping to stabilize the world economy. Furthermore, because of Obama Banned gifts from lobbyists were not permitted to incentivize anyone in the Executive Branch with gifts helping to hinder direct influence on policy making. Even more amazing, he led an Administration that went 8 full years without causing a major scandal. By the end of his first year, the economy created and sustained 2.1 million jobs for Americans. Signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, which helped millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures and provided $2.2 billion to combat homelessness and stabilize the housing market. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis and helping to maintain a stable world economy.
For more on his governments successes (there’s over 400 notable accomplishments) check out this site: http://pleasecutthecrap.
Thank you to Michelle Obama to making it her mission to empower young women to get the education they deserve in not only the USA but across the globe with the Let Girl’s Learn initiative. Thank you to Malia and Sasha Obama for being role models for young women across the world, a task the both of you did not ask for when your father sought to become president.
Obama succeeded by taking a rigorous, evidence-based approach to government. So thank you Obama and Biden for your service to your country and to the world. Thank you for being the epitome of dignity and class. As a Canadian I wish you both well on your future endeavours and hope your desire to create social change never ceases.
I don’t know what the next 4 years will bring, but I hope for the sake of us all we don’t go backwards in creating social change not only in the USA but also on a global scale. As a Canadian we have the ability to help influence our relationship with our American neighbours and we need to make sure we protect our interests as partners.
Sometimes I just sit there and feel my chest tighten up and feel like I can’t breathe anymore, like i’m completely gasping for air. The feeling like I have to hyper-ventilate. Tears streaming down my face. Like someone is reaching into my chest and ripping out my insides.
Today I let go of someone I was really into. Someone for the first time in awhile showed me that there are good people out there. I couldn’t do it. Regardless of the fact he was handsome, smart, and motivated. As nice as he was, I couldn’t love him like I loved before. I couldn’t will myself to be touched or touch them. I felt empty, like I was filling them with empty promises and hope of something more. Someone who gave me the idea that moving on was possible, but no i’m stuck on him. The man who holds my heart in the palm of his hands and little by little has left me empty.
For moments it would feel wonderful being able to just talk to someone, to remember what it felt like to laugh. That it was possible to look at someone again and feel wonder, but I couldn’t do it. I could see it in his eyes and I just wasn’t there emotionally, mentally, or physically. But I can’t rely on someone else to be or act as my happiness. I need to be able to stand on my own feet and make my own path. I need to work on being me, being able to stand the silence that was left behind when you walked away, being able to work through my own thoughts, and finding what makes me happy. Because to be truly happy means that happiness come from within yourself, to know what it is that make you sparkle, that makes you laugh, and that powers you. I need to put in the time to work on that for me and I can only do that alone in a sense. Because to put your happiness in the hands of someone else misguides your thinking. I also set myself up for being broken down because I forgot what it was like to put myself first or question what makes me happy.
I let them go because it was wrong to give them hope. That someone so broken could offer them everything they wanted or were searching for. That no matter how much reassurance they gave me and that it was okay to hold back, I couldn’t accept that. I couldn’t make someone else wait on me when I felt no passion for them. Weeks went by and as much as they encouraged me to open up, be supportive, and understanding, I couldn’t do it.
I came across this piece of writing on Tumblr yesterday and it made me feel so hard. Wishing that someone else wouldn’t have to go through this, but that it’s life and we are meant to fall on our faces and pick ourselves back up.
And when that day comes, I’ll sit down next to her and tell her about when I was 16
I’ll tell her about the boy with prettiest blue eyes and most intoxicating laugh
I’ll tell her about the way he spent years making me fall in love with him-effortlessly
I’ll tell her how hard I fell
because oh my lord I fell hard
I’ll tell her about losing him
About sitting on my bedroom floor, rocking back and forth with anxiety
About the dark under eye circles and the marks on my wrists
About growing accustomed to my body being in a constant state of self-destruction
I’ll tell her about the shitty poetry and the new hairstyle
I’ll tell her about the envy I felt when I saw my replacement
I’ll tell her about slowly regaining the ability breathe normally
I’ll tell her about being able to laugh without feeling like I’m betraying him
I’ll tell her about being able to order the spiciest thing on the menu without crying
I’ll tell her that it never goes away that it only subsides
I’ll tell her that my heart still stops when someone says his name
I’ll tell her that to that very future second, I still love him
I still think about the prettiest blue eyes and most intoxicating laugh
This is going to be a long and heartfelt post to someone who once loved me and now won’t even talk to me. Take it as part open letter to them, even though they could care less, but also as a letter to me trying to piece together everything that’s happened over the past few months.
There’s been so much that happened the past few days with having bumped into you again triggering an avalanche of emotions, mostly grief, sadness, and emptiness. I really thought I could approach you that night because I didn’t think it would turn out like that. Who would have known you would turn around and yell at me to “Fuck off” or tell me “you wanted me out of your life” and poke me really hard out of anger. I get I violated “your space” but I really thought it would have been an awkward brush in at best since at one point I was also friends with those you were with. I thought from the last time I saw you, we were okay, even though we had some tense text conversations after that we could at least be able to talk calmly in a public space. That our last actual conversation when I asked if you even cared you responded with “obviously”, but then why do your actions or non-actions speak differently? Yet to you, everything is so simple, we broke up and that’s it. There’s nothing else to it “since you’re not my boyfriend anymore”. The an abortion is a simple and mindless thing and therefore there’s no reason to talk after you left me to figure everything out on my own since you were obviously that busy. So busy you can seemingly make time for everything and everyone else. Because obviously I got pregnant on my own and therefore it should fall under the responsibility of people who live no where close to me to act your part.
Seeing her post the next day after trying to get your attention for a moment at the movies of “Nice try, but it’s not going to break us up. If you have the guts to do it again, try and be a little less creepy will you? ✌🏻️#SorryNotSorry #HeReallyLovesMe”. Like what? What did I do to you to deserve something like that? You’ve been dating for what at most 2 months? How can anyone make a judgment on another relationship? I’m sorry did you not tell me the same things at one point or do the messages and memories I have of us mean nothing? Did you also tell her you promised me an engagement ring at one point and gave me a promise ring at another? That I would never have to worry because I was yours and you were mine? That you were so crazy about me you had to always be in touch with me? That according to you I made you really happy? Or did you just tell her what she wanted to hear, that you loved her, I meant nothing to you, and that I was some selfish “bitch” trying to ruin your life? That you ignored me when I was dealing with our abortion. Or that you would ignore me for days, message me at your convenience and wonder why I was upset or ignoring you? Or was it just me being childish, because obviously the world revolves around your schedule and importance. Weren’t you also the one you fought so hard for me to “keep you updated” even though you wanted to give your responsibility to someone else because you still wanted to know what happened at the end of it all and “how I was doing” for as your said “your own closure”? But yet when it came down to talking, you were a complete no show in helping to tie up lose ends and instead fully chose to ignore me and help make a scene instead, because really yelling all of that to me was also not embarrassing when I didn’t even try to fight back or yell out anything incredibly personal.
I have no ill will towards her though, she didn’t do anything wrong, but it hurts she would cast judgment knowing only one side. In fact I could probably relate more to her for the fact that she also knows what heartbreak is like. But from a woman to woman that was a low blow to the heart. Even thought I received an apology I know deep down she doesn’t understand everything that was said and done. She’s heard your side and I doubt you would share every detail, just as I have my side. As a female I wanted her to understand and found it unfair to think I wouldn’t see it when I know my blogs aren’t a secret. I had a lot of respect for her and I do still and I wish I could share my side but I know it wouldn’t be fair. The “context” you talk about isn’t an excuse, regardless of how angry or upset you were. There’s absolutely no valid excuse to call someone pathetically weak for struggling with mental illness, namely depression. I get you don’t believe in mental illness, you believe its a societal construct because people are lazy or weak and unable to adapt to the challenges of life, but for someone in a scientific field, doing some research would be a great start to understanding the struggle of millions of people, let alone those close to you or even yourself for that matter. There was no relevance to the pregnancy, what does my struggle have to do with the situation at hand? You were angry about the pregnancy and seemingly the breakup, but that’s no reason to have took it out on me. You’re a 24 year old man and I a woman and I never went as far as to say any of those things. I get we had tense conversations and I also said some regretful things, but you also have a brain and the ability to control your thoughts and you also have the ability to apologize without me having to ask.
I am sorry though that at a point in time this year I thought it was okay at one point to invade your privacy, even after we broke up. I was wrong to have done so just as you were wrong for have invading my privacy at points in time when we were together. For a while I really struggled to learn to trust you again after the whole incident with “coffee girl”. I got an apology from you and then I was off again to London within a few short hours of seeing you for the first time in a while, not even getting to be around you much in person. You lied to me though, right in front of my face and denied it when I brought it up of who was she. I kept telling myself you didn’t do anything wrong and accepted when you said it wasn’t anything special. As much as you refused to admit it we were still in a relationship when you went out with her and met her for coffee. That in your case it was okay because obviously it’s you and it was a lapse in judgement, but if I were to do that to you it would be a different case. I thought that by being able to spy on your phone from London, it would help me learn to trust you again since we were half way across the world trying to move past everything and letting me know what you were thinking. For a time I did learn to trust you again and learned to let go of snooping, you did nothing wrong for me to have started to re-violate your privacy when we broke up as it was none of my busniess. It hurts that you think I purposely would invade your privacy by checking your e-mails recently to find out where you were that night so I could “confront” you or “embarrass” you when we corrected the issue months ago.
I accept that I made a poor choice in invading you privacy in the past. It still makes me cringe thinking I did that without your permission and I apologized profusely for my poor judgement. But I also understand why you would assume I would do it again when I did in the past, I deserved everything I got because it takes time to build trust. For months, I was incredibly hormonal, selfish, and irrational in saying and doing some of the things I said to you. But every time I felt I was out of line, I did try my best to apologize and I sincerely mean it when I say i’m sorry for saying some of the things I said to you. The fact that you accused me of accessing your “e-mails” when you had “proof” makes me nauseous, because in all honesty I wasn’t checking your e-mails and hadn’t been for months. I had no idea you were going to be at the theatre, let alone sitting a few feet away. That night we talked about how I had been violating your privacy by “spying” on you was the last time I checked in on you. I honestly thought by taking the steps we did that the check-ins would stop on your next update, but looking today I know they did not. Every time I was checking into my computer, the system would look for an update and upload it to the system. I never had anything uploaded to my account, but it makes me sad to think the system was looking for updates and making you think I was the one spying on you still. I sought every step to fix my mistakes to make sure it stopped, even taking the time to send you the proof to ease your tension. I know you probably don’t believe me though, you never do when I make a mistake. But I will full on admit publicly I spied on you at one point on your phone using an app, I was wrong, immature, selfish, and insecure for doing so and sought to correct my mistakes (which seemed to work). I will not take the blame for something I didn’t do though, I never violated your privacy checking your e-mails and I sought to understand what was wrong and offer you a piece of mind. I don’t care about the useless e-mails you likely get, it makes me feel as if I have no importance in my life but to search for scraps to “ruin” your life because obviously I have nothing better to do, have no reputation or pride to uphold, or care about you at all after being in a relationship with you. Obviously not. That everything I put aside for you to be there for you meant nothing. That whenever you made mistake I freely forgave you without question or made excuses as to why you did something. That despite everything said and done I still care and cared about you. But i’m tired of being treated poorly. That despite trying to be patient, supportive, and understanding I walked away with nothing short of a huge fuck you. That anytime you did something wrong, I had to consider myself lucky to ever get an apology from you. You did apologize a few times but a lot of the time even when you said you were sorry, they lacked genuineity, like you just wanted it to be over and to shove it under the rug. But of course, anything I did wrong is unforgivable even when I do try to apologize or admit my mistakes. The amount of times I would apologize for something that upset you and then think back as to why the heck am I the one apologizing makes me feel weak. Sometimes I feel like you don’t know how to take responsibility for things, I know you’ve made mistakes in the past you’re not proud of and hold a lot of “shame” in a sense for letting down some of the people you love, but I feel like you honestly put so much pressure on yourself to be someone you’re not because you feel like you don’t always fit in. The truth is, I admired you for you, all your insecurities, flaws, and mistakes. Every one of those things made up you, and I accepted them all unconditionally. There’s a part of me that still does.
It breaks me to think that you never saw the abortion as being “our” issue. Or let me rephrase that you only saw this as our issue when it came to me going into get a procedure done but nothing else related to it, not my check ups or my well-being after it was “taken care of”. That your first thought of me telling you I was pregnant through e-mail because, surprise(!) you refused to talk to me, you called me and told me you hated me, you never loved me, this was all my fault, I did it on purpose (when we were fully together), that you liked my parents better and that they didn’t do a good job raising me because I was scared to get an abortion. That it got to the point where it became my issue that I had to take time off from my studies or work because you had more important things to take care of. That you couldn’t come to my surgical procedure in a city over an hour away because you had things to do and didn’t want to waste 5 hours of your time, when I was losing the same amount of time dealing with our problem meaning I had to bus there alone. Yeah, you picked me up, we had a great time grabbing dinner and laughing about old times and people we knew. For you to tell me the next day you used me that night because you wanted to scope me out because if not I wouldn’t have opened up to you. Let alone to have to go again weeks later to rectify the complications that ensued, this time completely alone in a hotel spending money I don’t have.
Yeah, we had a shit ton of obstacles neither of us expected, but it also took out of my time too and a lot of it I might add. That I had to take time to recover not only mentally and emotionally but physically as well. That you have no idea how hormonal I was and having to go through adjusting my body back to normal and I still have a ways to go. But no, it doesn’t concern you that I every time I hear about a couple struggling to conceive or lose a baby, it makes me incredibly emotional to know that I had that chance and felt pressured to oblige to what we agreed on when you didn’t even seem to care for the most part how I felt about things or why I felt that way. It never concerned you how I was doing or coping because you had someone else in your bed keeping you warm at night and taking your mind off things. Anytime I would want to talk about it, you would flip out on me saying how much you hated me, how it was all my fault, or other hurtful comments. Let alone when I was at my lowest feeling suicidal dealing with everything and asked for your help and you were off having a “date” night because that couldn’t wait, could it? Or was your phone really at 2%? You promised me we would get through it together, don’t tell me i’m spinning my words because I have proof. You promised you’d be there for me because you knew what I was going through and I believed you. You too were having nightmares, struggling to cope crying, and feeling withdrawn socially.There was no reason to touch me, regardless of whether I tried to block your exit or even held on to you for a moment (I can’t remember), there was absolutely no reason to touch me at all despite how angry you were. You’re bigger than me, what did you think would happen when you try to toss me to the side when you didn’t want to talk about the failed abortion anymore. I needed your help to get through things again and you couldn’t do it. Emotionally, I was weak and felt like I couldn’t go through it again and had second thoughts. How could you blame someone for that? Especially with how things went the first time. Instead you shut down on me and pushed me aside. I brushed the incident off after we talked about it though because I believed you when you said you didn’t mean to and that it was a minor shove because I was trying to block you from leaving after you refused to listen to what I had to say. But then thinking of what happened at the movies the other night when you jabbed me telling me to fuck off. There was absolutely no reason to touch me, I didn’t grab onto you, sure I got a little to close on the stairs when trying to tap your shoulder and accidentally kicked the back of your shoe walking down the steps but I never meant to touch you aside from tapping you to turn around and acknowledge me calling you. Maybe you don’t realize how hard the jab actually was, but it actually still hurts.
I honestly didn’t expect you to be there that night, let alone on a double date. I saw you didn’t say anything when you initially walked past me because I was in shock. I’ve spent months feeling like I was the burden in all of this because you were always “too busy” to be there for me, but yet you were fully able to make time for other things. That you couldn’t be there at my appointments or meet deadlines because you had so much to do. Like my time never mattered, the fact that I had to skip class or have important things to do. You don’t think I had a Master’s to finish too? You don’t remember that I also go to school full-time and work part-time? That I don’t have a reputation to uphold too? That those time you said you couldn’t be there because you had “more important” things to do or places to be, you were fully able to go out or even work. Yet, you aren’t even supposed to be working a part-time job as per your agreement with your supervisor because like you said you’re “being paid to do research and represent him”. Yet, you always blamed me for when everything went wrong in your life when you made those decisions. Those hours you spent working could have went towards your school work, those times you spent going out could have been used to get things in on time or do work. You said school was your priority, but yet your actions always speak differently. Yes, there is such thing as stress relief, but there’s also the ability to prioritize and schedule and being able to take responsibility for your actions, something you never seem to accept. Of course you’re never wrong, of course everything you do you try to cover it up, lie, or make it seem like its not a big deal, even at times spinning it on me for me because really it’s obviously my fault you choose to do or not do actions.
The fact that i’ve been begging you to sit down with me to have a conversation about things and you feel you don’t “owe” that to me. You told me we could sit down and have a conversation in time, that after I told you about the complications “this time would be different”, you wouldn’t just leave like you did the last time. You would check in after on how I was doing. Yet, this time feels exactly the same. This time feels worse because you absolutely said nothing and not only that you chose to act aggressive and pretend you didn’t know what was going on. It makes me sad to wonder when did you turn into such a monster. That you couldn’t take a step back and help me through this. That instead I carry the burden of shame and judgment. The mentality that this was all my fault. I was scared and alone and we made a promise to keep this between us, but when push came to shove you tossed that idea away. But you’re right, you don’t “owe” me a conversation, you should want to do that on your own, to defend yourself, to answer questions of what happened, and to know what happened. You dated and loved me for two years, and now you pretend like you never did and that I don’t exist. You don’t just stop caring about someone even if your broken up. I still want to see you succeed, be healthy, and loved.
Watching you go through this Master’s degree has been a roller coaster of emotions. I’m sorry things didn’t always go the way you wanted them to or how you expected things to go. I really am. I wish I could have helped you get through things but I wasn’t able to and at the end of the day you’re strong and smart enough to tackle all the challenges you faced. I get this is a confusing time for you, you often feel alone, tired, and stressed, but I always tried to be there for you and I always would have. It makes me feel sad knowing you sometimes feel like you’re not good enough or that you’re not worthy enough for the great things life has to offer. That on some level you chose to do your Master’s because you had no idea what you wanted to do and felt you had little options so you jumped right into it because it was there and that you would put all the dreams you did have aside until you got through this next step. I wanted to help you find your passion and you felt you had none and would never find it. Doing your Master’s has made you unhappy. You’re not a school person or a researcher and this has been tougher than you thought, you’ve experienced numerous set backs. But I know with hard times and hard work comes prosperity and opportunity and I knew once you got through it, things would slowly come together for you again. It killed me when you broke up with me telling me you couldn’t balance school and me, so you had to pick school. Left me for weeks without talking to me, to grab my hand, sit me down, and tell me that you were struggling with everything and that you couldn’t have anything, let alone someone get in your way of getting school done. But that at the end of the day you did love me (even though you didn’t want what love was) and cared about me and wanted to know I was okay. To find out weeks later you started seeing someone new. Then to tell me you never loved me or that I never made you happy. As if I meant nothing to you, that you would talk behind my back and not even defend me when through at the worst of things I was always defending you or making excuses for things I shouldn’t have because I cared that much about you. You’ve broken my heart before and I eventually got over it and picked myself up because we worked through it and I had faith in us, but this time, this time you destroyed me.
I wanted to be there to pick you up, and I still am if you needed me there. That the “dream” job your striving for may not even make you happy in the end, that life is like a processing line, there’s nothing to look forward to. Or even being there as a crutch for any of your dreams. I really did want to explore life with you and I thought for awhile you wanted that too. That we would spend more time outdoors, away from social media, playing video games, purchasing our dream bathtub, all while figuring out how to balance life. I would have moved mountains for you, moving to places I would have never thought just to help you find what made you happy because deep down watching you find happiness made me incredibly happy. Even if everything you envisioned turned out to not be the way you wanted it to be, I would have been willing to support you and take risks for you, whether it be living on our waterfront home with our dogs up north or moving across the world just to travel and become vagabonds for awhile. That you would have never had to worry with me, because together we would figure things out. That regardless of what was said and done between us, I would always find a way to forgive you, to work through things, and push us to be and do better. I loved you for you. I loved you curiosity for the world, your wonder at life, and the hard work you would put in to finish things. I never thought you would leave something unfinished.
I know all of this was hard for you to deal with and go through too and I know there’s no “standard” manual on what to do for people who were once in a relationship. It kills me to think of how much strain it put on you, knowing how much it impacted me. Seeing you cry or yell in frustration was always hard on me. I wanted to fix things for you, to understand things for you, and to work together. There’s always the part of me that wanted to protect you, that put up a wall through all of this so that you wouldn’t have to feel broken too. That you struggle in times of high stress and don’t know how to cope oftentimes. But I thought we were in this together. That regardless of what happened between us, we would be able to put those emotions aside and do what we needed to do together because that’s what two grown adults should be able to do because at one time you did love me just as I did for you. But how do you stop caring for someone like that? Do you even realize if something happened to you and you needed someone there, I would still be there for you regardless of everything that’s happened. I know that everything we went through made your life more difficult too, but sometimes I feel like you forget about how much it impacted my life and what I had to give up. At the end of the day what you shared with your new lover is your business, but I really hope you realize that it’s one side of the picture and that I too want to understand yours and share mine. I realize sometimes when I try to talk to you through text (the same as you do to me) things come across much differently. It hurts to think you would even think I would attempt to blackmail you or threaten you. I avoided you for a while because I couldn’t handle interacting with you. I couldn’t beg you to car anymore. I was tired of it. I shut you out of the final process because you said you didn’t want to be there and you felt you didn’t have a role in this since the fetus was “dead” to you. Therefore, it was my problem to find someone else to be there for me. That you are not capable of handling serious emotion or knowing what to do. The most sincere reaction should have been to just be there and offer support regardless of what our status was. You were the closet person to me for two years, just as I was to you and we didn’t have a bad break up. Instead when you want something (ie intimacy), then you get to choose because “it didn’t change anything” between us and “I wanted it” so you went for it and left two weeks before you met someone new, right?
Does it ever occur to you that I never even go into areas where you might be because it gives me anxiety thinking I may see you around? Does it ever occur to you that I get anxiety being in busy places, like the mall, because not only am I flooded by thoughts of all the adventures of where we used to go but the holidays bring me negative memories because of everything that happened last year between us? Does it ever occur to you that I struggle to feel close to people because it scares me to be touched? I find it incredibly ironic that the one time I am invited to go watch a movie in Waterloo with my friend that of course you would have to be there and everything i’ve been feeling comes crashing down.
I was recently diagnosed with not only anxiety but post-traumatic stress disorder from dealing with the abortion. But it’s not like it matters that I still have trouble sleeping, eating, and concentrating on things that are important to me and haven’t been able to for months. That I have to take anxiety medications to help me sleep because I still have nightmares of having to undergo another surgery or hear the heart beats that you never had to hear. Because guess what, you never made the effort to go to a single appointment with me. I realize you may not care about what i’ve been going through or if you do you have other priorities or people to be with and I respect that but out of everyone you should know what happens when I get anxious. You should know how flustered I get and how I react when I feel trapped, anxious, and distressed. Similar to you, I have my own personal issues to deal with, whether it be emotional or mental. Maybe for you acting out your aggression helps, bonding with someone helps, smoking or drinking helps, but for me, talking helps. Specifically, talking to the person who makes up the other part of the equation. That being able to sit in person and trying to understand things and put things in the open would greatly help me find some sense of peace in allowing me to continue moving forward. But no, you can’t do that because you don’t “owe” it to me or “you’re not my boyfriend anymore” and you feel you had no role in this, therefore in your eyes you feel you don’t need to waste your time because obviously everything you do will and is always more important that anything I went through despite spending 2 years with someone.
I honestly really trusted you to be there, not just there but actually there for me. I had so much hope in the words you would feed me, I always have. While you would do things like pick me up, bring me food/medicine, even making me laugh when I was scared, and keep me company it really bothered me that you never opened up with me or even would check in on how I was doing after everything that was “said and done”. That regardless of the fact we were and are broken up that you still cared enough to check in or to even talk about things. You were too preoccupied texting your girl or watching hockey (which you always told me you hated to do and made it harder for you to connect socially with the “boys”). I meant being there in the sense that I didn’t have to go to the appointments alone or bus myself to my surgery or even stay alone because I feel too ashamed to talk about things with others. Ashamed because I knew if I shared it with others they would judge me, us, and you and despite everything I hate tarnishing the good memories we did share. I needed you and you weren’t there. I didn’t need you in the “romantic” sense, I needed you as a “friend” as some who not only knew me the best but as the other half of the “partnership” that was going through something similar to what I was feeling. What happened to the guy who got scared when I was feeling really weak to pop over suddenly and sit with me on my floor and wipe away my tears. The guy who told me he felt the exact same way just a few days prior and that I needed to keep my chin up because good things would come my way and the pain would fade. That I was a beautiful girl who had much to live for and that if I were to leave (which I so desperately wanted to) it wasn’t my time and I had more to do in this world and people to live for. That it would destroy you thinking about things. The guy who jokingly told me he was always jealous of how much opportunity and money I would make one day, even though I would have done anything to have given us both a good life.
I really want to talk to you in person and you don’t. The promise of one day we could maybe sit down and talk about things makes me sick to my stomach because I feel like it was probably a lie. I made the tough decision to not reach out again after our last interaction because I wanted to give you some space and hoped you would have reached out. How many nights I would tell myself to not message you and cry myself to sleep thinking about everything. Seeing you on Thursday at the movies made me realize you weren’t going to and that if I don’t try I may never get any sense of closure. I know meeting and talking may not do anything for you, but it would have meant a hell of a lot to me, more than what you probably understand. I don’t like feeling like i’m begging you to have a conversation about things because we obviously left things off in a bad place that has contributed to how i’ve been feeling. It makes me feel like a dog begging for her master to give her food and I feel pathetic having to do so.
Sorry to be so open but I honestly feel so broken inside. I have never been this heartbroken in my entire life. I don’t mind being so open or if anyone thinks I’m being weak but I don’t play games when it comes to love. I treated him as if he were a King. I would drop everything in a heartbeat to be there for him, whether it was dropping money for plane tickets or bus tickets just to spend as much time as I could with him. I would spend hours talking to him, hours making excuses for him and hours putting in effort to make sure he knew he was loved. Was I perfect? No. But I can honestly say he was someone I have given my all to and would have continued to do so despite everything. I find it highly unfair I was blamed for his unhappiness when we broke up when he would never open up to me fully or make changes. I loved and cared about him with every fibre of my body and apart of me still does. I loved every inch of that man and loved everything that came with him, flaws, mistakes, imperfections, and all. I truly loved him. I gave everything I had for him, emotionally, physically, and mentally and now I am broken to the core. I really believed he was in love with me the way that I was with him and I am so hurt at how everything turned out in the end. It’s different when you have a you’re going through something so personal like an abortion with someone, let alone someone who you were once so close to and to have them walk away like that. I am so broken after everything. This is a man I fought my entire family for. I feel like I was played in a way. That when times got tough they walked a way instead of fighting for us or even standing by me at my darkest moments. I was completely disposable to them and blamed for everything that went wrong in their life, whether it be them falling behind in school, life, or even their happiness. Even though I did everything I could from an ocean or a city away to try to push them to be better, to reach higher, and to find themselves. It’s like I let them down. I was in love with this man to the fullest and apparently I was none of that to him. Instead i’m left with a huge empty space in my heart having lost more than him.
For once I thought things were taking a turn for the better, that I was finally starting to turn a new page and learning to let things ago with everything that’s happened over the past few months. I finally had the energy to go out and do something for me, a simple movie date with one of my oldest friends. A chance to relax and let my brain focus on anything but him, our situation, and school.
Instead as soon as I got to the theatre obviously things had taken a turn. Of course, my ex would walk in on a double date and sit not to far from where I was. That all those times he couldn’t make time to help me through a situation we both should have been dealing with and finished together, he was fully able to make time for a date. It was upsetting to see everything play out the way it did in front of me. But I think as much as it did hurt to see him moving on with someone else (when I was told differently by them) and canoodling in public, I obviously wanted to know he was happy and healthy, regardless of the fact it wasn’t with me. But it would be a lie to say it didn’t sting with everything that happened between him and I over the past few months. It just makes me sad to think about everything he had once promised me or said to reassure me and how things have largely turned out opposite of that. That how much of it was truth and how much of it was lies.
To be honest, I had been thinking about him lately, especially at night he would cross my mind thinking about how when I really needed him to be there for me he wasn’t, all the things that were said both good and the bad, but that most of all I missed him and I wondered what he was up to and if I even remotely crossed his mind as much as he crossed mine. It came in waves, somedays he would constantly run through my mind with things that reminded me of him, stupid things we did, and places we had been to or said we wanted to go to. Other days I would go on with my life and be able to focus on things. There was even a couple weeks where he barely crossed my mind at all, then as soon as I was slowly able to move on to other areas in my life, it would be like a torpedo of emotions and thoughts swallowing my mind.
I sat through the whole movie fighting with myself whether I should even bother to say anything. That after a month of not even hearing a peep from him, it was clearly he gave 0 fucks about me and what was supposed to be “our” problem. But then on the other hand, I figured I didn’t have much to lose because him being around close friends would likely not make for much fuss. That after all our conversations, relationship history, and interactions things would be neutral at worst and it would give me a chance to speak in person knowing I had his attention rather than in the past where I would e-mail or text to be ignored more than half the time. That maybe I would say an awkward at best hello to his group and be able to go somewhere quiet to talk. I thought that after our last conversation where he said he “obviously” cared he would want to even take a moment to ask how I had been or how things went. Instead as he walked by me he ignored me as I called his name. I decided to approach him to ask if we could speak privately for a moment. Instead I was told to “fuck off” and poked in the chest, that “I don’t want you in my life anymore”, that I didn’t consider everything in their life to be important, that somehow i’m a “stalker” for choosing to go out to watch a movie they were at, or that I shouldn’t have approached them in person and e-mailed them instead (when I have done in the past to be ignored or berated). That he would approach my friend (after telling me I shouldn’t have done things in front of his) and ask her to tell me to leave him alone, when I didn’t even try to reach out to him because not only did I want to give him and me some space because I knew how much it weighed on him and how it was putting a strain on the both of us, but that I thought he would at least reach out to see if I was even remotely okay or able to take care of things. Instead we were left at the theatre fighting and talking to one another like idiots.
Maybe I was wrong to approach him like that, but on the opposite end I had no intention of bringing ill will to anyone or creating drama. Of course i’m always wrong though apparently and of course i’m the reason why they were never happy, why they never “loved” me, why they were smoking/drinking/ more aggressive, or how because of everything they ate poorly or slept little, why everything around them was crashing (school, experiments, social connections, social events). It’s always my fault. All I really wanted out of everything was to fucking know they even remotely care about what we went through and what I had to go through, alone much of the time. I wanted to have a chance to speak privately for a moment about talking about what happened and why they did and have a chance to sit down in person and talk about things. I spent a month wondering why I was left to deal with everything on my own, when we promised things would be different that we would get through it together and I could trust him to be there for me because he knew what I was going through. I had no intention of making things so negative though, I didn’t think a rational person would react in such a irrational way. That I could fucking have the courtesy of sitting down in persona trying to understand things and gain closure to hopefully start 2017 on a fresh note.
Instead i’m left to wonder what changed. What did I do to be treated so poorly, let alone in front of others? As soon as I got home I broke down as pathetic as that sounds. I couldn’t even focus driving home and to had to pull over and get driven by my friend because I was so confused and distraught. It still makes me really upset to think about everything that happened yesterday. I do feel bad and want to apologize for what happened. I didn’t expect any of that to unfold the way that it did especially in front of people we both knew and strangers. But then apart of me can’t say that I regret that because if I didn’t say anything I knew I would have regrets and wonder.
To be honest there’s a part of me that knows what I want out of everything. I want to understand, I want a sincere apology, his undivided attention when having a conversation and the old him back. The guy I fell in love with and considered my best friend. The guy who never backed away from challenge or left someone out in the cold. The man who loved me for me and did everything he could to be there for me or make me happy. The guy who was crazy about me driving insane distances whether to just see me for a bit or take care of me when I was sick. The sensitive guy who made mistakes and when he was was scared, stressed, or nervous but did his best and got things done. Instead I feel like I don’t even know who he is anymore or understand the person he’s become. The person he’s become is not who he really is.
I’ve spent the whole night and day reflecting on everything that’s happened and I still have no answers, clarity, or understanding of things. I wanted to know someone else felt the same way, that I wasn’t supposed to be alone through all of this but instead i’m left to feel like I was and am. Instead i’m left to once again e-mail him to arrange a date to talk about thing, back to square 1.
Today I finally was able to see a psychiatrist after waiting a couple months for this appointment. It’s really sad to think to gain access to such an important resource it takes booking months in advance to see one. To be honest, it was not what I had expected. Aside from taking my health history (#nursingstudentproblems), he didn’t do much talking aside from explaining what depression was and it’s causes and changing my medication to address both my depression and newly acquired anxiety. That evil gremlin that keeps me up at night, gives me racing thoughts, and makes me more depressed.
On a positive note, for the first time in a long time, I finally feel ready to go out and enjoy being around company. Even though it’s just dinner and a movie with a good friend who has been there for me through many things in life, it’s a big step for me after everything that’s happened the past few months. For once, I actually look forward to doing something and going out to enjoy myself regardless of how meaningless or insignificant it is to someone else.
It’s been tough struggling with my new found anxieties. On some level it hinders me from being able to participate fully in my life whether through social connections, work, and most especially school. To try to help control this, I’ve been slowly trying to get into the art of meditation. I think the one thing that can help me learn to cope with anxiety is being able to ground myself and control my breathing. After all, the one thing we can control is our breathing. The small steps. Breathe in and breathe out. I don’t want to live a life where I am relying on medication to help manage my symptoms. I feel like it would be completely redundant to do that because even though it helps “balance” certain neurotransmitters (namely serotonin and norepinephrine) .
It’s still a process though. I still have little motivation or energy to do anything really. Depression is basically just a vicious cycle. Being a person who is normally hardworking, gets results, and kicks ass to see myself become unmotivated, feeling worthless, and tired all the time takes a toll on things and my mood. Not being able to perform as well as I know I can in my first year of nursing school by having to post pone or defer things or participate in social functions because I couldn’t handle the emotions that come along with that. I wish there was an easier route but I know nothing in life comes easy and to get over something you have to get through it. It’s a journey to find yourself and live a life where you live for yourself and not the expectations of others.
On some level i’m looking forward to seeing 2016 end and starting a new chapter in 2017. But on another level it makes me sad to let go of 2016 and moving forward. It also kind of makes me sad to think about everything I lost in 2016 and how much I miss certain people that aren’t in my life anymore. The feelings I still hold for them and everything that’s happened has been something I still struggle with. I guess the only thing I can do is just take things one day at a time, there’s no use in continuing to fight myself or beat myself up for what did or didn’t happen or what I could and couldn’t control. It’s hard to let go though and it’s hard to stop myself from overthinking things in which I had little to no control over. As I said, one of the few things I can control is my breathing. When I get an anxious thought, just take a deep breath in and out, repeat.
To be honest, i’m not sure where I am or how i’m doing these days. Everything kind of just seems likes its a haze. Sometimes I have a lot of emotions, little energy and no concentration. Other days i’m on fire, completely engaged in everything and able to focus on what I need to do. It’s a little overwhelming to realize it was 4 years ago to the day that I was diagnosed with major depression. So here we go, my four year anniversary post.
I realize opening up about my struggles with depression can bring judgment from people, but I also realize it helps to bring awareness for many. I’ve experienced it first hand, but I also have seen the importance of helping contribute to the dialogue that needs to take place. How glad I am to see people confide in me about their own battles and journey to healing themselves. Or those who are struggling but don’t know where to get the support they need. For many who know me, I come across as someone who is “put together”, happy, and hardworking, but little do people often realize i’ve struggled with depression for nearly 10 years and it wasn’t until 4 years ago I had the courage to admit something wasn’t right with me and sought help from family, friends and therapists and received the medical care I needed to help me find balance once again.
I want people to know they can count on me as a friend regardless of how well we actually know one another to be there to listen, support, and care for those having a rough day, week, or patch. For those too afraid to reach out, know that there are organizations such as DepressionHurts or Mood Disorders Association of Ontario which both offer advice on where to start in getting the help you feel you may need.
The goal of my blog has always been to highlight the struggles of an average person struggling with depression. Secondly, my blog allows me to express how events impact me and helps showcase my progress and the setbacks I encounter in my struggles with my disorder. I want people to understand what depression feels like, how something major or even something considered “simple” or “trivial” to someone else can cause so much turmoil, sadness, or strike absolutely no emotion in me. That even the most exciting of events or encounters can leave me feeling empty, withdrawn, and exhausted when i’m depressed.
One year ago I was in London, England supposed to be having the time of my life (and it was awesome) but there was apart of me that was unfulfilled and was always scared for what lay ahead. That was sad for what I left behind, I spent my time there always looking back and feeling like my choice was a burden to someone else. Thoughts of the state of my life and where it was going, pushing myself to do well and keep up with my Master’s, trying to find and understand what makes me happy, or even where was my relationship heading filled my mind.
I ended 2015 on a painful note, going through a tough break up with someone who I cared deeply about and still admittedly do. There were so many things going on at the time. Mistakes we made and things were done. It still pains me to think about everything that went on during that time. The emotions I felt then are similar to how I feel now. Empty.
I started off 2016 on a relatively negative note and somehow I still feel like I end it on a negative note. On some level I feel like I lost more than I gained. I lost people and things throughout the year that I would have been willing to do anything for because they meant that much to me.
Although, the year wasn’t all negative news. I’ve always strived to not become a negative nelly. For awhile I was incredibly happy and content with things that filled my life. I had my best friend by my side, I was able to enjoy for a while my time overseas, open up to people, connect with others, and work my butt off to get into my dream program. But then it all came crashing down again.That darkness came back over me in July. That cloud that always followed me reappeared over my head and followed me around. The final trigger was eventually pulled. I felt the carpet beneath me ripped straight out from under my feet. I know things happen for a reason and life is funny, but it still pains me to think about the one person I loved so deeply walking away in a split second. I’d like to say i’m angry or bitter at them for choosing to walk away when I needed them most, when it felt like everything was crashing, they chose to leave in my moment of weakness. It’s even more disappointing to have experienced what happened after the break up. Everything that was said, done, and lost. I thought you didn’t truly know someone until you’ve lived with them, but you really don’t know someone until you’ve experienced a stressful and time consuming situation.
I have to admit i’ve had to learn a ton of things this year. I think the hardest thing to figure out is learning to let go. It’s hard to not miss someone when you loved and cared about them so much to begin with. Moments when you think you’re finally starting to let go of them and have a good day, to all of a sudden be kicked in the heart all over again. It’s a lot harder to take in when you know they already began the process of moving on with someone new without you. It’s hard to not be bitter given everything that was said and what went on between us, but at the same time there’s nothing more that I want then to see them happy, even if it kills to not have be me. I try not to think about the what ifs, “what if they had stayed”, “what if I had done or said this differently”, “what if things were different”. It’s just with everything we went through after the break up I wish things didn’t have to end the way that they did. To the point where I couldn’t have them around anymore and pushed them away in my darkest moment when they should have been there. I get that they “weren’t that person in my life anymore”, but it’s not hard to ask in someone is okay or to at least say something, ANYTHING for that matter. I was left to feel like I had to go through this process alone. I can’t be upset or mad at them. Not everything said and done was their fault, I take just as much of the blame. It just hurts to think of everything that’s been said, done, and promised over the past weeks, months, and years.But maybe I learned something about them and their abilities to handle things under stress. What’s hard is letting go of the person you once knew, to have these moments make you question whether they’re even the same person you once knew. It’s so easy to get caught up on these things, but in reality I know it just hold me back. I get things happen and sometimes life doesn’t always go according to plan, but it still doesn’t stop from sucking. Letting go of someone also doesn’t mean you stop caring about or loving them either. It’s a process and i’m still trying to figure out how to adapt to everything and try to create new paths where I put my happiness first.
I also learned I need to take a step back and put my happiness first. For the majority of the year I was always focused on how to make everyone else happy whether it would be flying half way across the world or going out of my way to do things for others through driving them places, dropping everything important to talk to be with someone, or negating my own wishes because someone didn’t want something or to go somewhere. I thought what I was doing was right, giving up my own feelings and happiness to make someone else happy. But in the end, what did I walk away with? Nothing. A statement that what I offered wasn’t good enough or I didn’t make them truly happy Sure I may have made someone else happy and even myself temporarily, but it always passed and I always felt like I had to do more after to keep things up. It took such a toll on my body that I dropped 30 pounds in 2.5 months. Emotionally, I can’t keep putting myself last.
I learned the value of self-acceptance. I was close to someone who didn’t always fully accept me and my condition looking back. I think a large part of it came from their own inability to admit to needing some help or that there was something wrong in what they were saying, doing, or even coping. That belittling my illness at times by saying “it’s not a real thing” or “just get over it”, really solves the issue at hand. Would it be different if I had cancer or some other “recognized” illness? Possibly. I didn’t choose to have depression and in no way would I want to wish this upon someone else. I’ve always been incredibly motivated, hard-working, and positive, but when i’m going through my bouts of depression all I want to do is sleep all day, cry, and do nothing productive all alone. It’s like a cloud of emptiness that sits on your soul, hovering within you and sucking the life out of me. I’ve learned it’s okay to feel and be weak at times. I am human. I am not perfect and there are times when I say and do the wrong things. But i’m also not afraid to reach out to people for help or to be open about my struggles. I feel no shame in admitting I have struggled with depression for a large portion of my life and I will likely continue to struggle for a lot longer.
I think the biggest lesson I have to take out of everything is the notion that only you can control your happiness. For so long I have been stuck in the mentality of thinking other people can make me feel certain feelings or that by doing x,y or z for someone else i’ll be happy. But the truth is happiness comes from within and when you radiate happiness from your own self it comes back to you in other ways whether it be in relationships or what the universe brings back to you. But at the core of it all it starts with you. You can’t expect someone else to make you happy if deep down you aren’t happy within yourself.
So where does that leave me sitting at the end of 2016? In all honesty, it kind of feels like 2013 all over again. I feel like I went back to square one. I don’t even feel like myself anymore to be honest. I’ve struggled so hard to fight these dark clouds and for what? Some may question “what do you have to be “sad” about?”, “you need to get over yourself, stop being dramatic”or “you’re just pathetically weak”. But I know deep down i’m not. It takes a lot to admit when you need help, and that’s one thing i’ve learned in 2016. People are more receptive to helping you reach your goals when you’re open and honest with them. I’ve been able to work out schedules with my bosses to ensure i’m taking time to care for myself while balancing my other priorities, i’ve become closer to my family including those across the world in making sure i’m thinking straight and feeling supported, but i’ve also worked with my professors and school in creating a learning plan that allows me to feel comfortable in managing my condition. I don’t have to be afraid of my anxiety or depression side tracking me anymore because I know I have the tools to make sure I have an equal playing field.
With all the setbacks i’ve experienced, I took the big step of revisiting a psychiatrist later in December to help me better understand how to medically manage my condition. I’ve really struggled with anti-depressants this year and to be honest they do little for me in the big picture. Exercise and eating right help, but it’s often hard to do with a busy schedule and I feel the next best step would be to join support groups or a new form of therapy. However, I know things take time so i’m hoping 2017 will be a fresh start for me and my depression.
I know I do have things to be proud about. I had the opportunity to study at one of the world’s top academic institutions. I met friends from all over the world and had a chance to study and compete with them. I had the opportunity to love someone unconditionally. Sometimes pain is good because then you know you really did love that person and you were lucky enough to do so. I got into my dream program by beating out 1000 other applicants being the one of the “lucky” (or deserving) 140 chosen. I gained a new friend and family member, welcoming Teddy into my life. I had the chance to see the world from Iceland, Italy, all the way over to Taiwan. It was incredible seeing my family again after so many years and experiencing new foods and places. I also found something i’m incredibly passionate about- nursing. While sometimes things are really hard, i’m so grate for the opportunity to study along some of the smartest and most caring people around. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be entering nursing and I look forward to what 2017 has to bring as I continue this journey with 139 others.
I don’t know what 2017 will have in store, but I do know that things do go up. You hit rock bottom and you’ll rise again. I’ve done it before and I hope to come back stronger and find who I am again and what makes me happy.
Another thing i’m proud of is the expansion of my blog. It’s been an incredible year with not only having purchased my own domain, but with the amount of visitors and views i’ve received. I’m so shocked that I doubled the amount of visitors from last year at this time. I also love being able to see where in the world everyone is viewing from and it’s been an incredible four years being able to keep track of everything. I appreciate all the support and lovely comments i’ve received over the year from everyone who has come along for my journey and I looked forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for my website.
Stats for 2016:
Stats for 2015
For those who are new to my blog that choose to join me on my journey of not only self-healing but helping to spread awareness of mental illness, I welcome you with open arms and appreciate your support. To those of you catching up on my journey, I thank you for taking the time to check in and catch up. Lastly, for those of you that have stood by me and continue to do so through all the highs and the lows, I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart.
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cheers and may the force be with you,