Me Too

In response to the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct a copy and paste trend has risen on Facebook where if you have been a victim of sexual harassment or assault you share the status ‘Me Too’ in the hopes that the gravity of the situation can be demonstrated and it’s not okay. 

It’s not okay that there are countless women AND men who are victims of this. In the last two days I have seen ‘Me Too’ statuses from more friends and family members than I can count and that doesn’t include the people who will be too scared to post. It’s not okay that any of us have been subjected to sexual harassment or assault at all. 

At 16 years old I was raped by an older man I knew through my job and whom I trusted. I was a virgin. Yes, I had a schoolgirls crush on this man. Yes, I agreed to go to his house to watch movies. Did I consent to have sex with him? No. Did he give me a choice? No. 

I told a friend about it the next day and she dragged me to the local police station, where I had to relive everything over and over in statements and examinations. A few months later they told me that despite at least two other women who had been victims of the same man (one too scared to make a statement) there was nothing they could do as the man’s flatmate had been home at the time, which meant that I could have called out for help. The policeman was sympathetic towards me and didn’t doubt my integrity, but his hands were tied.

What was worse than this was the backlash. My so called friend went straight from taking me to the police station to my workplace and told anyone who would listen. For months afterwards I endured conversations ending abruptly as I entered a room. People would stare at me and call me a skank as I walked past. Plenty of people thought I had made the whole thing up and someone really close to me even said to my face that they thought something like that would happen to me.

The torment I put myself through was the hardest part to deal with. For months afterwards I had a recurring dream that I had fallen pregnant from the rape and would wake up petrified that it was true, despite knowing it wasn’t. Then I started to doubt myself. Had I even said no? Was it my fault for spending time with him? Did I ask for it? Sometimes to this day I still doubt whether it can be classed as rape or was I just a silly little girl who got what she deserved.

Over the years I have received plenty more unwanted attention. I’ve had men pinch my bottom at clubs, wolf whistle and yell obscenities at me from their cars and had men get angry at me and call me names when I’ve turned them down. I’ve had men and women grab me and try to kiss me against my will and endured countless hours of people talking about me in a sexual manner when I could hear them. 

A much older married man spent months pursuing me, sending me dirty text messages and trying to guilt trip me the countless times I turned him down and I even had my drink spiked while out one night by another man I trusted and have a blank patch of several hours where I somehow ended up in my bed at home with a couple of friends knocking frantically on my door to check I was okay. Apparently I had left the bar with that man although I have no recollection nor have I seen him since. Thankfully I woke up fully clothed in this situation but it scares me to think what could have happened had my friends not followed.

I am afraid to publish this post. I am afraid that I will get victim shamed again, that people will not believe me or that friends will look at me differently. 

But I also do not want sympathy for this. I want this to stop happening to men and women period. Our bodies are our own and no one has the right to touch them without our consent. If a man or woman turns someone down it does not make them a bitch or an asshole, it means they have respect for themselves. I want victim shaming to stop as well. What a person is wearing or how drunk they are does not indicate consent, consent can only be given by the person and them alone. If they are too drunk to know what is happening or passed out, they cannot consent, no matter where they are or what is going on. No one deserves to be touched against their will or harrased. 

But most of all I want all victims of sexual harassment and assault to stand up and say ‘Me Too’ without fear of consequences. I did not want to go to the police after my incident and I rarely talk about it, but despite my friends betrayal I’m glad she made me report it as more assaults and harrasmemt cases need to be reported. No one deserves to be violated ever and I hope that one day these situations will be history.

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Double Trouble

It’s been a very long time since I posted, but I have a good reason. It wasn’t intentional, I finished up my 100 Happy Days with all intentions of writing regular posts and keeping my social media updated, but then I got sick. 

So sick. 

I couldn’t keep much food down and I was exhausted. I wasn’t worried though, I knew exactly what was going on. Zombie and I had decided it was time to start trying for another baby. We just didn’t expect it to happen so fast!

I booked in for a scan right away and had it at five weeks. I’ve mentioned that I had an ectopic pregnancy in the past and I wanted to make sure that bubs was in the right place. While the radiologist was performing the scan I told her about how sick I’d been as it was a so much more than with Bubble. That was when she told me it was probably because there were two yolk sacs.

Twins! And identical twins at that!

Twins don’t run in our families so Zombie and I were understandably shocked but it wasn’t long before we got used to the idea and even got excited about it. It’s not easy though. I was hospitalised for three days with dehydration due to hyperemesis, I’ve thrown up several times a day for the past three months, I have less than zero energy no matter how much rest I get and I’ve lost twelve kgs which while pregnant is NOT a good thing.

The two parts of our again video game related announcement.

But I can’t wait. I’ve spent the last couple of months either sleeping, throwing up or trying not to do both and all because Zombie and I decided it was time to make Bubble a big brother. We just never expected him to be getting two siblings!
Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

100 Happy Days 100/100, Just The Beginning

One hundred days, one hundred posts, the majority of them more than one paragraph which I’m pretty proud of considering the challenge was started as a photo challenge. 

I’ve enjoyed it, but I’ve also had the odd day where I felt like giving up. When I started a hundred days ago I had no idea if I could actually do it, since I havn’t been able to stick to anything this year, but here I am. I’m pleased I pushed through the days where it was a bit harder and I always felt better afterwards.

I feel like the challenge has helped me. I feel happier, I’ve found more motivation than I’ve had this whole year and both Zombie and I have noticed that our lives are just pretty good in general right now. Far from perfect of course, but I truly believe that small things that used to be able to bring my mood down and stress me out are a lot easier to deal with when I’m happier overall.

I feel like I have a good hold on my PPD at the moment and I’m doubting myself as a mother less. I’ve been taking my antidepressants daily since my month long slip up and I’ve been making more effort to attend my support group which I had started missing on the regular. I’m no longer letting Anxiety direct me to the worst case scenario every time I get a minor curve ball. 

Love

I needed to do this challenge. I started it on a whim, unsure if it would work, unsure if my followers would get bored of the change of direction of the blog for three whole months and terrified of failing. I didn’t have time for it and I’d set myself a pretty big target that roughly 70% of people fail on the first or only attempt. 

And now, for the first time since I found out I was pregnant with my son I feel like I know where I am going with my blog. It’s been a little all over the place for over a year now, mostly due to pressure I was putting on myself to write posts when I was out of inspiration. 

Happiness in Tekapo

It’s been a hundred days of reflection on the good things that life has to offer if we just take the time to notice. I’d forgotten about a lot of it, Anxiety and Depression skewing my perception of the world making it difficult to be truly happy even during wonderful moments. 

I’m glad that’s a thing of the past now. I’d like to say I’ll be more self aware and not let myself be sucked in so deep into Depression and Anxiety in the future, but unfortunately I can’t. I don’t know what the future holds nor how I will handle it.

For now, I am content with my life and motivated to keep it that way for as long as possible and excited for.a future I was almost dreading three months ago.

Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

100 Happy Days 99/100, Looking Forward

I can’t believe that tomorrow will be 100 days since I started this challenge and I’m super excited about it.

I had a hundred ideas for todays post. Music, cooking, the environment, memories… 

I couldn’t decide on one. And then I realized that I’m actually really looking forward to the end of the challenge tomorrow and being able to take a day off from my blog and also the sense of achievement I’m anticipating I’ll feel. 

At my depression support group we often have to say something we’re looking forward to in the coming week and I’ve found this to be helpful in my everyday life. It’s good to have things to look forward to, sleepins on the weekend, birthdays, events, anything really. Sometimes it’s what keeps me going when I’m going through a low or anxious patch in life. And when I’m mentally well it’s always nice to have something to look forward to.

Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

100 Happy Days 98/100, Biggest Loser

I’m currently participating in a Biggest Loser challenge and there’s just over two weeks to go. I’m pleased to say that over the last five weeks I’ve been able to report a loss each weigh in, except one where I stayed the same. I’ve lost over 3kgs and have started to get into a routine with healthy eating including cutting down drastically on the soft drinks. 

I don’t expect to win this time round as I got off to a slow and steady start, but I feel like this was the kick I needed to start getting myself on track.

Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

100 Happy Days 97/100, Extra Special

Since Bubble joined our family we have been lucky enough to have been given some extra special hand me downs.

The set of drawers that my Grandfather on my mothers side who died before I was born made that now reside in Bubble’s room.

These finger puppets knitted by my paternal Grandmother for some of my cousins. My Aunt has been amazing with how much she has sent for Bubble and I was touched that she wanted him to have the finger puppets

Zombies Alf who was one of his favourites growing up.  Alf is well travelled and loved, Zombie gave him to his nephew Boyo in Australia who loved him for years before recently passing him on to Bubble.

The other day Mum found this trolley and block set that I learned to walk with.  I was particularly stoked as she thought the blocks were long gone!

Rupert who went everywhere with Zombie and some soft toys I loved as a child like Koala (I was inventive with names) who I think belonged to my Nana on Mums side. Both of these guys have seen better days so they live on top of the drawers.

This bear is the most special to me.  When my siblings and I were born our father bought us each our own teddy bear.  This one he purchased in in case there was a fifth baby, but he died before that could happen.

On the morning that Bubble was born Mum came round to drive us to the hospital and when I opened the door she handed me the bear, still in it’s bag, explained the story behind it and told me that she had decided to give it to the baby (Bubble) who was about to be born.

Of course I burst into tears.  I could blame the fact that I was over forty weeks pregnant and petrified that I was about to have a c-section, but the truth is this gesture would have brought me to tears on my most level headed day.

I feel so blessed that our wee family has so many items that have made their way through our two families over the generations to Bubble.  I’m also looking forward to being able to pass these on to future babies born into the family.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie