The Things I Would Tell You

If you asked I would tell you 1 in 3 of us have been subjected to sexual violence.

I would tell you it doesn’t have to define you.
I would tell you, it wasn’t your fault.
Don’t protest, it was definitely not your fault.

I’d tell you that blaming yourself absolves the perpetrator of responsibility,
I’d tell you it was their decision not yours.

I’d tell you that things can and often do get better.

I’d tell you 40 is better than 20.
Although you bones hurt more.

I’d tell you holding onto shame will eat you alive.
I’d tell you that anger can be positive.
I’d tell you, you don’t have to be nice to people who abuse you.

I’d tell you, you have way more power than think you do.

I’d tell you to stop concentrating on your flaws and see your beauty.

I’d tell you comparison is the thief of joy,
I’d tell you instagram quotes make me roll my eyes

I’d tell you that sometimes I struggle to get out of bed,
I’d tell you this is normal.
I’d tell you no-one can be happy, or motivated or “on it” 100% of the time.

I’d tell you that everyone, ever-y one,¬†thinks it’s only them who struggles.

I’d tell you that work is not everything although you need to pay the bills.

I’d tell you that your teenage children, despite moaning and grumbling, wish you’d talk to them more but your phone gets in the way.

I’d tell you to warn them that jealousy is not romantic,
I’d tell you to warn them the way someone feels does not justify their behaviour,
I’d tell you to warn them that “trust issues” is code for domestic abuse.

I’d tell you that abuse thrives in secrecy.

I’d tell you we shouldn’t carry the shame for the actions of others.

I would tell you am the 1 in 3.

But you didn’t ask.

Self Care Planning

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The idea that we need to care for ourselves is not new but many of us still neglect it. Why? I think it’s because when times are good, like our physical health, we don’t take much notice of our mental and emotional health. We just potter on.

On the flipside some of us roll our eyes at the idea of self care while actually practising it. Self Care doesn’t have to mean sitting meditating every day, for example it doesn’t do it for me, but exercise where I can immersed in the moment does. For some spiritual self care will be about prayer, for others walking in the woods with their dogs will rejuvenate their spirit.

It also depends on how you are doing overall. If your emotional weather is generally sunny at the moment, self care is putting routines in place that can help you when your storms come. If you’re in the midst of a mental health crisis your self care routine may be as simple as focusing on ensuring you have eaten & had a shower. Something which isn’t as simple as it sounds when you are not doing okay.

Your support system is also really important to acknowledge – who can you turn to if the going gets tough, or to have fun with this week? Your support system doesn’t have to be IRL it could be friends online, helpline numbers or support services. There is always support out there, no matter how alone you feel.

So choose to take some small steps today to invest in your emotional wellbeing – it would be great to hear how you look after yourself in the comments!

When someone has crossed a line

If you feel uncomfortable, upset or angry when someone does something, chances are your boundaries – the actions you will tolerate towards yourself – have been violated. Some of us don’t want to challenge that person because we hate conflict. Some of us think that if we show them we are unhappy they will understand and not do it again. It doesn’t work. You need to be explicit and here is how:

For example:

I felt uncomfortable when you criticised me in front of my friends.

I would like you to talk to me in private if you need to tell me something.

If you continue to criticise me in public I will no longer be friends with you.

OR if you no longer want to be friends: to protect myself I will no longer ask you to come out with me.