Tag: stories

Day 8 – An Emotional Weekend

Day 8 – An Emotional Weekend

As you may have read in my previous blog, “My Life Story”, you would have read about some of the hard times I have been through in my past. If you haven’t read the last blog, I highly suggest you take the time to go back to read it before continuing this one (but please come back)!

I just wanted to write about my times from last weekend (May 27/28), mostly so I can get it out and talk about my feelings without getting all choked up. As you can probably tell, I, along with many others, had a pretty emotional weekend.

It all started on Saturday evening. After work (yes, I work on Saturdays), I drove back to my hometown and to my mother’s house. This, for one, was already a pretty weird experience. She was only 4 days away from moving, so the entire dining room was packed to the ceiling with boxes, the house was starting to look really empty. This didn’t really sink in until the next day, since we were in a pretty big rush to leave, so I will talk about that later on in the blog.07ECD1A2-3DF9-4BA9-AC8E-3624706EA5DE

So anyway, I got to Mom’s, re did my makeup, then Mom and I hit the road! We were on our way to our good family friend’s house for a Stag and Doe! If you don’t know what a Stag and Doe is (as I have been asked before), it is basically like a giant fundraising
money to help raise money for a wedding. Usually this takes place in a rented hall, but since his parents live in the country with a large property and a huge shop, it was smarter for them to do it there (plus it was really more their style, anyways). In this case, it was for our friend, Dustin’s, wedding. 29221_127728113922547_3386764_nMy brother and I spent a lot of time with Dustin when we were kids. He basically acted as an older brother and a role model for the both of us.

Why was a party emotional? Well, I wasn’t intending it to be. I was super excited to celebrate with the people I basically consider to be my family. But once I got there and saw everyone again, I started to realize how long it had been since I had seen all these people. I hadn’t seen them since my Dad’s funeral, 6 years ago. It really hit me when my mom had to introduce me to some of the people I had grown up around, because they no longer recognized me (my appearance has changed a lot since then… for the better). Once they saw my face and heard my name, their faces would light up. But others knew who I was without a second glance, which was very nice.

But the thing was, all of these people were really great friends with my Dad (as everyone was). So seeing them all and catching up was really amazing. It really was heartwarming. But in a way, it was also heart wrenching. I use 1488269_10152078970285609_314801842_n.jpgthis term because without my Dad, there
is a huge void in all of us. I haven’t been in a room where you could see a hole in every single person. The party wasn’t the same as the ones from the past because he wasn’t there. But throughout the night, I showed all of his friends the tattoo that I got in his honour, showed them pictures of my brother (who didn’t make it to the party), and shared my experiences since he died.

And you know what? I have never seen so many grown men be completely speechless and shedding tears in one night than I did that night.

Seeing his friends, the men I grew up around, the men who really shaped my life, the men who are in all of my childhood memories, in this state. And that was so hard for me to see. I love them all so much and it kills me to see all these tough, hunter men in such a vulnerable state. But it also made me so happy, because it shows just how amazing my Dad was. How good a friend he was and how many people truly loved him. I love seeing that.

At the end of our night (the party continued for God knows how long), I made my rounds to say my goodbyes. This perhaps was the hardest part of the evening because I knew that I probably wouldn’t see everyone again for a while, though I vowed that I would try to visit more often and stay in contact.Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 8.55.13 PM

One goodbye stood out more than the rest. One of my Dad’s absolute best friends, they guy who basically sees me as the daughter he never had, gave me the world longest and tightest hug, and told me that “I needed to promise him that I would take care of myself, and that I needed to visit, that I was always welcome.” I am crying just writing this, and I know it may seem silly, but for the past 6 years, I thought I had lost this part of my life, and that these people had virtually forgot about me and cared less about me since Dad was no longer here. So hearing and feeling that someone really, truly cares about me, after all this time, really hit me. Especially from this man in particular. I haven’t had a father figure in my life, through what I would call the hardest years of anyone’s life, including mine. So when this man said these things, it made me feel like maybe I still have these men to lean on when I need them. And that made me feel really good. They’re not my Dad, but they are pretty damn close.

The next part of the weekend that was emotional was the fact that my Mom was moving. Since I moved out and Taylor is soon to be moving out, she doesn’t need a whole house 18944823_10155159248060609_2113758585_nanymore, so she downsized to an apartment. But as I was there, it really sunk in that that
was going to be the last time that I was ever in that house. Granted, we only lived therefor approximately 7 years, so I shouldn’t be too attached to it. But here’s the thing. I know I said about that the past 6 years have been the hardest in my life, but coincidentally, they were also some of the best years in my life. I made so many amazing friends that mean the world to me, and with them, we made so many memories at that house. So knowing that I would never step foot in that house again, and knowing that I will never have a bonfire party at Mom’s house again was weirdly hard for me to process. But I have accepted it.

All of this was really overwhelming for me. After my Dad died, I thought I had basically lost all of my emotions, which is true. I had a really hard time showing any emotion at all for a really long time after that. Years after, even. But now they seem to be returning. Slowly but surely. And it seems to be starting with my ability to cry, whether they are happy tears or sad tears.

I know that life goes on. If anyone knows that, it really is me. I’ve been through so much harder events than moving from the house where I spent my high school years. And I know that I am all grown up now (it may not feel like it, but I guess I am). I have so many amazing things to look forward to in the future, and I have so many memories that are yet to be made. So this emotional weekend, while still hard, was just the beginning of something truly beautiful yet to come.

Day 5 – Sharing Stories

Day 5 – Sharing Stories

As I noted in my last blog post, a lot of people have been reading my blog and my Facebook posts and then telling me their own stories of a time when they felt like they were being objectified and/or harassed. I think it is really important for people to share their harassment stories for two reasons: 1. So that people know that they are not the only people who experience this sort of behaviour, and 2. So that people get a chance to tell someone about what happened to them. A lot of people tend to keep their harassment experience stories to themselves because they are embarrassed or they think that no one will care/listen (among other reasons, I’m sure). So with the permission of some of these people, I decided to take some of these stories and write a blog about it.

Before I start, I would like to thank everyone who shared their stories with me. It was very eye opening for me and I hope that they have the same impact on my readers as they did on me. And for the purpose of keeping the blog a reasonable length, I am only going to share 3 stories, and may do another one of these at a later date.

The first story I am going to share was given to me by my mother. This happened quite some time ago, but she remembers it as if it were just yesterday, which automatically tells you that when someone is harassed, the memory sticks with them forever, no matter what it is that happened. The story reads this:Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 9.22.48 PM

Now how much do you want to bet that this man doesn’t even remember doing that to her? He probably thought that what he did was completely harmless! But my mother (a teenager at the time) was mortified. She went home and she thought about it and clearly has never stopped thinking about that moment.

My next story is from a friend (we will call them Jamie) from school, but it takes place about 2 years ago at Toronto’s Union Station. They were waiting to pay to get on the subway when the man in front of Jamie starts giving the ticket guy a hard time (a topic for another day):Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 6.44.47 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 6.45.01 PMJamie thinks the man was most likely intoxicated, probably from some sort of drug, but I don’t consider that to be any excuse for treating someone with that much disrespect. I do want to congratulate Jamie for standing up to the man. That is something that I, personally, usually never do. I usually just ignore the person and walk away, but I think that standing up for yourself is very brave, and probably more affective, although it can definitely be dangerous if the harasser is a violent person. Still, good on you, Jamie.

My last story is from my friend, Emily, who was totally all for me using her real name for this. Now Emily is currently living in Laos doing a teaching internship for the next few months (she has been gone for a few months too, miss you Em!). Anyway, she went into great detail telling me this story, so I will give you a moment to read all of it:

Again, another case of intoxication, and again, not a valid excuse to treat people like shit. Emily was really upset about this encounter, rightfully so, but apparently her friends didn’t seem to care as much. They were more upset about the man calling them American rather than the man insinuating that Emily was a “slut” and calling her a bitch, not to mention that had there not been something physically separating her from him, what he could have done to her for defending herself. Once again, some people have a reputation for become very violent when intoxicated, especially after someone tells them something that they do not want to hear. And, no offence to the girl this man was with, I highly doubt she would have stepped in to help if he had tried to physically harm Emily. I only say this because clearly she wasn’t trying to stand up for Emily when he was verbally attacking her. Now I have no doubt that Emily would have put up one hell of a fight – she is a seriously tough girl who doesn’t put up with anyone’s shit – and that hopefully one of the other people in the house would have been there to help her in an instant, but really, she should never have to. And that is the whole point.

I really hope that upon reading this blog, whether you identify as a man or a woman (or anything in between), that you realize that you are not alone when it comes to harassment and objectification, and that maybe you will reconsider the next time you feel like you need to come on to a total stranger, call someone a bitch, slut, whore etc., or even just stare at someone as they walk past.

I will plan to write another blog like this one, so if you have a story that you want to share with me and the people on my Facebook (since no one else really seems to read this but that is 100% ok with me), please inbox me and I will try to put your story in an upcoming blog.