Monthly Archives: August 2014

Manipulation.

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You ever been in a situation that has made you so angry at someone’s stupidity and blindness to what they are doing? That’s me right now, so prepare yourself for a bitchy rant. I’m not much of a bitcher, but this has really annoyed me so I’m going to get it out.

Oxford dictionary defines manipulation as the control or influence over a person or situation cleverly or unscrupulously, which sums it up pretty well but its much more than that. It is a very dangerous tool that people have learned to master in order to get what they want. The reason I’m bringing this up now is because a friend of mine had recently broken up with her boyfriend, a complete and utter tool who controlled her every move. Apart from going to work, she’s not allowed to go out and live her life without his permission. He had to know where she was, what she was doing and who she was with 24/7 and if she did something without his say so, he’d twist the situation around and make her feel like she was in the wrong and so she’d apologise to him, beg for his forgiveness. Now that is manipulation. Anyway, they broke up because she couldn’t stand it anymore- understandable and we all stood by her. However, after a drunken evening at my place she foolishly invited him round, took him up to my bed room and had a quick fling. In my bed. Needless to say they were kicked out before either of them could button up their jeans, but now I’m in a really tough situation.

On the one hand, she was very drunk, unaware of what she was doing and didn’t purposely have sex with him in my bed (he has made it apparent to me that it was him that suggested it) and I’m more than sure that he is a manipulative bastard who will have told her what she wanted to hear in the moment. Probably promised her he’s changed or some other bullshit but when you’re drunk any form of positive comment can give you the urge to whip of their clothes.

On the other hand, she has shown a complete and utter lack of respect for me, but more importantly herself. And I’m not just talking about having sex in someone else’s bed, but also getting back together with someone who tried to control her every move. We’ve tried talking to her about it before- she’s stunning and could do so much better- yet she settles for this low life who has got her into smoking and convinces her to shag in inappropriate places. Not only this, but she hasn’t apologised to me for her actions. The boy has sent me a long winded and incredibly patronising message apologising on her behalf, but honestly if she was a decent friend and a good person at least then she should have the decency to at least show some regret for what she has done. Having said that, no amount of “sorry” will get the image of his balls on my bed sheet out of my head. I had to sleep in that bed for Christ sake.

Anyway, this wasn’t just intended for a rant, although I do feel a lot better having got that off my chest. I have been on the receiving end of a manipulative relationship for a very long time. The funny and incredibly ironic danger is I didn’t know it was happening. That’s how good he was at it. For years things went on and because I was told it was fine- it was fine. Fortunately I don’t have to live with it any more, although I’m afraid the effects of this on my mental health will probably be long term, but it really does make you think. If you were living with someone who made you do something that wasn’t pleasant or natural in any way, but at the same time showed you love and attention that you crave at a young age- does it become ok? I know now that it wasn’t ok, but had it have carried on would I be any different, would I still be blind to how wrong it was? Scary to think, and that’s what I’m worried about with my friend. She says they’ve got into fights bad enough that there has been physical violence. And that’s definitely not ok.

I don’t know, I’m at cross roads. I want to talk to her and try to convince her that she can do better and what he’s done/doing isn’t acceptable or normal in any relationship. I want her to be happy and she’d definitely not happy the majority of the time their together. But at the same time, she doesn’t seem to want help. I’ve talked to her before and told her that she doesn’t have to put up with this stalking and obsessive behaviour and she’s agreed 100%, but goes straight back to him and invites him back with open arms. She loves him, its a weird love that I can only describe as she loves the undivided- and I mean undivided attention she gets, which is scarily similar to how I felt. I don’t think she’ll ever leave him. Its just incredibly frustrating seeing what’s happened to me before happen to someone else and they don’t want to get out. The best way I can deal with this is exclude myself from the situation, if I cant see it- it wont bring back those memories. Even if that means losing a friend.

But hey, what type of friend shags their ex butt naked in their mates bed anyway? No friend of mine.

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An uneventful wedding

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I’m having a very lazy Monday because I’m absolutely shattered, have been working non stop10329075_10204702175216343_93228969117159058_n and on my feet for most of the summer so far so I think I deserve a day of peace before it all starts again. Yesterday was the day my step mother got the day she has been waiting for for almost 10 years- that we were all sure wasn’t going to come- her and my fathers wedding day.

She is much younger than Dad, and wants nothing more than to settle down with more kids and get married whilst my Dad has, and I quote, “already been there, done that”, referring to his first marriage with my mum and the fathering of my brother and I. I’ll be completely honest, I’m not convinced that this wedding wasn’t just a way to shut her up and make her happy, and that’s not just based on the fact  that although my Dad earns a large salary the ceremony, reception and disco was all held at the same small venue two minutes away from their house, but also the guests who came. Dad only had a total of 4 guests and that’s including my brother and I who technically weren’t guests but the page boy and bridesmaid. The other two guests were my aunt and cousin who later informed me that they were never actually invited, but the wedding came up in conversation and they asked if they should probably be there. So I assume that Dad wasn’t all too bothered about who attended, whilst Jo had all her family, friends and colleagues there.

The day started at 9am, I was dropped off at he hotel by my Dad, who didn’t speak to me the entire journey. He’s an odd bloke, arrogant and above everyone else and acts like nothing phases him. Always going 10 above the speed limit and constantly on the phone to his colleagues talking about who they should fire next, just cause’ they can. He throws his money around like he’s got it on tap and uses it to get exactly what he wants. The rules have never applied to him, yet he’s always landed on his feet. People like this frustrate me at the best of times, so its fair to say that although we have some similar traits, we are two very different people.

Arriving at the venue, I was swept up in a cyclone of frantic bridesmaids. Nothing was done, the ceremony room was yet to be decorated, the restaurant was still filthy from breakfast and Jo was outside smoking. I was quickly thrown into a chair and my hair was under attack from an army of backcombs and curling tongs. Personally, at my wedding it will be more a case of the bridesmaids having their hair how they want, as long as its not nicer than mine or some off the rainbow shade of pink. It then dawned on me that the women in charge of my hair were actually all barbers, and god were they barbers for a reason. By the time they had finished I looked like I was a 12 year old girl about to take part in a beauty pageant in Tennessee. Half of my hair was up in a half bun and the remains were tightly curled and left to hang lifelessly on my neck.

Half way through having my hair destroyed

Half way through having my hair destroyed

Disaster. I am sure that Jo did this on purpose, she wanted me to look hideous. We had a weirder relationship than my father and I. She isn’t much older than me but I see her more like a step sister that I have to be nice to. She has no morals, I don’t know maybe I’m still bitter about the fact that my dad cheated on my mum with her and got her pregnant before my Dad had even moved out. Normally I’d feel like a bad person for thinking this, but honestly I just think it makes me human. I can see it from her side either, it must be awkward for her being around her fiancés children knowing full well that she is the reason we are fatherless, but like I said, that’s her and my dads fault.

Jo stood back to admire her work, disgusting. She smiled and said perfect. I grinned, got up, went into the bathroom and cried my eyes out. She knows that my self confidence is shot at the moment, why was she doing this? Anyway after a short 10 minute breakdown, I decided that she wasn’t going to win this one. She needed to understand that if we are going to be in each others lives, she’s going to have to realise that she has nothing over me, she took my Dad, the least she could do is give me decent hair for the wedding. I wasn’t even trying to impress anyone, it was the principal now. I grabbed the remaining curls of hair, twisted them up and pinned them underneath the bun, making it all look like it was one large updo. It actually looked half decent. I went out of the bathroom acting like nothing had changed, she didn’t say anything but the look of defeat on her face was precious.

The wedding itself was average, I walked down first and caught eyes with my boyfriend who was sitting behind my brother and cousin. Don’t fucking trip now, you may look like a hippo wrapped in purple cling film and high heels but you still have your dignity. I sat down with them, turned to my boyfriend who mouthed to me “You look beautiful”. My Dad looked his usual self, trying to hide feelings he “doesn’t have” and look above everyone else. I noticed behind them on a desk was a laptop with Skype open, and could see the distinct faces of my grandparents who were watching from Skype. Nothing eventful happened during the ceremony, other than my granddad shouting “HIYA!” during the silence when Jo was walking down the isle. Classic Grandy.

After the wedding there was just a buzz of photographs and champaign, that id already had 4 or 5 glasses of and was feeling slightly tipsy already. After, there was a lot of waiting around. I was properly reunited with my cousin, Emily and my Aunty Andrea. They are probably the nicest girls I have ever met and we have so much in common, we talked non stop and caught up which was nice. I only see Em once maybe twice a year due to distance, which is really sad because I don’t really get on with any other girl like I do with her, I think its mutual when I say that if we were closer we would be best friends.

The meal was bog standard. Dad had forgotten about my gluten intolerance and Em’s vegetarianism and had served a bread and mozzarella salad to start, a chicken and white wine sauce with veg for the main and profiteroles for desert. I wasn’t hungry due to being squeezed into a corset and my stomach being restricted to 1/4 of its original size, but I ate what I could. I have honestly never felt so uncomfortable. All off my boobage was spilling over the top of my dress and I couldn’t really twist or bend without pain, plus being surrounded by people that were wearing nice, normal floaty dresses was getting my anxiety high.

Dads speech was something to behold. Again he thought he could wing his way through it, like everything else. I recall him comparing her to his car, which didn’t impress her much understandably. The best man speech was dragged out and everyone was pretty much ready to go home by the end of it. He ended by wishing them luck on their honeymoon to North Wales, which confused us all because they were going to the South of France, but after a couple of minutes of Dad calling him an idiot he retaliated by saying “Sorry, Rob just told me he was going to Bangor for a week” (say it fast and it sounds like bang her)

After the meal there was a lot of sitting around doing a fat lot of nothing. Tea and coffee was offered, and when me and Em went go make our tea, Em left hers on the edge of the table whilst she got some milk. The duty manager came over with the cake cut up onto strips and leant across the table to put it on an empty space, meanwhile obliviously dunking her blazer pocket into Em’s tea. We both saw and just looked at each other before breaking out in hysterics. She moved away from the table and must have felt the sodding wet pocket dripping and said “I’ve dunked it in haven’t I!” before apologizing relentlessly and offering to make her a new one, to which Em said “No don’t worry, I’m sure it doesn’t taste of jacket”. Bugger me, she drank it and critiqued it by saying it was a subtle blend of china and pocket fluff. Probably the highlight of the evening.

A couple of hours passed, and emphasis shifted to alcohol. Fair to say my Dad was absolutely hammered by the time the first dance came around. It wasn’t a dance but more of a public grope that went on far too long. Afterwards the dance floor remained empty, apart from my Dad who had judging by the smell lost control of his bowels and was running around breaking wind, swearing at people and drinking more than a thirsty horse. Time for us to leave, we thought at half 9.

If anything this wedding has given me an idea of what my wedding WON’T be like, I now know that that my Dad shouldn’t be given alcohol when the windows are closed, and tea tastes a bit better when you dunk a strangers pocket in it. Not a completely wasted day then.

Sexuality.

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The topic for todays post literally came to me in a dream. I don’t mean an old goat appeared on a mountain during sunset and spoke the words, “Abi, I need you to write about something very important, tell the world how you feel about sexual labels”. No, you see, for the past couple of days I have been searching for a new distraction from the insane boredom and anxiety that hits in when I’m not kept busy, and regretfully I have become a Netflix addict. First it was Breaking Bad (which was bloody brilliant with its plot and characters however the ending didn’t thrill me), and now I’m hooked on Orange is the new Black. For those living normal functioning lives who aren’t dependant on a series to maintain their already flagging sanity, OITNB is about an engaged woman Piper who goes to prison for helping her girlfriend Alex move a hefty amount of drug money into the country. Anyway they haven’t seen each other in 10 years and are shocked to see each other in the same prison. To keep things short they rekindle their lesbian love which  gets them in a lot of shit with anti-gay prison guards, Jesus loving hillbillies who try to kill them and Pipers fiancé funnily enough.

So anyway I bring this up because in my dream I was in that prison too, and without getting to graphic I was involved in a lesbian relationship. This isn’t the first lesbian thought that has crossed my mind, from a very young age I thought I was different from other girls. I remember going on holiday to Cyprus when I was 12 and meeting a very beautiful girl who was 3 years older. She had it all, she had a boyfriend who blessed the ground she walked on, she was beautiful and had an amazing figure. I just remember speaking to her the once at dinner time when we were at the buffet, she said she liked my dress. It wasn’t much but it was enough. I wasn’t in love with her or anything, maybe I didn’t even fancy her. All I can recall is watching her whilst she swam and wanting to join her, seeing her laugh made me wish it was me who made her happy. When she danced with her boyfriend I felt sick with envy. Maybe that was it? It was all just jealousy because she was perfect and I wasn’t in my eyes, that would be the more probable explanation- I wanted to be her. But that fiction wouldn’t explain how I felt when I returned home, normally when someone is jealous of someone else, when the other person is out of their life they are relieved and can start to become content in their own lives again. But me, I felt sad that I hadn’t spoken to her more, become friends with her, kept in contact. I missed her.

Some would say that makes me a lesbian, or at least interested in becoming one. I say something different. This feeling for the girl in Cyprus I then felt for a boy I had a holiday romance with in Turkey at 14, and again with my current boyfriend now. There was a spark there for me, and I don’t doubt that what I felt was the beginning of love. So I bisexual yes? I mean its obvious, I have a boyfriend but I like girls too? Whenever I get asked about my sexuality, I always tick “I don’t know” because there is no option for what I am, which is completely normal.

I don’t believe that we humans are attracted to each other according to sex, I think that we are drawn in due to looks and personality among many other factors. Yes we see a person first and register if they are a boy or a girl and would approach the member of the opposite sex, but why do we do that? Say you walk into a room, there is a girl and a boy sitting there. Both are attractive but one has a vile personality whilst the other is perfectly matched to yours. Primal instinct makes you approach the person of the opposite sex, because that’s what we have to do to survive. We meet a person and have children to keep our species going. You discover that they have a horrible personality and begin to back off, confirming that your relationship with them will go no further. Most would then joke to the other person about how that just went, before noticing that this other person is a much nicer sole to be around. You realise that you have two options and this is when people begin to branch off.  a) You let the conversation flow, see how it goes and pursue the relationship in the future, or b) You become friends and nothing more, perhaps don’t even speak again. In the modern times we live in today, it is much more acceptable to be with someone of the same gender, there aren’t as many things that would get in the way; marriage is now legal and children are available to adopt. The question you have to ask yourself is “would I rather be happy with this person for the rest of my life potentially, or do I plod on with my blinkers on and look for a man/woman to settle down with and have a normal life.” People looking to get through life with little fuss will chose the latter, but those of us who want to make the most of it and make ripples in their wake will mostly chose the first and that is what I believe.

So what, you like girls? You like boys? You like both? That makes you normal. You are a person looking for happiness and you have found it in another person. We are social creatures and does it really matter the gender of who we end up with as long as they make us eternally happy? No. The words gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual should not be used as labels, because that limits our options with everything. Making friends, getting a job and even finding love. Personally I think everyone should drift through life with their minds and hearts open and just find someone they are attracted to by their characteristics- be that physical and philosophical, regardless of their gender.

Me personally, am normal. I like people based on these things, not their sex. And quite frankly the world would be a less judgemental place if their were more people with that attitude.