MeToo

MeToo

I was 16. I was asleep. At first. I continued to pretend I was asleep. I understand now that reaction was fear and weirdly self-preservation. The incident did not last long. I managed to roll myself out of it. I never said a word, not that day nor for a long time afterwards. I was too scared of the consequences; the fall out. I felt guilty. I felt it was my fault. IT WASN’T. There was no counselling, no support, I carried on as if nothing had happened. Lots was happening though, inside me. I was fucking angry. It’s like a ball of fire in your gut. It seeps out at times, the wrong times. It colours everything you do. My confidence was shot to pieces. If you think I’m confident, I’m a better actress than I know. Without counselling an incident like this colours your life forever.

I became bulimic. You stuff food inside yourself to supress the raging emotions. Then vomit it all up – it’s exhausting. I eventually went for counselling for my bulimia, group counselling, it didn’t really help I just learned that other girls were suffering too but we never discussed why.

Many brave faces have been put on. I wanted desperately for someone to protect me. I also wanted someone to beat him up. Basically, you experience a wall of emotions.

Directly after I got married I became quite depressed. (Sorry Noel – but if anyone knows that you do). I was 39 by this point. I was really happy newly-married to Noel, and the depression was so confusing, but this was nothing to do with him, I just couldn’t shake off this particular depression. I went to see a counsellor in Dublin. When I sat in her chair I could feel this ball of anger welling up inside me, I started crying, I could not stop. It was all to do with that incident when I was 16. I was still carrying around this fog, 23 years later, and it felt like yesterday.

Just after moving to Gorey – again a happy move – the fog came again but I got an appointment with our local psychologist.  He listened to me at length and suggested I go for counselling sessions here with the Rape Crisis centre. I met a wonderful woman called Imelda. After I explained everything she told me she wanted to check something out and the next week said ‘Alyth, by law, you were raped’. Now you may think I would know this? – as we all know what rape is – but rape can be many things. However, Imelda saying that to me made a real difference. She gave a name to this pathetic incident that had scarred me so badly. The guilt stopped. I believe people call that understanding ‘owning it’ (though this is nothing I wanted to own.) I was told to write a letter to him. I did. You don’t have to send that letter – writing the letter is facing the facts – but I did. He denied it. I am not surprised – who the hell would want to admit to something like this. I was annoyed, but now I am truly over it. I have no dealings with him. I don’t think much of him. I get on with my life. He has to live with it.

I know – with great sadness – I am one of millions.

If you experienced something similar I hope you were able to cope better than I, but if not find a way through it till it is truly over, otherwise it will never leave you. The problem with being a victim is you have to find the strength, the ability to heal even though you did not set this thing in motion. Respect and sex education need to be an open discussion. My thoughts about Lewis at that time was – there was too much religion and not enough reality but that would not be exclusive to Lewis.

What I regret most of all is my confidence being shattered and draggin’ this through my life for so long.

It has not been easy writing this as I am aware that once you post something you are open to any reaction but the objectifying and disrespect of women is far too commonplace to stay silent.

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All about salt: kosher, sea and Maldon

About to bake a paleo banana bread and needed to check up on salt. Like this.

Food Science Institute

sea salt Sea salt

Salt comes in a bewildering number of packages: table, kosher, Maldon, sea and even popcorn. What’s the difference and does it matter? And why use kosher salt?  In this article we’ll tell you how these salts are different and how you might use them.

Well, first of all, they are all basically sodium chloride (NaCl) and crystallized in various ways with various numbers of impurities. Salt naturally crystallizes in little cubes, but if you fool around as it is crystallizing you can get slightly differently shaped crystals.

Table salt products usually have anti-caking additives so they will flow smoothly. Morton’s and Diamond both add silicon dioxide (sand), tricalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, dextrose (glucose) and for iodized salt, potassium iodide.

Kosher salt is a larger crystal salt, and while it usually is actually kosher, it is really a salt used in the koshering process, to draw blood from the…

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How to Set Goals, Stick to them and Achieve Them!

The Zeit

Do you set goals with excitement and gung-ho attitude that you are going to “crush” your goals, have fantastic energy and momentum at the start, make some great progress, but maybe a few weeks later, you find yourself slowing down, or perhaps even unmotivated?

Why does this happen and more importantly, how can you make sure to see your goals through?

To understand how our brain works, picture an iceberg which will be representative of our brain. The tip of the iceberg that is visible symbolizes our conscious brain, which is only about 10% of our brain. This part of our brain stores both conscious and unconscious core beliefs. Core beliefs are the files we have that open up and have us react to situations in a certain way because of what we believe, which are formed unconsciously in childhood. These beliefs can serve us or not serve us today…

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21 Must-Have Travel Experiences in the Outer Hebrides

There’s more to the Outer Hebrides than the guidebooks would have you believe – but don’t just take my word for it.  Visit these islands for yourself, and take this list of essential travel experiences with you! See the sunset (or the Northern Lights) at the Callanish Stones. The Callanish Stones are older than Stonehenge, and…

http://storiesmysuitcasecouldtell.com/2016/05/11/travel-experiences-in-the-outer-hebrides/

Some days were running legs

Have always loved this poem. It sums up childhood memories of Lewis exactly.

downstreamer

sun over valley

Some days were running legs

Some days were running legs and joy
and old men telling tomorrow would be
a fine day surely: for sky was red
at setting of sun between the hills.

Some nights were parting at the gates
with day’s companions: and dew falling
on heads clear of ambition except light
returning and throwing stones at sticks.

Some days were rain flooding forever the green
pasture: and horses turning to the wind
bare smooth backs. The toothed rocks rising
sharp and grey out of the ancient sea.

Some nights were shawling mirrors lest the lightning
strike with eel’s speed out of the storm.
Black the roman rooks came from the left squawking
and the evening flowed back around their wings.

Iain Crichton Smith from ‘The Long River’ 1955

A Scottish poem I used to teach, and had almost forgotten about, resurfaced yesterday, and here it is, in…

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