When the Devil Dies the Demons Linger on…

butterfly let go

A few days ago my mom sent me a message saying “he passed away”… Since I read that sentence I’ve been in a physically fully functioning emotional coma… I’m going through the motions of life… Working, socialising, going through the daily requirements… but inside..? Inside I’m frozen… I’m dead… I just don’t know how to react…

You see… “he” is the devil who stole my childhood… who, for 6 years, from 3 – 9 years of age, abused me, terrorized me, and threatened my family if I were to say anything… So, I never did… My wings were clipped and I just carried the weight of guilt and shame with me well into my 30s…

Burdon

Until I read that sentence “he passed away” I honestly thought I had dealt with it, I thought I had moved on, I truly thought I had healed… And now, here I sit… feeling like I am a little kid again… lost and scared… Add on angry and full of regret…

On some level I wish I had confronted him, my demon, yelled at him for taking away my innocence… for filling me with shame filled self loathing, which in turn led me to 15ish years of self destruction… drugs, promiscuity, suicide attempts… and yet, what good would that do? He wouldn’t have cared… if he apologised… would that make me feel better? Would it, in fact, heal me, give me closure? Probably not, his smirk, his arrogance, it most likely would have killed me…

So, I guess I have a lot more work to do than I had thought… a lot more healing, a lot more coping… I need to find a way to allow forgiveness into my heart… a way to forgive myself and to forgive him… I can’t keep dragging this boulder of hatred around with me… I am better than that… better, stronger, smarter, more beautiful… I just need to allow my wings to be set free…

 

free butterfly

Why I stayed…

1991…

The first three months were like a dream… we saw each other almost every day…. he called me every night to wish me sweet dreams…. he brought me flowers… took me on wonderful and exciting adventures… he was perfect…

Then one day in 1991 it all came crashing down… Garth Brooks released Ropin’ the Wind and I had to work late to put the display together for sale in the morning…. I called him, my angel on earth, he didn’t answer so I left him a message telling him I wouldn’t be home until late… I told him I loved him…. I told him I’d call him as soon as I got home….

11pm I pulled into my driveway and stood in front of a very angry man… fuming… He took my keys, opened the door to the house and pulled me inside with so much fury I almost fell to my knees… The next hour was a blur as this 6’6” stranger stood over me, yelling in a whisper, a very loud and terrifying whisper… Telling me he owned me, that I wasn’t allowed to stray from the order of things without his ok… when I finally was allowed to speak, through my sobbing tears, I explained I had called him, he wasn’t home and I left a message… Apparently, him not being home, not getting my message, well…. it was my fault…. And yet I stayed…

The next day flowers arrived at my work, with a note… “I still love you”… I interpreted it as “I am sorry for last night, I love you” and things went back to normal… So I stayed…

As the weeks went on my mistakes seemed to increase… As did his temper… the whispers turned to yelling… the yelling turned to humiliation…. and then came the first slap… it came out of nowhere… and it concluded with… “Next time, you will think twice”… and I did, I thought twice, three times… a hundred times… I thought, “What am I doing to anger him so much?” I paid such close attention to each situation… I stopped talking unless he asked questions… I stopped going out… I stopped my life and only focused on what would please him… and yet the slapping turned to hitting… the hitting turned to punching… the punching…. it turned to burning…. And yet I stayed…

When I left him, it wasn’t my choice… he had beaten me so badly I couldn’t stop throwing up, my eye was swollen shut and my nose was broken… my friends made me leave… They took away my right to choose because… I wanted to stay…

I write this, not for sympathy, but for those who keep asking women, like Janay Palmer, Ray Rice’s wife, why the hell would you stay with someone like that? While I can’t speak for anyone but me… I’m guessing it’s a similar story… A friend of mine stated he thought she was staying because of his money…. I know his intention wasn’t to hit me where it hurts, but that’s exactly what his comment did…

Perhaps for some, it’s what they get out of it… But for most, it’s what we put into it… I stayed because of a number of reasons:

1. Because I thought he loved me…
2. Because I thought I loved him…
3. Because that’s what I thought love was…
4. Because I never once, not even for a fraction of a second, thought he was in the wrong…
5. Because I was convinced, I deserved it…
6. Because I was convinced I kept making mistakes and he was teaching how not to…
7. Because I believed, if I can change, if I can finally get it right, he’ll stop…
8. Because I believed his apologies…
9. Because I didn’t think I could do any better… or didn’t know there was better out there…
10. Because I hated myself…
11. Because I hated myself…
12. Because I hated myself…
13. Because I hated myself…
14. Because I hated myself…
15. Because I hated myself…
16. Because I hated myself…
17. Because I hated myself…
18. Because I hated myself…
19. Because I didn’t know how to love myself…
20. So…. I stayed….

There are a myriad of reasons why we stay… a million reasons why we don’t leave… and sadly while we are in the thick of it we can’t see clearly, we can’t see we deserve better, we keep on hating ourselves, allowing the torture, the torment, the violence, the humiliation… we allow it to continue…

I’m left with scars on my thighs from cigar burns, scars on my vagina from cigarette burns, a scar on my chin from a punch with his ring on and because he broke my nose I snore so loudly I wake myself up every night… for close to 20 years I didn’t take my clothes off in front of a man with the lights on, I never left the house without covering the scar on my chin with makeup (honestly, I still don’t), I couldn’t look at myself without feeling the shame…

It wasn’t until I turned 40 did I make the conscious decision to right all the wrongs I’ve gone through…. to speak up and speak loud, to fight for my sisters who are staying… whatever their reasons are… to heal myself, to love myself, to forgive myself… an unending process, but one I won’t give up on…. It took me 20 years to get to this point and I plan on growing, evolving, changing every day, I’m not staying anymore….

Breaking down walls…

I wasn’t planning on sharing this story, but the more time that passes, the more I am coming to terms with what happened to me and need to share…

One of my closest friends in this world has been in the hospital for the last two weeks and we are currently unsure when they will be coming home…I have been spending all day, every day, at the hospital, by their side when I can, or in the visitor lounge when I can’t… The hospital is a sad and scary place, surrounded by such overwhelming emotions I have a need to find balance, to keep connected to my soft side, I am finding myself hardening up, building walls to combat these energies… and I don’t like how that feels…  

So, I’ve made a point to help people wherever I can, when I am in the lounge I make conversations with the patients, especially those who are alone… If I see someone lost, I try to help them find their way (literally lol), if I see someone crying, which is a daily occurrence, I reach out to them, even if it’s to hold their hand… I speak to each nurse with respect and gratitude, for they are truly angels, their gentle & compassionate care for my friend is truly amazing….. They’ve become like family to me and I’ll never forget them… I thank the doctors, the miracle workers… I hang out with the orderlies and joke with them, flirt with some of them lol… I’m well known at Tim Horton’s, they know my coffee order, and relish in my joy of the pumpkin spiced muffin!…

Last Thursday there was an elderly man in the elevator bank on my friends floor, he looked lost, so I asked him if I could help him… He asked where Tim Horton’s was, I told him I am heading that way and to follow me… When we got to the main floor he asked if I could take him back up to the floor so he could go back to his wife… I said no problem; I’ll be back in 5 minutes… When I met him again, and we entered the elevator, he became sexually inappropriate with me, to the point I was terrified and had to physically push him off of me and escaped quickly when I left the elevator. I filed appropriate reports with the powers that be, I’ll just leave it at that…

This man, along with all the other men in my life who have taken from me which is only mine to give, feeling awful and gross, and dirty… I showered 4 times in 8 hours, and could have showered dozen more…  He also, and quite possibly, worse, left me feeling angry, furious, enraged, and beaten down… On my drive home I was screaming incoherently at the top of my lungs, I woke up every few minutes crying, sobbing, shaking… A week later, I am still not sleeping well…

For a few days after this happened I made the conscious choice to stop helping people, to shut up, not talk to anyone, to give up on humanity, to only focus on those in my immediate circle and shut the rest of the world out… This man took away the part of me that makes me me… he robbed me of my freedom, he took away my strength and replaced it with fear and total disappointment… I did this for 3 days, I walked with my head down, eyes on the ground, fists clenched and just took care of my friend… As each of these three days passed, I felt worse and worse, I felt physically ill, I was crying each time I was alone, I found myself lost, and scared, and I wasn’t me… But I wasn’t able to stop, I had built up a wall and refused to break it down, while I wasn’t happy, I was safe… I was suffocating in my safety, but I wasn’t afraid…

Then on day 4 as I was walking into the hospital there was an old man trying to climb the stairs and carry his walker up, dozens of people walked by him as if he didn’t exist, and I couldn’t handle it… I busted through my wall of anger and hatred and touched his arm, asked if I could help him carry it up while he used both hands on the railing… He barely spoke English, but thanked me profusely, and I made sure he got inside and knew where he was going… In that moment, as he took my hand in his and thanked me, in a NOT gross way, I started breathing again, feeling again, and slowly, brick by brick, I’m breaking down the wall…

ॐ Peace ॐ

 

 

 

Love is always the answer…

At times… life can be a bitch, a total, heartbreaking, slap in the face, unjust bitch… it can take everything in which you believe and shatter it into a million pieces within a fraction of a second… Life can take all you hold dear and precious, your faith and your humanity and it can obliterate it… Life can be the ultimate force of total, all encompassing douche-baggery…

But… that’s got to be a temporary situation, it must be… we can’t allow it to take over our lives, take over our hearts and change us for the worse… we can’t allow it to extinguish the light from our hearts… we can’t allow it to eliminate our faith…

We must be stronger, more powerful and better than what life sometimes offers us. We must stand up to life and not let our SELF be changed…

We must remember the real life, the one that offers us miracles, hope and bliss… We must remember to focus on Kindness, Compassion and Love, and release the hate and the anger… I know that is asking for a lot when we are faced with such atrocities such as Sandy Hook, Danzig, and most recently, the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in the case of the death of young Trayvon Martin… How can we let this go… ? We need to take this anger, this resentment, this hatred and transform it into something positive… We must pray for all the Trayvon’s of this world, and do whatever we can to change the system, the laws, the thinking, the privilege that is so segregated…  We must spread love in this world with such a force that the hate will just die out… Love… Love is the answer, love is ALWAYS the answer… for each of us  the path is different, but the destination is the same… we all must arrive in love…

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Lover’s Tiff…? Nope… Violent wife abuser? Yip!

Please watch this video, and then read on…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hsX2MAW-gQ

Isn’t this sweet, simply a “lovers tiff”, according to Nigella Lawson’s husband, Charles Saatchi, he was emphasizing a point to her and the photos misrepresent that… so do the tears in her eyes, the fear and terror on her face…. and what I am sure are big giant bruises left behind… Yip, just a misrepresented lovers tiff… I am so glad he cleared that up….

If this is what he does out in broad daylight, in public, on the patio of a restaurant, what does he do to her in the privacy of their home, and what does he do to their kids?

Violence is not based on a certain social structure, or economic class, or on education, or lack there of, it’s based on people who are sick, who thrive off of dominating the weaker sex, who feel it’s their right to do what they want to their ‘possessions’, it’s a power thing, it’s a thing full of hate and anger, it’s got to stop…. It is NOT the victims fault, it’s not as simple as ‘well, why she doesn’t pack the kids up and leave’ and anyone who says so needs to stand in these women and children’s shoes, just for one day… To see the scars, physical and emotional…. to see the years of emotional abuse, that have broken them to the point where they feel there is no place to turn… no one who can help, and that it is their fault….

It’s our fault, who ever had the damn camera should have put it down, gone over there and put a stop to the obvious abuse…. Someone should have stopped it…. plain and simple, no ifs ands or buts… you see someone being hurt, you stop it, you call the cops if you are at risk, but you make damn sure you don’t leave that situation until the person is safe….At the very least the person with the camera should have stood in front of him, so Charles (Mr. Lovers Tiff) could at least see his actions were recorded and he would stop… Somehow, some way, it is our absolute duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves…  And whether the victim is a famous, rich, white female, or an impoverished person of colour; whether they are sitting outside a fancy, expensive restaurant or if they are in the park in the poorer section of town… if they are being hurt we step in…. we help… end of story.

Shameless Self Promotion… If I don’t… who will?

bragging

A few weeks ago a local stand up comic, Mark Forward, posted the following message on Facebook

 “Recently I realized no one will promote you in this country unless you do it yourself. So, I’ve been trying to do that. Maybe I post things too often or too much, but I’m just feeling it out. Sometimes you post something five times, and no one sees it. Now, I know, we as Canadians for some reason frown upon self promotion. But I just wanted to thank you all for sticking with me, and being so supportive and kind with everything I post. That’s all. It’s the Canadian in me that feels I need to apologize for promoting myself. Hopefully one day, we promote our own. Cheers.”

 

Reading his post kinda pissed me off… Why is there such a stigma on embracing your talents, being proud of your work and promoting yourself? Mark is a very talented comedian, he’s one of my favourites! His stand up is bizarre and insanely funny, his tweets are equally as bizarrely funny, and his character, Mr. Leung, on CBC’s Mr. D is dark, creepy and hilarious! To me, he’s a comedic genius, you can tell he loves what he does and it shines through his work.

 

So why should such a talented person apologise for promoting his work? Why would people look down on someone who is simply saying “hey, this is me, my work, I’m proud, check me out”… Since we live in a society where promoting others seems like a negative thing, shameless self promotion is all we have… and so what???

 

I am an event planner in Toronto; I have my own business, and have been at this full time for over 7 years… I work my ass off to produce high quality events, provide my clients with confidence in not only my suppliers, such as caterers, staff, decor etc. but also in me. I work my fingers to the bone, and I am sure I annoy my staff with my attention to detail, but my clients all walk away with a feeling that I have taken care of each of their needs and made them look like superstars to their managers and guests… I know I am good at what I do, I have a stack 5 feet high of positive testimonials and thank you’s and not one complaint… and yet I still have issues with selling myself, promoting myself…

 Is this, like Mark says, a Canadian thing? If we don’t promote ourselves who will? I try to promote businesses that I like, I spread the word on talented people, I refer people all the time to trusted sources… A lot of my business is referrals from clients, and I am always so appreciative of that… However, my postings on Facebook and Twitter are, for the most part, tame, I put up pictures of events, or simply state that my event went really well and I had a very happy client… I’d like to say “it was the best event ever and you should all hire me!”

“You have to do a little bragging on yourself even to your relatives-

man doesn’t get anywhere without advertising.”

John Nance Garner

 

So, I am going to make it my mission, from this point forward to ensure you know

it’s not only ok but encouraged for you to Recognise Your Strengths,

Sing The Praises Of Your Talents, Toot Your Own Horn, promote yourself…

and even BRAG ABOUT YOUR TRUE AWESOMENESS!!!

 

And I am starting with me… “I am Lalita, of Events by Lalita, I love what I do, it’s truly my passion and because of that passion I am an amazing event planner and will work so very hard to make sure your event is flawless!”

“It is important that you recognize your progress and take pride in your accomplishments. Share your achievements with others. Brag a little. The recognition and support of those around you is nurturing.”

Rosemarie Rossetti

Bragging2

 

“They’re Real and They’re Spectacular” Until you go shopping for a dress!

Today I went shopping for a new dress to wear to the awards gala in Atlantic City this weekend… It’s the first time in a couple of years I’ve gone shopping for something fancy schmancy…

 I left my home with the highest of expectations… I mean, in the past 8 or 9 months  I’ve lost well over 45 pounds and am like 8 dress sizes smaller than I was, so I figured I could hit H&M or Suzy Shier, find one of the sexy dresses I see in their ads and actually fit into them! I mean, my intended budget was $45.00, and as my plus sized gal pals can attest to, that’s insanely unrealistic in plus sized stores…

So I went to Dufferin Mall… walked right passed Cinnabon, (a victory all on is own) and into H&M I go… I found a few dresses I liked I held up their ‘large’ size, and quite frankly it wouldn’t even cover one of my nipples! So, a tad disappointed, but not yet defeated, I went into Suzy Shier, and they were having a sale, ALL DRESSES $30.00!!!!!!!!!! I was even more determined to buy one there as it was under budget! I picked up 5 dresses, went into the change room, and again, my chest, my DDD chest, beat me down into a puddle of shame, a quivering mass of depression, and an informal decision to walk straight to Cinnabon and feed my depression as I’ve done my entire life…

I thanked the lady who helped me, and left… close to tears, wondering how, after all my hard work I still don’t #$^#*$ fit into a ‘regular’ sized dress… then it dawned on me, slowly, (thankfully before I got back to Cinnabon) that while the dresses didn’t fit over my chest, they DID fit everywhere else… HOLY CRAP! They fit my ribs, my waist, my hips, my ass!!!!

So this realisation is a big deal for me, all my hard work IS paying off! But what to do? I still need to shop in a plus sized store to appease my giant breasts… So I went to a plus sized store, Addition Elle… I tried on 4 dresses, all of which fit over the girls, and I fell in love with one of them… I felt like twirling around and dancing like a Disney Princess in this fantastically beautiful dress… and I felt beautiful… So what if I, because of my ‘girls’, have to keep shopping in plus sized stores, (other than the fact the prices are at least double, another topic for another blog entry), I felt gorgeous, sexy, and happy, with me, my body and my boobs… My boobs are part of who I am, who I’ve been for over 30 years, (read “My nickname in grade 4 was ‘Tit Wiggle’” for insight into that tale), I love them, they, in some way, define me, who I’ve become and who I want to be…

So life is good, I have an awesome dress, I went $60.00 over budget, and I am quite ok with that! I just won’t eat during the month of May!

p.s. I’ll update this entry with a photo once I wear the dress this weekend.

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