We’re supposed to be stronger (and know better)

– by guest blogger Lisa Mattina (from fistsclenched on WordPress)

I titled this entry “We’re supposed to be stronger (and know better)” because this is the underlying thought (among some others) that kept me in an emotionally abusive relationship for two years. One would think it’d be the opposite considering my wealth of knowledge about abuse.

It is my hope that my story will give some education to those who don’t quite understand emotional abuse, while offering some support to those who are living in it now. I’d also like to draw some reference to how my employment as an anger management counsellor has impacted my experience.

Falling For an Abuser

verbal-abuse
A little bit of background: I’m 27, a University Graduate with a Joint Honours Degree in Criminology and Women’s Studies. I’m a self-proclaimed feminist and a strong, independent woman. I am confident in myself. I am intelligent with a highly developed ability to critically analyse a situation. I’m funny, social, out-going and compassionate. However, despite all of these lovely attributes, I am not invincible. SURPRISE!

I met this fella in 2010. We started dating and I started driving past giant red-flags, and I mean GIANT.  Continue reading

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Going Dark on Facebook

A few days ago I looked down at my Blackberry and threw my hands up in the air. I had just about had enough! Flinging my phone to the ground, I declared: “Facebook must die!!!”

Okay, fine, so it was slightly less dramatic than that. What really happened was that over the past few weeks, I had been frequenting my personal Facebook account less and less. I just didn’t have anything much to say. I found myself browsing my newsfeed purely out of thoughtless habit.

Sometimes I did come up with things to share with the world: “The TTC should burn to the ground.” “It is freezing like a biznatch out here.” “Watching Alias makes me want to drink red wine.”

But after instinctively reaching for my Crackberry and hitting the Facebook app to spread these profound thoughts far and wide, I paused and asked myself: “Does anyone really care?”

Yesterday, I had been chatting with my cousin about potentially disabling my Facebook account for an indefinite period of time. An hour later, I came across a Freshly Pressed post, Are you Being Squeezed by Social Media?, that asked the readers what justified us staying on Facebook and what would it take for us to leave?

Then today, I was scrolling through my WordPress Reader and came across Mooselicker’s post. It really didn’t matter what it was about (I don’t mean it like that, Tim) — all I saw were the words “Soul Sellers” and “Facebook” together and my mouth dropped open. My God, it was a sign.

What did justify me staying on Facebook? What the heck did I do on there anyway? I decided to take a browse around my page to determine this answer.

I found that I used Facebook to broadcast urgent requests:

I used Facebook to update my friends on what had become of me …

… and about my vacations and crazy new adventures.

My Facebook page was the home of many a football game commentary, where friends would take the opportunity to diplomatically discuss their thoughts on my favourite team.

But Facebook was also where friends would send me links to interesting videos and news articles:

And where I could easily connect with family who lived in different countries:

So at the end of my search, I was nowhere closer to figuring out the answers to my burning questions:

  • Would shutting down my account actually lead to more meaningful communication between my friends and I?
  • Or would I simply lose connections with people I did care about, but who choose to mainly communicate through FB?
  • Are emailing and texting actually more meaningful ways of communicating? Do we give FB a lot more flack than it deserves?
  • Would I be more productive with the time I was using to mindlessly browse my newsfeed? Or would I at the very least feel less like a FB automaton?

WOULD MY LIFE CHANGE WITHOUT FACEBOOK? OR WOULD ITS DEMISE BARELY MAKE A DENT?

I’m curious to find out. But I’m not completely convinced just yet. Thoughts, people?

– Cafe <3

Photo Credit: Facebook stats

Titanic Communication — Men vs Women

Janice gravatarWhat up, y’all? Today I have the great delight of introducing you to one of my best friends, ‘Tage, who has written this very humorous yet — I have to admit — accurate portrayal of men and women in relationships.

Show him some love and let him know what you think — ’cause I know you all HAVE to have an opinion on this one ;)

– Cafe

* * *

It is the oldest adage in the world….men and women communicate differently. The thing is, one of the reasons for this phenomenon is that…well….men don’t seem to ever talk about this at all! (Funny, eh?) Therefore, differences widen, myths develop, and the dog house has frequent visitors (usually men, why is that?)

Well, women, I’m here to offer a glimpse into the rarely seen abyss of the male psyche (now I say abyss since it is yet unproven whether or not intelligent life lives within).

Nonetheless, here goes…but be warned….it will be… *gasp*….honest.

First and foremost…and this is most important I think…communication is and should always be about the listener. I consider myself a decent talker but if the person I am speaking to leaves the conversation in a daze then, simply put, I have failed, no matter how many impressive metaphors or jedi-mind tricks I pulled. With this in mind, I am constantly aware of my listener and trying to adjust what I say and how I say it, ensuring that I am understood. This does not mean I always succeed (I’ve slept in the dog house once or twice when I couldn’t talk my way out of something) but at least I gradually learned the important lesson of listener-focused communication.

“And don’t come out until you’re listener-focused, bitch.”

Continue reading

Why Do You Blog?

When I first started out as a new blogger on WordPress a couple or so months ago, I was trying to get used to the new landscape, the new community. How could I search for other like-minded bloggers? How did you work these Widgets? And what did “Freshly Pressed” mean?

As I became more and more familiar with the WordPress neighbourhood, I realized that there are a myriad of reasons, motivations, and inspirations that drive Bloggers to, at times obsessively, update their readers with the newest thing that’s gotten their wheels turning. I started realizing that blogging was truly a passion for many — a way to fulfill something that they might not be able to fulfill elsewhere.

Walking down a block in the WordPress community!

I’ve taken quite a few strolls through the WordPress ‘hood and come across many different types of blogs and Bloggers, but I know that I’ve only caught a small glimpse of what’s out there.

There is just no shortage of what people can and do write about. We blog about our best recipes, music we love, beauty tips, fashion ideas, places we’ve traveled to, marathons we’ve run, our eating disorders, our depression, addictions, stories we’re writing, our goals and dreams, things we find hilarious, things that inspire and challenge us, things that piss us off, and so on.

We write about our opinions on things that matter to us, or maybe things that don’t really matter but that we’re gonna give our two cents on regardless. Some of us want the world to know exactly who we are and what we look like, and others find freedom in anonymity.

But what’s really interesting to me is that, in the end, despite the differences we may have, we all share one thing in common: Continue reading