my backwards walk

i don’t want be a bad woman
and i can’t stand to see you be a bad man. 
i will miss your heart so tender
and I will love this love forever.
– cat power

when i left m for the last time, i had this song on repeat for hours, and days, and months.

…it was my anthem. my reason. the only explanation i could justify in finally separating myself from the only life i knew. everything he touched turned to shit. he made me a bad woman by proxy. by the end of the four (worst) years (of my life), i didn’t recognize myself anymore. my family could barely speak to me, and i had severed ties with so many friends only so i could keep my secrets to myself. so i wouldn’t have to explain the bruises, or the holes in the wall, or the destroyed belongings, or why i felt like drinking every single fucking day. it wasn’t only to numb the pain, or to forget. i drank because when i was drunk, i felt alive- something i hadn’t felt in years. it was superficial, of course… but i felt it none the less. i was social, and i laughed, and i would dance, and i made friends, and broke hearts, and i would exude confidence that had been shattered by m.

when i met him, i thought i had fallen in love with my future husband. the man who was going to father my children, and make me breakfast in bed on mother’s day, and spend time with my family, and take care of me when i was ill. i thought our story would stand out, not because of its horror, but because of its beauty. its simplicity. i thought it would stand out because it was special. and it was- at first. it was all of those things, and so much more than i could possibly explain.

i was barely sixteen years old when i saw his darkeyes, and cotton candy pink lips for the first time. he was waiting for a bus, and our eyes locked for a few seconds, and i felt the wind get knocked out of my lungs. this man (so young then) was so quiet- leaning against a wall, smoking cigarettes, his entire body covered in tattoos. my heart stopped, and my palms got sweaty, and i had made up my mind- right then and there- that i was going to have this man. it was a feeling so fierce, i could barely shake it.

our paths didn’t cross for another five months.

and it was the end of my life as i knew it.

had i known then, what i knew now- i’d have trusted my gut.

… but i’m a heart girl, through and through, and although it’s been wrong (time and time again), i followed this coffee-haired, black-eyed, beautiful (so goddamn beautiful) stranger. we followed each other at a party- watching each other from the corner of our eyes, touching hands when we spoke, whispering into each others ears over the music. he had a mohawk, and i could taste the vodka on his tongue when we kissed that night.

that’s how i like to remember him, unfortunately. pure, and young, and gentle. the way he would hold my hand, or touch my lower back when we spoke, or the way he would kiss me- all day, every day. the first time he’d see me, and between sentences, before leaving. he’d kiss my mouth, and my forehead, and my hands, and my eyes. he’d kiss me just to kiss me. his voice, so sweet and so low- almost a whisper. and we made love, believe it or not. he would light dozens of candles in the basement, and we’d kiss every inch of each others’ body. we’d touch and take our time, and really love each other. he’s the only person i’ve ever done that with, actually. he’d drive me home, late at night… holding hands, and kissing at stop lights. he would run my baths, and make me breakfast in bed all the time. he would wash my hair in the shower, and take pictures of me all the time. he’d leave love notes by the bed, and he’d draw me pictures, and write me letters. he’d buy me cards- just because. he would tell me he loved me every single day. we’d lay on the beach in silence, for hours. we’d take walks, and shower together every morning.

he loved me…

a lot. he loved me harder, and stronger, and better than any man has ever loved me in my life. without question, or condition, or doubt. he lived for me- he told me every day that he lived for me. it’s difficult to be loved like that, so young in your life. to be sixteen years old and feel like i knew what the next fifty years of my life would look like- that i’d be this lucky in love for the rest of my life… and then have it ripped from me.

he changed over night.

i look back now… i dig deep for signs, or red flags. and i just can’t find them anywhere. i look back on the first year of our relationship, and i am shattered by confusion. this man- this young, incredible man who loved me, and cared for me, and took care of me every single day… he woke up one morning hating me. hating our life. hating the simplicity of our love and companionship. he woke up fiending for drugs, and wanting to fuck strangers, and taking out his aggressions on me- the only woman who loved him the way i loved him. and that struck me harder than his fist ever did- the way his heart loved me still, but his actions didn’t. the things he would say to me… i can’t even wrap my head around it sometimes.

just the thought of our bed
makes me crumble like the plaster
where you punched the wall beside my head
– ani difranco

i stayed for three years longer than i should have.

out of fear, out of survival, out of naivety and guilt. and when i finally left, i never mourned the loss. i celebrated the victory. after a few weeks of drinking myself to sleep, forgetting to eat and shower, and not even stepping foot outside of my own bed… after weeks of anguish and fear, i finally celebrated. i celebrated for days, and then weeks, and months, and years. i spent so much time being angry, that i forgot to be sad. i spent so many years celebrating the funeral of a monster, of the demon that was our poisonous relationship… that i forgot to feel pain and sadness over the loss of the year i’d spent with the m who loved me. i forgot to mourn the loss of my first love. the loss of the baby we almost had together. the loss of the life we’d started to build. the loss of my dignity, and self-respect, and confidence- things i am still working on, years later… trying desperately to rebuild.

i don’t know why it’s surfacing now- why all this pain has boiled over, and why i feel disconnected again. i don’t know why i feel the need to mourn now that i am finally safe, and happy, and healthy- trying to put my pieces back together after being derailed. but it’s happening and i can’t control it anymore. i can’t help but feel angry that my first love was lost, and that i’ll never have anything good to say about him. i can’t help resenting him. i can’t help resenting myself and the decisions i made not to have our baby, or build my own life with that child- safe from her father and his demons. and don’t get me wrong- i’m happy with every choice i’ve ever made when it comes to m… i didn’t have the tools then to understand what abuse was, or how to escape it. all i knew was that i needed to save myself, and it’s only when i was finally ready to be without him that i gathered the courage to stand up to him, and walk away forever.

and it makes me sick, you know… to feel sad over this. to miss (the beginning of) that love.

but now that the shock has worn off, and the anger has subsided… i’m left with this incredible sadness, and self-pity. i’m overwhelmed by anxiety and confusion. and i never want this space to be censored. i hope writing about m won’t ever stop feeling cathartic… but there are some stories i’ve burried so deep inside of me- certains things i’ve never had the courage to share, or the words to even describe things that happened- and i need now (more than ever) to purge those stories from inside of me. to rid them from my bones, and shove them in a metaphorical bag, and then set that bag on fire. i need to share my truths with a professional, so i can get some closure, finally.

real closure- not the kind where i tell everyone i’m okay, and i belittle him as a human being, and share his indecensies… i mean real closure, and healing, and finally closing a book that has been open for seven goddamn years. and i realise that a lot of my behaviours in life (and love) stem from surviving abuse- but i can’t let those behaviours define my relationships any longer. i can’t let my secrets dictate my happiness, or my future.

i just forget what that kind of blissful happiness feels like. i feel like i got the private screening to the unatural, disturbing ways of the human race, and i’m rattled. i’ve seen too much, and i’ve felt too much, and i know too fucking much about what it feels like to be torn apart at the hands of a bad man. and that makes me incredibly, and unforgivingly sad…

and i want to fix that.


thirty facts

picture by julie hope

1. i have an irrational fear of the dark, i.e. i start having panic attacks and shut my eyes until i can turn a light on. i actually spent the better part of my teenage years sleeping with lights & the tv on… it’s a little better now, only slightly.

2. i fall in love with cities i’ve never been to. i think it started when i was sixteen and began reading the blog of a previously heroin-addicted twenty-one-year old living in portland. i loved everything about her- her wardrobe, her taste in music, the way she described her love life, and the beauty of her city. her self-destructive life was so appealing and punk rock- until it became my reality and i finally understood the sadness in her words.

3. i honestly believe the only reason i was put on this earth is to become a mother; my ideal job would be a stay-at-home mom.

4. i hate watching people eat peanut butter on its own. a lot of my friends open the little packages of it while we wait for breakfast at the diner, and it makes me heave a little. i don’t know why, considering how much i love peanut butter.

5. i’m particular when it comes to how my food is placed on my plate- especially with breakfast foods. when i get my plate at a restaurant, i rearrange it to my liking.

6. i get really emotionally attached to songs, and bands. if a song means something to me, i can listen to it a million times on repeat and not get sick of it (on my twenty first birthday, dan danced with me in my living room until well past 4 in the morning, singing “temptation” by new order to me, on repeat, for hours). i cry almost every single time i listen to cat power, i can relate to every single tegan & sara song ever written, and ani difranco got me through the majority of my relationship with m.

7. when i sleep away from home, i get separation anxiety from my cat.

8. my chest piece is one of the most sentimental pieces i have tattooed on my body. i thought of the idea when i was still with m– and i promised myself it would be completed when i finally left him. mission accomplished.

9. i talk about butts, farts, poo, masturbation, sex, and my vagina a lot. too much, actually.

10. second to being a mom, i cannot wait to become an aunt. like, my head will implode and so will the internet, the day i find out my sister-in-law is expecting. i actually decided against moving out of this city when my brother told me he was proposing a few years back.

11. speaking of my brother- he’s one of the people i look up to most. his strength, his determination, his charisma, his intelligence, the way he loves his wife… everything about him is remarkable. i love him to the moon and back. he makes me want to be better.

12. i can touch my tongue to my nose.

13. i have an unnatural obsession with pizza. i like it in and around my mouth. it’s true… ask the nine pairs of jeans in my closet that don’t fit me anymore!

14. i curse like a sailor.

15. there is nothing i hate more than cigarettes.

16. attempting to swim makes me really anxious. either i need to be able to touch the bottom, or i’m using some sort of flotation device. besides, what’s the point of being in a lake, the ocean, or a pool, unless i’m relaxing with a beer in my hand.

17. i can’t peel oranges.

18. i’m addicted to crime shows… mostly law & order SVU and criminal minds.

19. i’m a poor girl. i was raised a poor girl, i am a poor girl, and i have a feeling i’ll be broke until the day i die. i have this awful fear that i’ll work these mundane, mindless office jobs forever, and i’ll never even buy a house. it scares the shit out of me.

20. i’m a sucker for the banjo and the organ, big time.

21. i have a super goofy laugh. more of a cackle, actually. it’s really quite embarrassing.

22. my nipples are always hard… it’s the weirdest thing. i’m not kidding! ask dan- he always makes fun of me and calls me a weirdo.

23. i can’t sing. like, even a little bit. i KNOW i’m tone-deaf.

24. my biggest weakness? chocolate milkshakes.

25. i LOVE being photographed. lucky for me, i have a lot of photographer friends.

26. if i feed my cat in the morning without giving him treats, i feel super guilty. i’ve actually walked away, and then walked back to the kitchen to give him treats because it eats away at me. is that weird?

27. my biggest vice, other than being a lush, is procrastination. on a serious level, folks.

28. i have a huge hard-on for geeks. like, actual smarty-pants. a well-dressed person who loves to read, is well-spoken and articulate, who has a passion for writing, photography, music, and/or science? holy-fucking-swoon.

29. when dan wears a plaid button-up shirt, rolled up jeans, cherry doc martens, and slicks his hair back… my ovaries twitch a little and i actually can’t keep my hands off him. my boyfriend is like, really, really ridiculously good-looking.

30. i have this thing for female vocalists. whether it’s punk, indie, or folk… throw it on, and i’m a dancing, singing, cleaning-in-my-undies machine! i just can’t get enough of my girlie music. dan even got me a t-shirt of kathleen hannah (singer of bikini kill & le tigre) sitting in a bed on the phone, eating a cheeseburger. if that’s not love, i don’t know what is.

idea borrowed from the cutest little miss elycia

okay, seriously?!

should i be concerned?

i think the only people who search this website are punks and sex-addicts!

some of my more popular searched terms that lead to my blog:
“denim jacket”
“squirt my cum”
“i can see my boyfriend’s cock growing in his pants”

should i tone down the sexual inuendos? stop swooning over half-naked pictures of my boyfriend singing for his band? refrain from talking about my vagina so much? i feel like i have a little more content in this here blog thingy other than blowjobs, tattoos, and cuming, no?

i almost fell off my chair laughing.

brb, must go do sexual things and then write about ’em.

ps: who ACTUALLY googles “i can see my boyfriend’s cock growing in his pants”?! either this person needs a book on anatomy and a quick lesson on boners, or she is a total hopeless cause.

pps: i realize this post is NOT helping my google search engine from pointing the sex freaks my way.

pps: hi mom! your daughter’s a sexual sadist!

in which my heart breaks

* this entire post is about money and relationships and oh my god i’m crying again.

up until a few years ago, my parents never had a penny. they never furthured their education in college (until very recently), and they didn’t have outstanding jobs. my mother worked her way through administration jobs, and my father bounced between sales and management positions. and although i later found out that they were constantly worried about their ability to pay their mortgage on time, or have enough food in the house to feed our family of four, my brother and i had no idea how hard they struggled. we always had full bellies of healthy food, and shoes that fit, and pencils and notebooks for school. and although my bikes, and jeans, and school bags, or toys were mostly hand-me-downs, i pretty much had everything a kid could ever need. and when my dad would make his bonus, you can bet your ass that my mother would take us out to buy a new shirt for school, or take the family out on an outing. and despite my stuborn, greedy teenage nature… my parents taught me responsibility and self-control. they indirectly taugth me to survive. and they most definitely taught me that love trumps all. always.

when m and i moved into our $700 attic apartment in the outskirts of chinatown, everything changed. the reality of life hit me like a ton of bricks and i instantly (instinctively) went into survivor-mode. by the end of it, i had no money, no food, no job… i had fucking nothing. and while m would hoard food at work and stuff his face so he wouldn’t have to share, i ate a teacher’s leftovers for four days. i made that pasta stretch because i didn’t know when my next meal was going to be. m gained 50lbs that summer, and i couldn’t keep my size 1 jeans up around my waist. i can’t remember the reason, but my dad came to visit one afternoon while m was at work- to make sure i was okay, or alive, or something. and while i’d excused myself to go to the washroom, he scoured my cupboards and fridge. and when all he found was an open bag of stale noodles in the cupboard, and an empty carton of eggs in the fridge, i swear i saw him break. and i don’t remember much from that visit at all, except he took me to a tiny market in the middle of the city and spent $60 on bagels and fruit and milk and eggs. i found out years later that it was the last few dollars he had in his bank account- it was the only money he and my mother had to pay for their own groceries, and he spent it on me.

if that’s not love, and if that’s not family, or being a team is all about… i don’t know what is.

my point is this: i’ve struggled. i have starved and worried about paying rent on time (if at all). i spent three months working at a shitty smoothie bar after i left m, just so i could eat. i’ve had hasty moves while roommates are away, and i’ve been that sketchy, shitty person.

but i’ve also been lucky. i landed a sales job at an international multi-million company where (by the grace of god), my boss saw a light in me that she trusted. i didn’t have a college degree, but she saw skills in me, and she knew i would work my ass off. i fucking worked the shit out of that job for three years and pushed those sales so i’d make enough commission to cover rent and groceries and clothes. it wasn’t glamourous, and i was still living paycheque to paycheque, but i made it. and once my boss left that company to come here, she immediately referred me to the president and comptroller. that woman saved my life- and i’m lucky enough that four years later, i still work with her… and although she’s not my boss anymore, she always has my best interest at heart- i don’t call her work mama for nothing. she has coached me in every aspect of my life, and i owe her everything.

i went from unemployment, to smoothie bar, to sales representative, to assistant to the comptroller… in four years. without an education, without a damn penny, and without a goddamn chance. and for the first time since i was seventeen, i’m comfortable. i make enough money to pay rent, buy groceries and cook every day, feed my cat, go on little trips to visit my friends in montreal, buy coffee before work, treat myself to a new piece of furniture, buy shoes and clothes when i need them, and spoil my family with presents on christmas. i can go to dinner with friends, and see movies in the theatre, or see a live band every once in awhile. i can’t do all these things on a daily basis, but they are definitely opportunities to be a regular young adult and live a fulfilled existence without worrying every single day of my life.

and if any of these lessons and mistakes, and all this struggling has taught me anything? it’s this: in a relationship, first and foremost, you’re a team. always.

i never expected m to support me when i graduated high school, but i also never expected him to watch me fucking die. and while it wasn’t all awful, that summer made me realize more than ever, that he is not the kind of person i ever want to share my life with.

now that dan and i have started apartment hunting, the reality of our finances has kind of hit me. dan is still apprenticing to be a chef, and until he can afford to take his chef’s class and make more money working, things will be tight. i will have to carry more of the load until he’s more established, and i’m okay with that. what kind of girlfriend wouldn’t want to support her significant other in following their dreams? and while we’re looking at very inexpensive apartments for the area (which consequently, are still expensive as fuck), i can see dan already losing hope.

we looked at a beautiful 1.5 bedroom apartment last night, and both of us fell completely in love. it’s smaller than my place now, has no dining room, even less of a kitchen, and barely any storage, but it felt right. the bedroom has wrap-around lead glass windows, the kitchen has original built-in glass-doored cupboards, and the floors are original to the home (over 100 years old). i’d have to sell a lot of my furniture and clothes, and store my seasonal clothing in my parents’ basement, and yet i was in love. i’ve had all this room to hold onto the things that have held me back, and i hate that. i want a cozy, warm, inviting home with my boyfriend, and i want to work together, as a team, to reach our goals and dreams- even if that means helping each other out along the way. if there’s one thing i keep reminding dan when he gets in those moods, it’s that i love him, and i’d never let him starve. i don’t think he really understands the depths of what that means for me, because m watched me do it so easily, btu i mean that. i’ve been there- i’ve struggled working those jobs, doing what i love, barely making any money, just because i knew that eventually things would look up- they worked out for me, and they’ll work out for him. and even though i don’t have a ring on my finger, or a baby in a crib, dan is my family now.

when we got home from the appointment we had to see that apartment, we ate dinner quietly, and made a few comments on how we’d want to set up the furniture if we were to get that apartment. we argued a little and we disagreed on most things and eventually i just went to bed- and dan, being the person he is, came in and tried to work it out and i just wouldn’t have it. i gave myself time to think about what i wanted to say, and how i wanted to say it, and once we’d both calmed down, i asked him to talk. it makes me sad that money is such a strain on relationships these days, and if you weren’t born into a family with money, you’ll be struggling til the day you die. that’s fucking scary.

in any case, we talked about our concerns, and we kissed and made up, and now that i know his financial situation a little bit better, and i can see what is feasible for both of us, we can start building a future together, as a team.

why am i not surprised?

can we all take a moment to appreciate the fact that a search engine term linking to my website was butt fart.

someone actually typed butt fart in their google search bar, and my website came up.

today suddenly just got awesome.

in other less fabulous news, tonight is my last bootcamp session and i’m really bummed. i’ve been feeling the burn, and although i don’t see a difference, i definitely feel it immensely. i won’t be going back in january because my sister-in-law won’t be attending, and i’m obviously a huge wimp and i’m afraid of humans. she’s been a super great fitness buddy though, so if she asked me to join another class with her, i would in a heartbeat. so, someone force me to do a couple of crunches and jumping jacks at home, please? or, i don’t know, give me a couple hundred bucks so i can buy a used stationary bike so i can get fit while i watch my stories?

i hate being broke. thanks alcoholism, homelessness, shitty ex-boyfriends, and unstable living situations! you’re the bane of my existence.

duh, because nothing is ever my fault.

who the hell put sugar in my coffee? my mouth hurts and i’m climbing the walls.

this entry was 100% pertinent.

you’re so very welcome.



i feel you somewhere in this town
– off with their heads

everything reminds me of you.

i wake up in the morning and get ready for work, walk down the street to get coffee, and wait impatiently at the bus stop. the route kills me- its long accordian bus taking me down the last street you lived on before i left you- every morning i think of the times i walked to and from your apartment with all my laundry in tow. the way we awkwardly walked next to each other- your skateboard in one hand, my hand in the other, never really saying much. it was like dating you for the first time again, only much sadder. much more quiet. and although you were actually around, so much lonelier. learning your new quirks, and getting used to your old ones- that was the hardest part. how can you be with someone for so long, love them for so long, and still feel like you know nothing? you had become a stranger.

the saddest part is i believed you that time. you’d stopped drinking as much, but you made up for that by snorting more blow than ever. i was fooling myself in believing we could make it. i drank myself into oblivion and showed up at your door regularly. you’d be out all night with greasy friends, doing sleazy things, and you’d come home to me, always. we’d sit silently infront of your computer, watching cartoons and bad movies. i’d lay my feet on your lap, and you’d slide down to rest your head on my chest. nothing felt more calculated then, than kissing you. than telling you i loved you. than hearing you tell me you loved me. we were forcing something so horribly broken, and i was lost in thinking the violence had stopped, that the hate was gone, and the resentment would fade away.

fuck, was i wrong.

i knew a lot about you- likely more than anyone… and still, i don’t know you, really. you’re such a mystery to me. the only certain thing in our relationship was your anger. i knew the breaths you’d draw before finally snapping- before spitting such angry rage my way. i knew the way your hands would tap on your knee, or how many times your eyes would shift before you’d tell me something hurtful. i’d count your steps and multiply your words while sitting silently in a corner waiting for it to be over, wishing and hoping in binary in my head (01101000 01100101 01101100 01110000)… loving you was the worst mathematical equation i’d ever attempted to solve.

all of this runs so much deeper than you think. this isn’t about missing you, or wishing for things to be different. this has nothing to do with not being over it, not being over you. this has everything to do with being broken. a stranger once told me that my eyes were an open book- that the darkness of my past was so evident, it was heartbreaking. in some ways i’m so good at hiding our truth that no one would ever know the kind of suffering you put me through, and by the same token my eyes have lost their smile- their brightness. i hate you for that. i don’t hate you for the abuse- i’ve grown and have built strength i’d never have known if it weren’t for the poison running deep in your veins. no, i hate you for taking my spunk, my spirit, my faith in humanity- i hate you for taking my light. because since knowing you, everything has been so dark. fuck you, for that.

and despite it all, you’re still here. you’ve left the city, and i still feel you. the wind blows and it sends chills down my spine the way you still do. i shake off the sick feeling, and try to forget. but every corner i turn is a house we once lived in, every sidewalk is one we’ve walked down, hand in hand. this city screams of our love, and yet lingers with our hate.

you’ve loved your girlfriend between the sheets i bought you when you were nineteen. she’s folded the shirts i bought you, the ones i altered to fit your skeleton of a body when you started losing all your pre-drug weight. your vintage frames have been replaced with pictures of her, where the ones of us once were. you see that’s the most horrifying part of leaving a lover- having a stranger pick up where you’d left off. like you’re sharing this person with someone else.

nothing made me more upset than seeing andy using the first bath towel we’d bought together for our apartment when i was seventeen. his lean, healthy body wrapped in the same towel that once dried yours- sick and drug-ridden. watching him throw his underwear into the laundry hamper after a hard day’s work- the same hamper you threw yours in after fucking our neighbour. kissing him on the same couch you hurled my body onto- the same one you kneeled on while wrapping your hands so tightly around my neck.

it’s sickening.

you see you’re gone, and yet you’re still so… present. sometimes i get this irrational fear that i’ll look at myself in the mirror and see the black imprints of your fingers on my collarbones. i’ll see the swollen eyes from the crying. i’ll see that stranger staring back at me in the reflection, and it haunts me. i remember being so disgusted with myself then. how do you ever let it get to that point? how can you hate yourself so much, you let someone else beat you down that low?

i didn’t know then, and i still don’t have the answer now.

all i know is i’m ready to forgive myself. i’m ready to forget. this city is my home, and damn it if i leave it because of you. damn it if you take the last thing i have.

i’m ready to be whole again.