How I Escaped the Abuse of Patriarchy

How I Escaped the Abuse of Patriarchy

At this time of year, I usually write about how in love I am with Superman and how I am looking forward to 2018. While this is all true, 2018 is a new beginning for me for a different reason.

As many of my readers are aware, I have had a rocky relationship with my father. I started writing this blog in 2013 but the issues have started since 2011. Many of my sentiments are echoed in my post in June 2016: Why breaking ties with my father was the best thing to happen to me

I gave my father a second chance in October 2016. I thought he was a changed man, even though I had to be the first to contact him. It would take time but it would be okay. After all, “he said sorry, right?”

That last sentence just gave me chills. It is the haunting tale of women who attempt to escape domestic abuse and are lured back through manipulation. It is exactly what happened to me.

I thought that we were getting better. My father would call from time to time but his efforts were very superficial. It was as if I had to reconcile my previous decision to cut him out of my life even though I gave him the chance to make things right.

He continued to never give me the benefit of the doubt when something went awry. Despite my honest explanations, he was a better legal professional than me by always cross-examining me ad nauseam. I thought I could just tolerate him and his wife, simply put it past me because I did not have to see them often. I felt like my conscience would not be clean if something were to happen to him and I cut him out of my life. Then, I thought what was impossible happened: he hurt Superman.

Superman was the only man I dated that my father actually liked. Superman seemed to get along with him too but when he went out of his way for my father, he was quick to criticize the flaws in the finished product despite our desire to repair it. Instead of oversight, we were painted as deceitful, vindictive people. I couldn’t imagine that a man with a golden heart could ever be depicted that way.

Some people could say to get rid of Superman and the problem would disappear. It really wouldn’t because even though my family tried to get blackmail on Superman, the issue really lied with me. My father thought I was whispering in Superman’s ear and he wanted to educate me on the perception that I was giving. Perception should not matter when you have known someone for almost three decades of their life.

I continue to get harassed by phone from my grandmother about how I should not forget whose blood I have, as if my mother was never involved in my birth, and how they did nothing wrong. I tried to consult these family members for advice and they failed me by simply saying to sweep it under the rug and forget about it.

You may have emotional bruises but just cover them up.

You may have psychological scars but let them go: they have been there for a very long time.

This is when I knew that I had to leave.

I received a lot of backlash from this decision, especially since I made an attempt last year. No one took me seriously.

She will change her mind.

It’s always been like this.

Your father is your father.

How does this empower anyone to escape abuse? I was asked what would happen if something were to happen to my father. I answered that I did try to make things work and my father died when I was 18 years old. A bit of a morbid statement to make but it is the truth. I do not know who the man is that has replaced the one who cared for me during my childhood. That man has disappeared.

I have cut everyone out that supports this manipulative behaviour, which I did not do last time. I received messages as if nothing ever happened and wondering if I was coming to the next special occasion. Love is not about obedience and attendance. Love is understanding and acceptance of others regardless of differences. This family was not about love. It was about keeping all of their ducks in one row.

My paternal family has always relayed it back to religion and have told me how it was a sin to not have my father in my life. I have spoken to a priest who has told me that avoidance is not a sin, especially if people are severely confused and cause nothing but conflict. He hopes that things could work out one day but that would have to be initiated by my father, which would take a true miracle.

I hope that my future children will understand my choice in this and how I want to break the cycle of abuse for them. I wish that they will know love in the quality of our family and not the quantity. I can only pray that they understand what a strong, independent and loving woman their mother will be.

This is how I choose to live in 2018 and every year thereafter: with love, joy and laughter.

Wishing you all the best in 2018!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

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How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

Hello everyone!

It has been a while but The Modern Day Fairy Godmother is officially 4 years old! Thank you to everyone from around the globe for your support and feedback over the years.

I write a lot from the perspective of being in a relationship because I am in one. However, what if you are one of those fortunate people on the outside looking in? It is no easy feat.

I come from a family who only believes that abuse manifests physically. I do not care what they say: emotional abuse is still abuse. More often than not, emotional abuse appears in the exertion of control. These situations are no longer like the ones on Maury where someone orders the person to call them “master” or bow to them. Instead, it becomes evident in little remarks that may seem harmless at first but then have a cumulative effect. This level of control weaves itself subtly into their lives and when they realize it, it could be too late.

I have been in controlling relationships and I also have been the friend that has had to break it to someone that their significant other’s behaviour wasn’t healthy. Contrary to popular belief, the people who enter controlling relationships are not insecure. They are strong leaders who are admirable in their character and confidence. However, they are ONLY insecure in their love lives.

I have lost a friendship  sisterhood over me being honest about her boyfriend. Although I do miss her at times, I do not regret telling her because I would have been a bad friend if I never did. I cannot guarantee that by you confronting your friend, it will go smoothly. I can only tell you the best possible way to get your message across.

Start when they are not talking about their significant other. This is important. When they are ranting and complaining about them, it is so easy to join in and let them know that they are controlling. Don’t you notice that the minute you say this, they get defensive and act like they are the only ones that are allowed to complain about Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong? That’s why it is best to let them rant and then tell them your feelings another time. Sometimes, people do not want advice but just a listening ear.

Avoid adjectives and if you need to use them, do not be too blunt. By saying that Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong is controlling, you are opening yourself up to abrasiveness and conflict. One word I like using is “overprotective” or I even use verbal forms, such as “they like to exert a certain sense of control in their lives”. You allow them to feel like they are in a safe space and are not being condescending or demeaning.

Ask questions and rephrase their words. Listening is key and if you are just yelling at them, you are also being the controlling one. Let them express their feelings to you and then rephrase into a question. For example, if your friend says that their significant other does not accept them for who they are, you can ask “Do you want to be with someone who does not accept you?”

Remind them that it is their decision. They are an adult, you should act like one too.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

 

Relationship Myths: What to Keep and What to Ignore

Relationship Myths: What to Keep and What to Ignore

It’s spring, even though it does not feel like it yet. This is the perfect time to fall in love. You avoid those desperate fools looking for a valentine or a New Year’s kiss at midnight. However, being recently single or deciding that it is time can be complicated. Friends and family put so much advice in your way that you may not know which to follow or which to ignore. Here is my list of common myths and whether you should keep them or ignore them:

DO NOT KISS ON A FIRST DATEKeep!

On a first date, you are still getting to know one another and nerves at an ultimate high. Leave them with wanting a little more.

WAIT THREE DAYS AFTER THE FIRST DATE TO MESSAGE THEM-Ignore!

If you are interested, message them that night. People like hearing that you enjoyed the date and want to get to know them better. You will give them a smile going from ear to ear.

THE GUY SHOULD ALWAYS PAYIgnore!

The person who asked someone on a first date should pay for the first date. Otherwise, take turns! Get on that #genderequality

COFFEE DATES ARE IDEAL FIRST DATES-Keep!

They allow you to talk and get to know one another while drinking something warm. If the date is going well, you will find that this person is as warm, if not warmer, than your coffee.

MOVIE DATES MAKE THE BEST FIRST DATES-Ignore

Staring at a screen while awkwardly sitting in seats separated by a bag of popcorn? No, thank you.

DISTANCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER-Keep!

Missing someone brings both of you together. It means that you do not take their presence for granted.

IF THE FIRST KISS DOESN’T GO EXACTLY AS IMAGINED, IT WASN’T MEANT TO BE-Ignore!

Calm your hormones! You are getting used to each other’s different kissing styles. As long as the attraction is there, don’t sweat the head-butts or the in-coordination of your tongues.

YOU SHOULD GET MARRIED BY 25-Ignore!

For most people, life is just getting started at 25 years old. Marry whenever you want.

AVOID ARGUMENTS-Ignore!

If it needs to be said, talk about it! It’s all about communication

NEVER STOP MAKING THAT PERSON FEEL LOVED EVERYDAY-Keep!

Show that person love everyday and you will see happiness for the rest of your life.

Make dating fun. Break the rules and create your own.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother