Just Letting You know I’m saying goodbye

•December 28, 2009 • 7 Comments

This blog is going to be pretty much dead forever.

Lots of things have happened, I’ll be honest I’m pretty much no longer friends with Davita Cuttita. That’s honestly what happened and we split up. Davita gave up her administration rights and posted her goodbye in the below post.

Those who read and responded to my articles, thanks. It’s been almost two years and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye until now, I was actually planning on leaving in October but never got around to the details mostly because I wanted to have my own blog where I didn’t have to constantly fight for own freedom of expression.

Thank you for being  a part of PDDP.

Grandpa Dinosaur

Food for Thought

•November 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

Food for Thought
The Story of Sam, Esther & Jane

Cut by: Davita Cuttita

Esther and Sam are two African children who were found starving in the dirt half naked and alone by the San Damiano Foundation as they were filming a documentary on poverty in 2007.

At age 7, Sam weighed 20 pounds and his sister Esther fares no better. They both suffer from polio which makes them unable to walk.

Sam & Esther’s sister, Jane is the eldest of the three at age 8. Although she cannot feed her siblings, she regularly walks for miles to fetch one bucket of water in order to bathe them both.

Their story is below.

If you are interested in seeing how Sam, Esther and Jane are doing now, click here.

Reading the comments on this video, I was shocked at a few.

The story of these children is not about getting into the game of “victim olympics” or trying to gauge with faulty, selfish and narcissitic notions dictating who is more or less deserving of something of us: whether it be food, money, attention or love. Rather we should use our consciousness to concern ourselves with the balance, reinforcement and preservance of  justice, peace, humilty, love, safety, equality, comfort and wisdom: especially when it comes to children.

Things aren’t the best for some of us and sometimes it’s hard to lose sight of the bigger picture in the face of life’s tribulations and fall into a deep hole of hopelessness, self-pity or loathing and depression. I know I have as I live far below the poverty line, have a permanent disability that is currently worsening and am sometimes unable to get enough (or anything) to eat without sacrificing another necessity or two. Now, I cannot complain.

We all have our crosses to bear in life, individually tailored to match the depths of our characters. This story has encouraged me to bare mine with hope and courage and I hope it inspires others to do the same.

A bucket of water can go a long way.

Workoholics Anonymous

•November 20, 2009 • 2 Comments

Workoholics Anonymous
Grandpa Dinosaur

I’m a workaholic. I worked so hard I passed out had to get an ambulance because I was extremely fatigued. I’m really embarrassed about that. I know why I work so hard, because it makes me feel good. When I work on homework and I’m getting it right, I feel good.

I’m not a clean freak or a perfectionist. I just like working on my gardening, artwork, writing and homework. I like making books and taking them to sell in person. I’m always trying to get to the next level and do better for myself.

I get a lot of pressure from my peers because I don’t do things well, I mess up a lot, I not super, naturally smart or beautiful so I have to work harder for anything or to get my point across. Things aren’t always easy and hard work doesn’t always work, but it builds up to something. Maybe not the thing you always want it to, but hard work wouldn’t be work if it didn’t accomplish something.

When I finish making a book or get an A on an assignment it makes me not feel terrible when I’m being called stupid or fat. I’m neither stupid nor fat, but hard work makes me feel like there is something good about me. I know a lot of people say mean things about me behind my back and even do it to my face, but when I work hard and accomplish a lot it makes me feel better.

When I was younger, I used to fuel my energy by hoping one day I could become rich and famous and get back at the people who were mean to me. I think all children feel like that. Now that I’m older, I just enjoy connecting to others through my writing and artwork. I find it’s easier to draw a comic or write a story than talk to people, I’m not anti-social by choice by rather by circumstance. I’m not articulate and have trouble speaking and relating to people, probably because I’m such a magnet for abusive relationships. I don’t want to give up on people therefore I keep drawing pictures and making stories.

This is my way of doing things. I like it, I like writing and connecting to people through my art. I like knowing my books are on someone’s shelf. I think, “Ah, this person understands.”

I’m not someone who searches out people’s praise nor cares or forces people to agree with me, I respect people’s opinions and faiths. I only want to say my piece and offer a different perspective. I have the tendency to make subtle works for an understated reader-base that end up creating SUPERFANS. Ha ha ha! It’s okay! I wonder how much of you guys like my writing. It’s okay if you don’t. I’m not narcissistic, just curious.

That’s why I’m learning how to make movies, communication programs and interactive based media, I want to connect to people and help people. I think I come off as a bitter person because I’ve been abused a lot by family, friends and strangers alike. It’s hard to make someone understand you and it’s hard to understand other people. I’ve spent my life trying. I don’t want to change to make people like me. I want to be accepted for who I am. That’s why I write and draw. It’s my way of communicating.

But I do realize I work too hard with little support. I was reading Glamour (a guilty pleasure) and stopped on the article on Michelle Obama saying that she UNDERSTOOD that she was lucky to have to support of her mother and her peers and it made the progression to the White House easier and felt bad for women that didn’t. I wonder about how many women are suffering alone without any sort of support or can’t even support themselves. I’m always working for the moment I can support myself for the rest of my life and go after my dreams 100% rather than 60%.

The number one question that I ask myself is “If I had my friends to support me or if I had my family to support me, who would I be?” I wouldn’t be as hard working but I think I would be better adjusted. Just because I have to do so many things alone doesn’t stop me from achieving my dreams, I think being alone and having no one strengthened my resolve. It’s hard, really hard to get going and not everyone can do it. It really takes a strong person to always be alone, I know I have a lot of trouble but I would rather be alone than treated badly.

My family isn’t really supportive of my profession or anything I do, but that isn’t going to stop me…

Fainting due to overwork will stop me. Being hungry and unable to cook due to my workload will stop me. I have to relearn that I’m not a super soldier, but because I’ve worked so hard in the past people refuse to let me relax.

It’s not my fault I’m the one person who actually is doing something with their life but I refuse to live a life where I can’t be the person I want to be, that’s the one thing that is the most important. I’m working really hard and enduring a lot to be where I want to be.

Also, I hate it when people call me lazy. It’s like they don’t appreciate how hard I’m working, but people will always look for something bad to say about you.

I think its okay to love working, but it’s good to take a rest and disobey people who are mooching off your kindness and hard work. Hahaha. I know I have.

In the end, it’s okay to work hard, but remember you’re working towards something and never forget the thing you are working for. Always be focused, but take breaks and enjoy life as well. I’ll be sure to take an actual vacation this year, not a work vacation. I’ll see you readers when I see you, I have a pile of work to plough through.

No, Why, New York.

•November 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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No, Why, New York.
Cut by: Davita Cuttita

During late May of this year, I was fortunate enough to make a trip to Amerika after being surprised with a roadtrip by my Mom and her friends.

I’ve been to the States a few times before and I usually do so in order to partake in some form of shopping or junk food eating and this trip was no exception.

In general, I think Amerika is pretty OK. I absolutely love how there are so many stores we don’t get here in Canadada-land where I can come out looking fabulous for little to nothing. This especially helps on a starving student/under the poverty line budget.

I did most of my shopping in Queens and Brooklyn so I guess maybe they aren’t as conceited about body perception there as let’s say, LA. All the plus size clothes were incredibly easy to find for my Mom and her friends and were respectfully by the regular clothes (or on the same rack as them). My Mom and her friends were able to get a lot of great clothes for all occasions that in Canada, is not readily available in such quantities and variety—especially at a reasonable price: and this goes for all sizes. It was nice to go shopping alongside my Mom.

I remember asking for a size seven of capris that I saw on a mannequin and the clerk laughed at me—she said the mannequin was wearing a size 7. SCARY! I’ve never been anywhere where I was the same size as a mannequin before. The weirdest part was that they were a little too big but size 5 fit well.

Of course, this meant I needed hamburgers.

McLovin'

Davita demonstrating the typical Canadian welcome during a Mikky D's run in Manhattan at 4:30AM. Circa: Winter 2006.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find junk food in Canada?

Everything kind of repeats itself: pizza, hamburgers, and subs ad nauseum so it’s really boring to go out and eat if you want traditional junk. White Castle, Papa John’s, Checker’s, Sonic’s, The Cheesecake Factory, TGI Friday’s and more—all non-existent. The Canadian junk food buck pretty much stops with Wendy’s, McDonalds, Burger King, Tim Horton’s and a few pizza/sub chains.

Anything that is not pizza/sub/hamburger or a watered-down version of Chinese food is typically “homestyle” cooked foods of foreign origin. So when I go out to eat with friends downtown or even in the suburbs it’s mainly at sit-down restaurants that serve either sushi, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Persian or Indian (French is still pretty expensive).

But you still miss nice things like MELTED CHEESE and BEEFY-BEEFY-BEEF because they are full of all those deliciously addictive chemicals and sugars that make your brain happy when Canada weather makes everything sad.

I don’t know anything about “American” food in general but if I were a junk food connoisseur, the Yanks are at the top of the world in my book!

Checkers hamburger=Good times.

Checkers burger=Good times.

I nearly pissed myself when I went to White Castle and could get one of those mini-burgers for 75 cents WITH TAX. You can’t even get a damn pack of gum for 75 cents up here! I had to gasp my chest and fight for air in that place, I was gonna pass tha fuck out from amazement! Of course, I had to go to Burger King after and get a combo because American portions are bigger so more bank for the buck there and the weirdest thing happened—about half way through my double whopper with onion rings and Dr. Pepper, my belly *literally* kicked me.

It was a motherfuckin’ kung-fu style KICK.

I kid you not, it felt like I had a beefy-cheesy being in me fighting for freedom of choice. Then, there was this odd feeling of fullness but not in a pleasant or comfortable way. Anyhoo, I ignored all that shit and kept on eating until my mission was accomplished. During that night, the ghost of my angry burger baby attacked with a vengeance, making it difficult for me to sleep. I also had some chest pains so I resigned from my Amerikan hamburger spree in fear of any further beefy-cheesy retribution.

They say that there is no difference between America and Canada. I beg to differ.

All you have to do is look at the architecture. No, for serious.

I am convinced that Canadians have something I’d like to call “Obsessive Compulsive Landscaping Disorder” or OCLD.

I cannot recall a time in my life where something was not under construction. There is construction outside my door right now .The split second a building starts to show its age, it is knocked down and replaced with a bigger, fancier, shinier building. There are brand new buildings going up all the time and old buildings being destroyed all the time with nary a protester or complaint.

That goes for the roads as well, and it can get damn annoying when every year the exact same road is completely destroyed and replaced. There’s even a Canadian joke saying that there are only two seasons: “Winter and Construction”.

There isn’t really any “old” architecture in Canada…at least, not in Toronto. Sometimes the government likes to trick people too—the Union station in downtown Toronto looks ancient as hell outside but as soon as you walk through the damn doors—state of the art.

As a matter of fact, I think that Pearson Airport (main airport of Toronto) should be a tourist attraction. I feel like I’m in the damn future in there, it’s all shiny and clean and…shiny.

Since America is the richest country in the world (?) I assumed that I was going to be blown the fuck away with fancy architecture. This was not the case in New York which is understandable, considering it’s massive population and the fact that the oldness…kinda makes New York what it is. I really liked the graffiti though and I have a small collection of New York graffiti pictures that I’m pretty pleased with.

I REALLY regret not having the chance to try the clubbing scene out. I love loud music and dancing and NEW YORK, shit that’s like the place to party apparently. I wasn’t even born when the Club Kid scene was started and was in kindergarten when it was at its zenith but I still have this absolute admiration for its spirit and James St James. RuPaul too—naturally! Oh someday New York club scene…someday!*sniffle*

James St James: Making Bitches Gag since 1984.

And I’ve done a little touristy shit here and there before too: took the train system (those rats look big enough to snatch your purse!), been to Central Park, been to Times Square and the Empire State building.

I was actually more interested in the restaurant in the Empire State building rather than the building itself…I just wanted to fantasize that King Kong was on top of it in a crown swatting at airplanes and that’s what I did after laughing out loud to myself and snapping photos.

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Times Square was very…commercial. On TV, it seemed like a magical place full of…I don’t know what, they never say. But I didn’t think it was stores. Nice, ritzy stores perfect for sticking the face against and wishing.

No, Why, New York. I wish I had more time to explore…

I only blame myself for not having more money and a larger stomach!—as well as some good friends to share the experience with. Maybe next time…

“…Leaving her felt like I was walking away from a fire.
A fire that killed the both of us…slowly. So slowly…”

Alec Empire, “No, Why, New York”

I, Object.

•November 10, 2009 • 2 Comments

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I, Object.
Amnesiac II: Life in the Third Person

Cut by: Davita Cuttita

It seems as though labels and identity are arguably things that many people take very seriously—things that consciously and unconsciously may shape who a person is, was or will become.

Arguably, it’s important for us as human beings to be able to openly state (whenever we wish) and follow-through with our systems of beliefs, ideas, sexual preferences, the types of movies or music we listen to, our style, the people we hang around with, and so on.

As an amnesiac, it’s difficult for me to sympathize but I can see where this is coming from.

My illness exists within the small percentile of people who do not get any worse but at the same time, they do not get any better. I’ve come to terms with my permanant circumstances and honestly, I try not let it bother me. Much like any other life-long illness, one tries to find a means by which to cope and live something resembling a normal life.

Can I ask a question?

How did you learn to be a person?

Or actually…should I say how did you learn to act like what we may commonly define to be a “person”? Better yet, how did you learn to acceptably act?

After my accident, I had no recollection of anything except for my name and birthday.

I had no idea where I lived, what country I was in, what year it was, who my family or friends were, where I went to school, what religion or sexuality I was, what my interests were, what I wanted out of the future.

If you can, imagine what it would be like to wake up in the emergency room, strapped down to a stretcher with restraints, with no identity and no memories—all you know is your name and your birthday.

I could hardly read or write and could barely manage to put coherent sentences together as my brain reeled from the shock of the impact.

Essentially, I was a blank slate in a then 19 year old, Black female body and had to be rehabilitated; reconditioned to fit into a world I did not understand nor care about.

You see, after my release from the hospital I had only one friend who would come visit me on a regular basis and take me outside. I was terrified of the outdoors; there was way too much unpredictability. My friend was very understanding though, she and I both suffer from mental illnesses so it was good to have someone to eat sushi and listen to digital hardcore with. Despite the fact that I had virtually no recollection of her, the good ambience was always there whenever she stopped by and she was always encouraging, fun and supportive. She’s probably one of the few people who truly understands me and although these days we don’t see eachother or speak very often, we still remain best friends.

After my accident, I basically did whatever the hell I felt like—the first thought that came to mind was the first thing I did, no questions asked and no regrets.

If I felt like sleeping on the floor, I’d do it. If I felt like smashing plates and putting holes into walls, I’d do it. If I felt like doing harm, I’d do it and I honestly did not care if anyone or anything lived to tell the tale or not.

Or, if I felt like watching the Cosby show and over-eating (my medication at the time put me in a constant state of starvation, so bad that I would cry and wish for death without food for a certain period of time)…well, I’d do that too. I was completely ruled by impulses.

I had no culture, no faith, no sexual drive, no ideas, no opinions, no memories, no loyalties, no goals and above all; no remorse. I did what the voices in my head/my impulses told me to do and that was that.

That’s another problem with head trauma: sometimes you hallucinate which makes the world look like Halloween every fuckin’ day and sometimes you hear/see things that really don’t exist and would probably be pretty damn evil if they did.

Naturally, it was only a matter of time before I was accepted to the psyche ward.

I’ll never forget being in what I describe as the “haze state,” the state where I wasn’t actually “around” but “somewhere else”. My eyes would gloss over and the impulses would make my hands busy and my mouth silent.

“…And you will be kept here until such a time you do not pose a threat to others or a threat to yourself” said the man in the white coat and that was that.

For the first 24 hours, I was placed under heavy guard with the “critically unstable” patients and for my brief stay totalling approximately 7 or 8 days in the ward (which felt more like 9 months) I was the youngest person. Of course, when my mom came crying and pleading into the hospital the next day, they moved me to where the people were a little more stable and even had freedoms such as sitting outside in the garden (surrounded by a 11ft tall metal fence) or buying a Tim Horton’s coffee upstairs at the hospital café. If you were really good, your family could come sign you out but like a library book, they had to return you by 9PM. Why? Well, if they didn’t the hospital would call the police.

I can’t speak for other people but my psyche ward experience was fairly mundane. I spent most of it heavily sedated doing word searches.

Yeah, you had people flip out at breakfast sometimes, since we were all running on the half-life of our meds by then. Two people were particularly keen on causing a scene regularly: tossing furniture, attacking nurses and screaming about how’d they’d decapitate you with a flaming sword or call a lawyer on the wardens citing attempted murder but…I was too busy eating cornflakes and talking to my schizophrenic friend (and his other personalities) to care. I had only one outburst during one of these tirades, albeit a quiet one. Something to break the silence I usually guarded throughout the day.

“Shut up motherfucker, I’m eating cereal.”

This was supposed to be the more “normal” area. At least the “dangerous” people had the common courtesy to make pleasant meal time conversations.

I was so glad to be out of that place with its small, bland meals and shitty decorating. Plus my roommate snored.

When I learned how to act appropriately, everything was so objective and text book. I loved it. It made sense. For the first time in a long while, I could finally make sense of myself and how to live by simply doing it objectively and thinking about issues  in the 3rd person before I did anything.

I went to therapy for almost a year. After I re-learned to read and write coherently I read books on social interactions that explained things like handshakes, smiling, personal space, hugs, romance, friendship and different kinds of gestures and what they meant. If I forgot, I could just pick up the book again. It was a nice little people manual.

“You can’t attack people in public, Davita,” said the Kind Anger Management Lady.

“Why not?”

“Think about it objectively for a moment. What would be the consequences?”

“That person would get hurt…”

“And if you hurt them, then what?”

“Uh…maybe I might go to jail,”

“Do you want to go to jail?”

“…..No.”

And so forth.

Oh! Objectivity divine, let me count the ways!

I still perceive most of my life in an *almost*—but not quite—detached manner by continuing to map out my thoughts and behaviour in the third person. I remember a common complaint to my neuropsychologist:

“I’m on autopilot,” I’d say.

“Your tests have indicated you have a dare-devil, sky-diver type personality. You’re a rule breaker!” he told me once.

My mode of perception is not necessarily something I WANT to do, but it is something I HAVE to do because I’m really trying not to go back to the hospital or to more therapy or anything else. I’m kinda wondering how effective it is if I can sit outside it and examine it this way…huh.

I still have little to no recollection of most people in my past life and events. Many people in my life nowadays tend to be very understanding of this fact, and I’m thankful for their patience, honesty and forwardness with me.

Your feelings are hurt. Argument understood, please show your work. It is due tomorrow or even at best now, not next month or next week. I don’t like letting things fester, bad for objectivity. If something festers, it gets thrown in the garbage, that is logic. That’s how I roll.

Generalization. Non-factual, illogical. Please cite sources and de-generalize.

Ah, generalizations.

I have witnessed quite a few Profs in the University setting striving to beat them out of students all the time. I cannot claim to not be able to generalize; however, because I don’t have a set of experiences to fall back onto to generalize from, it is almost impossible for me to generalize in the first place—it’s a challenge. Everything is taken on a case by case basis for me because it’s the only way I can sensibly understand the world without any memories.

And let’s not forget that generalizations and theories are two different things. I actually kinda like some theories.

I am a fact worshipper, I admit. I love the word and I love objectivity.

It’s not that there isn’t room for fun and spontaneity and it’s not that I don’t have feelings but I only know these things because I read it somewhere and there was a nice little psychological explanation on the need for fun and recreation followed by an explanation of the chemical processes and hormonal/glandular secretions that take place during fun or other emotions and their positivenegative impact on the body. Quite logical, easy to follow and easy to remember if read enough.

Opinion: People who don’t know right from wrong and refuse to argue for a difference between the two are people who’ve never been to Hell.

So what saved my life? One word: perfectionism. *cue angel chorus*

My adamant belief that I could be better and do better and recover if I kept pushing myself against all odds.

And sometimes, I may tremble on my knees because of it…but at least I’m still alive, at least I can say I tremble…

As I, Object remain “standing in the shadows at the end of my bed”…

Criticizing Criticism

•November 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Criticizing Criticism
Grandpa Dinosaur

There is an issue I would like to address at 3:31AM while I have insomnia due to illness and having a crappy sleep schedule.

I am finding more and more the level of criticism and judgement within our blogging community of women becoming a prolonged problematic issue extending to interpersonal relationships as well–okay stop laughing.

I am aware it is the nature of blogging to write and react on the issues that bother us and address problems, but I think the level of criticism and the nature it is deployed in has become an absurd caricature of what it once was. I know, I too, I am guilty of this and this is why I am addressing this problem.

And lest we not forget I said I am also guilty of this so that people do not say that I did not announce I also have this problem.

What do I mean when I say that the level of criticism and judgement is becoming a problematic issue? I think, especially amongst us female bloggers, we hold each other up to a high standard and we admire each other efforts. We will often repetitively visit blogs that address and speak about the issues that we care about and introduce us to ideas, concepts and problems we have not encountered.

At PDDP both Davita and I represent a huge spectrum of ideas, concepts and approaches of life that vary due to our backgrounds and upbringings. I believe you come here and enjoy our posts based on that.

For example:
Davita is a straight Jamaican woman with a large family, she is a Christian. She also studies French and enjoys eating. She has amnesia, which gives her a unique angle and perspective and also insight.
Grandpa Dinosaur is an out, lesbian Cambodian woman with a small, traditional family due to the Cambodian genocide. She is Buddhist and is an artist of many mediums.

To be honest, we often do not share the same ideas.

While we do not share the same ideas, we do our best to understand the other’s situation and perspective and approach the subject of conflict with a non-biased (as possible) response that is appropriate and mature. There are many instances that I understand Davita’s perspective, but do not agree with her method or actions.

The biggest problem facing our blogging community, especially our community of women, is that the way we address problems with one another.

It is hard to maintain a mature response of issues, when the person on the other side seems to be angry or perhaps it is all an issue of miscommunication. As a blogger I try my best to respond as appropriately and be as snarky—I am joking—as true to myself as possible.

On this blog we have a tendency to allow five angry responses (at least I do) before moving the conversation to e-mail, because we firmly believe in communication… Personally I don’t believe in freedom of speech if it is hurtful or hateful, so racist and sexist comments are shut down fast.

As people, not bloggers, I believe that Davita and I allowed some respect and space. We have to right to not be harassed or insulted because that is the least respect (I believe) can afforded to us as humans.

We allow people to respond and state their viewpoints on issues, but it is when people insult us and treat us like the right arm of Hitler is when I (personally) draw the line.

As I mentioned from before, because our viewpoints are so unique we are guaranteed not to share every opinion with our reader. That is not a betrayal for the reader, we try our best to be as honest and own our privilege even at our darkest hour.

I think there is a limit that people should be mad at us for not having the same opinion, I know, it’s crazy I have to address this. Even I do not share the same perspective as Davita, I don’t even have the same personality type as her. But my personality is pretty unique and different, methinks.

No one likes to be criticized. It is not easy. I am not saying do not criticize us as bloggers, what I am saying that we need to state the problems we have and address them.

I think there needs to be a limit to how much we criticize each other.

This is why I am the anti-perfectionist. I believe that perfectionism narrows one’s perspective due to the perfectionist already having a preconceived idea of how the world should be or themselves to be.

I’m also anti-“being right,” I also think that the mania to be right and have the final say closes many doors. Situations and instances create variables as there is no true right and wrong answer. Ideas and beliefs change to new perspectives, which is why I think it’s important for both reader and blogger to take a new perspective.

By being more relaxed and adopting my Buddhist roots, I feel I have a great insight because I do not judge based on appearance and actions. I believe that it’s not the first impression that is important, but a person’s history of actions that is a true judgement of character which is hilariously NOT how the world works. Job interviews, dates, the first impression is everything and understanding is not. Hahahah.

I have a tendency to do accumulative research which is why I do not draw most of my ideas at first glance, but in that respect it makes me a bitter person if my life experiences are poor. By being introduced to new perspectives, it creates a different view of the world. At the same time, I have learned not to stay in the same world, with the same poisonous people due to experience. I think people should be allowed to change their future and not their history.

I think as bloggers (at least here at PDDP) we advocate change and we earnestly believe in changing the world and ourselves for the better. We aren’t against change, but lodging hurtful comments without understanding or closing communication is something even I do and I feel many people do as well.

Even Davita and I fight and have differing perspective, but we try to understand each other as people. Davita’s perfectionism, criticism and righteousness can be grating and even now I am taking a break from our friendship. I myself, a bitter person and an abused woman who has been slapped on too many times and I have a hard time being open, I would prefer to be isolated that be forced to be alone.

I do not profess to be right, I think sometimes my issues and beliefs need to addressed if they are wrong but I don’t need to be dissected and my pride stripped down to nothing in order to accomplish this.

I think when you’re taking jabs maliciously or even just because you think your point is right, you need to be careful and aware that you are talking to a person who genuinely care. When I write my blog posts I do put a great deal of myself on the line and address the unattractive issues about my personality in order to grow as a person.

Next time you make a comment or make a reply post of your own blog, take a second to think. Did I talk to the author until there was a level of understanding? Did I try to? Does this blogger realize this approach is better than the one she has, maybe I should comment and state my perspective of this issue.

Remember, there is a human at the other end and if you’re going to be a douchebag, at least know you are and do it right.

No Regrets Blog #4

•November 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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No Regrets Blog #4
by Grandpa Dinosaur

I am now bench-pressing 40 pounds. That in itself makes me smile.

I’m looking into a women’s boxing gym that give free lessons to victims of abuse, I’d really like the peer support more than the training. Thanks to my training regime, I can tackle depression head on and vent via exercise.

I’m growing tired of turning to friends who aren’t there and now I have a better peace of mind that I don’t have to. I’ve been slowly working out my inadequacy and no longer put up with people criticising my life, with a “help or back off policy.” Because god, if they don’t back off I will back away and walk out the back door. I don’t have to deal with this anymore. I can leave because I’m getting tired of confronting everything and having nothing happen.

Exercise has given me a sense of agency, being fat has given me great pride in myself and who I am. No matter how thin I get, deep down I will always remember what it was like to be treated like shit for being myself, even if that was being a fat person.

Recently I’ve been getting fatigue in other places, like when I talk to people about race, being a lesbian, being a Cambodian, being a woman. I get a lot of grief from feminists who ignore me due to my skin colour, gay people who sneer at me because I am not “gay enough,” Cambodians that don’t think I’m Cambodian, Coloured people who don’t always stand in solidarity with me because I am not their race, it’s very exhausting. Especially the last one, I try my best to address the problems and be inclusive of other races as possible. These few days I’ve been noticing that people keep asking me to address their race issues, but don’t care about the things I go through as a Cambodian person.

All of this is very stressful.

More and more, I feel the pressure of not the media, not ads in the paper but from my friends and family telling me that I’m worthless because I’m “fat” and “stupid.” I’m fat of heart and stupid ripped, I refuse to let people belittle and criticize my life. But then it made me confront the truth: I have body issues only when I talk to other women my age who have body issues. It’s the only time I realize that other people do not think my body type is abnormal.

It’s then that I realize the world is incredibly shallow, and not only that, they act as if they own your body and your mind.

I have never been shallow in that I decide to be friends with people based on appearance, but apparently people have been friends with me based on mine. I don’t know how I feel about that.

I’m feeling increasingly isolated from “womanhood” and my community.

I am an educated and determined lesbian, Canadian-born Cambodian artist.

From the Cambodian community‘s perspective I am a White-washed Asian who has no identity and is not welcome in their community. I am “fat” and “ugly” and will become a spinster because I am unmarried.

From my female peers, I am uncouth and inarticulate. (TRUE!!! XD) I “cause problems” and “create drama.”

From the gay community, I do not even register. I am not gay enough.

From the White perspective I am too foreign and my traditional Cambodian upbringing conflicts with Western mindset too much adjust to Canadian life.

From the artists perspective my work is too localized or too foreign, never “homely” or exotic enough to be wanted.

In their eyes, my body is theirs to label and their labels mine to carry and bear.

In my eyes, that is the mind of the world and their perception of me. This is how I feel, how much is this is true, I do not know.

The world being my “friends” and “family” who buy the stereotypes and lifestyles will give them “better lives.”

“Friend” and “family” in name alone, I am alone in this world in so many ways. Whenever I seek help, I end up getting criticism from other women.  I know that I’m not a 100% perfect person, I’m not a perfectionist and do not aim to be. I am aware I have flaws, but it is hurtful when people would rather yell and pick at my flaws rather than help me improve upon them.

I find a lot of people, from my mother, to my sister-in-law, to my friends, to my teachers.

I try to reach out and admit I need help and get the community I need, only to be slapped, told to stop crying and be strong until I actually AM crying.

I’m getting A’s in my grad school… Like literal straight A’s, but I’m burning out and dying in my eyes. People respect my tenacity and fire, but it’s all stifling. I am a student in trouble too. I am glad that my teacher is giving breaks as well as my team partner in my group. It feels like the closest thing to support I have had in a while.

Criticism isn’t going to help me when I need people to stay with me and support me and be there to work through my problems. Because I have problems, I AM very self-aware. I don’t try to ignore my faults of fancy them up to be redeeming qualities. I DO have prejudices and I OWN them, when many do not. Again I am not a perfect person nor am I a perfectionist.

I am extremely worn down because I am so isolated and do not receive help when I ASK for it or seek it. In the end, I chose to isolate myself rather than have people pick at my flaws instead of being there when I have problems or just am having a bad day.

I’m not someone who has ever come home to a happy family BUT I do not want to be a victim, I try my best not to be a victim and always try to pull myself up and be a role model despite my past and having no support from anyone. As you have noticed, this is the first blog post where I have mention of having an abusive childhood. I try my best not to let it hold me back, it is hard and I think I am doing a good job.

If you would like me to write about the abuse in my childhood, I will. I don’t mind, I will put myself out there if it will help people feel as they are not alone. Much like being a lesbian, I keep things to myself a lot because I like to keep my own business my business but I understand the importance of a community.

I also believe that is why I write for PDDP, because I know what it is like to be isolated do to sexuality and race and try to create a sense of community by saying “it’s okay to be yourself as long as it makes you happy.” Because I am happy and I would like to be THIS type of person, instead of a negative person who cries. I want to channel and challenge myself, rather than hate and hurt myself which is not always easy.

I hope I can bench-press 50 pounds by the next blog post.

 
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