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Love is Not Abuse

     One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner (Clairborne). Relationships as a teenager are hard enough without abuse being involved. So when abuse becomes a part of it, it feels like you’ll never escape the nightmare. Abuse is found in three main forms: intimidation, emotional, and isolation.  
      Firstly, in abusive relationships the abuser will tend to use intimidation to have control. They generally instill fear in their partner by looks, actions, gestures, destroying things, and/or by physically hurting them. One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked, or physically hurt by their partner (Speiser). I am one of the many teenagers who has experienced physical abuse and I will share a personal experience of what physical abuse can become, if not stopped in advance. I had tried to end my relationship with my ex-boyfriend of two years who was abusing me in all three forms. We were in his car and I told him that I deserved better and that I didn’t want to be with him, that I had endured enough of his abuse; I felt strong, like nothing could destroy me. I didn’t wait for his reaction of what I had just told him and turned to open the door to leave and be free, but then my hands were locked with his force. He had grabbed me so I couldn’t leave. I struggled for a while, and told him to let me go and it would be fine. As soon as he let go of my hands I opened the door to get out again. When I was almost out, he grabbed my hair and yanked me back into his car with all his force. I flew in sobbing, barely able to breathe. He told me that I would never leave him. That he was sorry and he loved me.  He stated that it was my fault for trying to leave so abruptly that had caused him to hurt me.
     Secondly, an abuser will tend to use emotional tactics to hurt their partner. The most common ways are that they will play mind games with their partner and call them derogatory names. Statistics show that more than one in four teenage girls in a relationship report enduring repeated verbal abuse (Speiser). Verbal abuse includes more than just the general bitch or whore, it also includes words that describe you’re appearance, such as fat and hideous. An example of verbal abuse is,  “Your pale skin disgusts me, it makes you hideous”.  Also, the abuser may make you feel as if what they have done to you is your fault, that you created the situation and that they couldn’t help it that they ‘had’ to hit you. Another way is that an abuser will “check up” on you, wanting to know where you are and who you are with at all times.
     Thirdly, another very common form of abuse is through isolation. The abuser controls who you see and what you do, cuts you off from friends and social activities, and uses jealousy to justify their actions. My ex-boyfriend would control who I could see and what I could do socially, if I ignored him about this he would use threats that dealt with blackmail, emotional abuse, and verbal abuse. He used jealousy to justify his reasoning, telling me that I would leave him or cheat on him if I hung out with an attractive male. My phone eventually stopped ringing, unless he was checking up on me to see if I was with anyone he didn’t approve of. My social life ended and I was the most depressed I had ever been. However, he himself thought it was okay to go out with anyone he liked and his jealousy rooted from him cheating on me multiple times. This instance shows that abusers like to have total control over their partner, it makes them feel powerful. Most abusers are insecure with who they are and when they think that they have someone who they have control over, they tend to make that person feel hideous. They will make that person think that no one else wants them, so that they can have you all to theirself with no worry of others taking you away or you falling for someone else.
     If you are being abused you should not feel alone. Especially women, because one study shows that women experience significantly higher levels of sever violence and also more severe emotional reactions to the violence (Molider), which may make you feel alone. You should know that there are others out there in similar situations as you. I was one of them, one who thought no one would understand or that when people found out they would think less of me for being so weak. However, that is not the case. If you seek help, your family and friends will be proud of you and will keep you safe. You are never alone, and never feel bad about yourself. There are many ways to reach out for help, go to friends, family, or the people who you feel closest to. Another way is to call a hotline for advice, one of the best to call is: LoveIsRespect.org National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. Their phone number is 1-866-331-9474.      
     Overall, abuse is not uncommon or rare in teenage relationships. It has three main forms that you should be aware of, they are: intimidation, emotional, and isolation.  Remember, you deserve more than what you are receiving from your significant other if you are experiencing any of the three forms of abuse. You may think that you don’t deserve better, that you created this situation, that no one else will love you like he does. I am here to tell you that, that is incorrect. I’ve been in that situation and better comes. Remember to put yourself first and that you deserve the best in life.
 

Sources:

Claiborne, Liz. Love is not Abuse. 2008.
               <http://www.Loveisnotabuse.com/statistics.htm&gt;

Molider, Christian, Richard M. Tolman. “Gender and Contextual Factors
                in Adolescent Dating Violence.” Violence
                Against Women. Vol. 4. Denver Co, 1998

Speiser, B.L.  Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships (T.E.A.R). 2005.
                  <http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php&gt;

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      Everyone has their ideal qualities for what they look for in a man.  It may be the appearance of his body, activities you both can partake in, or the feeling of being secure. The main problem is to decide who can provide these for you better: skinny or thick men? 
        As women, we must be physically attracted to the men we date. For the most part, women enjoy the view of a slender, muscular man: how can we not? A man, who is tall with muscles popping from his sleeveless shirt with the faint distinction of abs, has our jaws dropping in public. We can’t contain ourselves when we see a man of such physique, we imagine dragging him around with us to receive the jealous glares from other women. Also, a man of that stature looks nice around our arms, and might possibly make you feel more attractive as a woman. However, all women love a teddy bear and what is better than having a life-sized one! Big men may not catch every woman’s eye, but the teddy bear appeal is a definite advantage to attracting women. Also, if you are the jealous type you may enjoy a man of this build, gaining comfort knowing that women’s wondering eyes won’t be on your man.
          With this in mind, we need to find a man that we can enjoy doing activities with. It’s obvious that by dating a thin man that he will only bring forth fun in your life- physical activities for fun that is. The two of you would probably go running, biking, skiing, and he may even want to wrestle with you. I prefer dating a man who is skinny and athletic for that sole reason that I too enjoy doing physical activities for fun. I love more than anything to be able to go out for a jog with the one I love or to have a wrestling match and enjoy a good laugh at how terrible I am. However, on the other hand, many women may prefer a man who has a thick stature. A Man of this build will probably prefer doing laid-back activities more so than physical ones. He will probably want to take you to a nice restaurant, have engaging conversations, and even want to cuddle and watch movies. What could be more comfy than lying your head down upon a cushy tummy!

      Most importantly, women need to find a man that will make them feel secure.  For instance, a skinny man will make a woman feel secure, because he’ll want to protect you no matter what he has to do. The most common way he’ll want to fight for you is by brawling and being able to throw some punches with the hope that blood explode from the man who is harassing you. Though, a thick man will also make a woman feel secure, probably in a non-violent matter. All this man will have to do is wrap his arms around you and you’ll instantly feel protected, as if nothing can reach and harm you.
       Nevertheless, each man undoubtedly has his differences, yet both men share one thing in common as Sherry describes in a forum called, For the Women: Would You Date a Fat Guy?, “His size has nothing to do with his heart.. and how he treats a lady”.  So, no matter the type of body you choose, the boy will still care for you unconditionally. Unless you pick a loser, then it’s your fault for bad taste!  Overall, as women, we must decide what type of man we would enjoy to hang out with and declare as ours. The question is, is skinny or thick best for you?

Source:

Sherry. “No Subject”. Online Posting. 15 Oct. 2006. Would You Date a Fat Guy?.
               7 Dec. 2008<http://www.matchdoctor.com/thread_2_12657_1/For_
               the_women_Would_you_date_a_fat_guy.html>   

    

    What do all men desire?  It is a woman with shoulder-length blonde hair, tan skin, crystal blue eyes, and a curvaceous figure with large breasts. Not! A real man desires a beard! A thick, long, short, or even curly beard is what a man hopes to possess. A beard makes a man who he is; it makes him appear masculine, attractive, and of course, more confident.  
     First of all, there is no doubt that men appear more masculine when they are able to attain a beard. A beard makes a man appear brave, like he is a fearless lion ready to attack at any given moment.  The burly scruff covers their jaw line, gaining attention from all who do or do not seek it. Women act like a child glued to the television, they just can’t take their eyes off of you.  Above all, the thick coarse hair smells of sweat and dirt, which gives man the essence of being a bad-ass. It makes him appear to want to fight at any moment, even if the grizzly man that appears before us has a gentle soul.
     In recent years, beards on men have become more attractive to women, especially me! A man with facial hair is like chocolate for women, we always want to have you, badly. For a man, a beard aids in the process of distinguishing his facial features. A five o’clock shadow whispers over a jaw line, defining a strong jaw, making ocean blue eyes pop from the darkness below, which in turn makes women desire the touch of this man.  We dream to have his lips upon ours, the light tickle of hair brushing against our soft chin, bumps arising on our body from the sensation. It leaves us yearning for just one more kiss, to receive the chill and excitement from the tickle of his hair just one more time.      
     Furthermore, a beard has the power to make a man appear mature, even if he is not. Oh, the way a beard can fool us women. Ha! For example, Ashton Kutcher is indeed gorgeous without facial hair. However, when he has scruff, he appears as a new man. A man who appears mature externally, but as we all know, he is a child at heart, having his own show called Punked.    
ashton_kutcher                  
                                                              

     Additionally, confidence tends to radiate off of men who acquire a beard. I have three theories for this. My first is that men are then able to hide facial blemishes, something that us women can’t accomplish, well most of us.  A coarse, thick beard hides all the flaws with ease and beauty. The second theory is that a man should be proud about the simple fact that he can grow a beard because most baby-faced men wish and beg to be able to grow just one lonely hair. Thirdly, the beard makes a man feel more intelligent. They are able to take their large, rough, calloused hands up to their fine beard and stroke it in a moment of thought. Appearing as a smart intellectual, even if what they are portraying is false
      In my eyes, a man should have a beard. A beard that will make him confident and appear more masculine, facial hair that will have women lusting for him because of how attractive he will appear.  No man should resist the desire of having a beard and all that it brings to him.

 

     

Breathing the Unknown

                  
                                   Breathing the Unknown

Why can’t I breathe? Someone help me, I don’t want to die like this. Not here, not now….

     Our elders tell us that being young holds the best times and memories life has to offer. However, what if your experiences could be interrupted at any time by an unknown disease, a heart disease that your doctors don’t understand or accuse you of faking.  You have to change your diet, quit the sports you love, and have moments of unexpected, excruciating pain while others look upon you with fear and curiosity in their eyes. Most may not be able to begin to comprehend how this can influence your life, so I’ll take you into one of the excursions I’ve gone through with my condition.
     It is a beautiful autumn day, and the leaves are covering the road in red and yellow hues as the bus driver lets off of the accelerator, the screech of its breaks beginning. The door slowly opens, revealing the grimace appearing on our wrinkled bus driver’s hollow face, her wavy auburn hair falling alongside her piercing gray gaze as she repeats with her raspy southern accent, “Hurry up and sit down. I don’t have all day.” We enter the bus one by one, the same as we do every frigid morning. The chatter becomes immediate as we sit upon the pale black seats. The bus switches back into gear and stars us on our way to school.
     We are all sharing a laugh, when my condition starts to gradually worsen. With fear over taking my body, I decide it best to show no sign of pain or fright. What would come forth if I display my fear? The others would become aware and notice that something was wrong with me; I didn’t want them to know my secret or to treat me differently. So, I decided to try to disregard my current symptoms, hoping that they would soon pass over and all would be fine again.
     However, the pain only becomes more severe as the minutes pass. My heart erupts, beating so rapidly that I can’t intake enough oxygen. My hands begin to prickle and become completely numb. The numbness surges through my body, overtaking my arms and face. And then it happens. My chest starts to close in, feeling as though someone is incasing my heart, trying to end its once perfect beat. The pain is unbearable. I think that I am going to die right here in this hideous black seat.
     Then, my worst fear becomes a reality. Chatter starts among the bus. I faintly hear someone question in fright, “Ashley? Ashley! Are you okay?”  I remember seeing the fear in their eyes, curiosity overcoming their faces. I thought to myself, nothing will ever be the same now, I’m officially known as someone who you should take pity for. After this attack, I am immediately rushed to the hospital where I am given many tests, such as an ultra sound, and I have to wear an EKG monitor for the next two months.
     To this day, doctors still have not discovered what is wrong with my heart and my attacks are still continuing. I may not be in the best situation as a young adult, but as our elders tell us; being young has the best times and memories that life has to offer us, so we must have fun while we can because we never know when our last breath will be.


     

American Fear.

I believe that Bowling for Columbine attempted to instal a fictitious fear in Americans. For instance, Moore told us that the U.S. has the highest death rate from the use of guns. He gave us ‘facts’ that about 11,000 deaths occur in America, while around 300 happen in Germany and from there every other country is under that number. Yet, the numbers he gave us for the countries were based off of different time periods and we don’t know what source he used for his information, also we must realize that America has a larger population than most countries. Another factor we must consider is that many of these deaths may not deal with cold blooded murder. They may have been accidents (hunting), self-protection, or possibly even those who have served for our country. For the most part, I believe that the movie was very misleading in most, if not all aspects. It’s sad that Moore tried to get his views across in a deceiving fashion, I think he may have lost a lot of respect from those who liked him.

Why the easy lessons?

  We all pay about $75 for every lesson we attend, or don’t attend. However, is that lesson really worth the money, or even my time? I wake up early and go to my art history class thinking that we’ll have an important lesson that I shouldn’t miss out on, but when I get there he shows us his art work instead. I have no interest in his work and where is that going to get me in later years? No where. Or the teachers will have us just sit there and do nothing, some even taking time to tell us about their life. I came to college to learn and work hard, I don’t want to waste thousands of dollars learning about my teacher or them being lazy. For all of the pointless hours I have spent in a few of my classes, NMU should reimburse me for my time being wasted.

Websites

  I don’t really have any favorite websites that I visit daily. I usually find other means to keep me busy, such as reading or drawing.
  However, the few sites that I may visit are: 
  
 1.) facebook  
 2.) youtube
 3.) google
 4.) NMU website