Tuesday 25 September 2012

Tears of Despair

She slumped against the wall in the corner of the dark room. Dropping to her knees, she tried hard to hold back the tears that were welling up in her eyes. The feeling of complete disgust and self-hatred overwhelmed her as the passing thought of when will this ever end? swept through her mind. She who was once so fearless, now only felt emptiness from betrayal and the bitter pain that her new life had brought.

Moments before, she had been forced into intimacy with yet another stranger. A stranger, who became increasingly aggressive in his approach, coupled with his animalistic demeanour; smothered her with sweet nothings as he forcefully thrust against her tender and still developing body. She knew that for the next few minutes, she was totally subject to his will, his desire and to feeding his lust.

As she felt the heaviness of his breathing and heart beat racing, she tightly closed her eyes to avoid seeing him unwaveringly gaze upon her body. She had been here before, and knew all too well that there was no choice but to go through with it. The price for her had been paid, and he was just one of many she had to encounter that night.

Her mind scattered in different directions as the fear of where this would lead filled her whole being. She couldnt dare ask him to stop, as the deep scar on her left cheek served as a constant painful reminder of the consequence of such bravery.

After all had been said and done, he muttered some rash words as he slammed the door shut, leaving her all alone in the damp murky room. Her senses switched focus to the putrid smell from the gutters outside; brought about by the humidity of the air, the sound of smashing beer bottles from the bar next door, and the loud honking from passing vehicles.

They triggered her to reflect upon the lowness of her situation, as she lay stripped down to her bare skin on the cold concrete floor.

She wishedhoped for just a ray of light to shine through the darkness of her unpleasant existence. Wondering if this was what life was all about; barely 15 she had been stripped away of any form of self worth and all she knew now was the pitiful shame of what she had become.

Nothing seemed to matter anymore, as she concluded that this was probably her lot and she deserved nothing more.

Then it happened, simultaneously as the un-tightened tap across the room carried on dripping; the tears she tried so hard to fight back came rolling down. Natural instinct would be to wipe them away; as time and time again she had been told theres no room for tears, she needed to be strong and do what was needed for them all. However, this time she just let it flow, flow across her painful scar ridden cheeks.

Maybe, just maybe she could find some form of relief, in an act that made her feel a remotely bit human.

I wrote this story to serve as a reminder of what many young girls are currently facing in the world we live in today. A story that so vividly brings out the truth and highlights the ugliness of the widespread problem child sex trafficking has on its victims.

What are you going to do to bring about that much needed change? The change that will instill confidence back into the young lives devastated by this silent perpetrator. Act now, and let these girls know that there is still hope.

Feel free to watch an interview with 'Thrive Rescue Home' based in Thailand below:

Sunday 9 September 2012

Dear Diary

"I just came back from shopping with the girls, and I just happened to bump into that annoying sales assistant again and what did she have to say?… “Oh my skinny friend, how are you doing today?…” Your skinny friend!?! Firstly, I am not her friend. Secondly, how dare she talk to me like that?! I do not understand why this woman must persistently make remarks about how thin I am, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME she sees me.

I can't take this anymore - people constantly providing commentary on my life and how I look.
Well, she won’t be seeing me anywhere near that shop again, because I simply cannot stand her. I just do not know how long this is going to last! I do not know what to do! Am I ever going to grow bigger? Can you believe I am even subjected to shopping in the kiddies section? Come on! The kiddies section at 16?

Why do I have the straight shape of a boy? I want a body with an hour-glass shape. Nice curves; like the one N has. Those curves that get all the boys acting like putty in her hands, she got them swooning all over her like bees on a honeycomb. Why can’t I get that kind of attention? It’s just not fair. I’m in the right crew, tick all the right boxes…so it is all down to this frigging body, and let us not talk about the fact that my nose seems to be on steroids, growing bigger by the day.

I am not asking for much, just to be a bit more plump so that my clothes fit as they should - maybe fuller thighs with the perfect butt - so that I can rock those jeans just lying in my closet; too scared to wear them before more people get a glimpse of just how thin I am. I want to punch something, someone. I am so angry, this just isn’t right and life is not fair!"

As I reflect upon these notes carelessly jotted down so long ago, notes filled with the emotional pain of that period, notes scribbled into a tiny scrap book, nicely hidden underneath the crevices of my bed. I remember that this was my past and just like the diary, my past with its agonising experiences were temporary and short lived.
I must now irrevocably press forward because the prize of living a good and fulfilling life far outweigh living the life of an entry from the dear diary of my past!

Feel free to watch the accompanying blog below:

Tuesday 28 August 2012

The Moral Of The Story Is...

Racing into the classroom as soon as the maths teacher opened the door, this once overly energetic girl rushed to grab the seat at the far right-hand corner close to the window. The seat where no-one would be able to sit behind her. The seat where she could gaze out of the window and get lost in thought as she watched the branches on the giant trees sway in the cool autumn breeze; where she could just, for one hour, escape the pain of reality. That seat was where she felt just a little bit more secure as she was not exposed to anyone catching a glimpse of what she had to hide.
Only last month she was a normal teenager, with minimal cares and the belief that she was doing alright in her own world. However, little did she know that a seemingly normal day at school would dramatically change her life and her perception of life for many years to come.

Standing in the corridor after the lunch bell rang, she was joking around getting up to her usual palaver when she overheard a conversation taking place just a few steps away from her. She did not hear what led to that statement being made, but what she did unmistakably hear was look! Xs nose is big!

That statement, that wasn't meant for her ears, all of a sudden continuously resounded in her head; so loud that it drowned out everything that was going on around her. Suddenly, everything seemed to slow down as her mind went into overdrive, trying to process what she had just heard.

"What?!", she thought, "could it be?!". "Wait, I dont understand". She didnt know why she had never noticed this before. Then a sickening thought crept into her mind, the thought that if "So & so" had just said that about her, then how many other people thought the same?

This nose of hers, that sat smack bang in the middle of her face, was practically impossible to cover up. It was now her mission to try and disappear, to go around unnoticed, staying behind after class and doing everything possible to avoid people noticing her. 

Paranoia kicked in with such great force that it began to affect the way she related with her friends and family. All of a sudden (in her mind) everybody was out to get her and everybody she knew was against her. There were only a few people that she would allow to get close to her, as she now had an intense fear that she would once again be scarred by another comment.

This issue did not stop with her nose. It began to spiral out of control - from the size of her arms to the shape of her head, until there was very little on her body that she actually liked or appreciated. The seed of self consciousness had been sown and was now germinating into a monster that seemed to be growing quicker that the speed of light.

How could a teenager that did not have a care in the world, was so full of passion and on a quest to explore life, suddenly hit a road block that did so much damage it left her stagnant?

The answer lies in the mind. You see this girl was me, and this event DID take place at secondary school about 13 years ago. An event that I would say was the start of a bad journey down the road of what I call the self-depriving years. Depriving myself of living my life to the fullest simply because I took to heart what people said to, or about me and my image.
I allowed my over imaginative mind to spiral out of control and consequently, what was meant to be a brilliant aid to my years of growing up, became a destructive tool because I allowed it to and I did not know how to stop it.

The cumulative effect of self consciousness, plus the negative comments I constantly heard from other people regarding my weight, size and height progressively over time began to chip at the little confidence I had left, until eventually I completely despised my physical appearance. I became withdrawn and would keep a lot of things to myself, often resulting in random bursts of rage (after the bubble had become full and needed to burst). This went on for a while and the people close to me began to notice a change in my attitude and outlook on life.

It felt as though every ounce of life was slowly being drained, as I embarked upon this cycle of self loathing and pity. Resentment and the determination to block everyone out grew side by side, as I thought this was the best way to deal with my issue. I hated the fact that I took after my mums stature. I hated my prominent physical features. I hated the fact that people thought my younger brother was older than me. I hated the fact that after I had graduated from university and had started working, I would still have people ask me when I was going to start my GCSE's (I sat those exams 12 years ago). I would let comments linger in my mind for days, and I would digest the ugliness of each word, planting the seed of self doubt on the fertile soil of unforgiveness and bitterness.

Nonetheless, there was a tiny glimmer of hope. A ray of light that shone through and let me know that life is for living and currently, I was not living it to the fullest. 

I knew that there were other people in worst circumstances than I, circumstances that made what I was going through seem like childsplay. Nevertheless, I still needed to take this journey where I had to learn to forgive myself and let go and forgive the many people that ignorantly made one remark or the other to me in the past concerning my appearance, because ultimately I was only doing myself harm and not them. They would not care nor even know how their brash statements of "when was the last time you had a proper meal" would resonate in my mind for days.

As I mentioned in my 1st video, I have reached a stage in life where I am going to start viewing myself in a different more beautiful light. A journey I am taking to boost my confidence and positively impact others in the process. A healing process that will eventually end with an inspiring story to tell, one that can encourage others that there is hope regardless of the situation theyre facing. I am going to take each day as it comes, with a positive outlook on life. This will help with instilling the confidence needed for the thoughts that may come during the day.

I have battled with low self esteem for many years and it's something that I believe got triggered in my school corridor that afternoon all those years ago, the afternoon that I became incredibly self conscious.

The moral of the story? I leave for you to decide. However, ponder on this thought...you might not always like what you hear when you walk down that corridor; it can be harsh, painful and in some instances life-changing. Nevertheless, whether it changes you for the worse or for the better, is ultimately your choice!

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it". - Mary Engelbreit