The Terrible Tale Of My Racist One-Night Stand ~ Ella Sackville Adjei

This is the tale of how I accidentally slept with a racist, and the laughably horrible things he said to me while I lay in his bed.

In July I travelled around the Cyclades with two friends, reunited after spending a year apart at different universities, and re-learning who we might have become in the time away. We’d met Australian Sam and his friend in Athens and, excited at seeing a familiar face in a Mykonos club, dragged them across the dance floor. What we took for enthusiasm at mutual recognition turned out to be more prosaic; Australian Sam and co had no memory at all of our previous meeting and clearly thought their irresistible physical magnetism was what made us pluck them out of the crowd. When you’re determined to get over an ex – even if it has been the best part of a year since the breakup – and let’s be real, prove that “still got it!” attractiveness to yourself, bad things can happen.

Tom Humberstone for BuzzFeed

Over his shoulder my friends wiggled their eyebrows and smiled encouragingly, knowing I was accomplishing my “mission”. I remember thinking his blue eyes (not my usual) seemed bright and fun, and though I felt very strongly that he was arrogant, his shoulders were the exact right height for me to wrap my arms around. So we ended up at his hotel on the other side of the island. Feel free to insert your chosen comic-book euphemism here.

I am no expert on the details of hookups. There aren’t a lot of notches on my bedpost but I feel certain casual racism isn’t the norm when it comes to postcoital pillow talk. We were sharing vaguely awkward, but perfectly pleasant, small talk about life in the UK and Australia and he had just demonstrated his predictably bad British accent, featuring all those familiar harmless stereotypes.

Tom Humberstone for BuzzFeed

His “Indian” accent (purely the word “curry” repeated over and over) segued neatly into a generic “Asian” one (where he said words such as “noodles”, “massage”, and “ladyboy”).

It started to dawn on me that this good-looking stranger had deeper character flaws than just a tendency to focus all conversation on himself. Somehow, I’d foolishly assumed that everyone everywhere was now aware of how not OK this kind of shit is. Or at the very least that they would keep it between themselves and their white mates. How did I fuck up so monumentally and end up in a room alone with this jerk? The only consolation was the thought of how grimly hilarious a story it would become.

Tom Humberstone for BuzzFeed

When I pointed out the blatant racism of his comments, Australian Sam told me Australians “just don’t care about that stuff”. Dancing about a half-step away from “I don’t see skin colour” territory, he said: “If someone wants to get offended because their skin colour is mentioned, that’s their fault.” I snorted in disbelief. My “racist radar” had experienced a major malfunction and now here I was in bed with a guy who thought his love for Biggie and 50 Cent negated his total inexperience with the existence of black people as actual human beings with whom he could interact. I was tired and tipsy, and even though I wanted to tell him where he was going, he wasn’t worth any more of my time or breath.

Tom Humberstone for BuzzFeed

As it was, I was clinging to the very edge of the mattress with my body contorted to avoid any physical contact with this person who by now was truly repulsive to me, and trying not to cry, and wondering how I could get the fuck out of there.

Weeks later, seeking solace, I asked various women of colour friends if they’d experienced any similar racism from romantic or sexual partners, and so many had stories to tell: One told me how her ex-boyfriend used to mimic her accent as she spoke Tamil on the phone to her mum. Another – of Indian and Pakistani origin – was asked to “like, sing in Indian while I rap” by one sexual partner and told “you’re quite pretty, and not that hairy, for one of your lot” by another. For every story of “casual racism as flirtation” shared, I have no doubt that hundreds more go unreported except among groups of exhausted women torn between grim amusement and despair.

A classmate I spoke to, who is of mixed black and white Southeast African origin, had slept with a white South African who insisted on discussing apartheid, her “tribe”, and his exhilaration at “breaking the rules”. The rhetoric and mentality of colonialism is so often still painfully present for so many of us – and not just in our institutions and systems. And unfortunately, racists don’t tend to wear badges to identify them: It would be a lot easier to work out who to avoid on a sweaty dance floor if they did, and whose bright blue eyes to ignore.

A stroke of genius reminded me I had the only set of keys to the room I was sharing with my friends. I dug them out of my pocket as proof but he’d already immediately offered to take me back. Perhaps he had sensed my discomfort, but more likely he felt I had fulfilled my purpose and was no longer necessary.

Tom Humberstone for BuzzFeed

The grimmest circumstances often yield comedy like nothing else: As the bike plodded painfully up a hill, we realised it had a flat tyre. I would have laughed at the farce of it all if I hadn’t wanted to scream into the night at the thought of being trapped in the middle of nowhere with this foolish racist. By some minor miracle, the bike managed to last until the club, where I hopped off and ran awkwardly in my tight “pulling” skirt away into the crowds. I desperately – childishly – hoped his quad bike would give up entirely, leaving him stranded. I never saw Australian Sam again. I left Mykonos two days later. I don’t imagine I’ll ever return.

Tom Humberstone for BuzzFeed

The happy ending is this: I channelled all my hurt and rage into the first iteration of this piece, and began to feel OK again. This didn’t have to scar me, or change my thoughts about sex, or myself. It could just be one experience of many, one sad night of so many happy ones, a valuable life lesson learnt (that lesson being “try not to sleep with awful racist men”). And frankly, getting a piece of writing internationally published is the biggest and best “fuck you” I could have.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellasackvillea/the-horrifying-tale-of-my-one-night-stand-with-a-racist#.hrq7yb9PK6

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10 Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship ~ Jennifer Twardowski

RELATIONSHIP

We all desire to have a relationship that is filled with happiness, joy, and — most importantly — love.

Unfortunately, for many of us, we’ve been exposed to so many unhealthy relationships in our lives that we don’t know what a truly healthy relationship even looks and feels like. So here are 10 characteristics of a healthy relationship:

1. Both partners know that they are responsible for their own individual happiness.

Many people unfortunately fall into the bad habit of believing and expecting that our partner is meant to be our source of all happiness, love and fulfillment in our lives. However, in a truly vibrant and healthy relationship, neither partner expects the other to be the source of all their happiness in life. Both people know and understand that they themselves are responsible for their own happiness and well-being. They each know that they are there to support and help one another, but they both know that they are ultimately responsible for themselves.

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2. Neither person is really trying to control or “fix” the other person.

If one person is more of a procrastinator while the other always gets their work done early, the other person isn’t going to try to “fix” them by pushing them to get their work done early in a healthy relationship. Both people respect one another’s differences. One doesn’t try to force the other to change or be anything different then themselves.

The reality is that nobody wants to be changed or fixed — especially if it’s unsolicited! If the person really truly wants to change, then they will ask for help on their own terms and in their own way. Change isn’t going to happen through nagging or force.

3. The relationship is balanced.

No one person has any more power over decisions made as a couple than the other. Both people have an equal say and have equal control over decisions made and both equally respect each other as a different and unique human being.

Now, it may be that the decisions made are different for each person. Such as, one person is more focused on interior decorations while the other is more focused on finances because it better highlights each person’s strengths. But, aggregately, everything is 50-50.

4. Conflicts are dealt with head-on and then dropped.

In a heathy relationship, conflicts aren’t a deal breaker. Just because a conflict happens, it doesn’t signal that it’s time to just check out and move on to something else. Rather, the conflict is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow. Both sides openly share their feelings and views honestly and with respect.

Conflict is accepted as a natural part of life and any frustrations are dealt with early rather than repressed and brought back up time and time again.

5. Feelings are shared honestly and openly.

Both people share their genuine feelings with one another freely. Both partners respect and accept the other’s feelings. Expressing one another’s true feelings aren’t repressed because both partners know that by not sharing them and that by not accepting the other person’s feelings it will cause conflicts later on.

6. Each person makes time to take care of themselves.

Both people in the relationship understand and know that self-care is an absolutely vital component for a healthy relationship. They know that if they don’t take care of themselves and do things for themselves that they will be stressed, drained, and exhausted. They know that when they don’t take care of themselves, they have little love to give to their partner.

7. Both partners are willing to put the relationship before themselves.

In a healthy relationship, both partners are able and willing to consider their partner when making decisions. They don’t just go off and plan a trip for themselves without discussing it with the other person. They make room in their lives for the other person and are willing to work together as a unit.

8. Both people understand and accept that they’re not going to agree on everything.

In a healthy relationship, both partners know that it is perfectly okay to agree to disagree. They know that just because one partner has one viewpoint, it doesn’t mean that the other has to completely agree. They know that having differences in opinion and beliefs doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

9. They both truly value the relationship.

Both partners are loyal to one another and willing to work through conflicts together. They both truly believe in the relationship and are committing to the lessons and growth that come while being together — despite the challenges that come up.

10. They want to be together simply for the sake of being together.

For some of us, we can find ourselves staying in a relationship because we want some kind of security. That can be emotional, physical, financial, or whatever. In a truly healthy relationship both people want to be together because they genuinely want to be together for the sake of living a life with the other person. Security isn’t a primary motivation to be in the relationship, as the motivation of genuine love runs so much deeper than the security that can be gained on a physical level.

Take action now!

Ask yourself: What characteristics on this list are you amazing at? What characteristics could you use some work on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/10-characteristics-of-a-healthy-relationship_b_8578954.html

 

 

30 questions to ask your kid instead of how was your day ~ Sara Goldstein

When I picked my son up from his first day of 4th grade, my usual (enthusiastically delivered) question of “how was your day?” was met with his usual (indifferently delivered) “fine.”

Come on! It’s the first day, for crying out loud! Give me something to work with, would you, kid?

The second day, my same question was answered, “well, no one was a jerk.”

That’s good…I guess.

I suppose the problem is my own. That question actually sucks. Far from a conversation starter, it’s uninspired, overwhelmingly open ended, and frankly, completely boring. So as an alternative, I’ve compiled a list of questions that my kid will answer with more than a single word or grunt. In fact, he debated his response to question 8 for at least half an hour over the weekend. The jury’s out until he can organize a foot race.

Questions a kid will answer at the end of a long school day:

  1. What did you eat for lunch?
  2. Did you catch anyone picking their nose?
  3. What games did you play at recess?
  4. What was the funniest thing that happened today?
  5. Did anyone do anything super nice for you?
  6. What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
  7. Who made you smile today?
  8. Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
  9. What new fact did you learn today?
  10. Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
  11. What challenged you today?
  12. If school were a ride at the fair, which ride would it be? Why?
  13. What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
  14. If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
  15. If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
  16. Did anyone push your buttons today?
  17. Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
  18. What is your teacher’s most important rule?
  19. What is the most popular thing to do at recess?
  20. Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?
  21. Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
  22. If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?
  23. What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
  24. When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
  25. What rule was the hardest to follow today?
  26. What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
  27. Which person in your class is your exact opposite?
  28. Which area of your school is the most fun?
  29. Which playground skill do you plan to master this year?
  30. Does anyone in your class have a hard time following the rules?

 

https://medium.com/synapse/30-questions-to-ask-your-kid-instead-of-how-was-your-day-26be75072f13

I Am Broken by Giovannah P

From The Worthiness Project

In the beginning

It started with me trying to figure out why I am the way I am. 28 years old, never been on a date, can’t hold a steady job, never left my parents house, to scared to drive on the highway; always afraid, angry, and sad; suffering from anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation; a deep sense of discomfort with the world around me and within my own body, if I could recoil from my skin I would. Nothing positive, just all negative. Like a witches swamp dark, grey, disgusting with a strange uncomfortable heat that emanates from nowhere and an even stranger smell that is like nothing you have ever experienced. But this darkness has been my home for the last 28 years, I know nothing else.

In my mind I used to imagine a very dark room where I would sit in the corner alone, quiet, with my knees to my chest. This was my refuge, this dark and quiet place that I would resort to not just when things were tough but always and forever. It was how I felt, an imagery of my deepest emotions and wounds, it was what I knew, and what I stewed in.

I have tried to figure it out, figure out why I am like this, why I have been like this for as long as I can remember. What’s wrong with me? I have been to therapy, a few therapists in fact. A few have recommend medication, I always change provider when it comes to that point.

It is because of the way I was conditioned; I use conditioned instead of growing up or raised because that is what your formative years are, they are conditioning. Well I was conditioned to be afraid, to be timid, quiet, passive, and to placate. Where has this led me to, to feeling like a continuous doormat, even now. I can recall instances in my adulthood where I couldn’t stand up for myself and I can trace it back to being a child where I was not allowed to stand up for myself and there was no one to protect me.

There were two people who were really strong negative influences in my life, my father and my aunt. They were bullies and our relationships created a toxic environment for me. My father did not protect me from my aunt and he himself was fighting his own demons; and yet words sometimes still escape me.

Who I am now is a result of who I was conditioned to be then. Silent, quiet, unseen, unheard…preferring to be unseen and unheard because than you can’t make anyone angry; if no one notices you no one can attack you, no one can bully you. And when you do get noticed, you give away everything you have and everything you are because it is easier than having it taken away.

This is where I am now, angry, hurt…angry.

Thankful Thursday – My New Life Philosophy

The little girl dressed for school gets me crying all the time.

I didn’t want to introduce this video because it requires no words. Yes, it is an insurance commercial but it is a damn good one that shares a very important message; one that should become my new life philosophy. Just one man made a direct difference in the lives of four people, a dog, butterfly, and plant. Through simple actions of kindness he changed a little piece of his world and made it more beautiful. Plus, through his actions others became kinder…the Woman food vendor who gave some extra food to one of her customers. The kindness expanded becoming a sort of kindness squared.

I am loving this video and its great example of how we can all live a more fulfilling and wholehearted life. Grateful and Enjoy!

Magic Monday – Somebody Loves You

Happy Magic Monday!!!!

I am going really simple for today’s post with a new song favorite….Somebody Loves You by Betty Who. This is my new anthem for whenever I need a little pick me up, it’s good to know somebody loves me. Loving this catchy tune. Hope it lifts you up this Monday. Enjoy and remember Somebody Loves You!