Check out my teammate, fellow open water marathon swimmer, and “lil sis” Abby’s blog!
One of the main reasons I was attracted to Seven Sisters colleges and Smith College in particular is the deep history and legacies, both in academics and swimming, attached to these schools. Between 1984 and 2014 seven Seven Sisters women successfully swam the English Channel, a swim that traditionally has a 1 in 10 success rate. Ever since middle school, this has been a swim that has interested me and when I heard about Paige Christie‘s crossing the summer before I started at Smith, I couldn’t help but get excited. Following Paige’s little dot as she plowed across the Channel helped me feel as if I was already part of the Smith team. Seeing Paige’s success helped me decide to pursue my own channel dreams; I will be swimming the Catalina Channel in July, 2016 and the English Channel July, 2017. As I prepare for my July 25th Catalina crossing…
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What’s up y’all! I should probably be writing this on our GRRRL blog as the MFCEO, but I’ve got too many blogs. 99 problems and a drink ain’t one y’all! Just my own thoughts causing me insanity! hahahahaha! ANYWAYYYYYYYY- thought I’d just share this little conversation I had between myself and one of our amazing GRRRL athletes. This athlete, whom we’ll call “young blood”, is in her early 20’s, and has just set a number of world records with her powerlifting.
I love the GRRRL movement, and everything that we’re doing. But I’ve got to tell you- being a CEO/business person isn’t something I enjoy doing. I enjoy teaching. I enjoy connecting with people on a personal level. Not on a transacting, business level. I find it boring as bat shit. (because I’m CERTAIN bat shit is boring….)
ME: How do you feel? Have you sat down quietly and written or processed your accomplishment
Young Blood: I’m good. But noooo
ME: ok well time for big sister talk. while youre still in your 20’s, strongly recommend making a point to create small, sustainable little habits now that will help keep you “happy” as you move along. so often we just rush through life, either thinking about the past or the future, and not really sitting in the moment. you’re probs so busy writing back comments to people, people messaging you asking you for advice, people saying “thank you for changing my life, you inspired me etc”. or busy writing back sponsors, or planning your workouts and meets for the next 3 months. your food lolololololol. it’s important that you take time to go inward. like sit down, chill the fuck out for AT LEAST 5 mins, and sit quietly. process your achievements. connect with how it felt to stand up on that podium and take that picture. connect your mind with the emotion, and hold onto it. really burn that shit into your brain. because what happens, is we move so fast through life with so much shit to distract us, that we don’t really grasp the amazing shit we do along the way. like your big sister for example- I STILL haven’t fully come to terms with creating a revolution – I’m too busy working on the next thing. and setting the bar higher and higher. fucking what retreat I’m gonna plan next year. thinking about all the workshops and shit I’ve done with Kamp Konfidence that Im currently not utilising. instead of sitting and saying “holy FUCK! I’ve fundamentally changed 61 teenage girls lives for the better, I”M AMAZING!” I get stuck in that “oh shit what if i forget it all, what if it was a big waste of time? what if someone else does it bigger and better before I get a chance to roll it out again?” BLAH BLAH BLAH! you get where I’m going with this?
because they don’t teach us this shit in school, it is IMPERATIVE that you learn these little things along the way so YOU can pass them on. otherwise we’re all gonna go crazy! hahahahahaha! and aint NOBODY got time fo dat! I’m proud of you. (and notice I didn’t use the word “very”. no need to say “very proud” of you. it takes away from the word proud. it doesn’t need any emphasis. I’m fucking proud of you is suitable however.) xo
Ladies and Gentlemen….
I present to you….. a ticking time bomb.
I don’t have the patience, nor heart to write this blog right now. But I’ve got to get this out. My hope is that every parent, every sibling who has a younger sister (or brother for that fact- boys are just as high at risk as girls), or any person who has a friend that is incredibly insecure, shares this blog.
As most of you know, I spent nearly 3 years in the trenches developing and running a program for teenage girls called Kamp Konfidence, out in Australia. I’ve seen and heard it all- Times have changed from back in the day when I was in high school. And although I and my fellow leaders had the same pressures of trying to fit in, and feel worthy, we did not have the issue of social media looming over our heads. In fact, I believe this is why the educational system has not gotten up to speed with incorporating the appropriate curriculum (such as Kamp Konfidence) into junior high and high schools, because us adults haven’t really grasped the full impact social media is having on young people’s lives.
Today I came across an app that absolutely ripped my bleeding heart from my chest. I literally became a photoshop expert in a matter of 30 seconds. Below, you will find before and after photos that I created using an app (which I will not name because I don’t want this shit virus spreading any further than it already has).
The insane part of this little experiment, is that I used to look at these untouched photos I took with a best friend of mine last August, and see beauty. Now seeing them next to this 30 second app hack wannabe photoshop job, it blatantly draws out all of the shit society deems as “aged”. I don’t feel as “fresh”. And the craziest part of it all? I LOVE MYSELF! I KNOW beauty is from within. I’m beautiful because I’m a goddamn GOOD person. Not because my eyes are shaped like tasty almonds, and my nose like a little button you just wanna squeeze.
But imagine a 14, 12, or even 11 year old girl who is scrolling across social media with ZERO level of self awareness and no idea what self talk is (yet). How is she going to feel about herself, when someone as Konfident as I am, can look at these side by side and feel negativity run through my veins? Despite consciously KNOWING it’s not real-
This app allows you to ‘stretch’, slim (makes your face thinner), cover acne/freckles, change tone, smooth (basically airbrush), and finishes off with INSANE filters that give your photos a look of something that just came out of freeze frame scene of The King of Thrones.
Unless you actively are balls deep in the study of the impact ads and media play in our lives, and have your awareness switched onto it 24/7, these 1,000’s of ads we see on a daily basis, wreck havoc on our subconscious. The mind is all powerful, and for most of us, is something we hardly look into in terms of how it actually works. That being, how we create beliefs about ourselves, and how powerful our subconscious mind is.
Now, for us women born in the 1990’s and above, great news. We are already semi scared, and most of us scared. We ALL have this blueprint belief that we are meant to look like the photo on the left hand side (minus the third one down… screwed that one up lol. it is KILLING my OCD hahahaha!). However, if from an early age we were brought up without seeing ads repeatedly of what success and beauty looks like, ……………….. you know what? I’m done writing this.
I’m not feeling it. AT ALL. Most of you don’t need me to spell it out. Please talk to your friends, kids, partner about this. With apps giving people the ability to photoshop their “selfies” in under 30 seconds with zero skills whatsoever, we are going to see more and more of this ‘flawless’ fake, unachievable world.
If you are going to keep it real, and know that everyone else is waiting for someone else to go first, start using this hashtag. And if you do post photoshopped photos (which I’m sure at some point in the future I’ll be on the cover of some magazine with RuPaul, and I know they’ll photoshop that shit! lolololol), at the very least take the vow to make a disclaimer.
You know what? I look DAMN good y’all.
That’s right. It only took me until I was in my 30’s to figure this shit out. I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a long time now, but haven’t gotten around to having someone “edit” this photo for the purpose of this blog. I wanted to use this to point out the before and afters of a classic photoshopped image.
If you zoom in on my butt, you can see a few things:
A blemish/pimple/zit. Whatever you prefer to call it, each one sounds disgusting.
A fold under my left butt cheek.
A semi-circle on the right with what could look like a doughnut with some small nibbles out of it from a house mouse.
And if you get REAL close in, you can even see the hair on my butt.
Other areas that would be touched up would be my face. All of the creases, dark spots, and veins are right in tact. It’s funny, sometimes I get a vein that semi protrudes out of my forehead whenever I get excited, laugh too hard, or get tired.
The reason why I’m pointing all this shit out, is because THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT!
I cannot stand when people say, “perfectly imperfect”. I realise that we often say stuff without really even stopping to think about what it means. Just as a female trainer running a group class might say, “and if you find pushups too hard, you can go from your knees and do girl pushups”….
Clearly, she’s not going to say that to a group of people, with a majority more than likely being women (higher numbers of women in group training… we like to travel in packs biiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch!), intentionally belittling the same women she’s setting out to improve! It’s just her programming causing her to regurgitate these words. We ALL do it!
I remember sometime last year I watched Quenton Teratino (sorry not sorry about the spelling- I’m not his biggest fan) latest film… Hateful 8? Anyway, there was a scene when a carriage pulling horses pulled up to a cabin and stopped, and a man came outside and said to the other guy driving the horses, “WOAH! hold your horses! HOLD YOUR HORSES!!!!!”.
I was like, “HOLY SHIT! SO THAT’S WHERE ‘hold your horses’ CAME FROM! IT LITERALLY MEANT HOLD YOUR HORSES FROM BACK IN THE DAY! IT’S NOT JUST SOME RANDOM SHIT MY MOM USED TO SAY TO ME WHEN I WAS ‘RUSHING’ HER!!!!!”……………….
The next time you go to call your perfect fucking self, “perfectly imperfect”, have a long hard think about what you’re actually saying. Because at the end of the day, there is NOTHING IMPERFECT ABOUT ANY OF US! The only reason why any of us think we are “imperfect” is because of the illusion that photoshop has created of what a “perfect” and “flawless” woman looks like. When in reality she doesn’t look like anything, because she doesn’t exist!
photo credit: Tchalla Hawk. The bestie who’s been helping me pioneer the truth revolution since 2008-
So this happened yesterday…..
We were stopped, getting ready to turn across the road, and some bloke on his scooter bashed into the side of our car. The challenge with that is, when you live in Thailand, if you’re white, no matter what the circumstances are (generally speaking), you’re more than likely at fault.
We immediately got out of the car and were relieved to see the driver get up straight away. Then out of nowhere some elderly looking man wearing some kind of security uniform came shuffling over to ‘assess’ the damage. Once the guy got up, picked up his scooter, and saw there was no damage, he then walked over to our car, pointed at the damage, shrugged his shoulders, then motioned with his hands for us to “move along”.
I was livid. On top of a heap of others emotions. I was relieved that this man was OK. I was confused because how could he have not seen us? I was shocked-
We then got in the car, and pulled into the parking lot and sat in silence for about 5 minutes.
I then realised how vulnerable I felt. Here we are in a country where most people don’t speak English. There is no real judicial system like in the west. After all, I just read a story on the BBC yesterday of a woman receiving 26 years in jail for typing the equivalent of the word “ok” or “I see” in Thai, in response to a post her political activist son wrote on Facebook in regards to the King. I’ve been told that Phuket specifically has had a lot of corruption amongst their police, and have moved the military in to address it. However, I hear stories all the time of white people having to buy their way out of miscellaneous traffic offences.
All of yesterday afternoon and evening, I was irritated AF. Getting 2 hours of sleep the night before wasn’t helping either. However, when I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was pray for guidance. I prayed for clarity. Then, off I went to train at my second home, unit 27. After having an amazing ass kicking session by Frankie, I was driving home when the clarity hit.
So you ready for the clarity? It’s a message you’ve heard me preach time and time again. Especially when I was labeled the “ex fetish porn star” in global headlines in 2012. Ya’ll remember THAT! http://konfidencebykortney.com/work/kortney-olson-missed-pornstar-pay-check/
But the message still remains the same: WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE- BE A VICTIM OR BE A VICTOR, and my favourite spiritual tool remains the same: ACCEPTANCE.
I can either sit here and feel pissed off, and vulnerable, or I can do something about it. I can either chose to accept that this is the way this country works. Or I can move- SIMPLE. So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to take my ass to a language school today. And I’m going to accept that this is how shit rolls over here. If I grew up here, I would probably be trying to hustle tourists too.
I nearly forgot the other main reason of this blog! The things we take for granted….. I never realised how much I enjoy interacting with people. Especially strangers. I’m an extrovert. And when I can’t communicate with others, I feel isolated. In conclusion, count your blessings baby! When you go to the post office, bank or grocery store today, make sure you say hi to whomever is helping you. Use their name and make a point to ask how their day is going- You’ll transform both of your days. And if you plan on moving to Thailand, make sure you have insurance of all sorts.
What’s up y’all!?
Wow- so clearly I have some deep shit going on in regards to the above screenshot from my Mom. Just from glancing at this, I got a little teary eyed again. As you’ve probably gathered from the title of this post, I’m going to give you a short and sweet rant on ‘how to forgive your parents’. Or, in a lot of people’s cases, parent.
For those of you who’ve been following me for years, you’d have some background on my upbringing. My mom and I have had an interesting relationship over the years, to say the least. Growing up, she was sick AF in her illness/dis-ease of alcoholism. No breach of confidentiality here people. My mom and I come from the same page; We’re both open books when it comes to the topic. After all, they say that alcoholism is potentially part genetic, and part learned behaviour.
Without going into my life herstory, understand a lot of us have a significant amount of mommy or daddy issues. It’s rare that you meet someone who claims their “childhood was perfect”, and “Mom and Dad are my heroes”.
The interesting thing about our relationships with our parents, is one that most people aren’t even aware of. From the ages of 0-8 , we’re the most vulnerable when it comes to creating beliefs about ourselves, as well as when we create most of our beliefs about the world around us. Society, teachers and other influentials, play a decent role during those ages, but a significant amount of our beliefs (how we view the world), comes directly from our parents. Again, most of us have a lot of issues on a subconscious level that we aren’t aware of.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent in my case, meant a lot of cray-cray times. By 9, my parents split up. I lived with my mom for a few years, until she moved out to whoop whoop with her pot growing boyfriend (bless his soul- RIP Marty). I then moved in with dad, and his new remarried family. By time I got to high school, my mom ended up living part time down the street from us. She was the ‘cool mom’ and bought my friends and I alcohol in high school. It wasn’t an every day event, but occasionally we’d party with mom. This continued on through college after my mom ended up living in the same town. Every time I’d drink with my mom, I’d lose my shit and start yelling at her for being such a horrible parent. In between drunken sobs I’d shout out, “Do you remember that one time when I was 9 and you passed out on thanksgiving and I had to finish cooking fucking dinner?!”.
You catch my drift….
When I was deep in MY addiction/alcoholism around the age of 20, my mom went to rehab. Soon after, right after I turned the legal drinking age of 21, I followed in her footsteps. Years later, she and I THEN developed a pill addiction together. #codependent……
Like I said, we’ve had an interesting relationship. Although it was often turbulent, deep down I’ve always loved my mom. I’ve always felt a strong connection with her. It wasn’t until I turned 30, that I realised the best way I could forgive and love my mom, was to accept her as she is. Instead of try and change her, I would love/accept her for all her crazy quirks and focus on the great things she instilled in me when growing up. The forgiveness part came when I realised that she’s still trying to deal with her own childhood-
Anyway, my point is this: Our parents are doing the best that they possibly can, given the tools that they currently have. It’s not like we come blasting out of the vagina with a “how-to” manual. Often, our parents are STILL trying to deal with their own shit from ages 0-8, let alone trying to set a good example for us. And the craziest part about it all, is that most have no clue what shit they’re even trying to process and cope with!
With that being said, it is up to us to break the cycle of hurt. Or, at least that’s what I used to tell the teenage girls from our program Kamp Konfidence. So many of them show up with issues, directly stemming from childhood. And of course, their parents have not a conscious clue that they’ve had any kind of impact on how/why their daughter has turned out the way she has.
However, as soon as these girls realised that their parents are doing the best that they possibly can, given the tools they were handed down, they were able to move past the anger, and focus on how to be the best person they could be. In turn, pave the way for the future generations after them.
Parenting is no joke. It’s a full-time, underpaid, hard AF job. It’s in our best interest to recognise that our parents are doing the best they can, given the tools they have. Even the parent who beats his or her child, most often has some level of love. They’re just lacking the tools to express their anger and feelings aside from violence.
Hmmmmmmmmmm- I hope this made sense on some level. My jet lag is kicking my father f**king ass y’all! (ps- you ever wonder why it has to be the mother who’s getting fu*ked?!) But remember, our number one core need as human beings, is to be loved and receive love.
The Smith College Athletic Facilities got cosmetic updates!
One of the updates is a historical timeline of Smith women accomplishing some massive athletic feats. Some of these accomplishments include: Senda Berenson Abbott of Smith’s athletics department introducing basketball for women (and Smith students being the first college women to play the game) in 1892, Victoria Murden ’85 becoming the first woman to cross-country ski to the South Pole in 1989, and Smith Basketball winning their first ever ECAC title in 2012.
Since the English Channel swim (with a 1 in 10 success rate) has had quite a remarkable (and quite frankly, unheard of) 100% success rate under the guidance of Coach Kim Bierwert… all of my Channel mothers and I got a spot on the timeline!
To be honest, this is very surreal. To be able to continue the legacy was always my end goal. No doubt, there was a bit of self-inflicted pressure being the 6th person going into a swim knowing there is a 100% success rate before me. But we all did it. To know that we are all in the history books, and that nobody or no result can ever replace or take this away from us will always give me the chills.
Start unknown, finish historic.
How great is this photo of Margaret and Maura!!!!!! The true pioneers!!!!
You know those memories that Facebook likes to flash up for you now and then? Sometimes it’s good, you think awwww yeah, I remember that, THANKS Facebook and you hit share as you basque in the glow of your fabulous memory. Then there’s the ones that slap you in the face, the ones you look at and think grrrrr THANKS Facebook and promptly click the “do not show me this memory” button, silently cussing an algorithm in a website as if it were a person for reminding you of ‘the thing’.
So, today was a grrrr day. It actually spun me into a day of reflection. My memory? The day I shared with my friends pictures of the house I was about to move into with my then partner, 7 years ago. We’d been living together for a bit over a year in the house I owned at the time. The first few months were great, then things went rapidly downhill. I guess I’d been lucky in the past, the worst confrontational behaviour I’d ever had to deal with was when my Dad came home grumpy from work and was a little short-tempered. A few gruff words here and there didn’t really prepare me for what I experienced with my ex. I remember the feeling the first time he blew up at me, like every part of me was frozen in time and I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t say anything. I describe that feeling, that has unfortunately become quite familiar over time, as ‘losing my words’. If you know me at, you’ll know I’m not one to be at a loss for words, like, EVER buuuuut there’s something about in-your-face confrontation that just freezes me up on the inside. Arguing I’m totally cool with… hey, we all have differences of opinion! But when someone is in my face, yelling, calling me every name under the sun, getting themselves into such a state that I actually think they’re going to make themselves vomit, spewing vile, viscous venom at me, well… I lose my words! I would actually LOVE to hear from anyone who has experienced this behaviour from someone close to them because I’ve had it in my life for around 10 years from 2 different people, though I am ecstatic to say that this behaviour is absolutely not welcomed in my life anymore!
I have always experienced life in a fairly calm state. Sure, I get aggravated, annoyed, angry, pissed off, even vile in my own way but I have learnt that I have an incredibly long fuse and it takes some pretty outrageous behaviour to really upset or anger me. There’s a couple of things that will rile me up very quickly: cruelty to animals is definitely one, intentionally causing harm or going out of your way to hurt someone is another. When I think about the 2 people who have been in my life over the past 10 years, both exhibiting the same behaviour, I think about where it stems from, what their intent is or was and I absolutely think about how I contributed or led them to think that was an acceptable way to treat me.
I am going off on a bit of a tangent here, and this is an area that I will likely explore quite a bit here because, not only do I think it’s important to talk about abuse for our own therapeutic release but I also think that by writing it out in a stream of consciousness manner, I learn things about myself that help me ensure I don’t repeat the same scenario ever, ever again!
So, this Facebook memory, this house, really took me back to a time where I made a decision that went totally against my intuition, my gut and fundamentally shaped the next 7 years of my life.
I had been living with this man, this violent, abusive, controlling, narcissistic man. I had actually asked this man to move out of my house (and my life) when I recognised where he was at in his life and how mismatched we were energetically BUT I had then allowed him to talk his way back into my world and we’d been living in a ‘walking on eggshells’ type space where I was so careful and cautious about what I said and did for fear of tipping him over the edge and unleashing his inner monster (it’s a fucking awful space to live in by the way – almost worse than the yelling, screaming and violence!). When my circumstances changed at work and I needed to move, I made the decision to sell my house, where he had been living with me without contributing financially (mistake #583737). Given he didn’t work and moving would mean paying rent, I actually thought this was going to be my ‘get out of jail free’ card. I told him if he moved with me, it would be a 50/50 arrangement financially and I was SO SURE that he would bail in that moment. He didn’t. Somehow, he found a way to make it work and so, there we were, 7 years ago on this day, sharing pictures of the new house we were moving into with our Facebook peeps.
Every single part of me knew it was a mistake. Knew I was signing on for 1 or more years extra misery than was actually necessary yet, I did it. I went against my knowing. I discarded my innate guidance system that intrinsically leads me AWAY from harm and I told my instinct to go fuck itself as I waltzed cheerfully into hell. I put on a facade for all my friends and family and silently let myself rot away on the inside as I shared my life with someone who reminded me daily that I was worthless, useless and a fucking idiot (his words, not mine ;-)).
It took me another 2 years to finally call bullshit on myself and get the hell away from that relationship. I can look back and wish I’d trusted my gut, listened to my instinct, let my innate guide me buuuuut, clearly I had a lesson or 2 to learn before I chose that option! Most of us kick ourselves a little bit on a regular basis for not trusting that gut instinct, but it’s usually with the little stuff. I absolutely walk away from that (and the subsequent ‘friendship’ that I walked straight into that was pretty much an exact replica of this relationship, only a little bit worse) now knowing that when that little voice sends me a warning, pay attention. No, really, fucking pay attention!!!
Now, I’m a pretty friggin’ tough chick. I can withstand a LOT. Hell, I’ve dealt with being gang raped at 18, I kicked cancer’s fucking ARSE at 21 and navigated life’s usual twists and turns pretty independently and with fucking awesome moral character. My friends and family know I would turn the world upside down for each and every one of them. So, my biggest question to myself (and one I will explore outwardly on this blog – feel free to chime in with your thoughts!) is why the hell did I let someone like this diminish my essence. How did I allow one, actually, 2 if I count his successor (we’ll chat about her in another blog ;-)) people to whittle away my self worth? To cause me to doubt everything I KNOW to be true about myself and even start to behave in the way they told me I actually was. WHY did I go against my knowing and give these two people permission to chip away at my being until I was so broken that I had to scrape around for the bits and pieces to start to put me back together again.
I’m actually going to leave this one there. I don’t know if you can identify with pieces of this but I really do welcome your comments. I feel like this blog is a little bit scattered and, admittedly, it’s somewhat emotionally charged. I haven’t quite collapsed it all just yet. Whilst I will continue to look deep inside myself (as I keep putting the pieces of me back together) and share my thoughts here, I also invite you to share your experiences, thoughts, wisdom, whatever feels right for you. The more we share, the more we grow Much love xxxxxxx
Thanks to my friends at FINIS, I am the proud owner of a FINIS DUO! Unlike other swimp3s which sit in the ear socket, the DUO sits on your temples….therefore, you don’t have to worry about water getting trapped in your ear socket! The sound quality is amazing. It’s a very unique experience. Per usual, I wouldn’t recommend it if it wasn’t something I loved. Since you have to get used to being in your own head during marathon swims, I only train with this on special occasions.
This is what I’m jamming to (courtesy of FINIS DUO)! These songs always bring up memories. There is no genre off-limits. (Always get the clean version of these!!!!)
- Hypnotize– The Notorious B.I.G. (this beat is unlike any other, I always start my workouts to this song)
- Mr. Brownstone-Guns N’ Roses (a song I loved since as early as I can remember… only realizing what it meant a few years ago…)
- Long Way 2 Go – Cassie (I love the sass in the lyrics)
- Calm Down– G-Easy
- Country Boy– Aaron Lewis (the biggest things in life are your friends and family)
- Sacrifice– Theory of a Deadman
- Nobody Does it Better– Nate Dogg
- Rump Shaker– Wreckx-N-Effect
- Dirt Road Anthem– Jason Aldean (this was on repeat driving out to Smith my first year)
- Golden– Jill Scott
- Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison
- Ladies and Gentlemen– Saliva
- Undercover– Lane 8 (Radio Edit)
- I Meant It– G-Easy
- Lookin’ for a Good Time– Lady Antebellum
- She Wants to Know – Half Moon Run
- Who Gon Stop Me– Jay Z, Kanye
- Bound 2– Kanye West (Always reminds me of my ‘14 bananas)
- Someone New– Hozier
- Fast Cars and Freedom– Rascal Flatts
- You’re Not My Girl– Ryan Leslie
- Ready to Run– Dixie Chicks (What’s all this talk about love?!)
- Paradise City– Guns N’ Roses
- Ride– Ciara
- Ain’t Nobody– Chaka Khan (Chaka slays)
- My Life Your Entertainment– T.I.
- I Wont Back Down – Tom Petty
- God’s Gunna Cut you Down– Johnny Cash
- The Promise Land – Bruce Springsteen (fist pump is necessary when listening to the chorus)
- Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue– Toby Keith
- Runaway Love– Purity Ring
- Drive– Halsey
- Rhiannon– Fleetwood Mack (Charlotte Samuels’ Bight Swim anthem)
- Going the Distance– CAKE (fitting)
- Talk that Talk– Rihanna (if this song doesn’t make you want to dance…)
- Summertime– Kenny Chesney
- What Was I Thinking– Dierks Bentley (appropriate question especially when you’ve been swimming for hours)
From the point of view of the victim, is domestic violence an addiction?
First of all, it’s a bit screwed up, that here we’re in the year 2016, and we’re STILL talking about domestic violence. Is it safe to say, “WHAT THE ACTUAL F++K!!!”? I mean, look how far we’ve come in the past 20 years……….
Excuse me while I go off topic for a moment-
Think back to the car your parents drove around when you were growing up- For some of us, those cars had 8-track players as the audio/media source. Some had cassette tapes! And then there are those of us who can only say they’ve experienced compact discs, aka “cd’s”!
Fast forward to today, and WOW! WE DON’T EVEN NEED A DAMN CORD TO PLUG OUR SHIT IN! We can wirelessly stream our PHONES to the stereo of our AUTOMOBILE!
Which brings me to my second example: YOUR CELL PHONE!
Dude- I remember back IN THE DAY my Mom was SUCH a pimp! Her dope-growing boyfriend, who I loved dearly (RIP Marty), had a BAG PHONE! Yeah! You know the one… where the shit plugged into the 9-volt outlet of your vehicle to get the party started! Literally holding a bag, with a wire that connected off it, to talk into a handheld receiver! Wood chuck to grey squirrel ! hahahahahahahaha!
You get my point…. Just one look at our current world, and EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT AND EVOLVED. The largest taxi company (uber) doesn’t own any cars, and the largest hotel company (airB&B) doesn’t have any hotels! YET, we haven’t evolved on Women’s rights. And I’m not talking about rights where equality is concerned. I’m talking about GOD GIVEN RIGHTS OF SAFETY.
We are STILL living in a barbaric time, where the state of Oklahoma can pass a law where by if a victim is unconscious, then oral sex is not considered rape, and a time when men STILL think it’s OK to bash women.
(the face you make when being interviewed regarding #rooshthedouche from return of the kings)
Before I go on, I want to add a note: To any man reading this, who believes it is OK to bash the shit out of your wife, girlfriend, or date- You are not at fault. Whoever raised you needs a swift kick in the CU$T. (yeah, I said it- I’m tired of playing around the bush… (no pun intended))
You are not at fault, but it is time to accept some responsibility and break your jacked up cycle. Or- pack your shit and get OUT son!
This brings me to the whole point of this blog. “Pack your shit and get OUT”………..
Now, here we are, circling back to the opening line: Is domestic violence an addiction?
It’s odd how sometimes things take a LONG time to sink in for me.
I’m not someone who has experienced domestic violence myself. Sexual assault on the other hand, I can easily chime in on. But when it comes to a man laying hands on me, and me sticking around for more than one go at it? Not in my book. Therefor, when it comes to this topic, I’m not the best to discuss with.
Why is that? Because, I don’t have the experience! Or, do I? (getting there, keep reading)
The first time I was exposed to domestic violence was through a best friend in high school. She started dating a guy who was a couple of grades ahead of us. He was a “bad boy”. Without going into too much detail, he used to threaten her all the time. As far as I know, he never actually laid hands on her, but there was definitely pushing and shoving happening. She would break up with him, swear him off, then ALWAYS wind up getting back together with him. I could never understand it. Until now….
I’ve never had any family members, or other close friends in my adult life come to me with this issue, until recently. Since I stop and take regular inventory of myself: My actions, behaviours, goals, etc. I can see that my response SUCKS!
The response in my head, towards a recent friend who returned to a partner who has a history of abusing her verbally and physically, was this: “What the FUCK is wrong with you! You KNEW that he was going to do this AGAIN! I give up! I don’t know how to help!”…..
Then the hammer dropped-
The hammer dropped, and I realised that this is EXACTLY how people would respond towards me when it came to drugs and alcohol!!! Or when society responds to drug addicts and alcoholics. “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” “YOU KNEW IT WAS GOING TO GET YOU INTO TROUBLE AGAIN” “I GIVE UP!” “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO HELP YOU”.
Well, well, well…… have a look at THAT! There are extremely similar parallels when it comes to Is domestic violence not the same as drug and alcohol addiction? We SWEAR IT OFF till the cows come home, “I’ll never touch that shit again, I SWEAR!”. The shame and remorse are too unbearable. I feel horrible. THEN the emotions and fear set it, and we FUCKING PICK UP AND DO IT AGAIN! The fear of not being good enough, being alone, being empty…. Or, like with domestic violence, the fear of not finding someone to love us, being alone, being empty, fear of him coming back so we better play nice……
WE PICK UP AND DO IT AGAIN, KNOWING!!!!!! WE KNOW THAT THIS TIME IT’S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT! THIS TIME WE HAVE A HANDLE ON IT. WE HAVE CHANGED. WE CAN CONTROL IT!
Not knowing, that the only thing we can control is ourselves. We are powerless when it comes to drugs and alcohol. We are powerless when it comes to being back in the same shitty relationship. Although we 110% BELIEVED things would be different this time around……..
Do you know what the definition of insanity is according to Einstein? Repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
So what is it? There is no chemical component with domestic violence like there is with drugs and alcohol, right? Or is there?????? What about the rush of making up. Who here can agree that make-up sex is THE BEST! The feeling of hope and reconciliation. The passion………
But is it worth your life? Is that high from smoking that last bowl of crystal meth worth your life? As he holds you by the throat and with 110% power, smashes his knuckles against your face, breaking your jaw and teeth? Potentially causing permanent brain damage?
I don’t think so-
So then, why don’t you “just stop”.
lol. Because we can’t “just stop” once we start.
One thing I can say with 110% conviction, is you are not alone, and that the best form of support is to be around other people who have been where you are, and have made it out the other side. Just as with drug and alcohol addiction, none of us STAY clean and sober on our own. It’s a WE thing. Not a ME thing. You need to break the cycle, in my experience. Stay off him, your drug of choice. And plug into a support group.
In conclusion, until you experience something for yourself, you have ZERO right to judge someone else’s experience. Just as I know from drug and alcohol addiction, it is not a matter of “will power”. We are not ‘weak people’.
Now that I’ve seen the correlation between addiction and domestic violence, I understand that there is some level of mental illness happening. And all that means, is we all have mental health. And the opposite of health, is illness. Abusing yourself via drugs and alcohol, or abusing yourself by going back into a toxic, and most often fatal relationship, is not healthy. The best way out of illness, in my experience, is through the support and care of other people who are from your tribe. People who have been there, done that, and have found a way out the other side. They have zero interest in the things you have, the car you drive, or the job you possess. They only have interest in helping you get safe. Because people who have been to hell and back, want to help others find their way, because being of service and of purpose, is the best feeling known to man.
And you, you father fugging CRAZY WARRIOR BITCH- DESERVE TO BE SAFE AND TO BE LOVED.
Ever wonder how marathon swimming is different from pool swimming? Check this article out!
I was recently featured in an article in Swimming World written by my teammate/great friend/lil sis/ future Catalina Channel swim finisher, Abby Bergman! I am quoted alongside the hugely inspirational marathon swimming pioneer, Lynne Cox (Swimming to Antarctica) and one of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Coach, Dave Kelsheime!