At the h a n d s of men…

I look down at my baby girl with fear in my heart, afraid that one day she may become a statistic.

Sitting here thinking… preparing myself mentally to write this is reliving it over and over again. I won’t deny it.. the fear of opening up stems from insecurities of what people may think of me. Especially my close friends who are completely unaware of this. I don’t want you to think less of me, that I’m broken or need to be pitied. I can proudly say that I am possibly the fucking strongest person you will ever meet, purely based on my resilience.

*** t ri g g e r   w a r n in g ***
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At the h a n d s of men…

At the tender age of six, I would go to my neighbours house. He was an old Italian who grew the most delicious tomatoes in his little green house out the back of his property. I would often be allowed to taste them, and for that I was fond of this old man. But one day, I visited him, smelt the alcohol on his breath when he lifted me up and touched me. I knew instantly what he did was bad, it hurt me. After that whenever I saw him on his porch I called him a bastard.

At fourteen I was coerced to lose my virginity to boy I admired. Six months of my life I will never get back. Police were involved. At school, I was known as a ‘slut’ and could potentially ruin a young boys life. Can you see where am I heading?

At fifteen I was at a party with my girlfriends, after falling asleep I woke up to a man putting his fingers inside me. I was drunk but I never once consented to this. I didn’t even know what he looked like. But I should have been more careful! See what I did there?

At sixteen I entered my first domestic violent relationship with a boy who came from a ‘good’ home. Tears and sprained shoulders was a weekly occurrence… I spent one year and a half with him. I should have left him when I had the chance! If only I had the courage!

At nineteen I went to a party with my boyfriend. There was a young bloke there who just wouldn’t leave me alone! When I keep telling my boyfriend he fobbed it off, exclaiming “oh he’s a faggot.” After two drinks I was incoherent and then all of a sudden, this bloke leads by the arm to where the cars were parked. Even though I couldn’t talk I did let out a scream. Thank fuck two guys came to my aid, and the guy wasn’t seen since. Even my boyfriend couldn’t protect me…

At the age of twenty, I worked in a Hotel as a waitress on a traineeship. The Head Chef was this towering and intimidating French man. One day he cornered me in the kitchen and said he could rape me and no one would ever know. I looked at him straight in the eye and calmly said that he couldn’t say that. I remember distinctly how he replied, with his nauseating French accent, “I can say what I like it’s my kitchen.” I resigned and took them to court. I remember their lawyer was trying to brand me for being some kind of gold digger.

At twenty-one I had a girl’s night in town, with the intention of crashing at her home. After a fantastic night, we all said good night and I went off to bed. But then I awoke to a man in my room getting in bed with me. He was touching my body, and I told him to get out. He even went on to say that he didn’t even know if I was ugly or not… I took the blanket and slept in the lounge room. My friends found me and I told them what happened. I found out that this guy had a girlfriend and was terrified she was going to find out what happened. But he wasn’t sorry for what he did to me…

And society makes it all fucking worse! We are constantly victim blaming. The focus is always removed from the perp and straight onto the victim, on how she could have made her situation safer. Women are terrified to catch public transport at night, sit in the front seat with a taxi driver, hold keys between their fingers, take self defense lessons. Women, daughters, young children are conditioned that it is a possibility that they could be sexually assaulted. But what are we doing for our young men?

This is what I fear for my daughter..

Let’s talk about Motherhood | Guest Writer The Dilli Delli

Let me talk about Motherhood

The most powerful teaching moments are the ones where you screw up = Brene Brown

Somewhere along the way I have find myself being a mum now for 24 years. So that means I gave birth to my first born 8888 days ago… WTF… How did that happen? …

Often when I am chatting to either of my sons I feel myself slipping into the conversation of a 20-year-old, except I do have a lot more wrinkles…  I have always been a bit of a merger, I often morph into the people that I find myself around.  It is only for a minute, but I remember the thoughts of a 20-year-old very clearly and can take myself back there… BUT somewhere along the way I am now 48 years of age!

Motherhood for me hasn’t always been easy, peasy…  Postnatal depression, anxiety, caring for my elderly mum, working, living meant I wasn’t always there fully or if I was I wasn’t always at my best … not that we need to be the best at all, but self-reflection in parenting has been a big gift for me.

What did help me the most was when my boys went off to school I started working at a Family Support organisation.  The training I received, the mentors I had, the support that I offered other parents and the learning I received from them allowed me to grow and learn.  Thank goodness for all that learning, as it got me out of some hairy situations over the last 24 years…

Parenting has been the hardest gig, I will admit, yet the best gig…

I have stuffed up, I have smacked too much, I have yelled, I haven’t always provided the best lunch boxes or dinners lol, I have got it wrong AND I have got it right.  One thing I have always tried to do was to apologise to the boys for my stuff ups.  I guess I hoped I was role modelling the fact that apologising when you make mistakes is a very good thing to do.  Luckily the boys forgave me.

So, the awesome news is now my boys gladly come and initiate conversations with me.  They are pleased to help me when I ask, glad when I am home, they laugh at me with all my faubles, support my insecurities and are incredibly protective.  Somewhere, whilst I was flailing and smacking too much, I did teach them many things and I have always loved them for who they are, and they now love me for me.

Most importantly, I will note, that we have an amazing husband and an amazing Dad, Daz, who is supportive, a great provider, loving and happy to have the shit taken out of him with great humour.   Actually, I must ask Daz if he would like to share his tips on parenting!

So here I go, sharing without being asked again, my best parenting advice

Don’t judge other mum’s or children and their behaviour, believe me as soon as you think your child won’t bite, he will be biting the next week at Playgroup!  Learnt that lesson early!

Create a tribe around you of people who love your kids and love you…you and they can never be loved enough.

Just remember that one day, in the future, you will want your child to WANT to have a coffee with you.  So, I guess what I am saying is children remember.  As much as they will love you, it doesn’t mean they will like you if they only have memories of you not being at your best.

Attend some parenting workshops and follow Maggie Dent (she’s my favourite) on Facebook. I know you might feel that you don’t need that support or that they are for parents struggling but the learning and support you will receive from sitting in a group of parents struggling or succeeding will be worth every 2 hours you attend.  It’s upskilling.

The words that you say to your child, will be the voice they will forever hear.

Apologise.  The greatest lesson that your children will learn will be the ability to apologise when they get stuff wrong…show them how that is done.

Remember you are the adult…you can not expect a little person to know all that you know.  Do you still not make mistakes that people forgive?   Yes, they will make lots of mistakes as their little brains form and their bodies full of hormones?

When you are dealing with tricky personalities, behaviours, look left or right and you will often find similarities with loved ones.  How do you deal with them?  How do you deal with yourself?

Spend the time, get off the phone, computer, tv if they want to tell you a story.  If you haven’t listened to what you deem as the unimportant then when you want them to tell you something important they won’t.

They will not live at home forever…they will move out and you will miss them.

You don’t only get one chance… you can try again.  In a different way, try and try again.

And lastly. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy your babies even when they become adults.

Second lastly. Forgive yourself, guilt is not your friend!

And third lastly…no one other than YOU are an expert in your own life and children… you are the expert.  A little self-reflection and a little research can certainly help, but you are the expert!

 

Guys, as I read back on that list I think it read like I was kinda waggling my finger!  I have done all these things myself, believe me, it is just some advice, it’s my own self-reflection and I am just putting it out there to have a think on…most importantly enjoy your children and enjoy your life…

Love

Delys x

Dillidelli.com.au

Why swiping right is not always the answer | Guest Writer Skye Pember

After spending the last 2 years of my 14 year relationship and marriage feeling very lonely and unloved, what was the first thing I did when I separated from my now ex husband?

You guessed it, I signed up for Tinder and started swiping.  Mainly to the left (that means i’m not interested) but the right swipe got a lot of interest as well.  At first it was a lot of fun, it was like a smorgasbord of men and I could say yes or no in 1 second!

It was quite a powerful feeling. I got a lot of matches, which meant I got a lot of ego satisfaction.  It was almost like a little ‘yes’ moment, I got a match, this must validate how amazing I am.

Except it really didn’t.  For every right swipe and match, at least 1 out of 3 would be an immediate unmatch, meaning these guys swipe on every girl and when they get a match they decide if they like her or not. Such a good feeling for an insecure woman who has just come out of a relationship!

Most of the matches I got were interested in quick flings and nothing else, and this physically made me feel pretty worthless…

So I got 5 seconds of ego stroking when I got a match, that then resulted in me feeling worthless as a woman –  just what I needed after coming out of a miserable marriage!

My obsession with Tinder was going on about the same time I met the women of Wyld Tribe and their amazing team. I was originally very Intrigued and possibly skeptical about this group of women who seemed to dance around with face paint and feathers while they did some drumming and singing. Obviously that was my first impression!

Then I started listening, watching and experiencing them as a group.  The focus they put on respecting and honouring ourselves as women is inspiring and slightly humbling.

They reminded me that we don’t need men to define ourselves, which is what I was doing every time I swiped right. I want to make it clear, the Wyld Tribe women are not man haters or anti-men, they just believe in focusing on women as supporters of each other, in encouraging women to cheer each other on – rather than working against each other.

I’m still getting my head around Wyld Tribe, I still ask ALOT of questions, and the team are ridiculously patient with me!

All of their events, whether it’s Sistahood Circles, Wild Woman Weekend or even Sistahood Rising in November, focus on celebrating the feminine.

And that’s when I realised, sure I can swipe right as often as I want, but it doesn’t define me!  It doesn’t mean I’m a queen because I got a match from the cute surfer, or I’m a sexy goddess because the tattooed guy messaged me!

I’m a queen and a goddess, because I’m a woman! For no other reason.  Every morning I look in the mirror and tell myself, you are beautiful inside and out.

I still find myself getting that rush when I get a match, but I don’t let it define me as much as I used to.  Now, I know that yes it’s a nice feeling but it doesn’t change who I am – and if they choose to unmatch me, that’s their loss, not mine!

So thanks Wyld Tribe, I’m still the new girl trying to work you out and understand my place amongst this amazing group of women, but I’ve stopped seeing my matches as what defines me, I’m a woman and I’m pretty awesome – if the guys don’t see it, that’s their loss!  My loss is the time spent worrying about it which I have stopped doing – so I’m gaining confidence and extra time!

So what does this mean – I’m not anti Tinder or any of those dating apps, I’m just saying that it doesn’t define you – it doesn’t validate your self worth. You are in control of your self worth, but a few amazing women surrounding you definitely helps!