Manipulation hits a Brick Wall

I am happy to say that I am not so easily manipulated. That’s huge for me considering I am a survivor of abuse.

Sunday night, a friend of mine kept sighing..and goin on how she wanted to go for a walk, specifically to Timmies. She’s broke, but she knows damn well I have a Timmies card. Ummm.. NO! I’m not gonna spend it on her! I don’t have to.  If she wants someone to blow their money on her she can run to her man like she always does. A walk, sure. You talked me into that much, but I won’t be spending my Timmies card.

Anyway, We picked up a friend. We go to Timmies. And this other friends buys us extra large mochas. Those aren’t cheap. But no, that isn’t good enough for this other friend, so she goes on and on about a doughnut. She can’t just appreciate the extra large mocha. Ugh! I sure as hell didn’t fall for it, but our other friend did. Perhaps to get her to shut up. Still. Yaaay to me! I’m gonna give myself a pat on the back for not falling for manipulative crap.

I guess it’s the manipulation tactics and ungratefulness I’m not impressed with.

According to Wikipedia; Psychological manipulation is type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.

It’s not always a bad thing, for example Doctors could try to talk their patience into quitting a habit.

But this type of manipulation was for her own selfish wants and desires.

It’s a bit disturbing. Especially since abusers use manipulation to get their way. And she already violently lashed out at her boyfriend, which would make her the physical abuser. So yeah, I am very cautious around her. Matter of fact, I try to spend very little time around her, for my own well being.

I do care for this friend. I’m just concerned about her behavior, and it puts my trust in an awkward position. Where I’m not so sure if I should, kind of awkward.

I was trying to upload a video. You would have seen the manipulation for yourself had it worked. But for some reason, the video plays fine on the camera, but as soon as I try to upload it to the computer it says that it is a “damaged file.” So I will probably delete it. It wasn’t meant to be.

We create videos and upload them to youtube. Usually just us clowning around whenever we go to Tim Hortons.

Hopefully that kind of manipulation doesn’t occur too often. Friends shouldn’t have to manipulate each-other. That’s not cool.

And since she follows this blog, I know she will get the message. If there’s one thing I know about our other friend, is that manipulation isn’t necessary, all you have to do is ask.

Anyway, I’ve been sick for the past 2 days. I might have to cancel appointments and visits tomorrow. It’s just me and my thoughts. I’ve locked myself up into quarantine mode. Unlike whoever I got this flu from. Probably the lady that sprayed all over the bus when she sneezed, she didn’t even cover her mouth. Sore throat, sore chest. Coughing up blood and phlegm. So not fun.

I doubt I will be better by tomorrow. But I can hope I’m at least better than I was today. – Pooks

By pooks82

For the Record

Yesterday, Thursday February 21st, 2013, Doug Whitelaw, Chad Hull, Jeremy Jeresky and Joe Fontana made the front page of London Community News regarding an upcoming Fundraiser. Yaaay! I can’t help but be proud of my fellow Ark and New School of Colour peeps! – Pooks

Filling up Empty Bowls to support Ark Aid’s fight against hunger.

By pooks82

Momentous Explorations

Things have been rather eventful and progressive lately.

I volunteered at The Arts Project for the opening reception of The Paper 8, on February 8th. It did well. There was plenty of people, which surprised me considering the amount of snow we got prior to the event. I called in just to make sure it was still happening, since I noticed other businesses were closing due to the weather. It worked out for the Arts Project since the crowd procrastinated as long as they could to avoid going back out in the cold. It was a long night, but I enjoyed myself.  I greet people at the door, hang their coats, and keep things tidy as the event takes place.

As for my progression at Leads, it is something to be proud of. I had quite the adrenaline rush after my appointment. The change of my thought patterns have been pointed out. Remember how I had homework sent home with me awhile back?  I used an example of the issues that I was having with a friend of mine. If you recall, I was saying she was all clingy and whatnot. Anyway, I brought up to the facilitator that runs the art program I volunteer and participate at, because the person that I was experiencing this conflict with also attends this program. He suggested that I take time away. So I did. After a week or two, I returned. Things are back on track. I did some thinking while I was away, such thoughts as; is this really worth holding a grudge over? Will it effect my future? Should it effect my present? Stuff like that. I have come to the conclusion that; no, and it shouldn’t. So I decided to let it go. After-all, she is a good friend. Like, they say;  everyone you meet has something to teach you. And where my weakness are, such as looking at things logically, and considering the facts, is where her strengths are. I do tend to be emotionally impulsive. Plus, when we are getting along, we tend to bring out the best in each-other. So, anyway, in my homework. I said that it isn’t just about me. Since I need to consider other people around me, which is the other participants that go to this art program. The New School of Colour encourages diversity, and unity. So I feel that it is important to co-exist wither we are getting along or not. So it’s just the fact that I managed to work through that. And perhaps what needed to change was myself, and my own thoughts and perspective. Had I not done that, I’d still be bitter, and kind of stuck within myself.

My visit with my children was a bit challenging last week. My children refused to agree on something that we could do together. My daughter wanted to play with the dollhouse, or with the toy kitchen and plastic food. As for my son, he wanted to play scenarios where there is always a bad guy, it’s war, blood, guts, and explosions. So I tried to work something out by trying to coax my son into toning it down, and yeah. Thought, maybe we could play something my daughter wanted to play. But no, my son stormed off to the table and ignored me for the remainder of the visit. Of coarse he says that I “always” choose what my daughter wants to play. That isn’t necessarily so. I try to make it so that all three of us can play “together.” So I played with my daughter, following her lead. I wasn’t going to force my son to play. If he doesn’t want to, I’m not going to make him. That’s his choice. Of coarse it did hurt my feelings a bit that he ignored me. Matter of fact, I had to cry it off that night. Sometimes when you love someone so much, it hurts. But because I love him that much, I am going to go to our next visit next week like it never even happened. I have an idea up my sleeve. Both of them like animals, cat’s and dogs.  So I am going to bring two plush toys with me next time, with the hopes that things work out better. Usually when they puppeteer an animal toy of some kind, there is no violence involved.

On Valentines Day, I went to the One Billion Rising event. Once again, amazed at how many people came out to the event. There was so much support. People standing up against violence towards woman. A friend of mine said that it was quite suiting that I went out to the event, considering I am a survivor of domestic abuse. True, and it does mean a lot me. It strikes a cord. I feel as a survivor I am to share my experiences, I am to speak…in my own way, that is. I use this blog for one, and art as another form of expression. There is also my poetry.  I feel like that is partly what I am supposed to do, raise awareness, become an inspiration of survival. Who knows? Sharing my journey & experiences might help someone else get through it. Not that all experience the same exact thing, but similarities. Abuse does have patterns of behavior. It does help to recognize those patterns in order to break the cycle.

Anyway, a blogger I follow, Kellie Jo Holly, she is creating a charity that financially supports domestic abuse survivors. Donations will pay for therapy, and living expenses for up to six months after a victim has left their abuser. In order for a victim to survive, and not return to their abusive relationships, they need the emotional, and financial support.  To make a donation to this charity click on the following link:

I would also like to say thank you to the 258 people ( currently, and rising), who have viewed my video I created of the One Billion Rising event. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it below.

Besides that, I also attended the EVAC (East Village Arts Collective) S.O.S Open House last night. Of coarse I support EVAC. EVAC is the home of my very first art show with the New School of Colour. Like my fellow New School of Colour artists ( Sarah, and Geoff), I hope to have my own solo art exhibit held at EVAC one day. Places such as EVAC and the New School of Colour are what allow me to do what I do by offering me the space, and the materials to create art.  EVAC is cooperatively run by volunteers. They host concerts, exhibits, workshops, etc. They were recently in trouble of having to close their doors for good, but the good news is, is that the event raised enough to keep EVAC afloat for another couple of months. I think they add some positivity to the east side of London, considering the east doesn’t really have a good “reputation.” I’ve been to many shows, and some workshops, and from my own experience I’ve seen with my own eyes that it does bring the community together. So if you look past the negative judgments people have made of the east side of London, and seek the positive, EVAC is one of those positive places.

I had also put a video together of the event that took place at EVAC. So if you want to see for yourself, by all means. Check it out.

What else? I got a couple e-mails, and it’s been confirmed, my application fee has been received by the Ontario Universities Application Centre, and Western University has received my application. As the announcers on X-Factor say a gazillion times; “It starts now!” Yeah, I’m getting pretty nervous. I still need to hand in my transcripts. Which I will get right on that once the long weekend is over. Plus getting things going with NNEC or OSAP. Start applying for those, apply for both in case one declines. Although an acquaintance from Red Lake, Ontario, that works as a Financial Aid, told me that my best bet would be to go with NNEC, even though they are strict.

So yeah, sometimes I wonder if I can do it. Be a student part-time, work part-time, parent part-time. I admit, the change is scaring me. I have had moments of doubt. But then I think that isn’t really being fair to myself. Doubting myself before I even give it a try. Who knows? I might enjoy school this time around. So yeah, leap for it. I’ve waited long enough to be ready. I’m never going to feel 100% ready. Even though I am kind of blind folded with no sense of direction. I just got to take my chances and go for it. Give myself a chance for a change. I don’t really have anything to prove to anyone else, just to myself. And maybe I am scared of failure. I’ve led my grades slide before. Failure does have this negative black veil over it. So I’ve failed before, it’s not the end of the world, life went on. Perhaps I wasn’t mentally ready, mature or strong enough yet. I was on a path of a doormat, that got ruffled and tattered, but never shredded apart.

I have a friend that believes and admires me, and she’s miles away. I’ve never met her before. But I am somehow having an impact on her. She said the thing she likes about me most is that I do not surrender myself to anything or anyone that tries to think for me. So maybe I fear I’m that same person I was back then, when in reality, life has molded me  and changed me a lot since my first attempt at a post secondary education. Yes, in some ways I’m the same. Quiet around strangers, and unfamiliar surroundings. I quietly observe until I am comfortable to speak. The difference, I do not tolerate disrespect. I stand up for what I believe. I am no longer a doormat. Perhaps I am ready. – Pooks


By pooks82


Once again, I went out to peek into my mail box. I grabbed the paper. Started browsing through it and stumbled upon this…

1 Billion Rising battles gender violence with positivity as its rally cry.

Our fearless leader at the New School of Colour does it again. Get’s into the London Community News. Right on Jeremy!

As a survivor of abuse myself, I respect his actions. It just goes to show that not all men are the same, it’s reassuring in a way. And it does say a lot when men do get involved in prevention and awareness regarding domestic violence. So kudos to the ones that have the balls to do it. – Pooks


By pooks82

Busy, But Good

So, I am to contact 5 employers per day, which would be 25 per week. My Leads worker thought that would overwhelm me, last Wednesday at our appointment, but I am okay with it. Had it been 25 per day, than yeah, I probably would be stressing out. So far so good, and completed before lunch!

What else? I am happy to say that my sister is not angry with me for once again, saying “no” to her. In fact, she said; “No matter what, I am so proud of you.” Just the fact that I do have someone that loves me unconditionally, it means a lot. I know I wasn’t the only one whose been hurt when I lost my children. Even more reason to give it my best to bring my children home, even if it’s just weekends.

During my last visit, my son did mention his Aunt (My sister). He said that he misses her and that he worries that she won’t recognize him anymore. But I know my sister, I know how much she loves my children. They are her favorite little people. She will never forget, and she would recognize them in a heart beat, wherever they are. She loves them that much. My children truly do bring out her best. She glows with happiness.

Besides that, I submitted another poem to Writer’s Confidential/ Diana Janes World. Diana posts writing competitions each month, and the winner gets published on her blog. It use to be at it’s very own website, Writers Confidential, but it got too hectic for her. She’s got a lot going on. So she tries to keep it all in one place which is her blog at Diana Janes World. The challenge was to write a Valentines Day poem, but not to make it like every other love poem. Challenge accepted, and submitted. Winner gets to be “Writer of the Month.” So if you’re a writer, and you are interested in giving this months challenge a shot, visit the following link; . I highly suggest it. It’s been fun getting involved.

Tomorrow there will be an Idle No More Awareness event at Western University in the UCC Atrium at 9am. I’m hoping to go, although I am not a morning person. So that would probably mean waking up around 6am for me. I’m crossing my fingers that I make it, I really do want to go. I’m obviously, very passionate about Idle No More. I love that it is bringing people all over the world together. And I believe that our water and land is more valuable than oil and money. I’ve been saying and ranting about that before Idle No More even begun. It’s just good to see that other people feel the same way about it as I do, I’m not that crazy.

What else? For Valentines Day the New School of Colour ( My Sister’s Place location, as far as I know) will be attending a One Billion Rising flash mob at the Citi-Plaza to raise awareness regarding abuse against women. Last weeks project we were creating a banner for the event, which I will need to make some touch ups on, due to my own spelling errors. But I have an idea. So hopefully I will be able to touch it up Wednesday morning. I did kind of rush it, and I am not really a morning person, so yeah, my brain wasn’t fully functioning when I added my part to the banner. So I will need to fix it. I guess that’s what happens when you rush things, you get sloppy. Which is why I normally take my precious time with things.

Oh! Before I forget, I applied for Arts & Humanities at Western University online. So I should be getting the application fee directly deposited, so I can mail off a money order to the Ontario Universities Application Centre. I’ve applied for the part-time fall/ winter term of 2013.

I will need to contact O.S.A.P or N.N.E.C to pay for my tuition. Hopefully I don’t have too much trouble doing so, considering I did fail my first year at Fanshawe College. But that was decade ago. I am more mature now, I think. Haha! Plus, I am a mother, I have more serious reasons to be motivated than I was before. I also don’t smoke weed as I did back then. I barely even ever drink alcohol. Yes, I still struggle with sleep, and I’m still running late for things. But I think I am improving. Now a days it’s more of an anxiety thing. Some nights I cannot stop thinking about the following day, what I will need to do, so yeah. There are some nights where I barely sleep at all. Other days where I’m just so tired from the lack of sleep that I’m out for a good 10-12 hours to catch up on the sleep that I’ve missed. It get’s a bit rough sometimes. So those nights that I can relax without worrying, I am very thankful for those. It’s like I am constantly thinking, constantly worrying. I can’t even help it. I just want to be aware of things and prepared , so that things run smoothly.

Now that I’ve mentioned Fanshawe College, that reminds me, I need to request for a transcript. I hope that doesn’t put too much of a damper on my application. I did get depressed, and just let my grades slide. Racial discrimination didn’t help. Then my supposed mom ( one of my abusers) moving to London. Not just that, she moved in to my brothers & I’s apartment at the time. I know she told her co-workers differently, said that it was my brother and I that went broke, and we moved in with the folks. Ugh! She will say anything to look “good”.

But I don’t have to worry about her anymore. I’ve cut her and her bullshit out of my life. She whines, complains, belittles, and gossips. Too much negativity to take in. So yeah, I’ve cut her out. I don’t feel bad about it either. I keep remembering that a worker at the Goodwill Career Center said he did that, cut whoever was negative out of his life, even if it included family. Basically, If you’re going to be negative, there’s the door.

I try my best not to think about the impact of the change I will be facing if I get accepted. I try to focus more on what it is I need to be doing in the present. I’ll worry about that when it gets here. One thing at a time!

Tomorrow would be a good day to hit the bank, and the post office. Also to make that call to Fanshawe to request for my transcript. Oh wait, I cannot mail off the money order until I get a print of my Remittance Form. Which I requested my OW worker to do, since she has access to a printer. Once again getting ahead of myself. So I can get my Remittance Form next week at my OW appointment, and THEN mail off the money order. Welcome to my brain, it’s a chaotic place set on ludicrous speed ( Space Balls reference).

I shall leave it at that. Things are good. Busy, but good. – Pooks

“who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me from above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.” – 2Samuel 22:49

By pooks82

An Outside Perspective

Something on my mind, that I cannot stop pondering. So I might as well just get it out.

I have been somewhat getting along with a friend that I’ve had on and off issues with over the year. We at least talk. But she is not on my facebook, her statuses are more personal than she actually communicates in person. I said before, there are just some things I cannot face, or handle. Such as abuse in a relationship. Wither it be verbal, financially, sexually, or physically. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there. Seeing a friend go through it, or even hearing about it is not easy to take in, or just “accept”.

We were at my Sisters Place, she was talking about that before her and her boyfriend got back together she lashed out. To the point of being violent. Other women, were saying; “Good for you.” But deep down inside of me, I was disappointed. Disappointed that their abusive relationship escalated that far. So now she thinks he’s only being nice because he’s scared. He probably is. Fear is not love. You cannot make someone love you. You cannot control or change another person. I’ve tried to tell her that numerous times. But no, she’s convinced she can “change” him. I’ve also said many times that love is acceptance, there would be no need to change the other person if you accept the way they are. Love them for who they are.

They’re engaged, so the plus side is that her church requires couples counseling. For both their sake, I hope it works. That things don’t get worse than what they’ve already endured.

I know she thinks I don’t give a shit. But obviously I do.  Otherwise her problems wouldn’t be so hard for me to face. It’s hard to watch a friend be hurt, and go through the same pain I’ve gone through. Even I sunk to the level of physical abuse. I’m not proud of it. Throwing a dresser drawer at my ex’s face. I know that wasn’t right.

I watched a movie awhile back, it had a good quote.

“We accept the love we think we deserve” – The Perks of being a Wallflower

Maybe she thinks she can’t do better. But I sure as hell wasn’t any help putting her down the way I did. I was just trying to knock some sense into her. I do have the tendency to be a bit too harsh in doing so. My words are powerful, especially when written, and I abused that power to hurt another being. The name calling wasn’t necessary, I had taken it a bit too far.  And for that, once again, I am sorry. There are still some things I need to work on within myself, in order to break my own cycle. Obviously. I am aware of it. I will take responsibility for it. I need to admit my own mistakes in order to change.

I am very hard on her. But hey, I was in an abusive relationship for 5 years ( and a previous abusive relationship that lasted a year prior) before I snapped out of it and thought; What the hell am I doing here? I deserve better than this. Not to be with someone that brings out my worst, but to be with someone that will bring out my best.

I hope the counseling will help before things escalate any farther. Taking responsibility for your actions is a huge step forward. I am saying it as it is, I’ve mentioned before that she was in a cycle, I didn’t say what kind exactly. But abuse is abuse. No one deserves that.

It’s painful to see her abused. It’s even more painful to see her become an abuser. She’s afraid to be abandoned. With fear comes sorrow and pain. I know, I’ve been there. It’s a very dark, and lonely place to be.

I dread the worst, because I worry. Because I care.  I know deep down she isn’t a monster. She’s just scared. And maybe he acts the way he does, because he’s been scared too. I hope they both can face this to prevent any more abuse.

When you see it, or hear about it, it’s probably best to speak up. There was a time years ago in a previous relationship from the ex I normally speak of, that I tried to escape. I ran out of the apartment, I screamed for help. But no one was there. So I got dragged back into my own personal prison.I kind of wish someone did speak up that night, but no one did.

So I guess I’m doing this for them. I am spreading awareness. I am saying what it is. Even though she may deny, fuck, I was in so much denial before. It use to piss off all my support and drive them nuts. But it is, what it is. I can see it now, from a different perspective.

I am Pooks, and I am a survivor. – Pooks

By pooks82