#plus40 fabulous- What Makes Me Proud?

#plus40 fabulous- What Makes Me Proud?

In this months #plus40fabulous it was the lovely Cathy that picked the theme and chose to hear what all of us are proud of.

I'm proud of many things in my life like being a mum to a beautiful and clever girl, achieving my Master's Degree in my 30s and moving away from home as a 15 year old and still being able to take care of myself and be independent. All these things has made me who I am today and is something I look back on with pride and a smile.

Something that I look back on with pride is something much more serious and what made me really grow up.

When I was a teenager I was in a relationship that was less than healthy. It was my first love and I was head over heels in love, or what I thought was love back then. Looking back now, it was more the feeling loved and wanted that was the driving force of the relationship as we were very different. We should have realised that this relationship was a disaster just waiting to happen, but unfortunately not.

He was around the same age as me and very charming. Let me call him P from now on to make it easier. Musician and so self confident and he blew me off my feet with his charm and jokes. I was a very inexperienced and easily led young girl that had struggled with the lack of self confidence since being bullied in school just a year or two before. So all this attention was something I needed very much as I didn't feel attractive from the opposite sex. I had had a few casual flings before, so he wasn't my first, but he was my first proper boyfriend.

The first few months was like a dream and we moved in together really quickly. I moved from my little bedsit where I had lived since I moved away from home to the capital of Norway, Oslo. The change was dramatic both in size and in surroundings. I went from this little place with 3500 people to a city of  500000. I didn't have any friends in Oslo and no family. My mother lived around an hour outside of Oslo, but in Oslo I was on my own. But I didn't care, cause I had him! I had the guy that loved me and made me feel special. But the happiness soon came to an end. After living in Oslo for about a month I realised that I had done something very stupid as our relationship was far from great! P was controlling and manipulative and had objections to me going to watch football matches and even talking to my dad. Things gradually became worse and worse and he started systematically to mentally suppress me and make me so scared and belittle me that I really believed that I couldn't survive without him.

I had always had a loving family who showed me lots of affection and gave me praise, so being together with someone who treated you like you were nothing worth made me doubt myself massively. I started thinking that I was just not better and couldn't get anyone better. I hated the way he always told me how much prettier all other girls he saw were than me, everyone seemed more interesting and if I as much as talked to another man, all hell broke lose! P carried on like this for a few months and the mental abuse became worse and worse. I came into an evil circle of lies to try and live as normal life as possible which proved very hard.We split up a couple of times, but not for long as he kept on getting in touch. And he always kept repeating that "we will always meet again". On a few occasions we had drunken fights where we literally had fist fights with each other and one time P pushed me down a set of stairs so I miscarried the baby I was carrying as he didn't believe that it was his baby. He threw me out and I had to walk along the streets more than once with nowhere to go. This was a game for P as he knew I would come crawling back to him, cause I was too proud to tell my dad as I didn't want to lose face or admit that he was right since he had warned me about this boy all along.

I went back to him time after time after time, but after about one and a half year I had managed to get myself into a big web of lies so my boyfriend didn't believe what I was saying any more. His response to this was to lock me up, doors and windows, when he went to work and also remove the phone so I couldn't call anyone for help. I was literally a prisoner in my own home. I was dead scared cause what if something happened, like a fire, what would I do then? A few days went past and I didn't know what to do or how to get out of this situation as it was so difficult. One night he was going to his mum's house for dinner I lied and complained that I was in agony and had to go to the doctor. He had promised his mum to come and help with something so he couldn't stay behind to help me to the doctor so he trusted me with the keys after I had assured him that I would take a taxi up to his mum after I'd seen the doctor. As soon as he left I quickly packed the stuff I had into a couple of suitcases and left. I didn't know where to, but I knew that I had to cause it had become too dangerous for me. I didn't know if P would have done something more serious to hurt me, but I feared for my life.

As I was walking down the street toward the city centre of Oslo I came to think about the women's refuge as I had been there once before when I had to flee. And I thought that this was the only place I could go. When I came there I was met by a lovely woman who took me in and I was so scared and I said to her. P will come here to get me as he know I will be here. She assured me that everything would be ok and that he wouldn't be allowed in there and if he was being threatening they would call the police.

The next day they called me from the reception up to my room and they said that P had been there to take me back home and he had told them that I had no reason to stay there as he hadn't hit me. That was the truth then, he hadn't hit me, but he had been abusing me in a different way that is just as bad as physical violence. And as I told them, he had been harming me physically before as they had in their papers from the time I stayed there before.

I stayed in the refuge for about 4 months and found out that the best thing for me was to move away from Oslo. I moved to a place up north in Norway called Fauske where I moved in with my best friend Marianne who I lived with for a month till I got my own place. I stayed up there for almost a year. This year was like an escape for me. I lived like any other 19 year old would do. I partied, I spent time with friends, I met a lot of new people and I had other boyfriends that actually made me feel attractive.

In August, one month after my 20th birthday I was seeing this boy, D, who lived in Oslo and since I was up in north of Norway I started getting tired of a long distance relationship so I decided to move back to Oslo again to be nearer to D. This was a bad move for me cause for some reason I got in touch with my ex again despite I had a lovely boyfriend that was besotted with me. Things went from bad to worse and P started getting a grip over me again and got me to think bad things about D. P said that my D was probably just using me for sex while he was looking for something better as D's ex girlfriend was a typical beautiful Scandinavian girl while I was more of an alternative girl with multi coloured hair and chubby. I believed P and things got really bad between me and D as he felt so tired of having to justify why he was with me all the time, so things ended. This made me think and made me realise that the root to all my troubles was P and his manipulative ways of treating me to think that I wasn't good enough for anyone else than him. And this was a person who said that he didn't find me attractive, but that he felt like I was more like a sister to him. Who in their right mind sleeps with their sister?? All these thoughts I had was a big revelation for me and for the first time since I met him I did a bold move. I lived on my own in Oslo in a little flat and I invited P around to watch a movie, but I wanted to tell him exactly how I felt. I wasn't scared cause I knew the guy in the flat next door and I left the door open so he could hear if we started fighting. I had warned him beforehand. P came around and I started talking to him how I felt and how he made me feel. He had his own way of always trying to talking me over and trying to "win" a conversation, but this time he was in for a fight, cause I had been spending a lot of time thinking about this and the anger I felt inside myself made me very strong. I had just wasted over 3 years on and off with being scared of him, being controlled by him and letting him having this manipulative grip over me. I told him exactly how I felt and how I wanted him to disappear out of my life. He didn't get angry, he got more cocky and had a smirk on his face as he left my flat saying "we will always meet again".

When he left I was so shaky and empty that I fell to the floor just crying unstoppable. I have taken a lot of learning from these years of my life. I felt so strong and so proud of myself that I had finally dared to face my fears and stand up to him and be true to myself. Since then I haven't seen him and this is more than 20 years ago now.

If you want to read what all the other girls have been proud of please follow the links under.

Cathy: http://www.southernyacht.blogspot.co.uk/ 
Christy: http://www.sprintingwithscissors.blogspot.co.uk/ 
Daisy: http://daisysays.co.uk  
Kath: https://fatheffalump.wordpress.com 
Kellie: http://www.bigfashionista.co.uk/  
Leah: http://www.justmeleah.co.uk  
Lee: http://www.pinkybellesshed.co.uk/  
Lisa: http://www.kitandkoboodle75.blogspot.co.uk/  
Nikki :http://www.nattynikki.com/  
Perelandra: http://www.pamperandcurves.com/ 
Sarah: http://www.plussizeproud.co.uk  
Steph: http://www.misskittenheel.com  
Vicky: http://www.therandomnessoftwee.blogspot.co.uk
Yvonne: http://woosangwashere.blogspot.com  - See more at: 


Treasure Hunt In My Wardrobe

Treasure Hunt In My Wardrobe

When this year started I told myself I was going to see how long I could go before I bought anything as I'm trying to save all the money I can to travel now that I'm not working. Clothes are something that are always tempting to buy, but travels are my number one priority, so since I have so many clothes in the wardrobe I challenged myself to find some gems in there I had completely forgotten about.

Until last week I had not spent a penny on clothes, shoes, accessories or handbags which again has resulted in Mike and I being able to save up for 4 abroad holidays/travels so far this year. Not bad for someone on one income. We have been living modestly, but it's all about how you prioritise.

It's no secret that I love colours so my wardrobe is filled with patterns and colours in all shades. I first found this lovely cardigan from Sainsbury's that I had only used a couple of times and I squeeled with joy over my found.

I looked further and found this dress that I think Leah gave me one time quite a while ago, and I'm not sure if I've worn it before. I tried it on and it was such a nice fit that I decided to team the two as I think purple and yellow goes so well together.

I love the pattern in this cardigan. It kind of gives me the vintage feel which I love so much. The colours are so pretty together and the purple in the dress is stunning too. It's a size 20 from Sainsbury's. I very often size down in cardigans as I love them to be a bit snugger for more definition of my body. I also like it if the cardigans are a bit short as I think shorter jackets works so well on big busts.

Love the sweetheart neckline on this dress. Opens up the chest in a subtle way. 

Wearing one of my favourite necklaces this plastic "oil" look chain from Primark. 

Wearing my lovely boots from Evans a few seasons ago, but they are good as gold even if I've worn them quite a bit and they are so comfortable. I love Evans for footwear as their range fit my calves and feet perfectly.

I'm going on holiday in a months time so I've been doing some diy on some clothes I already own to make new outfits out of them as well to be a bit more money conscious. I want to have more pocket money when I'm out there, so by upcycling things that you normally wouldn't wear again you can save a lot of money.

I have spent £45 on three things so far. One new skirt, a pair of new sandals and a handbag, but overall I'm very proud of my decrease in spending money on clothes and rather go on a treasure hunt among what I already own.

Do you spend a lot of money on clothes or do you prioritise differently?


Is The International Women's Day Really Necessary?

Is The International Women's Day Really Necessary?

Happy 8th of March all women around the world. It's our day today! It's a time of the year where everything around us in nature is coming alive and so is the one day a year where we are encouraged to celebrate women's rights. 

I got up this morning and as usual while having my breakfast I'm reading the news. I normally read the news in English and Norwegian online newspapers and today was no different. 

I hadn't got very far into my sandwich before I read a headline that questioned the importance of the International Women's Day. And in a different publication another one. And this is happening every year. 

It's almost like everyone from young fresh writers in student media to experienced journalists are struggling with angling, how do we write about Women's Day this year? Most seem to choose the following solution: there is not much to write about, therefore it must be outdated and not much need for it any more. That is when they have fallen into the first trap. The belief that the thought of the importance of this day is something new and controversial. And that is where they are wrong! This is the same mistake I see happen every year! It is quite reasonable to assume that the the writers in various media ask the question whether the International Women's Day is outdated are reflected and people who likes to keep themselves up to date on the news around the world. Because of this, we can expect that they are following general news, have the ability to see the news in perspective and see relations between historical, geographical and sociocultural aspects. Despite this the majority of articles I see written about March 8th celebrations in media completely lack perspective. 

We are in 2016 and throughout my life I've felt a lot of everyday sexism. I've been groped on public transport by strangers, I've faced inequality in work places because I'm a woman and I've been sexually taken advantage of. 

To give you a couple of more detailed examples from my own life how I've experienced sexism  I was being called a tomboy as a little girl because I liked "boy friendly" subjects like history and geography, I also loved helping my dad repairing bicycles or other DIY. My dad was a hunter and taught me how to use a gun and there were few things I enjoyed more when I was growing up than going fishing. Some people commented that I was raised as a boy. Was I? No, my dad didn't see any limitations because of my gender. He saw my interest and eagerness to learn things, so he didn't care if it was traditionally a "boy thing". He also saw my interest for more "girly" things as dressing up in nice clothes and I loved crafts like sowing and making jewellery. He also encouraged me to do these things. Both my parents were very good at supporting everything I wanted to do regardless of what it was.  You might call this example pretty innocent, but it's still sexism. 
At the other end of the scale I experienced something when I as a young adult that was far worse. I was a victim of domestic violence. It was my first love and I was inexperienced and didn't see the warning lights. I was blinded by love and charm. It was first and foremost psychological violence, but words have a tendency of hurting you just as much as a fist. And certain episodes were life threatening as well, so it wasn't a walk in the park. I was lead to believe that I was to blame for it, cause I had to lie to get out of difficult situations , but looking back now, this was not my fault at all. It was all my boyfriends power over me. Because of my good upbringing I was strong and independent enough to get away before it was too late.  A lot of women aren't as strong or fortunate. They might be in a situation where they are completely depending on the man they live with. Not everyone is lucky to have financial help or the chance to get away. They might be so afraid and lead to believe that if they are going somewhere else he will come after them and kill them.  And these are a couple of things in each end of the scale why it is so important to fight for women's rights.  All women no matter where or in what kind of situation they are in should be able to take decisions for their own lives, decide over their own body and be given the same opportunities as men.

These few things are just a small reason why it is so important for newspapers and media in general to stop asking the question if the International Women's Day has become outdated, cause it's so obvious that it is more important than ever. Maybe even more so internationally with women all over the world struggling. I hope that when next March 8th comes around I will be able to read one article in media that shows how discriminatory mindset and attitudes governing political decisions leads to frequent violations of women's human rights - internationally. This requires that we understand the importance of international women's solidarity, both today and throughout the year.

Happy 8th of March all my sisters around the world!!!

Xxx Mookie