#MeToo – A personal experience of its importance


When I saw the hashtag #MeToo all over my feed this morning I had mixed emotions. Excitement, happiness, relief that people were willing to talk about their experiences and any awareness surrounding sexual harassment, abuse and assault is great. But also uncomfortable, nervous feelings. These were the feelings that made me realise I needed to write this. To be honest, I’m not even sure where I’m going with this post but I wondered how many other girls were as scared as me today to even hashtag those two words.

I’m not going to go into detail of my experiences but I was a victim of sexual abuse for a long period of time, I was too young to really understand what was going on and to this day I still haven’t taken the time to deal with it.

I tried to go to therapy but honestly it made me feel worse. I wanted her to tell me it wasn’t my fault, I wanted some form of comfort perhaps that I’d been seeking for years but instead I was attacked with personal questions I wasn’t ready to answer. ‘Was it your dad?’, ‘Was it a family member, friend?’

She gave me facts about how likely it was that this person was to re-abuse or assault someone else. She told me I should tell her. Told me to approach the police because if I didn’t he might do it again. It was everything I didn’t want to hear, it made it all very real.

The words I remember most are ‘Its a wonder you’re as okay as you are, are you sure you are not having any other bad thoughts?’

That’s the thing isn’t it, it happens so often it sort of becomes normalised in the wrong ways. People will share tweets but its still so hard to turn to your closest friend and say ‘I was sexually harassed and I’m not okay.’ Its still something we’re all so scared to talk about. People still fall silent when the term even comes up in conversation. But it happens so often. The hashtag brings that to light.

Since trying to go to therapy, I’ve been reluctant to talk about it. But today reading about other peoples experiences I think its important that its spoken about not just so others can relate but also for myself.

I’m a pro at blocking out memories and building up walls, so in the past even thinking about this would make me feel uneasy. It made me feel guilty, dirty and I blamed it all on my younger and more vulnerable self. But its not my fault. It wasn’t my fault then and it isn’t now.

If you’re reading this and you’ve been through a similar experience it wasn’t your fault either. I promise. You might not believe this now but you’ll reach a point where you can be at peace with yourself.

I still get angry with them, I still sometimes get scared at night which often affects how I sleep and my experience has completely affected how I am with new people. Both sexually and even in friendships. It takes me a while to become comfortable with people. If you’re fairly new to the scene and you catch me on a bad day even hugging me could be a challenge for you.

BUT I don’t blame myself anymore, I still look back on my younger self with pity and sadness but I would tell that little girl to hang in there.

I have a long way to go, probably a lot of therapy sessions too (with the right person) but I’m still hanging in here. We are all struggling and that’s okay.

Of course I’m not glad it happened to me, I’ll never be thankful but I’m proud of the woman I am becoming because of my experiences and I’m grateful to have the opportunity of being women’s officer again this year so that I can run events such as ‘The Reclaim the night’ march to help raise awareness surrounding this topic and to help spread the word that IT IS NEVER OK.

If you can get down to similar events near you, please do. Don’t be afraid to talk about it and welcome those that need to speak with open ears. Everyone has a past, but how we deal with it can completely change our futures.

Hang in there. -Michaela Violet




Rupi Kaur, whats the hype about?


milk and honey

Everyone seems to be excited for the release of Rupi Kaur’s second book ‘The Sun and her Flowers’ which becomes available to buy on the 3rd of October, not long now folks! So I thought this would be a good time to write an honest personal opinion of the writer that everyone is hyped about lately and her last collection of poetry.

If you’ve been on Instagram at all in the past year you’ll probably know who I’m talking about or will have at least seen the ‘Milk and Honey’ book cover on the feed of a woman on the edge of empowerment or possibly a breakdown (the two often link).

Now I’m going to start off with a bit of negativity, but stay with me (I’m a huge fan). When I first read her book I went into it with the mind of an English student. Scrutinizing and depicting every word. My first thought was that it wasn’t written very well. I stand by this. I don’t think she is  particularly talented or that there is anything very outstanding about her style of writing or her use of language. Its also not very original (in my opinion of course). I think there are probably a lot of poets out there that are writing similar stuff of a similar standard. But then I guess you could say that with a lot of writing. But shes the one that made it and good on her. All of us writers are helplessly trying to get our work seen and shes managed it.

However saying all that, the simplicity of her work allows all readers to understand and really grasp everything she is discussing, which considering the nature of her work I think is really important especially for younger readers. And of course poetry isn’t just about long words or perfect layout its about the impact. Its about all the ‘stuff’ that’s being discussed within the context of the poem.

We need women to talk about real issues, now more than ever. We are a crucial time of the feminist ‘revolution’ in which we’ve achieved so much but its important we don’t let our successes become our downfall and become lazy in our fight for equal rights. Obviously living as a woman has become so much easier and our treatment has amazingly improved in recent history but we have a long way to go. This is why writers and artists like Rupi Kaur are needed right now.

We need to know we are a unit, having powerful women such as her give us a voice is empowering in itself. The issues she tackles are still approached with such reluctance, embarrassment and unease. Within her work Kaur zooms in on a lot of stigmatized topics such as sexual violence, racism and gender. She talks about love, heartbreak and growing up using a straight to the point approach.

I love her work for this reason alone never mind anything else I have to say about it. SHES TALKING. SHES BEING REAL. This is what we need. The more we discuss or open our minds to it all, the more accessible it becomes for women to approach others, to talk out about experiences and to ask for help because its okay to do so. It also allows us to feel more comfortable if people happen to approach us, because they are scary subjects, they are complex and often we need to be sensitive. But having a little slice of insight can help us become a little more ‘chill’ with it. It may just be a poem, but people are going through it every day so women, victims, readers being able to relate to something that is becoming so widespread is great.

As an English student I also love the idea that poetry has become ‘cool’ again and seems to be trending all over Instagram and twitter recently , if you look on hashtags on all social media you will find a lot of work from up and coming poets trying to get their work seen. Its still a struggle but its great that writers like Kaur are opening up the doors for the younger generation and showing new audiences that poetry can be ‘modern’ and ‘trendy.’ Its not all Wordsworth and Tennyson (although I think they’re pretty cool too).

So I will be waiting eagerly for her new book to come on sale (in fact I may even pre-order it right now) and I would recommend her last book and I’m sure I will her next to lovers of poetry, new readers or people that just want to know what all the fuss is about. Its perfect for on the go reading, although I ended up going through it in one sitting the first time.

Michaela Violet.




Emotional abuse is just as painful. 

When I was younger I heard people speak about my mum. How ‘beautiful’ and ‘youthful’ and ‘relaxed’ she was. I always wondered what had happened to her as I watched her battle with her own self esteem, anger and anxiety.

I didn’t realise till I was a bit older, that she was in an abusive relationship. I didn’t understand that the fighting and comments weren’t normal. That the things being thrown at my mum, the pushing and the violence was wrong.

After seeing the abusive man my father turned into after a few drinks I was clear of one thing; I would never be with someone like him and I would never let myself get treated how my mother and her children did for years.

But what I never realised was how easy it is to get yourself into a situation like that. That sometimes those things follow months of happiness and love.

When I was 16 I thought I’d found ‘the one’ as most of us do, I was young and in love and completely intoxicated by him in every way.

But one day, he started checking my phone, mostly when I wasn’t in the room. I didn’t think much of it until he was forcing me to block people I had been friends with for years because they had made me smile more than he had. He talked shit about everyone I loved and told me lies about things they had said to try and turn me against them.

It became a routine, that he would check my phone regularly but after a while I would just hand it over after his commands.  I was so scared I had done something wrong, I withdrew from every body so there wasn’t a chance of it. I was frightened another day would end in hours of me being guilt tripped or ignored. Or that I would lose him. I ended up making another Facebook account (or being forced to) in which he chose who I could add. He’d come to my work before I finished to check I wasn’t talking to guys. And if he caught me talking for more than 5 seconds to someone of the opposite sex I would be interrogated about it for days.

A few times he told me I couldn’t go into work, if I did I didn’t love him and there was no point me even staying. I rang up and lied. I was then scared of getting into trouble at work.

I was predicted A*A*A for my final year at college, I did well and had unconditional offers (one of which I took) but I didn’t get these results because I was more bothered about him. I didn’t have time to concentrate on my work or my own life.

I was doing his college work for him, (you’re welcome for the entire essay I did for you on witchcraft even though I didn’t study it). Most days he would ignore me for hours and hours to be on his computer (everyone needs there space but I was afraid to even speak in case I upset him) He’d do this until we went to bed or he needed me to do something. If I spoke I was in the wrong, if I complained I was in the wrong. Everything was my fault.

I  was going to the shop to buy him snacks at the click of his finger. Most days he refused to come with me and even kicked me out of his house once because I told him I wouldn’t. He would leave me in places I couldn’t get back from late at night, so I would have to walk miles alone in the dark just because he’d decided ‘he didn’t want me there anymore’.

Things got worse to the point where he was pushing me to dress in a certain way and telling me he didn’t like certain aspects of my appearance, forcing me to take out my piercings and ‘dress more feminine’.  He told me I needed to lose weight and said I ‘should just stop eating.’ At this point I was 18 years old, suffering from the same self esteem issues as any other teenager so hearing comments like this constantly down your ear is heartbreaking. But I still stayed.

Towards the end he would make comments about our sex life and I felt guilt tripped into doing things with him whenever he wanted it. It was never my choice. He knew I didn’t want to but that didn’t matter. It should have mattered and I should have said no. It wasn’t always like this, so I thought it was normal to feel like you had to do these things. But I didn’t love him anymore so it was all for him. I was just afraid of upsetting him and I didn’t think I could make it on my own.

He broke up with me on my 18th birthday 10 minutes in, but came crawling back when I found someone new.

I took him back.

I like to think people can change but everything he said to me, every apology was a lie.

It all got worse.

I could go on forever about the psychological abuse and things he guilt tripped me into doing, the hours I spent trying to be someone I wasn’t because I didn’t feel like anything I did was ok anymore, but some things don’t need to be told.

The night it all clicked was when he said to me ‘I really wanted to hit you before, I was so close’. It was everything I needed to hear in order to walk away.

Its been two years since then and I can honestly say I’ve only just come to terms with it all. I thought I was over it and if people asked me I probably would have said I was, but I was blocking out the anger and sadness I felt towards this part of my life without realising how much it was affecting me.

It’s taken another relationship which I will forever be grateful for because honestly it saved me. I realised what being in a relationship was supposed to be like and that everything I put up with was not okay. My last ex will always hold a place in my heart for the endless nights he put up with my tears because of abuse I suffered before him and for showing me what love actually is. (If you happen to hear about this or read it,  you will know who you are, thank you always).

For people that know me reading this, you know how confident I am. I look and say what I want most of the time, this is why so many people asked me ‘why did you stay?’ Or ‘why did you never talk to me about it?’ I usually joke and say ‘because I was a prick’ but honestly I was scared, in love and I didn’t even realise what he was doing was wrong.

I lost a lot of friends along the way, as I distanced myself from people. Through fear of the arguments and abuse my friendships caused. Through apprehension that somehow they would end up getting hurt too and would somehow end up tangled up in the situation I had gotten into. So I’m sorry if you were one of these people. I’m sorry if something we had was lost because I didn’t fight for it.

I wanted to make this blog to try and help people, but it seems I’ve mostly just written about my story which honestly has probably only helped me by getting it off my chest.

But to anyone reading this who may feel like they’re in a similar situation and is scared, there is a way out. Even if you talk to a friend or family member it can help.  I was too scared to do this for so long because I was afraid of the truth. Afraid I would make him look bad (Haha).

But when I finally reached out just hearing people tell me it was wrong, tell me I deserved more and them giving me a safe place to talk and cry helped me come to terms with what I had been through.

I promise you can live without him (or her). You can be safe and happy. And you can have a life of your own.

Most importantly you may not even realise you are in a toxic and ‘abusive relationship’ because a lot of the time when you hear this term you think of a victim with bruises and violence. But emotional abuse is so real and hurtful too. It can create so many issues with your confidence, mental health and you never know what’s going to be the next step.

The recovery after is hard, I’m not going to lie and in some way I will probably always be affected by all of this when it comes to relationships but I know it wasn’t my fault and I always try and remember this in the choices I now make. I’ve been guilty of acting in ways or repeating behaviours that I shouldn’t have because I thought they were normal.

I control every aspect of my appearance now and I try new things for me and only me. But when someone makes a similar remark about something I once heard off him, it can still affect me. I suffer from low self esteem some days, I find it hard to trust people and I still often let myself get treated badly by people because I’ve never known any different, but I’m working on it.

I am hoping this experience will help me to support others in similar situations whilst taking on the role as Women’s Officer of my university this year.

A little message for this ex- Don’t worry dick head, I’ve remembered how amazing I am.

I’ve put a couple of useful links below (how to spot the signs of abuse and getting help). As I’ve not given a lot of actual information and I feel like these may have been a great help a couple of years ago for me:





Date yourself as well as your other half

So I obviously don’t mean change your relationship status to ‘in a relationship with myself’ or anything like that. I’m talking about the simple phrase ‘love yourself’ that is constantly thrown around these days. 

After splitting up with exs in the past, people always told me ‘you learn something from every person’ or ‘it’ll make your relationships stronger in the future’ and of course at the time you sit and nod (hiding the ever mounting tears) because they were your whole life and you don’t know what to do now you’re on your own. 

But that’s the problem. We are one person, we can surround ourselves with amazing magical people and that’s great, but ultimately we are alone. If you’re not happy with yourself how the hell are you gonna be happy with anyone else? 

We all have goals, ambitions and something we strive towards. But so often we put them on hold for stuff. Whether it’s to save money, find the time. We accept that sometimes things won’t happen instantly and we have to work towards it. But someone else, love, should never be a reason to stop trying to get there. 

It’s so easy to think now you’ve found someone that makes you happy right now, they will make you happy forever. That a settled life; the white picket fence and the kids playing in the garden sounds just fine. But you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, do you want to look back and say ‘I should have travelled’ or ‘I wish I’d taken that job’ or even simply ‘I wish I’d gone and looked at that other uni’ because you decided not to do any of these things because your partner didn’t seem happy about it or you wanted to work around their life and your life together. Dream big, if your significant other is ‘the one’ you’ll make it work. 

Don’t rearrange your life, your plans and your friggin’ dreams around anyone because as cheesy as it is we do only live once. We don’t get yesterday again and we never will. 

This is one thing I now realise I have learnt, one thing I will take into my next relationship or whatever lies round the corner for me. 

It’s hard to think like this when you become entangled in a relationship you think is your whole life. When you are encapsulated by a person so much you think they’re all you need. Well love them, enjoy your life together but enjoy yours separately. Because you’ll find yourself slipping away from being an individual and falling into the destructive path of being that couple that are just known for being a couple. 

Buy yourself flowers or jewellery, whatever it is you want. Go on long walks by yourself or with friends (those people you may have forgotten about by now), start drawing or painting. Get your hair cut how you want it. Go for that job interview that’s in another city because it’s important. Just as important as your relationship that you will make work anyway, anywhere. Give yourself all the love and care you give your partner. You should never ever treat them better than you treat yourself. Be selfish sometimes. Let them pick what you have for tea, but don’t let them change where you want to be in 10 years time. 

Love yourself. Date yourself. Just do you for you. And the right people will fit themselves into YOUR life. 

13 Reasons Why

Everyones talking about it. The newest Netflix show to hit the headlines. But Im so confused…

Maybe im supposed to be confused? Because mental health can’t be placed under specific actions or words. It can’t always be specifically categorised…

But we didn’t really get to see Hannahs side of the story, not really. We heard her tapes, we listened as she said what she wanted to say.

But what about the days in which her depression stopped her from wanting to be near another human being? The days she couldn’t even be bothered to wash? Face the world? The days where she begged for help and not because she wanted to get back at someone? We never saw them…

I feel like we missed all that because the story line was too caught up on her revenge plan. Is this a missed opportunity for society to really see what depression and mental illness is really like?

Of course the series is calling at a younger target audience, so maybe it’d be too much to see, maybe the show wouldn’t be seen by such a huge audience if the reality of it all was actually shown? But surely we need to start showing younger people, making them aware of what may hit them at any point of any day? Because god knows, we dont do that enough. I remember sex ed in school, but I dont remember being told that one day you may wake up numb? One day you may not be able to catch your breath, because your anxious, worried about everything. The world is closing in on you. That is called a panic attack to anyone who isn’t aware. But how would you know?

But is it upto producers? Directors? Film makers? Maybe its upto everyone…

As critical as I am of the show, I think its great… It kept you watching, it made you care, it made you think.

That’s important here, this thinking, this discussion that has followed the shows release has allowed us to see that our actions and words do have consequences… That they can lead to the death of another. Its made us atleast question what we say to others, how other people are really feeling. So does it matter that it may not be a true depiction of someone’s battle with depression?

By the end of the show, I was mad at Hannah. I dont know if I was supposed to be feel that. I was mad because she’d done the same thing to everyone else as they did to her, even when she knew how it felt. In my experience when youve been through something so tragic, it makes you more understanding. But then Im only one person.. Everyone feels and experiences things differently.

I was mad that they felt the need for another suicide (attempted). I felt like Hannah was losing her protagonist role by the end of the film. But then again, why should her words go without consequences?

To be honest, im still not sure what to make of any of it, ive been left after binge watching the rest of the series yesterday with so many questions, so many thoughts… But then I guess that’s mental health and sometimes we just dont know how it is truly affecting someone.

Just think before you speak, because you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.

‘Keep on keeping on’

hairMy good friend Reece has been telling me this for a few weeks now. “Keep on keeping on.” I feel like I owe him more credit than ‘good friend’, hes fucking mint and totally on my level (sorry Reece).

When he first said it (probably in response to a breakdown I’d just had) I kinda just laughed it off. Infact I probably didn’t even manage that, I probably gave him some form of fake smile.

But as times carried on I basically realised… Well just that, it does go on.WAIT, time carries on?? As easy as it is to believe after something shit has happened or you’ve been down in the dumps for a while, that the world is officially going to end and all life as we know it stops. It doesnt. Life goes on. Time continues.

With or without you.

And that’s the big thing here. You either let whatever it is win, you get in the dumps (which you will for a while anyway) and stay there or you ‘keep on keeping on.’

But heres what ive been thinking about. Either way you do this, either way you live. But its how you choose to carry on, keep on, that’s all down to you.

So take all the fucking shit and negativity and just change it. It’ll seem so hard to do. So much easier to say, right? But just do it. Even if at first you dont want to, its awful, whatever, just do it. I’m convincing myself here too, dont worry.

Go on that holiday, start a blog, finish your essays, go to that life drawing art class youve always wanted to go to and start looking at more art, everywhere, because you want to pick up your paints again and think about the next cover you wanna do because its been so long since youve even sung. This is some of the things im doing. (You’re probably all much cooler than me).

Life is too short to not do what you want to do and be the person you are supposed to be.

Life is also really fucking scary and can change in any split second (honestly, I know) but dont be the coward that runs away. Grab it by the fucking balls and live. Deal with the consequences, the shit. It wont just disappear I’m afraid.

Dont be afraid of taking chances, dont be afraid of being wrong or changing your mind about a person, place or decision because we all fuck up sometimes.

Accept that, we can all be shit. We can all make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up about it because yesterday is history.

Im not saying you’re going to be magically better or not feel like shit 75% of the time but its a start. And I’m hoping everyone is right about ‘time being a healer’ because if not I’m totally fucked.

So I’m sorry Reece, I’ve decided I wont be using the phrase ‘keep on keeping on’ anymore, I wanna live and really live. I don’t just want to carry on because I have to. And maybe things will never be the way I want them, people may never come back or situations may get shitter but I’ll make the most of it. I’ll learn. ‘Grow through what you go through.’

I’m scared of my own feelings. I’m worried about the future. I’m hurt and afraid but I’m so ready to make new memories and figure out who the fuck I wanna be. Bring on the good and bad days. I’m sure there will be plenty of both.

Stop with the fake bullshit

We’re all guilty of it. Putting up that picture so someone will see it. For the likes, for the support, to show everyone how friggin’ great our lives are?

But are they that great?

Probably not.

Or maybe I’m just a pessimist. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. But honestly stop with all the bullshit posts. We masquerade all the crap we are going through with pictures of nights out. The ones we probably only went on for a temporary happiness fix.

With pictures of great holidays. The ones were now working our asses off to pay back as our overdrafts and bills pile up.

I love seeing my mates happy and knowing whats going on in peoples lives, because its hard to constantly be in touch with everyone and social media makes that a tad easier.

But don’t be that person that hides behind the mask, that posts the ‘happy pic’ of you and your boyfriend minutes after an argument because you want everything to be okay. You need it to be okay and if the world thinks its fine, it is, right?

Sometimes things are shit and its alright to share that with your friends. Its okay not to be okay. Post about it. Or don’t, but don’t pretend everything’s fine and dandy. Because maybe it’ll help someone. Maybe that person that craves your social media ‘perfect’ lifestyle needs to know they’re not alone with the bad days. And just maybe taking a break from pretending, will help you. You can actually find time to deal with the issues, reach out to people because you’re not hiding behind your fake life.

We all put the best of our lives on these sites, the person we want people to know us as, instead of the person we are. Why not, actually work on being that person? Take time to deal with the shit and better the good.

And don’t think because your mates getting 234 likes on their profile picture, going out boozing every night and sharing a load of pics of their new buys that they have the perfect life. Maybe they do, but most people have demons. Most people have some shit going down and that’s fine. Not everything you see of people online is real. A lot of it probably isn’t. They’re probably doing the same thing as the rest of us. Faking it.

Give it a break. GET REAL.