personal

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tw: homophobia


Hello people. I would wish you a happy Sunday but at this moment in time that just doesn't feel right to me.

Once again I have to sit here and write on my blog that I'm sorry about and saddened by the state of the world. Not only for the people currently in Charlottesville, but for the people who have to live in this violent reality every single day. I wish there was more to say, but seeing as I don't think I would be able to do any justice to it, I won't.

I also want to apologise in advance for my writing today. I have something in my head I just really need to vent. Today probably isn't the best time to do it, and I am torn about doing so because I in no way want to present what many people may see as a non-problem when there are such scary realities happening right now. I in no way face the same oppression as most people in this world, and I hope I don't present myself as such.

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You may have noticed (or not) that I haven't written in a couple of weeks, and there is a very specific reason for this. If you read my "Pride" post, you will know my romantic… situation, shall we call it? If you haven't, I'll very quickly break it down: I'm polyamorous, which means I don't believe love only has to be between two people, and I don't think monogamy is the only viable relationship option. I'm in a relationship with two people, one of whom I'm married to, and the other I've been in a relationship with for about 8 months and who lives 1.5 thousand miles away.

Last week, I flew that distance to go see them in person for the first time.

We spent 5 days together, and it was one of the best periods of time in my entire life. I was, and am, ridiculously happy about us. After all the frets from others (and the lesser but still existing niggling doubts of myself) of whether it was 'real' or 'safe' or whether everything would be okay, it was perfect.

I'll point out here that since that last aforementioned blog post, I have had discussions with several people about my 'other' relationship. Almost every single person has reacted the same: a little concerned, needing explanations, and in the end, happy so long as we are all happy (and then having a separate conversation with my husband just to double check that he is, in fact, "okay"). I am so incredibly lucky that I have such supporting friends and family, especially when others (my partner included) are not afforded the same.

So, I spent five days away and it affirmed everything I already knew: I was completely in love with them, and they with me. And for the alleviation of doubt, because I know this is what everyone wonders: no, it does not change the way I feel about my husband, and no, it does not change the way they feel about theirs (they are also married).

I was incredibly upset about leaving, and then I missed my transfer flight on the way home, which, on top of already being hormonal and emotional, just made me a fit of tears for the whole day. And then, something completely unexpected happened.

I was with a family member, who didn't yet know about the situation, and whom I actually hadn't even come out as bi to because I just assume people know… and they became the first person who reacted negatively to it.

On a day when I was already upset, coming off the back of one of the happiest times of my life, I was told the following:

 

"I knew there was more to this"

"You've always been so weird"

"I always knew there was something wrong with you"

"I can't believe you've just flown thousands of miles to fuck some girl"

"Does [my husband] have gay tendencies? Actually don't tell me, I don't want to know"

"I can't believe you"

"It's just fucking weird"

"Well I guess it's better you went there than [my daughter] waking up to some bird in your bed"

"So you're gay? I was surprised when you married a bloke"

"So… what? You all just share a bed?"

"It's weird that [my husband] is straight. I could understand it if he liked blokes too. Then you could have an arrangement"

"I knew there was something weird when I saw you with some girl on facebook. Actually I didn't even know if it was a girl or a boy. Whatever."

"I'm over it now. Can we go gay clubbing? I love gay clubbing. Guys buy me drinks and then I let them down after."

 

I'll say it again: I don't expect everyone to understand. I don't expect everyone to be okay. I don't expect everyone to want to discuss it and ask questions and get to know them. I don't expect everyone to change their world view to fit mine. I don't even really expect people to even take an interest, for the most part.
At the end of the day, this relationship directly affects exactly five people: me, my husband, my daughter, them, and their husband. And yes, that may be "weird", but to us it feels absolutely normal and absolutely right. We love each other. All of us. I may be in love with them, but I absolutely love and consider their husband part of my family too now, the same way they feel about mine and my daughter.

However

That doesn't make the things I had to hear hurt less. To know that deep down it's nobody else's business doesn't help ease the stabbing feeling in my gut to once again be told in my life that I am weird, that there is something wrong with me. Do you know how many times I've had to hear that?
And yes, I've always known there was something different too, and as I said previously, I have been so happy in finding my identity because it helps me come to terms with that. It helps me understand my past actions, it helps me understand my feelings. It helps me feel that there is somewhere I fit in. And now? I'm back to not knowing.
I still love the person who said those things, because although I was upset, I was not entirely surprised, and I know that somewhere inside it comes from a protective and caring aspect of their personality. I know they love me. I know they are concerned for my safety. I know that my worldview is completely different to theirs.

But If someone felt comfortable enough to say that to my face, what are people saying behind my back? I am so, so, so lucky. I have the entire world in my hands. My husband is perfect, my daughter is perfect, my partner is perfect. And yet…

Here I am. My stomach in knots. Fourteen years old again. Too weird. Something wrong with me. Not worthy of the love I have.

kirsten-xo

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MAKEUP OF THE DAY 17.05.17

Do you ever have one of those days where it feels like you take hundreds of selfies and not one of them is nice? That was me yesterday.

This has not been a great couple of weeks; let me just say that from the offset. Emmie has had chickenpox and I was hoping I would get it (because I’ve never had it and want to get it over with). I didn’t get chickenpox, but I did get a period of my anxiety going through the roof, which made me chew my nails, which gave me a nasty infected finger. Then my period came along, and for me that is basically 6 days of continuous pain. Our boiler has also been broken for over a week now. So basically, this combination of things =  in pain, stuck in the house, unwashed, bad mental health, looking after a poorly child. I’ve been wearing pajamas every day, hair in an unwashed, unbrushed topknot, my house is going to shit, and everything else other than trying to look after myself and my daughter has gone to the wayside.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I made a commitment to myself that if I started up this blog again, I would be honest. It’s easy to get caught up in pictures of pretty clothes and makeup, and that’s not always the reality.
I’m a stay at home Mum, and right now the reality is pretty shit. So it goes.

So, after a period of feeling stuck in a rut, I was feeling very, very bored and decided that my makeup needed to come out to play. It took ages, but obviously, being in a state where I just didn’t feel good anyway, I didn’t like how it turned out. But I am not letting it go to waste by not posting it here. So, here we go.

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I’d be embarrassed to show you how many pictures are actually on my phone from trying to capture a decent picture of my makeup. I think the problem was that, a) I didn’t feel good in the first place, and b) I don’t like my eyes tightlined. I never wear eyeliner on my waterline because my eyes are small anyway, and I think it makes mine look smaller. Lots of clever people counteract this by wearing false eyelashes, which is also something I don’t do, and that this look maybe lacked.

Or maybe I’m just feeling overly self-conscious because of everything else going on right now.

For my eyes in this look I mainly used an old Makeup Revolution palette, and a couple of shades from UD’s Shadowbox* and XX Reloaded. My eyeliner is Rodial applied with the ABH 15 brush. Lips are Clinique Chubby Stick, brows are ABH as always, and foundation KVD.

*It was the older shadowbox palette than this, but this one has the shades I used.

Just a final note I want to make as an update to another previous post: in this post here you will have seen my reservations about the Yes To Cucumbers micellar water. Well, I have been using this stuff for a little while now, and it is actually working out great! I haven’t had any problems with my skin (not more so than the acne and dryness I already have) like I did with the mask where it was stinging, and I’m super impressed by how well it works at removing makeup, in particular. I still think the Garnier and Caudalié ones are great, but I have to say, they don’t remove my waterproof makeup very well, and this one really does. Not only that, but it is cruelty-free (unlike the others), and so I think I will be switching to this one indefinitely. I’m delightfully surprised!

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I feel like this picture needs to be on one of those girls deceiving men with makeup posts or whatever. This is straight outta horror movie.

I hope to be back with you again soon, hopefully with a cheerier post. I’m sorry this wasn’t that, but hey, life sucks sometimes. At least there’s makeup.

kirsten-xo

Getting Back in the Game

So we all know life can be tough sometimes. Sometimes it can be really tough. Sometimes it can be tougher on others.

I could go on and on about this, and as you may know, quite frequently have in the past, but today I’ll spare you. Because all I really want to communicate is this:

Hi.

I’ve been gone for a while. Maybe you didn’t notice. That’s fine. There are millions of blogs out there that do this job way better than I did/do (?), and I hope you all have been enjoying them ❤

However, I’m now putting myself back into the pool.

I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching (but, ugh! How I hate that phrase!) and realised that blogging came as a proper release to me in so many ways. It was a raison d’être to me in ways that I couldn’t come to understand until it was out of my life. And that’s why you’ll find this post titled as thus: I’m getting myself back in the game.

There have been a fair amount of changes in my life, and even greater still are the amount of things that are staying the same. I won’t list everything out here because it’s not of importance. What is of importance will be how some things will affect my blog, and that is quite simple.

I am now going to be blogging about what I want.

Okay, that might need some clarification. Didn’t I already blog about what I wanted? Yes, but I also put a lot of expectation on myself as to what my blog should be. Last year when I started it (yes, we have actually passed my bloggerversary with no celebration because I’ve been gone!), I didn’t expect makeup (for example) to feature as much as it did, but because it was something I was really into, that was a direction this site took.
Makeup will probably still play a huge part on this blog, and my subscription reviews, but I also hope to talk a little more about outside subjects as well.

I have spoken fairly frequently on here about my mental health, and that might feature a lot more as well, as this year I am on a quest to be more open and honest with myself and others. If this isn’t something that you’d like to see, I’m not offended. Removing yourself from situations that make you uncomfortable or are counterproductive to your own health is something you need to do to take care of you. I wish you well.

And so here we are, six months later.

Sorry guys.

I missed you.

Here I am again ❤

Kirsten xo

An Apology

Content Warning: depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts

So it has been over a week since my last blog post was published. In the past 10 days I have done a lot of cool stuff, but I have also spent a lot of time doing some stuff that isn’t so cool. Today I’m gonna talk a bit about my depression.

I have had Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) for over 10 years now, and diagnosed General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for about 7. This is something that is just part of my life now, and I have accepted. It doesn’t feel fair sometimes, no, but it is also a big part of what makes me, me.

The differential factor between Depression or a Depressive Episode and MDD is basically frequency and how episodes are linked (or so my psychiatrist told me). Unfortunately, Depression is a prevalent illness. It can happen due to catalysts of severe change in our lives: divorce, death, having a baby (post-natal/partum depression). However, for someone with MDD there doesn’t necessarily have to be a catalyst, or it can seem that way (the catalyst may have been so minor you are unable to identify it). Lots of people will suffer from some form of Depression in their lifetime due to a major catalyst, but MDD is like a cycle.

Living with MDD is having no clue what the next day is going to hold for you when you go to sleep at night. It’s waking up and taking a moment to assess whether it’s a “good” day or a “bad” day. A “good” day for me will be getting out of bed within 10-20 minutes, and responding politely when my husband asks me if I want a cup of tea (as he does every day). I can usually tell a “bad” day pretty promptly if I have zero desire to get out of bed, I lie willing myself to go back to sleep, and when Ell asks me about my morning cuppa, I will either grumble or snap at him.

One of the reasons I actually started this blog was to try and take control of my mental health a bit. As a SAHM with MDD, most days I don’t really want to get out of bed, or out of my pajamas. I am very aware that my lifestyle facilitates my illness. I don’t want it to be like that, so my blog is a place where I can have an excuse to do my makeup and show people, to get dressed and show people, and I have found that once I’m dressed and made-up, I have more drive to do things and to go out.

But obviously this has not happened this past week.

I can’t even tell you when it hit honestly, because when I am there I lose track of time and of days of the week. I guess it must have been Tuesday, because I had something I wanted to write about here on Monday and so must have planned to write on Tuesday.
Everything was wrong on Tuesday. Nothing would go right. My episodes feel a little bit like really bad PMS. I get really mad at things/people, I cry easily, nothing goes right, and when it feels like nothing is going to work I give up and go back to bed.
I had an argument with Ell because of how I was being, I think he told me I overreacted to something. Then I went to bed. I led and cried for a long, long, long time, then I tried to read. I managed to read just a few pages of my book and then my eyes started to blur. I put my glasses on but the words all just fused together and wouldn’t budge. It felt like when you really need to rub your eyes first thing in the morning, but it wouldn’t go away. When my eyes get like this it usually means I’m on the verge of a panic attack. I don’t know if this is a usual physiological symptom but it’s something that happens to me. I put my book down and just spent a lot of time concentrating on breathing. At some point I must have fallen asleep.
I woke up at about 4am and Ell was in bed next to me. This time a stronger panic attack started to hit, because we had gone to bed without resolving our argument and I felt awful. I didn’t want to wake him so I grabbed the spare duvet from the cupboard and went downstairs to the sofa bed to breathe through it and try and get more sleep.
I woke up when Ell got up for work a few hours later. I was still tired so went back up to our bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I started crying again, a lot. I couldn’t control it. Ell didn’t go to work that day because that ended up being one of the worst days. Those are ones where I can’t physically move I’m so numb, and so my day is characterised by being in bed with intermittent bouts of uncontrollable crying and panic attacks.
At times like this my suicidal ideation becomes very active and strong. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to kill myself, and fighting with the non-depressed side of my brain that’s trying to stop me doing it. I also fight my problematic relationship with medication. When I am depressed, I do not take any pills whatsoever even though my brain feels like it’s going to explode and I get migraines. This is because when I’m in this stage and look down at a pill packet my brain says “take them all”. On this particular day I did manage to avoid majorly ODing, but I do overmedicate in a desperate bid to take the pain away. Within 6 hours I had taken 4 ibuprofen, 2 cocodamol and diclofenac sodium.
I tried to have a bath thinking it would help as my head hurt so bad. Our bathroom doesn’t have any windows so there’s no natural light, and I had a bath with all the lights off in the dark. Elliot was downstairs for a bit and another panic attack hit me. When my panic attacks are at their very worst, I can’t breathe, I get pins and needles in my face, my vision goes completely, and I lose control of my arms and legs, but I am very aware. This happened when I was in the bath. My legs pushed themselves downwards, my toes curling, as did my left arm. My right arm was clutching my chest. I couldn’t feel my face but I was very aware that my head had thrown itself back and my eyes were under water, my nose and mouth just exposed. And I was really scared I was going to drown. With the movement of my legs, every so often I could feel water flowing into my nose and burning the back of my throat.
Luckily it lasted only a few minutes and started to settle, but I stayed in the bath until it went cold just trying to breathe normally. I had scratches all down my chest where I had been clawing at it when I was trying to breathe.
Then I went back to bed. Ell went out and got me some food, and managed to ease the feelings a bit just by being himself, staying by my side, stroking my back, even managing to make me laugh.

This above is what happens when it comes on strong. But it never does that then goes away. It then moves into another stage which is more what people characterise Depression with: apathy.

So by Wednesday evening this is where I was at. I managed to get out of bed and go downstairs to watch tv with Ell. I didn’t have any dinner. Everything in this stage is characterised by “what’s the point?”. I was also feeling super nauseous because co-codamol does that to me. I just kind of sit, thinking and not talking. The worst bit about this is that this is the period that lasts for a long, long time. Sometimes for me this can be days, sometimes weeks, and in a major episode, months.
My suicidal ideation becomes passive again. This is (I think) a more disturbing side of suicidality/suicidal thoughts. The notion of committing suicide seems like a viable throw-away option, just like if you want a cuppa or not or something. Someone will ask if you want dinner, and you’ll think/say “or I could just commit suicide”. “Do you want to go on holiday next year?”, “yeah, if I don’t commit suicide”. “Shall we pop into town tomorrow?”, “Or I could commit suicide”. It seems petty, and like you don’t mean it.
I also think it is potentially a lot more dangerous. If you are actively looking to commit suicide you want a plan, a time, a method. If you’re passive, you could just be popping to the shops, trying to cross a road and think “I could step in front of that car”.
Last year I realised that my passive suicidal thoughts were worse than I thought when my Mum and I nearly got into a car accident. My Mum was driving us to work and the roads were super icy. There was also a huge truck in front of us. It had tried to change lanes but the wheels slid, and my Mum went into a tailspin trying to brake from coming up the lane on his right. We slid with the car spinning about 100 metres down the road. My Mum went into shock and started crying at the near miss, and I felt… a bit disappointed.
In these periods of depression I don’t genuinely want to die. But I can’t control these passive thoughts either. I did a bit of studying on it once and found a hypothesis that those most at risk of passive suicidality are those for whom depression had set in before the full development of the brain. My depressive symptoms started at 11, so I certainly think it could be possible.
By Thursday I had to be up and active again and cleaning my house, as my Mum and Nan were coming to stay this weekend, but I was exhausted. Illnesses such as Depression are characterised as mental illnesses for a reason, but they can also be much more physical than people think. I did a lot of cleaning in the morning and then spent the afternoon doing nothing. Friday was similar. I had to pop to the shops, which are only 10 minutes away, and felt like I had ran a marathon.

My mood improved over the weekend. I was able to enjoy it with my Mum and Nan and went out for a friend’s birthday on Saturday night. In these moments it abides, but it’s never really gone. As I said before, it’s something I live with. Every day. You get quite good at hiding how bad things really are to people. Some people know, some people don’t. The person that knows the most is Ell, and even to him I don’t reveal everything. I don’t want anyone caring in any capacity about my depression, which is ironic, because the reason for that is my depression. I can logically know that, but it still doesn’t make it any less true in my mind.
In my mind, I don’t want people to think about it, to care about it, because it’s too much maintenance and so it’s not worth it. I’m not worth it. I can deal with it. I can deal with it myself. I genuinely believe that everyone else’s lives are much more important than mine. I have incredible friends and family with so much to offer the world. I would much rather speak to them about the incredible things going on in their lives. My depression is as my suicidal thoughts: passive. Boring. Not note-worthy. I guess that’s how it will get me in the end. There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll die from this.

So when I go into an episode everything falls to the wayside. I feel much better today. Back to my passively-depressed-but-not-in-a-major-way self. The above is why I haven’t been blogging. And it’ll probably happen again. I just wanted you guys to know that. It seems stupid that I have titled this “An Apology”, I know that. People don’t want me to apologise for this, yet I’m always doing it.
I’m going to catch up today and put some stuff on here from last week from the days were everything was okay-ish. I’m still going to do this individually so that things don’t get messed up, so sorry if you get spammed with quite a few posts today.

I hope everyone has had a fabulous week and weekend.

If you have read this, thank you for taking the time. I’m sorry if this has been too frank for people’s liking. I guess I needed to get it out?
If you are one of 2 people I know IRL who read my blog, I’m sorry if I’ve disturbed you.

K xo

What Being a Mum Has Taught Me

So I wanted to apologise for being off the radar for a few days. I’ve been really quite ill and have been doing not much else than lying on the sofa watching Hell’s Kitchen and praying for the sweet embrace of death…

I have also been doing a lot of thinking as Emmie grows older and had all these thoughts in my head that I needed to release, so what better way to release than to blog? I’m a young Mum with a mental illness and it’s tough. The past few days I’ve barely made it through just with the support of my partner. So I thought I’d do a blog post on things that being a mother has taught me so far.

To be perfectly clear: all these thoughts are mine and mine alone. You are fully free to disagree with them or think my parenting is wrong, but this is all me.

1. It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows

This might seem like an obvious one but parenthood is hard, and I’m not necessarily talking about in the ways you may expect. People talk about long sleepless nights, zombie-like days, making bottles, changing nappies, etc. but there are plenty of other things you won’t hear about as often.
For example, you might not feel that flush of fantasticness that everyone expects from a new mum. You may not be glowing and abound with love and joy. Because babies are hard things to deal with, and having one, physically and mentally, is a hard thing to adapt to. It will take time and experience to deal with all the new feelings, hormones and physical changes you’ve gone through. You might see yourself and your partner in a new light, and they you. This will take time to work through.
Unless you had a relatively easy birth, you probably won’t be able to do fuck all with your new family for the first few months. Sometimes you see new Mums on social media with full makeup out and about with their babies and enjoying days out with their friends and family. When I gave birth, I was pretty holed up with no makeup on for the first  months. I went out only a couple of times when friends and family were visiting, but even then I was exhausted because breastfeeding was taking all my energy, and my vagina was still stinging with pain from birth.

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Breastfeeding can be way more challenging and draining than it looks. We all know it’s healthier, we do. It does not need to be rammed down our throats as aggressively as it is. In fact, my friend just had to put in a complaint to a bf support group due to the constant barraging she has had about whether or not she is breastfeeding. You may want to pack it in and reach for the bottle. This is understandable.
You may question why you had a baby. This is normal. Please believe me.

2. You Don’t Need All That Stuff

You tend to see a certain trend with people who have had more than one baby: the first baby they’ve spent thousands on getting the ‘right’ stuff, they’re overprotective, they have timed schedules and exactitudes to everything they do… but by the second they are a lot more relaxed, not putting the same emphasis on what was ‘crucial’ to them before. The reason for this is simple: although babies are our young and it is basic instinct to protect them at all costs, there isn’t a lot that actually needs to go into it.
Yes, it is nice to have that expensive bouncer, it is nice to have that fancy pram, it is nice that they’ve got a brand new wardrobe. Is it necessary? no.
Let’s take for example: changing time. When we had Emmie we didn’t have room for a changing table. I was freaking out because obviously you need a changing table, even though they’re fucking expensive. But we never ended up getting one, and I never missed it. This was the same with expensive changing bags. We never even bought a cheap one. We just used a satchel that Ell had, which had plenty of compartments for stuff, and sometimes when I went out with Emmie on my own I just used a big handbag. I just never had a problem with changing her on a cheap mat on our bed or on the floor, and I probably saved about £200 in doing this.

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Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there that find these things incredibly useful, but if you find yourself thinking “do I really need this?” when you can’t really afford it, chances are you don’t. It is okay just to use a floor changing mat. It is okay just to use a microwave steriliser. It is okay to use the shop bought bottles. don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re probably doing great as it is.

3. You Can’t Study Parenthood and Expect to Ace It

Being a parent is not an exam.
There are loads and loads of books out there on pregnancy, babyhood, toddlerhood and parenthood in general. These are incredibly useful, and I do encourage people to read what they can… but this is not an exam where you can study the textbook and follow directions accurately to produce a desired result. All parents are different. All babies are different. We have the same basic makeup, but yes, babies do have a personality from an incredibly young age.

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I don’t at all subscribe to the notion of “it was good enough for me/my parents, it’s good enough for them” because society is constantly evolving and changing. I don’t advocate doing the same as what our parents did for us as some of those things can be harmful. Ell and I knew we wanted to learn ourselves and bring our daughter up in a different way, so we studied a lot, and learned that there are so, so so many different ways to raise kids. we picked one and ran with it. Have we followed the rules? No. Because “the rules” didn’t work for us. We didn’t want Emmie watching tv, we soon learned this was unavoidable. We didn’t want her eating fast food, we learned that this is crazy and there is no problem with it in moderation. I wanted to breastfeed for at least 2 years, this was impossible.
Again, you can’t beat yourself up for making a choice you feel is right for you. When Emmie was nearly 2 we went into Glasgow one day and ended up getting McDonalds for lunch. Ell and I decided we couldn’t sit and eat that and get her something else, so she had her first chicken nuggets, chips, and apple sticks. There was a couple with their son about the same age as Emmie on the table next to us. He was eating Belvita while his parents ate Burger King and looked miserable. He kept grasping for his Dad’s chips and I knew that we had made the right decision for us. And the right decision for us was if we’re eating it in front of her, she’s eating it too. It’s the reason most of our takeouts are clandestine post-bedtime snacks.

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My point is, you can learn a lot of useful stuff from studying books and reading the entirety of BabyCentre, but at the end of the day it’s just you and your kid. And you should know what’s right for them.

4. It’s Okay to Get Doubts and What Ifs

I’m sure that I don’t have to state that I love my daughter more than life itself. I would die for her. I would give up everything I own. She has all of me.
BUT I have thought about life without her. Because parenthood is tough. And sometimes you’re sat there on 3 hours sleep in the same amount of days and asking why you did it. And sometimes you’re wondering where your career would be if you weren’t on month 3 of cleaning up another daily bowl of food thrown on the floor. And sometimes you’re wondering if you would’ve bought that fancy house and fancy car if your money wasn’t going on them.
Sometimes it feels like your life is continuously on pause and repeat. You wake up, make up bottles, change baby, feed baby, soothe baby, watch crap tv while baby naps, change baby, feed baby, try and shower but jump out after 3 minutes, soothe baby, sleep, feed baby, sleep, feed baby, sleep, wake up… and your life is like that for a long time. If you’re lucky you have a partner who does just as much as you do, or a family to support you. Even then it’s still hard. Sometimes you will see your friends doing stuff without you. It happens. Your life is completely different and it’s normal to question whether it’s a good different. And if you’re not going through that stuff at the same time as your friends are, well, it’s really hard.

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I think it might be human nature to take a “what if” attitude, and we’ve all been there at different point in our lives. What if I hadn’t quit my job? What if I’d have gone to Uni? What if I had gone travelling? What if we didn’t break up? What if I hadn’t had met this person? We all do it. So naturally, you’re bound to do it to some degree at what is one of the toughest things you go through in your life. It doesn’t mean you resent your child. It doesn’t mean that you wish they weren’t born. It doesn’t even really mean you want to change anything. But you’re allowed to go through the motions of feeling this way because it’s human.

5. Toddlerhood is a Bitch

I heard a phrase years ago which were “girls are restful babies, restless children; boys are the opposite”. I don’t believe in old wives tales, but in my experience this has been generally true. I had a baby girl who was the calmest baby you could have imagined. Just after giving birth to her, I remember asking about her Apgar score when she had her hearing test and they said she got 9/10. The only one she missed a point on was because when she was born she barely cried. There was nothing wrong with her. She was breathing fine. She was just super chilled out. I remember them handing her to me straight away (as I wanted) but then taking her because she didn’t cry, then handing her back 30 seconds later because she was fine. She just kind of led on my chest with wide eyes.

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Emmie was so quiet for that first night I was pretty much in shock. We got moved to a room and she fell asleep straight away. They put her in the little crib next to my bed and I stayed awake all night watching her. She was born at nearly 1am and I was still watching her sleep at coming up for 7am the next morning, so I woke her. She didn’t cry until about 10am that morning when she was given her first bath.

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As a baby, she stayed generally like that. She only cried if she was super, super upset. She slept a lot. She laughed a lot.
So nothing prepared me for toddlerhood. Everyone talks about the terrible twos but my firsthand experience hit me for 6. It began when she was about 1 and a half. Everything was “no”, there was food thrown on the floor, she didn’t want to be near me. In fact, she didn’t hug me or come near me at all unless she was coerced to. Then when she was 2 she started hitting, kicking, punching and screaming. Ell and I are very anti-hitting and smacking is hitting in our household. We don’t play fight. We don’t hit. We don’t hit. We don’t hit. She knew this. But, she started hitting… specifically, me. That caused us to start doing time-outs. We had never had to do that and we didn’t really believe in doing it, but we felt it was the only way she would learn.

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Trying to put her in timeouts caused me to have bruises she would beat on me so much. Her behaviour was so bad we started monitoring her health and what she was eating super closely as we were concerned (When I was her age a bout of bad behaviour turned out to be a side effect of meningitis which hospitalised me). There was nothing medically wrong with her, but I didn’t know toddlers could get this aggressive. There were times when I had gouges in my skin, bust lips, and scratches right down my face.

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She scratched Ell so hard that he went temporarily blind in one eye. He went to the doctor to get it checked and he had eye drops he had to constantly put in to try and heal the symptoms he was having. When his vision returned he found that it was slightly distorted and his minor vision problems from before had been exacerbated, and when he went to get it checked out found out she had permanently scarred his cornea.
She started coming out of this phase about 2 and a half, and turned into – and remains – an (almost) angelic child again at 3. That period for me was living hell. I felt like shit. Like my daughter didn’t want me. And there’s nobody you can really talk to about that shit, because it’s embarrassing. So yeah, toddlerhood can suck it.

6. Your Views and Ideals of the World Will Probably Change

Elliot and I always joke that we TOTALLY became that family guy episode where Brian discovers he has a son and completely changes and constantly says “as a parent, as a PARENT”

And it’s true. You become that person (n.b. this section will not be good for you if you dislike walking cliches). You change into that person where your child is your world, and it’s kind of an alien, transcendental feeling. You know when people say shit like “you don’t know love truly until you have a child” or “you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent until you are one” or “when one person is your whole world” – yeah, that. So, OF COURSE, your life is gonna change. You’re still your own person, and you’re still a couple that exists outside of your child, but certain things you thought about in the past might change. You know? Travelling around America in an old mini van might not be the best idea when you’ve got a little person to worry about. Having that 5th shot of vodka when you’ve got a toddler waking you up at 6am might not be a good idea. That kind of stuff.

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But the biggest change that happened for me after having my child was realising that I did not, in any way shape or form, want any more kids. To give you an idea of how big a change this was, this is what I thought my life was going to look like: me, a housewife, serving my 6 kids and husband round the dinner table while they’re all grown and home from university, etc. Like a fucking Bisto advert or something. 6 was my number. 6 kids!
When I gave birth that changed completely. First of all it happened because labour was way more painful than I expected. Yes, yes I know everyone says most painful experience in the world blah blah blah. But people keep doing it, so it can’t be THAT bad right? Wrong. Now, labour is different for EVERYONE and I am COMPLETELY against shaming people for their experience of pregnancy or labour because you genuinely cannot know. But people’s bodies are different, people’s births are different, etc. I had a completely natural vaginal delivery. I had had gas and air a few hours before but the tube kept breaking. By the time I decided I wanted any pain relief it was too late and so I birthed natural, but ended up with an episiotomy AND a third degree perineal tear. The placenta also tore and within a couple of weeks I had bad endometritis, and I also developed gallstones at around the same time and didn’t have surgery for 11 months. So I was in pain a long time. I know that this obviously doesn’t happen to everyone, but even without the latter things happening, my experience of birth IMMEDIATELY changed my mind.
By the time Emmie had had her first birthday I was healing up from the trauma my body had gone through and was finally able to eat normally again due to my cholecystectomy, and we started thinking about it. Then toddlerhood hit and we were back at square one.

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It has been hours of discussion and debating and weighing up pros and cons between my partner and I when it comes to this subject. Frankly, I think it’s a miracle that I got so lucky in having a partner who was so understanding of my views and feelings post-birth when we both wanted such a big family. Now, he is even more settled on not having any more than I am.

Now, of course people do have babies and go and have more, I’m not guaranteeing that this will happen, but what I am guaranteeing is that having a child will change the way you see the world. Everything is different once you’ve had a baby and there’s no denying it.

7. Being a Mother is My Favourite Identity

I have been a lot of things in my life. I have been a student, an employee, a supervisor, a girlfriend, a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, an aunty, a fiancee, a wife… but nothing has trumped being a mother.

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When I was younger it was the only thing I was 100 per cent certain in my life I wanted to do, and it was the main thing I strived for in everything I did. A lot of my life felt like a waiting game ticking down to when that happened. Now it has, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. As I have said above, it’s fucking hard, and it’s something that when I’m down I question, but I would never, ever in my life want to be separated from my daughter.

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The moments I live for are when you look at your kid and know you did something right. I have felt like a fuckup most all of my life, in everything I do. And a lot of days I feel that way as a mother. But then my daughter will do something that astounds me and I realise she has learned it from me. She is so generous, and caring, and loving, and smart, and emphatic. Sometimes I think “how the hell could something so beautiful come from me?”, but then I try to remember that even thought I don’t feel that way about myself most of the time, I am all those things too. And she’s learning those things from my husband and I.
All I think people should strive to be in this world is a good person, and I think it helps to know that I can raise one that way too.

K xo

N.B. I want people to understand that this post is not PRO-MOTHERHOOD. I am completely supportive of people who do not have children, whether by choice or not. Parenthood is a commitment, and one I believe you have to be 100% behind it if you do it.
I am also supportive of people who have experienced parenthood in a completely different way to this post, be it through adoptive or fostered children. I have a background of this myself, and I hope that the way this is expressed does not in any way dictate that a baby has to come from your uterus to be a parent or feel love in the way I have described.
This is simply about my experiences and the things I have gone through, in my particular world, as a mother.

Fat Sexuality and the Policing of Sex

Content warning: I’m about to talk a lot about sex. Specifically, fat sexuality and my own experiences of it. If the discussion of sex or fat sex is something that you’re uncomfortable with, this blog post won’t be your cup of tea. TW also for ED and SH.

Note: This will specifically be discussing my own experiences. I have not ‘researched’ this topic beforehand, sought out blogs that discuss it, etc. I will have read about this topic in the past, however. The point to be made here is that all the opinions expressed are thoroughly my own.

This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time now and have never really had a medium to discuss it. Recently it has become more important to me, and so I felt that now is the time. The easiest way for me to discuss my feelings toward this are to outline my own journey with my sexuality, so I’ll issue another warning: if you don’t want to hear about my sex life, don’t read this.

I discovered my sexuality at a young age. When I talk about sexuality in this sense, I do not refer to labels LGBTQ+ (etc.) but rather to the discovery that my genitals can be used for something other than making babies or bleeding me dry every month. In fact, my sexuality became apparent to me not long after my first period.
I was 13 the first time I discovered I could “make myself feel good”. It was a little scary, a little troubling, and felt very, very wrong. I thought it wasn’t right, I shouldn’t have done it, why did I do it, what was that feeling, and more. Now, I wasn’t a child particularly shielded from sex. I had grown up in a Christian household, I went to church on Sundays, but that had stopped the year before. It stopped when my parents divorced. This is not something I’m going to go into, but suffice to say, there’s something that happens when two people who have been together since they were teenagers and only slept with each other divorce. Guess what it is.
So, the past year of my life I had known what sex was, and it was my first recognition as a child that the guardians in my life were “having it”.

As I went into that year I had less of an eye on me, as it were. I think this happens a lot to girls who turn 13 – they reach maturity, they develop, they’re much more understanding of the world around them. So I stopped being shouted at so much to turn my light off at night, to go to bed early, to get off the computer, to turn the tv off. So when my Mum went to bed at night the tv stayed on in my room, softly, and I would sit on the end of my bed watching Graham Norton and Eurotrash, not really understanding, being shocked, but learning. Learning that -surprise!- people have sex. People masturbate. People facilitate their pleasure in all kinds of ways and with all kinds of things. It became normalised. It was okay. What I had done was fine. Everyone did it.

I wasn’t at all eager to have sex. I knew that I was far too young. I was still a little Christian girl. I wanted to wait for marriage. I wanted it to be right. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t okay on my own, right?
I had an amazing group of friends. I loved them dearly. I hadn’t had brothers or sisters growing up and had only recently acquired a step-sister and a half brother, so my friends were my family. I could talk to them about anything. Or so I thought.

I remember trying to broach the subject one day with them in our form room. I was curious. The tv was telling me everyone did this shit, but did they? “Ew”, “that’s gross”, “that’s disgusting”, “of course not”. Oh. I went back to feeling ashamed.
Later, I was alone with one of them in the toilets. I don’t remember how it got brought back up, but I remember the girl who had told me “no, of course not!” was not standing in front of me, whispering “yeah, okay, I do. But you don’t TALK about it, Kirsten!!”
I shut up. I learnt very quickly that sex is something you don’t talk about. Especially if it’s on your own.

And then things started changing for me. I became very, very interested in boys. So did my friends. They all liked the same people, but I was the outsider in my tastes, I guess. Nobody thought the people I found attractive, were (well, not that they were admitting at that point). I remember being kind of shamed for what I liked – one was ugly, one was far too old, one was never going to happen. There was always something. And then, going into our 14th and 15th years, my friends started dating. I didn’t.
I didn’t understand. I liked boys as much as they did. In fact, I probably liked more boys more intensely than they did. Why were they all seeing people? Why wasn’t I seeing anyone?
I thought, maybe, I’m not going about it right. Maybe I need to actively let people know I’m interested. I found out my biggest crush had started dating someone. No luck there. “He’s ugly anyway” one of my friends on the school bus said consolingly… I later found out that she sucked his dick. Getting over him pretty quickly, I developed strong feelings for someone else. “You’re like my sister”, he said. My friends discouraged me from liking him. He started sleeping with one of my best friends. Around this time (at 14) I became pretty good friends with another guy, but he was hesitant to let people know he hung out with me. One night, we sat on my bedroom floor drinking straight vanilla vodka when everyone else was asleep. He made it pretty clear that he had had feelings toward me, but was cagey about why he wouldn’t act on them, why we couldn’t see each other, why he didn’t even want people to know we’d been hanging out. The next time I saw him he ignored me and flirted with one of my best friends. One who had called him ugly.
There was a pattern here. No boys wanted to be with me. They’d flirt, kiss, sleep with the girls who they didn’t even know were dissing them behind their backs, yet ignore the fact that there was someone right here who DID like them. Who didn’t think they were ugly, or annoying. Of course, they were under no obligation to be with me or to like me, and I didn’t shame them for liking my friends. I just wondered what made me different.

Later that year something happened, though. I went to a house with 2 of my girlfriends to babysit. There were also 3 boys there. Very quickly these 2 girls became attached to 2 of the boys. Talking, flirting, ducking out of the room. It was just me and this other guy left. We started talking. We ended up outside smoking, then, under the moonlight, he kissed me.
It was nice, it was pretty. It was cold outside but his face warmed mine and it felt amazing. Suddenly his hands were everywhere. I panicked inside my head, I tried to keep myself calm. I didn’t want his hand  up there. Then it started trailing down my stomach. “Don’t!” I said, pushing him away suddenly. I remember exactly how his face changed, morphing from this thing I had found attractive into something ugly, and looking down at me with disgust. “What, are you on your period?!”, he said, contempt in his voice. “No, I just don’t want to do that.” He stared at me hard. “Oh.” then, after a long pause, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” I nodded as he walked away. He turned back and said “By the way, how old are you?”, “14”… “Shit.” And he was gone. I found out later that he was nearly 18.

When I was 15 something happened that changed everything for me. Someone I was close to started going to Weight Watchers. “Why don’t you come with me?” they asked. Oh. Was I fat? I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure. I certainly knew that I was bigger than my friends. My closest friends were buying size 8s, my best friend a size 6, and I was sometimes struggling into 14. I’d never had much of a problem with it. I knew I was big but it didn’t bother me. I knew that people saw my size 6, 5’8″ friend as the tall, skinny, pretty one. I knew I was seen by other people a lot of the time as a tag-along. “Which one is Kirsten?”, “Oh, she hangs around with [x].”
By then some of my friends were in “long-term” relationships. Some of them were on their second and third boyfriends. From my recollection at that time, I only had one friend who wasn’t in a relationship. Around her house one day, I built up the courage to ask: “Do you think I don’t have a boyfriend because I’m fat?” She considered. We didn’t look at each other, and she said “Do I think you’d get a boyfriend if you lost weight?”. “Yeah” I said, agreeing with the reworded question. “Yeah, I mean, probably.”

Around my 16th birthday I had a house party without my parents knowledge. Some of my friends and I started drinking early and polished off a bottle of vodka. Then, the one thing I didn’t want to happen, happened. Some people I didn’t know turned up. Friends of friends. Friends of friends of friends. There was one vaguely attractive guy. I hit on him a little bit, and he very unceremoniously brushed me off. Everything winded down, people left. Some people decided to stay over and fell to relaxing on the sofa. Lots of people in different bedrooms. In the middle of the night, the door opened. He silently got into bed next to me. We had sex.
It was awful. Embarrassing. Painful. Shameful. He forced me to perform oral sex on him. After, all I could think about was how it was something I never wanted to do again. He told me not to tell anyone and left directly afterwards – as I found out later – to go and continue his mission to get off with one of my friends.
In the morning he pretended it didn’t happen. Denied it to someone who asked. He left my house and I never saw him again (which was altogether completely fine by me). I found out later that he had a girlfriend.

I started going to WeightWatchers. It wasn’t working. I became vegetarian. It wasn’t working. Around this time I became really close friends to another girl. She made me see stars. She made me see beauty in things I didn’t think had value. She introduced me to new worlds of beauty and fashion and music. I was desperate for her attention. It wouldn’t be until years later that I realised I was falling for her. “I hate being so fat” she confided in me one day. “You’re not fat!” I said, meaning it. I was 16 and wearing a 16. She was probably wearing about a 12. “Do you ever think about doing something about it?”, she questioned. My fatness was not up for negotiation. By this time, it was something I had started “concerning” myself with. That conversation changed my life. She sent me pictures of herself in her underwear, outlining every detail that she hated about her body, and all I could tell her was how perfect she was, how amazing she was, how beautiful the broad hips she hated were. This wasn’t enough. I couldn’t make her see herself the way I saw her.
Our relationship became destructive. We started emailing constantly, sending pictures in our underwear to “critique” each other. Sharing pro-ED websites. Sharing “inspirational” songs which were actually written by people struggling. We would look disapprovingly at each other when we ever saw each other with food. There was one girl we knew who very obviously had a problem. The most we ever saw her eat was a few grapes. “She’s so inspirational”, “I wish I had that much control” I was told. Please don’t get me wrong – she is not the enemy in this – I was just as bad and in just as destructive a place. Probably telling her the same fucking awful shit. Her parents invited me for a BBQ once. She caught me with a plate of salad which had one sausage on it. “I can’t believe you’re eating that”, she whispered. “I’ll get rid of it.” 10 minutes later I was throwing up in her sink.
That was the most disgusting year of my life. Restricting, purging, laxatives, bags of rotten food and sick under my bed, pills, self harm, 2 suicide attempts.
It was coming up for Christmas and my school Winter Ball was approaching. I bought a size 10 dress.

In November, when I was 17, she invited me to a party at her house. At that party I met a guy. A really hot guy. A really, really hot guy. He was talking to me. He followed me round. Was he interested?
She didn’t like it. She practically threw us out of her house just because she found us chatting on the stairs, convinced we were about to go have sex in her bedroom or something. We exchanged numbers, then began seeing each other. My first boyfriend.
After a few dates he invited me back to his Mum’s flat and we became intimate. It was good. I didn’t realise it could be good. We only ever had sex once, near the end of our relationship, and it was very, very short and full of laughter.
I put on a bit of weight. My main priority shifted from my need to be skinny, to him.  In less than 2 months I was one dress size bigger, and he dumped me. By then my relationship with the girl who was my everything was practically non-existent. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to turn to. Then, a mutual friend I had made through him approached me one day. She tried to comfort me, telling me he was an asshole, etc. and that he had moved onto someone else very quickly. The same week actually. Another of my friends saw him with her and thought it was me. She said she looked so much like me. I looked her up. She did look like me. Eerily like me. She was skinny.

That year I turned 18 and moved 500 miles away to go to Uni. I’d put on weight but I wasn’t fat. Looking back on it, I can say that with certainty. I felt the opposite in that moment, of course. My bad habits had returned and mainly I drank my calories away. It was fine to go a day eating one tin of cold peas because then my calories would be saved for a bottle of wine that night. And that’s what I drank. Every night.
Over my first year at Uni I had the same experiences as my limited ones before. Guys who weren’t interested in me until it was behind closed doors, or if I would make a promise not to tell anyone. I even entered into a relationship with a guy who wouldn’t go out in public with me and made me promise not to tell anyone we were seeing each other. I kept my word. I thought that this is as good as it gets for girls like me. Until I’m skinny, they’re only going to see me as disposable. I’m not good enough to be in a proper relationship with.

One day I broke. I was extremely drunk and had an argument with my best friend who was visiting me, and it became violent. I couldn’t forgive myself for trying to hurt her, so I grabbed every pill packet and bottle I could find and swallowed everything I could, locked in the toilet.
I don’t remember much. I remember the ambulance. I remember how awful the sickness was – the taste of Jagermeister with the bitterness of the pills. I remember being in a gown and my Uncle next to the bed and not knowing how I got changed, or when he got there. And then I remember waking up in my Aunt and Uncle’s house. I was still being sick. It would take a while for my system to readjust, they said, apparently. I remember my Aunt making me toast and becoming angry when I wouldn’t eat it because I hadn’t eaten in days. “If you don’t eat it, you are going to be going straight back to hospital and put on a drip”. I ate it. Then I threw up.
I did start to feel better, and eventually I went back to Uni. I sat through lectures brainlessly, trying to catch up with what I had missed and failing. I remember feeling so happy that my stint in hospital had made me lose weight and that I suddenly had no desire to eat, to drink, or smoke.

I went down to England for Easter, and that’s when I met Ell.
There is plenty I could say about how we met. Of how we got together, but I would never be able to have the time to put into words the way he made me feel. We became best friends to begin with, and started dating in the summer. June.
It was the first time in a long time I had to examine my sexuality again. I wanted to be with him, and I also didn’t. I was terrified of putting on weight. I was terrified of him breaking my heart. I was terrified of him seeing me naked. When we eventually did have sex, I remember how hot it was. No, not in that way. Like, baking hot. Because I had insisted on keeping the duvet completely over us and tightly wrapped around so he wouldn’t be able to see me, at all. He was very understanding. He reassured me that I was beautiful, that there was nothing he couldn’t like, but he understood. It remained like that for a while, then one day, he asked to see me. Feeling a bit more secure in our relationship, I told him he could. He peeled the covers off me one morning while I kept my hands clasped tightly over my face. I didn’t want to see anything. I didn’t want to see his reaction. Of course it was positive, and it changed me.
He was gorgeous, and he wasn’t afraid of being naked around me at all. “How can you be so confident when you’re naked?”, I asked one day. “Because you think I’m beautiful.”, he said. He explained to me that he had had insecurities about his body, but now that I was here, now I told him how wonderful he was, how gorgeous he was, he didn’t care about any of it anymore. I found him beautiful, so he thought he must be. I wished I could feel that way.

I went to a sleepover with my friends. About half of them were the same people I had broached the subject of masturbation with all of those years ago. The conversation became sexual. I sat back and listened to these girls talking about preferred vibrators, how many they owned, what they liked sexually, with partners and without. I sat there in silence, and in shock. Sex wasn’t something you were supposed to talk about. Masturbation wasn’t something you were supposed to talk about. I knew because THEY had told me.
After sitting quietly for a while they turned the conversation on me. “I don’t own a vibrator”, I said. They were stunned. “How can YOU not own a vibrator?!” they demanded to know. Surely the girl who was the first person to have the gall to talk about or question their sexuality aloud SURELY owned a sex toy. “Have you ever had an orgasm?!”, they questioned. Yes, of course. “On your own?!” Yes, of course. It then turned out that not one of them had had an orgasm unassisted. I felt a quiet sense of joy in the fact that I was doing better than them, it seemed. That was one of the reasons I had never owned a sex toy. I didn’t need it. What could it give me that my own self couldn’t?

Over the next few years I put on a lot of weight. I went from a 12 to a 20. Every so often my bad habits would come back, but it was different this time. This time I had Ell. He encouraged me to seek help about my MH issues. He didn’t bat an eyelid when my pills made me gain weight. We never stopped having sex. And he didn’t care about how much I weighed. “You were gorgeous when I met you, but I prefer you like this” he said one day, his arms around my waist, his head resting on my tummy. “Yeah, right. How could that possibly be true?” I asked. “Because you’re happy”.
And he was right. I couldn’t control those voices in my head. My issues were there and they’re always going to be there, but instead of sinking into them, he was there to pull me out. I’d stand and examine myself in the mirror, pulling at myself, crying, talking about how I should diet, how I should make myself sick, sometimes how I should just kill myself and delete everything permanently, and he would always run up behind me and pull me into him. “You’re gorgeous. Please don’t change. Never leave me.”

We got engaged. I got pregnant. I loved being pregnant. I loved seeing what my body could do. I gave birth to our baby girl and my body started going to shit. The placenta had torn and I contracted a severe case of endometritis, then I developed gallstones and had attacks as bad as childbirth for months on months on end with doctors insisting my organs were “settling back into place”. I didn’t get my gallbladder removed until nearly a year later after having near daily attacks, and losing a ton of weight, as there was nothing I could eat that wouldn’t set an attack off. Again, my mental illness praised me for losing weight, even though the reality was I had been very, very ill.

Once my gallbladder was removed, I started gaining weight again, and over the next year would be fighting my body back and forth to try and get rid of it. Then, I came across “body positivity”. Now, I had seen various forms of this without giving it a second glance before, such as Dove campaigns, but not really taking an interest in it. Now, I immersed myself in it. I immersed myself in beautiful, fat women loving their bodies. I put on weight and had hella fun doing it. I started not feeling guilty about eating the things I loved. My body positivity and fat positivity became one of the most important things in my life. It still is. I should also note that a few years ago I realised that there was a reason why I had put so much stock in my female relationships without the same return: I was bisexual. A topic for another time, perhaps. I also became a radical feminist.

With this newfound sense of self, I started examining all of the experiences I had, outlined above. Why had I allowed myself to be used by so many men who hadn’t really wanted anything to do with me? Why had none of them wanted to be seen in public with me? Why were guys with skinny girlfriends abandoning them for one night with me? The answer became inescapable. I was fat, they wanted to have sex with me, and this was inexcusable.

Fat is the enemy. Fat is not attractive. Fat is DEFINITELY not romantic or sexual.

This is what mass media tells us. This is what society tells us. This is what we tell ourselves.
We like to think fat people don’t have sex, because fat isn’t sexy. Look at any porn magazine, website, tv programme, movie. Sex permeates our society. Sexuality is becoming more and more normalised. Women are reclaiming their sexuality and their pride in their joy of sex. You’re allowed to like having sex. You’re allowed to go and purchase stuff from Ann Summers. It’s not embarrassing to have to buy condoms any more. Or to have a package from Lovehoney sat on your doorstep.

That is, unless you’re fat. Specifically, a fat woman.

You may think I’m being ridiculous. I invite you to think about it. How many times have you seen a sex scene on tv or in the movies? And how many times has the female been fat? HARD MODE: how many times have you seen that happening without it being comedic or the butt of a joke, but actually frank and romantic sex?

I can only think of one, and for that My Mad Fat Diary deserves all the praise in the world.

 

Not only are you not allowed to be a proud, fat woman in our society, you’re certainly not allowed to be a sexual one. I bought condoms once and overheard the snickering behind me from a group of lads, followed by a “who’d want to have sex with her?”
Aside from the obvious – my husband – probably, one of them. But they’re not allowed to let me know that. In fact, they probably feel almost obligated to let me – and each other – know that they’re thinking entirely the opposite. Because fat women shouldn’t have sex. Those guys want to get their dicks sucked. But certainly not by me. Or so they’d have you think. Just like all those other guys before.
Men cannot confess their attraction to fat women, even men who are fat themselves! And yes, misogyny and the view on fat sex and attraction to fat women is inextricably linked.
Only last year it took several rounds of drinks for one of my husband’s attractive friends to confess that I am “really pretty. For a big girl.

Even in recent years I have entered into sexual conversations with people, listening to them discuss their relationships, their sex lives. But I always find myself shut down. My sex isn’t valid.

The reality is, at this point in time you’re only going to find two things regarding fat sex: comedy or fetishism. Because BBW and SSBBW porn is big bucks. And that’s fine. I’m totally pro safe sex work, and pro fat sex workers. But that’s not the only kind of fat sex there is. Being attracted to a fat girl does not make you “into BBW”. It does not fetishise your sex. I don’t understand how people think it does.

What makes the invalidation of fat sex so infuriating is that it leaves us boxed into not examining other areas of our sexuality.
Lots of people have kinks. Fetishes. Things they like regarding sex. There’s a plethora of sexual experimentation out there. The sky is the limit. And yes, a lot of people are kink-shamed for the things they like in (or maybe out) of the bedroom, but imagine how much worse that is for a fat person.
I’m pretty vanilla when it comes to sex. My fetishes are few and minor. But, I love erotic fan fiction. This is something that people look disgusted at when they find out, yet how many women have I seen reading 50 Shades in full public view? They probably don’t even realise that yes, there are fat women out there having BDSM sex and you just don’t know it. And hey, guess what? t0 Shades of Grey was originally an erotic Twilight fan fiction. I’m not going to go fully into my defence of fan fiction and the problematic views society has surrounding what is and isn’t sexually acceptable, but I will leave you with this for thought:

 

 

Some fat women love having sex. I love having sex. I love having sex with myself. And that’s okay. But I have been shamed into thinking it isn’t. It was the reason I kept my mouth shut, even in specifically sexual conversations, for so long. It was the reason I never bought a sex toy.

I want to see romantic fat sex. I want to see fat sex on tv. In movies. I want fat women to reclaim their bodies and know that they are worthy, and sexy, and amazing. That their sex is valid, their kinks are valid. They are valid.

Oh, and I bought my first vibrator yesterday.

K xo