Me Too

In light of all the “me too” posts and the degree of women in my life who have been affected by sexual harassment and assault, I decided that I would share my story.

Well…one of them.

Originally I didn’t plan on saying anything. I guess in some ways I’ve been conditioned to keep this stuff to myself. But I realised that maybe my story would help someone else speak out or get help or even feel on some level that they aren’t alone.

Some won’t find my story important or impactful but it affected me and regardless of the magnitude, it still isn’t something that should have happened.

One of the most prominent memories I have of a me too moment happened 3 years ago. I was working an event with celebrity talent and one of the guests who I knew was troubled, decided I was his new best friend. Little did I know that that meant he would not only unload his issues of addiction and relationship drama on to me, it meant I would be a victim of his behavior when dealing with his issues.

It all started out seemingly innocent. He would vent to me, tell me his troubles, overshare about his demons and then it would start all over again in a vicious cycle. It wasn’t the first time a guest had opened up to me and told me things I shouldn’t know, it comes with the territory, so I listened and leant an ear when needed.

But on the last night of the first weekend of the event, I found myself trapped by him in a room full of people. The fact that he could behave the way he did in front of so many spoke volumes and also shows how rampant and unapologetic some are when it comes to this kind of behavior.

I was sitting in my seat which was against a short wall at the hotel bar with friends and that’s when he came over and boxed me in.

He sat in front of me, legs on either side of my seat so I had nowhere to go.

He leaned over, took my drink out of my hands and started drinking it.

I wasn’t sure what to think at first as he had behaved somewhat erratically over the weekend.

I didn’t think much until he said “We’re going to play that game.”

He had mentioned earlier in the night he wanted to play a game where I had to agree to everything he said and I wasn’t allowed to speak or object but just do whatever he suggested. I brushed it off at the time and told him no because I wasn’t agreeing to anything and I walked away and went to join my friends.

So here he was, blocking my way out, leaning over me and alarm bells began to ring in my head.

I started to speak and he raised his hand and went “Ah ah ahh! No talking. If you do, I’ll go tell **** you want to fuck him.”

The colour drained from my face because in that moment all I wanted was for him to leave me alone but it was clear he was adamant to play his game and I didn’t want him telling anyone that I wanted to do anything to them.

I had my phone in my hand and when he noticed, he tried to pry it from me saying “You can’t call anyone for help”.

Luckily I managed to sit on my phone and all but shout at him that I wasn’t going to touch it so could he stop.

He then started badgering me, asking me if I’d speak and then would berate me with threats if I tried to answer because remember! No talking!

He was asking if I was ready to do anything and if any of my friends who at this stage realised something was very wrong, tried to interject, he made it clear they couldn’t help me.

It wasn’t part of “the game”.

This went on for what felt like forever and all the while he kept taunting me with things I don’t want to repeat and saying that he would go tell this other person that I wanted to do all sorts of things to him and the threats felt like they kept coming.

Luckily he was distracted long enough for me to get my phone out from under me to text someone who I knew could help and they came over. What I didn’t bargain for was him turning to me once they interjected, looking at me dead on and saying “Well you know what happens now.” And he disappeared in the direction of the person he threatened to tell all those things to.

My friends then kept apologizing to me saying they didn’t know what to do, they knew he was harassing me but they just didn’t know how to handle the situation.

During this exchange with them and my internal panic at what he was potentially doing and saying, I felt someone grab me around the shoulders and front of my chest from behind over the short wall I was sitting in front of. I didn’t know what to think at this point as I was being pulled back towards them so I stiffened up as I couldn’t see who grabbed me.

That’s when he whispered in my ear “I’d never let him do anything to you. I’d never let anything happen to you. I promise. It was just a game.” I felt sick.

How could someone get their kicks from basically tormenting someone like that and then feeling it was justified because they were just “playing”.

At the time I smiled and nodded and tried to laugh it off because he was so unpredictable I didn’t want to risk a repeat of it all. I gathered my stuff and headed straight to my room, closing the lift doors in his face when he tried to follow me.

The next weekend at the next event on the first night, he stormed through a room full of people who were attending to meet him and the other guests and got right in my face saying “We need to talk.”

I don’t know if it was the anger that had built up inside me or that I recognized he was so damaged that his threats didn’t scare me anymore, so I said fine.

He demanded we speak in private.

My friend who intervened the week before heard this and instantly shot me a look to see if I was okay and I nodded because this time I felt in control.

We walked out of the room to where nobody was and that’s when he unloaded a torrent of complaints at me.

“The way you treated me last week! The way you shut those elevator doors in my face! You treated me like I was just some guy who wanted to fuck you. Like I was some asshole. Well maybe I will. Maybe I will fuck you. Yup this weekend. I’m going to.”

I don’t know what possessed me, maybe it was stupid of me, but I burst out laughing at him because who was he to decide that he would just have at me. And the way he was spinning the story to paint himself as the victim the week before was beyond comical.

There was sheer shock on his face as I kept laughing at him and I don’t think he expected that reaction but by this stage I’d had enough.

I looked at him and bluntly said “Are you done? Do you feel better?”

He just stared at me blankly.

I then said “How about you get back inside and do your job, now that you’ve got that off your chest.”

I turned and walked away from him and he quietly followed and went back to mingling through the room.

Granted the drama didn’t end there. There was a lot that went on around him and because of him over the course of the event and to this day my memories are far from fond and I never want to be made to feel like I did that night when he played his game.

And even though he didn’t touch me or force himself onto me, being made to feel like I couldn’t escape and having words said to me that made me feel frightened and helpless was enough.

Because that’s just it.

Sometimes sexual harassment and abuse comes in the form of words.

It isn’t always physical.

But either way it’s lasting.

It all leaves a mark.

And too many women in my life have battle scars.

xoxo Natalie

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Under Construction

I’ve always been a private person.
I don’t air my problems or talk openly about the things causing me grief. I never have and I don’t think I ever will. I know some people find comfort in sharing but for me it is the opposite.

However, just because I don’t openly talk about it doesn’t mean these issues don’t exist and I am therefore devoid of all troubles so can make way for taking on the troubles of others. I am tired and I am spent and to be completely honest I have no energy for it some days.

Maybe that makes me a sh*tty person, but in all honesty I think it makes me human.
I’m not saying I won’t be there for others, but some days I have enough on my own plate that is draining enough, that I can’t detach myself from it and ignore my own feelings to protect someone else’s. In a perfect world I would love for there to be a happy medium, but sometimes the scales tip in the wrong direction.
Hopefully one day I will have someone I can tell anything to without fear of judgement or opinion or the necessity to turn my situation into something about them. Until then, I will avoid the “Don’t do that again” and the “You know you should” and especially the “You know I….” And more than anything I will avoid that there are some who revel in others misfortune. I don’t want that for myself and I would never wish it upon anyone else. Nobody deserves that.

All of us have troubles.
All of us sin.
All of us make mistakes.
All of us don’t always shine in our best light and most of all, all of us have things go wrong in life that completely derail us.
We do these things and have these things happen in different shades of grey.
Nobody is pure. Nobody is perfect. And nobody is without fault.
We all make mistakes. We all do things we should not be proud of. We all stumble and fall along the way and we all end up with obstacles in front of us that cause heartache or frustration.

What we should do for ourselves though is be accountable for the things we do. We should know when we are crossing that fine line or when we are creating our own thunderstorms. It’s shouldn’t be someone getting on their soapbox making you feel less than because in their eyes you’re no good. I bet real soon those roles could be reversed. We all have our own moral compass and our own set of values and not everyone’s opinion on these things will align. Nor should they.

Moral high ground is having roadwork completed. It’s being able to have that path you’re on tarred over to create a freeway because everything is perfect and sound and there’s nothing you need to work on. You’re free.
Truth of the matter though is we are never truly free. We are never going to be perfect enough to have that freeway or to have that roadwork complete because we will stumble, we will fall and we will crack and we will always have things within ourselves and within our lives to work on.

To err is to be human and oh boy am I human….and so are you.
Some people just forget that from time to time.

xoxo Natalie

If you didn’t tweet it, did it really happen?

Recently I heard from someone I had lost touch with some years ago. I met her when she was around 18 and we became fast friends and were super close. I used to help sneak her out of the house so she could go out (bad Nat!) and we’d go clubbing and have laughs and it was such fun times. She disappeared from my life for a while and even though I wasn’t sure why, I let it be. I realised she needed space or time or she stepped away to grow and so I gave her that space. I didn’t hate her for it or feel like it was aimed at me, I just knew that it was her time to do for her what she needed to.

Hearing from her out of the blue was nice. It was like all those years not talking, not being connected on social media and not seeing each other never happened. Even though we didn’t delve into anything too personal, it was nice to catch up and to find out she was okay. She’s happy and healthy and looking wonderful and I’m happy for her and the woman she’s become.

In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t make her absence from my life about me because if I did, I’m sure my feelings towards her and the distance would have been different. I took the time to think about it and I am glad I didn’t encourage any negative feelings because I don’t want to be consumed with those kind of thoughts…period.

It got me thinking on the reactions I have received to social decisions I have made over the past year, whether it be limiting what I post online or removing myself from certain groups or just not sharing much about myself at all at times and I realised people weren’t looking at my decisions from my perspective but from their own and some had gotten quite pissed at me for it.

At the end of the day, a persons decisions are theirs and they make them for them. Sometimes people need to do things for their own health, well being and mental space.
Let them be.
It’s why I made the decisions I did and it’s why I continue to make them. I won’t cultivate myself in any environment that brings out qualities in me that I don’t like. Distancing myself from what brings out the worst in me is going to bring a happier and more positive future my way. If doing that makes you pissed at me, well……..*shrugs*

A very good friend of mine told me a story from before he knew me, about how he disabled his Facebook account because he needed a break from it and for months nobody noticed. Nobody said a single thing until the day someone went actively looking for him on there to ask a favour.
Not to check in.
Not to see if he was okay.
But to ask him for something.

That person, when discovering they couldn’t contact him on there, proceeded to attack him via messages because they were offended he ‘blocked’ them and it was all about how they had been hard done by. The hilarity of the assumption had my friend bluntly tell this person that they didn’t notice his absence until they needed something and instead of asking what was actually going on with his Facebook, making the assumption of it being all about them was easier. He pointed out that in the grand scheme of things, his absence from Facebook really wasn’t missed, so how was it truly so bad when they didn’t care prior to them needing something.

Long story short, this person made a situation that had nothing to do with them about them and proved my friends point exactly – well the outburst they had certainly did.

People get so worked up over the world of social media and truth is 80% of my life I don’t post or comment about on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat because it’s nobodies business. Plus the thought of anyone reveling in my misfortunes, hard times or scandals has certainly made me a more private person, and some of my scandals are juicy AF! (note to self: you could write a book)

When it comes down to it, being true to yourself and the person you want to be doesn’t always make you friends or help you keep them but it does help you keep the right ones. It also makes you feel better within your skin because you are being who you want to be, not what someone else needs you to be.

Being truly happy and surrounding yourself with what and who makes you a better person is the best end game. It’s what I am working towards.
It isn’t an easy road, but it is worth the trek.
Find you and you will find your happy….the rest is just details.

xoxo Natalie

Heart Songs & Soul Serenades

I’m embarking on a project that completely takes me out of my comfort zone. 

Ever since I can remember I have been writing and a big part of that creative outlet was poetry. I never dared tell a soul I wrote it because to show it to anyone would mean showing them parts of me and parts of those who inspired the work. Real bare raw parts that I was always too afraid to let out. It would have been like handing over the key to my diary and saying “Have at it.”

Well….I decided to face that fear. 

I’m publishing on Wattpad (and Tablo in the near future) a selection of poems, and if all goes well, I will continue with another volume or two. I’ve also created a platform on Instagram where I will share as well. 

I hope those who choose to read them find them relatable, and if not, can at least appreciate the creative outlet. 

So here is the link to the first volume of Heart Songs & Soul Serenades

If you wish to follow along on Instagram, you can do so by following the account misssisyphus. 

Here’s to taking the leap….

xoxo Natalie 

Letters I’ll Never Send

30 seconds. 

It took 30 seconds for me to go from adoring you to hating you. 

30 f**king seconds. 

Will I hate you tomorrow?

I don’t know…..

Maybe. 

You know what….

Probably not. 

But right now…right now I do. 

Because right now I’m angry and anger burns and in my rage I’m ready to burn you down with me. 

You see, you handed me this burden. You wrapped it up and packaged it and gave it to me and I carry it alone. It wasn’t mine to keep. It was supposed to be ours but you left it in my care and carried on like I and the thing I held didn’t exist. 

What I can’t reconcile though is how you can just keep going without thinking I’ll set it free. Is my respect for you that obvious that you know I’d never let it go to fall and shatter? 

Shame you can’t appreciate that I’m doing this for you. Well….it feels like you don’t. And trust me, on days like today it is taking all that I am to not shout it out. 

I know I’m trustworthy and I know I’m strong, but I’m human and I break and I hurt and your half that I’m carrying is taking it’s toll. 

This isn’t a game of finders keepers where I drew the short straw so now I’m stuck with what I found. You chose to share this with me and sharing means having something equally.

I’m fiercely loyal to those I care about and so in sharing what you did, I’m ensuring it remains with me because loyalty means protection. Yet here you are treating me like you would treat those I’m protecting you from, like I don’t exist. Trust goes both ways and I trusted you would treat me better. I didn’t think that meant shutting me out. 

Do you know how hard it is to be asked “How come you guys aren’t keeping in touch? I thought you were friends. What happened?”

What am I supposed to say?

Do I say you’re a liar and I believe nothing that has or will come out of your mouth because you promised and said so much and then took it back after the fact because it was easier for you. 

Will I say that though?

No. 

Because as much as I may want to, I don’t believe you are that way. 

30 f**king seconds!

F**k!

I know this is all my anger talking and I know when angry we make speeches we will later regret, but I think in this instance I need to be heard. I can’t pretend like how I’m feeling is okay. Because it’s not. 

I thought so much of you. 

I can’t lie…I still do. 

You are different, you are good and you are everything that so many of us want in a friend. 

What happened to that person I know?

How come the opposite is what I get now?

I guess I’ll never know. 

I never wanted anything from you. I don’t expect anything. All I’d hoped for was that spark of friendship to remain. 

But that’s in your hands now. I guess that’s what you carry. 

30 seconds. 

30 seconds was all it took for me to feel so differently. 

And 30 seconds is all it’s taken for me to take it back. 

Guess neither of us is good at sticking to our guns. 

I can’t hate you. 

I never could. 

It’s just easier to be angry than admit you are hurt. 

But I’ll be okay.

One day, maybe we’ll meet again. Maybe we’ll talk. 

Hopefully for more than 30 seconds….

xoxo Natalie 

A Birthday Wish For Me

Today I turn another year older and I say goodbye to one of the most challenging years of my life.

I learnt a lesson for the third time with the same person and realised that some people just don’t have the best intentions for your heart. 

I resigned from a job that was a significant yet stagnant portion of my life for ten years and it walked me right out the door which was heartbreaking and disrespectful. 

I also had the struggles of watching things go badly with my grandparents health. There’s a certain numbness you feel when there’s nothing you can do and all you can do is get up each day and keep going because you don’t know what’s around the corner. 

Yet despite these things which made my 34th year a not so great time to remember, I also made choices which while difficult, were right. 

I was careful with who I shared my time, my voice and my thoughts. I withdrew where necessary and spoke up where needed. And even though there were times things felt hopeless and I couldn’t see the light, I never stopped believing that there was some magic in the air every now and then. 

I believed this when I connected with people who surprised me, who I didn’t know at all, but who let me in and loved me. I believed this when I held the strongest hands and had eyes I wish were mine, look so far beyond the surface it killed me to walk away. And I believed this when I had the kindest words uttered to me and knew I deserved more. 

So that’s what being 35 is going to be. 

It’s going to me more. 

It’s going to be better. 

It’s going to be enough. 

It’s going to be the year I keep believing. 

It’s going to be me being all I can be. 

It’s going to BE…..

xoxo Natalie 

Random Acts of Kindness

So it turns out today is my one year anniversary on WordPress!
Whoop! Whoop!
Queue the confetti and streamers!

In celebration of not packing it in and deleting this blog (even though at times I almost did), I have decided I am going to write myself a list of goals to spread some kindness to the world….and by world I mean those around me…but you gotta start somewhere right 🙂

See recently I have been reminded that sometimes just being nice and genuine to someone, means more than grand gestures and gifts and trimmings. So I have created a bucket list of the things I would like to do to bring some happiness to somebody else’s day.

Here goes:

  • Offer to help my grandparents when they least expect it.
    My grandpa probably won’t expect it since he has dementia 😉 but just wanting to be there instead of needing to be there is a huge difference.
  • Surprise a friend with a thank you note just because or a small token of gratitude. You don’t need special occasions only to make someone feel appreciated.
  • Make an effort with those who are more socially awkward at large events.
    I work many pop culture events throughout the year and see people struggling in big group scenarios, so a simple gesture of kindness might make them feel more at ease and welcome.
  • Keep supporting Youth Off The Streets and be an ambassador regardless of whether others come on board or not.
    I may not have the platform I used to have at my old place of work to champion the charity work they do, but it won’t have me give up on them. They are an important organisation making a huge difference for kids less fortunate.
  • Buy our local homeless person Kevin a water or drink the next hot summers day I see him.
    Most people are mean to him and some local school kids pick on him and it frustrates me that they can be so awful. So I’ll do something to make his day more comfortable, especially since we have been having a heat wave this summer.
  • Forgive those who have hurt me, whether big or small.
    You don’t forgive another for their own good. You forgive them for yourself.
  • Spend one day saying only positive things to myself.
    Sometimes the best way to be kinder to others is by starting with being kind to yourself.

So there you have it.
It’s a simple list. It’s not something that is hard or unachievable, but it is something that I hope will make a difference.

What is on your kindness to do list?

xoxo Natalie

It’s None of my Business

I don’t concern myself with choices other people make. What I do concern myself with is the health and wellbeing of my family. With the plans I’m making for my future. With my goals, my dreams and my choices. With what is right for me. 

If someone makes a choice that doesn’t directly effect me or I’m not bothered even if it does, it shouldn’t be a concern or any of my business. I hope whatever another chooses is best for them and I wish them luck, but I won’t involve myself or give a voice to what they feel they need to do. 

A sign of maturity is walking away without having to drop a lit match on your way out. 

Let people do what they want. Let them make mistakes. Let them make life changing choices. Whether right or wrong it is their journey. Never stand in the way. 

Please note this is in relation to people I would encounter day to day. This isn’t in regards to big worldwide issues. I don’t want anyone confusing what it is I’m expressing here. It’s just a thought I had when encountering an action taken by an individual and realizing it’s not my business and at the end of the day I have my own responsibilities to concern myself with. 


xoxo Natalie 

Thought of the day…

‪If your generosity comes with a price tag, you don’t understand the purpose of giving.
It is selfless, not selfish.
It is paid in thanks & that is reward enough.
When you start expecting more, that is when what you are doing becomes about your gain and not what you can do to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Generosity isn’t about power.
Generosity is about giving hope & comfort & strength to someone else.
It is from a place of love, not from a place driven by motive.
It is safe & it is pure.

You don’t have to be rich to be generous, you just need to understand that it stems from the heart.

“The heart that gives, gathers.” – Tao Te Ching

xoxo Natalie

Birthday…ixnay on the appyhay

Growing up I remember the countdown to my birthday being this huge novelty. It was so exciting and fun and I just couldn’t wait to become that one year older. I don’t have that feeling anymore. 

And not because of aging, but because there seems to be a lack of reason to celebrate. 

Last year I cancelled my birthday. I basically treated it like it didn’t exist. I was nursing a broken heart, so as it was it wasn’t off to a good start, and when left with the prospect of choosing something to do in celebration of it, I realised my idea of fun and what would make my heart happy was not something those in my life would indulge me in. 

So I chose not to acknowledge that I turned 34 at all. 
Now I’m about to turn 35. 

And what….

Has anything changed. 

I guess my attitude has changed. This year I’m being positive. I’m actually organizing an outing with friends. I figure if I put good vibes out into the universe maybe this year will grace me with some love and light. But I’m not putting all my eggs into the happy basket. Why?

You see over the years I’ve learnt that sometimes the one thing that gives you the most happiness actually is the same thing that hurts you the most. It hurts because you invest all that you feel in it. You give your everything and you put all your hope out there that it’s going to be all you wished for and more because you want to believe that for a sliver of time things will be perfect. 

But they rarely are and that’s normal because what is perfect anyways?

I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m just going to accept the day and this new year of life as it comes. I won’t place expectations on it. Instead I’ll just have a little faith…that maybe…somewhere along the way…there’ll be some magic in the air and I’ll get that sliver of perfect when I least expect it.

xoxo Natalie