Facing Fear – Revisiting the airport where I was sexually assaulted by security. (Stansted Airport)

So I am going to be going back to Stansted Airport where I was sexually assaulted by the security/TSA during a pat down. I’ve had so many times where I have bursted into tears since this has happened because of what I experienced. When I reported to the airport they didn’t really care. And when I lost my very sentimental hat because I was going through shock they didn’t even offer to replace it.

But I am facing my fear of going back there as I can’t let one bad person ruin my life. Since speaking up there have been a good amount of people that have said similar has happened to them. And not just at airports but by security at concerts as well.

I have been sexually assaulted as a kid and even raped. The amount of trauma this airport visit has caused me has been extremely intense. Not only did I cry after security throughout the airport and the entire flight. It ruined my vacation wwhich was meant to be a happy time. It caused me problems at my job. It caused me problems in my marriage. And it still causes me a great amount of PTSD!

I truly believe the airport security needs to find better ways to handle these situations. I find it unacceptable for staff to be unprofessional during these searches and abuse their power. The problem is the airport will always deny that their employees have done anything wrong to keep them from getting sued.

Less than 24 hours until I have to face my fear. I will update when I feel safe enough to do so.

Okay so we missed our alarm clock this morning

The race to the airport was on and trying to escape Notting Hill Carnival!

We arrived at the airport and luckily enough a nice man signed off on my boarding pass as I am not EU and need a stupid check.

Our fast pass wait time was less than 5 minutes. Then the scary moment happened the beeper went off. I didn’t even wear a belt! I question the lady and she said it beeps to do a random checks not because of metal or anything that set it off.

I got scared as I went to the other line as last time I was sexually assaulted. But they did a scan and didn’t touch me. Because what I learned from last time is when I was quiet they didn’t care. So you better believe this time I would be screaming if it happened again.

But apparently my mini bottle of body spray needed to be scanned. There was more staff at the airport and they seemed friendlier.

This experience was a lot better than last year. I am so glad I was not assaulted this time.

……

Upon my return to UK my entry was fast. American electronic passports can now be scanned at the gate. It felt nice not having to show my Visa and get my fingerprints done. Maybe we can think Sparkle Markle for this for hor marriage to royalty! Just kidding!

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We must go on, despite all of our setbacks!

Everything might not be going according to plan but I am not going to let it eat me from the inside and turn me into a monster. 6 months ago I left a toxic job where I would sit at my desk wanting to kill myself as I did not feel important or valued there because I was promised much more than they ever delivered. And when my uncle passed away it made perfect sense to be with my family in a time of need than to be around people that never really supported me.

Sometimes I feel like I was that bad person for leaving but in the role I was in you can hire someone instantly for that role. Sometimes I hope that person doesn’t give a shit about the role so they can see how they were missing someone that was hard working and wanted to contribute in so many ways. But after all they sold me a lie and only wanted to fill a role.

I honestly haven’t been looking for a new role. I decided I would give myself a break from strangers putting the pressure on me. Before that I forced myself to work 1 month after starting chemotherapy. My doctors told me I couldn’t work but I forced myself to work because I thought not working and not contributing to my family was looked down upon. So when I was going through hell I made myself work 10-12 hour shifts in a hell hole. Again it was an extremely toxic environment and my boss joked that she thought I did heroin because of my arm being bruised from needles and not understanding the needles were for all my blood tests to monitor my chemotherapy. But some people must be so proud of their kids who bully people right?

I’ve had this break to be able to get myself right. I don’t think I have actually worked in a safe environment. Everywhere I have worked has been extremely toxic. I always wondered if it was just me that felt this or if other people felt like it too. It is nice I didn’t throw myself into another toxic environment right away.

I need to remember what I know about myself. I am usually one of the first people to arrive at a company. There are people who run 20 minutes late everyday and they get away with it. I always wondered why they don’t just wake up a little bit earlier and get a train before. But that is not my problem that is there problem. I usually like to arrive early because I like to get a jump start on my day. I like to get caught up on things before everyone else is there and try to read as many emails as I can before my official start time. Maybe I should ignore this paragraph for now.. lol

Let me try again. So I know that I am punctual. I know I research my tasks and see it through to the end. But I also like to get people’s opinions on it in-case they look at it from a different view from myself so I can clearly explain myself even better. I try my best to be positive because I know any given number of people can be going through hell but we might not know it. After my mom died I went through so much hell. I didn’t talk to many people that entire year. The following year I was as nice as I could be to everyone and greeted everyone with a smile. The reason being was because the year I suffered some people gave up after a few days, some a few months and some actually made it through to me a lot longer after. The people that didn’t give up so easily and tried longer to get through to me and be there for me are the ones that really helped to change me. I am thankful for their kindness during the most difficult time of my life. And something so little as them acknowledging my existence during that time really spoke to me later in life. So be that bright spark for other people but my problem with this is I would always go way out of my way and beyond to help people that they felt smothered. So I’ve learned to not smother people with care anymore. Maybe this paragraph doesn’t work either. O well.

Anyways, moving on from that. I don’t need to prove myself to strangers. I only need to prove myself to my very own self. Nobody has lived my exact life so nobody knows exactly what I have been through. They have only the understanding of what they went through and how they felt in similar situations that have happened to them. For the first 31 and a half years of my life I was focused on other people. Now that I am 32 I am going to stop focusing on other people so much as they have never been able to do for me as what I have done for them. So I need to take all that love I was giving away freely to people who didn’t appreciate it and start giving myself that love and praise.

There are people on both ends of the spectrum and all up through it. There are people that are kind and would do anything for others and then there are people who take advantage of others and will do anything to get ahead. It is sad when people on the two opposite ends get together. I used to think it was so the good one could help the bad one change. I need to spend less time thinking about these things and start shifting towards what is best for myself within reason.

My dream job in college was to be a CEO of a company. I realized people were really bad at making decisions. Especially highly calculative ones. A lot of people don’t want to upset people so they will just do what everyone else is doing and let someone else decide and tell them. It was never anything I would have thought was unreachable. I work hard, I take in a lot of information, I listen to people and I try to make solutions based on the evidence presented.

But for now I am going to focus on myself. I am going to concentrate on what bring me joy to my life. Blogging is something I love to do but I never expected to make money from it. I just wanted to share my thoughts with the world. I wanted people to know that they are not alone with whatever they are going through. I wanted people to know that yes I suffer from a lot of things but I keep going on and trying to live my life. I want to be relatable to people because I don’t feel that people are being honest these days. People only want to post the positives on social media where I want to post the positive and the bad. Maybe if people know that I have been through hell it can help them understand my good days and lucky I am to have those good days and my experiences. Just because we suffer and go through hell doesn’t mean we deserve to have shit lives, we can go on and have fun and be happy too.

Here is something funny for you. In college I took a few religious classes. And in one we had to pick if Genesis 1 or Genesis 2 happened. I was the only person in the class that wrote that they both happened. This took my professor by surprise as everyone would automatically say they thought only Genesis 2 happened. A few years later I had a friend publish a book where he wrote that they had both happened to. I wish I knew his view when I wrote my paper as we had a debate about it in class and people thought I was crazy for my view. But I also tried to explain to the class about time. I tried to say what existed before the Big Bang and exists after. I tried to say what is the only thing we have to measure an experiment in every experiment. I tried to explain to them that this is time. But I think only my professor was the one to have a clue what I was on about. My ideas were often to big and too bold for the average person taking religious classes. So he really liked when I gave my opinions as maybe they were off of the normal track as most people but he saw a glimpse of where it was coming from. So the funny thing about this is I have been watching the German show Dark. And in this show they have the whole bit about time being God. So I just found it so interesting that how I was thought to be crazy with this idea in college yet it has ended up in a very popular TV show.

Alright I have been sidetracked for a bit on this. But sometimes I just want to open up for people to understand a piece of my mind. Or do I mean it is so I can understand myself better. Life can be however you decide to look at it. If you think negative and the world is bad then that will consume you, but if you think the world is positive and people are good than you will be like a positive little butterfly making some ripples! Your life is up to you to decide how you want to live it and the person you will become. People are going to tell you how you should live your life based on how they would live it. Most people live in fear of failure. But if you want something in this world you can have it. You just have to work hard enough. And that is what it comes down to is whether or not you are willing to put in the work. Don’t make excuses for something you want, those are your obstacles to overcome by actually grinding and putting in the work.

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At this point I am interested in who I will be in another 6 months. But also extremely interested in the person I currently am. How I have changed and how I will continue to change.

What sets my soul on fire to change the world and make it a better place is different than what I had thought 6 months ago.

The smallest things can change your life and make it better so just a reminder to myself to remember that. One person that I can say hi to everyday might just be the answer to a new opportunity for me or for you.

When I come back from my holiday I plan on networking more. Some people are left in our past only for us to move on with our future.

Sometimes we must make difficult decisions with what we can experience so we can evolve as people and break the cycles we get trapped in and consumed by. If I feel like I am living in the matrix by having a routine life than I change something about it. Some people can have the same routine for 10 years and not have a problem with it, but I am not one of those people, are you?

Life is short so do what makes you happy if it is done with good intention. Don’t worry about what other people think as that is going to hold you back in the end. Be your own best friend and your own biggest supported. It is more than okay to put yourself first and value yourself. You are worthy of that. I often feel like we try to get approval from everyone else when it is approval of yourself that matters the most.

I am just going to let this post float out there for now. I am unsure if this is more for me or more for you at this point. But maybe we are all one and the same.
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Here is the link for anyone that was interest in reading my friend’s book. You can buy it from the link below.

The World That Then Was: Understanding the Genesis creation account

Twitch – Update

Just an update with my twitch. I still get new people to come to my stream but I get a lot less followers now than in the beginning. But that’s okay. I’ve got most things for my profile. I have all of my banners and I have subscriber badges and emojis for the subscribers. The bit that seems to be coming together is the gifs. My designer is really creative when we speak about them. He really understands what I am trying to get across for each one.

I want my twitch page to be fun. I want people to feel like they belong. And I want them to feel safe.

I guess for small streamer they like to see that I am so dedicated to my page to make it look nice and for there to be so much information for everyone.

The only thing that people complain about is that if I play a game with more than one person they can’t hear the other people speaking. I think it has to be some kind of xbox issue. I tried looking into this issue a lot but it seems everyone has the same problem. They don’t like that they only hear 1 out of 4 in the conversation. So it can be frustrating and there is no way to really fix it with the xbox or the capture card.

I still really like streaming. I like connecting with my viewers. I like to learn more about them and what they are going through. Sometimes I get asked for advice. I really like the interaction I have with them.

My viewers always say I am really nice. I’m not too sure what other streamers do for them to tell me that I am nicer than other streamers. Isn’t that the whole point to be nice to each other as everyone is going through something. Which is why we have gaming and it is our community.

I’m trying to be patient with streaming. I did put a lot of work into my stream so I was hoping it would benefit me. I’ve met other streamers who have only streamed for about a year now but they have put a lot less work into their page.

It seems a bit tricky at this point to see what actually works. Some of the good streamers are only really good at the game but not so much involved with their viewers. But then I don’t really see the point of streaming if you aren’t going to be interactive. Like just record it and upload to YouTube then?

I really enjoyed when I did collaborations with other streamers. It was always a lot of fun to do that. So I think this is something I need to look back into.

I also love to play the games with my viewers. I absolutely have a blast no matter what game it is. I think it is so wonderful how supportive they are of my skills. As I only started fortnite end of season 8. And they have seen my improvement! It is fun to work as a team and strategise. It is also nice when my viewers become friends with each other.

Do any of you stream? How do you find it?

I’m going to be real with you… Asking for help is brave!

I am going to be real with you. My life has never been easy! I was sexually assaulted as a kid by the boys in the neighborhood. I kept it in and didn’t speak about it because I was afraid they would kill me if I even spoke up about it. So I always tried to hold everything in and then people would wonder why I would just burst.

I mean the signs were there. I was questioned at times about what was happening. But I lied because as a kid I feared for my life to come forward. All of the other boys were bigger than me. When I was older I only went to the police about one of them. I never came forward about all of the other boys. But I decided not to press charges as I didn’t want to ruin this persons life like they all did to me. Maybe I should have come forward with all of the names but I didn’t.

And because I came forward about the one person I feel this person has done everything under the sun to make me feel like I am the crazy one. Never accepting what he did was wrong and never apologizing to me and everyone involved. He is just delusional and lies about it saying I made it up for attention and that I am crazy.

Well maybe I am crazy because of what was done to me. And being female I obviously don’t have a voice. I don’t matter in this world. I will never be anything or do anything with my life. I had so much as a spunk as a kid in so many situations. But this situation has always scared the shit out of me and it still does.

I have now been married for 6 years and I am terrified to even be romantic with my partner. I still get flashbacks from my childhood of everything that happens. When people ask me why I don’t have kids yet.. I can’t even explain to them everything I have been through. I just have to try to shrug off the question as I don’t want to have to drag them into my drama about my past.

Most of these people that hurt me have kids themselves. And it kills me to think how they are raising their kids with what they did as kids themselves. Like where did they learn this stuff from. Did something happen to them as well so then they did it to me? I just don’t understand where other kids learned sexual things from to try it out and force it on me. It is disgusting. And I thought I could brush it off for so long.

But then when I finally came out about it I did feel supported about it. Other women told me it happened to them too. But as I look back there were times I spoke up about it. But the thing is when I did it continued to happen and I think that is why I stopped talking about it. As I spoke up, it still happened so I felt like there was nothing I could do to make it stop. So much pain it caused me.

If I wasn’t sexually assaulted as a small kid I am sure I would have done better in school. I would have so many flashbacks in school and I couldn’t concentrate to learn. There were police officers that would come to our school and talk to the class but I never had the guts to speak to them. I had a friend come forward when I was in 6th grade about something that happened to her. But after seeing how it was dealt with I felt like I could never come forward as it felt like she was the one that was punished and not the person that hurt her.

I was proud of her for coming forward and getting help. But I realized it happened to a lot of girls in our school district. And everyone that came forward it was always her that everyone talked about. Made to feel like such an outsider nobody ever mentioned the guys.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and live my life over. But, this is something we can’t do. We can only continue on with our lives. So if someone wants to tell me that I am crazy than go for it. But please understand why people are trying to put these labels on me. Why are they doing everything in their power to make me seem like I am the bad one when I was the one that was the victim. Because speaking up means you have power and you have a voice. And they are scared for their own reputation.

There was one time my neighbors pulled my pants down in the woods. I ran back to my house screaming and crying. And that time my dad took me to the neighbors to explain what happened. The parents made their kid apologize but they beat that kid so hard. I could hear him cry and being hit from my house. I felt glad he got punished but I felt bad that me speaking up caused him pain.

But the one that seems to get away with calling me names is the one that was never properly punished. He’s been able to get away with accepting what he did. He was never punished by his parents.

Since leaving America I can say I haven’t been sexually assaulted. I feel more empowered being away from an environment where that was happening to so many young girls. Those kids from my childhood weren’t the only ones that sexually assaulted me. I was also assaulted in university. But this was because after my mom died I started drinking to cope with all of the pain. I would drink my life away because I was sexually assaulted as a kid, bullied a lot and went through losing a parent at a young age.

To the young girls and women out there. Please stand up for yourselves. If it gets ignored keep fighting for yourself and don’t give up. You are important and you are valued. You can change it. You can try to go on like it didn’t happen but eventually it will catch up with you and it will break you. Stand up for yourself and speak up. Get out of the situation. You deserve a safe upbringing where you aren’t harmed and you are loved and valued. Don’t ever think you don’t matter because you do. You are everything.

You need to empower yourself so you can inspire others around you. You never know who is going through sexual assault or went through it. Speak up and stand together. Be there for each-other and help each-other through it. Life can get better and you can change the situation around. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if they don’t listen ask again. And don’t just ask one person. If your parents don’t listen ask a teacher or a doctor. Just keep asking for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help during these situations is not cowardly it is bravery! Never be afraid to be brave.

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My freshman year of high school my English teacher had us read the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I really connected with this book and this teacher became my hero just having us read it. I was glad she wasn’t afraid to overlook what we could be going through and had us read it. I will never forget reading this book and watching the movie in her class. It was nice to feel like I wasn’t alone and that I could get help if I would only just to Speak up.
Click to buy. ~~> Speak

 

Ships Ahoy! | Switch | Super Mario Maker 2 | Code:L0H-0V0-BCG

I am not going to lie! After making my first level my husband and I decided to create this level together! We were both using ideas to make it more fun and challenging! I think this is a real test for a level for a person who plays the game regularly!

You have to collect all of the coins!

You  need to remember to slow down at bits. But, also to go fast at other bits. The video speed in 1.8x as it was the only way I could cut it down my Instagram account which is bigfuzzyyak.

Please give the level a try and leave some feedback! Don’t plan to pass it on your first time as well. I can’t pass it every time either. But just remember to have fun and have a good laugh.

Here is a link to buy a Nintendo Switch!

Nintendo Switch

Here is a link to buy this game!

Super Mario Maker 2 – Nintendo Switch

Achieving your goal vs what you become from achieving your goals!

Zig Ziglar -What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

I really like this quote!

Say your goal is to plan a trip to London and you have never left American before. Never even left your own state. I am personally from Ohio and a lot of people from Cleveland have never left the state!

So what you would have to do is get your passport.
Then you would have to buy a flight and accommodation.
And you would have to pick what you would want to do while you are there.
Plus you need to plan to budget the money. Food and train tickets.

If you didn’t ever make the trip to London you wouldn’t have learned all of these skills. And by doing this you will be more likely to plan trips to other destinations. You will become more inspired and self confident in yourself!

So it i will be great that you went to London which was your goal but it is even better that you have experienced the entire process as that has now become a huge part of you!

So by traveling to London you are labeled and international traveler. Sure that sounds cool and everything. But look at the bigger picture. You have learned financial planning skills. You have done research on traveling and about the Country and culture itself. It is about everything that goes into creating this experience because it is building who you are as a person. Your friends and family will be amazed by this and ask you a lot of questions based on your experience too. You will be adding value to your life and to the people around you as well.

So I hope you can see the difference!

Click below to listen to the podcast!

Podcast!

2 Nights in Toronto

Hey Good People,

I do apologize. It’s been a while since my last post. Sarah had to get on my tail. And hey, to be honest, sometimes we need a little push from our friends. Sometimes we need to hear from our closest friends “you should do that” or “you deserve this” because let’s face it, sometimes we don’t know what we need.

This past July 4th holiday, I had another friend of mines encourage me do something for myself.  I had just gotten back literally the day before in the wee hours of the morning (I think around 1 AM).  I traveled with my dad and his wife to my cousin’s wedding in the Dominican Republic. I’d had no cell service (only wifi) but I wasn’t complaining. The wedding was beautiful. The weather was amazing, and after getting over my initial jitters, everything turned out excellent.

Well, the day before we were to return home, I get a wifi call from a relative crying that she’d gotten my car towed. Not only that,  she was afraid that I wouldn’t trust her again because of it. Of course I was upset but, me being me, I didn’t get too upset because I let her use it and well, what kind of person would I be to just blow up on someone who’s crying? I’ve been manipulated for so long I automatically take fault and feel guilty for something I didn’t even do. But I digress.

Upon returning home, I stayed over my dad’s house for the night, my house keys being with my car keys with the relative who has fallen asleep by the time we land. Rightfully so, it is 1 AM. So, come the next morning, my dad and I, take this family member to work and also have to babysit because they waited to late to get their child to day care. I get a ride to the impound and not only do I have to pay for the tow, I have to also pay for the other tickets that this same family member got on another car that they never paid for. Over $400 dollars later, I ride off the lot and thank God, my dad treats me and the little one to breakfast, because who knows when I last ate.

Later that day I pick up the relative from work, she pays me half for the tow, and drop her and the little one off. (He’s really no trouble. He’s amazing might I add). I go straight home and pass out. The next morning I sit in bed, exhausted, depleted and feeling not like myself. I won’t say depression exactly, because I do deal with that a lot, but it was something else. I felt like I didn’t have control over my life anymore. With a birthday right around the corner, it seemed as though I hadn’t done anything to celebrate how far I’d come since a year ago.

Talking to a friend of my on the phone explaining these feelings, he finally asked me: “Where do you want to go?” “Canada, Toronto” I say. “Well, go to Canada!” He says, all matter of fact-like. “Yeah, OK.” I’m thinking. I’d just came from an out of country trip and I just came off $400, and here I am about to go on another trip?

He looked up some hotels and found one, right in the heart of Toronto. I checked it out. It looked nice, but really? Go to Canada? Solo? Hmmm. The more and more I thought about it, the more and more I could see it. I could feel it. The exhilaration, the feelings of freedom. I had no responsibilities. No engagements, no one to answer to. I first thought about who I could ask to go with me, but honestly, I knew I was meant to do this alone.

I went on a walk up my street, trying to clear my mind. Was I really going to do this? Upon returning home, after looking at the hotel listings and the area surrounding it, I’d say probably close to 100 times, I booked it. Sure did. Pulled out my sad little credit card and booked it. I. Booked. It. This is a huge deal for me. I’m making the moves, I’m calling the shots. I’m doing what I want to do. No one else’s trip. No one I have to answer to. Just me. For so long I’ve heard people say “oh, you don’t need all that, it’s just you,” or “girl, what you complaining for, it’s just you” so damn it, that’s right: It’s just Me.

I’ve never unpacked and packed so fast in my life. I sent out a quick text to a couple family members on how long I’d be gone and the address of the hotel. I was on the road and down 90 east highway within 2 hours. The sun on my back as I rode and jammed out to some of the most inspirational tunes. Lizzo, Eve, Jessie J, just to name a few.

And I did it! Passed through the border, and hit Toronto running. I checked out the art museum of Ontario, Queen’s Quay, an amazing vegan spot Planta, and a chill-ass jazz club, The Reservoir Lounge. I did what I wanted, didn’t have to ask anyone if they wanted to do something or how long they wanted to stay, and I even talked to some local people who gave me ideas of where to go. I was in control. Those two nights in Toronto were the most time I’d spent alone in a long time. I actually asked myself what I wanted, and I did it without regret.

So I encourage you, whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do for yourself, do it. Be it a trip, a spa day, or even reading a book that’s been on your list for a while; do it. You deserve to do something you want to do and not feel guilty for it. Other people do what they want to make them feel better. And you, like me, may be one of those people that are always doing for said people. I’m not saying you should never do for others, but sometimes, and a lot more than that, you have to do for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill yours to the brim, and let it overflow. That way, you’ll have more than enough for yourself and for others.

Peace,

Ari