Advice, Lifestyle

5 Things I’d Tell My Teenage-Self

Growing up is never easy.

It’s commonplace to find your teenage years engulfed by angst and raging hormones.

Most people will remember those years fondly as they mature into relatively civilised adults. And some may do all they can to avoid reminiscing of such times. But you’ll almost certainly be who you are today thanks to your time as a teen.

It moulds you into who you are today. Every experience, good or bad, will have taught you a valuable lesson in life. And for that, we should always be grateful even if we wouldn’t necessarily choose to go back and do it all again.

As a 21-year-old, I understand I still have a lot more to learn in life.

But I also think I’ve changed a great deal since my years as an angry, moody and undoubtedly irritating teen.

There are a lot of things I feel I would have benefited from if someone had sat me down and told me about them way back when. And hopefully, a lot of you will be able to relate to it when you think back to your younger selves.

So, here you go, 5 things I’d tell my past self if I knew what I’ve learnt today.

Stand up for yourself.

Sometimes you can be a bit of a pushover. Remember, only you have the power to allow other people to belittle you. If you speak up and let your voice be heard, people will understand you mean business!

That doesn’t mean you have to be rude or obnoxious, though. Just don’t allow other people to speak down to you or make you feel less of a person than you are. Bullies prey on the venerable. Don’t give them the opportunity to upset you or stop you foing the things you love.

Be more confident!

Put your name down for school council! Sign up for drama classes! Start up a band!

Do all the things you are worried you’ll be judged for because other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.

At the end of the day, the only emotion you’ll feel will be regret for the missed opportunities you had a school. So what if people talk. Let them talk all. The only thing that matters is that you are happy and doing all the things you want to do!

STOP dyeing your hair black!

No seriously stop. I get you are going through the ‘emo’ stage and you think it’s really alternative and edgy, but you just look ill. The thick black eyeliner is also a no go zone. You look like you haven’t slept. Even My Chemical Romance would ask if you were OK.

Punky Fish isn’t the only shop in the world!

Let’s be honest. It’s not even real punk fashion. That furry purple jumper look’s like you’ve just skinned the Cookie Monster’s girlfriend. Also, Beetle Juice wants’ he’s stripy black and white trousers back. Just sayin’

Love yourself.

Ok, so I’ve insulted your fashion sense and your ‘emo’ inspired makeup/hair, but I’m telling you right now, if you learn one thing from high school, learn to love yourself.

Popularity and a big pair of knockers will not matter one iota in 5 years time. Enjoy every aspect of your personality. Understand that the only person who can make you feel comfortable in yourself is you. Embrace the awkward phase and the alternative clothing because if you want to dress outside the box, you’ve got to rock it with confidence.

Understand that people like you because of who you are and not who you are trying to be. The only person you want to impress is yourself.

So, to all the awkward, angst-ridden teens out there, understand there is no one else in the world quite like you. You are unique and amazing in every single way.

And I promise you, even though it feels like you don’t know who you are right now, you are not lost. You are just searching for your true self. And one day it will all make sense, the ups, the downs, the fights and the tears. They don’t last forever. One day you’ll see just how fantastic you really are.

G XO

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Advice

We need to change the way we see Domestic Abuse.

The psycho girlfriend.

She’ll refuse to let you hang out with your best friends for fear you might cheat on her.

She’ll check your phone at least five times a day to see if you’ve ‘liked’ any other’s girl’s Instagram page.

She’ll phone you at least five times a day just to ‘check up on you’.

The truth is she’s the butt of a lot of jokes between both men and woman.

But the truth is, she really does exist.

If a male counterpart portrayed this behaviour, it would be far from a joke. Some would call it possessive. Other’s controlling and aggressive. And some may even refer to it as domestic abuse.

Yet, because the abuser in this example is female, nobody wants to take it as seriously.

Two in five of all victims who suffer domestic are men. For years, the image of an abusive relationship was played out with the female victim and a male abuser. We’ve seen it in films and TV shows. It’s an idea that society has implanted in our minds, warping the way we see and speak about Domestic Violence.

The truth is that men, who are facing domestic violence at the hand of their partner’s day in day out, are suffering in silence. Their fear and worry is shrouded by stigma. They feel they can’t speak out because of the backlash they may receive from other men and women.

If women speak up against domestic violence in social media, we applaud them. We tell them how strong they are. How wrong it is that they have been through such torture at the hands of the person they should have trusted most and rightly so.

But why is it that when a man comes forward to speak about his own experiences of domestic violence, he is referred to as ‘a pussy’. He’s told he needs to ‘get some balls’ or stand up for himself. It’s wrong. And it needs to change.

Male victims of domestic abuse continue to be overlooked. They are not portrayed in wider society. There are very few voices that represent them in the media. Did you know that the number of refugee places for men in England and Wales only stands at 60 compared to the 7,500 places for women?

It’s true that men are much less likely to come forward about domestic abuse than women. They often fear that law enforcers will be more likely to take the side of the female. They fear that their family and friends will see them as ‘weak’ and so they will often stay in abusive relationships for years, living in misery and fear. Society needs to change the way it sees domestic abuse and it needs to change now.

So what’s classed as Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse can come in various forms. It’s not just a physical act, which can make it even harder for men to recognise when they are in an abusive relationship.

It is classed as…

‘An incident or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (physiological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or are family members, regardless of gender of sexuality’

If you find your female partner controls or manipulates who you are friends with, this is classed as domestic abuse.

If you feel your partner emotionally blackmails you into doing things you are uncomfortable with or buying items for them you don’t want to buy, this is domestic abuse.

If your partner checks your phone regularly, this is domestic abuse!

You may not realise it because of the way society portrays domestic abuse. But if this is classed as controlling and abuse when a man does it to his female partner, then why not vice versa?

What can I do if my partner is abusing me?

Speak to someone you trust.

Speak to a family member or a close friend about your partner behaviour. Make them aware that you feel uncomfortable or worried. Not only will this trusted individual listen to your concerns, they may also support you in taking legal action against your partner.

Call a helpline

The NHS website recommends that if you don’t have anyone in your personal life to speak to, you should contact the Men’s Advice Line for help and support.

They spoke to over 800 male victims of domestic abuse in 2010. This helpline can refer you to local places in your area that can help you even further such as health services and voluntary organisations set up for people in similar situations, assisting and supporting you.

Speak to your doctor

If you feel unsure or concerned about calling a helpline or letting your friends know about your situation, speak to your doctor. Everything will be confidential and you won’t be judged by anyone. This will also mean you can speak without fear of your partner finding out if that is a concern.

It’s not always as easy as just walking away from the relationship. You will often have strong feelings for this person or may be terrified to leave for fear of further attack.

Remember;

Forms of Domestic Abuse;

Emotional Abuse

Where the person abusing you makes you feel…

Belittled

To blame for the abuse

They may also…

Deny they are abusing you

Isolate you from friends and family members

Makes unreasonable demands for attention

Threats and Intimidation

Where the person abusing you may…

Make threats against your life or hurt you

Threaten to harm themselves and blame you

Read your emails, texts or letters

Harass or follow you

Physical Abuse

Where the person abusing you…

Physically attacks or harms you in any way by invading your private space and causing you distress

Sexual Abuse

Where the person abusing you…

Touches you or forces you to do things you are not comfortable with.

Just know that you are not alone. There is support and help out there for you. You are not ‘weak’. You are strong and brave. You will get through this. Never give up hope.

Lifestyle

The Cuppa’Vlog Series!

If you guys haven’t yet checked out my Georgia Next Door Youtube channel, watch my latest vlog here!

I’ve decided to create a vlog series to go alongside this blog so that you guys can get to know me better. I’ll be discussing lots of different topics and will also be doing some advice videos, so remember to subscribe if you want to keep up to date with the latest.

You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for my latest uploads and news!

Instagram me @georgianextdoor

Tweet me @thatgeorgiacoan

Facebook me @  Georgia Next Door 

Georgia XO

Lifestyle

Featured on BBC Three Counties Radio!

For anybody who doesn’t currently follow my Twitter or like my Facebook page (I’ll leave the details below if you’d like to follow me on social media), on Friday 28th August, I appeared on the brilliant Nick Coffer‘s radio show on BBC Three Counties Radio!

I was asked to go on the show to talk about my blog as well as the subject matters I talk about on Georgia Next Door (Anxiety and mental health). Nick and I had been speaking on Twitter a few days previously and realised we had a lot in common when it came to dealing with anxiety!

It was such an amazing opportunity to feature on my local radio and talk about issues which mean a lot to me.

For anyone who missed me on the show Friday, here is a link:

http://bbc.in/1Fjs8jW

Let me know what you thought of the show!

Thank you all for the continued support and hello to all the new followers!

Georgia

xo

Follow me for the latest news and updates about my blog:

Twitter: @thatgeorgiacoan

Facebook: Georgia Next Door