Feminist Friday: To Those Who Need Support Today

Hello,

When the election results were announced I, like many of you, was shocked, scared an angry. To express my feelings and reach out to those who were struggling I wrote an open letter to those who didn’t vote for Trump. I wanted to use tonight’s Feminist Friday post to speak not only to women but to all who feel they need a helping hand, to those who have been offended by Trump and his administration. I am speaking to women, the African-American community, the LGBTQA+ community, immigrants, the disabled, first generation Americas, various religious groups. To all of you. The rest of the world hasn’t forgotten you.

It’s not that I wanted to write tonight, I needed to write this. It was a compulsion. I caught the last half hour of the inauguration and was struck by the sorrow on Michelle Obama’s face. Her face said what so many people were thinking and feeling. The anger and confusion that a man who has a record of being sexist, a sexual predator, islamophobic, racist, the list goes on. I wanted to tell you that he doesn’t represent the American people. He shows that there is a flawed political system, that fear and hatred have been used as a tool to gain power.

The next four years are going to be tough, there’s no doubt BUT he is one person and there are ways that we can fight against his hatred around the world. When people care for each other and listen to each other the world becomes a better place. I was proud to hear about the Women’s Marches taking place today, about those who have stood up against the harassment of others, those who have made donations to Planned Parenthood. There are so many acts of defiance and kindness that we can choose to focus on, rather than him.

No matter how tough the next four years are, know that there is support for you, know that there is love in the world. There are people that will listen to your worries and concerns. I haven’t lost hope for America, I believe there is still good, decent and kind people who care about issues outlined above.

Stay strong, speak out, we love you.

To Everyone Who Didn’t Vote Trump

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Hello,

You might not know me, you might not read my blog but watching the election results come in this morning left me with a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. I’m not American, but I am human and I know what it feels like to get a result that you think is wrong and dangerous. My country voted for Brexit, and in the process, we got a Prime Minister we didn’t vote for.  I know that there are so many of you who are scared, confused and angry. That you now have a man that uses division, hatred, racism, and misogyny to get to where he is today. You’re right to be scared, most intelligent people would be and, like Brexit, I have no idea how this happened.

It’s not that I’m going to tell you to get over it and just feel better. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear about the future, as there is here. What I am going to say though is that you are not alone in this. There is anger, disbelief ,and shock around the world that lies have won this election. But, most of us know that this doesn’t represent the good of America. There are so many incredible people that I have personally met and he doesn’t represent you as the people you are.

To every woman, every ethnic minority, every disabled person, every LGBTQ person everyone he and his campaign have offended you are not alone. It may feel that way right now, that you don’t know who to trust or what’s to come, but stay strong. The rest of the world understand your feelings of loss and pain and we won’t forget about you. It might feel like your country is against you, but the rest of the world are not.

Spine Issues

I thought I was done crying over my spine, I guess not. Today has not been a great day in terms of my spine, what started as just sadness and anger turned into almost being quickly taken into hospital to be hooked up to pain relief. I honestly thought that with the physio, gym sessions and other things I was on the mend, although I was still in pain I thought the excruciating part of it was gone but it’s very much alive in muscle spasms. While I’m on a lot of painkillers, I’m on nothing for my muscle spasms and currently my back and all around my hip is rock hard because of it.

I’ve had to pull out of a show again tonight which I hate, I hate letting anyone down and I hate not being able to perform, possibly the worst part of recovery. I’m miserable with not being able to easily play shows. I thought this part was over, I hoped this was a thing of the past. I was getting ready, about to go load up the car when simply walking around the flat I felt a sharp pain and that was it I was out. The pain was awful, Ali and I tried to wait it out, resting and then trying to walk again but I couldn’t. I was in agony, limping heavily and sobbing. I wasn’t going anywhere tonight. That started about 4 and a half hours ago, I’m still in pain but it feels more manageable now.

On Monday, I finally made the decision to leave the Horse Riding society after talking to my mental health mentor. I really wasn’t coping mentally or physically very well and the society was what was stressing me out most, I had to let the members know today and I am not ashamed to say I cried after posting:

Hello Everyone,

I’m writing this with deep sadness. As most of you will know I was in an accident earlier in the year, breaking my spine. I’ve still got nearly 2 years of recovery time and will probably never ride again. While I’ve loved being a part of the society and your president lately my mental health has deteriorated along with more struggles and nerve damage due to my injury. It is because of this my medical team have said that it would be best for me to step down as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who rode with me, made me smile and was a friend. I will always love this society and hope that I can still be a friend. I have handed in my notice meaning we are looking for a new president asap and I leave you in the capable hands of Daniela and Amy, while Amanda will be back from leave when she can (please contact them in relation to any questions, queries, rides).

Thank you so much for everything.

Chloe

A lot of people commented saying they were sad to see me go, to say thank you and a lot of people to say that I was brave. I still don’t think I fully understand why I’m brave? Because I was honest about the reasons? Because I stepped down to look after myself? I certainly don’t feel brave. I worry I’m letting everyone down, that if anything happens to the society it will be my fault. I worry I’ll lose friends. Now it’s done though and I really need to focus on my studies and try to remember my time with happiness, not tears.

 

10407210_10153613102758206_918236493107446324_nHappier times at the society

I still have a long way to go with my spine and tonight’s reminded me of that. I’m so lucky to have so many amazing people around me caring for me and helping me carry on going forward when times are hard. I don’t know what the future holds in terms of recovery, I’ve been told around 2 years for successful recovery but I’m not holding on to that as a solid date, after all when it first happened I was told I had a 6 week recovery, laughable now. Almost 7 months down and who knows how many to go but I will keep going, I’ll just need a little help along the way.

Running my First Ride

Today I finally ran my first ride as President of the Horse Riding Society. I’ll be honest I’ve been dreading this day, I’ve really struggled with the idea of running the society since my accident. I just kept thinking, how was I going to enjoy something that I couldn’t do any more? Was I going to feel as down as I did at Fresher’s Fayre? I’ve been stressed, upset and just not feeling ok about it all. So I decided that I’d have one attempt at running the society, if I hated it then I’d consider resigning.

I was pleasantly surprised, the riders all enjoyed themselves and it actually felt good to be around the horses again. I got to see Jemima, the horse I learnt on and Dublin the last horse I rode on. Laura told me that it was worth seeing people enjoy their rides and it is, it also helped to talk to the riders and staff. I’ve felt a little like I’m stupid or something because I get so down but they all completely understood. Jules, the lady who works there was really kind to me, she said if I wanted to go back when I was fully healed and that I could go back then to take my time, that it’s a huge thing to happen not to mention to impact on my body.
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Me last year during my first ride

I’m definitely going to stay as President, it also helps that I have my amazing dream team with me, the three of us got through the session with success and I finally feel hopeful about this part of my life again, after all who doesn’t love cuddling up to some lovely horses…especially when they cuddle back 🙂

Hello September! Welcome to third year!

I’ve made it! I’m slightly slower than I was last year but I can’t believe that this month I will be starting the third and final year of my undergraduate degree! It’s absolutely crazy that I’m at the last chapter already, people used to tell me it would fly by and I rarely believed them, but I should have. I’m excited and terrified to be getting back to uni at the end of the month, but that’s not the only reason I should be excited that it’s finally September, oh no! This month is going to be incredible and I’m almost climbing the walls that so many positive things are starting this month such as –

  • I’m going to Amsterdam in 5 days! Yes I’m finally getting to do my little bit of travelling with Amy and Dani as my birthday treat to myself. I’m going to be a dork and go to a load of museums and galleries as well as the Anne Frank House, which is what I wanted to visit since I was a little girl!
  • I’m running my own Freshers Fair stall. This year I won’t be aimlessly walking around finding something to sign up to, I’ll be trying to make sure people join the horse riding society! Although I probably won’t be able to ride for the whole of the academic year it’ll be great to help others enjoy the sport.
  • Not as exciting but I’ll get to see a Neurosurgeon this month to have a spine check up and hopefully some good news
  • It’s soon going to be my FAVOURITE season, Autumn, bring on the hats, scarves and Hot Chocolate!
  • I’m playing Freshers! Yes! This week we were asked to play a show at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston during freshers week, hopefully it’ll be super busy and a great night to play!
  • I finally get some kind of routine back! It’s been quite difficult this summer without a routine, so I’m hoping that my mood will go back up again once I’m around people and have a schedule.
  • Oh and just to mention IT’S MY 21ST BIRTHDAY THIS MONTH!!!! I’m so excited to finally be hitting 21 and have some great things planned as well as a night out with some of my best friends 🙂
  • I finally get to go back to uni. After having 6 months off of lectures I am 100% ready to get back to studying, I’ve actually kind of missed it over the summer and I’ll be applying for my masters soon, Eek!
  • It’s the Rugby World Cup ❤

As you can all see September is going to be an absolute blast! I’m so excited that it’s finally here and I’m going to be enjoying every minute of it! I want to take the chance to say thank you to you all for reading alongside my time at uni and assure you that just because I’m in my last year of undergrad does not mean the blog will be finishing!! I have a lot of great ideas ahead!