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Author Topic: Eryn Smiles
eryn_smiles
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Member # 35643

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I've grown to be pretty fond of Scarleteen over the last few months and it seems as good a time as any to start a thread about me.

If anyone is wondering who I am, this is the first post I made here:
http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/1/t/005340/p/1.html#000000

Although I am making progress, my issues are still the same.

I had never dated a man before this year. And now I have...if what we did can be called dating. He was a kind gentle guy who liked me and was also homophobic. I could not make myself feel for him as he did for me. I also had a few other poor dating experiences with men introduced to me through my family- none of which seemed to dampen my parents' enthusiasam to search for more.

It is probably obvious from my posts that most of my current lust and desire is for other women. This was not an acceptable or discussed concept in any of my social circles. And so I sought out new social groups. To date, there have been 6 or 7 queer or lesbian groups/organisations that I have had some contact with. It is getting easier for me to take these risks. Coming out no longer seems an impossible idea. Improbable, sure, but not impossible.

There is an ethinic womens' trust that I have respected and admired for some time. One of those great organisations run by women for women. But lesbian visibility and support is something they lack- which is apparently where I come in. I know that this is a valuable important role. But am I really the one to fill it? While living with my parents? One slip-up in a small ethinic comminity and my coming out would be over and done with. How can I be anonymous and visible at the same time? How can I show women that there is no shame in this, when I myself am ashamed?

My qualification day grows closer and I received a job offer where my family lives. This is a job that I am simultaneously excited, relieved, terrified and sad about. After the offer was a contract with the letters "DR" in front of my name. It seems more real now, the responsibility greater. To sign or not to sign is the question, as our union pulls us one way and the health boards pull us harder. We are the neonates of the medical workforce and I cannot help but think we are being mislead by both sides.

The last few weeks have been tiring, stressful and tearful. With happy moments interspersed in the weekends. I went to a Buddhist sermon tonight, and right at this moment, I am mindful and content.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Blue Koi
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Eryn! I am glad I came across your story because I was wondering about your background...I see your great posts everywhere.

I just wanted to say that I admire your courage and grace with words. Just reading your first post about yourself and this one, I can already see growth! Keep being brave on your journey! I am rooting for you!

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"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

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eryn_smiles
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(Thanks Blue Koi, that’s very kind of you :-))

I’ve recently had the opportunity to do an elective placement in one of the Pacific Islands. It is my last fling as a student before I qualify.

It has opened my eyes a little to see what kind of healthcare is available in this developing nation. And it has inspired me to see how people make the best of the resources that they have. I am very grateful for the way that everyone has welcomed and included me.

I have also seen that this remains a conservative country which is in some ways similar to Sri Lanka. Homosexuality and Abortion are still criminal offences. When I admit a patient, there are an overwhelming TWO ways to describe their relationship status: Married or Single. If one is not married, they are by default, single. I get the same drill in social situations when I am first introduced to someone. “Are you married?” they ask, while searching for a wedding band.

And yet there ARE openly gay people here. There ARE extramarital relationships and sex. There ARE abortions. I met a woman, who we suspect had tried to give herself an abortion. She could have died from it. And we reported her to the police. There must be so many other cases…

Meanwhile, there is a SL couple here, who have been incredibly supportive and helpful to me in this country, but are also blatantly eying me up as a potential match for their son. Now that I am finishing my education, marriage is mentioned more frequently by my relatives. By frequently, I mean almost daily. My mother told me the other day that the biggest thing I could do to make her happy was to find a husband and have a family. I sometimes think that no-one would mind at all if I never worked a day in my life, as long as I got married.

Needless to say, I feel.pressured. Along with the anxieties of becoming an intern. It is taking a toll. I have unintentionally lost 5kg. I have missed 2 periods and am spotting randomly. And it’s funny, because I can tell that some people look at me, and they think: she’s tanned, she’s lost weight, she’s finally graduating and heading home to her first choice of job (in Older Peoples’ Health, btw) at this great teaching hospital. She is SO lucky. She must be SO happy. But life doesn’t work like that.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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eryn_smiles
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Member # 35643

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Poverty is..
A game where life and death walk precariously close together,
And you laugh when you lose one,
As you say "I hope we don't lose the next one",
Because the alternative would be to cry,
And if you did that, you would never stop.
Often you run out of cards.
So you ration. Then you rationalise.
You play God in a way that seems nothing like play.
I'm sick of this game.

I know that problems like bribery, corruption and crime are fed by the poverty and political unrest here. I know that people cut each other down because they need to survive. But I'm not used to this. I'm not used to hiding at home behind bars and dogs or bribing a police officer. I have enjoyed learning and working here but I'll be so glad to get home.

There were 2 suicide bombings in SL last week. No more than usual. One killed a friend of my father's. I don't know what it is like to live in the midst of that. I am one of the lucky ones.

I am still pretty sensitive to comments on the marriage front. But no matter what people say, I refuse to believe that a woman without a husband is nothing. Even in my culture.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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