Author Archives: Terynn

About Terynn

I am a Canadian in love with an American and the proud mother of three daughters. I hope to be able to achieve my goal of making a career from writing at home before the end of 2013. I better get to work!

What If Rehtaeh Was Your Daughter?

What If Rehtaeh Was Your Daughter?

rehtaeh

The death of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons is all over the news and social media outlets. Apparently her story is now receiving international attention.

For those who have not yet heard about Rehtaeh, she was fifteen years old when she was allegedly raped by four male classmates at a friend’s house. She was 17 years old when she hung herself in the bathroom of her home after struggling for 17 months to cope with her rape and the bullying that ensued.

Read more about Rehtaeh and what she went through on the Facebook page her mother set up for her. Read this very powerful post her dad wrote. Watch this video by CBC news too.

When I was reading some of the online posts about Rehtaeh, I came across a picture of a person holding a sign that said “what if it was your daughter?” And that struck something inside of me. I know exactly what I would do if it was my daughter. If it was my daughter, I would fight to the day I died for justice for her. If it was my daughter, I would fight to change rules and attitudes to spare anyone else from feeling the immense pain and shame my daughter would have felt while being raped and then ridiculed by her peers for something no one other than her attackers should be ashamed of. From feeling the pain of being abandoned by her friends and by adults who were supposed to be there to protect her. And by a society who expresses their sympathies rampantly via social media but then forgets once there is something new to “share”, “like” and “tweet”.

This case is a cruel reminder of the society we live in. One where we teach girls that what’s most important is how they look. That their value and self-worth depends on that. One where we teach boys that what’s most important about girls is how they look. That they have no value other than that. One where we teach boys that their value is measured by their societal status and power. One where no one seems to ever be accountable for their actions. One where everyone minds their own business because it is “not my child.” Rehtaeh was not my daughter but she very easily could have been. She very easily could have been yours. What would you do if she was your daughter?

You can start maiing a change by signing the online petition started by a woman in Halifax, Nova Scotia appealing Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry for an independent inquiry into the police investigation. Go to www.change.org/rehtaeh

We live in a society where we are too busy. If it doesn’t involve us directly, we cannot be bothered.

We live in a society where no one wants to “offend” anyone. We are afraid to take a stand. To speak out against something that is wrong. To change things that need to be changed. I WAS one of those people. But I have had enough. I need to change things for my daughters. I do not want them to grow up in a society where people can rape them, share pictures of it and then torture them about it to the point they do not want to live anymore. I am sorry we were not there for Rehtaeh when she needed us. There is something we can do though. Her family needs us now. Our sons and daughters need us now. I am not waiting until something happens to my daughters or anyone else’s child to take action. I am going to do everything in my power to try to prevent this from happening to any other children. How about you? What if Rehtaeh was your daughter?

April 11 – Listen to a favourite song together

April 11 – Listen to a favourite song together

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Your “task” today is to listen to a favourite song together. Perhaps you will choose the first song you ever heard together, a song that makes you laugh, sing out loud and be plain silly together, or perhaps you will choose a song in which the lyrics explain your love for each other perfectly. Whatever song you choose, make sure you enjoy it together. Sing together, dance together, kiss each other. Each time you hear the song from now on, one of the memories that will be evoked by it will be this “task”. Make sure it’s a good one!

Twitter: #aprilshowers30
Terynn on Twitter: @writerbychoice1
Heidi on Twitter: @HeidiKansas

April 10 – Write and hide a love note/Send a “love note” card

April 10 – Write and hide a love note/Send a “love note” card

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This is a “task” that can continue for as long as you choose. For local couples: Fold a piece of paper or cardstock in half. Once folded it should be about the size of a wedding seating name tag. Each of you pick a side and write “I love you” on your side. Decide who will hide it first and then hide it in a place your partner will find it such as under his/her pillow, in the cereal cupboard, hanging over the bathroom mirror, etc. Make sure to hide it so that the side with your handwriting is facing out. When your partner finds it s/he then takes it and hides it where you will find it. Continue this as long as both of you are enjoying it. When it becomes more of a chore, it is probably time to give it a rest. That doesn’t mean you can’t start it up again sometime in the future!

For long distance couples: Each of you buy or make a card for your partner. Inside the card write a short “love message” and write the date beside that message. Then mail the card to your partner. When you receive your card in the mail, write a short “love message” to your partner underneath his/her message to you and date it. Then mail the card to your partner. Continue this until the card is filled with your love messages back and forth. Once it is full, keep the card your partner originally sent to you.

 

April 9 – Hug at least ten times/Text “hug” in lieu of actual hugs

April 9 – Hug at least ten times/Text “hug” in lieu of actual hugs

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The “task” of the day is to make sure to hug your partner at least ten times today – and not all in a row either! Hugologist, Jean Smith, suggests that hugs are most effective when held for 20 seconds. Read more about hugs and how they can make your relationship stronger in the article The Benefits of Hugging.

Long distance couples, the best we can do in the hugs department is to text our partner the word “hug” or the emoticon for a hug {} each time we want to hug him/her. No texting it ten times in a row and never again for the day. Try to text your partner a hug at a time you were thinking of him/her and really felt like hugging him/her.

Twitter: #aprilshowers30
Terynn on Twitter @writerbychoice1
Heidi on Twitter @HeidiKansas

April 8 – Massage your partner from head to fingertips/Send your partner your fave pic of the two of you

April 8 – Massage your partner from head to fingertips/Send your partner your fave pic of the two of you

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Local couples get together and get ready to really enjoy each other. Your “task” for today is to massage each other for at least ten minutes each. Have your partner lay his/her head in your lap and start massaging his/her scalp, then temples, face, neck, shoulders, arms and then hands. Read the benefits of massage and some tips for making sure it is a great experience for the both of you in this article entitled Benefits of Couples Giving Each Other a Massage.

Unfortunately for us long distance couples, this is impossible today. So instead our “task” is to send your favourite picture of the two of you together and explain why it is your favourite. This will get you travelling down Memory Lane and will really get you thinking about what you were doing, what you were thinking and how you were feeling while you were creating the memories with your partner you have captured forever.

Twitter: #aprilshowers30
Terynn on Twitter @writerbychoice1
Heidi on Twitter @HeidiKansas

April 7 – Tell your partner about something that scared you silly

April 7 – Tell your partner about something that scared you silly

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Have you ever been so scared you could not speak? Were frozen in terror? Could feel your heart pounding out of your chest? Today’s task is to tell you partner ALL about that time. Tell them about a time you were scared absolutely silly. Tell them who, what, where, when, why. Be as descriptive about the situation and your feelings (yes, your feelings) as possible. It may make you feel vulnerable but vulnerability has to occur in order to “let someone in”. The more you “let your partner in” the closer you will become.

NOTE: Saying one time there was a snake in the tent when I was camping and I was so scared I thought I was going to die. Not good enough!

Try to share your scary moment in person (video chat for long distance couples) so they can see your body language too. Here is something useful to know about communication since it is such an important part of a relationship. 55% of the message you convey is based on your body language. 38% is based on the way you say your words. Only 7% is based on the words that actually leave your mouth. So next time you roll your eyes while your partner is talking and s/he accuses you of being rude, don’t reply with the classic, “What? I didn’t say anything.” You have actually spoken volumes.

 

April 6 – Watch a movie together

April 6 – Watch a movie together

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It’s Saturday! Time to sit back, relax and watch a movie with your partner. Go to the theatre, stay at home and watch an old favourite from your collection, or take your pick on Netflix. Hold hands or cuddle up!

Long distance couples, it is possible to watch a movie together. Heidi and I do it all the time. We don’t get to hold hands or cuddle but we get to watch the same movie through video chat. Skype is our video chatting program of choice. We used to be able to “share screen” which enabled one of us to play the movie for the other one but since “share screen” is no longer free so we had to come up with another way. We both have to play the movie simultaneously which means we both have to have access to the same movie. Thank goodness for Netflix! We start the movie at the exact same time and voila, we have a movie date.

April 5 – Give your partner a meaningful candy treat

April 5 – Give your partner a meaningful candy treat

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Chocolate has long been the “go to” treat when it comes to romance. And why shouldn’t it be? Chocolate melts at 97F (just below body temperature) and therefore literally melts in your mouth. Logically that means it would also melt anywhere else on your body…

Chocolate also contains two very important chemicals that can enhance the romance – tryptophan (think turkey) and phenylethylamine. Tryptophan gets a bad reputation thanks to the turkey dinner myth but believe me, finding a candy treat with tryptophan will bode well for you. Your body uses trytophan to make serotonin. Serotonin stimulates the secretion of endorphins. Endorphins make us feel good. Enough said.

Phenylethylamine stimulates (that’s what we are going for here) the brain’s “pleasure centres” and enhances our feelings of attraction, excitement and giddiness. Here’s an interesting and very relevant fact - phenylethylamine reaches peak levels during orgasm.

You can read more scientific facts about how great chocolate generally is in this article Top Ten Scientific Reasons Why Chocolate Is The World’s Most Perfect Food but you might want to save the reading for afterwards. Get out there and buy that meaningful candy treat for your partner. And by meaningful we mean meaningful for your partner, not meaningful for what it can do for you. So if chocolate means something to him/her, you have a win/win situation. If not, just remember that feeling loved and appreciated by someone produces feelings that can never be reproduced by chocolate. And the effects are much longer lasting.

NOTES: By meaningful we mean something that means something to your partner whether it be a candy treat s/he simply loves and rarely gets to have, if it is his/her favourite colour, was his/her favourite as a child, was something the two of you ate on your first date, etc.

For long distance couples, you obviously cannot buy and get the candy treat to your partner on the same day. That is fine. The important part is that you make the effort to go out and get one. What you do from there is up to you. Best thing to do is at least take a picture of what you got and send the picture to him/her. If you want to send it in the mail, then go ahead. If it will not spoil before the next time you get to see him/her, save it and let him/her enjoy it then. If not possible, get together on video chat and eat the treats together. You will not be eating the treat intended for you but maybe you will learn a little more about the treat that means so much to your partner. No matter what you decide to do with the treats after the purchase, make sure to enjoy each other regardless.

 

April 4 – Cuddle/Send a virtual flower

April 4 – Cuddle/Send a virtual flower

AprilShowerslogopinterest For you lucky couples who get to see each other every day, your romantic “task” of the day is to cuddle. More specifically – cuddle together while you fall asleep tonight. If that is not possible, cuddle when you can – on the couch while watching tv or simply while you are talking. According to Jacqueline Samuels, who works as a professional cuddler, cuddling, “when done with someone you trust is unlike any other feeling, and grants health and emotional benefits unique to its act. It’s more than a hug, but less than a kiss. Pretty much all of the chemicals that make us feel happy, connected, relaxed, are being elevated and the stress ones are being decreased.”

Unfortunately, those of us in long distance relationships do not get to cuddle when we would like. Fortunately technology has allowed us to stay connected every minute of every day, so today we are going to use that to our advantage. We are going to send our partner a virtual flower. You can take a picture or find one online. The catch is that when you send it to your partner you must explain why you chose that particular flower. Is it his or her favourite flower? Favourite colour? Beautiful like him or her? Remind you of a place you have been together? If you didn’t already know, each flower has a specific meaning, a “language of flowers”. For instance a red poppy means “pleasure” and a red rose means “true love”. For more flower meanings, check out this Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_flowers.

Want to post a pic of your flower on Twitter? Use #aprilshowers30
Follow me on Twitter @writerbychoice1
Follow Heidi on Twitter @KansasHeidi

April 3 – Leave your partner a toilet paper message

April 3 – Leave your partner a toilet paper message

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Who doesn’t love finding a random love note from their partner? And what better place to ensure its discovery than by writing it on toilet paper? Today, leave your partner a toilet paper message. Keep it simple or be creatively over the top but most importantly, know your partner. If s/he would not be amused by “I love the shit out of you”, choose different words to express yourself, no matter how clever you think you are.

For local couples who may not be sharing a roll today and for long distance couples, you can still leave your partner a toilet paper message. Simply write the message you would have loved to leave your partner and take a picture of it to send to them.

Share your pictures on Twitter #aprilshowers30  Follow me on Twitter @writerbychoice1