Power through

Is it true that women are from Venus and men from Mars? I think I put having a relationship on hold because I thought so. I thought we were very different, but are we? Of course there are physiological differences, but we all feel and want to share what’s happening in our lives. I used to despise men, thinking everybody’s a prostitute-using asshole (like my dad). Most guys I’ve met in my life have tried to put me down, but I always power through. I’ve never let a man not know that he’s undermining me. I guess I’m kind of a feminist.

Recently my uncle told my mother that I should delete this blog (in his mind ”protecting” me from not getting any jobs in the future, and he didn’t see any point in writing it). A lot of men in my life feel threatened by me and say things to make me feel bad about myself, and leaving me feeling used. They can say whatever they want; I’m not going to remove my voice. And yes, I want my voice to be heard because a lot of people suffer in their personal lives. Family issues are quite common and I want to speak out, not feeling ashamed about it so that things still stay taboo. What I talk about (when I write about my personal life) happen to a lot of people: anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, violence. The list is long. But I’m so happy that I’ve mostly gotten supporting comments. I don’t need people’s pity, I want people to understand and be understanding of people’s struggles in their daily life. I’m telling you: your wounds will heal.

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Suffering with your self

I randomly watched this somewhat cheesy American TV show Dr. Phil, and there was this anorexic girl on it and she was starving herself to death. After coping with a heavy depression and suicide attempts I know that what you’re feeling is often portrayed though other channels such as eating disorders, self-harm or just loosing control of your body. It was quite hard the intervention they had with the girl, but sometimes that’s what you need. I had it with myself, I was so sick and tired of the life I had it was either die or continue on an unknown path. I chose the last one. It was hard and it’s not something you can fix in an instant, but you can’t live on a diagnosis you have to continue without it and not define yourself as it. It’s easy to avoid reality when you have a disorder, but it’s not worth it and you’ll never become whole doing so.  I did so many things when I was a kid, I starved myself (I tried to be bulimic, but I was bad at it as I couldn’t force myself to throw up) I self-injured myself by cutting my arms sometimes legs, I ran away planning on living in the woods; I had lots of weird solutions to my “problem”. The problem was that I thought I was a bad person. My grandmother says bad things happen to bad people, so I believed it and blamed myself. But you reach a point where it’s make it or break it, and I made it. I realized that I had some people who believed in me and had my back, and they held me up while others tried to break me down. I’m not going to list the people that made my life miserable because I’m over it; I’ve cut them out of my life. Sometimes you’ve got to be harsh and kick out the bad (by not giving them a 100th chance) and let new people into your life.

Madrid

Madrid, en fantastisk by i hjertet av Spania. Vi dro dit ved morgengry. Jeg pakket ferdig baggen min og presset den ned i korgen på sykkelen, jeg ble nesten litt overrasket over at jeg ikke tippet overende. Det var herlig, den kjølige morgenluften var frisk og vekket meg opp. Jeg møtte jentene ved et drosjestopp, de var litt sent ute. I mellomtiden latet jeg som jeg ventet på noen for å avstøte fulle menn som var på vei hjem etter en natt ute på byen. Bussen var ikke av samme kvalitet som de i Norge, men det gikk fint å sove med solbriller på. Jeg hadde tatt med meg mye nistemat, ostesmørbrød, kirsebær, kjeks, gatorade og vann. De andre hadde glemt å ta med seg frokost så jeg ble matmor på turen. Jeg var klar til å se byen hvor faren min hadde studert under Franco. Det kriblet i magen da jeg merket landskapet forandret seg til åkre, vidder av åkere nesten uten bygninger.  Alt var gult, men man kunne av og til se et enslig oliventre.

Vi visste ikke hvilke busstasjon vi kom til å ende opp ved. Heldigvis hadde Jenna med seg en reisebok om Spania, og vi fant ut at det var veldig mange i Madrid. Vi måtte spørre flere om hvordan vi kunne komme oss til sentrum. Den ene foreslo en 45 minutters busstur, men metro viste seg å være raskere. Madrid var ikke slik jeg forestilte meg, det var koselig, gammelt, og spennende. Været var også mye bedre, jeg kunne faktisk gå rundt uten å svette slik som jeg gjorde i Valencia på grunn av fuktigheten. Vi satte oss ned på en kafé ved Puerta del Sol for å orientere oss litt. Hele tiden tenkte jeg at – her har faren min bodd. De siste årene har vært en reise i hans fotspor, jeg visste ingenting om ham, men nå kunne jeg se noe han hadde sett. Jeg prøvde å forestille meg å bo der under Franco, å oppleve rasisme på grunn av hans latinske utseende. Det var mer mangfold i Madrid, mennesker fra alle nasjoner og som hadde flere kles-stiler. Jeg så for eksempel min første spanske goth med nesten to meter langt hår.

Hostellet vi overnattet i lå veldig sentralt, men vi hadde litt problemer med å finne frem. På veien så vi en bokforhandler, som var ganske så spesiell. Den var laget av bokhyller montert til en mur med vinduslemmer som man kunne låse.  Ingen av oss hadde sett noe slikt før. Men den økte vår følelse av byens koselighet.

Samme dag som vi ankom Madrid dro vi for å se slottet. Det var mye større enn det i Norge og hadde en egen kirke. Vi kjøpte billetter til å se en del av slottet, det var spekket med gull, fløyel, krystall-lysekroner, statuer. Alt var overdådig. Da det var tid for siesta dro vi til et sted for å spise, alt var bittelite og dyrt. Etter et litt mislykket måltid spanderte jeg is på oss, som vi brakte med oss på veien til El Prado. Køen for å komme inn gratis var helt enorm, men den beveget seg fort. I luken fant vi ut at vi som studenter kunne komme inn gratis når som helst. Inne i El Prado leide vi lydguider og begynte vår ferd gjennom en labyrint av bilder. Det var så mye å se, og hodet mitt begynte å bli fult allerede etter å ha vært gjennom noen av salene. Vi ville se alt, og merket ikke hvor fort tiden gikk, og vi hadde bare en og en halv time til det skulle stenge. Det siste kvarteret ble nesten hektisk, for vi ville se de mest berømte bildene. Jeg fikk sett bildet av Goya ”Saturn som spiser sin sønn”. Det bildet har skremt meg siden jeg var liten og så det i et blad. Men vi bestemte oss for å komme tilbake neste dag for det var fortsett mye å se. Det var heldigvis ikke som Louvre som er helt gedigent stort. Dagen etter så vi et marked og  et annet kunstmuseum, La Reina Sofía. Der fikk jeg sett Guernica, bildet av Picasso som fremstilte bombingen av byen, byen hvor familien min kommer fra. Bildet var som et spørsmål ”hvor kommer jeg fra?”. Det første var ”Hvem er faren min?” Jeg har begynt å danne meg et bilde av ham, men av fortiden… Hvordan mine baskiske forfedre havnet i Peru vet jeg ikke. Jeg ville vite hvor de dro fra, hvilke havn, hva slags båt, hva slags farer de må ha møtt ved å krysse Atlanterhavet. Og hvorfor hadde familien min et våpenskjold?

Det var så mye jeg ikke visste om fra faren min sin side av familien. Jeg visste heller ikke så mye om de danske genene mine; tippoldefaren min var visst dansk. Mens jeg skypet med moren min fant jeg det som mest sannsynlig var en forfader, han var en vagabond som drømte om å bli kunstner, og han var flink. Det sto noe om han i et dansk leksikon på nettet. Det var mormor sin side av familien som var kunstnerisk, og kanskje kom det fra ham…

1000 Questions

I usually get many questions about my last name. When people see the name Porturas, and look at me, they never imagine that I’ve got Native American blood. But I do, I’m a white Inca Indian and my father is from the Andes Mountains. When people think about the Andes they usually think that people there live in small huts and are chocolate brown. And when they see me, a blue/green-eyed girl with light brown hair they think it’s impossible that I hail from there. And I have to explain what a mestizo is. “Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America and Spain for people of mixed heritage or descent. In some countries it has come to mean a mixture of European and Amerindian” – Wikipedia

My Spanish descendants come from the Basque country. I found some people in the White pages with my last name. I really want to go and see where I’m from.

Question number one is usually: But your last name doesn’t seem Norwegian.

Answer: No, it’s not. It’s Peruvian.

Q.2: …But you don’t look very Peruvian.

A.2: My father is a mestizo, a mix.

Q.3: Do you speak Spanish fluently?

A.3: No, I don’t. My father didn’t want to teach me.

Q.4: But can’t you talk to him in Spanish?

A.4: I don’t have any contact with him.

Q.5: Why?

A.5: Because he’s a machista. Do you know what it means? If you do, I don’t have to explain more.

Silence…

Q.6: Have you been there?

A.6: Yes, I have, three times.

Here people usually get really uncomfortable and change the subject. And I usually do it too, because I’m tired of the questions.  Even though I’m white I feel like I am a mix, because I am a mix. And Yes, my father is my father! I’m really tiered of those jokes.

Deal with it; in the end the whole world will be a mix, and race won’t exist.

Easter part 2

After my stay in Sevilla I went to Malaga with my Japanese friend. I stayed in Malaga one month in October November, so that’s how we met and she also stayed at my flat during Las Fallas. We saw the procession there too.

I wanted to see Alhambra and get new memories of it, not those of a horrible trip with my father. I went there alone because me friend had already been there three times. It was very nice, I needed to see some nature again, so I walked around and smelled the flowers. After my short stay in Malaga I went to Barcelona to meet my mother. I came early and got time before some friends were arriving.  My mother got there the next day so we ate dinner together after tying to buy tickets to the Barca game. It would have been cool to see.

With my mother we saw La Sagrada familia, which I saw three years ago so it was almost as i remembered it. We visited Parc Güell and Las ramblas and the Gaudí houses. When we arrived in Valencia we were both really tired. But we managed a little shopping trip and La ciudad de las artes. She really wanted to see the university so we did and took some funny pictures. And I wanted her to see the beach and try the Valencian paella.

When I met her at the airport I started crying I was sad and happy at the same time, and I ended up laughing butt he tears didn’t stop. It was weird. I didn’t cry when he left, but I was quite sad. I always leave her and I feel bad that I don’t study my whole bachelor in Norway. I constantly seek outwards and don’t feel comfortable there. But I’m giving it another go only a different university and city this time, maybe it’ll get better….

Spain

Hola,

I’ve now been a bit over a month in Valencia. It’s a beautiful city. It took me 2 weeks to get all of my classes’ sorted, Spanish people aren’t exactly known for efficiency. But now everything’s settled. I’ve got five classes: Spanish theatre, lexicography, Spanish grammar, Image analysis and Roman history.

They’ve got something called Valenbici here; you pay 18 Euros for a year and can use the Valenbici (which is a bike). There are stations all over the city, its great, except I’m like shit scared. I saw a guy get hit passing a pedestrian crossing. Here in Valencia the yellow light lasts almost longer then the red. Yellow here means you can cross it; you just have to «watch out» for pedestrians. And some don’t, they’d rather almost run you over. In Peru I was used to run over the street because there they don’t have crossings, but the Spanish are just as bad. And the other day I saw a bus crash into a car in a roundabout.

I really like it here, but I’m still thinking about the next place I want to live or go to. I think I’ll never be satisfied. I feel I’ve got an inner conflict going on because a part of me would like to slow down and live a place more than 6 months, which has been the maximum throughout 3 years now. I think I have to tranquilizarme un poquito (calm down a bit). I’m still fucking 21 and most people here are older than me, well people from northern Europe. But it’s also the pressure of figuring out what to do with my life. I’ve done one year and a half of such a mixture of studies, but now I’ve landed on two things: architecture or art. My heart lies within the arts, but I’m still a bit scared of going such an uncertain road. I’ve told people that when I’ve finished my art-bachelor I would like to become an engineer, a petroleum geologist. They can’t really believe I would want to do something that different, but I’ve got two years to see If I want to do it or not, or maybe I’ll try architecture.

As this has become a bit of a travel piece I strongly recommend coming to Valencia!

Besos

“Psychotic Girl,

I won’t get lost in your world.”

I’m not saying I’m psychotic. I was referring to this song.

But I won’t say I’m normal either.

Some days ago I passed out on the dance floor.  I took my allergy pill before we had some people over, so I took it in hurry with some beer.  I felt very drowsy, but was fit to go out. (I was nowhere near being drunk)

After talking and listening to music we went to a nightclub at 2 am. In Spain you don’t go dancing before 2 or 3 am.  I didn’t drink at the club, was busy dancing. We went outside in the cold air, and when I got inside again I felt weak. Somebody bumped into me and I fell. I woke up on the floor a minute later. The people I was with helped me and we went outside.  They thought I had been drugged. I was okay straight away, only had a strong headache. It was a bit embarrassing. The only thing I could think of was that I had taken my pill with alcohol. The next day I checked it out on the Internet. It said it should never be taken with alcohol, and that you can feel fatigued. I knew my tablets have some side affects, the pharmacists always tell me that this drug makes you very drowsy. I get my drugs on a prescription, and it’s not for some sneezing during springtime.  I’ve got a chronic illness, its’ called cold urticaria. I usually never tell people about it because no one believes me. I’ve had it for years and I absolutely hate it. Knowing that I have to take a pill when it gets cold. I don’t like taking them and usually I don’t. It’s another thing that makes me feel like I don’t fit in. I hate snow, and minus degrees and I’m from Norway!

I was really scared the next day because I’ve never blacked out before. And I felt ashamed when everybody asked me if I was fine. I can’t stand that question, because usually the answer to that question is “no”. But I lie and pretend everything is fine. I don’t like being pitied. I don’t like when people feel sorry for me, like I don’t know how to take care of myself. Well, newsflash I’ve been doing it most of my life. Not everybody gets to have a sane family.

At least now I can cross blacking out of my “things to experience in life”-list. I don’t feel very normal, but what is normal? And yes, I can be a bit psycho at times…