The Hard Lessons – Shame

Third post in this series that started this morning with a mid post breakdown.

I mowed the lawn after the last (second) post. The cortisol moved through my body, I sweated heaps, showered and vomited, and after my shower, I felt cleaner and the cortisol had subsided enough that I knew taking time out and just being, with some meditation later on, would bring my body back to balance. Oh, and eating food with nutrients. Plus a coke or chocolate (this part is not nutritionally sound and a habit I need to break – just not today – don’t judge).

I have worked hard to dissolve the actual abuse triggers. I realised this as I pushed the mower through the grass. This isn’t about the sexual abuse itself. I am grateful to those people for my abuse; I have posted about that before, and this trigger hadn’t changed that. This is about the impact that the trauma of my childhood made. This is about my automatic reactions to things and having to work through every trigger as it comes up.

And that’s okay. Three hours after the incident, I am lying on the lounge, feeling much better, empowered and fully feeling that my mission to empower others is my soul work for this lifetime. So, I’m good.

I want to talk about the shame though. Receiving those messages made me feel like I had done something wrong.

Maybe I shouldn’t have replied. Maybe I said the wrong thing. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

Intellectually, I know otherwise. Trauma is a funny thing though. And trauma is not intellectual.

Posting my initial Facebook post yesterday made me feel vulnerable; I was worried that people would judge me, blame me, hold me responsible. I was worried that people would say, and I shit you not, that I am ugly and no one would look twice at me, how many tickets have you got on yourself. I posted anyway.

I wasn’t letting irrational fears guide my choices – this is real growth for me. Trauma is fear based and very hard to ignore or move through. It requires feeling the vulnerability and dealing with the shame.

When people, out of love and kindness, pointed out that George was probably a bot or a Nigerian catfish scammer, my brain told me that I was stupid and I should have known that (how, I don’t know). I felt significantly more shame. I am still unwriting this shame narrative. It will take time.

I think my belly weight is the shame manifested physically. This is really important for me to realise because that knowledge will empower me to lose my excess weight. I thought it was the abuse that caused the weight. I think it is actually unresolved shame. I think my underlying narrative is a strong shame narrative that I fight against.

I now own that I’m an amazing teacher. It took me years to not feel like I was being conceited and to stand in that truth. When I said it to some people, they tried to shame me out of it, but I refused to be shamed.

I now own that I’m a very attractive woman – and the belly twinges – I am, I argue with my belly. I’m not model beautiful, but I’m gorgeous. I am me, wholly and proudly, and shame only has the power to make me buckle, not drop.

Trauma is insidious. It told us we weren’t valuable, we weren’t important, we were disposable, unworthy, undeserving. Trauma is wrong though. And my trauma and my healing is the legacy I will leave this world.

There is more to say. I’m not sure what it is at this point. But I am so grateful for being able to express my self, grateful for having a medium to express myself in, grateful to have the courage to acknowledge the shame publicly, and grateful that I empower myself to stand in my truth.

Unwanted Attention and One Man’s Inability to Listen πŸ€¨

I run a healing business. I post weekly videos on my Facebook business page (@akashichealingthirlmere). Yesterday, I went to our local botanic gardens to film my video. At the moment I have very blonde hair and feel very empowered. I’m in an exceptionally good place. I am radiating that.

Already I’m looking for reasons.

Blonde hair (men love blonde hair – seems to suggest sluttiness).

I’m happy (suggests to men I’m low maintenance).

Ridiculous, Tina. Stop believing the conditioning.

I posted my video. A couple of hours later, I received a private message from a man, possibly not a real account – how do you eve know.

He said, “Hello pretty angel.”

Automatic replies are sent to all messages (important to keep that response banner there). Because it is my business page, I felt the need to reply and to be kind. On personal pages, I ignore these messages. I choose to not engage.

Too many men, too little time – as I roll my eyes.

Business pages are different. My reply was short and dismissive, I thought. It resulted in a very long message about who he was and what he was looking for. I realised my initial reply was not dismissive enough. I became more blunt. No change.

I posted about it on my personal and private Facebook page and beautifully, one of my friends told me how I block/ban him (I’m old lol). So I did.

I was not intimidated, but I was very uncomfortable. I wasn’t being heard which diminished me. He treated me like an object and showed no respect and no regard for what I wanted, which diminished me. And frustrated me and aggravated me.

He wasn’t sexual. But he was belligerent. He said he was a good listener, but he isn’t.

I am going to post the chat here. I have reread it. Some people might say I answered inappropriately – odds on some people will say – oh, you shouldn’t have said that or done that – yep, that’s why people don’t speak out about these things.

The response of others suggests the person receiving the unsolicited attention should feel ashamed. I don’t think I’m expressing this very well – abnormal for me and a sign that I really am uncomfortable about this, as much as I could laugh it off yesterday.

Today I feel angry. I could unban him just to abuse him. And I’ve literally just realised why.

This is why I keep weight on.

I was sexually abused as a child, by three different males, of different ages and with different relationships to my family. Male attention makes me uncomfortable unless I’m in control of it. Fat keeps men at bay.

Fuuuuck. Now I want to cry. And am.

Those males had no right to impose their needs and desires for power over me as a child. And George Hackman had no right to impose his needs on me yesterday.

I should be able to be my best and healthiest self without needing to worry I’ll be targeted or receive unwanted male attention. Now I become articulate. What the. I just do need to write the C word.

How dare any man or any person violate the peace and safety of any other living thing. How dare they. How can someone feel so entitled and be so selfish that they impose their will onto others.

I need to decompress. I’ll post the messages. I’ll get up and process what I’m feeling. I’ll be back when I have.

Childhood Trauma

Obviously, I’ve decided to start writing every day again. I’ve missed it. I think (it could change) that a lot of my posts might focus on childhood trauma and abuse and healing.

I was sexually and physically and emotionally/psychologically abused during my childhood. The way I perceived it all, I grew up believing that I wasn’t worth very much. This made it easier for other people to keep me feeling small in my life. After all, when you aren’t worth much you believe you don’t deserve much.

I have recently read two amazing books on childhood trauma. Dr Bessell van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score and Dr Nadine Burke Harris’ The Deepest Well. If you are interested, the second one is a much easier read than the first. She also has a TED Talk.

An ACE Score is an adversity in childhood experiences score. There are ten questions based on childhood experience. The higher the score, the more traumatic your childhood experiences were. This leaves you open to greater health problems and dysfunction in adulthood.

My score is 8 out of 10.

I’m flabbergasted I function as well as I do hehe.

I always felt motivated intrinsically to heal though. I never wanted my life to be restricted because of my childhood adversity. After all, it wasn’t all bad, it’s just that the bad had no voice and no way to release itself or moderate itself so it took over.

As I read The Body Keeps the Score, I realised how significant the impact of silence and shame has been – especially physically. The physicality extends into the psychological.

I have achieved a great deal in and throughout my life. I continue to grow and to heal. I don’t know why I never really fell off the rails into promiscuity and drugs. Possibly fear lol.

I do know though, that we are better informed today than we were in the seventies and early eighties. I know that counselling and support could make the world of difference in an abused child’s life.

I do not understand why it isn’t mandated in the Child Protection legislation. Trauma counselling should be a given for children experiencing trauma. Research indicates that it can make a significant difference to life outcomes.

So, I will be advocating for this. I want children to have hope, and passion for life, and the belief that they deserve to have their dreams come true.

That’s why I taught for so much longer than I think was healthy for me. I believe in our children, and I’ve seen too many parents, out of their depth, not know how to support their child through trauma. Parents need support too.

We know better. It’s time we do better.

Tina says πŸ€ͺ

Unsolicited Advice πŸ€ͺ

My whole life I have had very strong opinions about a lot of things. I was idealistic, passionate and very focused on my vision for this world. I would listen to the views of others, but only ever add to my arsenal of opinions rather than change them.

As we begin to age, I think we lose or temper some of that fervour, and some of my opinions have moved closer to the right side of politics (not right as in accurate, right as in right wing). The delivery of those ideas though would always encompass support and education.

For me these days, empowerment of individuals is vital to happiness and fulfilment. I guess that’s my underlying value and philosophy for living. People need to become empowered, by themselves or through a facilitated process.

In New South Wales in Australia, where I live, we have to vote in a State Election at the end of March.

I have always taken my vote seriously because the only dictatorship I would like to live in is one dictated to by me. When I turned 18, way back in the dark ages, and my first vote was coming up, I fastidiously researched (without Google I might add) the philosophy of each major party in Australia at the time (Liberal, Labor, Greens and the Democrats) and then I researched their leaders and then I found out about my local candidates.

I thought it was important to know all of this. During my twenties, I became involved in local politics, joined a political party, became active, a little militant, and served.

During my thirties, I became disillusioned. Candidates that WERE the best choice weren’t being supported by Head Office as much as they should be and I saw the yucky side of party politics.

Now, towards the end of my forties, having resigned from the political quagmire of school and education bureaucracy, I feel my passion and voice returning.

It has been bothering me that there is an election coming and I don’t know who to vote for. Here in Australia, politics and governance has become an ego riddled joke. Our Prime Minister changes with the winds and politicians don’t really seem to care about us real people and what we want.

So, for the first time in my life, I’m looking very seriously to vote for a candidate that quite possibly won’t gain office this time, but might next time. I’ve gone back to grass roots, and I think I’m going to vote for my local independent.

I met them on Saturday. They are traveling around the electorate to meet and genuinely hear from their potential constituents. Irrelevant who it is. I’m not trying to tell you who to vote for. That’s personal choice and your values may be different from mine.

I am suggesting though, that you find out about your candidates and the parties they belong to, and don’t ignore the independent candidates. Some independent candidates are stooges from the major parties placed in the ballot to extend the preferential votes. Find out.

Find out what each candidate stands for and don’t just vote a way that you always have – I truly believe our major parties need to know how disgruntled we are that they do not choose the needs of their constituents over their own and/or party needs.

It’s time for a political shake up and massive awakening in our country, and we start with our vote at the next elections.

And, yep, after months, two posts in a row hehehe.

Because I’m human … sometimes πŸ˜œ

Yesterday was an interesting day. It ended in frustration at what I perceive to be the inefficiency of the health system.

This morning was also interesting. After going to bed very late (happens because I finish work so late), I woke this morning with a strong message from the universe.

The lump in my breast (more than likely a benign fibroamenoid), the smashed thumb and the smashed car – all on the left side – are signs to let go of needing to control and be in control.

A shock, I know lol. I’m usually so trusting 😳

And, that message is right. Life has a fluidity that, when trusted, leads us to exactly where we are meant to be, in peace. I guess it’s similar to having faith in God. But, different too.

I arrived for my appointment on time. I was quizzed about cancelling the mammogram. It was accepted. I was relieved.

I had the ultrasound. Nothing unexpected. A big lump on my left breast, near the surface, very obvious. The routine questions:

When did you discover it? How long do you think it has been there? Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Any cancer? When was your last mammogram? Do you have the slides?

My last mammogram was in my twenties when I had been hit by a student throwing something and it resulted in a lump. So, no, I do not have the slides. In fact, never received the slides.

No history of any cancer.

I found it two and a half weeks ago. I hadn’t noticed it during my last self-exam. No, I don’t remember exactly when that was, the last three months or so.

Why didn’t you come earlier?

I booked in with the doctor and it took me a week to get an appointment. Then, I immediately booked in here and today was your first free appointment. I called eight days ago to book in.

Oh. And giggles, God love her.

Then the doctor came in. Felt the lump. Looked at the scans. Asked the questions. Explained that whilst he is fairly certain it’s a fibroamenoid, he is concerned that it grew suddenly when usually they are with you since menstruation starts. I mentioned the IVF for five years. Faces changed and ohs were emitted.

Yep. IVF – the gift that keeps giving.

Again, for me, a lesson in trust over control. One I think I’ll still be learning on my death bed lol.

Then, half naked, that gross gel over my chest, Why did you opt out of the mammogram?

I gave my reasons.

I don’t want to pressure you. It’s your choice, it’s your body. But …

I got so frustrated. I know enough to know I didn’t want it, but I can’t argue with a doctor. Ended up with the mammogram too.

Frustrated with my lack of balls here. And, that frustration lasted until this morning’s message.

I’m at peace now. Wish I’d been dressed and standing for that argument. There’s a vulnerability that is disarming on a table half dressed. But, it is what it is.

I am a work in progress. Constantly evolving and learning.

I’ll be fine though – I know that for sure.

Pic 1 – visual metaphor – Tina yesterday between scans lol

Pic 2 – nice view behind the visual metaphor

Pic 3 – the sunrise of illumination and trust this morning

πŸ˜‰ yep, I’m crazy lol

Bullying 😳

My puppy sits on the lounge and watches television. When any animal comes on (I now think it may be when he wants a cuddle), he barks and does a little dance. This morning, Queensland’s Premier, Anastasia Palaszuck (spelt wrong – sorry), was on television demanding a national plan for bullying to be stopped in schools in the wake of Dolly’s suicide as a result of ongoing bullying.

I’m a big fan of bullying being outlawed. But, I’m not an idiot. This is way too simplistic an idea. It will not work. For so many reasons.

Bullying has existed for a long time. A long time. Not just in schools, but in workplaces and homes amongst adults first and foremost.

Bullying happens when there is an imbalance of power. It stems from the ego governing the choices of a human. That ego is often fed by a deep insecurity and fear that the person has no power themselves. The person addresses this by exerting power over another. When this happens, repeatedly, to the same person, we call it bullying.

Until our society works on healing the damaged adults who model this behavior, and we call systems to account (like institutions whose policies mandate bullying behavior), bullying amongst children in schools will continue.

However, we can attempt to mitigate the impact of bullying by strengthening the resilience of children and, case by case, responsibly dealing with early incidents of bullying. This, too, requires that egos be checked at the door.

By ego, I am referring to the part of our psyche that tells us we aren’t good enough or that something is our fault (this ego operates from a lack position), and so we become aggressive and single minded when we try to bring a situation back to balance (impossible, where the ego is concerned, because it needs to win to be satisfied).

Bullying is not okay. Not ever. Not between adults, not between kids, not towards animals.

It will continue to happen whilst ever our society runs on the adrenaline of ego, whilst ever one person has more power than another (and uses it to further their own desires), and whilst ever power structures form the foundation of every organization, including government.

So, dealing with bullying. I am often charged with handling a bullying situation at school. This often occurs at an early point because I don’t tolerate kids saying mean things to one another or being mean to one another.

In fact, in my classroom I maintain strict expectations for how we treat each other during the learning process. I expect students to respond to questions, to ask questions and to make mistakes freely ( we learn more from mistakes than getting things right). I create a safe environment for this to happen, to empower my students to learn.

I warn my students that no one will laugh at someone else without serious consequences. They only ever need one example of someone being minimized and me reacting to know that I am true to my word.

Whatever people think of my strategies, they work. Kids feel safe with me and they learn. I pride myself (bloody ego) on creating a safe learning environment for my kids. This extends beyond the classroom walls.

I am regarded by some as a bitch. I don’t care. Students in my classes regard me as fair and only a bitch if I catch you doing something you shouldn’t. I have had many kids referred to me by ex students who say, Go see Meyer. She’ll deal with it. Yes, yes I will. Every child deserves to feel and to be safe at school.

I will share my process. This is a general summary. Every situation is different and might require some tweaking, but this is it basically.

I speak to both kids individually. I try to work out what has happened and why it has happened. From both sides. Why is the bully needing the power and why is the victim willing to sacrifice their’s.

Before you jump, I have been bullied. In each case, I need to work out for myself, why I sacrificed my power. It’s a hard conversation to have with yourself because we lie to make ourselves feel better. I encourage the kids to be honest with themselves, and with me, so that we can resolve the core issues.

Often, bullying isn’t about either child, it is about the feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness – on both sides. These need to be resolved so that the bullying does not continue.

I will then often sit the kids together and I mediate a conversation, a sharing of how each child feels and the real reasons as to why. The kids start to see their same-ness rather than their difference. I do a lot of the talking in this mediation until the kids feel safe with being honest. It usually results in a lot of tears (from me too – nothing more beautiful than kids seeing each other as equals after pain and seeing a way out) and resolution.

Very rarely have their been repeat offenses. And, if there are, I become a bully to the bully. Not nice, but effective.

The core issues are integral to solutions. They are often ignored in the resolution of bullying incidences. There is too much blame and too much anger and too much a need to be right rather than happy. Us adults model this poor behavior all of the time. We need to model our authentic selves rather than our masked selves.

Realistically, the solution to bullying relies on us adults being honest with ourselves. The bandaid solutions that will filter down from government are bullshit. They will achieve nothing. Us adults needs to be empowered to be our best selves. Only then will we empower our kids to be their best selves. Only then.

An Unfortunate Culture

I woke up this morning to my Facebook feed, as I do most mornings (this from a person who in the early nineties was never going to get the internet because only bad things could come – insert forehead slap here).

Van Badham, an Australian commentator, has shared an article about Don Burke’s predatory bullying and misogynistic behaviour, and how the Channel 9 Television Network took no appropriate action because he was their cash cow. They acknowledge, at the least, that there was gossip about Don Burke’s behaviour, but nothing was formally reported.

Who knows what is true.

In the comments, often the best part of anything on the internet, was a seemingly harmless comment along the lines of, “This is so sad if it is true.” The man, probably thinking nothing much of the words he chose, opened himself up to some not nice responses. In one, he was called a “douchebag.” He tried to defend himself by replying that he hadn’t said he didn’t believe it, but he was erring on the side of caution until Don Burke was in front of a court, rather than being tried on social media alone.

God love him. His argument appears logical. I lean towards agreeing with him. I do believe that any court would find Don Burke guilty; there seems to be a lot of evidence, a lot of reports with similar themes, and a lot of witnesses to the behaviour.

However, it sent me into a tail spin. I was drafting a comment to let him know that I had heard him, but I couldn’t find the words to express it clearly, without sounding like I was supporting Don Burke’s disgraceful behaviour.

That forced me to look at my own potential biases. Where does my need to defend this man come from? Am I being so careful to not become part of a witch hunt that I am complicit in seemingly condoning bad behaviour? What is right and what is wrong?

I get that the man who commented and was then attacked, probably didn’t think his seemingly innocuous comment would unleash what it unleashed. Probably didn’t think. Probably doesn’t need to think. It is obvious from his replies and attempts to protect himself, that he didn’t mean harm and was not condoning Don Burke’s behaviour. The responders didn’t want to see that.

But, our society’s culture did and still does permit Don Burke’s behaviour. Women and girls are still routinely subjected to comments about their appearance, their sexuality, their personalities, their everything, and much of it is demeaning.

We are held to ridiculous standards of beauty and minimalised for our opinions if we dare speak them. For Christ’s sake, our first female Prime Minister was routinely attacked for not being married, for being childless, for her clothing choices, for the size of her bottom and for the colour of her hair. And so many moronic imbeciles condoned this behaviour from the media, and it validated misogynistic behaviours and attitudes from unintelligent people who then felt they had a public platform and public permissionto air this vitriol.

Australia went backwards at this point. Thank you, Tony Abbott and Australian media.

We then had the atrocious behaviours from Harvey Weinstein in the US made public, following the #metoo movement (interestingly, following on from the allegations against Bill Cosby which did not give rise to such a furore – I wonder if colour plays a part here). This opened Pandora’s box. In the US and here too. And, rightly so. For so long there has been none or not enough public condemnation of this type of behaviour.

I used the me too hash tag. I debated using it. I read articles from women who were against it, believing it marginalised men and vilified innocent men. It may have done. It was also argued that no woman should feel pressured to own their abuse/assault in a public forum. I don’t think there was pressure; it was personal choice.

I think it was powerful, ultimately. I think it provided an alternative platform for women to own their assaults/abuse (the distinction being that abuse is longer term). It was empowering. For me, who speaks and writes openly about my life, it wasn’t too big a deal. For others, who don’t, and who chose to use the hash tag, it was empowering and unifying. They knew they were not alone.This enables and empowers healing. It strips shame away. It makes the abuse the focus, not the individual.

And, the hash tag wasn’t gender specific – males suffer abuse and assaults. That is undeniable. The impact of violation does not discriminate; however, for way too long, too many women have endured the shame and guilt that comes with behaviour that is not condemned by our society. And I feel myself checking myself, too many people.

Gender politics. I am a feminist. I have been marginalised because I am a woman. I have fought harder because I am a woman. I have been abused because I am a woman. And, a strong woman at that. Intelligent, compassionate, articulate, informed.

I have also been privileged to work with a therapist who has empowered me to see what I have yielded as a result of the abuses against (for) me. And I mean privileged. So many are not in the position where they can afford or access this type of therapy (Demartini).

For every male student who has disclosed abuse to me, I have had five female students disclose. Neither is supported adequately at the end of the day, despite all of the child protection rhetoric. It’s all about ticking boxes. And this entitled behaviour from all genders needs to stop.

But, we all need to understand that change is a process and learning the right language takes time, and at the end of the day, only compassion and love will move us forward.

Abuse, assault, bullying, aggression, unkindness, violence – it all stems from the same place – disconnection. We need to work together to change this unfortunate culture, not against one another.

Dominant Culture Privilege

You know, it’s very easy to sit back and judge. It’s probably the easiest thing in the world to do. Even easier to sit and judge from your own perspective, your own context, and not give time to a different perspective.

We are all guilty of this. Including me. And, regrettably, I continue to be despite my best efforts to be a better and less judgemental, more open, person.

For all of my youthful years I celebrated Australia Day on 26 January. I am, and always have been, in principle, a proud Australian. I am not always proud of my countrymen’s behaviour, choices and attitudes, but I love Australia and the potential it offers for an amazing life.

At some point though, in my celebration of Australia Day, I hit a point of realisation, as I became better educated, that that particular day was a day that marks a period of time that Australians today should not be proud of. For our first people, our Indigenous brothers and sisters, it marks a horrific turning point in their collective history.

The start of a genocide, not just of people, but of language, culture, beliefs, tribal systems and hierarchies, their entire way of life and way of knowing was attacked. Today, we still see the impact of this, and statistics validate the argument that there is a significant gap between the success rates in education of the dominant culture to the indigenous culture.

The Stolen Generations, as one example only, is not something restricted to the past. The forcible and government mandated removal of children from their biological parent is something that occurred during my lifetime. The effects of this still impact an entire generation of people.

And so, I stopped celebrating. I stopped attending barbeques, stopped listening to the hottest hundred, stopped participating in Invasion Day. At the time, most people didn’t get it. Today, more and more people are starting to express the same sentiment.

I don’t mind being different when I am standing in my truth.

In Australia, we pride ourselves on the ideal of inclusivity. I don’t believe that we are. I think we are deluding ourselves. We may once have been, but even this is highly doubtful to me. Inclusivity exists only for the dominant culture.

As a child of migrant parents, one German, in the seventies and eighties, at school, post WWII, I remember being bullied for being a “kraut” and kids would chant “Sieg Heil” at me.

What dicks.

But, as a child, I was told I was different; there was no inclusivity here. And, I only knew Australia. I was born here. This was my home. As an adult who chose blonde hair, I had other adults inform me that I could not possibly understand racism; I belonged to the dominant, blonde haired, Australian culture.

As a high school teacher with interesting ideals, pedagogy and methodology, I have always felt marginalised. I have never quite belonged because I have never embraced the status quo; it didn’t work for me. So, I found teaching not very inclusive too.

What I have learned from all of this, plus more, is that until we have walked in the shoes of another, or made serious attempts to empathise with the perspective of another, we are engaging in dominant culture privilege.

Just because the majority may think it, doesn’t make it right or true or inclusive. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change or revise or grow. When one person does not feel included, we cannot argue that we are an inclusive democracy.

Do I even need to connect marriage equality to this argument. No question mark. Seriously, Australia, wake up. Dominant culture privilege.

And, the rights of people with disability. I know a child with Autism who is being deliberately bullied at a local Catholic high school by a mob of his peers, to the extent that he is expressing extreme anxiety and suicidal tendencies, whilst the school continues to argue that they can’t do anything about it. Dominant culture privilege.

We are so ego based that we fail to focus on what is in the collective best interests. We don’t want to ‘lose’ that which is sacred to us, but we are happy to deprive others of the same.

Time to evolve, to ascend, to be better because we know better.

Vulnerability

I plugged my USB into my laptop four and a half minutes ago. Brene Brown's Vulnerability TED Talk came on, and I'm now fighting the urge to fight back tears. Let them flow, Tina, let them flow.

Weird response, you might think. And, yes, I would usually agree. The tears pricked as Brene said that whilst she wanted to get her work out to the world, a part of her has worked hard to engineer staying small.

My tears pricked because I noticed how much I have grown. This resonated with me this time last year; that fear of abundance, of an audience, of people bearing witness to my life, in its totality. This means, the bad shameful stuff as well as the weird and the good.

We are, all of us, a whole package.

People have told me (and god love all of you who have because you have empowered me even further) that they respect the courage I show to post my life on the internet. It has taken me a long time to see this courage they speak of, but they are right. For me, I've always replied that whilst I know there is an audience reading, I don't really know there is an audience reading.

When I write, I write mostly for myself: what is it that I need to most hear to empower me to heal, to process, to grow. Sometimes I write for a particular person, to validate their experience or response, sometimes I write to expose or to teach, but mostly it is for myself. As Beyoncé sings, I was here; a record that I existed and that I live.

Back to being small, this was me. I wanted my 'wisdom' out there, I wanted to be seen, I wanted to be noticed, but not really. Because what if people don't get it, or don't like me, or think I'm weird, or think I'm a fool.

Yep. What if.

Who cares.

My truth is my truth. And my truth can change, and can grow, and that is okay.

I don't necessarily want to be big. But, I do want to be. And, just being now, is enough. I trust that I will put things out there and the consequences will be what they will be. My foundation is strong and won't be shaken.

I think I feel a little nervous about my book on my healing journey through sexual abuse (as part of a traumatic childhood). Maybe a little vulnerability and a little shame lingering, and I think that's okay. We all go through stuff as children that impacts who we become, positive and negative, and it's okay. The first step in healing is acknowledging this. As Dr Phil says, You can't fix what you don't acknowledge.

So, acknowledgement comes first. We each need to hold our head up high and speak our truth. Acknowledge what happened, acknowledge the impact, acknowledge the desire to change, to grow, to bloom.

None of us deserve to feel small. Our experiences and who we are, are significant. And valid. We don't need to justify or validate them for others, our knowing is enough.

And, our desire to be big does not serve us in the telling of our truth, because if we desire to be big we stop being authentic, and we start to behave to please others rather than to serve our own higher interests. And this is disingenuous.

We can only heal when we acknowledge what has been 'done' to us (marked this way because I believe we choose) and acknowledge the impact it has made, good and bad. And, truly own ourselves in every sense. And, when we reach that point, it no longer matters whether we are big, or have an audience, or are noticed, because we come to knowing that we are enough, just as we are.

This did not end or go where I expected it might. I hope you get something from it; I'm almost ready to write.

🙏🏻🦋

A Focus on the Dark

Write the book you wanted to read when you were younger.

Thank you, Higher Self.

I had the title for this post but then became stuck. Where to from here? Not dissimilar to when I start first writing a novel or this new book. I have massive inspiration, can't wait to get started, and when I do, I start tripping over myself.

It is temporary. It is vital. And, it is very annoying.

My question was going to be, what would you want to read? My Higher Self responded as above.

The first couple of chapters will outline my personal experience with abuse, both sexual and physical. Later on in the book, I focus on the emotional and psychological impact of this.

Fractured memories is how I have titled it. I remember snapshots and sound bytes. Nothing else really. This frustrated me for a long time. People need proof and they need to know what happened for you to be credible, for it to be validated. Sometimes this isn't possible for a variety of reasons (after all, even if you do remember it in excruciating detail, you may not be able to voice it).

The impact is a self-doubt and a feeling that you are creating something bigger than it needs to be. Not entirely true. This doubt starts to manipulate your confidence in other areas, detracting from your sense of self and belief in self. Questions sometimes erode trust.

How do we move past this?

Expression. Stand in your truth. Even if you can't articulate it to others just yet, say it to yourself. Own what you do remember. Trust those feelings. Work through them.

Another person's perception of your story is just that, perception. They aren't living it. And if your perception is a little blown out, working through it will bring peace to that need too. If we are feeling something, it is coming from somewhere that needs to be addressed for health. Trust it. Work through it. Heal it.

You will be okay.