Pell Take 2 🥵

Aaaargggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

Getting the anger out yesterday helped.

We know I’m into acknowledging the benefits and drawbacks in every situation to maintain balance. I did that yesterday too. It empowered me to enjoy the day. And it gave me space to process.

The triggering I felt yesterday wasn’t about my abuse situation – I’m grateful for that journey in its entirety. What triggered me is that in this society, as much as we’ve seemingly moved forward, we haven’t really at all. Well, in a minuscule way. And, yes, it’s better than nothing.

I guess, until the patriarchal power structures change, we will continue to fall into the same sort of patterns.

It’s like in Child Protection – referring is mandatory, but the legislation stops there. Report, but no, there’s no real support for the mandatory reporter or the child who shares their story. You guys just do what you have to do.

If we were serious, really serious, about changing this culture and healing the children, men and women who have become prey to it, we would focus on rebuilding social attitudes, and ensuring help and real support for those who need it – perpetrator and victim.

Instead, we have a situation where a judge acknowledges the barbaric and self-serving acts of an official of the Catholic Church, acknowledges the short and long term impact for the victim who did not die from a drug overdose (the other did), acknowledges the lack of remorse from the official, and with the potential for a fifty year sentence, orders 6 with a non-parole period of 3 years and 8 months.

Because the perpetrator should not have to die in prison and has health concerns and has been vilified in the media. FFS.

Balance, Tina, and breathe. Fucking ridiculous.

So, where is the benefit?

In the outrage. Palpable outrage that people from all walks felt yesterday. From the outrage, change will come. From the outrage, healing will happen. From the outrage, people will unite and a community will be borne.

Yes, the outrage will start conversations – uncomfortable and challenging – but conversations that will spur movements and that, inevitably, will trigger the cultural shift in attitude that we need.

Healing Truly Is A Process

Well, I’m exhausted lol. Another layer of healing pulled back and processed yesterday.

What I have noticed is that once upon a time, triggers took days, even weeks, for me to process, and during that time, I would slip into depression and sabotage my friendships. I would be immersed in and suffocated by darkness.

Yesterday, during the trigger and processing process, I was a little disoriented when a friend came knocking on the door, but I was functioning and to a high level. In fact, the visit brought the remaining cortisol down. Apart from tired, my self-care and tool kit of strategies took me through the process.

Very often, the triggers are not the cause of the emotional and/or psychological chaos. They just trigger it. I’ve found, that as I’ve added to my tool kit, the triggers no longer disrupt my life or my psyche for long.

I think the greatest tool I use to return myself to balance is what I’ve learned from Mai Mai in our sessions, and from reading Dr John Demartini’s books and applying the ideas.

I no longer have to look for the support in the moment – it is always there in some form – I still acknowledge the step as part of the process though.

The drawbacks are always fairly obvious, and then I focus on the benefits and list them one by one. I also now connect them to my values – how does this incident support my highest values?

Then, after that intense work, I’m just tired and yesterday, I practiced self-care. I apologized for not being able to attend an event I had been looking forward to, and I was honest about why, which whilst embarrassing and shameful (in my eyes at the time) liberated me in the long term.

It is so important that we use our voices and share where we are. Honesty enables trust in relationships and removes guilt.

Ultimately, yesterday was an opportunity for me to walk the talk, and to demonstrate to others how I did this.

Healing is a lifelong process, and that’s okay, because I’ve got this.

Poor George 😝 onwards and upwards

Oh My. Healing the trigger.

If you have read my last post, you were witness to a triggered reaction/break down from unwanted male attention. I had to stop writing and responding to comments, and move away to process what I was experiencing.

I felt shock at first, as I realised the extent of the violation because I connected it to my childhood sexual abuse. I have always known that my weight issues were connected to unresolved childhood trauma and the subconscious desire to protect myself. I have been wanting to resolve that – ask and you shall receive – as I roll my eyes at myself.

After the shock and the realisation I was breaking down mid post, I felt sick in my stomach and my shoulders tightened. This is where I usually carry stress. I walked through my house and fed my pets. Made the bed, opened the blinds and turned on my salt lamps.

Amidst that, I started to unravel purpose. I need to resolve more layers. I’m good with that. This is a healing opportunity, and a teaching and learning experience. That’s the purpose.

Then, to gratitude. Find the gratitude in the discomfort, Tina. What am I grateful for?

I am grateful that I am still healing, for I am human and I love learning. I am grateful for the immediate support I received, and for the love and solidarity that was so strong in their comments and messages. I am grateful that I have a voice that empowers and enables me, and hopefully others. I am grateful that I am strong and that I am resilient. I am grateful that as I write this, I can feel the cortisol that was coursing fast through my body, start to abate. I am grateful that I am taking deep breaths and that I know to do and how to do that. I am grateful that I know this is temporary. I am grateful for all of my past healing. I am grateful because this will not destroy me, not ever. I am grateful that I have grass to mow. I am grateful that I can apply all that I have learned, including self-care. I am grateful for my ability to help others. I am grateful for the intensity of the experience and for the ability to feel my body’s response so that I can empathize with others to become a better healer. I am grateful …

These are my first steps. I will take the time today to continue my work on me. I will give myself the space to do that. I will walk the talk.

I will cancel my commitments today. I will mow the lawn and water my plants. I will make a nutritious breakfast. I will focus on me. I will Demartini the experience and look at the benefits and drawbacks which I’ve already started to do.

The beauty of having done so much work is that I feel already that I’ve got this. This will work for me. I needed to do this. I will model what others can do.

Funny thing – I’ve been blocked bowel wise since this happened yesterday and I rarely get blocked. After this, my body let go. Something in that for all of us I think. Our bodies hold our trauma and our grief. That isn’t healthy.

Seven Weeks. Fourteen Days.

I am grateful that my windscreen was smashed. We have not found out who was responsible for it. But, I feel no anger, just gratitude. I hope that the child responsible finds the support they need to be able to fill the hole within them that lead them to the point where they believed their actions were appropriate and necessary.

Regardless, I am grateful.

Education no longer serves my highest self. This is no judgement on or against anyone else; these are just my thoughts and my perceptions. If you are a happy teacher, power to you. I no longer am.

I love children. I love working with them to empower them to fulfil their dreams. I love those light bulb moments when they get it. I love the jokes, the loving teasing, the rapport that is built through symbiotic trust. I love inspiring them to see the world and their place in it, in new ways. I am still a passionate and idealistic teacher. I always will be.

However, I do not respect or like the machine that education has become. I do not like the lack of humanity embodied in the broader leadership, and I cannot fathom or respect machinations that regard teachers and students as robots and tick a boxes.

I do not have the passion to fight it. There are too many who just follow it. My type of teacher is in the vast minority. I don’t see enough commitment to want to change; people don’t stand up and fight for anything anymore.

I will stand up and fight for me by being true to me, and putting me first. After all, no one else will. It is not anyone else’s responsibility; it is mine, and mine alone.

So, I have fourteen working days left until I hand in my keys. Keys that I will have held for very close to twenty years.

I have no intention of ever going back. I thought, when this time came, I would feel more heartbroken. Maybe the grief will come; maybe it won’t. At the moment, I feel like I’m finally answering a call to let go of fear and to start living. I feel liberated.

I have been sick this week, my body has been purging stress toxins, I’m sure. I have not been at school since the incident. I feel liberated. In the past, when I’ve been sick and had to take a couple of days, I’ve felt sooooo guilty that I was letting other people down. This time, I was able to prioritise my health and acknowledge my own worth. Illness requires rest. No one is let down; it just is what it is.

I feel happy. I have felt exhausted this week, every afternoon, as I’ve headed out to work with my clients. But my energy thrived as I arrived to the first door step each day and sustained itself until I arrived home. I feel very present when I work with my kids. I feel a happy heart and fulfilled soul; feelings, that in teaching, have been eclipsed by ever increasing administration demands and the systemic disregard for the welfare of teachers.

I know I’m a teacher. I always will be. But, at the end of the day, I am worth more and am more valuable than the system/broken machine of education decrees, and so, like all abusive relationships, I will move away from it so that my soul can thrive. I will not allow myself to be made small again in my life. This lesson is learned ( fingers crossed lol).

This time, I am breaking the abuse cycle that has ruled my life. This time, I empower me. This time, I am truly free.

I have a friend …

I know, lucky me. I have a friend. The ellipsis suggests that there is more to this sentence though for those giggling 😜.

I have a friend who is on a rigorous healing journey. Who is confronting her demons and holding her ground. And, who is absolutely shit scared, every day, of what this could lead to.

When we embark on a healing journey, we first spend time holding the truth within ourselves. We go over our narratives so many times that we can finally feel ‘comfortable’ within them. We start to own our narrative in more than just a debilitating way.

We almost start to feel safe that this is who we are now, and we start to use the labels: survivor, victim, me too. We also brand the trauma: sexual abuse, physical abuse, dysfunction. The labels start to define us. They hold us tightly, but in a way that makes us feel, I don’t know, connected, maybe, secure, even.

This part of the journey can last many, many years. Some people become ‘stuck’ in this part of the healing and they, in essence, hide behind these labels. The labels and the trauma become safe. They, in turn, become the labels. This isn’t healthy.

The next part of the healing journey takes place when we start to share our narrative. We talk to other people, we write, or we create, in some way, to share our narrative. The courage it requires to share is significant. It’s like stepping out into the humidity after a big storm; the fear smothers you until you acclimate.

Sharing comes at a cost. You fear that you won’t be believed, that people will judge you, invalidate your experience (and you), and look at you differently. Sharing makes you very vulnerable, scarier for someone who already feels invalidated.

Rarely, depending on who you choose to share with, will any of these things happen. More often than not, people will support you, commend you on your bravery, and ultimately, start to share their narrative.

This phase of healing helps you to develop strength. It is usually at this point that you start to think outside of yourself. You start saying things like, I want to help others, I want to make a difference, and I need to get my story out there because this needs to stop. Most of us start changing our little parts of the world here. We share and by doing so, we empower and inspire others to share. We start to impact the broader social narrative (this is where #metoo gained real traction, just as a current example).

Some people then move beyond their own circle. They start blogging, writing books, making movies, giving speeches, designing workshops, to get their narrative out there to impact even more people. I think, it is at this point, that the trauma stops defining you. It is a subtle change. But, importantly, I think the healing starts to define you at this point, for most people.

Again, this is terrifying. Even more terrifying than first sharing your trauma with close friends and/or family.

It is here when you start to worry about the impact sharing your narrative will have on those in your narrative. We worry that relationships will change, and be lost. We worry that the pain of others will be exacerbated unwittingly as a result of sharing our narrative. We worry that we will be shunned by those we love.

It is at this point that we weigh up the value of what we are doing, for the world, the community, and ultimately, ourselves. And then, if we proceed, we try to do it sensitively.

Owning our own voice is so important in the healing journey. Owning our voice and our truth.

We are raised to believe that truth is a singular concept. Something is true, or it isn’t. Defining truth, this is ‘true’; however, when it comes to our stories, my truth could be different to someone else’s truth because of perception.

If, in a situation, someone’s action impacted me more than others around me, I might remember the action more than the other things happening at that time, and others may not remember the action at all. This impacts my narrative.

My truth can be different to someone else’s. Both are still valid in the context of a life. Because healing needs to occur from where we are, not from where someone else is.

Someone can say, That isn’t true. It might not be for them. For the person sharing it though, it is. And, as a result, they need to rebalance (heal) it. Standing in our truth is frightening. We all want to belong. By standing up, we risk losing our sense of belonging.

It is important to remember, at this point, that whilst some will turn away from us, the universe always ensures balance, so others will come.

My truth is just that, it is my truth. As I move through my life, striving for harmony and happiness and all things beautiful, I need to do what empowers me to achieve these things. I need to be sensitive to the truths of others without compromising my own truth.

My truth is as valid as your truth. Even when they are different. Healing ourselves, heals others.

Let’s share our stories, rebalance our perceptions, and attain happiness.

Illness or Purging?

I was feeling very shoddy when I got home yesterday afternoon after a wonderful afternoon with my road tripping friend. In true form, road trips are never dull with Margo and we were caught just outside Hill Top in a hail storm. She knew it was coming; I told her not to put the energy out there. Her reading of the clouds was strong; it was too late either way. The weather has decided.

Super full moon. Energies all over the place; even the heavens needed to release what no longer served them.

In my mind, I had prepared a magnificent ritual for full moon for last night – you know, in honour of my intentions for ritual this year. I felt like utter crap.

I did a very downsized version of what I had planned. I’ll post the video here, but you must ignore the perspective because I couldn’t hold the phone in a more flattering way 😂

One of the benefits of aging, I’ve lost ego over my appearance always having to be perfect; what I’m doing is more important.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure if I was sick or if I was creating the sickness. I woke up this morning and if I’ve manifested it, I’ve done a pretty good job. Felt like utter shit all day. I achieved three things, two of them very early. I took the boys to the groomers, vacuumed and mopped the floors, and then slept on the lounge all day.

That’s not the third thing.

The third thing was yin yoga tonight. My body told me that no matter what, I needed to go. So, I did. My body was just blah and my belly so bloated. I started to get nauseous in some of the poses and then I did that vomit in the mouth thing. Gross, right. What can you do. It was only a tiny bit. Just enough to taste it.

The meditation was amazing. I went swimming with whales and went deep inside and deep under.

Came home. Showered. Vomited. Feel better. Sort of.

Now, I started thinking about the things I was going to release well before last night’s ritual. If you watch the video, you’ll see what they were; I can’t remember them all now (because I released them). I’m now thinking, I’m not sick, I’m purging that which no longer serves me.

I had another flashback to sexual abuse during one of the poses. Remember, I’ve Demartini’d my abuse. No emotional response. Acknowledged it. Breathed it in and then released it on the exhale. Did that a few times, moving deeper into the pose and pushing through the flashback. Kept breathing. Nothing negative. No emotional response.

Amazing.

I went outside last night to take a photo of the moon (wish I was a photographer with a camera at times like that) and a blue orb turned up in the photo, but I also saw it away from the screen. Googled it. Starseed. Yep.

Anyone that’s had a conversation with me about my adventures in Minnesota last year know I was activated and believe I’ve lived on other planets. Starseed has something to do with that.

Here’s the video, after the photo:

Haters gonna hate lol.

https://tinakmeyer.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/img_7488.mov

Values, Judgement and Empowerment

Every single one of us has the power to make a difference to other people, thereby changing our world. In every second, we have this power, whether we see it or not.

I try to use this power for good. I don’t always succeed, but more often than not, I think I might.

I’m a little addicted to social media when I have free time. I read a lot of articles and a lot of posts. I love reading the comments. However, sometimes they also challenge me. People can be very aggressive and very unthinking in their responses (yes, I mean unthinking instead of unthoughtful). I try to think carefully before I respond; sometimes I initially misinterpret the intent of a comment. If I responded without thinking, I could cause pain to someone by minimising them. I do not like doing this to other people.

I think we should all be a little more measured in our comments. And, in our thoughts and actions beyond the internet.

Something I have been practising learning since Uluru is my need to bash people with healing strategies. One of my core values is healing and the belief that we all should be striving to be the best we can be by healing what isn’t right within us. As a result, if you tell me something, I’ll go into Miss Fix-It mode and start healing you.

I am learning and trying to remember that sometimes, just sometimes lol, people don’t want a solution or pathway out, they just want to be heard. I am also learning that not everyone wants to be healed or is ready to start the process. I struggle with this too. It works against my values. But, I’m learning.

My values, upon last assessment, encompass healing/empowerment, learning and spirituality, and developing and strengthening my business practice.

By spending more time in the areas of my values, I am finding greater happiness and fulfilment in my life. They have also enabled and empowered me to learn better communication with others because I am more conscious of how my values impact my relationships with others.

We are not all the same. Understanding our differences empowers stronger relationships, fosters inner peace, and enables happiness. Understanding why we respond in certain ways enables us to be better friends and citizens, less judgemental and more open. In turn, this broadens our world and our experiences. Our lives and our selves become richer.

And, this can only be a good thing.

I worked my values out from the link below, using the worksheets that Peter has posted. It is something you might choose to do over the next couple of days.

All of the instructions are there and it is easy to do:

https://www.businessisbliss.com.au/demartini-method

Anniversaries and Endings

Today is the anniversary of my miscarriage. I feel it every year. This year has been no different. I am going to Demartini it before the next one.

Earlier this week, I decided I needed to do something for myself tonight to honour me and movement forward. I am attending a local Red Tent Women’s Circle. I’m nervous – new people and no idea what to expect – but it feels right and it’s about saying yes to every pull and every calling.

A short post. My head has been processing so much. I am going to be writing a series of reflection posts this coming week to make up for my absence.

Anyway, to all of the women I know and love, who have also endured baby loss, much love.

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.

My Next Charge

As a woman who has never birthed her own children, I have been truly blessed by the generosity of so many friends in their willingness to let me love their kids. Tonight I attended the birthday party of three of them.

These girls, and their sisters, have always just treated me like I was valuable to them. They are three of quite a few. So, whilst I have never been a birth mother, I have been blessed to be welcomed into their lives.

I have also been adopted and have adopted an incredible person who I have written about before. Honours me as her mother even though I never feel quite deserving enough; she loves me anyway.

Under the Tuscan Sun has a scene in it where the protagonist realised that everything she had desired for her life in the villa came to pass, but not always in the way that she had expected or hoped.

I think it is the same for me as a mother. I am a mother. Just not in a traditional way (shock horror) and that is more than okay. I am so proud of all of my surrogate kids, past and present, and am grateful that this has been and continues to be, my path.

Well, this post didn’t go quite where I wanted it to. My heading is so not what this is now about.

Tonight I also realised what my next emotionally charged issue to work through is. I had a close friend die a few years ago. I still think of her every day and talk to her often. I caught up with her husband tonight. I just wanted to cry.

I had disappeared from their lives leading up to her death. I do this. When my life overwhelms me, I tend to force myself into time out to process and assimilate whatever it is that is going on. At this particular time, I was in my IVF journey and just didn’t know how to communicate so didn’t.

You never expect that one of the people closest to you might not be there. It just doesn’t factor in to your thinking. I’m a great person and give a lot, but I’m not perfect. When I saw Nat again, she was in hospital, and we were waiting for her to pass.

I was blessed to have been included in this process and to have been given the opportunity to sit with her on my own to say goodbye. Definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And the tears pool, blurring the words on the screen, and fall. And one of the most beautiful opportunities I have ever received.

I sat with her and told her how important she was to me, and I apologised for disappearing, and I just held her hand. I promised her that I would not waste my life. In honour of her I would live my best life.

Several hours later, at home, I felt her passing before I received the text to tell me that she had passed. I sobbed quickly and then pulled myself together to contact the people I needed to contact. I think I stayed in that mode for days and weeks after. The funeral is there in my mind but only as impressions. I remember nothing of my delivery of my words for her, except seeing her husband and kids in front of me.

We do tend to forget or look over the faults in people that have passed; their lives take on an inflated status.

I lost my friend. Paradoxically, I gained my life.