Nearly a week ago sadly my mum passed away from a disease that tried to take her earlier in the year. She was so strong and determined getting through 7 rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments. In July this year she had the all clear and all of our family celebrated the words we wished to hear.
Sadly it came back about 4 weeks ago, with only a few short months of freedom and recovery, mum landed back in hospital. She received the worse news possible from the Doctors advising her that there was no treatment available. This year has been a big one to say the least! My mum powered through every challenge and I got to see her fight like “wonder woman”. She gave it her all, she showed me what bravery and courage looks like in real life. She shook off her shyness and became a wonderfully confident person. At her worst she shone through with gratefulness for every day that she was given.
As a family we have grieved all year, grieved for the health that mum had lost, the battles she had to fight. We walked with her every step of the way and ensured she was never alone. My mum showed me how to stand strong and brave in the midst of undeniable odds. I had sat with her and held her hand as I was preparing for her to leave this earth to eternity. With every stroke of her beautiful hand I thought about what life would be like without her and here I am with a gap in my heart as she is no longer on earth. It’s hard to know what to feel, its deep, its real and its an inner sense of knowing something is very missing in my life.
My mum will continue to be my inspiration. I will always think of her when I am afraid, when life throws its challenges my way. It’s in moments like this that nothing else matters, all the small worries in life seem so insignificant. Wednesday the 1st of December we say fare well to our beautiful mother. Life is crazy sometimes. It doesn’t always make sense to us. We hurt, we heal, we love and we lose love. Our memories are always with us and that is where my mum will have a special place, in the memories of my heart always and forever.
Thank You Mum for your amazing strength, you are going to be missed so much. Until we meet again I love You always. Xxx
Most people understand what it means to be “pushed to breaking point”. Its when you reach that place of intense pressure, stress, pain or hurt. Humans are capable of so much resilience and yet in each of our lives we will at some point reach that place where we are breaking. There is healthy stress and unhealthy stress. Healthy stress keeps us going to get things done while unhealthy stress causes all types of damage mentally and physically. There are endless situations that can push someone to breaking point. What I really want to talk about and focus on is the breaking that takes place when you are in an unhealthy relationship.
There is so much awareness in todays age about all the different types of abuse that people can experience. From physical, verbal to emotional. When you have been in that type of relationship it resonates with you at a very personal level it’s no longer something you only read about. A person that has lived in that type of relationship knows what it really feels like. It can be a very lonely place in fact!! Particularly when the abuse takes place in silence. Miriam Webster’s Dictionary describes the term abuse as; to inflict physical or emotional harm upon. Physical abuse is easy to detect, there are bruises or other horrible injuries that can’t be hidden showing others or yourself that it isn’t something imagined it actually happened. Emotional abuse is the quiet/silent type, others don’t always pick it up and if they do the victim having been manipulated clings to the perpetrator to try and establish “normal life”, resulting in those “others” being pushed away and kept at a distance.
What happens when kids are involved? They are often living under the same roof where all the damage is being done. They don’t comprehend what’s really going on but they do know it doesn’t feel like a comfortable safe place. Kids are resilient, they stay busy playing with their siblings or friends, doing school and life, not quite aware that the reason its so uncomfortable is that the two people in their lives who should have it all together don’t. Sadly the kids see it all, hear some of it and learn ways to cope to get through all of the bad days. Unfortunately my kids saw me reach breaking point countless of times. They would have seen me crying, in bed with depression, withdrawn, sad, anxious, explode in pain, yell or scream at their father, confused, desperate, unmotivated, sensitive, angry and overprotective. As hard as I tried to hold everything in, at times I found it impossible to contain the emotions I felt from the mistreatment. The mistreatment was subtle, at times direct, ruthless, intentional, harmful, deceptive, dangerous, fear inducing, belittling and controlling. At each breaking point I reacted. That in itself is another clever tactic of the perpetrator as they quietly mistreat you behind closed doors creating the scene for you to explode or react in front of others so that you look like the one with all the problems. It doesn’t necessarily need to happen behind closed doors, it can happen right in front of your children. As kids are growing up they become accustomed to behaviours even when they are wrong. They don’t know any better so they think that the way in which Dad speaks to Mum (always jokingly of course) is funny and normal. Mum hears (the Joke) and feels another moment of pain on top of all the other pain she has experienced with him.
We all reach breaking points and when someone taunts you enough you will respond. Normally I am a calm person, I have not had difficulties with other people, only ever the ones that mistreat. Humans were not made to bear the brunt of other peoples mistreatment. You can ignore it for a little while but eventually its something to be faced head on. Especially if you recognise your worth and value as a person and start to see that the mistreatment is not deserved or justified. It is wrong, its abuse and it shouldn’t be happening. Emotional abuse is one of the worst kinds, its silent and damaging. After having left that relationship I have continued experiencing growth and healing. While I am not 100% (and perhaps never will be) I am a much better version of ME. The fact is, in my new life I am free to be myself, I am not questioned, I am not belittled, I am not put down, I am not disregarded, I am taken seriously and not treated as though I am a child.
I am so very grateful for my new life, I don’t take a single day for granted, I have nothing but appreciation for it as I have been through so much in the past that every single moment is a treasure to me. Anyone that comes across my path who represents “mistreatment” wont get very far with me, there will never be any form of going back to my old life now that I know my own value. I will only have people in my life that share my values and don’t take to mistreatment or bullying. Its not apart of me anymore, its foreign and unwanted. That my friend is freedom and happiness!!!!
Life for myself and family turned into a whirlwind on the 31st December 2020 when my mum was diagnosed with aggressive non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. The prognosis without treatment was not a happy ending! We were all in shock and my mum was taken by surprise without a moments notice as it came on suddenly, without warning sending her to hospital when on that day she was planning to go on a summer camping trip with my dad. The camping trip was diverted and that was a god send. It’s as though from the very start my mum was protected, guided and strengthened with every step for what was going to be the biggest fight of her life for the next 7 months.
Numb, shocked and saddened are some of the words that provide a tiny glimpse of how we all felt. Broken, lost, helpless, scared and grief stricken. None of us could have possibly imagined what we were going to witness with our own eyes. The moments of deep sorrow, painfilled concerns, questions, the whys and the how’s we all pulled together to support her like her life depended on it, and it did!!!!
My mum started intensive chemotherapy as a 73 year old for the first time in her life! Our family was not one to have experienced such a journey, watching and supporting someone so ever close to us being poked and prodded, treated with medication that was both poison and a trigger for her body to start the big fight! We were all standing strong with her, when alone we were weak and scared. All of our vulnerabilities were touched from one moment to the next.
As soon as the battle started her new name was “”Wonder Woman””, she was and still is absolutely amazing! I have no doubt that in her quiet moments when she was alone her thoughts would have taken her to desperate places. Mum was extremely determined after the initial shock and overwhelming sadness to begin the fight. I couldn’t believe how strong she was, not even giving into any type of negativity, not reading anyone’s “sorry messages” on her phone. THE only people she wanted around her were her 4 daughter’s and my dad.
There were different types of chemotherapy used, some treatments she went home with and others that could only be given in hospital over several days. The specialist’s and nurses were all outstanding, they were the ones on the forefront focused and strong to make sure they gave her every chance to continue living life. Each of us daughters and dad were standing strong and united, strategizing to ensure mum was never alone in the hospital.
There were some scares amidst the treatment when we were told the cancer had spread to her spinal fluid. However as quick as that came to light is as quick as it was gone after specific treatment was designed to eradicate it. The treatment was effective and it provided a sigh of relief to continue the focus on the rest of her body that was being attacked. Mum kept with the treatment like a trooper! After the last chemotherapy which was by far the most hard hitting on her body she had a week at home and then all of a sudden her body started showing signs of something being very wrong. After a lot of investigation it was found that her pik line was infected, they removed the pic line and then started a whole new regime of treatments to eliminate infection from her body, her body that had been through so much already. Once again we were all fighting strong with her, quietly by ourselves scared, hoping for the war to be won.
Happy to say that we all left the hospital together with her when she was better, ready to go home and start recovery. She had six weeks of recovery before the dreaded day being a Pet Scan that would tell the specialist what the outcome would be.
THE CANCER WAS ALL GONE!
No lymphoma anywhere to be found!!!!!!!
While my mum is still recovering, we are celebrating a massive win to what was the biggest fight of all of our lives. My mum is my inspiration, whenever I am dealing with something anxiety provoking, scary or unknown, I think of my mum and say to myself, “”if mum could go through that big war, I can do anything””!!!!
Love you Mum with all my heart and I am so happy you are still with us 🙂 Xxxxxxx
The first half of my life looks completely different to the second half and so it should. It would be a concern if it all stayed the same. Frozen, stuck and stagnant would describe a life that has not moved forward. The first half of my life up until the age of 46 years old felt cold and frozen. Perhaps I had a frozen state of living, living in worry, confusion, sadness, loneliness, desperation, emptiness, disconnected from my original design. I don’t believe for a second that I was supposed to live that way. Yes I made my choices and I have no one to blame but myself for that part.
As a young person I was living in the moment, expecting that my decisions were the right ones. I truly believed it was all going to be good. That once married, with kids, each day would unfold into a bright and beautiful future. I expected that going to church living life for God was also a guarantee to a good life. Most of what I thought was good wasn’t really that good. Underneath the surface of my life was chaos. Man made chaos. It wasn’t at all what I was led to believe. The devil was blamed for most of it. The devil got all the credit for the man made chaos. It was the same old story week in and week out, that if your life was not going well you were under attack! “YOU must be doing something right for GOD if you are being attacked by the DEVIL”, he doesn’t attack Christians that are sleeping only the ones that are awake! This is what I was told, this is what I heard in Church.
All the man made decisions that left our household finances in shambles were blamed on the devil.
I truly regret that I walked into a church at the age of 17.
That’s the day I stopped thinking for myself and got lost in a life of manipulation and control.
The message was about sacrificing yourself for God.
Giving up on your own desires and surrendering.
I surrendered alright.
That was foolish and dangerous, it shut me off from being able to think for myself. It was sinful to think for yourself. Every decision and thought needed to be in line with the bible. This meant that being married I was not to walk away, I was to submit to my husband, pray and believe by faith that God was going to change him. DANGEROUS!
I was led to believe that the more you surrendered your life the closer you would be to God. In my case surrender meant no money, no friends, no family, a lonely marriage relationship, emotional abuse, control, manipulation and fear.
REVERSE all of that and now in the second half of my life at nearly 51 years old I don’t go to church, I have a loving Fiancé, a man that makes great decisions with finances, closer relationships with family and friends. Safety, security, peace and love. I don’t feel guilty for making my own decisions. I have never felt so content. I am in a free environment where I can choose without judgement. I understand now what it is to be respected, valued and loved.
My fiancé checks up on me regularly to ensure that I am all good. He values me so much that he never wants to see me hurt, in pain or sad for that matter. He would never treat me badly. OUR relationship is healthy, wholesome and natural. There is no striving, stress or malice. We have been together for nearly 4 years in December and don’t fight. Instead of fighting we communicate. We both listen to each other and have no intention of putting the other down. We are both on the same page, we share the same values and only want the absolute best for each other.
I truly feel like this second half of my life is filled with good things, it almost feels like I am now rewarded for all the years of heartache and pain. I still have to pinch myself every now and then as its simply amazing to live a life that is so beautiful. It’s all that I could ever ask for and more. I will never take my new life for granted! Every moment and every event on this journey is better then gold.
Thank you Life for giving me a second chance. Xx
The best part about growing old is the freedom you feel in finally being your true self. We grow up battered and bruised by all sorts of situations moulding ourselves to fit other peoples expectations. How we mould ourselves tends to suit others. We become what they think we are, what they want us to be and wonder why we are not truly happy.
IF anything the biggest challenge for me has been having a voice. I’ve grown up all my life pleasing people, keeping people from getting angry, maintaining calm and peace to avoid conflict as I would most always be the loser. This meant that I just shut up and put up with whatever was dished out to me to avoid drama or rejection. This is something that was ingrained into the depths of my behaviour and belief system from a very long time ago. I learnt to be quiet, say nothing, don’t cause waves, no one really wants to know what you have to say, who do you think you are to have an opinion, a valid feeling OR any thought of your own for that matter.
Who do you think you are that you can speak your mind, your hurts, your pain, your disappointment, your anything???
NO doubt starting school unable to speak English or even understand the language didn’t help my case, I just never had the safety to open up and share my valid feelings. This created a young person that was open to more trouble and open to people that would take advantage of her inability to stand up for herself. I’ve been through manipulation, emotional abuse, neglect, discarded, put down, invalidated, lied about, under valued and have been put in a box, sealed tight to only be allowed to live in that small space so that everyone else feels comfortable.
I don’t know? I will never understand?
BUT I do know that just as everyone else on this planet has their voice, their feelings, their opinions, their wishes, their thoughts I DO TOO.
Having finally figured out over the past 5 years that I deserve so much more, I have been on a journey to free myself from the boxes people like to keep me in. My past experience dictated my behaviour. Whenever I spoke up about my feelings I was rejected, neglected and made to feel pretty damn shit about it. All the while it seemed everyone else was free to speak with no consequences.
SO I have been growing into a person who no longer fears rejection from others. Should they reject me then that’s on them and they clearly don’t value me in their life. I will never again be kept in a box and kept small and tiny with no voice.
I am learning that just as others can speak their mind to be heard well so can I.
Why should I be any different…
It is massive to release yourself from the fear of others, the fear of what they will do or say should you stand up for yourself. When you mould yourself into something you are not and live that way for a very long time others tend to think there is something wrong with you when you decide that’s not you after all. Those people usually don’t really take into account how that might make you feel being kept small and closed in. UNTIL you get the right people in your life that truly support you, love you, respect you, and want to see you grow and move forward. They are the ones you should listen to and believe. They are your biggest supporters and they will be with you all the way never giving up on you. They have your back, they stand up for you, they care about how you feel and how you have or are being treated. They don’t disrespect you behind your back, they have integrity and your best interests at heart.
Safe and healthy people in your life want you to grow and be your true self, they want you to be happy and free. They are the ones that hold your hand and say I will walk with you through anything. I love that!!!!!
There was a time I was frustrated about getting older but now I think its amazing, its freeing and I love the person that I am now, the person that is not subject to other peoples approvals or demands. If someone chooses to reject me, for me, well that’s out of my control and its not going to stop me from living.
When it all comes down to it and one day you are at the end of your life, if you can “hand on heart” say that you have no regrets with who you are as a person then that’s all the matters. One day every single person is going to be at that point in their lives when they are about to leave this earth and it is at that point that it wont matter who rejected you, mistreated you, or had no value of you in their lives. In that moment it will be about the ones that truly supported you and loved you for you.!!!!
No more boxes, no more time wasted on the people that don’t have any genuine interest or concern for your well being.
Move On, Move Forward and enjoy every single day that you are breathing.