Posted in Acceptance, courage, Freedom, Healing Process, Inspiration, parenting, relationships, Strength and resilience

Not on my watch ….

An area of weakness within my DNA and core of who I am is the tendency to believe that all people are good and they have your back. Time and time again I have found that not to be the case. We meet people along the path of life whether they be work colleagues, family or friends that can turn on you without warning. Way back in my younger days I was always worried about being liked. It held too much of a focus. I don’t think I was really aware at that age of how hard it can be to please and impress everyone. The need to keep everyone happy OR to be liked had me under a lot of pressure. It had me being someone I wasn’t at different times. I would have to go with the flow, speak as others speak, do as they say OR else be judged, be left behind, be hated OR ignored. I couldn’t stand the idea of others not liking me when I was young.

When you are young and trying to impress others or trying to keep the peace you hold back on who you really are. Others don’t get to know you as YOU. As my young self it felt like such a RISK to be me. FEAR kept me bound, it was about the risk of losing, the risk of failure which had my thoughts, opinions and words locked up inside of me. I would hide them with a smile. Little did others know how painful it really was to keep my mouth closed from speaking, holding in what I really thought about something, pretending to like it, pretending to be happy when I was in fact hurting, angry, sad etc.

As a 52 year old looking back on my young self always gives me clear answers as to how I managed to get into situations that were not good for me. It was always about fitting in, about not upsetting anyone and as mentioned before “going with the flow”. … Blending in, not being different, not having a voice, invisible, silent, careful, on edge, pretending, lonely and sad. In a way I was like a robot doing as others do or being as they wanted me to be. Holding onto the desperate need to please everyone I fought to stay on their good side. People liked me because I didn’t challenge them. I was easy to manipulate, control OR disregard.

The idea that people always have your back was smashed many times over in my life and even now I experience what people can be like. As we all do of course. We all have our experiences with people. Probably one of the most biggest challenges I have given myself since my life changed drastically in 2016 was to never stop being myself. It was about choosing not to be a people pleaser, not allowing myself opportunities to fall into any traps for others to control my life. As I have been there and done that. I paid the ultimate price back in 2016 when I walked away leaving 4 adult children behind. To this day I still cant quite comprehend how I did that, as my children have always been the love of my life. I can only say that it was desperation to save myself that kept me strong. The pain and heartache I went through during that period I wouldn’t even be able to describe unless you are someone that has gone through the same experience. The one thing that has kept me sane is the knowledge that had I not left I would probably not even be half of who I am today. I would have gone to the next level of serious mental health crisis.

Having been through the ultimate sacrifice as a mother I am unable to tolerate certain behaviours from others where once upon a time I would have just smiled and pretended I was ok with it. In my life now I don’t allow others to dictate who I should be. I won’t let anyone no matter who they are, to think they can treat me whichever way they like and think is OK.

Its not OK….

The older me is learning to say NO. I am learning to have boundaries I should have had years ago. I am also learning that as I have been setting boundaries there are people that don’t like me. I am facing the exact situation that I was trying to avoid as a young person. I can no longer please and impress people. I believe that if any person genuinely wants you in their life they will not push you away. If they truly like you then they won’t treat you poorly. I am learning to be OK with people not liking me.

When others don’t like me I remind myself of all the amazing people in my world that do like me and even love me. Having had healthy people in my life over the recent years as given me the opportunity to safely discover who I really am. The people that love me allow me to use my words, to speak my thoughts and share my opinions. They don’t get angry with me for opening up. They want to know how I am and what I think. They don’t treat me terribly. It’s a wonderful feeling to have safe people in my life. I hold onto the people in my life that have shown me they are there for the long haul. I thank them for allowing me to grow into who I am today 🙂

Posted in Emotional/psychological abuse, Freedom, Healing Process, Healthy verses unhealthy

Pushed to Breaking Point

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!!!!

Posted in Freedom, Inspiration

ive grown up and refuse to be put in a box.

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.

WHY?

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.

Much Love,

Anu XXX

ReLax, sit back and chiLL.

Some of us are born fighters! We hold tight for DEAR LIFE when there is a chance of losing something or someone. Sometimes we hold on as though we are clinging to our own lives unable to let go for fear of dying. It can be impossible to fathom letting a situation escape from our hands and minds to just work itself out in due course. To allow this process requires letting go and believing its all going to work out the way that it should.

The reality is that we will face situations we have no control over no matter what we try and DO or SAY or even CONTROL.

We hold on so terribly tight that we lose sleep only to drain our energy, keeping us from what we should be focusing on. No one likes to experience loss and the pain that follows.

ITS BLOODY SCARY SOMETIMES :O

The fact is that we will all lose something at some point. Loss may happen several times in our lives.

I for one can understand the fear of loss. It can be very scary and painful all at the same time. When you have lost the first time you try your best to never lose again. When we are ruled by fear of loss there are various ways in which we may behave. Some people become controlling. The fear drives them to keep tabs on every aspect of a situation with an effort to ensure any outcome goes in their favour. For a situation to go differently can make controlling people very uncomfortable. To be so invested and desperate by controlling will not work in your favour, ever!

Opposite of that approach is settling in life. We decide to settle to keep ourselves comfortable. We don’t grow we stay put. We tip toe through life taking no chances in moving forward. We convince ourselves that moving forward presents too many risks. Our previous failures are carved into our memory making it difficult at times to ignore or move past.

The good part about growing up and getting older is that you have learnt what did not work in the past and there is a determination to approach situations very differently. Growing up is a process. There isn’t any short cuts to figuring things out. Sometimes we learn our best lessons through our mistakes.

Its good to think back to previous situations and consider if holding extremely tight to a person or a situation changed anything?

Did any of that stress or worry or control benefit anyone?

I used to be such a worrier. I worried about everything you can imagine. I worried well before any situation arrived and had gone through every possible scenario in my head as to what could possibly happen next. All of my worry was wasted. It didn’t help me one bit. It didn’t fix anything or change anything. I can still move into a place of worry however it doesn’t last long and is no where near as intense as it used to be.

I’ve learnt to let go and let things be….. and I’m talking about all the areas of life I have no control over. I’m settled within myself that it doesn’t matter what people do or don’t do, this no longer affects me in the same way. It doesn’t ruin my sleep or wreck my entire week. I have learnt that people will do what they want to do. I have no control over their decisions or their behaviour. I’ve learnt that the people who really value me will naturally stick by me and I have no need to be fearful or overly worried about others. I don’t put overwhelming expectations on anyone anymore.

People come and people go, people change and we change. Situations change and life changes.

Regardless of what happens around me it doesn’t need to rule my moods or my own value. I am who I am and I know my value. I am happy with who I am and I have no need to impress anyone or to try and influence a persons decision should it involve me.

To get to this place is freeing and liberating. It takes the stress off you and off others.

With all this in mind for the New Year remember you cannot control other people or the circumstances that can come our way of which we have no control over.

Continue being the best version of yourself, sit back, relax and chill.

Posted in Freedom

What’s more important: people or image.

Having gone through a major life change as I have, I felt challenged to write about something which tends to be overlooked, not spoken about or simply ignored. Those of us that have gone through serious dark times can relate to the feeling of being judged or misunderstood. I felt challenged to write about the topic ‘Christian’. Yes Christian! The word we associate to church, bible or religion.
Don’t get freaked out! I am not writing against the bible, church or the Christian.
Having been involved and attended church for decades I am speaking about something I believe should be said. It is personal to me. It has affected me. Not many would understand unless they had gone through an experience which would take them to places breaking apart small minded thinking and judgements of other people.
The fact of the matter is that I was married to a man that claimed to be a Christian. Without going into all the details of how I was mistreated, the purpose of writing about a topic such as this is the hope it will encourage others who may be in the middle of OR have gone through a similar struggle. Deep down I would hope that people who are quick to judge and live in a world too small would get a glimpse into reality rather than resort to the typical Christian phrases or bible verses blinded to ‘the real issues’ in life.
Personally, I believe what the bible talks about and I believe there is a God. Having experienced situations for myself I could never deny that God exists. Unfortunately, there are people who choose to use the bible to control others. It may be an individual or the leadership of a church. These people grab parts of the bible and use it to manipulate, control and attempt to scare the hell out of people.
The trouble is that often these people believe wholeheartedly that they are doing the right thing? Are they misunderstanding the bible? Where does this all come from?
Since my life changed over a year and half ago I have not gotten to the point in which I desire to go to church. I have tried a few times earlier when I first got to Canberra however hearing all the typical Christian phrases, messages and watching all the typical routine within a church doesn’t appeal to me. Sometimes it can feel a little like a rehearsed show. Do people really benefit from clichés?
At this point in my life I just want what is REAL and GENUINE. I have found that listening to people’s real-life battles in the place I work has been like therapy for myself. People going through real issues are usually open and genuine. They have nothing left to hide. They don’t have an image to uphold in front of others. When I have the privilege to listen to a person’s dark time I relate to them. Everything within me stops for that moment and takes in what this person is pouring out. I genuinely listen. I don’t have all the answers and they don’t expect me too. I don’t have an agenda or motive behind why I am listening, I just genuinely care about people.
Why? in the darkest hours of a person’s life is the Christian person often such a hindrance. Throwing judgemental words at the hurting person. The person who doesn’t need anymore hurt!
The fact that I currently don’t attend church does that mean I don’t believe in God? Or the bible?
The way I am living out my beliefs may look different to others. Isn’t it about the heart? Your motives and intentions? Your behaviour?
I simply cannot fathom that a God who is talked about as a loving heavenly father would be so nasty as to banish a person from his love if they were not attending a church on a regular basis. I believe God is sooooo much bigger than that. Perhaps us humans like to contain God into a very small space.
The amount of pressure often put on a Christian is another topic altogether. That if you follow all these steps daily you will be closer to God:
1. Read bible daily
2. Pray daily
3. Attend church weekly
4. Attend a bible study
5. Attend a ladies meeting
6. Attend a small group
7. Evangelise your neighbourhood and the world
All sounds good and great and involves a lot of DOING but what about who you are as a person?
A person’s beliefs don’t make them a loving person. You can attend every session under the sun, running from one group to another and ignore your family, mistreating them worse than your worst enemy. All in the belief that without DOING all of the above you will fall short of what it is to be a Christian!!!! Failing to recognise that the way you treat others should be right up there on the priority list.
I’m thankful that I have been able to see life from a different perspective. I’m so much happier and content without all of the unnecessary pressure to perform or keep up an image.
It took me along time to come out of an unhealthy relationship involving a lot of control which included emotional and spiritual abuse. The bible was often used to manipulate and scare me. Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence. This experience has changed me and my thinking for the better. You could say that it busted through my small thinking and my judgements of other people.
It also made me aware of how easily we can get mislead and controlled if we don’t use our god given brains. At the end of the day all that matters is that you live life in a way which leaves you free to be yourself! You know who you are, there is no need to keep striving towards an image someone else has established somewhere back there ←
→ move forward and don’t be controlled by others. Every human has a god given right to be themselves, we all have a different history, future and purpose.

We don’t need to be copies of others.