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 Grief, Healing Process, Strength and resilience

The Up’s and Down’s of Life

After nearly 5 months of my mum’s passing the deep longing to see her again and speak with her continues. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her or miss her. My mind goes back to last year and all the challenges she went through. Her family by her side every step of the way. My mind is still fresh with memories of her last days on earth which led to her last breath. I was there to the very end with my three sisters and my dad.

Her battle, her face, her hands, her feet, her bravery, her voice, her words, her frail body continue to play on my mind as though it was yesterday. Each memory my heart aches and hurts for her. For what she went through, the loss, the family events she has missed since her passing.

One major event she missed out on was “My Wedding Day”… The only consolation I have of that is her words to me one evening when I was leaving to go home from the hospital, in her words “I’m so Happy you have a Good Man to go home too”. My mum was finally confident that her eldest daughter’s life was moving forwards, it was peaceful, safe and she had no need to be worried about me any longer. As a mother myself I truly understand the concern we can have for our children regardless of their age. A mother only wants their child/children to be safe and happy.

While my mum was not there physically on our wedding day, I like to believe she was there in spirit.

These are the up’s and down’s of life. We cannot avoid heartache and pain. It will always be and it will always invade our happy lives at some point.

I am ever so grateful to have a husband that supports me and loves me for who I am. He brings out the best in me, and knows how to bring comfort to my broken heart. I don’t know how long it will take before my heart has some pain relief from losing my mum, in the meantime I will continue with life and cherish the lovely people I still have in my world.

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 Acceptance, courage, Emotional/psychological abuse, Healing Process, Inspiration, relationships, Strength and resilience

standing strong

To finally have the courage to break free from an emotionally abusive relationship is by far one of the most difficult steps one will ever take. It doesn’t stop there though. It requires a lot of work on your part to de-tangle all the tightly knit lies and twisted thinking that the other person carefully planted into your thoughts. Remembering that the longer you were in the relationship the more there is to de-tangle.

It is a lot to deal with and work through when on one hand you marry a person thinking they truly love you to then go through year after year of mixed messages from them that make you feel broken. They break you one bit at a time. YOU are put into situations that hurt. A person that is feeling hurt will at some point unravel and start falling apart.

As emotional abuse is so silent and undetected others watching on at times only see your reactions of hurt and may start to think that you are your own enemy. That perhaps you are reacting with hurt due to your own brokenness. The person doing the real damage behind the scenes likes to make it look like it was you all along. They not only convince you for years that your natural responses to pain are your own doing or your own unhealed parts not their actions. They also like to convince other people that you are broken, that they are not the cause of your reactions. Its so deceptive and silent.

Imagine for a moment that someone came along and hit you! Maybe they walked up to you and punched you in the face, your natural reaction to that pain would be justified. Others looking on would not question your hurt, they would say it was justified, they saw you get punched. Its out in the open, its obvious as day light. Emotional abuse is hidden in the dark, its only obvious to the person experiencing it. So you are then faced with other challenges after leaving the relationship.

There maybe people in your life that have been swept up in the idea that you are the problem. That you were not abused. That maybe you are the abuser!

This is where standing strong comes into the scene.

THE people in your life that don’t give you the opportunity to be understood will always misunderstand you.

They have a perception about you that has been weaved into their minds by a person and should they refuse you the opportunity to be understood for what you have experienced and gone through then that relationship will not move forward.

Yes that is another side effect of leaving an abusive relationship that you cannot control. It requires strength and daily reminders to yourself of what you have lived through and how your life is so much better now.

I personally have worked through so much in the past 4 plus years and am so grateful to have another chance at life to live peacefully. I write about my experiences to allow others who may be going through that type of abuse to give them strength and hope.

Its an avenue for me to communicate and share that what could help someone else.

Always stand strong in who you are and never let anyone destroy you. Hold onto the people in your life that love you no matter what, the ones that support you through thick and thin. I am so grateful for my fiancé and my family who love me unconditionally and understand my journey. I never have to justify myself to them and they see me as I am.

STAND STRONG ALWAYS!!!!!

Posted in Healing Process

Forgive, forget not.

For those of you who have read my blogs over the past year you would be familiar with all the various challenges and stages I have walked through or rather at times moved at snail’s pace to get to the next day. You yourself may connect with my blogs as perhaps you have or are experiencing truly tough life circumstances, which is one of the reasons I decided to start writing in the first place. To not only help myself to process life with all its challenges but to use my pain and growth for good purposes. If it helps someone it is all worth the effort. In no way do I profess to have all the right answers and we each go through different situations.
What works for me may not work for you!
It’s not so much that I write to give the answers, I write to share my journey with life so others don’t feel alone. I write to breathe hope. To shed light. To let individuals, know that if I can get through it, they can too!
Today I am writing about forgiveness. ♥
This past week has been another one of those very trying and difficult times. Not only have I been battling some sort of virus in my body which has put me out of work now for four days, last weekend I had to meet with my ex-husband for the first time in over one year.
The shear thought initially had me very vulnerable and sensitive. The week prior to seeing him I was experiencing all sorts of emotions. It didn’t seem to make sense. Why was I experiencing so much emotion when I had thought it was already dealt with?
Perhaps it was the unknown.

How was I going to react seeing him especially after everything that has happened?
Was I going to react angry? Sad?
The reality is I was with this person for 27 years and had five children.
It was a special family occasion that put me in the situation of having to see him again.
No amount of psyching myself up was going to help me.
Prior to seeing him as I mentioned I was very sensitive. I went through a series of thoughts, emotions, worries and even regrets.
The moment arrived in which I was in the same room as him. It was perhaps one of the most surreal and awkward times of my life. It was as though a dead person came back to life and they were now in the same room as me.
As I was in what you can call my own ‘safety bubble’ at the time I was unable to notice my young son’s reaction to seeing his own dad after having had no contact with him for the whole time. Prior to the day I had encouraged my young son in coming along as he too was apprehensive. It was not my young sons fault that he hadn’t had contact with his dad nor was it mine. I explained to him that another year on and it will be virtually impossible for him to meet up with his dad. Not the ideal situation by any means.
Amongst family in the same room I stood there with my ex-husband breathing the same air as me. At first, I found it difficult to look his way. Slowly I got braver and could take short glimpses of the man I was married too. Each glimpse was confronting. Each glimpse brought back pain and hurt. Each glimpse touched on sad places in my heart. Each glimpse reminded me that our marriage was over.
WOW!
Then the time came for our first conversation face to face.
It was during our conversation that the reality of our marriage being over was hitting me. We were such separate people now. Any connection we may have had was completely broken. We were like old friends from times past who were having a conversation and catching up on each other’s past year.
There was no topic off limits. We talked about everything.
While in the back of my mind I remembered everything that he had put me through I was able to come to a place in which I told him that ‘I can forgive him’. I choose to forgive him. In the next sentence, I had to let him know that while I forgive him I won’t be able to forget. That as a person I have grown so much and recognised what I want and what I don’t want and what is healthy and what is not.
This sequence of events has helped me heal some more.
Despite the harsh reality of a broken family something has shifted in that I can talk to him without animosity or resentment. I can talk confidently. For the sake of all our children and especially the youngest there is now room for Dad to be in their life if he chooses to be.
This past week I have learnt to FORGIVE.
To GRIEVE again.
To ACCEPT what is.