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, Healthy verses unhealthy, relationships, Strength and resilience

life in reverse

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.

SERIOUSLY……

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

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!!!!!

Life interrupted

The world has been interrupted by COVID-19.

The world has stopped in its tracks leaving people everywhere speechless grasping to comprehend how to navigate safely through this unexpected moment in time. Besides all the standard safety such as washing hands, social distancing and staying home many of us are trying to figure out how to get through this mentally intact.

We all had plans for 2020!

This year personally we had some exciting plans such as celebrating mine and my partners 50th Birthdays combining them together and asking family and friends to come dressed up in 1970’s or 80’s costumes. We had organised a Professional DJ to come and play a mixture of music hits from the 70’s and 80’s to inspire dance moves on the disco floor. We had been planning the celebration for at least one year, often in discussions and planning we would break out with excitement at the thought of imagining how we were all going to be taken back in time to reminisce about the GOOD OLD DAYS.  The party wasn’t going to stop there it was to continue on to the 80’s Club in the city for more celebrations, why not? You only turn 50 once.

Party Celebrations to be postponed.

This Easter we had booked a 3-night stay at Jindabyne to get away and enjoy some down time combined with an Arts Festival by the Lake which happens every year for the locals and visitors.

Mini break to Jindabyne cancelled.

My youngest had his 13th Birthday last Saturday! He was going to have his friends join him in bowling on the Friday night prior to his birthday.

Bowling party cancelled.

The morning of his birthday I felt emotional at the thought that my family could not Celebrate a milestone 13th with us. I did all I could to try and make it memorable, pancakes for breakfast/pressies, Indian take out for dinner and a face group video chat with family who couldn’t join due to restrictions. Despite the limitation we all sung Happy Birthday to You with a phone in hand and several faces of family trying to make out the birthday boy who was about to blow out the candles on his cake. We all sung with difficulty as its very challenging singing together in tune via phone.   

The week of our 50th Birthday Celebrations also included a trip to Brisbane for training paid by the company I work for which would have given me the opportunity to see my eldest son who I haven’t seen for nearly 3 years. I had been looking forward to this for some time, finally I was going to have my mum heart topped up with a visit.

Brisbane training cancelled ~ not going to see my eldest son after all  😥

Since June 2019 my partner and I have been going through the rigorous process of bank loans and meetings with a building company to build a house! We got to pick out internal and external options and then COVID-19 happened.

LIFE HAS BEEN INTERUPTED!

People have lost their jobs unexpectedly this year 2020. Despite the governments assistance it will take time for families and individuals lives to get back on track.

Loss of life, jobs, instability, fear, worry, isolation is the new normal for some time. No one knows how long this will go on.

Our routines have been interrupted, relationships, plans and events. School and work routines have changed. Many are schooling at home online, many of us are working from home where possible and while I am thankful, I still have a job, the hours have been reduced to accommodate the losses businesses are facing all over the world.

The interruptions are many and the effects are HUGE!

In the first two weeks this all took place I found myself to be all over the place emotionally. Questions circulated around in my head as I wondered how I was going to do my job effectively which is all about assisting people with disabilities, injuries or illnesses into employment.  I was trying to manage my son’s feelings of frustration as to how the online schooling was going to work as it had not yet been set up completely, it is still in the process of organisation as I type.

Having got through the first two weeks of pressure and utter frustration I now find myself thinking about how to make the life we have enjoyable. There is nothing we can do about what has happened. We only have in our hands the ability to make each day the BEST DAY!

I have accepted that all the fun events will not happen in the next few months. There is no point to fixate on what I can’t control.

INTERUPTIONS can create new possibilities towards positive change.

We can create the BEST DAY within the current restrictions and interruptions.

We don’t need to put our humour on hold, kindness, our happiness or our relationships. We can continue to dream and plan. This will not last forever despite how it feels right now.

Yes, our lives have been interrupted temporarily.

Don’t be overcome by the interruptions, overcome the interruptions with new possibilities to create motivation for each day.

Use this time productively!

Most importantly stay safe & healthy.

*The Changing Seasons*

This year has been another big one!

Not much time to sit and write only to get up each day for work.

With today being the day I celebrate Christmas 24th December, I am not at work so have a tiny bit of time to sneak in a few words since I haven’t done so in ages.

This year I reflect back on some of what I have managed to accomplish.

1. Changed Jobs.

2. Finalised a Divorce.

3. Celebrated 2 Years with my wonderful, loving and always caring man. Caring for me and my children.

These top 3 events are what have inspired the heading of this blog.

The changing seasons.

Today is Christmas for me and my family. In a few short hours I will be driving to my sisters to kick of the event. Traditional Finnish Christmas Food, Fun and Family most of all.

*Changed Jobs*

After working in a company for about 2 and half years I moved into another role, similar industry with some differences. I am grateful for the job that provided me with an opportunity to get back into work as my life involved being a mother of 5 for many decades. It isn’t easy for a mature aged person to get a foot in the door. I was desperate at the time and was so very thankful to have been given the chance to work. Starting as a client service co-ordinator involved very busy days. Answering phones, dealing with clients day in and day out. Having grown into that role I then moved into being an employment consultant. Another stretch out of my comfort zone. The company I had started with had grown and things got hectic and out of control. Huge client base with regular short staffing meant the work load was impossible. I tried my hardest yet found myself exhausted by the end of the day. It started to take a toll on my physical and emotional state of being. Was headed for a ‘burnout’…. wasn’t an easy task to find a new job. I was relieved the day I was able to hand my resignation to the manager. Relieved and nervous when I considered the changes up ahead. Sometimes it can seem easier to stay where you are to avoid the unpleasant unknowns when changing companies. It involves getting to know and work with new people and understanding the processes and procedures of a new company.

Change of jobs was ticked off my list this year!

The new job has different pressures ones which are more manageable and doesn’t leave me feeling defeated at the end of the day, so it was a win 🙂

*Finalised the Divorce*

The next big step I had to face was finalising my divorce. I was determined that I pay for this on my own. I had offers to assist financially however I felt that this was something I needed to do with my own hard work and money. It certainly wasn’t a cheap exercise but I PAID FOR IT 🙂 I worked hard to get there. The hard part was not only the finances it was the final step in ending an unhealthy relationship/marriage of 27 years. Despite the heartache I experienced in the relationship taking the final step of a divorce had its own grieving process. It is like that last and final step you take to officially document that the marriage is finalised.

*Celebrating 2 Years*

Then it came time to celebrate 2 years with the most adorable, loving and caring man I have ever met. This man has been my rock throughout all the changes I have walked through. I have so much admiration for him as he is always consistent, respectful, supportive, encouraging, strong, sensitive, loving and affectionate. He is everything I dreamed about when I spent years hurting and feeling lonely in an emotionally disconnected marriage. All the tough stuff I have been through has generated within me such a sense of appreciation for this new man in my life. Not only does he love me unconditionally he also loves my children. The adults and my youngest who is now 12. I am so thankful that all of my children can see what it is to be in a healthy relationship by observing my life. Two of my children don’t really get to see that as they live in another state but they do get to see that mum isn’t falling apart every day at the hands of a man that has no regard for how he hurts another human being.

I can only hope that all my children will come to understand what a healthy relationship looks like and will have the chance to experience that for themselves. As a mum my deepest wish is that each of my children lead a healthy and happy life. That each of them understand what healthy looks like and that the minute they start to see unhealthy they are equipped to confront it and deal with it.

Life is all about change and it doesn’t happen easily.

When seasons bring about change it can demand a lot from us, The rewards are worth every bit of heart ache and pain.

*Merry Christmas* and I hope that the new season of next year brings about good outcomes for you and your family 🙂