My suit of Armour

My suit of Armour

‘I am running in this direction fast, I don’t know where it ends, or even began, but I am going to get to the end. I am not stopping, are you coming?, he asked.

This was asked of me years ago in Australia. It had been a long day of family court, viscious attacks and tears, so many tears. All I could see in my rearview mirror was chaos and destruction.

Standing beside me that day was a Warrior encouraging me with his faith of who he knew I could be, and the vision of my future strength that was yet to be unleashed.

‘Fear and intimidation will always be a part of life,’ he said. ‘All I can do is instill the power in you to be your change’ Here was a man not asking me to change but inspiring me to grow.

I am a great believer in life lessons and what you can take from them. I am no Tony Robbins but I do know that each person brings a lesson in some form or another. Positive or negative and all the in betweens. You literally have to take the good or the bad from the experience.

What hadn’t quite formed was the process of forgiving those that had trespassed against me. How do you learn from those that have ripped your heart out while it’s still beating?

It took a long time, thru his patience, home truths, and undeniable support to patiently guide me towards being able to trust and forgive. The main reason, trust and forgiveness had to start with myself first, the strength and courage grew with it. He knew all of this was yet to come and still he walked by my side.

If given the choice between a war zone or watching me fight my demons, I wouldn’t have blamed him for suiting up and heading back out.

‘In war, he said, ‘It was easier to see the bad guys, in society not so easy. The enemy is hidden, shrouded in casts of characters.’

He watched me walk thru hell, shake the devil’s hand and find peace with it. Five years later, on bended knee, on a sandy beach in South East Asia, he gently asked me to marry him.

To My King, My Warrior who set me alight, who asked nothing of me but to be me.

These words are not enough. To say I have achieved my strength on my own accord would be misleading.

I didn’t hesitate that day to say Yes. Yes to many things, Yes I will marry you , Yes I will travel this world with you, Yes there will be challenges…YES…I will come with you, because where you are going is exactly where I want to be.

May you all find your Warrior in whatever shape or form suits your armour xx

 

 

 

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I am amongst Warriors

‘To those Warrior Chicks out there, creating new lives and living their dreams. You’re beautiful; stay that way inside and out. You’re strong; always know you have that back up. You’re wise; let that be your center point when you doubt yourself. You’re brave as a fleet of men going into battle hardened by life, empowered by experience in being a woman. Stay that way forever.’ Lxo

I was inspired today to write this to a woman who is off on an adventure. For some it may be an adventure of a lifetime, for her it is her life. A leaflet from her book should be used in a guide on how to be a strong woman. But can I tell you she is not the only one. There is another woman I know who from a casual glance would seem that her life is easy, carefree and without worries. She has worked hard to maintain that façade but behind the scenes there has been destruction, loss and sadness.

I have the honor of having an international sisterhood, made up of woman from all walks of life, but with one common thread, they have turned their weakenss’s into strengths.

Here are some outstanding examples.

Maxine, a woman who lights up the stage each night as she plays to a crowd. Her strength and weakness are both entwined as she is playing to her lost love and that is her closest connection. Her strength to go on to leave a crowd wanting more is her power to fulfil her sadness in to love. I have learned from her.

Jules, who turned her corporate life in the cement jungle, to yogi extrodinaire. Travelling the world bringing her yin with her yang, but that is a life that requires strength in yourself to be alone and be at one with that. I have learned from her.

Shashanna, who went into battle with the biggest beast of them all, Cancer. All I can say is FUCK you Cancer…and she did too. Her daughters are her accompolishment, her drive and her reason. I have learned from her.

Om, the beautiful single Mom. She sets examples that are positive and sacrifices herself daily to be the Mom and the Dad. Strong in character but soft in heart, the base line of what being a single Mom is. I have learned from her.

There are opportunities everyday to meet these woman, take time to do it. Learn from them, but do not fear them. For they are different, you will feel it. Their strength can almost be overwhelming, they don’t mean it. I for one do not want to miss another moment. If I had I would have missed out on learning how to dive, how to be a skier, how to save a life, how to be a Mother, a sister, how to be a woman, how to love and how to heal.  Each of them has a strength that has been created by the weakness’s that they have had to overcome. Learn from them.

Today when I realized that a wonderful creature had taken flight to fulfill her destiny, I was so proud of her.

I am proud of all of you and maybe we don’t hear that from each other enough. So if anything comes from this, learn from me too. For there is another woman I know who from a casual glance would seem that her life is easy, carefree and without worries. She has worked hard to maintain that façade but behind the scenes there has been destruction, loss and sadness. Learn from me.

I am that woman. Warrior Chick

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I Am the Why

I Am the Why

A rock group, movie star, screen writer, comedian and famous musician walk onto my mats…but I don’t know this yet. A Mother, a cancer survivor, a bride to be and a divorcee all sit on the same matts.

A father who has lost his first child, a man who is about to make his first business deal, a boxer who is training for his first fight and an unknown artist share the same goals. From pole dancers, editors, lawyers, pilots and house wives, my mats have many stories.

The mats are met with many types of individuals that are there for one purpose and one purpose only, to find their why.

Why? Why train? Why work so hard? Why get up and sweat with a stranger to achieve a goal that is elusive at the time? Why do we do put ourselves thru this pain threshold or for that matter why do I?

Here is Why: Training isn’t just about the physical, no it is much more than that, it is about the mindset.

I do the training and I am the trainer. I have walked in all of these amazing humans footsteps with them. I have found that each of us are connected to our external goals as well as our internal struggles. Men and woman alike.

Everyone is the same when they walk onto my matts and there in lies the beauty of training. You are not your pain, your beauty, your loss, your achievements or your struggle. You are the why in what you are doing in that moment for yourself. All doubts leave, all worries are forgotten and you are there for just you.

The individual stories and hard work of my clients are Oscar-winning moments of their lives. I cherish every moment being apart of their growth and no matter what stage of life or goals they have been thru, I know that they have worked thru some amazing odds to shine as brightly as they can. What makes these individuals different from you?

Between their why and yours, they have found that the why is the love of themselves. They have realized somewhere along the way in one of those lightbulb moments that time is needed for themselves to rediscover new things, new goals, push boundaries and live without fear or judgement.

In that time and space all traps of society are forgotten, worries are replaced with endorphins and sweat is your friend.

To be there for yourself means you are better out there in your field of dreams. Your why becomes you and it shines from within.

My mats have a lifetime of stories from the ages of 5 yrs to 75 and thru all the years there has not been one moment that I haven’t felt blessed to be in the company of such awe-inspiring humans.   You are my why and I thank you all for allowing me to be apart of your journey.

And I leave you with this, that undiscovered artist, holds exhibitions all over the world. That rock group has hit the top ten in the Uk and Australia, that actress has just walked the red carpet and the screenwriter just got his first signing of a movie. The bride to be is now pregnant, the cancer survivor is a mom of 2 and kicking it everyday, the divorcee is in a new relationship, the pole dancer is about to get married, the pilot is now a solo and the Mom of three feels empowered sexy and strong.

I am the WHY.

 

#rubyrose #theveronicas #starfire #cancer #philnichols #barricuda #dennythetrainer #fightingyourdemons #sweatsmileswear #iamthiswoman #boxchick #trainer #marriage #fitness #mindset #thailand #boxcamp #boxculture #rawartwarriors #welcometothejungle

 

 

I am at the bottom of the bowl

I have created an incredible bond with and not surprisingly so, the aptly named porcelain pony. My instant love of the porcelain pony has been undeniably the only thing I have looked forward to when jumping with lightning speed from the bed.

I have been laid up for a few days with what can only be described as the devils incarnate force from the depths of hell, food poisoning.

This form of unusual abuse is not anyones friend, well that’s not entirely true, I have created an incredible bond with and not surprisingly so, the aptly named porcelain pony. My instant love of the porcelain pony has been undeniably the only thing I have looked forward to when jumping with lightning speed from the bed. It’s glorious white surface, it’s calming coolness and it’s never ending welcoming of anything I have had to offer it.

For everyone else in my home, Peppa the Pussy, Mac the Dog and my Medic Marine, well they have looked on sympathetically albiet from a great distance. Lingering kisses have instantly stopped and been replaced with quick pecks on my forward and the dog, well he was just thoroughly disgusted and it has only been today that he could look me in the face. This by the way is the same dog who scrounges thru trash bins eating cardboard pizza boxes!

I have always thought and held that I had a strong constitution, after all I have survived dengue twice, two emergency caesareans and of course the dalliances with the occasional hangover from hell. This has outdone, hands down, all of these combined. In my delirium between bed and pony, I found I went thru all forms of emotions. The,’ Whoa is me!’, to,’ Whoa look out, where’s my pony?’, and finally,‘Where is my life heading and What does it all mean?’

Here’s the thing though, I think I accidentally entered myself into the scenario of, ‘careful what you wish for’. There is a line in the movie,’ The Devil Wears Prada’, where the main character has come down with a cold. Her associate tells her she should get some rest and her response, with wide eyes is,’I am one pneumonia away from a size 0!.’ This was a scenario I could relate to, as I had just used this line on my Marine. Only it was in the form of saying out loud , ‘Babe, I am ready to start my detox.’

Thinking back now I wish I had said, ‘Babe, I am ready to make that million dollars!’ Note to self, think bigger.

So in my whoa is me thoughts it brought me back to all the things I have fought thru and continue to fight thru each day. It should have made me feel stronger, but instead it just made me slip back to where I was 7 years ago. And then I realized I have been asleep for a while, well not asleep, more like the walking dead. The feeling I have had over these 3 days has summed up how I have been poisoned utterly slowly with grief and loss and loneliness. I started having nightmares again, nightmares of children running, of abuse and choices, hard choices that I have made to make that have kept me in a state of sadness for years.

As each day passed the pain was all encompassing, it was all based within my womb, aching and ripping me apart. It twisted me and had me on edge. The exhaustion has been withering and the agony heartbreaking.

There is a silver lining in all of this, I have discovered that within being weak during this sickness I have also rediscovered my strength. Each day I am slowly getting stronger, not only in body, but also finally in spirit. Once the cloud of delirium started to lift, so too did the poison of the past. I saw it for what it was, something to feel and finally to let go of.

I am just only now learning to forgive myself, the loss of my children has been overwhelming, not at times, but at all times. I have had enormous setbacks, mixed in with incredible highs. You need to be aware that when someone tells you that something bad happened to them and they changed, it doesn’t actually mean that other bad things didn’t follow. That was their reference to their worst experience while cuppled with many winding twists along the way that caused their awakening. I should know, my own road has been twisted, turned, hijacked and blood has been spilt on my highway to me.

For the record this is actually a letter to my husband, who has watched this internal pain for so long, standing by me and looking at me from the outside hoping I get better and gently pecking my forehead in a beautiful gesture of, I am here. You are not alone.

To my Medic Marine, my handsome husband, thank you for recognizing the downfall, thank you for not giving up. I am grateful for your strength and unwaivering support and love. I am sorry I have dark days. I am always in awe of your ability to laugh in the face of adversity and your beautiful and patient way of being able to coax out the frog in my throat, that is sometimes too strangled with pain and rage to release. You my love are a true gentleman, bless you for loving me when I couldn’t find the love for myself anymore at the bottom of the bowl.

68441_446155846433_4432290_n.jpgWith regards to the detox, I am 3kg lighter, the porcelain pony will always have a place in my heart and I am ready for a lingering kiss.

And to you my old friend, F.P. (food posioning) what can I say, it’s been emotional.

#iamthiswoman #foodpoisoning #porcelainpony #blessyou #truegentleman #patience #love #darkdays #missyoueveryday #forgive #detox #dreambigger #stronger

 

 

 

 

The day I hit my best friend

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We had antagonized each other all week.  Each of us trying to pysche the other out with friendly banter, gif fights and emoji captions.  In my corner, 7 years under my belt of boxing training, speed and small stature and in her corner, flexibility, height and yogi aesthetics(not too mention a long reach).

We both joked that if it all got to harry we would jump in to interpretive dance.

I started boxing seven years ago, taking lessons in stand up boxing and kickboxing.  As a trainer I thought it was a great tool to teach clients with, not only from the physical aspect but the mindset that comes with it. Little did I know it was going to be my consistent in my life there after.

I married a professional boxer and coach years later, and I remember going into his gym on one of our first dates (as you do) and being incredibly impressed with the boxers that were training and being trained.  Their grace in the ring, their focus at learning their skills and the consistent drive to give it their best every time they entered the ring. I also noticed the amazing camaraderie after each round, the hugs that were given after each fight knowing that moments before they had felt the bone crushing hit to their ribs from their opponent or a left hook to the jaw caught off guard.

Although I have trained everyday for years and coached alongside my husband, not once would I ever consider going in to the ring myself.  For one, my husband had always sent me in as the offence trainer, I could hit but they could not hit back.  The lesson for them was to try to avoid being hit as well as to be able to control their emotions when in battle.

If you have never been in the ring, controlling emotions is very difficult and if you have never been hit, the intensity of your excitement becomes amped to the enth degree once you hear the sound of the bell.

We have a 3 rule system in our club, referring to the fact that you need to at least make 3 sessions of training each week before you are even allowed to enter in. That also refers to and includes training in the art of boxing, the foundations as well as a few months under your belt (no pun intended) as a rule of thumb, to be able to spar.

My girlfriend and I fit all of the above categories.  For one Jules has been a Raw Art MC Member for over a year now, and although she has been working all around the world as the Yogi Guru that she is, she has managed to find boxing gyms wherever she is to stay on point.  Proudly sending photos of herself in the Uk and may I add impressing those within those gyms with her skills.  But not once, did we consider, that either one of us would be put in the ring to spar against each other.

For my part it was time to go in, there was a moment about 9 months ago where it all came together for me as far as learning to take a hit.  For years I would be horribly offended if I did get the hit of the glove against my face, it could literally bring me to tears.  There is a rule usually, that a trainer can’t train someone he loves, and there has been times when my husband/ coach has watched me have meltdowns as my ego played itself out in a multitude of emotions, from being offended, hurt, angry and embarrassed.  Each time I learned something more about myself after those meltdowns and he as always supportive, would tell me to get back in and try it again.

As Jules and I trained all week, the hype around our tete a tete was felt throughout the MC. Each member goading us on in a supportive manner, but cheeky at the same time.  I would whisper in her ear that her reach was going to get me and she would scoff and say, ‘Are you kidding me, your faster than I am’.  That afternoon we were sending each other text messages with characters cracking their knuckles and mini boxers dancing around in victory.

In my mind we were in the throws of the Holm vs Rousey controversey , the lights of the MGM in our eyes, the crowd cheering us on and bets being waged all over Vegas. As you can see the mind is a powerful tool, in this particular instance delusional ,but powerful none the less.  I started thinking about these warrior chicks, and on what I am sure is a minuscule level of what they are up against, emotions do run high regardless.

The day arrived and Jules walked onto the matts, incredibly pale, eyes slightly dilated mouthing to me as she entered, ‘I feel like I am going to vomit!!

I too had to admit the feeling was mutual. My husband/trainer only that morning had noticed I was slightly off centre, dropping things, repeating myself and completely tuned out to conversations.   As my mouthguard was being fitted and my wraps were going on it all felt a bit surreal. We were actually going to willingly go in and try to punch each other. Our only rule, ‘No Boob shots!!

Our gloves on, we entered the ring, tapped gloves and waited for the bell to toll. And then, IT was on,we were in it, I mean really in it.  We danced around each other, everything we had been trained for was in our minds watching each others moves like a game of chess.

I don’t remember who threw the first punch and it doesn’t matter.  As the bell went off announcing our first round, we embraced each other with a huge hug and realised each of us had forgotten to breathe.  The first rule of boxing was broken, oh and the second rule, I broke the, ‘No boob shot’rule!(sorry babe).

We completed 5 rounds against each other,each round only one minute long but the intensity and the sweat felt like 3minutes after 12 rounds.  Our hands shaking, our eyes glowing our minds alert, we were damn proud of each other and ourselves.

So here’s the thing, the day I hit my best friend was one of the best days of my life.  As far as a bucket list is concerned, get it on yours.  Face your fears,you won’t be disappointed.

I am this woman

 

I am change

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change‘…Albert Einstein

I read these words this morning out loud, as they popped up on my newsfeed, ‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.’ And it resonated so deeply.

I realized that after reading that quote, I might now have to consider myself up for, all ego aside, ‘The most intelligent human out there!'(just kidding…long way to go)

Why? Because, I have faced the majority of fears on that list. Some I won, but most I lost. And here is the measure of ones ability to change, I am now ok with the losses and have accepted the choices that I made. The idea of change for me used to be scary, as change is usually related or brought on, in my opinion by a fear based scenario.

‘But who am I now? ‘and better yet, ‘Would the past recognize me and accept these changes?’ or would I fall into a heap and revert back to that which broke me in the beginning. This is a question I was asked last night by my husband. He was commending me on how much I had grown and all that I had had to adapt to, and then he hit me with, ‘What if one of your past fears was to walk up to you right now, could you remain the person you are today?’

My husband and Albert Einstein’s quote made me have a look at who I am today as opposed to say even a year ago. For the most part the real reason for such dramatic changes in my life were to be fair, all based on fear.

I decided to check out the top 10 fears for the human race and low and behold, I found myself in almost all of them.

I want to thank them actually, because they are what forced me, most time while dragging my feet and fighting against these scary new challenges . To finally accept that which was no longer meant to be for me. In that moment of hesitation in not wanting to change, I was allowing this to become my, ‘measure of intelligence’.  Thank you Einstein!

The list went like this: #fearofflying #fearofheights #fearofpublicspeaking #fearofthedark #fearofintimacy #fearofdeath #fearoffailure #fearofrejection #fearfofspiders #fearofcommitment

I have to admit here that fear of flying and spiders isn’t it, for one I travel heaps and two after living in Australia for over 20 years spiders are my least concern. But the others, they dramatically shaped me and my heart.

It was only after, long after, that once I had fought thru those fears ,did I reflect and admire at the beauty in what those changes had done for me.  I had learned from the experiences, whether they were great or horrific and I respect the woman I have morphed into.

The woman I AM today.

I would like to thank and summarize these fears, and by doing so realize that I will face them again only this time, I hope to be more knowledgeable, less judgemental, more open and less hardened, have a deeper sense of forgiveness and learn to let go.

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And to answer my husband, I can only say, ‘I am waiting, I am fearless, I am flawed, I am change, I am ok, I am ready….

I am this Woman

#change #choices #belief #fear #myjourney #mychange #loss #iamthiswoman #don’tlookback #doorisalwaysopen #bringerofchange #alberteinstein #ilovealbert #myhusbandrocks

 

 

 

 

 

I am letting go

 

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I am letting go. I am not giving up.

Years ago I was invited to go cliff jumping in Thailand. There are 3 tiered levels on the Island of Koh Tao. A 3 metre, an 8 and the final one the 12. I had just started dating my now husband, for those that don’t know, he is a Royal Marine Commando, had served in Iraq for 5 years and was also head of the security for the Iraqui governement when they were changing their Prime Ministers over a 9 month period.

To say he is fearless is an understatement, in fact he wrote a book about it called Fighting Your Demons. In it he talks a lot about his fears and how he was scared everyday, but had to change his attitude to cope with his surroundings. He had witnessed my struggles and my very real fears and felt it was time to do something compelely out of my comfort zone.

A big part of coming here to this tropical paradise was an opportunity for me to let go of my past and fight thru my fears. He had told me about the jumps as he had done them on his previous trips. To say I was scared shitless is an understament, in fact I have been called shit girl on this Island, but I will leave that for another story.

So in my heart I knew I had to jump off the 12. It was a test of sorts and I was determined to passout. The day arrived and I was so focused on my fear of the 12 metre, that I didn’t take stock of the fact that I had just jumped off a 3 and an 8 metre cliff into the ocean below.

My fear had me so consumed with the 12 metre that I also hadn’t noticed that the party of 8 that I had started out with had barely managed to jump off the 3,metre and only half of the original party managed the 8 metre, it was only when I looked back to my group that I realized it was only me heading for the 12.

To say I jumped off right away would be a bold faced lie. In order to take the jump, you actually have to run at it and let yourself go, trust yourself that your body won’t scrape along the cliff edges to the bottom, trust yourself that you won’t belly flop or hit your back hard.

As I went to take the run I screeched to a full stop right at the cliffs edge. Probably one of the most life threatening things I could have done. And then, then I just stood there and stared, mesmerised by how high up I was, how small I was…how insignificant I was. My Royal saw me freeze and headed up to try to either talk me down or talk me into it. After what seemed like 20 minutes of me just staring down and him going over all the things I had accompolished, and how I had to do it for me. I got angry. I was consumed with fear, of death, of letting go. I

didn’t want him there, telling me all the horrible things I had had to endure to make this jump. Iwas embarassed for so many reasons. His mate, another officer, came up to help. He asked if I was ok, then he to went into all the things that I was to be proud of, and the fact I had jumped all those other ones, but that this was just a little barrier, a barrier that I needed to get thru. My husband, now clearly frustrated, ran and did a double backflip in the air and smiled as he went down. He was met by the remaining jumping crew who were by this time getting water logged to see if I would go. And then, it happened, all there talk, all their positive affirmations came together and I slightly jogged to the edge and leapt!!

Can I tell you I had enough air time to open my eyes and realize I still hadn’t touched the water yet, I also realized when I splashed in that everyone went under the water for what I thought was to make sure I was ok. Apparanteley it was to see if my top had come off!! Yes, it did…

So I am letting go, I am not giving up.

There is a difference between these two statements. The first would seem at first glance to be defeat. But that isn’t the case as the latter would be that I have finally accepted defeat, and that my friends is called growth.

For now I can move on with that knowledge and let room in for those positive things that sadness has taken up room in for so long.

To let go has got to be one of the hardest things I personally have ever had to do…for one it’s admitting failure. It’s my final acceptance that know matter what I did, it just wasn’t enough.

It is a choice in life that I wish for everyone that none of you have to make, but life’s not all roses and sunshine…or is it? At some point you may have to come to…that moment when you have to look at that steep mountain you have been climbing for years and stop, take stock and firmly plant your feet in the earth and calmly whisper to yourself…I am enough!

….and then jump.

And to be enough for yourself means that those things you were holding onto, those belief systems, family values, relationship dreams…sometimes to get those things you had valued so much…sometimes you have to let go of all of them.

Holding on hard to something that as the days, months and years go with the same repetitive thought,’Is this the day? ‘Is this the day when I am enough for all that I had wished would find it’s way to me?

But on reflection that is insanity and the very definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again in the hope of a different outcome. So I wait no more, instead I let go. But I will never give up.

Am I enough? Is that knock at my door going to happen, will a long, lost, loved one, a little more aged and a little wiser, come knocking.…Will they finally say, ‘You are enough, you always have been’.

So, I had to take a big deep breathe and show myself some tough love and make that hard decision, that one where your eyes sting and your throat clinches tightly at the very thought that I had to get to this point in my life. I have had to make that final call. To let go of all of it, of them, of they, of who, and yes …you, even you.

But I have to be clear, I am not giving up on it, or them, they, or who and especially not you. I am however letting go for me.

My understanding in this journey so far for me has meant that to be strong I have had to accept the most horrible sides of my weaknesses.I have had to face my fears, head on. Yet it is has been my weaknesses and fears that have made me who I am. They have been my teachers, my university, my life doctorate, my MBE in the role of my life. Sometimes I have been at the head of my class and learned quickly, even skipped a grade, other times I have had to repeat that year, as the lesson wasn’t heard and maybe I just needed to be reassured that this was not what I wanted for my life. And here is where I have inevitably had to grow.

By letting go I learned this about myself…

I am enough for me and I am enough for you. I am strong, I am also weak, I carry fears but I conquer them more confidently. I am not giving up on me or you!

And just one more thing, I ran back up those cliffs and jumped, this time for me….I jumped for me xxx

 

Who would want you?

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Who would want you?

I had left my husband months before, tried to leave rather. I was back in 4 hours after the pleading and begging over the phone, the endless promises of, “ I will change!’ I knew, deep in my heart that wouldn’t happen, but the reality was I was a 40 something woman, a mother of three and had a responsibility to try for the sake of the family.

But how long is a piece of string? How long do you keep your life on hold in the hopes that one day all those promises will come true? And better yet, How do I set an example to my young daughter that abuse is never ok? or to my sons that treating woman badly is not OK? As they were getting older, they too were questioning my belief systems. For I wasn’t practicing what I preached, not even close.

‘Just get us out of here,’ my daughter pleaded one night. I had just turned 40, my 40th birthday party was in true form to the standards we had all grown accustomed to and let him get away with. He had gone from belittling the guests, to hitting on woman, to abusing his kids and finally to throwing out my presents and smashing the rented glassware.

As my daughter stood behind the door, slightly ajar, I could see her tears and her fear, “Why do you put up with this!”….Why indeed.

I was doing it for them I thought, I was trying to keep it together for the sake of the family, for the fear of being alone, broke, lost, lonely, used up. Then I realized I was already those things when I tried to look at myself in the mirror.

Yet I had tried bloody hard to keep it all together. I tried when the bottles of wine would come clanging up the driveway, I tried when he threatened the kids, I tried when his vicious words would keep pouring out nonstop abuse…I tried when he would pass out every night, I tried when he would spit tones of inadequacy…lord knows I tried. For 19 years I tried.

How long do you stay in an abusive marriage? What is the code of conduct? I tried thru marriage counseling, I tried to keep the kids on their best behavior, I tried to keep my house the cleanest it could be, I tried to be Suzy homemaker (even though my name is clearly Lisa), I tried passiveness, I tried loneliness, I tried giving up friends, and when I realized how hard I had been trying, I changed a few vowels around and came up with TIRED!

I was so tired. Tired of the eggshell floor, tired of the accusations, tired of not being allowed to grow because he couldn’t, tired of my children watching abuse and thinking it was the norm.

That’s the key thing with relationships; each of us will grow at different times. Not always at the same time, but if you are truly meant to be in that friendship/relationship then each one of you has to acknowledge that change is inevitable. Each day I change, a new wrinkle here, a new white hair there, nature tells you, you are changing.

I could have tried to hold back the changes, but Botox and boob jobs were never going to be for me. He insisted if I was to have the above, then he would love me more. Actually he would always love me more if I changed for him the way he wanted that change.

Who is anyone to tell you to change for them? Change is for you; you are not on anyone’s time frame of how you should change.

4 months later I was back in the same position. Sitting all business like with his sister, a 30 something, single woman with only her career and her endless degrees of paperback knowledge to contend with. After I had explained the circumstances, tried to make sense of this existence and how it had to stop. This modern day woman of the world had this pearl for me, ‘But, honestly Lisa, Who would want you? You have 3 kids, your over 40 and face it, you come with a lot of baggage! Not words of, as a woman you shouldn’t stand for this, or I am ashamed that you had to go thru this. No, there was no sisterhood support, actually she just shrugged and kept with her line of thinking…’Who would want you?

I thought about that for about 2 seconds, to be honest the cold had now set in and at the same time a burning rage. My eyes set straight ahead knowing my next steps. In my heart I was looking for me, I had been lost trying so hard to be everything for everyone else that I wasn’t interested in who would want me!!!

I was interested in if I would want me, if I could look at myself in the mirror and be proud of that woman who was changing. Changing from a young girl on her own, changing from a newly married woman to a mother of three. I wanted my changes to be appreciated not held onto like a bonsai tree. I was interested in my children seeing a woman stand up for what was right. If I wanted anyone to, ‘want me’, it would be them.

I left the next day, quietly packing my bags. He and I had spoken the night before in a long stand off. Reasoning was difficult, there were never going to be enough words, once a loyal person is pushed and the indifference sets in, there is no going back.

He had 5 key statements in desperation to make me stay, for this change to not take place.

1.If you leave me I will kill you

2.If you leave me I will kill the children

3.If you leave me I will kill you and the children

4.I will kill myself

5.Let me take you out for dinner and everything will be alright.

To answer her question, ‘Who would want me?

I’ll tell you who would want me… even though my losses have been high, I can finally look at myself in the mirror and know that change is inevitable, that being smothered, abused and disregarded is not what you are here in this life for.

I am here for me! Once that had been established, once I could honestly be me and sit in my skin, the who comes, the wants arrive, the love flows and you realize that piece of string is yours alone to measure.

I have changed again, a little older, a lot more under my belt, and I am with an amazing man who has watched from beside me those changes take place. In fact he encourages them, loves the fact we are changing, sometimes together other times encouraging from the sidelines.

I am this Woman.  Who would want me?  I would x

I have Faith not Fear-The Gift of Gratitude Part 2

 

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Excerpt from the novel, I AM this Woman

I pray, to myself, everyday actually. This isn’t a new thing, I have being doing this since I was a little girl. Not really knowing who or what I was praying to, but just talking to someone who didn’t judge me or ask anything of me…just putting my thoughts out there into the ether. As I got older and the world around me got a little crazier, to say the least, I started inquiring about faith, beliefs, others religions and what that meant to people. The majority would say it was their place of peace, of comfort and community.

When I was finishing my arts degree I met a young lady who was proudly Greek. I was on my own at the time over Easter and she had asked if I would like to partake in their midnight mass. Curious and excited to dress up I walked up the path to her and her communities Greek Orthodox Church. There were hundreds of people, beautifully turned out and tables laden with food. Glowing candles were held in our hands as we walked the streets for the Easter Passover. Children giggling and glowing that they were up way past their bedtime. But there was something else, there was a feeling of oneness that is very hard to find and connect with.

Needless to say I didn’t become Greek Orthodox, but that beauitful spirit of that night never left. The prayers were done, the mutual greeting and shaking of hands and then we were back off into the world of competition, daily grind and lonliness. If there was ever a time to convert I suppose it would have been then.

I have been to many churches since that time, in fact all of my children have been baptised and have received the Holy Sacraments within the Catholic church. They were given a faith, something I wanted very much for myself. A place in the time of a storm that will open it’s doors and not question why you are there.

My strength comes from my core belief in my faith, the one that has always been in my little pocket. I take it out when times are hard and because I have been doing this for so many years it is like breathing, you know your doing it but you don’t question it.

My family never baptised me, it never dawned on me that they hadn’t, it was only when my first sibling arrived and he was baptised that I questioned it.

When I asked about it the response was, ‘We thought we would let you decide when you grew up?’ Being a child of the late 60’s, maybe this was her breaking free from society and along with it, burning bras. Whatever the reason it left me feeling not as grounded or connected as those that had been, those being my siblings. It was like their own private secret society and I hadn’t been a thought into that process.

Years later on I fell in love with a man of great faith, he watched as I attended church with my children, as I happily agreed to go to Easter Mass. He showed me the sacraments and the reconciliation as well as taught me that the church is dark, and clouded within it’s own dramas. This we all know, I for one have questioned many times why those men need to wear fuchsia hats and more diamonds and gold than Elizabeth Taylor, God rest her soul.

As I travelled and lived abroad I watched all different faiths, and their customs. When living in Dubai the Mosque call to prayer would sing out five times a day, it was a slight hum and actually became very comforting that they would take the time to just reflect. In Scotland, Sunday Mass was always a huge turnout and the Priests were knowledgeable, aware of the world’s strife, and openly aware with the dysfunction of it’s institution. It was refreshing to say the least and it made me remember when I was little and it was simpler, to just be at one with your thoughts, worries, concerns and hopes.

Living in Canada there was a strong Indian community, the elders would dance and chant and smudge (burning sage), I loved it, I love all of it. We need grounding, a community and a moment when all is right with the world and our world within. To observe so many faiths from within I have been very blessed. Currently I live in a Buddhist country, and on my wedding we lived in a monastery for a week. That was a week of getting back to my own base, no words were spoken, no eye contact was made, and the eating area was separated into male and female areas. By the 3rd day the monkey chatter in my mind had stopped and I could see.

One day I would like to visit the Vatican. Why not, it’s all of our history. I am married to a man who sees no borders of any religious type. It is refreshing, he is Catholic and loves his faith, but in truth he loves them all. He has studied the Quran, and he once tried to become a priest at the age of 14. He stands for his faith yet sees it’s faults, but they all have them. Like people, faiths can falter.

My own baptism eventually happened for me. I wanted to be apart of my children’s community, of my husbands love, and what had clearly been a search for me for many years. Years before when I was in counseling with my high school, the councilor when hearing of what I had been thru asked, “How do you get up every morning and be able to smile?” I looked at him, straight into his eyes, “Because everyday is a new day, you just have to believe that, you just have to have faith”. I too was 16 when I announced that out loud. At 47, that thought process has not changed.

I have had a great deal of love and support sent to me after writing, ‘I am just waiting on a train’. I thank you. I am grateful for this, and grateful to the people that have been my strength. There is one though that has been here, thru all of this. Thru my nightmares, my losses and when I just couldn’t get out of bed. When all I had was getting lesser by the day, he still stood there, on guard, fighting off the wolves.

After our coffee date that day, he gave me a limited edition of his first book, ‘Fighting Your Demons’. He then told he was going to head out for that day and just left me with that book. His concerns were that I wouldn’t want to see him after reading it, as in there was a whole lot of truth within those pages. And so that is exactly what he did.

I read it, twice. Inside was a life, a big one. I am not sure that any one person I have met before or since has met with one if not all of these experiences. Later that afternoon, there was a knock at my door. He had a fresh haircut, a packed bag and said so, “Your coming with me, because I am on a journey and I am moving this way quick, can you handle it?”

‘Yeah’, I prayed to myself, I got this.

I AM this woman, who are you?

https://www.amazon.com/FIGHTING-YOUR-DEMONS-Mastering-Courage-ebook/dp/B01HLYVF0Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467256246&sr=8-1&keywords=fighting+your+demons#nav-subnav

Have Faith not Fear

LXo

I AM just waiting on a train

An excerpt from the book I am this woman…..

 

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Just a few weeks ago I discovered a hidden SMS message on FaceBook that had been sent to me over a year ago.

I can tell you now, looking back on the discovery(hindsight is golden) that it was one of those ‘movie moments’. You know, when the train doors slide open, and you have a choice, to get on or not. The choice of getting on from the audiences point of view is obvious, but instead we seem to choose to stay on the cold lonely platform. I am guilty of  choosing the latter too many times, this time I was getting on that train.

I was in the middle of checking emails and not being the most-savviest person on the planet with my iPhone skills, I had overlooked a whole section of SMS’s. There were about 15 in the bank, but only one caught my interest. The message was written with a shy tone, cautious, but yet direct.

It was from my first husbands, first girlfriend and fiancé.

They had been high school sweethearts over 25 years ago. I had never met her before in all of my time in Australia, nor being married for 19 years, and to be honest, never really heard much about her. Like all high school romances, I had thought it was left in the pages of their yearbook.

I don’t know why I didn’t see  her message before, maybe the timing wasn’t meant for me to see it then but a few things were at play that day. Let’s just say the stars were all aligning, but not in a glorious Milky Way moment, more like a catastrophic parade of meteorites heading for Planet Blonde.

I recognized her name from the past, and then realized that maybe she hadn’t known ‘our ex’ was no longer living. I felt obliged to contact her, and of course a little curious as this was literally a blast from his past, and from all accounts, nothing to do with me.

However, the second reason was because her words were chillingly close to the bone, as to how accurate her description of what had happened to me over 19 years of marriage, reflected in what she had claimed to be her experience.

Her name was A, she typed thru messenger. She hoped I was all right, that my daughter was ok, and that she had been concerned all these years for my safety. She had hoped he had turned into a good man; and the last line, ‘she had been plagued all her life worrying for me and what she hoped I had not gone thru’.

The surreal part is I received this in late 2015, yet he had died 3 years previous and secondly a lot of work has gone into my growth and moving on.So why now, why after all these years did it have to come back.  I had managed to put all of the past behind me. But here is the rub, the past can’t be put to rest until you deal with it…all of it.

So, with a heavy heart, I have to bring back the past in order for me to succeed in my present.

Please note, I AM not a victim, I AM a survivor, I AM that daughter, I AM that divorcee, I AM that widower, I AM this strong, I AM a body of those experiences.

If this is not spoken about and I AM not able to share my experiences,as dark as they may be then how can I help someone out there who is going thru the exact circumstances and is overwhelmed in their isolation and can’t see their way out?

Maybe that SMS was a sign to say hey, you have had plenty of time to let others know, to help those when others doubt them.  For I have been doubted, called a liar, blamed and yet still had to grovel for those peoples affections.  Yes, it is hurtful to read but not as painful as receiving it.  And without my truth, that this happened to me, then how are we going to stand up for ourselves and say, enough is enough?

I to have had all this pain and not to be able to show others that pain just equals more pain.  Hurt people hurt people, sad people share sadness all the time.  I am here to share knowledge, personal experience and how to grow from it without the guilt or societies branding.

So please, bare witness, but don’t bare sadness, or despair, read for hope, truth and knowing that we are not alone.

My Living Hell

I was groomed from an early age. Trust has never been my strong suit.

Groomed from an early age by my uncle Herbie, from what I can recall 8yrs old to finally having the strength to stop him at the age of 16.

My mother knew, I told her over many years; her response was to get drunk and chase me with an axe thru my bedroom door, beat me or burn me. I have all scars to prove it, outwardly and inwardly.

Thankfully my stepfather had put locks on my door only a few weeks before the big finale, or it could have gotten really ugly. I left that day and didn’t look back for nearly 25 years!

To say my childhood environment reflected what was going on behind the scenes was the sinister part, for the house was always clean, there was food and I was clothed. My mother’s attention to detail, her fantastic taste in design and her immaculate presentation of her many houses did not reflect the pain.

There was pain, a lot of it. From beatings after school, to burns on my body, my mother’s drunken ranting’s were always followed with beatings, pulling hair, being punched or kicked. Accusing me of sleeping with her second husband, let’s just say the list does get bigger but you get the general idea. And the end result was always the same; she couldn’t remember that she had done it. Here is where the ‘blame game’ starts. I felt responsible for every punch, every bruise and every grooming experience. I blamed myself for the treatment my ‘family’ gave me. After all it was me who made them do what they did, right?

I know, I don’t look like anything could have happened to me. But it did, they did it and then  I blamed myself for it happening…every single day. But I left that behind; I put it in my past and just walked away. Dusted myself off, and made way for my future, a bright one. I wanted my life to be so bright like a glowing ball of sunshine, that anyone who came near me would feel my radiant glow of love and not want to hurt me. I wanted that so much.

The problem was though; that my past was still there and my first hand knowledge of ‘love’ was that it came from either a fist or a fuck.

The lady at the other end of that SMS was not to know that she had opened my Pandora’s box. Please note, it wasn’t her fault, she has had her own battles all her life, and I hope she can be at ease now, and know that I am thankful for her strength in reaching out.

I was 21 when I married. Looking back a child bride. He was from the other side of the world, a world away from rejection, ignorance and plain hate. Or so I thought.

My next 19 years were to be a repeat performance of my childhood. Physical and emotional abuse. The thing is bruises heal but words; words stay forever in your mind. And he was great with his words.

But one day those words didn’t hurt anymore, the sting in them was still there, but the indifference to them had set in. I was realizing my self-worth in the phrases of a childhood nursery rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’.

And so I left, again. I AM that mother who left her children with that hu-MAN, this will always be my guilt and sadness. At the time all I could think about was my survival and once that was established, then I was in a place that I could save us all. Sadly it hasn’t been that way.

Since this woman contacted me, I have had to regroup and look at all of my actions that led me into these situations.

I AM not accountable to those steps that were laid down for me by those who failed me in my past. I take great responsibility in creating new steps, with big giant leaps.

I chased those demons down and fought thru it, but not without help. Help came in strange ways and also in undeniable, downright spiritual ways too. As soon as I had decided that enough was enough, those train doors started to slide open and the boogeyman wasn’t there anymore.

I AM now well informed about what I will stand for in my life. Who I let be near me, and how I want to be treated. Simply. With Love

The night before I left my yet again abusive situation, I sat down outside on the steps and wrote down on a tiny piece of paper what I wanted out of my life. Not what I owe someone, not what I can do for them to make them happy but what I needed for me to fulfil my journey.  I realised that if you are truly loved, then the above doesn’t happen to you, if it is happening then get the hell out.  Find a way.  It’s all scary, but the scariest part is that you could still be there.

Dear Lxo

I AM in LOVE, I AM strong, I AM happy, I AM a rebel, I AM a traveller, I AM empowered, I AM a cougar, I AM raw, I AM an Artist,  I AM that Mother and my door is always open.

I AM this WOMAN, and the past is now just that…

My 11 Affirmations to Warrior Heaven – Forever Strong in Love †

 

**If you are a victim of #childabuse, #sexualassault, #parentalalienation, #domesticviolence #incest #mentalabuse #physicalabuse please reach out, to someone, anyone, me….

The more we  can bring awareness and stop the taboo of talking about these subjects the more the ‘System of Silence Stops.

LXO