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

 

 

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 Fighting Your Demons

I am not sure if apologies are necessary, but I will do one just the same.

Writing has been taking up all of my time, which leads me to be a hermit and indulge in the artistic side of creating, which usually means becoming an isolated asshole actually!

So, my apology is to the fact that I haven’t had the space of mind to write to you from here, but please know I am writing.  If you have never undertaken the labour of love which is creating a book then let me tell you it is without a doubt, time consuming, all consuming and leaves you very bleary eyed and lacking any form of being able to articulate a normal conversation outside of the parameters of the pages you are staring at.

Every situation turns into a new setting and before you know it you are staring at strangers trying to capture the movements in words.  On that note, apologies to the poor lady in the ice blue dress with the wind gently caressing your hair as you order your Pina Colada from the bar, the sun gently setting behind your…oh shit there I go again.

It could be worse, I could not have the time to be able to create.  Ugh, just writing that gives me the heeby jeebies.  My creative hand has usually been attached to a paint brush, but with all of our travelling to create my husband’s books, carting around paints and canvas was not an option-thank you airlines all over the world for charging so much in baggage fees.

I started this blog with the understanding that I was venting, letting go of demons, expressing my pain and hoping that thru all of my words someone out there could rely on the fact that they are not alone in their daily struggles.  We all have our own battles to fight and we all have our own unique way of dealing with that.

I would like to thank you, each and every one of you for your support in this past year with I Am this Woman, as it has been the canvas for my novel to unfold upon.  Like layers of paint, I have been slowly building my own Mona Lisa.

The last time I put brush to hand was to do a self-portrait of my husband, he was in the process of completing his second book and based on my first paragraph, ‘Which means becoming an isolated asshole’, I had some time and space to turn his book into a piece of art.  I wasn’t able to complete it and it still rests in Scotland, one day I hope to return to it and put the final pieces of his words on it.  For now though it is a reminder to me that creating, of any form is a healthy expression and one that all should try.

 

And on that note, I Am Off, off to create, off to become that indulgent artistic brat that we all know and love (she says with a wink)….off to describe every nuance of a piece of sand.

I am that artist, I am that writer, I am that asshole, I am a creator, but most of all I am this Woman.

Title-Fighting Your Demons,

Self Portrait-Denny Denholm

Mixed Medium on Acrylic

Artist-LXO

 

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I Am putting my training hat back on.

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Last week I had to come to the decision that I have been focussing way too much on the past.

I have found for me ,for now, that when old wounds kept being reopened, I was not allowing myself to heal and therefore re creating the patterns of the pain.  This week I am relearning how to carry the past on my shoulders and it came down to one simple solution-Stop!

A wonderful friend got in contact with me and suggested to put my tools down for awhile, as in my writing tools.

“A month even”, she went on to say, “ Let time just be and let the space that is there be calm not stress. Let there be some time to just be”.

So, in this past week I have taken her advice to heart and I have just stopped. Stopped dwelling, regretting, worrying and above all writing.

There is, however, one thing from my past that I can’t seem to give up and that is training. Training, whether it is going for a run, skipping, boxing, swimming you name it, I haven’t been able to give that up. It is the one consistent thing (besides my husband) that keeps me smiling, feeling strong and getting that youthful twinkle back in my eyes. And when I have simple meditative moments like being able to pull off a double under at the age of 47, I am quite proud of that.   For those that don’t know, that’s skipping jargon for doing two rotations in one jump. Yup, I am proud of that!

It’s the simple things in life so it seems.

Here I am, back on the matts officially and it feels good. It feels great actually, to be around people that are inspired by what I have to offer and say. As a trainer it is a self fufilling career as it is always a win win. My role is to educate and motivate you to be the best and get the best from you. What you give me is your trust, your dedication to work and your grit to get in there and be challenged by me…The Silent Assasin!

My husband and I have been welcomed into the family of Gym & Fitness Koh Toa and we feel very honored to be in such a top class establishment. I have been in gyms all around the world from Scotland’s Forgewood Boxing Club to my own studio’s in Australia and of course the mecca for me WildCard in L.A. with Freddie Roach.

Whether I have been a trainer or I am being trained, one thing is for certain, I have never left the matts without smiling, swearing(it’s good for you) and a hell of a lot of chin sweat.

If you are wondering about my writing here, not to worry I have heaps I want to tell you but if you can’t find me here you can find me in Thailand cranking the Foo Fighters and listening to the sweet sound of ropes tapping, gloves being strapped on and boxing bags thumping.

So to hell with the past for now, let’s bring back some positive energy and it’s starting with me.

Lxo aka The Silent Assasin

You can find Lisa and her partner Denny at Gym and Fitness Koh Toa.

Their next event starts: August 11th

Event: Internationally renowned 32B Free Challenges.

Have a look at our 32B Free challenge : Come get some

https://web.facebook.com/32bfree/

 

It’s time to sweat, smile and swear…see you on the matts

Lxo

 

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

 

I Am Grateful for him-Part 3

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I Am Grateful for him-Part 3

I would like to share with you a message my husband posted on his time line.

He has always been the most generous, giving man I have ever met.  He is world class to say the least, but has inspired me on so many levels to be who I AM today.  No one is built alone, we are built from our experiences with engaging in people.  And as I write you will notice all my experiences good and bad have shaped me into who I am based on those interactions with these individuals.

Yet, there is one person who rises to the occasion time and time again, and to be honest I don’t know why or how he is here.  How did I, a divorced mother of three with a history of hell have heaven enter my door?

I thank you Mr.Denny from every fibre of my being for being you, consistently and persistently.  It’s beautiful to read you feel the same, thank you again My King x

An excerpt from Denny Denholm: a Royal Marine, a War Veteran, a Father, a writer, a boxer, a Coach….My love

We all have pasts and we all have demons…that can never be denied.

Some of us have to fight our way through youth and adult life, and others sort of sail through, unaware of the pain and violence around them. We all suffer. I am witness to that, especially Veterans, like me. 

This is why we are doing 22 Push Ups for 22 days in support of Vets who still live and need to be inspired by community and FB does that well. 

BUT…REMEMBER…OR WAKE UP TO…DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KILLS!!

When I returned from war, it horrified me that I had been genuinely sacrificing my life for my country and the good of mankind. Willingly taking my body and mind into the end of times to become strong enough to withstand war as a Commando. Then living through a career of it, for my country, family and kin.

I was horrified because while I was gone there were rapists and child molesters running a muck in every community. The more I looked the more I was broken in my soul. Any fucker tells me war broke me I will punch them right on the nose. Finding out this shit after my career in war totally broke me. No fucking question.

While i was trying to sort out how the fuck I can change this shit I met my wife Lisa Denholm. We were both going through horrific divorces and child custody nonsense and decided to fight back to back together, preserving love at all costs. We fight on and my wife has the courage to tell these stories so bloody eloquently. Watch this space…this woman has talent.

Listen to Lisa Denholm‘s story in her blogs. She has lived through the most horrific of abuses and still remains strong, faithful and able to teach others how to be strong, confident and loyal. God knows, meeting a loyal person is a challenge in these days. When I met this woman I learned about loyalty, hope and compassion, everything she tries to teach everyone every day. 

A true warrior and a true Love Legend!

Strength to your courage and I pray you that you can touch millions of people’s hearts. Together, we unite to STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

STOP SUICIDE

Lxo

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 AM Married to a Royal Marine

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I AM married to a Royal Marine

I hadn’t really taken in the whole impact that I was married to a Royal Marine until the shit really hit the fan. A Royal Marine has 3 Rules they live by:

1)Buddy first, self last

2)Laugh in the face of adversity

3) To walk where others fear to tread

September 2012 was an interesting time. Actually that was the year that we married in Chaing Mai in Thailand. We had been on a sabitical in a Bhuddist Monastery for our honeymoon, as you do, and over those days were kept in separate dormitories as well as eating areas. We were not allowed to make eye contact or pass messages to each other.

Every morning at 4am a gong was rung and all those staying in the monastery would make their way, bleary eyed to the community hall and begin the day with a yoga stretch, then a vegetarian breakfast followed by a structure of working meditation.

To not speak for a whole day was difficult, by day two I was completely batty yet by day 3 the monkey chatter in my head had calmed down. I am far from a yogi and getting into sitting meditation I did find quite hard, however I really enjoyed the walking meditation.

It was during the walking meditation that I started to feel that something wasn’t right. The day had been overcast and humid, yet whenever I closed my eyes all I could see was yellow. Bright yellow, as if I had been staring into the sun and there was that burnt impression behind my eyelids, but when I opened my eyes to check again, there was nothing but dark clouds.

That evening we finished up our basic meal, washed and then headed back to the hall. My thoughts were still with that intense color and why it was still physically upsetting me, but I wasn’t able to talk with anyone let alone My Royal. As we took our places within the hall I could sense Denny now staring at me, which is completely against all rules. I broke protocol for a few seconds and looked at him, his eyes were urgent and he put up his hand, 5 minutes he mouthed. I knew what he meant, I had felt it too, and yet we hadn’t spoken…something was not right.

6 months earlier

Our honeymoon had started with the intention that we would go offline for a month. It had been a hard year, leaving the kids, divorce and the horrible daily emails and hate mail that was a constant barrage. 6 months before our wedding I had been in court trying to gain access to my children. The judge that day had said the case was too complicated and that I would not be back on the family courts roster until another 6-8 months. That nearly killed me, full stop.

I laid in my bed for days, I even looked at our 11th floor apartment and thought what the hell just jump!! Denny knew it was bad, but he is also a Royal and that means you do not sit around and wait for shit to keep happening, you make shit happen. By Boxing day of 2011 we were on our way to Dubai, he wasn’t going to have me lying around, depressed and miserable over a situation I now could not even comprehend fixing.

As a trainer I have always been fit, but as the loss of my children and financial dramas unfolded so to did my fitness. I was training, all the time actually, I was breaking and didn’t care. We arrived into Dubai late that evening and Denny was to start work the next morning. There was no time for him to show me around, I was left to my own devices to explore.   We lived in a hotel suite, just a few blocks from his office, on the top floor was a gym. Instead of exploring the city, I went right back into my training head. After a week or so, my injuries were still piling up and yet that was the only thing I wanted to hold onto. As week one turned to week two, Denny took action. ‘I want you to get fat, I want you to heal your body and learn to be who you are in this new skin’.

First of all, who says that? And second of all, how do I let go?

And so it began, dinners out, big Iraqui lunches and a complete ban from the top floor!! He indulged me in any thing foodie, he was on a mission. 8kg later I had a fuller face, my injuries were lessening and I was starting to find my smile.   He took me skiing again, yes Dubai has an indoor ski resort!! If you ever get the chance to visit this place it is a Disneyland for adults, dubachery and anything you can think of you can get. After 6 months we headed to Thailand and with my now fully formed booty, regretfully realizing I am now in the land of smiles and string bikinis, we started our life.

Monastery

After my five minute warning, instead of sitting down I excused myself and headed to my dorm. It took me less than 5 minutes to pack my meager bag and head to the main office, there he was My Royal, already waiting. If you haven’t spoken for a few days let alone a week you will find that you have lost your voice. It actually is a bit of a strain to speak and form words.We walked out of the monastery, silent, both looking into each others eyes, the emotions were raw and not tangible to put words to.

‘Somethings not right’, I finally voiced. ‘I know, I felt something strange when we were walking, and I know we have to get back to our island. We booked into a hotel for the evening and the next morning were on a boat back.

As we made our way to our villa I dropped off our months worth of laundry, picked up some supplies and headed home. As we hadn’t been online, and wanted to share our recent marriage to our family and friends, we picked up our computers with the intention of seeing what had been going on in a month.

The first Fb message was from my sister in Canada, the message was ominous. It read, “Lisa, I don’t know what is going on, and it’s either a sick joke or it’s real, but your daughter has just posted, ‘Dad, rest in peace’. She went on to say that the post was then removed and her page was taken down. That feeling from the monastery came back again. My heart sunk, My Royal took action. He called our good friend in Australia, who immediately said let me go to the family and check things out.

Two hours later a message had come thru, my ex-husband was dead, the family was accusing me of his death and they had taken my children to the police to confess to disavow me as there mother. Like I said, when the shit hits the fan.

We were on the next boat out, actually it’s a boat, a plane and another plane to get off the island. Too be honest I don’t remember much of the journey back, only that the Royal beside me was stoic, strong and calm.

As we arrived into Brisbane we were both very aware that I had been threatened with being arrested by the police. My in-laws had sent a message thru our friend that they were accusing me of being a drug mule and a murderer…..yeah, let that set in, oh and the kids were now to be with my sister in-law, she will be a better mother they had said.

It took me a week to locate my youngest, and when I did, I made a decision that I wasn’t giving him back. They had taken my children, tried to hide their father’s death and now were blaming me of murder. Well to the rap sheet I was going to add kidnapping!!

In the days after it was a flurry of passports, screams from my older children and threats. To this day I can not even imagine what they had to go thru, the loss of their Dad and then the annihilation of there Mother. The older two had chosen but my youngest wasn’t having any of it.

We arrived at the airport late a few days later, enroute back to Thailand. My 11yr old was so desperately just wanting to get on that plane. My Royal, thru the whole thing was still there standing strong, taking in all of our pain and trying to shield us from whatever came at us.

Denny went thru customs first, he was wearing a long sleeve button down white shirt and pair of jeans. My son and I were next in line to go thru, as I approached and the officer looked to our passports, he asked me kindly to stand to the side. My heart sank, Denny and I had had this conversation the night before, if I didn’t make it thru then we weren’t in a financial position for him to fly back in again. I watched him pause outside of passport control and out of the corner of my eye I could see 3 officers heading towards me and my son.

They grabbed me, and I grabbed my son…we were both crying, scared of what was to happen to us next.

But what happened next no one saw coming, for the officers as quickly as they had grabbed me were now running towards the passport control line.

All I could make out was a white long sleeved shirt, with a passport in his hand and the other over his heart.

‘I come in peace ‘,he said, and I am not leaving without my family’.

That my friends, is a Royal Marine.

I AM Married to a Royal Marine