Find Yourself

lostI guess the title of this piece is a little confusing how can you find something that to your mind isn’t lost? There you are standing in familiar surroundings and your reflection if sought after would be very easy to achieve. But what does that tell us? Only that you are in the moment and visible to others. It’s a reality that we think about pragmatically it a complete certainty both feet are firmly placed below us. But what I want to talk about here today has no resemblance to the above. Your reflection can be staring back at you wide eyed and smiling but in truth for so many of us we have never felt so lost. To truly become visible to all that surrounds us we have to recognise that we are more than the body we walk around in.

It’s not about the person staring back at you each morning whilst you brush your hair; it’s about the child within that has never been found because in truth she scares us just a little. That’s a sentiment that I freely share with you because my child within used to scare the hell out of me-so was I lost? You can bet your life on it. Until I really looked inside with a feeling of complete abandonment to match her own she was unreachable. It’s been said that to really know someone you have to walk a mile in their shoes, to really understand the emotions that dictate who they are at that given moment in time. Emotions are how we relate in any given manner time or place which will never be seen from the naked eye looking in.

For all intensive purposes our bodies serve as a shell containing so much more than our internal organs. It wraps around us as an outer barrier a safeguard there to protect everything within, although at times that barrier whilst open to the elements of life can get a little busted up or bruised. Our bodies react to the action that we require almost by remote control. We have been subjected to a learning process from the very first time we arrived into this world with most of us seemingly upset to being ejected from a place of warmth and contentment.

Ok, let’s move on to the things that seem to need our direction a process that requires us to make a judgment we are faced with this process each and every day without exception. It could be a work issue that requires considering because there is more than one option, it can be to embark on a journey that we are not familiar with. A measured judgment to ascertain what is needed to lead us through a process to its completion. This process of judgement can ultimately affect those around us but a judgement is required because without which there would be no movement.

So here we are standing tall and taking on the world with health good judgement and forward movement-but what if you’re not? Let’s think about something here for a moment what if ever decision you make seems to be the wrong one what if your thoughts don’t even feel like they are your own? What if your thoughts and emotions are just so muddled and confusing that you find yourself with no control? What if that seems to be a permanent situation that you have to struggle through every day? I guess what I am talking about is that control over your thoughts and emotions in large part were enforced upon you?

As children we are so very vulnerable to the outside elements feelings and emotions going on all around us. We have been taught through our growth that an adult should be adhered and to show respect. So when an adult tells you that touching you in those places is only natural and that what they are doing to you is ok. It’s the only way to show you their love for you because you are special and different than the rest. But that we can’t tell a soul because we would then be parted and no one would understand our love. This situation a conversation forced on us daily and that no one will ever love you as much as they did.

Wow writing that paragraph has really left a nasty taste in my mouth.

What I am trying to say here is that we grow with no control over our thoughts or emotions, and if we were to look back in time that was the very moment that we lost ourselves. Our thoughts and emotions have been in doctored upon us for some of us that abuse lasted for many years going unchecked. This process leaves an imprint so deeply imbedded within us that to think for ourselves seems unnatural and not necessary. For me that situation went on for a period of seven years where a singular thought or checking my emotions was not my job and that they weren’t supposed to be mine. Just how messed up does that sound? Here today I fully understand the reason that I allowed my abuse to continue but let’s not open that box today.

In truth as we grow it seems that we become less attractive to our abuser he is getting just a little bored so within the realms of a very sick mind he needs to move on to pastures new. But when this happens what do we do? We are left to fend alone in a world that is so unfamiliar to us because we were always guarded. We then find that we have to make decisions that were always made for us. The ground below us then becomes so very unsteady because the hand that used to direct us is gone, in a mixed up kind of way we feel deserted we wonder what we have done to deserve this abandonment. How confused as children must we be to think that the person that was abusing us was our hold on to the world around us?

Its right there in that moment in time that we lose you because we don’t really know who we are or even feel that we have a purpose in the world any longer. So we continue through life never really thinking that anything we did was not good enough and questioning ourselves daily. We try to stay out of our thoughts because there are just too many voices that you don’t want to listen to, they lead us towards confusion they then take us to a place that we can’t understand or unravel. Then we would be truly lost because we were only holding on by the slighter of grip just one slip and it would all be over.

But do we want to stay that way holding on to life within mixed emotions and missed direction? How can we live the rest of our lives to its full potential like that? Yes you are lost but nothing is written in blood that you have to continue to be so. It’s long past time to find that part of you that has been lost for so long through the actions of another. We will need to dig deep because it’s we alone that will need to get down and dig in the dirt. This has to happen if we are ever able to look at that child straight on and fully in the eye. Completely and fully aware of the daunting task that needs to be embarked upon, but it’s a very necessary one if we wish to grow as a person and heal the past. You may even find that once you have found that lost part of you recognition seems impossible who is this person? But if we treat it like we are making a new friend in time a merger will occur and you will find that for the first time in your life you feel whole.

You may even find that you really like this person that you are becoming in your own right………..

The Anger Within Us

AngerAnger is a natural responce to feeling attacked deceived or frustrated; everyone gets angry sometimes that’s life and it’s a part of being human. Furthermore it’s not always a bad thing it can be a useful emotion. It allows us – if we listen to it – to identify problems within our lives that are either hurting us or others because it is going unchecked. If this then becomes a learning curve by identifying and recognising that our anger is upsetting either ourselves or those around us in an exaggerated manner. It can then act as a mirror by bouncing back those reflections and we become aware of some bad habits that need our full attention. But we need to remember that mirror may as well be a brick wall if we don’t engage with the reflection. There are times when the anger emerging within us can act as a defence mechanism appearing suddenly out of the blue if we are feeling threatened. So as we see anger it very much a part of our lives even when it upsets the apple cart for that brief moment in time.

Anger can at times evoke a real feeling of fear within us even if we are the ones at that time with a ball of fire in our gut that we can’t seem to put out. Whoever is the instigator of this on-set of emotions it can’t fail to act as a Wirral wind dragging in those around us which serves to remind us of the plight of Dorothy in the wizard of ozz. Tempers become frayed and the scene that presents itself seems to have taken on a life all of its own. We then reach a standoff where neither either nor all wants to be the ones that seem as if they are backing down. It becomes a matter of principle where the rights or wrongs of the whole situation are lost to us. A line in the sand has been drawn in which no one by it being either dragged pushed or willingly will cross over. The truth is that if we were to step back and view this situation with our emotions intact we would be astounded by the complete loss of rationality. The issue that caused this eruption has been lost only to be replaced by the overwhelming feeling of being proven to be right beyond all doubt.

Ok, we have all at some point I’m guessing been in many situations that I have described above one in which once we step off the moral high ground and stick a few plasters over the wound we then move. But sadly for others it is never going to be that easy why? The wound is so very much deeper and the cuts inflicted feel like they are never going to heal. But the real truth surrounding this situation is that the wound is far from being new it seems as if it’s always been there and rightly so because it has. So as life imposes new situations upon us that reflect the above the knife is driven in so very much deeper. To state the obvious those wounds remain unseen but the pain that they create is unimaginable. If I were to take a look within me there are a few real battle scars that many a Viking would be proud of. This type of anger is so very difficult to explain and so very destructive that it can be likened to a kind of cancer eating away at our very being. Furthermore this type of anger is one in which we readily seem to top up much like our mobile/cell phone credit as each year passes us by unchecked. This repeat scenario continues to go right on past us time after time and will continue to do so until we deal with our deep seated anger by becoming conscience of it and able to engage with it.

We seem to be within a struggle to become dogmatist because within this emotion we are going to stay on the moral high ground come hell or high water. No one will even come close to pushing us off because that’s a fall we can’t comprehend why? Because we feel that our anger is justified but the question being begging here is – is it being placed within the right situ? We fight to stay up there on that high ground because gods forbid if we were to fall we will have to deal with the real cause of our deep seated anger. In truth it has nothing to do with the situation surrounding us at that time, but it has everything to do with the anger we feel within which if we were to recognise is directing purely at ourselves. So how do we remove that feeling of immense agitation and pain from our lives which is the real root cause of so much anger? Anger placed there so long ago by another which clearly doesn’t seem to alter even after so many years as to how we feel. Even though they may no longer be integral in our lives or a spectator to our actions they have with no doubt left us with this legacy. So when we look in the mirror of reflection we feel so very angry at ourselves although unjustly because it was something in which we had no control over. But there you sit although you are now an adult questioning yourself daily over who is hitting you over the head the hardest? When in truth you already know the answer and it’s a wonder that you can even wield a hammer of that magnitude! When you have been abused as a child you will always be the one wielding that stick with far more force than the outside world. I myself am so very aware that there was a time in my life where there was not enough angry to be mustered around the world to equal the anger that I was directing at myself.

So let’s pick at the bones of this very volatile situation together to see if there is any real insight to be found.

The truth is that we put everything and anything in place so readily to be angry about instead of recognising our own anger within because we feel that we just can’t go there. Even more so we just don’t feel that we need to do so anyway right? So we direct our anger at the world in totality. The awful things happening around the world that can only be seen as a travesty but we somehow we make it our own personal crusade. The guy that parks in the parking space that you were waiting for patiently! Hey could he not see that you were already there waiting. Something said directed at us that causes a reaction within that can only be seen as being totally over the top. You have been sitting in the doctor’s surgery for twenty minutes after your appointment time and you can feel your angry erupting from within than bang it’s out there without the need for an introduction. It would seem that deflection is our closest ally.

I am in no way shape or form trivialising the deep regret for mankind around these issues because in truth there are some pretty horrific things going on around the world, or the annoyances we feel by feeling that we are being overlooked or invisible. What I am talking about here is our own avoidance and displeasure at us which surrounds the anger that we feel so deeply in which we are struggling to own. Because anything real to get our teeth into shifts the goal post by miles and then we have justified angry totally unrelated to us. So we go on day after day not having to deal with or recognise the real issue that is eating us up with such vigour.

Until we reach a place where we can face our angry and try to understand it the world will always feel as if it’s beating down on our head even though it’s mostly at our own hands. For me the place to start was by embracing my anger fully and without question which then allowed me to make forward movement towards undoing that knot tied so deeply within. Admitting to and owning that angry is one hell of a big obstacle to climb over because make no mistake that anger is truly justified and when faced with our past its more than a little scary. But it’s you and you alone that will have to make the biggest decision of all – can you face it embrace it and most importantly once faced can you put it down? At this moment in time you may not feel ready to take that first step in that direction but trust me it’s achievable overly more you can walk the road at your own pace. That road doesn’t even need to be straight one there is nothing wrong with taking a detour. If I can say anything to you in the here and now it’s that what lies behind us we can’t change what lays before us to some extent we can’t predict but what lies within us we can learn to embrace.

Own the anger within because until you do so it will always own you…………..

Running Scared

running scaredRunning scared… those words are spoken often for a variety of reasons and each one can equally affect our lives, in truth far more than the first interpretation that enterers our mind. Someone running scared from something or someone that puts them in fear; it’s tangible and seen openly with our own eyes. It’s a threat that plagues our equilibrium whilst putting us in a place that we would rather not be. The balance of our lives is upset by needing nothing more than our own thought process. The threat does not even need to be visual why? Because we know it’s out there the treat was all we needed to create a place of panic that seems to morph in magnitude daily.

We can be running scared within a situation of competition and the catalyst needs to be no more than the person standing in front of us; we have all see it happen on our television screens with regard to a football match or tennis tournament. Once fear enters our minds we believe that we can’t win so we start to run, we don’t need to be moving in forward motion for that to occur. We are running from defeat quite simply put once we feel that emotion it affects everything we do from then on in. So we stand there with cause and effect! Our bodies remain trying to battle it out although all seems lost, but you can be sure that all that we are within is already strides ahead of us heading for the highway.

Someone breaks the law and they are being chased by the police in very hot pursuit they are seen by the naked eye as really tearing up the asphalt. But metaphorical it’s far more than that; they are running within a precise state of mind that we would only experience if we were the person doing the running. As they try desperately to think of a way out of this situation but it’s an impossible task because within that state of mind we all make mistakes. Mistakes that may take away their liberty but their judgment is impaired simply because they are running scared. They are all but lost because once this process has begun its one hell of a job for our bodies to keep up with that runaway mind.

There are so many ways in which we find ourselves running scared; I myself was in a position of doing so but for a very different perspective than any of the above. I was running from myself but make no mistake I was truly running scared. I was running like the hounds of hell were close behind me without me even being aware of it for so many years. It’s an emotion that I know I shared with others whilst I was still within it; it’s an emotion that others are still struggling with trying to find the winning post daily. But running from ourselves is an action that we will never shake off until we ourselves put on the brakes. Until that time we may as well be running within the ray’s of full sun light whilst trying desperately to avoid our own shadow. In truth there is nowhere to run from your thoughts which are creating this urge within because they will always be part of you. We try so many ways to distract ourselves for even an hour’s worth of clear head space but running from the memories that surround our abuse just isn’t possible. We have to find a way to live with them that allows us to move beyond that place with acceptance because we can’t change the past no matter how hard we try. I myself spent so many years believing that I was just fine until I found a way to understand that I was anything but.

Our greatest tool that we use is the tool of delusion as it suits our purpose well. If to the outside world we seemed in complete control then we were weren’t we? If we play the fool play the joker with all around us enjoying the show what more proof do we need? We fill our lives to the brim leaving not one ounce of space to allow these thoughts within us to breathe, so of course we were winning weren’t we? We don’t talk about it why the hell would we? That only serves to remind us that we have a deep unresolved emotion within that is really affecting our lives. Then there is that old faithful the bottle because if we climb within one we are completely sheltered from the world nothing can touch us. Well at least until the bottle had all but gone and been replaced with the hangover from hell. There are so many more distractions that I myself used whilst on my own journey all clearly aimed at my own mental confusion. A confused mind was so much better than allowing me to think about the whirlwind that was going on inside of me during every wakening hour or sleeping moment. It’s difficult to really state here the mental distress or derangement that we find ourselves in on this ever ending road so far away from the finishing tape. The truth is that we pass by it daily over and over but we are just too afraid to break through.

So how do we find the strength to stop running? We must be so clearly out of breath on this self imposed marathon. But even then it somehow seems that we have accepted that we will always be in the race. So let’s put it down here and now in print as to why we feel this need deep within our gut to keep running? It’s without doubt that we are running from the agonizing memory of our abuse its right there behind us hot on our heels; it’s so very easy to see that standing still is a terrifying prospect. But if we are ever going to find peace within this world we need to find a way of allowing them to catch up and to be embraced. The first time I came close to really understanding that all I needed to do was stand my ground it was not an option for me. But I could slow down just a little couldn’t I? After time I found that it was possible to stand still just for a moment and wow it was a complete revelation to me. It was at that time that I realised just how out of control my life really was and always had been. It seemed for most of my life I had been a guest at the mad hatter’s tea party and Alice in wonderland had nothing on me.

What I am trying to say here is that it’s ok to take each day as it arrives at a speed that you are comfortable with, just a tiny almost invisible notch slower every day will make the task achievable. There will be days when you feel it may be possible, and there will be others you will find that you don’t have a cat in hells chance. But each time you achieve a moment where you are able to stop and catch your breath you will acquire the knowledge that this is something you can do. You may take off again like a bat out of hell but you have achieved something that until that very moment in time was lost to you. It’s only then that you realise that it is possible to win this race because you were the only one that you were ever competing with.

You have been running with the finishing tape within your sight always now it’s long past time to break through……….

Being Believed

Being believed 2Being believed is something that I guess most of us take for granted unless we have been proven to lie or exaggeration, which if we are honest we all do at times its just to what degree. There’s that time when the truth can be hurtful so we adopt what is called a white lie where someone’s feelings need not be hurt unnecessarily. Examples – Do I look fat in this dress? I dyed my hair and it’s not what I was expecting do you think it looks alright? Do you like my new boyfriend but you think the guys a jerk? Ok I guess a little more honesty is needed there but I’m sure you get the gist. We interact daily with our friends family work colleges, and those that we surround ourselves with as a matter of course never in doubt that we are being believed. We feel that we should be taken on face value and that our words are both factual and truthful, never thinking that the person with whom we are engaging doesn’t believe us. To evaporated further the word believe is used in many different contexts. We have all at some point recited the words we would never have believed it if we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes. I myself have been in a position where I believed in someone completely, only to realise in the course of time that I had never knew them at all I had just believed the lie of who they portrayed to be.

Then of course there is make-believe which is a tool we acquire from childhood as we act out the life being shown to us, for some we create that make-believe friend who is always with us so that we are never completely alone. We pretend acting out situations where the only limit is within our own imagination. The question may be asked of us many times as we travel through life as to if we are credible and to be believed? We have own religious belief which may differ from those around us but it’s what we believe that matters. We believe that we are capable of sorting out a particular problem that we are faced with at that moment or time. So as we can see the word believe have many facets or faces that coincide with us on a daily basis, because so many things have to be taking on face value for life to run smoothly on. It has to be that way we can’t question everything around us never having any belief because to do so our lives would come to a complete standstill. All of the above in some shape or form resonates around the word believe.

But what if you’re not believed?

A reason for annoyance as we try to get our point across knowing that we are speaking the truth, but unable to make that other person take us on faith. Maybe we even think something like hell they have known me all my life why are they questioning my honesty? Disbelief can be extremely painful because within it we are under suspicion and we feel that distrust deeply. Our word is being doubted we are being judged as someone that takes that little white lie we spoke of above much further. We find ourselves reaching out all around us for the proof we need to right this wrong. We feel slated that we are being questioned wars have been started for less. It becomes a matter of pride to prove our honesty whilst feeling completely and truly indignant. I could fill this page with analogies of how we are made to feel when we are not believed. But for some not being believed is something that we have had to contend with always. Because even if the words ever left our mouths it had been deeply impregnated within, that our words would be dismissed even before the last word left our mouth. This knowledge had been force-fed to us by our abuser so vigorously over the years that we are disbelieving of ourselves without ever uttering a word!! Just how screwed up is that?

Since childhood we have grown up thinking that we will never be believed that our spoken words would always fall on a deaf ear. It had suited our abusers quite nicely to impregnate our minds with that negativity, reminding us always that to tell would be a fool’s errand. As we grow we carry that thought process with us we may even feel that it’s too late now why? We had never spoken up. I don’t know about you but this system seems only self serving as an aid for our abuser how the hell were we lost within that structure? It’s important here to really understand the thought process that has been created within; we have been groomed into believing that our words would never find any solace. I know that deep inside of me that little girl still exists because we converse often, and I am aware she still remembers the pain of the lie she was made to live. The big difference is that she has now found her voice in a way that someone else believing is no longer important. She knows with complete clarity that belief in her has been achieved by the only one that matter herself. For many years I thought that to be believed the child within would need to speak up which some would think should be easy. You are now an adult able to speak up and say what needs to be said surely? Sadly when you approach that child in order to do so without self belief it’s as if you had never left her behind. There we stand face to face with a cloud of disbelief that unimaginable and those unforgotten words ringing in our ears.

We are never going to truly move on with our lives if it all hinges on the pure fact of being believed by others, I was myself was reminded of that very recently. To be honest it put me on my back foot as I really thought that I had moved some way forward from the need of being believed. But it only served to prove to me that there is still a vulnerable side within me, but if I choose to receive this in a positive way maybe it was a blessing. To know that the soft side of me can still embrace life alongside the child within me, who still remembers her abuse but knows with full clarity it’s only her belief that matters. So often that child is lost from within us and when that happens they take so much more with them than the memory of our abuse. They take that which allows us to feel safety within our vulnerability in honesty and in trust. Maybe it served as a poke in the ribs for me to remind me that I believed in her. There comes a point in our lives where we have to look inside and find our own answers belief in you is the only thing that matters.

Let’s really think about it.

We could have an army of believers standing right behind us shouting our innocence up at the heavens, but that will never make you feel better about yourself unless you can stand there and do so alone. So are we looking for recognition of our abuse? Do we really need it what will it change? The only recognition that is needed is crying out to be heard inside of you. If I’m honest there was many times on this journey where I even doubted myself, so tell me so how would recognition from others have helped me there? Disbelief in yourself eats away at you until you change that emotion far more then to be disbelieved by others. We will move forward only when we eliminate our own distrust in ourselves and embrace those memoires simply because we can’t change them.

Disbelief in ourselves is not even an emotion that we have created it is one that was enforced upon us over the years. Tell someone enough times that it never really happened, that it’s a false memory that you have created within and that doubt starts to creep its way in. We need to remember that if you were only a child when the abuse was part of your life manipulation is our abusers biggest gun. It sure as hell only helps them if we don’t even believe in ourselves. For so many years with regards to my own abuse it was a suppressed memory I guess that was my own coping mechanism. So is it so difficult to see that under certain circumstances doubt rears its ugly head? It would be hard to imagine a more lively debate within the realms of psychology. I’m sure we have all heard the echo in the background of false memory syndrome. It describes a condition in which a person is affected by memories that are not factually or true but ones in which they strongly believe. Wow this topic has the ability to make my skin crawl when I know that there are people out there walking round unpunished because of this analogy. Does it happen? I’m sure that is does but the effect that it has on those that have truly been abused is devastating. If we look toward a court room all the jury needs is that one fragment of doubt it then falls to us to proof that we are speaking the truth and that’s one hell of a big ask. Once more there it is again that doubt standing right in front of us reflecting that emotion back like a mirror image.

So let’s take that leap of faith here today one that you are truly capable of belief in yourself not needing anyone else to pass judgement or to believe. Having them believe won’t take away the pain you feel inside; neither will it stop those nightmares that at times may still frequent your dreams. It won’t stop the back street gossipers that dig around it the dirt without any real ability to understand. Because the absolute truth is that we can’t alter how others may think but that’s their truth which can be fixed invariable and unalterable. Given time it will become clear to you that flogging that dead horse is a pointless exercise.

But what it will do is make you whole……………..

Out of body experience or journey into the hell of my sub-consciousness?

roller coasterI sit here today in front of my computer with no understanding of the place that I visited six nights ago. If I’m honest as yet I still can’t find any learning that I have acquired from it. It will it seems take me a while to try to loosing this knot before I even attempt to undo the whole. I will put down here everything within my memory with regards to my journey and its contents. That said it will be as well as I am able at this moment in time. My conclusion that I hope to arrive at is one I am still struggling to acquire, but I am hoping it’s a work in progress. As always it’s for you to arrive at your own conclusion.

I remember going to bed I was really tried and in a lot of pain which is ever present for me. What happened in between to the point to where I awoke I will depict below.

Where am I? All around me there is the fun of the fun fair the colours are so bright and vivid. Stalls in every direction rides for as far as the eye can see, people milling around happy it seems with all that surrounds them. Rollercoaster’s dipping and diving with their seats filled to the brim. But it’s silent- all around me I can see the rides I can see the lips of the people moving as they pass me by-but silence. I find myself standing at the front of a queue waiting to board the roller-coaster as it comes to a complete standstill. I lift my leg to board but the entrance is blocked before me, no matter how hard I try I can’t lift my leg high enough to succeed. People are pushing me from behind it would seem telling me to board but I’m unable. I try to tell them that I can’t hear them but they clearly don’t understand. I can’t move away from the front of the queue my legs just won’t move in that direction. I put out my hand to hold on to the side of the ride but my hand just goes straight through it. I adjust my grip to a different area but nothing around me is solid. Once more I try to lift my leg only to feel a shooting pain as if I had hit my shin; I keep trying leaning forward but I fall and the pain registers as I hit the ground. This situation seemed to continue on for it seemed like hours, me trying to get on the ride and the solid contact with the ground. Until at my last point of trying just as I am about to give up I was allowed to board. I sit down holding on to my leg trying to nurse the pain that I was feeling as the ride shoots away taking me with it.

Around and around we go stopping at different destinations for people to get on and un-board. My head is hurting such pressure and pain it feels as if it is about to explode, that noise is confusing me where was it coming from? It wasn’t close enough to identify. But in that real space and time the silence was deafening. I can’t stay here but it’s as if there are some invisible hands firmly holding me down. I can’t take anymore of this feeling of oppression at the next stop I myself would un-board. We stop and I make my way to the exit door to leave behind this roller-coaster from hell, but no matter how I try I can’t get off. Everything solid is moving around me swaying from side to side like its reacting to the sound of music that I just can’t hear. Everything I touch just becomes jelly as my hand is engulfed with it. Over and over I try to embark but they keep changing the height of the entrance door I just can’t seem to step high enough. I am once more aware of the people around me exasperated that I am holding them up but I can’t do anything. I try to talk to them once more to explain but it seems that they can’t hear my voice, and they are still mute to me whilst their lips are still visibly moving. I fall the pain registers as I hit the ground I try to get up but I can’t hold on nothings solid. I ask for help but everyone around me continues on as if I am not there. Eventually I fall through the entrance landing hard hitting my head, and the taste of blood is rancid in my mouth. I hurt all over and I am now shivering with the cold. I look down at myself and all I have on is my nightshirt. I can’t understand why or how I had arrived there like this everyone else around me were fully clothed. Why would I have left home dressed like this?

I get up and look around me suddenly I can see faces in the crowd that I recognise but they pass me by as if I were not there. I then hear the barking of a dog I know that bark it’s my own dog Sparkle. She then appears from around the corner but not alone, as dog after dog just like her run towards me in different stages of growth. I bend to touch her head but my hand passes straight through it. But even as she sits before me I can still hear a barking and whining in the distance. I put my hands on my own head trying to understand what was going on all around me.

I find myself screaming at the top of my voice whilst the ground is moving beneath me, someone else is screaming and the voice is so familiar was it me? Once more I fall jarring myself badly as I hit the floor, but I just lay there in the street as all seem to pass me by. I get up and wander around aimlessly looking for a place that I recognise a doorway back to reality where I could leave this place and return home. It all seems so real or is it’s a dream that I just can’t wake from? I shake my head whilst firmly slapping at my face willing myself out of this nightmare but to no avail. I wander around but nothing seems real, somewhat like a fun house everywhere is just so colourfully and I am drawn to it’s magnitude. People are laughing clearly in the throes of great fun as I walk among them and I find myself trying to fit in. But I am lost to them as I walk along like the pied piper as the various sizes of Sparkle run along side of me. Suddenly it occurs to me that I must be dead is this what the hereafter looks like? If that were so then I had to accept my end, but why I was being excluded from the fun going on around me? Why was I being shut into a place of complete silence? I sit down on the ground going into complete shutdown no longer caring anymore where I was or where I was going.

A ride arrives in front of me like an explosion how it arrived I have no clue? Someone is holding the door of the roller-coaster open for me beckoning me towards it. I don’t want to get up because I know with certainty, that even if I tried they would not let me board. I look away in the other direction somehow accepting my fate. As my eye line changes so would the entrance of the roller-coaster, jumping as if by magic each time I turned to look in another direction. Shouted at them I say that I would no longer play their game whilst refusing to move now at all. People are offering me food and drink but when I try to take it they move it further away from me. I reach down to touch my toes and they are like ice in my hand, the kind that your skin sticks to in the deepest depths of winter. Once more when I try to stand I fall it’s as if I were an entity not able to touch anything around me without passing through it. I hurt all over my body and I am now shaking uncontrollability. So did I just sit there accepting that there was no way home? Then suddenly someone or something told me that I had to try just that once more. I stood up and walked towards the door being held open for me and stepped up, something was different they were allowing me to get on was this some kind of trick? I was waiting for the axe to fall with bated breath.

The ride started to move and I sat down on the floor looking around me for something to wrap myself in to try to keep warm. I then saw a blanket but when I tried to pick it up my hand just went straight through it. Someone opposite holds out a coat for me and I reach towards it only for it to disappear. I sit down again and hug my knees against me in complete abandonment- I just did not care anymore. As we arrive at the different stops people board and un-board until I was alone. There I sat going around and around on this ride taking in all the dips and dives, by then totally uncaring if we will ever stop. Memories of the life I had lived came flooding into my mind as I recalled all the things that I had done with my life. But far more vivid were the things that were done to me, hell what did any of it matter now anyway? Suddenly the ride was slowing and I had a feeling of recognition creeping into my mind something was familiar. Trying to explain this feeling if I were reach out for the right words, maybe it was somewhat like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. Everything around me was happening in slow motion.

Slowly I opened my eyes like I was emerging from a deep sleep to find myself sitting in the middle of my bath tub. As I look around the room the bathroom door was closed which is something I never do, and the bathroom was a wreck. The towel holder had been pulled off the wall and the towels strewn in all directions. All the bottles of bathroom sets that had been out on display had been thrown in every direction. The toilet roll had been completely unrolled across the floor, the bathroom cabinets were open their contents all around the room. I try to stand up but the pain in my back brought me back down again hard into the tub. My lip was hurting and as I reach to touch it my finger I find a large swelling with blood still wet around it. It’s at that point my attention is taken to the pain in my legs where I could visibly see the swelling and brushing. I felt as if I were sitting in an ice box unable to make it to my feet to get out of the tub. I crawl on to my knees and reach towards the side pulling myself up in to a kneeling position. Slowly I manage to climb over the edge of the tub and on to the floor. I was then aware that it was light and that I had gone to bed at about 10.30pm the night before. The strangest thing of all is that this was the first night that I had attempted to go to my bed in over a year, because of the pain I live with daily on movement. Along with a few demons and nightmares that still frequent my dreams, which are out of my control or so it seems-so why that night? Getting to my feet I open the door to find Sparkle curled up against it and she is so clearly glad to see me. I sit on the top of the stairs trying to make some sense of the journey that I had just made but to no avail. Where had I been and why did I go there? I only know that during that time I had seen the night pass me by and the day arrive within that space of time.

Wow at this point in time I find myself questioning my own sanity? Or am I just not aware of the significance of this profound event?

I am struggling a little here as to how I am able to end this piece because it was a real experience for me, with all the terrors and unexplained happenings throughout. But oddly somewhere deep inside of me, I know that it was a journey that I was destined to make. That in time there is real learning to be found here for me. The whys and where for’s right now I am still trying to unravel in all honesty. But it is what it is and that’s what I have to contend with until that slither of light comes shinning through.

That said it’s not a journey that I ever hope to make again……………………..

Letting Go

Letting goLetting go should be oh so easy- why would we hold on to all those painful negative memoires that were not of our own making? But nevertheless they constantly sit within us somehow it’s our legacy which we seem unable to let go of. We came into this world with a path we were to follow, a blueprint that was created as surely as any of the structures we see all around us. As we all know a blueprint has to be followed to the letter or the structure becomes unstable. As surely as the creation of the bricks and mortar that we see around us rising up towards the heavens. The Foundations were being put in place within us as we continued to grow-but are they? I guess the answer to that question has to be a yes. But the footings were never so shaky. We had no other choice than to place our complete trust within the hands of others to insure its safety. Clearly for me and others like me that trust was misplaced, we had no choice other than to continue to grow with no solid foundation whatsoever.

We struggle daily with frustration anger and trust issues. Expecting that cliff edge to be out in front of us because let’s face it ground hog day can’t be changed right? At which time life once more continues on without us. This outcome leaves us once more desperately searching for a reasoning which makes sense of our lives. We continue to chase our tails for acceptance which eludes us at every turn. Once more we feel abandoned by life as we continue on blindly trying without success to make any Forward movement. Tomorrow will be just another day with no real thought of our present day. We just can’t find it within us to let go. We reflect back on all those times we feel that we had tried to let go but hadn’t made even the slightest difference? We continue to converse with that voice within which is always reminding us, no matter what we do we will never arrive at a place that would enable us any forward movement.

We hang on to abandonment like a shield warding off anything that invades our understanding of our present lives. Abandonment is always the place that we arrive at so why fight it? We firmly believe that honesty is a luxury, and that we must never trust anyone because there is always a hidden agenda. Our self-worth that’s an emotion sitting up there in front of us like a neon sign, we are always struggling to except that we have any at all. The conclusion is reached that forward movement is not attainable to us, and it goes without saying that no one else can tell us differently. We can’t change that person looking back at us each day in the mirror right? If you are anything like me at that time you don’t even want to look. If I ever took even the slightest glance the image was but a stranger to me.

By constantly looking for the bad it inevitably happens time after time but that’s no big surprise to us. Each day we seem to be that building which is empty derelict and falling down, no matter how we try we just can’t make the necessary repairs. We know with complete certainty that starting refurbishment is not an option that’s open to us. Quite simply at that moment and time it’s a firm statement of our truth. It’s as clear cut as black and white; so we may as well forget it right? There is no eraser in the world that can wipe away whom we consider ourselves to be. For such a long time it would be true to say that I wouldn’t have even used that eraser if it were available to me. I firmly believed that my emotions and the pain that they created couldn’t be altered; I guess that I was afraid to try because in complete honestly falling seemed such a long way down. I guess for me during those years if I didn’t try I couldn’t fail, maybe at that time I even believed that there was safety within the negativity-but that was never the truth.

So why do we hold on to a roller-coaster of emotions that clearly brings us such pain, it seems to be such a stupid thing to do within a sane mind. By implication I include myself within that statement, purely because I myself once sat firmly within a place where I did not feel of sane mind whatsoever. Whilst struggling with my own set of self judgment. If I were to colour in the picture of my own journey of letting go, finally arriving at a point where I found the strength to try everything became so obvious. I’m sure my journey wouldn’t look in the least like your own, but that’s really how it’s supposed to be. Our journeys will always differ because we are two very separate people, but the very nature of the journey we each need to make is the same

No matter which emotion we are striving to deal with when given time it is possible to turn it on its head. But there is a truth here in which we all need to accept; that no matter how long I sit here conversing with you I can’t make those changes in your life. Ok, so why I am here? Quite simply to assert that it’s you alone that are able to one put your foot firmly on the starting block; it cannot be any other way if the construction of our thought process is ever to be altered. It was not so long ago that I myself sat in front of a computer screen with the same look of dread on my face, whilst reading though the journeys others had already taken.

Letting go means that for a short time we completely lose our sense of security, it is without doubt one of the most uncomfortable times of our lives. But it’s only by doing so that we are then able to dig in deep enough to look at the root cause squarely in the face. We then find ourselves sitting in the middle of a demolition site whilst trying desperately to out run the plastic explosive. But my advice to you would be to just sit there because at that precise time and moment you will learn to own yourself. When we look at abandonment we tend to look away from ourselves clearly because abandonment by others is so very painful. But are we not abandoning ourselves if we continue on within this enforced way of thinking? When all we really need is a completely new blueprint where we become the architect.

Within us all without exception sits that scared abandoned child and sadly that’s how they will stay without movement from us. But we need to see that in essence our abandoned child should be our first consideration. Abuse eats us up like dry rot without any hope of receiving a certificate of safety until we go inside and start to rebuild.

Our way of thinking even our very way of being was indoctrinated upon us as children. But make no mistake it was never for us. We need to recognise this by channelling our energies away from the house that Jack built- if you pardon the pun, believe that even if we find ourselves sitting amongst a pile of rubble-not letting go is no longer an option. For myself I visualised a deep skip within me where I unceremonious dumped my past, but that’s of no matter because you will find your own way. Don’t set yourself any expectations because in doing so it almost seems to be fated by default. Give yourself the permission to be that snail; I’m sure we all know that story well.

There will be times where you feel the need to let go of the anger within-so just do so. Go find a big open space where you can rant at the world, it kind of feels good if I’m talking from experience. Metaphorically just let go of the past and throw it away you really don’t need to hold on to it a moment longer. Cast away that derelict building whose walls will never face south enabling it to see the sun light. It’s time for you to continue walking towards to the right side of the building. Let the walls fall down all around you that foundation was never meant to hold fast, whilst trusting that in time another will be built to take its place-because believe me it always does.

Letting go will never be easy because we feel as naked as a new born baby-but that’s not such a bad place to start……


growthWhen we think of growth, we automaticity bring to mind life’s cycle and the path set out before us. Our birth is the start of that journey – as we arrive bursting out into the world a new soul. Unaware of the arduous journey that may be put before us, as time passes we will ultimately arrive at the end of this journey. At this time we have so many memories that we look back on fondly, some captured by the many photographs depicting the life path that we have travelled. Photographs we flick through with our fingers, watching the transformation throughout the years as we seem to sprout up in front of our very eyes. For some we can almost touch our growth by the notches our parents may have carved against that old door frame. They serve as a comparison against our siblings, a reminder that without any input from ourselves we achieved that growth yearly. We started out as a seedling reaching out to the branches of life which would serve us with the foliage we needed to bloom. It’s the stuff of life that without it we would just not become whom or what we are. We are only one of the very long lists of species to complete this circle, as we sit alongside watching the magical transformation which occurs. Everything which starts life on this planet has growth; also I guess that it would be quite self-absorbed to think that we are only life within this universe.

Here today I am not going to talk to you about the progression of the above journey; I’m guessing that there is no need to think about that type of growth in too much detail. We simple achieve it without too much input as the years pass us by. I’m here to talk about the growth that we can and need to achieve as abused children in adulthood and the growth that so many fail to make. There are many reasons why this does not happen, and why we don’t make the strides in life that we are capable of including academically. As we look around us some have a great thirst for knowledge becoming somewhat of a sponge where there never seems to be enough knowledge to absorb. There are those that sadly don’t have the ability to achieve that which they so clearly wish to acquire. If we were to think about our schooling some apply themselves while others choose to go through life only learning enough for them to get by. This can be one of the surest signs to ever be put out in front of us by abuse (of course not in every instance) For me I just didn’t believe in myself as a child there were just so many unanswered questions.

When we think about growth, there are so many connotations available to us. Pointing out the fact that we grow in stature as time passes us by, along the fact that a good academic start makes all the difference to our lives are only two. But the reason for my being here today is to talk about the growth that is so often missed or simply not understood. It’s a growth of our choosing which is with us for a life time. This growth is the most important growth we will ever have in our artillery; it’s a growth that is so easily over looked. The one thing we all have within that no one can take from us or do for us, that growth is the one that connects to our very soul. This growth no matter how hard the journey we have to make alone. Life’s lessons can only be achieved by our own input along with the ability to recognise when work needs to be done within.

Well – it took us a while to get here with me maybe pointing out the obvious, but for those that have been abused the above statement is so very difficult to achieve.

When you have been abused looking inside can be a daunting thought but it’s the only place where any movement can be made. If we think about life’s progression as building blocks that are stacking up in front of us as we progress along life’s journey, this is where for the abused we encounter our first problem. Simply put so many of those blocks are missing, and I don’t need to say that missing blocks make for an unstable wall. Inside is where we find a place of great pain; we feel that movement is never going to be achievable. But bizarrely to even think of looking within we have already travelled a great distance. We tell ourselves not to accept that as a statement of truth but at that point in time we are not the best person to judge. When making this journey there is so much debris in front of us and the wall is somewhat shaky. On the first encounter we feel we will never find the tools we need to embrace our past, or take heart at arriving at the point where you are now clearly ready to learn. These lessons will always be there until we are ready to embark. Each encounter can always be a separate lesson; we don’t need to feel the full force or impact all at once. You can be sure that the others will still be there awaiting your arrival. So why are they important? Wow we could now be here a while…….

Ok, these lessons leant or unlearnt are the makeup of who we are they are our outlook on the world, and they are our very way of being within our core. They are whom we seem to be outwardly, they are the way that we look at the world around us. They are who we project at times during transition or progression, maybe at times we force our understanding of these lessons upon others, believing that our way is the only way of doing; although this is done without malice it can’t help but happen. Learning these lessons in time allows us to understand that our souls are the ones that need our attention, no matter now we try others have to be the keeper of own

I’m hearing a little bird out there saying so why do we need to learn them at all? Well I guess you don’t!! But to feel complete you have to embrace all that you are. A free soul is one that has had these lessons instilled from birth as they have grown, but for us as we recover from the damage of abuse we have to retract on life and start again.

So what are those lessons in life that we failed to complete? The biggest one of all is that those that aren’t the easiest to love are the ones that need it most – why? Because the truth is it starts with us. For me a big one to learn was that was life too short to waste it on hating anyone. Another that for me was so hard to complete was forgiveness, I’m guessing that this is one of the hardest lesson for all to learn that have been abused. But the fact is that it can’t be ignored it’s something that we have to achieve; we need to remind ourselves that forgiveness is not forgetting. It’s an action we take for ourselves alone. If we try to move forward with this emotion we are never going to find any peace within. Another one that used to jump out at me was that you didn’t have to win ever argument you could agree to disagree. Moving on its clear that we must try to make peace with our past, this action may then have the knock on effect of not screwing up our present. We could continue on here because there are many more, but we would be here until Christmas. I have now learnt to embrace the knowledge that no one is in charge of my happiness but me. I have also learnt and accepted that time heals almost everything given time.

Someone once told me to believe in miracles – maybe not the ones that transform your life or can turn water into wine – but in a small way. I now believe they are happening all around us daily. Today I can make that statement in all truthfulness instead of trying to make myself believe it. I am still learning after many years of progression why? This is a list that can be endless. From person to person it’s a very personal goal because quite rightly we are individuals. When you arrive at a point of looking inside the things I have written here may not apply, but right there in the there and then you will know the ones that are particular to you.

I sometimes debate, albeit with me, about the paths we have been asked to walk on within this lifetime; I try to get a greater understanding of the path that I have walked for many years and continue to do so. Depending on your beliefs with regard to life itself we tend to colour in the world around us so that it fits. Some believe that this life is the only one we have to walk among men; others firmly believe that we return many times.

Believes are your own there is no right or wrong, but either way you will still find yourself walking the path you are now on. So I will leave you with this one thought – I still firmly believe that life is still a gift even if it isn’t boxed and tied up with a pretty ribbon . . .

Our Core Element

core elementThe core element that resides within every one of us is the place where we decide the direction we wish to move in. It’s the place in which we interrupt the many things that are put up in front of us every day. It’s the place in which we sit when we need to determine both our negative and positive outcomes. This procedure in turn can manifest the complete way in which we look or relate to life. Our core element holds us where we are within the structure that keeps us upright and moving forward. We could even liken it to a seed from which we grow because every tree was once an acorn. It’s the stuffing that’s within us just like the trunk of that tree which supplies the roots of life. It’s from there our branches reach out not unlike that tree grasping at life and how we see it set out before us. Ever time this happens we see a glimpse of light which in turn will have a profound effect on our outlook of life itself. This is inevitable as we forage within that forest making room for growth; our branches always searching to find the light because put quite simply without light nothing grows.

Ok let’s just pause for a moment here – what if by some odd freak of nature we never even turned our heads towards the light, believing that our branches would only ever find their foliage within the darkness – that sounds pretty messed up: am I right? If we were to think about our lives and our role within it this falls into place often. Just by the way that we envisage and remember all that had gone on around us in order to form this state of mind. Abuse is the most destructive element ever to walk among us.

So where do I start? I guess a good place would be to recognise that every day we decide to be positive or negative within the choices that we make. Furthermore our reaction to every scenario we are faced with. Being positive or negative dictates the frame of mind that we are in. When we are feeling positive we deal with the situation calmly, thinking about our reaction before we blow the situation out of all proportion. When we are feeling negative the powder keg seems to alight itself, as we watch the line of powder creeping ever closer along the ground before us towards ignition.

We have all heard such things as the glass is half-full and not half-empty- that we should look on the bright side of life. It seems that positive people live longer. We are told that positive people make better decisions and that we should be thankful for ever day. I can agree that the above would be a great way to live your life, if only those negatives had not been instilled into your mind so completely. If only you had seen a snippet of the above whist you were that small acorn knowing which way to direct your growth. So here we are sitting within the life that was imposed upon us, overly more feeling that there is really nothing to be positive about. Wow that was one hell of a negative thought; I felt it even by the action of just placing my fingers on the keyboard. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you have nothing to feel negative about; hell: you are carrying the weight of your past abuse upon your shoulders reaffirming your right to feel this way. In truth you have a get out of jail card which you can produce on demand I know this to be a fact because I used mine often.

So where do we go? We have to start to perceive things differently.

Some of the things that come to my mind easily used to send me on a road of complete negativity. A return call that was promised but not received. Did I think that person does not care enough to return that call as promised? Or do I think that person must be having a really busy day? An evening out has been arranged and extra transport is needed with the outcome that I end up in a taxi alone; do I think that’s just the way it is there was not enough room? Or do I think that I was singled out to travel alone? We could continue here but I’m sure I have put my point across.

Living through the terror of abuse can often make you feel complete negativity with regards to everything surrounding your life but it does have to stay that way? Can we not rearrange our thoughts to reflect the real meaning of all that goes on around us? Right here and now I can tell you that it is possible, but you are the only one that can make that change. You have to see beyond that something that for so long may have been stunting your growth. Believe that if we look beyond that point towards the light the above positives fit into our lives quite nicely. We can retrace our lives in order to start to repair the damage done during our years within abuse; there is always a back door you just need to locate it. Learn to trust that you have it within your power to alter everything from here on in. That a positive thought is something that you are allowed to have in the right here and now taking each day as it arrives. From today you could start to build a new life one that doesn’t feel the rain even before its starts raining. Sadly however much I would like to accompany you on this journey, it’s a journey we must travel alone. But I will leave you with this one positive – it’s the one journey in which you already have the ticket in your hand all you have to do is use it…….


soulEmotions – Wow! They are difficult, simply because they are so far-ranging. But the undeniable fact is that they are all coming from the same place of origin – deep-seated within the very core of our being. We have it within us to feel such a range of emotions, over which at times we have no control, no matter how we try. They seem to take on a life of their own – at times dragging us along behind, even whilst we are kicking and screaming. To try and contain all of the emotions we feel within this piece would be no more than a fool’s errand; quite simply – I would be here well into the night, and you would have fallen asleep, bored by the long-drawn-out process.

For everyone there are some emotions that are far more extensively used than others: love, hate, fear, sadness, are the four that come to my mind most readily. These are the emotions that enter our lives often, sometimes on a daily basis; they are the core elements, from which every other emotion finds itself standing at the starting block. Once these feelings are evoked within us, we find that we are unable to exclude the others; they are unable to wait their turn, all so eager to add their input. Emotions never arrive purely alone, there is an ever-ready queue standing right behind ready to jump abroad – sure that without their say we will never reach a conclusion. Purely for this reason at times it seems that we are forever chasing our tail. Inviting in or rejecting each emotion, as we try to find a way out of either the pain we feel that we can’t endure, or the love that seems to invade our every waking hour. At these times we are trying so hard not to allow another thought to enter our mind. But the truth of the matter is that the only choice you have is no choice. Granted they are doing so solely by means of trespass, but the Park Warden is nowhere to be seen. Emotions can take us along on a roller coaster ride through heaven or hell, which can fill us either with complete elation or the deepest despair. I guess we should never be so blind to think that we can survive purely by feeding on nourishment alone; without the other side of the coin, there would never be balance.

Our brain is very much akin to a computer: this is where we store all our thoughts; this is where we go to make our decisions. Our minds control everything that we do; we go there to retreat, to reflect, to work on the emotions within us which need attention to complete the development of our very being. But unlike the computer, we don’t have any access to a quick fix. It would be oh! So easy if – just like that computer – the technology was available to fix the parts within ourselves that is broken. We can’t rely on an easy downloadable program to fix our bugs within, to remove a virus, or even a super-smart defrag program to clear out our complete system, rearranging all the files within so that we have a speedier access point from which to start.

Let’s take a look at how we ourselves deal with our emotions within abuse. If it were within the realms of possibility for me to create a tick box list advising you which emotion to deal with first, that’s just what I would be doing. We could then together work through each and every one. From there we could easily remove them with a click of a mouse to our dealt-with or saved files. If only we were as analogical as the equipment in front of me here and now. But we have to live in the real world, knowing our place within it; there will never be a more complex force than the emotions that reside inside of each and every one of us. We all need to feel these emotions even with the highs and lows they create and inflict upon us, because without them each one of us really would become just another machine.

So now let’s think about the emotions that surround abuse. As children we learn that emotions are something that we have to learn to control, we can’t just hit out because a sibling makes us angry. We can’t always have our own way within the home environment compromise has to exist. We need to learn the art of sharing, waiting our turn, behaving in a manner that keeps a harmonious balance. All these lessons are of course life’s demands on the way in which we are expected to behave; if we all follow these rules then peace settles around us. Why rock the boat when you’re not even in the water? Ok! here ends today’s lesson of a life of a child without the terror of abuse.

You have to remember that even as children living with the effects of abuse, those same lessons were always being put up in front of us. Turning our world on its head, our emotions upside down, whilst we struggle to find as to how we can achieve any of the above. We have been singled-out for special treatment; we are so very lucky to have all this attention lavished purely upon us. All this adoration should make us feel that we are the favourite, the one that does not need to live within those rules why should we? How do the rules above apply to us anyway: surely by definition we are different? Maybe we act out a little just to push the boundaries that one step beyond. The emotions and conflicting signals all around us have us almost feeling that we are just a little bit spoilt. That last statement left a very unpalatable taste in my mouth. Confused? How can any child make any sense of the situation surrounding them within that world of complete madness?

So we learn those lessons but in a completely different way than a child not suffering the intolerable pain of abuse. We learn that, love, hate, fear and sadness exist – but in a completely different manner. We learn to hide our emotions; almost as if we are not allowed to feel them at all, we grow up to interpret the world in a manner which only an abused child would understand. We learn that nothing is only ever black and white there are so many other colours that blend in, so that where we want to be. If we could only just blend in we could go unnoticed. Our emotions will never have to be out there on show; maybe we can’t even feel any emotion in its purest form.

Speaking for myself I still struggle even today with being able to trust my emotions, or to trust anyone that ventures in to take a peek. I’ve learnt that emotions were to be held within – that a show of emotion leaves you in a situation you can’t control. I have spent so many years trying to undo the imprint of my childhood; yes: I’ve made progress but this is the one obstacle that for me is the hardest to climb over. Having dealt with my abuse you would think that it would have been a natural progression. But even the word emotion is hard to explain or relate to, whilst trying to find the words that seem unable to leave your mouth. Learning to live with these emotions unpicking all that has for so long been bonded together is not an easy task. Is it possible? I would like to think so. It’s a journey we can take together when we realise that we are not alone. The camaraderie found within us all can be felt even if no other person is present. There is another list of emotions that become new life lessons which once achieved will bring us closer together, enabling us to feel at one with our emotions within – honesty, loyalty, togetherness, affiliation and trust. But the hardest one of all that we need to embrace is self-love.

I guess today is a good day to redress my own list that is not yet completed; all you have to do is join me . . .


memoryMemories – We all have them: good or bad, they are here to stay. Our minds are akin to a sponge absorbing all that goes on around us. It’s ever ready to acquire knowledge; the on switch is never off. It stands at the ready for the onset of knowledge that we will need to process during our wakening hours. Our memory is how we acquire the knowledge which will be needed to take us through life. We attend school daily hoping that in time we will understand the facts, figures and languages which at first seem to be so alien. It’s how we recall what has passed; it’s our recollection of what has previously occurred. It’s the place where we sum it all up with our mental faculty for retaining a good or a bad past experience. It’s where we find our remembrance of those that are no longer with us. Our memories are pretty powerful because in all truth they do far more than I have mentioned above. There seems to be no way of stopping its unquenchable thirst. For some this is an easy task: they find that their memory is in an A1 condition. For others, the task of retaining the knowledge they require is far more difficult. Our memories can bring us pain, happiness or distraction – just by the mere fact that at times we take them out to replay a particular episode.

But there is a huge difference for a child that has been abused. The memory of our abuse is ever present within the forefront of our minds. This memory, or so it seems, has not perfected the art of queuing. Pushing its way past any memorable experience that it deems is not necessary. No matter how hard we try we are just not equipped with the tools required. There is just no room for a happy memory to exist; we find only a void of epic expanse. Dragging us down with a force unparalleled to anything we have ever experienced. With us clinging to the walls with all our might – but still we fall. Knowing all too well that with each inch of ground lost, we will be forced to relive every horrific episode we encounter. The trauma is so very deep-seated it becomes a mushroom cloud blocking out the light, hanging over us with its intent of preventing the intuition of anything remotely like a diversion from its intention, which could even come close to making us smile. There seems to be no safe place to gather up and protect those memories that are important to us. It’s a dance with the devil where we have to keep ducking and diving, bobbing our heads up and down like ducks at a shoot-out: the memory of our abuse is an excellent shot – the only one holding the gun – equipped with a seemingly endless supply of bullets.

I would like to share with you a time and place where my memory seemed to be so very hollow. When I look back on that time in my life, whilst I was still only a child, I had no recollection of my abuse. I had filled that place with the happiest upbringing a child could have ever hoped for. I had created a very false place but at that time it was all so real for me; it’s a place that so many abused children run towards simply because they had to escape the horrors within their lives. Let’s think about small children who are being abused – not really able to understand what was happening to them, so confused as to the nature of this touching. For some that memory is also a place of physical pain because their bodies have not even had time to mature. In turn this would mean that they would suffer acutely after each and every episode. If we think about it logically why would anyone want to stay within that place? What can a child do when their understanding of life is still so very stunted at that time? They feel that they have no choice but to run. It’s a race that is only ever taking place within their mind, but it seems to be the only race in which they have a cat in hell’s chance of winning. So they run: with each inch of distance covered and achieved they start to bury their present day. It makes sense when we reflect back that it had been a conscious choice at that time, but in truth, for me, I can’t even make that statement with full clarity. How does a child make sense of anything at that point in time? How in god’s name can a choice be made when it’s the only option that we can follow? We never had the luxury of any choice, but without doubt one was being forced upon us. This is something that can really screw with your mind when we reach a place of healing. We play ping pong ball for hours on end with the ball just bouncing from side to side never able to make that killer power shot.

Our story may differ slightly – which only means we were within our own set of circumstances. What doesn’t alter is that we just can’t cope with the reality that is our lives at that time. I’ve often tried to pedal backwards within time hoping to remember something – anything which would shine a light towards at what age I made that decision to run. What singular act forced me to seek a place within my mind, to push back everything that as that small child I was not able to deal with? It could have been a very traumatic ordeal; equally it could just as well have been that one step too far. I’ve tried to put all the pieces in order mapping out just where and when I removed myself from life.

I was to reach the age of 35 to remember anything, which would reveal the reason that for so many years I felt so out of place. I had repressed all and every memory or thought that linked me to that atrocity. In truth I may never have remembered if this pattern had not returned to my life in a different form many years later. I say ‘a different form’, but that may be a false statement. My abuser was the same person; I was now an adult – which should have made a difference. I still struggle to understand as to why this person could make me feel as if I were once more only 7 years of age. I had to go through 4 years of complete madness to arrive at a point where I could see it all so clearly. My revelation was to come in the form of a phrase repeated over and over many times on a page in front of me. Until the day arrived where everything I had shut out came crashing into my head, with such force that I was physically sick. I guess the name given to this analogy is a suppressed memory, but that day in the ‘there and then’, it was as if someone had taken my life and blown it into oblivion. I just did not want to own any of these memories; I tried to close my mind to all that was surfacing but the hatchet job that was in force at that time just continued on. I remember crying for many hours – I tried to drink away every memory that I was so sure were not my own – If I did not accept them they weren’t real – whilst hiding my head in a bottle. Completely sure that if I did not pay them notice they would have no other choice but to return from whence they came. To be totally honest, that was my answer to resolving the pain, anger and sense of complete worthlessness I felt for many years.

The strangest recurring thought of all is if what was happening to me as an adult had never occurred would I have ever remembered? I know that this phenomenon is in no way singular to me through those people I have had the honour to come in to contact with. Today I have around 95 percent recollection, which may be all that I will ever retrieve. But the difference today is that I now accept these memories are my own, which once accepted it took me half way towards my recovery. We will only ever be able to make those strides when we accept what was – Our past. There are so many reasons that acceptance is lost to us sometimes for many years, but the one that stands out in the crowd for all of us is quite simply the guilt we feel that is our own. But if you take nothing else from this piece, please understand – that statement is so very far removed from the truth. Any guilt felt should be so very far away from you that it’s impossible to quantify.

When we face these memories down, acknowledge that just by their very existence they are holding us back from the road to our recovery; our world is turned upside down by the realisation that we were not to blame in any way shape or form. We may even feel that up until that point in time that we had already been taking steps, which were moving us in the right direction one step at a time. But what’s needed is for us to stop in our tracks and become an unmoveable force. We then understand with complete clarity that we had only ever been marking time. We can’t move forward without embracing those memoires within our hearts, and accepting that they are part of us whilst taking them to a place of healing. You can be sure that the words above resonate in the thoughts of many throughout the world, affecting so many lives.

All I have done here is to say the words out loud . . .