Self Help

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……

Growth

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 . . .

Emotions

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 . . .

Memories

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 . . .

Tolerance

ToleranceLet us first look at the word tolerance which wears many hats – There is an outdoor sculpture in Israel near the Goldman Promenade – The Tolerance Monument. It forms a visual broken column which stands divided but still very much linked – So are they tolerating each other? It can be the study of accumulated and variation within mechanical parts and assemblies. There is the tolerance of drugs or alcohol, simply because the more we use or drink the more our bodies deal with the substances we consume or afflict. Pain tolerance is also very much up there, oddly it seems that the longer we live the pain our tolerance increases. Before I rattle on here in danger of sounding very much like a dictionary, let’s move on to something that we neither would nor could think would sit right within the middle or that word – Abuse tolerance.

So how do we make this distinction? I have mixed it up – Turned it over – Beaten with a stick – Along with juggling all of the parts within this puzzle. But still I am not wholly aware of why we would do so? So I am going to stick my neck out here, and make a guess to the best of my knowledge and past experiences. If we were to crawl around amongst every word sitting here right above us at this time, then maybe we could find the answer to my ever burning question. Why would anyone much like me tolerate abuse? The entire variables above stand fast in our every growing effort to make our lives have meaning.

Let’s first look at the Monument – Over many years it has stood there trying it would seem to break away from the base that holds it together. Each part seems to want to leave the other behind, but unable to make the final splintering at the base to make that possible. Are we not splintered that way whilst we still hold on to our abuse? No matter how far the pillars move away from each other they are still only bending not breaking.

Mechanical – If we were to think about the working parts of our bodies are we not in essence a machine? All parts needs to hold fast working within our tolerance. We do this every day with our abuse. The problem is that no matter how hard we try these parts will always fail never tolerating this intrusion into our bodies and minds. Until we take over the maintenance because we are the only ones holding on to the tools to alter that part of us.

Pain – Pain tolerance is something I can vouch for. After having an accident in 1998 in which I injured my back it’s been a challenge. As time passed I became drug/pain killers tolerant – Result I had to increase the dosage. On reaching the ceiling of that pain killer I could no longer increase the dose safely – where was I to go? In truth it has almost become a part of me.

Drugs or Alcohol – This comparison is very different because we already have the key in hand to stop the continued use. Please don’t think that I am saying – It’s your fault – You are doing this to yourself – Why can’t you just stop. In all honesty I could never say those words to you because I used one of those props for so very long. I never went down the road of drugs, but alcohol was very much where I went to hide from the world. If I am being even more honest it was also where I went to find myself. Yes we may be able to see the drink in our hand or the particular choice of drug sitting in front of us, but that only means that these props are visible. The other three comparisons I have used are just as accessible to us when we learn to look within. Within our minds eye we can repair break away and alter every part of our being, it doesn’t need to be seen with the naked eye.

So why am I here today? It’s to share with you the oddest thing that I may ever encounter within my life – Although it’s taking me a while to get to the point – Sorry.

There is knowledge deep inside of me, which recognises that for so many years I was totally tolerant of my abuse along with its memories. I guess that everyone needs an anchor of sorts somewhere; to feel a connection to this world. It pains me to say that for so many years my anchor was my abuse. It was all I remembered as being the largest portion of my life. As sure as hell it was not the anchor that I would have hoped for it was the one I was stuck with. I was in a position of needed an anchor in life to feel that I was on solid ground, whilst trying with all my might to leave behind the abuse that I had suffered. I tried many times before I succeeded, but the point to make here is that in time I did – You will also.

So there was I – a plan in hand, intent on moving forward; but time after time I was left holding a spanner in hand ready to throw it into the works. Once thrown each time it caused my best thought out plans to crash and burn. The mental effort I had thought through so carefully giving it my up-most consideration. I was left with the remains of a car crash with myself being the only mechanic in town. The truth was that I was the one applying this outcome each and every time it happened. Why? It was natural for me to hold on to an anchor for stability, but I was burning my hands with every touch. I needed an anchor in my life, but the one I had was only destroying me.

An anchor is something solid it gives us the strength when necessary to hold on. Without it we would find ourselves flailing around unable to make a connection to anyone or anything. The end result deep down inside finds us thrashing around vigorously, aimlessly crashing around like a puppet with broken strings in an endeavour to find solid ground. Everyone needs to feel a connection to the world and our place within it. The one thing that dominates our lives is a structure implanted as we have grown. Something put in place that had or has an overbearing affect; if you like we can even call it our shadow. It’s always there but unless we are standing in a certain light it’s just not visible to us. Given a situation where we are standing where our shadow should be visible and it’s missing, it’s a very unnerving situation as we really cannot fathom its departure. Never in a million years should we tolerate our abuse. But we are so very unsure of our place within the world without it. Quite simply it’s all we know. It has been our anchor which sounds so completely off the wall and it’s been a heavy weight to carry.

Just like the picture depicts at the top of this piece we are somehow shacked to its longevity. So I should not need to tell you that for those of us that have or are still suffering abuse it’s by far one of the hardest things to overcome. We are left with nothing more than cause and effect. We need solid ground – The only solid ground seemingly available to us is our abuse. I know all this astounds but that’s where we will stay until we realise that there is another way. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just obliterate our past – Remove it completely leaving no trace – Wipe it out – Destroy every memory? I admit it sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But choosing that path is never a sure bet there could come a time where it will be back with you biting at your ankles. Suddenly tolerance seems the only action that can be taken.

But there is another action that will bear far more fruit; we should never feel that all we ever had through life was our abuse. It took me many years to be able to pull back the curtains just to take a little peek beyond my abuse; that’s where I found to my delight that there were good memories to be found they were simply lost within the circus. From that day forward I began looking for solid ground that I could build on. It’s a little scary out there because for a moment within that time, you find yourself without the anchor that everyone needs to feel safe. The reality check is that you were never safe because the ground beneath you has always been rocky; it seems at times we feel that what we know is safer than the unknown, no matter how fearful the right there and then may seem.

There is a metaphor that comes to mind here quite readily – Keep both feet on the ground – Have they ever tried that when the ground beneath you is so unstably…………

Speak The Truth

Speak the truthTruth – it’s a word we hear spoken often; it’s a word that gives weight to the facts being relayed to us. It’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We frequently hear these words spoken – sometimes within the program right there in front of us on the television. I swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth – it’s a mantra recited dozens of times a week within TV shows or movies. These words are so familiar that their significance can be overlooked. Taking an oath in a courtroom makes everything said afterwards either the truth or perjury. The witness must vow to tell the truth to someone authorised to administer the oath – but do they always honour that vow? The truth is a fact or a reality that can’t be altered because of its very being. But it’s a sad fact that the real meaning of the word ‘truth’ is often lost; the world is bandied around without any relation to the above. Ask anyone today what the truth is and you are sure to start an interesting conversation. Your request may even be met by scorn or derision. Sadly, at times it seems that the concept of the word truth has fallen on hard times. The truth should be genuine actual or factual – but is it always? It should be indisputable and said with sincerity. At times it’s a matter of how we judge someone’s character when we think of them as being truthful – but are they always?

We could carry on here debating the truth and our understanding of its significance. But my aim and reason for being here with you now is to debate with you as to whether the words spoken are an untruth.

It’s at those times that sadness folds in around us like a cancer eating into our very being. When a falsehood or a lie is falling off the lips of our adversary, it takes us to a place where we feel we have lost our very being; the truth that should be there protecting us falls away, leaving nothing but emptiness. We then find ourselves being attacked by an untruth spoken so easily. This is happening in the here and now all over the world to so many people, who are unable to protect themselves because it’s just too difficult to do so. Why? Put simply – it’s because they have been completely sucked up into a place where the truth and the untruth seem to melt together. It’s a place where just getting through the day is a struggle. Thinking of tomorrow seems pointless because within their head space at that time; they just don’t care about tomorrow. We feel we have no hope in hell of the truth being anywhere near. The lines are blurred you question yourself daily, somehow being dragged into a precipice within our own heads where we even start debated with ourselves. You find yourself overhanging a cliff face with nothing below but a steep mass of rock just waiting for you to let go. Right there and then in that segment of time you even stop caring about the truth because quite frankly it doesn’t seem to matter.

You know from experience that you won’t be believed so why would you fight? The end result is that we flatly refuse to do so somehow some way that mind-set seems to be our only salvation. Giving in seems to be the only thing you are able to do whilst in that state of mind – resulting in a major fusion somewhere between our reality and the reality of life. We are lost so very deeply within those two little words – truth or untruth. We start to rely upon the drugs we are supplied: the more we take, the less it hurts; and the more we take, the more we need. We want to be in a place of existing where we are not living at all. I guess we are striving to become ghosts of sorts, so that we are never asked to defend what had happened to us. It is just so hard to make people believe. If we take people’s advice then it’s a run for justice that is so flawed it only seems to mirror our past. The upshot of this stance is – if your case should ever be heard in court, you would be grilled with regard to your honesty. We should expect an onset of aggressive questions from the Defence only doing the duty for which they are being paid. This is never a personal matter, but it’s the truth to say that those who have lived through the suffering of abuse will always feel it personally. Rightly or wrongly, we once more face the agonising torture of not being believed.

So how do we ever walk willingly into a place that only seems to offer us more pain then we have already lived through? It doesn’t sound good – right? If you ever find yourself in a place of strength where you are able to do so, then you can march into their courtroom with your head held high. Justice, we hope, will always find its way to the truth – but that’s not always the case in reality. I am sure that there are people walking freely out there who should never been allowed to do so. Equally there are some who find themselves incarcerated in a place that they were never meant to be. So do we rely on the truth floating to the top – like the oil emerging on the top of the water? That is something we can never predict; if only that were to be the case. So is the search for the truth a lottery? Nothing will ever be that cut and dried. Sometimes in the search for the truth there is just not enough evidence to be found, no matter how hard anyone looks. These are the times that we need to stand tall and except that we can be believed without that walk through the courtroom door. The strength you have already found to even embark on this journey in the first place is immeasurable. Convicted or not convicted you have shown your adversary that you have grown through the years, arriving at a place where even for a short time they were judged, no matter what the outcome was.

There will always be those that never reach the level of strength that’s needed to walk down this road. If that’s where you find yourself, then the words below are my sentiments to you. Because there is a way back within our own minds that does not need the involvement of others.

So where do we look?

A good place to start would be to really understand that there is only one truth. All the investigation and consultation in the world can never alter that. The ultimate realisation for which you must strive is to recognise that you are the only one that can set yourself free. If we regain our belief in ourselves then the only truth that matters is our own. We don’t need anyone to tell us the difference between the truth and a lie or to stand alongside of us when we reach that point in time. It’s pretty pointless unless you believe in yourself no longer needing to change the mind of others or sway any decision either way. When you take back your life knowing that your own understanding of the truth is all you need, the walls that crowd in around you will crumble. We can’t carry on through life trying to make others believe in what we know to be the truth. Abuse is a place that you have survived in so I am guessing that you already have everything you need to succeed. I myself stopped looking for that knight in shining armour a long time ago because we really don’t need him. I am sure that if we were to wait long enough he may appear riding into our lives upon his white steed. But sadly and much more likely the end result I’m sure would find us mucking out the stables……..

It’s Dark

dark roseIts dark – that’s an indisputable fact as we look around us. It’s the absence of light as we watch the day trickle away and leave us. As we all know the sun rises in the east and goes down in the west. To be accurate, the sun doesn’t really go anywhere – it pretty much stays where it is relative to the earth. But the earth rotates from West to East so the sun appears first in the East and last in the West…. OK: too much information but you get my meaning.

But that is not the only reference in which this statement can be interpreted. It can be that something is difficult to understand; it can be characterized by gloom about to descend on us. It’s a lack of enlightenment known to us as being in the dark about an act or a fact. This in turn can leave us in a state of ignorance or totally uninformed. It’s a shot in the dark at an attempt to guess at something of which you have no information or knowledge about. It can be secrecy concealment or even obscure. There is the occult where we find things mystical – dark practises or a phenomenon. I’m sure if we were to play around with this word we would find many more ways to interpret the word ‘dark’.

The dark is something that comes around full circle as each day passes returning to the light in the fullness of time – night and day being the only distinction.

But my aim here is to try and explain how the darkness feels to those that have been or are still being abused right now as I type. All of the above of course still holds true, but there is a darkness within us that never seems able to find the light – a darkness that is not so easy to explain or relate to as I have done above. For us the light never seems to touch us as we go through life with a veil covering our head. The dark is somewhere that we often choose to go, when a dark corner seems the only safe place to be. But there’s a conflict, because we are also acutely aware that the dark for us was or is a place of immense pain. The dark is where the monster lives raising his head like a viper from a pit when we were most vulnerable. So we make a choice within the jumble of mixed-up feelings and emotions. Not knowing if the dark is there for us to hide in, or a place that brings on the assault of abuse we have lived thorough or are still enduring. Your anguish can become so great that you even find yourself hiding from the truth within the dark just as we tried to hide from our abusers. Sadly as time passes we start to believe that the darkness is our place, where else can we hide from shame guilt or the embarrassment we feel if not in the dark? So is the dark our salvation? Or somewhere we have grown up knowing we have no escape from?

For us it’s never related to the time of day as we strive to find the light that always seems to evade us; we can be standing in a rainbow of colours whilst we feel the sun’s rays beating down on our bodies. The light we crave for cannot be found by the rotation of the earth; quite simply it’s only ever going to be found by the rotation of our mind set, as we struggle to come out of the shadow of abuse. That statement is so easily made, but where do we look to find the way out? You can’t just open a door and walk through; you can’t even find the door in order to do so. Often people around us open that door wide but it seems even with their help we can’t find the strength needed.

Our minds are very complicated; it seems sometimes demanding that we alone are the right persons for that particular job.

So let’s think a little about all the above – where do we start? We have believed for so long that we are swallowed up within that darkness. But the problem with that mind set is that we will always lose for as long as we keep telling ourselves we have lost. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that in time we will succeed and that the winning post is out there somewhere? If we can’t do this on our own then we need to reach out to those that may become our balance. Once we reach out with honesty within our minds, then we are at last standing at the starting post. With a renewed clarity that we are now ready to walk that road with a new determination.

We start by looking for the support that is offered by others as they are the template that allows growth; they serve as a starting point as we try to begin the arduous journey of reformatting our lives. That support allows us to remould or rearrange our thoughts in a manner that until now we have thought to be impossible. That support allows us to change the pattern of our behaviour, knowing that that template will hold fast below us if we slip. They are the light shining just beneath us, always bright as we move towards finding our own. Once we learn to trust that light we find the strength we need to make upward strides. Make no mistake: we are the only ones that can fully make the real difference on that journey. Whilst fighting for your right to stand in the sun, we will never forget that dark place how could we, but now we have the knowledge that it’s our finger that is now firmly placed on the switch.

There is another distinction between the light and the dark for us; this can’t be given to us even by the most accommodating of people. This gift is the one you give to yourself knowing that only you and you alone can achieve its turn around. Ultimately we are the only ones that can slam shut that door of abuse behind us completely; it’s the one thing that can’t be done for us on this we stand alone. For this we need to believe that we deserve to come out of the shade and face the sun. Even if done so gingerly at first by simply only peeking through the shutters. Strangely this can be conquered no matter the time of day.

It’s not the time of the day or night that we are scared of its feeling that we can stand alone long enough within it to make a difference. Whilst resisting the over whelming urge to run. The strangest thing of all is that we run back to the place that should never make us feel safe – the dark – the quarry it seems always looks for the darkest hole to run into when they feel pursued.

So let’s be honest here together quite simply by remembering that it’s never just dark or light – it’s never just black or white. There are the dusks the sunsets and the sunrise for us to look upon. There are so many shades of grey out there for us to choose from. We don’t have to have both feet planted completely on one side of that line staying within the darkness to feel safe. By which I mean that as a metaphor rather than a vision. We can venture out of our comfort zone by stepping over that line just long enough to take a peek at the sun. As time passes merely by default, we stay a little longer each time we succeed in doing so.

We start to understand that whilst there it feels good to feel the sun’s rays on your face; It’s a place that if we return to it often enough, we find that we no longer crave for the dark and its secrets. I know the question on your lips right now would be – why would you miss the dark at all? I guess the answer to that is that when you have lived in the dark for so long, even the worst scenarios are missed when they have been there long enough. It’s almost like leaning to walk in the sun without the covers over your head lifting that veil just a little at a time. We have to learn a completely new way of living without the structures that have always been there good or bad. But believe me: in time this is achievable as you will see when the light beings to filter through. Although the dark is remembered, there comes a time that it’s no longer missed. That’s when we neither feel the urge to flee for that dark place to hide in or to run for our lives from the dark and its demons.

At the end of this process you will have acquired the complete knowledge within you that the dark is just another rotation of the earth . . .

Our Alter Ego

best alter egoEveryone has a little voice inside their head that sometimes defines them, at times we all find ourselves feeling trapped within a set of circumstance. For us all, without exception, we have duties of sorts to complete during our waking hours. These are as varied as we are because no two people are the same so we will attack those duties differently. It’s what makes us the right person for that job; it’s a place where we and we alone fit. Our choices in life can be restricted by our alter ego more times then we know, it sits silently in the background but we must always remember that it’s there. Within our alter ego we find escape, freedom, a carefree look at life when we need to look away from where we are. It’s sometimes referred to as a ghost whose only job is to whisper alternatives in our ear. The happy go lucky you that is having a ball of a time to all that surrounds us. It’s a character that comes from within our imagination. We welcome it with opens arms as we dance within the game of life. It’s a cut off valve that knows just when to realise that pressure – somehow knowing when the pipe is about to blow. Our own armature superhero created to swoop in and save the day. We use it often, mindlessly reacting to a quick change of situations. It’s who we talk to whilst weighing up our options, continually darting around within our mind; this done silently without thought why because it’s purely a reaction. It’s the fun side of us, a release from the pressures of life that everyone experiences.

Our alter ego could and would not be there without our input. Quite simply put it’s where we place the things that give us joy. It makes us feel better when it’s raining outside. We strive to create a happy space by placing the positive things we gather throughout our journey. It’s the chancier within that sometimes gives us the push we need to complete something that may scare us just a little. Our opposite side of the coin the friend we can always count upon to see our side of things.

But what if it’s not?

What if that alter ego was a place of darkness – a place which you try to avoid at any cost, where your imagination had created the complete opposite?

As I have said above, we create a place which makes us feel better by placement. Things that stick in our minds because of the great joy they bring. They have become outstanding events in our mind because of the magnitude of their very being. What if the outstanding events within your mind were so very far from utopia? Abuse leaves its mark like a cavern of explosions reducing your world to a battlefield. If this abuse was from an early age then having something to place within your alter ego that makes you feel joy of any kind is almost impossible. As we grow, we learn the skills we need in life to become a whole rounded person learning from our peers. We learn to walk before we can run from those in direct contact with us – a mirror image of who we may become. The building blocks are put in place by them to make that structure solid.

But what if they aren’t?

We are left within the remains of an explosion creating a landfall where we crawl around blindly in its remains. Aimlessly digging around, hoping that the bits we need have not been blown so far apart that their reassembly is just a pipe dream – where to even think we can find a happy space to place within our self-made alter ego is a dream too far. The greatest truth is that we can’t step away from the confinements within our lives when they become too difficult. You can’t unlearn things; we can only try to rearrange them in the hope that there are still some pieces that may fit.

So – all the above said, what are our options?

Options when broken down are just a matter of putting one foot in front of another to move forward without doubt, options are the judgement calls that we make now. Quite frankly our alter ego may scare the hell out of us, but it will always be a part of us – no matter what. We can’t remove it by just taking a rubber to a chalk board, but we can learn that living with it is something we can do. No one said that the alter egos we have right here and now are the ones we are stuck with; they are just our present. In truth, they are not even that important – because they are our past what we are looking at now is our future. Somewhere deep inside there is the alter ego that is waiting for the last dance. It’s the wallflower that always wanted to be asked to dance whilst being passed by. It’s the laughter and the joy that is just waiting to be untapped. It’s the smile on your face as you greet each morning no longer afraid of a backward thought. It’s the joy you find in those you choose to surround yourself with on this continuing chapter of life. It’s the happy dog wagging its tail just from the joy of greeting, so happy to see you no matter how the day has pasted.

The whole truth is that we can’t bend mend or alter who we are, we can only look for the good and not expect the bad around every corner. Within you is all the strength you need to choose the right options for you. Tomorrow could be a good day with many more to come.