Actually, I never knew what life was about when I was younger. I just wanted to have fun by laughing, playing, being a ‘tomboy,’ as I was called so unmistakably, in my younger days. Growing up was super fun; so I thought at that time…
Gradually, life became more difficult for me after I turned 13. Things happened to me and although life went on, I just kept myself happy and enjoyed life with my friends, despite the constant challenges. All I’d ever wanted to be was a nurse and a mother, and I had achieved both of these by the time I was only 21. I started nursing at the age of 17, met my husband at 18 and so by the time I finished my degree, I was married and pregnant. Yes…everything that I’d ever wanted. The only thing I didn’t want – was an abusive husband, which was what I ended up with. This was truly an unfortunate cycle, that diminished me, in ways I never thought were even possible.
I would try to ‘laugh off’ his abuse, and ignore or forgive him for the physical abuse. I did this so many times. Over and over I did it. Forgiving him every time; excusing it, allowing it to happen, again and again. My father always said I had ‘rose colored glasses’ on – and I truly never saw the bad side in anyone. That was me. I loved being a nurse and I loved being a mother. As time went on, I had four children. These were infact, the best achievements in my life, other than becoming a Registered Nurse. So, within a period of thirteen years I’d achieved everything I had ever wanted in my life.
Time continued on, so very quickly. And as the kids grew up, more and more abuse was dealt my way, all the time; on a daily basis. I felt undeniably, fatigued and worn out. After fourteen years of marriage, I separated from my abusive husband. I took all of my children with me. I left with a car full of petrol, some clothes for us all in a plastic bag, and only $20.00 in my purse. I drove for three hours to… a satisfactory safety.
Eventually, my eldest son went back to his father; then two years later, my five-year-old went to live with his father too, because he missed his big brother so very much. This was the beginning of my feelings of total hopelessness. My husband had a way of controlling my life and punishing me – even when we were apart. He manipulated the whole situation with my children, and bought them gifts and money, which was something I couldn’t do or give them at that time. He was unbelievably, relentless.
Ten years passed, and so much pain was experienced, although I still had the knack of seeing life through somewhat heavenly, rose colored glasses. In many ways, life was easier, and in many ways my life was also a constant hell. The light and dark, the good, the evil; all of it together, in my life. So very unrelentlessly, real.
I had a couple of short relationships over the subsequent ten years, but they were just as deceptive and very, very painful. These wore me down quite a bit; mainly because my children got hurt and because I couldn’t believe I had attracted the same type of abusive men into my life. Before I left the last man, I actually became very strong within myself, and so I decided that I would leave town and never get involved with men again, ever! During this ten-year period, I had become depressed, melancholy, and I found myself feeling hopeless on many occasions.
My younger brother was married to a woman who was very controlling, and quite verbally abusive to my brother. I had an older sister who had spent most of her life disliking me. So I always felt disconnected to my family. So, everyone: my sister, my brother and his wife, and my ex-husband would group together and put me down for being divorced. I ended up being very alone and separated from my family. I was both isolated and sad at the same time.
I cared for my mother after my father took his own life. And as my brother and sister didn’t take any notice of my mother, I just felt that I personally, would hate to get to the age of seventy, and have my children hate me. Unfortunately, (or fortunately), the more I cared for mother, the more my brother and sister disliked me. I had endured a lot of emotional pain from all of this, and I just felt so hopeless again, over and over. It was truly a devastating set of circumstances.
Over a period of three years thereafter: my brother died, my friend died, my daughter had been diagnosed with cancer, my mother in law died. And then finally my mother died. And… life fell apart for me. I had organized funerals for both mothers, and at my mother’s funeral; my sister, her husband, her children, my aunty and uncle – all walked straight past me like I didn’t even exist… By this time, I had not an ounce of physical or emotional energy left in me. I had lost all hope of ever wanting to be alive in this world, ever again. My rose coloured glasses had fallen off and smashed. They were in a million tiny pieces, and no-one would be able to join them together again…of this I was so absolutely sure of, now.
Later in my life, and even though I had met and married the most wonderful man in the world… I still felt so hopeless about myself and my relationships with people, other than my devoted husband. And after my mother’s funeral, I put myself to bed and didn’t want to get out again. Life had finally beaten me. It was all too hard to face, so hopeless now, I was gone. Really, truly gone. The light of my soul was dimmed out. I was in a pit of darkness; swallowed by grief and sadness beyond measure. It was too real for me.
About 12 months after I went to bed, I got up, and went to a weekend course about finding myself again. I don’t remember much about the course, other than my inner being knew that I had to be there. I had to go. I can’t really explain why, I just needed to… I could see that this was the only hope I had in finding myself again. It was the start of my ‘new’ life…
My journey is still, even now, very difficult. And it doesn’t take much to knock me down – although I have learned new ways of picking myself up – and so I continue to grow again. I have a renewed sense of hope once again in my life. I feel I can live again, through the darkness of it all.
I have been growing for four years now, since I did that unbelievable weekend course. And I just keep going back to help out at the courses. I truly need this…and I’ve always loved being with people, and I certainly get the opportunity to meet new people and help them out. Being there to help people find hope in their lives is truly amazing, to say the least.
I go back every time and face my own uncomfortable feelings, and I also continue to grow within myself; back into that happy, fun loving, laughing, caring person I know that I am…despite my past circumstances, grief and sad times.
I now continue to move forward in love; in light…and so it is.