Finding My Voice

Photo Credit Christie Aphrodite

I consider myself to be a woman with similar qualities & failings as any other human. I experience the same internal dichotomies and clarities as others. I am easy going, reasonable, patient and tolerant, until I am not.
I value authenticity, freedom, compassion, courage, innovation & meaningful contribution. I am a seeker of truth, a mystic and visionary. A woman who has many roles in life, mother, sister, aunt, friend, co-worker and citizen and although intelligent, I am not highly educated. My wisdom is informed by my lived experience, from decisions that have helped me and those that have not. Learning from people I admire and respect and from those I don’t.

During my lifetime I have engaged a variety of modalities and skills to explore our human experience, Wholistic healing and manifesting in the endeavour to know myself and others. My intention is contribute to creating a culture of care and bring a passion for the possibilities into the lives of those I am here for.

My journey has led me to many understandings that are not always accepted by civilised man’s culture. I experience life as a co creator with the Great Spirit of Life. I understand that while I am not singularly creating the world circumstances I am responsible for what I contribute to my world and the part of it that I have the ability to influence.
A large part of my life has been spent addressing the toxic beliefs and patterns of behaviour that were instilled in me throughout my turbulent childhood culminating in a diagnosis of Complex PTSD.

They say that healing from Complex PTSD is like climbing out of Hell on a metal ladder. You know that every rung you reach for is going to hurt as much as the one you are on, each step painful but you must keep going if you are to get out. So why would I chose to keep going when it was easy to see why so many did not want to get on the ladder in the first place.

Somewhere in all of this fear, confusion and indoctrination I had to decide what I wanted to experience. I chose to see myself as a woman who was healed and living my best life. I allowed the feelings of this moment to flow though me and with a measure of faith and a great deal of hope sent it out into the universe. In my darkest hours I chose to do whatever rightful thing it took to have that experience. I chose LIFE.

I chose to live for a few reasons. My primary reason for hanging in there was my two children and the realisation that they were watching. I would not leave my children alone in the world with the belief that we are hopeless in the face of adversity. I had made it this far and against great assurances from professionals and specialists that I wouldn’t. I wanted my kids to see what was possible if we had the courage to live by our own definition even if we weren’t guaranteed the outcome we hoped for. Luckily recovery has been the case for me and many others who found the grit to overcome their personal torments in both ordinary and extraordinary ways.

Secondary to my love for my children was the decision that I would not let my abusers have the satisfaction of winning. I would not let the anguish and hurt overwhelm me to the point that I gave up and their beliefs about me became mine. I would not become like them nor would I bend the knee by choice.

I was a veteran of abuse by the time I was 7 so my brain was, until recently, deeply hardwired to the fear centres. There is still work to do with the subtle murmurings in my mind body that even now have the power to take me back to those times of struggle and suffering. For the most part I am essentially healed enough to be aware that my thoughts, words and actions have a direct impact on how I experience myself, others, the world and life and what to do if healing work is necessary.

During my journey I have required the assistance of many people. Dear friends and family to hold space for me, mentors to help me in areas of interest or growth, laymen and like minded people who I could identify with and who had chosen to heal themselves. A life coach to help me envision a future that I did not believe I would live to see. One staple in my healing was a very real woman who also worked as a Psychologist. Her guidance was invaluable in helping me to unravel the tightly knit confusion and fear I had become accustomed to living in. Her support continues to help me as I reintegrate back into society.

Each one of these people was an important part of my continuing recovery and I would not have made it without their help. However, the most important member of my team was me. I had to be the one who, within my undulating capacity, backed herself every day.

I have had to hold on for a very, very long time to the minutest spark of hope that I was worth the effort it took to heal and that, in time, my actions would pay off. That one day I would be free of the indecision and emotional torment that has plagued me all my life. This hope coupled with my determination and deepening connection with SPIRIT has been the foundation I have used to move through one of the darkest times of my adult life.

While dealing with this I have had many people thank me for inspiring them to become more than they thought possible and others to feel that they have a place in this world. The oddity for me as a person who had low self esteem and low self worth was the continual feedback that my insight, wisdoms and strategies worked where other more well known practices did not. So why could I not see my value. Why did I give away my knowledge and labour for free? Was I allergic to recognition and reward?

On several occasions I have been asked to share my experiences by writing, facilitating workshops or compiling workbooks. I have always like the idea of sharing in this way and as it seems there is a need due to the growing number of people who are anxious, depressed and ill and who have no idea how to manage it without medication.

Realising that the latest offer for me to write for an up and coming blog site was an opportunity to not only tackle my resistance to expressing myself publicly but to potentially assist people overcome their fears and achieve their goals gave me great pleasure and as it is something I am personally proficient at, I thought why not.

Now one would think that with a nickname of Ms Haveachat that I would have a lot to say but as I sit trying to find a subject that calls to be shared I am stumped. A myriad of ideas are fast tracking their way around my mind. All are equally enticing and all as elusive.

As I wrestled with my frustration I recognised the feeling, the perpetual state of struggle between defeat and rebellion. Here in this moment, I was at the entrance to my inner library and the pathway that would lead me to some of the core events that have shaped me.

I ask myself, “When was the first time I remember feeling like this?”
Taking several deep luxurious breaths, I relax, giving my mind a better chance to release the relevant memories that I need for my quest to find my shackled voice to be successful.
The years of my life begin to speed past my inner screen like a video on fast forward.

My first pause, I’m at home, I was 15 and we had guests. By this time in my life I was well and truly enmeshed in the survival behaviour that children adapting from abuse and neglect fall into, oscillating between complying and rebelling against authority, self hate and a desire to be accepted for myself.. A sensitive young woman, emotionally neglected, craving the tiniest morsel of praise.
I recall my mother showing off my athletic achievements. It was rare to be approved of by my parents so I was enjoying the feeling.

Revelling in the recognition of my much loved and hard earned attainments I forgot how quickly and repeatedly my achievements would be directed back to my parents while I was expected to disappear as they basked in my light.

Rather than embedding a feeling of self worth and pride in my accomplishments those irregular acknowledgements only added to the feeling of confusion. When was it ok to shine and when did one stay silent? Where did I end and my other people begin? Why was my sister allowed to be acknowledged and rewarded but I was to remain quietly compliant and hidden away?

The resentment and hurt I felt becoming another reminder of my lowly place and lack of any intrinsic worth.  I could feel those emotions as if they were happening in the present. The only way to deal is to feel. I relaxed further into the memory allowing the feelings to rise to the surface acknowledging their validity in my story. They slowly ebbed away. The memory quickly faded only to be replaced by an earlier one. I am five and a half, I had spilled some milk on the kitchen floor and was cleaning it up. I remember the panic coursing through my body, going as fast as my little arms and the tea towel allowed.

Dear ole stepdad came storming into the room, his face white with rage. I looked up and started to explain what had happened, pleading with him in a vain attempt to protect myself from the usual onslaught. No such luck, punches rained down on me reinforcing his message that I was a useless, stupid girl that nobody wanted to see or hear. . I can hear myself promising “I’ll be good, I’ll be careful, I won’t do it again.” “Please stop.” Not realising that I was imbedding the belief that any mistake I made would cost me dearly and I needed to be perfect to have any chance of being accepted or at least not beaten. Enraged by his abuse and lack of justice I sought out my own.

From my bedroom window I could see my Grandparents, in their home, next door. I put my head out the window and bellowed my hurt, humiliation and pain across the fence and through their kitchen window.
I remember this being one of the few occasions that my request for help was answered. My grandparents came over and gave that man a dose of salts he never forgot. A bit later I was sitting on my grandmother’s lap being comforted with hugs, sweets and kind words. It was to be short lived as I knew I had to go home. It was to be another reminder that my safety was not guaranteed.

My desire to stay silent was still not apparent to me so I probed my memory banks further.  A small jaunt lands me back in the early part of 1970. My Stepfather is standing over my infant sister’s cradle looking down at her. I struggled against his enormous size, pushing into his thighs with all my might in a vain attempt to protect my sister from the bad man. I don’t know how long it took for him to lose patience but I do remember the moment it all changed. One smooth backhand and I was catapulted across the room. Slumped against the wooden wall, stunned and confused he walked past me like I did not exist, focussing only long enough to tell me to keep out of his way and keep my stupid mouth shut if I did not want either of us to experience more of the same. His smug face reminding me that he had successfully gotten away with hurting me before and that my efforts to speak up and protect myself from further abuse were as futile as my first attempt at salvation.

I was about 4 and ½ when my stepfather first used me for his adult fun. I still remember the patterned glass window that I stared out of wishing I could go “home”. I woke the next morning to find my body messy in places it was not usually messy. I am standing there confused and angry when he comes into my room, sits on the bed and tells me not to say anything. “I will tell my Mum and she’ll stop you.” He laughed and told me my Mum wouldn’t believe me. My heart would not let me believe that. My Mum loved me and would do anything to help me.

Walking into my mother’s room that morning was to precipitate my first conscious experience of the fallibility of the humans that I loved. She was tired. She did not believe me. I had made it up. There is even a vague sense that I would be punished if I persisted.

The dynamic mix of confusion and sadness creating a maelstrom of intense feelings that slowly intertwined with the beginning of self loathing, resignation and resentment. No one cared about me. I was worthless and too much trouble. I was on my own.

There it was the memory that had been with me as a constant reminder. I had wondered many times in my life why this memory persisted in flashing into my mind. Why was this time so important?

I had found out. A marker set in time for the day I would be courageous enough to sit with the accompanying pain and release myself from another self limiting belief.

Here we have the beginning of what was to be a long tumultuous loop between using my voice for advocating for others and allowing my defeat, lack of self worth and disgust at others to sway me into complacency.
Here it was, staring me in the face 50 years later manifesting as another creative block; the pattern that was holding my desire to remain hidden in place. The invisible force that had been competing with my decision to be all that I could be had revealed itself, finally.

I have spent the last few days grieving these moments, acknowledging the voice of my inner child who did not get to be comforted for the abuse and neglect that was forced upon her. Forgiving myself for the decisions I made in those copious moments of fear and confusion.

Recognising the long held pattern of allowing others to take credit for my work while I contributed by diminishing my own contribution. Hiding under the bushel so I did not have to feel the scathing criticisms that I knew would come my way. Releasing the shame I felt for continuing to try so hard to please the unpleasable because I did not knowing any better. Lastly, putting the responsibility for my neglect and abuse where it squarely belonged in the hands of the adults who failed in their duty of care to their developing child’s needs.

Once the tears stopped flowing and my heart was not gripped with sorrow I reflected on the decision to remain as invisible as I could and how that decision has impacted my life. I was able to see the pattern of struggle where my wounded inner child was trying to balance the books, to right the wrongs, compensating for the short comings of others so that I could feel liked and loved. Defending the innocent at every opportunity, so my inner child could have a hero but then going back into hiding unable to build momentum on these wonderful successes.

I let it all go. The rage that has been tapping at my inner brow and twisting my stomach in knots now gone and a feeling of space and tranquillity has returned, at least temporarily because deep healing is a spiral.
I came to a place when I could feel the vessel that had held those feelings for so long was empty.

Watching the situation from the perspective of a healed adult who is no longer looking through a haze of hurt I saw a child facing extreme situations who unknowingly made decisions, born in pain, based in terror, rage and limited life experiences. I saw how I had operated from these ideas from that day forth and as the invalidating experiences were frequently reinforced, a behavioural pattern was created and a belief embedded itself into my creative consciousness.

If we are paying attention in this moment of release and revelation we see the first glimpse of our creative ability process. We can see how feelings and thoughts create beliefs and how our behaviour is influenced by our beliefs. Caught in a pain fuelled logical loop that traps us into a perpetual state of suffering. We then go out into the world looking for confirmation that our world view is right.

The miracle of this moment is that having recognised that we made some significant decisions in that moment and having seen how they have played out time and time again in our lives we now have the option to choose again. It is here in our inner world that we get to know ourselves deeply and with this great tool step out into the world to add our contribution. If our inner world is scrambled or has unresolved dichotomies we will get mixed results in the outer world.

Releasing unresolved fear is an act of Self Love and Mastery. When we have released our suppressed feelings, acknowledged the decisions we made in our time of distress we then have the power to choose again, too make a new decision about ourselves, others, the world and life. We can choose how we will move forward in the world, how we will view ourselves in light of the new understanding.

In my moment of revelation I made a new choice to take responsibility for my present and future self. I chose to be courageous enough to state my truth and my worth in lovingly powerful ways, to stand my ground and to be counted amongst my peers. To have a go at sharing my wisdom and see what the future brings.

By getting to know ourselves profoundly we have the opportunity to gain mastery of ourselves and become more proficient at creating our desired outcomes.

If you are facing blocks to your endeavours I hope my story has inspired you to look within for the answers to your dilemma so that you too can choose again from your place of power.


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  1. Thank you for sharing such personal traumatic details of your life. Your words will undoubtedly provide inspiration and comfort to many since, sadly, your story is all too “familiar” these days.

  2. Absolutely wonderful… Willow, if you’ve not already read it, I have a funny feeling Christie showed you what I wrote in response to your article..

    • Thank you Sweet Jeff! I have alerted her, but she’s not much of a facebook person. I bet she wouldn’t mind if you copied your beautiful comment and posted it here for her!!! 🙂 Take care, sweet friend! <3

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