Those moments

Healing is a messy beautiful process. I was reading a book today that talks about getting to know your true self. one does this by peeling back the layers and masks we have built and designed over the years to protect ourselves. At so many points I had to put the book down , as I felt a wave of panic come over me. the Author suggested to just sit with the feelings , so I did.

I realise that I haven’t let many people in to see the real me, being vulnerable isn’t something I have ever felt safe in doing. I look back on my past relationships and can count on 2 fingers the amount of people I have let come anywhere near my heart. Even then I believe I was guarded and also did not on any level have the communication skills to say what I needed for fear they couldn’t be there for me or even worse laugh at me or dismiss how I felt.

Being vulnerable take courage and bravery. It also takes wisdom to have a few trusted souls in your life that you can say how your feeling without fear of any negative reaction only reaction being im here for you and I hear you. be you.

Over the years I have built a wall around my heart and my self esteem went so low I ended up being with people who treated me like shit. but this was essentially how I felt about myself . Breaking free from all the ties is a life long journey, they started in childhood and I needed them then, but don’t anymore. As I sat with what I had read and the panic came over me like a storm cloud engulfing a mountain top, I was curious as to what this feeling was saying. I could see the nastiest face with long fingers and knarled knuckles and long thick finger nails grab me around the neck and tell me that “You will never break from the cycle you’re in.” I looked that motherfucker in the eye and said “just watch me!!!!” as I stabbed it to death. it won’t give up easy but I deserve to love myself for who I am.
And who I am is a beautiful woman, who is kind, loving, funny, hard worker, diligent, courageous, respectful, helpful and lots of other lovely qualities. I also deserve to be loved and treated with respect by someone who sees and hears me.

These cycles , are cycles of a life time, get such a hold on all of us. We all have the power deep within to break free. To stand up to the nasty critic deep within and tell it that its time is up. Its time to Fuck right off back to the where ever the fuck it came from. Because it doesn’t belong in this life anymore.

We are all deeply beautiful inside. All of us. There is a gift each of us has for world. The world needs all of us.

In the past 5 weeks my country has been on fire. the grief is so real. so much loss. One thing that has stood out to me , is , us Aussies know how to be there for our mates. the world has stood with us and grieved and prayed. The generosity of the world , gives me hope, for there are days I despair. but as humanity comes together at this time truly together. It does give me hope.

be you

truly you

you are beautiful

be kind

and remember I love you

Connecting with nature

I started watching the 2nd season of Anne with an E. The opening scene was of Anne going through her little treasures and picking one out , then putting it in her pocket. She then grabbed a rope and ran to a field, she stops and there is a big tree standing alone in said field, she gives the biggest wave. Runs with all the happiness to the tree and gives it a huge hug. Using the rope she climbs the tree. Sitting on a branch and takes out the treasure from her pocket and kisses it and says to the tree “I thought you might like this”.

After watching this scene I felt such love coming from the tree, I have hugged trees for about 8 years now. I thank them for who they are and what they do. It takes me to the times when I swim and as I walk to the water , with the waves seemingly rushing to meet me , I sometimes feel them saying “ I’ve missed you, so happy to have you come to see me. Come let me cleanse you. Give me you worries, give me your hurt, give me you happiness , your gratitude. Give it all to me.”

Today I had one swim then gave myself time to lay on the sand and ground myself. Gave myself time to unload all of what was weighing heavy in my heart. Acknowledged how I felt, which sometimes can be 5 different emotions in 10 minutes. And that’s ok. They are waiting for me to acknowledge them, that’s all. I then went in the water again and washed it all away.

Nature is just so beautiful to me. Watching a bird wash itself, the waves. A kangaroo jumping along the field at dawn when I finish work on night shift.

I believe nature has healed me. I have been open to it too.

I challenge you to connect with nature in whatever small way you can. Barefoot if possible. Let the earth surround you hold you close tell it all your secrets. Be totally you without masks or expectations of yourself. Just be. You. The more you do it. The better it will be. The better you will be.

In the last week I have had a couple of days where ptsd has come to visit. When it took me while to realise what was happening. Then I realised it had been a year since I got out. I slept most of the day, the next day I had panic attacks. The body is an amazing thing. Emotional memories. Christmas Day it happened again.

So this morning I gave acknowledgement to how I felt. I told the me of last year that I had her. I hugged her. Then washed it away in the waves

This, to me , is healing. It’s not pretty. It’s acknowledging what the fuck is going on in your heart. Giving attention to what you’re saying to yourself. Feeling the feelings, because once you do feel them they go away. Giving the real you a chance to breath and live as you were born to do.

The world needs you to be you. Not what others think you should be or , indeed , expect you to be. You. In the depths of your soul there’s a whisper…. that’s the real you. Go meet them. The beautiful amazing you.

Be kind

And remember I love you

Everyone you meet

It’s been awhile since I wrote a post. Working shift work in a new job , which I am enjoying. I’m also working hard on myself. Swimming everyday, ahhh what joy that routine is. Swimming is my time. It’s scared. I have learnt to its a time I don’t share with anyone. No one. Just me playing in the waves like a dolphin.

I am reading books that are good for my growth. Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill. Ultimate you by Sharon Pearson. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. I find myself slowly opening up to the lessons.

I look back on the last year and can now acknowledge just how fucking amazing I am. Every time I fell down this year I have gotten back up. Determined to turn my pain into power. Resilient beyond words. Acknowledging my beautiful heart, my kindness, my love for humanity, my love of dogs, cats, the native animals of the country i was born in and love.

I have noticed that if I open myself up to learning I learn something every single day. Most of the time it’s from somebody I have had a conversation with. Whether it’s how passionate they are about their job, or their knowledge about a certain subject, or the love they have for a family member or how they have dealt with something with grace and confidence. I’m also learning to have boundaries. I know I have written about these things before, and I’m writing about it all again. Because it’s important. Boundaries aren’t just about telling others how to treat you . Boundaries are also about showing up for YOURSELF. I am finding every time I do this something happens inside me. A confidence.

Putting my hands over my heart and breathing deep and saying I love you, acknowledging my beautiful qualities.

Being grateful for all those that have checked in on me. The beautiful souls that have turned up in my life whether it was for a short time or reappeared in my life , all of them are support and love . In their own way , they are saying keep going warrior. There are also people that have come into my life to push me to instil boundaries. To make me say . No more. I deserve better. I’m done. I’m thankful for them to. We don’t grow when it’s rainbow and butterflies. We grow when shit gets hard, real fuckin hard.

So my challenge for you is to acknowledge the warrior in yourself. Put your hands on your heart and breath. Breath in peace and love. Breath out the tension. Start noticing people showing up in your life. Ask yourself what’s the lesson here? Because there is one. You may have to let go for resentment or anger. If you need to go to therapy, do it. You may need to start showing up for yourself. Because I hate break it to you, it’s no one else’s job to save you. That’s your job. If happiness and contentment are your aim start showing up for yourself. Be accountable, for the mistakes and the strength and victories.

It’s hard. But so fuckin worth it.

Be kind

And remember I love you and myself.

Music

Music . I love songs with stories. I have been thinking of how we all resonate with different types of music. When I was growing up we would often put on Neil Diamond or ABBA, Australian legend Slim Dusty. I find myself having a lot of different music on my playlist. From heavy metal , jazz ,country . Keith Urban, Travis Collins, The McClymonts, but then my brother shared a song with me , by a band called Type O negative – Christian woman, which I loved, so that got added to the playlist. Creeds weathered spoke to my soul on a level that no other song did at the time. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury’s song “under pressure “ has been on my playlist. Midnight oil. Asking Alexandria- alone in a room. Rage against the machine- killing in the name. Limp Bizkit my generation. Pink – hustle so many, so so many.

What ever I’m going through music has been a constant companion for me since I was a teenager. It doesn’t matter if you love classical, jazz ,pop, rock, alternate, heavy metal, death metal, country, all of it speaks to your heart and soul. There is a song out there for every human affliction. I find that amazing. I love walking down the street completely absorbed in a song, I do get stares and sometimes a smile. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes you gotta dance like no one is watching.( most people aren’t watching they are looking at their phones)

I’m grateful for music. I love music. I have cried, sobbed, danced, dreamed, fallen asleep, driven thousands of kilometres, I have danced and swayed my children, I have loved to music. There is something so magical about music.

So the next time you listen to your favourite band enjoy it in its wholeness, enjoy and embrace that moment of complete connectedness with that song.

Be kind

And remember I love you

What swimming everyday has taught me.

I was told 7 months ago that I need to be in the water. I need to swim. Ok no worries I thought I love being in the water. So I started as you all know I did a blog post on it. But then I stopped because it was winter and too cold. So after winter was done and dusted I started.

I started at the local salt water pool. It was boring for me, I do admire the people that can do laps. All of them , from my observation are slim and fit. For me I needed more of a challenge. So I went to the rock pool next to the pool. Ahhh I loved it. One day I thought, “ya know I might go to the beach” . Now, I was born in Wollongong and the beach was only 10 minutes drive from where I grew up. I hated the sand getting in places sand doesn’t belong and the salt water getting in my eyes and the waves coming at a rate I couldn’t deal with.

But this time, we’ll , this time is so different. I love the sand so soft on my feet the moment I step on to it. Walk to the spot where I put my backpack. Ya know right between the red and yellow flags. My maternal grandfather was a lifesaver and avid body surfer, from what I have been told. So I invited him to come with me, even though he passed away a long time before I was born. I ask him to keep me safe in the water because the surf can be a dangerous place. I think he enjoys it. I have fallen in love with the surf. As I approach the surf I greet it saying “hello aren’t you beautiful!”

At the beginning I would meditate on things I wanted to deal with. Ground myself by lying on the sand. Lay there with the rhythm of the waves . Grounding and surrendering myself , the hurt and the pain. Something happened that I wasn’t on any level expecting. People would greet me say hello. I started to come out of my shell of self protection. Now I’m the one saying hello. Greeting women in the change rooms. Having a chat with them and wishing them a great day. In the change room I have thanked women for talking to me.” Thank you for the chat , being a survivor of domestic violence it has helped me see the sun shine , I have felt so safe.”

I have had people call me brave for going in the surf, days like today where people have said it was rough, I didn’t think so. But it was for them. Days like today where there was lots of seaweed. I play and frolick like a dolphin in the waves. Soaking it all up.

I look back on the last 6 weeks and see that , every single day I have turned up for myself. In my own way I have said no matter what is going on swimming everyday is a priority. In doing so I have been able to make decisions with confidence. Knowing that I can. That I can . That I can. Being kind along the journey is so vitality important to me. I read a meme social media.

It goes something like this. Even though life is cruel sometimes don’t let it make you hard and mean. I take this to heart. Because in a world where capitalism, power, control and red tape rule , it’s easy to become hard and bitter. I have had to work on bitterness myself. But the more beauty I see in others , the more beauty comes to me.

One other morning routine I’m doing which I believe to be a result of shown up for myself every day, by swimming is listen to affirmations I have been doing this solidly for 2 weeks now and the result are amazing. Beautiful people are turning up in my life. I see things in people that I haven’t before.

I can honestly say that what has happened to me in the last year is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Things that had me scared before no longer scare me. Fear is a liar. And a big one. I’m not talking about that fear that makes you stop when your life is in danger. I’m talking about that fear that literally stops you from living life. I have lived liked that for a lot of my life and I refuse to do it anymore.

So stand up and be proud of of yourself. You carry a lot on your shoulders and that’s ok. I think you are amazing and a legend for making it thus far. Speak kindly to other and wish them well on their day it ,changes your life and the lives of others on person at a time.

Be kind my darlings

And remember I love you

I’m so proud of myself !

I had a conversation yesterday with someone who made me look at myself , in such a way that I realised just how strong and resilient I am. I looked at where I was this time last year and where I am now. Wow! What a different person I am.

This time last year I was sending messages to my children telling how much loved them, with such an ache in my heart, thinking I would never see them again. I was writing letters to my father , like it was my last confession. Please ask my siblings to forgive all the things I have said to them in anger. Tell them I love them dearly.

It has been a year of such beauty! It has been a year of such growth! It has been a year of breakthroughs. It has been a year of learning about boundaries not just to put in place for others but for myself. It has been a year of learning that I am beautiful and kind. Learning about wrapping myself up in love , looking at my strengths and being proud of them. It’s been a year of forgiving myself.

This week I have learned what I have achieved in my own growth , is something that I need to be proud of. My commitment to myself. To love and cherished the space and time I put into me.

My swimming in the ocean every single day. I have fallen in love with this special time. Diving under the waves. Watching how the wave builds up. I honestly marvel at this. Such rhythm. So beautiful. I get washed of all the bullshit in my head. Sometimes it’s like doing a full on work out at the gym. The waves are strong and I have to always be aware of the next one coming. Other times I could lay there floating, soaking in the peace. Some people I have spoken to ,are amazed I do this. I suppose their thinking is it’s dangerous. One person called me dangerous dan. Which I found funny in a way.

I’m learning to let go of a lot of stuff that in the past I would have gotten caught up in. I’m learning to be thankful for interactions with others that deeply affect me in a positive way. They may never know the affect they have had, nevertheless I am so thankful. I’m proud of every single fucking time I got up off the ground , laying on my stomach with my face in the mud. Finding that small speck of strength and resilience, that says” Not today, you mothefucker. Not today” I’m thankful for the people who have shown me , that I am a leader. I’m thankful so thankful for my determination to learn from what I have been through, to come out the other side healthy and strong. To have healthy boundaries, to think about things but not stew about them. To enjoy others , just as they are. To enjoy myself just as I am. I so proud of the fact that I can look at a person begging on the street and feel complete empathy for them. I give them my change. They need hope and kindness. I am a one person who will give that to them. I’m proud of going out on a Friday night on my own. Most people can’t do that. Of finding the queer space and hearing my heart and soul say “ This is home. I have found home.” All of us so unique and so individual. Celebrating each other. Supporting each other. I’m thankful for the drag queens, non-binary, lesbians and gay, for the bisexuals and queer, intersex people that turn up, that introduce themselves. For the music and acts, that make my heart sing. For the intelligent conversations and laughs that I have had.

So the next time you say to yourself, look at the work I have to do. Remember, always remember to look at how far you have come. Pat yourself on the back for the times you got up and said “Not today, mothefucker, not today.” For the times when you rested, because this is important too. For the self care and self love and the self compassion.

Be kind to yourself and others

And remember I love you

Dating…… myself…

That’s right I took myself out for dinner tonight. It’s been such an incredible crazy year. To go from a state of absolute shock and trauma to getting up determined to learn from it all.

I got up from my afternoon nap. God I love my naps! I thought I might go to the movies. The movie theatre was closed to the public, so I decided I would get myself another bra, cause the girls are hangin a little low and need some extra support , lol. Bought myself an inxs tee shirt as well. Then I went to a casual dining place. The waitress sat me so I was watching the tv. They had clips of dogs and bmx doing tricks etc. I starting laughing at some of them. I found myself really enjoying my own company. This is really different for me. I wasn’t putting pressure on myself, in any way shape or form . There was no thought of I wish I was with someone, or I wish I had a friend to go out with. I just enjoyed my own company. By the end of my meal, I was actually laughing my head off at the golfing fail clips.

You know that time when you watch something, and you just start laughing, and pretty soon people around are looking at what you laughing at and then they are laughing. Yeah well , that happened. God It felt so good!

I have come so far in this year. What used to capture my attention no longer does. My creative side is flying , I’m looking after myself in such a way that I have saved myself. Before I used to look for that someone save me , to love me. You know what? I don’t need that special someone to save me , cause I saved myself. Fuck it feels good.

Journaling, swimming everyday, meditating in the morning, creating in the mornings, this week I also start a 21 day positive affirmations by Louise Hay. They are already making a difference.

I’m thankful that I have had a chance to catch my breath. Most people don’t get that chance.

I’m thankful for friendships that have stood the test of time. I’m thankful of all of it.

The sun does shine again. And while the journey to getting my life back together isn’t over , I feel like the richest person live, I feel so grateful, support, and loved.

Be kind

And remember I love you

Why I am I doing this?

Stories are important. I love stories. I love a stories that takes me on a journey. I love stories that are inspiring, of people that have overcome such adversity , have risen above the heartbreak, oppression to shine so brightly that the world can see what is possible.

My story is one of those stories. I write this blog to shine a light on domestic violence in the lgbtqi community. I tell my story so others can see that it is possible to heal and love yourself and shine brighter than ever before ,even though you have been to hell and back. I tell my story so you can deal with the internal shame of being gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer or intersex, in a world that says you must be straight, or indentify with the body you were born with. All you need is a good man or woman etc etc.

I tell my story so you to can live a life of peace , self love , self compassion, and all good things.

On Saturday I meet someone who works for a well known organisation, they asked me who I worked for and I boldly said I started my own. The Barefoot Warrior. I felt rather vulnerable when I said this as only about 6-10 people read this blog. But I gotta start somewhere right?

My aim is to eventually have refuges for homeless lgbtqi people and low income housing, to give talks all over the world about my story and what is possible when you give yourself the love and attention that you have so lovingly given to others, even if they didn’t really deserve it. My aim is to have workshops on healthy relationships and what they look like.

It’s a huge vision. And to be honest I don’t know how it will come about. When I was living at the backpackers, the weight of responsibility, of this vision was very heavily. I have surrendered to it now. I don’t where or how. I don’t know when . All I know is ,that this is what I am meant to be doing. In my gut I know.

So remember to do something nice for yourself today. May you love yourself so completely you shine.

Be kind

And remember I love you

Reclaiming myself

A letter to my ex

I went to reclaim the night last. I nearly went home, but I didn’t. I knew I needed to take back my own power. As we starting walking all the people started shouting, this triggered me. I couldn’t talk and I looked at the ground, as the memories all came back.

The tears ran down my face. At the end of the walk and someone was on the stage talking I didn’t hear thing, the pain and grief of all I had been through was coming out. Racking sobs. They had counsellors from Relationships Australia there, I was surprised one of them noticed me. She sat next to me, grief was all she said at this point. Letting it out. Tears rolling down my face. The physical sign of the emotional.

The belittling and shouting for 10 hours a day for months on end. I never thought it would end. The times you gaslit me. The times you woke me up at 3.00am. Your paranoia . Keep the keys to my car on your body so I couldn’t leave. Your fat, greedy , lazy and useless you would say.

Well, motherfucker, I have some news for you. I out shine you on every level. I’m not lazy, or greedy and I’m far from useless.

There’s a part of me that hope you rot in hell. But really I just think you are a sad excuse for a human.

Here’s the thing. You had no right to do those things. And no one will ever so that to me again. Family friend or lover. EVER.

I’m going to be kind to me

I love me

I choose me

Something to ponder

I just read an article by long time lgbtqi advocate, Jac Tomlins, about burnout and compassion fatigue. She talked about her own mental health and how she recognised compassion burnout.

What struck me about this article (apart from the fact the writer took my breath away…just saying) was how I relate to this.

Not on compassion fatigue but burnout.

I look back on my life and all I have ever done (it seems) is get back up after a hard period in my life. The first been when I was 2 with meningitis, encephalitis and measles I was in hospital for 4 months and blind when I came out of hospital for another 4 months. I was relentlessly bullied in year 3 & 4 by three boys , yes I still remember the motherfuckers names. I look back and realise that deep down I knew I liked girls at 15. I remember falling for the music teacher in year 9. Being Catholic I just buried it. Deep very very deep. I got married to a man and had 4 kids in six years then moved states twice in 4. I had learnt to eat my feelings so being fat was always a huge burden.

So after coming out at 41 I did what I always did. Got up and moved on. Relationship after relationship. Until 18/12/18. When , well , a huge turning point in my life happened.

What has happened to me in the last year, is nothing short of a blessing. I have had the choice to heal and learn my lesson. Now I could have quite easily chosen to go into another relationship.

I sat in the morning sun listening to the birds as they woke up and finally admitted to myself that this healing shit…. is fucking hard.

It is …. I’m in deep emotional pain most days in the last 2 weeks I have learnt a method of self compassion which I find absolutely amazing.But I’m also fucking burnout and tired. I’m thankful for the opportunity to come home and heal. To have the chance to put in place boundaries. I have had an opportunity to put self care deep deliberate self care in place for example: most days I spend 3-4 sewing or doing fabric art with my headphones on listening to my favourite songs (which change almost on a weekly basis) I have started to journal how I feel everyday, I swim at the beach 4-5 times a week. Dealing with burnout and trauma is not an easy road but my deep resilience is getting stronger every day.

I’m not going to fucking tolerate bullshit from motherfuckers anymore. I’m going to love myself take myself out for dinner, be a fabric artist or whatever artist I fucking choose to be. I’m going keep this blog up to show my tribe that self love and compassion is vital in life.

So my dear ones

Be kind to other and yourself

And remember I love you (and myself)