Thursday, September 4, 2014

who are you protecting?

I am protecting my girl, my little guy, I am protecting all Australian children, and with hope my voice spreads across the world and there are more children I am protecting.

Next week marks child protection week. There will be White Balloon Day celebrations across the country in creating awareness for child sexual assault, and raising much needed funds for Bravehearts. I will be attending the White Balloon Day Breakfast and I feel honoured to be part of such a big event with founder of Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston attending alongside a lot of other amazing and inspiring people. I cannot wait to hear them talk!

Being an ambassador I am really passionate about what Bravehearts do, and what they continue to do. I am also passionate in what I have been doing alongside them, with sharing my story and my voice. I never realise how far it reaches until I see the domino affect from having the courage to share. Above all, I am grateful that I can protect my children sharing with them the awareness, and creating a safe and happy environment for them to grow up in.

{you can still donate to help me raise more funds for Bravehearts. The Be Brave tee shirts are still available in children tee shirts, size 1-10 years, ladies xs-large, and mens small to extra large. Purchase here and 100% proceeds go to Bravehearts, or you can donate on my personal donation page, here}.

I am just back from one of my last runs before surgery. Just a little one, but bigger than what I have been doing. Today was 8km, and I feel great in the head. When the running stops on Monday, I will quit sugar. This week I have been on a cleanse preparing my body, and to be honest I feel amazing. I ironically didn't have any caffeine withdrawals, and I am not a big sugar eater anyway. So I feel this could be a good way of introducing some new recipes into our meals, and hopefully leading towards quitting sugar for my little people. Taj will be much easier, than miss fussy eater. 

Oh, and the television is still unplugged! My little people read more, play more and it is a delight to hear them read amongst themselves, to me and to each other.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a home without a television

I love moving furniture around, creating new spaces in our home. Even with a small space, and most of the time, a lack of different spots to move things to, I still manage to change it up a little. My next view is to move the big hunk of media metal off my cabinet, and turf it away.

The television.

Personally I don't watch it. I watch most things online if I want to catch up on things, or I watch flicks, or have a good old fashioned chat. I love a good chat. I am not into reality television shows, or shows that to me have no meaning. If anything ABC, or SBS is on. {And of course I cave into a bit of Offspring}. So if I don't watch it, then why make it accessible and the thing to turn on for my little people?

Lately I have had both Keely and Taj switch their ears off to me. I feel like I am the biggest nag. Even playing my own voice back in my head is a terrible broken record. I blame the television more than I blame my own parenting. Plus their age, and the fact I am trying to get them to take responsibilities of their individual routines in the mornings. 

It's pretty simple. Get dressed, make your beds, eat your breakfast, put your bowls in the sink, brush your teeth, hair and help me pack your bags with the lunch boxes and homework. Simple enough. It is even written on a list on the fridge, in pretty drawn pictures to make it more fun, and creative. I don't think I am asking too much. I am here to help them along the way. However I was finding that I was always late out the door as I too had to get ready, and it meant that I was walking out of the house with no breakfast. The last two days, I have made it their breakfast that gets put last. It went pear shaped yesterday, and Keely only just ate. 

There goes the television.

And today, no television, and Taj only just ate. I know it will take time, but I truly do think a home with no television allows them to have their creativity back that they had before the box, and before I found the box as the easy thing. It is nice to remove the 'go to' toy, and allow them to now play with their things, do craft, and on nice afternoons, play outside in the street on their bikes and scooters, and even kick a ball with me.

Now to remove the television, and recreate our space. We will do this together, as I don't want them to see the removal of the television as a punishment. It is a new way for us to be a family without the box as a distraction.

*we have a great computer that is in my room. this can be our television on weekends to have our movie nights on.

Friday, August 15, 2014

thank you royal commission

A few weeks back I did something that I didn't think I was really capable of doing. Well, I knew I could write, and it was about a subject close to my heart, and one I have great knowledge about. This time I had to use my head more so than my heart as I wrote a submission that went to the Royal Commission. It took me almost 3 hours to write. There were tea and chocolate brownie eating episodes in between. The pressure was on, as it had to be done that day, and into them by 9am the next day.

They were asking for submissions for a certain topic that I knew I could answer all, if not most of their questions. I knew I had some pretty good answers too from my personal experience of child sexual assault. This morning I received the email to say that my submission will be made public later this month.

Today is a great day. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I found our day

Today I didn't really want to happen. I am not keen on this date, and how fast it comes around. Eight years is a long time, and in another way, it isn't that long at all. I truly feel like I saw my mum yesterday, and I still reach for my phone at times to call her and tell her things. I really hope those instincts never go, as they are quite beautiful. 

grateful for my beautiful friend who took me here for the weekend 

With wanting a day to not really happen, avoidance is a good thing. However it kicked off without me having the chance of avoiding mum's anniversary. I received two handmade cards from my little people. Keely's card says; 

'I love you to the moon Nan Nan love Keely xxooo'

and inside it says,

'I love you mummy. Have a happy day' {insert two happy faces}

and on the back is a drawing of Keely putting Nan Nan's ashes in the waterfall with a rainbow behind it. There are trees and birds, and the sun is shining.

Taj's card says;

'My Nan is beautiful. I love Nan because she is absolutely brilliant.'

and on the back it says,

'I love Nan so much. Nanny absolutely…stop stop stop it might be fun.'

and on the back there is an image of my mum on the moon, touching a star and sending the star down to us. 

This is why I can never let this day not happen. Everyday my mum is in my thoughts, and right beside me. She is in our conversations, in their drawings, and always will be.

Today I swam in the 50 metre pool. I had no other choice. I wanted to swim today, and have that time with my mum. The 25 metre pool was covered, pretty much a neon flashing sign from my mum, 'don't be a chicken, swim in the BIG pool.' One lap in and I could feel the tight chest as the pool got deeper. Oh I sucked it up, and swam a good kilometre in 21 minutes and still made it for school pickup. Thank you Mumso for a day that is becoming our special day, and not the day that I lost you.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

runners can swim

Today I was counting, one, two, three, four. I was back in the pool, counting strokes, following the line and counting laps. For the first time in three weeks I smell like chlorine, and I have crunchy hair. Oh, and I feel pretty damn good too. There is something about following that black line, and being in that meditative state. There is also something awesome about a lady telling me after my swim, 'you are a very good swimmer, I was watching you!' Maybe runners can be swimmers too. If only I didn't breathe every fourth stroke, and actually learnt how to do the good old fashioned three stroke breathe technique. 

I think I should just take the compliment and go and put my crunchy hair in the sun for a bit!

Little pinwheel has a sale on the ladies mash up saltwater sandals… check it out, they are only $50 each 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

depression :: the backseat driver

Yesterday my emotions took a backseat, and the head was in the drivers seat. Well it was for a slight moment, and just enough time to relieve the pressure on my chest. Too many panic attacks in the past week as the anxiety is heightened by the smallest of curve balls. I learnt a lot in only one hour. It is a very different approach to looking at ones life and analysing the whys, instead of driving the whole hour by my emotions. I have a feeling in the coming months I am going to learn a lot about myself, maybe even figure out who I am without the sexual assault. It could all be a new life blossoming underneath me, under the layers of the pain in this chest. I always thought it would be part of me for the rest of my life. It will be, but on a whole new level of knowledge and acceptance.

Today started off a good day. I guess I am apprehensive now as I know how quickly I can be pumping through my day and then the day pumping down on me. I am however pretty proud of 3 full days of not punishing myself. Today I did, and I have no idea why. The day was a good day, turned not so good. Or do you still call those days good? 

I am still smiling, not as many tears, and the chest has given me some relief today. I have two of the most amazing beautiful children and every day I am grateful for being their mumma. I hold it together so well for them, and at the same time I am letting it all out. It is time to be strong for them in a whole new way. Their mum is going to come out of this pain and maybe one day they will know that they held my hands each step of the way.

I am also grateful for the support from you; here, phone messages, and emails.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

talking about depression

This was a blog post I didn't want to write, nor did I think anyone would want to read it, or hear about it. It's sad, and about struggle and heartache. No one wants to read about someone else's hard time fighting with the battle in their head…

Who wants to talk about depression? 

Well I want to talk about it, however I am not too sure how many people like to hear about it. Especially when the person writing the post is currently in the big dark hole of depression. I don't even want to admit it, and didn't want to admit it. I would prefer to say I am a survivor of child sexual assault, and keep the rest hidden. However it truly is time someone stood up and spoke about this taboo subject on the levels that no one wants to hear about it. {And I believe I have been doing this from the moment I opened up my mouth to share my secret}. I am not asking for any sympathy, I am just asking that you hopefully walk away from reading this post, and future posts with some kind of knowledge, and understanding of depression, and the ongoing effects of child sexual assault.

It has been 22 years since he last touched me. 22 big years. That is a such a chunk out of someone's life and some might think that is long enough to 'get over' something. {Oh how I dislike those words. You learn how to deal with it, or live with it; you never get over it}.

And with a bit of luck you will have the strength to make something of the horror you faced with the life you live today.

I have turned it into something positive. I have made a difference in the past 12 months, and I am pretty proud of my efforts. In this time I have achieved a lot, and at the same time I forgot about what was going on inside of me. It was evident for the one I love as he witnesses the nightmares, the sleepless nights, and the fear set inside of me. He can see it all. I thought I had it hidden. Buried, safely inside. However it isn't buried anymore, and it isn't safe; I don't feel safe. I am scared beyond what one should be afraid. I am afraid as the sun starts to set, and the darkness creeps on over my home. It is like I am living the nightmare of my childhood whilst being an adult and trying desperately to live a life that I deserve. 

I am suffering from PTSD. I am suffering from bulimia to help with the anxiety in my chest. {It is a moment of relief, and then it just returns. A cycle that is spiralling out of control. Even though the bulimia is a form of control, and punishment}. I am suffering from some denial of the fact I am hurting so much. I am suffering from believing I deserve to live each day, that I deserve my little people, and the man that loves me. That I deserve to have a successful business…. It all turns into, is my business really successful enough, do my children really love the life they have with me, when they have the full family unit with their father, which I cannot offer them without family of my own. Do my friends really want to hear about my struggles when they too have their own stuff going on. Who wants to hear about depression, or hang out with the lady that is crying inside, and screaming for help?

Just over a week ago I saw a psychologist about the sexual assault. Yesterday I rang one of my closest friends and asked for her help. It is hard to ask for help when you know that life goes on, and everyday people have their own things to do and deal with. Who wants to deal with that lady?

With a little hope you one day will help that lady, man, or child that puts their hand up and asks for your help. Because the strength it takes to admit that you are depressed and need help is harder to reach for than you think.

My friend came and helped me, and now I feel like she is right here with me every step of the way.

I hope whilst I am in this black hole, I can shed some light on how I am feeling and coping, as I try to beat depression from effects of child sexual assault with natural remedies, help from a specialist, my doctor and those close to me. I hope I have the strength to come here and write about my days or weeks. Because it will be a turn around. {And wow writing really helps me tap into my head, instead of the emotions I am driven by}. I have beaten it before with the loss of my mum. Now I will beat the effects of child sexual assault in order to have the strength to help turn child sexual assault into the subject we all talk about, and understand. I just hope the road isn't too long.

I just spoke about depression. I hope you can see that talking makes a person that is depressed feel less alone. It's a subject people should not be scared to hear about, because its hard to ask for help.


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