Thursday, April 23, 2015

run like you believe

I am a runner, not really a hurdler. However in the past few weeks I have had to jump over hurdles to figure out who I am and what I am doing with my own life. It is pretty scary being faced with the fact you have no idea who you are anymore. Then it all starts falling into place again, and the runner starts to jump so high, the hurdles are cleared.

Today I went for a run. It wasn't just any ordinary run. This time, my legs felt light and strong, not heavy and weak. I knew it was going to be a good one. {It was my longest run since being injured in 777}. I had a lady walk past me with a big smile, just for me. I thought, she must be having a great day and I smiled back. The more I thought about it, and the more I received smiles from other walkers and runners, I realised it was me that was smiling at them. They had no other choice but to crack a grin back at me. 

Running brings me pure joy and relaxation. I planned my whole life again in one run. Sometimes the life changes in different runs, and sometimes it is pretty much mapped out the same. Of course it isn't set in concrete, but it sure is fun coming up with some impressive life dreams. I do hope that some of what I thought about today comes true.

Today I ran 10km. That used to be a short run for me, and no doubt in the coming months as my coach starts to push me harder, the runs will become longer. For those 10km, I smiled because I felt free. I was running because I believed in myself, and it was like those people walking and running passed me, could see that belief written all over my face.

I may have lost a huge part of me in the past 6-12 months, however I am coming back, stronger and smarter than ever. For those who stood in the shadows and hid away, I hope that they will soon come back out and run beside me. I believe when a person believes in themselves, others believe in you too, and they will stand right beside you in your dreams and in your life, as you will theirs.

Happy sunshine Sydney!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

being someone awesome beyond the survivor of child sexual assault

When I set out on my journey to be somebody that made a difference, I took the little girl inside of me, held her hand and brought her along for the ride. I was a victim of child sexual assault for a long time. That moment I held my own hand is when I became a survivor. The thing that came to me late last week is that I don't need to be a survivor for the rest of my life. So what label will I wear, and who's hand will I hold?

Being the victim, you could only imagine the horror that I faced, and faced for many years. Finding my voice allowed the horror to end, and for me to start a new life beyond the child suffering at the hands of abuse. From the victim I fought and I built courage and strength I didn't even know was humanly possible. I became Blease, not the name I was previously known as when I was a victim. With my mums help I carried her father's name with pride and love. I was just part of her from that moment, no part of him. That in itself was strength. Although it was the steps it took to become that name that the strength came from. Every single step was built from me. Every single step I took forward to fight him in court, to fight to have my own identity with a new name, to make the step to leave all of my friends and family to be free and safe was from my steps alone. From my own strength. Because I chose to be strong and to have courage to be free.

I am not sure this is making sense, however I have come to realise there is so much more than being the survivor of sexual assault. You could almost say I have had an epiphany. But for me it is just another step in my life for being more than what he ever believed I was. 

Today I spoke for an hour about me, about what I believed, and what I have come to realise in the past week. Today was massive, huge, enormous. 

Today I became me. I moved away from the title of survivor of child sexual assault. In the past week I made the decision that I cannot live in fear. I cannot allow him to have that hold on my life. I don't want to be afraid of the dark. So I made the choice not to be. Easier said than done, it has taken time, not an overnight achievement. And I have no doubt there will be times when I am scared. However I choose not to be. I am allowing myself to have the courage to be myself. To live a life where I am free, and able to help others. 

I am Hayley Blease, an advocate of what you can become if you believe in yourself. Don't give up believing that one day you can be more than what you thought you were. Believe that you can have awesome, and completely deserve awesome, because you too are awesome.

Now that is what Be Brave is all about. I cannot wait to grow more as I take more steps into achieving what needs to be achieved to make our world aware and safe. I don't need to hold my own hand anymore. I want to be the person that holds hands, and makes a difference to another life other than my own.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I killed the monster under my bed {in my head}

Life will be full of tough questions from our children. Some may be easier than others to answer and others will give you a lump in your throat, some may even make the saliva in your mouth dry up as you try to answer their questions. Yesterday I thought my mouth would dry up and I would lose my train of thought. I didn't want to stuff this one up. He is only 6, and he is my little guy and I will do anything to protect him and his sister.

Twice in the same week I was asked about the man that stole my childhood innocence. 

Taj: mum where is your dad? (I am silent, say nothing as I am thinking). Where is the man that nanny married to have you? Who is he?

Me: I'm not sure, maybe still in Canberra

Taj: is he dead? Can I meet him?

Me: I have no idea if he is dead. (Silently I am hoping he is). No you cannot meet him as I have nothing to do with him and I haven't seen him for a very long time and do not want to. He is not a nice man.

Taj: What did he do? 

Me: he hurt me

Taj: with the wooden spoon? 

Me: no, worse

Taj: oh mum, did he hit you with a rock?

Me: no worse. Taj he is not in my life or our life because he did things that makes him a monster. 

Taj: oh wow he's a monster!

Taj hugs me for ages, as this was our morning hug time, and then runs out to Keely, 'did you know that mum's dad is a monster?!' Keely answers with a yes.

In this situation it could have been cut off quickly. I could have said nothing. However I did not come out of silence to not protect my children. They need to know in a safe way that no one is to hurt them as there are consequences. That we are not shaped by other people's actions. My mouth didn't dry up, I was confident with a little shock. He is only 6 and asking me something I didn't think I would be answering until he was much older. Keely and Taj both know why I did 777 and why I run. They know enough for it to be clear to them that I am trying to protect children by sharing my story. One day they will hear the story and know the story. I have hope that they will take this through their lives in a positive and strong way.

This past week I have learnt a great deal about myself. It's been a week where I have allowed myself to finally believe that I am more than I believe I am. It was a lovely email that I received that kicked me up the butt. It was about luck and my luck, and the fact it isn't luck. See the thing is, I am not lucky to have the life I have. I have earned every bit of the good stuff. I deserve to be loved and love right back. I have my courage and my strength because I built that. It isn't the abuse that shapes me. I have shaped me. I am the awesome, loving, generous, successful business woman and an awesome mum because I've chosen to be that person.

I really lost myself for a while there. No confidence in who I am and what I am doing. I am grabbing myself by the ear, and pulling myself out of this hole I only dug myself. I have no idea where the confidence went. But believing in the words that come out of my mouth, believing in my choices, and my beliefs, will in turn give me back that confidence to be the person I am. 

Now I am off for a run.... because I believe I can run!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

my mum held my hand, as I held my daughter's hand

Today is a huge day for me, it is Little Pinwheel's 6th birthday and my mum's birthday too. Each year it is a double celebration for the business that continues to be a success and the mum I have sadly lost. Every birthday I realise how lucky I am and grateful I am to have made the decisions I have made in life. All of this wouldn't be possible without my mum's love and support. She doesn't know about Little Pinwheel, as it was launched 2 years after she passed away. However I know she would be proud.

Today was also huge because my beautiful girl asked if I had a dad, and she asked me where he was. I knew by the look on her face and the way that she asked me, that she knew that he had not been a nice man. I guess her question came up today after we had looked through my mum's album, and there is not one image of me growing up with a father in it. 

Keely's eyes welled up as the questions started. I hope I said the right things, and I think I did. I told her that I don't have a dad because he hurt me. I told Keely he was mean to me. She cried, and she asked me what he did. I told her that I am ok, that her mum is here and safe and right there with her. He could not hurt me anymore. 

To hold her hand in mine and see the pain she had on her face was heartbreaking. She genuinely cared.  I told her that is why I run, why I helped her school, and why I continue to do things to help make children safe.

I am grateful that Keely asked me these questions. I am also glad it was today; I had mum holding my hand.

Happy birthday mumso, and happy birthday Little Pinwheel! {Woo hoo, 6 years}

*I shared mine and Keely's conversation as I feel this is a turning point in my life. Back when mum passed away, Keely was 7 months old. She saved me through the loss of my mum. Today she may just have done the saving again. I needed my groove back in the dreams I have inside my heart. I just need to find my shuffle again, and I will be dancing towards helping create a safe environment for our children.


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