A message came through in the early hours of the morning only we didn’t hear phone ting.
My husband’s step father had a stroke at around midnight last night and was taken to hospital-the very place we need to stay away from right now.
Totally unexpected and such a shock.
Thankfully, as far we know right now, 80% of his movement has returned and I am more concerned about the week’s stay in hospital that is ahead of him.
He is 83.
We are unable to visit him.
We are unable to comfort my Mother in-law in person.
As a family, we must pull together, adjust and do things differently.
I am reminded of a well know Dr Wayne Dyer quote;
”If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change”
My Mother in-law acted with haste.
He was given the medication that he needed quickly.
He is alive.
For that… I am truly grateful.
What ever life throws at you, there is always a choice in how you respond.
Wherever you are in your life right now, today, this very moment… know that you have real choice in how you respond to your current situation and to the world at large. If its all getting too much then change your channel, shift it up a notch, remember who you are and whatrole you play in this present moment.
Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything
Maybe its about unbecoming everything that isn’t you
We are all living in extremely challenging times right now and change is occurring daily.
I wrote a long post last week which needed editing a little and has been waiting patiently in my draft section to be brought to life-only what I wrote, seems terribly insignificant now.
What do we write about in such uncertain times?
I know that their are millions of people feeling overwhelming panic and fear right now and I believe that we can also find ways to uplift and inspire others to learn new ways of getting through this experience that we are being presented with?
For me personally, I can honestly say that I feel like I have beenwoken up from along and arduous sleep.
My beliefs and values are going to be different from yours and that’s great because the world would be an incredibly uninteresting place to be living in if we all thought exactly the same way.
I love that we have a space like this to be free with our expression of life.
Covid-19 is waking us up as a human race.
Look what’s happening around you…
If you look at the spaces in-between suffering and pain you will notice so many beautiful things;
The list goes on…
Our planet was in a terrible, unhealthy place three weeks ago and dying at an increasing rate. Scientists have recorded insurmountable healing growth because of LOCK-DOWN.
All the arguing over Brexit is old news and seemingly insignificant.
There is no division between race.
We are all equal.- especially in our time of collective need.
Money has no value, not in the grand scheme of things.
And so on…
I send love out to the world for all of the loss that families are experiencing.
I send strength, support and eternal gratitude out to our medical staff who are at the forefront of this turmoil.
I want you to know that this is your time to be free with who you are and welcome the extraordinary opportunity that is being presented to you now.
Wake up and live…
If your life is not working the way you want it to work then utilise this time to change it.
Learn something new online, there are so many free courses.
I close my eyes and feel the strength of this incredibly powerful piece of music which exudes emotion.
It is an essential human need to feel and be safe. Each and every person alive has the right to live without fear and yet so many of our fellow men, women and children do not experience this.
The internet has recently been overwhelmed with the ‘Be Kind’ saying and isn’t it really that simple? To be kind to one another to whomever we meet along the way. A simple act of kindness can change a person’s life in an insurmountable way, so why is it so very difficult for some?
I don’t always get it right in fact there have been times in my life where I have been unkind, maybe not intentionally but still I have acted out of fear and frustration which has caused another to feel sad or some kind of pain.
For that behaviour, I am truly sorry.
I do believe that behaviour is learnt and whatever we are subjected to when we are young children can have a profound effect on our ability to make healthy choices,when we are adults. That being said, laying blame on our past won’t get us very far. It just keeps us in that state of difficulty and quite possibly distress.
My life is where it is today because of the choices that I have made over the years. I can not and will not blame my present dysfunction on the trauma that I experienced as a child. Yes the experience shaped me in so many incredible ways and then I had a choice to take charge of my being, my strengths and my weaknesses-to harness the suffering and difficulty and run full speed ahead with it to create a safe, healthy and joyful life. The drain on my mental health has at times, nearly sent me over the edge and I am not afraid to sat that anymore…
To feel fragile and alone is not joyful for anyone.
When I listen to beautiful emotive music I am able to lose myself and step into a world of creative imagination. Although I still feel sad I am also free withoutrestraint and just for a moment my mind goes some place else. I can feel my body change and express itself in such a gentle way.
In a gentle way, non aggressive, not frustrated, no anger just letting go and all in a few minutes, I can feel the space in between the music and me.
I long to feel gentle and yes I know how strange that may sound but for my entire adult life I have been a fighter, a survivor, the aggressor, the controller everything but gentle. I feel lost behind this huge armour that I wear, ready to do battle to protect myself and the people I care about.
I know that I would allow myself the risk of death in order to save another’s life.
It is who I have become.
I am completely burn’t out and long for the gentleness and warmth my body has to offer me.
The love of self that awaits me, when I choose to be it, will heal the self and offer me a healthy, energetic heart that is full of joy.
Not sure where I am going with this today and just enjoying the expression.
So here I am, the other side of that painful story.
It has taken almost a year to write so very little and yet such a massive part of my personal history and now I need a break from the deep and painfully bleak writing.
IT’S NOT WHO I AM.
MY STORY DOES NOT DEFINE ME.
I AM SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.
And, there is so much more to the story.
So who am I?
I have a name, but that’s not who I am.
I have a beating heart, but that’s not who I am either.
I wear many hats-wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and so on…
I have often questioned myself about why I am here?
What is my purpose?
What is life all about?
I feel so deeply and am forever questioning the world around me. I don’t see life as black and white and I believe that we are all connected on some level.
In 1986 having just turned 18, I qualified as a Nursery Nurse (NNEB) and then travelled to Chicago to become a live in Nanny which only lasted 4 months. That’s a story for another day!
I worked as a Nanny for several different families whilst starting out on my career path and then progressed to supporting young single Mother’s with children and often times, children at risk.
Over the years, I have worked within a specific needs capacity, intensive behaviour support and learning support.
I have also run three small businesses part time whilst being a stay at home mum and not forgetting all the extra jobs to earn money whilst caring for my young family-working in a shop, taking in foreign students, cleaning, care in the community and ‘out work’ which consisted of putting screws in to tiny plastic bags.
I have certainly have had a ‘varied’ working life.
Continuous personal development has always been a fundamental part of my growing and evolving and for many year’s I have continued to attend training courses and study many different schools of thought.
In 1999, I was so blessed to have been given the opportunity to travel to the USA and complete my Practitioner training in Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Programming (HNLP) and then the following year, my Master Practitioner.
What I learned blew my mind away and challenged my core beliefs and values.
I literally felt like I had woken up and my thinking changed phenomenally. I began to see everyone and everything around me, from a completely different view point and this led to my ability to have a greater understanding of who you are and why you do the things you do.
The difficulty for me was that I had made such a significant change and was ready to take onthe world but the world (the tiny Island I live on) wasn’t ready for me and I was often met with hostility and sometimes humour when in conversation with others about this modern and new way of thinking.
When I look back now, it was never really a modern way at all… I believe that the world just needed to catchup and wake up.
Over the past 20 year’s I have worked independently 1-1 with adults and young people in a therapeutic, support and mentoring role. Awareness about the possibilities for change for each and everyone of us is crucial if we are going to thrive and maintain a happy, healthy life.
My passion for my work is insurmountable.
My commitment to lead my client to a greater resolve has always been and will always be a humbling and profound experience.
I am full of gratitude to be able to serve.
My commitment to myself remains to be chaotic and I don’t use that word lightly. I am fully aware of the difficult path that I am choosing right now.
There are many lessons that I still have to learn…
Everyday is a new day which is met with new learning curves for me and that’s okay. I know that when I fully commit to myself, allowing my life to unfold gently without my pushing my past in front of me, then I will serve an even greater purpose to others.
For that… I am excited.
With studies of human potential and the mind body connection, we are beginning to reawaken and remember what we have always known…
Moving back home after my Father died, was extremely difficult for me.
I lived in fear before he died and now I was afraid he would appear as a ghost and having worked with children for many years, I now know and understand, that it really wasn’t necessary to be told that he died in my bed.
Some details are better left unsaid until a vulnerable mind is able to process it.
I was unable to enter the bedroom alone and refused to sleep in there too, so continued to share my Mother’s room for a further year.
Feelings of anxiety was rife and I can not say that anybody really understood how I felt-how could they? We are all individuals and make sense of our world differently and all those years ago, access to grief counselling or therapeutic help, wasn’t readily available.
There are three things in particular(apart from the obvious) that stand out for me that happened over the weeks that passed after his death.
At night my Mother would take me up to bed and say goodnight. She would then go downstairs to watch television. I’m sure, it was a much needed escape from the situation she found herself in and from a grieving teenager. I laid in what would have been my father’s bed and for as long as I possible, I managed the overwhelming fear that engulfed me.
All of a sudden the panic would take over and I’d rush down the stairs sobbing.
It felt impossible to contain the fear and anxiety.
My brothers were never really home at this point and my mother was trying to bring some normality back into our live’s. Bedtime for me, mean’t time out forher etc… I know that I would have felt safe, if the boys were upstairs nearby but instead I was alone in a room that was jammed packed with trauma, next to a room that felt full of loss and ultimately death.
My running downstairs went on for sometime and in the end my mother lost her patients with me and began to offer punishments as a threat if I didn’t stay in bed.
I just couldn’t do it.
She just couldn’t handle it… or me.
I remember clearly getting to the point where I would grab my bed pillow, creep down the staircase quietly and sit on the bottom step of the stairwell. I sat awkwardly on the step so that I could continuously turn my head upwards, in the direction of the landing, where my father may show himself.
I felt sure he would.
I was consumed with fear.
Eventually as I recall, one of my brothers found me sat upright, with my head in my lap on my pillow, asleep. On waking me, I cried telling him how afraid I was and that I was being told off for not staying in bed to which he reprimanded our Mother for not understanding.
Put simply, she didn’t have the energy or emotional understanding and was wrapped up in her own grief.
The second memory that is poignant, is when my big brother surprised me with a kitten one evening. Something of my own to love and nurture. He was living and working at a holiday camp at the time and a stray cat had given birth to a litter of kittens. My brother and his then girlfriend whose nickname was Tiggy, placed this tiny little tabby bundle of joy, into my arms whilst I was laying in bed, unable to sleep. My Mother knew nothing about it but my brother knew only too well, that she wouldn’t have the heart to take the kitten away from me.
I fell in love instantly and named the kitten Tiggy too.
My brother knew and understood how much I was struggling and I wanted so badly to go and live with him.
I hated it every time he left me.
At some stage I had to return to school and this is where the third most significant memory comes from. The day I went back, I remember walking up the main school pathway with my friend and people were staring at me. There was one particular group of girls stood to the side and one said very loudly;
“That’s the girl whose Dad just hung himself on the gas pipe out side of her house!”
The story that was spreading quickly around the school was that my father had hung himself on the gas pipe that lead from above the back door, to the shed, as a result of my mother failing to pay the bills.
A gentle and courteous re-awakening for the coming day.
It is quite possible that the very last person to see my Father alive was my school friend Allie, whom had returned my roller boots home after borrowing them. They were also the last gift that my father had given me for my 13th birthday, 3 months previous to his passing.
Allie told me sometime after he died, that she was worried about me because I hadn’t been attending school and decided to take my roller boots back to my house to see where I was. After several attempts of knocking on the door and as she turned around to leave, my father opened the door only very slightly and she asked;
“Is Michelle in please?” and my father told her I wasn’t there.
Allie passed the boots to him and he quickly shut the door without another word.
She said he looked unshaven and terrible.
As I have said before in my previous posts, I can not be exact about the timings of what happened but I do know that the boots were taken back, the day before my father died.
So right now I find myself back at the evening when I prayed for God to take him back to Heaven…
and the prayer was answered…
My Mother’s belief is that my father would have been cold because she left the house that Sunday morning, without lighting the fire. For years, the guilt about leaving him like that, has eaten away at her.
A neighbour had felt concerned because she hadn’t seen him for some time and as the gossip had hit the street so effortlessly, she contacted the police.
And she was right to do so because my father was found dead, lying on my bed wearing his Snorkel Parka coat zipped all the way up to the top, as if to keep warm.
What I ImagineHis mind weary
wretched and confused
He laid down
Covered in a shroud of grief
cold and alone
to live no more
Once a handsome young boy
with jet black
A melancholy heart
His eyes fell closed
his prayer unheard
He gently whispered
A thwarted Soul
A Ruptured life
A weeping childLet this be his Deliverance
My eldest brother was asked to identify his body as my Mother was unable to do it and he told me many years later that he wanted to make sure that,
“The old man was definitely dead.”
He was only 21 years old.
My father was only 47 when he died.
There was no money to pay for a funeral and it must have been a nightmare for my Mother to arrange. I know that my Grandmother sent money from Australia to help with the costs and I believe my mother sold my father’s car too. My Godparents were a great help, organising the wake at there house.
The day of his cremation, seemed surreal and a bit of a blur really. I recall us having one black car for my Mother, my two brothers and myself. The neighbours were standing out in the street watching on, as we drove off down the road and I also remember my brothers laughing in the car at some point.
I felt terribly sad about that and the sadness turned into numbness.
At this point, I still hadn’t cried at all.
I don’t remember the service but I do remember sitting on the stairs of my Godmothers house during the wake, feeling angry at all the people who had come to eat and drink when my father had just left this world.
It felt very wrong…
A few years back, when having a conversation with my mother about my father, I asked her why she would allow my father’s coffin to be left open at the front of the Crematorium for people to pay their last respects? I told her that I felt it was a terrible thing to do, to allow a 13 year old child to see her father dead and that it had caused nightmares for several years. My Mother was mortified to say the very least, telling me that she didn’t know what I was talking about-that it had never happened.
Up until that point, I completely believed that my father’s coffin was left open during the service and he was wearing a blue hospital gown. His arms were crossed, resting upon his chest and he had a blue complexion. I had even shared this with friends during conversations about loss and grief etc…
My 13 year old mind made that part up.
I never got to say goodbye.
The trauma that settled in that day, had such an lasting impact that went on to effect my whole entire adult life.
The Post-Mortem determined that the cause of death was Ventricular Heart Failure.