I AM NOT STRONG
It has been nearly 2 years since anything has been written here. A hiatus from writing was recommended by a dear friend and willingly I relinquished the quill. There are many reasons but the root of it is, I have been frozen in fear. This fear has been an accumulation of grief over a long period of time that is now being given it’s walking papers as it’s time to move on from my past.
To be fair, if you were to meet me you would not see any deep dark scars or external damage in any shape or form. There is a certain pride and ego in letting others think you have it all together, and so perhaps, I have done you a disservice in only showing you my outward exterior, because I make pain look positive, happy even carefree.
As a personal trainer to over hundreds, if not thousands of people over a 15-year period of my life, being up beat and bringing positivity into people’s lives is my life’s work and passion. I love what I do. I have met with and trained with the most amazing humans that could ever grace my mats. The stories of their lives are epic and tragic, as well as wondrous. I find strength in giving them strength to embrace the life they are given. Each day I love to listen and learn from them as much as they do with me. As we go thru our time together on the mats, I see their stress visibly lift and what once was a problem now has a solution or at the very least has given them some distance to get perspective on what lies ahead.
This is MY gift and I gladly give it.
I am also incredibly in love with the most amazing man God could ever gift me with. His loyalty, love, patience, humour and unwavering support has kept me together behind the scenes, to be able to put my best face forward. He sees the woman behind the mats and I thank god he still wants to be by my side. Give that man a hug the next time you see him. Seriously.
I have just recently celebrated my 50th birthday, I made it to the half century and I am grateful. Due to my profession, I am always training and so (knock on wood) have maintained my shape, albeit gravity does have its pull. I live on a beautiful tropical island surrounded by gods and goddesses of the sea and daily look out to the most movie set sunset’s created. Just look at my husbands Facebook, it’s one of those, Oh look… another sunset kind of deals.
Life looks good doesn’t it? I am healthy, in love, have an amazing dog, named Elvis, and we have the first stand up boxing club in South East Asia Thailand. I train and inspire people daily. So, there is absolutely nothing to complain about here.
But something’s been amiss, and that’s what has led me to write again.
You see - I am missing.
For those that have known of my struggles over the past eight years know that I keep a strong chin up, I am ridiculously honest to a fault (but that won’t change - sorry not sorry) and I am always looking forward. I do all of this outwardly, but not necessarily inwardly. For those that don’t know pull up a sandbag and I’ll spin you a dit. Did I mention I was married to a Royal Marine and he’s essence and hoofin.
Eight years ago I went thru a terrible divorce, epic in fact, think War of the Roses meets Kramer vs. Kramer. It got worse, the man I was married to for nineteen years then took his life and his family then took my children. Kidnapped them in fact, an emergency court case ensued in the Family-court killing fields, where I would eventually be granted one of my children. At the time the Judge who granted me my youngest son, apologized with the statement,
"I can save one of your children but the long term psychological damage that the ‘out-laws’ have created, well, you might never get the older two back.”
To this day he was right.
In my heart I want him to be wrong.
I know what hell looks like and to quote Churchill’s advice, “When you are going thru hell - keep going.” That day I defended myself against two lawyers, the ‘out-laws’ who stole the children, and my urge to constantly vomit.
Please note, Family court is NOT about the family. In it’s design it is built to bleeds your fear and finances and leaves not a good example for children.
That day I went AWOL. I went missing.
Buddha states, “The mind is everything - what we think, we become.” After that day all I could think about was loss, anger, hurt, resentment, failure, emptiness and then eventually numbness set in.
But, I read once “A virtue never tested is no virtue at all”, original quoted by Billy Bragg but in this case written by a gentleman who had to wait fifteen years to finally see his child again.
Children teach us about unconditional love within a heartbeat of their existence. I personally found it impossible to walk away from and yet I had no choice - and so - I suffered at a depth so deep and so dark. “A death by a thousand cuts.”
This Chinese quote resonates with me, deeply. So deeply in fact that I realized I am not strong, nor alone in this. In ‘this’ I mean depression and all it’s afflictions. In ‘this’ I mean, you are not alone in this. I want to help you because you help me. Issues left unresolved become like cancer, slowly eroding at everything you love.
I don’t want to feel like this anymore, or hide it. I want a hug. I want connection and I want real. Don’t you? I don’t want to be AWOL from my life anymore, nor have you lost in yours.
I want to talk about how we don’t talk about depression or PTSD and how we label people as ‘weak’ if we show a hint of not coping. Smiley faces are just that until you put a pulse and a life story behind it.
So, today I AM writing again.
This is my long road to healing and I want to share it with you in the hope you share my strength and be empowered by my resolve. These stories that have accumulated over the past eight years without my children in my life have been RAW and really real.
The first phase of this healing is – REFLECTION
I AM this Woman and I AM not Strong, but I AM Back!