"Real happiness is found in the struggles we undergo to realise our goals, in our efforts to move forward." Daisaku Ikeda
I’ve never really had the opportunity to tell my story. So when I was asked to give an experience at the local Buddhist meeting, I initially said ‘yes’ with ease. But it was quickly followed by immense doubt and fear, over what I was actually going to say..
I still hold deep emotions over what my life has allowed me to experience. Some of which I am still yet to unpack.
But none the less, Yesterday (Sunday) I did a natural – non planned experience of my time with the Choose project I had been working on last month. Even though I feared the whole process, at the end some of the women’s division there – truly thanked me for sharing my proof of our practice, and my faith in the mystic law.
But I figured there was no way that anyone could truly understand the profundity of my time working for the choose project, if they didn’t know any of my background history. So getting practice in writing about my experience, could be a good way to preparing an experience for the magazine our group publishes.
This Choose project had an anti bullying focus, and taught themes of anti passive and physical violence.
Which is something truly close to my heart. Empowering those, who have been targets of abuse growing up, and reducing the risks of abusive events happening to youth in their formative years. So representing a programme that talked about real life issues youth and adults alike are facing right now! struck chords within me…
It allowed me to look deeper at where I came from, and why I was passionate about working in these fields of education and empowerment. It made me look at my stories of passive and physical violence in my life, and question what could have been done? But also, what could I do, to stop these things from happening in society.
Sparking interest to write a foundation of where i have come from, for you to understand why it is a miracle and blessing that i am even here today, to talk to people out there about why life is such a treasure, and something to hold onto – and cherish. No matter how hard things get, We must choose to strive forward and honor ourselves in the process.
In order to understand the profundity of my experience, I will give some context to my upbringing and background.
My mother and father split when I was two years old. Due to my mother having an affair with the neighbor. After months of trying, my parents just couldn’t live together any longer. My dad worked two jobs to keep the finances up.
So I lived with my dad from the age of 2/3 through till I was age 4. Mum had to take time out to sort out her life, and get herself set up, after the marriage breakdown. Dad in this time, still was working horrendous hours, so often I stayed with baby-sitters. Those of whom I didn’t like. My only memory of this time is crying at the gate when Dad’ left for work – every time.
Dad couldn’t sustain the baby sitters, and so eventually called my mum to let her take me back.
Back to my mum again, with her new partner – my soon to become stepfather Dave. We lived in a small cottage next to this two storey colonial house, and had a relatively normal life there.
The hitch up being, that Dave was a pretty heavy drinker – And aside from that I was too young and oblivious to know the details of what life was like for my guardians at that time.
What plagues me is that from this period on, my mother and I would endure a hard hitting trial of suffering and abuse for the next 12 years of our lives – Now having this man in our lives.
I recently wrote to my mother about some resurfacing memories. Those of early memories of Dave tucking me in to bed, during my 4-5 year age – Often I recalled lollies to bribe me to sleep, but also I remember getting high on my asthma inhaler or hyperventilating in my room. Often resulting in hallucinating, to another world much prettier than the one I was in.
But when I talked to my mum about this, she had said that she administered my inhalers when I needed them, so doubted the idea of me having access to it alone at that age.
Isn’t it strange what the human mind can do? Memories, thoughts, feelings, actions..
I grew up an only child, and really struggled with social life.
I grew up around alcohol and drugs, gambling and racism. Spent a lot of my time in my room writing, and listening to music.
The only confirmed thing I know at the moment is – That I was sexually abused from the age 9. By Dave.
All the way through till I was 15/6 years old.
How was I to know, that through it all i would find a way to transform all of this karma, and experience into something of value. Into something positive, and good for my soul… even though it’s toughness wears deep.
I can sit with happiness, and strength in knowing I am not alone.
To be continued
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