June 18, 2012
‘Happy Fathers Day Dads! AND to all those who take on the role. Have a fab day x’
‘My biological father was and probably still is (who knows) a violently abusive person, and the kind that makes me pleased divorce exists.’
May 6, 2012
Spent some time last night reading my old blogs, something I do occasionally. And I also read an old journal, that I kept, mostly in 2008, and around the months when I was at the bottom of the bottom. Below is an entry I found and read. I spent a long time chatting to my beautiful Godfather on the phone yesterday, and he is only one of two people I know in my life now, who knew/knows my biological father. Its always thought provoking to discuss my biological father. Below is an entry I wrote, in 2008 about an incident when I was young. In fact, one of the tamer times really. My father was an abusive bully, who ultimately broke the lives of the people around him, and the lives of his children. Sadly my brother was to then take on the traits of him, as he grew up, and only knew how to deal with the pain with anger himself. That left me being being in the position of being abused by father, many different times, and in very many different ways, but then as I grew up, also by my brother.
Life really is like a box of chocolates isn’t it? You never know what your going to get, or be given.
Most of the time we were at house ‘on holiday’. I dont really remember exactly how old we were but one week we spent most of the time in the garage with the babysitter, playing games. Or my stepmm would look after us. I think I was perhaps 10 years old and remember missing my mum so much. We were the other side of the country from her. I would cry. At some point I must have done this in front of my step mum, for her to simply say ‘wait until your Dad gets homes’.
When he got home, I was hiding upstairs. I dont know where my brother was. I remember him shouting my name whilst he sat on the the double bed in the spare room. He has taken off his belt and shoes, and I knew I had to go and endure the beating. It was better to go, and get it over with then endure ‘the chase’ so to speak, because then it would only have been worse.
Apparently I had upset my stepmum and disrespected her by missing my real mum. While being beaten reasonably black and blue with his belt and steel capped military shoes he kept telling me to never dare to cry again.
Maybe thats why over the years, crying became such a problem. I never dared to cry in front of them again, and in fact for many years never dared to cry again in front of anyone. In fact I never really cried at all full stop.
That same week my brother and I went skating around the base my father lived on. At the top of this huge hill were the armed guarded gates, and we’d always go to the top to say hello to the soldiers and show off our passes that said we were allowed to be on the site. Maybe we broke the boredom in their day, I hope so, but I know we enjoyed those moments. We would then skate down the hill as fast as we possibly could. Being a child at the time, the hill felt huge (it probably wasnt that good) and it was great fun.
Except for this one time, when I fell. Just by accident, it was no ones fault. Least of all my brothers. But he got the blame. He was made to sit on a chair, when we got back home, in the middle of garden whilst my father towered over him, shouting and berating him. This huge man standing over a very young, skinny, pale faced and scared child. I remember watching what happened, and yelling at the window, even banging at it. But I had been locked inside the house. What could I do? I dont know, but I should have done something.
I had dinner with my mum tonight, and during the conversation I asked her if my Dad had ever hit her. She said no. So I asked her why she thought he did us. Her reply was ‘because you couldn’t hit back’.
I believe my father did what he did to us, because exactly as my mum said, we couldnt fight back. Whatever he did to us, whatever type of abuse he endured on us, he was always the stronger person.
But I am an adult now too. And I can have the ability to be strong too. I loved a quote by Gibbs from NCIS the other night where someone said ‘I am not a victim’, he replied ‘No, your not, Your a survivor’.
And so through it all, I am starting to learn and believe that actually, despite his abuse, the bullying at school, the pain inflicted on my by my brother, the subsequents depression/selfharm and pain I inflicted on myself and then the assault in London which finally finished me off and led to what some would say a bit of a breakdown, that I am surviving. And I can survive.
One of the most important lessons over the last few years I have learned, with regards to faith and God, was given to me by someone who I love dearly, and whose family have accepted me, and love me as I am. Not long after trying to kill myself, I spent some time staying with them, and we sat in the garden one evening and their garden table, talking about the universe. I was so so angry with everything and everyone, and my view at that point of God was that he was a sadistic Nazi (I know I know, I was very angry at that time!) … and I was also frustrated and fed up with people/Christians who would say ‘well, you know God has intended all of this for good to come out of it’. Honestly? Well if you look at it that way, or think off it that way, then how can you not think God is cruel? He isnt this kind loving thing if he deliberately causes alsorts of unknown pain on someone just so good can eventually come out of it can he.
Anyway, Andrew told me this … God never intended the bad to happen. It was not His plan. In the world, or in people lives. But what He can do, and does so is somehow weave the chaos and the hurt, and eventually make something good out of it.
I was so profoundly affected by that, and its stayed with me for a long time, and been a huge part in bringing me back to a real sense of God in my life.
When I first started blogging, years and years ago, my very first blog was quite a faith blinded one. So full of life and a love for God – who was to know at that point my world would be turned upside down, and the very things then I knew i believe in would be broken. I for sure didnt.
But right now, it feels like I’m coming back full circle, but as a very different person. My faith is growing. Deepening. Through it all, even the times when I could barely utter a word to God, or when I did they were just screaming profanities, I never didnt believe in God.
So here I am. A survivor. A survivor who can now cry (a lot at times) but who is learning to live and love life, and God, again.
April 29, 2012
Below is a quote that was read out yesterday at a day I attended which was about exploring our future vocations. I found it incredibly powerful. It was used by Nelson Mandela in a speech he made, his inauguaration I think. I dont know who actually wrote it – do let me know if you do.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
also read out was the Thomas Merton prayer I have blogged once before, but will post again, because even through my unbelieving times and my ‘angry at God’ years, I have had this prayer on my wall for years and years.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone
April 11, 2011
I have no idea where this post is going, but, anyway …
my life is full of milestones. lots of them. lots of ‘its been x amount of years since this … or that’
today is one of those milestone days.
its been 3 years since i tried to take my own life. and failed miserably (well, at the time it was miserable failure)
i got my dates a little confused last week, with something else, but having clarified with my faithful old journal, today is the day. 3 years ago. wow. where have those 3 years gone? sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday, sometimes it feels like it was a long time ago.
and what an immense journey it has been. the journey beforehand was immense anyway, so i guess its been extra immense since.
Sometimes i try to put into words just how incredibly hard the last 5 years of my life have been. And i am never quite sure if i have managed to do it justice, or whether or not i just come across like some whining woman. I hope i dont. Something I think about quite often is how 5 years ago I had no idea how life was going to roll for the next set of 5 years. Same with 10 years ago. Who knew that 10 years ago the roller coaster ride of my life would bring me to this point.
Who could ever have imagined that when you are already at the very bottom, end of the rope, struggling to hang on anyway, that life could get 100 % worse. That one moment life meant one thing, and the next moment it meant another. I was already unwell, struggling with childhood memories, abuse, self harm, faith and God, big time, and then came the assault.
I wrote in a blog once, this blog, some time ago, about feeling like a glass vase, being broken in to pieces. And then each piece of glass being broken even more, into tiny shards. The smallest bits, until there were no bits left, just dust, sprinkled all over the floor, for people to trample on. Thats how i felt. It was all too much. Too too much.
i had to do something. to get out of it. on reflection, i now feel guilty. i didnt leave anything, for anyone. my head was in a spin. i was being irrational. even to this day, some very close family members do not know, because it would hurt them too much to.
I could not see any other way, i felt like life would be better with out life. i already had no life, so what was the point in breathing? I felt like everyone elses life would be better without me in it. i was too messed up, too complicated, too many issues, too much hurt/pain, too much for anyone to do anything with.
so i tried to die.
it didnt work. now i say that thankfully! it didnt work. i do believe here by the grace of god i stand (the story of how i was found is a whole other blog for another time)
thing is, its fair to say, despite it all, there were people who were able to do something with me. people who loved me. who cared.
who helped me pick myself up off the floor, and slowly turned the dust back into shards, and then into fragments. Ever so slowly and lovingly teaching me that life can be worth something. that life IS worth something. that I am worth something.
its been a long ride, and one that isnt over yet. but 3 years on and life is slowly turning. I am learning to live with myself, and some of the pain. I am learning to laugh again, to smile again, to have fun again. i am learning that I am never going to forget the past, but there is a way, and a time to move on from it. to not be beholden to it. that doesnt mean i dont have my dark days. i do. nights when i cant sleep because the nightmares have kept me awake, or i am so restless because something has triggered a memory. however, the intensity of it all isnt as intense. I dont want to die because of it!
the last thing to say that i am learning to do again, is to love and accept love. i am learning to love people and life again and accept that people and life love me.
I would like to say such a deep huge and heartfelt thank you to all of the people involved in my life the last however many years.
You have all had a part to play in the fact I am still here now. Thankyou.
thank you for everything you have done and do for me. you really have and do make a difference.
lots of love
March 1, 2011
I have been reading an old hand written diary. One I wrote roughly three years ago. In about 6 weeks time, I will be celebrating a 3 year milestone in my life, and so I thought it time to read back at how life was three years ago. How I felt, and what I was writing. Three years ago, I was a mess. A bigger one than I sometimes am now! Life was a big struggle, in fact, everything had collapsed. The letter below, I wrote, to my biological father. I wrote it the same weekend I decided I couldn’t live any more. Its very poignant to read back. To read this back. Its also poignant for me to publish it. For some of you to read. Because it signifies moving on. For me anyway. A couple of years ago, about a year or so after I wrote this, I met him. For the first time in many years. It was an incredibly emotional experience. However everything I’ve written below still stands. I never sent the letter. He has never read it. Maybe if I was to write another one now, it would be a little different. Life has changed over three years, however the hurts are often still around somewhere nearby. They never go far.
I have so much inside of me, that is never going to be said to you. So much that I want to say and so much that I just want to put at your feet. But I never will. I will probably never let you know how much you hurt me when you walked out that day. When you left that day, I was only young. A small child, but do you what one of my earliest chilldhood memories was? You. Walking out. I even remember which way your huge motorbike turned as you went out of the driveway. I have never been able to admit out loud, in voice how much that actually hurts. How much it hurts to have no happy memories of you. The summer holidays we had to endure with you were hell. Did you know that? Did you know that when you were beating me that day, in that room, my brother, your son was learning from you. Do you know that he then went on to copy you? When you were not there. Do you know that? Do you give a damn? I think not. Do you know how every word you spoke made me cry inside. Every single nasty word. Yeah, I smiled, at you and everyone else, laughed it off. Promised to try and change. Be a better, different person. But I did wonder whether even being a different little girl would have made you happy. I tried so hard to be everything you wanted me to be but every time I reached a goal you would knock it down. And how do you still have the ability to do that? Even now? Even now, while I am an adult you have this power to knock me down to the ground with your words. Do you know how much my heart used to cry because you were not there? And then how much my heart used to cry when you were there, for those 2 weeks of the year because of your behaviour and action. Did it ever occur to you how much harm it did for me to stand at that window that day while you had my brother in the garden? Did it occur to you what you were doing to my brother and I? I doubt it. How could you.
Will you ever know how much pain I then had to endure with my brother? My darling brother. Who couldnt cope with your behaviour towards him. Who turned to drink and drugs to blot out the memories of you. Who do you then think took the blows when his anger let out? That would have been me. So, I was at school, and being bullied there, and then I would go home and be bullied there too. Bullied at home is probably a tame way of saying what happened. Bruised, beaten and hurt are prbably the words that describe it best. Will you ever know how hard it was to live at home, taking it from my brother, as he let rip? And where do you think he learnt/got that from? Where did he learn to hit, smack, punch, burn, taunt and spit out words that will probably never go away from my memory?
Do you know how hard I tried to please you? How hard I tried to please everyone? And did it ever work? You will never know that as I sit writing this, the tears fall. The tears I have never cried. The tears you believe show weakness. I have spent so long being strong, not crying, because what would it do? Change everything? Make it all better? I doubt that very much. But does anyone care? Do you? Again, I think not. I usually doubt you even loved us at all. Maybe we just an inconvenience.
I dont know what it is I have to do to make you proud. To make you love me. Sometimes I ask myself why it even matters. Why you even matter. And I wish I knew. I wish I could explain.
I have never said this to anyone, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to say it to your face, but do you know how angry and frustrated I sometimes feel. Sad, angry and hurt with you, at you and your behaviour. Why couldn’t you or don’t you love us? I know I am not good enough but isn’t a fathers love suppose to not be about that? Were you not supposed to love us no matter what? Why do you disappear from my life for months on end, and then when I am finally coming to terms with you not being in contact you ring or email. Sometimes I long and long to hear from you, but then when I do I cry.
January 10, 2011
i managed to avoid the entire first series.
i managed to avoid it, despite several friends becoming ‘gleeks’.
ive managed to moan about a programme
i have never watched before, yet somehow, after watching the first episode of season 2 …
I have become a glee fan, eeek, HELP!!
January 9, 2011
Dear Mr Tong …
I award you the Institute of Fragmentz 1st class Degree(Hons) in being a Moron.
Well done. You have achieved highly.
You have also no doubt impressed upon some young or vulnerable people that having an illness which is life ruining/threatening at its worst is ‘glamourous’ because to be ‘thin’ is to be good. You could not be more wrong.
You have probably achieved what you set out. Notoriety. People have publicised you without meaning to, people have talked about you, you have trended on twitter (wahoo, bet you are so hugely proud of that) and have caused hurt and upset by the thousands. You have stamped on the lives of people who are unwell with eating disorders, and their families who also endure and suffer.
Some people think you can not be for real, that this is all a ‘stunt’. Some people think you are for real. And are listening. Thats the saddest bit to this. Because either way, what you are doing, and your achievements are of the worst kind. You are unwell yourself.
I hope you one day come the realisation of the harm you may be and are causing and what a complete lunatic you yourself have become. Go get some help.
And please dont be too proud of your Degree, from Fragmentz … as no one else is.
Without Kind Regards,
January 6, 2011
this is one of those songs ive mentioned as being very special. because a friend sent into me, to listen to. i had never heard of them, or the song. and it was such a needed piece of music at that time, and is on my list of top 5 songs.
protection by massive attack
November 11, 2010
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
Some of you who read this blog regularly may remember a post I wrote a year ago to the day, which was called ‘thank you’. It was about the experience I had with a person I was working with, an elderly gentleman who I had the honour of sitting with and talking about the war, stirred by the fact it was Remembrance Day. I shall not have that opportunity again, because sadly he died during the course of the last year, peacefully. You can find the blog here if you would like to read it : Thank you
When I wrote those words, last year, I had already been and took part in the service in town, at the 11th hour on the 11 day, of the 11 month. To remember.
As I write now, although it is 11th Nov 2010, its the middle of the night, and I have yet to go. But I shall.
Again, I shall go and stand with many hundreds, and be silent for 2 minutes. Another year has gone by, another year of people dying, in the name of their country. Another year of a war still raging, and another year of young men and woman selfless giving up their daily lives and for many their entire lives to protect with a dream of peace.
In our local newspaper, as with many local papers I am sure, there was a letter from a local Legion man, asking and encouraging support. Beside it was a smaller letter from a lady, explaining why she would be wearing a white poppy. Thing is, I do not see Rememberance Day as an appropiate day to be making a political statement.
I also do not see how wearing a red poppy suggests you do not stand for peace. I know what the poppy is, and stands for. If you don’t know the history behind the poppy, google, check it out. Its to do with the fact that poppy flowers grew out on land that was ravaged and devastated by war. It was a field that became a grave for many men. It was a field that something did grow on and survive. The poppy. The poppy represented then and does represent life, colour and hope.
A poppy represents rememberence and in this busy world, and in this day and ages when our lives are so full of other stuff, I do believe in the importance of just stopping. For two minutes of a day. Its not much is it ?
Stop , regardless of whether you agree with war or not, to remember the lives loss, and being lost now.
To remember the families effected. The children growing up without parents. The parents continuing to age without their children. The brothers and sisters who have lost siblings.
To remember those soldiers out in the battle grounds today, and those being rehabilitated after horrific injuries.
I’d also urge you to read my previous blog actually as I think it says well how I feel. Its linked above and talks a bit about why its so important to me. And in fact, as every year goes by, seems to become more and more important. Maybe its because I have a serving family member out on post presently, and a friend about to fly out as a chaplain to the soldiers already out there. Maybe its because I could easily have grown up without a mother, or a father who both served in the military.
I am not asking anyone to condone war. I am not asking people to debate it.
I am just simply and respectfully asking that you spend two minutes to remember them, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day on the 11 month.