be it with our voice or our hands we learn to speak encouraged to express our needs and wants positive or negative
but we also are learned to not communicate by the traumas we endure by the dangers of response
we are learned in skills of self preservation an innocent word triggering an abuser triggering a bully triggering the anger of another
causing violent reaction a chain reaction learning in us over years of trauma to self protect
we shut down we… shut… down…..
moving forward into adulthood damaged goods fight flight fright concreted into our damaged psyche cautious trusts so easily destroyed our fragility protected by a thin crust of bravado our lives spent walking on eggshells
the exhausting daily trials to appear normal to fit in to be more than to compensate for the imbedded feelings of worthlessness to show that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me yeah right
and then words innocently said body language misinterpreted precipitously triggering violent responses from others loved ones those we trusted
like blunt force trauma to the brain like a knee into the gut with excruciating heart-rending pain leaving us reeling winded wounded revictimised retraumatised wondering where did we go wrong again
not understanding that their triggers are not your triggers their pain like yours is causing them to react is causing a vicious spiral of damaged communication and damaged communicators
Facing unknowns Unsure of what I’m entering into Scares me shitless Fighting the triggers and alarm bells reverberating through my deep core Trying to block them out Going through the motions Appearing to be in control Appearances deceptively creating angst
So fucking exhausting
Filling out forms Trying to fit myself into boxes Am I a tick or a cross Why can’t I just be me Why do I have to evaluate, clarify, caterogize, or define myself to be squeezed into boxes of mediocrity You can have my name and address but even those are questionable some days Let me walk in Unwrap me then, if you can cuz I sure as hell can’t most days
So fucking exhausting
Answering cold calls Arrggggg Why did I respond Trigger alert Stress bucket explosion Meltdown Anger – at them, or is it at myself not their fault they don’t know what’s happening at my end of the line Tears Wild out of control emotional Wipeout Damn you trauma brain
So fucking exhausting
just one day in the life of a trauma victim/survivor
It has been just a year – a year like no other We were a fighting force gathered together like a group of raggle taggle gypsies strangers with a common cause We drove together from the south and the north Creating friendships Forming bonds Celebrating life with those who understood Talking freely Rejoicing in the energy surrounding us Fighting for freedoms freedoms lost freedoms stolen not just our freedoms – everyones Fighting for those blinded those hypnotised those scared those compliant
The toll this year has taken is indescribable The abuse The silencing The rollercoasters of energies emotional physical spiritual Exhaustion Exhausted Drained Heartbroken Numbness
Looking into this new year wanting to feel positive But knowing what’s been… Venturing in toe testing the waters Feeling apprehensive scared wary weary
But overall clutching Hope grasping Courage preparing each day to be Brave
Depression is a bitch It attacks seemingly from nowhere And yet Like a black dog it stalks constantly Stealthily waiting for the right moment To pounce To lay me low Then it holds me down It’s weight is scary and yet somewhat comforting It protects me from more hurt Snarls at perceived threats Keeps the monsters at bay Appearing to keep me safe
The 4th November 1978 seems such a long long time ago. 43 years ago today in another lifetime I married the love of my life. I was young, not quite 22yrs old & Tim was 29, but we’d known each other for over 7 years and I was absolutely sure this was what I wanted. I was blissfully innocent & ignorant to what the years ahead would hold. Thank goodness we are not given that insight!
Tim & I were married in the cute wee Anglican Church in Renwick New Zealand. The Church of the Annunciation was consecrated on March 5th 1896, and was sadly destroyed by arson in 2002.
It was a beautiful service with Tim’s Uncle Ian & my Uncle George conducting the service. My friend Cynthia and old family friend Mrs Cecily Gee playing the guitar & organ. I had chosen the music and it was venturing to the more modern side of Anglican at that time as I used the ‘modern’ Songs of Praise books as reference 😉
I have a few memories of the day
I rode to the church in a horse & cart with my parents and sister. Driven by local identity & motelier Rod Eatwell. The cart was decorated with climbing roses from the trees next door to us. But on returning I rode in the cart with Tim to have our photos taken by neighbour Graham – leaving my parents stranded with no ride home – oops!
We walked over to my parents house via a visit with an elderly neighbour who was delighted to see us in our wedding finery. The photos look serious but there was a lot of hilarity going on behind the scenes 🙂
Everything was done locally My parents didn’t have a lot of money so the wedding was not extravagant but my memories are fairly positive of a wonderful day. I only recall one negative upset and that was a difficult aunt who decided to make an issue about attending but it all worked out in the end and who cares now! Oh yes – there was a major near disaster on the day!! I’d done a very radical thing and had a perm only a few days before – shock! horror! why oh why? – it was awful. My cousin Clare thankfully came to the rescue and did my hair for me She put all to rights and made everything all perfect I will always love her for that – plus the fact she’s my big cuz and I’ve always loved her 🙂
My friend Cynthia and I sewed all our clothes over the weeks prior – my dress, Tim’s 3 piece suit, shirt AND tie, and my sister’s skirt & top. Our clothing styles weren’t appreciated by Tim’s father as the colours were a tad non traditional LOL I am definitely a non conformist from early days 😉 I remember we were also amused that his Mum wore black to our wedding too – just as well she and I got along well or I’d have thought there was more to it lol!
The food was catered by the local tavern using produce we had all supplied. Including fresh fish we netted, and fresh mussels Tim & I had harvested off the rocks on Te Ekeatekonganui / Reef Point at the back of our farm. Note that this was the only Maori word that Tim could successfully pronounce and he was most proud of that fact – which is saying a lot as it was 43 years ago when pronunciation was perceived as difficult & unimportant and not pursued by many. This was also several years before mussel farming was a thing – who knew what was ahead!
The flowers from local sources but my specific memory fails at this point. I remember my grandmother carefully nursing her neighbours lily of the valley bulbs to last long enough to be picked for my hair The photos were taken by our friend Graham at the beginning of a long illustrious career for him. No such thing as videoing but there is a tape recording packed away somewhere in my treasure boxes. The cakes were baked by my mother and iced beautifully by a neighbour from across the paddocks.
We had a weeping elm in our front garden so a huge marquee was erected over the top of it extending over the front door decking This caused many questions during the evening of how exactly did the tree get inside the tent?? We had to carry the cakes outside for a mock up of the cake cutting due to lighting. Our bestman, also Tim, tripped on the guy rope but thankfully the cakes were saved – whew! The top tier of the cake was saved as per tradition for cutting at the christening of our eldest child just a year later The All Blacks were playing Ireland with a final winning score of 10-6 that same night so most of the guests ended up inside watching on our old box shaped B&W TV which balanced precariously on top of the roll top desk in our living room. Funnily enough on the night of my 2nd wedding there was also a rugby game playing in Nelson of major importance – Crusaders vs Warratahs Thankfully there was no TV at our venue to interrupt our celebrations 😉
I did find out later that one of our guests choked on a bone during the celebrations but thankfully help was on hand and she survived – whew! The weather turned rather cold that night and unfortunately my health suffered as I got very chilled and I had a relapse of glandular fever during our honeymoon.
We spent our wedding night at what is now the Scenic Hotel Marlborough in Blenheim, and much to my grandmother’s surprise we turned up late the next morning so Tim could eat leftovers as he wasn’t going to pay for food at the hotel He was used to living very frugally and if he couldn’t pay cash he didn’t buy. A good principle to live by which wisdom many would benefit from today.
We headed off south westwards on our honeymoon that day but that’s another story for another time…
I took a lot of care when choosing my own children’s names It was important to me that they had names that meant something strong and positive They are another story for another time…
I know Why I was named but due to my young life experiences all of my three names have held very negative connotations
Recently whilst discussing my innate ability to help others my therapist suggested I was a human rights activist “No – more of an advocate” ‘What other descriptives do you think of yourself?’ “Warrior” popped into my head and with that our talk wound its way down a rabbit hole which has turned my perceptions of my names and myself upside down In a good way
I have always hated my second name My parents had friends An elderly childless couple They named me after her Hilda I have always hated the name but joked it out by saying at least I saved my brothers His name was Percival! They were reprieved from that – they really do need to thank me for bearing the burden 🙂
But when my therapist began leading me to explore further I knew Hilda meant Battle or Battlemaiden And even though we both have similar Shetland / Scandinavian roots she did not know about the Valkeries So we began exploring the stories, The Valkeries carried the chosen dead from the battlefields and carried them to Valhalla for Odin They were fierce, determined, caring, Hildr was one of the named ones she was recorded as being of importance The name was written Hilde Hildr With my Scandinavian roots and my lifelong battle to overcome the effects from my childhood abuse this really begun to resonate with me Maybe a spelling change could change my perception on my name?
My first name also has held a negative tone for me I was named after my father I was supposed to be a boy – Raymond – his second name But I was born a girl so I was Raewyn This is a made up combination name and is uncommon outside of New Zealand and generally it is found in my age group In fact statistics show it doesn’t appear as a birth name after 1971 There was never a specific meaning White doe is the closest I ever got and that seemed very twee to me
Once I began facing the demons of my past I really struggled with my name I hated that he was responsible for it That it tied me to him Or I felt it identified me with him
Here in New Zealand we are encouraged to give our mihi or introduction when greeting And within that we disclose our ancestral journey Identifying our forebears, our origins, I so struggled with this as I did not want to identify with him in any way A Maori friend helped me to process this in a way that really helped me identify in my present past not my damaged past So I could mihi safely
It wasn’t until I became friends with international friends who commented how unusual my name was. In fact a young American friend messaged me a few years ago and asked if I’d mind if she need her daughter Raewyn I was honoured It was then I began to realise how unusual it was special even! And since marrying my American and traveling there with him I am embracing it more positively and confidently In fact I had a lot of fun with their inabilities to pronounce or spell it when I say it 🙂
Then whilst down the rabbit hole I began some researching and discovered that in the 1890’s when the suffrage movement was in full swing here 1893 NZ was the first self governing nation to give women the right to vote! Anyways there supposedly was a woman named Rae Wynn who was involved in the suffrage movement which could’ve sparked people honouring her by calling their babies Raewyn, Raewynn, Raewynne,…
I also know that my paternal grandmother who carried that name must’ve been an amazing woman So I try now to look beyond that previous generation and identify with the women in my family tree from before who were pioneers Women who must have had so much strength & resilience
It feels good to be discovering strengths and positivity in my name Empowering even!
My maiden name has left a very sour taste in my mouth I struggle to identify with anything pertaining to my father I married at 21 so I have carried a different surname for over 43 years That has eased my aversion But I still become very triggered when forced to fill out paperwork with that name Or if I am identified as part of the family who carry that name
Names are important Never underestimate the power of your name And if you meet someone Never Ever Assume you can shorten their name Or use their familial nickname Unless you have their permission Or I might have to send my Valkyrie to deal with you 😉
No matter your age or abilities or situation Loneliness is it just is
It ebbs and flows you can be the happiest busiest person and still be lonely feel lonesome feel so alone in the midst of a busy room be alone in a crowd feel empty
Loneliness is an emptiness it is tears escaping for no apparent reason it is a void a blackness abandonment
Loneliness can begin through no fault of your own from grief loss estrangement abuse physical proximity social isolation emotional isolation feeling different feeling unacceptable feeling misunderstood removing yourself in your head because it hurts removing yourself before it hurts again self protection not allowing anyone in building barriers closing people out
Loneliness can be just there but you don’t know until you do