Like most people in the world, I’ve certainly faced my fair share of challenges in my 31 years on this Earth. It’s only now that I realise the depth of the traumas we went through as children and fully comprehend the true effects of the emotional abuse I suffered in one of my relationships and the subsequent anxiety and depression that ensued.
Let me take you back….
My parents divorced when I was 9 and Mum became an alcoholic. Slowly at first, under the radar. You wouldn’t really notice it – or perhaps we had become so accustomed to Mum’s drinking it seemed “normal”.
Throughout the next 6-7 years my sisters and I witnessed Mum suffering at the hands of several violent partners. Things you should not see as children.
At the peak of Mum’s addiction, she began self-harming and it’s only now as adults we realise the full impact that emotional neglect through childhood has on you as an adult.
Unfortunately, Mum never recovered from her addiction and sadly after many traumatic years battling her illness, her body could no longer take the neglect and she was admitted into intensive care in 2018.
After a few days she had to be put into a medically induced coma to give her the best chance of recovery but after 9 days fighting, we had to make the devastating decision to turn her life support off.
How I changed my life
Thankfully I had a great support network and a strong belief in myself that I could turn things around; I knew that I still had time to make a change. I asked myself what would happen if I stayed in this relationship and changed nothing. How would I feel about my life in 10 or 20 years? The thought both terrified and inspired me. I had to take action.
I left the relationship and started having therapy and CBT. This helped slightly but I still new I had to find my old sparkle again....
That’s when I found a coach.
It was the answer that I had been seeking!
Once I had been coached I realised the magic and power behind it and it sparked my desire to become a coach myself!
Through my training, it’s only now that I realise:
I spent years not feeling heard and seen, I felt like no-one cared what I had to say.
I also felt like the biggest people pleaser on the planet because my natural reaction was to be peace keeper, learned from years of trying to avoid conflict at home.
I had no ability to set boundaries, as I had no-one to learn this behaviour from growing up. I didn’t know that I could say no and put myself first. I always put Mum first and looked after my 2 sisters and in later years put my spouse before me.
My self esteem was low because I had no sense of identity.
When I first started having coaching, my coach once said to me that I use language of an “obedient child” even as an adult, meaning that I show up feeling like I am not equal to others in the room and that I don’t value myself as much as others.
I used language such as “I’m so sorry”, “I don’t know”, “If that’s OK?”, “No worries if not”, “I need to do this”, or “I should really be doing that”.
Language that kept me feeling small and demonstrated my lack of confidence and self-worth.
It was a real shock to me! It made total sense though and I vowed to start making some serious changes. I put all my efforts into self development and helping others has actually helped me to heal too.
Through the use of coaching and NLP my emotions are now balanced and the life lessons I’ve had leading up to this have allowed me to pause, reflect and pull out coping mechanisms to deal with the emotions I am facing.
The effects of my childhood led me into an emotionally abusive relationship; looking back I realised I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Trauma is used to trauma... or so I thought!
I was naive and convinced I could save people from themselves, just like I tried with my Mum.
This relationship caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety and it was having a physical effect on my health. I was being signed off work with depression, I was constantly worried and fearing that I was losing my mind all the time.
As a result of this, I lost myself. The true me. I had no clue how to live authentically as I didn't know who I was anymore.
Then finally, a lightbulb switched on. I knew deep down that I deserved a better life. I had no idea how it was going to happen but I knew I had to do something.
“Resilient people are like bamboo in a hurricane - they bend rather than break"
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