Have you ever looked back on the past and thought, “Gee, didn’t I F#@K that up!”?
Or ever reflected on the past and wondered how you got things so wrong, or how you ever overcome other things, or what the hell did you do in a past life to deserve this?
Have you ever looked back and thought “Gee, I’ve done some damage to my kid/s”. And did you know how to help them heal or move on from that after?
As always, my vulnerability and learnings are my greatest shares with each of you, so I wanted to share some of my darkest confessions, that few know. Hopefully, there will be some or many things you can take away from this and apply to your own life – learn from my mistakes, rather than have to make your own.
I came across this photo yesterday morning, in my Facebook memories, posted 10 years ago.
At first my heart exploded at how beautiful and little my boy is. But then I took a closer look because I saw something I never considered to look at before. Or was not open to see.
I actually LOOKED deep at this photo and I was honest with myself – and it pained me to see it.
I looked at Jake’s eyes, (and mine), and when I looked I saw it clear as day;
He didn’t look like the happy, excitable, crazy, young boy that I remember, or that he is now. My beautiful baby boy is incredibly sad and alone. And I am wearing the mask of ‘happy’, but there are some things that give me away too.
Being a trainer of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), one of the techniques we teach is reading physiology – looking at Jakey’s physiology in this photo; he is closed off and guarding his heart space (slumped over), his eyes are dark, his lips are small and thin, and there is not a lot of colour in his cheeks.
His small smile is so forced and his beautiful little face is so sad that it pains me to look at this photo.
Then I look at myself – my eyes too are dark, no depth to them. My smile is fake. The mask is definitely on. What’s more is that I’m not even touching my boy; no hug, no light touch of comfort or any sign of affection.
He is there and I am there, but we are not ‘there’ together – we are not attuned as Kerwin Rae has since educated me on.
I look at this photo and it makes me sad that this was our journey then and that the damage I had done with my boy, the Mother’s Guilt that I had carried until recently, was so clear then, but I clearly couldn’t see it.
I know what I have overcome over the years and what I have worked so incredibly hard on; in myself, as a mother and in our relationship, but to see the old me, a sad Jakey and the old us, in that photo is so confronting.
But it’s also so rewarding to see the contrast, because it is so drastically different now, and to see how that has changed is beautiful.
Without the darkness we can not appreciate the light. And with this photo, it has given me a new appreciation for where we are now, (even though I know how much closer we are now).
As they say, a picture is a thousand words.
What went ‘wrong’?
The simple answer – me, everything and nothing.
I am coming to understand that there is no right or wrong. That things just are. Hard pill to swallow in a world where there is much forced down our throats for right, wrong, good, bad, heaven, hell…
But in truth, we live, we learn (hopefully the first time so we don’t have to repeat the lesson), we grow, we evolve. There are no coincidences, for everything is happening for us to be able to learn the life lessons we are here to work through, to realign with who we truly are and to shed the layers that no longer serve us.
What I’ve come to learn, is that it is so much more than just one event or our behaviours, that we perceive to be ‘wrong’ that impact our lives, and the lives around us – it’s our environment, our genetics, our DNA, our language, our beliefs (not necessarily ours either; could be parents, societies, religion etc) and so many other factors.
But rather than look at all that, let’s look at this in a more bite sized chunk that we can understand and digest easier. With that photo, let’s just look at the one event leading up to it, that demonstrates how much one event can drastically shape the future, our beliefs and our actions, regardless of the compounding effect of anything else (as touched on above).
The monumental event that changed everything
I’m sure you would have a point of reference for a monumental event, good or bad, where life changed as you knew it, in a split second. Yes?
So, let me share just one of mine.
The one person in my life whom I adored, cherished and loved deeply from a child, was my Nana. I was closer to my Nana then my own Mum, (both pictured here).
As a child, I would spend a lot of my holidays with my Nana. As adults, we had an even greater bond. She became one of my best friends. She would support me and I would support her, (particularly when her partner was diagnosed with Alzheimers and the challenges she faced then).
She loved a drink, (actually it was her addiction) but as adults we had the opportunity to create many happy memories over a drink, or few. One specific memory that always comes to mind is her 63rd birthday.
A small group of us decided we would take her out for ‘a night on the town’ – aka the local club (previously The Rum Jungle). She was a hit! Everyone commenting on how ‘cool’ Granny was, as she jived her way around the dance floor with her XXXX in hand, cursing when she heard Elvis Presley’s ‘A Little Less Conversation’ remixed. But you couldn’t wipe the smile from her face all night.
On the 2nd May 2008, a few weeks later, she was found dead in her townhouse. And I had found her.
Loosing her shook my core.
Finding her destroyed what parts of me I thought I had left.
I shut off and shut everyone out.
I broke down.
I became the ‘Ice Queen’ – cold hearted, disconnected from real emotions, showing no signs of ‘weakness’ (emotions) or capable of being affectionate.
Even towards my son, more than ever.
I unconsciously constructed my ‘GWOC’ (Great Wall of China) which solidified my cold heart and surrounded my essence – unconsciously ‘protecting me’ from ever experiencing pain, heartache and devastation like that again.
I didn’t know how I would ever move on, nor could I not imagine having those images and smell haunt me for the rest of my life.
The first year of grief is the hardest, and back then I had 0 tools to help me work through any of my trauma, let alone this.
So, I soon found myself living a life I never imagined – engaged in activities that masked the pain, rendered my greatest shame by living similarly to my Mum, but made me feel good momentarily instead.
I found music festivals and multiple ways to ‘distract’ myself from the pain, the memories that haunted me, the trauma that consumed my very being then, not thinking of anyone or anything, other than going out, dancing and feeling good.
I would reason with logic that my boy was perfectly OK because what I was going out and doing, (for the most part and certainly until the last few months) I was doing when he was at home, in his bed asleep, with one of our many housemates/family there so as not to disrupt his routine.
The lies we have to tell ourselves to reason and justify our behaviour, right?
After that monumental loss, I struggled to let anyone in, to come close, to feel any real emotions – I was ‘safe’ on my side of my wall because as lonely as it was, I knew how to manage that. There were no surprises, other than who would come out and party with me each night. I was certain in my world of numbness and disconnect, and I could manage that.
Unfortunately, my boy suffered from my post trauma; when all he wanted was his Mumma and her love, comfort and security. Instead he got an empty shell for a long while.
That photo was taken approximately eight months into that first year after loosing my Nana, and very obviously, was having a great impact on the both of us.
But he certainly saved me… Saved me from going as deep as I’ve seen so many people go, (more on this in my next blog ‘Loving an Addict’. He was my reason for always coming home, always sleeping, always going to work, always maintaining as regular a life as I could muster at the time. For that I am deeply grateful for as I was able to maintain some control and strength to not go down the rabbit hole too far.
It wasn’t until it was nearing my Nana’s one year anniversary that I took a good hard look at myself, felt insurmountable shame for my behaviour, ‘being like my Mum’ and for what I was doing to my boy (because I had been there with my own Mum). Knowing that my Nana would have been extremely disappointed with me, I knew I had to make some drastic changes.
And I did. I completely turned it all around. And incredibly quick.
Instead of going out 2-5 nights/week partying, I moved into my own place, cut myself off from a lot of people I knew (including friends and family), got a second job and started my first business, all within six months.
I knew I had to make drastic changes for myself, but mainly for my son. He deserved much more than what I was giving him. And like some could relate to, I wanted him to have what I didn’t and he deserved more than my Mum was ever capable of giving me.
I had to find a way to do better, to be better and to give him more. Show him love, even though I had no point of reference for what love was then. I had to figure it out. And as with all parenting, there is no handbook, and I felt like I was doing it all wrong.
But I knew one step forward was still one step forward, and I just kept focusing on each one.
Continue reading – Part HOW – Here
About Krissy Jewell & why I share
I am incredibly passionate about change, but particularly in connecting beautiful souls to whom they truly are, to love and honour themselves, and therefore love and honour others with grace and vulnerability.
How humans function, the many factors that contribute to our experiences, our behaviours and why, completely fascinate me. How is it that certain people can turn things around, and others get consumed in the darkness? Why do some have ‘easy’ lives and others get kicked while they are down, time again and again? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the good die young? So many questions around this human experience we chose, but questions I don’t ever want to stop exploring.
From my own experiences, mistakes, pain and trauma, from the things that ‘happened to me’, the consumption of emotions that controlled me for too long – there had to be another way. There had to be answers. I believed deeply that all of these things that were happening to me had to be for a reason and I wanted to explore what that was. I became so focused on ‘fixing me’ and using my past to turn it into good. I had to believe it was all for a good reason.
Through my explorations, I’ve been able to gain a much better understanding of humans; behaviours, attachment, this human experience, spirituality (not to be confused with religion), choices, actions, ego, soul, being present, letting go, resistance, being in flow…
Through the vast array of life experiences I have taken my human vessel on in this journey, it has been quite astronomical, but true to form and purpose now, I am transforming, shedding and flying free often.
My heart yearns to help others – previously, this was the reason/the meaning I had attached to my past to give it purpose – it was the light at the end of the tunnel. That if my pain and experiences could help just one person, then it was all worth it.
But now, I just want to be the best me. And I want you to be the best you. And I want others to be the best them. And the world and this life to be the most beautiful it can be. Because, on the other side of the GWOC (Great Wall of China), on the other side of lack, scarcity, not enough, heartache, loss, is the most beautiful contrast – abundance, more than enough, universal unconditional love, beauty, breath taking moments of saturated colours, feelings and experiences.
Things that previously I would never have been able to imagine, nor allow myself to see or feel. The very prospect of being vulnerable, being seen and opening up my heart scared me so.
But now, these things that money can not buy, some experiences/substances can induce only momentarily, that are free, and available infinitely, when we surrender and observe – I have recognised it is absolutely worth the risk of being hurt, loosing, experiencing momentary pain, for the beauty is so much richer and fulfilling.
It’s better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all – I never understood this until I experienced what this truly meant.
Now, I dedicate my life to helping people connect to their own inner beauty, the beauty that surrounds them and truly live a magical, purpose filled life. It’s not always easy, but my goodness it’s worth it.
I share my confessions and put my whole life out there for scrutiny and judgement as I know my vulnerability allows others too to open up and share their vulnerability. That by allowing others to feel, be honest with themselves, they can open up and heal, let go and feel comforted knowing they are not alone.
Through my truth, I hope to inspire and motivate others to look within, to learn from my mistakes, to know they too can change their life and be better and live better than they ever imagined possible. Because I am living proof.
To confess to some of my greatest shames as a person and parent, it shows you I am far from perfect, but yet can still show forgiveness, know I am now worthy and change my story, change the next chapters and live the best life, for me and Jakey. And you can too, if you chose to.
Everything in life is a choice. Yes, things happen that drastically, monumentally rip everything apart in that moment. But it’s how we come back from that, from those moments, and turn it into something for us that can make all the difference. That becomes the choice; to continue to be at the effect of the past, to be victim of what once happened. Or to turn it around and be the hero in your own story, in your own life.
I am incredibly passionate about empowering beautiful souls to see that they are indeed the hero in their own life, regardless of how the story started or what happened along the way. The end never ended when the apple was bitten, when a young lady was locked in the tower, when another’s Mother died and she became the house maid, when another’s hands froze anything that she touched. And although most of these tell a tale of a prince saving them, which I disagree with, the key element here is that their life was not over when they went through the toughest challenges life threw them. It was just the beginning.
The same is for you. If you believe it to be so and be open to what is to come to help you change your life and be your own hero. I believe in you. I believe you can do anything you put your mind too and are willing to make happen, to change your story. Because I did under some extreme circumstances. And many others have too. Now it’s your turn.
So this piece is for each and every one of you, who feel drawn to my words, to my old story, to the changes I’ve been able to make, for I am only a reflection of what is already inside of you.
The love and light in me, sees and honours the love and light in you.
Got a lot out of this?
Join us at our next Create the Life You Desire seminar and learn more about how you can change the way you think, be and act, for yourself and those around you.
Krissy is the proud founder of #SELFishMums and thought leader in 21st Century modern family thinking and being.
Krissy dedicates her life to empowering others, (particularly Mummas) to truly step into their power, own their self worth and learn the value of being #SELFish.
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