“I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t give up” - littlestlady.com

2020… am I right? (LET’S TALK)

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well and HAPPY NEW YEAR

… she says at the beginning of February.

I want to start this by saying I have missed this. My platform, blog and space. Its safe to say I have had a long break which admittedly was a little longer than originally planned. As someone that is usually itching to get back to work and having to remind herself to take a break, I can well and truly say I needed this one and you didn’t have to ask me twice.

My blog really has become a platform for all sorts from raising awareness and raising funds to sharing the wonderful work of so many wonderful organisations. Today, we are going back to its roots. A day of me sitting down and sharing the lessons I’ve learnt, no matter how hard those lessons may have been.

2020 was wild, and I don’t think I need to point that out. We all felt it as Covid-19 spread through the world quicker than we could all blink. Heartbreakingly many people lost their lives, loved ones and jobs and those struggling already were put at further risk.

My plans for 2020, like many, drastically changed. I had some big projects set for release during the year in which some fell flat and others their release dates set for some time in the distant future. I wasn’t sure how things would pan out in terms of my usual work, but found myself busier than ever working with various organisations and sharing tips and advice to those struggling through the pandemic. Though I am grateful to say the pandemic itself didn’t affect me too greatly, I found that 2020 was a heartbreaker regardless.

Mid 2020 and shortly after my birthday I found myself with a heavy heart. A heart that was craving all the things that for so long it had been giving out. I had people, but felt probably the loneliest I have ever felt. Yep, even lonelier than all those years I actually spent alone as a child. I found that where ever I went and who ever I spent time with my energy was being drastically drained from me. I was finding that all conversations surrounded me giving advice or someone explaining a situation for me to express my opinions and best judgements. Sitting as people listed their deepest and darkest traumas and finishing with a look of “well, how are you going to help me fix it?”

I found myself not just stating my boundaries, but begging for people to treat me as a human being and not as such a therapist or problem solver. I was so firm in trying to set those boundaries, but that firmness was causing so much upset which would often leave me caving in. I was at a place where I was begging for basic respect from those around me, from basic manners to a friendly hello or asking how I was and from the same people that I was throwing my all in to. It was a heartbreaking realisation and as I say a realisation that had been a long time coming.

Ive had to really try hard and practice my boundaries in the past and mainly due living in a hostel and in particular when it came to money. Often I would find that people didn’t have money for food or bills etc, which would mean I would give. It was by no means draining like what I had experienced in recent years and to be honest at first I was happy to. It took me a long time to realise that money may have not been spent as it should and that thats where short falls fell. I became firm in my boundaries, explaining why and sharing a little on how to budget better especially as we were often all budgeting through the same amount.

Once I set those boundaries I found there was this respect that I didn’t really have before. Almost a mutual agreement of respect. It had maybe made people realise that their short falls may have been based around their choices and made them realise that what they were getting from me was in turn making me fall short. It was almost like people had more respect for me for speaking out. I was often invited to things, but this time I would find people knocking on my door to invite me out. If we were late getting home people would always offer to walk me back to my hostel room and on the occasion that I would make food for people someone would always bring something to chip in and help or offer to help with the cooking. It wasn’t just taking and as I write this I realise what im trying to say is, it was a friendship.

Now, I must say nothing I ever do will be for SOMETHING and I think if you’re doing things on the basis of getting something in return thats just all wrong. However, I got to a point where I found myself just pouring myself in to people. Any remote interactions I was having with people was based on me giving or helping them. I couldn’t have told you the last time someone simply said hello to me, or how are you. I was seen as the problem solver, someone to offload to and someone that was always there for others, but I had nobody to go to myself. I would ask to do the most simple of activities and activities that as friends, should do. To have a coffee, lunch or to go for a walk, but people would look at me like I had two heads. Like I had my job and purpose and I wasn’t for doing things like that with. On the rare occasion that someone did try to grasp my boundaries I would find myself in coffee shops, yet still doing that same old thing or even found myself arranging plans with people for them to not turn up and leave me standing there. Ergh.

(Don’t worry, Lolas fine!)

I found myself in a place where not only was I explaining my boundaries, but I was internally and externally screaming them. Begging for the most basic form of respect whilst people looked at me in amazement as to why I needed it. Internally I felt like I was constantly waving my arms shouting “Im here!” “I exist” or “I’m a human being too”. Those closest to me had no idea about me, my likes, my interests or my goals for the future, but I knew not only that about them but the deepest darkest parts of their lives. I had nobody bother for my birthday and some to the point of not even saying happy birthday though I had poured my heart and soul into theirs.

I had tried that hard putting boundaries in with those around me and with little to no success, that I began to ask why I was seen or treated in such a way especially as it seemed to be a running theme through out my life. I had people tell me an array of reasons and reasonings from my PMA indicating that everything was okay to people believing that it was my job to help people and that it was something I enjoyed. Some did mention my blog, which left me wondering if my blog maybe was the reasoning. Though I will always be quick to defend my blog and its purpose I had to take a good hard and adult view point from the situation and look to see if it was part of the reason, especially if I was so desperate for a solution. I sat on it and sat on it, yet still to me I feel no matter what job I choose I should be able to leave it as a job. To finish my work day and to have finished or to spend time doing other things on the evenings and weekends.

I also feel there is such a difference with how others communicate to me through my blog and work and its purpose. My blog is me sharing my story in the hopes that part of it reaches people that may need it. That someone may be inspired by it and can use elements of the things I teach in their own lives. I don’t directly work with people, I open a blank page and write. I work with organisations and write or share my story by other means. Theres no intimate one on one and at no part in the history of my blog have I felt emotionally and physically drained from it. Oh absolutely people ask me questions, but there is a difference in how they’re communicated. People ask if its okay for them to ask a question, I will explain if I can or cant and if I can people quite simply say ‘thank you’. These same people are the people that check in with me, the same people that have asked if I’m okay due to the hiatus on social media. These same people that dont even know me personally yet treat me as a human, something that I have not felt in my personal life for so long.

I spoke about this mid 2020 and my decision to seperate myself from people to focus on myself took a little longer than expected. As someone that has spent a huge portion of her life alone going back to that and it being a DECISION this time, was scary. It meant being completely alone until I found the people that I wanted around me. This was a huge and life changing change. Making a decision to never be treated that way again. Some people were a definite no go for my life and others I found myself sadly willing to beg for a little longer in the hope that they would get it in the process. As painful as it was for me, I almost felt I needed to. Not for them, just for me to say “Ive done enough” to allow myself to move on easier.

I have been trapped for so many years of my life. Trapped in my abusers care and trapped in the fear of it all. I never wanted to feel that trapped feeling again, but I was. I felt like I was holding on to a future, to happiness and to freedom whilst others were trying so desperately to pull me back down. To drag me down to what ever level they may be on and a level that most seem strangely intent to stay at.

Over the Christmas holidays I put my foot down and got rid of the last of those people as I couldn’t bear to take them in to 2021 with me. Though I felt myself breath a huge sigh of relief I’ve been in this strange and almost numb state. Im not heartbroken over the people lost, but more the things done and that after the hurt I have already experienced and conquered, I let myself be hurt so deeply again. As someone that’s whole messages surrounds not hanging on to the past, i’ve beaten myself up over it for the last few weeks. Telling myself I should have stopped all that behaviour earlier. It’s funny because I know what I want for me life. The people I want around me wether friendships or even relationships. This is the stuff I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl. Walks, picnics and to be sat in coffee shops laughing and chatting away at memories of the past and goals for the future.

I know I have never discussed my relationships on here before (and mainly because of sharing so much of my life online I wanted to keep that portion private) but the ones I have experienced were soul shattering, just like my experience with friendships recently. I was always OF SERVICE. Providing so much love, support and encouragement to those I was with, with nothing back. Denied of the basic love and affection that not only everyone deserves, but that should come naturally due to being in a relationship. I was finding myself begging for things that I should have never even had to ask for. I was almost a step ladder, an outlet and someone that was solely there to look after the other person. It’s the strangest of feelings to have. Questioning if you’re invisible and questioning why you seem to be only seen for one purpose.

Carrying round such a heavy heart meant my work was affected, which breaks my heart further. Though I had such an incredibly busy 2020, my heart wasnt fully in it and thats the sad but honest truth. I was feeling like I was using the remaining energy I had left after all the upset into my blog.

Kicking myself has slowly turned into gentle taps and then again into forgiving myself. I want to see people do well, but not at the expense of me. I slowly am finding myself falling in love with life again and noticing little things. The gratitude journal I put down for some time has been picked up again. I find myself saying good morning to people on walks, where as before I had started to lower my head. I bought myself an Apple Pencil and have been drawing again which I haven’t done for many years. Spending hours on the phone to my best friend back home talking of silly memories and gratitude for those small pockets of goodness. I know there is good people out there, because I have experienced them I am just on the road to finding my people. Its safe to say moving across the other side of the world has brought equally beautiful yet challenging tasks my way.

My boundaries are not only still set in place, but I wont be begging and continuously reminding people of them anymore. Ive realised that I dont just deserve basic decency because of the things I have been through, but also because I’m a human being. Looking back the people I begged to weren’t really worth it. They really weren’t my sort of people that even shared similar values and beliefs. It could be for one of two reasons, my love for human beings in general, for socialising and for busy spaces and crowded places just left me going with the flow or I just got so wrapped up in having PEOPLE because I had spent so much time alone and didn’t feel it mattered who those people were.

I. don’t. know.

If you’re still here, thank you for reading until the end. I felt it best to just sit down and talk through things as I know I left before the holiday season with the words of ‘Im taking a long break’ but I didn’t expect it to be quite so long. After all this, friends back home being unwell and the technical difficulties with my website going down on Christmas Eve, (yes, I know.) I really felt I needed to just stop and start again when It felt right.

Though things are still a little tender, I find myself excited for life and my future. Just days into 2021 I got the second part of my residency in New Zealand which means this place is now my home. I have my home, I have my health and I have Miss Lola which before you ask, is doing very well! Life is quite, but its a quietness I’ve craved for a long time. A quietness where I can take time to truly look after myself and decide what I want in my life going forward. I have sat and written endless lists and journaled through what I actually want in life, what people I actually want around me and what I want to achieve even in terms of hobbies and things I would like to learn.

Though I am back, it may not been full steam ahead for a few days. My website is going through some changes and being moved due to it going down so many times during last year. Though I will apologies it was sadly something completely out of my control, but something I am working on trying to prevent going forward. You’ll see some changes in my blog, branding and I really want to go back to its roots of sharing my story. We grew a lot in 2020 which was wonderful, but it came with a lot of people who were questioning my story and the possibilities of recovery. 1) I didn’t have the energy with everything else going on, but also 2) my whole mission wasn’t to ever prove to specific individuals that recovery is possible. Its to share my story to inspire others to question it for themselves. To say if she can do it, why can’t I? Ryan, a friend and mindset coach and trainer at Phorge shared some words on his platform some time ago that really hit me. He spoke of not listening to people saying what is and isn’t possible and to go forward and do what you want and share what you believe in regardless. Recovery IS something I believe in because I have done it and know many others that have done the same. I don’t believe in recovery not being possible for certain people, but instead believe in people not finding their path just yet, just like I once didn’t. My platform is here for those who are interested in recovery, are willing to let it in and willing to question what they once thought to be true. I want it to be helpful to people who are on similar paths or have similar goals and need a little extra encouragement along the way. Im excited to further that during this new year and continue to share my own beliefs on the subject regardless of others.

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoyed your Christmas break. I know a lot connected to me when I shared parts of my upset during 2020 and if you’re going through the same I truly from the bottom of my heart understand your heartache. Though hard and though it may mean losing people you have to put yourself first and others seconds.

I would also like to thank everyone for not only the continuous support on my blog, but how I am treated here. I truly feel so blessed and grateful for this community and the respect that not only I have received, but that you show to each other within it. It melts my heart to see you all encouraging each other and sharing what you yourselves have found helpful in your journey and that is what this really is all about.

Though we may be set to a new year the world is still a little heavy so make sure to take extra care of yourselves and know that how you’re feeling is valid and okay.

Its great to be back, team.

 

littlestlady

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