Let your light shine so others can see the way. Life is difficult enough.
Be positive and give someone a compliment. Remember that feeling you get when you make someone smile. Be gentle in your dominance. Sometimes people need to know what they are doing is wrong but you can tell them in a loving manner. I have always treated people the way I wanted to be treated. Until recently in my life I had not met many others that lived by this statement however, since I broke free and started climbing the stairs of life I have been staring at for a while things have been changing and I am starting to see what others have always seen.
I created my own darkness to protect myself and now want to shine as bright as I can so others will as well.
#letyourlightshine #RenegadeLightworker #OCG #leadbyexample #VeteransAssistingVeterans #VeteransAssistingCommunities http://www.renegadelightworker.com
My whole life I longed to
be my brother. I wanted to be a success,
I wanted to be like a man, so I could gain the appreciation I thought he
had. I wanted to be my Dad, not my Mom.
Truthfully if anyone ever said I would turn out like my Mother in the past I
would have destroyed them, these days I would say that is an honour. Being the oldest daughter was not an easy job
and having a brother come along pretty much for my first birthday was probably
a little overwhelming, but I know myself and I most likely thought he was a
living breathing doll that I would continue to have to take care of for the rest
of my life.
In my eyes growing up I saw
my brother as having it all. I was a
girl and my parents had a double standard so even though he was younger he had all
the same privileges I had. For example, we had the same curfew (because he was
a boy and apparently my parents didn’t have to worry about him). It was a
constant struggle for me having to share everything and having no personal
boundaries (we slept in the same room and so did my younger brother when he
came along). Not to mention our birthdays were 8 days apart so my Mother often
had our birthday parties together. I can remember throwing a temper tantrum
because I wanted my own cake, I didn’t want to share. To an outsider looking in, it may have looked
like I was a selfish brat but honestly, I just needed to try to assert my
independence and be someone other than my brother, but I didn’t know how. I just knew my Dad paid attention to him and
always asked him to do things and I figured out quick that if I wanted to be
around him I had to like the things he did, the things he was showing Andy how
to do. I wanted to be my Dad’s son even though I was his daughter. I’m not sure my Dad ever knew what to do with
a daughter, he only knew his job was to protect me, he didn’t really figure out
the encourage and accept and care part.
He was to keep a roof over my head and protect me, keep me safe because
I was a girl. My brother did not have to
be kept safe. He was fully capable of looking after himself, but I apparently
wasn’t. Instead I got conditioned that I
needed someone, I could never do it alone and this was a message that was
perpetuated over and over. I have lost
count of how many times people have tried to manipulate and control me over
telling me I cannot do something. The
truth is they are telling me I cannot do it because they most likely
cannot. They are projecting their
insecurities onto me and for almost 45 years I was naïve enough to believe
almost everyone that said I could not do it alone.
So my wake up call to not
wanting to be my brother or a “man” (apparently I had penis issues, as in I
wanted one because I thought it would make me better, more accepted, more
likeable) came when my ex-husband struck me in the head with my cell phone and
I screamed to my brother for help and he became a pacifist. He wanted no part in helping me, yet he was
supposed to protect me and help me, be my family. I ended up asking someone
else for assistance, a woman, who in turn called another woman who had a man
that took her seriously when she said someone was in trouble and my new life
began. Strangers that barely knew me
came to my aid and this was just the beginning. When I finally stood up for
myself and roared I started to find myself again. I spent time with my brother as I had been
providing for him and his family (I let him live rent free in my home and paid
the bills and provided him with a substantial amount of extra cash) only to
realize that he had become my living doll again and he needed to strike out on
his own. I began to re-examine my life
and the people that had been telling me that “I could not do it” and started to
see that it was not me that couldn’t do it, I had been doing it all along
(albeit sometimes I didn’t know how).
One day I wrote down my accomplishments and looked at them for a long
time and for once I focused on my successes instead of my failures (although
nothing is a fail, it’s a first attempt in learning). I saw that although my
life moves in circles, the circle was widening like a spiral. I was growing
with each experience good and bad.
Although life had taken me
down some pretty shitty paths I had learned so much and it was all coming
together. I finally could see the light
in the darkness, the forest through the trees.
I had a friend point out that the greater your pain, the greater your
purpose and that although lots of people had suffered the fate I had, I was
different in that I chose to speak out about what happened to me to try to
affect change. I could not see the change I had already affected because it was
very clouded with conditioning, but a veil was lifted and suddenly, I started
to feel a sense of pride and I knew I was important, but I still had a
disconnect because I wanted to be my brother.
My perception of him was that everyone liked him, and he was amazing,
always laughing and smiling but then I remembered a conversation I had with my
granddaughter while watching “The Little Rascals.” I had explained to her the difference between
real people and fake people. I
remembered how my brother had told me that I could not live alone and that his
children could never find out what had happened to me and I realized he was
imposing his will on my like others and telling me what could and could not
happen in my life. He was trying to control me because he couldn’t live alone,
he needed me.
I knew I was important, but
I did not feel it, because I wanted the respect my brother got as a man and I
did not know that I could achieve it as a Woman. I saw other important men in my life and the
respect bestowed upon them and I looked up to them because I failed to see
myself as their equal. I was somehow taught that as a woman I was lesser than a
man, secondary, I needed one of them to survive. When I wrote down my accomplishments I
started to see that these were all achieved by me, no one else. I was the one that served in the Canadian
Armed Forces, I was the one who had went to University with two small children
while working full-time, I was the one that kept a roof over my children and their
friends heads (although not the most appropriate ways at times but I forgive
myself). I also realized that I had set
boundaries and did have limitations. I had walked away when I had too much in
the past, I knew what I needed. What a
revelation. I actually knew what I needed,
contrary to what I had been told my whole life which is that someone else knew
what I needed. A man, a doctor, a
teacher, a CAS worker, therapists, these people knew what I needed but I
apparently didn’t. I had been accused of
not listening my whole life but I was. I
was just a slow processor and it all made sense at once.
After 46 years I came to the realization that I don’t want to be my brother, and I don’t want to be a man. I was raised the way I was so that I could be who I am and I have my brother to thank for doing all those things with my Dad and me just being there to learn. I am perfectly fine being me, having my accomplishments, learning my lessons and walking my path, being real. I didn’t have to be my Dad’s son because I already was his SUN, his whole life. His sunshine, his Dawn and he was always proud of me, he just didn’t know how to express it, and I don’t listen to people, I listen to the voice in my head and heart and gut which is probably the reason I have chose such a difficult path.
Throughout my recovery process many people have said some very important things to me that aided me in comprehending why I am the way I am. I take the knowledge I get from people and reformulate it into a way that I will understand. Because these are my interpretations of what I have received from others, it is my duty to share. This is the principle of reciprocity. Knowledge is the true power and it was meant to be shared. I hope that you can relate to some of my blogs and some of my quotes and find your inner light and begin to live life again. If you are already living life to your fullest may you share your light so others can begin to see again.
I know that life isn’t easy and sometimes we need to be reminded of who we really are. I am here to tell you that when you really let your light shine and be who you were meant to be you start to attract beautiful things in your life.
Women have been serving in the Canadian
Armed Forces since 1885. The largest number of Women served in World War II,
with many performing non-traditional roles.
In the early 50’s Women were again allowed to join the CAF however they
were restricted to traditional roles such as medical, logistical, administrative
and communication trades. Gradually the number of Women increased as did the number
of trades available to them.
After Canadian Parliament passed the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1986 all trades were officially open to Women in 1989, however they were excluded from submarine service. In 1992 a Human Rights Tribunal claim was made against the CAF and this was the beginning of various implementations to combat sexual abuse and harassment within the organization. SHARP (Standard for Harassment and Racism Prevention Program) training was started and while some praised it, some saw it as a licence to continue doing what they always had.
In 1998 after a persistent battle trying
to publicly state my truth as I knew in my heart I could not be alone I
connected with a friend who had the same tale as myself and we embarked on a
quest which included the goals of:
1) To stop this from
happening to anyone else.
2) To expose the unwritten handbook
on dealing with abuse in the CAF
3) Punish perpetrators of
abuse and make the CAF harassment free
My friend Ann called
MacLeans magazine and told them her story as well as mine and they called me
that day. I gave them all the
information I could to prove my story as the Globe and Mail had already deemed
it “too controversial.” I had kept all my paperwork and I had a trail to prove
my allegations despite no charges being laid.
My friend was not so fortunate, all she had was her word and that is not
enough to back a claim like ours, so they decided to cut my friend loose, go
with my story and continue investigating other leads.
On May 25, 1998 MacLeans magazine released
the first of what turned out to be a four-part series on abuse in the Canadian
Armed Forces with the words Rape in The Military beside a headshot of my
face. In this article 12 other brave,
courageous Women stepped forward and told their tales of harassment in the CAF. One Woman’s brother stood tall and proud and
told his horror over what had happened to his Sister. There was an outcry to the government over
how this could be happening as they had been dealing with other scandals such
as the Somalia affair and the CAF Ombudsmen’s office was created in late June
1998. There were many fake promises, reinvestigations
that led nowhere, a follow-up article in MacLeans 6 months later and then the
issue of sexual harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces went radio silent.
For 16 years there was not any mention of
sexual abuse or harassment in the CAF.
In 2014 a brave Woman from Quebec named Stephanie Raymond blew the gates
wide open yet again. She came forward in
the French sister version of MacLeans called L’Actualite in May of 2014 and
MacLeans ran an issue called “Our Military’s Disgrace” on May 16, 2014. The government could no longer sweep this
issue under the rug, nor could they say this was the first time they had heard
of this issue as the #MeToo movement that began in the CAF in 1998 and gave
many who had had this happened before validation for their abuse and that had
been IGNORED. Since this was again an issue something needed to be done and an
Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces was handed to Madam
Justice Marie Deschamps. In a 100-page
report released in 2015 she found the culture of the Military to be very
sexualized and hostile towards Women and the LGTBQ community. She released 10
recommendations which while may be visibly present are still very limited in
their scope of practice. For example,
one limitation that has been imposed is that if your assault happened before
1996, you have no recourse of action at all.
1. Acknowledge that inappropriate
sexual conduct is a serious problem that exists in the CAF and undertake to
2. Establish a strategy to effect
cultural change to eliminate the sexualized environment and to better integrate
women, including by conducting a gender-based analysis of CAF policies.
3. Create an independent centre for
accountability for sexual assault and harassment outside of the CAF with the
responsibility for receiving reports of inappropriate sexual conduct, as well
as prevention, coordination and monitoring of training, victim support,
monitoring of accountability, and research, and to act as a central authority
for the collection of data.
4. Allow members to report incidents
of sexual harassment and sexual assault to the centre for accountability for
sexual assault and harassment, or simply to request support services without
the obligation to trigger a formal complaint process.
5. With the participation of the
centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment:
a simple, broad definition of sexual harassment that effectively captures all
dimensions of the member’s relationship with the CAF.
a definition of adverse personal relationship that specifically addresses
relationships between members of different rank, and creates a presumption of
an adverse personal relationship where the individuals involved are of
different rank, unless the relationship is properly disclosed.
sexual assault in the policy as intentional, non-consensual touching of a
guidance on the requirement for consent, including by addressing the impact on
genuine consent of a number of factors, including intoxication, differences in
rank, and the chain of command.
6. With the participation of the
centre for accountability for sexual assault and harassment, develop a unified
policy approach to address inappropriate sexual conduct and include as many
aspects as possible of inappropriate sexual conduct in a single policy using
7. Simplify the harassment process
Directing formal complaints to COs acting as
adjudicators in a grievance
Reducing emphasis on ADR.
8. Allow victims of sexual assault to
request, with the support of the centre for accountability sexual assault and
harassment, transfer of the complaint to civilian authorities; provide
information explaining the reasons when transfer is not effected.
9. Assign responsibility for
providing, coordinating and monitoring victim support to the centre for
accountability for sexual assault and harassment, including the responsibility
for advocating on behalf of victims in the complaint and investigation
10. Assign to the centre for
accountability for sexual assault and harassment, in coordination with other
CAF subject matter experts, responsibility for the development of the training
curriculum, and the primary responsibility for monitoring training on matters
related to inappropriate sexual conduct.
In 2015, in the wake of the Deschamps report and with the Military in it’s full blown #MeToo movement here in Canada an advocacy group called “It’s Just 700” was formed to attempt to support men and women who were Survivours of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). The website is very informative with many initiatives started by the Woman who runs the group, and she also attempts to advocate before parliament. With the knowledge of MST becoming more prominent and a subject more people were willing to address people wanted accountability. Five separate class-action lawsuits were formed to address gender discrimination and systemic abuse in the Canadian Armed Forces and were eventually all conjoined and it is still before the courts.
While the Government and Department of
National Defense will tell you that the Canadian Armed Forces is a safe
harassment free environment to work in with such advances like Operation Honour
they are not learning from their mistakes.
They keep repeating them by not listening to the voices of the
past. They boast of their accomplishments
and defeats and greatness, but they fail to speak about or learn from their
failures. They have a duty to protect
the very ones that work beneath them, yet they choose to make things worse
rather than make things better on a regular basis. Instead of deny, deny, deny and hurry up and
wait the Military should step up to the times of the days and evolve so they can
be the honourable institution they once were in the eyes of many so they
attract the many young Women that want to Serve the Country they live in.
On this International Women’s Day of 2019 reclaim your life and your future and be the Woman you were meant to be. If you were abused in the Military, you are not alone. Find a group, reach out, seek assistance and support. Those of us that have been there will guide you on your way back to reclaiming who you were always meant to be.
As a Veteran (although my career was shortlived) I learned some incredible skills of overcoming and adapting. I may not have had the longest career but I never lost my desire to Serve and have done so through many different avenues (volunteering, my choice of employment, my family status). My path has not been an easy one, nor has many of my friends. Many of my friends that Served have suffered some form of catastrophic trauma yet they continue on despite it. They suffer (sometimes siliently) yet they do not know how to “Not Serve.” This can cause severe isolation or sometimes a person overburdening themselves with caring often to their own detriment.
I have found that most need to Serve in some way as part of their healing journey and I feel that if broken Veterans (or their family members/caregivers) who have gone through or witnessed hell still have a desire to Serve they should begin in their Communities and show the rest of the World that no matter what we have gone through we still continue to shine and be the leaders we all knew we were going to be when we joined and before the incident (whatever that was).
Volunteer in your Community in some manner, offer the expertise you have (even if it is just about life) to someone else. Children are an excellent avenue. Get involved somewhere, it does not have to be with other Veterans, it can just be with your Community.
You have a knowledge that no one else in your Community has. It is called real-life knowledge. Instead of sitting around dwelling on the negativity, take that pain and go out and do something about it. Make sure the next generation or the people around you know that no matter what life did to you, you survived and you continue to keep going. You are a true Warrior and an example for others.
Be a Leader in your Community and be the change you always wanted to see.
I manifested what I desired
most when I was a child. I fell in love
with the tale of Sleeping Beauty and the little Princess Aurora. I wanted to fall asleep and get awoken with
the kiss of a handsome Prince and live happily ever after. You see Aurora was also the Roman name of the
Goddess of the Dawn and this intrigued me like never before. I wanted to be her so badly. I can remember listening to the record on my
tiny record player and turning the pages in the book when the little bell went
off. I dreamed of this, I escaped to it.
Books became my go-to. I loved reading and I loved to write. I can
remember the librarian telling me that I should never judge a book by its cover
and she would read the stories I wrote to the class during library time. When
things got bad I could escape into a book, become the main character and use my
imagination. I loved myths and fairy tales
and saw them as real, I never thought someone would spend the time writing down
something that wasn’t true in the past.
I could tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction. I knew from a very young age that even those
fiction romance novels had some basis and came from somewhere.
I suffered several splits
in my personality due to trauma at various stages of my life and when I was 19
I suffered a catastrophic split that essentially put me to sleep
developmentally. A fracture in my psyche
basically kept me at the age of 19 and I was going through life, learning,
living, surviving but never mentally growing.
I was attaining knowledge but storing it for future reference. I was functioning but not at the level I
always wanted to. I wasn’t excelling, I
was not growing, I was stuck, and I knew it.
I was in a prison in my mind just waiting to break out. If that prison
wasn’t bad enough I put my mind into a state of solitary confinement to protect
what was left of my innocence and my inner child that always seemed to get
hurt. I allowed people to hurt me but constantly broke free of them, just not
myself. I could not open the door to
that cell because I was not ready. I had
to raise my children. They had become my purpose, but I didn’t have very many
tools in my toolbox and I did the best that I could with what I had. When they were young it was easy because I
loved to do things that kids liked to do.
I took them to baseball, I had them in Beavers and Cubs. They both played Lacrosse. We often went
fishing and I took them to family gatherings with my parents. I carried a huge guilt because I was in
school full-time learning to be a Registered Nurse and I was working full time
to support them because my pension from Veteran’s Affairs was not enough and at
this time they did not pay for education. After I finished my education because
I was a Nurse I often had to work nights, weekends, holidays and my boys paid
the price. Because I was busy trying to keep the roof over my son’s head and
provide for them they became more dependant on their social circle and I then
became a street mom, which I did not mind because I loved the company and it
was like I had my own little wolf pack and I was the Den Leader. I got denied my chance to be a leader in the
Military but here maybe I could mould some young minds. What I didn’t realize
is when my children were teenagers I was developmentally still a teenager, sort
of frozen in time. I became a friend to my children instead of
their mother and there were major respect issues. I look back and I had been taught to not
respect myself so how could I have ever taught my Son’s to respect me. I had no
self-worth, no self-esteem and didn’t think I was competent or capable due to my
conditioning from my family, my teachers, and society in general.
When my youngest Son turned
18 there was an actual physical separation between my Sons’ and I which I
needed. A break from the teenage world I had been submersed in and was
stuck. I moved to the Reserve to be with
what I thought was my Prince Charming, the man who was going to ride out of the
sunset and save me and essentially, he did, but not in true story book
fashion. You see I had failed to read
Blackbeard or maybe I did and just never thought it would happen to me (although
it already had twice). I started to finally settle and feel safe and reconnect
with my environment. I started to feel
at peace and come out of my cocoon or self-imposed prison just a little bit. I started in a controlled environment of
going back to University again. I
enrolled in Indigenous Studies and I started to see my children again but began
to establish boundaries which they are still learning to adjust to and I began
by aggressively setting them.
My moment of waking up did
not come from a kiss by my Prince, it was a blow to the head via cell
phone. It was a culmination of all my
abuse and it was like a white light surrounded me and woke me completely
up. I could see again and feel again,
and I knew what I wanted, what I needed and what I would accept. I just needed to learn how to communicate it
as I still had the social skills of a child.
I had been asleep, and the world had really changed. It was different, I
saw it in a different way. I could see what was real and what was fake and there
was validation in it. My good friend said she had heard what I was talking
about referenced as “sleepwalking” through life. I had essentially learned the skills to
survive and cope during crisis, but I had stored the knowledge necessary to
allow me to grow deep in my subconscious.
I was awake but sleeping, what a concept.
When all of this came into clarity for me I was sitting with my psychiatrist Dr. Thirlwell and her friend Celyne and we were talking about how positive thinking really does change things and if we think our lives are shit, they will be and that every single person has the ability to manifest what they desire most but most people are veiled to this. Asleep. I had the good fortune of being able to wake up and see clearly. I then realized that I had truly manifested what I most desired as a child, I became my own version of Sleeping Beauty. I had gone to sleep and raised my children while doing this and woke up at the same age as them mentally, emotionally and developmentally. I am physically older than them, their mother but my brain stayed stuck. My youngest son says he describes me to his friends as “An adult with a child-like mind.” I see this as a good thing, not a bad. He sees me and accepts me even with all the mistakes I made. He understands so that cannot mean that I did a horrible job raising him. I never wanted my children to end up like me, just like I never wanted to be my Mom but honestly if they have a little bit of me in them, I will be very proud. I do have values and I cannot change the past, all I can do now is lead by example and manifest beautiful things with words of gratitude and thankfulness. I can live my dreams, I can imagine things into existence. I can make something (me) out of nothing (what I thought I was) which I have been doing since I woke up.
Most people have heard the Bible story of Noah and the flood and how he and his wife, and their three sons gathered the animals 2 by 2 and saved them on the Ark he had been instructed to build. Noah saved mankind by keeping the animals safe and then his family repopulated the Earth after the waters subsided. Every culture has a flood story and because I know this I thought it would be pertinent to share my own Noah story. Its not quite the same as the flood story in the Bible and there is no real flood other than emotions and tears but there is a puppy involved so an animal is accounted for.
I moved to a new city because I was fleeing a domestic violence situation and was in fear. I knew very few people in this new city and felt like a kid in grade one at a new school and was extremely socially awkward. My PTSD and anxiety were on super high alert and I was in constant panic mode. I was jumpy, I was on edge, I was angry, I was aggressive, and I was sad because I knew I wasn’t myself. I was in a pain I had never been in physically and my brain was scrambled. I didn’t know if I was coming or going half of the time. My childhood friend who I trusted implicitly because of our pasts was very busy and knew someone that lived near the new building I lived in and asked him to befriend me. This kind Soul bore the name Noah. I had never met anyone named Noah and this young man lived up to his namesake. He was not the kind of person you would want to mess with, he looked kind of rough around the edges which I guess on the exterior makes him look unapproachable, but this kid had a heart of gold. He will tell you that he did nothing for me, but you know what he did, he listened. He let me vent and he acknowledged my feelings. He let me feel them. He didn’t tell me they were wrong. He often said, “I am sorry you feel that way Dawn, that must be hard.” I had never had anyone say anything other than feeling was wrong or that I wasn’t feeling what I was feeling. I questioned my own feelings thinking they were wrong because other people had not wanted to deal with them as they made them uncomfortable or they didn’t feel the same way. Just because you don’t feel the same way doesn’t mean you dismiss the way someone else feels. Noah made me feel like it was alright to feel, and I finally felt like I had a real friend. I had made a couple, but this was someone who took time to listen to me when I was sad and sometimes stopped everything to talk to me for a few minutes to calm me down and then would check on me as soon as he wasn’t busy.
I was not adjusting to my new life so well and it was taking a turn for the worse. I wanted all my pain to end and I wanted everything to be over. I had been abused, taken advantage of, lost almost everything and I did not want to live anymore. It was late at night and I had no where to go and I had my puppy, a beautiful female German Shepard named Dutchess Von Dee. I wanted to end it all and I called Noah. He had just gone to bed and had only been asleep for about 40 minutes. This guy lived a busy life and hardly did anything for himself including sleep. He tried to talk me down and into going back to my apartment, but I could not go back to my 11th floor apartment, I wanted to jump out the windows and there were 5 floor to ceiling door/windows just calling my name. I had already put several cuts in my wrist, but they were not deep, they just reminded me I was still alive, and this was all real. Noah brought me into where he was staying and listened to me ramble about not wanting to be here anymore. He knew I had an appointment with my therapist the next morning and if he could just get me through to that I would be okay. He called my childhood friend who could not do anything as he was busy with his family so Noah stayed with me until I had to go to my appointment. He made me go to sleep as he knew I had not had much and needed to drive an hour to my appointment. He made me feel safe. He made me feel important and he taught me a very important lesson that night. I didn’t want to do it anymore because I did not believe in myself. I did not think I was important. The lesson he drilled into my head that morning was that other people believed in me like him. Other people thought I was important. He instilled into me by making me repeat over and over
“Noah thinks I can.”
He said if I don’t think I can I must repeat “Noah thinks I can.” This was a bad ass dude and he believed in me. He knew I could accomplish it, even when I doubted myself. I had no faith in me, but Noah did. He could see me. Noah helped me with my puppy and helped me even when he didn’t have to. I drove all the way to my appointment with my therapist that day saying, “Noah thinks I can, Noah thinks I can,” He became my little train that could. I got there, and my therapist took over. I had never been so grateful that I had a friend who cared enough to forgo sleep and listen to me vent and cry to keep me alive. He let me start to get it out and it is still a work in progress.
I told Noah I would repay his kindness in someway and that I was forever in his debt. He was extremely chivalrous and said it was not necessary, but I never forget a good deed and my Soul was saved that day because he cared enough to save it. Life did not go so good for Noah because of a series of unfortunate circumstances but when I went to try to help (no one would listen to me as a Woman) I got to meet his family. I met his father and expressed my gratitude at what his Son had done to keep a Veteran alive. I also met his friend Joe who is also a caring and compassionate Soul. I keep doing what I can for Noah who just had a beautiful Son himself because I am a loyal and dedicated friend. I got to meet his wife and Son and even hold the beautiful little boy. Although I was rather disappointed he didn’t come out with a full beard. I don’t care what anyone says about Noah, the World is a better place with him because he cared enough to save a girl he barely knew because he knew of her. That deserves the utmost respect, which society does not see anymore. They see people’s wrong-doing, their mistakes and they play on those. They judge them on their pasts and assume they are the same people they were yesterday. I am never the same person I was the day before because I learn from everyone I meet in person or online, and I have met many people who woke up one morning and said, “Enough of the bullshit, I want to change.” It is called an epiphany and being real. Some refer to it as a Spiritual Awakening. It is also called dealing with your emotions.
So, my Noah didn’t save the whole world and all its animals from a flood, but he saved me from drowning in my own negativity and self-doubt by believing in me enough for both of us.
I spent a long time withdrawn from the World in a self-imposed prison of the mind due to my PTSD. I convinced myself that I was forsaken and that bad things happened because of me. I constantly picked up on the bad vibrations in the World and the negative energy people carried with them without even knowing. I had known for a very long time that I felt other peoples pain, sorrow, anger, fear and grief as well as their joy, happiness, elation and love. Because of my own negative mindset induced by various trauma and muliple episodes of re-victimization I failed to see the good right before my eyes and was caught in a cycle of blame, guilt, and self-pity.
I did not know about energy and how it flows all around us. This was not in my traditional upbringing or covered in any of my tradtional education, including my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I always knew there was an outside force I did not comprehend and it affected me but without being able to put a name to it I could not understand it and I am the type of person that totally needs to know what I am dealing with so I can combat it or work with it.
I had a deep connection with nature when I was young and I loved it. I felt like Snow White and I could communicate with the forest and all of the animals. I saw things in the water that were not fish and because of my conditioning I was scared. No one understood what I was feeling or even believed me. When I was in Grade 3 I began to write stories. Every week I wrote a chapter about my friend Spooky the Ghost and our adventures. There was someone in my family home that I could feel but could not see. I knew he walked with me and did things with me and no one else could see him but I had no other words that Spooky the Ghost. Looking back now I find it ironic I called my friend Spooky but was not one bit afraid of him. There were certain places in my home that I could feel Spooky more than others. The basement was one of them. I should add that my Grandfather Dutch passed away in the driveway of my family home on 16 December 1970. I was born on 23 October 1972. My grandmother and parents would call me silly and shut me down quickly if i started to speak of him. I stopped feeling him but knew he was there, he didn`t make a real reappearance until I was 19 and got wrongfully punished in the Canadian Armed Forces. I knew he was in my room with me on my confinement to barracks but I could not put words to it until I was much older. I believe that is when I wrote my first letter to him, and when I began to put my thoughts to paper and process my feelings through a form of poetry. I was not educated in the art of poetry, only being taught things like Haiku in elementary school, and I do not recall having to write much of it in high school. I could put thoughts to paper like nothing else. My passion for writing that began in Grade 3 was reignited but sometimes I lost my passion because of my depression and anxiety and lack of belief in myself.
I wrote on and off over the years trying to process what was going on around me. I started a book that reached 660 pages before I quit writing in 2013 complete with documentation and pictures so it would be believed. For some reason I felt that I had to prove my life. When I moved out to Curve Lake First Nation Reserve #35 my connection with nature was re-established and I began to awaken again. My feelings began to flow on paper again. Good and bad and it all started to come out. Repressed pain and fear and love and all of the things I had bottled up for so long. Because I was living on a Reserve among Indigenous People I felt that I should take a course at school in Indigenous Studies and it was very eye opening for me. I actually went back to University after a 10 year abscence and sat in a class with a large group of individuals. A whole new perspective and take on life, through the eyes of a different Culture. I started to have a paradigm shift and see the World with different eyes. In my 2nd year I decided to take An Introduction to Indigenous Environmental Sciences and was introduced to Professor Dan Longboat, Director of the Indigenous Environmental Sciences program at Trent University and my life changed forever.
I had never had a teacher thank me for attending class and make me feel what he was teaching. At the beginning of the course Professor Longboat made a point of talking about energy and how we all have it. He spoke of rhythm of energy in nature and how it is always constant and flows evenly in a gentle balance of up and down curves when it is actually measured as generally people cannot see this. Some have been known to feel it but if you were not taught of this concept it can be rather frightening. He spoke of how monks in meditation produce this same energy rhythm but the majority of the populations energy was extremely chaotic and illustrated it with a very jagged up and down line with no ebb and flow. There were no curvy flows, no rhyme or reason. This concerned me greatly as Professor Longboat said this was the reason behind much sickness and stress and heart disease. However suddenly my mind blew wind open because i could put a name to what i felt from people. Energy. We all had it, everything that was living possessed it and it could be felt on personal objects. I now knew why I picked up on things that others did not because I could feel the energy that surrounded everything and I have to be honest it was scary. It was frightening yet exhilirating to finally after all of these years have a validation that it was real. I was not crazy, I now had answers to the questions I had had for so long.
When I began to be able to put to words what I could feel all around me because I finally understood it my writing changed as well and I could tune into emotions in others. It was the start of my awakening. I knew I was an Empath and I could claim it but I needed to learn how to harness it so I was not a conduit for others emotions. I needed to find a balance between when to subject myself to this and when not to because i was starting to also realize that isolating was wrong. I was not really living and I had to create a new mindset. I needed to create boundaries, wear my invisible shield and prepare for battle when leaving my home and face the World head on. I finally began to be me. I finally started to use to tools in my toolbox that had been there for so long and grow. I also realized that if i could feel the energy I could project it and if your happy, even if your faking it a little everyone else is happy and then all of a sudden you really are happy. Happiness is contagious and no one really likes a person who is down all of the time. An amazing thing started to happen to me thought because the more positive I was about things, when I started to see that all my mistakes were not really mistakes but lessons I needed to learn and I tried to find the light in situations that should be very dark my whole mind, body and spirit shifted. The black hole inside of me that fed off of the negative emotions and mindset of others started to question the realness of the situation. If i could feed off of negative emotions and stay negative because the energy was bad I would stay that way but when I shifted into positive I started to see the good in even horrible situations and I became grateful for every experience I have had no matter how it played out. I was now able to integrate what was positive energy and what was negative and as I am a slow processor it took me a while. I met many along the way that are teaching me new tools to use when I am getting into my negative mindset because I truly want to believe my dreams are possible, just like anybody else. My favourite tool lately came from a friend Chris Power from Power Transition Services
It was a meme that said to add the phrase -and it is okay- after everything so if I have a list of things to do and I only get one done, it is okay. This led me to start working on the fact that being so immersed in my negativity and trauma I had failed to see my successes and had not acknowledged them as I had become so hard on myself and used to what I thought was failure.
My discovery of energy and the way it changes everything as it is all around us was one of the most amazing realizations I have ever had. So if you do not like the negative vibes around you then change them up. Raise the vibrations in the room, put on a happy song, do a little dance, colour a picture, be happy. It ultimately is up to you, your choice. Stay stuck in the negative energy or evolve and raise your vibrations and live a little….
An excellent mental health course provided by a true leader. Warrior Suicide Prevention Training. It fills me with great joy to see others taking the initiative to help others heal so they don’t go through what they have gone through. Check it out. Any tool in your toolbox can help, and sometimes its good to have the tools to lend out to a friend in need. Knowledge is the true power and it is meant to be shared. Check out this Veteran’s program if you so choose. You won’t be disappointed, I can assure you. Any learning is good learning. It is also a go at your own pace course so I suggest you check it out.
You can also check out Mr. Todd Holmes Pathfinder Strategies facebook page at:
I strongly believe that the only way for us all to heal is to support one another in a truly magnificent stand to take back our lives. To live a life of agony and suffering is to be in your own created hell. Why not takes the steps to take your life back. Living really isn’t that bad. Feeling is real. Make a decision today. Do you want to be what everyone expects of you or do you want to be who you always wanted to do before life knocked you down a little. If anything, you may be able to offer someone assistance like I am sure someone has shown you at some point in your life.
There is nothing wrong with knowing you need help. There is not one thing to be ashamed of. If you do not want to be in the darkness anymore, find a light, plant a seed and watch it grow. Stop being like a flower that has been picked and be the beautiful flower that sprouts from a long winter and is more beautiful than it ever was before.