Love – Written By Doneane Beckcom

Love Written By Doneane Beckcom

 

We all think we know what love is, right? It is one of those “I will know it when I see it/feel it” type of things. It either IS love or it is NOT love. Should be pretty easy to figure out, right?

Wrong. Love is complicated.

Don’t get me wrong here. I knew the minute that I felt love for the first time for my husband. And of course I fell in love with my daughter the instant I knew she was living inside my womb.

I also knew instantly those times when love died in past relationships.

But how do we know that we KNOW that it is love?

Love is a very ethereal emotion. We all feel it differently, express it differently, and experience it differently. The love I have for my daughter is strong and deep, but I know when she gives birth to my first grandchild the love I have for her will change and grow exponentially and the love for that grandchild will probably be indescribable. The love I have for my husband is like no other love I have ever experienced, and the way he expresses his love for me is remarkable. The love I have for my siblings is also very special, as is the love for my dearest and closest friends. The love I still feel for family and friends who are no longer living is very real, present, and strong. The love that I have for myself is probably the most important love relationship I have, because without it I cannot express my love or feel the love of others.

I also love my dogs, I mean who wouldn’t love something that is so happy to see you even if you have only been gone from their sight for a few minutes, and then gives the most unconditional love of anything else on the planet? And I love certain “things” that have sentimental meaning or a connection to a special event in, or person from, the past.  But is that really love? Yes, I think so.

But what is love, really? Is it just something we feel, express, give, take, want? Or is it something deeper that connects us to each other, the universe, and God in a way that nothing else can?

I am a deeply spiritual person. Not from a religious perspective, although I do identify as Christian. Religion is man-made, spirit is God-made. I feel a spiritual connection to the people, experiences, and things that draw me into a love relationship. When I experience a beautiful sunrise or sunset, listen to the waves of the ocean as I walk barefoot on the beach, or hear a musical performance that brings me to tears, I experience a feeling of connection and love that, most often, cannot be described in words. It is this feeling that I think most accurately describes love: it cannot be expressed in words that adequately describe the emotional feeling and connection.

The chemical reactions that occur in our bodies when we experience love should tell us something of the deep mind/body/spirit connection that we have to those whom we love and those experiences which cause us to feel love. When we feel those butterflies in the pit of our stomach when the one whom we love calls on the phone or walks into the room, or the lump that wells up in our throat and happy tears that spill without warning, those feelings are totally unplanned by the conscious mind but are automatically created by the body. When we cry over losing people, and even things, that are precious to us, the hurt that we feel is often something that we cannot consciously control as the tears flow. Love connects us to a deep place within our spirit that science, and words, cannot adequately explain.

I don’t believe that God, or the universe, wants us to fully understand love. What we experience here on Earth will pale in comparison to what waits for us when we leave this temporary residence. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard” is how it is described to us in the Bible. Other faiths identify the afterlife experience in much the same way: eternal love. We are not meant to fully understand it in this life. Those strong feelings we have here will be magnified multitudinous times when we are face-to-face with real Love.

And I look forward to that day with expectation!

With Love,

Doneane xx


Doneane Beckcom
CEO, Bold Radio Station
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Fitness Nutrition Consulting, LLC

 

Love: Let me Count the Ways – Written By Ellen Rich

By Ellen Rich, Holistic Life Coach and Founder

www.act2.expert

“The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.”[1]

~Rumi

 

Love.[2]   As many people are on the planet that is how many different definitions of love there are.   In the four and fifth centuries, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle had their own unique thoughts on love.  They realized that all love is not the same.  It was accepted in their society that Eros, Philia, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philistia were all different types of love. All of these still exist and can flow throughout our lives.

Eros

Eros is closet to our definition of romantic love with a sexual component.  In the past, Cupid’s arrows, magic potions, and spells were all used to attract one another.  Today, sexual attraction is a combination of hormones, scents, and chemical processes within the brain.   “Falling in love” may be our chemistry talking, but it still feels great.  We usually can’t resist and analysis goes out the window.

Of course, we probably have experienced the heady stages of initial Eros love.  We don’t see or we ignore faults in the other, we think quirks are adorable, and we want to dedicate ourselves to pleasing this person.  But once familiarity sets in, for many, the honeymoon is over.  Eros can remain in any relationship, but other types of love can be folded in to enrich relationships.

Philia

Today we are “besties” with someone.  Friendship is trust and a set of experiences with someone or a group of people.  You can depend on this kind of love and are thrilled to return it.  Trust and integrity are key and add to the reliance of the friendship. Mutual benefit is what holds this love together.

There is a deeper respect and understanding of the other, self, and the world.  Religion or spirituality can support this experience.  Friends are available for support as well.  It can stem from Eros and may help to deepen a lustful and sexual relationship.

Storge

Storge (‘store-gae’), is the love that grows in families, usually between parents and their children.  However, we can’t always depend on this to happen.  Sometimes a “pass” is given in certain circumstances.  It is a special connection and one trusts that the person will be there for you.

Presently in the west, many families are blended with second, third or fourth divorces or deaths of a partner.  It is my belief that Storge can be just as deep with these blended families if relationships are good.

Agape

I have several friends who have changed their last name to Agape.  Agape can be found in a spiritual or religious setting.  Alone or with others, it is a commitment and unselfish concern.  Whether the stranger protects someone from a bullet, runs into the street to save a child from an oncoming car or giving a kidney to another while living, it is universal love.

Some think of Agape as volunteer work, donations, or charity, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God.  With our climate challenged environment, we ask what can we do?  People went to Puerto Rico, Northern California and Texas without personally knowing anyone to help.  Something comes over us and we are compelled to help without personal concern.

Ludus

The hookup.  It is all fun, flirting and living in the moment.  There is dating and then there are hook ups.  Put the app on your phone and then when someone who wants to go play crosses your path, you both get a notice.  Then the decisions begin, but the rules are understood upfront. No quid pro quo.  Think player or the “benefits” without any other relationship. Not understanding the rules can lead to heartbreak.  Buyer beware.

In just two google searches, I came up with The Top 15 Adult Dating Sites including Fling, Uber Horney, and SnapSext.  It isn’t hard to find.

Pragma

Oh, the “good old days” of arranged marriages. Very popular, although old fashioned, it remains a widespread practice in many cultures. Arranged marriages can be convenient for many reasons, ie religious background, political, and celebrity. These matchups can last, although some not happily.  Others break apart.  With so many relationship options today, it is anyone’s call.  USA Government statistics tell us that 30 to 50 % of all marriages end up in divorce.   There is also the cheating route to consider, as in the case of the Ashley Madison website.  It is hard to believe that they currently advertise 60,000,000 members.

 

Philistia

Although the name isn’t familiar, Philistia is self-love, which can be healthy or unhealthy. Healthy Philistia is good self-esteem and self-confidence.

Unhealthy self-love is akin to hubris. The Greek god Narcissus, fell in love with himself.  It is ubiquitous currently, with politicians, celebrities, and people with power and money.  An unusually high dose of narcissism can cause havoc with relationships in any sphere of daily life.  When the ego is being attacked, abuse, addiction and illegal behavior can run rampant on a relationship, government, or other collectives.

Looking at love is an interesting exercise.  Which love do you want to participate in or already have?  None are good or bad. Just make sure it is your choice.

[1] https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/rumi596643.html

[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201606/these-are-the-7-types-love

Thank you for reading,

Ellen Rich,


After working in the corporate world for 30+ years, Ellen started a Holistic Life Coaching program.  Called act2.expert (www.act2.expert), it is a Holistic Life Coaching Program that allows the client drive the process in a safe and comfortable environment.  Ellen has a BA, MBA, many certificates and has attended Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy.

SELF-ESTEEM

Written By Doneane Beckcom

When people meet me for the first time and learn about who I am, what all I do, and my many accomplishments, they have no idea that I ever struggled with self-esteem, stemming from being bullied from middle school all the way through college. My parents were wonderful at instilling in me the drive to succeed and that I could do anything I set my mind to; however, being bullied by people who were supposed to be my friends tore me down and made me feel self-conscious of my physical appearance.

I was one of those girls who was a very late bloomer. I shot up to 5’7” at about age 12, but I only weighed about 80 pounds and had no shape whatsoever. I towered over both the girls and boys from 6th grade until about 8th grade when they all started to catch up. But, when all of my girlfriends were starting to look more like women, I looked like a tall, skinny little boy. Even into high school, I still was thin and had no womanly curves whatsoever. Even my girlfriends made fun of me (I remember my best friend at the time telling me “something is wrong with you!”), and of course as the boys’ thoughts turned sexual, many of them chimed in also. This followed me all the way through my senior year in college, when it was mostly the young men who continued to taunt me. The last football season of my college years, when I was proud and honored to be the very first female Drum Major of our famed marching band, the band fraternity got together and bought me a big pair of fake plastic boobs and unveiled them after half time at the last game. I was mortified. I was a good sport though, and donned them as I conducted the fight song one last time. Whomever has pictures of this debacle I sure hope they have burned them by now!

When I left college and moved away, the feeling of looking inadequate as a young woman still haunted me, even though I was no longer being teased and bullied by anyone. I found out that I had some hormonal issues and suffered from fibrocystic breast disease, which had affected the growth of breast tissue and caused reproductive issues for me. After some treatment with medications, I opted to have a surgical procedure which removed about half of the breast tissue I had at the time (which was not much, I was not even an A cup at the time) and replaced it with implants. Of course, because of having been teased for so many years, I opted to have larger implants so that I would look “normal.” It was nothing drastic, I had a wonderful reconstructive surgeon who understood my concerns and made me look proportional and natural (I ended up as a small C cup which was perfect for my frame). I was finally happy with the way I looked and no longer concerned that anyone would tease me about my chest.

That surgery was 30 years ago. But when I think back on the people who taunted me and the things that were said, it is as if it was yesterday. Although it was partially medically necessary, it was also mental and cosmetic for me. And it is a shame that I had to feel that way about my appearance based on what other people said and did. And out of all of the many people who participated in the teasing through the years, only one of them ever apologized. It was a college guy, he was friends with my boyfriend at that time (who did not step up to defend me when his “brothers” taunted me, and yes I kicked him to the curb quickly!) and he tearfully confessed how horrible he felt for the things he had done and said to me and asked for forgiveness. Of course I accepted his apology and forgave him, but what about all those others who said and did awful things? Do they ever think about the 12-year-old girl or young college-aged woman they teased and how it made her feel? Were they bullied also and that is why they lashed out at me? These are things that I still ponder on occasion, especially when I hear about a young woman or man harming themselves because of being bullied. My daughter lost a close friend to suicide when they were only 13 years old, he had been bullied by other boys in the locker room and killed himself when he lost hope that no one would make them stop. He is only one of many that we hear about all over the world who lose hope because of being bullied.

So what is the take away here? First, if you have been bullied and your self esteem has been trampled upon, know that it is not your fault. Seek help from a trusted friend or a counselor if you cannot shake the feelings of inadequacy that bullying can manifest in your thoughts. Next, if you are a parent of a young child, start early in not only uplifting them, but also teaching them not to tease others and to tell an adult if they know someone is being teased or bullied. Innocent teasing can hurt just as bad as intentional bullying. Had my parents not been so supportive and uplifting of me, always assuring me that I was beautiful and smart and could do anything, I cannot imagine how things may have been different. Last and most important, if you suspect or know that your child (or a friend of your child) has been bullied, step in! Get to the bottom of it, request a meeting with teacher, counselor, parent of the bully, anyone and everyone in order to stop and correct the behavior. Some children may not reach out to a parent or other adult, but may reach out to your child, so if your child tells you about another child being bullied, please step in. You may be the only adult who does anything about it and prevents tragedy from happening.

Self esteem can be fragile. Handle with care, always, whether it is yours or that of someone else. Once damaged, it can be very difficult to repair and may take years to overcome the pain. Even those of us who appear strong and like we “have it all together” on the outside can still be the hurt and scared child who was bullied years ago.

Thank you so much for reading, much love

Doneane Beckcom
CEO, Bold Radio Station
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Fitness Nutrition Consulting, LLC

My Brain Went Haywire

Guest Blog written by:  by Martin Warrillow

The human brain can only be worked so hard. When it’s had enough, it goes haywire. The only job I ever wanted when I was growing up was to be a journalist and despite being born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (Google it, lol…) I fulfilled that childhood wish to work in journalism.

I had 24 years on various local daily and weekly newspapers in the West Midlands, with most of them spent on the sports desk of a major regional morning newspaper.
We worked ridiculous evening shifts, starting at 3pm and finishing whenever we finished, which was usually between midnight and 1am.

We worked almost every Sunday (we did get Saturdays off, although some of us worked a Saturday to earn extra money) and we worked every Bank Holiday . Of course, this meant I didn’t get home until 1.30am or so and rarely went to bed before 2am.

With my wife waking at 6am to go to work, it meant I wasn’t getting a lot of ‘proper’ sleep. I was also eating ‘on the run’ and eating a bad diet. In hindsight, it was a recipe for disaster and in 2006-7, I started to suffer epilepsy. Gigantic ‘Fall out of bed, lose control of your bodily functions’ seizures.
I had at least ten of them and it took the doctors 18 months to work out what was happening. Finally, my employer paid for a private consultation with a professsor of neurology; to be honest, I think they were frightened about what would happen if something really dramatic went wrong and they were shown not to have fulfilled their duty of care to an employee.

I will never forget the day I sat in that consultant’s office and he said: “You don’t know how close you’ve come to killing yourself. Your eating and sleeping patterns are wrecked; your body clock’s shot to bits.”

Sensing disaster ahead, the company quickly took me off those shifts, put me on regular day shifts for a while and things calmed down. They put me on a veritable feast of medication and as I write, I haven’t had a fit since February 2010. But at the end of 2009, my department was the victim of cost-cutting in the newspaper industry as the internet took all their classified advertising and my job was made redundant.

I moved into the world of freelance journalism and got a decent annual contract editing the quarterly magazine of British Naturism. Yes, British Naturism, the organisation which promotes social nudity as a leisure activity. My wife and I had been naturists since stumbling on to a clothes-optional beach in Spain in 1991 so it seemed the perfect job. And indeed, I enjoyed it for the first three-and-a-half years until the 1% of the membership which voted in leadership elections decided to change the chairman.

The new incumbent hated me and office politics came to the fore. In the autumn of 2013, I decided not to apply for another annual contract but before I could leave, the organisation decided not to renew my contract – and told me in a two-minute phone call one Sunday night, a month before Christmas.

That decision took away 90 per cent of my income and over the next two weeks, I panicked about replacing it. I stressed too much, I worked too hard, I networked too much (at least five meetings a week) – in hindsight, I took my brain and body to their limits and beyond. Then, while I was crossing a road near my home on the afternoon of Monday December 16 2013, I collapsed without warning. I lay in the road helpless – paralysed down my left side, carrying a £2,000 computer in my right hand and with a 47-seater bus coming towards me. I’d had a stroke. At the age of 49, after two and a half decades in the high-pressure world of journalism, my body and brain had cried ‘Enough!’

It should have killed me but somehow the bus miraculously missed me (I am still convinced to this day that the driver doesn’t know I was there, because I was in his blind spot) – and I survived the stroke. I spent a month over Christmas and New Year in hospital (the first two weeks of it wholly paralysed down my left side), I was in a wheelchair for four months, on sticks for 18 months.

It took two years for me to re-learn how to walk (which I still do with a limp) and I have been left with long-term memory loss and balance issues. But at least I’m alive. I’ve been retired from full-time work since December 2015 but I blog about stroke education at www.askthewarrior.com
and I do talks about stroke education as ‘The Warrior’ – specifically emphasising the need for self-employed people to take care of their brains and bodies – no 20-hour days or 100-hour weeks! – and also to prepare financially for the life-changing event “which will never happen to me.”

I’m living, breathing proof that it can happen to you if you work your brain and body too hard. If I can help one person to avoid going through what I’ve been through, I see that as creating a massive positive out of a massive negative.

Thank you for reading,

Martin Warrillow

Love Shouldn’t Hurt

I had allowed someone to strip me so bare of my self-worth that I wanted to end it all. Even though I had two small children at the time and the world at my feet, I didn’t care in that moment. Sometimes, we get caught up in a fairy tale dream that we have and let someone strip the layers from our self-worth, strip by strip until there is nothing else to take away. They do say false love is blind, and blimey, it sure was at that point in my life. However, it was only one of the crosses I had to bear to become who I am today. Would I have changed that event in my life? NO!

What I learned from my life events was vital to being an effective coach. It gave me a deeper understanding of why some people feel worthless to the point of wanting to end their lives, especially when someone else in the equation plays a huge part in you not wanting to be here anymore.

I ended up in many abusive relationships in my life, which, again, nearly cost me my life. However, this time it was not by my own hands; it was the stress of one relationship that caused me to develop an anxiety disorder, which resulted from me in having huge panic attacks—one panic attack resulted in a stroke, which paralysed the right side of my body for two months afterward. Let me tell you about my journey of losing my self-worth completely by letting someone take it away from me.

MY KNIGHT IN SHINING TIN FOIL:
At the age of 30, I went to stay with my friend one weekend. She was having a little get-together with a few friends, and one person who I had not seen for over 10 years was going to be there that very evening. His name was Tim. He used to live on the very same street as me many moons ago with his partner and two step-children. Anyway, his relationship broke down and he moved away, never to be seen again—until now. It was a boy-meets-girl-again moment, a falling-head-over-heels-in-love moment, and all that crap.

(Now, when I say crap, I don’t want you to think for one moment I am being negative about love and relationships because that is far from true. This relationship was far from true love, and the end nearly cost me my life!)

Meeting Tim again had the similar feeling to when I had an affair with Adam, my boss—that feeling that tells you that you shouldn’t be doing this for some reason, but you do anyway. Obviously, this was the beginning of another painful lesson to be learned, and yet another cross to bear.

Tim was originally from Lancashire, the UK which is where he lived and worked. When we started our relationship, he would drive through on the weekends to see me and drive back on Sunday evenings. We lived around 250 miles apart, so there was quite a distance between us to travel to and from where he lived. We kept in touch through the week by phone, and he would call me most days, which at the time I thought was so sweet of him—me being completely unaware of the fact that Tim had a completely separate life on the other side of the coast!

Unknown to me, he actually lived with someone, which had somewhat escaped his attention to tell me this. Christmas 2009 was one of the worse Christmases I have ever experienced in my life. During the time of year where everybody celebrates and looks forward to a new year, I was sitting alone, crying my eyes out for two reasons. First, because Tim said he was coming to my house for Christmas, but he never turned up. His phone was switched off and I had no way of getting in touch with him. So there I was, left completely in the dark, thinking the guy may have died on the way to see me.

Second, because Facebook helps you to track down almost any human on the planet who uses it. I decided to contact a member of his family, and I contacted his brother to let him know I was Tim’s girlfriend and that I was worried because he had not turned up at my house that evening. His brother simply replied, “How can you be Tim’s girlfriend, when he lives with somebody?” My heart stopped and I couldn’t breathe. What a bloody fool I had been, AGAIN! Was every man who I came across just going to rip my heart out and stamp on it? You would think that right here and now, after finding this out, which made my Christmas a terrible one, that I would never take him back, right?

…Obviously, I had not suffered enough just yet….
I had stupidly been sucked in by his lies again as he started reeling off some bullshit story that he had been arrested that Christmas evening, had been locked up in a police cell and that he didn’t live with anyone. So blinded by what I thought was love, I believed him like a complete fool, and the relationship continued.

A couple more months into the relationship, Tim give up his flat in Lancashire and moved over to my hometown. He instantly said to me that he didn’t want to live in my hometown, and said we should consider moving to the countryside. So, again, blinded by what I thought was love, I started looking for houses to rent within the countryside. I found a large 3-bedroom property six miles away from where I currently lived, in a small village called Burton Agnes. I moved my children to different schools and gave notice on my current home and to all of my clients in my child-care business. I then moved six miles into the middle of nowhere to start a fresh life with Tim and my children.

I had to adjust after 11 years of living on my own as a single mother to now having a relationship with a person who lived under the same roof. To begin with, the relationship was fantastic: for the first four months, we were happy and my business picked up straight away with new clients, and I was soon looking after children within the village and surrounding village areas. I also made myself known at the local village school, so that the staff would know about me and the services I provided with looking after children.

It was an added bonus when the school invited me to teach for them once a week. They needed help with the children’s reading times, and with it only being a very small school, they didn’t have as many staff as they needed. The school was impressed with my track record of being a qualified child psychologist, as well as the experience I had as a child-minder. You could say my life was slotting into a perfect picture of happiness: I was living in a big gorgeous house in the countryside with a man who had moved from the other side of the country to be with me. (Yeah, right! If it had been that perfect, the book would stop here.) It was far from perfect. Only four months into the relationship, Tim changed dramatically. He had gone from a very happy soul who was full of life to becoming a grumpy, ignorant bastard who shouted at my children for any little thing. At first, I stood my ground with this man and told him not to speak to me or my children that way.

Only, over time that wore me down leaving me to being a complete doormat that he walked all over. It started with him going to the pub in the next village for a few pints now and again, but then the pub visits started to become more of a routine every single day. He would stay there all evening, fall through the door around midnight after driving three miles home from the next village. He would then sit on the end of my bed and wake me up in the middle of the night just to accuse me of sleeping with every man I had come in contact with.

After two hours of verbal torture, he would then fall asleep into a beer coma next to me until morning. There were many times when I woke up in the morning wet through because Tim had wet the bed at the side of me. He would drink so much that he wouldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom, and just lay there and pissed himself instead. One evening, when I suggested that he should slow down with his drinking because I was afraid he may have a drinking problem, he launched across the room and grabbed me by the neck and pushed my back up against the wall. He started squeezing my throat tighter and tighter and I panicked, thinking he was going to kill me. Finally, he slackened his grip and I fell to the floor, gasping for breath. How the hell had we got to this in only six months?

The next morning, he was full of apologies and tears, saying he was extremely sorry and that he would never do it again. He even called me again on his lunch break from work and kept crying on the phone, begging for forgiveness. I knew the only way forward from this was to get him help: he had a drinking problem, and he had to admit it so we could move forward and get him the help he needed. Only, Tim refused help, and things got worse. I was his point of abuse every single night after that for the next six long months, and each time I was just getting weaker, losing my identity and doing everything to please him and walk around on eggshells so as not to upset him.

When he asked me to marry him, I accepted, and I started to
plan and pay for our wedding. He didn’t put a penny towards any of it and continued to spend all of his money at the bar of the village pub. One evening, around nine weeks before the wedding, Tim held me hostage in my home and locked all the doors and put the house keys in his pocket. He then continued to mentally torture me for hours, telling me that I was not good for anything, only sex, and that I was a waste of space and that my kids would be better off if I died.

I begged him to stop and started screaming at him to let me go. He opened up the back door and said, “Go on, then, get out!” As I put half of my body through the door frame, Tim swung the door on to me and slammed my right leg between the door and the frame. It was not enough for him to do it once; he had to repeat it over and over again till I fell to the floor screaming. When I managed to drag my leg back through the door frame, he slammed the door and locked it. Now I was scared for my life, and I did think for one moment he would kill me. Flashes of images in my mind of my kids growing up without me entered my mind. He continued his mental torture for what seemed like another few hours. I was still on the kitchen floor at this time and still crying as he stood over me. He then turned and left the room because he needed to use the bathroom.

As I heard him climbing the stairs, my mind went into overdrive. How the hell could I get out this house now and make a run for it? He had every key to the house in his pocket, so there was no way I could get through any door right now, so sod it! I grabbed my phone, opened the kitchen window and climbed out of it. I began running down the path and then on to the main road. My leg was in a lot of pain, so running as fast as I usually could be not an option. I heard footsteps behind me and turned my head to see Tim running after me; he soon caught up to me and tried to pry my mobile phone out of my hand. “Give me that,” he said. “You are not calling anybody.”

I managed to keep my grip on my phone, and he couldn’t pry my fingers from it. So he pulled my hair from the back of my head and grabbed a clump of it in his hand and punched me full-force in the face with his fist. I dropped to my knees, dropping the mobile phone, which smashed in three places and hit the side of the road with a thud.

I looked up at him in disbelief at what he had just done to me and how he had just treated me. He walked away from me back up the road, shouting over his shoulder, “You best find a park bench to sleep on tonight because you are not coming back in the house.” That was it! Something inside of snapped; that was my home! I had paid for the goddamn thing, and everything in that house was mine—bought and paid for by me! I pulled myself up from the roadside. I knew there was a phone box at the top of the hill. I had to make it to this phone box and report this bastard to the police.

I dragged my swollen leg to the top of the hill and balanced myself inside the phone box so I didn’t put pressure on my swollen ankle. I lifted the receiver and dialed 999. I remember a soothing female voice on the other end of the line asking me where I was and whether I was safe. She told me she was sending two officers to come and collect me. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened after that because I must have passed out, or the shock hit me. The next thing I knew, I came around to two police officers trying to get me off the floor of the phone box cubical. The officers helped me over to the police car and sat me on the back seat and asked me what I wanted to do about this situation. I looked up at them and said, “Arrest him.” The police drove up to the side of the house and asked me to wait around the side of the house till they had Tim in handcuffs and had put him in the back of the police car. The cheeky sod had gone to bed and locked me out my own home.

The police arrested him and put him in the back of the car—he didn’t go quietly, and he made a complete scene before they took him away. As soon as the officers had him in the police car, they told me to get back into my own house and a member of their team would come and see me in the morning to take a statement.

I sat up that night and watched the sunrise. With so much on my mind, I couldn’t sleep. I had to decide if I was going to press charges for assault and have Tim charged. My first instant decision was that the wedding was off and I wouldn’t be marrying him, even though everything was almost paid and my wedding dress had been ordered. There was no way I was going to marry this man.

By the time the police officers arrived to take my statement, I had talked myself out of pressing charges. A moment of weakness? Yes, and it’s so common among victims who experience domestic violence. Here I was, right now, acting the victim and refusing to press charges because I felt guilty for doing so. I was bowing down to this animal again and allowing him to walk all over me again. However, I stuck to my guns about the decision of canceling the wedding and contacted everyone the next day to let them know the wedding was indeed off. Now I just needed to find the same strength to do the same with this relationship.

One week after I had dropped the charges, I started suffering from dizzy spells and my breathing was hard to control. I would sometimes lose my balance, too, for a few moments, and it would follow with a huge wave of tiredness and a headache that felt like a train was crashing through my head. I ignored it at first until it became obvious that I could no longer ignore it anymore. It really started to affect my life, and even doing the simplest of things (like going to the supermarket) became so hard!
I had to keep my balance by gripping the supermarket trolley handle tightly, and try and control my fast breathing. The thought of everybody staring at me in the store and judging me made things ten times worse. I started to dread public places and lose control of my breathing, which would lead to dizziness and blind spots in my eyes.
I booked an appointment with my doctor to see if I could find out what was actually going on with me and why this was happening. The morning of my appointment, I sat in the doctor’s office awaiting a diagnosis of these crazy symptoms I was experiencing. My doctor looked at me and he said, “Is there something in your life that is causing you a lot of stress right now?” I looked at him and bear face lied and said, “No.” I was hiding behind my victim mask again and pretending that everything was rosy when it clearly wasn’t. He moved forward on his chair and said it again: “Is there something in your life right now that is causing you a lot of stress?” I looked at him and lied again! “No; why?”

He took a deep breath and said, “It seems you are suffering from anxiety disorder, and this is the reason behind all your symptoms. This is usually brought on through experiencing trauma or stress. It’s the body’s way of saying it’s been too strong for too long, and now the stress needs to go before something inside shuts down completely and makes you ill. ”Again, I told a big fat lie and said nothing was causing me stress right now. Because I wouldn’t admit it, he couldn’t actually prescribe me with anything or treat me for anxiety, because I was again hiding behind my victim mask and lying to him and every person around me, including myself, pretending that my life was great.

However, taking that denial out of that office and home with me only made my symptoms worse and they controlled my life even more. I started avoiding supermarkets altogether and, instead, had my grocery shopping delivered to my front door. I wouldn’t go out of the house unless I really had to, and even then it was a complete nightmare and I would lose control of my breathing, feel dizzy and want to run home and be safe behind my own front door again, which was not even possible while still living with Tim.
The following week, I had no choice but to leave the house, due to my son being sick with the flu. I caught the bus to town to pick him up some cough medicine and pick up a few other things while I was out. I just managed to pull myself together and willed myself to catch the bus to town and get the things I needed and hurry straight back home. I walked down the road to the bus stop and waited for my bus; while waiting there, I could feel that familiar feeling rising in my chest again—that feeling of uneasy breathing followed by a bout of dizziness that had me leaning against the bus shelter while I waited for the bus. I kept saying to myself over and over again, “You have to do this.”

The bus stopped to pick me up and I boarded the bus and sat down to take my journey to the nearest town, which was six miles away. Along the journey, my breathing became hard to control and I started having huge blind spots in my eyes and couldn’t see in front of me. This added to my panic attack and made it worse. I sat there and suffered in silence while my symptoms became increasing hard to deal with. As we became closer to the town centre, I knew I had to somehow walk down the aisle of this bus without falling over because I couldn’t see clearly in front of me.

My right arm went numb, which just added to my panic more. I pulled myself up off my seat and made it to the front of the bus, and I stepped off and turned the corner. I propped myself up against the wall of a building. The numb feeling in my arm intensified and spread from the top of my shoulder to the bottom of my fingertips, followed by what felt like the intense pain of pins and needles. You know yourself when you lay too long on your arm and it goes numb, and you have a tingly feeling rushing up and down your arm and it’s painful, right? Well, imagine that times ten!
I was now seriously panicking and drawing attention to myself. Passers-by in the street asked me if I was ok. I just knew there and then that I had to make it to the hospital, which was situated 10 minutes up the road from where I was right that second. I thanked everyone for their concern and shoved my numb hand into my pocket, and then proceeded to walk towards the hospital. I reached the hospital entrance and walked through the big entrance doors to be greeted by a male nurse, who said, “Are you all right?” I was trying to reply to him, but my speech became slurred and it sounded like I was drunk. I looked at him and just as I tried again to speak to him, I nearly fell over, but he caught me and helped me to a side room and put me to a bed. My right-hand side complete give way and I fell over onto the bed; now I was panicking!
I had totally lost control of one side of my body and couldn’t move it. My breathing started getting out of control. The male nurse called help for somebody else to come into the room. Both nurses positioned me properly on the bed and started asking me to calm down; one of them put a heart monitor on my chest, and my heartbeat per minute was rising to a very dangerous level.

The nurse looked at me and said, “If you don’t calm your breathing now, you will go into cardiac arrest and we will have to rush you to the city hospital.” By this time, my heart rate was climbing up to 285 beats per minute due to the panic of losing complete control of my right-hand side.
I managed to gain control of my breathing and slowly my heart rate reduced down, although as I was calming down, my right-hand side went completely numb, all the way from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I could feel that the right-hand side of my face had dropped, too. The nurse told me I was doing great and then he asked me for my name. I proceed to talk, and then found that I couldn’t! I tried again and again, and all that came out was, “K, K, Ka…”
I gave up and the tears of frustration rolled down my face. I had lost my control of speaking, and couldn’t do what we all take for granted each and every day. This made me panic and get frustrated. The nurse placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “It’s fine; we will try again in a little while.”
I wrote down Tim’s number and handed a note to the nurse to ask him to call Tim to let him know what was happening. Tim arrived around 15 minutes later and sat beside me in the hospital room, and all I could do was bore my eyes right through him. It hit me right there and then WHY I was in this state, and I fully knew he would NEVER change, and now was the time to put myself first and leave this bastard. I made the decision there and then that whatever was happening to me right now, I was going to heal, get off this fucking bed, and throw this man out my life for good! After an hour or so, my speech came back. It was a stutter, but least I could talk again and tell the nurse everything he needed to know. I still couldn’t move my right arm and shoulder, but the feeling in my leg and toes came back, which enabled me to rest at home till I had to go back into the hospital to have tests, including a brain scan. I didn’t want to leave my kids in Tim’s care because God knows how he would have treated them. The first evening after I had left the hospital, I did feel extremely unwell, exhausted, and I knew I needed to rest.
I remember laying there propped up on around five pillows, not being able to move, just staring at the ceiling, wondering what my first action step would be to get my life back on track as soon as I could move again. I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, I was awoken by somebody sitting beside me. They were sitting a bit too close—actually, they were sitting on top of me, and I had to move back a little in the bed so they could sit on the bed beside me. I opened one eye to see who had disturbed me from my sleep, only to see my grandmother sat right beside me.

Only, it didn’t look like her at the age she had died; she looked exactly like she did in her old photos when she was around my age. I smiled at her and she smiled back and I slipped back to sleep.

I was awakened a second time that evening to the sheer pain of pins and needles shooting up and down my arm again, and this time I was so weak and fed up of the pain I actually remember surrendering to death. I thought this was it, that I was dying, and there was nobody around to help me. I must have passed out and fallen back to sleep again because I was awoken a third time to a bright ball of light in front of me. It contained a group of people that I had never seen before in my life. The bright ball of light just hovered in front of my face and it started flashing different faces of different people who I had never seen before.

WAS THIS IT? WAS I PASSING OVER? WAS I DYING?

Something was happening, and I couldn’t quite understand exactly what. I know to this day I was not dreaming; I know what I saw. I made it to the next day anyway and needed two weeks’ bed rest after that day, and I also needed the help to do little things like bathing myself, go to the toilet and feed myself. I was very limited to what I could do with one side of my body completely paralyzed from the waist up. My children were little angels and helped me so much during that time, and never complained once. They even cooked dinner every night and did the household chores for me while I lay in bed, gaining my strength back. By the second week, I could get out of bed, but I couldn’t use my right-hand side very well. My speech was back to normal and I could do more for myself and not rely so much on people like I had in the beginning.
Now it was time to put that decision that I made in that hospital bed into action and throw Tim out my house. He didn’t go quietly and accused me of wanting him out my life so that I could move another man in. (Yeah, right!) In the end, I called the police and had him removed from my home. Suddenly, with him out the house, the whole atmosphere in the house completely changed. It was like me and the kids could breathe again and be ourselves; a dark cloud had started to disappear from above our heads. For three days after getting kicked out, Tim lived in his car (which I had paid for) and drank himself stupid.
Each time he got drunk, he would then drive back to my home and shout and make noise on my doorstep till I rang the police to have him removed. Do I feel guilty for making this guy homeless? Do I? Bollocks! He should have saved the money he spent on beer and checked into a hotel; at least then he would have had a bed to sleep in. Three days later, some other poor soul felt sorry for him and let him stay with them; he fed them a completely bullshit story about it all being me that had caused him harm and that I wanted him out the way because I was seeing someone else.

I started searching on the internet for a house to rent back in my hometown. It was time to go back and get my life sorted out, be closer to my friends again, and get back to the real world after being isolated for so long in the middle of nowhere. As I began searching, that little voice from inside popped up and said, “New Pasture Lane.” So I listened and Googled that street name.
There it was, right in front of my eyes: a 3-bedroom house to rent on New Pasture Lane. I rang the phone number attached to the ad and went to view the house that week. The house needed a lot of decorating, but I didn’t care right at that point. I looked past it and knew I could make it into a nice home for the children and me to live in. I handed in my notice of my country home and hired a complete removal team to pack all my stuff and move all my belongings and furniture to the new house.
Within that time, Tim had tried almost every day to contact me, but I was not interested. You know for yourself that whenever a relationship ends, whether good or bad, we still have to mourn the loss of that person because we shared a life with them. So yes, part of me did miss him, but a bigger part of me hated him and wouldn’t allow him back in my life.

I moved into my house on New Pasture Lane in August 2011 at the age of 32 years old. I was finally free to start a new life and a new beginning and focus solely on building my business and being a mum to my children. As I started unpacking, I came across the “wedding box” which contained everything that was purchased for Tim’s and my supposed wedding day. I stuffed it all into a charity bag and took it to the nearest charity shop (brand-new wedding dress included) and handed it all over the counter to the assistant. It was like cutting that last cord to freedom.

Under the very watchful eye of my doctor, with light exercise each day I got stronger, and I even started jogging lightly again. The more I ran each week, the more feeling came back in my right arm. I was beginning to become fully mobile again, and although I still couldn’t grip things properly with my right hand, I was determined to succeed and keep trying—no matter how many cups I broke in the process 🙂

The doctor told me to be careful because the results of my brain scan had shown I had a slight scar on my brain from the stroke, and this is what caused me to stutter the odd time and have a twitching eyelid. Other than that, my right-hand side was becoming stronger each day. My self-confidence, however, had been completely crushed and I was almost running empty on it. Whenever someone called the house, I would get my son to answer the phone because I feared to speak to the other person on the other end. This went as far as not even ordering a takeaway pizza! My poor son, who was 12 years old at the time, was relied on for this, too—until the day he snapped at me and said, “Why can’t you do it? I’m sick of doing it for you!”
That there was a wet fish-slap around my face! Was this what had I become? I was supposed to be this young man’s protector, yet he was telling me off and telling me to pull up my big-girl pants and be a mother. The next time the house phone rang, I picked it up, only to be greeted by a call from Tim. He lied out of his backside and told me he needed to see me give me back some official papers that had gotten mixed up in his things when I had thrown him out my house.

I slammed the phone down on him after telling him to get lost. However, this man didn’t seem to take no for an answer, and couldn’t quite accept that I didn’t want him in my life again. That same evening, as I lied in bed, I heard a noise outside; at first, I thought it may have been a neighbour, so I ignored it and went back to sleep. I woke up again and froze in my bed to see a shadow looming over me: it was Tim. He had broken into my
new home through the kitchen window and come to make sure I had no other man in my bed.
I jumped out of the bed, ran down the stairs and grabbed the phone. I dialed 999 and was just about to speak to the operator, but Tim tried to grab the phone out my hand. I struggled with him for a while to try to hustle him to the back door so I could open it and shove him out my house. I was so angry that this man had broken into my new home that was supposed to be my new haven away from this crazy man.
I punched him really hard in the right side of his head, opened my back door and threw him out of it, and then slammed it and locked the door. As I threw him out, a police car with flashing lights turned into my road. Tim saw the police car and started running down the street. One of my neighbours had actually seen him climb through my kitchen window and had called the police before I did. I went back to bed and tried my best to sleep the best I could for the rest of the evening. I had a friend’s wedding to attend the next day and I could have really not done with this right now. It was going to be hard enough to watch my friend walk down the aisle and marry the man she loved when seven days before that date, it would have been my very own wedding day.

As you can imagine, by now I didn’t think my life could get very much worse. I was having that moment again where I was thinking, “When the fuck am I going to get a break here? When will people just leave me to get on with my own life in peace, so that I can just make a success of my business and bring my children up?”

The whole experience of Tim’s and my relationship had really had a massive impact already on both my children, and it was such a relief for both of them—and for me—to finally be rid of his drama and live in peace again. After a few emotionally draining weeks, our lives started to get back on the positive
track. The children were enrolled at a local school and they had settled in nicely, plus my nanny business had a boost of new clients as it always did during the school summer holidays. This enabled me to seriously decorate my new home; so, with business doing well and a house to decorate, along with bringing two children up by myself again, my time was pretty occupied.

I was nowhere near ready to have any form of relationship and decided to stay single for a heck of a long time. The main focus now was my children, my business, decorating my home and finding myself again. I had actually forgotten how much I had missed just the three of us were by ourselves. The freedom was back, and the atmosphere was quite relaxing and free once more.

Taken From Kate’s book The Missing Piece in Self-Worth…

 

 

Sharing This Could Save Your Life!

I hope by sharing my journey of this it will help at least one person in the world! I never want you to leave a bad headache to chance!

Why? Because Silly me here thought I suffered migraines for almost a year…..Turns out it’s more serious than that and I have a condition called “Temporal Arteritis” which is a major serious condition that affects the arteries in the head, neck, and upper body.

The temporal artery is most often affected. It runs over the temple, to the outside of the eye. In extreme or untreated cases, this condition can lead to blindness or strokes… Never in a million years did I think my condition was this dangerous on my health. I had suffered migraines for over a year and just use to treat a bad headache with rest and I would take something for the pain. After the (what I thought was a migraine) would ease off within 2 days and leave me feeling drained afterwards.

So what changed to enable me to be diagnosed? 

Well, again, it all started with a really bad throbbing headache in the side of my temple. I had taken a mini break with my partner to go visit a family friend, only one of my (so-called-migraines) decided to attack. It was a really bad sharp stabbing pain that just wouldn’t ease off and left me feeling exhausted by Saturday evening.

When I woke Sunday morning my other half, Matthew, noticed something strange had happened to my face above my eyelid. My face was really tender and sore and the eyelid and eyebrow area above my eye had become very swollen. When I looked in the mirror to examine my face I noticed what he had said was true. The whole area above and around my eye and leading back to my temple was swollen and it was extremely tender to touch.

My first port of call was to contact an optician to get myself booked in for an eye exam. So, that at least this way I could have my eye examined on the inside to rule out any brain tumour and plus my eyesight has got worse over the past month so I was guessing this would be the best place to start.

When I rang the optician and shared my symptoms with the lady on the phone she directed me to the A & E  department and advised that I sought medical attention immediately because it sounded like an emergency. So around 3 hours later I was sat in front of a doctor and he had diagnosed me “Temporal Arteritis”.

He was surprised to see somebody so young with this condition and explained it was extremely rare for anyone to have this under the age of 50 years old. He said it’s that rare, that he has only known of 23,000 cases to happen in the entire world under the age of 50. However, it is a serious condition and if left untreated this condition can lead to blindness or strokes. It has already made my own eyesight worse over the past 4 weeks and this extreme attack I had left me with physical signs of a swollen eye afterwards. Which means this time around the attacks were getting worse and if I had just placed this down to a migraine and not bothered to get myself checked out, then next time I could have lost my sight in my right eye completely, or, even worse and suffered another stroke.

The doctor prescribed steroids and aspirin to treat the inflamed artery and contacted my own doctor straight away to inform her of all the tests I will need so that they can really gain an understanding of how far this condition has gone and what damage has been done so far with having it. So, this week is back and forth to the doctors for me to have many different tests and to be monitored constantly to make sure the steroids are doing their job right.

I will need to have further tests and either an ultrasound scan, a CT scan or biopsy, or all 3 depending what results show up in my blood tests this week.

So how do you move forward with this condition?

Well, luckily, I have caught mine in time before it took my sight completely or caused me to have another stroke. So from here and moving forward in life, it is now learning how to live with this and how to prevent the attacks. It is the attacks that cause the damage to the blood vessels. What happens is your white blood cells attack the blood vessels by thinking it’s a virus.

What happens is that your white blood cells seem to go crazy and think your body is being attacked by a disease and when they start defending the area in the blood vessels it actually attacks the blood vessel walls and damages them, which then leaves you with damage to your eyesight or even worse with everything being connected to the main artery in your temple.

NEVER leave them headaches to chance! DO check out the symptoms of Temporal Arteritis if you are a migraine sufferer. It is only because my eye had swollen up that I could be diagnosed, otherwise, this would have gone undetected and I could have had another attack in a few months time costing me my sight or even worse my life. I have suffered migraines for nearly two years now, and all along I never knew it was Temporal Arteritis.

So I hope by sharing this with you that it helps you become more aware of the condition and to be asked to be tested for it. I will share more updates later after my doctor and hospital tests and really keep you educated on what I learn throughout my research.

Over the past few days, I have learnt a lot already and starting to understand that I have to learn all the attack triggers, take aspirin regularly and eating a very rich calcium and vitamin D diet, plus, taking vitamin D tablets. This helps reduce attacks and keeps your bones strong. Some Temporal Arteritis sufferers can have other medical problems like Osteoarthritis. So it is wise to keep your bones strong, exercise regularly and understand your triggers and avoid them to not cause any more attacks.

You can lead a normal life with this condition, it’s just learning a whole new way of dealing with it and knowing what to stay away from.

I will keep you updated on more details when I learn them myself,

Have a truly awesome week, and remember NEVER leave them headaches to chance!

AND DO SHARE THIS POST! IT COULD SAVE SOMEBODY!

Much love

Kate xx

P.S) Did you know you can have access to 22 life coaches all for the price of a latte? Click here to find out how YOU can improve your life each month for less than the price of a Starbucks!

 

 

Great things happen outside your comfort zone!

Great things happen outside your comfort zone!Easier said then done right?I know! Trust me! Living everyday feeling…

Posted by Kate Gardner on Monday, 17 August 2015

I Never Said It Was Easy….

Change isn’t easy! Nothing changes until you do, and nothing will change until you make the move to change who you are and what you do. Success is not about what do I have to do to become success? It’s about WHO do I have to become. So where do we start in order to make them changes? Join me today on 15 Minutes of Motivation to find out exactly where you need to start in order to become the success and have the freedom lifestyle you truly desire so much.