JOY in 2018 Here I Come!

So after taking a month off from blogging...I’m back! However this year my blogging will be more organic i.e. I’ll write when I feel the urge rather than schedule a weekly blog for the purpose of consistency.

Topics will continue to range depending on how I feel and what I’m interested in at the time. However if there is anything in particular you want to hear more about, then please do reach out.

But to start of 2018 and as I near my 31st birthday, I thought I might take this opportunity to share with you all, a bit about me and where I come from.

Born in Adelaide on March 3rd 1987, I grew up as an only child. It wasn’t that my parents couldn’t have more children, but my mother felt that one was enough. I’m told I was an easy baby who slept wherever I was put down (even under the table at restaurants and dinner parties).

I struggle to recall what was my earliest memory as I know looking back on photos influences this. But I remember ambushing my dad when he would get home from work and wanting to jump up and down sitting on his belly as he lay on the floor.

I enjoyed school and sport and was always encouraged to have hobbies and interests. I had a job from age 12 and went to public school but never felt a lack of anything. We holidayed around the state a lot and I was 14 when I embarked on my first trip overseas to the USA.

There was not much I could want for materially but I longed for more love and affection. With a mother who ran her own business from home and a father who worked full time and came home to do a mixture of contract work, lecturing and kite making, I quickly learnt how to entertain myself.

I remember begging to go on family bike rides or asking them to read me a bed time story, something that would have only occurred a handful of times during my upbringing. They were busy and tired and didn’t have the time or desire to do what I wanted to do.

Moving out of home at the age of 21, I quickly began to see just how much I had been controlled and manipulated. I had generally speaking been a very good child, teenager and young adult. Rarely pushing boundaries in fear of the punishment I would receive but never able to get to know who Nicola really was. What mattered was good grades, getting a good job and pleasing people to ensure everyone could see what a “good” person I was because of course this reflected what “good” parenting I had received.

How others perceived our family was what mattered most to my mother, as she was quick to brag to others about what I had achieved but I don’t recall feeling as though I was ever good enough and she rarely acknowledged me. Hence there was a severe lack of self worth and self doubt.

Moving out of home finally gave me some perspective. Then when an opportunity came for work to relocate me to Sydney at age 24,

I decided to take it. This marked the beginning of my independence and I was grateful for the physical distance between myself and my past as I was able to reflect and began to heal some of the damage that had been done during my upbringing.

Now I can see that the emotional and mental abuse I received is what led to my binge drinking every weekend for a good part of 8 years. I believed that a good night entailed a bottle of wine with dinner then hitting the local bars for more wine and vodka before stumbling to the local fast food joint to have an early morning meal and lure some random guy back to my place in order for me to feel wanted and loved if even for just a short few hours before they snuck away as the sun came up never to be seen or heard from again.

Pretty sad but that was the truth of it. The ability of alcohol to numb my mind and feelings was the only solace I got from the constant voice in my head repeating that I was not good enough and that I was a failure, especially in the eyes of my parents. Alcohol was my escape and key to freedom from my over active mind.

Whilst living in Sydney I got really sick. I could see that my life was filled with less drama the further away I lived from my parents, but the stress and guilt that this triggered in me was huge. I had really bad eczema that crept up my neck and behind my ears. When it got to the stage that it was beginning to get all funky and more noticeable, I went to the doctor. But I knew this was a physical response to the emotional unraveling that was going on inside of me.

Not only did the GP prescribe me something for the eczema but I also went on the mental health plan, I needed counselling. This, with the help of my aunt who had begun to open my eyes up to the world of self help books and spirituality, marked the beginning of my recovery.

At the age of 26 I decided to move to Victoria where my aunt lived and I would have more access to like minded spiritual people that I had begun forming friendships with. It was at around this time that I could see how my parents were so toxic in my life, that I chose to cut. They didn’t respect my new spiritual beliefs and my perceptions of my childhood. They didn’t want to look at themselves in the mirror and take any accountability and I felt disrespected.

Now I’m not saying my parents are bad people, they did the best job they knew how in raising me and provided a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back. I had a great education and financial support to purchase my first home. They loved me the only way they knew how, but by this stage I knew that their love was not enough for me.

This was not a decision that came easily. I seeked help and advice from loved ones and professionals. I reflected, I meditated, I wrote letters and I dug deep. How would it be to know that my birth parents are still alive yet they have no place in my life due to my choice?

Nearly 5 years on I am at peace with my decision. It has been and for now, continues to be the right decision for me. There is less drama in my life and I am free to have my beliefs without judgment from family. But it has not been easy and obviously came at a cost. I have had to face my inner demons, in particular those around rejection and abandonment.

I have been judged by others who believe my decision is unfair and believe that I should forgive. I have been congratulated by some for my courage and strength. At the end of the day however none of this matters, what matters is that I live my life for me and from a place of love. That I release my own judgement and fears and come back to love.

What is important is that I learn and grow. Having a belief that everything happens for a reason, I trust I am where I am meant to be and that I must keep looking forward. Some days are easier than others and I know I’m far from perfect, but I am grateful for my lessons in life and choose to keep evolving.

That is part of the reason why 2018 for me is going to be all about the joy. Whenever I feel the darkness creeping in I’m going to find that joy and my wish for you dear reader is that your year is also full of joy!

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