Trigger warning – emotional and physical abuse.
I’ve read and been told multiple times in business and life you need goals. That without goals you have no direction, nothing to measure your success.
I find goals yet another tool with which to beat myself up. I don’t meet a goal, loose my focus and wander off in another direction and comes the end of the week, month or year and I’ve not achieved my goals, the negative voice in my head just has more ammunition to beat me with. More negative self talk. “Oh, you’re f&8ing useless, you can’t stick to anything,” my negative voice will say. Once that negative voice starts it likes to go on and on. It will remind me how I failed multiple times in the past. It will point out my 94kgs of weight I now lug around each day. It will tell me I wasted all that effort getting the weight off previously and on it goes.
My weight is like a yo-yo, it’s a good indicator of my current mental health. And it’s now currently almost at the heaviest it has ever been.
My dads pet name for me as a kid was ‘fatty’, my two sisters were and are slender. I was the odd one out. I was dyslexic, something I didn’t discover until my own child was diagnosed. So not only was I “fatty” I was “useless” too. I failed year five and year seven. As I couldn’t read particularly well. Plus the everyday ‘teasing” because I spoke with a strong Liverpool accent when we came to Australia didn’t make school a happy place for me. I’ve always been a loner and never felt I fitted in.
Childhood trauma lasts a lifetime. As an adult you can understand and see why certain things happen. But as a child you do not understand, you just think if only I could be better, if only I tried harder.
As a child I’d try lots of strategies to deal with the ‘smacking’. This time I won’t cry and he won’t smack me. So you’d get a couple more smacks for ‘good measure’. If I cried before I got hit, ‘I’d get something to cry about.‘ I’d get called a drama queen or an actress ‘Elizabeth Taylor’ and I was acting trying to find a way not to be yelled at or hit. Even this my negative voice will use against me, “oh you’re nothing but a drama queen, it wasn’t that bad, all kids get hit and yelled at occasionally. You’re just attention seeking, again.”
My childhood was about being invisible, it was the way I coped. I spent most of my teens hiding in my bedroom, away from the arguments, yelling and hitting. To my shame I was pleased when it was my sisters in trouble because it meant no one was seeing me. Today I do not have a good relationship with either of my sisters. Form my reading this seems to be normal for dysfunctional families.
I do not write this to hurt my mum and sisters, but as a way of understanding why my mental health is how it is. I’m still very mixed up about how I feel about them. There’s love but a lot of resentment too. There’s understanding of the position my parents were in as new immigrants with no family support.
Goals to me are not inspirational at all. I’ve got to the stage I hate setting them, knowing I will once more fail to meet them. And so the spiral of negativity and poor mental health will deepen. I start comparing myself to others and find myself lacking.
Instead of setting goals, I’m going to focus on my values and intentions. My values of love, kindness, helping others, family, caring, doing good,
My intention to raise a happy, close family. My intention to be a loving mum, to be open and honest with my kids. My intention to be a loving partner. My intention to be happy running my little shop, to help others learn to knit, crochet and find peace in creating. My intention to earn some money to help support my family. My intention to earn an income to have adventures and do things that bring me joy.
My intention to be grateful for what I have and find my peace and contentment in each moment. My intention to be brave, to be vulnerable and to help others, by being open about my mental health. I want to help others understand they can have the life they deserve, by focusing on improving their mental well-being.
I’m not a drama queen or an attention seeking, I’m someone who seeks connection and understanding.
Be brave, be kind, be you. Love Tracy ♥️