Tuesday, 24 June 2014

a liberating experience

I'm not an eloquent writer. In fact, it takes an awful long time for me to construct a sentence, let alone a paragraph. I do, however, think that life experiences ought to be shared and learnt from. 

Growing up within an alcohol fuelled, violent environment meant that we left home on numerous occasions. So much so that I have lost count. Aside from Canberra, I have lived in each of the capital cities on the east coast of Australia and every time we'd leave, saving ourselves was the ultimate priority.

The idea of the exercise was to get out noiselessly whilst my father was in deep sleep. In the wee hours of the morning we would sneak out and hide in the bushes out back to make sure he hadn't woken, then, make our move. Timing had to be impeccable. If not, we'd live to see another miserable day, where school was a safe haven and the anticipation of going home was met with angst. Hence, taking our belongings, the absolute necessities, such as a toothbrush or even childhood photos, was a rarity and what we had on our bodies was the only outfit we carried.

For the first few months we would hide out at a women's refuge, before deciding on our next move and from that point, begin rebuilding our lives. Often, the thought of changing surnames, even to the extent of identities, seemed like the next best option. We wanted so desperately to break free and start anew. The problem with running away is that your past is almost guaranteed to catch up with you, and on a winters night in July, many years later, it did. But that's another story for another day! 

I'm not sure how, but when I look back, my family are one of the lucky few. We could have easily ended up in tragedy and foster homes but we always got away relatively safe. I have known people who were not so lucky. Daughters who have had to witness their mother getting shot right outside a court before divorce proceedings, women who have wanted to leave but are so fearful. 

Watching my father clean up his own mess has been gut wrenching at times. I can only imagine the burden that he would forever carry knowing that his actions single handedly destroyed everything he once had.

These days, things aren't rainbows and daisies, but they are more than I could have ever hoped for. The journey hasn't been easy and I have had to become very familiar with putting up walls and auto responses. It's the only way I know how to protect myself. With that said, my journey is my own and if given the chance to turn back time, I would not change a millisecond as it has made me the person I am today! 

So, at first glance, "withoutmyknickers" is somewhat deceiving and I apologise in advance for not offering the raunchy sex advice that you may have been seeking. Rather, this is a platform for me to share the uncensored version of my story, in the hopes that my experiences will at the very least empower and make a difference to someone's life....anyone’s life! Personally, this is the beginning of a very liberating journey!

Happy reading!