A new week has just started. I had my hypnotherapy on Friday. Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT). It's a hybrid therapy that includes hypnosis, hypnotherapy, Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I must admit I was sceptical about it. I've seen hypnosis on shows and always thought it was staged. I joked with the therapist Dawn that I was worried about randomly acting like a chicken afterwards and was assured that would not happen. So what did happen?
I was hypnotised, put into a suggestible state of consciousness. I was awake and aware the whole time. I felt so relaxed and calm. We explored four memories. It was quite bizarre. Two of the four that came out I had never ever thought about. I didn't even realise they were in my head. When I was asked to recount each scene It was as if I was watching a recording on a TV of me but in that moment. I could see every detail as clear as crystal. The feelings those memories evoked were incredibly powerful and emotional.
I always put my lack of confidence, self-esteem and self-worth down to the abusive relationship I had many years ago. What I uncovered is the seeds were sown many more years before that when I was 7.
I was an incredibly tall child. Taller than most adults and was ridiculed for it by children and teachers. The seed was sown, I looked different, was a freak, and ugly, but it was my belief and internal dialogue that it was true that made the seed grow. The relationship I had only consolidated in my head I was that person and was not worthy or good enough.
The final memory was of my husband's funeral. This confused me. I couldn't understand what my confidence had to do with that. Dawn asked me loads of open questions and the answer I gave explained all. The day of his funeral was the day I said goodbye to a man I loved, who loved me unconditionally. A man who loved me no matter how I looked or what I did. Since he passed away I have subconsciously believed I would never be worthy of being loved again. His passing triggered the old feelings and that nobody would see me as he did.
After identifying the root cause Dawn got me to say things out loud. Almost to dispel the feelings of being ugly, different and unlovable. To put them in a time and place that no longer has any relevance or power in my life. I was bought out of my hypnotic state. I was aware I had cried throughout, but I was smiling. I felt an inner peace that I cannot find the right words to describe. We talked further about it and I can honestly say I was amazed at how I felt.
That night I was buzzing. I had a video call with some people I have gotten to know recently but have never met. This is something I would not have done before. Always worrying about how awful I would look on the screen. I was not worried this time. I took the call and I felt fantastic. I ended up having a great evening, and although we are in lockdown it was a fantastic girls night with a lot of laughter.
On Saturday I was asked again by a number of my group members about a party or get together after lockdown. This was something said as a bit of a joke a couple of weeks back by one group member and within a matter of hours escalated quite quickly. I have over 450 members now, and it really has created a little community of people who help one another out. Dawn, my therapist has offered to run some sessions on the group starting from this week for the next 6 weeks, including the psychology of relationships amongst other things. This has been really well-received by the other members and many have confirmed their attendance for the first one. As the group members live all over the place I've started to look at possible venues around the country and see where people are happy and able to travel to. I have never organised anything like this before and to be honest prior to Friday didn't seriously entertain the idea. Now it can be a reality.
Sunday was Valentine's Day. I received 2 E-cards. One was from a guy in the group who lives in Canada, the other was from a guy I dated 3 years ago. Although he is in a relationship he has sent one every year since we met, except last year (he only sends it as a friend). The cards made me laugh, and I'll admit boosted my ego a little. I chatted to the guy I had dated and told him about my hypnotherapy. He has been really supportive over the past few months checking in with me as he knows I've been having a tough time.
When I met him, dating was a complete unknown to me. I had been in a relationship for 22 years. I had just lost a huge amount of weight and hated my body even more than I had before. He is incredibly good-looking and super confident. I always felt a little intimidated. We dated for 6 months and whilst we got on amazingly ì always knew it would be nothing more than friends. I do remember him saying to me at the time that sexy is an attitude not a dress size. It always stuck in my head, but I never took it onboard. After he listened to me telling him about hypnotherapy he said it to me again. He paid me several other compliments. Before I would have just laughed it off unable to accept he meant it. This time I didn't. After we chatted I went upstairs and coloured my hair. I put a dress, heels and makeup on. The first time in so long. Why did I bother when there is no one to see it? I did it because it made me feel good. I went shopping totally overdressed and made up, but I didn't care. I felt great.
I can see how my attitude has changed already in certain aspects of my life. I am no longer worried about someone saying hurtful or cruel things to me about the way I look as that actually says more about them and where they are in their heads than it does me. My new-found confidence will only enhance me and my life. Will I ever be a person who craves or demands attention in a crowd? No, that is not at all in my nature. I want to be the person who can look at myself inside and out and know and be happy with who I am. Since Friday I can do that.
I hope to be able to look back at these ramblings in a year's time and be proud of myself. I do not want to look back, read this and feel that nothing has changed or be annoyed with myself for not acting on what I have said or done. I am confident that it will not be the case. The skeptic in me did wonder if how I felt was just an in the moment feeling and would it last. What difference would it make to my life? Well I am three days in. I have a recording I listen to every day and will for 21 days. I feel empowered for the first time.
After shopping on Sunday I actually stood and truly looked at myself in a mirror. I stood completely naked. For someone who has avoided mirrors for so long this was unusual. And for the first time I liked what I saw. I didn't criticize how I looked. I just appreciated myself. I have curves, I have scars, I have stretch marks, but they are there for a reason and are a part of the story of my life. I sat listening to music that night. Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd came on. So apt! To me the lyrics are about overcoming personal fear and breaking free from it. I cannot explain how this has worked and I would honestly recommend it to anyone. I feel like I have been given the opportunity to be me. To be happy and comfortable in myself. I am learning to fly.
I have put the link on to Dawn's website in case anyone else feels they could benefit from it.
Do you believe in fate? Do you believe in serendipitous events/encounters? That everything happens for a reason. I believe fate was the reason I met my husband. I'd been in a horrendous relationship and left my home town with my ex to go to work at Butlins. Whilst my ex was sacked for hospitalising me, I stayed. My husband came to Butlins a few months later. He was on his way home from work and walked past a job centre in London where he lived. It had a board outside advertising work on the South Coast, with accommodation provided. He told me he didn't know why he went inside as he had a really good job as a Carpenter and Joiner, but he was feeling very disillusioned with London and within 2 days he packed his belongings and moved to the sunny South Coast. We consequently met and he never moved back.
Had I not have been with the person I was with, however bad it was, I would never have met my husband. I would never have had my children. I've always struggled to find a reason as to how fate resulted in my husband being taken from us too soon. The disease that killed him (Mesothelioma) was a result of work he did with asbestos some 15 years before we met. It laid dormant until 2016. A couple of days before he passed away he said to me that he bet I regretted him turning up at Butlins as I was about to be made a widow at 41. I didn't and don't ever regret meeting him.
Since I was a child I have kept things that hold memories for me. Little trinkets and notes that I've bought or been given over the years that have sentimental value. I even have my school-leavers books signed by everyone from that year. To outsiders, it would be junk, to me incredibly precious. I have a box with cards, obituary notice, order of service and candle from my husband's funeral. The one and only letter he wrote me, our first valentines and Christmas cards. Other personal effects. Last year I took down most of the photos as it felt right to do so and they are safely in the box. I haven't been into the box other than adding the photos. That was until the day after I wrote my last post.
I was feeling very low. I sat at the PC when a large bang behind me made me jump out of my skin. I looked to see the box had fallen from where it always sits. I have no idea what caused it, but it landed with the lid open. I could see the pictures on the top were not damaged. I went to close the lid and put the box away but for some reason I had a sudden urge to go through it. Under the photos was a memory stick. I knew this held over 50 or so photos of my husband. I haven't looked at it since it was played at his funeral 4 years ago, afraid of how I would feel. I decided to play it.
I sat laughing as each image filled my TV screen. Smiling at the memories. I didn't cry once watching. I then carried on looking through the box and came across a disc. It was a recording of the coroner's court that I had to attend and give evidence at 2 months after he died. It was a blur at the time as I was still in shock. As he had passed away due to an industrial disease this was necessary but incredibly painful. I had to fight to stop an autopsy being performed as he had been through so much already. That may seem bizarre to some, but he had endured so many biopsies and procedures before he died I didn't want his body being cut any more. I won my fight and the coroner agreed biopsy results would be sufficient along with my evidence.
I have never listened to the recording and other than my dad, the coroner, the recorder and a journalist that was allowed to be present I actually have no memory of what was said. I decided to play that too. It was so difficult to listen to. I didn't sound like me. The pain in my voice came across so loudly. I did cry listening to it, but I am glad I did.
I put everything back in the box, but it got me thinking. Looking at the photos and memories were happy. The recording was hard to listen to but after doing so I felt calm and peaceful. I started to remember other conversations I'd had with my husband in the days before his death. Some were very amusing, others very deep. The last conversation we had he told me to go and live my life. Be happy. Find another love and that he had always loved me. He was unable to speak again after this due to sedation. At the time I really did not want to hear that, but I thought long and hard about that conversation.
I took a call a couple of hours later from a lady I have got to know over the past few months. She said she had a weird feeling and felt she needed to call me and was I OK. I told her what had happened with the box and what I had done. She said "that is serendipity". Serendipity is an unplanned fortunate discovery. We talked at length about it and how I believed fate bought my husband into my life, but I could not justify it taking him away. She went on to say that she believes people are brought to us for a reason. That every person we meet teaches us something whether that be a good, fun, sad, learning, loving or bad experience. She went on that my husband was a gift to me and that after 7 years of abuse I needed him and that he had done what he needed to by showing me how to love and be loved. Now whether you believe in that or not I felt for the first time since his death totally at peace with that. I do believe my husband was bought into my life by fate. I was lucky enough to have loved and been loved by him for 22 years.
My low mood I'd been having that day lifted after my call with her. I started to think of other people who have been in my life in the past 4 years and left an impact on it in some way. Every person I thought of I have learned from. Whether it be through inspiring me, educating me, introducing me to new experiences or opening my eyes to things I wanted to try but never had the courage too. Every person I thought of no matter if they are still in my life now or not I am grateful for what I have learnt and believe it was meant to be.
I slept really well that night. I woke the following morning feeling refreshed and determined. Determined to do what my husband had said. To live my life and be happy.
I have created a kind of bucket list. I've always had so many things in my head I want to do or experience but actually putting them into black and white, gives me something to aim for. I listed my career goals. I've always wanted to learn to play the drums. Places I want to travel to. New things I want to experience and much much more. I've already looked into drum lessons for when lockdown is over. Later that day my son told me of his plans to go travelling after college. A possibility of living abroad. He has a list too it would seem.
This announcement from him got me thinking again. I've toyed with the idea of selling up on and off for a couple of years now but always decided against it as it's my children's home. They have grown now. My daughter left home 18 months ago and is happy and settled with her partner. My son will carry out his plans as he is a focused and determined young man. So that leaves me no excuses. I have spoken to an estate agent and will be having a valuation carried out when allowed. There is nothing or no one currently in my life that warrants me needing to be in my house or even in the UK once my son goes in just over a year.
The days that followed I have been so busy with work, my group (that now has over 400 members and counting) and looking at my list and planning that I haven't had time to feel low or miserable. I'm sleeping well and have a new energy. Who knows what's ahead. I certainly don't but one thing I do know is I just want to be happy, have fun and live my life because life is short, life is precious and to be enjoyed. I want to make the most of mine not look back in twenty years full of regret.