This little girl was homeschooled, raised on a farm with her siblings in the bushland of NSW, Australia.
She was free, unbound, untethered by society’s expectations and peer pressure. She spent her days riding horses and BMX bikes, making ninja stars out of old bike sprockets and throwing them away and with her brothers, building cubby houses out of sticks and ferns and getting naked under the sun. Free and happy, she loved herself and was totally at home in her body and her power.
She was out of the house all day until the setting sun sent her home or her belly told her it was time for dinner. She lived a simple life, surrounded by nature and animals, and she grew up without the regular social rules that young children develop as they grow.
She was free to explore life and be all she could be until at age 11 she started school. Now she had to dress a certain way, act properly, and with undiagnosed ADHD sit still for hours. She felt like she didn’t belong anywhere; she felt separated from nature, from her horses and animals, from her life. She didn’t fit in at school, she was just too different from the other girls and boys, and she was alone.
When young girls are laughed at, teased, and judged just for being who they are, they begin to lose little bits of themselves. Their very essence is challenged until finally there is only a shadow left where the brave, confident girl used to be.
In her mind she is the one who is wrong, right down to her very core. She does not know where she ends and the world begins. Her edges become fuzzy, and she starts to leak her energy and emotions all over other people and she takes on things that were never hers to carry.
This little girl was me, and this experience shaped my life for the next 31 years, never feeling quite like I fit in, never truly feeling like I belong; life got confusing and hard. I loved people who hurt me, used me, abused me, and left me feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually broken.
I learnt how to play the game, to appear to be normal to others, to say the right things at the right time. To make new friends and to trade my body for love. To be agreeable and accommodating—to be the good girl. But the constant fear of being found out, called a fake, a fraud, being me, was a weight that nearly suffocated me.
I started to lose myself in being a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a business owner. Shaping myself into other people’s expectations of me. Stuffing my feelings into my body with food and alcohol to numb the pain—until finally I couldn’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore.
The beliefs, judgements, and biases that I had about myself and others were all conditioned. I don’t think I had an original thought until finally one day it just happened. I started to feel tired; I started to feel just a little bit too old for this sh*t. I started to find my edges; I started to take form. I found the parts of me that had nothing left to give anymore. The people pleaser, the woman who couldn’t feel her own feelings anymore because she had been taught to watch for the reactions of others just to know how she felt.
The ugly truth that I didn’t want to hear was that after everything I had been through in my life, my body no longer felt like it belonged to me. I was numb, unhappy, and when I looked into my own eyes I wondered where I had gone—who I was behind the masks.
I tried to love as best as I could. I married twice, I birthed, and I raised four children. I did everything “right”; I watched; I waited; I monitored; I people pleased until I was gone and only a shadow remained, and when I had nothing left to give and the perfect life that I had worked so hard for was finally starting to take shape, I walked away. I disappointed others; I was judged; I lost friends and family; even strangers knew my name.
In that moment I stopped running and I took what felt like my very first breath.
By my own choice, I was alone again. Life could be different this time. I knew my worth. Slowly, I dissolved the woman I was and became the woman I was always meant to be. I started to heal my central nervous system. I discovered my voice, my body, my pleasure, and my passion. I became curious about my body, and I became responsible for my own pleasure, my orgasms, my sensuality, and my own sexuality.
Growing and learning, feeling ready to express who I was, I became okay with upsetting people. I set firm but loving boundaries around myself. I got good at pissing people off without even trying. Old people left me while new people found me. I found my people. I found my passion. I learned a different way to love. I got naked and swam in the ocean with my lover under the sun; I reconnected with nature; I unbound myself; I untethered myself.
Sometimes now I feel that strange, little girl smiling at me, proud of how far we have come. It has been a long road back to her. Back to who I once was. To again feel free, happy, and in love with myself. I am totally at home in my body and power again. It has taken time, courage, love and understanding, and lots of patience and forgiveness. Always believe that you can change and heal.
During the past five years I have become a Sacral Somatics Therapist with the Temple of She, offering Sacral Somatic Therapy and Connected Touch Massage. I completed my Integrated Womb Hara Massage Practitioner training, and I am currently completing my Level 2 The Fembodiment™ Method and I now hold space for other women in a way that I never imagined existed. I teach women about their bodies, their pleasure, their anatomy, about full body consent, the power of saying both yes and no.
I hold space for them to find acceptance of all that they are and to fully embrace and celebrate themselves, their bodies, and their pleasure. I absolutely love who I am and what I do, and I feel honored to create and hold that space now for other women.