Friday 30th October 2020

Women Of Courage Series. #47.JT. 55/2020.

Women Of Courage Series. #47.JT. 55/2020.

A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid-May 2019: Wednesdays: each week until the series concludes in 2020.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.

 I feel like I have known JT for a long time, and when I do the counting back of years, it’s been over 8 years. Known to me via social media and blogging initially, we connected ‘in real life’ some time back where she kindly crocheted items for my two youngest granddaughters. I have known of some of the ‘life events’ here written by JT and know how much courage it has take for this woman in her late 30s years to share today’s story. Thank you JT.

As with others who have shared their stories anonymously, there will be no replies from this Woman of Courage, but I know she will be reading with appreciation.

We share a love of the beach and photography so I dedicate this photo of mine to JT.

 

 

What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

My courageous journey started when I was hospitalized for my heart and my struggle to medicate and control it.

Eventually it led to a rare diagnosis, which took me along time to accept.

Ironically while I was trying to control my heart my ex was controlling me, making me feel like I had nothing if I didn’t have him and I was always stuffing everything up.

This continued for the next 6 years till he cheated on me with my best friend who I confided in at the time about my marriage failing and not knowing what to do.

I came to learn the terms narcissism and gas lighting which helped me understand how to get my life back on track and realize that I was totally capable of being in control of my own life and raise my 3 beautiful humans.

My confidence and ability to see my worth grew with every achievement I made even the small ones. Eventually this led me to my partner who also has 3 beautiful humans and an even worse ex which I did not think possible who has tried very hard over the past 3 years to control not only my partner but also our lives together.

Being courageous is not something I ever saw myself as being until I started allowing myself to see me for who I am and not for what anyone else has said about me.

Every day I wake up knowing my heart condition is there, I take my tablets and I feel somewhat better for the day.

New challenges arise every day; some days are bad and some are good.

Some days I let those hurtful words my ex has said to me creep back into my life but I now have the ability to see I am so much more than what he said I was.

 

 

How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

Being at rock bottom taught me how the small things are so important.

I remember vividly when I was first on my own and I went shopping I took my eldest daughter with me while my other 2 kids were with their dad and the shopping alone was a huge deal because over the 6 years I was told I was terrible at it and he would have to do it because I couldn’t.

I left that shopping centre so proud of myself only to get to my car and have a flat tire.

I sat in that front seat with a boot full of groceries and felt exactly what I was told I was that was a very low point for me.

My first instinct was to call him and get him to rescue me.

Only this time a nice man knocked on my window and asked me if I realized I had a flat.

I said yes and sent him away saying I would call someone.

He knocked again and said he would happily change it for me and it would be much quicker than waiting.

So I accepted his help. It was such a small thing for most people.

Accepting help.

For me I had only ever had one person I called on.

He changed my tire and went on his way to the shops.

I felt so liberated.

This man had no idea what he had just done for me and it wasn’t just changing a tire.

I called my ex back and said “don’t worry about coming to help I don’t need you”.

In that moment I saw light instead of dark and I felt alive.

On the way home I put petrol in my car for the first time in 32 years.

It wasn’t hard and I felt like I could do this, I could live without him and I could keep doing these small things that felt so incredibly big to me.

It started with someone changing my tyre for me and putting petrol in my car and it grew and grew till I felt I was quite capable of being on my own and doing everything I needed to.

I went from being at home 100% of the time unless we went out together as a family, to me going out on my own shopping, working, visiting people, taking the kids out and living my life as I always should have.

 

 

Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

  • You cannot change what people think of you or how they act, only your reaction to it.
  • To start with, my reaction to my ex leaving was to be scared.
  • Being scared made me into a person I didn’t want to be.
  • I felt like it was the end for me because I couldn’t possibly live without him, I didn’t know how to do anything and over the years I had lost a lot of my friends.
  • My relationships changed from that point on.
  • I never ever wanted to feel that only another person could make my life worth living.
  • I learnt to love myself.
  • I learnt things like that I loved to be outdoors and go for bush walks.
  • I love to go on adventures.
  • I learnt to accept help from others.
  • I learnt that a partner is someone to share life with, the good the bad and the truly ugly.
  • It’s ok to not see eye to eye on absolutely everything and it is totally ok to say so.
  • You are important.
  • Your views are important.
  • Your life is important.

 

 

Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

Absolutely. Just this past month I’ve been in isolation due to covid-19 and being high risk of complications.

It’s thrown everyone’s world upside down and even to the point I was willing to give up everything because I felt like my heart had become another burden to the man I loved because it means I have to be in isolation so his kids can’t visit as they usually do for the time being.

His ex constantly fought over it to the point I had to get a doctor’s certificate from my doctor stating that I was indeed high risk for complications if I caught it.

Of course it still wasn’t enough and won’t ever be enough for her.

Do I feel that guilt that my partner only has this issue because of me?

Do I feel like I am doing the right thing by keeping myself safe, and loving myself enough to want to be around for a lot longer yet?.

Yes! It is not easy and this is not a normal situation.

There are still times I feel myself slipping into old habits because I’m at home all of the time and it brings back a lot of feelings from before.

But I know once I am able to I can stand up and go back out there no matter how hard it is because I know that I can.

To go from an abusive relationship to come out of one only to find a partner with an ex who is on a whole new level of abuse is terrifying for me but I am so much stronger than I ever was and I am even more determined in life to stop letting people like that ruin my life.

So we move forward.

I’m having a lot of new problems going on with my health right now and it does scare me.

I do know that my heart is a little quirky and it causes me a lot of problems but I can get through this like I have many times before.

 

Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

  • You can do this.
  • You are stronger than you think.
  • It feels terrifying but once you do it you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.
  • Start with the small things because everything you do is a step forward.
  • It’s a step to making your life your own.
  • You make the rules in your own life.
  • If you are feeling like its too hard and you can’t do it.
  • You are allowed to have bad days but don’t get comfortable there.
  • Wake up in a new day determined to take those steps.

 

Thank you dear J for opening up from your heart and head. I have added some helpful phone numbers and on-line resources for anyone affected in similar ways or perhaps who may wish to refer a friend or family member.

I will be very pleased to be able to catch up with you soon for that coffee.

Denyse.

 

The following information may be helpful to you or another. These are Australian-based.

Your Family G.P. can be a helpful person to listen and make referrals.

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for 24 hour assessment, referral, advice, and hospital and community health centre contact details

Qualified Psychologists can be found by visiting https://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/

Australian Counselling Association is on 1300 784 333 to find a counsellor

 

Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

Copyright © 2020 denysewhelan.com.au – All rights reserved.

 

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Comments

  1. Sometimes when I feel sad that I’m alone and have always been single (and childless) I remind myself that I’m fortunate not to have had manipulative relationships and ones that have scarred me.

    Thanks Denyse and JT for sharing this. There are a heap of lessons here and some for me are not letting someone else’s perception of you become the truth. And… to ask for help. I’m bad at the latter as it feels like failure to need someone else to help me in any way – but that’s probably also why I’m single, so…. sigh.

    xx

    • Isn’t it interesting what we can perceive about ourselves that others may not see at all. I know we each have this inner world and sometimes it can be our own friend and at others, not so much.

      I like that JT has overcome much…and is still in the process as I know…yet she did take the time to share knowing it would help HER first to see how she has made changes for herself that she might never have known.

      Courage is admitting we need help and can seek it too. I’ve had to do this more this week than in a long time.

      Thanks so much Deb, I know JT will be interested in your words to her.

      Denyse.

  2. Just wow. Thanks JT for sharing your story – you are indeed beyond courageous.

    • Pretty special woman isn’t she?

      I sure know more of her battles but she has exemplified courage for me too Jo.

      Thank you.

      Denyse.

  3. That was a powerful story – and one of real courage and growth. To have come so far speaks volumes about the woman you are JT and the woman you are still becoming. I love that you’ve learnt so much and grown so much through a very difficult set of life experiences – you have a lot to teach the rest of us. And God bless that man who changed your tyre – there are still some very good human beings in the world!
    #MLSTL

    • It certainly was Leanne. Thank you for recognising and acknowledging this as I know JT will be reading comments.

      So good to know that kindness to others does exist.

      Denyse.

  4. Lovely to read that JT has broken away and made real progress. This is an uplifting story and hopefully may give others inspiration and hope to do the same if they need to. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Christine. It is an uplifting story but of course, JT did have to endure much within the time and then draw upon skills and more to come through to where she is now.

      I admire her grit and strength under immensely difficult circumstances.

      Denyse.

  5. Thank you Denyse and thank you JT. Well done to you for moving on and learning to live independently, learning to know yourself, and for sticking up for yourself. Thank you also for sharing your experiences with us. I’m so glad you’ve found happiness with your new partner. Shame about his ex but you are so much stronger now and won’t let her ruin your new life and happiness. Stay well and safe through these challenging Covid days. xo

    • Thank you Min. This woman’s story is a privilege to share as she has endured much and continues to work her way through the changes that were forced upon her and then the ones she chose.

      Such a powerful story of what we women can overcome when life just does not work out in ways of kindness and love.

      I admire JT greatly as I know some of the circumstances have challenged her over and over.

      Denyse.

  6. Thank you Denyse for sharing JT’s story and what a wonderful example of courage and strength. I can imagine how ‘small’ JT felt with constantly being told she was not good enough. Add that to health issues and life must have seemed so desperate. What a positive outcome though and it shows that we can all dig deep to find strength and determination. Stay safe during COVID-19 and thank you for sharing at #MLSTL. x

    • Thank you Sue, I know as JT reads these comments she will be feeling both recognised and strengthened as she recounted a very nasty time in her life.

      Not one anyone gets over quickly. She is demonstrating more of her power regained by writing this post too.

      Denyse.

  7. Another moving story of courage! Thanks J for your honesty in telling your story and what an amazing story it is! The person who changed your tyre probably never knew what his actions did for you. Life can be strange like that and I wish you well. #mlstl

    • Thanks Deb. I know JT will be reading comments and I am sure, like yours and others, it will buoy her confidence too.

      She certainly has overcome a great deal over this time in her life. I was really glad she took the chance to write and share too.

      Denyse.

  8. To the readers here,

    I have received this message from JT, which I re-print with permission:

    “Thanks Denyse yes I have had tears in my eyes reading them. It’s helped me so much to know that there are others out there that see my story as courageous, for so long I saw myself and still do sometimes as weak and pathetic. It’s such a huge thing to have strangers comment like that. Thankyou so much for the chance to participate d I can’t thank you enough.”

    THIS is why I blog and ask others to share their stories…we all need to be heard, read and to connect.

    Thank you JT and all.
    Denyse.