I experienced trauma as a child and in my teenage years developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and during different phases of my life went through bouts of depression. My trauma was never acknowledged and seemed to hover not far behind no matter how hard I tried to ignore its existence. It was almost like it was demanding to be heard and was not about to go anywhere until it got what it wanted.
I have three teenage children, and have been very mindful of how far my baggage would impact on them. Instead of acknowledge what had happened, I tried to bury it as deep as possible. My mindset was, ‘Okay, that’s enough pain and suffering, it is out of my system. Time to get on with it. After all, everyone else in my circle is getting on with life. What is my problem? Why am I struggling so? I have children to raise. Let’s go!’. Boy was I naïve.
So I kept pushing and pushing and pushing, whatever it took to not have to focus on what had been. Before I had my children, I worked in hospitality and I had a great time but it really didn’t fit life with children. Perhaps if my husband worked locally, who knows? The fact is, he didn’t. He was a shearer who spent Saturdays and half of Sundays at home. The rest of the time, I was on my own.
Must have felt as though these circumstances weren’t hard enough, as I decided I wanted to become a teacher. Wow, what was I thinking? To my credit, I did it, with three small kids. My two youngest (twins) were 1 year olds when I started. I tried to be realistic about the whole thing and it ended up taking me 7 years to complete my Bachelor of Education. This was no easy feat, but that story is for another time.
My husband started experiencing back trouble and was told to find a new profession. So he commuted to Roxby Downs to work in the mine. He did the commute for three years by the time I finished my degree. We decided it was best for our family to be together so we moved to the desert, to Roxby Downs.
I was desperate to start teaching. It had taken me so long to get to this point that I just wanted to get into it. In hindsight I should have settled and help the kids settle into our new environment, but nope, I had to get straight into it. I introduced myself to the two schools in the area and let them know I was available to work. I got a part-time job at my children’s school and the other days I spent relieving for the other school.
After that first year I was offered a casual full-time teaching position at my children’s school. It was full steam ahead. It was quite a task, learning a new field of employment at my age. I have always had a strong work ethic so I put in everything I have got into everything I do. I just remember being so determined to reach my goal, which was to be a great teacher. Someone the kids could depend on to provide the best learning conditions possible. Someone who would accept them unconditionally and help them in any way possible.
I guess my age worked against me as I do not recall receiving the support I needed to achieve my goal. I didn't realise this at the time. At the time I just pushed harder to get on top of everything. Anyway, you live and you learn. I tried to do it all, be the best teacher, the best parent, wife, sister, friend, daughter, you get the picture. These days I think perfection is overrated and much prefer authentic, whatever that looks like.
I taught under some extreme conditions and felt consumed by the whole experience. After a number of years, the cracks started to show and my body started to pack up. It seemed that each year brought with it some illness. One year it was chickenpox, then my back started to become unpredictable. The first year it happened, I was off work for a couple of days. The last bout I had in my last year of teaching lasted a couple of months.
The seriousness of my health or lack there of forced me to seek some sort of therapy. A work colleague put me onto a local massage therapist. I went to the session and had what is called Bowen therapy. I felt some relief but I was in pretty bad shape, so I saw a chiropractor simultaneously. My Bowen Therapist was learning this new Kinesiology therapy called Neuro-Training. I was at a point with my health where I really didn’t care what type of therapy I partook in, as long as it helped.
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