We can't wait to see what becomes of our resilience.
World mental health day means a lot to me
As a person who has lived most of her life in survivor mode, I understand the importance of the right to life’s essentials: food, stable housing, and income. Without those things, how can we even begin to look inside?
Privilege doesn’t allow you the empathy to look at the needs of those in survival mode without judgment. Because your privilege has provided you with the security of those essentials, it isn’t even a consideration for you.
Let me introduce you to my vulnerability.
As adults, Kris and I sit in our circles of friends at 39, somewhat judged for not being homeowners. What’s not considered is this rental is the first home that we have both had in 35 years where we haven’t had survivor mode switched on.
We have proudly created a world with broken cycles with abundant new opportunities for Sam and us. We go out for mid-week dinners; we play cricket with friends and their kids on weekends. We have discussions about serious matters, have breakfast in bed, and live our life calmly and happily with a future in front of us born with limitless opportunities.
From the age of 3, I have been battling the want of love along with safe and secure housing. Being thrown from one house to the next, living in over 22 places by 18 years of age.
At 16, I had gone weeks without food. I begged my biological father for food only to be called a ” fucking cunt” by him. A social worker finally convincing him to buy me food.
My necessities as a young teen girl used as tools FOOD “no, that’s not for you.” PADS & TAMPONS were taken away by the stepmother. The food obsession started, the shame of having a period continues to this day. HOUSING refuges, youth accommodation, couches, floors, pubs, lounge rooms.
And the list goes on...
My reactions are interfering with my needs because, guess what, I have trauma and didn’t even realise it.
I was living in a constant state of fear with an overproduction of cortisol finally developing graves diseases which triggered hyperthyroidism.
It wasn’t until a few months ago, maybe 6, that I realised I suffered from high trauma during therapy. I have been able to move through the trauma at 38 years old. Finally, secure housing, a life not full of stress, and removing the people from my life that don’t appreciate the kind and empathic human I am (the fact that I can describe myself in that way is a huge stepping stone).
Now my beginning, that has become our beginning working towards homeownership, a forever space for our children and puppy dog. A desire we both hold so deeply
It took me 38 years to get to a space with secure housing and a safe environment. I am no longer in survivor mode; I/we are in growth mode.
And we can’t wait to see what becomes of our resilience. If you have always had access to housing (safe and unconditional housing is a bonus), food, and life’s necessities, you are privileged.
Please take a moment to appreciate your privilege and try to develop empathy for those who don’t have the same privilege because they’re fighting a battle you do not know.
And to those that now have privilege. Never forget where you came from. Because you are incredibly strong.