Friendships and Families

FAMILY, FRIENDSHIPS, Life, Travel, Uncategorized, WORK LIFE

Yes. This post is my rabbit hole. Please jump in with me and catch up on whats happened since my last post in December 2017. Besides that I will try and add some really good travel photos along the way from our spontaneous trip to New Zealand on New Years Eve.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland, falling for what seemed like an eternity into a dark and unknown place that I was uncertain I could return from. After all, real life isn’t a matter of clicking your sparkly red stilettos’ and finding yourself back in the familiar and warm embrace of whatever security blanket you have that keeps you from sinking. Real life is more like being trapped under the house, hiding behind the big curtain pretending to all powerful, or being caught up in some wild wind – riding nowhere with your face all gnarled up. Only some of the time mind you, but still.

 

I know we all find ourselves in these states of being from time to time, and mostly we get out of them ourselves with the people around us none the wiser. Often this is because we either keep our positivity mask on hoping it can all be magically transformed into some kind of blessing, or we stuff it down with our favourite Krispy Kreme so we can get on with being the ideal mother, wife, and best friend – because putting others first is commendable right? Wrong. Giving yourself the oxygen first puts you into a better position to be who you really are, and that is best for everyone.

 

Late last year I realised that all the sludge I had been trying to “get over” and “move on” from caught up with me after a very close relative took his own life. I was perplexed as to why I was so emotionally ruined by this event long after it happened, it certainly wasn’t a new event for me – I had lost a lot of loved ones to suicide and I have years of experience in death and dying from my previous role in palliative care. It was right for me to be very sad because he was a very important and loved part of our family, but this sadness was much deeper.

NEW BRIGHTON & FAMILY FUN

I enlisted the help of a beautiful woman Emma Barbato (I’ve spoken about her before when she ran “Emazon”), and she helped me pick apart what was really going on. You see, this was just the straw, the catalyst to give me a reason to pull out and deal with all the primal trauma in my life. Along with some significant issues around abuse in my early years, I found that my biggest issue was that death I could do, but rejection I couldn’t. I had built up in my mind that rejection meant I wasn’t good enough – no matter how much of a troll the other person had been to me, somehow their poor behaviour was my fault. What a revelation it was for it to finally click in my head that I had to be enough for myself, set my boundaries, and stop making other peoples behaviour my problem.

Now that I have a somewhat solid grasp on what is the right thing to do for my life, I have been able to look after myself better. I started by making some changes to what I wanted my current and future relationships with friends and family to look like, and how they should function to ensure that it was mutually enriching. These changes did not come easy, and have been some of the most difficult decisions to make.

CHRISTCHURCH CITY CENTRE & BOTANICAL GARDENS

  1. I began protecting my boundaries in my friendships. This meant that one friendship in particular had to be ceased, and was by far one of the worst experiences I’ve had in this process. Sometimes trying to separate a relationship (even with people you’ve been closest too, but had to for the well-being of everyone), can go horribly wrong. Still, I don’t regret for a second the amazing times and memories I hold dear of the better days of our friendship.
  2. Village gatherings because my goal was that I wanted to be part of something greater that just my beautiful little family, I wanted my family to be part of a bigger village so we could all be there to support each other. If you don’t have a ‘village’, who will share your stories and your memories when the children go out and build their own ‘village’? Our Sunday dinners are mostly regular and everyone brings something, other special occasions are also a time where whoever would like to sit at our table are welcome and we’ve been known to have a houseful.
  3. I began asking for what I need without guilt. This one was tougher that had thought it would be but it had to be done. I am allergic to chemicals,  strong washing detergents, perfumes and strong deodorants, and occasionally I end up with a horrible migraine, along with a sinus and chest infection from them. I can manage this issue at work, but my home should be the place I can take a break from it all in. So we have made our house a perfume/chemical free home. It has meant some missed visits and a few disgruntled friends – but after clearly explaining that you wouldn’t rub peanut butter or seafood over someone with allergies to them because it would intentionally cause harm – they began to see my point.
  4. We have begun to really nurture our friendships and relationships with each other by being present. There are a few things we have endeavoured to do to help this:
    1. Putting away our devices when we are in company with others, sure take a photo here and there when necessary, but if someone must have a social media fix make it mutual and short (5 mins), don’t sit there scrolling whilst someone is trying to spend time with you – it send the message that you would rather be somewhere else.
    2. Try to appreciate different viewpoints and values without judgement or the need to be right. This is a tough one because we view the world through our own biases and values, and its really easy to judge the actions of another. I am certainly far from immune from this and I’ve been actively trying to pull myself up and hold myself accountable for it.
    3. Treat people the way that THEY want to be treated, that is something that shows others that you really know them and care about their needs. Obviously don’t throw yourself to the wolves to do it, there is a big difference to doing this and being a doormat, but be mindful of what is important to the people you care about.
    4. I’ve been working on trying to focus on and grow the relationships I have, particularly the ones in which both parties care about the future of the relationship. This doesn’t mean you ditch the ones that suck your energy (you know the ones – you try to spend time together but they are always cancelling for something better, unconcerned that you have made them a priority at that time), you just pace yourself so you don’t get sucked into that vortex.

HANMER SPRINGS & FOREST

 

My husband and I have since been focusing our efforts also on our plan to move to England at the end of this year. So far I have been offered a job in the NHS Trust that I wanted, with the financial support that took some of the stress out of it, and the timing I wanted. Obviously I have accepted it, and I commence work mid December. For our family, our goal is to chase our dreams of travelling the rest of Europe, and striving for our own personal growth by drawing on the wealth of experience and knowledge the world has to offer.

No matter where you are in life, or what your life is filled with – always remember the importance of a village.

 

N.B. If you wish to follow the travel side of our life more in depth, please head to http://www.intrepidnurse.com – this will soon be brimming with travel gems, however my loyal followers here will still get our travel stuff peppered in to this blog.

THE RAPAKI TRACK