A big thank you 😍

As 2021 comes to an end I’m so thankful and appreciative to all the readers on here and all the people who follow my blog. This would not be possible without each of you. Three years ago I decided to blog some of my thoughts and share my heart with people and I discovered that writing was the greatest outlet for me. I found it very therapeutic.

I also want to thank many of the photographers who let me put their lovely photos on my blog. Very few of them are mine almost all of them are from amazing photograpers I follow our like their photos. Thank you so much for making my blog nicer to read and look at.

On this blog I have many people who constantly like my blog and read every post I put out. I’ve grown to love their posts as well. Thank you for supporting me in this journey. In the last couple of months I felt I was supposed to write my memoirs on my blog. After struggling for years on what to do with it, I decided not to write it in book form. My siblings who live in Ireland, the USA and England even changing the names of the people in the story it could still effect them greatly and I never want to hurt them in any way. I decided to write my story on my blog. At first it was hard but what I love about blog writing is you get to choose what you want to write about. I don’t have to go into huge details like you do in a book. I look forward to writing more in the upcoming year. This is mine and God’s story. Thank you for reading it and encouraging me on this journey.

Happy New year to you all. May God bless each of you in 2022. I look forward to many more blog posts. ❤️

The end of 2021

Another year is coming to a close. It’s been a year of challenges, trials, change, good things and many blessings. As I reflect on this year it was also another year of Covid. The biggest change for me was the home I rented for 13 years and the home Larry and I lived in for sold. It was time for me to go but also it was hard because I loved that home. It was harder and harder to look after with sore knees. Earlier in the year I was told that I had a torn miniscus, an injury and a sprain in my knee. I was also told I had arthritis in both knees and the kind I have just gets worse and worse.

For me that’s really hard because I have a very physical job and this year I’m September I’m on the top floor of the school and the stairs are brutal for me. The hardest thing for me is not being able to afford the knee brace my knee needs, but not my other knee is just as bad. Last week I found a naturopathic doctor who is giving me prolotherapy which is sugar shots and saline. Sugar has healing properties that can stop that chronic pain I suffer with. The doctor I’m going to see is awesome and he’s helping me with treatments and other things I need. I look forward to not having constant pain. I’m strengthening my knees right now and working on losing more weight and eating better. I stopped for Christmas but will get back on it. In 2022 I plan on putting my health number one. Life is too short to keep sabotaging my health. With no pain I can many things. It’s a game changer.

Back to moving cleaning a house and packing, selling and moving was a lot for me. I have incredible friends who came and helped me move, clean and were there for moral support. I had no idea what God had just the right place for me to go to. A place where I could have my dog and my rabbit and I have the most amazing landlords. I have a tiny suite but I realized I don’t need lots of room and the room I have is adequate. I also have a fairly big yard fully fenced that Zeke can be in and my rabbit. It’s so quiet at this place and the house is right by the river on two sides of the house. It’s a very peaceful neighbourhood and I’m very blessed to live here. Change was hard initially but so good now.

I’ve learned about simple things and my word for 2022 is to continue with simplicity, joy and inspiration. God is moving me in great ways and I love that. For the first time in a long time I feel contempment, I feel peace and love. I will continue to write my memoirs. For the first time since writing them I feel peace about that and even with the hard enteries, God is using them for His glory. That’s all I ever wanted because without Him in my life there is no story to tell. God always uses our trials and our hurts for His Glory. He turns ashes into beauty. He takes broken cisterns and mends them and molds them into a masterpiece. I love that so much. Don’t be afraid to share your testimonies. God will use them to encourage others. A big thank you to all my readers on my blog. Thank you for joining me as I continue to write about what God is doing and has done for me.

Happy New year to each and everyone of you. What are your words for the upcoming year? I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Our school trip to Paris

On one of my last years at St. Andrew’s before I moved to Canada I went on a French trip with my class. We went from Dublin to Lehavre, Paris on the roughest ferry ride ever. It’s 15 hours. The waves were massive and we had to stay in our bunks in our rooms. Everyone was sea sick except me. It was hard to walk. The trip is really long and it was really rough. This was huge trip for all of us. We went with our French teacher and I think another teacher. We arrived in Lehavre in Paris and a big coach picked us up. I assume we stayed in a hotel but I don’t remember. I do know we had to travel in groups for safety.

We did our sightseeing and we went to the Eiffel Tower. That monument is massive we went to the first part of it. You could go in the elevator or walk up a gillizon steps. The elevator goes up the leg of the building and it’s pretty high up only on the first level. I remember being told not to throw anything off the top because it could knock someone out from the height. It cost more money to go up to the very top. The first level was high enough for me. Apparently on each level there are restaurants ,3 in total. At night we toured the streets of Paris in our coach bus. Paris during the night is cool as it’s all lit up. We drove past the Arc de Triompge is one of the famous monuments in Paris many times.

The Louvre Museum  is considered one of the finest art galleries in the world for its wide collections of pre-historic artefacts to 18th century masterpieces. We went in and I got to see the Mona Lisa and it was pretty impressive even as a kid.

The Wedding at Cana is a story from the Old Testament of the Bible. The painting commissioned from the painter Veronese by the Benedictine monks of a Venice monastery has this as its theme. It is highly regarded for the way it depicts Venetian society at the time through a bible story. Taken from Google this description. I loved this painting so much. There were many amazing paintings in there. I Wish now I appreciated them more. What an opportunity one I will probably never see again.

I’m not sure what else we visited but we did get to go shopping in Paris. I got souvenirs and a Eiffel Tower keychain. I also got a portrait of me done in cartoon. We had to travel in groups as crime was high back then. I’m broad daylight you could see pickpockets out so we had to hide out money in pouches that we wore under our clothes.

What an amazing trip that. Unknownst to me that was one of the last special things I would do with my classmates. That was the last year I attended St. Andrew’s College before I was taken out never to set eyes on my school mates again. I’m super lucky as I’ve seen Karen twice already and next year will see her again. Paris is an amazing city. I’m so glad I had that opportunity to go.

Life at school

As I’ve mentioned before I went to a private school. We wore uniforms and we had assemblies every morning and sang the national anthem in Gaelic. Almost none is could Gaelic but we stood and it got sung everyday. You’d stand in your class in a line. Then you’d go off to your class. The school had strict guidelines that we had to abide by. I came in after students had been caned for whatever. We still got hit with a ruler on our hands and my math teacher often threw his chalk board eraser at his students. If you ducked quick enough you could escape it belting you in the head. My brother often had it thrown at him. My geography teacher when he got frustrated would grab your head and bang it on the table. Times were very different back then.

We had a woman who looked after all the girls we nicknamed her Nellie. She used to wear the same outfit everyday it was a purple tweed skirt and blazer. Whenever we got into trouble we were sent to her office and she would lecture us on proper edicate at school. I spent a lot of time in her office. My best friend in school was Karen. Karen and I often got into trouble together. We had fun and we would prank our teachers so that we got to go to Nellies office. One day we were bored so Karen poked my leg with her compass. I magnified it huge and cried out in pain like she had stabbed me. The two of us went to Nellies office and I’m pretty sure our parents got called about that one. We went through everything together.

Karen walked me home one day before she had to walk back and take the train back to her house when I was scared to walk home. To make the kids like me I often got into fights with other kids you had to do whatever you could to survive even at school. One day I was fighting with a kid and they picked up a stool and threw out at me. I ducked and the stool went through the painted glass window. As I said yesterday I loved it was escape from my home.

On one of my last years at St. Andrew’s before I moved to Canada I went on a French trip with my class. We went from Dublin to Lehavre, Paris on the roughest ferry ride ever. It’s 15 hours. The waves were massive and we had to stay in our bunks in our rooms. Everyone was sea sick except me. It was hard to walk. The trip is really long. Back then you could gamble on the ferry so Chip he won 100 pounds and when his family picked him up they were able to claim the money he won. I will write more about that trip in the next blog. Karen and I are still really good friends and she came here to visit me with her mom, dad and her husband. Next Spring she’s coming in for the day as they will be coming on a cruise ship. I’m looking forward to seeing her. I’ve missed her. I think this is why I love working at school so much because it was my safe place.

How do you survive trauma as a child?

I’ve written things about my past that have been hard to read. They have been hard to write when though I don’t feel those feelings anymore. I will never forget them either. Part of me sharing my story is so that those that may be in abusive situations can find help or can speak out about it. Back when I lived in Ireland from 1972 to 1984 people did not interfere with what was happening in people’s lives, so if anybody knew that things were very wrong in my family, nobody spoke up. Things are very different now especially for children. I remember feeling brave and telling my dad that I was going to go to the police and tell them everything that was happening in our home and I still remember to this day that he said if I told anybody that I would be taken away forever, and I would never see my family again. As a kid that scared me a lot so guess what I stayed quiet. Who would believe me anyways?

One of the hardest things about how I lived locked in many rooms of different homes we lived in was the neighbourhood children would often come and play in my house. They had no idea I was in the house as well. On the odd occasion when I was allowed out to play the children would ask me who I was and they asked me where I lived. I would tell them I lived in this house and they all said no you don’t. We’ve never seen you there and we play in there often.

In one of the first homes we lived in I remember watching the children play outside my window on their bicycles. It’s so hard to understand why you weren’t allowed to go and play with them. I went to school with a lot of those children.

As an adult I often wondered how I was able to survive such a horrific childhood. I do know now that God was with me, because there is no way I could survive that in my own. When I was at the ranch in Oregon one day walking along the dusty path through the Sage bushes with my good friend Kim. God showed me that when I had called out to Him that He was there right beside. After we had prayed I saw him behind me. He was by my side the whole time. I remember sitting in a corner of my room crying out for God to hear me and change my life.

That’s how I survived. How else could one person survive been beaten, starved and abused in every way possible. I do know that the people who helped me out in my life and gave me food, friendship and hope in my life also helped me survive. I’m internally grateful. God put the right people into my life to help me along the way.

School was my saving grace. It was a safe place for me but I still had to figure out who to trust. I went to a private school and boys from all over the world were borders there. They had a school nurse that I often went to see who gave me milk of magnesium to settle my stomach that was often in knots from the stress of my life. It was a safe place for me to go to. One day she was away and in the second day of going to see her she called my dad to tell him that I was sick too often. I was beaten when I got home for pretending I was sick. I never went back to the school nurse again. I could not trust that would not happen again.

School was a place that I could be away from my home for 8 hours everyday. I loved school even though I was a terrible student. I know understand why because you can’t concentrate on school work if your hungry or constantly in survival mode. I hated when school was out for Christmas and the worst was summer holidays two months away from school was awful. In my next entry I will write about my friends at school and more about school.

Lastly I want to reach out to people if you ever suspect a child in an abusive situation please don’t remain silent. Please speak out even if your wrong. If your in an abusive situation please get help. Tell someone what is happening. You don’t have to remain in that situation. 🙂

Christmas in Ireland

Christmas used to be a hard time for me. Christmas seemed to be a day where I was included in what was happening sometimes. The Christmas’ that were hard for me reminded me that I was not good enough even to be included in family things. The Christmas’ I do remember I have fond memories of. As kids we had stockings and we always got a Christmas orange, candy canes, sometimes a pair of socks or a pair of mittens. I don’t remember anything else about the stockings but we did get them Christmas morning. Then we would get Selection boxes which was a variety of Chocolate bars made from Cadbury. Some of the presents I remember getting are a spinning top which I still have. A puppet that had strings attached to it and I could almost bring it to life with the strings. I played with that for hours on end. I had a blue emu puppet. I had a plastic toy that you could make all sorts of things with.

One Christmas I got a yo yo not just a regular one but a trick one. I spent hours in end learning all the cool tricks you could do and I become quite good at it. I took it to school and showed the kids all the tricks I knew. The kids were impressed and I felt good for a short time that I could do something and feel that recognition. We would have a turkey at Christmas and I got to be part of my family for that one. I used to try and hold on to every minute before it slipped away.

It is believed that if you find in traditional Irish Barmbrack: it’s a sweet bread we would eat for dessert. Baked into the bread was the following items. A coin, a ring, a pea, a bean, a stick and a piece of cloth.

  • coin, you will be wealthy;
  • ring, you will marry within a year;
  • pea, you won’t marry that year;
  • bean, you will have fortune but not money;
  • stick, you will have unhappy marriage or disputes;
  • piece of cloth or rag, you will be poor. All we wanted was to find the coins.

We also have the traditional Christmas cake. The one with the raisins and dried fruit with marzipan and icing. My brother and I used to just eat the marzipan and the icing. To this day we won’t eat that because we are so much of it as a kid. That will teach us.

I’m not sure if Christmas day everyone was happier and that’s why we were included because the next day life went back to the way it was. It’s like we didn’t exist again and all that niceness was gone in an instant. The nice Christmas’ I remember I felt included. What a lovely feeling that is. Did they feel guilty and that’s why for that one day we were included. For now I will take as many good memories as I can. Now as an adult I love Christmas. To me it represents Family, friends, simplicity and about giving.

Merry Christmas to all and wishing you a great holiday no matter how you celebrate it. I love Christmas because it’s the birth of Jesus and I love the Christmas story. How something so simple can make a huge impact in all of our lives today. ❤️

I have the greatest support system

This past week I found myself having to make a whole bunch of tough decisions regarding my dog. I always made those decisions with my ex husband. As I sat in the parking lot at the animal hospital and cried. I prayed about what I needed to do. Zeke is my labradoodle and best friend. I’ve been through so much with him. He’s my Therapy dog and I love him so much. I’ve never been asked in my life if they needed to do CPR could they. Of course I wanted the too. I decided to reach out to my Facebook friends to pray for Zeke. The response was overwhelming. People checked in on me and prayed and Pm me.

I realized that I could do this, make those tough decisions and know that I have tons of support and people that love Zeke and I. I don’t need Larry anymore and God has given just what I need. I love that. I’ve not been on my own in the last 20 years and those decisions I made with someone else. I realized how much I’ve grown and I love that. I’ve gotten so much more confidence and yes I made the right decisions for Zeke.

People who helped me survive

I know I wouldn’t have survived my life growing up if it had not been for special people who I know God brought into my life. People who obviously knew there was something serious going on in my life. People who never asked but helped me so much. Mrs. Baker she was my school librarian I loved this woman so much. When the children were only supposed to take out two books at a time she let me take as many as I wanted. I went on the best adventures. I dreamed that I was in those adventures. I was locked in my bedroom a lot and so I had to create games to stop the hunger I often felt. I loved reading and read every minute I could. Mrs Baker had CP and I hated when the kids made fun of her because I loved this woman. She would also give me money because I would often spend the money I had on food in the tuck shop. She never asked me for anything but she took she under her wing. Before she died I was able to connect with her and tell her how much she meant to me in my life and I thanked her for teaching me about reading and how I still love reading today. I was sad to hear of her passing but I do know we will meet again. Thank you Mrs Baker for loving me and caring about me. ❤️

Another amazing woman was Mrs. Brady. I was friends with her daughter Sarah Brady. She took me on holidays with her and her daughter and she treated me like I was part of her family. After that week of holidays I didn’t want to go home and overdosed on pills and had to go to the hospital to get my stomach pumped out. She sat with me everyday until I was better. Not only did she do that but her daughter was on the hot lunch program at school and she brought me tickets that her daughter kept for me so that once a day I got a hot meal. This brings tears to my eyes because she again never asked anything from me she just gave. Unfortunately she passed away before I could thank her for helping me survive my life. I am in touch with Sarah still.

Another women lived in my neighbourhood and she would pick me up from school with her son. The days she picked me up she had always gone grocery shopping. While she was in her house I would go through her shopping bags and take food and put it into my back pack. She never said anything to me ever. I’m so grateful for her. God sent me just the right people to help me survive. For them all I’m externally grateful.

It was so hard to trust people so these people helped me see that there are indeed really good people in the world. I never told anybody about what was happening in my home. I have been told by teachers that they knew something was not right. What was hard for me for a long time was if you even suspect something is up to speak out or speak up. That’s why I speak out for children today. I have become their voice.

Good times in Ireland 🇮🇪

Growing up in Ireland even though it was tough a lot. Ireland is a beautiful country. I love the winding roads with the rock built walls and the abandoned castles that lie on the country roads. I can remember we got our milk delivered to us in glass bottles with a donkey and a cart and then a three wheeled car. The milk had about an inch of cream on the top of it. Galway is such a beautiful county. Galway is on Ireland’s western seaboard. Its has rolling hills and farmland plains. To the west are bogs, heathered hills, lakes and mountains of Connemara. The park shelters a herd of Connemara ponies that run wild on the countryside. The county capital, Galway City, is known for its traditional music.

As a child growing up in Ireland I can remember happier times when we all would load up in our car and head to the beach in the ring of Kerry. We got to camp in tents. The beaches were long and very Sandy. My dad once drove his car into the beach and the tide started to come in and he got stuck and had to be towed out. He was hopping mad. My sister Lynn and I got to ride donkeys and my donkey always seemed to have it’s own mind. It constantly stopped to eat. If you’ve ever tried to get a donkey moving well it’s next to impossible. They are so stubborn. Lynn loved horses so she rode a horse instead. I stuck to the donkey.

We would spend all day at the beach running,playing often in the cold ocean. We flew out kites ate outside and then collapsed into bed. I used to dream of camping at the ring of Kerry. It was so much fun and my dad and mom were kind to me like they really loved me. I hated going home because as soon as we got home life returned to abuse. Why couldn’t I have normal parents? I would see glimpses of love.

Every Sunday my dad would take me fishing with him. I loved that so much because I got to spend special time with my dad. He would go to fishing competitions and I would go and hang out with all the fishermen. As I got older I would compete with the others. You got given a spot to fish in on a canal. You had all your fishing equipment and you had about 4 or 5 hours of fishing. Every fish you caught would go into your net. As a child I knew how to bait your hook with maggots and sometimes you could catch with a piece of squished up bread. I knew how to cast out your fishing rod and how to lure in your fish. I would enter competitions with grown men and women and win prizes. I loved going for me it was freedom from my hellish life and a way to spend time with my dad. Afterwards we always went to the pub for crisps and I used to drink shanty’s they have a tiny bit of beer in them and lemonade. I felt so grown up and again loved.

I also remember going on picnics with my family and spending the day near the river. We would go to the Wicklow mountains. Another lovely spot. The countryside in Ireland is vast. Dublin is a great city but when I grew up there it was a very poor city with lots of crime. Often when I would go you would see cars with no wheels because they had been stolen right off the car or burned out vehicles. Crime was huge. My sister and I witnessed a bank robbery. We were standing in the sidewalk when masked men ran in with their guns. Dublin now is a very different city and huge for tourists.

I’m glad that I have good memories of Ireland I now could go back and visit. I have kept in touch with my school friends and my best friend Karen still lives there with her husband. I will write about her and I in another post. She was my best friend in school and today we can pick where we left off. I love that. She’s coming in the Spring on a cruise ship and I plan to spend the day with her and her husband. I can’t wait. ❤️

Hope

Last Sunday was the start of Advent. Hope is the first week. There is so much to be hopeful for in this fallen world. Growing up in an abusive environment and having no idea where your next meal is coming from. Would I survive the world I was thrown into as a small child. I used to imagine what my mom was like. Who was she would she love me like I needed to be loved. All I had in my life was Hope that one day I would get out of the environment I was in and live a better life. There had to be a better life out there.

12 years of hell is like a lifetime. When I moved to Canada and found my mom there eventually was Hope that I never had to endure what I had for so long. I found people who loved me unconditionally. I found Hope in Jesus and from them on Hope is why I continue to write my blog. It doesn’t matter where or what you’ve been through in your life there is always hope especially with the Lord in your life. If I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ I would never have found this Hope.

I love the Christmas season and Advent. So much to be grateful for and thankful. As Christians we have the Hope of Christ. I never get tired of the Christmas story. What are you hopeful for in your life? Do you feel Hope during this time of the year? Do you feel the promises that God has given us?