I am a writer for The Mighty, Author of my first books coming out the second week of January, blogger here on WordPress, an artist all over the show, fabulous wife, imperfect but grateful mother and I have a chronic genetic condition (EDS). I am also a chronic abuse survivor and creator of #MahEeds, #RockinMahEeds and all things “Eeds” related. I am committed to surviving and thriving, redemption, encouragement of all kinds and bringing joy and meaning to my life and others.
Mostly I am just a person, but I studied both Biochemistry (specifically genetics) and Psychology when I went to University …although I have never officially worked in either field mainly because I didn’t have time!
I have a chronic condition: Along my journey, and in fact since birth, I have been suffering from numerous health issues associated with (until recently) undiagnosed Ehlers-Danlos-Syndrome (EDS), an inherited genetic condition that explained much of my physical exhaustion and suffering. Diagnosis for me came too late to undo the damage, but hopefully it is in time to prevent further damage and to help my children who have all inherited it, to have a better journey of it than I have. My son calls EDS “Mah Eeds” (pronounced the same as my needs without the “n”) and this has dramatically helped us all with the language of our day to day struggles, thereby lightening it without dismissing the seriousness of it. So if you follow my journey you will see all manner of references to Mah Eeds and so all kinds of Eeds derivatives.
I have no choice but to spend more of my time in bed that out, but in the same spirit of uplifting and encouraging our lives rather than giving into them, my bedroom, and specifically my bed is referred to as my Office … and here I get to write, write, and write… I use my time in bed and my skills and education to write about my life and my story, sharing my journey of failure and successes, creating awareness and doing a ton of research as I experiment and work on making my life as whole and productive as I can. I share my books on my journey through unpacking and surviving a chronic condition as well as my emotional journey through my blogs and my books. I am NOT a medical professional and nor do I claim to be. I am simply sharing my journey with anyone who would like to listen.
We travel a lot because of my husband’s job, and so I get the pleasure/pain of being confined to all kinds of hotel beds literally all over the world. Where I can write, create and reach out to the world though my blogs and my books.
I am a TCK: I have lived in many different countries around the world and later dragged my children with me, which makes them second generation TCKs. In n earthly sense I am a dual citizen, as I am South African and I am Australian, each in completely different ways. But more than that I am a world citizen. I struggle not only with the abandonment of my family but of people and friends and countries who have let me down. The issues of belonging and acceptance and tribes and roles in Family-of-Origin are fascinating to me. I study them and think about them and now I am writing about them here. Having never truly belonged to the Tribe that I was born into, then cast out by them because I didn’t play my vital role of scape-goat and care-taker, I created my own tribes as best I could in all kinds of ways. My God is my father in the deepest sense of the word, but I don’t fit into any neat boxes that “normal” people have and in general they don’t like it. So often I feel as though I am on the outside looking in and always feeling one step behind, ….that I never got any of the “memos” about life that everyone else appeared to have gotten. I have always been a purple onion in a bag of brown onions….
Therefore I am also a Survivor; of long term emotional abuseSurvivor. I am married to a wonderful man who is also a childhood abuse survivor. Our individual childhood stories are very different to each other’s but they are also intricately entwined over generations, so it is extremely hard to separate our stories. While each story has had a massive impacted on the other, only mine is mine to tell. We are quite far into the journey with a team of amazing doctors, psychologists and specialists who are walking us through this, past the point that they said we could ever reach, and into healing and wholeness again… We have been peeling back the Onion Layers for a very long time now and I am extremely proud of both of us for coming this far.
I am a Writer and Blogger: People have spoken for me and overruled me my entire life. They have controlled and tried to define me in all kinds of ways. I was born into anxiety and have never felt safety but I am working hard on getting there. This has affected my body in untold ways, but it also meant that I never found my voice. I have felt completely invisible much my life, and I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, where I was going. But the voice in me was there and kind of always I knew it, I just didn’t know how to find it or how to use it.
I have hated being voiceless, hiding and wearing a mask my whole life and as I break out I want to stand on a roof top and shout my stories!!!! …. So 2016 has been a year of writing writing writing … Although my voice is still new, fragile, scared even after a lifetime of being smacked on the head every time I pop up, like “whack-a-mole”, but I am starting to find my way.
I am also an Artist: Following my parents and then my husband around the globe has been the main reason that I have not worked in my chosen fields of Genetics and Psychology but the other major reason is that while it is hard to change most jobs internationally at the drop of a hat, teaching classes in clay, ceramics, art and so on, have given me not only an outlet which is nourishing and uplifting, but I have learnt along the way that my art is also the one part of me that is mine, that has not been defined by others. I learnt that the neglect and loss that I experienced as a child, as well as some of the countries that I have lived in as an adult which have lacked so many basic resources and having very little financial resources of our own, has taught me to improvise, to learn without lessons, to experiment and be brave, and come up with my own way of doing things. My Art is more than just a sideline, it has been my saving grace, and an expression of the redemption in my life.