Life is not about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw
I had an interesting start to life, one that has invisibly directed me. I WAS ADOPTED. I didn’t realise that being adopted meant that I would spend most of my life searching for who I was.
I didn’t know that being adopted leaves you with a sense of being ABANDONED all through your life. Any loss triggers the abandonment and feels CATASTROPHIC EMOTIONALLY.
It's no wonder I am specialist in grief and loss.
I didn’t know being adopted would contribute to me creating DYSFUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS time and time again. At 21, I had two children and a superbly dysfunctional emotionally unavailable partner. Of course, this relationship didn’t last. I ended up a single parent on my own for 8 years and back at my adoptive parents’ home. I used this time to study for my first degree and to qualifying as a teacher.
You see, no matter what happens I always been good at turning a CRISIS INTO AN OPPORTUNITY.
I spent 18 (mainly fabulous) years as a primary school teacher where I created a good many bonkers creations that brought myself and the children great joy, and memorable learning experiences. I LOVE CHILDREN. They’re honest, unpredictable and live in their imagination as genius creators. Every planned day turned into TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED. I’ve had the privilege to love and laugh wildly with each child I’ve taught.
Maybe my most memorable project was a global exchange I set up with two Fe Y Alegria schools in Peru. One in the city of Lima and one in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. I had the privilege to teaching in both schools.
These people were POOR people yet they still found something to give.
This trip changed my life!
I did along the way meet my husband and most of our 18 years marriage was hilarious. HE HAD HIS WAY OF LOVING AND I HAD MINE; worked well while I was consumed with teaching. I got a glimpse the evening I was married, this relationship was potentially doomed. In the end, the demon ALCOHOL PUT A STEAK IN THE HEART of the marriage.
We still get on well now, support each other and share our dogs. I have learnt NOT TO RESENT as that is a quick way to create a dis-ease in mind and body. I am grateful of the time we had together.
Unsurprisingly, after my marriage I managed to get into a relationship with a guy who had porn compulsivity (also know as porn addiction). I ended up with me experiencing a form of betrayal trauma which is common for partners - I didn't even know this existed.
In trying to work out what the hell was going on, I started my own investigation project on sex and porn ... of which I am still actively involved in and I'm presently knee deep in a psychosexual studies course. I've learnt some things I really wish I'd known years ago.
Shockingly the average age a child watches porn is 11 now. Yet everything I've read says the same thing - Parents are not talking about sex and porn with their children and schools offer limited sex education, particularly about pornography. I am now on a mission to change this ... so Parents get porn informed to remove the 'Porn panic'.
I have learnt that porn has it's advantages and disadvantages. Maybe great for an adult; maybe not for a developing brain of a child.
2015 was the year I decided I would change everything ... my job … my community … my hair … my home … my husband.
I knew I couldn’t carry on working as a teacher as it had become an arena of unrealistic expectations. I was feeling TOTALLY BURNT OUT. Within two days of the whisper entering my head about leaving teaching, I was enrolled on counselling training and sat in a lesson at night school! Yes, my life moves like this.
Later that year my son in law suddenly died; I was a wreck feeling burnt out and regretting all those times I had chosen work over my family. The GUILT WAS HEAVY. I left teaching and the community I had served with my heart for 18 years. I experienced the grief of these two losses for years and never denied the waves of pain when they arrived. If I cried, I cried. Now those tears have been transformed into tears of gratitude as I can see how these losses have truly benefited my life. All these TEARS HONOUR MY PAST.
2018 was the year I met my brother and family.
Well, I wasn’t expecting to find all my family. I wasn't looking as I'd searched before and it got me nowhere. I found out I was related to nearly a whole village of welcoming, friendly people in Southern Ireland. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT PART I had the most amazing brother, sister in law and niece who (inconveniently) live in Perth, Australia.
First picture ever with my big bro Aiden ... only by a year and an inch though.
Not everybody gets reunited with their family and many adoptees go to their grave still searching. I am extremely grateful.
I started training to be a counsellor at night school in 2015. I felt I had the skills to help people as I had spent the last two decades supporting families in various ways. I trained firstly as an Adult counsellor, then a child counsellor and after becoming fascinated with relationship dynamics, a couple counsellor in 2018.
I spent 6 years working part time in at the Alder Centre in Alder Hey hospital, Liverpool- a specialised centre supporting child death and offering counselling to hospital staff. It was here I learnt a great deal about relationships and that every crisis has a point of opportunity of service to another - I found in each trauma a beauty. It was a deeply moving experience.
I worked in schools with children for two years yet I found it rather strange only working with one child at a time. This learning experience underpins all my work now as it helps me understand relationship dynamics. However, I decided not to continue to work with children and to focus on relationships. Something drew me into the dance of freedom and connection that often couples experience. It was in schools I began to witness how porn was affected the behaviour of young children which has inspired me to work on behalf of them which has now developed into my Sex Talk Road show.
What I have learnt along the way is that self-love is really all about self-acceptance and everyone has parts of them they don't accept which causes suffering and pain.
Anyway, I have worked with lots of different issues all of which get in the way of a relationship with yourself or the relationships you have with family and partners. Ultimately, trauma of any kind stops you developing closeness or intimacy with yourself or within a relationship.
communication problems, relationship and sex anxiety, navigating a conflict or dilemma, developing a voice within a relationship, porn addiction/compulsivity - partners and couples, intimacy and trust, betrayal trauma, sexual trauma, grief and loss, sexual issues, relationship breakdown, moving on after a breakup, burn out, knowing your sexual self in or out of a relationship & developing sexual communication.