How I unravelled into me
What does one pig-headed man with the affection of a bull (no offence to bulls) and an amazing artist suffering from a psychosis and self-love that would put even the great Narcissus to shame have in common? Me. These were the men I allowed to shape my life for 15 years leaving me penniless, homeless twice and without self-belief. The 3 years that followed though were remarkable thanks to the healing power of writing.
To make a mistake is pardonable. To make the same mistake twice is downright stupid.
I’d heard of karma but didn’t know I was a victim of it. It would seem that universe had a “bad relationship” in store for me no matter what I did. Or maybe I should just own up and claim responsibility for making a bad mistake twice: once with the bull, and once with the psychotic artist.
On the plus side, the first helped me make two gorgeous boys and the second blessed me with a great love affair. On the negative side both drained me. From a spiritual, emotional perspective they stripped me of my childhood fantasies, my ideals of white weddings followed by fairy-tale happiness and that life is beautiful. From a physical and financial perspective they robbed me of all my financial wealth, career prospects and my health.
What do you mean no regrets!? I hear you cry. It’s true. I bear no regrets. I point no fingers. If I were to place the blame at anyone or anything’s feet, it would be society’s. Girls should not feel duty-bound by family or culture to stay in a relationship that is not healthy. We should let our girls know that there is always a solution and help at hand. I do not want to describe my situation in any detail as I still have my children to consider and those of my ex. Suffice to say that both men voluntarily relinquished their balls after being with me for just a few months. What do I mean by this? They left their manhood at the front door and happily allowed me to be the breadwinner – plus do all the other things a woman does in a household – whilst they followed their dreams, twiddled their thumbs and clipped my wings.
Should I stay or should I go now?
Since I was brought up with strong family values, I felt compelled to stay for the sake of the family and everyone else involved. Like many of you perhaps, I tried to change things from within, I tried to be heard, but we all know (most) people don’t change. Sometimes we create an unbreakable cycle with our partners that can only be broken with the help of a arbitrator or in my case, by stamping on their emasculated balls that had been left out in the cold unguarded. After wiping the soles of my shoes (both times), I left with my two sons, to make the most of the time I had left with them and to be the best role model possible.
The start of the healing process
I had taken up some very bad habits during my dark days and needed to find my way back to health and hope. Because I was so busy as a single mum and running my business, I didn’t feel I had time for therapy. Unwittingly I found my own way of healing from my toxic 15 years: I wrote books.
As I wrote my advice, on the premise of helping others, I was actually working through my fears, anger and aspirations. I set out the steps I needed to follow under the guise of my writing being intended to help others. Originally under the name of an alias, then the mask dropped and I began to see my life for what it really was. I began to see my worth and my strengths.
Let the unravelling begin:
These were the steps I needed to follow to help me.
What has money got to do with healing? Everything in this day and age. If you have financial stress, it can put a full stop on your happiness and progress. Writing this book helped me to stop me worrying about money even though I had always been the breadwinner and never had the luxury of someone else earning any money or bringing money into the household. Still I needed to assure myself I was capable because I was completely on my own.
First and foremost I needed to break my bad habits. I did this with great ease since I wanted my life back again with such passion. I felt I needed to share this drive with others. If you want something enough it comes to you. I didn’t realise at the time I should also have been addressing the area of self-blame and negative self-talk, but time is a great teacher and hindsight is a fine thing.
Writing about how to be happy shone a light in my darkest hour. Just when I was getting on top of things in year one, I had a serious injury, could not exercise and had complex teenage son issues to contend with on my own. I needed to remind myself of all the happiness in the world. Not knowing I was saving myself from depression, I wrote about the little things in life to remind my readers of how beautiful life is.
The easiest and most rewarding way of going through life is to be aligned with your true nature. By now I’d been through the fires of hell and made Beelzebub my bitch. I’d survived my male tormentors and crawled through the thorny path during the first year of my escape. I had overcome more obstacles sent to torture me and survived!! How? I started looking into self care, healing, went back to yoga, adopted the techniques of Reiki and TM. This next book shares all this wisdom… disguised as a book on how to look young. In fact it is about detoxing yourself and following your own internal compass.
My most recent book is designed to help you release your inner potential, – just as it helped me. Using the same disguise of helping people in a “popular” way, i.e. a fitness guide, I used this book to deliver the amazing benefits of Reiki to find balance and clarity – plus it is a fantastic motivational combo!
They say you can tell a story as a Struggler, Shepherd or Shaman. I started as the Struggler sharing my journey as I was going through it. Now my “reverse journaling” is taking on the voice of a Shepherd. I am a trained and qualified healer, personal development and therapy coach. I am changing people’s lives with my words. The role of Shaman… maybe in my next life.
My own little empire
Not only did I produce these 6 self-help books and publish them, I also illustrated and wrote several children’s books. Not to mention that YA fantasy novel I have yet to finish. There are so many books bursting to come out of me I can barely contain myself.
I currently continue to share the importance of looking after yourself through this blog. I also use it as a platform for bringing together local champions of wellbeing and writing to create unique and inspiring fairs.
I am filled with a positive energy and I have found the right place to channel it. I am currently in the process of publishing my first Kiki and Friends book for young readers, which is a series of adventures filled with messages of friendship, fun and self-confidence.
The power of the sisterhood
As co-founder of The Ladies Writing Club, I was dubious at first to exclude men from the workshops, but I have come to realise there is a strong bond between women. We have all been silently playing the role of career woman, mother, wife and daughter while neglecting ourselves. When we come together it is a therapy in itself. We hear positive words of encouragement instead of grunting from teenage children or the barking of husbands. We give each other constructive advice and open up opportunities; a welcome change from being treated like the doormat in the house that somehow has to do everything, never grumble and still look sexy!
Joining communities of other women has been one of the best parts of my new life. These bonds do not represent walls to the men in our lives; instead they help us forge better relationships with them because we have the support from our kindred sisters.
Writer, heal thyself
I have stopped searching for the reasons and ways in which I should be broken after over a decade of duress. My head is clear, my soul has been cured and time will take care of the rest with the help of my soul sisters.
Although I went through years of hardship filled with self-pity and huge sacrifices, I would not change who I am today for anything in the world. Going through the process of looking despair in the eyes every day and making it my best companion has opened up an understanding in me I would otherwise never have experienced. By having to dig down deep and forgive myself whilst keeping my family safe and happy has shown me just how strong I can be – just how strong we all can be.
The healing power of writing
Words are my life. They have helped me work through years of emotional entanglement and now they are the foundation of my little empire.
What would my final words be? Mothers, keep a watchful eye on your girl. Sisters, keep a watchful eye on your friend. She may be crying out for help but sinking so far down you can’t hear her. Men treat your girl right and she will bathe you in love – plus, keep your balls close, strong and well guarded. Reader, listen to your gut instinct… it will always tell you to run from a bull and psycho!
LinkedIn Francesca Hepton