To Those Who Are Here To Break Cycles Of Generational Trauma

Dear heart, I see you.

I see the path your weary hands forge into new territory. I see the struggle inside this wilderness of change—the resistance you feel as you work harder than anyone will ever know, or see, to be the catalyst for change. To be the one who liberates others from the heavy chain of dysfunction, abuse, and trauma dragged down from generation to generation. The one who places her flag upon newfound land declaring, this ends with me.

There is nothing easy about breaking generational cycles. The responsibility of change carried in often-weary arms. The battle to not only heal your own wounds, but to not inflict those same wounds upon others. The overcoming of all that has come before you, the defeating of all that still tries to find its way back in.

The recognising and severing of toxic patterns. The need to take responsibility for past actions. To seek forgiveness. To learn boundaries. To reparent yourself. To fight against years of unhealthy relationships, addictions, coping mechanisms, and means of survival.

It is heavy work. Backbreaking work. Thankless work. Exhausting work. It is scraped knees and blistered hands. Faces marred with sweat and tears. It is lost sleep and unheard prayers and always wondering if it is enough. If we are enough. To do this. To be the catalyst so desperately needed.

Read more over at Elephant Journal and please remember to “heart” my article and leave a comment, would love to know your thoughts x

As a Trauma Survivor, Here are 8 Things I’m Done Apologising For.

Maybe it’s because of 2020.

Or maybe it’s because I turned 40 this year and my I-No-Longer-Give-A-F*ck-What-You-Think-Of-Me attitude has amped up a notch or two.

Either way, an undercurrent of change is churning inside me, pulling me to a place where I no longer feel the need to explain, justify, or apologise for the woman I am. For the ways I have been broken by trauma. Changed by it. Shaped by it.

I’m done trying to be who I think I should be. Trying to please. Trying to conform. Trying to be normal, like those around me. Those who have not walked in my shoes. Those who have not lived the life I have lived—suffered the way I have suffered.

I’m done saying sorry for all the ways I fall short, for all the ways I disappoint others and let them down. I’m done believing I am broken—that there is something inherently wrong with the woman I am. I’m done believing I am something to be fixed. I’m done feeling that who I am isn’t enough.

Read the rest of my article, As A Trauma Survivor, Here Are 8 Things I’m Done Apologising For, over at Elephant Journal x

To Be Honest, I Didn’t Much Feel Like Celebrating Christmas

This year has taken so much. I’m tired in a way I’ve never been tired. More than exhaustion. More than burnout. Existential, perhaps. I don’t know. I just know it has been a year of very few highs, many excruciating lows. Even more losses. Fear, uncertainty, grief. A year we will all remember, but for reasons we wish we could forget.

It’s been difficult to find joy, and today was no exception. But as I soak up the late afternoon sunshine, the sea breeze rustles the leaves and the birds call their melodies to one another and the sound of my children’s laughter rises from somewhere below me and for a fleeting moment I grasp hold of something inside me.

Maybe not quite joy, yet.

But hope.

A knowing that there is strength to rise above circumstance.

A knowing that joy may falter but still exists within us.

A knowing that in the stillness we can find our way back to peace.

A knowing that all will be well.

A knowing that love wins. Always.

For those struggling this year know you are not alone. You are seen and loved.

May hope find its way into your heart today.

Merry Christmas x

To The Woman Trying To Find Herself

“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently than I had done? What if I’d actually wanted to f*ck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?” ~ Cheryl Strayed, Wild 

To the woman trying to find herself.

This is for the woman trying to find herself when there is no trail to hike. When you do not have 1,100 endless miles stretched out in front of you; when you do not have 94 days of solitude to lose yourself in. When you do not have nature in all her wildness and beauty to soothe and heal your fragile soul.

To the woman trying to find herself somewhere amidst work, family, and other responsibilities. Somewhere between the 6 a.m. alarm and the late-night crawl into bed – exhausted once again.

Somewhere in the lonely hours of the night when your mind moves too fast, the minutes too slow. Somewhere in the hustle of each day when you are captured by a fleeting beam of sunlight upon skin or the evanescence of sea breeze upon warm summer air or the breath of wind as it stirs the crest of pine trees above your head and you know you are being called back to yourself, but cannot get there. We can never get there — it seems.

To you, dear woman, who is lost and without a trail to find your way home. I know what it means to be lost. Lost somewhere in the middle of the woman you once were and the one you are yet to become.

Read the full article over at Elephant Journal x

I Beg Of You Not To Love Me (Poem)

And you, with lips that bleed with the sacrifice of your heart.

I beg of you not to love me.

Find a girl whose contours do not snag beneath your touch, who has not traded her tears for thorns, her skin for armour.

A girl who does not forgo sleep to map escape routes on the back of her eyelids but instead makes her home below the shelter of your collarbones.

Make sure her constitution has been stitched together with straight lines and even spaces; that she has not been woven remiss with paradox and inconsistency.

A girl who does not bleed alcohol and exist in metaphor.

Whose stories can be read in journals impressed with seaside daisies and late summer memories, not scrawled in jagged scars upon her skin.

A girl whose worth is not rich in the currency of shame and apologies.

Who does not wrap her fragile shell in a bandage of words, hoping to hold intact chalky bones that threaten to crumble away with sadness.

Who says she is fine.

She is not fine.

Do not believe the poets; the ones who tell you there is beauty in brokenness, who swathe ugly truths in pretty words and label it art, like virtuosity will ever be enough to soak the bloodstains off the floor.

There is no beauty in brokenness.

Only broken inhabits brokenness.

Do not love a girl like me, a girl too inept to be trusted with such precarious birth.

Who does not understand love when it has only been spelled as goodbye.

Who knows the taste of trust only as kisses from a razor-blade tongue.

Who does not know how to exist without one foot stretched out, holding the door ajar.

Do not love a girl like me who drapes herself in garments of tough pretence to belie the vulnerability beneath.

A girl like me, whose untamed heart betrays her with its wild abandon at the wanting in your eyes; who does not know how to love in half-measure but only with the magnitude of the entire universe that gathers within her flesh.

No, do not love a girl like me.

Find a girl who is sure-footed and able.

For I, I am too familiar with my own heart; the delicate glass of which it is fashioned, so susceptible to causing us both to bleed should it shatter beneath the weight of your fingers.

What I mean to say is, I am so afraid of love

I would rather not love at all.

~ KP

The Patron Saint Of Lost Chances (New Poem)

Acknowledge your grief.

It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it seems, you are justified in your grief.

In your loss. In your sadness. In all the cancelled plans and lost opportunities. In all the dreams and anticipation and hope clutched so tightly to your chest that has been taken from you. In all the moments you never had and will never get back.

This year has taken so much from all of us.

Don’t compare your grief to anyone else’s. Claim it. Own it. Allow yourself to feel it.

Your grief is real. Your grief is valid.

I Gave Up A Purpose-Driven Life For A Curiosity-Driven Life And This Is What Happened

A few months ago, I went through a dark night of the soul—the darkest I had dwelled within for years.

Initially, I put it down to burnout or perhaps pandemic-related exhaustion. No doubt these factors contributed, but I knew there was something deeper affecting me that I couldn’t shift.

I had lost direction. I had lost purpose. I had lost passion.

Worse, I had lost me.

Because of this, I began to feel like a failure.

I felt ashamed that I was unable to be productive or achieve goals. I felt inadequate in my comparison to others who appeared so driven and focused. I felt that without any significant contribution to the world, my life was of little worth.I didn’t know what I wanted anymore.

Everything I had thought I wanted no longer gave me joy or fulfilment.It all just felt exhausting.

Then, I listened to a podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert that changed everything.

Read how giving up a purpose-driven life and taking the plunge into a curiosity-driven life saved me, over at Elephant Journal, link below x

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2020/11/elizabeth-gilbert-helped-me-find-a-curiosity-driven-life-how-it-made-me-breathe-again-kathy-parker/

Healing The Parent-Child Relationship: Why It Isn’t our Responsibility

Many of us who lived through dysfunction, trauma and abuse in our childhood carry into our adult lives the weight of broken relationship with our parents.

We carry the blame of them; believe it is our fault the parent-child relationship is damaged. Whether directly through our actions, or inadvertently through the circumstances we grew up in.

We carry the guilt of them; that if we are to blame we must then be responsible for repairing the damage. That if we could only find more acceptance, more forgiveness. That if we could only be better children and let the past be the past and move on, then maybe the relationship could be healed.

We carry the wounds of them. Into every aspect of our lives. Into every relationship we have. Into every inadequacy, every failure, every addiction, every wall we build, every offer of love we push away.

We carry the grief of them; the loss at never been given the love, protection, nurture and security we deserved. The pain of betrayal by those who were supposed to protect us. The sorrow of not having the support others receive from their parents; the longing for a life that was never ours, and never will be.

For those of us who have tried to repair parent-child relationships, we carry the disappointment and failure; also, the re-traumatisation as our wounds are reopened. The exhaustion of having to stitch ourselves up once more and hope this time we remain intact. Because no matter what we suffered, we still carry an inherent loyalty to those whose bodies we were conceived of; those whose cells became our cells, whose features we witness not only in ourselves, but indeed, our own children. We carry within us the child-like longing for love and approval; the need for a sense of belonging. Of being the beloved son or daughter; cherished and adored and above all else, wanted.

But we cannot mend what we did not break…

Read the rest of my article over at Elephant Journal x

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2020/11/healing-the-parent-child-relationship-isnt-our-responsibility-kathy-parker/

My Country Is A Woman (**New Spoken Word**)

“And I think of the ways my country and I are the same
how I too have been founded upon invasion
my body occupied and colonised without consent
innocence stolen, the rape of childhood
woven through my narrative; a past not forgotten
“always carried, never healed”

This poem came from the prompt, “My Country.” I wanted to weave together the trauma of our First Nations people with my own personal trauma as a way of acknowledging the way this beautiful land holds and heals us all in our collective grief. Though our stories and pain are different our tears are borne of the same ocean we are forever drawn back to.

Much love x

Courage To Fly

Precious one, you gaze with longing at forget-me-not skies while you remain grounded on the earth below, so deeply rooted in your fear.

Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of others. Afraid to fall, yet even more afraid to fly. You fear success as much as you fear defeat, and so you tell yourself you are content here on familiar land where it is comfortable and safe. Yet your spirit is a restless wind, a fervent ocean, like a force of nature your heart is wild, free, uncontained.

Beloved, you have been held down for so long now. The weight of all you have carried corrupted your wings until you no longer tried to fly. Worse yet, until you no longer wanted to. And even now, even as you heal, even as you are healed, you are too afraid to once again lift your wings toward skies that long to set you free.

But look at all you have become. See your strength, resilience, power, beauty, determination, fortitude. Now is your time to take flight beloved. The universe is quiet and hushed as it waits with eager anticipation to see you rise, to stand in awe of your creation, just as it did the day you were born.

Everything you need is contained within your valiant spirit. You are light to the darkest of places, salt to the corners of the earth, healing to the wounded, love to the broken-hearted.

Your faith wavers, so fragile in your chest, so unsure, so filled with doubt. Breathe, for you no longer have spirit of fear, but a spirit of power. Your heart can no longer be contained in your chest, your spirit no longer caged in your body, your wings no longer cast down by your side.

All you need now, beloved, is the courage to fly.

* * * * *

The Unravelled Heart – a journey of breaking to mending, surviving to loving, and the courage to rise from our darkest places, undefeated – available https://kathyparker.com.au/the-unravelled-heart/