Can you believe it possums? Fuck a duck. The weird hippy from the mountains… Ole L-Lo from Da Block… on A.B.C.RADIO. So SWISH. So POSH, man! At heart I’m still a derpy blogger hiding out on the internet trying to find where all the other cool weirdos are. I’m so glad I found yas.
I’m kind of torn between saying:
SHHHHH DON’T TELL ANYONE ELSE WE ARE HERE! LET THIS BE OUR LIL RAD HIDEOUT AWAY FROM THE NORMALS!
and embracing the fact that it’s you + me that are gonna change the world… and we can’t do it by hiding away from the rest of the world. But still… let’s go out, do our work… then come back here + commune with tea + bikkies, yeah?
The older I get, the more I realise how infinitely, utterly, painfully, excruciatingly human I am.
The past couple of weeks have made me see this all the more clearly.
And sometimes I get scared. That if I keep finding places I need to heal… keep finding mistakes I’ve made + wounds I carry…
How on earth do I carry on with self-belief and courage?
How on earth do I both heartfully acknowledge mistakes I’ve made AND not make it an inner whipping post that stiffens me from ever doing anything again?
How do I see + accept the places where I have misstepped, and step again, knowing that I may do it again?
How do we let our failures not freeze us?
I don’t know.
These are the questions I am wrestling with today.
But when I wrestle with them, a certainty rises in me,
sure as grass sprouting from soil.
And the voice says:
You will grow anyway, Leonie.
You can no sooner turn your head from the sun, beckoning it closer, stretching up like a child raising its arm to its mother… than a sunflower can.
Each day, you get to love yourself. Whole-heartedly + unconditionally.
Not because you are the perfect person. Not because you’ve never made a mistake in your life. Not because you’ve ever hurt or injured others in your flailings as a human.
You get to do it anyway.
Because if we all waited… waited + waited until we were shiny + bright + new… not one of us on the planet could bear to love ourselves. And without that love… that deep centered source of life… without that love we are doomed to keep flailing, keep lashing out, keep damaging others with our wounds, keep on keeping on with being unconscious.
And so somehow… love must lead the way.
I am not perfect.
I am not perfect.
I am not perfect.
And that too is perfect.
I am healing.
I am healing.
I am healing.
And I am not whole yet.
I am grateful.
I am grateful.
I am grateful.
For every time the rough parts of me bump up against the rough parts of another.
We are rocks in the river, tumbling over each other,
softening each other smooth,
polishing each other true + whole.
May we each be a gift to each other.
Perfectly imperfect. Forgiving each other. Giving each other grace.
May we do the same for our own sweet souls too.
If you are struggling, please get some help. Please.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
You don’t have to struggle so profoundly.
It doesn’t have to be so hard.
And I know it is. I know kids are hard. I know… this whole mothering gig is bullshit hard + way too much for just one person to carry on their shoulders.
We need help. We need support. We need to take care of ourselves.
Please go gentle on yourself. Please put your oxygen mask on.
A long time ago, I was too terrified to admit that I was suffering.
That every night when I went to bed as stiff as a board, my hands aching from clenching so hard. I hated the idea of sleep because I knew it would be mere moments before I would be awoken again. I hated the idea of waking up because I knew it meant another day of hard, hard, hard work of mothering. I would lay on the kitchen floor as I made dinner so I didn’t have a panic attack. I was touched out + empty + a shadow of my self. I was deeply ashamed, and so very afraid of being judged.
The day it all changed was the day I sobbed over my cereal, and finally, finally admitted to myself that this wasn’t okay. I wasn’t okay. And I told my husband, even though I was so deeply afraid that it would mean he would leave me + take my baby away from me.
And then once I voiced the truth, I decided I couldn’t continue on as I was. That I needed to find something – anything – that worked. That took the bag of rocks from my chest + let me breath.
For me, it was a combination of relationship counselling, personal counselling + anti-depressant medication that helped most of all.
I was so resistant to taking that medication. I thought it meant I had failed. I thought I was a no-good crap hippy/natural mother if I took anti-depressant medication.
And believe me, I really DID try all the other hippy stuff under the sun before I got a script. I gargled Bushflower Essences + popped homeopathic pills + did rebirthing rituals + smudged myself until the cows came home. And it only helped a little bit. Not enough. It put only an inch or so of water at the bottom of my desolate, dusty well. And my bucket kept hitting bottom.
It was the medication + counselling that made the most amount of difference.
And I feel like there is all this stigma attached to those. Attached to the idea that you aren’t a good person if you struggle. Aren’t a good mama. Fuck that. It’s all brain chemistry, baby. We are plenty good enough.
I just want you to know, dearest, that if you are suffering, please, please, please know it doesn’t have to keep being like this. Please book in to see a doctor or therapist (or both). If you’re in Australia, if you go to a doctor, they will help draw up a mental health plan, and you get counselling sessions free under Medicare. What a blessing, right?
I’m holding your hand. And whispering to you that it’s going to get better.
Please do what you need to do to tend to you, extraordinary you. Your family needs you thriving again. We all do. And most of all… you need you to thrive too.
P.S. If you’re not a mama… and this still dings your bell… yes, this all applies to you too sweetpea. xoxo
So, just over a week ago, I saw the above image at my local Big W store.
And honestly, I was horrified.
I snapped a photograph + posted on Instagram/FB/Twitter saying:
Ummmmmmmm WTF Big W???? Nope. Nope. Nope. Fucccck noooooo. This is sending the worst bloody messages to our daughters. Not even teenagers. Not even Tweens. Bloody TODDLERS being showered with the wrong fucking oversexualised message about what it is to be a girl and woman. Love, Fuming Mama Bear
I thought nothing of it, until it EXPLODED on Facebook.
And man… some people did NOT appreciate my views on this matter.
So much so, they needed to advise me that I’m a “loco bitch”, a “stupid asshole” and I’m “sick in the head” for having these views.
Even when I clarified, by adding:
EDITED TO ADD
::: 5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO READ BEFORE YOU COMMENT :::
1. No, I don’t judge you if you buy these clothes. Yes, it’s fine for you to feel differently about this than I do. That’s totally okay. If you feel attacked by what I have written, please know that is absolutely not my intention.
To be utterly clear: I don’t see any issues with girls (or boys) wearing tutus. But I have a huge issue with a toddlers (and tweens and teenagers) being dressed in a brand that is oversexualised. By dressing them in Kardashian clothes, we are beginning to teach them that to be a Kardashian is the ultimate in success. I believe girls are at a crisis point, and we absolutely need to protect them from this kind of shit, and let them be children. Allow girls (and women) to know they are okay to be themselves, and worthy without looking “pretty” or “perfect” or having to be overtly-sexualised. Because that is very much the impression our girls are getting from the world, and research supports this.
Family psychologist + best-selling author Steve Biddulph is sounding the alarm on the craziness that is happening to our girls, and the very damaging effects it is having on their development with teen girl suicide, mental illness + self harm at all time high. I would absolutely recommend reading “Raising Girls” by Steve, and following his Facebook page. This information is essential.
2. Wow, this was a useful way to ban out some pretty abusive people on this page. I’ve never hit the delete + ban button so often on a post. So useful… I certainly would never wish to work with someone who calls me a “loco bitch” for having a different opinion than they have. It was a really useful decluttering of crap energies.
So… before you comment… you might like to choose to speak gently + respectfully. Because my finger adores that ban + delete button. Abuse = not okay here in this part of the internet.
3. It’s absolutely fine if you disagree with me. Totally fine.
And honestly, I would have ignored it myself a few years ago until I started researching the current girl crisis + getting myself well + truly fired up about protecting the childhoods of our girls.
Even if you still don’t agree with me, that’s cool lovely. We can still be mates. Let’s still speak gently with each other however. (See also: loco bitch = not appropriate.)
4. I think we need to take responsibility for where we choose to invest our money. How you spend your money is investing in what you want to see more of. I am 100% not perfect of this, but am always working on how I can make sure my purchases are in alignment with my higher values + who I wish to support in the world.
5. Yes, I swear, and yes I’m okay with it. No, threatening to unlike me won’t change that. Further reading here.
6. I’m eating a gluten-free melting moment, and it’s delicious. Come around for tea + we’ll have some together.
Big love + gentleness,
EVEN when I posted all of that, the comments continued.
“im not even going to read half of that you wrote but you are seriously stupid.”
“you are slut shaming”
Bitchy parenting groups started pointing at it.
And the horrific comments continued.
Jeeeeeepers. I can talk about vaccinations. I can talk about post natal depression. I can talk about most things on the Internet. SAY ANYTHING BUT DON’T YOU DARE SPEAK BADLY OF THE KARDASHIANS.
I’m totally cool with having a discussion about things. I’m cool with people asking questions, or wanting further clarification, or simply saying: “That’s not my read on that.”
But the name calling? The abuse?
Absolutely 100% not okay.
(I should say I found the “slut shaming” comment completely baffling. Because IDGAF how a woman lives her sex life. But I sure as FUCK give a shit if people who are famous for “sex sells” are DESIGNING + SELLING CLOTHES FOR TODDLER GIRLS. Seriously. The conversations of sex + our toddler girls can be FAR, FAR APART here.)
I deleted and banned to my heart’s content.
Ridiculous abuse is not ok in the spaces I tend to, either in real life or on the inter webs.
If someone came to my home + started ranting that shit, I would call the police. And when it felt like too much shit being thrown my way, I stepped away. I handed it over to my social media manager to continue deleting, banning + reporting abusive comments.
I took some deep breaths. I talked to friends + members in my tribe who supported me + understood my views. I ranted to Chris, who replied his usual sage wisdom:
You know people on the internet can be real dickheads sometimes.
And I went + had a life outside of the Kardashiangate, as messages + comments continued to pile in (+ abusive ones get banned + reported).
People ask me if it’s okay to ban + delete people, afraid that it will hurt your business.
My experience is that abusive people will ALWAYS damage your business.
If they become clients, you’ll have to fire them anyway because they will drive you, your staff + your other clients utterly batshit insane. So I’m super happy to remove abusive potential clients out of the circle of my business. I don’t want people like that buying from me. They are create more pain + agony than their dollar is worth.
So my advice is always: Fuck ’em. Ban ’em. They can use the rest of the Internet to spray their shit. Let’s keep our sacred spaces safe. If people are abusive, they get to receive the gift of a no from me, and a closed door, so they may be given the opportunity to find a space that does resonate with them. Or you know, maybe do some therapy and work on their shit.
We all need to be responsible for the spaces we craft, the boundaries we enforce, the abuse we allow & our inner shit that needs healing.
If anything, I think I shall become more outspoken about this.
More outspoken about inappropriate behaviour on the internet + how to deal with it.
Because it’s important. And for goodness’ sakes, let’s learn to disagree gracefully if we must.
And I’m going to become more outspoken about the damage that is being done to our girls.
I think of the beautiful 13 year old girl who committed suicide in our community last year from social media strange shit.
I hear stories from mums of teenage girls which are heartbreaking + horrific.
Rampant self harm. Drinking of poison.
They are hating themselves, guys. They are being taught from every single angle that they are not good enough, they are not worthy, they are too fat. They don’t deserve to take up space on the planet. Their looks are the most important part of them. Their sexuality is to be used to gain love + approval. They want to cut pieces of their bodies off to fit in, because everywhere they look, there is images of people that don’t look like them. That have been so caked over with makeup + photoshopped to perfection that they don’t realise it’s just a mirage. Our saggy, quirky, assymetrical bodies are perfection. But no one is telling them that. They don’t see that.
They can’t sleep at night. They wake at all times of the night to see what is being said about them on social media. They are hyper vigilant. They are screen-addicted.
They don’t get to have the kinds of childhoods that we had, that we took for granted.
They aren’t getting the time to develop their own personality + sense of self.’
They aren’t developed enough to filter the dross out.
I mean, FUCK… I STRUGGLE when people say asshole things to me on the internet. And I’m a grown ass woman, with a really high self esteem + confidence, with a bonza husband who reminds me that the shit isn’t true, with a life outside the internet that feels pretty damn good.
And here’s our girls. And they don’t have that. And they are struggling.
So yes. Yes I will speak up about it. I will roar like a mama bear when I see things that don’t feel right. I will protect my daughters. I will speak up for our children.
Even if some people think I am a loco bitch for it.
Our children deserve a life + a knowing that they are sacred + divine + perfect + whole, just as they are.
And so do we.
I don’t know the answer.
But I do know we need to talk about it.
All my love,
P.S. If you, your family, your daughter is struggling, I just want you to know, I am so so so sorry. I’m so sorry you are in pain. That is really hard. You must be feeling grief stricken + worried sick. My mama heart aches for yours. I know this can’t be easy. I don’t know the answer.