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Her Story

Why was it that from the age of six up until she was a mother of two children, her story was constantly impacted by traumatic events? Unaware that her life was NOT normal, she just got on with living. Unfortunately, the emotional residue she was carrying unknowingly reflected outward so her family, friends and her children were wearing the brunt of it.

Can you remember back to when you felt your world was falling apart because you unintentionally hurt one of the most important people in your life? You thought that those periods of time were never going to end so how did you cope with it? The world as you knew it felt as though it had imploded. No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t understand why it wasn’t the way it used to be?

Lonely teddy bear denoting lonliness in life

On a daily basis that questions would continue to surface to swirl around in your head. Will things ever be the same again? You felt useless and so ALONE as no-one understood what you were going through and what you were feeling.

No-one could or would help you as they were always too busy.

Looking back

As a mature woman looking back from an external perspective, she now asks herself,  ‘At what point does a negative experience convert to trauma?’

And… How often does repetitive exposure to damaging emotional events have to occur before it creates lifelong negative, mental and physical habits?


At the age of 6, the only girl of 3 siblings, she was petite with blue eyes and long blonde hair. So it was no revelation that her nickname was ‘Blondie’. She was intelligent, happy and active although a little boisterous at times. This little girl was always honest and without a second thought, trusted everyone, especially those her parents trusted.


That man! This was a person her parents had complete ‘faith’ in. Afterall, he was a church minister. They trusted him to the point of leaving their little girl alone with him but behind their backs, he did unspeakable things to her and she couldn’t get away from him. 

Suddenly she was thrusted into a darker side of the world. The innocent 6 year old was completely unaware of the traps until it was too late.

It was always a different place and situation so everytime she was caught by surprise and being that age she no clue of how to get away. 

Which way was home? How far away was home? She felt trapped.

From the perspective of others being on the outside looking in, nothing appeared to be wrong as his man managed to maintain her parents’ trust. So, he became bolder with the moments he selected to be with the girl. 

Another world

From as young as 8 years old her life regularly evolved and it was another world that were based around the actions of both alcoholic parents. There were empty bottles stacked in a corner of the kitchen and always cigarette ash that made her screw her nose up, food scraps and drink spillage across the table. In the blend, her parents’ regular alcohol fueled arguments that extended to physical violence had driven the girl to create an escape in her room. Although hearing the struggles and painful bellows from her mother could not be ignored.  

Domestic violence in this household became the norm.

In saying that, there was a reprieve of approximately 8 or so months where the arguments ceased as her father went to the Vietnam war so the new norm changed to coping with her mother’s loneliness and alcoholic outbursts. And being the sensible one when her wasn’t or couldn’t. Her mother had the full responsibility (24/7) of the 3 children as well as work 5 days a week. Needless to say, alcohol was her mother’s crutch and company. she couldn’t evn ring her family to chat when she was lonely because they didn’t have a phone. 

During the weeks, the status quo was quiet and routined because work and school was the focus. Most weekends though, it was the same social routine of a new location and new people while her father was away. The girl longed to spend time just being at home.


One thing her mother did do very well was dress fashionably. She was a fashionista and loved to see her daughter dressed from tip to toe in the lastest children’s clothing. This was the case for the day when her father returned home from Vietnam after 8 long months away. The girl wore a hot pink and orange ensemble, black patent leather shoes with high white lace topped socks. Her long blonde hair was placed in curlers the night before and was set partially tied back with matching ribbon so the young girl was a vision of loveliness just for her father as she was the apple of his eye.

It wasn’t long before the memories of loneliness the bulk of that preceding year had faded away and the old routine of alcohol fueled arguements ensued and of course, like pre the ‘Police Action’ neither parent would back down. It was a certainty that her mother would need to reach out for medical care either late that evening or the following day. The girl recalls one brutal attack by her father as the blood curdling scream echoed in the silence of the midnight hours. Terririfed she abruptly screamed in response to her mother’s pain and concern for her safety and well being.

That is one evening, one memory that will never leave her. She had siblings so how are they coping? What were they feeling? No-one ever spoke of it.

Today as a middle aged woman she asks the question ‘Is that what is known as resilience?’

Drink driving

Both parents thought nothing of drink driving either.

To the girl, a Sunday evening two hour trip had her nerves jumping. Every time the brakes were slammed on, she would brace herself for the worst. She felt as though the nightmarish trip was never going to end. So the whole time was spent lying in the embryo position in the very back of the station wagon.

The war is over

Whether the war was over or not, from a young child’s perspective, life on one hand was easy and free as the three siblings wandered everywhere. Heading to the beach to explore the rock pools was the 9 year old girl’s escape. 

Summer days were her favourite of course.

The beach was only a 15 minute walk, and it was nothing for her and her brothers (8 and 6) to swim in the surf or explore the surrounding bush and suburbs between Malabar and Coogee where each was less than an hour away. 

They returned home when they were hungry or because the sun was going down. But walking into a house that wreaked of beer and cigarette butts deflated any happiness she had found.

Still, she felt so free and happy living there.

Before she knew it, her father had come home from Vietnam and life changed rapidly again. 

Saying goodbye to the Sydney sand and surf, and hello to a brand new home in Queensland was greeted with an adventurous mindset.

School was more relaxed, especially the school uniform, as they no longer had to wear a tie and some kids went to school barefoot.

But no shoes meant burnt feet in the Summer – a lesson learnt very quickly.

All in all, life as a child in a Brisbane suburb was so easy for a while. 

A baby sister

In the blink of an eye a baby sister arrived. And the girl’s wish for female company and to share all of the feminine things had finally come true. 

Could having a baby in the house be the start of a normal life as a family where they’d do things that other families did? 

How good would it be to live in a home where everyone sits at the table for dinner and talks to each other about the fun and exciting experiences they had during the day and to laugh and joke with them – feeling the happiness and love?

It would be wonderful!

Unfortunately, her wish remained just that. A wish. 

A regular occurrence

A fridge half full of alcohol was standard in the house. It disappeared as quickly as it arrived because the drinking was now a regular occurrence.

Every afternoon after school the scene was exactly the same.

Her mother would be alone with a glass of beer in her hand, sitting at the kitchen table, every time her mother attempted to compose herself to say hello and have a conversation. But even though the girl was disappointed, she didn’t give up hope. One day things would change and be as she wished for.

The girl would cross her fingers that today would be the start.  

Would this time be different? 

All she wanted was some sort of coherent chat with her mother. Just ten minutes to talk to her mother in a sober state.

For months, every day was the same until her mother began to wander. She disappeared, which in the beginning was only a couple of days at a time.

She would return home just to go again several days later.

Sometimes the woman would take the 4 children and other times she would go while the 3 older siblings were at school.

In a way, the girl didn’t seem to mind the emptiness because that meant the house had peace. She wouldn’t have to endure another round of disappointment. (But as a mature woman looking back, the fact of being left to fend for herself and feeling abandoned with also disappointment)

It didn’t take long before the 3 older kids understood the pattern.

If they grew weary of the wanderings with their mother, they would simply go home. Their mother never ventured far so it would only take a couple of hours or so to walk home.

These kids had matured very quickly for their age. So it didn’t phase them to walk long distances; mainly because their need to be away from the drinking was stronger than the journey ahead of them.

Plus the risk of danger was minimal to them as they knew how to avoid strangers and were aware of the busier roads.

Besides, all ventures turned into adventures.

Her mother came home

Eventually the day came when their mother returned home only to collect the rest of her clothes and leave for good.

While the 11 year old girl had an offer to go with her mother, she declined as she longed for stability, peace, quiet as well as hoping for some long overdue happiness.

Once again, the girl’s life was changing dramatically.

Her father seemed happy as the two of them had fun together as they visited the local carnival. Some other time, he would buy fish and chips for dinner which was once a rarity.

Although she was alone, the peace and happiness began to fill her mind.

She even felt a little normal. Yes her mother was gone but so was the boiling pot of negative emotions that filled the house.

Holding the baby

Then, at the age of 11 she was literally holding the baby. A baby needs a clean, stable environment to live in so her father brought the baby home.

The girl happened to be standing out the front of the house. At the time, he drove in and when she saw her baby sister in his arms. She bursted into tears knowing that her sister was now home safe. 

Although it was challenging, she helped her father look after the 10 month old.  

After school and weekends, the girl’s responsibilities were to take care of her baby sister as well as the daily domestic tasks until her father came home from work but only after a few beers at the local pub.

Sometimes the routine varied over time as there would a live in housekeeper.

She remembered when life was fun. She was the popular host to so many teen parties (alcohol free) and all with her father’s approval. Finally, life was wonderful she thought!

Her short escape

Some of the favourite venues were an ice skating rink (just for fun). Another was the old movie theatre where the seats were made up of hession that was slung around a timber frame but still comfy enough. And yes there was the occasional silliness with Jaffas being rolled down the aisles. Plus there may have been the odd packet of cigarettes.

The girl was on top of the world when she met her first love.

Then all of the fun stopped.

A pattern began to emerge. Another hurtful period in her life.

Tears would flow and with that came constant reminders of all the earlier pain from years past.

Still in her teens, she fell off her fathers pedastal. She constantly endured emotional abuse as well as directly hearing from others that her father had disowned her. Eventually, she opted not to see her father anymore. She realized that she would experience less pain and hurt when he wasn’t around.

Slowly over time, the negative memories that she had accumulated would multiply and expand. So deep down she felt she was no longer deserving of happiness. 

These painful experiences constantly bombarded her mind and quietly in her room away, out of sight she would sob. This where the self punishment began. 

Then as a young mother herself, she too became a victim of domestic violence.

How could this be? He said he loved her?

Not knowing any other way, still only 19 years old, her modus operandi continued unchanged. It remained the same, even after hearing about the death of her mother, who for the past decade had lived 1400 kilometers away. They were not close. But her mother’s death, a victim of domestic violence, internally compounded the barrage of traumatic events that she had experienced.

A positive

A big positive for this girl was that she grew up quickly. She became a very responsible and reliable young lady who didn’t take drugs, rarely drank alcohol and just ‘got on’ with life.

A lot of people would see her history as the recipe for a life of addiction with drugs or alcohol. But her determination to survive and to live a completely different life to her parents showed in her strength. 

So how did she do it?

From the outside looking into her life, her house was clean, there was healthy food in the fridge and her children were well-mannered, friendly and trusted by others. Like so many other families, they lived relatively normal lives juggling and balancing between family and fulltime work. Sometimes she even worked 2 jobs.

Was she happy

Now at the age of 60, did it affect her and was she ever happy through any part?

Of course! There were plenty of happy moments and fun times. She married, has two beautiful children and even indulged a little in her passion of travel.

Scars from the past

But the scars from her first 20 odd years ran deep. So much so they affected the decisions she made. They in turn hurt so many people along the was. Unfortunately, she was oblivious as to why she made certain decisions so, she took a hard line with her actions.

In answer to an earlier question, how did she do it?

While she avoided any type of addiction she lived life very angry deep inside. Her nick name of ‘Dragon Lady’ given by some ex-members of her world was poignant.

She repeatedly mentally punished herself everytime her error was revealed. This person was like a pressure cooker; the frustration and anger had to be released sooner or later.

There was no opportunity to forget about life with a session of alcohol or drugs. She wouldn’t allow herself to do that. So she had the responsibility of ensuring her children would always be safe in her care.

 She just couldn’t get away from a vicious cycle and no-one knew how much pent up anger she carried inside. Not even her.

The young woman was oblivious to how or why it was happening. Because as she grew, she subconsciously blocked it all out. Her defense mechanism worked over time from that point on. Although invisible walls went up as protection from ever being hurt again, she had learnt how to create a happy face unfortunately it was only a veil.

She could easily meet and make new friends. However, within a couple of months, people stayed away or remained wary of her.

Will it be the same result for everyone that she meets; avoidance because she appeared to be constantly angry?

The flashbacks

Another occurrence had increased over time. Even though the memories of the past were buried deep inside, she experienced strange flashbacks. She were triggered simply by the sight of a particular car  ‘Karmann Ghia’ or specific words like ‘religion’, ‘church’, ‘prayer’, and ‘amen’.

No matter what she was feeling at the time, these triggers created flashbacks. It appeared in the same sequence which ended in feelings of shame and deep embarrassment.

Yet she had no idea why.

Cycles of life

For the next 30 odd years, the woman’s life was repetitive. She worked hard. Her children grew into independant adults and relationships came and went.

She was in a holding pattern of rinse and repeat. While the people and related problems were different, she experienced happiness as well as travelling to some amazing places, the issues resulted in the same scenario – she ended up alone and it was always of her choosing.

Face it

She knew she would have to face it as being put into a situation of no job, another broken relationship and no home, had left her with only one way to go. That was up, but first she had to deal with the fact that her father never forgave.

After the process of grieving for loss of not having her father in her life, she discovered that there is a way to rid herself of 40 odd years of built up hurt, anger, deep seated fears and beliefs.

She learnt that there is love and support and yes there are those who loved her for who she truly is.

With the guidance of wonderful and understanding people, she learned simple techniques that can be supported with easily accessible tools and quickly realised she is worthy and deserving of anything that she desires.

She is a loving and sensitive person! 

She had been living with a protective armour. So she couldn’t be hurt again. But they were not working because the painful situations continued. Those negative beliefs were deep down in her psyche were being resurrected whenever a similar situation occurred.

Why weren’t these techniques, easily accessible tools and support available back then?

So much pain and hurt for both her and her family could have been avoided.

If she had of had something to focus on back then: Something to go to especially when she hit those lows the trajectory of her life could have been very different.

While the woman still strongly believes in ‘you are where you are meant to be’; looking at it as a mother, if anything could have prevented the hurt her children experienced, she would have beenshe wished she could have done so.

It’s simple mathematics!

There is only ever 24 hours in a day so the less time spent dwelling on negative and painful past and spent on happy moments will create a much different outcome or person.

And the more happier moments, the more often the happy hormone serotonin runs through the body.

This is where mydreambox.me can help.

It has the tools similar to that, that have been used by the woman on her journey to health and happiness.

It’s about discovering what is suitable for the individual and making the process a support mechanism to strengthen the positive feelings and happiness within the user. 

The bonus is, there are multiple tools in the one kit to sample and decide what will be the ‘go to’ item mosted suited to the user for when times are difficult.

Just as the woman and many others have discovered, the tools are precious and deserve a special place.

Mydreambox.me can hold the secrets of the heart and become a treasure trove for the user.


My Dream Box and Little Miss Wish Kit are to help towards dreams and goals.

With continued practice and the more often focus is made on them the more success and happiness there will be.

This is our life’s journey, so make the most of it.

Donna Maree

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