There have been times during activism that I have felt de-railed, depressed and overwhelmed. The magnitude of the issue we are tackling feels endless and at times I struggle to process it rationally and calmly.
I’d like to explain my personal reasons as to why, or at least why I believe these feelings occur.
I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and have always struggled with my emotions. Being extremely sensitive, paranoid and insecure, these are my greatest weaknesses. However, I do believe I am caring, loving and thoughtful.
We all have stories, a past and have suffered heartache, I do not claim to be the only one who has suffered loss, upset, pain, anger and frustration, but when my life changed in 2013, I couldn’t find and still haven’t found anyone else who can relate to my story. I crave that mutual experience with another, so I don’t feel like such a fool.
Raised as an only child I was used to the dynamic of dad, mum and me. However, I often felt empty like something was missing, but because I wasn’t able to reasonably understand or process why these feelings were happening, I accepted it as part of my character. In 2013 I got married and after 1 month of marriage, my world came crashing down. The years of feeling disconnected and isolated made sense… I was not the only child I had been raised to believe, but the youngest of 4 children to my father. At the age of 28 I discovered I was a sister and an aunty to a ‘secret’ family I had been kept away from for over 25 years. Apparently I used to see my siblings until I was a toddler when the decision was made to take me away from them. I have no memory of these encounters but believe somewhere in my self-consciousness I remembered, hence why I suffered from emptiness, depression, paranoia and insecurities from such a young age.
I am not writing this story for sympathy but to understand my own patterns, behaviours and see why some things happen the way they do. I also want to apologise for my actions sometimes without explanation. This is not an easy topic for me to share but through writing this I might also find someone with a similar story.
I have a 1/2 sister and two 1/2 brothers with the largest age gap being 13 years between my sister and I. When you discover such information, you realise that almost everything you thought you knew, was wrong. Anyone you thought you could trust, you couldn’t. But along with that, was the feeling of mockery. It felt like I had been so foolish and dumb to not know about this double life within my own family. Everyone in the family knew, my mother, father, grandparents, siblings, my school friends, neighbours, my parent’s work colleagues and friends, I felt like a fool and that everyone was laughing at me. Not to mention the grief I was suffering from in regards to the lost years gone by. I felt huge betrayal and to this day, I have not forgiven anyone who was involved or knew the situation, could you forgive?
When I try to challenge my thoughts on this issue, it can become a whirlwind and by being an activist it can cause an underlying trigger. I can tell you, it doesn’t take much to set me off! When watching footage of animals being separated from their family, not having a choice in the matter, to be moved about from here to there by their ‘owners’ without understand why it’s happening. I get it. I totally get their upset of being torn away from their families, not given an explanation as to why, being controlled and not recovering from the heartache of loss/separation. It’s evil to treat another being in this manner and we have no right to play with the emotional feelings and wellbeing of another in such a destructive and hurtful way. Animals and people are not property. To deliberately, knowingly and willingly cause suffering is sadistic.
I strive to be the best I can with the cards I’ve been dealt, but some days are really tough. We all have good days and bad days. I just wanted to share a brief explanation as to why sometimes I go quiet, disappear from social media, or take myself away from situations. It’s my coping mechanism to try to process emotions, albeit it doesn’t always help and can make things worse. But as I continue to receive help with my issues, please know that I want to help and be the best representative for the vegan movement possible, however, it isn’t always possible for me to achieve this and need to take a step back.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, it’s quite personal but I feel I owe an apology and explanation to those whom I admire greatly and see at activist events.