Introduction – Amanda’s Journey
“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” – Hippocrates
At the age of 38 I was asked to write my memoirs. I always thought that memoirs were written by people who’d achieved something in this world, who’d made a difference, whose lives were of interest to others. At that stage of my life, even though I was helping clients to go through life changes as an Intuitive Consultant, I had no idea of the impact my story would make and how life changing it would be for me.
I struggled with the whole idea of ‘airing one’s dirty washing to the world’ and to see the purpose of what that would achieve, especially as many of my fears were still very real at that time. Life can deal you cards that limit your choices when you least expect them and 3 years later, all I had left was the ability to write to get me through a debilitating 5 years of post-hospitalisation, a violent relationship and eventual bankruptcy and loss of everything I had of any value in this world.
The impact that book had on my life however seemed to be a catalyst to help me go through the last stages of ditching the debilitating negative programs that I’d learned as a child. To say I’ve now spent 47 of my 50 years learning about survival is an understatement. I never thought I’d hear myself say I’m an expert on survival, but I finally found the answers to overcome not only the original childhood habits and behaviours that I’d learned, but also the agonizingly harmful habits and programs that compounded them later as a young adult.
I felt duped for much of my adult life, feeling that I was beyond repair (even when I saw the change I could make in others) but my determination to survive was the one program I’d learned as a child that was the driving force to unthread all the stitches of my negative programming, to finally find that peace I yearned for.
Whilst writing my memoirs I lost 6 chapters and abandoned the whole idea. I was angry as I’d written painstakingly in secret on my Blackberry phone notebook, so as not to arouse suspicion to my volatile partner at the time. I lost heart but it was the pause I needed as changes occurred in my life and I realised the ending to the story was shifting also.
I started to build what I thought was a ‘happy ever after’ and finally had a home, a business and a partner who I thought was for the long haul. I was wrong and overnight my curve ball arrived as I discovered my partner had betrayed me with another woman. He walked out and left me to cope with everything alone.
Working 7 days a week at the formative stages of my business to try to pay off the start-up loans and overheads was not in the original plan. Throughout my life I’d been used to the process of coming to what I thought was another dead end, but I always found a life line in the past. I realised all I had left as a life line at that time was my book, so I started to launch myself back into writing every night after work and into the wee small hours. My health took a nose dive working 13 to 15 hour days over 8 months and quite unexpectedly I had a break down.
At that time my book was in the early stages of production with a publisher, however because of the exhaustive toll my mind, body and spirit had gone through, my higher self said enough was finally enough. Stripped of my home, business, assets, health and self-worth, with no money to pay for food for my children let alone pay the publishing costs I’d agreed to pay towards my book, I dug deep and called on The Guys Upstairs.
When I was 3 years old, I discovered The Guys Upstairs, my angels who came to rescue me when I was taken from my mother by my father. Having only known a loving and protective family up to that point, I unexpectedly found myself in a world of fear and torture. My father was a high achieving middle class, self-employed interior designer but had a forbidding temper, a violent nature and an equally explosive wife.
I learned to survive in the very early days but suffered at the hands of a cruel woman who violated me in every way she could. I was starved often, beaten with fists daily, tortured and humiliated. The emotional cruelty I suffered was beyond measure. Every day was horrific in that household as I learned to appease the adults, worked like a slave and took punishment with no ability to defend myself.
My father was strict and pushed me to limits I didn’t know existed in me and when I couldn’t produce through lack of energy or fear, I was punished. Punishment was cruel and humiliating, like my stepmother’s and when the pain got to a certain point, I usually blacked out or went into shock to numb the pain. It was my coping mechanism.
I found solace in nature however, in the animals my father reared in our garden and my angels, who I named The Guys Upstairs, as I assumed they lived in our loft. For 15 years, I endured cruelty that defied comprehension, so much so that much of it I couldn’t bring myself to write about. I made that decision to protect those that are still here and because I felt I only needed to touch on what happened to give the reader the understanding of why I went on to become the person I am today.
I worked through my forgiveness many years ago, and it may seem strange to some, but despite the cruelty that went on in that house, I still loved those adults as it was how I survived. It was later in adult life when I forgave, that I started the long road to recovery.
I managed to escape from home when I was a young teenager when my father was hospitalised for a brain tumour. Torn with guilt for leaving the man I loved but desperate for freedom to live a life of safety, I found it surprisingly challenging to wake each day and know I was safe. At first it was like being a kid in a sweet shop as I had an insatiable appetite for my new found freedom.
It came at a price though as I found myself attracting the wrong people into my life and started to suffer from depression. Up to that point my career path had been mapped out by my father, so trying to survive as a young adult, I had no direction and no support system. I plunged into dire relationships, financial difficulties, no home to call my own and untrustworthy friendships.
I spent the majority of my youth pushing boundaries but often putting myself in danger. I had an eating disorder, used alcohol far too much to compensate for the crash back to reality of my daytime state. As I got older, so the problems got more serious and so did my addictions. No matter what I did, everything I tried to create, just got taken away or sabotaged. I was miserable, alone and often suicidal.
When my father died it was the trigger which took me under. Without the ability to have closure with him for what he’d done to me as a child, I attracted a father figure who I clung to and we got married. I walked away from a career which I’d been building and nose-dived into my husband’s world of crime.
He turned out to be a pathological liar, had a criminal background having used women throughout his life to leach off and I had fallen for his banter. He put me in danger on numerous occasions and left me once with a gang of Yardies knowing I would probably not survive, however I went back to him and we had a child together. I knew I was in danger with this man but I couldn’t seem to leave him. Something inside my head was constantly screaming at me to listen to reason but I read the signs wrong repeatedly, crushingly so when he finally ran off with my beautiful baby girl when she was 3 years old.
With history cruelly repeating itself and at the age of 27, I was bereft and inconsolable. To add salt to the gaping wound in my heart, I found myself the target of an obsessive stalker who relentlessly hounded me for 3 years. Up to that point I’d thought my life had been hell but this went beyond and I felt it was the end of the line for me. I contemplated many times leaving this world.
In that darkness, there was a tiny spark of light that was holding onto me for grim death and even though I woke every morning to what seemed like a never ending car crash, I realised I had to fight to stay alive for the sake of my daughter. Angry, confused, fed up and alone I begged The Guys Upstairs to help me as they had done when I was a child. They returned.
And so began a journey of 22 years searching for answers, for resolution, healing and ultimately peace. At first it was like walking in concrete boots. I would have moments of clarity as I took one step forward but often it felt like I was taking 4 steps back. Synchronicity started to play out but my skeptical mind challenged and mistrusted the information so often I made poor choices.
I plundered from one controlling relationship to another but I could see more light emerging which kept me charging on. Rescuing my daughter was the only thing that drove me forward and the by-product of that was finding a path that was opening up my connection more and more so to a higher state of awareness.
For 10 years I fought against a judiciary system that didn’t hear me, nor recognise my plight, a health system that wrote me off as simply ‘depressed’ with no solutions to offer and a world that alienated me as a victim. I learned through all the misdemeanours of those who were supposedly there to help and protect me and the abusers too, that I finally had no choice but to find my own solutions if I was ever going to submerge from the madness my life had always been.
At the age of 36, I was struck down suddenly with meningococcal septicaemia. I was remarried by then with 2 more children of 3 years and 18 months old. Up to that point I’d never given up faith that I’d be reunited with my first child. I knew though, that it couldn’t be a coincidence, happening when my second child had hit the doomed age of 3. It seemed to be written in my DNA that at the age of 3, loss would happen in my world.
That was my near death wake up call. I realised I was a ticking time bomb that had caused destruction throughout my life and I had to find a way to deactivate it. I was not just destroying my life, but I realised I was putting others at risk and destroying my loved ones in the process too.
I went into that hospital still a victim but I came out the other side with a determination to heal myself of all the destructive programming that was locked inside me. Life went into overdrive. I was under no illusion as to how lucky I was to be alive, but equally, how my health would be challenged in the future. I knew that I had to take back my power more than ever before and finally rid myself of my demons.
I finally started to write my memoirs from yet another hospital bed 7 years later after contracting trigeminal neuralgia (ironically termed ‘the suicide condition’) which I’d developed post meningitis. I finally allowed myself to write the story with some resignation, but with a sense of letting go of the past. Deep down though I knew it was much more.
The writing of that book saw me through those final years of breaking free of the patterns of behaviour that had defied me throughout most of my life. It was no surprise how many years it took me to find the answers, the teachings and process that I would come to learn, love and teach to others that finally set me free. I no longer have any anger or remorse for anything that happened to me throughout my life as I am at peace with it all and I can only say that now, because my life is a reflection of that.
I knew as I was putting together all the pieces of the jigsaw that I’d collected for 22 years that finally I would complete the picture. I learned at an early stage to never assume that I’d found the answers until I was actually ‘living’ my dream and even when the book was complete I had no warning that I would have a breakdown and almost lose it all at the last hurdle.
Those were excruciating days of anguish and pain as I was so close to the finish line. After the mist had settled and the numbness gave way to some coherence, I checked in with my gang and sure enough, The Guys Upstairs came through with a clear message.
“You’re going to write another book.” They said.
I was dumbfounded as I didn’t even have the money to pay for the first one to be published, but I never doubted them, as they had always come through for me in the past.
“What on earth do you want me to write about now? I’ve just lost everything. It’s hardly the inspiration for a bestseller.” I moaned at them.
“We want you to write the sequel to The Guys Upstairs about the process you’re about to go through. You’ll understand as it all unfolds.” They said.
And so I did. I started to write on a daily basis, keeping a journal of my recovery and within 5 months I was starting to fire on one of my four cylinders and felt I was finally starting to attract opportunities to find solutions to my crisis.
My visions were returning which had served me in the past in which I saw myself raising the money to publish my book through crowdfunding which I’d never even heard of before. I followed my guidance and put a project together and set a 30-day limit to raise enough pledges for the money I needed. I knew though that I needed to reach my target set, or I would fail to receive anything. It was my only chance.
With 21 hours to go before the end of the deadline I was still £5,000 off the target but I never gave up. A local BBC radio station had picked up the story and got me in for an interview and within a few hours someone pledged the full amount to take me over the finishing line. The Guys Upstairs had promised and delivered.
From that moment, word got out about my story through the Kickstarter project and I started to draw the right people to me at the right time to support my process. I attracted everyone I needed to make sure the book had the right backing and when it was finally released, I found myself in a campaign to raise awareness, supported by key professionals who acknowledged my story and the philosophy behind my methods of healing. The very system that had once shunned me was now backing me and supporting my cause.
Intriguingly, I’d made a YouTube film which we used to share through social media to draw attention to the campaign. It had a massive impact as people stopped to take the time to find out what it was all about. In the film I asked a question and then showed several photos with statements on to show a list of possible answers. We were inundated with responses and had an outpouring of support even before the book was launched.
The question and answers were as follows:
Have any of the following touched your life?
Child abuse, parental separation, starvation, torture, slavery, self-harming, eating disorders, depression, alcohol or substance dependency, losing a child through abduction, stalking, being held against your will, poverty or loss, bullying, rape, domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, being silenced.
Which of these do you think have affected me?
ALL OF THEM!
Many who knew me could not compute to this kind of information as there was no evidence in my life or nature to show any signs of residue, let alone evidence of the after effects of anything I’d experienced. This created a wave of invitations for me to join groups and associations connected to many of the situations I’d endured to help raise awareness and help others overcome some of these issues.
It was synchronistic that my book was released at the time the law changed in the UK to help those in domestic violence relationships. My story and the work I did with my clients to empower them to move out of debilitating conditions and remove programs, was beginning to making sense as to why The Guys Upstairs had encouraged me to write the book in the first place.
Equally it became apparent then why I was writing the sequel. I could have given up and walked away just before the finishing line but the sequel was a whole story in itself. What I thought was the finishing line was in actual fact a carrot dangled to get me to find closure for myself. What I never envisaged was how it would have such an impact on others.
Yes, The Guys Upstairs told me that one day I would be helping others and based on who I was back then, I assumed it would be through my clients and workshops that I teach. What I didn’t expect was to find myself writing this additional book within 6 months of the release of my memoirs and all the projects that I’ve been invited to participate in to help with change on a grand scale. This book has been written because of the outpouring of support, comments, feedback and astonishing recognition that people have felt towards my journey.
My story was never intended to shock people; however, it has stunned me how it’s affected others in such a way that it’s become part of the catalyst for change of attitude. Many are waiting for the sequel, but in the greater scheme of things I felt the most natural thing to do was to write about the process I used to overcome all my own programs, what I teach, the principles that I use in my daily life and the tools needed to find best solutions, best health and above all, peace and harmony.
My world changes constantly to match the processes of my inner thoughts. Those thoughts are steady, stable and constructive and in that my world responds in a healthy, happy and balanced way despite what the meningitis left me with. My world is one of peace and abundance personified and I am grateful for every day of my life to spend it with those I love, passionately helping others to find their best selves and embracing my life’s adventure in every possible way.
Each morning when I wake I remind myself of how grateful I am to be living my calling. I am supported by loving people who help to nurture the passion I have to make this a better world to live in. I have more drive today to achieve the goals I set myself constantly, to help others to help themselves and I see limitless possibilities to finally leave a legacy in this world for those who follow.
To all that read this book, I hope that once you embrace the practical steps I teach to find your power and voice, you too will pass that on to help your loved ones, friends and family. It’s how we’re wired when we’re in our authentic state as we have infinite ability to change ourselves and the world we live in.
So I send you many blessings and light on your journey ahead. Sometimes though you may feel you’re in a dark tunnel with the light all but shut out, but despite that fear, you won’t want to turn back to where you came from once the journey’s begun. Standing still certainly won’t help you there in the darkness, so let faith guide you through to the other side to find that light, peace and the life you’ve always deserved. Then you will finally see what you came here for and the legacy you too have to leave to others.
This Chapter is taken from Amanda’s latest book, ‘How to Find Your Power & Voice – A Journey to an Authentic Existence’ which will be serialised monthly, published on this blog and through her newsletter. Copyright © 2017 Amanda Hart