To believe in oneself is the key to success

I believe I fail often, but it is what you do when you fail that defines who you are as a person. I’m not one to stay down and my history has proven that. I am a warrior, a fighter and an all around Badass in this thing we call life.

I quite enjoyed school growing up, I didn’t think I was the smartest but I was definitely not dumb. I was always proud to show off my work to my Mother, the one person I wanted acceptance from, but it was not accepted. Slowly my self esteem dwindled. The sexual abuse I experienced also pushed me lower into self doubt. I always thought everything I did wasn’t good enough. A grade 8 drop out I began to believe I was not smart at all and could never achieve greatness in life. I never saw myself with a career and I could never stick to one thing long enough.

Accounting, office work, retail, sales. None of it seemed for me. I also had low self esteem and played it small in most jobs. I was always afraid someone would tell me I was doing it all wrong and I was done feeling stupid in my adult life after spending my teen years surrounded by those feelings.

Today I don’t think I am dumb but I do have some traits that hold me back. I sometimes self sabotage and my procrastination skills are on point and I’m not proud of that lol. Now just before Summer this year I was approached on Facebook by a woman who just loved what I was doing with my social media. She was amazed at my confidence challenges and bringing community together. She saw me for the service work I was doing to make the world a better place. We met in person shortly after and from the moment we met she believed in me. She saw something in me and not only praised me for my awesomeness but invested in me.

See this woman is owner of Primetuitive Education and she wanted me to take one of her classes called Train the Trainer. She invested her time and invited me to take her course. She saw something in me I didn’t see. She saw my strengths and she was positive I was meant to be on her team in the near future teaching her programs.

So about this good news I had. I got the call today that I was asked to take the Project Manager program, and was told I would be simply amazing at it too! As I blushed hearing these compliments I started to hear those limiting beliefs in the back of my head that I am not qualified and would pretty much suck.

And then I found this

When people have trust in you and believe that you will be good at something trust what they see

So, I will walk into this program next week with my head held high ready to learn. If I don’t know the answer to something I will ask for an explanation. And I will give 100% of my ability into these next 11 weeks.

I’m not going to lie. I am nervous and scared. Nervous because that is just a natural reaction. Scared because I live a pretty busy yet relaxed life and this is game time. Time to start living life at full speed and take the opportunities that are going to put my future in a good place. A place of abundance and reliability. As a single Mother this is going to be tough, but I have some pretty Badass people in my life that support me and are willing to help me.

I am always so grateful for where I am today. I have reinvented myself, lost family, been vulnerable, built integrity, fallen down plenty but most of all I have managed to constantly get back up and build a family built on friends.

It is all about living a Badass life and I intend on being as Badass at life as I can!! I will rock this program and by next year I will be teaching.

So you never know who is watching and you never know who is willing to invest in you. If someone ever believes in you make sure you trust what they see.

XX Badass Bon

Traumatic events give us perspective

I can’t even remember the last time I wrote. Avoidance is my coping mechanism. I easily move onto other projects and put on a brave face and “keep busy” but writing makes me happy. Writing is also acceptance. I write truth and sometimes I don’t want to deal with truth; like adulting, I just want to coast through tough times and start again. So this is me starting again. Not over because I will never start from the beginning, instead I pick back up where I left off and move forward. Even if I took some steps back I have the choice to go in the direction I want.

This post might be one of the hardest I have written to date.

I have this friend Mike. He is pretty amazing! He tells me how it is in a way only he can in a way that makes me listen. I respect this man and have come to call him one of my best friends, and if you know me you know I have many best friends. We talk many times a week and tell each other we love one another in a way that is strictly platonic. He doesn’t beat around the bush and has no problem telling me my weight worries him (he lost like 100 lbs and cares about my life). He is also my relationship therapist, during a time I was allowing a guy to play games with my head he would jokingly say “one minute Bonnie, I have another call. It’s Bonnie from last week” he is always there when I need him. He came camping with my family and I last week and he told me he loved all of my friends. He also said something that meant a lot to me, he said “Bonnie, your friends are cool and I actually respect you as a person more by the company you keep.”

You are the sum of those you surround yourself with!!

Now let’s move to Jenn. I don’t know Jenn like I know Mike but she is his friend and I can say now she is one of mine too. Mike invited her camping with us and although I had met her a handful of times before we got to bond over campfire and drinks. This woman is BADASS. She is gentle, adorable, determined and motivated. Like Mike she lost an incredible amount of weight. I look at her with complete respect and admiration for her journey. Like Mike I consider her another lifelong friend.

You might wonder why I am blogging about these two people you have never met and have no idea where I am going with this post, but you also can’t stop reading because you know I write good content and you are intrigued as to where this is going. Don’t worry we are getting there soon. I needed to explain who these two are before I get into the thick of it.

This past Sunday September 1st Mike called me and invited me to go quadding. “Come on Bonnie. Jenn is on her way too! Exit 183 hard left. Call me when your here.” This was Mike’s way of saying you’re coming and I will not take no for an answer. Ok ok ok. I am on my way. Who doesn’t enjoy a day of riding in the mountains without a care in the world, wind blowing in my hair and emptying the mind of all responsibilities.

Let’s fast forward to 10:30pm. The 4 of us are riding down the mountain and meet at the end of the trail. We both turn right onto the road. Mike is a bit of a free spirited daredevil and he rides off into the night like a bat out of hell. The guy I’m riding with yells that we have to drive slow because we are on road driving a off road vehicle. We near the last corner before our camp and Mike is nowhere to be seen. As the corner almost ends we stop and time stops when the tires stop. The quad is down an embankment still running, smoking away, but my friends are nowhere to be seen. This may seem utterly stupid to you but my first thought was where are they? Why wouldn’t they stand and wait on the road for us. Did they walk away? They were only 30 seconds ahead of us, if that!

I turn my cell phone flashlight on and start scanning for them. I’m not going to go into detail here but they were 20 feet from the quad. One shoe off each. Not moving. Still. Face first and upside down.

It was the day after that I replayed these moments over and over again in my head beating myself up for my lack of ability to properly deal with this situation.

Any normal person would have called 911 RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Not me though. I felt myself leave my body. I yelled at the guy as he went down to assess the situation “what do I do?” He panicked. He told me to get on the quad, he drove me to my car and told me to go back and call 911. I was sober. He was not. He cared about himself and his own well being and put it all on me. I am only thankful for him telling me what to do for what I was experiencing is called dissociation. I was back at the scene within 60 seconds and on the phone with 911 immediately. I then kept telling the dispatcher he needed to tell me what to do. Check for breathing. Don’t touch them. Ask them if they can move. Can they breathe. Are there visible injuries and so forth.

So lets fast forward again. My friends are alive. Banged up very badly, but alive. Mike almost died. That night and again in the hospital days later. Excuse my French but I told him “you are not allowed to fucking die on me!” These two are warriors! They are fighters. They are two of my favourite people in the world.

Now the reason for sharing this experience with you is because as I sat at home that night replaying the night and dissecting it I remembered a time about 14 years ago. I was at a creek and my oldest son was standing in the water. He went face first into the water and my Aunt jumped up and grabbed him. ME? I JUST STARED AT THE SITUATION. I look back and think wtf is wrong with me. I literally left my body and didn’t flinch. I must be a terrible Mother. I must not have the Mothering gene in me. How can one just leave their body during traumatic experiences. Then I started to beat myself up inside. Why didn’t I call 911 right then and there!? Would that 2 minutes have made a difference?

I’ve talked to some people about this and my therapist knows too. I dissociate from traumatic experiences. There is no other explanation for this. For someone who has not experienced trauma they would automatically know what to do and take the situation into their own hands. Me, not so much. It’s like the time I was driving big red (my old F350 turbo diesel) down a mountain road and I slid into the snow tracks and saw we were heading for a 20 foot embankment. Instead of trying to get out of it I just let it be. I let go and let it be.

I write this because dissociation is something many of us face. Now that I see that I experience this I can start the therapy to fix it. I can accept that my brain doesn’t function like it should and I can begin to heal it in hopes one day my traumatic past wont hold me back in life. I absolutely can’t stand that I’m different in this way. It is embarrassing and upsetting. I realize that every time I was molested as a child I most likely dissociated from the experience and left. Now it is something I still do in traumatic events.

Mike and Jenn, I wish I would’ve called 911 right then and there. I wish I could have been more present in the situation. I also am so grateful you are alive. We are closer in a way no one else can be for experiencing this situation together. I love you both.

Mike said to me the other day “Bonnie, I think we met for you to be there Sunday. You saved my life.”

#lifetime

XX Badass Bon

You are looking at the new Mrs Charity BC & Mrs Lower Mainland!

Ok let’s just take that in for a second. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I am a frickin BC title holder!! I won not one, but two titles in the Miss BC pageant!!!!

Ok now that’s out of the way I can really dive into the whole pageant experience and what has been going on in my head since last weekend. Yes, a whole week ago…. Pageant hangover is a real thing btw. This was not my first time competing as some of you know I competed last year for the Miss title. Some women were quite surprised I didn’t win, so I have spent the year trying to figure out where I went wrong. I have learnt it was not my time, and that this last year of growth was essential to where I am today.

Although I was exactly where I was meant to be last year I was not ready to show up fully. I thought I did, but this past weekend really showed me what it means to fully show up. Last year I played small and wasn’t ready to be seen completely. I struggled still with feeling like a failure in different areas of my life.

This past weekend I went in visualizing myself being crowned and walking away with a title. So my journey began about two months ago when I knew there was one coveted provincial title that is given to the Miss Teen, Miss or Mrs who raises the most funds for Cops For Cancer. So my first job was to give it my absolute all in fundraising. Last years Mrs Charity raised something insane like $10,000 so my goal was $6,000. I felt this was a bit high but achievable. I reached out to every single person I knew with a business and got over $5,000 in donations for raffle and auction items. I hosted an incredibly fun burger and beer night. I also used a portion of my shirt sales and all Epicure commissions for my fundraising total. My end total was around the $3,500 mark. I was very happy with how much I raised but was positive it was not enough.

Now when it comes to pageant weekend it is an emotional, empowering, tiring but fun time. At my weight and age my body was fighting me for more rest, but I was determined to make it through the choreo for the opening dance number and be 110% involved in the entire process of the weekend which is full of seminars, workshops and lots of rehearsing.

It was during day two I realized how last year I played it small. On show night we have 10 seconds to say our name, city and sponsor. This is the only chance the audience and judges hear you speak unless you make it to the finalists, and out of 51 women you best make yourself stand out. This was realization #1 that I needed to play big, and so when my turn came up on stage I confidently said “Abbotsford, Mrs. Just a girrrrl like me coaching (my awesome sponsor) BBBBOOOONNNIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” Think loud, proud and full of sass!! I spread my arms out when I said my name and I owned that shit!!!

Next came sports wear. Last year I was like I don’t play sports and I’m not even that active, and so I used a baseball bat and swung at a pretend ball and cutely walked the stage with a smile. SMALL!!!! This year I clapped my hands to get the audience pumped as I bounced to my spot on the stage and I did a couple Zumba moves, I smiled huge and I engaged with the audience. I was nervous! I was scared! I thought I looked dumb even! But I did it with everything I had and it didn’t kill me!!

My evening gown portion I owned that like I was meant to be there. I made eye contact with the audience and my smile said “hey, I am a winner regardless!”

When my name was called into the finalists I was beaming. I was called #11 out of the 16 and that’s when the nerves really set in. Whaaaaaat! I have to stand on the stage and answer questions. Me speak in public hahahahahaha!!!! Miss Canada was like, Bonnie you got this. Be you! Breathe!!!! My turn came and I made it through without messing up and I answered my questions efficiently and on point. Now we sit backstage and wait….. I will be honest, once I became a finalist my night became a bit about me. What would I do if I win. What if I don’t. Do I deserve this. Holy crap I am in a pageant. My mind was whirling, but backstage the women who did not make it into the finalists were all backstage in a circle building each other up. To me that was a beautiful thing. This pageant wasn’t a competition. Yes we all wanted to win, but we all had a message for the world. We are all change makers with big ideas, and when you see a group build each other up like that you know you are a part of something special.

As we all stood onstage in our beautiful gowns and smiles so big our cheeks all hurt names began to be called for crowns and sashes. “And this years charity winner is….. Bonnie Johnstone!!” What!!!!! You mean I raised the most! You mean I was comparing myself to last years winner and for nothing. You mean this self doubt was for nothing! Omg!!!! I gratefully took my sash and crown as 2019-20 Mrs Charity BC and beamed from stage. I set a goal, and I achieved it! I was now a BC provincial title holder and won a pageant! As more names were being called I began to think to myself I should’ve worked harder for the Mrs BC title, but then “and Mrs. Lower Mainland……. BONNIE JOHNSTONE!!!!” WAIT WHAT!!!?? DID YOU JUST CALL MY NAME AGAIN!!!

That is correct, I won a provincial and a regional title. I worked my butt off, I showed up and I gave it my all. On my way home I started thinking. “If only they could see me now.” The ones that laughed at me. The ones who told me I am uneducated and will amount to nothing. The ones who said I was too fat or ugly. The ones who talked down to me. I will admit I am not your average pageant winner. I am not average in life period. I am me though and I will not water myself down for anyone. I am classy with a dash of gangster. I listen to rap music and often come across as rough around the edges and that is because I am!! I am me, 100% authentically Bonnie and today I am more Bonnie than ever before. I make mistakes often but own them. I am not perfect and that is okay. I however am confident, beautiful, wonderful and full of life. It is my mission to spread confidence everywhere I go. I may get laughed at, or looked at funny but that is ok because playing small never got me a crown. Playing small didn’t get me business. Playing small doesn’t achieve goals.

So like I say in my speeches it is time. “Time to STAND up, RISE up and SHOW up!!”

XX Badass Bon

We’re All Battling Something

As someone people look up to for guidance and support people forget sometimes that I also have my own “stuff” to deal with. Just keep in mind being the person that people look up to sometimes I need to be “checked” in on once in awhile too.

So this all has been on the forefront of my mind as I am just over two weeks away from pageant weekend. If your just reading this now and unsure what pageant weekend is all about it is the Miss BC pageant that I am a contestant in the Mrs category of. As we come closer to pageant weekend my mind overtakes in a negative way, but I have come far enough in my healing to notice this.

We all know someone who says things like “I’m too fat” or “my thunder thighs rub together” or simple pointing out all the things they don’t like about themselves physically or otherwise. In my 38 years on this world I have been told more about my downfalls then my beautiful attributes and when your constantly being told negative things we sometimes begin to believe them ourselves. Believing these things can harm our future relationships. When a guy tells you your beautiful and you reply with no I am not eventually your insecurities will get in the way and he will possibly move on as your inner healing is not close to complete and there is nothing he can do to help you. Why? Because we can only help ourselves!!

I know from experience that negative self talk is absolutely a complete waste of time and our breath. I was taught as a child that if I didn’t have anything nice to say not to say anything at all!! Well that goes for self talk too! If you wouldn’t call someone else a fatty you better not call yourself one!

I am proud to say I bought a gown for the pageant and didn’t care about the number on the tag. What I do care about is that it fits my body and it is absolutely beautiful!! Instead of worrying about my body I worry about my health. Instead of worrying about what I look like I worry about how I feel. Over all health begins on the inside out. And the proof is in the pudding!! Since embarking on my healing journey I have gained a solid 40 pounds but funny thing!! When I run into friends the first thing they say is damn Bonnie you look great!!! So how is it I look better heavier? Well because I took off my victim hoodie and moved into my survivor mode and it shows. I smile everywhere I go, and not a fake smile. I’m talking ear to ear I am so damn grateful to be alive smile. You cannot fake these smiles.

Now lets rewind a few years. When I would explain my behaviours I would follow up with an excuse like; my life sucked, my childhood was bad, I was sexually abused, I was beat for years and on and on I could go. I will not downplay the severity of the effects of my past, however no one wants to hear the poor me story. How can I help anyone heal if I continue feeling sorry for myself and being stuck angry at all the people that have wronged me? That’s right! I can’t!

So what has changed?

My mindset. This is something that is constantly evolving into the best version of myself. I believe I will not be truly done growing until I die and can no longer learn. Yes my past is a grim one, but it was my choice to make poor decisions and feel sorry for myself. It was my choice to not reach out for help. Yes, maybe I didn’t know how to ask for help but it is common sense at some point. So that’s what I did. I started reaching out to friends, I started therapy and I have made it my mission to help as many people as I can reach to come to a point in their lives they can move past the hurt.

Today instead of being negative about my body I look for the positive in it, like it has birthed 3 beautiful humans, that my breasts have fed and nourished all of them to be strong babies, that my feet although sore have carried my weight around for a very long time and most importantly without my body and the strength it has I wouldn’t be here.

I have a proposition for you all. When your sitting there thinking negatively…. STOP IT!!! Turn it around into a positive statement and see how you feel. Now I’m going to push it farther. Do this for one month!! Check in with yourself and see where your at in a month on how you feel about yourself.

And lastly, don’t forget to vote for me for this years peoples choice awards. I thank all my support team in advance for constantly voting for me and supporting me in everything that I do. Winning isn’t just for me; winning is for everyone who thought or still thinks they’re not good enough! It’s for those struggling with addictions because guess what they’re people too. It’s for the survivors, the thrivers and change makers! It’s for those that have been beaten of their self worth! This win is for us black sheep and underdogs BECAUSE WE MATTER!!

Vote Bonnie as Peoples Choice

XX Badass Bon

Rough waters ahead

Navigating life is not at all easy. Thank goodness I have a strong stomach for all these ups and downs. The uneasy feelings, the tired days, the sleepless nights, never ending amounts of work and don’t forget the emotional breakdowns.

I really have a hard time navigating through todays life I have created. Although I know my worthiness I am sometimes left struggling with the ideas of other peoples idea of my worthiness.

Here’s an example.

I met this woman on the carnival and although she was way cooler than I was we had mutual friends. We became acquaintances. Much later in life we had children in preschool together. By now I was living in the “good” neighbourhood and classified as middle class, but I am still me and rough around the edges, am native, loud and probably inappropriate at times. We chat most every day at the school, probably to be nice I suppose, and we get talking about baseball. Sweet, I used to play first base sign me up!! She says ya, add me up on fb and lets do this. Hah! Jokes on me. I send a friend request and later a message after no acceptance accepted. After some time I withdraw my request and go on like I do. Years later, she asked a dear friend of mine who I’ve known for well over twenty years about me. Of course my friend said how cool I am, because lets be real I am fucking fabulous, and this person thought maybe I was just some skid. Trust me, no offence taken! I am so used to these stereo types. I’m native I get it all the time. From being assumed of being a drunk to a stinky carnie. All good. Fast forward, she sent me a request and I accepted because I’m an accepting type of person. Acceptance is all I have ever wanted.

The reason why I even brought up this story is proof that people judge and assume all the time, but to our face they pretend. On the other hand, there are people who don’t pretend at all! Here’s an example of this.

Last year we moved and were all of a sudden faced with making a choice. To apply to stay in catchment at the school William has been in since Kindergarten, move to our new catchment, or apply for the Fine Arts School. As much as I LOVE the school we always knew because William had friends and so did I. I didn’t want to be faced with a denial after many approvals. There was no guarantee we would be accepted every year and I would have hated to see us have to leave after bonding for so many years, imagine if we had to leave in his last year there before middle school. That would have been devastating. We were accepted into the Fine Arts School halfway through the school year which was a blessing because he loves art and can be found drawing almost always. Boy was I in for a surprise. The moms at the new school were not at all as accepting as the old school. I even introduced myself one morning to be completely shunned and have backs turned on me. Uhhhm okay, cool your loss. William no longer has a group of amazing friends and the mom group at the old school has fizzled out of my life as well.

So I do I what I do best. I write, I create and I inspire. Sometimes though I get damn lonely. People come and go and I have come to realize when asked to help or to attend an event I am always ready to go. People pleasing is tiring!

Currently I am focusing much of my time on a fundraiser I am hosting with a great friend and man is it tough!!! Do you know how hard it is to sell tickets? Especially when people say yes, but end up ignoring you. Want to know who your real friends are? Host a fundraiser lol! There’s the people who you support but would rather ignore you than support you or respectively say no. There’s the people who will continue to ask you for stuff, I call these people askholes, because you always say yes. These kind of people will always be there. Learn to say no.

Navigating through this new life is tough work. Being a business owner is tough work! But being strong enough to set boundaries and sticking to them has been the toughest to date. I declare that I will no longer put my neck out for someone that wont do the same for me, that I will continue to be a Badass and inspire change but will start putting myself first. I refuse to allow people who think they are better than me manipulate my feelings and make me feel unworthy. I AM WORTHY!

There’s a saying that it’s better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies. This is so true! I mean my pockets would be full with all those pennies I would have to drag around. 4 quarters would be easier, less stressful, easier to deal with etc.

I move forward today ready to kick some serious ass (my own) and start moving forward with my goals. I will nurture the relationships I have made and mean everything to me and I will avoid watering the weeds.

Lastly, I would like to add I once was a judgemental asshole. Then when I started this new career path I realized I would be judged. I was essentially coming from the wrong side of the life tracks and attempting to be accepted by people who had established their lives. When this happened I really worked on the judgment factor and changed who I was. I am no longer that thug tough chick I once was. I may have a trucker mouth on occasion but all in all I am a pretty respectable person. Just remember the next time you’re judging someone ask yourself how it would feel being in their shoes. Ask yourself if you know the story they have lived? Everyone has a story. So instead of judging them ask them about themselves. You will be amazed what us humans are capable of living through and overcoming.

XX Badass Bon

Stop giving your power away

I spent 8 long years trying to make a destructive relationship work. I walked away with my head hanging low and severely low self worth. I also walked away with an amazing little boy who thinks I am a hero. A lot of people say things like; why did you stay so long, why didn’t you JUST leave, why did you give him your power…. you get the idea. I was a strong woman when I met this man, but had absolutely no healing done from my childhood of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. I was loud, rambunctious and full of life ready and willing to be the center of attention at any party. I was known as always being fun to party with and keeping one going until the wee mornings. I was actually very tired from all the partying when I met this man so I was willing to give it all up for the one and “settle down,” boy was I in for a roller coaster ride.

I will admit I gave too much of myself in the beginning. Dropped all my friends and gave every spare minute I had to him. Soon I was head over heels in love, and he said he loved me too. Once I was all in the abuse started. A beating here, a spit in my face there, snarky comments and seclusion from everyone but him. I don’t want to go into full detail on what I endured but give you a picture of how severe this relationship was. By the time I left the relationship I had completely become someone different. Still loud, but not nearly as often. Afraid of how stupid people would think my ideas and opinions were. I rarely spoke up and if I did it was to one or two people and behind closed doors. I even remember starting a blog, but after my first post I said nope not doing that again….. way to vulnerable for me, and people probably wouldn’t read it anyways. I’m just a dumb Indian that no one cares about. Just another statistic.

It took me 5 months to open a new fb account. Even though I was free of him he still controlled me. I was so scared that he would see my account and reign hell on me. His voice was with me everywhere I went “you’re ugly like your mom”, “you’ll never find someone like me” and “you’re a pig.” Everything I did I did with tremendous fear. Going out into public scared the living shit out of me. I thought everyone was looking at me and knew how disgusting I was. I assumed people were laughing at me and knew I was a complete failure.

Fast forward to today. It has been over 13 years since I met that man, and I am taking a stand. No fucking more! Not just to him but anyone that makes me feel less than I know I am. My value is high in this world.

I had this epiphany last weekend when yet again we were being keyboard warriors arguing through text about how he will withhold child support because I withhold our child. Let me please point out I do not enjoy holding our child hostage. It hurts me a great deal watching my son cry for his Dad he misses so much, but someone needs to be the adult and that person is me. When it comes to the safety of my child I have to make the hard decisions about what is safe and what is considered proper parenting. When your “sober” when you see your child but using extremely unsafe drugs and participating in scary behaviour it is my duty as his Mother to make sure he never becomes collateral damage. Supervised visits are few and far between but that is not my issue. What I can do is enforce my own love to our child tenfold so he knows just how special he is. He has no shortage of love.

But, this isn’t about our child or my parenting. It is what happens when we argue that is the topic. After I argue with him I go into a funk. My boyfriend knows what’s up and it impacts our relationship which is a huge no no in my book! Do you allow other relationships to pour into your life like poison? That is what it really is. POISON. Do I need to engage? No. Do I need to remind him of his shortcomings? No. Do I need to put him down because he angers me? Fuck no. So why do I then? Repeated behaviours, cycles and not being aware of my emotions. So take a step back. Is it hard to not involve myself in this anymore? Absolutely not!

It comes down to boundaries. These need to be put into place to ensure success. Blocking his number and having a third person do the communication; this is also important because now the communication is only pertaining to details of visits and the child. Sticking to my guns. This is a hard one. I used to give in all the time, but as I have become stronger in my own recovery (how that looks for me) and have a clear idea on what is acceptable and not acceptable. Putting a rule into place means sticking to that rule!! NO MATTER WHAT!!!! Doing these steps allows me to breathe and fully move on in life, and not be subject to any outrages or comments made out of anger. I don’t need to be told I am a bad mom because I am not. I may have made some poor choices in the past as a mom, but that is the past, something that can not be undone, and I live in the present planning for the future.

So I leave you with this. Brene Brown said this “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we disappoint others.”

XX Badass Bon

Being your own worst critic

I had friends as a child, but not many. I felt different. Maybe it was the colour of my skin, the fact I was adopted into my family with my Mother, possibly it was because I had to put on a brave face knowing that being touched was not normal. I screamed out for attention, for someone to stop it, for someone to take me away. I felt different and I didn’t like it.

Into my teen years I wasn’t the popular kid but my personality wanted that popularity. I remember going to school in grade 7 or 8 wearing a bra and another girl pointing to me and saying “why are you wearing that? You don’t need it” the thing is I did. I didn’t want my small bust to be seen. I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to be beautiful. I had enough of school and trying to fit in, so I dropped out at 14 and no one cared.

I started to find people that thought I was cool. High school drop outs, drinkers and drug users, drug dealers and people much older than me. I found my place, or so I thought, in a world of dysfunctional people. By 15 I was having sex with anyone who I thought was the one and who could possibly be the person to save me from this miserable world. Selling drugs and doing illegal activities navigating a life of crime became my norm. I found another group of people that accepted me as I was, broken and damaged, in the carnival. I travelled with them for many years. Just another title to be added to the list; Carnie.

The thing was, I had come from a wealthy family. I lived in a mansion. I was given whatever I asked for. By 23 I was driving a $50,000 truck pulling my house trailer with my small family I had started. I had my children with a man 14 years older than me thinking I hit the jackpot. He was not my type, but he spoiled me and loved me; that’s all that matters right? To be loved? I had no idea my opinions mattered, and I certainly didn’t think anyone else would love me so I settled. The relationship was short lived and being a single mom became my new title.

What happened next was what started my downward spiral in life. I found I was good at playing poker, snorting cocaine and partying hard!! I lived a fast and hard life with no dreams or goals. When I changed my life around I assumed because of my past I had no right being equals to people with a life of value. I was the scum of the Earth in my eyes.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’m a people person. I can be in a room and people gravitate towards me. Why couldn’t this be the case when I was younger? I had no idea what mindset could do. I was stuck in my victim hoodie wrapped tight not allowing anyone truly into my life. I hid the abuse from people because I was sick of being judged. So I continued my life thinking my people were addicts, drug dealers and people with no drive in life. I never imagined people who had houses, jobs and families would actually like me once they knew what kind of life I lead.

This past weekend was one of great aha moments. I was embraced once again by a community of women with one common desire; to change the world with our stories. That although our stories are similar or completely not we all matter and when we share we learn, and when we learn we grow. We really are the sum of the 5 people we hang out with the most, so I really needed to evaluate those I surround myself with. I am determined now more than ever to grow my business, make a difference in the world and leave a legacy. Tomorrow is not promised and when I am no longer here I want to be remembered as the woman who gave people their voices back.

Mindset is a wonderful thing! Let me elaborate, as you may be sitting there thinking this is all hogwash bullshit. When I started dating my now boyfriend we couldn’t spend the night together because he wakes up at stupid o’clock (430am) and I snore like a freight train and stop breathing on average 270+ times a night. Yes I have sever sleep apnea. Well, I told him I can get the machine, but I already tried it “I simply cannot wear the mask through the night!” I was actually wearing my victim hoodie again. I cant sleep at night because I have nightmares (I do), I can’t wear the mask because I feel someone is strangling me (I did), I can’t go to bed early because I am scared of the night (Iam) see the connections…. I CANT I CANT I CANT!!! Well he started spending the night with me and making me feel safe making sure I kept the mask on, and 5 months later I can say I do wear the mask and actually choose to not skip a night without it. I go to bed with him because I want to. I rarely have nightmares and if I do I choose to cuddle up next to him to feel safe. Instead of I can’t I choose and I do.

I have also taken off that victim hoodie and burned the darn thing! We are not our trauma, however we are what we choose to do about it. Yea I got dealt some pretty shitty cards, but I don’t want to dwell on it. I will talk about it because I believe sharing our stories help others, but instead of as a victim I share as a survivor thriving in todays world! I have friends who give meaning to my life and fill my cup with love.

Are your friends filling your cup or draining it? When you surround yourself with the right people you start to believe in yourself. When you visualize your success you start acting on it, and when you change how you talk you begin to live differently. Instead of saying I can’t next time say I can. The next time you want to make an excuse choose not to.

I leave you with that today and I know if I can change so can you!

XX Badass Bon

Saying no should not be so difficult

Why is it so hard to say no, or it is okay or I am sorry. In the world of social media and being able to contact people at a whim I find people will simply ignore. Heck, I do it too. The guys that message me each and every morning and do not take the hint by me leaving them unread, the friend that wants to gossip or the constant people trying to show me their businesses. The thing is, sometimes I am that person left unread or ignored.

When I gather the courage to ask someone of something and I am ignored the feeling in the pit of my stomach is one that brings me back to my childhood. I am constantly looking for reassurance and acceptance. Just because I help others with these struggles doesn’t mean I am immune to them myself. It really hurts my feelings, but I get it. I don’t like saying no because I don’t want to hurt feelings, but saying no is actually more beneficial to me and those around me. So next time I ask someone something and they can’t help I hope they say no, because ignoring me hurts way more. It makes me feel abandoned when it took me such courage to ask in the first place. It makes me question our friendship and if you respect me as a person.

Now this goes for me too. A couple weeks ago someone offered me a long overdue apology and I really wanted to ignore it, but instead I said thank you. I mean it wasn’t that hard at all, and it most likely validated his feelings of doing the right thing. If I would have ignored the apology I believe he would be stuck in his head about why he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.

This urge to people please is evident in more people than just me. Here’s the thing though. We aren’t supposed to please everyone. We aren’t supposed to all agree on everything. Life would be damn boring if we all had the same opinion don’t you think? I promote you to discuss your opinions even if they are different from mine. You may not sway my thoughts, but a good debate is always in good fun I believe.

We all need to use our voice more. We need to speak up and out much more often and discuss issues. We need to reach out to our friends more. We need to learn to say no when we want to and without explanation because no is a complete sentence.

So I challenge myself, and some of these things I have been doing already. If I am not interested in a product I will say so, if someone keeps waving in my inbox or messaging me I will tell them I am not interested and to please stop and if someone asks me a question I don’t want to say yes to I will say no. I will also start having more discussions because this opens the door for more learning. I will listen to peoples opinions on things and possibly open my eyes to a different way of thinking. I will stop ignoring people because I know the feeling simply doesn’t feel good and I will continue to reach out to my tribe. Now I challenge yourself to do the same.

XX Badass Bon

Stop listening to Negative Nancy…. She is full of shit!!

Maybe Negative Nancy isn’t another person but instead the voice inside my head. Yes, I hear voices! Now that that is out of the way I can tell you about her. She lives in my head and sounds just like me but everything she says is negative. The thing is that what she says to me isn’t stuff I just make up but instead things I have been told about myself in all my years. I know I am not alone in this one bit.

Things I repeatedly hear, but not limited to, are

  • You are ugly and you’ll look just like your Mother one day
  • You are worthless; a complete waste of skin
  • Your a monster and a bad mother
  • Your a fatty, a pig, disgusting and gross

I certainly will not go on as this negative talk gives me a bad feel, but I can say one thing. Verbal abuse lingers much longer than physical abuse. I have scars that I will take to the grave from being hit so hard, yet those scars don’t hurt. The act is even forgiven and forgotten. It’s these words that still fuck me up to this day.

Not an excuse, but honestly this is why sometimes I disappear from going live on fb and blogging frequently. I get in my head with that negative bitch and let her win. For so many years I simply accepted the fact I was meant to be abused and everything I was told I would say back. I remember even saying to my ex things like “yep, I am a waste of skin and don’t deserve to live.” I would then get told I was a victim and playing the poor me card, but deep down I believed all of it.

Nowadays I don’t put myself down but that voice is still there. I get all stoked to get healthy and lose some weight and then I give up and think why bother and eat myself into more weight gain. I plan to go live more but then there she is saying “no one wants to hear or see you”. It has gotten to be a little ridiculous because I know it is all untrue.

I saw this today.

So today I make an oath to myself. Negative Nancy can sit down while I rise back to the top. It all seems to come together in the end really.

As I was getting my son ready for bed I got a text from an ex. It went like this.

“I want to apologize”

“For?”

“All the times I had kicked you out, and as I sit at the river alone I think I feel exactly how you felt all those times. Bonnie, I am truly sorry”

“I forgave you a long time ago, but will never forget as the damage lingers to this day”

“I think how I can fix it, but know I cannot”

Well, tears are streaming. I no longer grieve the relationship, and I truly have forgiven him, but the pain from the words that are stuck hurts to this day. I really hope he can move on because he has taken the biggest step he can by admitting his wrongs. I hope he can heal and become the best version of himself like I am doing. Not for me, but for himself and his children.

And so life goes on as the saying goes. It really does you know. The issue is do you watch life go by and pretend you have no regrets or do you become courageous and live it the way you really want!? I definitely am doing the latter! Joined a dance class, registered to compete for Mrs. BC, continued on my speaking career and choosing to be BADASS in everything I do.

When you look in the mirror every night answer this question. Have you done everything you can today to becoming the person you want to be? Some days it might be no, but I hope that more than half of the time the answer is yes.

My publisher and friend has this quote that I just love!!

So I leave you with that.

XX

Stay Badass

Hard exterior; soft interior

Do you know how difficult it is to go through life and not be offended by other peoples actions or lack of effort?

I’m that friend that gives and gives until I have nothing left. When I see something that I think you need in your life I will buy it. When I see something funny and think of you I will snap a picture and send it to you. I will do my best to communicate with those I care about. I do my very best to remember everyone’s birthdays, and I try to keep a line of communication open with everyone I care about. I host many dinners to keep everyone together and I offer lunch dates often. I randomly will text you if I am around the corner with a few minutes to spare. I will do anything I can to keep friends together no matter how far apart we are because you matter in my life.

The thing is, not every effort on my end is returned from others. Invites that are given to some are not returned with an accept let alone a decline. Some have not reached out to see how I am. Some have chosen to not ask about my decisions, and some have simply gone on in life as if I never existed. Some have stopped liking my posts or commenting on how proud they are of me. Some have been offended by my life choices, and some are snooty that I made choices they may not agree with.

The ones that really shock me though are two groups. Group one is my friends for life. The ones that have been there over 20 years and have experienced hardships with me. The ones I may have talked shit about and hurt badly but apologized and we go on as if nothing ever got between us. Those people are my family. Then there’s the ones I barely know. The ones who come across my posts or blogs and message me giving me words of encouragement. The ones I met once and have built an unbreakable bond with. The ones who insist on being in my life by choice. These are my people.

Some may say I am too sensitive and need to stop caring and I have tried to not care. Easier said than done! I fear abandonment because I have been treated as a throw away in life and society. The family I knew and grew up with no longer are my family. Some by choice because I refuse to “get over” my innocence being stolen, and some because they don’t understand how one day I acted fine and the next I disowned the ones who abused me. I fear being alone and judged. Everything I do is public by choice so being judged is never going to go away, but I would like to think people are ready to understand.

Blogging has been a great way for me to express my feelings and that’s exactly what I use it for. That and to raise awareness to what it is like to be a survivor. What people don’t understand is how difficult life actually is for me. I have a skewed way of thinking and with hard work I plan on changing it, but this is a lifelong journey of undoing decades of damage.

I think I have found a good support system of people that are there day to day and not just when it serves them. For the ones who have walked away I am at peace and wish you the world. To the ones who have stayed you are my bitches for life and I will give you all that I can because thats what tribe members do.

To end this post I will say this. My life is my life and my choices are mine to make regardless if they are good or poor choices. Your role is to stand by me and be there for me. Your role is NOT to make me feel worse or alone. It saddens me to have lost so many people in my life, but that will not stop me.

XX Badass Bon