Let me reintroduce myself; I am Badass Bonnie.

Y’all know who the heck I am, and  if not I am sure you have heard about me, seen me, creeped my facebook or know of me. I’m that type of person you either love or hate but love when you get to know me. I am loud, loyal, honest, giving and have no filter! I also have grown up so much that I don’t know the old me anymore. The old me is nothing but a memory of a sad, lonely and broken person. Someone who hurt so bad hurting others was natural.

 

So I have this fancy website, and a business, and a chapter in a book, and, and, and………. but I still have to pinch myself. Less than two years ago I was partying every day/night and was numbing myself to the world. Today I bitch about not being able to smoke a cigarette and I get over it. Like an adult! I have good friends who I can lean on and I keep meeting awesome people who actually want to have me in their lives. You want to know the secret to success? Want it badder than anything. If you want it you’ll find a way.

Lately I have been so enthralled in my business it seems I’m missing out on life, but then I think I don’t have much of a life other than my work, kids and mission to empower other people (which is a pretty fulfilling life). I’m lonely I guess, as I have always been in a relationship. So I tried some online dating… fail!! Never look to a man to make you whole. So this past while I have been focusing on confidence and self worth and I am shining bright!!! Like wake up every morning feeling great and ready to take on the world type shit. For once in my life I have no problem telling someone what I want. I have no issue being single and whatever life has in store for me I am ready! 

 

I am now a part of the Badass Mom club and membership is free to anyone who wants to join me in changing the world. Let’s talk about topics no one wants to talk about. Let’s shake things up!!! Let’s stand tall and be confident! Let’s go against the grain! You get the point right. I am the change I seek in the world! 

 

 

I can and I did!

Thank you for standing by as I rewrote my story. As you all know I am Badass Bon and I’ve been kicking ass!! So, where have I been? Well since my last post I was dealing with the heaviness I carried from the retreat. Those 4 days kicked my ass and really opened my eyes to my worth. I was so stuck in lingo regarding all the abuse that I endured and at that retreat I was honestly able to let go, and learn some very valuable tools.

No is a complete sentence, and I can choose what to do with my body because it is mine! I also get to choose how I want to be treated. Talk about kick ass stuff right!!?

So, my marriage……….. when I came home I knew my marriage was suffering. I do not regret anything because I do believe in a reason, season or a lifetime, but I was not happy. I had overcome so much and done so much work I think I may have forgotten to take my husband along for the ride. Also, it takes two people to heal from the pain they caused each other, and so we split. I spent the entirety of the marriage hurt by drunken actions and only I was willing to communicate and attempt to reconcile over the past. Instead he chose to drink. I still do not drink and most likely never will. I have no desire to waste my life. If I drink I will wake up hungover and not feel inspired and I love to inspire people.

Again, a single mom but one with purpose!!! I did my first keynote speech and felt I did pretty good! I have 4 upcoming speaking opportunities AND I’m starting to coach people. The book I wrote my story in was released this week. My first online class starts tomorrow, and I am putting together workshops for in house and on reserves and at treatment centres. I am building relationships in my community and giving back when I can.

People ask me “how do you do it?” or “how do you move past this/that?”

You just do it. You ask for help, you find your tribe/support, you set goals and open yourself up to succeeding and then you just do it!! There is no other answer to this. I sat waiting for 35 years for my time to come, and one day someone opened the door for me and I never looked back. You can also follow and achieve your dreams.

 

Last blog post until new site is running.

I have been wanting to blog, but have been so unsure what to write about as my life is in a bit of chaos at the moment. Today however, I have so much to finally share about my experiences last week in Utah. No I did not become a Mormon and choose to become an American; I did make some great friends who are Mormon though and can proudly say I have learnt to stop judging and start learning. Judging is something I don’t like done to me, yet I catch myself doing to others. Lesson one, you don’t know unless you know and now I have a couple of wonderful friends who have a faith different than mine. Geez, could you imagine if we were all the same? That would be pretty boring wouldn’t it.

I spent 4 days at TYF (The Younique Foundation) retreat for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse; say that 4 times fast lol. I walked in knowing that I had begun my healing when I got sober 458 days ago, but knew I was stuck. Like how do I move on, how do I Forgive, how do I stop fearing life, how am I different because of the trauma, and how can I become whole again?

There was only one rule while we were at this retreat. “Don’t do dishes” well isn’t that perfect. We actually were not expected to do anything. If I wanted to skip a class because I FELT I needed a nap then nap I did. On the first day I wrote this down “do you know what it is like to sit in a room full of women who have been through the same things as you? It is powerful, like walking into a smokehouse and hearing the drumming and it consumes your chest because it is like finally coming home. That’s how I feel right now sitting in a room with 23 women who have all survived a form of sexual abuse. Wow. Speechless. My tribe just got bigger, and it proves to me that I am on the right path of awareness. I am not alone. We are not alone. We are a bigger percentage than we think.”

For those wondering how beautiful this place was here is a preview.

As soon as I arrived I went to my room (called empowered) and saw all our gifts, and instantly our day started. Aside from my ah-ha moment above we embarked on a journey of Kintsugi. I say journey because for me it was. I broke my beautifully perfect bowl with a hammer and felt it break under my hand, but it wasn’t broken enough in my eyes so I smashed it some more. If this bowl was going to represent me then it needed to be in a million pieces!!! Now when I break something (which I have lost count on the amount of stuff I have broken over the years) I toss it. Kind of like how I felt about me; tossed aside. Nope, I am at a healing retreat lol so we put it back together with epoxy and gold powder to make it whole again. It was broken, and then I put it back together piece by piece. Guess what! It doesn’t even leak. It is a fully functional bowl but with pizazz now. It is actually more beautiful now than it was before.

How about food! Yell heck yea right now if you LOVE food!!! “Heck Yea!!!!” The food was amazing, and partly because I did not have to cook a darn thing. I only had to toast my bread if I wanted it. Big deal. At home I pass right through the most important meal of the day because I don’t want to cook. Not very good choices Bonnie. The best surprise would probably be the gummy bear jar and the downstairs fridge. Every night my roomie Crystle and I would go get a can of pop and marvel at how full it was and then giggle our way back upstairs after grabbing some gummy bears (okay maybe only I indulged a ton on the gummy bears) but in the morning low and behold the jar and fridge were full again!! Spoiled is an understatement!! Here I thought I would only get water because that is healthy, boy I was in heaven.

Next huge accomplishment is learning what I love and do not love. First, let me say this. If you love something but don’t think your good at it who gives a fuck! Do it anyways!! I love art. Yep you wouldn’t know it about me, but I love looking at it, respecting it, making my own assumptions about it and…… making it!!! I never participated in art because well I’m not artistic. This retreat opened my mind to accepting who I am and not caring what others think. I also realized I am triggered by touch and men. This is something I will need to work on immensely and plan on taking therapy to overcome my fears. Here is my art I choose to share with you.

Even though this foundation kept giving me tools, lightbulb moments, a makeover, and so much more they kept giving, so in return I gave back by participating in painting a slide for their video that will represent a child of abuse becoming empowered. This necklace is my reminder of where I have been and what I got from this experience.

Now to share with you my tribe. These women come from all parts of America and I was their Canadian trooper and if we were all put together in a different circumstance I’m pretty sure we would not have became so close, but because we were all Group A and in each other’s spaces we meshed. Day 1, we awkwardly got to know each other. Night 1, some of us stayed up laughing all night. Day 2, we shared our truths and tragedies. Day 3, we were a pact and we were sisters. Night 3, some of us stayed up for hours talking of our mistakes, our hardships, our relationships. We shared insight and gave each other strength! Day 4, this was the sad part, we had to say good bye. In 4 days we became a tribe stronger than any tribe I have ever known. We would stand up for each other in ANY situation because we are a sisterhood. There has not been a day that has gone by since last Thursday where we haven’t talked. I wake up to messages first thing in the morning and their the last people who text at night. Now if that isn’t powerful I don’t know what is. If your reading this and wondering if you should apply for this retreat the answer is yes!! Go for it!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And so, meet my tribe including our house mom and therapists.

I may not be completely healed, and I am most definitely not perfect, but thanks to this experience I know I can change my mind, that “NO” is a complete sentence, and that I fucking matter!

And now ill leave you with a quote and my favourite pictures of myself during my stay.

“You took away my innocence but you can never take away my spirit to survive” Author unknown- a survivor

P.S. My grammar sucks as it should being a drop out by 14. I am taking applications for editors that work for high fives and coffee. ✌🏽

Bad, alcoholic, dramatic, emotional, vulnerable Mom.

Do I have your attention? Good. If there is one thing that really grinds my gears it is parent shaming. Yes we all do it, but as a parent on the “dark” side of the parenting fence I must explain we don’t choose to be bad parents. I wouldn’t even call us bad parents but misunderstood parents. I am sure a good portion of the world has had a tough go at one point in their life, but me and who knows how many like me have had it just a little bit tougher.

Two words that hurt me to the core: INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA. The first time I heard this term I didn’t really understand it, but if you know me well I am the google queen, and now I get it. Here’s my rundown and understanding of it. It is trauma that runs deep through generations. It started with my ancestors and the trauma was so unbearable it gets handed from one generation to the next and the cycle repeats itself until someone ends it! Ive chosen to end my cycle, but is it too late for my children? I believe with awareness and treatment it is not too late.

So here is my understanding of my intergenerational trauma. I have only met my Moms real dad; he was a tall full African man with the last name Bryant (I joke to my kids they could be related to Kobe Bryant lol). He died of Alzheimer’s and I never really knew who he was. I also lost contact with my Aunt, who I think of often, when I was barely a teenager and my Uncle is around but I don’t know him well. My mom is a product of the SIXTIES SCOOP which meant aboriginal children uprooted from their parents and tossed into foster homes of white parents, but not just one foster home THIRTEEN of them! Then the remaining teenage years spent in Juvenile detention. Unfortunately the reasoning for thirteen foster homes, and the normalcy of many sixties scoop children being moved around is a lot is SEXUAL ABUSE. When abused in one home and looked at as a trouble maker/liar your moved, again, and again, and again.

So that is one side, then there is my Step-dad who is the only Dad I remember growing up. He was also “scooped” up, but was a “lucky” one. He was adopted into a well off family and had no financial strain in life, but his trauma began well before being adopted. His mother grew up in RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL. Almost everyone knows what happened in this era. Pretty much your a child speaking your language, living in a community where you fish, gather and hunt, and your “ripped” from your family. You are stripped of your cultural clothing, name, and tongue. You are beaten and sexually abused and taught to lose everything you’ve ever known. This generation (not all) becomes alcoholics, drug addicts, angry people who do what their taught to the next generation. Beat, sexually abuse, and even have your children drinking. My step-dad has severe mental health issues along with addiction and more.

Now, their trauma was taught to me, and please understand I grew up very lucky. I had a loving grandma, a kick ass uncle who was a giant and could throw me so far into the deep end, my aunt who was more of a sister or mother swam with me daily in our indoor pool, and teaching my other aunt how to dance to “Bust a move”. My favourite memory is blaring “Time of my life” and running in the shallow end and my aunt lifting me up like the end of dirty dancing. I was in dance, modelling, choir, and played the saxophone. My dream was to be famous and run away to California (which I did do at 16, but that’s a whole other story), but with all that good there was bad. My Grandma’s “big house” was my escape place and where I felt 100% safe!

When I wasn’t at Grandma’s I was with my parents. My mom physically abused me, and didn’t know how to deal with a child let alone one like me. I needed A LOT of attention, actually I demanded it. My step-dad was also physically abusive to my Mom when they got loaded. Oh, and my step-dad had a habit of sneaking into my room late at night for our “special time”. So, my parents trauma was learned and then instilled in me. I learned anger, abuse, neglect, and hate. I swore I would be different. Then the shame was too much to handle. I became an alcoholic at 14 and made a million mistakes along the way. Then I became a parent and did the exact thing my mom did to me. Ditched them to party, looked for love in all the wrong places, spent years in a very abusive relationship, lost custody, and became am addict.

Obviously I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t do something to change. I GOT SOBER!!! My first reason to sober up was my marriage was falling apart, and then when I got sober I realized how much I damaged my kids. A million apologies will not make my mistakes disappear but it is a start. I think being open and honest is healing not only for me, but for anyone out there who thinks they are alone, and let’s be honest I want to drink!! I yell at my kids, and sometimes I say things I don’t remember or may regret. I bet $100 I am not alone. So no stigma and no shame!

Today I have no contact with my Mom or step-dad, or really any of the family I grew up with. My fave aunt disowned me, and my other aunt and uncle are pretty busy with their lives. Needless to say I have abandonment issues, but I am building a tribe and it has a open door to anyone who would like to join. The only requirements are to want to be better, and to keep trying to be better. Not better than anyone else, just willing to be the best version of you. I have found my biological Dad who after meeting him once at 12 makes me feel whole. I love him very much. I’m so thankful that after 25 years we have reunited. I also have a Grandpa I will meet this week!! How exciting. I still yell at my children, and I still screw up parenting, but I do it less and less and I haven’t picked up a drink when that is all I can think to do in stressful times. I hope that the cycle ends here.

My resolution in 2018 is to master communication. All I have known is anger. Living with my molester taught me to communicate with anger. I will breathe instead of yell, and communicate instead of demand. I think that is a good attainable goal.

Cheers to becoming better parents and healing.

Xoxo

#FUCKSHAME

My first press release and feeling of true empowerment.

My blogging journey did not start here it actually began in 2015 when I joined the Total makeover challenge where I lost weight, learned new tools, made friends, and blogged my journey on Shape Your World Society’s platform and got votes from the public to move from 30 woman, to 20, to 10. There is so much I could write about this journey, but it would be a very long blog post. During 2015 I struggled with leaving an abusive relationship and finding my way in life, and so I found myself right where I felt I fit in doing drugs and drinking almost daily. Needless to say I did not win that year.

Fast forward to 2017. Stuck, 3 months sober, lost my brother in law to an overdose, gaining weight like crazy, undiagnosed depression, etc. So I applied for a second time to this challenge ready to give my all. No giving up in round 3 like last time for drinking, and actually finishing something with 100% effort. I made it in and 7 days later my brother died. It wasn’t even that he died that was so shocking it was the feelings his death brought out in me. The anger of my mother standing up for her mother of the year award after having almost nothing to do with Eddie in his 41 year life; a life he lived with love even though he was very handicap. The feelings kept spilling over and I came out publicly that my step dad molested me. I stopped hiding the fact I lost custody of my children at one point. I started sharing everything that shamed me. I don’t know if I would have done all this without the support of the 29 other women in the challenge and the amazing sponsors, coaches, and board members.

I made it to the final round again and my dedication drifted, but this time not because I gave up but because I no longer needed the win. I had the win already. My life, my voice, and my tribe. I have since chiseled away at my shame, guilt, and pain. I was diagnosed with ptsd, and began addressing my anxiety and depression. I started to feel self worth and I left the challenge with a group of women willing to support me along my way. One of these ladies became my ride or die; she may drink Pepsi over Coke but we can’t find our equal without a few flaws 😉

I rejoined some of these ladies last night at the press release “Glog & Blog” to raise awareness about this challenge that was once in just Abbotsford. They added Langley 2 years ago, and now are opening up Chilliwack and Vancouver. If you are feeling stuck check this out and apply. You will walk away with a new found worth and a tribe of ladies who just want to be first again. In the midst of children, husbands, work, and yes shame sometimes we forget to treat ourselves. What better way than to join a challenge where you can learn to put yourself first. The greatest thing about this challenge is you don’t have to do it alone, and if you don’t make it to the end you still have support after. Win-Win if you ask me.

So bookmark this address, you can even read this years blogs… yep mine too hahaha. Applications begin December so follow them on fb.

http://totalmakeoverchallenge.com/

Thank you Shape Your World Society

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I can, I must, I will!

Did you know I was raised a silver spoon grandkid? Yep, spoiled to the deep core and the apple of my grandmas eye. So why did I turn down the wrong path when it looked like I had it all. Big houses, cars paid in full, dinners out, and an unlimited allowance. Well this is the secret that shouldn’t be a secret. You never know what happened behind closed doors, and you should never judge a book without reading it first.

I was full of shame! Yep, full of disgusting gut wrenching shame of how others would look at me. What people said about me. What people chose to see and conclude their opinion of me. So how is it I turned my life around? By owning my shame and giving back others shame. When I am no longer ashamed I can no longer be afraid of others opinions of me. I gave my step dad his shame back. Why should anyone who has been molested feel shame? We shouldn’t. Give that shit back to the rightful owner.

As for my shame of being a selfish mother and an addict I tossed it. Yes I still feel guilty sometimes, but not as often as I used to. When you decide to live a fulfilled life it all changes. The people around you change, your feelings change, your outlook changes, and the way you live your life change. So #fuckshame and live life!

My grandma always said I can. I must. I will. This motto can be used in your everyday life. I can kick ass in life and succeed. I must get out of bed on my bad days where I feel no one loves me. And most of all I will keep going and never give up.

So find that tribe and love them hard! If you think you don’t have a tribe come join mine!

PS I’m speaking at the event that changed my life 7 months ago. Come check it out for my full presentation on Shame and how to knock it down.

https://nj186.isrefer.com/go/vans/bonnie/

What do you mean I can achieve those dreams?

Remember when you were a kid and you dreamed that crazy dream? Well I remember. Through all the bad times I went through there were some real good times too, and in those good times I had dreams and ambitions. I wanted to be a dancer, an actress, and a writer, but I lost my ambition. I look back and I know where shit went south, and where I was failed, but, here’s the best part…… Just because we are not kids anymore doesn’t mean we stop following our dreams.

This goes to everyone. Not just me. Yes I was failed by a system and by my parents, and I chose to live hiding inside myself. Now I realize you just go for it! Doesn’t matter if you think you will fail because you might, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the answers, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks of your dream. It is your dream to live out, and honestly your duty to follow it.

I spent too many years trying to fill that void of not following my dreams, and so playing poker and being the best party girls around became my goal. The lifestyle had me feeling famous within a group, and I was respected finally. I forgot my dream and started looking for feelings. I felt important, I felt wanted, I felt powerful, and I felt untouchable. This lifestyle was fast paced and it took me by surprise. Addiction became apparent, and my life spiralled out of control. I have ran for far too long. 

I now live my life with purpose. I no longer drink or put myself in situations where I forget my number one goal of staying sober and I am finally following my dreams. No I do not want to be a dancer, although I love to dance. I also gave up on being an actress, but guess what. I will be a published author in 5 months, and I am in the early steps of starting my business from the ground up.

So if you have a dream no matter big or small follow it. Do not waste it! We are all here for a reason. 

Finding my way in this thing called life.

I have come a very long way in life in a very short time and have hit a wall. I simply chose to feel defeated and allow my thoughts to get the best of me. The opinions of others, although they shouldn’t fucking matter, often put me in a trance. Spending my whole life trying to people please has been exhausting, and I am done.

 Today is a gift, so how will I treat it like one? Well I’m here blogging again after taking a break. I didn’t even blog on my one year sobriety night. A night full of laughter and tears, friends and family, and most importantly a feeling of a tribe. I have been reflecting since this night. 

I am far from perfect, and I am done battling with my teenagers. Yes I want to shield them from bad mistakes and peer pressure because I did everything a teenager should not do. I want the best for my children, but in doing so I was pushing them away. They may have my DNA but they may not make my same mistakes, and so I back off to allow them to find their way with some guidance but not me pushing them in the direction I want for them. I realize I put pressure on my children to be better, and pressure is a lot for an adult let alone a teenager. I would not wish to be a teenager again lol. Doing is better than telling, and so I will do better as a parent. Welcome swear jar!!! Can’t expect them not to swear if I swear. 

Fighting with a spouse is always hard. Then throw in the teenagers fighting with the step parent and there’s chaos. My home is no longer a battle ground. Respect is received when given. Easy task here. All we needed was to communicate. Holy shit hey that easy. Also, no communicating until the anger has subsided. 

Health is what really kicked me down this time. When my physical health is poor my mental health is poor, and I end up in a cycle of binge eating and bouts of depression. This is hard work, but comes down to desire and excuses. I dont desire to be overweight and so I need to stop making fucking excuses. I have so far been two weeks of healthy eating, and making choices that make me feel good. 

Friendship and family are never the same.  As I grow up I find myself losing people in my life but gaining friendships that make me strive to be better. I have high hopes of seeing my Dad more, and meeting more family, and a desire to be included in other family members lives, but have come to terms with that not being my truth. Im a pretty badass survivor and I am here for a reason, and that reason is not to sulk about my shit. I’m ready to shine, and be a change maker.

Stay tuned, because this shit isn’t a game. It is my life, and each day I wake up sober is a gift to do something better. 

One year reflection.

Tomorrow I have been sober one year. In this year I have lost 20 lbs and gained 50, fought and made up with my children on too many occasions, learnt how to stick to my “guns” as a parent and stop giving in, let go of friends who trigger me or are no longer on the same path as me, made lifelong friends who are the first people I call when I am having a shitty day, and have come out with most of the shame that has tied me down in life. I have fallen in love with my husband all over again, but in a way only a sober person can. I have stopped being a doormat in life, and I stand up for my opinions and values. 

I have not figured everything out yet, and I fucking doubt I or anyone else will, but I have been learning how to not be a shitty person. I have learnt that shame keeps people sick, and in some cases gives people a reason to “escape”. I no longer choose to numb myself and keep secrets that shame me. Especially when the shame is not mine to keep. The shame associated to my abuse is all on them.

Learning to wake up and try again is what matters. I do not have my business where I want it, and I still have feelings around rejection, but I AM not giving up. I continue to stay sober and give life my all because some people don’t have the guts to or the life to anymore. I have lost two very important people in a year, and they along with my kids are my why. Why I get up and fight the war on shame. Why I choose to let my light shine bright without pissing it out with booze. Why I get through life the hard way, but the worthwhile way. Being sober has been one of the hardest yet easiest things I’ve ever done. When you choose to live sober because you love life there is no going back. Not for me anyways. 

So yay me! Fuck yea!!!!! To all of you that are in my tribe I fucking love you all!!! I have never had true friends like I do now. Ones who hang out with me because they genuinely enjoy my company. Ones who rsvp and support me in things they know I need supporting in. My new found family, and the few who have chosen to stay my family. Thank you. 

Not only does it take a village to raise a child it takes a tribe to keep oneself happy and sober. 

XXX

Connection and Growth

Over this last long weekend I reunited with my biological father. I have known I was adopted since I was very young, but only remember meeting my real Dad once before I was a teenager. I never looked hard to find him because I was always afraid he would turn me away. I grew up being told my Dad left before I was born because he didn’t want me. I was always afraid if I found him he would not want anything to do with me. I also thought maybe he had another family and other kids, so why should I just show up. I found my Dad’s phone number a few times over the years and could never gain the courage to call him, so I would pass the number on to my mom and tell her that if it is him I want him in my life. Well, years passed and nothing. 

Over the course of this past year I have stopped drinking and using hard drugs, started volunteering in my sons elementary school to be more hands on, began conversating with my teenagers and generally having an interest in their lives, gained respect for myself, spoke my mind when I was scared shitless to, owned my mistakes, made new friends, lost old friends, lost my only brother (Eddie I fucking miss you!), made more mistakes than I would like to admit, spoke on a stage and inspired change and gave hope, ended a cycle, began a cycle, lost weight, gained more weight, fell more in love with my husband, disowned my mother, ended all communication and relationship with my step-father (my molester), filed a police report on him (because what he did was wrong), and began to feel every emotion known to man! Then to top it off I found my REAL Father, met him, hugged him, bonded with him, and asked questions I didn’t know I had until I was face to face with him.

I am so pained in this great happiness of my life because my Dad lived with me until I was 2. He did love me, but my Mom found a man with money and saw her meal ticket. I got dragged along for the ride. 

I found my connection in my Dad, and I am so proud to be his Daughter. I can’t wait to meet the rest of my family, and finally feel wanted. 

My growth over this past weekend was undeniable. I communicated through a panic attack, and stood up and spoke my feelings for the first time. I am in charge of me! No one can break me down if I don’t let them. 

I am grateful to be alive, and loved by those who choose to be in my life. I am super grateful I found my Dad.