CHAPTER 10: Family ties

Following is a chapter from my book Free the girl – a story about (finding) self-love that DIDN’T make the cut. For obvious reasons; It was by far the longest chapter in the book and quite a bit too much off topic. But I really love this story so I thought I’d publish it here instead. <3

This chapter is indirectly about me. I’m talking about judging people without trying to understand them first and how you can connect with your past in a healing way and get to know yourself through your family.

I didn’t understand that a past that I wasn’t born to be apart of could have such an effect on me, until suddenly, one day when I learnt about my grandmother, Emma, my dads mum. This is a background to why, on one level, I am the way I am and why my parents are the way they are.

When you read this, see if you can connect to your own family history and see how that might have helped shaping you, and maybe you can reach a deeper understanding for and of yourself, your parents and/or grandparents.

Learning about my grandmother, really unknotted my soul in a way I cannot really describe. It was as if she needed me to understand her whilst I have only been annoyed that she never understood our world and me. When I finally put my ego aside I started to understand that some things can affect you even if you would’ve never believed they could. On a spiritual level I needed to connect to my past to understand the energies that was flowing and living through me. On a surface level I needed to understand not to just judge people without actually trying to understand where they are coming from and why they are the way they are. If I knew earlier I might’ve been able to just hug her like I loved her and remind her what love and connection means. I could maybe have been a person that gave her the joy she lacked. Instead I cried most times my parents left me with my grandparents and I blamed them without ever getting to know the people I blamed. I’m jumping ahead of myself here, this is my family:

MUM

My mum had nothing, emotionally, when she finally took her stuff and moved to Sweden. She didn’t even speak the language. She was dependent on her sister and her husband to help her settle in and live. When she met my dad, she was in a lot of emotional pain, filled with the same lack of self-love that I later experienced. Mum had been exposed to a lot of emotions growing up- Anger, guilt, shame was taking up the majority of her time, but there was also times of love and excitement. My dad grew up in a very emotionally restricted family where too much of anything wasn’t encouraged.

Mum gives a lot of love all the time, and when she is worried about something she cannot hide it. She is the million-question-woman and has to know that everyone around her is feeling good, then she can relax. My dad doesn’t share emotions; he will leave you to be until you ask him for advice or share with him how you are feeling. I learnt as I grew up that he has got it in him too, you just have to open yourself up to him first. Every time I show him love or excitement, he jumps in and shares those feelings with me, but rarely will he try and bring other people into his own emotional experience. You don’t notice the difference between when he feels rotten and when he is excited; it is like he has been taught that emotions are private. At the same time my mum was shown that privacy doesn’t exist.

My parents learnt how to connect  through being each other’s emotional opposites. Mum gave Dad some emotional chaos and dad returned some emotional structure. They argued about many things, like most humans do, but most arguments brought them closer to some kind of emotional balance. To this day I still hear them teach each other ways of handling things – like they are still getting to know one another, even though they have been together for almost 40 years . Around us kids, they never used the word argue. If they spoke loudly, and any of us kids asked them why they were angry, they said that they were just discussing loudly. They then tried their best to make us kids understand the balance they had found over many years of searching. They did that through freedom and love. Sometimes I flew out in space with all my freedom. I felt lost.

From the day I was born until today mum always want me on her lap, and from the day I was born, for some reason, I kept resisting that comfort. I wanted to walk by myself, not hold hands, not sit on laps. But once I got a bit older that was all I was afraid of; being alone. Not a day has gone passed without my parents telling my brothers and me how much they love us and I knew that they meant it with every cell of their bodies. My lack of self-love must have come from somewhere else. Somewhere deeper rooted than that.

I remember my mum as the most confident person on earth. She always wore ugly clothes and self-made beanies, and she wore them with pride. Like that black and white beanie with earflaps that she had made. She loved that beanie and wore it until the fabric was no longer a fabric, I am pretty sure it was just stardust in the end. I’ve never seen her in a revealing garment that exposes her tits or bum. Although she had a smoking body, she has never felt the urge to show it off to get attention. All her clothes were second hand bought, baggy and not your typical “feminine” style, she shopped more in the men’s’ department. Today she walks around in my older brothers clothes. He is a clothes hoarder, and as soon as he cleans out his wardrobe, mum always picks out what she likes. She often wears loose pants and even looser shirts. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I’ve seen mum rip off the legs and sleeves of her clothes when the weather has been too warm. She is like a Summer Hulk. When the sun comes up, she rips her clothes in the unsexiest way possible. Sometimes she doesn’t even bother to cut the legs off, she just rips them open on the side, so the fabric waves like flags in the wind from her legs. When she came and picked me up from school, waving her arms in the air with her black armpit hair showing I was so happy to see her until I understood that women should not have black armpit hair in this society. I cried and cried until she decided to start shaving her armpits and her legs. She had black hair on her legs and used to spray chamomile on them to bleach them. She then had golden leg hair with a touch of orange.

She didn’t have a lot growing up, not much money, not much material shit nor did she get much love from her parents. She made her own clothes and toys and survived on love from friends and neighbours. She describes her teenage years as darkness.

It’s easy to say that my mum grew up in a real shit hole, up in the far north of Finland. I’m talking a village with like 3000 people, if that. There was nothing to do there. Absolutely fucking nothing. In summer the sun was up constantly, and in the winter you rarely see it, and temperature could get down to minus 40 degrees Celsius. At my grandfather’s funeral, mum told me that her eyes froze together with tears.

Alcoholism wasn’t out of the norm in this village. My grandmother, Liisa, who was a schoolteacher went from being sober to an alcoholic quite soon after she moved up there with my granddad. She was an orphan. Her mum died when she was born, and her father died not long after in the Finish Winter War. She got raised by her three aunts that all felt so sorry for her that they spoilt her rotten. She never had to really grow up, never had to make decisions for herself. And when she met my grandfather she apparently was madly in love with someone else. My grandfather basically told her that he wanted her to move up to the shithole my mum grew up in, and she was so insecure and scared that she just went along with it. And my grandfather never heard the end of that. From the stories, my mum told me there wasn’t much love between them except from rare occasions.

The shithole of Ylinampa was and probably still is a place with a very incestuous aura. Everyone is related to one another in one way or the other. There is one tiny little shop where you can buy lollies and Muumin soft drinks. That’s about it. Without imagination, anyone would go crazy or turn alcoholic there. Everyone loved drinking together, and I don’t blame them. What else could they do?

One midsummer night one of the severely overweight neighbours got so drunk he passed out with his head in a ditch. He was too heavy to lift up that no one could get his head up from the ditch. If they wouldn’t have found a truck that could lift him up in such a short amount of time, he would’ve drowned. Faced down in the ditch. The truck went off and dumped this huge passed out man onto his back yard, sprayed him down with a water hose and then got him dressed in his mothers pink night gown – because that was the only thing around that fit him.

I’m actually named after one of the mums in the village, Maja.  She was a woman with many kids, and my mum felt comfortable in her company. Maja always sat at her desk, looking out through the window in front of the big highway that divided the village in two. She was sewing or knitting, staring at the clouds. One day in the school my grandmother taught in they run out of sewing needles and Grandma sent one of Maja’s daughters to borrow some from her mother across the road. Sitting in the window, Maja saw her daughter running across the street and get hit by a bus. She didn’t survive, and grandma blamed herself for that forever. Imagine living so closely together, everybody knew one another, and something like that happened.

This road was a horrible road. My mum’s cousin died there too, run over by a truck. And one day six year old mum got hit by a car without a horn. Maja sat in her usual spot in the window and saw mum as well, getting hit in the same place her own daughter had died. She ran out to carry my mum into her house. It was a big hit and mum got blood all over her new dress, but they didn’t know how bad it was until they got to the hospital. Before they got to the hospital mum begged Maja not to tell grandma Liisa about the accident. She was too afraid that grandma would find out that she had stained her new dress.

My grandmother had a very explosive temper, like myself, and you didn’t know what could set her off, but I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have gotten angry with that.

For a month mum was strapped onto a bed in the hospital. She had been hit on the head and wasn’t allowed to move at all. The big hospital was quite far away from where they lived, so her visits were quite irregular and not very often. The kids in the beds next to her always had someone there, and they got a lot of presents, flowers and attention. Mum was so jealous that she stole some of the gifts from the other kids. When she finally was released from the hospital; she had forgotten how to walk, and her big sisters had to carry her around for a while.

GRANDFATHER AND THE (FUCKING)  SQUIRRELS

From what I’ve understood, my grandfather was a beautiful person. He was an introvert who loved fixing things. He loved all animals and let them into their house, the house that he had built for his family, in the shithole called Ylinampa. So many times my grandmother came home to a house full of squirrels. She got fumingly mad and chased all of them out, together with my grandfather. When he was fighting in the Second World War, he shot up in the sky instead of at the Russians because he couldn’t hurt anything alive. He hated to work a normal job, doing the same things over and over again. Instead of working for somebody he had his own projects going on. He was a good mechanic and always worked on old Mercedes’s and Citroens. He sold fish from Norway and built whatever was needed around the house. My grandmother always made fun of him for not having a real job, but she also praised him for being such a genius when she was in a good mood.

My grandmother blamed him for a lot of shit she went through. She blamed him for bringing her to the shithole, for becoming an alcoholic, for stealing her from the love of her life. Mum grew up in a house where you screamed and humiliated each other and where guilt was passed around like plague. Like the one time, my grandmother chased after a neighbour with her dirty undies on a stick, for example. Through the whole village. The village where everyone knew each other.

Liisa wasn’t a bad person. Me myself, I loved her. I loved her floppy excess skin on her underarms, and the way she constantly circled her tongue under her top lip. I love all the stories my mum has told me about her. Like the one when she was so mad with one of the neighbours because he hadn’t been visiting her for a while. (The fact is that he had been visiting, but she started to become more and more demented that, her short-term memory wasn’t as sharp anymore.) Anyway, the neighbour called in to check on her, and she said not to bother coming back again “You obviously don’t care about me anyway”. Then she threatened to throw her silicone fake tit, which she kept in her bra due to a breast cancer tumour, in his face if he came back. He did come back, because he too knew that that was just her defense mechanism acting. She was scared of being lonely, and as so many of us do, we tend to push people away even more when that happens.

She is the cutest, most childish woman I’ve ever met. And although I couldn’t speak her language we always had fun with her when I saw her. And mum’s siblings don’t all have the same bad memories as a mum. My mother was the second youngest, and she reckons that by then after already having raised four kids, they were both so tired and worn out that they had done enough raising.

My mum doesn’t hold any grudge towards her mum. Even when she tells me about how she hit her and her siblings or when she tells me about all the arguments when grandmother threw out the Christmas tree granddad had spent so much time decorating. She shares these stories with me so that I can understand, but I never hear any accusation in her voice. Mum knows that grandma did the best she could. For a long time, though, even after she had been with my dad for a couple of years, mum was determined never to have kids. She was too weak, too depressed and didn’t have enough confidence to give a child the upbringing and attention she knew and believed a child needed. She didn’t consider herself a worthy mother.  And when mum later decided to have kids, she wanted to make sure that her kids had the opposite of upbringing. No yelling, no humiliation and all the love in the world.

When grandmother Liisa passed away, my mum cried when she told me that the cinnamon buns she had baked when she was there visiting six months before, was still in the freezer. My grandmother loved cinnamon buns. <3

THE RUNAWAY BRIDE

Dad, a pot-smoking law student with war damaged parents, and mum with no confidence, no self-love and a lot of anxiety, met through my mum’s neighbour in their early twenties. Mum was convinced that they were gay and hung out with them quite a lot. She wasn’t a big fan of the pot-smoking, at least so she tells me, but I have my doubts. One night, December 23nd my mum found dad under a Christmas tree. Dad is allergic to Christmas trees and has always struggled with eczema, but this night he looked worse than ever. His whole face was red and pussy, and he itched real badly. That night mum and dad became a couple. Under the Christmas tree, they fell and fell in love.

Dad was willing to do everything for my mum, and he put up with a lot of shit. He saw her and took her for what she was, and he went along with it. At the same time, he did everything he could to understand and support her. He let her fight her battles but was always there to support her. Even when she stole his Stereo, sold it on the street and bought tickets to run away to her aunt in Finland. He didn’t he get angry with her and give up. Instead, he followed her and, like in a movie, called her name out in the speakers of the boat terminal, telling her that he loved her for who she was, she didn’t have to run away. Even when she told him that she didn’t want to have kids he didn’t leave her. With or without kids my dad wanted to be with her. See my mum never run away from my dad because she didn’t love him, and she didn’t want to have kids because she didn’t love kids. She didn’t love herself, and she didn’t want to force anyone to be with her. She ran away from herself so that she didn’t have to deal with her. She thought that she did my dad and all the children in the world a favour when she ran away.

I believe that our parents and their past life play a big part in our own thinking patterns. Our thinking habits that create our reality. I am created with this family history behind me, and that must have its effects on me. I believe that if we just accept our thinking habits without questioning them, our reality will never change. We are brought up with our parents believes as guidance, but we can choose to question all of them if we just realise how. I won’t be able to do things I’ve been telling myself I can’t. I am what I tell myself that I am and choose to believe myself to be. Sometimes it can be hard to believe that you can be anything else than what you are based on the believe system that are passed onto you by your parents. We adopt or get effected by our parent’s way of living. When we are young, we see the world through their reality, through their values. And by the time we start questioning things, we have already created so many habits, and stories that we believe are the truth, many of them we are not aware of. But we can bring them into light, by questioning what we are doing and how we are acting and reacting in this world now. Today. Why do I value different things? What did my parents think about that specific thing? How are my thoughts connected to my parent’s thoughts about something?

I love my parents more than anything. My mum who secretly dream about slitting tires of big SUV’s because of their effect on the pollution. Every time she crosses the road in front of a big car she gives them the middle finger and walks super slow so that they will have time to think about what she is doing. She doesn’t care about what they think. In her mind she is saving the world from pollution. Even if she is angry with the cars and saying fuck you to the person driving it she is doing it with love for the planet, in the best way that she knows. She thinks that they would know why she is giving them the fuck you finger and doesn’t understand that they just think that she escaped from a mental institution. I love that she cares so much that she is willing to make a fool out of herself. I think that is something to look up to. But I question the way she does things and I know that she can put that energy towards something else once she realises it.

She also loves cutting trees, working in the garden and creating things out of concrete. Mention concrete to her, and she will go off for hours about how raw and real the material is. Today she makes the most amazing concrete artworks and furniture in her studio in Stockholm. We grew up in a rental property in Stockholm’s first suburb. If you have ever lived in a rental property, you know that there isn’t that much you can do to the property without breaking the rules. You’re more or less only allowed to paint if you agree to paint it back to its original colour once you are ready to move. Well again, my mum didn’t care. When we were ready to move out, she had teared up the floors in every single room (no joke). Once every six months dad got home to chaos mum had started. If it wasn’t tearing up floors, she pulled down walls and built in cupboards.  And every time dad walked into the chaos his eczema flared up again. Mum promised that he didn’t have to do a thing, but in the end, we all saw him carry things to the bulky waste storage room we had in the back yard.

When we later had the apartment inspected the landlord came with his notepad. As soon as we opened the door and he could see the wooden floor in front of him he just said: “Jesus I need to get my camera”. Mum had built this scenario up for months, she knew that it would happen, but she wouldn’t let him go through the apartment without knowing that she had made this to a better place and that it now, according to her, was worth a lot more (and to be fair I have to agree with my mum, she had made it beautiful, but it wasn’t up to us to decide).  The inspector walked through and scribbled things down his notepad with mum fumingly breathing in his neck. I remember how embarrassed I was. How could she speak to a stranger like this, when she knew that she’d broken the “rules”. 200,000 Swedish krona (roughly $22,500 US dollar) it would cost us, and mum didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have that money. She refused to shake his hand when he left, so I did it instead. I left to school, but before I did, I told mum to call my deeply religious aunt and ask her to pray for us. How could we come up with that amount of money? I have never seen myself as a religious person, but this called for a miracle.

We needed all the help we could get. My mum actually took my advice and called her sister. My aunt then called her friend from church, and they prayed for us together. Apparently, my aunt has told me, you have a lot bigger chance to get response from Jesus if you pray together. In panic of being alone with her thoughts, my mum left the apartment to go to dad’s work. When sitting at dad’s office wondering what the hell they should do the landlord called. He apologised for how he had behaved, although I still believed mum was the one who owed him an apology and said that he had approved of the apartment. We didn’t have to pay anything. Even though I do not identify myself as a Christian, I’m pretty sure this was all Jesus doing. Jesus, my aunt and her neighbour and church friend Sirpa.

DAD

My dad (Arvo) could probably be described as my mum’s opposite. He is the most unspiritual person but at the same time is the most spiritual. It’s a challenge to explain. He talks about himself in third person. One holiday, at dinner, dad raised his glass to “apologise on behalf of Arvo that he was acting so stressed at the airport”. Everything for him is complicated when travelling. His eczema flares up, and his voice travels up to his chest. It’s like an electric field of stressed energy is surrounding him at airports. But outside of the travelling situations, he loves meditating and listening to enlightened people. He loves soul searching.

My dad believes that Arvo lives in the carriage that is his body. If you ever see my dad, or his carriage and him, your first guess wouldn’t be that he is a person who talks about himself in third person and believes his body to be a carriage. At the same time he lives in the carriage, he also doesn’t exist. He is and isn’t at the same time. He is super cute and super confusing. His ears are hairy like a silver monkey if mum doesn’t trim them. They are the cutest couple. Mum is like a hurricane. Dad is like… mud. Mud in the most beautiful way. Maybe he is earth.

What they have done for me, and how they have put up with me and all my shit throughout the years, is to me fascinating. I mean, I was inside me. So I know. I was in the storm, I was the storm, and I couldn’t escape it. But they had to live with the storm. Day in, day out. And try to dance all kinds of sun-dances around me. They tried to calm the storm. But in the end, the storm could only calm itself.

My parents have done everything for me. They have loved me, trusted me, and believed in me. They have spoiled me, cared for me. They have been angry with me, and I have been angry with them. Oh, how angry I’ve been. Phones have been thrown into the wall, books have flown out the window, and doors have slammed regularly. But they have never stopped trying to figure out how to turn my anger into love. Self-love. And love for life.

I know that soon enough I can give back. I give back already. With love, and understanding. I give back with the fact that they can now be calm. But I’ve got a lot more to give. A lot more to do for, and with my parents. There are no actions in this world that can show how grateful I am for these two freaks of nature. Or three. Mum, Arvo and the carriage he is in.

THE OTHER SIDE

I believe that my parents did everything that they thought was right for me, but that doesn’t always mean that they did everything “right”. In hindsight, I wonder what they could’ve done better, and what would have pushed me towards peace of mind earlier in life. Sometimes I wonder if I needed more rules, more rewards and more “punishments”. But then I wonder if that would have turned me into a robot who just follow the rules of society. And I don’t want to follow the rules, I want to do whatever I truly want to do. I don’t want to be disconnected from my emotions. I don’t want to do shit for a reward, or not do shit because I am afraid of being punished. I want to be free and connected to who I really am.  Maybe if my parents would’ve known all that we know today about nutrition and what a huge difference it can make with kids and their behavior I might’ve found some calm earlier.

I’m not trying to find the reasons for what went wrong in my childhood to put any blame or guilt on my parents, because I know that they have done everything for my brothers and I with love. What I am doing is figuring out solutions and solves for the future of my own children and for all people in the world who are in imprisonment in their own bodies.

EMMA & HASSE

My grandmother, Emma, on my dad’s side wasn’t the happiest of people. Neither was her husband, Ants or Hasse, my grandfather. You can see that their lack of emotions (or lack of showing them) got passed on to my dad. Remember how I said that my dad was emotionally stable and my mum was emotional chaos? Dad’s parents didn’t find the modern culture at all fascinating and exciting. They owned a lot of land just outside of Stockholm where they grew a lot of vegetables, fruit and berries. When we were there, we were only allowed to pick the ones that had already fallen from the trees. My grandmother was super strict and held back. She was the opposite of my Mum’s mother. I think that I inherited the chaos from my mum’s mother with all her anger, alcoholism and insecurity, and the imprisonment like rules, order and routines, from my dad’s mum. It’s as if both their energies have been living in and through me.

I have paid so much attention on my mum’s side of the family when it comes to the inheritance of destructive behavior that I completely forgot thinking about my Dad’s side, because nothing emotionally ever happened on that side. I cannot say that I disliked my dad’s parents because they were his parents, but we have never shared much joy and love with them. My grandfather had bullet holes in his body from the Second World War, and my dad is convinced that my grandmother was raped by Russian soldiers when she was running from the bombs in Dresden. It would be unfair of me to judge them when I can’t even begin to understand what they had been through in their life, and it is only now, when I am in my mid twenties, that I have started to realise what a life they both lived before they came to Sweden.

I don’t remember seeing them genuinely smile ever, but this photo somehow make me feel some kind of love. Mum told me that they didn’t smile at all when they hid meat in my mother’s curry because they couldn’t understand how somebody could be a vegetarian or when they found out that my father actually took on some of the laundry responsibility in the family. “What the hell is he doing in the laundry room?” my grandfather asked my mum when he got wind of his son running with IKEA-bags full of dirty laundry to the communal washing space a couple of houses down the road.

My uncles wife later started to look into our family history and learnt that Grandma – Emma’s own mum also died when she and her three siblings were quite young. Not long after their mum’s passing, they witnessed their father being shot by Russian soldiers. They had to run away from Estonia and got split up. Emma ended up alone in the Netherlands while two of her siblings went to Germany. One of the brothers got left in Estonia.

Through letter exchange Emma communicated to her sister that she was hungry and had no food. She asked her sister to look after their brother. He was only a teenager and angry at everything, rebelling, but who wouldn’t in that situation? He was stealing and refusing to work. Emma was in Berlin when it was bombed by the Russians. When I think about all the destruction, fear and emotional loss she has suffered, I am sad that I grew up thinking that she was boring and unfair. I wish I could’ve known all of this earlier so that I could’ve shown her love and curiosity, and not judged her. Finding all of this out, even too late, has taught me never to judge anyone because you never know what he or she is carrying in their soul.

When Emma had a stroke, she couldn’t stop smiling. It was like all the sadness and rules got sucked out of her. Like she forgot about the past and found peace in the present moment. She lost her speech, but I have never heard her talk so much, even if it wasn’t real words to us. She spoke emotions, for the first time in her life. She called daily to chat, but no one could understand her. I think that she felt a need to connect to what she had left of her family. At least once every second day she just rocked up unannounced, opened the door and just sat down at the dinner table. Sometimes it took a while before we actually realised that she was there. If she wasn’t at our house, she went to my dad’s brother. They usually sent her off to one another, her sons, when they couldn’t be bothered. So many times you just felt starred at, and there she was. Just starring at your back.

THE WORST GRANDCHILD OF THE CENTURY 

One day I was sitting home with my friend. Noone but us was at home, and then I saw her, grandmother Emma walking towards our apartment building, with her purple head scarf and her bag with god knows what in it. I liked stroke grandmother more than emotionally damaged grandmother, but the more social she became, the less she was able to look after herself. We found her eating cake with her glasses; she couldn’t shower or make food. She came with an odor, so mum usually stacked her in the shower as soon as she arrived. This time I just couldn’t be bothered with her. I just wanted to hang out with my friend without a speechless greasy grandmother breathing in my neck. I know this sounds super selfish, and it was, but it is hard to really care for somebody who has given you no effort to make an emotional connection until she had a stroke. If we would have laughed genuinely together once before the stroke, maybe I wouldn’t have told my friend to quickly run down the stairs and escape before she rang the doorbell. We met her half way down the stairs, and I explained to her that no one was home and we were going somewhere else so she couldn’t come home to us. She had to go to my uncle, I said. When she turned around and started walking towards my uncle, I felt relieved and guilty. She was just living her little life the only way she knew.

After never have really been able to connect to my dad and his sibling she now needed their company, every day, all the time. We walked to a hamburger bar near my house when we thought the coast was clear and were just about to order when I felt the stare. You know when you can feel somebody observing you? My grandmother was looking into the hamburger shop, palms glued to the window. I am ashamed to say this, but I jumped on the pokies machine to try and hide in panic, but next minute she was there, clucking like a Chook (her new language), trying to get something across to me. She pointed at the hamburger, but I pretended like I didn’t understand her, I knew that she just wanted a burger too. That might have been the lowest I have sunk through shame, admitting that I pretended not to understand her. To this day I wish I would have treated my grandmother with a bit of love and respect, and ordered her a fucking hamburger with fries and let her sit with me and my friend. I think I was 11 years old then, but I still hold on to that.

Emma and my grandfather Ants (Hasse) met after the war was over. Ants had met Emma’s sister Vera before the war and fallen madly in love with her. Ants sent out announcements in the newspapers looking for Vera after the war, but couldn’t find her. Emma accidently saw the announcements in the papers and contacted Ants. It turned out that Vera had found love in LA by then so Ants thought that Emma would do the job. In the letters he asked Emma to come to Sweden; he had found a job as an engineer with LM Eriksson and said that Sweden was full of opportunities to start over. Emma had been working as a sewer in Berlin and got a job in Sweden at a fabric store not far away from where I grew up, as soon as she arrived.

 

Hot tip

There has always been one extremely happy and loving side of me, one very depressed, panicked and destructive, one angry and frustrated and one controlling. I suppose that we all have bits of this inside us, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I have carried both my grandmother’s energies along with me. And just realizing this make me feel as if I have been able to release them. Free them. I feel connected to them in a way that I have never done before because I have never really had a relationship with either of them.

When I went to my mum’s friend who feels energies, she told me that she could feel a young lady’s energy standing next to me. She was heavy, sad and lonely from memory, and both my mum and I was convinced that it was the energy of her mum. Now I have got a strong feeling that that lady was my dad’s mum, Emma, and something within me feels a lot lighter after that connection.

I have carried with me the energy of two lost orphans, trying to live life the only way they have been able to, and I have judged both of them. But now, in realizing that I have no right to judge either of them, it has healed me and made me feel stronger in myself than ever before.  

 

Actions:

1. Look at your own family; try to imagine what it was like for your parents and grandparents to grow up. Write down:

5 things they didn’t have (first your parents and then your grandparents) that you have today (e.g. smartphones, money, computers, internet, TV, friends, parents, schooling)

5 things that they (first your parents and then your grandparents) had to go through that you haven’t had to go through (e.g. War, working before they were adults, raising their siblings, growing their own food, your grandmother mightn’t have been allowed to vote or work just because she was a woman!)

 

2. Try to put yourself in their shoes. What would a normal day look like, what would they have to go through to get to where they are today? (War, school, moves, jobs)

3. Write down 3 things that you believe that your parents or the people who raised you, and your grandparents don’t understand about your life today. Maybe they don’t understand smartphones and how teenagers communicate today, or a TV show you are watching, maybe they don’t understand your friends or who you would like to date.

4. Based on what you have just thought about, the differences in the worlds that you grew up in; see if you can understand where they are coming from when you disagree.

 

Just by trying to understand another person’s point of view and why they might have a different opinion about something, you 

might find a new way of communicating things with and to them. Maybe you will learn how to accept the way your parents/grandparents think, and understand that they might not understand your world completely in the same way you mightn’t understand their world completely. Just by trying to understand each others worlds you might get rid of some tension inside of you.  

SIGNED, SEALED & Free the girl – Ready to be delivered!

Get it here (only available as an E-book at this stage, hard-copy lovers have to wait a few weeks. The only difference will be that the E-book contains photos the hard copy lack):

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B074GV3DPZ or

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B074GV3DPZ

Free the girl can easily be described as a letter to my teenage self from an older sister! I’m sharing my journey to hopefully make hers make more sense a little quicker.

In this book I give you the story of my destructive ego getting silenced by love, craziness, common sense, hope and a lot of stubbornness. You will go along for a trip to emotion-land, with me and maybe learn a new way of interacting with, and get to know yourself. It is a heavy read, but also filled with a lot of light, fun, “is this actually true?”, honesty and questions for you to reflect over.

Today, almost 10 years after starting it I am finally able to publish, move on with my life BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY – help young girls (and boys) out there who have lost the ability/forgot how to love & respect themselves.

After completing this book I know this about my life;

I have never, ever, in my life done anything this properly. I didn’t actually think that I had it in me. Or, let me rephrase that; I always knew I could do things properly – I just didn’t think that I would ever feel bothered to put in that extra work into something to make it the best. I have always settled with the first ok or good result to then rejected it out of my life like a little deer child. For the first time in my life I feel that I have done the absolute best I can in producing something I am proud of. That doesn’t mean that I am not scared of showing the result. It feels very revealing; because now, I share with you my absolute best! And, I am presenting you the hardest times of my life and my thoughts about how I could’ve made my life a bit or a lot lighter.

Free the girl – a story about (finding) self-love is out there for you, or for that teenage cousin of yours who seem to be a little more down that you think she/he has to be, to read.

This book is a perfect tool for parents who have teenagers that might seem a bit down, are drinking too much, battling with eating disorders, lack of self love or who might just need a bit of perspective on life. It is a perfect book to have and communicate through with your teenager (and they will most likely love it too since it is written in a raw but still optimistic language).

 

ALL THE THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (also to be found in the book)

I am filled with a lot of gratitude to all the people who have encouraged me to keep working on this book when I sometimes doubted if I am actually the right person to shine light on these self-destructive subjects. Today, thanks to all of you, I know that I am, because I feel so much for everything I share in this book, and I truly wish that it will end up in the hands of those who feel a lot, and those who know people who feel. A lot.

THANK YOU Adrian who I have accused of not believing in my capability of actually finishing something (which I realised when writing this, is just my own fear of not being capable, and my own self doubt projected). Thank you for pushing me to create something that inspires and feels good, even though my story is quite heavy.

Thanks to my brothers for letting me share our story, through my experience and to use your documentation.

Thank you Mum for providing me with so many emotional drawings (some I heard you drew balling your eyes out) and being able to stay positive, never blaming me for treating you like shit and holding my behaviour against me – because you always knew that I had, and always will, have endless love for you.

Amber Weller & Zandra Zbinden for thoroughly going through and helping me see things with a new, educated perspective.

Anthony Ross for helping me realize how shit the book once was, which made me step up and not just lazily reject it, like I normally do – before I had actually put in the hard work of editing it properly!

Temi Katonis, Tali Morgan, Isabel Westrup & Ellika Fenno for reading this in it’s early stages and give me some really good feedback and confidence to the story.

I have to give my biggest thank to someone I have never met in person but who has taught me so much about the art of writing and composing a book; Honey Reither, who I would’ve never gotten in contact with if it wasn’t for beautiful, wonderful and supportive Josephine Tang. Thank you too for helping me see and feel the value of my book and believing that it will truly help all the lost souls out there! Sometimes I almost think that you don’t live on this earth….

I also feel as if I should thank my dad for something too …for just raising a thunderstorm child without letting it get to him (almost at all).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De-stress in the moment

I contributed to an article about de-stressing on Mydeal: https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/feel-blessed-not-stressed,

Below you can read the whole article;

De-stress in the moment

Do you know what stress feels like? (That was a rhetorical question). It is hard to avoid stressful moments in this day and age. Even if you are not particularly stressed yourself I am sure that you have ended up in the crossfire of someone else’s adult-tantrum. You just have to put your bum behind the wheel and get out in traffic to be sure to witness at least one questionable turn made by someone who probably should’ve left their house ten minutes earlier. When in rome…

Try one or all things that will reduce your stress immediately;

  • The Wim Hof breathing method: Lay down on your back and breathe in – all the way down your stomach and up to your brain – and out. Repeat 30 times (I know – that’s a lot of deep breaths but stay with me!). When you reach 30 breathe it all out and hold your breath with no air in the lungs. When you need air – inhale deep and hold your breath. Then relax and enjoy any tingling feelings in the body.

    But to simply stop and take three deep breaths whenever stress is oozing out of your ears can do miracles.

  • Get present in your body: are you living all in your caffeine buzzing head? Try to feel your way into your body and connect the mind to the amazing body of yours. Is it trying to tell you something? Maybe it is trying to tell you to stop and enjoy the moment…

                    ♥

  • Essential oils: Just the sound of the dripping water and air breathing out of my humidifier calms my mind. Imagine what a bit of lavender and chamomile oil can do on top of that tropical sound… There is a whole science to essential oils when you are ready to learn more, but for de-stress purposes; lavender is all I need to remember.

  • Feeling overwhelmed with a situation or a person? Stop and say to yourself three things in this exact moment that you are grateful for (bonus; if you try to come up with three things about the person you are frustrated with you might experience something I almost would describe as magic). It sounds lame, but it can really kick frustration in the ass. When we are feeling grateful there is no room left for frustration.

  • Is your head buzzing or are you having a hard time focusing? Go out for a run or pump your blood in any other way (bonus if you get out in nature) has rarely made anyone more stressed than before! Kick the resistance in the butt and just do it. It doesn’t matter if your run looks more like a shuffle or if it is raining outside, if the blood is pumping you will feel better!

Maya Kiusalaas | Mymondaylove.com

 

I am done with all my past shits.

The last couple of weeks memories of excitement, curiosity and happiness are starting to come back to me. It is as if I have totally forgot that my life has not been all shit. I look back and feel that there is no other life I would’ve wanted to ever live – I just know that I could’ve done so many things better and had an even greater experience and I haven’t been able to leave it be until I could figure out how.

(I had to go through a lot of old photos to go with the book. Some are more charming than others.   This one didn’t make the cut/ 14-forever!)

I have learnt and gotten introduced to many, many emotions and that’s so cool, because I survived them all. Today I woke up and was reminded by a thought and a feeling to remember and be grateful for all those fun times I have been through, all my real, supporting, fun, loving and fantastic friendships I have and have had throughout my life. I have lived a fun life, as well and it is like I have pushed all of those good memories aside. I had to, in order to write this book. Even when I was in my deepest depression, an emotional wreck I still had many good days surrounded by good people. That is not to be forgotten. Really, those are the memories I want to keep popping up in my mind from now on. I am done going over what was shit back then. With this book it feels like I am finally getting ready to let go of all those anxious memories that I have let define who I am. I have got this feeling in my body that tells me that I don’t need them any more. Everything I have ever learnt from them is in this book and now it is time for me to move on and start dedicating my life and writing towards something new. What that is I am not quite sure of, but I think that it can be pretty cool.

I want all those people, my friends, who I have been spending time with in the past to know that I love all of my happy memories, more than the shit ones. With this book I hope that I can help teenagers navigate through their emotional shit a little easier so that when they look back they have even less shit to go through until they can truly just enjoy the good things. I hope that with this book teenagers can understand that we create fun memories with everything we do. Finally, I hope that with this book I can remind myself of that, so that I stop taking “life” too seriously, over-analyzing everything I do and just start enjoy living more and more with each day that comes. It is time for me to move “back” into the present moment and let the past be…

I need that to get to know what my body and mind need today, because living life constantly thinking what I wished I could’ve done differently is living the opposite way of how I wished that I was living then anyway.

I am so proud of my book now and I know that it is capable to help a lot of teenagers who overthink life a little or a lot. But, even if it doesn’t help anyone, it has been worth writing it because the process of writing it has helped me, a lot, and I never thought that I could actually be really helped.

 

Feel calm. Be calm. Find calm.

I often wonder what I will write about when my emotional life grow stabile. When I don’t feel so little and helpless anymore. I don’t feel helpless all the time, but it is when I feel emotionally unstable that I love what writing can do to me, or for me. I can put my doubts, my fears, my anxiety in words, and in a way it then makes a bit more sense.

It is crazy what is going on inside in my body and my mind sometimes and the past week has been quit intense emotionally. I wonder what other people are thinking, not about me – about themselves. Are people just happy with keeping all their shit to themselves or do people not feel like this at all? I wonder if it is just inside my mind and chest this emotional play is on repeat? Sometimes I feel like… I am slowly weaning of serotonin and it must be effecting me again because I have started to feel things I have forgot I could feel. Some feelings are good, and some are frightening me. Either way, this time I am committed to push through – I’m getting off this numbing shit.

I am coming back

My emotions are coming back and it is scary. I am coming back. I can feel it. It is like I recognise myself again and I haven’t decided what to do with it or if I even can do anything with it. There are a lot of good parts about this, I know that, especially once my body settles. I didn’t realise it yet, but I have missed the feeling of happy-crying, I get that more often now. I cry because I feel for other people, because I am genuinely happy for them. I love that. People I don’t know that looks happy can make me cry. But I also feel scared to be with my own mind too much. When nothing happens around me my emotion starts echoing. It is like everything is rushing around inside of me, and sometimes I feel like I am having a hard time calming myself, my mind and my body down. It is a feeling of a clear fog inside. I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s what it feels like. Like everything around the fog is clear but I can’t get into the deepness of my mind, I can’t reach in to my core.

I feel like it is up my throat, in my eyes, in my nose, in my chest. In my brain. I feel restless and unsatisfied – because I can’t feel inside that fog. Then I force myself to sit down, see where I am, what I have in my life that I love and I get calm for a second because I grab a hold of something concrete. As soon as I stop thinking and let go the emotions take over again. I wish that I could always feel settled and appreciative. That I don’t need anything other than myself to love where I am and what I am doing. But I always think about what could make this moment even better, what could make me feel it even deeper. It ruins many moments constantly thinking what could make shit better. Why not just love what is. Not what if. Just be.

 

I just need to feel calm. Be calm. Find calm.

The me-spectrum

How do you allow yourself to be okay with not being as good as you know you can be? I know how my favourite me is feeling and acting. She wakes up with a bang excited to just do things, talk to people live life. She feels clear in her mind and prepared to focus on whatever is ahead of her. She is organised but not too anal, dedicated but not completely unimpulsive. She smiles a lot, feeling so happy with where she is at right now and excited to keep building on this reality. My favourite me is full of energy and need to run it off in between sitting down. She feels fresh and healthy, loving and silly. Crazy in the nourishing way that can allow her to expand her reality.

 

Then, there is this other version of me who is just a little bit less agile. She is the one waking up yesterday with no intentions of actually waking up. She feels a little sorry for herself for being tired and have no idea of how she would be able to get from A to B.

– How will I manage to get my shit together today and actually do what needs to be done? She asked herself whilst scrolling through her Facebook newsfeed dreaming of laying in a hammock on a beach somewhere even though she honestly have never been a real hammock-lover. Twenty minuets of the morning got absorbed into the phone.

My favourite self don’t pay too much attention to the phone until she knows that it won’t take her away from her focus. But the little less agile me seem to lack that impulse that wants to start the day and start creating. The little less agile me loves scrolling. Loves resistance.

How can I choose which one to be? It’s all just a spectrum of myself and there must be ways to go about in order to be my favorite version of myself more often? Because if I loose that impulse, if I don’t nourish that creative impulse and end up scrolling forever I know I will get depressed. I will be handicapped.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I sometimes will lack that impulse because of what is naturally happening in my body with hormones, nutrition and training history. I’m getting to know those hormones who rise and fall throughout my cycle and I can really feel the differences in motivation and energy depending on what week I am in (this is so cool!). I know that in week three chances are that my motivated impulses might be a little weaker, I might feel a bit more foggy and lazy and a bit more cozy. In knowing this though I can much easier be okay with the reality of the way I am feeling in this moment and enjoy the scrolling even though my goal is to move away from it. I know that there is a natural reason to why I am feeling what I am feeling. I also know that I have had a big week and probably would have done a lot better if I would have slept a bit better and not had that much caffeine during the week. Just being aware of how everything effect me I feel so much calmer when I find myself scrolling in the morning, resisting going out for my run, resisting sitting down to create. Today it is okay not to be my favorite self. It really is.

Then I read through all of this and I wonder if other people just accept however they are feeling in the moment or if everyone, like me, also wonder why I feel the way I feel and if I can change it? Is it just me being this overanalyzing? Is my thinking stopping me from living or helping me live my life as my favorite self more often than not?

One month to book publishing!

In a month I am ready to publish my first book… I have been sort of ready to publish for a while but it hasn’t felt right and I haven’t really been able to adress why. My grammar and spelling has held me back a little and I have found it quite challenging to work for completion, I have never published a book before, after all. Luckily I got introduced to an editor who completely get what I am trying to put out there. She is really questioning things that needs to be questioned, questions that I have forgot how to ask. Her level of amazingness is indescribable. And the fact that she is giving me gentle pushes to help me believe that what I am saying is worth saying is worth everything. The help she has given me leave me feeling like I can not thank her enough – I can only hope that one day I can help someone in the way she has helped me.

Free the girl – a story about (finding) self love is partly a story about the desperate, anxious and self-hating teenager/young adult I used to be, but in this story I go back in time, with things I’ve learnt in life, and help my younger self to see the other solutions in situations where I believed I was completely trapped. I help myself see the good sides, and all the beautiful things around me that I was too wrapped up in myself to see then.

It is a self help book, even though I feel a little awkward calling it that, I have to address it for what it is. But it is not only that; it is also a story about life, addictions, love, insecurity, desperation and hope. It is written for that teenager I couldn’t help, who wanted to pull her own hair out of sadness, anger and panic – and also for the person I am today. If I wouldn’t have taken the time to sit down and try to put my actions, mistakes and realisations down in words, I believe that I would have still felt more lost than I am today.

It has been a weird experience writing this book, because I started writing it when I was only 17. I knew then that the way I had treated myself and my body was horrible, but then I just knew to change one bad behaviour for another. I suppose leaving a bad habit behind is progress, but is it actually progress if what you are using to break a bad habit is equally bad? Depends how you look at it I suppose.

In this book I try to address those patterns and the “why’s” and reasons behind the self torturing I have been busy acting out and then I am suggesting alternative ways to go about a problem. It’s not just a story about why shit went shit, it is a story about shit and then a suggestion to how shit could’ve gone differently. Essentially it is a story about making something good out of shit.

Free the girl  is a book I would’ve loved to read when I was 17 years old – thats why I am writing it. It would’ve given me some inspiration to dream about things other than shit and it would’ve helped me to start play with the idea that I am actually a person who is worth feeling loved. It is quite funny thinking about all the things I wished that I knew then that I now know, and hopefully I can pass those knowings and realisations on to teenagers out there who, like I was, feels like life is just a little too overwhelming and suffocating to move in, but who want nothing more than just feel excited to live it.

Link

Mydeal Article about Amazing jobs!

I answered a question about what it is like to try to become what you dream of. It is such a weird question to actually stop and ask yourself.. thats’s why I like it.

“Every day I wake up and I write. I write for my blog, on my book or on the next book which will be my first attempt to write fiction. When I am done the writing I feel as if I have done my whole being a favour. I t feels complete. I feel complete”

 

Read the full list of Jobs you didn’t know existed here: https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/amazing-jobs

Moving forward can be scary

This week has been both hard and easy at the same time. I had a meltdown a couple a days ago. Like one of those where you cry so much you need sunglasses in the supermarket. Why did I feel bad? Well actually, bad wasn’t really what I felt; I more felt stuck in a place where I knew I needed help but I didn’t know what help I needed to ask for. It was as if I was stuck in a deep hole and I didn’t know that I needed to ask someone for a ladder or a rope to pull me out. I was in the hole and I didn’t know that a ladder existed. At the same time it felt slightly amazing feeling that panic, and I don’t know why. Maybe subconsciously I knew that after this storm there will be a step up and I will have moved forward. I knew my breakdown wasn’t the end, not even a step back. It was needed for me to gather my strength and focus to finally move forward.

I now feel as if I am back on track. I feel so supported. Adrian constantly remind me that I am doing what I am doing to feel good, help others to feel good and to not take challenges so seriously. One step at the time. If I let every challenge break my, then I have to ask myself what it is worth. I don’t feel as if anything I am doing today is breaking me, rather the opposite. Even when I was sitting there with my head on the kitchen table, feeling as if I have no clue on where to turn next, in any aspect, I could feel that letting all of this anxiety, around what I am doing, out I was finally ready to move on after.

Life has also introduced me to people who can truly help me with my book development so that the book can and will be as helpful as possible to people. Again, I feel a new wave of support around me that really couldn’t have come in a better time. It is so good when people come into your life and confirm the fact that you have got what it takes in you. People like that is invaluable and if you ever have the chance to make other people realise what they are worth – take it. It can change their whole way of living, thinking and being. It can change their life and in turn they can change someone else’s…

What I have learnt from the past week is that there is always people out there who knows or can help you with what you need to know in order to take something to the next level. Ask people for help. I have devalued my own needs for too long believing that what I need help with isn’t worth people’s time. But not believing that I deserve to get help is to believe that my purpose in life isn’t worth anyone attention, and I know that it is, because my purpose is to help others through my own experiences. I keep struggling with valuing my work. Sometimes I think of the “wrong what-if’s” and let them lead how I go about my work. I think “what if I ask all these people for help and then I let them down by failing” instead of thinking “if I can get help with this and that I can help so many more people relate and grow with and though my writing and that means that the work is invaluable too”. This is a shift of thinking about what I am doing that I really have to make now, or else I am only self-sabotaging.

Help others, and don’t feel bad to ask others for help! Invite people to share their knowledge and allow yourself to grow.

I can change my life

Most of the times I like to think that I am aware of my whole being and why I respond to things the way I do, emotionally. I like to think that I am in control, and if something happens that make me go off I like to believe that it has nothing to do with me. I like to think that I am in such good control over my own emotions that if I break or snap – it wasn’t because of me, it was because of them. That is a very dangerous and un-aware way of living and being. Feeling as if everything is under my own control make me blame others when I am unbalanced and that is preventing me from really being able to tune in and listen to what my body is trying to tell me.

I have to take responsibility for the fact that my body is experiencing and going through something that will have an effect on how I interpret things

For example, when I used to drink a lot of alcohol every weekend and I woke up with bad anxiety every Monday morning. I believed that my emotions were sort of under control because I knew that the drinking effected my emotions to the point where I felt that I would never be able to feel happiness again. But I didn’t want to take responsibility for the fact that “people” also got more annoying when I felt like shit, and I might have gotten angry with a friend, making up stories of betrayal in my mind that I would never have come up with if it wasn’t for the fact that the alcohol made me emotionally unbalanced. I thought that it was enough taking responsibility for the anxiety and the depression, but I wonder how much that has happened I didn’t take responsibility for because I blamed other people for being annoying or false when the reality was that I was paranoid or mentally weak from drinking and not sleeping enough.

Essentially it is the same with PMS. When I am “under the PMS-spell” my whole being feel as if other people have more problems with me as a person. Realistically that cannot be the case. People aren’t more annoying and don’t want to go against my will more often then than any other days (unless they are under some kind of “spell” too). I have to take responsibility for the fact that my body is experiencing and going through something that will have an effect on how I interpret things. The change on how I experience life under the spell can therefore only get better if I can find a way of becoming internally balanced. It is not the outside world that is changing when I have PMS, it is the inside of my own world that is going through some hormonal turbulence.

I notice with myself that I point more fingers than ever when I am under the PMS spell. I try to make other people change the way they act and I feel as if I am entitled to feel disappointed with people more. I feel as if I am in the right and the whole world is in the wrong. But that can’t be the answer, when has that ever been the answer? Never. I have to change the way I am dealing with my own hormones and I have to find a way of balancing my body, mind and soul or else I will never see a change in how I experience life.

Fuck, the change actually ALWAYS start within doesn’t it?

The way people act never has anything to do with you and if you let other peoples behaviour get to you then that is a reflection of your inner life. It really is, but we cannot see it when we are trapped in an unbalanced body because the unbalance make us justify that things outside are out of balance.

This little epiphany makes me feel full of hope. It means that I can actually change my whole life just by starting to take responsibility of my own inner balance. I can change my life by stop blaming other people for making me annoyed. I can change my life by start focusing on why I deal with things the way I deal with them. . Our inside world is the key to the outside world. All the doors we want to go through are inside of us which means that we are already where we need to be physically, we only have to learn how to navigate mentally.