What's happened over the past couple of years?

What's happened over the past couple of years?
Come and find out about our life-changing work!
Update April 2018: It's been a while my friends - and such a lot has happened since I was last active here!

When it finally dawned on me that I had been systematically abused - and not just by one person - my whole world collapsed around me.

You see, I had always believed myself to be a strong person. Capable. Successful and somewhat sassy to boot. A fighter. Someone who could overcome any challenge, as I'd proven to myself since early childhood, time and time again. So the knockout thud of recognition that I had been a 'victim' hit me with the full force of a steam train, tsunami and earthquake rolled into one.

"How could that have happened to me? How did I let it happen? Why didn't I notice it? Why didn't I stop it, or at least speak out?"
...and then came an all engulfing darkness of shame. And then the deafening silence.

It took me years to come out of that place. Years of hard work, self reflection and excruciating pain.

Which was how, ultimately, Light Up was finally born.

Now this work is being experienced and shared by many - and is growing in numbers and momentum. And I am grateful.

Grateful not only for my own experiences, also for the fact that Light Up gives people the tools to escape from their shame and pain in far less time than it took me!

We are already working with trafficked women, abused children and traumatised adults, successfully guiding them back to completeness (without having to relive their horrors) in as little as two sessions.

People are waking up and finding their voices. I am a firm supporter of the #metoo movement, and every other group that sheds light on and offers a platform for people to speak out and seek a complete way of living.

Yes, there is darkness in this world. Yes, there is much that has been hidden away. And yes, now people are speaking out. Thank goodness for those voices! The quiet ones. The angry ones. The sad ones. The loud ones. All have their place. All have their unique message to share. All are warriors.

I am honoured to be in service, and to play my part in reigniting this beautiful world of ours. We are coming together now. We are gathering force. And I am glad.

Fellow warriors, I salute you. I commit to continuing to stand in this arena alongside all my brothers and sisters who know there is a better way and a brighter future.

Come and find out more www.dnalightup.net

In continued love, recognition and gratitude


Mel xxx

Monday, 9 April 2018

Calling out BOLLOCKS: "Women are perfectly capable of defending themselves, so why play victim to abuse?"


OH FFS, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!!!!!! 


This, believe it or not, was the BOLLOCKS I faced during a lunchtime conversation this weekend. The comment (and more) came from an otherwise intelligent, kind and caring man in his fifties, married for thirty years to a wife who had been sexually abused as a child, and who himself had been adopted. 

Referring to a recent survey that reported over 80% of women have been sexually harassed or assaulted, he became more and more agitated and upset. Repeating time after time that "women are women, men are men, it's natural to have an attraction isn't it? Surely this is life!" he demonstrated his argument by lightly touching me on the shoulder and asking, "so now even a greeting among friends could be counted as assault?"

I truly believe that this man meant no harm in what he was saying, and that he was actually trying to understand. Emotions were running high - and a large quantity of wine had also been flowing freely in his direction. With intimate experience of the aftermath of sexual abuse, I was certain he would never belittle the damage it creates! So the way I chose to take his words, rightly or wrongly, was this: 

He knows for a fact that these horrors happen. 
Perhaps he couldn't bring himself to comprehend the enormity of the problem. 
And perhaps rather than go there, instead it was easier to assume that women (and men) are perfectly capable of defending themselves... and that therefore many of the abuse claims must be nonsense. 
Labelling the whole thing as another big brother government attempt at control and separation, and bewailing the growing fears that are being encouraged between men and women. 

Ignoring much of his less concrete and wine-fuelled arguments, I told him calmly that I had experienced abuse, without specifying any details. This came directly after his observation that he sees me as a strong, grounded, intelligent and independent women. The immediate silence was deafening, and we agreed to revisit the whole subject - including how my work helps women and men to overcome these kind of experiences - at another time.

Still, for me, even years after I have freed myself from my own prison, his words irritated me. From somewhere deep within I remembered again the helplessness and exasperation I felt at that time, trying to explain the inexplicable, even to trusted friends who loved and cared for me. Questions like "did he hit you? Did he threaten you?" and all kinds of other enquiries that stemmed from the well meaning innocence of ignorance, simply resulted in triggering my shame and self-doubt.

No, it wasn't easy to speak about what happened. It was soul-shattering to realise and accept that the strong person I believed myself to be had become a victim of systematic abuse. My own healing took years of hard work to overcome - and still to this day, as shown this weekend, even innocent words can sting. Today though, I know who I am and I understand what happened. So it was only a little prick (no pun intended). Nothing more. And my work today helps others to understand and free themselves so much more quickly than I did myself!  This is why my work has become my life's mission.

This is also why I am 100% in favour of the #metoo movement, and every other body that supports men, women and children to speak out, stand up and reclaim their peace. I am constantly horrified at the continued ignorance (at best) and refusal to accept ("it's not my business" an often quoted excuse) or (at worst) the deliberate ploys to belittle and silence those who've experienced abuse at any level. 

It doesn't matter whether we have physical scars or bruises to show for what happened. It doesn't matter that we may not be able to put into words exactly how we came to be in the situations we found ourselves - and frankly, why should it be deemed necessary to justify pain? Hurt is hurt. Bullying is bullying. Abuse is abuse. End of. And the more people who are speaking out, each with their own unique voice, the more others will finally be able to hear. Then more people can start to accept the facts, even without experiencing the horrors themselves. And then we can all do something to change it. 

Years ago, when I was doing my best to make sense of my own situation, I came to the conclusion that it is our kindness and compassion - coupled with the BOLLOCKS misguided teachings that encourage us to aways put others first, to put our feelings aside and understand the other person better, to walk a mile in their shoes before making judgement - that unwittingly allow manipulators to live, breathe and thrive among us. Here's an excerpt from the blog I wrote as a result, entitled "Pain, Shame and the Winning Game - a Shark's Tale", published in August 2010:

It's these very same attitudes of optimism, self-exploration and personal responsibility that made people perfect bait for the coldest most ruthless of sharks. Sharks who sneer at the pain of another and who thrive on confusion as they deliberately muddy the waters to disorientate their target even more. Pain and shame is what allows these sharks to win - and that's all they want to do. It's the only thing they know how to do. Anything else they pretend to be, is just that. Pretence. But for the rest of us, the 96% of the population who have a code of ethics, an emotional response, a conscience, we simply cannot comprehend that this kind of creature can exist among us. It simply will not sit in our frame of reference - even once pointed out. For even once the truth is laid bare, we will still struggle to come to terms with the fact that the person we thought of as being like this or like that is actually no more than a hollow shell. Automatically we will still revert back to our own feelings of guilt for some imaginary support we failed to provide. And that's what can make recovery such a slow and painful process.

Now is the time to listen to what's happening inside. It's time for us to go within, to reclaim our own light first - and then shine brightly so others can do the same. I believe we are rising. Men, women and children. I believe our collective cries of "what the f**k!" are gathering volume, pace and power. The times they are a-changing. Our voices may be small. For now we may be few. And yet, just like David and Goliath, the bullying giants are finally starting to fall. 

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