Hi I’m Nicola Chan and I interview people on the radio (91.8 Hayes fm) so that they can share their stories to help people listening at home. I've always been inspired to do this. I've always been inspired by a story myself because stories, interviews and books have helped me in the past to know that I am not alone. When you feel like you are the only one, hearing someone else’s story, how they suffered like you are suffering, how they overcame it, can really give you hope. Hearing someone else’s voice speak the words only you know in your head, the comfort is unimaginable. Imagine not being able to express yourself, having your voice taken, not being your true self, in-authentic. Always changing how you look to meet the approval of others, always checking how you speak, it is landing well, is it eloquent enough, am I being judged for my opinions am I worthy to speak at all. This is SUPRESSION. Not being able to ask for what you need, not feeling worthy of fullfillment. Being a pleaser, doing for others, to the detriment of your own health. Serving others, satisfying others, checking if their needs are being met above your own. I thought this was love. I also thought it was parenting. As much as I’ve done this to myself, It has been done to me. Or I subconsciously allowed this into my life. Either way, the truth is, I have felt Suppression for most of my life. I have been the little Mermaid, my voice stolen and my true authenticity and identity stolen too. I facilitate others to share their stories to help you. Today, I share my story to help me. I am 0-7 years old and my values and beliefs are engraved into my core. I am 3 years old and my dad breaks down the front door, I am careless and reckless and I make my dad angry as I learn, He hurts my mum in front of me and I wonder one day will it be my turn. I struggle to understand my family are mixed race, I agree with the bullies I have an ugly Chinese face. My Chinese family’s way of communicating are let’s say somewhat. Unique, I have no confidence with them, so I get my sister to speak. She literally speaks for me as I whisper in her ear. If they speak to me directly I cower behind her in fear. I learn that love is tough, violent and cruel. I was told I was too skinny by a boy I fancied in school. I long to be like my sister, she has confidence and friends As I grow and learn this stuff, it becomes the filters to my lens. The world I now see is dangerous and everyone is against me. I then suffer in the hands of a violent man, he sexually abuses and rapes me. I now lose my voice completely, I am worthless in this life. With this I seek unkind men who treat me like a domestically abused wife. To save me, I need someone to love me, I am now a pregnant Child. As I hold the love of my life in my arms, she looks at me and smiled. For the next few years she saved me but suffered with me emotional turmoil. I can’t communicate in relationships, her dad makes my blood boil. I drink, like they drank, like we all drink to ease the pain. I have depression, anxiety now and counselling but again, I am suppressed, I have global hysterics I can’t breathe and I can’t talk. I finally gain the strength to leave and with my Daughter we walk… To avoid my emotions once again, I turn into a pleaser, this is but yet just chapter 1, and stay with me here’s your teaser….. Chapter 2 I’m 23 and I marry a stable man who loves me. He loves me, he calms me for this stage in my life we were definitely meant to be. He’s soft to me, almost feminine and he allows me to grow. He supports me through the next stage where my Eating Disorder leads me to a Body Building Show. We spend 16 years together but what you reap you will sow. We build houses on no foundations and I eventually must go. Chapter 3, I’m in my 30’s and I am spiritually awake. I leave my husband and I change my life for the better for Goodness sake! My family don’t understand me and again I can’t speak up. How can they ever truly know how deep the rabbit hole goes? Hey listen this is a rhyme and if you are still with me thank you I hear how depressing it sounds but really this is true… Ladies, my tale is not dissimilar to yours I’m sure, we must stand strong and know ourselves and be confident and hold your breath because there’s more.… Since my eyes were awoken to the fact that Body Image is all an illusion. it’s all a big fucking society lie. Now let me clear up some confusion. From a young age, I was taught that women were less than men, from teenage years my attacker showed me men do as they please with women. That our bodies are there for their enjoyment and we don’t have a say. Then society and media said you are fat and ugly they still do to this day! Women, we are good enough, unchanged, imperfect and without your approval. Love yourself in your own skin, tell Instagram hump days to fuck off, now, removal removal, removal... Previously I woke up a victim to the above Gory. Today I wake up empowered, in my own shoes and own my fucking story. I cannot be judged anymore, because I don’t judge myself. I don’t hate my body, I don’t feel unworthy of love and I take care of my own health. In forgiving myself and letting things be, I surrendered to the Universe and I became unapologetically me!