14yrs ago today (11/03/14) I was supporting my brother after a 3rd and unsuccessful attempt at suicide. I was trying to help him and convince him to consider the same support that had saved me from wanting to die some years prior to that. Having offered solutions to all his reason of why not, he said ‘If this has all been so great for you, then WHY ARE YOU STILL FAT?’ I fought back the tears and shock that he could say something so cruel to me, his only sister. I was the only one of 6 other siblings who bothered to drop everything and go to the hospital to be at his side. I wrote the poem below, before I went to the hospital and gave it to him to let him know how I felt at the time. I responded to his final question by expressing my regret for ever having cared about him and hung up. I never bothered to contact him ever again. 3yrs later he finally succeeded in his mission to end his life. Am I sad about that? Not at all, his life and his choice and I gave more than my heart and soul to support him as best I could.

What is ironic about his last words to me and the significance of me sharing this story with you today is that HE is the reason I was still fat. He sexually abused me around age 7 on more than one occasion and it was never spoken about.   I spent my life knowing it wasn’t okay but never mentioning it because who was going to believe me anyway? I took on the responsibility of protecting him and supporting him no matter what. I knew if I told mum or anyone, he could get into trouble and I didn’t want that for him because I loved him and just wanted his attention. I’d already witnessed how violent my mum could get when she beat up my dad, I didn’t want to be responsible for my brother to be subjected to that or worse still, me getting into trouble for agreeing to it.

So now 14yrs later and a deep willingness to heal this wound, I can honestly say I am so very grateful for the experience of the abuse. Yes sure, there was a lot of other stress caused by physical, emotional and verbal abuse from family throughout my life, which continued to feed the ever growing tower of ‘protection’ I have built up around me. I have come to believe in soul agreements and I know I chose the family I did for specific learning and growth. I asked to learn resilience, trust, self belief, self love, speaking my truth and being true to me no matter what. This experience with him has given me that and much much more. I’m thankful to him for being willing to lower his energy to a point of being able to do that to his own sister, along with being so cruel with his words and that’s where it ends. I’m even more thankful to MYSELF for taking this terrible experience, living with it, surviving with it and learning with it to become the woman I am today. Had I chosen to be a victim to it, I would not be doing the work I am now doing, which feeds my heart and soul like nothing else ever has. I am meeting so many amazing people, which includes you who is reading this now. My weight has given me this opportunity to be connected with the rest of the world beyond my imagination and share with magical and beautiful souls. I am my own bestie and am never afraid to be alone. I have a wonderful husband who loves and adores me for me. I have now cut myself from the family of abuse and judgment because they weren’t able to deal with my truth or accept me for me and I’ve never felt as happy and free as I do right now.

I’m excited to say, the weight is now starting to rumble and move because everyday I’m nourishing my body and soul with love and trust that no longer requires a 40yr old habit of ‘protecting’. I AM safe, I AM love, I AM alive, I AM healthy and many other things. I’m on my way to being slim for the rest of my amazing life. I do have to admit there is a humorous side of me who would love to be able to call him now and say ‘errrr why are you still dead?’

I hope more than anything, by sharing my story, there are others who can take some comfort in knowing that it really is possible to get to this point…you just have to keep believing in you no matter what!!


(John Ralph Growden 15 Feb 1963 – 18 Oct 2004)

If you choose you want to live

If you choose you want to die

If you choose you want to give

If you choose you want to receive

It’s okay John I will love you anyway

If you choose you want to yell

If you choose you want to whisper

If you choose you want to love

If you choose you want to fear

It’s okay John I will love you anyway

If you choose you want to cry

If you choose you want to laugh

If you choose you want to judge

If you choose you want to accept

It’s okay John I will love you anyway

Your choice was to die and my pain is deep

Because you made a difference to the life of your sis’

And I’ll do my best now to accept what you chose this time

I trust that’s okay John and I will continue to love you anyway

Kathleen – 11 March 2001

(28/10/04 – I read this out at John’s funeral with the addition of the final paragraph)