Elle Wild / Canada
“Once upon a time there was a troubled and questioning girl called Elle. With big dreams and a big heart, she wanted to understand the world. Her home life was unpleasant and abusive with barely any reprieve. Elle was lonely and afraid and always sad, constantly escaping in the books she read or down the TV antenna stand outside her window. Anything to get out of the stifling environment that was supposed to be “home”.
The worst part though, she didn’t know anything was wrong, as this was all she knew, and Elle thought everyone lived and showed love in this way. So she kept quiet and trudged on, but she could feel it deep in her bones….
One day, enough was enough. She decided to take a stand….
I’ve lived half my life literally on my own. 15 years. I left my parents and chose a life of my own making rather than the one they had planned for me. 15 years of struggle, growth, learning and new kinds of suffering.
I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to create a solid foundation for myself and trying to figure out why people do the things they do. On top of that, I’ve spent the last 8 years figuring out how to deal with autoimmune diseases, again mostly on my own.
I’m not saying this to get your pity or sympathy. I’m saying this because I’m in shock and awe of myself. I’m super proud I made it this far. That I’m alive despite my (successful) suicide attempts, being brought back to life, degenerative diseases and mental health anguish.
I may not be a millionaire or have 7 thriving businesses or all kinds invested in the stock market, but I’m happy.
I’m happy in my bones and in my body. I’m safe, loved and even protected by those I care about and who truly care about me.
It’s amazing the lessons life brings us.
I’ve experienced a ton of darkness, but I find it has helped me to appreciate the light that much more
I may not have known much, moving out on my own so young, but what I did know was that I was sure I could find my happy better on my own. I didn’t truly know what was wrong with my upbringing, I only knew the nasty, sick feeling I went to bed with each night and how much I questioned whether my family liked me, let alone loved me.
I could tell you about the public humiliation or the beatings or the secret spies or the lengths I went to to gain approval and acceptance. But your heart might harden and your blood may boil.
All that really mattered is I just desperately wanted to be loved and truly cared for. I jumped through all of the hoops to gain all the approval. And when that didn’t work, I turned to my street mentors, the drug runners and those chemical parties to find my solace…
I figured if the “good” behavior got me “bad” treatment, maybe if I was “bad” I would get “good” treatment… This led me down an even more dangerous and traumatic path….
The logic of a child is not always sound, no matter how pure of heart.
I felt like I was out in the cold long before I lived on the streets.
Don’t ever think you should be ashamed of your past or how you navigated finding your own moral compass.
Don’t ever think you might be alone or someone might not understand what you’ve been through.
Don’t ever think you are not worth the effort.
I feel like those of us that have experienced more darkness appreciate even the smallest glimmers of light that much more.
What follows may hurt some, offend others + greatly disturb many more. Proceed with caution.
My biological parents are two very different animals. Both greatly disturbed people who seem to get off on causing the suffering of others. I was her punching bag + his slave. The abuses were so different + cut the deepest of any physical scars I have.
They separated when I was 3. My first memory is waking up to their fighting. I could taste the anger in the air as soon as I woke up.
She used to beat me. If I was 3mins late, if I got 8/10, if I looked at her funny, if I asked the wrong question, if I looked like I was having too much fun. With a belt buckle, with a wooden spoon, with a spatula, by digging her nails in behind my ears + slamming my head into a wall. She was very creative.
He loved to embarrass me + be cruel in his punishments. Putting a bib around my neck that says “I love my daddy” + taking me to my at the time BFs surprise birthday party. Making me wear full snow gear, with company, at dinner – which was served to me cold with warm milk. Cleaning up after his hot tub swinger parties, or setting me up to fail so he had another reason to inflict shame.
Growing up in this way, my sexuality also became a very confused and muddled topic. It did not help that the first time I ever had sex was not my choice. Let me tell you I still have trouble looking at or touching bungee cords, and I had some seriously unhealthy healing methods after the fact. It took me 2 full years to recover and consider having sex again, and the I just tried to have as much as I could to put as much distance as possible between me and my first experience..
I never realised how much of an effect my past would have on my future. However, I am pleasantly surprised to find myself in a healthy relationship.
I am a Pan Woman. I have dated people of all sexes, shapes, sizes, races, and various stages of transition. I was even written out of a will because I brought a black female home as my date.
I love humans, truly I do. I explored Polyamourous relationships for many years, though I definitely identify as Demi-Sexual as well. I could never do the one night stands.I can assure you it was not an easy journey trying to figure myself out, find my truth and not hold myself accountable for all the damage that was done to me. To not compare myself to them and find a way through despite the foundation I was given.
Through therapy, I found healthy patterns and ways to cope. I found myself. I also found ways to forgive myself. It is human nature to avoid emotions that scare us. Who wants to walk directly into what promises to be an uncomfortable or painful experience?
Except that by continually avoiding looking at the ‘boogeyman’ within, you become hostage to your monster. Typically this involves hiding from any potential stressors that might cause upset and engaging in endless distractions. You may also be hiding from potential challenges that can lead to growth and joy.
Plus, you can’t hide forever from fear. Especially in times of self-isolation and a fear mongered society. It’s going to strike despite your best efforts to suppress it. And it is likely that it will strike at a time when you most need emotional presence of mind.
The good news is that once you face your fear—and give the boogeyman air—rather than shove it into a distant compartment of your brain, it begins losing the ability to rule you and dictate your decisions
This is just a snapshot view
I remember the day I left both their houses. He tried to kill me when I wanted to leave. I can still feel his weight on me + his hands around my neck. She wanted to quit being a mother + have me carry our family instead.
The bruises faded, but the pains did not. The insults + cruel words still echo in my head. I still feel shame for asking questions + not being good enough. I wondered where my hero was, why no one helped or said anything. Then I realized how good their masks were, because I had the same ability to hide.
I am my own hero.
I’ve rescued myself from the darkest of places and the cruelest of people. I am ever vigilant + wary. I stand up for myself now and establish my boundaries.
I know very well what kind of love I will tolerate + what I will not.
I may not always know what I want, but I do know what I don’t want + I will always keep striving for that light.
Dealing with not being able to continue the pursuit of my UnderWater Welding dreams, my autoimmune health concerns + my own lack of self-love, I turned to yoga to (re)find myself + regain control of my life.
Yoga found me at a very challenging time along my journey. It had always been a part of my life in one way or another, though it only became the focus when I found out about factors affecting my health.
At this time, I was still a Welder, working in Marine Construction + General Landscaping; always building + fixing things. Due to these health factors however, I could no longer continue in these industries . I had to completely rediscover + reinvent myself from the ground up.
It’s in this chaos that I began my personal journey towards healing + wellness. One of my greatest teachers has been my own experiences + struggles; you can count on me to be there with you every step of the way.
What I ended up finding were my true passions, and I was able to rekindle my inner fire.
Each experience I have had + connection I have made, has had its own lessons + inspirations; all of which the universe aligned me with at just the right moments
I learned more about health, fitness, *Medicinal Cannabis Products + nutrition in order to rehabilitate myself. What I ended up finding was my true calling. I found that I was still building + fixing things, I just wasn’t working with wood or metal anymore!
My specialties include Functional Movement Training, Injury Rehabilitation, Stress Relief, Pain Management, as well as working with Adults Over 55
One of my biggest callings in life has been to understand how things work, as well as making, building + fixing things!
I have pursued answers in health, wellness, medical cannabis + fitness education to rehabilitate my own health issues.
I have learnt through my own practice that as I tune into the deeper layers of myself I have been able to learn how to prescribe my body with what it needs in any given moment.
Re-creating this inward attention + awareness in my students’ practices, to what they are doing as an individual, perhaps closing their eyes as they move, this is where I see the most impact. I notice them connecting + communicating with themselves. Over time I see a shift in confidence on + off their mats.
You become more aware of what is happening in any given moment rather than being caught up in concern for what is happening outside of the present.
My personal practice is to face each day, to the best of my human ability, living in the present moment, with a sense of awareness, mindfulness, playfulness and an understanding that it is always a practice.
My mission now, I feel, is to pay it forward + hold space for those seeking their own healing…”