Casey-Anne Bradfield

I’ve always been very tall. Long limbs. Awkward. I stood out and was always seen even though I usually just wanted to blend in and hide. A social misfit of sorts that wished only for someone to understand who I was – the kind, intelligent, and loving parts of me.

In middle school they failed to see me for who I was inside. I was teased. Bullied often by my own friends. Flat, skinny and unattractive, I longed to be someone else. The answer came in the form of boobs and off I went to discover my newfound sensuality.

Not every kid longs to be loved. Why did I? Could it have been because my dad never raised me or was it because my mother shed the discomfort she felt in her own family to grow up under the inadequate care of the state. Either way, I was searching for affection in all the wrong places.

What you look for you find. I’ve always found that to be very true. The problem is that if you don’t set your standards high enough, you find only part of what you truly want. I wanted love, support and deep understanding but instead I found lust, coupled with an abundance of users and people with selfish intentions.

Cue the violins and picture me swimming through pools of toxic energy. For a long time, most men appeared as a kind of radioactive shark lurking in the dark and waiting to catch an unsuspecting prey. This made me look over my shoulder a lot. Trust was a trophy and few worked hard enough to earn that reward.

But even in the dark puddles of my life, I somehow managed to dive into a vast ocean of suffering from those around me. Court cases, jails, mental health issues, cutting and abuse were the real things that those close to me were facing. Eventually the chip on my shoulder became permanent.

With everything weighing me down, it was difficult to climb over hurdles. I still managed to accomplish things, but when pain is what drives you, success loses its allure and happiness eludes you. I started to get ahead in life while becoming less and less fulfilled.

Luckily, every now and then someone would outstretch a hand. I began to learn so much about the good in the world. Spiritual connections. Unconditional love. Support. Encouragement. Forgiveness. Chi Gong. Meditation. Yoga. Exercise. Sports. Healthy food. Friendship. The good would always try and shake me out of my feelings.

Then one day it all started to make sense, I need to let go of pain. It’s not about finding someone to love you enough to heal your wounds. Nor is it about blaming the universe for sending pain to your life. It’s about learning from the journey and embracing your mission. So I let the pain become lessons. Lessons became guides. Guides became actions. Actions became plans. Plans are now unfolding. It feels good.

I am Casey.

I love and accept myself.