Hiya. Thanks for stopping by. It’s lovely to meet you! My name is Briannah. I’m in my early 30’s, a mother of four awesome children and have a magnificent partner, Curtis. We’re experiencing the joys of that post-Christmas period complete with new toys, fresh clothes, beautiful food and big ideas. I agonised on what to write for a first post. So, I thought I’d share with you the real story behind Rose + Tye.
Be warned: there are domestic violence and miscarriage triggers in here. So please skip on past the first bit and start at “A New Beginning” if you’d like.
The story behind Rose + Tye
The genesis of Rose + Tye is deeply personal. Rose + Tye started in thought in 2015 when I realised I was living in a relationship characterised by domestic violence that I entered into when I was too young and dumb to know better. I was a mother of three very young children back then. It was a dull, debilitating and dreary existence. I thought that the relationship was “normal”
but that I did not deserve happiness. (I can’t believe I felt that way! I’ve crossed it out because I’m so ashamed I did!)
I hadn’t realised the extent of incredibly abnormal power and control another had on my life and how toxic someone else can be. Also, I never guessed it would’ve been as difficult to leave as it was. When someone doesn’t want to let you go, chaos is inevitable and you find yourself powerless in a whole new way. Powerful systems and processes sweep you off your feet and the balance shifts from having a controlling former partner in your face daily to dealing with a system that isn’t equipped to understand issues around domestic violence. Escalating violence and scary experiences became my new normal as the turmoil of post-separation life took over.
A new beginning
Later that year I moved into my parents home in the Northern Rivers with my three children. I can’t describe to you all that I had to confront while I was there but the chaos more or less followed me some 1300km to the south. However, I pressed on. I learnt much of our society (good and bad), and much about myself and my children. I committed us to that brighter future I’d only dreamt about. So, I spent a lot of time reconnecting with myself, repairing my relationship with my children and parents, and experiencing things I had always wanted to do. Also, I learnt to surf, I went to music festivals – I lived and I felt alive for literally the first time in my adult life and even started feeling like an “adult”. I volunteered with the School’s P&C and worked hard to build resilience and safety for my children.
Meeting my soulmate Curtis
I met my partner online through some app, the name of which I couldn’t remember (it wasn’t Tinder though haha!). We had an instant connection. I decided to myself I wasn’t going to go out on any more dinner dates or dates to bars or whatever. So Curt and I went on our first date surfing at Byron Bay. He was the perfect human and absolute gentleman. As we were walking and talking on our way to the beach, surfboards under our arms, I told him I had three children. He was clearly shocked but I think he hid it well.
My surfing prowess on show
I am still a beginner surfer. Curt had been surfing for years so I wasn’t the picture of grace and beauty that I feel I normally am. I certainly wasn’t doing cutbacks and killing it in the glamorous way you might think! My nose was running profusely, I got wiped out after almost every wave… I was a disaster! Curt literally dragged me ‘out the back’ of the surf. i’d never had the courage to go ‘out the back’ before, normally I’d flail about in the whitewash.
But it was the best date ever! The sun was shining, there were dolphins about and the surf was awesome. We then went to lunch at one of our (now) favourite spots in Byron. He told me about his bodybuilding life, his work and everything else. We talked for hours and from there talked with each other literally every day.
The buds of Rose + Tye
We took things pretty slowly in the beginning. He had no children, I had three. But, it wasn’t long before we were making life plans together. There was nothing creepy about him and it was hard for me to understand he had no deeper motive, no hidden secrets, no need for power or control. He never manipulates me and says sorry immediately if should. Curt met my kids pretty early on I guess because he quickly became my best friend as well as my lover and companion. He was introduced as a friend. He immediately got down on the floor and started playing lego with the kids – something no other adult male except for my dad had done with them ever. The kids loved him almost instantly too.
There is never one perfect way. But really, you know that from any real story. I knew at that moment he was special (that and his Canadian accent was totally incredible). We went hiking, surfing, eating and adventuring together. Any moment either of us both had free time, we were with one another. We created traditions, routines, sharing ideas and long black coffee together. Our only goal was to “be awesome together”. We sat at my parents coffee table on the porch at Burringbar and daydreamed about our goals for 2016 in my bullet journal. Together, we explored ideas for a house, going on holidays together and one day having a family together. We laughed about how we would call the two children we would have ‘Rose and Tye’.
The buds began to bloom
** Trigger Warning: Miscarriage **
I had a bit of a medical emergency involving an ectopic pregnancy. The mirena I had clearly failed to do what it needed to. I cannot describe to you how much deeper I fell in love with Curt over this 4 day period. With me, my whole family fell in love with him too. He would’ve slept at the Hospital with me if he could’ve. Curt was there the moment visiting hours started and stayed by my side until visiting time finished at 10 pm. He brought me food for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as coffees. He cuddled into me on my bed. When I went into surgery, he walked me to the door and then cried.
It was such a confronting time. The numbness of my past self wracked with having no control of my circumstances came racing back – especially with having experienced two miscarriages alone. I fell into an emotional coma – petrified that any moment this would all become too hard for him. I started cutting ties to Curt in my brain and heart as what I felt was a preemptive strike before he could hurt me. But, he did something remarkable. He said “I want this. I want you and all that comes with you. I want to have a family together and keep being awesome too”.
The Flowers Blossomed
However, my parents home was destroyed during Cyclone Debbie and the flooding around the Murwillumbah area. The whole house was affected by a major landslide and was rendered unliveable. So, the kids and I moved in with Curt. It was a crazy time!
Before long, it turned out I was pregnant with our son Ben. I cannot describe to you the joy of having a partner who is supportive and genuinely loving. When I told him I was pregnant, he cried. He was so incredibly happy as was I. He came to my appointments when he could. We Facetimed his parents during ultrasounds. He was the definition of everything a good father is, and should be. He doted on our children and gave me the confidence to dote on them too. When Benny was born, Curt stayed in the hospital with me. The depth of his connection with Ben was remarkable and we all became inseparable. When the kids visited with my parents, they fell in love with him also.
Rose + Tye
The real story here is that being a mum to four young children is a crazy-awesome experience. It’s chaotic, loaded full of adventure, love and a fair deal of laughter. The kids have all grown so much closer because of our little family. They’ve learnt what it means to be a good human, to love and care for your family and that you have the right to feel safe. My family has become my ‘safe place’.
I started Rose + Tye as a business in the hope of bringing that joy of connection and sense of place to others. I hope Rose + Tye will move me closer to a pipe dream of having a life where Curt and I can work together full time and have the financial freedom to buy myself a coffee or get my hair done from time to time! We have big family plans for this little business. My daughter is inspired to create things to sell on here (because she’s learnt she needs more than earning 25c for unloading the dishwasher isn’t sustainable!). Our sons love helping pack orders and I’m pondering other ways they can contribute too. They also want to make things but still need a bit more practice.
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