Hazeology… Hazel Llewllin’s Story

I was born in Redhill and my family moved to the quirky town of Hastings where I grew up. I experienced many challenges from a very early age, life growing up was hard, But I learnt so much and have absolute gratitude for all those experiences.

My parents split up when I was 6years old. Things for my mother began to spiral as she developed a drinking problem. I was often left to get on with all sorts of things that really, a 6 year old should not have to deal with. So I grew up really very fast, my mum re-married when I was 9yrs old. The man she married was an alcoholic who emotionally and physically abused me, making my life a living hell. Living with my mum and stepdad was really very difficult, I was always in a place of fear.

The last time my Stepdad physically hurt me, I ran away, this was really only a 15 minute run. But at the time It felt like the biggest run of my life. A lady I knew took me in and offered my mother help. She chose to leave me there going back to her husband who really had so much control over her, which she did not really realize at the time.

I was 10years old and felt completely abandoned, the lady that took me in ended up becoming my foster parent. Which really was my choice, my farther did come and offer for me to live with him in Cornwall. However I felt like I would be a burden to him, so chose to be near my friends. He wanted to do whatever made me happy as I had been through so much already.

My new home with my foster parents and their 3 children was very strange, but it was nice to be so welcomed into a family environment. They helped rebuild my confidence that had been knocked down by my stepdad. There were still many hurdles through this time in my life.

At the age of 15 I had my first home by myself, I got a part time job at Clarks Shoe shop where I worked my way up to supervisor. I also had a 2nd job at a local fish and chip restaurant. I was going to school part time to complete my GCSE’s the teachers at the school were really great, as my case was rather unusual. I was juggling study with work and keeping my home running. It was a lot, when I think about it now. I really do not know how I managed it; I just did.

I Just about made it through my GCSE’s but with all the pressures I did not do so well, so I did not go to college afterwards instead I went into work, really to survive, I had such a low income and it was education or earn a living so I can afford to live and eat. I chose to go into full time employment. Most of the time I had 2 jobs, I continued in retail, but I also worked in a residential care home as well until I got into more customer service based roles and luckily landed a full time job at a large company. The company had in-house training which I was fortunate to go for and this eventually led me back to college!

At the age of 19 I was back at college part-time as I still needed to work. I took up an access course in Humanities and social sciences to get me to university. At the time I was also in a new relationship, which I thought at the time was positive, so things were really looking up for me.


The next 10 years that went by were a struggle. I did finish college and I got into Hull University, I lived in Hull for 5 years with the same partner I had met when I was 18yrs old.

That relationship really did a number on me. They say hindsite is a wonderful thing. Really it is, however I would not change anything. I am truly grateful to the whole situation, I learnt so much and it gave me strength in the end. I always look to find the lessons from a situation rather than dwell on the negative.

I was never physically hurt but emotionally the damage was being done. I had been taken away from all my friends and family, made to feel guilty if I wanted time with them. Made to feel like a possession. I could not be me. I was in a box. I did not know who I was anymore. I could go into more detail so you get a deeper understanding, but I’m hoping you get the idea. It felt like slowly bits of me were just being chipped away each day but I was blissfully unaware for most of it. I did not see what was happening to me. My friends and family did, but naturally they did not feel it was their place to say anything and they also felt like I would not listen.

My partner ended up going to prison, I moved back to my mum’s in Hastings in late 2011. Even though he was in prison I was still locked in the relationship, slowly dying inside. I took a job working for the local council full time. Proceeded to wear my happy “how can I help you” mask every day at work. While really, I was dying inside.

I was deeply depressed, suffering with anxiety, not really sleeping right or eating well, just going through the motions because I had to. I was also dealing with my mum who had been diagnosed with bipolar a few years prior which made a lot of sense. At this time she was deeply mentally unwell and I had to send her to a psychiatric ward for her own well-being.

Again, it felt just like I was 15 years old, I was juggling lots of things, getting on with it.

The biggest skill I learnt from everything I had been through was to be adaptable to any change to survive. Which really is a skill that serves me well. You may be wondering, does this story ever get better?

Well don’t feel bad. It really was not all doom and gloom. The next part is the start of where my life flipped into something I could never have dreamt of!!!

2012 is the year I woke up… one lovely thing I forgot to mention, is that since I was 15 years old, I would always go on a yearly trip with my dad camping for a week with a festival at the end. We go with our friends from all walks of life and from all over the world. Meeting up every year in August. Letting go of all of our worries and having a great time. Generally consisting of laughing so hard that your face and stomach hurt from all the laughter! It’s fantastic.

I was dragged there in 2012, and as I will still suffering in silence, I had not told everyone what was happening. I was scared of what people would think. I was terrified of them seeing what a true wreck I was, I felt I would fall apart if they knew, because these were people that really knew me.
I hid in my tent for most of the week before the festival. Our friends from Holland, Henk and Geertje arrived. I felt the urge that I should really go and greet them, having not been in touch all year. Geertje took one look at me put her arm around me and said, “Come with me. I am going to give you some energy.”

She took me to her tent. This was the turning point in my life, I just said “Ok” as I was not really in a place to ask questions. Truly what happened next was at the point in my life the most weird and profound experience ever! She sat me in a camping chair, stood behind me placing her hands on my shoulders. I felt a lot of heat coming from the palms of her hands. I felt like my whole body was shaking and convulsing like I was about to take off from the chair like a rocket, but really, I was hardly moving. It was all internal, my body began to weep, and my eyes were leaking so hard that it was like a waterfall.

It felt as if Geertje was pulling off layers and layers of heavy invisible blankets off me until eventually everything became still. I left the tent with a bottle of water and went to lay down in my tent. I woke up several times in the night needing to use the loo. Honestly the most I have ever needed to in my whole life! I was wandering what on Earth had Geerjte done to me? Eventually I drifted into deep sleep. The next morning when I awoke… I felt incredible! I felt the best I had ever felt in my life! I ran out of my tent to my dad’s caravan and I was beaming with a feeling of being so clear and happy! I thought “Wow! Where have I been?!” because I had been lost for so long. I waited for Geertje to wake up, I had many questions for her. It was then that she told me this was Reiki. A form of Energy Medicine. Little did I know then just how much that one treatment would change my life.

2012 the start of my healing journey, which to this day continues, because there is always something new to explore and learn. Things that we may have been holding onto that are only ready to go at the right time. After that one session, I did a lot of research on Reiki and I found a teacher in Hastings. I did my Reiki 1 certification and a week after I did it, I ended my relationship with the partner who was in prison.

I broke free!

I then spent a year healing myself with the amazing help of Reiki. This led me on to study Reflexology, Thai foot massage and other body massage courses. It was through the case studies where I learnt that I could really feel so much in people’s bodies, and help to release a lot for them. Through the amazing modality of Energy medicine. I really went from strength to strength. I was still working part time whilst practicing all these amazing new skills that I had been using to help so many people feel so much better. The greatest lessons learnt from all of this energy medicine was how much I was healing myself and growing as a person.

5 years ago, I hit another bump in the road. I fell in love deeply with a real narcissistic character that made the previous 10 year relationship seem like nothing! 18 months into the relationship I was a broken person, a shell of who I am today. I had to flee for my own safety. I took myself up to the top of Scotland, where I stayed for 3 months. It took every ounce of strength to leave. Really one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. To leave someone that you truly love for the safety of your own health and wellbeing was seriously hard. But the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

I have so much gratitude to that whole experience. The major lessons I learnt which I am now helping other women with makes all that terror truly worth it. When I arrived in Scotland, I felt like it would take me years to heal. Every day I woke up and did a Reiki self-healing treatment. I also had a weekly Chinese body massage with one of the locals who happened to be studying this and needed a case study. In return when I was better I treated her with Reiki. She asked me to teach her. I decided to go to Holland do my Reiki Masters and to teach.

I quit my job, raised the money to go for my course in Holland with donations in return for healing treatments.

I was lucky enough to be gifted the exact amount of money I needed to do my Reiki Masters course.

I was in Holland for 4 weeks doing my Reiki masters and providing lovely healing treatments in return for donations. Geertje and I worked out how much we needed and counted the donations and we had exactly what we needed down to the exact Euro!

We used the donations to travel to Bosnia to do voluntary healing and teach Reiki to those that wished to receive.

We helped the woman that were still suffering from the 1995 war. When we got back from Bosnia, I went self-employed teaching Reiki and offering healing and massage. My business has continued to be very organic in its nature. Soon animals were coming to me, so today I work with horses, dogs, cats and other animals as well as teaching Reiki and animal Reiki.

I am always looking to further my own development and knowledge. The past 2 years I have been on a healing journey with the womb. I now do womb healing which is absolutely incredible and so important for us all. But that is an entirely different subject!

My biggest challenges in life were the day to day stuff when I was 15. Sometimes not knowing if I could get through the day. Realizing that I don’t have to be the victim anymore. Feeling strong enough to speak my truth. Taking time to journey with my shadow self, accepting all parts of me and fully finding myself. Honestly not an easy journey. Healing can be painful. However it was totally and utterly worth it.

Today I am in my truth, proud to be who I am and excited to help others to find that amazing light that is within them all and helping them to truly reconnect with themselves.

What keeps me going is focusing every day on what I am grateful for. This is something that was inspired by Dr Wayne Dyer. But also from my time in Bosnia and truly feeling how lucky I was to have the childhood I had growing up. It may have been a bumpy ride but as a dear friend of mine from Bosnia always says, be thankful for your happiness and your health. So, if I have a bad day, as we do get them from time to time, life continues to challenge us.

I think of what I am grateful for and it always brings me back into balance. Also practical things I do to bring me back to my centre, would be meditation, grounding with Mother Nature. Taking walks at sunrise. Spending time with horses, just being and breathing with them. I love a good fire burning ceremony. It really helps to release what we are ready to let go of.

The thing I have become deeply passionate about in my life is how energy medicine is such an amazing life tool for our total health and wellbeing. This continues to surprise me every day. For me it has become a way of life. I live and breathe it every day. I look forward to where it will take me to in the future, as I continue my energy medicine journey. My animals are my inspiration. Unconditional love is the most amazing lesson they show us every day.


Author profile
Hazel Llewllin

Hazel is a Reiki Master and complementary therapist. She combines a range of therapies to suit the needs of both animals and people, where every treatment is tailored to your needs.