Today we have part 2 to the very moving "story post" . You can see part 1 here.
11- Becoming a mum has had the biggest impact on me. But I wouldn't be the mum I am without the loss of my dad. I was a very naive, shy 21 year old when my dad drank himself to death. I was drifting through University and failing my placement. I went to see one of my tutors the day after my dad died. I'm certain that the only reason I passed is because of him. The friends I had then got the whole sorry tale and because they knew the truth, they are the closest friends I have to this day. But I also know now that being honest about everything brings you closer to people. I felt so ashamed about what had happened to my dad. But the friends that truly care for you don't see it that way. I have some absolutely amazing friendships now that I honestly don't think I would have had if my life had been easier. Of course my relationship with my children and husband has been affected by my past. But in a positive way I think (I hope).
12- The biggest thing in my life has been finally realising that I cannot help my brother any longer. He is a very high end schizophrenic and has ruled our lives for over 15 years. He has treated my parents horrendously but I was always there for him. One part of me hated him and the other part of me was heart broken for him. The last straw was when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my brother decided to cut off all contact. That was the straw that broke the camels back. My parents have done everything possible to help and support him but the more they do the more he throws it back in their face. I realise that my husband, children and parents need me and nothing is going to change my brother.
13- Meeting my husband. I know it's not deep or profound but its true.
14- The moment I saw my now husband! Corny I know, but the second I saw him I thought completely out of the blue..."I'm going to marry that man". I didn't meet him properly for a few more months, but 11 years on and 2 gorgeous children it is clear that was the turning point.
15- My marriage breaking down. I was a housewife at a 22 who doted on my newborn baby, 20 month old toddler and husband. His selfish behaviour and cheating ways led me to the complete brink emotionally and mentally but the result of coming out if it the other side is amazing. I have come from somebody who lacked self esteem, motivation and self belief to somebody who will try anything, go out of my way to do all I can to prove I really 'can do it' and who believes and lives with the motto: everything happens for a reason. My life now is the happiest it's ever been. My children have the most incredible man in their life's to look to as a father figure, I have never, ever been this happy and through all the heartache, sleepless nights and traumatic times, I have come out stronger, wiser and with a group of friends who I wouldn't have. People often look on the negative side of such a life changing event. I try to look for the positives now. Had my marriage not of broken down I'd of never experienced true love, the way it feels to love and receive it back. Being respected and being an equal. That incredible feeling of knowing your safe, your children are protected and loved just as much as you love them and that amazing feeling of achievement. Through the darkest days I found friends and friendships that would never of happened or formed had it not if been for the marriage breakdown. Whilst some people would ask about the children, and the impact it has had on them, I can honestly say they have benefited too. They are surrounded by an extended family that love them like they are their own and a father figure who not only loves them and protects them but who inspires them and encourages them. Our future is very bright.
16- 3 things for me.
Watching my Gramps pass away made me evaluate friendships, I got rid of one very emotionally poisonous person in my life shortly after his death.
Going to Australia on my own for 4 weeks, it is still one of the bravest things I've done. I was very scared and a little bit heartbroken, but I made it back to these shores with lots of new friends, an array of minor injuries and a massive hangover.
My children have toughened me up a lot. They've made me change into a person who doesn't scream at spiders, couldn't care less about thunder and picks creepy crawlies up, just to prove that girls don't have to be girly!
17- I believe we all have a lot of these moments in our lives and it's hard to pinpoint the one I could say has had the biggest impact on my life. One of those moments though was when I made the decision to let go of chasing an ideal on who my birth mother was/is (I'm adopted).
I grew up believing she was selfless in her decision to have me adopted, that she wanted a better life for me. However after having some contact with her I realised it wasn't a selfless act but a selfish one. She never wanted children, was ashamed to find herself pregnant and single (she was in her mid-twenties) and found out too late that she was pregnant to be able to consider a termination.
Letting go of the idea that she would automatically want to know me, to meet me and be involved in my life was one of the hardest things I've had to do but I'm pleased to say I'm much happier for having made the decision.
18-Having my son had had the biggest impact on life. I had the perfect family my two girls a nice home. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel with nursery fees, our house was coming together, work was fab, I was getting qualified. Then in March 2007 my world fell apart. I discovered I was pregnant. I was devastated. It was not planned, I booked myself in for a termination, with my husbands support. I knew it would be financial suicide if we went ahead, I had only just returned from maternity leave and I wasn't sure my marriage would survive. I had no idea how far gone I was as I was still having a period I had no signs I was pregnant, I was still drinking and taking the pill. I am ashamed to say I didn't stop, I didn't want this baby. The morning of my termination came and I was packing my bag. Sounds really corny but I felt my baby kick. I got into the car and never made it inside the hospital. Instead I went to my GP for a referral for a scan and a MW appointment. I was seen that Saturday to discover I was almost 14 week pregnant. Baby very strong and big! I was still 'devastated' and when people asked me if I was excited I would grimace and think to myself I was in the worst situation possible. All the way up to my 20 week scan I hope and prayed I would lose my baby, I hated it for ruining my perfect life. At my 20 weeks scan, I wouldn't look at the screen, but wanted to know what we were having. When she said a boy. I thought my heart would break...with happiness. He was fine, no problems. I tried to get help and was told it was baby blues, my daughter was only 14 months old. Friends told me I was a horrible person, and I didn't deserve him. The Health Visitor I had was brilliant and gave me loads of support. We are in serious debt, I am now qualified, we have a tip of a house but I would not change it for the world. I am sad I didn't enjoy the early parts of my pregnancy but I was so overwhelmed, I would have 3 children under the age of 3 with no family support. I now believe he was meant to be and I was 'picked' to be his mum.
19- The biggest change for me has been becoming a nurse in the community, you really see another side of life.The safeguarding often feels relentless.....I'm becoming scared that the things people do to their children doesn't seem to shock me any more....sadden yes, shock no. It also has had me reflecting on my own childhood,which if had happened these days would have seen me and my sister end up in care. This has led to a breakdown in the relationship between me and my mum. I feel so angry she let us have such an upbringing. Having kids of my own only seems to reinforce that.Every time I shout at the kids I get so frightened I'll end up like my dad! On the flip side,I know that in comparison to some of the families I come into contact with,I am so blessed and my children are rich in love and affection. I need a magic wand so that all those other children can have the life they deserve too (or a mahoosive house so they can come and live with me!)
20- I was diagnosed with MS last year. Only a tiny handful of people know. I keep it very quiet and mostly pretend it's not happening, but seeing how brave some of you are I thought I'd write this here as I need to be able to tell people without bursting into tears so I'm practising on all of you which I hope is ok?
Oddly the diagnosis is not the thing that has made the biggest impact on me, but deciding what to do about it. My MS is currently not to bad. I'm mostly ok and fairly fit and healthy and it is a total unknown how things will progress. I have the option to take drugs which on average lessen progression by 30%, but may do nothing or it may be 50%. However you can never know for sure what they are doing as you don't know what you'd be like without them also they can make you feel awful and can effect your liver. After a lot of thought I decided I have to stay as healthy as possible as long as possible for the girls so 12 weeks ago I made the biggest decision of my life and started once weekly self administered injections. I know I wouldn't be taking the medicine if it wasn't for them. I hate that I have medicine in my fridge, I hate I have to inject myself and I hate the large sharps box hidden in my wardrobe. I hate this is my life now. Some days it's good because I know life is short and I do everything I can so my children can have a lovely life, but other days I just want to hide and I spend too long losing myself in the Internet and not paying my children enough attention and then feeling guilty. Hopefully I'll have less of those days as I get used to things. Last week for the first time I was surprised when my alarm went off reminding me that it was injection day so I guess it's becoming my new normal and I've managed to write this which is a fairly major break through.
A massive thanks again to all the ladies who agreed to share their stories.