Growing up I was a bit of an odd ball, an Edd the Duck more than a Gordon the Gopher. Never had much confidence and never really fit in, more so at primary school then at secondary. I can remember never having anyone to play with in the playground and doing anything anybody would ask me, just in hope that they might like me. I hated primary school and was so excited to move to secondary school. I can remember actually being happy on my 1st day, I’m sure most kids never feel like that haha! Secondary School was good! I had the most wonderful group of friends when I was there, had loads of fun and mischief.
My group was close and consisted of people in the year below and year above me. We were heavily into Indie music and Art. I can remember reading an article a few months back saying that as humans we are most influenced by the music we hear between the ages of 13 and 16, I truly believe that. My mom was always into great music, Queen, Rolling Stones, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen…. Not going to lie there was some rough choices in there…. Michael Bolton and U2 are the first 2 I think of, but well we all make mistakes and I guess the dull sounds of Bono making your ears bleed are comforting to some. Now I feel guilty. Rattle and Hum was a great album.. just please don’t tell anyone I know. Music continues to play a huge part of my life.
The group I had were insane. I was so blessed to have them through that key part of my youth. The nights we had in the music hall playing instruments, the trips we took with band, which allowed me to go abroad for the 1st time in my life, the nights in the civic hall listening to the up and coming Indie bands (Cast, Kula Shaker, Pulp) were the most memorable fun times of my life. Ever. I wasn’t confident but I was o so very happy, when I look back at photos from that time I see myself, and to me, I look like a totally different person, my eyes twinkle and my smile isn’t forced from the depth of my soul.
I firmly believe that confidence is a born with trait. My mum isn’t an overly confident person and neither am I. I don’t believe dislike for yourself is an innate behaviour though, I believe that’s firmly learnt. I’ve never felt popular or pretty or particularly special… average… thats the way I felt.
When I went to college I met my Ex partner. I was besotted. so besotted. He knew the right things to say, he really did, so much so I surrendered myself fully to him for the next 11 years. In that time I was emotionally and physically abused and it’s only when I look back now I realise he must have saw me coming a mile off. Maybe 5000 miles off, who knows. He spent all my money, inheritance from my family, never allowed me to have a car, I had to leave for work at 530 in the morning to walk to his moms to drop off my son then walk the 8 miles to the train station to get the train to work. I did this again in reverse on the way home. I was getting in at 8pm, bathing and feeding my son, having tea and going to bed to re start this again the next day. He’d rock up at 1am and expect me to cook his tea and shout if the house wasn’t clean enough for his standard. I was exhausted. I found steroid needles in his drawer, he convinced me I imagined it, I found a ring box wrapped in christmas paper, again, I totally imagined it, He took my son out to a theme park, he’d never done this before, again, my son, who was 3 came home and said he’d been out with ‘daddy and the nice lady’ and you’ve guessed it, I never heard that and was making it up. sigh. what a fool I was. He went on shopping trips, when we had no money, and come back with designer bags full of clothes, He’d locked me in the boot of his car because I’d got upset my son cried because he was sick, he drove me 15 miles from home, regularly, in my pyjamas and made me walk home in the middle of the night….. it goes on and on and onnnnnnn…….
When the relationship finally came to an end, I had a ‘feeling’ something was going on, he kept not coming home, women’s intuition I think, I knew he was staying at one of our other houses. So I put my son in the car at 2am, like a complete raving looney, and drove there and sure enough there were 2 cars on the drive. I rang his phone and could hear it ringing in the house. I drove home. I’d had enough, yet it still took me a long time to escape.
The next day when I saw him and he ignored me again, I asked about it, said ‘I saw your car there’ He actually tried to convince me that I had dreamt it!!! Couldn’t quite believe it.
Theres more to that story but I don’t want to bore you with it. Long story short he left, eventually after a truly horrific last few months.
During this time, when I look back now, I realise how much of myself had been destroyed through this relationship, I was a shell, empty, exhausted. I had no friends I was like a moon who couldn’t be bothered to change the tides. He had destroyed my friendships, every single one of them. I had my Mum and my Nan, that was it.
He’d systematically persuaded me that all the people I had grown up with were awful people. He’d left me with no faith or confidence in my self at all. Destroyed my soul, I’d never felt so awful in my life when I finally opened my eyes and realised what he had actually done.
I spiralled. I went out with friends from work, I went to Dublin just to escape it all for a weekend, I went to more concerts. I thought I was starting to live again, when in fact all I was trying to do was shut off and compartmentalise everything that happened. I shut my son off as I was so ashamed of what he had witnessed. It took me a long time to gather myself and return to being the fabulous mummy that I am. Boom! Hehe.
Unfortunately now all the evil has seeped back out of my brain, bit like the film ‘The Blob’ and I am in the middle of a truly horrific time. It’s difficult to explain to people now, nearly 10 years later, I can’t function properly, I can’t think straight, I panic, I worry, ridiculously worry…. but its nothing that has happened now, it’s my brain opening up and trying to cope with this overwhelming hurt in my sub conscious. The scary thing is, these compartments open when I’m sleeping and the nightmares are horrific, and surprising as these things are things that I’ve forgotten had happened. What freaks me out the most though? I’m balling and screaming like they have just happened. It’s bizarre. And shit!
I retrieved an old friend from school, you’ll be pleased to know and she is my rock. She never judges me and is always there, I feel sometimes she despairs but she has never left my side. While my confidence is horrific she constantly dis allows me to put myself down. Herself, her amazing husband and children are coming for lunch tomorrow and you know, it makes me happy that she was the person that I picked up hahaha! I don’t think any of my other friendships will ever be restored to the level that ours has, I’m too scared to let people in. Petrified of letting people in. When I met up with another friend with her, the friend said ‘I hated you at school, you were talented and beautiful and everyone loved you’ My jaw dropped. I was so surprised that I may have been perceived that way to another human, I didn’t know how to react at all. So I chose not to be involved with her, as I didn’t want to feel like I was that person, and I was worried I would let her down when she realised just how shit I really am! Anyway, my friend, I’m blessed to have her, she may think I’m a nut job, hell she is probably correct, but her love is unconditional and for that I’m thankful.
I guess what I’m trying to say to you, if these things have happened, or if they are happening please, please reach out. You can do this. You are worth the stars to someone you really are, and it’s really not the person that’s making you feel small. I wouldn’t have survived without my Mum, Nan and my Son. Even now, fighting what I am fighting, I just don’t want anybody in the world going through this. Theres help. Once you have told one person, that weight will lift it truly will. Be inspired. Be strong and love yourself. you so deserve more. You definitely don’t deserve to be fighting a battle 10 years from now like I am. I hate myself for not reaching out earlier. We all have only one life and I’ve wasted a lot of my 34 years in an emotional mess. Don’ t be me.
Love and Light