Ok so I’m very new to this. I have never written a blog before and never been open and honest with anyone other than counsellors and my boyfriend about my story and what I have been through. As I now see myself as coming through the tunnel and into acceptance of what has happened in my life, I can see this as an opportunity to help others, share stories and advice with people who have been through and are going through the same thing. In order to do so, I guess it is the time to be honest about my past…
I was born in 1992 to my parents who were at the time married and had one other child, my older sister, Hannah. About a year after my birth, my parents divorced. Luckily, I was too young to remember this time!
Following this, when I was 3 years of age my Dad married again. I was very lucky in the fact that she was a wonderful, kind, warm and loving woman who he was married to for 13 years (when I was 5 they had my younger sister, Beth). As I have never been close to my own mother until very recently, she became like my second mum, a figure of guidance that I could trust and go to with anything. For a while everything felt settled, Dad and his wife built a fantastic home, I would spend the weekends there with my sister and have a fantastic time.
During weekdays I lived with my mother and my sister. My mum has always struggled with money, so we often had hot dogs in tins for dinner (something which at the time seemed like a treat, but as I look upon it now it was the only way to feed us cheaply). When I was 7 years old, my mother married a horrible man. When I first met this man, I just knew. I knew he was negative, angry, troubled and aggressive. However, as a child, I had no words to express this, no adult vocabulary to express how I felt about this man. These feelings were so strong however that even on their wedding day I refused to put on my bridesmaids dress, refused to walk down the aisle and kicked up a huge fuss until I was forced to behave myself. I really did try!!
Following their wedding day, and for the 8 years they were married and he lived in MY home, I was a very troubled child. I acted out: hit, swore, screamed, refused to go to school, challenged everything I was told to do, kicked, punched, made myself sick, refused to eat…I could go on!! It was safe to say I was a nightmare child. I made my family’s life a living hell! It was these years that I stem my depression and severe anxiety to. I was acting out because I was trying to protect my family and myself from a manic depressive, alcoholic and very destructive man who made my home a living hell, but in the only way I knew how. Children have no tools to deal with this destruction, and I see now that my behaviour was out of sheer loss of control and despair.
My only solace was my weekends at my dad’s house, who of course I daren’t tell about my home life as I was scared he would take me away and make me leave my mum, who I then could not protect from her awful husband.
I was taken to various counsellors, therapists and eventually, when I was 15 years old, after years and years of destruction, tears, self-harming, near suicide attempts (that nobody knows about until now) I was placed on anti-depressants and anxiety controlling drugs.
Finally when I was 16 years of age, my mum separated from this awful man…but the damage was already done. The 8 years of disruption, acting out, fear, rage and anxiety had already moulded me into a shell of a human. So I can tell you that going through my GCSE’s was one of the hardest times in my life!! I will blog about my anxiety and depression in more detail and share with you my symptoms and coping strategies over the years, as well as the different therapies I have had, at a later date.
Finally some normality….
Until a year or so later, my father broke the news to me that he and his wife were divorcing. My pillar of strength, my example that relationships can actually work, my escape and my normality was all breaking apart. How could I not have known there were problems? I felt totally stupid as I had never seen them argue, never noticed any tension, never seen this coming. I pride myself on being intelligent and observant so where had I gone wrong? It was a messy messy divorce during which we sold the house that we had all built together and all loved so dearly, and moved to a new town. I still remember my first weekend at the new house. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed until there were no tears left.
6 months later, after my father had had what appeared to be a small breakdown (losing far too much weight, hardly eating, losing interest in his hobbies etc) he announced he had met someone new and they were engaged to be married!!!
I had not seen this coming either. Having only just picked up a few of the broken pieces of myself from the messy divorce, how could I handle this? For a long time I did not meet this woman, avoided family holidays, hardly went to see my Dad at weekends… but there was only so long it could carry on. When we eventually met, she wasn’t the evil stepmother I had envisaged in my head, but she was far from what I needed in my life. My father and I would argue black and blue, to the point where we almost stopped all contact, he almost hit me, and I had to live on a friends sofa on numerous occasions.
During all this time I continued my counselling and my medication, in the hope that it would make things better. But nothing seemed to work. At this very difficult stage in my life, I became extremely destructive: abusing alcohol, embarking upon relationships I knew were not good for me, self-harming, planning my own death etc. I can safely say it was one of the toughest times in my life.
Dad finally married and moved into his new wife’s house. Three years on they are still together, and my father and I are still attempting to rebuild a relationship, whilst my relationship with his wife continues to deteriorate.
I am still in counselling, still taking my medication (despite changing my antidepressants) and still seeking the peace that I have always needed. The decisions of my parents have shaped me to be a very anxious, sceptical, depressive individual who has black moods often, although they are becoming less and less. I will blog about my more recent positive therapy and how I am FINALLY turning my life around for the better as I become an adult and make my own decisions. I will no longer be defined by the decisions of my parents, and am trying hard to forgive their mistakes, accept the past and move forward into my own future…which although easier said than done, is becoming more and more of a reality. Finally things are looking up!
Wow…that was almost therapy in itself. I have never condensed my life and my pain like that!
So there it is..a brief overview of my story and my life. If this is similar to any of your stories please do get in touch, it is warming and comforting to know that you are not alone, and there are always people to talk to. I would love to hear from you and your coping strategies, you never know how helpful it may be!