I have been trying to think which part of my life I want to write about. So much hurt, so many regrets, so few smiles. It must be me, there must be something wrong with me.Easy to blame other people but I just don't know anymore, I think it must be me.
I was born 54 years ago. I remember happy family days, long walks through fields, building dens, climbing trees, an older sister and younger brother - all the things you'd expect from a happy and content childhood.
Then the bottom dropped out - my mother left - I was 10. No explanation, no goodbye, just got home from school and she had gone. We didn't see her again for more than a year, and then only very occasionally. My father turned to a beer glass for comfort rather than deal with us. From that point on we were on our own. Life, and what we made of it, was up to us.
At 11 years my grandfather offered to take us on holiday for a week. How wonderful. Yes you would have thought so. I remember the first time he touched me, I pretended to be asleep and hoped he would stop. He didn't. It was only 4 days, but those days have haunted me ever since. I never went anywhere with him again but never told anyone, in fact this is the first time I have ever talked about it. Years later I learnt that my mother had been abused by him as a kid - she should have been there to stop him taking me.
By the time I was 13 I hated everyone. I was bullied at school as I never had clean clothes or the right books or even a set of decent crayons. I had passed 11 plus to go to grammar school, I was supposed to be in the top 5% of my age group, but none of that intelligence helped me now. I dropped out, skipped school all the time, ran away, anything to not be there. But they kept sending me back. I eventually ended up in a childrens home by the time I was 15. Not the nice fluffy kind with helpful, loving carers, but a lock up unit. Children with real issues were sent here, children that would have been in jail if they had been old enough. My crime? I had pinched some valium from my grandmas house and taken them - I can remember thinking it might be fun - I was also sexually active by this time so the powers that be felt I was a danger to myself so should be locked up. Yes, thanks for that.
At 16 I was let out - had no where to live as my dad had enough of me by then. The fact that he also had a new woman in his life might also have had something to do with it, but at least it was someone to keep him upright while stood at the bar. I spent time either at friends houses or my grandmothers. Decided that the only option would be to find a man to look after me hahahaha. Yes I laugh now at how stupid that sounds but at the time all I wanted was to be happy and be in love.
Two years later I met husband no.1 - I was madly in love, you know the kind, that really silly sort of love where being together and laughing was all that mattered. We were married 6 months later, his parents of course hated me - I would too if I had been in their shoes. We had no money so lived with his parents. A year later we had our son M. My lovely little boy. I knew nothing about being a mother but I think I did well. This is one part of my life I remember as being happy. Another year on and we had our own house - just social housing, we were still broke, but I thought we were happy. Then he left. Turns out he had fallen in love with a younger woman, I was 20.
What next, how would I cope. Get another man of course. Husband no.2 came along. We didn't marry straight away but we lived together within weeks of meeting. Along came my beautiful daughter B and within 3 years another son D. Surely this time I had cracked it. Surely this time it was forever. Of course not. We were always on the breadline, argued constantly about money. The rows started to become violent. I kept going for years, I dont know why, I think I just couldn't accept that I had made another mistake.
I needed to turn my life around. We separated. I needed a career, I started training as an accountant and found work. Things were hard but working out. 2 years later we decided to try and save our marriage. I shouldn't have done that. We moved miles away from everyone I knew and the beatings started again.
The day I eventually decided to leave was the hardest of my life. I couldn't stay, I would have ended up in a mental asylum or dead. But my children loved him, they chose him. It broke my heart. I moved 200 miles away. I had become my mother.
For the next 6 years I worked, and when I was tired or sad I just worked some more. I saw the children as much as I could but their lives went on without me, no matter what their dad did to me he was always a great dad to them and for that I will always be grateful.
Then out of the blue I met someone. I wasn't looking for love but it seems that eventually I found it. I had never been happier. I was now 40, surely now was my time. Life was idyllic. Both working, good income, kids were visiting, what more could anyone want. I decided to take a chance again and he became husband no.3. We went one step further and I had my 4th child, a beautiful little girl. So what could go wrong....
2 years ago today I found indecent images of children on his computer. I died inside. I made him leave immediately. He is currently serving a prison sentence.
My daughter is safe and thats all that counts to me anymore.
So I started this epic tale by asking why me? Is it me? I don't know, you tell me? All I know is that at 54 years old I feel tired. I am going to give my daughter the best life I can. But what then? I think I will always be alone, but maybe thats for the best.....
Thanks for reading