I guess life seemed to have dished me out a large chunk of miserable experiences, well at the time it seemed this way. I would like to take you back a few years to share with you some of my experiences. I do this not to gain sympathy; it’s really quite the opposite. I’m doing this in hope that it will jog a few peoples life’s and make you realise where you’re at physically and emotionally.
I was no more than 4 years old and I fondly remember playing in the garden and talking to my imaginary friends, playing with worms and what ever looked interesting to me. Mum would look out at me from the kitchen window. Aahh, mum, she was always there for me back then; everything was just fine when mum came along with her cuddly arms. She’d make everything better; I guess I enjoyed my early years as far as I can remember.
Things turned around for me when I was entering my teenage years. I realised just how ill my big sister really was when she threw herself from her bedroom window, I still remember the fear I felt as I approached the window to find my sister lying in the garden. Not sure whether to wake my mum or call the ambulance first, it was all happening so quickly. The doctors said she was suffering from schizophrenia, but I always wondered if that was the right diagnoses. I believed that there was more to her illness that neither my family nor the doctors fully understood. She didn’t die at that time; she lived for a few years after that incident.
I think that at the time that was my first real unhappy experience. My lovely, beautiful and ever so intelligent big sister was going through such a horrific time and I was unable to help her. But then I knew mum could fix things with my dads determination everything would be rectified. My dad, the man with a strong character, I never really new how to get close to him but it didn’t really matter back then, mum was all I really needed.
I realise now at 33, people can carry so much burden in their hearts, and blame them self for so many things that we do not realise the impact it can have on our health.
Take me for instance; I was around 12 years old when my other sister’s husband sexually abused me on several occasions, they were staying at the family home until they sorted out a home of their own. This meant that I had to sleep in the living room as there were not enough beds, but I didn’t mind as it was just great to have my sister home again. She had a crazy fun character; I still love her in my own special way.
For many years I kept this inside, I only told a good friend at the time from school, but I didn’t tell her how it really was at home for me. I told myself that it was my fault and I had to deal with my actions. I even made out to my friend that he was a sort of secret boyfriend, because that’s what I believed, sex only happened between boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives. So he must have been some kind of boyfriend. Well I managed to get through that ordeal and eventually he and my sister moved out. I was not the same little girl after that. I became more secretive, I didn’t believe everything my parents said, and I just wanted to escape from all the pain. I would try to talk to my mum sometimes to see if I could open up to her, but my mum didn’t seem to be the same mum I had when I was 4 years old playing in the garden, or maybe I wasn’t the same!
It was around this age I started to suffer from eczema I would get it around my eyes and on my joints and terribly on my hands which I still have today, but not so severe. I struggled through school even though I did quite enjoy it, or maybe it was a place for me to escape from my real life that I was beginning to hate. I was never allowed friends around the house, or just to do regular teenage stuff like the cinema with friends. That was just apart of growing up in a heavy Christian natured family I guessed. I was not the ‘regular’ teenager, I so wanted to be, so when ‘J’ came along everything seemed to have healed itself. He loved me and I loved him for loving me and accepting me the way I was with everything that had happened to me.
So leaving home at 15 to me didn’t seem that scary, when my dad found out I was seeing ‘J’. I had the chance to put everything behind me, although I didn’t want to lose my family completely. I still loved them very much, but they would never understand what I had gone through, not enough to not get upset and throw me out anyway. That’s how things were handled living with my dad, and mum would just go along with what my dad decided.
Well speeding things on a little,’ J’ and I had two boys together and we split up when I was 21 years old. My whole life begun tumbling down again, all my deepest secrets, joys and scared moments I shared with this man had been thrown to the wind as he had other women to date.
So now I was left to bring up two small children on my own with my emotions and with no support from my family as ‘J’ put me in a situation during an argument, which I was left to tell my sister who was married to that man she called a husband everything that had happened. I felt some what relieved to have it out, but she then told my parents who then concluded that I was nothing but a prostitute!!! Well could life get any worse? My sister who suffered from schizophrenia died at 33years of age, which the coroners believed was a form of adult cot death. My mum died at 67 years of age from kidney and liver problems my dad said. Both funerals I was not invited to in fact I was not informed either of their passing. It was a couple of years later for my sister (I will love you always), and Six months had passed before hearing of my mum’s passing. Every child should have the opportunity to say goodbye to the woman who brought them into the world, (I thank you for everything you have done for me, and I will continue to love you unconditionally).
You may wonder how I am now. Well I’m just fine; I have become a much stronger character. I have learned to appreciate life so much more than I did after splitting up with ‘J’, I really hit bottom back then. But I know the importance of health, without it everything else becomes vulnerable. Coping with life’s obstacles seem to be a challenge too hard to conquer. Sharing your pain with others, not leaving it up to your body to deal with, it has a hard enough job keeping us alive day by day. With all that we throw in to our mouths everyday, forgetting to chew our food and not even checking whether we are removing all of that toxic junk we put in. Our bodies work hard trying to clean our systems, and then we say things like “I live for today!” why? Is it because we know that our lifestyles could kill us in our sleep? Is it because we feel so low about ourselves that the notion of today being the only day we’d have to deal with some how seems quite comforting? Or could it be a cry for help, as we may not know how to deal with what we’re going through, so ignoring the facts can be some what easier? That’s the route I took, no happy tales to tell about that ride. It was just a steady roller-coaster that kept going down.
I am 33 years old now with 3 boys aged 15, 13, and 18 months and I have my own company. I am engaged to marry the most wonderful man God could ever provide me with. I still have sad days but I have a deeper meaning to my little life now. Health!!! I now believe that living for today is just a form of escape from what is really going on in your life. I would like to live a lot longer with good health by my side, I am sure that there are many people out there that feel the same way, but are too scared to deal with things. YOU CAN IF YOU BEGIN WITH LOVING YOURSELF! And remember, without your health you are truly vulnerable.
Guest post written by Gillian Andrews