When I was a little girl I always believed in fairies and magic, always believing that there was a magical world out there.
While I long ago stopped believing in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy, I also stopped believing in magic and I stopped following my dreams.
I had so many dreams as a little girl. I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted that so badly. My head teacher I remember told me either I would be a writer, a journalist or a news reader.
By the time, I left school I wanted to study law. I ended up going to college and doing a hairdressers course, people like me “don’t do law” my dad told me. He could not afford to send me to university.
I would learn that whatever dreams I had, other people shattered them for me.
I dreamed of a happy home and a family. I got the family but the happy home was a violent and abusive one for many years.
I wanted to run my own business and I did. I was a high-flying businesswoman; I studied and gained various business qualifications.
I even owned my own shop but then bang, I had a mental breakdown and my world crashed to the ground, along with my business.
The nervous breakdown was only the start of the nightmare that followed and I cannot remember when or if I ever did recover completely from that time.
I no longer cared if I lived or died
I had three children yet even they were not enough to stop me wanting to end my own life.
To the outside world, I had it all, a beautiful home, a top of the range family car and three designer dressed children. Both my husband and I worked and we were respected and well-known in our village, hard-working parents with the world at their feet.
Yet behind closed doors, the cracks were beginning to appear.
My mental health was deteriorating fast and the abuse was taking a sinister turn. I would envisage smashing a hammer down onto his head, smiled as I heard that blood-curdling thud as his brains escaped from inside his skull.
These visions were haunting my waking hours and the nightmares flooded into the day times.
I hated him. I knew if he laid a finger on any of my children I would kill him.
I kept a carving knife under my mattress.
I would lay watching him while he slept as I ran my fingers up the edge of the cold sharp blade. I wanted to slit his throat, the voices eager to please me told me if I did then my pain and suffering would end.
I did contemplate taking the children with me.
I did not want to leave them behind.
Matters were taken out of hands thankfully, when one night my ex-husband shook our son who was 3 years old at the time, he then threw him across the room.
I had planned to kill my husband that night. I still to this day have no idea what happened that night. Through my dreams I saw him butchered and bloodied on our bed; I saw his skin mangled with his insides.
I had shredded up his body. I fell asleep next to his dead remains; I slept properly for the first time in years.
I woke the next morning with him still alive, not a scratch on him.
I have no idea what happened, but I knew then either I left him or either he would kill me or I would kill him.
My marriage ended in a courtroom, months of injunctions were placed upon him and for my own safety, I moved out of the home I had built and fled with the three children.
It has been 9 years now.
I wonder how much of those 11 years contributed to the way I see the world today.
I have learned not to dream, not to want more.
Something Good Has To Come From All Of This
I did pick myself up and went on to build a happy home and I did have the loving husband for a short period, 8 years almost, but then that marriage crumbled.
My 2nd husband and I are still friends, we just lost the marriage along the way with my mental illness. He became my carer and stopped being my husband.
I do now carry mental scars of my past, but years of intense therapy and strong medication have helped me to sit here today.
My heart is filled with regret when I think back to my career days; I could have really achieved something in my life.
I can no longer hold down a job, I cannot financially provide fully for my children. I do volunteer work and of course this blog, but I mean an outside job in the real world.
The real world is still too scary for me.
In November 2010, my world crashed again.
This time, I have yet to recover and there is no cure for me.
My career again was slashed and left me with debt.
My husband became my babysitter and our marriage ended 9 months ago now.
What happened to me?
What role model am I to my children?
When did it all go so wrong?
What happened to my dreams?
I used to have so many dreams and so much I wanted to do. I now dare not dream, dare not think about the future as I am frightened of where that may lead.
While I put my dreams on hold I did make a promise to myself many years ago and that was that one day I would help someone else and prevent them from ever feeling the way I had.
I would help and save just 1 person from the pain and the fear that I had felt.
I would take away the loneliness and save someone, anyone.
That is my promise and I hold fast to that promise each day.
I hope I have at least stuck to my promise.
Something good has to come from all I have suffered.
Because if I can achieve that then perhaps, just perhaps, I dare to dream that if I did it once, I can do it again.
Something good has to come from all of this. That is my dream.
I am no longer afraid to wake each morning, I do know I am strong enough to face my demons, yet it doesn’t make it any easier, the pain of mental illness is very real.
I still have delusions and I still hear voices, but although I find myself a single mum of 6 I also found that by trying to help others, even if only online, I now have a huge circle of friends, real friends, who support me every step of the way.
Maybe I am worthy after all
My children adore me, tell me they love me daily, I see it in their eyes and feel it in their hugs, they don’t think I am anything but the best mum in the world.
The 3 eldest children know I have issues, bipolar and anxiety and anorexia and that I am addicted to taking Tramadol. Yet they love me unconditionally warts and all.
When the voices creep in to tell me that I don’t deserve them, I know that I am strong enough to ignore them.
I have come too far to go back, something good has to come from all of this.
I will be happy again and I will create new dreams for myself.