PHOTOS BY CARLA MUNDY
You may have seen yesterday’s lengthy post about my childhood and some of the nasty things I faced growing up. Today’s post focuses on what happened since I was fourteen – after my stepfather was out of the picture and what went on in my life as a result.
FROM THEN ON
Seventeen years old
Since my stepfather was kicked out of Mum’s life, my stepmother left Dad. It caused him to have an emotional break down and turn to alcohol. His father also passed on, causing a huge strain on our lives making everything go into meltdown. I tried to escape that lifestyle by having a relationship with someone I met online and lived over a hundred miles away.
I was in the relationship for two years. He was someone with control issues, confidence problems and I found myself back in the trap of emotional blackmail. It took two years for me to leave a relationship I knew was messed up after five months.
I ran away. I left with my clothes in black sacks. But I found myself again when I came home although it was only just about. I was damaged goods and I made a lot of bad choices based on my insecurities. I drank too much, went out all the time before I got bored and then I became a shut in (except to go to work). And that was before I decided I was going to take hold of my life. I wanted to travel, study photography or something… I wanted to find myself.
HOW I OVERCAME THE DEMONS
I wasn’t going to let a few bad apples in my past dictate my future. From experience, I have now learnt how people like my ex-stepfather work – they use pity, intellect and charm to worm their way into people’s minds. To make them feel worthless, stupid and delusional.
When I was eighteen years old, I met Paul and I knew I found someone who would encourage freedom to speak, think, feel. Someone who encourages fun and spontaneity. He pushed me to be a better version of myself.
I bought the clothes I wanted, I read the books I liked, watched countless movies, listened to music, went on cruises, climbed a mountain and so much more. With Paul I have learnt that my past does not control how I choose to live.
I still get nightmares of my past. I’m still running away from the old house, trying to reach to other side where my father is. I’m still shouting at the people who made me feel worthless in my dreams. But that’s just what happens.
Everything I do is no longer to prove anything to those who hurt me, doubted me and disbelieved me. It’s so I can prove to myself I am better than everything I thought I was. What they made me believe I was. I’ve faced fears big and small, I’ve travelled, experienced and learnt a whole load of lessons. I’m no longer the naked little girl crying in the bonfire pit, soaked from having water thrown over me, made to freeze for hours whilst my mother was at work. I’m no longer the little girl scared of going home, terrified of what I will be made to feel. I am just the person looking in. I feel sad when I see that girl but I am no longer her.
My Dad has since overcome his demons too. He’s given up alcohol, worked hard and is happy again with his girlfriend Gill. My Mum has a home which is finally her’s – I see her regularly and we talk every week. I love her dearly and forgive her for not knowing what was happening before her. My stepfather, I have only seen once since their divorce – about a year ago when I was in Tesco with Paul. It triggered a panic attack but I left with nothing but the feeling of accomplishment. Obviously, I would always be bigger and better than any man who abuses his children.
I won’t let anyone tell me what to do or emotionally blackmail me. I do things for me.
And I am happy.