Through 2009 and 2010 I suffered great loss, “more than most lose in an entire lifetime” some have said to me. In those short 24 months I lost three babies, two foster children that we initially fostered with a view to adopt, my 54-year-old mother to Pancreatic Cancer, my marriage, my husband, my job, the home I had refurbished with love and care, my step father, my two treasured cats, a handful of “marital friends”, and maybe a tiny bit of sanity, who knows hey ?
I shook 2010 off, and began 2011 almost as naked as the day I had come into this world. Emotionally, well, as I am sure you will understand if you have only been through one of those tragedies, I was raw, the pain and anger leaked from my every pore. I shed three stone of pregnancies, IVF treatment and comfort eating within months. As I looked in the mirror one spring morning I didn’t recognise my reflection, the large sad brown eyes looking back at me were eyes I no longer knew and the dark circles surrounding those eyes were a reminder of night terrors and months of sleepless nights.
Over the past four years I have managed to piece my life back together. I’ve been searching for the comfort, the safety and contentment that I once felt. My old life had been a happy place for the most part. There had been so much love and laughter. I’m so fortunate to have so many wonderful memories. But there had also been tough times, and times of struggle, and like any of us, I had battled through.
After such loss it has been hard to know where to start, and without a friendly hug, or nod of reassurance from your Mum it has been a tough battle that I am proud to say I won.
Once I managed to stop trying to shove the puzzle pieces of life into slots they didn’t fit things became clearer. I found a way to stop laying the blame for every little thing at my own doorstep (ok, I’m still working on this one). I found it in my heart to forgive myself for my mistakes and I found a way to forgive one person in particular for the years of doubt and hurt they had given me. The anger began to fade and I began to love myself for the first time in my life.
Beginning again has been an uphill struggle. There have been endless late night calls with trusted and kind friends. I’ve also experienced bouts of beating myself up before I have been able to realise that my struggles do not define me, but instead they have come to shape me. My struggles are no longer scars that I’m embarrassed of, I have begun to see them as pieces of evidence to remind me just how strong and courageous I can be (ok, something else that I’m still working on). I like to think that I have developed into a softer and kinder version of my old self and I think I may have been reunited with my “hopes and dreams mojo”.
My dreams of the future mainly centre around that deep-rooted contentment and that feeling of safety I once knew. I long for the freedom of working for myself, wanderlust and spontaneous trips to exotic places. But mainly, well mainly I hope to wake every day next to someone who still takes my breath away. I long for the moment when “home” is within the arms of someone else instead of a place and I want to laugh until I’m crying with someone who I can reveal my true self to shamelessly, I want to live a life with someone who can sing the song that my heart sings, even when I am unable to hear the humming myself.
And then I met you.