Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Talking to Myself...The Story of My Life

Wendy  Jones, Wendy McDonald, schoolgirl
Little girl.  You are so small yet so soulful.  You try to do silly things to make people laugh.  You put on your yellow footless tights and dance around the room looking like Big Bird from Sesame Street.  You want to be loved and crave attention, flitting between your two sisters, making allegiances with whoever will give you the most fussing!  You will be terrified when big fish make you cry at London Zoo when they swim towards the glass ominously, as you stand on tippitoes trying to peer into their tank!  You will never forget that.  A car will hit you when you run across the road after feeding the horses in the paddock with your sister.  Your mum will make you walk home afterwards instead of taking you to hospital...miraculously you survive!  Take care little girl...there is so much you need to do!

Wendy Jones, Chalvey, schoolgirl
Awkward 10 year old girl.  You are so painfully embarrassed to join in with things, that you limit your opportunities.  Your mum works at the local playcentre and is dinner lady at your school so the kids all look at you with distrust!  When you win the Playcentre arts and crafts prize for making a collage of a fish (memories of the scary fish at London Zoo perhaps) that you painstakingly spent hours on, gluing down balls of tissue and grains of sand, the other kids will shout "FIX!"  You will see your mum lavishing attention on other children while keeping a professional distance from you.  It will hurt like hell.  You will sit in the corner at the roller discos. You will hide behind the Playcentre when the mean kids chase after you.  But you have some good friends and there is fun to be had.  You just need to not be afraid.

Wendy Jones, Herschel High School
Schoolgirl and teenager.  You are so very intelligent and totally capable of anything, but you never really reach your full potential in adulthood.  People are starting to see you as quirky with a wry sense of humour.  Being at secondary school gives you more independence and new friends, although you'll never break into the popular crowd.  You won't realise it, but you've already met your future husband and have made lifelong friends.  You start to mess around with your eating, you hate the feeling of food in your mouth.  You find it empowering to avoid eating.  It gets you attention when the popular girls admire how slim you are.  It's a slippery slope.

 Older teenager...oh dear.  You are 5 ft 11" and pretty skinny.  People say you could be a model, but with your self-esteem that would be impossible.  You realise that the boys are getting interested, but you keep your distance for now.  Your mum tells you that your pretty, blonde, bubbly cousin is "courting"...why aren't you.  She is a favourite of the family.  You are truly a black sheep.  The sullen  one.  Before it's even fashionable, before it has a name you self-harm.  You carry a small pen knife for when the inner turmoil gets too much.  Cutting releases the pain.  In the future when you have your blood pressure taken, you will tell the nurse you put your hand through a window.  You will still have scars when you are 41. Not your best idea :(
For a couple of years you will go off the rails big style...don't worry it is just part of your journey.

teenager, motherhood, mum and baby
19 year old me.  You don't go to university despite getting the grades.  You get a job in a laboratory.  You think you're in love.  You're not...but it was the best thing that could have happened to you.  Because although you end up on your own and pregnant, for the first time in your life you feel positive.  Your GP tells you it is the first time you've looked at her in the eye, following weeks of seeing her after trying to cut your wrist with a razor blade.  This baby is your salvation.  The birth will be traumatic.  His survival is touch and go.  It's a test.  You are given a chance to embark upon the most wonderful journey.  Motherhood. You embrace it...I thank you for that!

20 year old, woman
In your 20's you have confidence.  You've found a role in life where you can be truly happy.  Loving a child has allowed you to love yourself.  You are further blessed with two beautiful daughters. Your friend since school has become your husband.  He never judges you and he loves you for who you are, and for who you make him want to be.  Family life with you both at the helm is everything you ever wanted.  You give your children the love and attention they need to flourish.  Seeing them so confident and happy in turn makes you feel validated and worthy of being their mum.  No-one would ever believe the darkness that used to reside in you.  Sometimes it surfaces, but you know how to supress it and you have someone who understands.

mother and baby, birth, newborn, maternal love
In your 30's you bask in the reflected glory of your wonderful children.  Another little girl adds more joy to your life.  Your husband finds a great job with a good wage that sees you move into your own home, and with a shrewd move a few years later you own a 4 bedroomed detached house.  Your journey of self-discovery continues and you become a strong woman.

In your 40's...a gift.  A baby son.  Your family is complete.  You are still in love with your husband.  You have a nice home and nice things.  You reconcile your past.  You start a blog and connect with the world.

You are me....and I am proud x


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