I was in a bit of a reflective mood over the weekend (children were away and I had way too much time on my hands for thinking) and I just thought to myself “imagine what 18 year old me would have thought if she could see 38 year old me’s life now ” I’ve been kind of pondering it ever since .
Back when I was younger I had a grand plan. I would study politics at university , I would be a diplomat and I would travel all over the place in my high flying career (original plan to become a physiotherapist having been ditched because A Level biology was HARD!). I would never have children but I’d probably at some point meet a man with an equally high flying career and get married.
Then life happened .
I became so many things I never thought I’d be .
I became a mother .
This was never in the plan. I didn’t like kids. I certainly didn’t want to have to look after one all the time forever.
So glad I did though. Being a mum has opened me up to so many feelings I don’t think I ever would have felt otherwise. Not because I’m saying you have to be a mum to feel , just I’m quite emotionally repressed as a person anyway (or was for a long time ) being a mum gave me access to emotions that were locked away.
I became a mum of 4 .
Now I never would have seen that one coming , but you know each one of these amazing humans I think were necessary in moulding me into the person I am now. I see little parts of myself in their behaviours and there’s something reassuring in that . Even when it’s teen boy the younger and I having a stubborn – off because neither of us will back down!
I became best friends with my sister
Younger me would have sniffed at the idea of that. We had nothing on common , she was a pain in the arse .
I’ve spoken on the blog before about how losing our mum made us closer and here we now and she’s my favourite human on the planet.
I became a anxious ,slightly mental mess
See this one I probably could have predicted. I’ve always had ridiculously unhealthy coping strategies. I didn’t like strong emotions . I turn myself off to them. I think it’s a tactic I used when my dad died. I just turned off the sad . It seemed to work so I then did it for any uncomfortable emotions and I never had to deal with them.This ‘skill’ was particularly deployed during the abusive relationship.
Obviously mature , wise 38 year old me in hindsight can see this was only going to end one way , and only now with years worth of therapy under my belt do I have better ways to cope. Slightly.
I became a survivor
I’m not the biggest fan of that tag. I don’t know how else to describe it though. I don’t want to use victim. I don’t want to speak about ‘suffering’ domestic abuse. 18 year old me didn’t have a clue the abusive relationship was going to happen. 20 year old me though, 25 year old me ,28 year old me they’d never have believed they’d be free of it. They used to make themselves a promise every single new years eve that this would be the year she left. The first time she absolutely believed it but as time passed she’d accepted this awful life was her fate and she’d never be free. Those younger , damaged versions of me wouldn’t have known or believed that one day something would change . A switch would flick and there would be a day in her life that she’d be free.
Yet here I am!!!
I became a blogger
This IS an interesting turn of events.
I am (or was) a closed book. I don’t talk about my feelings (see earlier reference to being emotionally inarticulate and a little bit nuts) I’m a listener more than a talker and I don’t really like people knowing my business. I just find talking about my feelings really tricky and uncomfortable (my therapist struck gold with me eh?) Writing down my thoughts and feelings though that I can do. There are numerous notebooks in my room to prove it , and always have been really. I can’t verbalise emotion well but writing it down I can do.
Writing it down though ,for other people to read well that’d scare me to death. People knowing what goes on in this topsy turvy head of mine -terrifying.
Yet I did it.
I do it , and it helps the topsy turvy head so much.
So this 38 year old mum of a whole tribe , who escaped a terrible situation and is less mentally well than she’d have expected because of it. This woman who writes down her innermost thoughts and experiences and shares them with the world. 18 year old Kelly wouldn’t have expected this is where she’d be , I don’t even think she’d have approved.
38 year old me though is quite content , and very excited to see where the next 20 years will take us.