It was almost a year to the day that I said I would start writing again when I felt better. I had just had my first baby girl. A year later, I am finally feeling a little better and think I am ready to commit to ‘write life’ and ‘read life’ again. I don’t think I can launch into the intricacies of the past two years straight away as the period has been harder to get through than anything else I have experienced before.
I am now the step-mum to a 6 year old boy, and a biological mum to a 14 month year old girl. I am 6 and half months pregnant with another little girl.
I have a partner who I have known since I was 7 and he was 5. Best mates for life.
It seems trite to summarise the plethora of experiences and emotions I have been through in a few paragraphs but I have to start somewhere.
He contacted me after a year of being clean of a 20 year old addiction to heroin. I was his only enduring friend from the straight world. We were in love, he was rejuvenated and hopeful. I was needed, naive and felt understood by him and determined to make it work.
The first three months together was exhilarating and then a mixture of terrible, violent external circumstances created extreme pressure on us both. Newly pregnant, I went off my anti-depressants and I ended up in hospital suicidal. When I had disembarked, he had reunited with his other lady, smack.
The next two years exposed me to a side of life, a horror show I would never have willingly entered had I looked into the crystal ball of destiny back then. I don’t know that I am ready to pour back through that legacy of deceit and disappointment now.
Instead, I am going to focus on the developments that keep me going now and return to the past when the time is right.
On the bright side:
We are together as a family (including his son from his previous relationship) and I am overjoyed to be having another child. Having kids in my life has given my life utter joy despite the other chaos I have contended with.
He is currently clean, studying full time and providing me with stable emotional and practical ‘around the house’ and parenting support.
I used to work in financial services and was retrenched at the beginning of the financial crisis at the end of last year, after just finding out I was pregnant for the second time. I was the only breadwinner. I went from a very substantial salary to having had difficulty getting the most basic job on a fifth of what I had been earning previously. I keep reminding myself that if we live frugally, I have enough money to get me through the next five months without getting into substantial debt. Once the baby is born, I might be considered again for a permanent position.
I am about half way through my adult teaching degree (only another 4 years to go part-time!).
My family and I are all physically healthy.
I have at least two friends with whom I can talk to about my relationship with my partner without fear of being judged.
I have learnt to be brutally honest with my family during this period, about my situation, what I can’t be for them, what I need from them.
I have maintained my volunteering mentor relationship with my "little brother" who is now 13 going on 21.
I have learnt more about myself, by questioning my beliefs, my principles, my boundaries, my strength, my vulnerability and capacity for love.
In a period marred by dashed hopes in many ways, I have endured and am still able to smile and dream about the future. I’ve missed you all and have much catching up to do.