Born in May 1965, and eventually spent my childhood years raised on a farm.  Things were tight and my mam made our clothes, there were no children’s birthday parties or holidays for so many years, until eventually we had 3 days in Blackpool when I was about 8.

My childhood memories are still as clear as day, some great, some not so great, but like everyone you just get on with it.  I had a sibling, but she too disowned me.  I had parents who also disowned me, I had 3 children who disowned me.

I am not perfect, I have made mistakes, I was married for 25 years to my first husband a kindly man, who was a hard worker, not around as much as needed to help with the children, but hey he was working for us.

My dad was very “old school” and he talked of his father, who was in the cold stream guards as being a very stern man who often picked up his belt.

My  mam, whom once I was very close to, worked hard and turned her hand to everything, she was cap ‘n’ gowned in piano and was a fully qualified nurse, in later years working on the district.  She didnt always have an easy time of it, but as of women of her era, she gave it her all and her and my father were still together until he died (apparently) in 2015, I have to say apparently as no one told me.

My children were effectively raised by me to adulthood, if there was anything that needed tending to I did it as daddy was working.  I believe I was a good mum, certainly I was loved at one time (I think) but of course when I left their dad, alongst with all the mess to sort out that happened because of my addiction to gambling, along with the pain of keeping everything else to myself (as you were taught to do) back then.  One of my dad’s favourite sayings when I was a child was “children should be seen and not heard” – probably why I was more than a little overprotective with my own children.  Still motherhood does not come with a manual.  All I know is I loved each and every one of my children unconditionally before they were born, when they were born and every day since, contrary to what they may think.

My past had its own share of nightmares I had to cope with, mostly since my divorce, but one nightmare happened before I even married my ex, something which would have possibly explained better my actions and why I took to gambling to “escape reality”. I always hoped I would be able to share this nightmare with my daughter at least, but now of course none of them talk to me, and if told now, they would probably shrug their shoulders and not believe me, so it looks like it will be going to the grave with me aside from the Counsellor, my husband, my best friend and a couple of others who I have braved telling.

The reactions are always the same, people don’t know what to say, which of course comes across the same as I don’t believe you.  I hope its the former and not the latter,