It has taken us quite some time to publish the conclusion of her story, due to the fact that when weaving the story of someone’s life, inevitably the threads of other lives become intertwined along the way.
We had to consider seriously whether spreading it all wide open was a good idea but decided, out of respect for because we’re nice people, to keep wolves in sheep’s clothing… to let sleeping dogs lie in their fluffy blankets… to keep it undercover, so to speak.
So if, after reading this, there’s anything more that you are burning to know about, you will have to ask us.
Continuing the story from where we left off
At the fabulous and free young age of twenty one she had developed a hard shell and a state of emotional detachment from all but her close friends, who had become like sisters.
Relationships were disposable and she was able to pack all her earthly things into her nomad-mobile whenever she felt the need, and go to wherever she felt was good.
Potent concoctions of medication gulped down with hard liquor, combined with the singular self absorption that came with bipolar/manic depression in this particular instance, had worn away the tenuous relationship between mother and daughter.
When the straw eventually broke the camel’s back, it was a relief to the girl. It was a release of the strangle-hold of toxicity on her life and she could breathe… she could breathe… just breathe. She would never allow it to affect her life again.
The golden boy
It was a serendipitous flow of events that brought them to the same place that evening.
She was walking across the room inside a bustling nightclub and as she looked towards the dance floor, she saw him, surrounded by a halo of light. That charming smile lit up his face and for just a second, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath… “This must be a dream…”
Eight and a half years later, she opened her eyes, exhaled, and knew that it was in fact a dream. One that possibly looked different to her than it did to him. One that had two sides, or was it three?
So much had changed. She had changed.
Either way, once again she found herself packing her belongings, and those of her four month old baby boy, into her car. Together they drove off following a road that only the Universe knew.
She didn’t know whether it would be for a day, a month or a year. She had no idea what lay ahead for them but she believed, she had faith that everything would be okay.
For this little blue eyed boy, everything had to be okay. Two days after his first birthday and before she was thirty years old, they were divorced.
If you have been a reader of this blog for some time, or if you’re a friend of mine, you will realise round about here that Her Story is my own… I have already told the story of my blue eyed boy and our little adventure.
However, what I wanted to express here is the story of a woman. Not only as a mother, not only as a wife or a child or a professional but as a woman in every aspect of her life.
The light at the end of the tunnel
We moved in at first with a friend in the big city, who had been by my side since I was seventeen. She knew every single thing about me and still loved me… there was no safer place to be in the world at that time.
I had a baby, a car, a suitcase and an endless amount of love and support. From that moment onwards, the Universe was set in motion to create a life that I could never have imagined.
I remember sitting outside every day, my head resting on the back of the chair and the scene playing out like a time lapse video… Winter was turning to Spring and I watched a line of bare Silver Birches become lush with bright green leaves. New life. New beginnings.
Although I had nothing much, I knew that I had to make a beautiful life for the little child who had been entrusted to me. He would have a happy family, even if it was a family of just the two of us. He would have a home where he was safe and a mother who he could rely on for anything.
Sparking a career
Back in the day, I had obtained a degree in Industrial Psychology, which was a subject that I really enjoyed (and didn’t have to work too hard at). As many graduates do, I assumed that the qualification would be enough to get me directly into a relevant, well paying job!
Of course I was soon brought face to hand (talk to the hand) with the harsh reality which is called “starting from the bottom”. I was fortunate in that I had job opportunities in administrative positions early on. Even though my work experience was broken in terms of continuity due to travel etc., that coupled with my degree and my super duper interview skills, paid off in the long run.
So there I was, in the big city and having not worked for nearly a year, desperately looking for gainful employment.
One day, about six weeks into my Spring timelapse video, a friend phoned me with a possible opportunity. It was a two week admin job, in a company that did Labour Law! Right up my alley! I got the job, and with my reasonably useful writing skills, managed to make myself useful enough to be offered a permanent position.
With that, I put my little boy into a lovely nursery school and in less than six months, we were able to move into our own little home.
When I left that company, it was four years later. Having built up a huge amount of experience, working under pressure and learning important new skills while developing a professional, thick skin, allowed me to basically walk into management roles from there.
Not bad for someone who was made to feel worthless, capable of nothing. Today I am reasonably successful having built a solid career, I have a blog that is my own little creative space on the interwebs and I am mom to two very happy, secure little boys!
I had decided to surrender… something I had actually heard on an Oprah Winfrey show years earlier – in times of desperation, surrender. I would say yes to opportunities that felt good, I would have faith that everything would work out and it truly did.
It continues to work out in this moment…
and this moment…
and this moment…
I wrote about what we went through with Blake, my youngest son, in my post for him. At the time of writing this story, my husband and I have been together for nine years and we have been through some interesting times together!
From days of basically living in a basement, surrounded by little kids with violent diarrhoea and projectile vomiting when we bought our first home together and had to wait for transfer… to the most beautiful, intimate wedding weekend surrounded by family and our children, it has been a wonderful collection of highs and lows as a complete life should be.
I haven’t doubted him, haven’t waited for him… I can trust him and rely on him in any and every moment of every day – even to wake me up in the morning.
Simultaneously, I am undoubtedly, authentically me, and as much as I know that I drive my husband crazy he never makes me feel less loved. For so long, all I wanted was to be “normal” and in trying so hard to be a “good wife” I lost myself completely. Eventually, I got to know and appreciate myself, find value in my uniqueness and experience joy within my own little bubble. It would be impossible to mention all the wonderful people who played a role in mentoring me, guiding me along the way. Without all these angels, I would have been lost. I am of course, still learning and growing every day.
All I ever wished for was a family and my goodness, that is what I have! My sons have a home that is stable and safe, they have a phenomenal father who is a stellar example to them and life is fun. We have a large extended family that celebrates together, cries together, stands together through everything.
Further to that, over the years my own father and I built a really special relationship which I am endlessly grateful for. He found his happily ever after with my wonderful (step)mom and together they are such loving grandparents, always there when you need them. An extended family filled with joy and love.
In the end (or in the middle)
At the end of this story (for the time being), the point is that I have experienced in my own life and witnessed in so many others, that there is a glow within us that can never be distinguished.
It’s the will to keep going, the will to be better and do better.
It’s the fiery protectiveness of a mother, the constant warming flame of love.
As women, we move through our days switching from professional to chef, to healer, to lover, to teacher and countless other embodiments in between. This is what The Glow Switch is about – stories of women who find the glow within and use it to get them through whatever they may face, with Grace.
Find the other parts here:
If you know of someone who has an inspirational story to share, or if you would like to tell your own story, I would love to hear from you.