If somebody had told me as a child where I would be today, as an adult, I wouldn’t have believed them…
As a young child, I slept over at Nan’s every single weekend. I have very fond memories of this; Mum would stop at the shop, I would choose a treat and then Nan and I would share it while watching Blind Date or Gladiators before she tucked me up in bed. I loved it – cheesy 1990’s British television and all.
Then, when I was 6 or 7, my Mum had to stay overnight in the hospital to undergo a procedure. This moment in my life really affected me and as a result, I began suffering from some separation anxiety and refused to stay anywhere for years after. My attachment meant missing out on precious time with my Nan, skipping sleepovers with my friends and foregoing my class 6 camping trip (I was the only one in my class that didn’t go).
I am still unable to explain how it felt when I was away from my mum, I just remember feeling like my heart was breaking and not being able to explain why.
At 13, my school organised a class trip to Germany and my parents (and friends) encouraged me to go. I plucked up the courage to go and I remember enjoying myself. I think this trip was the point that I started to become more independent. Since then I recall regularly staying at friends houses and I went on another trip with school to the North of France, this time visiting Paris and Honfleur.
What I tend not to remember so much is crying in the bathrooms…
In 2006 aged 18, I decided to go to university and part of my decision was that I would live on-campus in Halls of Residence. This must have been my turning point, the experience was amazing and I loved every moment of my 3 years there. I even met my husband there – but little did I know back then where being with him would lead me…
I was 19 when I met him and since then I have spent more time away from the UK (and of course, my family) than anything else. Sometimes that’s a very sore point in our relationship, but I know if it weren’t for these experiences I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. More on that in future posts!
I feel much more independent now (at 28), but I still get those deep feelings of hurt and regret for having left my family. I have just learned to cope with them and enjoy what life throws at me.
At 13, I would have bet a whole months paper-round wages that I wouldn’t be living 18,000 kms away from my parents!