Don’t feel sorry for me because I had a nervous breakdown and had to leave my job because I couldn’t cope with speaking to people. 

Don’t feel sorry for me because I ended up in an abusive relationship and had a traumatic pregnancy which ended fairly dramatically when S was born 5 weeks early.

Don’t feel sorry for me because I’m a single mother with nobody to share the parenting burden. 

I am fully aware that when you look at it on paper, my life might look a little bleak and depressing: a nervous breakdown; an abusive relationship; a premature baby; being a single mother with no help or support from the absent parent; being self employed. The part where I had to call the police in the middle of the night one time is also not particularly chirpy.

Is your head slightly to one side right now? 
Are you doin that “aww, poor you” face?

Stop it. You don’t need to feel sorry for me and I certainly don’t feel sorry for myself.

Everything happens for a reason, as they say. If I hadn’t had a nervous breakdown, I wouldn’t have met Twunty. If I hadn’t met him, I wouldn’t have S. And if I didn’t have S… I dread to think. I can’t say I regret a single moment of it, because it all led me to where I am right now – which is exactly where I need to be.

Don’t get me wrong; where I am right now is not exactly a bed of roses. Being self employed can be stressful, and no two months are the same, money wise – or in any other way, now I come to think of it! Being a single parent has its high points and low points; I’ve had two nights away from my daughter since she was born, and any time I want to leave the house after 6pm I need to ask favours of people (mostly just my sister) to look after S. It’s not the easiest life, but everyone has their problems, don’t they. 

Happy Samaire

Look at that face; who could fail to be happy?

People who’ve met me in the last couple of years express surprise when they hear about my past; they find it hard to reconcile the person they know with the story they’ve just been told. Truth be told, I find that hard too. It feels like all those things happened to someone else: a different person, in a different lifetime. 

Becoming a mother brought me a confidence I had never even glimpsed before. I had never valued myself much, but now that I was responsible for a child, whose life I valued above all else, I found the confidence to speak up. The strength to cut all ties with an abusive, licentious philanderer. The conviction to go it alone, and to do a damn good job at that. The determination to keep this blog running, and to go self employed. None of these things has been easy, but if you’d asked me ten years ago I would have told you none of them was possible either.

More than any of this though, I am happy. Some people may look at the bare facts of my life, my bank balance, my infrequent hair cuts and shoes with holes, and feel sorry for me. But if you looked at how happy I am, how grateful and fulfilled I am, you would be green with jealousy.


Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Emily harvey · 16/07/2016 at 11:01

Have just started reading your blog, you sound like a fantastic Mother. I’m also a single Mum to two girls who are my world. It isn’t easy at times but seeing their happy faces makes it all worth it. I was in an abusive relationship which I left well over a year ago, it has made me a stronger person and better role model for my

    Vicky Charles · 16/07/2016 at 16:36

    Thank you Emily, glad to have you here! It’s hard but it gets easier as time goes on, and you will feel stronger and stronger xx

Mummytomango · 16/07/2016 at 17:58

I believe it all makes you stronger and until you face such obstacles you don’t realise your strength.

Before i was a single mum i would have thought it would have broken me but 14months in im doing perfectly fine. It’s the toughest thing ive done BUT i wouldn’t change any of it.
Enjoy reading your posts. Inspiring.

Mim · 17/07/2016 at 04:10

Just beautiful lovely, such a happy post. Life is not easy, it’s bloody difficult and sometimes unbearably hard but we make the most of what we have, don’t we. And we have a LOT of good, especially thanks to our babies x x

Amanda · 24/07/2016 at 17:16

I live this! I actually mentioned you in my first ever FB live broadcast the other day as someone who reminds me that things do get better and that there is always hope and happiness and grace to be found in the messiest of moments! Like you, I believe everything happens for a reason. Right now I am so sick I can’t even begin to describe how I feel, and yet I know this happened so that I had no choice but to make change in my life… And all that I’ve been through getting to this point has a purpose too, even when I can’t fully see it. Sometimes our outward impressions don’t reflect our inner experiences – just as we can be falling apart inside when the world sees only a smiling face, so too can we be at our absolute strongest inside when outwardly our lives look so hard. I don’t feel sorry for you at all, I feel inspired by you and blessed to know you xx

Fancy · 13/08/2016 at 08:53

What a lovely little girl! A testimonial to your strength. You are a warrior that is winning😊

Christine Shelley · 04/04/2017 at 06:41

Ihad the same , a serious breakdown after an abusive 12 year marriage , no kim kids thankfully, but here I am 30 years later , happily married , 2 adopted girls, had a very successful career and own 2 properites outright, It seems like the world at the time, but life turns around , you wont haveholes in yiur shoes much longer

middy1 · 17/10/2017 at 13:05

I found myself sighing a huge sense of relief just washed over me. I’m not on my own😅
I put up with an abusive partner for 2 years (11years not one row) ! I woke one morning determined to be done with him. 22 calls to the police in 6 months that morning I actually gave a statement and he was taken to court denied everything and was found guilty. After all this I found myself having an emotional breakdown. By the end of that 1st year, he had gone out of his way to make sure my name was mud. He stole my vehicle smashed windows and stalked me for months. It was always my word against his. I had isolated myself from everything and everyone barley managing the mortgage payment life was and still is hard. I used creative therapy as a way to escape and although I still have zero in the bank no spare money to do anything. I actually have found my happy place. My daughters ,1who is 20yrs old (manager in Starbucks, and in university) and my 9 yr old (my reason to get out of bed). Have an incredible bond our family had become invisible and we haven’t got a lot but we have each other and we are looking forward to what lays ahead.
Reading this blog and all about your life I don’t feel so alone. Your obviously doing an amazing Job. happiness is not your clothes or material items you own
but it comes from inner peace. I wish you all the luck in the world your newest fan 💖💝

    Vicky Charles · 18/10/2017 at 09:03

    Thank you so much, what a wonderful comment. I’m so glad you managed to get past your hard times. I think abuse is so much more widespread than many people realise and it can be so hard to overcome – especially when the abuser has been removed but still leaves problems behind. Stay strong xx

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