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’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.
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.