It always amazes me that people want to hear “my story” because I’m a great believer in dealing with what is thrown at you. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. But then I sit back and think about everything that I’ve dealt with over the past 20-odd years and can see how some people might wonder how I have coped with it all.
I met my husband when I was just 18. I was a headstrong teenager looking for a way out. But now I don’t know what I was running away from. Normality, maybe? I had a life-plan, of sorts. I was going to continue with office work, keep chasing my dream of joining the RAF and see what else lay ahead for me. I didn’t want children until I was in my thirties, I knew that for a fact. Fourteen weeks later I found out I was six weeks pregnant.
What is meant to be is meant to be. We adjusted to the news and made new plans. My daughter was born the day before my 19th birthday. She was a small baby but was developing normally. We adjusted to life as a new family until she was 14 months when we found out she had cancer. Then you don’t cope anymore; you just take each day as it comes because you have no idea what will happen. All the power is taken away from you.
But you have to carry on regardless and you put your trust in a number of people who do have the power. They help you learn to cope in a way you never thought you could. You adjust and you learn to move forward again. You have to carry on or life is pointless.
We continued our life together, we had another two children and dealt with even more curveballs. ADHD, depression, unemployment, homelessness (not necessarily in that order) but we battled together as one and drew strength from each other. It was never easy but, for some reason, there was never enough reason to not deal with anything.
My daughter left home, aged 16. We have no idea what she was running away from. Normality, maybe? She found a flat and found out she was pregnant. This was never meant to happen but maybe it was meant to be? The coping strategies came out again and even though we had our differences, she came back home just before she had the baby. Our granddaughter was born the week before Christmas and a new generation was created.
I’ve become a grandparent again since then and my daughter and her brood live not too far away from our house. We carry on coping with everything and I see a lot of me in her although she always seems more extreme… if that’s possible. We are a young family attempting to forge a new path. Who knows what is further along for us?
Nickie appears on Dream Corner on July 22nd.