When I was a little girl I always believed in fairies and magic, always believing that there was a magical world out there. While I long ago stopped believing in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy, I also stopped believing in magic and I stopped following my dreams.
I had so many dreams as a little girl. I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted that so badly. My head teacher I remember told me either I would be a writer, a journalist or a news reader. By the time I left school I wanted to study law. I ended up going to college and doing a hairdressers course, people like me “don’t do law” my dad told me. He could not afford to send me to university.
I would learn that whatever dreams I had, other people shattered them for me.
I dreamed of a happy home and a family. I got the family but the happy home was a violent and abusive one for many years. I wanted to run my own business and I did. I was a high flying business woman; I studied and gained various business qualifications. I even owned my own shop but then bang, I had a mental breakdown and my world crashed to the ground, along with my business.
The breakdown was only the start of the nightmare that followed and I cannot remember when or if I ever did recover completely from that time. I no longer cared if I lived or died. I had three children yet even they were not enough to stop me wanting to end my own life.
To the outside world I had it all, a beautiful home, a top of the range family car and three designer dressed children. Both my husband and I worked and we were respected and well known in our village, hard working parents with the world at their feet.
Yet behind clothes doors the cracks were beginning to appear. My mental health was deteriorating fast and the abuse was taking a sinister turn. I would envisage smashing a hammer down onto his head, smiled as I heard that blood curdling thud as his brains escaped from inside his skull. These visions were haunting my waking hours and the nightmares flooded into the day times.
I hated him. I knew if he laid a finger on any of my children I would kill me. I kept a carving knife under my mattress. I would lay watching him while he slept as I ran my fingers up the edge of the cold sharp blade. I wanted to slit his throat, the voices eager to please me told me if I did then my pain and suffering would end.
I did contemplate taking the children with me. I did not want to leave them behind.
Matters were taken out of hands thankfully, when one night my ex-husband shook our son who was 3 years old at the time, he then threw him across the room.
I had planned to kill my husband that night. I still to this day have no idea what happened that night. Through my dreams I saw him butchered and bloodied on our bed; I saw his skin mangled with his insides. I had shredded up his body. I fell asleep next to his dead remains; I slept properly for the first time in years.
I woke the next morning with him still alive, not a scratch on him. I have no idea what happened, but I knew then either I left him or either he would killed me or I would kill him.
My marriage ended in a court room, months of injunctions were placed upon him and for my own safety I moved out of the home I had built and fled with the three children.
It has been 5 years now.
I wonder how much of those 11 years contributed to the way I see the world today.
I have learned not to dream, not to want more.
I do now have the happy home and the loving husband. I do now carry mental scars of my past. My heart is filled with regret when I think back to my career days; I could have really achieved something in my life.
I can no longer hold down a job, I cannot financially provide for my children. In November 2010 my world crashed again. This time I have yet to recover and there is no cure for me. My career again was slashed and left me with debt. My husband became my babysitter and has yet to return to work, as it’s not possible for me to cope at home alone.
What happened to me?
What role model am I to my children?
When did it all go so wrong?
What happened to my dreams?
I used to have so many dreams and so much I wanted to do. I now dare not dream, dare not think about the future as I am frightened of where that may lead.
While I have put my dreams on hold I did make a promise to myself many years ago and that was that one day I would help someone else and prevent them from ever feeling the way I had. I would help and save just 1 person from the pain and the fear that I had felt. I would take away the loneliness and save someone, anyone. That is my promise and I hold fast to that promise each day.
I hope I have at least stuck to my promise. Because if I can achieve that then perhaps, just perhaps, I dare to dream that if I did it once, I can do it again.
Something good has to come from all of this. That is my dream.