65 on 16th September 2019!
I was 23 when I met the man who was to become my husband. I was saving for a holiday in Yugoslavia, my first trip abroad, and so had taken on a second job working in a bar. Norbert was German, a very charming Bert Reynolds look alike and we instantly hit it off and he was my favourite customer. In time things progressed, we dated and he asked me to marry him and move to Germany.
We were so happy, we both adored children, I am the eldest of 8, he was an only child, and we proceeded to try for a family straight away. After a few years of trying and nothing happening I started on the heartbreaking journey of infertility treatment. They were dreadful times, forever at the gynaecologist, sex to order, temperature charts, etc, etc. The eventual diagnosis was that my womb was not properly formed, the doctor said “it could be congenital”.
Four years later and all we had left was bitterness and disappointment and the day my darling husband said that I was not a women because I could not have children, was the end of the marriage for me. I went back to the UK a broken woman, I was anorexic and I had a serious alcohol dependency. I was 29 and reduced to living back with mum and dad, feeling a complete suicidal failure. Eventually I had a complete breakdown and took an overdose. I seriously could not live with the pain anymore and I was so disappointed that I survived that. Anyway, eventually I got back on my feet, and moved to another town.
I had always worked, thank goodness I had a great work ethic, but at the end of the day, I would drink myself into oblivion. I met another guy when I was around 34 and we got married, he had been married before and had a 7 year old daughter. She became my surrogate child and I loved her with all my heart. Her mother died when she was 18 and so we became even closer. Life was starting to become much more bearable and I only drank when things got too much for me, only a few times a year, although I still struggled with food. I stopped drinking totally at age 49 and finally went for counselling and group therapy.
I had also been sexually abused as a child and I finally realised that this may have had something to do with my infertility. That was too much to deal with and I sank into the depths of depression again, with serious thoughts of suicide. I had an amazing doctor at that time and I told her everything so I went on anti-depressants for the next 20 years. I have been free of them now for 6 months. In the meantime all my other siblings had families of their own and I felt pretty isolated and never confided in any of them how difficult things had been.
Still I had my step daughter, and we had an amazing relationship, we never had a cross word! I just loved her and she loved me too. She met a lovely young man and we all went to Las Vegas for a fabulous wedding. 3 years later she was dead. She had a cardiac arrest in her sleep and never woke up. We were broken, I would have given my life for that girl. We moved abroad away from everything in the UK; family, reminders, etc, and we now live peacefully in Portugal.
We have a good life, lots of cycling and walking to keep us fit, we do the best we can but this picture just describes me. ￼
This writer chose to remain anonymous