I was incredibly honoured to be asked by Radio Cumbria to feature on the segment “life stories”. My first reaction was really? Would people find my life story that interesting?
Kevin Fernihough is so lovely and made me feel instantly relaxed when we did my interview. I had spoken with him a few times in the past when I was asked to go on the Biz quiz (reigning champ with 3 consecutive wins). I had spoken to a researcher to give a brief synopsis of my life and Kevin took it from there.
It was very emotional reliving parts of my life which seem like a lifetime ago. Taking me back to when my dad died. People don’t give children credit for how they feel. As a child you see things very black and white, as you haven’t got the emotional baggage you acquire in adulthood. It made me realise how much I miss my older sister Eve. She died 7 years ago, she was my link to my dad, telling stories which I hung onto every word she said. It was a comfort and kept him alive in my head. I think losing my dad at such an early age, I’ve always felt as if something was missing from my life. My mum remarried, but as a hormonal teenager I couldn’t replace my dad as easily as she did.
I am glad that I ran away to the Lake District with Adrian. Though my relationship with him didn’t last, my love for the lakes did. When I look back at when we first came to live here, we literally had the clothes we were dressed in. I smile. It was an adventure. Slowly making a home together. For months we had 2 of everything which Adrian’s mum had given us. When you are young and in love material things don’t really matter. I cannot believe that I used to hitchhike. This continued to enable us to get about in the lakes as we didn’t drive and bus travel was so expensive. Stuffing pillows into our rucksacks as walkers were more likely to get a lift, I do giggle at this, especially when people would say “oh let me give you an hand with that” I politely said oh it’s ok!!
Then came along Mr P and his 2 hangers on. When you meet someone you know that you are meant to be with that person. When I had left Adrian and moved straight in with Dave and the boys, I did think “am I out of the frying pan into the fire”. An old friend said “life is too short, yes it might be quick but you’ll find out quicker if it is going to work”, it’s true, luckily it did work!!
I am very lucky having the Pennington boys in my life, all three of them. The sadness of not being able to have my own children will never go away. I think I feel cheated that with not having my allowed 2 goes on the NHS at IVF, It feels as if I haven’t given it my best shot. When you are paying £6000 a time for private treatment you have to draw the line. It’s a sad reality when it comes down to money plus having felt like I did when it failed, I was scared to go through that again. I know ruminating on “what if” is pointless but I’m human, I can’t help it. I do feel that with the counselling and giving myself a break has made life a bit easier. A close friend announced she was pregnant again a couple of weeks ago, she said she was dreading telling me as she knew I had a blip a few weeks ago. For the first time in ages, I genuinely felt happy for her. Maybe that acceptance thing is finally kicking in? I must admit I did have a tiny cry, but rather than crucifying myself for feeling jealous, I just let it go and let it be. Progress. Depression and sadness are things which you learn to live with, no short term fix unfortunately. The bad times don’t last forever.
People look at my life and think oh she is so lucky, she packs so much into life. I do. I made my own luck, nothing handed to me on a plate. I do get on and do things because I would love nothing more than being at home with my child, but that hasn’t happened. So I dust myself down and get out and do. Distracting myself with activities because at times if I didn’t I would be in a very dark place. I was talking to my best friend and I said “I sometimes think what is my purpose in life” you are from an early age, programmed to become a mother and nuture life, when it doesn’t happen you wonder why are you here. She said yes that is true for most, but you need to realise what an inspiration you are to people and what an inspiration you are to me.
I had some lovely messages of support after listening to my story. People said brave for sharing. Am I brave? Maybe a little, but if someone takes comfort or seeks help because of listening to me then that’s a comfort to me. The audio links to my radio story are below. Life is for living.
Part 1 of my life stories
Part 2 of my life story
Life stories part 3
Get your tissues ready
Life Stories part 4
Life Stories part 5