2011.

Yesterday was not a good day, but involves another family member I’m not prepared to talk about in my blog. I’m very aware that I’m protective of my writing, so I’m unable to share my feelings over yesterday.

I could leave my writing for a day, but I’m very aware of the therapy this blog is providing right now. My Doctor said that when you find your outlet to air your sadness, fears and frustrations, you must hold on to it. I’m holding on to my daily blog.

2011 was the worst time for my family and I. Family being Clive, Hats, Lou and myself. I will come back to this…

My hubby and I met on our first day of ‘Big School.’ He came from a village primary school, I was a ‘townie.’ At 11, I didn’t really pay much attention to him, and I know he says he found me annoying! Annoying because I never stopped talking and being disruptive. We were in the same tutor group, therefore, in all the same classes throughout the day. We didn’t really have much to do with each other. Then, at 12, I’d been told that he was asking about me. Then I became more intrigued. He was really quiet and really sensible. Much like myself! (Haha!). He was really popular and was Captain of all the sports teams. Mr Gibbs, the PE teacher, seemed to see Clive as some sort of God!! He was very sporty, constantly playing rugby, football, running the 200 and 400 metres etc etc. I hated PE!! I loved 800 and 1500 metres, running was always my passion. But everything else, I was just useless. I was always last to be picked in Netball, as I’d close my eyes if the ball came towards me. My PE teacher did not consider me a God! Apart from my running ability, she thought I was a lost cause. The amount of letters my Mum wrote to her saying how I had ‘my period.’ I’m surprised Miss Cligg didn’t tell her to get her daughter looked at, as it isn’t really normal to be having monthlies every day of the school week! (Cough, cough). My Mum was a legend for getting me out of netball, just saying!

Clive was sat at the front of the class, being compliant. I was always at the back, constantly being told off and being sent out. I was never rude to teachers, just seemed to be unable to stop talking. On one occasion, I’d been sent out of our history lesson. As I was stood outside the class, I clocked our year head, Mr Jones, walking up the stairs. I knew he’d give me a detention if he caught me being sent out. I quickly darted back into the classroom to avoid him. My teacher asked me why I felt I could come back in, I told her I felt cold, and stupidly, she bought this feeble excuse. One term, I’d clocked up 28 detentions. So, as I was hearing that Clive was asking about me, I felt quite intrigued! The quiet, well behaved, sporting legend, wanted to ‘go out’ with the class clown.

One parents evening, my Dad asked our tutor, Mrs Fricker, what this boy, Clive, was like. He has always told everyone her reply, “Clive’s a lovely boy, but very quiet. I’m hoping Sophie can bring him out of his shell a little….. And I’m hoping Clive can put her back in hers!” Dad always said that if Molly Fricker had any thoughts of taming this 12 year old daughter of his, she was very much mistaken, bless her!

Bugsy and I got married when we were 20. I’m sure my Mum had roller skates on under her purple outfit. ‘Quick, get her down the aisle before he changes his mind!’ My brother was born on my Grandpa R’s birthday, so Bugs and I had got engaged on this special day. We married two years later on the day before my Grandpa R’s 90th birthday. It was a double celebration, so being the sweet toothed people we were, my Grandpa and I made the most of all the wedding and birthday cake! He was an amazing man xxx

I had two miscarriages before having Hats, she arrived when I was 21. After another miscarriage, I had Lou when I was 25. I love my children so much.

When Lou was school age, I got myself a Teaching Assistant job. I had loved being home with the children. Watching them grow. So when Lou started school, I got a TA job at their school. I did other TA jobs over the next few years. We owned a lovely 1930’s house. I loved this house. It had so much charm about it. After Hats’ illness, I decided I wanted to become a Counsellor. So with Clive’s support, I started a degree in Social Sciences. Money was tight, as we lost my income, so the pressure was on Bugsy’s shoulders whilst I was studying.

I really loved the courses, and I loved writing all my essays. However, at 37, I just didn’t know what I was doing. I can only describe it as a total life meltdown. I was doing a degree, something I’d wanted to do for ages. Hats was healing. Lou was doing well. I just didn’t think my life was right. Even though life was actually repairing itself well after the trauma of Hats’ illness. All my life, I’d put it on myself to achieve, do well in exams etc. My parents had had tricky times with my sister, so I made it my life mission to always achieve, and always be strong. So, at 37, when I wasn’t strong, quite the opposite, it was a real shock to my parents. I was vulnerable and I convinced myself that my marriage wasn’t right. I absolutely hate myself during this period of my life. I look back and I don’t recognise myself. My poor children and husband. I turned their lives upside down. Another man had managed to get into my head and play mind games. It worked. I left my husband. I moved into rented accommodation with my two children. I was hell-bent on getting my kids through this. Protecting them, making sure I was there for their sadness. But I’d caused it. I know now this was a total life crisis, and horrifically, I looked at my marriage as the culprit, it wasn’t. 9 months of trying my best to keep my children going. I knew I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. Clive had sold our lovely house. He was broken. I was broken. The kids were certainly broken.

In August 2012, I plucked the courage up to ring my husband. We agreed to meet, and we talk and cried for hours. Gradually, we began to rebuild our lives. We bought a bungalow the following May and started to piece our life back together. Those 9 months of hell I will take to the grave. My family have moved on, forgotten. But I can’t let it go. I’ve tried all the therapies, all the counselling. The guilt will last me a lifetime. But it’s made me determined to never feel guilty over anything else in my life. Guilt is crippling and a destroyer. I carry this guilt in the pit of my stomach everyday. No amount of words will ever erase this guilt. I own it and hold on to it for dear life. I know those horrific 9 months make us who we are today. The Vickery four are strong and fiercely protective of each other. So lucky and so grateful.

I have been with my soul mate for 32 years and I thank my lucky stars everyday, that during those 9 months, he never really gave up on me. The love of my entire life xxxxxxxx

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