Friday, 18 October 2013

Two Years

How has your life been so far?

Oh, Hi brain, we’re being a bit deep aren’t we? I’m trying to dream peacefully here!

Just answer the question Bec…

Twenty-one years and sixty-nine days- it’s been OK I suppose. Pretty, flippin’ good actually.
Life didn’t exactly start perfectly. I mean, Mum didn’t get to cuddle me straight away after I was born because of the huge mark on my back, which later turned out to be a life threatening Malignant Melanoma… That wasn’t great. But I was a baby; I don’t remember the majority of what went on through that time. All that sticks in my head is a Tweety Pie, helium balloon hovering above my cot bed.
Because of the whole cancer thing Mum and Dad wrapped me tightly in cotton wool, so tightly I wasn’t allowed to do some of the things the other children on my street were allowed to do. Things like, crossing the road without an adult; we lived on a cul-de-sac, (still do,) and while the other kids who I played out with leisurely ran from curb to curb, I had to take my little legs, as fast as they could run, around the cul-de-sac to meet them on the other side, only for them to shortly decide the adjacent curb was indeed a much better place to play.
I was the youngest of the group and I think, at times, a bit of a burden to the older children. I still loved playing out with them though, even if they did leave me standing in my next door neighbours garden with no one but the huge German Shepard to keep me company, all because, of course, there were only six people allowed in the shed at once, (there was no room for a skinny, little eight year old.) Still the dog and I waited patiently for older kids to get bored of the shed, and back on to the street we went.
No matter how cruel kids can be sometimes, I have nothing but happy memories of playing out on the street when I was little. It was a sad time when one by one they took themselves off to High School, and the days of playing on our bikes/scooters, practising Spice Girls routines, (I was only ever allowed to be Posh Spice, even though Sporty was my favourite,) and long Summer days of attempting to play cricket on someone’s driveway, were slowly becoming memories. Happy memories. Treasured memories.
Primary School was seven years of fun. I made my first ever-best friend, and we lived in each other’s pockets, right the way through to the middle of High School. While in Primary school, almost every Friday evening, either my Mum or my best friends Mum would take us to The Wacky Warehouse, where up until I was seven, I would get hideous stomach and chest pains, and cough my guts up while flailing in the ball pool, (we soon discovered I was an asthmatic… Still am.)
Inhalers close by at all times, my best friend, our close nit friendship group, and I donned over sized, brand new school uniforms and nervously sat our bottoms on the cold, dusty floor of the main hall, where almost two hundred other nervous, eleven year old eyes stared at our new head master; High School.
High School was a festering pool of bitchy hormones and bum fluff moustaches. I loved it. Having already started my periods at the beginning of year six, at just ten years old, I was slightly more advanced in the growth department, than my fellow peers. I was becoming a woman, boobs an’ all.
Friendship groups were a-changing, and the male species were becoming ever more important in our every day lives.
As I advanced from year to year in High School, my confidence grew from strength to strength. I found a love for the Performing Arts, and through school productions I began to make a whole new set of friends, friends whom I had an awful lot in common with. Sadly, my first best friend and I were growing apart. We still loved each other dearly, and made an awful lot of time for each other, but we were growing up. Our lives, our interests were changing. High School was cruel at times. Growing older was hard, but I had to accept it.
Five years filled with friendship shifts, boys, arguments, who fancied who, Rockport’s, so much mascara your eyelids struggled to stay open, homework, hockey in the winter, boys again, and not to mention GCSE’s, I left High School on a, well… high! I had a boyfriend who I’d been introduced to through my cousin, and although he lived eleven miles away, I was completely, and utterly, head over heels, arse over tit in love with him. Chris. My six foot seven, Chris.
The year I finished High School was the year my sister started, and at the time she seemed so much younger than me, even though there is only four years and four months between us. I begrudgingly handed over the reigns of my beloved school to her, and looked forward in to what would so far be the worst year of my life.
College.
During the summer of 2006, on a Sunday evening after a Westlife concert at Chatsworth Hall. Chris dumped me.
My world ended.
My heart felt like it now lived somewhere in my lower intestine.
Yet although I was no longer his girlfriend, I still saw him almost every week, and we still snogged!!!
Chris’s excuse for dumping me was that we were too young to be in love, and so shortly after starting college, and choosing subjects I had little to no interest in, apart from English and Drama, I made one of the worst decisions of my life.
I agreed to be another boy’s girlfriend, but only to make Chris jealous and want me back. My plan didn’t seem to be working, and the longer I stayed this boy’s girlfriend the more he had a mental hold of me… I was changing.
My grades dropped dramatically and I was scared to the leave the house. I refused to answer my phone or see my friends. My relationship with my beloved parents was at an all time low because I was turning in to a different person. My heartbreak for Chris only grew, alongside my brainwashed feelings for this other boy who treated me so badly. My wonderful High School days were over, and I was in an ever-growing pit of despair. Then after a year of complete and utter turmoil I was set free, on a bitterly cold December night when I was left crying on the side of an empty road in the darkness, waiting for my Mum to save me.
Counselling helped me. It helped me a lot. I left college to recover from my year of hell, and returned the following September to complete my A levels.
Chris and I were back together two weeks after I left my terrible mistake. We never stopped loving each other… Never will. Sometimes you need to lose your way in life, to appreciate what you had, what you need.
With everything back on track, my relationships with family, friends and Chris near to perfect, I embarked on a year at University.  What a wonderful year that was. I met some truly fabulous people; friends I will treasure forever. But it just wasn’t meant to be, and shortly in to my second year of studying, it all became too much for me to handle. Being a perfectionist and scared of failure, the constant essays and promise of exams made me unable to continue with studying. My confidence had already taken a beating from my time in college, and had never truly recovered, I made it through my A levels, by the skin of my teeth, my alopecia at an all time high, but the pressure at university was too much, and sadly I had to bow out. After another bout of counselling, and with the support of my family and friends and obviously the constant love from my Chris, I was able to accept and deal with the decision I had made and look forward in to the future and decide what I wanted to do next. For the next eight or so months I continued working at my part time job in a call centre, where luckily my now bestest friend in the world and soul sister, also worked. I’d been working in the Market Research Company since I was sixteen and instantly clicked with this girl who I’d never met before. Now twenty-one, we’ve been best friends for five years and together have gained and lost other so called friends along the years, but never lost sight of each other.
My decision to start a hairdressing course came with a sigh of relief from all of my loved ones. Of course this was the route for me. I had a natural talent when it came to hair, somehow my hands just did the work and in turn made other people look good. I was excited. After a wonderful, yet memorable twenty-first birthday party, which ended, as most parties do, with some numpty trying to ruin it, and a blissful week away in Portugal with Chris and two of our most beloved friends, I was ready and excited to start hairdressing.
I was good at it. It just came naturally, and an annoyed part of my brain questioned why it had taken me this long to realise this was my calling.

Well you do go on with yourself Bec.

Hey, Brain, you asked me the question! I was an English student you know, for a whole year… I like to go on with myself!

Bec, please just pipe down, I need to tell you something quickly. It’s almost 6am on Tuesday 18th October 2011, and you’re about to wake up, and well… Things are going to be different.

Different? Different how? What do you mean?

Bec, I needed you to assess your life, that’s why I asked you the question. I needed you to get things in to order, in to perspective. I needed you to be at peace, because things are about to change. Things are about to change forever.

Brain, you’re scaring me!

Something has happened in your sleep. I know you were fine at the pub quiz last night, I know you’ve not been ill, but a funny thing has happened and part of me has stopped working. I needed you to think about how your life has been so far. I needed you to appreciate the wonderful parts and discard the rubbish, because from the moment you wake up you’re going to be a new Bec.

New? New, as in how?

Bec, it’s nearly time… I’m so sorry I did this to you. Be strong. I promise your family and your friends will be there for you, they’ll help you, but ultimately you have to fight, you have to take charge…

Brain… I’m frightened.


It’s time to wake up now… You can hear Dad going to work… Good luck Bec.

3 comments:

  1. Sweetheart, you have got to turn this into a book. Really you do, you have an excellent way with words.

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  2. I agree (with dharawal) Here I am 60 years of age man, stroke survivor and have had a life like yours (different trials and traumas) and you write about it so so well. Carry on, write more, keep safe and well.

    Mike

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  3. This is so well written ! I could never put my experiences down into clear experiences like this, You're a credit to stroke survivors everywhere !

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