Today, myself and my husband have been married for 3 years.
"So Fckn What?!" many of you may say.
All of my life, due to circumstances beyond my control, the things I experienced from seeing my parents, relatives etc marriages fall apart, led me to the conclusion that marriage was a bad thing.
Why pay money to get married, when you have to pay again to get divorced?! A piece of paper doesn't stop someone from committing adultery.
From the age of 8, I never had thoughts of a Dream Wedding like most girls do. The most embarrasing day of my life came on my 18th birthday when my then partner proposed to me in front of everybody. I was mortified and felt betrayed. He knew how I felt about marriage, so why put me in a position where I felt obliged to say yes in front of over a hundred people? I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I said yes.
I knew it would be a long engagement, because we were both young and skint, so I figured maybe we could end up just being engaged and accidentally never get round to getting married. Our first (and only) child was born when I was 20. We suffered many miscarriages, stillbirths, and the birth of a full term baby girl (who only lived for 27 minutes) throughout our 4 year relationship - the babies that were able to have post mortem investigations were all found to havea heart condition that came from my then partner's side of the family.
Our relationship ended when I was 21. I left him because I had discovered things about him that meant I couldn't tolerate living with him after discovering the hurt he had caused to his family, knowing it could also happen to myself and my daughter.
From the age of 21, I vowed that I would never enter into a relationship. I did not want my daughter to be introduced to a man, grow close to him and see him as a father figure, and risk her becoming upset if the relationship didn't last. I thought it a lucky escape that she was too young to remember her father and the many things he had done to let her down.
I wasn't prepared to put selfish needs of being in a relationship above the happiness of my daughter. I was happy knowing that it was just the two of us, because I had no worry of anyone being let down.
I was a hardworking mum, I owned my own dance school, I was a model with a well known organisation, and also a Thai-Boxing instructor. I gained a degree in Psychology wirh Criminology and followed that up with a Post-Grad in Forensic Psychology. Money was in plentiful supply, because of my own hard work, but I soon found myself having to work more and more hours as my daughter got bigger. She has a genetic condition and needed specific items replacing as she grew.
All throughout my time as a single parent, I was constantly playfully harrassed by my mum, who used to say how much she wished I would find a nice man who would make me happy, look after myself and my daughter and settle down. Many times I tried to explain to her that I WAS happy, just knowing that I was in control of my own life, the money I worked hard for was supporting myself, my daughter and no one else and that I didn't have to worry about a relationship starting, then ending.
At one point, my mum asked me if I was a lesbian.......!
It pretty soon started to get on my nerves that she couldn't just leave the subject alone. She was always trying to fix me up with people, and it was starting to offend me that she couldn't accept I was happy as I was.
My mum got the once in a lifetime opportunity to move to a different country and start a new life. She made no secret of he fact that I would be joining her once her house was built, and was even having one built for me at the same time. I was really excited about this because I hated where I lived and felt I was being swallowed up by the rat race, having to work more and more just to keep up with my daughters childcare costs, housing costs, as well as her specialist equipment.
Six weeks after moving abroad, my mum was a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident. She was fatally injured at the scene, everyone else involved had minor injuries, which was miraculous because the crash was horrific.
I cannot explain the effect this had on me, so I won't even begin to try. Almost a year after my mum's accident
I suddenly became registered blind (I had always had perfect eyesight), and I had to give up my Dance School, the modelling, and the Thai Boxing. And so I had to live on my savings.
I had no other family to help me. My mum was gone, my eyesight gone, and my way of making a living was gone. My friends couldn't comprehend what had happened, and I think were scared of my sudden sightloss, and they pretty soon buggered off.
I had no way of getting around, and I had no help from social services - they said that because I wasn't over the age of 65, I wasn't a priority for help with how to get a white cane and being shown how to use it. Even though I was living on my own with a 6 year old daughter!
I contacted the RNIB, and thanks to their advice I was able to purchase a computer with speech technology programme, which at least would enable me to buy shopping, as I was effectively housebound.
So, I had gone from a very busy life, to one with nothing. My daughter was at school during the day and I couldn't even go out of my house, so the hours between 9am and 3.30pm were depressing and lonely.
I started to hate how my life had turned out. I had always been a kind, hardworking person, yet everything I had worked so hard to gain was now of no use. I felt like a useless failure and was ashamed of myself. I can say with brutal honesty that if I didn't have a daughter who depended on me, I wouldn't have hesitated in commiting suicide.
I had to make the most out of what I had. I began to explore the online world, learning to order groceries, pay bills, etc whilst learning how to do the most simple things like getting dressed. To be honest, I was just winging it, making it up as I went along and just hoped for the best.
Cooking scared the shit out of me. I a, ashamed to admit that for two months my daughter and I lived on microwaved meals because I was too scared to even boil a kettle in case I scolded myself or didn't notice my daughter come into the kitchen and scold her. I felt like the worlds worst mother as I struggled so hard to think of ways of safely re learning how to cook and at the same time deal with the fear of burning the house down!
I used MSN messenger, and AOL groups, and started to make friends online. This initially started with groups linked towards sight loss, but I felt like I didn't fit in. I was trapped between two worlds - I no longer fitted in the sighted world, yet I had no idea about the sight impaired world. I had lived for 26 years as a sighted person, and it was all I knew, and I FELT like a sighted person. Just because I was told I had lost my sight, I couldn't suddenly become "Blind Girl", kind of like Clark Kent turning into Superman inside a phone box.
As soon as new online friends discoverd I was blind, they didn't want to know me. blind people annoyed me because they had either been blind all their life, or for a very long time, or their sight loss had happened slowly, and I had nothing in common with them.
One day, i got a P.M. from a bloke called Spot. I had just about had enough of online friends striking up friendships then fcking off when they discovered I was "A Spaz" (?!) so I certainly wasn't gonna put up with that shit from a bloke.
I sent him a very curt reply, that was just on the verge of crossing the line into arseyness, basically saying it is a waste of time contacting me and not to contact me again because I am blind.
He sent me a reply, also on the fine line between arseyness and matter of fact, basically saying "So what?!".
I didn't reply.
He sent me another message asking why I hadn't replied.
I didn't reply.
He sent a message asking why I hadn't replied to his message that was asking why I hadn't replied.
I finally replied, trying my best to be obnoxious so that he would not contact me again.
I couldn't even do THAT right because he didn't take the hint, and continued to contact me.
I thought, hell, I may as well humour him. Ad i've nothing else to do. It's not gonna do any harm to exchange messages.
He loved my sick, sarcastic sense of humour and i loved that he wasn't afraid to give just as much back to me as what I gave him. we exchanged many jokey messages and talked about life, music, tattoo's, television, everything.
After a few months, he asked if I was seeing anyone (I replied that the registered blind bit kinda made that difficult...lol). He called me a smartarse and said he meant do I have a boyfriend.
Alarm bells started to ring in my head.
Our friendship was innocent and he had to fckn spoil it by bringing that up.
I told him no, I wasn't with anyone and I wasn't interested in being with anyone. He seemed to accept it, so I didn't think any more of it.
We ended up swapping phone numbers and chatting on the phone when we couldn't get online for whatever reason.
Before long, we made arrangements to meet in real life. I was a bit worried because I was still uncomfortable with finding my way round - I had to buy a white stick from the RNIB and broke rules because you are not supposed to use one without being trained in how to use them, but I was still no further on in getting the training from my local social services department.
The day came. I had many facial piercings, and took them all out because I was always getting hings shouted at me like "Freak can't see how much of a freak she looks" and other delightful things, and to be honest I just wanted to have a nice enjoyable day with a friend without it being spoilt.
We met, and suddenly all the great funny conversations we'd had online seemed non existent. I thought he was really boring, the conversation was strained and akward, and I couldn't wait to leave.
I got back home, and knew for sure that our friendship was definitely gonna be an online only one!
We continued to message each other, and he said he needed to get something off his chest. I was expecting the usual fobbing off that friends had given, when they realise they might be thought of as odd to have a blind friend.
He started off with an apology, saying that he is sorry that he badgered me into meeting up with him, and that he has a confession to make.
At this point î was thinking..."Shit, he's a peadophile..."
he said he was really sorry if he came across as weird. He was being on his best behaviour because he really liked me, knew I wasn't interested in a relationship, but he really liked me and wanted to know if we could meet up again, and see if it's not as weird next time. His reasoning was "what's the worst that could happen?"
I agreed, and was about to confess about my facial piercings when he said the above "what's the worst that could happen" line - then he followed it with "unless you're gonna turn up with shitloads of metal in your face!"
I kept quiet about the peircings.
Long story short, we are now married.
Hubby has never seen me with the piercings in, because he doesn't like them, but he has seen my modelling photos where î've got them in, and a full head of brightly coloured dreadlocks....
we've been married for 3 years today, and I have never been happier. He is my knight in tarnished armour. He broke down all my defenses, made me break my own rules, and I love him so fckn much.
My only regret is that my mum wasn't alive to meet him, or see me married. How cruel that the one thing she used to hassle me about, she never got the chance to see. My husbad is everything my mum alaways said she wanted in a man for me.
Part of me likes to think she had something to do with it all...