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The Inspirational women who saved my life.

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Growing up wasn’t fun for me. It was far from a happy childhood. Left to the influences of my mum and step father, I dread to think who I would have become. Our household was abusive, in every sense of the word and love wasn’t a word I knew. Growing up in that environment was a one way ticket to alcohol, drugs and a cycle of depression, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact there were two.

My grandma, Granny Susie* would always visit on a Sunday. It was my salvation, as I knew they had to be on their best behaviour as my grandma wouldn’t take the way they treated me. She would always make time just for me. We’d go for walks, play football, and just spend time together. No shouting, no anger, just love. I knew that when I was with my Grandma I was safe. I’d go to church on a Sunday just to get her flowers. It made me proud to make her happy. When I got pregnant with my first son, I was terrified what Grandma would think, but she just looked at me and said “Well I best buy a pram!” I was so relieved, my Grandma was the only member of the family who I felt close to at that time, and I hated the idea of letting her down.

When I started my primary school, my friend *Josie introduced me to her family and most importantly her mum, Mrs R.* Mrs R invited me into their family, an environment full of warmth, love and trust. She would include me in family events such as parties, lunches and dinners out. She showed me what a family was, how people should interact and even though I felt uncomfortable when she hugged me, I soon learnt that I needed her hugs, then as time passed, I found that I looked forward to receiving them. Mrs R was always pleased to see me, always interested in what I had been up to and how I had been. She would talk to me, and help me to make the right decisions. If ever I did anything I knew I shouldn’t, all I could think of was I hope Mrs R doesn’t find out. The thought of letting her down terrified me, she had given me so much of her time and love.

Mrs R is such a warm person, whilst she didn’t know what was going on at home she knew something wasn’t right so did what she could to protect me and make me feel safe. I would spend weeks at a time there. I was always told I was welcome and no trouble at all, I had found my sanctuary.

Some people talk about inspirational people being people who they admire and aspire to be. For me, Grandma and Mrs R were inspirational because they saved my life. In my family love wasn’t a word we used. We didn’t hug, we didn’t show emotion other than anger and hatred. They kept me on the path away from hatred, abuse and torment. They taught me how to love. How to graciously accept a hug and eventually hug back. They kept me away as much as they could from the darkness into the light.

My Grandma is now in her 90’s. She is tiny and frail, but when she hugs me she is fierce. She has so much love to give that it takes my breath away. I can’t imagine my life without her, she’s always there for me and I hope always will be. Strangely Grandma and Mrs R have never met, but I know they would get on well. They share that protective streak towards me, and I think that they would see that in each other. My life without them would have been unbearable and I doubt I would have been here today, I certainly wouldn’t have travelled the path I have. I hope that I make them proud. I don’t think I’ve ever told them how much they inspired me, how much they have changed my life, but I hope they know. If they didn’t, they will now.

*names have been changed to protect the identity of all involved.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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