I never set out to be a single mom. I’m not sure that many women do to be honest (despite what the media might like us to believe).
I always wanted to be part of a family, part of a close-knit group of people who looked out for and loved each other. I didn’t experience that growing up; I was abused by my grandfather at the age of 5, my grandmother told me not to tell anyone as I’d be taken away and, when she thought I had told (although I was too frightened to tell a soul), she tried to drown me in the garden pond. That was the start of the sexual harassment and abuse I encountered both inside and outside of my family, over many years.
I grew up being told that no one liked me, loved me, or wanted me. That no one thought I’d achieve anything and that I was stupid and hopeless. Although school was my sanctuary, and I loved it, I didn’t do very well academically due to a series of undiagnosed learning difficulties. I left home the day after I turned 18, got married at 19, had my daughter at 20, my son at 22, and was divorced by 25.