At 13-years old, I had my last eye operation and lost the thick glasses as well as the puppy fat I had dragged around like armor my whole childhood. I became popular, especially with the boys, and started to feel on top of life.
High school was all about boys (or girls when they would show interest) and dance. I failed every subject every year and was certain that I was completely stupid academically. I never felt bad about it but I never challenged the truth of this thought so I limited many options.
I met Mat at 13, who I would later marry. He was cool, pierced and played guitar. He was so into me and I just loved the way we were together. He dumped me for a girl who would sleep with him, so I moved on to John who was a couple of years older...
John was… I don’t even know how to describe him, as he quickly became a monster. After 3 years together, I was fairly certain he would kill me.
For two years I lived the domestic violence victim cycle. I was out of home and working teaching dance at 16. John hounded and haunted me. Sadly he also provided me with a level of passion and obsession that was hard for me to walk away from. I had my car run off the road, more bruises than I could ever count, 3 court trips to try to get him put away for breaking restraining orders and fear, so much fear.
This scar I could never deny but I was just so happy when I was finally free. I felt that although I was under constant threat through all those years, Kate and Kerrin were by my side. We were always family and always there to work through whatever life threw at us.
A few years of fun and many loose relationships went by before reconnecting with Mat. Our connection was undeniable and the love and safety he provided was everything I could ever want.
6 weeks later, I left my life, my Kate and Kerrin and took a one-way ticket to Brisbane. Although I struggled so much with my new life in that city, without my friends, we fell into a lifestyle that just became. It never suited me, but we got married anyway and soon after She arrived.
The whirlwind of my life, my greatest challenge who has taught me more about myself than anyone and who in many ways is my Hero. My first and only daughter Izzy who has more strength and spunk than anyone I have ever met.
Izzy’s arrival brought much love and hope into my home and my family. By the time she was 12-months old though, I couldn’t deny that the marriage was not for me. I told Mat and he laughed it off as he always did. We had a few drinks and a big chat and next minute I was pregnant again.
I was resolved to play out my life as someone’s wife and that I would somehow have to make it okay. I started to live through my dreams. I would look forward to night when I could picture my perfect life. When I could see Her, my wife. When I could live the life I wanted. To escape the reality I had settled for. Back then I convinced myself that this was just a fantasy rather than me looking and searching to find myself.
Then, the phone rang. It was my Dad saying, “I have melanoma.” My beautiful darling Dad. Please NO!
The tears are streaming as I write this. I went to him and cooked, loved, talked and told him “Dad, I’m screwed. I’m married, pregnant and gay.”
He smiled and said to me “When the time is right, be true to yourself and honest to all of those around you and everything will work out fine.”
At the time I felt robbed by his simple reaction, but over the coming days, months and years this became my mantra.
6 weeks later I held that beautiful man’s hand as he slipped away. I was 20-weeks pregnant and stripped completely raw by grief. I knew when I rebuilt myself I would do it being true to myself and honest to those around me...
an excerpt from "Made Beautiful By Scars - real women's stories"
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Copyright Made Beautiful by Scars book series 2016