“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed”
Many of you may not know this, but years before I started Maybe Baby Brothers I actually had another blog. My little slice of the internet was used to document my way through my infertility journey and was called Maybe Baby … (or maybe the loony bin). I started it as a survival mechanism, infertility is a lonely and hard road to travel, especially so soon after losing a parent. I was 25 when we started trying to conceive our first child and 29 by the time I gave birth to a healthy baby boy after 3 cycles of IVF.
I met Valerie in an online group for mums. We didn’t meet when we had our babies but shortly thereafter and over the years she has shared tidbits of what she went through in her first marriage and now she has agreed to share her story.
I am astounded at the courage she has shown to go through that and come out the other side the woman she is today. She is sharing her story in the hopes that it will be able to reach someone who is in the same situation and help them to find the courage to get out. She is certainly not what you would think of as a typical victim which just goes to show that there is no typical in family violence. It could be happening to anyone. Chances are it’s happening to someone you know right now and you wouldn’t have the faintest idea. Statistics show that 1 in 3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. That is a very scary statistic.
It’s a tapestry of emotions and life events quilted together to tell a story.
We have bright patches of colour in happier times and more subdued colours in sadder times. Some people’s tapestries are brighter than others and some are duller but every persons quilt is unique and everyone’s lives are made up of a million different events sewn together to tell their individual story.
This week I have been too preoccupied to read or do anything but search high and low for diaries I am no longer sure exist but have vague memories of reading which I first talked about in my post To The Father Who Doesn’t Know I Exist … (If you haven’t read it, perhaps do so first before continuing to read this update).
Has this ever happened to anyone else? You have some whisper of a memory at the edge of your subconscious and you begin to think you imagined it or dreamt it because you can’t seem to reach the whole memory to put it back together. In my instance I have a memory of reading a diary that contained the name Jimmy and details of my mums life in London after finding out she was pregnant, except I can’t pull that memory and make the pieces fit. I can’t picture the diary and nor can I find it despite searching high and low. This weekend I fear I may turn my house upside down in an effort to locate it. Because my house is so small, I’m worried I inadvertently threw it away or the memory is a complete fabrication in my mind. How does that happen? Perhaps the memory of what I read was a whisper in my ear while sleeping from a woman long since dead. I must admit the strangeness of this situation is starting to mess with my brain!
After I posted the post last Tuesday it was shared by over 300 people and viewed by more than 34,000.
Ironically it was shared by a blogger friend who I only met the week before. It was then viewed and shared by an old flatmate of hers from her London days. From there it ended up in a ex employees group of a tour company where it was seen by someone who knew him and passed that on to a family member who by Friday then contacted me. 3 days is all it took. Social media is amazing in this day and age! The world shrinks a little more with every passing year.
We are currently trying to piece things together. 34 years ago is a very long time, memories are scratched away with time and I have no corroboration to put together a timeline but we are trying to put the story together through photographs and dredging up long forgotten memories from the past.
Perhaps I will get answers or perhaps I never will but I already feel a surreal sort of peace that I know now that he exists, even if the reality is far more complicated than I anticipated. I still have had no direct contact with him and may not, however I do feel a sense of closure in how this has all panned out despite this.
Time will tell.
A HUGE thank you to all who embraced my search and shared for me! I could never have found him without you. THANK YOU.
To be completely honest I never gave too much thought to the fact I didn’t know who my biological father was.
The thought would certainly fleet through now and again in the recess of my mind but most of the time it didn’t occupy much space and I could go years without even thinking about it at all.
The fact that you live overseas and you don’t know I exist has always made the challenge of trying to find you just too hard. My mum told me a name once. Literally. I asked and she cried and I never asked again because I was too scared to upset her. I’m not sure why she cried. If she was overwhelmed by the question or whether it was a painful memory. It was always shrouded in such secrecy that I never knew quite what to think.