Much of my life has been devoid of happy memories. Most of my memories are filled with trauma and horror.
So over the last 5 years or so I’ve begun to create happy memories for myself.
Here’s a few of them:-
My time at university between Sep 1998 and early summer 2001 was the time of my life. I had an amazing three years. I met some incredible people. I achieved beyond anything I could ever even have dared to dream and realised I had amazing potential locked inside me.
Two days in July 2001 are full of the most amazing happy memories. That was my university graduation and wow what a two days it was in the company of some very special friends.
May 2005 and I packed in smoking, it was hard but what a phenomenal achievement!! That was probably the first positive thing I’ve done for me.
Moving on from that there was my 40th birthday in February 2006 which was a very happy though bittersweet occasion. Very happy to have lived to see 40, something I never thought I’d do. I was happy to celebrate my birthday with friends and create great memories. But it was bittersweet too. Turning 40 reminded me of that has hasn’t been and will never be, especially having kids. After celebrating my birthday with friends I took myself away to Germany for a few days to further celebrate the occasion. I have wonderful memories and great photos of those few days in Cologne and Bonn.
Apart from odd occasions like that, life for me has been an endless struggle to survive and stay alive and cope with the trauma and horror in my memories.
Good things just didn’t happen for me, neither did positive things. It was really hard work trying to make good things happen.
Then I discovered the holiday company Travelsphere and found that it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune to go away at Christmas. I went away with them at Christmas for the first time in 2006. That transformed what has always been a lonely, empty horrible time of year for me. It was eye-opening! I knew that as long as I could find the money I didn’t have to have lonely empty Christmasses anymore. Since then I’ve had four further Christmas holidays with them. I go without during the year to be able to save the money but it sure is worth it! I am planning to go away to Austria with them this coming Christmas.
People say to me “you’re so brave to go on holiday alone”. I don’t see it that way. I see it as doing what I need to do to survive Christmas and to have happy memories to sustain me through darker times in life. So those Christmas holidays have been very much about creating happy memories as well as doing whatever it takes for me to safely negotiate a very dangerous time of year for me.
It hasn’t escaped my attention that the rest of the year has been about saving the money to go away at Christmas. I can’t say that over the years I’ve created that many happy memories outside of the Christmas period.
That was until a week or so ago when I created loads of happy memories for myself in summertime which is wonderful.
I took myself away to Plymouth for a couple of days. I was booked to go to the Snooker Legends 2011 annual one-night only tournament in Plymouth. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like that. I’m so glad I did and that I found the courage to go. I have memories which will live long in my mind for all the right reasons of an evening of scintillating snooker which included meeting all the players and getting their autographs!! You know this is someone who is terrified of people she doesn’t know. This is someone who doesn’t approach strangers and start conversations with them. Yet somehow I managed to do that!!
As I was only going away for 2 nights I booked in a smart hotel which did not disappoint. It was well worth it. My room and the buffet breakfast were perfect. In fact every detail of my 2-day break was perfect. I couldn’t fault any of it. I travelled by train and on the return journey discovered that my ticket was actually a First Class ticket!
First Class train travel? Nah!!
Oh yes, that was what my ticket said and that is what I got! And oh it was wonderful!!
I sat there feeling “I shouldn't be here”. But I had a valid ticket and had as much right to be sat there as other people. It was such a funny feeling. I couldn’t get out of my head “I shouldn’t be sat here!” It was a wonderful hour and a quarter which I really enjoyed. Big comfy leather seats, complimentary newspaper “The Times”. I don't think I've ever read “The Times” newspaper! Plug points for the laptop at every seat. You put stuff on the table and it didn’t move because it was such a smooth ride!! Peace and quiet and no one walking up and down the aisles all the time! Wow, it was just fantastic! Oh it was funny when the staff came round with teas and coffees and I asked how much a cup of coffee was, she looked at me and said "it's complimentary". It was the nicest cup of coffee I’ve ever had!!
The best of all about the trip was that it was my delayed birthday treat. I was ill in February when it was my birthday. I knew I had the Plymouth trip booked with tickets to the snooker so I decided to designate that trip as my birthday treat. So it worked out that the birthday girl got to travel First Class – and I think that’s really wonderful!!
First Class travel was just such a different world and was the perfect end to what was an incredible couple of days. Talk about creating a lot of happy memories!!! Just recalling it is putting a huge smile on my face!! You know good things like that don’t happen to me, do they?
“Good things happen to other people who are more deserving than me”. “I deserve only bad things to happen to me”. Those are the underlying beliefs I didn’t even realise I had. And I have the abuse and my abusers to thank for that.
BUT guess what?
I do deserve it because:-
I am a unique human being
I have feelings and needs
Err just because!!
So yeah I’ve had more than my fair share of everything but good in my life so I guess it’s time that imbalance began to be corrected.
AND hey, I guess good things can happen to me.
It’s not too late for good things to start to happen for me.
It isn’t too late because guess what? Good stuff is happening in my life. It’s just sometimes it gets over-shadowed by all the other stuff!
I’m glad I had such a fabulous experience which exposed some wrong things I’ve believed about myself and now I have stuff to challenge those things with.