My Story – a special needs mum’s journey – sharing the ups and downs
This is a post with a difference, a post to celebrate my story. It’s been too long in the making and its finally come about because today is a low day and, you know what? It’s ok. Welcome to my story – a special needs mum’s journey in all its glory.
Accept the challenges….
Everyone faces challenges in life but, what is important, is how you deal with them. So long as you always get up when you fall, you have not failed. The best quote that I ever heard was “fail your way to the top”.
My coping mechanism….
How I am choosing to deal with the multitude of challenges that life throws at me is to look back at the journey that has made me the person that I am today. This is not a post to enjoy but more to show you that you will be stronger each time that you make the decision to get back up. To grow and improve, we must learn from our mistakes as they are a part of the journey.
My story – a special needs mum’s journey…Where to start….
I am an abusive marriage survivor. Was it all bad? Absolutely not. There were so many achievements during that time:
- learnt to ride a horse
- qualified as a driving instructor
- beat RSI
- bought my first house
- was a proud Great Dane owner
- bought my first horse
- started my own business as a driving instructor
- found the strength to leave
There’s more, but this is just an illustration of some of the steps in my journey.
Following the break up, there are many more achievements:
- bought a flat
- made new friends
- passed my motorbike test
- bought a motorbike
- got a new job
- had to sell my horse, hardest decision for me, best for him
- met my new husband!
August 1998 was the most amazing month because I met my husband, the most amazing man and I love him dearly.
Was it all roses? No!
I started having hormonal issues and the day that I threatened my husband with an electric carving knife (he stepped back and laughed by the way) was the day that we knew I needed help.
Several tests later I was told that I had polycystic ovaries and that I couldn’t have kids…… This was a huge blow. Like most women, I had just assumed that, one day, I would have kids. You never think that it won’t be able to happen, that it won’t be a part of your future.
But, we got through it. I got help with the hormones and didn’t threaten my hubby anymore lol.
Life moves on….
In December 1999, my hubby and his best friend went on a 2 month safari to see in the millenium. I had a good job at the time. Was it my dream job? No but I couldn’t see beyond the paycheck. I decided that I couldn’t go with them, work wouldn’t give me 2 months off and I didn’t want to resign. The thought of making myself voluntarily jobless was just too much.
So, off hubby went and I stayed at home to house sit and dog sit. During this time I decided to treat myself to a Christmas hack. I’d learnt to ride and I loved it and I was missing having a horse of my own.
Next stage in my journey….
So, on the morning of the ride, we set off. I was riding a pony that I’d ridden many times before and I loved him dearly. However, the ride didn’t go according to plan.
Two lads on a motorbike thought it would be funny to scare the horses. My poor pony was terrified and took off. Unfortunately there was a telegraph pole in front of us. He went round it but my head didn’t quite keep up. I woke up 2 hours later in hospital.
Just another challenge….
That was a rather harrowing time but I was alive, thanks to the fact that I was wearing a hat. My head had impacted with the telegraph pole at speed, knocking me off my horse and breaking my hat. I was lucky. I had a badly bashed up face, a broken hand and a badly bruised hip but I was ok! NB: always wear a hat when riding!!!
I spent the next 3 months with my hand in a cast and then another 3 months with it in a splint. When the cast came off, the first thing that I asked the doctor was if I could ride? He said ok, so long as I didn’t fall off….famous last words because that’s exactly what I did but, this time, I landed on my feet lol. (doesn’t happen often I can tell you!)
Glass half full kinda girl….
Anyway, I could look at the negatives but, I chose to look beyond them. I had to leave my sales job due to constant headaches from looking at computer screens. Why is this a positive thing? Because I went to work with horses! This was the best decision that I ever made (apart from marrying my current hubby of course). Hmmm…..let me clarify this statement. Best decision ever for my mental and physical health, possibly not the best decision for my bank balance lol. It was also around this time that hubby asked me to marry him. There’s a funny story there but I’ll save that for another time….
Significant milestone in my journey….
Oh boy was it hard work working with horses, I’ve never had so many blisters! However, during this time I did my BHS exams and passed my Stage 1 & 2 complete and my Stage 3 Care something that to this day I am extremely proud of! You are never too old to learn new things.
It was during this time that I bought my second horse.
Bob – a horse in a million. There will never be another like him and I miss him every day. I bought him at the age of 4 and we had 14 amazing years together. He taught me so much.
Anyway, moving on before I become tearful which, in my current state is extremely likely.
I worked at a number of yards, learning so much from so many talented people and horses, that, eventually, we took the plunge and rented our own yard and started our livery business. This was 7 days a week and I loved it……after all, I couldn’t have kids. I threw myself into it and had the most amazing time. It was also during this time that I embarked on an Equine Behaviour Qualification through the Natural Animal Centre.
Doctors can be VERY wrong……
My story – a special needs mum’s journey was about to get interesting. No one ever really knows what the universe has in store for them….
Do you remember me saying that I couldn’t have kids? Well, we stopped taking precautions and started looking at adopting.
My hairdresser, a dear friend that I met when I started working with horses, came to cut my hair on that fateful day. I remember saying to her that I was hungry all the time and that my boobs hurt. She asked me if I’d done a pregnancy test and I just laughed! But, she convinced me to go and buy one (I bought 3!)
Miracles do happen….
The next morning I did the first test, then the second, then the third…….. It was the third test that woke up my husband by bouncing off his head (I did put the lid back on first!)……. I WAS PREGNANT!
Miracles do happen. I was so excited! Even more amazing was that at my first scan I was told I was having twins. Blessed or what!
Don’t tell me that I can’t do something….
People that know me will know that I’m quite a determined person. The health visitor told me that the horses and dogs would have to go and that life would have to change. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to continue having horses as it just wouldn’t work. Well……don’t tell me that I can’t do something lol.
Famous last words….
There was no way that I was getting rid of my horse or my business. But, the universe quite clearly had other ideas.
I continued to ride. I had a wonderful midwife that told me I should carry on riding for as long as possible because my body was used to it. So….. of course I did as I was told. What turned out to be my last competition was at 5 months, wearing what I called my Bridget Jones jodhpurs (I thought they would see me right through my pregnancy, how wrong was I!)
Just another challenge in my story – a special needs mum’s journey
I broke my ankle! Of all the stupid things to do lol, I’m such a clutz!
Did it stop me riding? Yes unfortunately and to my disgust.
Did it stop me working with horses? NO! Of course not lol.
As I mentioned before, I’m a very determined person. I had to get my cast replaced 2/3 times due to it breaking. Each time, as the broken cast was removed, I looked on innocently as shavings, hay, mud, horse poop & grass etc fell out…..don’t think the hospital liked me very much. I can remember saying “I really don’t know how that got in there, of course I haven’t been doing anything that I shouldn’t be doing…..”
After 6 weeks, the cast came off. True to form, when I was told that I needed to be careful, that I would need to practice walking I told them not to be silly and promptly fell over. Anyway, after another 2 weeks, I decided to ride again, however, yet again things did not go smoothly. I didn’t appreciate just how much I’d grown over the previous 2 months. As much as I tried, I couldn’t get on….. much to my horse’s relief!
Is this the end? Not but a long way. My story – a special needs mum’s journey still has a long way to go and I hope that you will follow it with me while I share the ups and downs.
….. to be continued
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading the first part of my journey. As always, please share and, if anything resonates with you, please let me know.
Until the next stage in the journey, remember……. it’s ok!