So, the boring and statistical parts; I am currently 32 (wow how did that happen!) I am a mother of 4 children (I know, I know I did start very young haha). I have 1 handsome boy who is currently 15 and three gorgeous girls who are 12, 11 and 6 months. I am a level 3 qualified personal trainer and nutritionist and also level 3 qualified person-centred counsellor. I have done mindset and mindfulness courses tell I am blue in the face and am currently studying NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).
I have also done an Access course which included Human Physiology, psychology, sociology and health studies and I gained distinctions in every assignment (that noise you hear right now is me blowing my own trumpet!). I have been to university for three years and was studying Law, I was in my third year and on par to get a first when I left (details will follow as to why I left).
You know in groups when you are first thrown together and after they tell you where the fire exits are they ask you to do an ice breaker. Usually tell us something unusual about you. Well besides saying I have studied A LOT and am certified crazy…I use my go to ice breaker answer, It some how seems appropriate to break the ice here too so my answer is always how I have met Peter Andre several times and have his tattoo, I am a little bit every so slightly massively obsessed with that epic male creature!!!
So, life is shit… isn’t it for everyone?
I won’t bore you with my entire life story, that is sure to be a big book one day! However, here is a rough snippet that will still take a while. So grab a cuppa and a biscuit and sit right there while I tell you my story.
My childhood was horrendous, and it would be too difficult for me to write about and also probably too difficult for many of you to read. All I will say is imagine some of the worse possible scenarios and the ones who are meant to love you the most doing the most unthinkable of things. I think that is enough in a nutshell to cover it here….phew, even writing that ‘snippet’ has my eyes filling up, my heart racing, my hands shaking and my mind saying Nicola stop stop shhhhhhss don’t go there. So, to say it still affects me greatly is an understatement. I am hoping one day I will be strong enough to talk a lot more openly about it and try and help other children and adults who have or are in that situation. But that ‘situation’ came to end when I was about 9.
This is now an edit but I wanted to leave the above paragraph in. I am editing this two years after I originally wrote the above. And as I hoped, and worked so hard at doing. I am now able to talk and type more openly. It has taken many many years to get to this point and a diagnoses of complex PTSD. But I can now say, I was sexually abused from around 3 years old to approx 8 years old by the man who was meant to be my father, I am sure you will agree he doesn’t deserve that title though, hence why I say ‘meant to be’. I am so proud that I am able to write this, which seems silly but it symbolises how far I have come and shows me that I too can help you come just as far on your journey.
I then went rather wild as teenager, school was a challenge for me. I had an anger management card (that I always forgot to use). I have dyslexia and dyspraxia too which was left unaided by school. I was bullied slightly in school for this also and found work doubly hard than others. I was also bullied for being totally spotty and flat chested. However, I did ok work wise and stayed within the average ranges, as I studied lots at home and during the school holidays. I had one thing that was only getting worse though, I hated my self and I hated life. I also craved attention from my mum. But she was always busy working or then having her down time on the weekend (aka out every Saturday night painting the town red).
I attempted suicide in year 9 of school and was mentally assessed but the focus shifted due to other reasons I can’t go into but related to the difficult topic above, so I never ended up being dealt with. I then went on to self harm and discovered vodka. I was off the rails to say the least. One of my mums ways of ‘looking after me’ was to take me with her to the local pub as she couldn’t leave me (she could have not gone out, but she opted to take me with her instead). So, at the tender age of 15 I was stood in pubs drinking larger and smoking cigarettes thinking I was super cool and that despite how ugly I was at least I was behaving like an adult.
I had just turned 16 and my self harming was getting dangerous, I had secretly attempted to take my own life again. My brother caught me and told me I was doing it wrong, this made me angry and I was then cut off by my mum coming home from work so I just self harmed again instead because I didn’t want her to safe me. It was bank holiday (3 months after my 16th) so of course mum wanted to go out and took me with her. I met a man, he was 20 and we began to date. My mum let him come to the house to see me but she got annoyed that he wouldn’t take me out and only came to see me at home. He would ring the house phone every night at 10pm to give me my curfew and make sure I was home. If I was late I would be in big trouble! My mum got sick of this she said if he couldn’t take me out and was going keep ringing all the time I couldn’t see him anymore.
I left the house in the middle of the night and walked several miles to go to his house and moved in that day. My mum never asked me to come home nor did she allow me to when I asked several weeks later. I spent all my days in our room not allowed to leave due to the men that would be downstairs seeing his brother. I tried to leave but had no where to go, when I’d asked my mum she said no “you’ve made your bed now lie in it”. I then got pregnant with my son. To say my Fiance was jealous and possessive is a mild understatement, to give a brief insight, he picked out what I wore, he checked on me several times a day, I couldn’t open curtains tell post man had been, I couldn’t look at the TV if a ‘good looking’ man was on etc etc. After 6 ½ years and two more children later and three failed attempts at leaving him. I finally left!!! FREEDOM!!! In hindsight this sort of relationship is now classes as a criminal offence and is known as gas lighting too by some. Mentally abusive relationships are damaging and soul destroying.
FREEDOM Time to be a teenager again
So I was free and I wanted to be the teenager I never got to be and I did ish for a few months. I went out to pubs and I even wore whatever I wanted. I wore skirts (with tights on but for me that was a major major step!) and I went to college (to do the access course). To cut a long story short after several years of my ex still controlling and causing me all manner of problems we started a court battle. I wanted him to have set days and times with the children away from me and meaning no contact between us. To try and put an end to his still disruptive and controlling behaviour. Just set days set times and set drop offs. No more messing!
I was at university studying law, so I represented my self at court as I couldn’t afford a solicitor. I hadn’t yet studied family law though so I was clueless, but I knew how to prepare court documents and how to behave in court to a certain extent. The court cases dragged out for several years for various reasons being him causing issues. But it was eventually over! Uni was hard, taking care of three children and doing a law degree was even harder, dealing with my ex and court was tearing me to shreds, having cafcass talking to my children was killing me. But it was over, I had mentioned to people I was having troubling thoughts about ending my life. But we put it down to all the pressure of the court cases and uni exams etc. I’d met someone else now and it was hit and miss but we went on holiday and I left my mum in charge of sending a final email to finalise the court order (I won’t go into this but she never did send those papers, and this had catastrophic consequences).
I was having more and more scary thoughts I was struggling, but I kept plodding on. I asked to work from home for a while and contemplated quitting uni but everyone refused saying I was so close to the end so I carried on and on even though I hated it!
I wanted it all to be over FOR GOOD!
I hated how everything was I hated what I had put my children through with court. I felt I was a terrible mum and not just in the normal sense we all say, but I literally felt a danger to my children. I felt my own childhood could impact them. I worried I would do the same to them as had been done to me. I herd it said so often on the likes of ‘Jeremy Kyle’ or on other tv shows. I felt I wasn’t good enough in anyway shape or form for them. I have no idea what happened to me or where I went but I was gone. I wasn’t here. I had no idea where I was or how to find me. I decided the best thing for everyone involved was for me not to be here. I couldn’t bring anything positive to any bodies life and I was so so tired of being a burden and causing pain to my children. I picked their father I stayed with him for far too long and now I dragged them though court and Cafcass going to their school! They needed deserved better than me. So, for the most unselfish reasons you can think of. I got very drunk and I tried to hang myself. In me making sure my children were taken care of and would not be brought back to my house in any circumstances people got suspicious. But I couldn’t risk the kids coming home and finding me dead. So, unwillingly I had alerted suspicion.
After feeling empty and free I then remember someone jumping on me and cutting the rope round my neck. I remember so clearly how much I was fighting telling them no. I felt so close to leaving. I wanted to leave. I was quiet I had felt quiet. I wanted them to let me go. It was only one of my mums boyfriends so what did he care anyway? I remember the ambulance man telling my mum that if they would have been 30 seconds later I would have been gone. I remember thinking well why did you do it then! I was so angry with them but was unable to talk. I was took to hospital, I don’t remember getting there or anything else for a few days after that.
How do you come back from the end and when it only gets worse!
So as you can tell things got beyond bad. I was in the deepest darkest place you could be. I received immediate help via the hospital and then was seen at home daily for several weeks. I was then given a counsellor for several weeks. My ex had been asked to have my children while I got better and we had said 4 weeks. I had no idea how I was going to go that long without seeing them but at the same time I couldn’t see them. Then my world fell apart. I got a sense of what I had done or attempted to do. I didn’t understand how I had got like that or how I could have even thought about doing that. Then the bombshell came, because my mum never finished of that email, the doors to court where still open. So, my ex used them, I was unable to represent myself now as I was a mess. I had to find a solicitor in a short time and to cut a story short I have since took the said solicitor to court due to there huge mistakes and won!
However, due to there errors and despite letters of social services, doctors, counsellors saying I was no harm to my children. My ex won at court. The man who previously had a child protection officer deem him an unfit father now won. What justice was that?! I have been told so many times how wrong this decision is but there is nothing that can be done. There was no error in the law as it it’s a law of opinion not fact thus no process for appeal. I felt like I had died. I still find this difficult to this day and I wish I was dead and didn’t have to cope with this pain every single day but I will not leave my children. I believed this was karma. This was my way of being punished for what I almost did. I tried to leave the children forever and now here I was to feel the pain of losing them. It took me a long long time to see I never lost them and still haven’t. I have just under shared access, but for me, as the main parent for over 6 years that is not enough, even shared access wouldn’t be enough. I fought so hard for their father to be more involved and to focus on his children and now it was biting me on the bum. If only it was of benefit to the children, but I should have known that even if his focus wasn’t on me, it would never be on the children no matter how much time he has with them.
The Blame Game
I spent a while blaming everyone and everything around me. I played the victim. It was because of my childhood. I wasn’t admitting it myself fully but the scars that had left where haunting me. The voices I herd the dreams I had where tearing me apart. I blamed my ex for the way he had treated me and the shell that he had left behind. I wasn’t even able to watch TV with my new partner initially, i’d sit and worry that he would get mad for me seeing a bloke on the tv. I had zero confidence and no self esteem at all. I also blamed my mum for not completing the court documents and lying about having done it. If she would have done what she was meant to do then the case would not have gone back to court. It was everything and everyone around me that where getting to me. I used to say how much my childhood and my ex where still in control of me. Because of them I was nothing.
This was getting me no where. I made several more attempts on my life and was self harming and also drinking very heavily whenever I didn’t have the children. But I had two choices. Carry on or stop blaming the damn victim! along the way I got diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, complex ptsd, ocd tenancies as well as co morbid depression and anxiety. I attended psychotherapy sessions which I documented Live within my facebook support group. I went live before every single session and sometimes after. But psychotherapy wasn’t for me.
I had to help me! I go into more detail in the about me section which you can read here. But I basically stopped being a victim and set about helping myself utilising all the skills and knowledge I had and building loads more on top. And most of all I started to be honest with myself.
Have a watch of this video about how and why you can stop playing the victim (I am pregnant in the video fyi).
I am becoming stronger than my mind! I am fighting with my demons on a daily basis and I will never stop. I will get to a point where me and my demons are friends and we learn to get along. I am under no illusion that mental illnesses can be cured. Hence why I don’t say I will rid my demons as they are here to stay. But I will and I am learning to become friends with my demons and I am helping others do the same too. If I had to go through what I did just to help others and hopefully prevent anyone else from suicide then so be it. My task against mental illness will never be over and I hope to be known as the girl who went through it all, came out the other side and helped others do the same.
This was and is my journey and it is one that ends so positively. Let me help you on your journey to becoming stronger then your mind and take a look at the help & support tab above. Join the Facebook support group here and be sure to check out the Stronger Than Your Mind Academy here.
I would 100% recommend Nicola’s plans. They are very effective, made me feel so much better not just fitness and strength but mental. My sleep has improved. I had a home workout and it was great and easy to fit into my busy day at home. Would certainly recommened any friends or family to join up.
I just want to say you really are amazing you are such a big inspiration in my life. I suffer with depression and anxiety, but watching your videos and seeing your posts make me look at life so different and really open the mind up! You should be so proud of yourself, your amazing. Thank you for what you do because without having the videos to watch, or the posts to read, I probably would be in such a deep place, you’ve really lifted my spirit thank you