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May's Story

I chose May for this project as I am so inspired by the way that she took control of her difficult upbringing and created a very positive world for herself.

*This story contains sensitive themes around abortion, eating disorders, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

The story is one that is not uncommon, I am sure many people can relate to aspects of it. I was born into conflict, into an unhappy home. The conflict started before I was born as my mother never wanted me and actually wanted to abort me but my Dad fought for my life even before I was a part of his world. 
My mother was and as far as I know still is a very damaged woman. She is violent, manipulative, controlling, a functioning high achieving addict. My brother is older than me and he like my mother blamed me and my being born for the “hardships” they encountered at the hands of their addictive, violent and destructive behaviors. 
My Dad always cared for me and my brother as best he could while trying to support my mother through her dark mental episodes. They did divorce when I was young, and my dad remarried to the woman I would now call my Mum. 
My Dad never wanted to take us from our mother as he believed we had a right to know who she was and make up our mind about her. He also never knew the extent of her behavior towards me or the things I endured at that house. He distanced himself from her and even though he knew her capabilities he believed that was aimed at him and would never be directed at her children. 
I am like my Dad in nearly every way and this I am sure was the sole driver for the anger and actions that were taken out on me. 
I did suffer abuse, physical, mental, and emotional when I wasn’t with my Dad. 
As I got older (early teens) I was sexually assaulted. Not something that was ever reported or I ever really seeked proper help for. I was young and I actually never fully understood the severity of what happened that night until many years after, when the damage was done and scars made. 
As I started high school I began to mature and gain a further understanding of past and current abusive situations. The contrast between the loving Christian home and the abusive house was becoming starker. The scars from my childhood caused me to have a real loss of identity and self-worth. All the years of being told I was “a mistake” “unwanted” “caused problems” “wouldn’t be loved” “not good at anything” were becoming real thoughts and I believed this was me. 
As many young girls and women do I began to think that beauty came from looking a certain way and that equated to an eating disorder. I was eating very little and would often make myself sick. As I tried to make myself more attractive I began to crave the feeling of being loved. I wanted to be wanted. This means I would seek male attention but my low self-worth and poor understanding of “Love” meant I did end up in very toxic relationships. These relationships thankfully did not include physical abuse but were very emotionally controlling and manipulative.  
Eventually, I decided I had had enough with my mother. Her life and abuse was not something I was going to stand for anymore. So one day I left and never looked back. Moving in with my Dad and beginning to take a grasp of my life. A feeling of control was new to me.
As I continued to get older throughout high school and after I still struggled with eating disorders and a feeling of self-worth. I knew I had to try moving away to “find myself”. Unlike some people who choose to take a gap year and travel the world I was much less adventurous and opted for a different city within the same country. However, it taught me many lessons. 
It was the 1st time in my life I got to experience what life would be like without influence or guidance. I had no abusive controlling people driving my thoughts. But I also didn’t have a Christian influence anymore from my Dad and that new family and friendship circle I had built. 
I was able to witness what a life without God looked like and It was at this time I knew that I needed saving. I took the time to work through my story so far and I realised the sense of purpose, peace, acceptance, self-worth, love couldn’t be found through my own actions or me. I needed to choose my faith. I need to move on from my past, cut ties with those who haunted me, trust the plan that is laid out for me, and live it in an honorable way. 
I was Baptised this year along with my parents. 
I was RENEWED at this moment. Washed clean of all my past mistakes, past memories. All the years of hate and torment were washed off. I finally accepted that I was deserving of love, I was created to be loved, I am loved. I was created for a purpose, I was made with goodness, strength, compassion, wisdom, and joy I never truly accepted I had. 
It took the last bad relationship for me to call it quits. I wanted everything I knew I deserved and was told I couldn’t have as a child. I no longer wanted to feel like a victim. I am NOT a victim. I came home to my family reconnected with friends and started to build a life of things that were good; achievements, good relationships, solid foundations. 
Today I am happily married to the love of my life, I have a wonderful job, a happy home, friends from all walks of life with amazing stories to tell, I have family who love me for my mistakes and all, I have travelled and I have my God. 
I am NOT a victim. I am a woman who was born into circumstances she didn’t choose. But found a strength in the moments to carry on because there was no alternative. I have seen many things and have many memories but that is all they are, memories. 
I do not want this story to be about the bad parts. In life, there are always bad parts but life goes on and so does the story. As women we need to acknowledge that bad things happen, it’s okay to talk about them, nothing is taboo. But these moments are NEVER more important than the good times. The stories are about the successes, I will be defined as a Christian woman, who is married, a sister, a friend, not an abuse survivor, or someone who overcame an eating disorder because I am so much more than that.  
I have chosen this charity as I strongly support the work Voltic Trust does. Creating and supporting opportunities for all irrespective of their background. Founded in 2010, Voltic Trust is a small Scottish charity committed to giving an opportunity to socially and economically marginalised people in Scotland and internationally by providing access to education, training, and affordable housing and through personal support and development to enable all people with a desire to do so, to play a full, equal and active part in society.

~May ~
~ I am renewed ~
Voltic Trust are currently renewing their website. If you would like to learn more information please contact us. 
Charity number; SC01484
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