As I may have mentioned several thousand times over the past few months, my book Become the Best You, has been given a make over by the fabulous publishers Austin Macauley, and is now available to buy. Order your copy directly from them for only £5.24, or download it to your Kindle from Amazon right here. Alternatively look out for it in a book shop nearby.
I’m also super chuffed to tell you that I’m guest posting on the awesome blog Steven Aitchinson, so please do have a look.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with my story, I’m the survivor of a dysfunctional childhood. The book is part memoir, part self-help and takes you on my journey of making peace with my painful past; ditching negative influences and behaviour; and creating good habits in order to turn my life around.
If you’re still in need of a gentle nudge to buy the book, here’s a little excerpt. You can also listen to the full version of this chapter via podcast over on the Joy Chaser.
“I was mostly dragged up. After her own unhappy childhood my mother had a baby (me) aged 18, because she wanted someone to love her. By the time she was 25 she had three kids. I had a different father to my siblings, but she felt it was best to tell me their dad was also mine. The official lie being that he was in prison when I was born, explaining why he wasn’t on my birth certificate. I would eventually be told the truth after leaving home. Turns out my biological father was engaged to his current wife when he got my mother pregnant. To this day she doesn’t know I exist.
My step-father had an horrendous childhood, and was a cold man. It was no wonder he became an alcoholic, manic depressive and emotional bully. Growing up it was obvious that he didn’t love me as much as he did the other two. He wasn’t around much, and although he provided extras which supplemented our benefits income, my mother was awful with money. The phone and electricity were forever being cut off, and the cupboards would often be rather bare. I grew up thinking that her life must have been utterly miserable, and knew early on that I would do things differently when I was older.
Being the eldest I was regularly left alone to babysit the younger two from a very young age. One distinct memory shines through the rest of the garden catching light one night when my mother was out. I was nine years old and seeing fire through the living room doors was absolutely terrifying. Fortunately our neighbours across the road were home and came to our rescue. Shortly after this my mother took in a friend’s 16 year old son and he lived with us for a while. He would take advantage of me when she wasn’t home which lead to me having an unhealthy attitude towards men for many years afterwards.
We moved house over a dozen times, and I went to eight different schools where I often endured bullying for being the new girl. The abuse I suffered in the last one was significant, and lead to a suicide attempt. By my last year of high school my self esteem and confidence were at an all time low, and I hated going in. I’d do anything for a day off and subsequently fell behind with my work.
My step-father was a bit more of a permanent feature in our lives by then, and it’s clear to me now that he was a deeply unhappy ‘functioning’ alcoholic. We got into a fight one morning about me not wanting to go to school, and he punched me in the face. He was often harsh with his words, but usually kept his fists to himself. He almost broke my nose, and this became the catalyst for me leaving home. I was fifteen, had no qualifications and £50 in my pocket. He said I’d be pregnant and living in a hovel within the year. I went to stay with an aunt in her two bed maisonette where I slept on the floor of her kids room, between the cot and the bunk beds. It wasn’t ideal, but at least I was safe. From that day forward, I was on my own in the big bad world.
No-one escapes the psychological fallout of a childhood like mine. I went through major bouts of depression as a young adult, and lived life in self-destruct mode for many years to numb my pain. I’d go on all-weekend benders and sleep with people I wouldn’t have even looked at when sober. Eventually I had a breakdown aged 22, and sought help via an amazing counsellor. She taught me that I needed distance from my toxic family, that I deserved to be loved and how to respect myself. Although she tried her hardest, she couldn’t get me to tackle my love of booze or partying. That would come later, along with breakdown number two.”
So what are you waiting for? Go buy it. Right now 🙂