When I saw the great prompt of before and after I really wanted to write something for it that was personal rather than fiction. I applied the phrase to my life and came up with so many events. Life is so often a series of before and after. Choices made affect the future and my life has been alittle strange in places. I didn’t enter Wicked Wednesday last week but I read some of the entries. The one by Missy sang out to me so I decided to use that format here. Told in a timeline – from childhood to the recent past(7 years ago).
Before and After
The spirit world
Before – My primary school teacher takes me aside to tell me to stop scaring the other children with my persistent ghost stories. The thing is they are real and vivid. The young lady standing by my bed wearing 1940’s style clothes. Her hair set in that fashion too. The continual monologue I hear in my room which keeps me awake at night. The occasional dream I have that comes true. This happens to everyone, doesn’t it? Then that day my favourite Uncle – Tony – coughs. He is better than a father to me. I look up and right before my eyes I see a vision of him dead. I wait three years for the prophecy to pan out – throat cancer.
After – His suffering and my knowledge was too great. I read that if I tell the spirits not to bother me anymore, then that is what they have to do. It is like a rule. I quietly plead with them and hope they will leave me in peace. They do – no more strange sightings or obscure noises.
Before – School has finished and I’m at university. But I flunk out simply because I don’t like it. My life, my decision. I get myself a good job but hate that too. Handing in my notice I leave and travel around Europe and Africa with some peers. Being on the road appeals to me in a way that nothing else has. I’m in love with it’s precarious nature and the freedom it affords. But I’m not financially rich so eventually return home to work.
After – The travelling experience makes me realise I may try and conform in life but I will always be happier living in an alternative universe, whatever that may entail.
Before – My friend insists I go to a party with her. My life is flowing nicely. I understand what I want and how I need to live. At the party I meet the gaze of a guy standing on the other side of the room. I can tell he wants me. I’m right and he does not take no for an answer.
After – Our relationship is extremely volatile. He persists as I fight against the idea of settling down and know in my heart he’s the wrong person for me. I find myself pregnant. Give birth and let go of the independent dreams to nurture my child.
Before – Being adopted means that I always feel alone, not connected, I don’t fit anywhere. I know this may sound almost like a cliche but it is true. An alien, a cuckoo – that kind of thing. As I look down at my first born child the realisation that she is the only blood relation I had ever seen hits me. I feel a bond with her that binds us like glue. I know I will have to find my own kind.
After – As I sit in a room with my birth family – half-siblings – my sister throws her head back and laughs loudly in the same manner as me. My brother talks waving his slim wrists and hands around as I do. Another brother looks at me with my daughters eyes. We all talk about having that “extra sight” a family trait. I’m overwhelmed but retreat, happy in the knowledge they are out there, similar to me, doing their own thing.
Before – I love my Mum, she didn’t give birth to me but did all the important stuff. The kindest person I ever met. Glamorous too. She dies and a little bit of my world empties into a black hole. I’m embroiled with bringing up my children. I want to do it well. My eldest is very independent. My youngest needs a lot of input so I throw all my energy into her to avoid looking into that black hole. I’m not with their father any-more. He turned out to be a sociopath. I should have seen it when he stared at me across the room that first time. When we split he became vindictive towards me and though he loves our daughters, he often attempts to manipulate them against me when he has them every other weekend.
My youngest is nearly thirteen when he takes her to live with him. Not even started her periods.
After – My heart is breaking – shattering. If this has ever truly happened to you then you’ll be aware of the pain. The mental pain as you head feels fit to burst but also the physical pain that shoots across your chest and down your arm. I go to bed. I have to get up to be the mother my eldest deserves. She hugs me saying he tried to take her too but wants to stay with me. I’m limp, lifeless. But after a few months, I realise I’m strong. Always have been, always will be, and now, without my youngest at home, I will be free at an earlier date to take to the sky with my man.
Present ~ And as my readers will know, my man and I try to enjoy our life to the full…
The header photo is of me twenty odd years ago and now.