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From one teen to another – the hidden truths

If you are reading this, either you are intrigued or we have something in common; we both have a parent with an addiction. From one teen to another – ‘the hidden truths’ is an insight into my 13 year old self and my life experiences growing up.

I am now 30 years of age and it’s only now that I am starting to understand my behaviours as a young person growing up and craving the attention of my mother.

It has taken me a long time to pluck up the courage and confidence to share my story; I am today doing so with the intention of helping others on their journey.

I was brought up by the most incredible man and my beautiful grand-parents and I love them with all I have, but it did not stop me from wanting the love of my mother. I wanted so much to lie in her arms, for her to stroke my hair and tell me she loved me and that she was proud of me, but that never came. I blamed the world including myself for her leaving.

My father was always honest with me; he explained from a young age that my mum was a drug addict. On reflection, it was important for my father to educate me from a young age, but that didn’t stop me from thinking “she chose drugs over me’.

I have always had a very strong mind about drugs and the damage they cause, ensuring history didn’t repeat itself.

My father won custody of my sister and me. Due to my mum’s addition and lifestyle; it would be deemed that she could only see us in contact centres. I recall so many times the excitement of seeing her, getting into the car, arriving at the centre, only for her not to turn up. My father tells me that at first I was heartbroken but after a while it became an expectation. This ‘expectation’ of people not turning up has stuck with me and often causes anxieties that I will be left waiting.

This inconsistency caused me to be inconsistent in some areas of my life, causing sadness and the feeling of being insecure. On reflection, had I understood that leaving people waiting and letting them down was wrong as opposed to accepting it, maybe I would have done things differently.

We saw my mum on several occasions; we took trips to the Isle of Man and stayed with her in the UK when she was living here. I recall these days to be exciting, nerve wracking and at times scary; on reflection these feelings were there because deep down she didn’t know how to be a mum and therefore behaved erratically. We wouldn’t see her for months and even years later.

As I went through my teens I became more and more angry and confused and not because I didn’t understand what my mum was, but why she continued to stay away. I now appreciate her staying away, was the best thing for me and my sister.

As a child (6 years of age) I would go around with my little diary and collect the names, addresses and contact numbers for those who were in contact with my mum, knowing full well it would be me who would have to find her.

I recall calling the landline number I had for her boyfriend and she answered, I spoke to her all the way to school. I knew she was high but I didn’t care, I just wanted to talk to her. We sang ‘skinny mallinky longlegs’ together and laughed all the way to school. She promised me she would call me after school, I didn’t hear from her until years later.

Once again feeling abandoned and let down.

Because of the inconsistency with my mum, my behaviours changed; I started being naughty at home and at school. I continued blaming everyone else as opposed to blaming her illness and addiction.

I believe one of the things that saved me from history repeating itself was my dream of joining the army, I knew that if I ended up like my mum my dreams would be shattered.

Life is not easy and you are always going to be presented with challenges, so long as you know right from wrong and you remain focused on your dreams, you can’t go wrong.

My advice to you reading this is to get focused on you, your future and your life. A big part of that is your education, as a teenage you don’t realise the doors that can be opened for you in later years. I can assure you, there is no better feeling than proving to all who wrote you off, that you are better and capable of achieving your goals and dreams.

Equally, never forget your journey and life struggles; this is what will keep you driven and humble for your achievements.

From one teenage to another, if I could do, and think about things differently as a teenager, this is what I would think and do:

* She loves you

* You are beautiful inside and out

* Because of your life experiences, you are open minded and non-judgemental

* She is poorly

* It’s not your fault

* She gave you a life to live, remain focused on you and your dreams and not her mistakes and illness

* You have overcome so many challenges, meaning anything and everything is possible – Go for it and don’t allow anyone to tell you, you aren’t good enough

My journey so far has allowed me to move forward without being judgemental, to stay a loving, honest, and a straight-forward talking person. I think it is safe to say

I am happy with the person I am today, but make no mistake, it hasn’t been easy and I appreciate I have a long way to go.

After being judged as a child, written off by many people and told I wasn’t good enough; I am now the owner of a successful business that helps and supports people every day, I have travelled to many countries all over the world and continue to work on finding myself.

I truly hope after reading this, you feel inspired not to focus and concentrate on others mistakes, but on you and your dreams. The only person that can stop you from going to class, learning, or achieving your dreams is you and only you.

Go out there and get what you deserve.

The ‘hidden’ beauties of Bilbao, Northern Spain

The ‘hidden’ beauties of Bilbao, Northern Spain have inspired me to write this blog (my first ever travel blog) and share what was an amazing journey.

The trip to Bilbao was inspired by a Microsoft screensaver; the picture of the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe was captivating and led to booking fights and a hotel there and then.

As you can imagine, this was a very spontaneous trip with no real thought behind the flight or the hotel, causing both nerves and excitement.

The flight to Bilbao only lasted 1 hour 50 minutes, which was perfect for a weekend break and time to relax and enjoy the beauty of this city.

After being greeted by the taxi man at the airport, I knew I was in for a real treat when it came to the locals; what a gentlemen he was!

The pleasurable journey from Bilbao airport to Hotel Gran Bilbao lasted 15 minutes and cost 30 euros which was the best way to travel due to the time of arrival. I did however work out that there was a bus stop right outside of the hotel that had bus routes around the city, including to the airport.

The Hotel Gran Bilbao is situated on the outskirts (5 minutes’ walk) of the old town of Bilbao, so as you can imagine; I was eager to explore. The hotel itself is beautiful with lovely spacious rooms and a gorgeous bathroom, big enough to have a party in 😊 To see more about the hotel check this link out

The streets at 23:00 seemed quiet and at peace and so I was expecting to have a little browse and be back and tucked up by midnight. To my surprise I turned down

Somera 12, Bilbao, Spain 48005 and it was buzzing. There were possibly 100 people drinking and socializing on the street, I could hear the buzz and happiness of the crowds; instantly feeling at ease.

I would highly recommend a visit to Tirauki bar, Somera 12, Bilbao, Spain 48005; not that I am big drinker but if you are a lover of red wine, lovely sociable people and a great atmosphere – this is a MUST.

Coincidently, I loved Tirauki bar that much, I spent both nights there 😊

Saturday 20th May. 2017 would see me start the adventure to the Gaztelugatxe. Well, what an amazing and beautiful experience this was 😊 I don’t want to tell you to much as I don’t want to ruin it for you, however I will share this picture with you and some very useful directions.

bilbao post

Now, you can either choose to walk to Plaza Moyúa square or you can take the number 77 bus to the Plaza Moyúa square. When you arrive at Plaza Moyúa square, you will need to take the A3518 bus to Bakio from Plaza Moyúa square, outside the Barclays bank. This bus journey will take you approximately 45 minutes. This is a really enjoyable journey and well worth it.

The last stop on the journey is where you will get off; in a town called Bakio. I don’t know what I was expecting when I arrived at Bakio but let me tell you, its stunning.

When you get off the bus and face the road; to the left there is a convenience store, I would highly recommend you stock up on water. To the right, is the direction you will walk in to reach San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

You will walk adjacent to the coast before approaching a fork in the road. Then you will take the left fork and get onto the coastal path and walk approximately 6kms; from here it is straight forward – Continue your path until you reach the beautiful San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

I hope you enjoy the hidden beauty of San Pelayo church from XIII century.

I have spoken a lot about San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and the old town of Bilbao however there is so much more in addition to see and appreciate. In particular the Artxanda Funicular, you will board a cable cart for an approximately 2 euro return trip to the top where you will be greeted with breathtaking views of the whole city. Here you will find gardens to relax in, allowing you to take a picnic if you please, and some very interesting history.

Bilbao also offers the spectacular Guggenheim Museum which is situated on the river as well as delicious food, tantalising red wine, and beautiful people.

Bilbao is a must visit destination!