Leaving Everything Behind

If you missed the beginning of my story, Starting My New Life After Abuse, is a good place to start to learn how I started changing my life.

I decided to move and leave everything in October/November 2008. There were many tiny decisions that helped me make this life-transforming choice. I had no idea where I was going to go. There seemed to be a number of places I could move to, but they were all in the UK.

Starting on 4 December 2007, I had been going through facial reconstructive surgeries and had been in and out of hospital.

For many years I had been struggling with only being able to open my mouth about one inch. It had started impacting my whole life. There was back pain, headaches, jaw pain and my arms were quite weak. Nobody seemed to know what the problem was, and it had me struggling to even get to work.

A dentist in London referred me to a Professor because he didn’t know what to do and he thought the professor would. I remember walking (very slowly) into the room. He took one look at me and said “I know exactly what’s wrong with you. You have Treacher Collin’s Syndrome and need your face rebuilt. If you had been diagnosed when you were a child, you would have had all the surgeries between the ages of 8 and 18. But I can do them in a year and that will really help you.” My jaw dropped.

Finally, someone knew exactly what was wrong and not only that, they knew the answer to the problem.

It was quite weird having so many surgeries, one after the other.

So many people helped me and drove me to and from the hospital many a time. Not only for the actual surgeries but for the infections that I got, as well.

I was unable to work much, and certainly couldn’t manage a full day of work. So I think it was June/July time, I asked if I could be made redundant and that took a massive weight off my mind.

So I was considering changing my life and moving to a different area in the country. Truthfully, I literally had nowhere to go. There were two options I was considering and I wasn’t sure which one I would go with.

Choosing My Path

I went up to Aberdeen in Scotland because I knew one person there and I thought it might be nice to live there. However, I was looking at possibly buying at place rather than renting. And Aberdeen was really expensive.

A pastor I had spoken to said she knew another pastor in Paisley in Scotland and suggested that I go there in the middle of me being in Aberdeen. I said to her (and everyone I asked) that I wouldn’t make a choice until I was home. And had visited the other places.

Have you ever made a statement and then wondered why on earth you said it, because it changed the whole direction of your life?

Well, while I was in Paisley, that was what happened to me. The pastor took me to a letting agency. I saw a property, said I would be up on 4th December 2008 AND signed the paperwork!

I was so surprised that I had even said it! Here was me with minus money. And I was moving – not only 400 miles, but with only 10 days between the time I had said and the day I moved up.

When I got back to my new home, I wondered how on earth I would manage to get packed up and drive all the way to Scotland. I was in a lot of pain in my chest. So the doctor came and told me I had a chest infection. Some people I knew came to help me pack up everything so that I could put some things in storage and take the rest of it with me.

Also, a couple who were friends with me, asked if they could rent the place until I could sell it. This covered the rent in my new place in Scotland. I had no idea how I was going to live because I literally had no money. Here I was wondering what I would do to survive.

I was so grateful to a charity called CAP (Christians Against Poverty) when I moved up to Scotland. The pastor in Paisley had told me about them. She got me in touch with the man who worked with them in the area. They really helped me and I will always be grateful to them for what they did for me while helping change my life.

Catch more of my story next week.

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