Becoming Mrs H.
The last part of my previous post wasn't quite true - I didn't meet Mr H when I was 14. I met Mr H when I was 11, I became his girlfriend when I was 14.
Mr H loved school, just as much as I hated it. Where he failed, I excelled. He was loud, funny and popular, I wasn't. When he asked me to the youth club disco, I accepted.
Things hadn't been good at home, my parents were suffering from depression after my sisters had lied to them, stolen from them and their friends, refused all offers of help (this still makes me laugh. My parents had no money, yet they were prepared to take out a loan to pay for my sisters to go into a detox programme - which they refused) and ended up in prison.
My parents still functioned in the sense that they got up every morning, they went to work, they cooked meals. But they didn't seem interested in us as a family anymore. I guess they felt somehow responsible and vulnerable - perhaps they thought I would hurt them in the same way?
Anyway, given the situation at home and the fact that at 14 I still hadn't started puberty, was not pretty, did not have long blonde hair, did wear second hand clothes - I decided that Mr H (also 14) was a pretty good catch. The fact that he too was no oil painting (buck teeth and acne) and he didn't come from a rich family and was not the star of the school football team made him all the more appealing to me - I'd have no competition.
Funnily enough we were good together. Everyone loved Mr H and in time they loved me too. Don't get me wrong, we were never the golden couple, but In Mr H I had found a family again, his parents and sisters were amazing.
The years passed and I continued to be Mr H's Girlfriend. He left school at 16 - to become an apprentice milk man (if you knew him you would be laughing too). I continued with school, applied to university and was given an unconditional offer to study forensic science. I had ambition, I wanted a better future for myself than my parents had had - Mr H didn't. I had a choice to make and I made it. I left school 3 weeks before I was due to sit my A levels - My parents were devastated, I felt very grown up.
My first job was as an apprentice Butcher - I became vegetarian. I left the butchers and I became a carer. Mr H and I bought our first (and only) home when we were almost 19years old. We took a mortgage for £19K and committed to paying it back at £96 per month. He left his job the day we signed for our mortgage.
I applied to university to study Nursing and was accepted. I started the course a year later. Mr H still had no job, so I worked 4 jobs and studied on a full time course. Again, I made a conscious choice. I could have walked away, we could have managed without me working so much, but to be honest it suited me. I liked having a nice home, with brand new thing in - bought and paid for in full - I strove to reject everything about my childhood. I became a snob.
I only wore designer clothes, my shoes cost more than my dad earned in a week. We had 3 to 4 foreign holidays a year. I bought my food from Marks and Sparks and took greatest pleasure in rubbing my parents' nose in all of this at any given opportunity. You see I had made a choice - never to be like them. I didn't think that their lives and what they had achieved was worth anything, I only saw their failings. I now know that they had never failed, it was us, their children that they fought tooth and nail for, who failed them.
I wanted to do things right. I wanted a good job, a nice house, nice clothes, new car.... I wanted my parents to be proud of me, but more importantly I wanted them to envy everything I had achieved. Naive and conceited - not a good combination.
Mr H and I decided to get married - no big proposal, we just decided. Of course it would be the biggest affair our village had seen. I was 20yrs old and planning the biggest day of my life. There would be no expense spared. I didn't expect my parents to pay for my wedding - by this point they were paying for the huge debts racked up by my sisters - when they offered to pay 1/3 of the cost I let them, after adding a few extras. You can add selfish to my list of personality traits.
Not everything in the garden was rosy. Cracks had started to open up in my relationship with Mr H. He was a drinker and as he didn't have a job he had plenty of time to drink. Don't get me wrong, it kind of suited me this way. He had his life and I had mine. I was earning good money and as long as he had a few bob for a couple of pints he was happy. But with the drinking came the depression and the anger. As I was to discover on the night of his Stag party.
8 months ago