rediscovering myself at the age of 53

If I am going to rediscover who I am, I think I had better look way way back, just a bit like therapy but without the blame game.

We live in a social world, for better or worse we are influenced by other people.  Some people like your parents try to guide you to a place which they hope will be better than theirs or at least as good as theirs.  Unfortunately, parents come with their own emotional wreckage and much as they try, that will have some influence on your life.  Then there are your childhood friends, do you remember them?  If you are lucky enough you will, however many years have gone by.  As time goes on you add work mates, college friends and then, if you are lucky enough, your own little cosmic family and so it goes on.  So finding yourself amongst all this is going to be long and wonderful maze, at least I hope so.

As far as I know I was a happy and contented baby and toddler. Below is a picture of me as a baby eating my Farley’s rusk. I was destined to be an eater even at that age.  I was voted the bonniest baby in the competition this photo was taken at.  Bonniest baby was the consolation prize, assigned to the baby who if only she had been slimmer would have been the winner- in other words I was fatty even then!

I am told I resented the arrival of my sister Julie, greatly, trying with all the power I could muster at the age of 13 months to get rid of this usurper to my throne. Various methods occurred apparently, stuffing half a table tennis ball down her throat, pushing her pram      ( my pram) down the stairs when she was sleeping on it and just generally trying to kill her. Despite all my attempts she survived to ruin my life, not literally but in my mind. Fortunately, with age and distance, we get on very well now but it was long and rocky road.

Next on the scene was Debra when I was 4.5. Wow, she look the limelight completely away, even more than the annoying Julie. She was the golden child, not only in my eyes but my parents as she was the child they had after my Dad left the navy, so she was Daddy’s little girl. I think there was a lot of much pressure on her to be perfect (not just from the parents but her siblings) and annoyingly she was. Debra Jean, smiley Oi, was her nickname as she beamed her wonderful smile and sang her first song at the tender age of about 15 months – She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

From about the age of 3-6 I remember having lots of bad dreams , mostly about spiders but one particular dream reoccurred several times, to an even later age until I spoke about it to my Mum.  I was alone on  a climbing frame and then falling.



It turns out I did fall from a climbing frame at a very young age, 18 months when I was in nursery as Mum had to work.  Apparently I got out into the playground unsupervised and tried to climb the big Frame when I fell and broke my ankle. However,  its seems its was a fortunate fall as I was due to have a leg brace put on my leg as my foot pointed inwards. The cast they had to put on my leg saved them from doing that – proves I am lucky – maybe?.  Could it also be  the reason I am scared of heights?  Don’t think so though, I always like to climb things, the higher the better until puberty hit, then it wasn’t fun for some reason.

So that brings me to age 5 and starting school.  Weird thing is I don’t remember any of my adventures at the various nurseries I attended up to that age but I do remember my very first day of school.

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3 Responses to rediscovering myself at the age of 53

  1. Jan says:

    Where did you find that climbing frame picture? I could have been on that! Playgrounds really were fun in those days, even if dangerous by today’s standards. You seem to remember a lot from before the age of five. You’re lucky you still have your parents. Thinking of my childhood, though happy, always makes me cry again for the loss of my parents.

  2. Jacqui says:

    I found it on this website -

    Yes I am lucky my parents are still alive and hopefully in a few years time we will be able to live near them in France. I live with the hope they have both have the longevity gene in them but my Dad parents both died at 79/80 and his only sister died last November aged 78. My Mum seems to take after her Mother and despite a long list of ailments, lived until she was 90 (just this Jan). My Uncle (my mum’s brother) who is 60, seems to get younger and fitter with each passing year!

    Try not to be sad, Jan, and enjoy the fact they were probably so proud of their little girl going off to explore the world, just like they hoped when you were born. You have probably fulfilled their dreams and more. Those dreams were instilled in you and now you get to past them on your children. What they do with those aspirations is theirs to chose but each generation gives and continues to give inspiration and aspiration, regardless of time, so in so many ways we become eternal.

  3. Middle Child says:

    You were in my eldest sister’s place…She was first, then June, then me – and later a couple of others – hence my “Middle Child” tag – the youngest was also the golden child – not me thats for sure

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