Well let us start at the very beginning...i was born into a very ordinary Christian family in the early 60s, so there was nothing unusual in the fact that my parents divorced when i was three years old, it was simply a fact of the times, and although i did not realise it at the time i was to become a victim of the times.
My mother had an affair with a friend of my fathers that culminated in her leaving the family home to live with him and raise his children, She awoke one day, leaving me and my younger sister in the home alone, and left .. just up and walked out of the front door. Well, that left my father alone caring for two very young daughters, and in the early sixties that was no easy fete,so after a struggle trying to raise us and hold down a full time job he decided to give up our home and we moved in with his parents.
By the age of 11 my father had remarried and moved into a new home with his new wife, we were promised that we would join him very soon, but that never became a reality. My sister and i were left with our Grandparents, they cared for us, clothed and fed us and to be honest yes as God fearing Christians they installed into us a good background of respect and honesty.... but there was no love....... and without going into a lot of details i experienced a lot of abuse.. both mental and physical, From the age of 3 i had known very much sadness and pain, ..never a loving hug or words of kindness came my way....so many times the words 'Your just like your Mother echoed my way/
I grew up with my grandparents and being the typical western teenager at the age of 18 i decided to leave home..... become independent....... at least i couldn't still be hurt, or could i ?
Yes i could and was, so many times.......at the age of 24 i met the father of my three sons.... i believed was a good man. huh, okkkk ... yes he worked very hard always...... never messed about with other women, but .......... the one thing i always craved was to feel good inside...... to be loved and respected..... this never happened......... the promise of marriage always there......... never fulfilled......... My fault ? YES i believe so, i was naive, so believing, trusting ..........then i had a car accident........ followed by a major operation on my neck to prevent quadraplegia ..... how much worse could it get..... i stayed in my bedroom most of the time alone....i began to drink, i was taking so many prescription drugs as i was unable to move without pain.... my life became full of sadness.... i mean complete despair...... i had received no respect from my partner..... and no respect from my sons......my heart and my body were broken..... i ceased to exist... I desperately Prayed that i would really cease to exist.
May be right or wrong i began to talk to some friends on the internet..... they were Muslim.....One was an imam, i was invited to visit them in şanlıurfa Turkey.
woooow ...should i go or not my loyalty's were with my family, my sons..... i had vowed so many times they would not grow up without their mother as i had.
i spoke to my sister. i didnt know what to do....... I knew i had to do something . I couldnt continue as i had....... 24 hours a day spent in my bedroom with a bottle of wine or 2 or 3............I believed i was worthless no one could possible care for me ....... until my sister spoke these words........ she had tears in her eyes as she told me that she expected to come round to see me one day and i would be dead...she said it frightened her so much.This really shocked me ......... i had not expected this....... so with her blessing I told my partner it was finished...... I told my sons i was going away for a while.
There was a lot of disapproval, much name calling, i was called selfish among many other things.... but, i booked my flight, packed my case and in June 2008 i found myself in Turkey........
I stayed with a fantastic family, so full of love and understanding. Maybe i was brave or stupid .. I don't know. these were people i didn't really know very well..... I was a single woman alone in a foreign country..... but I have never felt so safe or loved as I did then.......... they spoke of Islam and their love of Allah. l saw this on a daily basis there. I began to realise that i could be loved that my life was worth something, there was a purpose, and more to the point I was not to blame
Well, after a few months my imam the father of my wonderful Turkish family became very ill, he had apparently been suffering from diabetes from years but had not known, all medicines, doctors and hospital treatment have to be paid for in Turkey and the family were ordinary village people, they did not have the financial means to see a doctor for every ailment. My Imam was rushed to hospital, where he had both legs amputated, after a couple of weeks he had lost his sight and the ability to speak, he died within the month. . The family no longer had the bread winner so they had to move back to the city so that their other family members could help them, it was with a very sad and heavy heart i had to leave.
I returned back to the UK , feeling so different, I was heartbroken that i was parted from the ones that had shown me so much that had shared their home their lives and their love but i felt different they had taught me something great something wonderful, that i was worth something..... I could be loved.........
I continued to speak with my family over the internet, we spoke of Islam and the more i learned the more i wanted to feel safe, to be loved,to belong, i wanted to share and be part of what my Turkish family have, and to have peace in my life so on the 15th November 2008 i said the Shahada and declared my belief in the oneness of Allahu ta'âlâ and acceptance of Muhammad "peace be upon Him" as his Prophet.
I began to wear Hijab after a couple weeks and wear it always now, i say salaat everyday. i moved 300 miles away from my home town with two of my sons...A new start.......... its not easy i wont pretend it is, sometimes i feel a little lonely and sometimes i shed a tear for the child that had to endure such a painful life, but .........
yes i found Islam.... and Yes everything is wonderful Alhamdulillah ,
Allah has given me a NEW BEGINNING
I would like to say that i shed more than one tear writing this but now they are tears of happiness