To paint a picture for you all I am going to tell you what I am doing right now. It is VERY late at night and I am the only person awake where I am right now. I have been able to slink away, grab my laptop and begin writing this….the problem with this is that I am sitting outside because I needed fresh air but in order to write this I had to go inside and grab a glass of wine…what I am about to write delves into a very painful memory…something that ended up being a make or break situation for me…I will get into that soon but to give you an understanding as to how I feel right at this very second in life….listen to this song because I am right now. “Let Her Go” by Passenger.

This particular song will allow you to understand incoming confessions why, as I write this I am torn up and a little broken. The song is currently on repeat and it is helping me to write some of the most emotional memories of my life. So here is to all the broken children out there, I raise my glass to you all and as I light up a cigarette and exhale…I exhale the pain with the smoke.

I didn’t have to wait long for a response from Julie. At 11:30 am the next morning on June 26th 2010 Julie responded and this I felt was the first day of the most excruciating pain I had never known before.

Hello Ava,

It is so nice to hear from you, I have been waiting for this all of your life. I have seen your profile on Face book as you probably well know. Yes I am your aunt and from the looks of your pictures on face book, that is something I don’t doubt.

I am truly sorry that you were mislead about your father’s side of the family. I have left a message with him, letting him know that you have contacted me and am just waiting to hear back from him.

My mother, (your Nan) did pass away 5 years ago and yes she was a lovely lady. She always longed to meet you and get to know you, I know that she too never felt that her family was complete. She always said that she had so many grand children and yet one was missing. If only hey!

I would certainly love to speak to you and get to know you, of course all in good time though hey!

If you have any further questions or what ever, I am happy to help as much as I can.

Thank you so much for this message, I have waited all your life to receive this.

Take care

Julie xx

P.S. If you want to contact me you can do so on 04## ### ###

When I received this message my heart skipped a beat. I sat in my room and broke down in tears, I didn’t know what I was going to do, I was so hurt by my grandmother and mother that I knew I had to pursue this with my Aunt but at the same time…I felt like I was betraying the two people that raised me. I called Melanie and begged her to tell me what to do. I wanted to call Julie but at the same time I really wasn’t sure if I could stomach the thought of betraying my mother.

Melanie told me that my Aunt has always loved me and that I deserved to know who she was. I deserved to know who my family was as I had never been given the opportunity to do so before.

It was in that moment that I understood that yes I did have every single right and if the ones closest could lie to me that was disrespectful and why should I respect them?

As soon as I got off the phone from Melanie I put my phone on private and called Julie.

The moment I heard her voice down the phone I felt a rush of panic and pain. This person was my Aunt, someone who I had never been given the opportunity to know, who had never been given the opportunity to know me and to top it all off….I didn’t even know she existed.

“Hello?” Julie said
“Hello Julie, It’s Ava” I responded
“Oh my god, Is it really you my darling?” she replied.
“Yes Julie, It’s truly is me!” I responded with tears in my eyes.

Julie took a deep breath in and said.

“I have been waiting your entire life for this to happen. I knew one day you would find me and reach out and I couldn’t wait…I love you so much Ava”.

I burst into tears.

We talked for over an hour about EVERYTHING. I asked so much about my father and she told me everything. I told her everything I was told as a child and she never once confirmed or denied anything. She just said to me that I needed to make my own mind up. She asked me if I wanted to talk to him on the phone and that she would give him my number. I said I would prefer to speak to him on Facebook and she didn’t push it.

That night I added my father to facebook. The moment that I clicked “Add Friend” I literally had to stop myself for a second and think about what I was doing…Was I ready for the possibility of my life falling apart, was I ready for the possibility that my dreams of the perfect father/daughter relationship to be shattered into a million pieces but more importantly…Was I ready for the possibility that I might find myself and realise that I truly am a horrible person…that everything I have ever done in my life is of my own doings and that there have been no excuses, there is no one in my family that I could say…oh that’s why…Was I ready to potentially lose every single person in my life at this very moment, loose life as I knew it and potentially gain a whole new life…or more importantly was I ready if neither side wanted anything to do with me if I clicked that button, was I ready to own who I was or was I going to end up hitting rock bottom and if so what would happen to me?, What would I do to myself if I didn’t like who I really was?…My whole life’s happiness and the pain was wrapped up in that one little button…..I didn’t know what I was getting into but I knew I needed answers and within 30 minutes…he accepted.

I am devastated that I don’t have all the messages because at that time the facebook chat didn’t save as messages so I only have a few left from that first conversation.

I told my Aunt on my stepfather’s side who I love and adore who has been there for every SINGLE moment of pain and happiness in my life what I was doing, everything that I had found out and she supported me but told me to be careful no matter what.

That night I sat in my room, on my computer and spoke to my father for the first time in my life, It was a rush, it was heartbreaking and it was the most painful thing I have ever done.

At one point my mother came into my room and as hard as it was to hide it from her it was even harder to look at her. I was sitting there right in front of her talking to a man that she despised, a man that she had gone along with telling me that he was dead and had let me go through pain that she never ever allowed me to verbalise. Every time I tried to talk to her about him she would shut down, get defensive and would completely and utterly refuse to discuss him. This tore me apart and gave me the right to try and find out where I had come from.

There was a lot of things in my childhood that made me the person I was for so many years and it was a person that I didn’t like at all. It has taken me years to accept that I am not the person that I was back then, to forgive myself for the mistakes I made and to accept the things that I cannot change….but it doesn’t take away the pain that I felt for the entire 18 years of my life at that point….I think even then I hated the person I was because I didn’t truly understand who I was….I was only half of a person and I needed to find the other half of that person….I was hoping that my father could fill in some of those blanks for me.

He told me so many things about my mother that I had never known before, he told me that he was not the nicest of people and admitted that when he was younger that he had beat my mother….but the one thing he never did was bad mouth her.

I will be going into a lot of our conversation in my book but I will give you what I can right here and now.

Everything he said seemed to fill in a lot of blanks that I had hoped would be filled with misunderstandings. He gave me hope that the other half of me was not a horrible person and that maybe just maybe my family had only told me half-truths….the truth is when you are that vulnerable you truly do want to believe that you have not been taken for a fool or if you have that there are answers for it….I got a lot of answers but a lot of them made me want to hate my mother even more and yet it wasn’t as if he was doing that to me.

In one of my messages I wrote this as it truly was my hearts desires at that time….every girl wants her father to protect her, take her under his wing, care for her and protect her…and I was no exception….I just wanted my daddy.

“all I can think is when I get married I want my DAD to walk me down the isle, when I have kids I want them to know their grandfather and when my future husband proposes to me I want my dad to be at our engagement party….I’m sorry if this is a little full on I’m just soo happy and thinking of all the things you missed out on…my first steps…my first words….my first laugh and all the other firsts!”

In the heart of a little girl no one can replace a father and even sitting here right now tears are gracing my face….the pain of what happened next is something that I will never be able to erase from my memory….it is something that made me a very broken young woman who was only just starting to find herself…the fact that another human being wanted to hurt me that much…someone that I was supposed to be able to trust…just goes to show why I have had so many trust issues with people around me…..and this is a very big reason why there ended up being so many issues of second guessing within my own heart with Hugh….the only difference there was the fact that never once had Hugh tried to intentionally hurt me, I feel safe in his arms and I know at the end of the day…no matter what happens he wouldn’t risk everything he has ever worked for, his entire life….if he didn’t truly want to be with me and have me in his life….and that is more than I can say for a lot of people who have come in and out of my life….or even some of them who are still in it….and that is why I will love him forever, no matter what, he has given me what no one else ever has….he has been there when I really needed him and never wanted anything in return…No matter what you read from here in out please remember that everything happens for a reason and without these things that have happened to me, no matter how painful or pleasurable they have been….I would not be the person I am today and I would NEVER EVER change them for ANYTHING in this world, even with tears are running endlessly down my cheeks right now and reliving every single moment of pain in this tiny second of writing…I want to say….Thank you to life for the lessons….for all of it….for I now know I am….ALIVE!

xx Ava