The Blog

I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't that!

Karina 49, from Belfast. Lives in London. Married with two kids and works in recruitment.

How are you?

Today’s a good day. I might not have said the said that last week if you’d seen me then!

How do you think other people see you?

Far more confident than I am. Only a few people know the real me. 

How do you see yourself?

Half the time I’m playing a role - the caring mum asking all the right questions, being mrs chatty at dinner parties. I’m quite a solitary and serious person really and I can be a bit standoffish. I definitely have a public persona. If I was left to my own devices I’d be half way up a mountain in the Lake District and not come down until I had to. I have to have silence a lot of the time otherwise I’d go mad.

Where does all your energy go?

Worrying needlessly. I know it’s absolutely pathetic and I will go to my grave worrying but I can't help it. I’m a control freak and am getting less laid back the older I get.

How do you feel about kids?

I’ve really enjoyed being a mum more than I thought I would and I’m better at it than I thought I'd be too. I’m a bit hysterical at times and can get a bit emotional but my kids have made my life complete and brought me huge amounts of enjoyment.

What brings you down?

Worrying! I can get quite sad thinking and worrying about my Mum dying. When I was younger I wanted to have more children and when I wasn't able to have a third child that brought me down.

What do you think about marriage?

My Dad left us when I was twenty one. He just walked out one day and never came back. Eight months later we found out he started a new family. 

How do you feel about body image?

I like my body but I’m not confident about it. I had a lot of problems in my twenties about the way I looked. I was verging on becoming anorexic. I'm paranoid about not eating enough - I’d love to weigh more.

What’s your most memorable experience?

When my Dad died about three years ago. It was amazing and totally ordinary which was a shock. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't that! There’s so much awkwardness around the subject of death. People don't ask you about it - they don't ask how you feel. I ended up feeling I couldn't talk to anyone. It was very isolating.

Who or what inspires you?

My Mum, she's an incredibly brave person. She's been through a lot and come out the other side. A lot of who I am I owe to my Mum. I can tell her anything and she will never judge me. 

What are your dreams?

It will be interesting to see what we are like when the kids have left. The children are a distraction, they're a buffer between us. He sees the children going as a rebirth of our relationship; learning to get to know each other all over again - I’m apprehensive about that.

What do you think about life?

It’s quite scary to think about life as it leads me on to think about death. I am much more aware we are on this path and that I'm pretty far down the path. If I find myself moaning I have to remind myself that all things considered I have a pretty good life.

What have you taken from doing this today?

I have found it very therapeutic. It’s not often you get the chance to talk about yourself without feeling self conscious. I have loved talking about me, even the worse things talked about are less scary. It’s good to be honest and open, it’s very rare you’re truly honest with yourself.