30 years a slave!
Pam 55, from London. Married with four children. Works in the family business as a Printer.
How are you?
What do you think about marriage?
I’ve been married 30 years in May. 30 years a slave! You just have to make the best of it. I have no inkling that it could have been better with a different person. Would I like not to be married? Umm yes, I think I would be quite happy. I’d like to live on my own. I knew I wanted kids and deep down at the bottom of my being I am delighted with my children and they are a product of my marriage, that IS my marriage.
How do you feel about children?
I remember being in the delivery room thinking “Do I want this - to look after someone else?” Then the baby came out.
How do you think other people see you?
I battle with this the whole time. I think people find me alarming. I feel I’m struggling with who I am. But it turns out that I’m quite a good laugh and can bring something to the table.
Do you like yourself?
Not always. I like own company. I don't like who I am when I’m with other people. I get very bored with tittle tattle.
What brings you down?
I feel like a crap mother. I look at other people and think they've done it far better than me.
What’s your most memorable experience?
I had such a wonderful time in my teens, I went off to Italy. I learned Italian and lived like a communist hippie, smoking roll ups and feeling free. Having no expectations.
What are your dreams and desires?
I love rowing. I am very good at sitting meditatively. I am very happy to sit still and contemplate stillness. I love to get lost in reading or drawing, being totally absorbed in doing something. There is one thing I really miss, afternoons like this, just talking and thinking.
How do you see yourself?
I am quite at home with myself. I am quite self aware. I do know what’s great about me. I’ve reached an accommodation about me. I am better at somethings than I give myself credit for.
How do you best express yourself?
I am very articulate. I am conscious of being taken in by my own rhetoric. Sometimes I draw. I love drawing, I love lines on paper.
Who or what inspires you?
My mum was a formative influence. She inspired me greatly. I modelled my parenting on her. I am now no longer inspired by her but I learned a lot from her.
I love beautiful things. I like to look how patterns make things. I get inspired by visuals. Women with gumption inspire me and anything that makes you take steps away from your comfort zone.
What do you think about life?
I used to go to visit prisoners. When I started I had to fill in a form that asked me why I wanted to do it. I wrote ‘Life is like a meadow. There’s a gate at each end. We all make our way through the first one and head towards the other. Some will fall in the mud, some will stop and smell the flowers. Why not help and encourage the ones who are struggling? Hold out your hand to the others coming through at the same time as you. Life isn’t about how well you do, it’s about how well everyone does’.
Working with young offenders was a huge privilege. You’re on their territory, they came and spoke to me with no agendas. They are just human beings, they don’t want to be outcasts. None would have chosen that life. They all said they had done what they’d done because they’d had a hard life and they had.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
I hope we leave humanity with a bit more understanding and a bit less criticism. I’m more tolerant than my parents were and I hope this continues through the generations.
Are You Free?
Absolutely not, because I have to go and cook supper. But I am free in terms of not trying to be anything I’m not. I’ve accepted who and what I am.