• Jessie Shedden

I rebelled against the control imposed by my in-laws from day one of our marriage & being blamed...

I come to you again on behalf of one of our incredible women who wished to remain nameless.

I rebelled against the control imposed by my in-laws from day one of our marriage and being blamed for not being able to make ends meet financially. I was being mocked openly to my face for my size and less and less people would speak to me after meetings (services) so I would just go out and sit in the car straight away.

How many years have you been free?

5.5 years

What is the one thing in life you’re so happy you did? (other than escaping)

Finding the love of my life, my husband, who loves me for who I am.

What would you tell your younger self?

Freedom. There's more to life than being controlled and the world's not as bad as the brethren make it out to be.

Who is the one person who changed your life the most?

My husband John because he was worldly wise and wasn't biased so was able to help me to be a more unbiased person myself. He totally understood me and the way I'd been brought up and went out of his way to take me places and do things I'd never done before even though it wasn't his favourite place to go ie. Fairground, amusement arcade, theatre, cinema. He put me first.

What is the biggest lesson(s) you’ve learnt since starting your new life?

I've learnt to be less judgemental and tolerant of other people's beliefs/way of life and also been much more creative.

What are you most passionate/grateful about being able to do now as a woman that you couldn’t do before?

Wearing trousers and jewellery. I've always wanted to wear jewellery and have my ears pierced, this is the first things I did. I hated wearing dresses and skirts especially when doing jobs, it was much more discreet!

If you have a motivational song what is it?

You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban

What is most important for your mental health?

Not being forced to be social and wear myself to the bone trying to keep up with entertaining. Also not being dictated to and being made to feel inferior. Not being mocked because of my size, I had plenty of that blatantly to my face!

What in your life gave you courage?

I've gone through so much in the last 5+ years and John has been by my side most of this time that his love and my determination have given me the courage to keep going.

What ignites your sense of injustice?

People trying to bullshit me, telling me lies and them thinking I'm thick and don't realise! Using fear to control someone's behaviour.

What’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves?

The greatest gift is having time to relax and enjoy life.

What’s the greatest gift we can give each other?

Love and genuine unconditional love.

Is there anything else you’d love to say?

I wish I'd left earlier when my children were younger so that they could be with me and enjoy the freedom that I have.

It is wonderful to be able to report that nowadays this fine woman describes herself as a very optimistic, glass half full person who's very happy and settled now. She also says she's quite impulsive (in a good way) and thinks that's because she's so happy with life and don't feel restricted and controlled any more.

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