Inspirational Stories – Hazel Carter (nee Hodge)

Hazel CarterI am really pleased to feature Hazel this week. I’ve known her for maybe 6 or 7 years and she is an inspiration to me and many other women.

I think she’s being very modest when she says she is ‘supportive to ladies without children’, I know that she’s much more than that; there are quite a few who are only living a positive life today because of the help, support and encouragement Hazel has given. So thank you Hazel.

Hazel featured in previous blog talking about a how she made a difference in Botswana

For me, the key points in Hazel’s story are to think about what you do have in your life, rather than the things you do not. And (this is something that is becoming a real theme in the stories) find a way to gain closure because without closure you cannot begin to move on.

Over to Hazel.

Where are you on your journey now?

I am very pleased to say that right now, I am as calm and contented with my life as I think I have ever been (in other words I am in a good place).

What’s your story?

I was not in a very good situation when the desire to have a family of my own hit me. It occurred quite late in my life – mid 30’s. I think that was partly because I had been a young carer and my desire to have children had rather been used up looking after younger siblings. However when it hit me it hit me hard. My relationship with my partner at the time was unstable, so I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t tell him of my desire to become a mother and prayed to get pregnant but it did not happen. I took medical advice but shockingly discovered that I had left it a bit late. I was angry with everyone for the lack of education about when is a good time to try for a family. But I still did not give up hope. After a few more years, I started having very painful and long lasting periods. After some tests I was told I had multiple, inoperable fibroids. A hysterectomy was proposed – which came as a really frightening thought, because it was like being told I had a terminal illness.

My life as I knew it was going to be over. For well over a year, I suffered acute physical pain but my hope for becoming pregnant intensified. I felt like I was fighting both the pain and the clock. Eventually it all became too much to endure and very reluctantly in my late 40’s I had the surgery, not long after I split up from my partner of 10 years. For some time afterwards I felt lost and isolated. I was single, childless and heading for age 50. My body healed but mentally I was in a dark place.

What helped you to heal/how did you deal with your grief?

After getting some help from a physiologist, I discovered More to Life, a charity which supports those who are involuntarily childless. This was a turning point. I did some specific workshops on letting go and moving on which were emotionally painful but so very helpful. I read all sorts of helpful books and I went public with my story.

What are the positives (gifts) for you of not having children?

I have an abundance of love to give to any children who need it.

What has not having children made possible for you?

I accidently have ended up as a career woman – which has brought me a lot of financial freedom, and physical freedom. That has meant that I have been able to travel a lot, and do a lot of very rewarding voluntary work – including being supportive to other ladies who are without children of their own.

Is there anything missing in your life? (and what do you plan to do about it?)

I feel very blessed that I now have the most wonderful husband, loving friends and family and my health. A little part of my occasionally misses the little girl I dreamt of having but a while back I let her go, and that dream has faded now. I still plan to do more voluntary work – especially with disadvantaged children.

How are you different now (who are you now)?

From the days when I yearned for a child of my own, I am completely different. I have a realistic outlook, I am cheerful and I am energised.

What advice would you give to women who are not as far down the road as you are?

Try to think about what you do have in your life, rather than the things you do not. Do whatever it takes to properly grieve, and find a way to gain closure. Without closure you cannot begin to move on. Talk to others in your boat. Read other people’s stories. Open up your real feelings to someone who has been in your position and moved on.

Don’t expect anyone who has children to understand your feelings, but don’t blame them if they accidently say the wrong things. Don’t cut yourself off from children (they are lots of them in care who have no mums and dads – you could play a role in their lives). Your nephews and nieces will love you unconditionally if you spend time with them. Your friend’s children will give you great joy if you let them into your life.

What brings you joy/what’s your passion?

I love giving children the love I have to spare. I do voluntary work for a number of children’s charities and I find it incredibly rewarding.

What’s your 6 word memoir?

I am what I am – vital.

 


Do you think your story could inspire others?

I started these stories so that women who are struggling can be inspired. The purpose is:

  • To show that it’s possible to have a positive life,
  • To explain what’s positive about being childless and
  • To explore what helped healing & how to make it happen.

So if you think your story could help other women this is how it works.

I’ll send you a list of questions, and you choose and answer a minimum of 6. I’ll post your story in your real name or any other that you chose to give me. If you have a website or blog I’d be happy to link to it so I’ll need the details and a short bio.

So if you think you could inspire others please contact me.

Hazel mentioned MoreToLife & I am hugely supportive of the charity – you can find out more here.

Over to you

If you realise you need help I’d love to help you. You can book a complimentary session via my online diary or leave a message on my contact page and we can spend 20 to 30 minutes to get clarity on how we can work together to create a life you love.

And if you leave your email below you’ll be the first to hear about more articles like this and, as a bonus you’ll get the e-book.

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