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16 October 2014

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I am what I am

By Nicola Vaughan
June 2005, Caerphilly
A digital story from Breaking Barriers

"They broke the mould when they made you"
"Never come across anyone like you before"
"You really make a difference"

I've been told these things on numerous occasions but until now I've never really thought, why am I the way I am? To a stranger I look like so many other people, I'm a working mother of two who's happily married to an almost perfect man! So why am I the way I am? What made me become a people person?

One of the answers lies in my childhood and in particular, a day at school. At the age of eight my parents separated and later divorced. In the Welsh valleys in 1976 this was almost unheard of and I was the only child in my class for a few years that didn't have both parents living in the same house. So, all of a sudden I was different. But it was how I dealt with the situation that made me the person I am today.

I remember an occasion, shortly after my classmates found out about my parents; there was a song in the charts called "Come back my love." And some of my friends changed the words to reflect my situation. I was really upset and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't hold back the tears. They didn't realise the impact it would have on me and I learned later that they had done it thinking it might cheer me up, how wrong they were.

From then on I guess I looked at myself as being special, not different. I've always lived my life with an element of fun, always looked at both sides of an argument, tried not to judge people until I know them and hopefully brought my children up to think about what they say and do before they do it.

Nicola Vaughan

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