Introducing the inspiring and empowering story of our TGC member Anita Pickersgill

From a Girl to a Teen to a Woman Riding a Rollercoaster

Like many of us the COVID19 2020 lockdown has caused me to reflect on myself, where I want to go, how I would like to get there and it has also caused me to revisit my past to gain strength and refocus for the future.

I come from a working-class family with a strong hard-working Mother who I lost in January 2020 after a horrendous stroke which left her paralysed down one side, hardly any vision, unable to swallow or talk. I will always be thankful we could say a proper farewell before lockdown. My Father was a Civil Engineer who in the words of the common man “had a short gun wedding” to his first wife who promptly left him several years later after going out to the shop, she didn’t just leave him she left their three children behind. It was not caused by stress just she wanted a different life without responsibilities: so, my Mother took on those three children and they together had me. My Father passed in 2012 at the aged of 80 after having surgery for an aortic aneurism, followed by contracting MRSA, fracturing his hip, and being diagnosed with Lung Cancer which progressed to secondary in his bones.

So you can see I come from strong stock, at the age of seven I witnessed by youngest older sister taking an overdose not knowing that was what she was doing, she went on to spend the next ten years institutionalised coming out at the age of 26, things were looking up. When I was 16, whilst my parents where at my Aunts wedding the police knocked on the door my sister had been found dead having choked on her own vomit. The inquest ruled it as Inconclusive.

That same year my oldest Sister had emigrated to Australia and two months after my sister’s death my Maternal Grandmother died, my Mum was devastated at the loss of her Mum, both at the death of My sister. I had a breakdown, and it took me several years to come back from that dark place.

Throughout High School I have been bullied my Brother and Sisters who had gone there previously left a legacy that I was expected to match, but I was a very different person to my still surviving siblings, my brother had moved miles away and built a separate life he is 12 years older then me, with my sister in