J. Thompson Bird
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Brief Description: J. Thompson Bird grew up believing she was just like anyone else – an ordinary girl from an ordinary background. She had a happy childhood in Yorkshire with her eight older siblings, but four years after the family moved to Gloucestershire, everything changed; her ordinary life suddenly became extraordinary in the worst possible way. A fortune-teller’s guarded reading, envisaging future unhappiness and pain, seemed to be coming true, and she clung on to the promise that she would be happy … ‘eventually’.
The years that followed saw her branded as a slut, put in a detention centre for wayward girls, married at 17 to a possessive wife beater, taken into a mental hospital, suffering depression, and having to cope with the death of two of her three children. She came to view her husband’s batterings as normal, “something you have to learn to live with”. Life had chosen this path for her, and her own choices seemed to wield little influence. It was a battle for survival but, with the support of her sister, Mo, a secure battered wives home and the Gingerbread Club, she managed to transform herself from “a frightened little mouse” into a strong, courageous woman. A new life was beginning – ‘eventually’ had finally arrived.
This autobiography exposes the bare bones of real life; it touches raw nerves and stirs every emotion, and some may find it painful to read. But it is a story of triumph that illustrates that no one has to be a victim in life: “There are people who are victims of life and some people who just insist on being victims”.
About the Author:
J. Thompson Bird was born into an ordinary working-class family in Yorkshire in 1953, and has fond childhood memories as the youngest of nine children. The family relocated to Gloucestershire when she was nine years old, and gradually all her siblings got married. It was in her teenage years that life started dealing her blow after blow, culminating in a ten-year nightmare as a battered wife. Despite her dreadful experiences, she eventually found an escape, and is now able to share the life knowledge she has gained, shedding light on abuse victims’ perceptions and offering encouragement to find a way out.