Yesterday was my 42nd birthday.
I was dreading the day because it would be the first birthday in 15 years that my husband hadn’t been in my life. I had prepared myself for a miserable day. I had mentally prepared myself for the fact that even though he knows what an excitable child I am about my birthday, a day usually filled with lots of pampering, fun and presents from him, my husband would not contact me. I had mentally prepared myself that his mum and sister, might not contact me.
I was very wrong about the latter. My in-laws have been amazingly supportive in all of this.
Sadly, I was right about my husband. This man who’s known me since I was 27 years old. This man who has broken my heart into immeasurable pieces and hurt me beyond all belief, hurt so gigantic, I still get moments when the shock of it hits me every single day, willing myself to wake up from the nightmare.
Of course he hadn’t been in contact.
This man hadn’t thought that mere decency and 14 years was worthy of a text, an email, anything, acknowledging that I might be hurting and might not be having the best birthday in the world, but nevertheless acknowledging my birthday with some best wishes or some kindness or absolutely anything.
Even when I was forced to email him to say that he had given me the wrong password for one of the complicated mess he’s left me to figure out, he couldn’t be bothered to reply with the correct password, let alone acknowledge that it was my previously very special and excitable day.
I heard absolutely nothing.
Has this man always been this cruel and I hadn’t noticed because I was so in love? Has he always been this utterly thoughtless? Has he always been this despicable and hateful?
Well…no thanks to the man I had wasted 14 childbearing years and my youth on, I had a great birthday.
It was naturally very sad at times and I tried my best to drown those sadness with music and things that would lift my spirit. It started with midnight messages from my sisters and a good friend that stays awake every year to wish me happy birthday on the stroke of midnight. I got lots of phone calls and messages filled with love and hope for the future from family and friends.
My soon to be ex mother-in-law and sister-in-law who have been extremely kind and supportive in this nightmare, called to sing happy birthday. The two nephews that I had been heartbroken at the thoughts that my divorce could mean that I never see them grow up, sang happy birthday to me, one after the other. My friend and god daughter recorded happy birthday messages and more singing for me on Whatsapp.
My Cambridge consultant Mandy who has become a dear friend and an immense rock, popped in with a very thoughtful and kind present and a “cake” complete with candle…well not actually a cake, a Cambridge diet Jelly.
A good friend also chose the spend the whole evening with me, trying to help me sort out some of the things my husband had bailed and left me to figure out.
He succeeded in convincing me that whilst my husband might no longer love or fancy me, other men would find me “gorgeous”.
So…last year’s birthday started with breakfast in bed, tons of expensive presents from my husband and ended with a tasting menu at the fancy 2 Michelin Star Notting Hill Restaurant Ledbury, which we both declared were the best meals we’d ever eaten. This year, I had omelette and cucumber for dinner and Mandy’s Cambridge diet jelly.
But you know what, I would rather eat eggs.
I would rather stay 100% on my diet and have an omelette than fancy dinner with someone who has no respect for me or who might have sat there, instead of acknowledging and appreciating the wonderful life he had, was hungering after greener grass.
This year, I had genuine love from friends and family.
Most importantly, I have self-love.
I have self-love because I am trying my best to be the best that I can be. I know it will be impossibly difficult and that it will take time to recover from the psychological damages of the last 11 weeks, but I will get there some day.
Yesterday, I sent myself some gorgeous flowers with a card message.
My typed message was handwritten and I’m guessing transcribed by the florist who delivered it who looked at me with sympathetic eyes. She must have called me sweetheart four times and asked me if I was OK and to take care.
The kindness of strangers.
The message on my card to myself said:
I am beautiful, intelligent, creative, kind and generous.
I have a lot going for me.
This period sucks but the sun will shine again.
Simply take it one day at a time.
Go me! xxx