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Life is for Living! My best is yet to come…

I have not written in my diary since May.

I’m not entirely sure why as I have a lot to report and yet, I’m just quietly getting on with life.

Thank you to those of you who have been in touch privately and to all of you who continue to follow me, even with months of silence. xx

And thank you for all your support of my Instagram page. Please feel free to keep sharing.

http://www.instagram.com/belleslowcarbworld/

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Last week, a friend contacted me saying that she wanted to speak to someone who has been through a difficult divorce. My first thought reading her message was that this divorce thing has become an epidemic. I had only seen her two months ago at my party (see below). It looks like no one is immune from marriage breakdown or worse still, difficult ones.

I want to use this post to say to anyone who is going through a difficult relationship or marriage breakdown, bereavement or any sort of loss; this will hurt like nothing has ever hurt you.

You may feel the sort of emotional and even physical pain you have never felt before.

But the one thing that I can absolutely, hand on heart promise you, is that it will definitely get easier.

The end of my marriage was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me. I felt debilitating emotional and physical pain, I did not even know were humanly possible to feel, let alone possible to survive.

Last year, June 5th, 2016, on what would have been my 12th wedding anniversary, I wrote my darkest post. That post caused a lot of upset, and reading it now, it still feels sad, but I felt the sort of somewhat detached sadness you feel reading about something that has happened to someone else. That is a massive growth.

Warning: may cause upset. For completion, you can read that post here, and its follow-up written just three days later.

This brings me to the main point that I would like to make. No matter how dark things may seem, even when you reach rock bottom like I did, things will definitely get better.

Last wedding anniversary, June 5th 2016, I wanted to die. I couldn’t see a way out from the emotional pain of my divorce, or the physical pain I was feeling.

A year later, June 5th, 2017, I genuinely did not even realise what day it was until I needed to check the date on some chicken, to put in the freezer. And even after I realised what day it was, I continued with my mundane tasks unperturbed.

Life feels like it has moved on and what better way to do so than to have a party?! 🙂

And so, in July, I had a belated birthday and divorce celebration party, putting an end to the whole sorry saga of the end of my marriage.

It was a truly magical night of music, food, cake, champagne, drinks, laughter and dancing into the early mornings in a marquee erected in the garden, complete with dancing floor, lights and smoke machine…why the hell not…:-)

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I was surrounded by good friends and wonderful family, my mum, my sisters, niece and nephews.

On the afternoon of my party, I had the surprise of my life when my little sister flew in from where she lives overseas to attend my party. All my family, including my 7 year old nephew, knew she was coming to my party, and they all managed to completely hide it from me.

I sobbed like a baby when I saw her, but they were tears of joy.

After the party, my home was filled with flowers from friends.

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The next day, I had the enviable task of opening a mountain of presents.

What a lucky girl I am.

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I guess the whole night can be summed up by one song…

I will Survive, which followed my speech. There was a frenzy defiance of loud singing, dancing, and me, singing along with a microphone…as you do. I have watched the video of this part of the night countless times – the powerful feat of survival.

I will survive.

I have survived.

I am surviving.

I’m not saying that my life is now a bed of roses or that there are not challenges, even sometimes on a daily basis.

I’m not saying that I don’t get moments when I feel waves of sadness, not only that my marriage ended but that it ended in a way that I cannot even cherish the thoughts of the years with my ex given that by his own words, he was online dating and looking “for a way out” throughout our 14.5 years relationship.

Of course I’m sad that the way my marriage ended means that there has been zero contact between my ex and I since November 2016, when we concluded the withdrawal of his ridiculous case for the Mac computer, we used to share.

Of course I feel sadness that my marriage ended as no one gets married intending it to fail.

I feel sadness that I invested 14.5 years of my short life on a man I cannot even text in an emergency, and yet, I have somehow managed to stay friendly with all other significant exes, including a violent, abusive ex, who had the grace to apologise sincerely for his actions.

Of course I feel sad that the last time I saw my ex, he excused all his bad behaviour as acting under “legal advisement” and blatantly did not recognise just how badly he had behaved, let alone deem it fit to render an apology for his actions.

But I am well adjusted, positive and I am not bitter about the past.

I do not need an apology from my ex to continue to rebuild my life nor do I need an explanation for why he really behaved like he did.

I’m not the first woman lied to, betrayed, hurt or devastated by a man she trusted implicitly, and I won’t be the last.

I am most definitely a better and stronger person than I was during my marriage. I recognise strengths and growths in my life that certainly were not there before.

I am also very excited and a little daunted about a new project that I start in exactly two weeks. Perhaps one day, when I can, I will write more about it. If it works, it will certainly be life changing. But however it pans out, I am very proud of myself for being brave enough to embark on a journey that would take me through uncharted and uncertain territories.

I am proud of myself for making things happen.

I am proud of myself for not allowing the end of my marriage to be the end of my dreams.

I am proud of myself…and it’s OK to remind myself of that fact.

And like my fabulous cake says, Life is For Living! The best is yet to come…

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4

Day 737 – Men Who Kill Their Wives

I haven’t written in a while.

I’m not entirely sure why.

Perhaps because I haven’t felt the need to lay bare all my innermost thoughts.

Perhaps because life has just been ticking on.

I don’t know why.

Today however, I feel compelled to write by the news that the partner of the writer Helen Bailey has been found guilty of her murder. This news has shocked me to the core and it is so very sad that this lady, who thought she had found her happy ending, after the 2011 death of her husband while they were on holiday in Barbados, will be so tragically killed by the widower she had met through her grief, for what seems to be for financial gain.

I read Helen’s story thinking, there but for the grace of God go I…

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Last week, I finally watched a TV drama I had recorded last year, called the Secret.

This is based on the true story of the deeply religious Irish dentist, Colin Howell, who in 1991, together with the married woman he was having an affair with, Hazel Stewart, another church member, conspired to kill both of their spouses, his wife Lesley, and mother of his four children, including a nine month old baby, and Trevor, the father of his lover’s two children, a boy and a girl.

They believed killing their spouses would allow them to live happily ever after.

They were wrong.

Colin and Hazel literally got away with murder as the police and coroners bought into their faked joint suicides for their spouses. Their sordid affair lasted a couple more years, before being ended by his lover. Such was her guilt after the deaths, that they would even have consensual sex with her gassed on his dentist’s chair, so that he could have his way with her, without her being consumed with guilt.

10 years after the murders, this dentist, confessed to his second wife, a mother of two, with whom he went on to have five more children, about the murders. She chose to keep quiet and went on to have four more children with this murderer, to add to the one child they had together at the time.

Nearly 20 years after the murders, Colin voluntarily confessed to the police after believing that God was punishing him following the death of his first son Matt, and being swindled out of around £350,000. He had previously had “signs” that had convinced him that God had forgiven him for the murders.

He had admitted being haunted by his wife calling the name of 5 year old Matt as he strangled her.

He also voluntarily confessed to sexually assaulting several patients while they were under anaesthetics.

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murders.

But for his confessions, these murders would never have been discovered.

His lover Hazel who pleaded not guilty, was later found guilty of both murders and sentenced to 18 years.

His second wife who had chosen to keep quiet about her murderous husband, escaped prosecution. She moved back to the US, where she was originally from.

Some men kill.

Some men kill their wives. 

Women kill too.

And while I admit that this post might seem like possibly the biggest admission that I have made in this blog, I firmly believe that I could easily have joined the statistics of the many women (and men) who have been killed by their supposedly loving spouses or partners, who found the idea of murder, more palatable than divorce or merely ending a relationship.

As my marriage disintegrated in 2015, my ex husband would make countless comments about killing me.

I was distressed by these comments and he would say he was merely “joking”.

He said on three occasions that it was a shame I was on a diet as he was no longer cooking for me and therefore, could not poison me.

At the last minute, he changed travel plans on our last holiday over Easter 2015 to Milan, supposedly to work on our marriage when unbeknown to me, he was sending his lover £70 flowers and expensive chocolates. He chose to drive to the airport, instead of taking a taxi, and when I queried why, given as we would always take taxis to airports, he referred to a story about a man who had killed his wife by carefully crashing their car, having removed her seatbelt, just beforehand. He insisted he was joking.

His several “jokes” about killing me and how my death would be easier than divorce, were such that before travelling to Milan, I had written a long email to my sister referencing all his comments and the dates they were made, and giving her our travel details, something I had never done before. I wrote that if anything happened to me in Milan, she should hand my email over to the police.

I had felt very unsafe with this man and I was resolved, like I said in that email, that after Milan, I would have to decide whether my marriage was worth saving given all the “jokes” about my death.

The seriousness of my email to my sister was such that she expected me to be checking in with my family frequently, during that trip. On one occasion when she hadn’t heard from me for a few hours, because I was out and about and didn’t have internet or whatsapp access, she had been worried enough to have rung my hotel several times, leaving messages for me to make urgent contact, as well as shared her concerns with another sister.

In Milan, my ex husband would “joke” about pushing me from the top of the Duomo Cathedral. He refused to climb to the top on his own, when I was unable to explore with him which was unusual as he wouldn’t normally object to exploring on his own.

Perhaps more telling was the one night in Milan, when I was violently sick all night, throwing up and with serious diarrhoea, while my ex husband slept very peacefully beside me. This happened the only time I had eaten or drunk anything bought solely by my ex in my absence. That night, he had brought some latte back to the hotel for both of us and yet, I was the only one who had been so violently ill.

I have no doubt whatsoever that my ex had tried to poison me on that day.

As our marriage crumbled during that holiday, my ex insisted on taking me out shopping, going from street to street, all very carefully mapped out by him.

It was a most bizarre day when he insisted on buying anything I as much as looked at. Several handbags including an expensive Prada bag, several sandals and shoes including Jimmy Choo shoes, expensive Jo Malone perfumes, expensive Acqua di Parma toiletries and all sorts of unneeded vulgar spending.

I have no doubt whatsoever as I took photos of the ridiculous shopping bags through my tears, that these were my ex’s defence of how could I have killed my wife? I love my wife. Can’t you see all the things that I bought her?

Four days after our return from Milan, on a Sunday, my ex insisted that Sunday morning on visiting the seaside, instead of a hike he had planned. He “joked” several times about pushing me from the pier into the sea to drown given that I can’t really swim.

After he left our former home, I would find a knife inside my ex husband’s drawer on his side of the beside table, of the bed we slept together.

When I asked him what a knife was doing inside his bedside table, and sent him a picture of the knife, he lied and insisted that he had never had a knife in the drawer that he used exclusively at the time.

This is a long post with all sorts of serious comments but my aim isn’t to depress myself and all my readers.

I describe my ex husband as “evil”. That ugly word is not a word I use lightly.

I do not believe that this man has always been “evil”.

I still believe that he went through and might still be going through, some sort of mental breakdown.

But the person who I strongly believed wanted to kill me and who did all the heartbreaking things during our divorce is an “evil” man capable of anything, including cold blooded murder.

I am not without blame as I should have gotten him out of my life the very first time he “joked” about killing me, let alone the countless references and the seemingly well thought out scenariors he painted, as to how he might have killed me.

I should have reported his comments immediately to the police.

I should have immediately gone to the police and been tested on return to the UK or even in Milan, on the night I firmly believe he tried to poison me.

But to be fair to myself, at the time, I was not aware of the lengths this man could go through, or just how evil, he truly is/was.

When I read these stories of men and women, who haven’t survived being murdered by their nearest, closest and most trusted spouses, I thank God that I came out of my marriage with my life.

I thank God that my mum and siblings do not have to spend their lives mourning me and wondering whether my death was really an accident, as described, or murder.

I thank God for the gift of life.

May Helen and all the men and women like her, murdered by their spouses and partners, rest in perfect peace.

This is still a diet blog, and as such, I should really write about my diet.

This year has been full of ups and downs on the diet front but right now, I am on it. I’m not stressing about the fact that I wasn’t on it last week.

I fail, I restart and I keep going.

2

Day 551 – The End, the Absolute End and Nothing But the End, So Help Me God.

I received my decree absolute in the post today.

I am now formally and fully a divorced woman.

I have mixed emotions.

On one hand, I feel sad that my marriage had ended. I got married in a Catholic Church to a non Catholic and in order to do so, I needed dispensation from the pope to marry a non-Catholic in the church. I am a lapsed Catholic and the first to admit that I rarely ever go to church but various parts of the religion and Christianity as a whole, are still very important to me. I also firmly believe that my relationship with God transcends organised religion.

I married in church firmly believing that it would last forever. I believed in the vows I made and in sticking to my marriage in sickness and in health. I firmly believed in taking the good with the bad. I made a firm commitment to stick with my marriage even when my ex’s erectile dysfunction and the bad or lack of sex drove me insane. I stuck to my marriage even though I desperately wanted children and my ex’s issues had presented difficulties.

That happily ever after thing hasn’t worked out for me and I am at peace with that. My marriage ended and I have moved on.

Perhaps having a failed marriage is not something to celebrate but after the hell my ex has put me through, my feelings of sadness at the end of marriage, are also mixed with relief and gratitude that this chapter of my life is finally, firmly over.

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I am no longer connected to this man who has turned out to be anything but the saint I had painted him to be.

I am no longer connected to a liar, a cheat, a weak, dishonest man, an unintelligent person who has shown himself to be incapable of being an adult or a real man or a thinking man who uses his God given thinking faculties, someone who is decent and recognises right from wrong, and who doesn’t just blindly follows “legal advisement”, whatever the fuck that means, especially when that advice is clearly flawed, repugnant, heartless, mean-spirited and immoral.

I am no longer connected to an undignified man whose memory is so short, he lacks any sense of decorum, loyalty, honesty and the barest of human decency.

For sure, a failed marriage is not a cause for celebration but I never asked for my marriage to end, it wasn’t my choice. It has happened and I have made peace with that fact.

But now I have a second chance in life. A chance to work on myself, to be the best version of myself that I can be.

A chance to pursue happiness, follow my dreams, make a success of my life but without ever losing my humanity or the fundamental belief that no matter what successes or failures I face, I must always remain a GOOD person.

So whilst I have mixed emotions that this part of my life has firmly ended, I am also thankful for a chance to start again.

God never shuts one door

 

10

Day 476: 12th Wedding Anniversary -Dark Cloud of Pain

Update: Wednesday 8th June, 2016 – I have been debating whether I should delete the post below because I most definitely do not have those thoughts and it’s only been three days.

The dark clouds have definitely shifted.

For now, the post stays as a reminder to me of what darkness looks like.

However, I promise myself and my loved ones that if I ever feel remotely like I did on Sunday, I will pick up the phone and call my mum or any of my wonderful three sisters who love me very much and who I love more than the world itself, or call any of my close friends.

If anyone stumbles upon this post on a dark day, please trust me when I say that the dark cloud will shift and there will be sunshine.

Please call a family member, a friend, the Samaritan free from any UK mobile 116 123 or send me an email with your phone number and I will call you back, wherever you might be in the world – I have Skype and WhatsApp and can call none UK numbers.

I don’t feel like the post below means that I have lost all the progress I have made as a person since my marriage ended. On the contrary, it has inspired me to be that person that carries on, stays positive, who is a survivor and not a victim, and who keeps looking forward.

I might have taken 50 steps backwards on Sunday, but right now, from where I was that day, I have taken 60 steps forward. I have made progress.

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Double rainbow forming on the western outskirts of Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

 

WARNING: This post is dark and talks of suicidal thoughts. It may cause upset.

Today is 12 year since the day I married my husband – I call him my husband because we are not yet divorced.

Today is also exactly a year to the day since my husband sent me the anniversary present of getting the lawyer in the same divorce law firm as the sister of the married woman he had an affair with, to write me asking for divorce.

Two years ago, we were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, having returned to the same wonderful hotel in Mauritius where we spent our honeymoon.

Today, my husband changed his Facebook profile picture to a picture of himself smiling by the sea.

Today, something else happened to remind me of my so called empty life; 40s, discarded, unwanted, undesirable, used goods. I do not want to talk about this other event.

Today has been a fucking miserable day.

This evening, I had a pizza, two cans of diet coke, chicken wings, garlic pizza bread and half a tub of ice cream. I didn’t have breakfast or lunch. I had pizza and it was good.

I feel so fucking depressed it is unreal.

I am currently sitting on my sofa sobbing my eyes out.

Earlier, as I sat here looking at my wedding photos, I know I shouldn’t do so but what the hell, when you’re down, out and on a pity party, you might as well keep going and depress the fuck out of yourself.

My wedding 12 years ago was a totally awesome wedding. It was so full of fun, joy, music, dances, different, my husband and I smiled like we were the king of the world. We were drunk with happiness, happy as anything I’ve ever been, laughing and smiling broadly all day.

For several years, friends would say how much fun our wedding was.

To be clear, I have accepted the end of my marriage, that much I am certain of.

Earlier today, as I sat at this sofa, I thought about going upstairs, taking a handful of the anti depressants, anti psychotic pills, strong sleeping pills, strong painkillers codeine etc. by my bedside.

I imagined going upstairs to my bedroom, setting out my will, writing letters to my family and just how peaceful it would be to swallow as many of those pills as I can, keep swallowing them and falling into a very deep sleep from which there would be no waking up.

No more emotional or physical pain. Just peace and quiet.

I imagined the peace of never having to experience the back pain that sometimes completely cripples me – I am wearing a TENS machine set to the highest level as I write this; that highest level is insufficient for my pain. TENS machine is given to women experiencing the pain of child birth. I live with that level of pain on a daily basis.

I imagined the peace of never ever having to deal with the prospect of going to court next month and having to face seeing my evil, psychopathic ex who continues his life completely oblivious to just how evil, unfeeling and inhuman he has been.

I imagined the peace of never having to deal with lawyers in the mess my husband has made of trying to end his marriage, one year later, this evil, wicked, heartless man still has all of this hanging over me like an unending nightmare that just won’t go away.

I imagined the peace of never having to think of the pain and betrayal my husband continues to cause me.

I imagined the peace of never having to deal with the fact that my life as I know it is empty and bleak.

I imagined the peace of never having to deal with the fact that I am destined to spend the rest of my life alone. Please do not write to tell me that one day, I will meet a man who will love me for me. I am realistic about the prospects of that ever happening; it won’t, that’s just my reality. Having spent 14.5 years with a man that would look at me with eyes full of love, I will never ever submit to any such fallacy called love that will end in monstrous pain.

As the urge to take those pills magnified, I thought of my mother.

On Friday, one of my closest friends had spent the night with her two children. On Saturday as we had some heart to heart, I told her about my mother and how much loss that woman had endured in her life. I told her how my neurosis probably started because when my mother was pregnant with me, she had been so convinced she would die in pregnancy or giving birth, that she had written letters, prepared her affairs and asked her best friend to marry my father when she dies and to look after my two elder sister.

My mother’s premonition were not completely unfounded. Her mother had died the year before I was born. Her closest sibling, her handsome brother had died, in his twenties, the year I was born. Her father had died the year after I was born and my beloved father would die in a plane crash, 10 years after I was born.

Four years ago, my mother was crushed by the death of my 24 year old sister-in-law who died giving birth to my brother’s son. The little boy died too. She left my 6 years old nephew who my mum now looks after. Last year, my mother lost her closest remaining sibling, an elder sister who she adored.

As I contemplated, ended it all, I thought of my mother. She had tried to call me this morning telling me that she knew what day it was and hoped that I was alright.

She called me again as I sat pondering whether to end it all, I initially ignored the call but when I saw her face with her WhatsApp photo, I finally tried to answer but the connection was poor and I didn’t call her back. My mother lives abroad.

I started Googling and reading pages about how parents and siblings deal with the suicide of a loved one. Given everything my poor mother has endured in one lifetime, do I really want to deal her with yet another cruel hand? Would she survive my death? Do I want to be ultimately responsible to my mother’s demise?

I read about how suicide tears a family apart like a hand grenade dropped in the middle of a room. The closest to the grenade suffer forever. Do I want to drop a bomb to the family that I love so much?

I think of the close friend who had spent Friday night with her two children one of whom is my God daughter. She had lost a friend in January who had died sitting on his bed, with his laptop open, on a Saturday afternoon. He was only 39 years old and with his whole bright life ahead of him. The conclusion was sudden adult death syndrome. His death had devastated my friend and she still hasn’t recovered from it. She would have to deal with yet another friend dying unexpectedly and explain to her little ones that the “auntie” they had only hugged and kissed just yesterday had died.

This friend calls me twice, sends several messages, I ignore her calls and messages. I will call her tomorrow.

I thought of my siblings explaining to my nephews and nieces that I had died. I wondered if they would tell them that I also killed myself.

I read this poem on a random blog talking about mothers and their children’s suicide. I sob like a baby as I read this because this could be my mother.

My Mom is a survivor,
Or so I’ve heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night
When all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn’t know I’m with her
to help her understand.
But like the sands on the beach
That never washes away…
I watch over my surviving mom,
Who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others…
A smile of disguise!
But through Heaven’s door I see
Tears flowing from her eyes.
My mom tries to cope with death
To keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
It is her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving mom
Through Heaven’s open door…
I try to tell her those angels
Protect me forever more.
I know that doesn’t help her…
Or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her…
And show her that you care.
For no matter what she says…
No matter what she feels.
My surviving mom has a broken heart
That time won’t ever heal.

Sunday 5th June, 2016 will pass and I will still be here.

Before you write and tell me to seek medical help, I know. I do not usually have suicidal thoughts, it was a tough day, in a tough period.

Realistically, I am not overly confident seeking help will do anything other than give me more pills when I have more than enough.

Tomorrow is another day. I do not know whether the dark cloud would have passed. I can only take it one day at a time.

Tomorrow, I will try and eat well, stay on my diet, exercise a little in the fresh air, if it will help, and take it one day at a time.

I have a busy few weeks coming up with divorce crap and court in July.

I completely accept the end of my marriage. However, the evil, wickedness and despicable acts of this serpent I married, the pain and damages that he has caused me, I will never comprehend, nor is his behaviour comprehensible to any half decent human being.

Please don’t write to tell me to move on. It is impossible to move on when there has been no movement whatsoever in resolving our affairs and ending our marriage, in the year since my husband decided he wanted a divorce because my husband has refused to settle or make a counter offer to the offer of settlement I made him in September 2015, a few weeks after he ended mediation to settle our financial affairs because he would not accept the mediators telling him he was legally and morally wrong.

A year on, I still do not even know whether I will lose my beloved home where I have lived for over 12 years.

A year on, there is still no privacy because the court requires this man to see all my bank and credit card statements and vice versa.

A year on, there is no moving on from this nightmare.

One day at a time is all I can pledge.

6

Day 427: Get Thee Behind Me Divorce Grief

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday.

Tomorrow is also exactly one year since my husband left our former marital home to pursue his affair with Mylien, a married Vietnamese mother of two, whose husband was living in Italy and who my husband met on an online dating website for singles.

Even before I found out about his four months affair, Mylien had allegedly broken up with him four times, because she didn’t like him remaining married, whilst married herself.

After I found out, she allegedly told him that if he left me, she would leave her husband. When I asked why she doesn’t leave her husband first, my ex said because they have two children.

Our marriage was easily dispensable to my ex because we didn’t have children. He conveniently forgot to tell her about his sperm issues and erectile dysfunction which resulted in 8 painful IVF, 2 miscarriages, my undergoing countless gruelling experimental treatment in our unsuccessful quest to have children.

My 11 year marriage and 14.5 years relationship ended with an email sent by my husband from a business trip in Singapore, informing me he wasn’t coming home.

Mylien remains (happily?) married to her husband.

I call my ex, my husband because a year after he left our former home and nearly a year after he rushed to file for divorce, one working day after his lawyer (same divorce law firm as his mistress Mylien’s sister Quyen) sent me an email, on our 11th wedding anniversary, informing me he wanted a divorce, celebrating with an expensive meal with Mylien the day after he filed for divorce, having secretly moved to a place 5 minutes from her home in Weybridge, as he sought to forge ahead with a new life where unbeknown to her husband, my ex was holidaying with his mistress and her children, as my life descended into chaos, untold grief and darkness, we remain married.

I do not know when the court case to settle our finances will end. The second court hearing, the FDR, which was meant to happen this April has been postponed as my ex failed to return a court mandated document. The hearing might be rescheduled for June, July or whenever the court has availabilities.

If this case doesn’t settle during that second hearing, it might drag on until a final trial at the end of the year or even early next year, when my husband and I cease to have any control over the settlement of our financial affairs and will surrender all power to a judge to settle our affairs as he deems fit. Given that the same judge would also decide whether we can appeal against his decision, it is an extremely foolish place to be and only 10% of divorcing spouses are stupid enough to go to a final trial. I am resigned that I might be one of those 10% through no fault of mine.

I have tried to settle amicably outside of court in mediation which my ex ended. I also made a settlement offer which he rejected and refused to make a counter offer.

I am resigned that the nightmare and uncertainties I continue to live in, ends when it ends.

A year after my husband left our former home, I wish I was writing a reflective post that celebrates the countless personal achievements that I have had in the past one year of being on my own and to celebrate the person that I am becoming.

Perhaps I could write about how having been driven around by men in the last 22 years, a year ago when my husband left, I had only driven 2 or 3 very short times in the previous three years and couldn’t even confidently drive 5 minutes to the supermarket.

And yet last week, and the week before that, I was this woman driving on the motorway.

No, as much as I would like to pat myself on the back, reflect on my year and say well done, I have had a tough few days and I have other things on my mind.

I am overwhelmed by grief and sadness that have resurfaced from nowhere. I had been doing so well lately…

It’s been a few days where my emotions have been all over the place. Where every little thing makes me cry. Where I wonder whether my life would ever be as carefree as it used to be, happy, smiley, secure, certain, where I felt like I had someone in my life who would stay with me forever, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, through tears and laughters, where there seemed to be a purpose, a life plan, security.

As I write this, with uncontrollable tears, I’m forcing myself to look at the bigger picture.

Yes, divorce sucks lemon and I’m not going to make lemonade as I really shouldn’t be having sugar. However, there is no situation in life that stays the same. This period of uncertainty will someday pass. The feeling that I am adrift, no one to call my own, alone, will pass.

I tell myself to make a list.

Lists make everything seem clearer. I like to have a plan. It’s good to have a plan. I have to make my lists of ways to change things that I have control over, improve things, tick off my list and keep going.

I miss my old life. 

OK, I’ve said it but I also know that my old life is a fiction. There is nothing to miss when it didn’t exist.

That old life was all a lie.

That smiling face, the conman’s smile, the infectious laughter, the daily I love yous, the daily phone calls, the hand holdings, they were all lies.

You don’t miss something that never really existed.

You don’t miss something that never was.

You don’t miss an illusion.

I shouldn’t miss my old life because there is nothing to miss. 

And therefore, I tell myself that life is what you make of it. There is no old life to think of, there is just the now.

And the now, is what I make of it.

I will scribble in my notebook, make plans and make things happen. 

I will ride this current wave of grief and sadness, and it will surely pass.

It has all gone wrong on the diet front. I had a few bad days some weeks ago, following some divorce upset and  I have struggled ever since to recover.

I am going to take a couple of weeks off Cambridge, recharge and I will get back to it in the middle of May and finally give myself the big kick up the arse I need to make sure nothing else ever comes between me and this diet.

I will not stop until I reach goal.

In the meantime, get thee behind me sucky divorce grief.

 

4

Day 342 – A Smile Slays All Kinds of Dragons

I survived court.

On the 15th anniversary of the day we met, my ex and I doggedly ignored each other. No acknowledgement of the other, no hellos, no eye contact, no forced little polite smiles, nothing but pure hatred and enmity.

S.A.D.

My young barrister with her 4 years experience is smart and held her own. My ex’s barrister with over 20 years experience was charming, fair, pragmatic and sensible. Unlike his ridiculous gutter solicitor connected with the sister of the woman he had an affair with, this experienced gentleman might hopefully bring a sensible head to the crap that had previously come from the other side.

I hope that the next hearing at the end of April will bring an end to this nightmare. I can only pray so, but only time will tell but I am resigned that this ends when it ends. If we have to wait for a final trial at the end of the year, so be it.

The judge also pronounced our decree nisi. My barrister had suggested this sensible, pragmatic approach of getting the judge at our FDA to pronounce a divorce nisi while the other side’s solicitor had been busy throwing a hissy fit, writing complaints to the court for the delay in the decree nisi and getting absolutely nowhere.

I did a happy dance immediately I left court because of the decree nisi. I am one pronouncement away from legally disentangling myself from this man.

beyonce-dance-happy-birthday-awesome

I am one step away from deleting his double barrel name from my life forever and ever. Never will I have to spell this name and be reminded of the owner who has hurt me beyond my worst nightmare.

It is very easy to dwell on the negatives of divorce but there are so many things to be grateful for, like having a wonderful supportive loving family. My mum and my sisters had prayed and fasted intensely for proceedings. My mum, a strong Catholic had also booked novena masses for me. I am extremely grateful and I am certain that God had a hand in some of the things that happened yesterday.

I am also extremely grateful for a few close friends who have been a rock and even old friends that have become close friends.

On Tuesday night, a friend I’ve known since secondary school, left her two children and spent the night at mine. On Tuesday night, we prayed together, praying again on Wednesday morning before court. We woke up at 6am on Wednesday to make our way together to court. She would come back home with me after court, for a late lunch before heading back home around 4.30pm.

She had taken a precious holiday from work to support me in court. I am so grateful that she would do that for me. This lady has been through a divorce from hell and has been a rock and a sensible head.

So…imagine my disgust when my arrogant ex asked to leave court because the judge was late for our appointed time and of course my ex is too important to wait for a judge.

I objected.

You’re not that important mister to leave the court we’ve both been summoned to attend, to return to your very important life, while I waited in court with this friend who had taken a day off work because of the mess he’s caused, plus a barrister and solicitor I was paying to stay there.

My ex, like us mere mortals, was forced to wait until our case was called and we had our day in court, as dictated by the court order we had both received.

mr important

But enough of all that. It’s done. More to do in the next couple of months and I will get on with it in due course. I need a long weekend away from divorce crap and I’m taking time off.

I am happy to report that I have been back on my diet since Tuesday. On Tuesday night, I made some sweet potato crisps from scratch for my friend. It was absolutely delicious. So perhaps next time I fancy crisps, instead of shop bought ones, I shall make my own with allowable Cambridge Step Three sweet potatoes or even new potatoes.

I don’t regret the diet coke and crisps angst.

I am not superwoman; it only means that I have not conquered the demons that mean I turn to food when I am overwhelmed by stress but I can’t begin to explain the unbearable stress I have endured the last week but I’m moving on from that and doing the best I can in difficult circumstances.

be gentle to yourself

Oh when I met my young solicitor yesterday (I used to have a partner manage my case day to day but I couldn’t afford her, hence the young lawyer she supervises) her first words in the excitable manner of the young:

“Oh my God. You look so young. Oh my God, I didn’t expect you to look so young. Your face. Your skin.” She had exclaimed.

We laughed and gossiped every time the barrister left the room. In one of our chats, she declared that I must find a boyfriend.

There is joy to be found in every situation we find ourselves.

joy courage

 

7

Day 337 – Sadness Overwhelms Me :-(

I am overwhelmed by profound sadness that in two days’ time, I will find myself in court facing my ex, his gutter solicitor and expensive barrister – exactly 15 years to the day we first met; Saturday, 20th January, 2001.

I am overwhelmed by sadness that 15 years later, this is where we are.

I am overwhelmed by sadness that my ex has spent over £11,000, so far, on legal fees on our divorce but has never for one day stated exactly how he thinks our assets ought to be divided. Nothing. Nada.

I am overwhelmed by sadness that my ex’s behaviour has forced me to spend over £10,000 on legal fees.

Jesus Christ. Over £21,000 wasted on fuck all, is a lot of money by anyone’s standards. If this case goes to a final trial like I expect it would, we would have spent 3 or 4 or 5 times that amount.

For what exactly? Absolutely no progress whatsoever.

I am overwhelmed by sadness that after 15 years, my ex would rather spend silly money on lawyers, force me to do the same, rather than settle our disputes like civilised and intelligent people ought to do.

This man that I loved unconditionally for 14.5 years thinks that this sorry state of affairs is the best way forward. Why?

But things are what they are and I just have to get on with it hopeful that this nightmare will one day end.

My diet has fallen by the wayside in the last few days. If I’m totally honest, I’m not too bothered about it and will not kick myself for doing whatever I need to do to get over the stress and sadness that seek to drown me.

I have never smoked or been much of a drinker; my limit has always been one or two glasses of red wine. Last night, in my sadness and angst, I wished I was a smoker, puffing away on endless sticks of cigarettes and drinking shots after shots of whiskey. Instead, I had diet coke, crisps and toasts. Perhaps not quite the tragic romance of puffing away on cigarettes and drinking whiskey but equally as destructive.

Please don’t write to tell me to stay on my diet, don’t let the bastard derail me, blah blah blah.

I know and I will sort it soon enough.

I won’t stress about the diet. I have other much more important things to stress about.

I absolutely cannot wait to see the end of this week.

I will not stop my diet until I reach goal weight, so will sort it out when my head is able to.

Just please, let me get over this nightmare week.