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Sadness Lives Here

The last few weeks have been tough, extremely tough physically, mentally and financially.

The last week and a half have sucked serious lemons.

I had some bad news that brought about the sort of indescribable pain only someone who has been through similar situation can ever understand, and many people in my life haven’t…thankfully for them, as I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone else, let alone anyone I care about.

As a result, I’ve withdrawn from social activities, ignored messages and phone calls, deactivated my personal Facebook, ditched social media, currently have nearly 2,000 unread messages on WhatsApp, majority of which are from a secondary school class group, and I’ve kind of tried to quieten a lot of life’s noises, as I deal with the grief of my news.

I am also acutely aware that isolation is not good for me, so hopefully, I will be back in the swing of things soon enough.

More than anything, I am physically, emotionally and financially drained but I’m a survivor, I will sort myself out soon enough.

Although the bad news isn’t directly connected with the end of my marriage, there is an indirect connection. And therefore the sadness of all of that have kind of resurfaced.

It didn’t help that when I confided the bad news to a good friend, her reaction was to go on and on and on and on about how she blames my ex for the news, how he wasted the best years of my life and how the shock of her whole life is the fact that my marriage ended when she had never met two people more in love or closer than my ex and I. In the end, I brought that conversation to an end by firmly stating that my ex was in the past and that I didn’t want to talk about him.

One lovely reader wrote on my blog that it will basically take around half the length of a relationship to get over my divorce, in my case, over 7 years. I remember reading that and thinking in defiance that there was no way in hell I would be mourning the loss of my marriage for over 7 years. No way, would I be giving a shit about someone that doesn’t give a shit about me, let alone for that length of time.

Sadly, the cycle of loss and grief are not solved by defiance and determination alone.

They have to run their course.

The fact that I still have moments, even within this past week, when the shock that my marriage ended wash over me anew, is not because I haven’t accepted its end and moved on.

It is just what it is.

I still feel sadness that someone else chose to break a marriage contract that was supposed to last until death. As a realist, I am fine that marriages end, the disgustingly appalling way my ex ended our marriage, the fact that in all things, he put a married woman he had an affair with, and had known for only four months, way above a 14 and a half years relationship, allowed this woman to be so actively involved in the ending of our marriage, including using her sister’s gutter divorce law firm for our bitter divorce battle with all the unnecessary drama of court appearances, is a double stabbing in my heart and back which will take time to heal.

As anyone who reads this blog would know, my ex ‘s big love affair didn’t even last two months after he ended our marriage (by email!) in the belief that he would waltz into the sunset with his lover. This married woman with two children, who had allegedly broken up with him four times during their four months affair, because she wasn’t happy that he was married, whilst remaining married herself, and who had promised him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband, remains (happily?) married.

My ex and I have not spoken or emailed or had any communication whatsoever since our court proceedings were completed in November 2016.

I have zero intentions of ever contacting this man but if one day, his madness clears and he finally recognises the enormity of the pain his bad behaviour caused and continue to cause, and decides to apologise, he has my email address.

In the meantime, I will leave him to his karma. I hear she’s a bitch.

So many questions will remain forever unanswered and I am OK with it.

For example, finding out that the same week in May 2015, when my ex husband sent me an email entitled “My end game” dated May 4th, from his business trip in Singapore, saying that our marriage had ended and he wasn’t coming back home, a mail written with such bad grammar and weird formatting, it was obviously written by someone like his lover who learnt English as an adult, was the very same week, Mylien, the married woman he had an affair with, completed buying a new house in Woking (May 6th) which she owns jointly with her husband. Buying a massive 4 bedroom, 5 reception, 3 bathroom house, costing £815,000, two days after helping your lover to draft an email to his wife ending his marriage, is not exactly the act of a woman about to run off into the sunset.

Another suspicion is that by the time I discovered this four month affair, my ex may not have known the real name of this married woman who he had met on an internet dating website for single people. He had very easily and earnestly told me her name was Lilly Wong, and used this name in emails, at a time he was allegedly being truthful and confessing everything about the affair. This man is either even more of a dangerous snake of a liar or he completely changed, and I can go as far as to use the word “ruined” his life, for a woman from the internet, whose real name he didn’t even know. I wouldn’t know either of the options to bet on…anything is possible.

And how is my ex forging that new path and soaring those new heights he taunted me with wishing to do without me hampering his progress?

Has his life become so wonderfully amazing without me in it?

Has he found someone to swim in the sea with? Something he had taunted me with.

Does he wake up every morning with the biggest smiles on his face, a sense of purpose, a life well lived and the knowledge that ditching me and our marriage made him the happiest man alive?

Is his life filled with love, joy, music, laughter, sunshine, dinner parties, social interactions with his 14 Facebook friends? You’ve got to admire a man who defiantly stays on Facebook (after losing my family and friends) with 14 Facebook friends majority of whom are people he hasn’t seen in over 20 years. As one of his Facebook friends calls his account…”pathetic”.

Enough of my rambling rant. Hopefully letting it all out here will help ease some of the pain of this week.

Life must continue to move on with my changed circumstances.

I must continue to deal with the fact that the life plans have drastically changed because someone else choose to lie, deceive, betray, ultimately end a marriage with so much unnecessary pain and drama, and be woefully unaware that they behaved badly.

I will continue to work on my life.

I will grieve and get over my bad news and keep moving on.

I will continue to work on choosing to be happy, leaving the past firmly buried in the past and trying my best to forget and rebuild.

I will try and use those lemons to make some lemonade.

I will try. I will, I will.

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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

 

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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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Day 626: The Engagement Ring – All That Glitters Is not Gold

In my pre-divorce life, I was the most romantic person I knew.

Nothing gave me more pleasure than surprising my ex partner with romantic gestures, big, small and sometimes, outlandishly extravagant.

And as such, Valentine’s Day as stupidly commercialised as it is, was my thing.

Not necessarily going out to dinner with all the other doe-eyed lovers but making it a day to remember, cooking romantic meals at home, complete with typed menus and all sorts and of course, the gifts.

Like the picture below in 2014, when my ex came home to a three course meal, roses from the garden and champagne. For dessert, I had baked heart shaped chocolate cakes and heart shaped shortbread biscuits. I had also made strawberries dipped in melted chocolates and served with fresh mint.

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Now of course when I think of Valentine’s Day, I remember 2015.

My ex husband had come home from work around 3.30 am on Valentine’s day morning. I had cooed and sympathised with “my poor love” working all night. In the morning, we had exchanged gifts, his, as extravagant as always, including a Louboutin, which I had gushed was so totally me. I declared that it was one of the most thoughtful presents he had ever given me. He had worked that Saturday, and that evening, we had gone out to dinner at Hakkasan Mayfair, which used to be our favourite restaurant – so sacred, he took his mistress there.

I would later find taxi receipts that showed that he had not worked until the early morning that day, but had made the long taxi ride from his mistress’s marital home in Weybridge.

I would also later find receipts that showed that he had bought two of the much complimented Louboutin – one for me, and one for his mistress.

I digress.

And so, given Ms Romantic here, my ex husband knew that I would love the idea of being proposed to on Valentine’s Day. But he also found the whole day understandably, somewhat tacky.

That year, 2003, I had been expectant. We had been dating for two years. We were loved up and very happy. We had discussed marriage. I thought if he was going to propose, he would do it on that day. I even secretly bought two Valentine’s Day card. One addressed to my boyfriend and the other, to my fiance.

That Valentine’s day passed without a whisper of a proposal and I had lost hope but it had been a wonderful day nevertheless.

At one minute to midnight on Valentine’s day, after a wonderful, romantic evening where we had stuffed our faces with a 4 course meal, my ex wanted me to open a heart shaped Godiva chocolate. I was stuffed. I said no. He insisted. I finally opened this box of chocolate and inside was the most exquisite, beautiful ring.

It was one of the few occasions I was truly speechless.

Over the years, the engagement story regaled the tale of my ex husband proposing just before midnight, to give me the romantic Valentine’s Day proposal he knew I wanted but still far removed from the tackiness and cliche of a Valentine’s Day proposal, to satisfy him.

I wore and loved that sparkly ring with so much pleasure for 12 years, until last year happened when I cast it away, together with my wedding ring, into a box with all sorts of cheap jewellery.

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So…what does one do with an engagement ring that represented all that love, romance, hope and optimism for the future, when things go so terribly wrong?

I felt that I had four options:

  1. Wear the ring in a different hand;
  2. Pay a jeweller to convert it to a necklace;
  3. Keep it and gift it to one of my nieces; or
  4. Sell it.

I chose Option 4.

My ex had paid £3,250 in 2003 for this ring from Ernest Jones, plus another £100 for insurance, and I therefore expected that the diamond would have appreciated in 13 years. I had high hopes of getting some pennies for this much loved, beautiful, sparkly ring.

I couldn’t find the certificate but I was certain given the price paid and the beauty of the ring, that it was good quality, after all the ring was from Ernest Jones.

I fantasied that it was colour IF and clarity D, after all my ex liked good quality things and would have done his research about the 4Cs of diamond buying. Google gave me fantastic values for a 1.02 carat, round brilliant cut diamond with colour IF and clarity D.

My bubble that selling this ring might pay my mortgage for a few months was well and truly bursted when I finally found the certificate at the weekend.

I was stunned.

It was a poor quality diamond. 1.02 carat diamond set on yellow and white 18 carat gold. Colour J, Clarity P1. Several online websites gave me the abysmal amount to expect for the diamond.

Surely everyone knows about the 4Cs of diamonds? How did my ex pay such a ridiculous price for such poor diamond?

Shame on you Ernst Jones.

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On Monday, I continued my research by calling several diamond buyers in Hatton Gardens – the diamond capital of the UK. One told me that the most I would expect to sell, would be £800. Others told me that they would not buy because no one wants such poor quality diamond.

Another charming man, spent a long time on the phone advising me and suggested that I should not bring along the certificate if I came to see him or anyone else because with the card, no one would want to buy the diamond and if they did, the most I would get would be £650 to £800.

And so, yesterday, following my first mammogram near Harley Street, I set off to Hatton Gardens to try and sell my diamond engagement ring and wedding ring.

I also had a potential reputable buyer who after seeing photographs had declared she was “highly interested.”

The so called buyer offered me £200 for the engagement ring my ex paid £3,250 in 2003. 

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After the offer of £200, I went to several other shops in Hatton Gardens trying to flog the engagement and wedding rings. Quite a few buyers refused to buy because of the poor diamond quality.

One buyer finally offered me £625 for both rings. I decided to keep trying other shops.

One Asian man saw me, started asking me personal questions, including why I was selling. I told him that I was newly divorced. He said he respected me and the fact that I was a determined lady making the best of difficult circumstances. He was philosophical about life, saying that we die with nothing and have to help each other whenever we can.

He said that he felt drawn to me when he saw me and that something in him told him to help me out because everything in life isn’t about money.

He stated that he would offer me the price he would sell my diamond for and not the buying price.

I confess that I was cynical. I thought he might have perfected the gift of sweet talk. I knew the full potential price of the diamond ring. The only offers I had received were for £200 and £625. What could this man offer?

For whatever reason best known to this wonderfully kind man, he offered to buy my engagement and wedding ring for £1,400; more than double the best price that I had received on the day.

Me of little faith.

I am grateful to this stranger and I pray that he is rewarded a millionfold for his kindness and generosity especially as he had admitted that business had been slow in the last few months post Brexit.

“Diamond is not food. People don’t need diamond to eat. The economy is bad. No one is buying diamond.”

Yesterday, I also sold some scrap gold to the same man for £500. Once again, he had given me a much better price than what I was offered by every single other shop I had visited, including my so called buyer who had offered £235.

The scrap gold consisted of a broken gold necklace, 2 broken gold bracelets, one single gold earring (I couldn’t find its pair) and 1 pair of gold earrings I hadn’t worn in years which my ex’s mum had given me just before our wedding in 2004. I didn’t like the earrings and had only worn them once or twice. When I found them at the weekend, one was broken. 

I also had other glittering, sparkly “gold” jewellery that were revealed by the jeweller’s tests not to be real gold.

All that glitters is not gold.

Coming back home with £1,900 consisting of £1,300 cash and £600 cheque, I was very tired, cold, (I had been going up and down Hatton Garden in the cold and light rain), very emotional and wondering who this person was, who had gathered and sold unwanted broken gold jewellery, having researched the price of scrap gold, and who had researched the price of diamond, and had bettered her realistic estimates for both diamond and gold.

I am so proud of my little self.

And so today, I went to the bank to deposit £1,900 from jewellery that had been languishing in various boxes.

I am grateful to this divorce for opening my eyes to so many new things.

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Day 620: FFS – Let Them Drink Wine.

This has been an eventful week.

I went for a two hour, 360 health assessment which is basically a full health check-up. Every part of my body, in and out, was prodded and tested.

I guess part of the reason I wanted to do it, was to make sure that the stress of the end of my marriage hasn’t resulted in physiological ill-health, after all, stress is a killer.

The good news is that my lung function in some parameters was as much as 133% of women my age, surprising given that my system is somewhat compromised by bouts of childhood pneumonia and bronchitis etc for which I attend hospital for monitoring.

Following ECG, I was told that I have 0.7% chances of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years.

Not bad for an old bird.

The bad side is that I am a bit anaemic and low in calcium.

The doctor also thinks I’m somewhat depressed and should restart psychotherapy. I told him I had completed the 16 paged extremely detailed questionnaire (WTF!) on a particularly pissed off day and was irritated by the length of the form.

He was sympathetic.

I have lost nearly two inches in height since my last test in 2010 which could be related to my chronic back issues or bone loss. WTF. The doctor has referred me to a hospital for a bone density scan, just to be sure. If it is bone loss, I get to pop some more pills.

I also had my breasts examined by the nice, very handsome doctor.

“The good thing about your right breast is that it is very soft.” He said having examined one breast.

I resisted the urge to giggle at the most non-sexual feeling of my breasts ever, by a very attractive man.

Next week, I will have a mammogram to complete the health MOT.

Following the test, I met up with a lovely lady I used to work with and who I am rather very fond of. We hugged and kissed the way old friends do.

Like she always does whenever she sees me, she said:

“And how is Chris? Are you two still madly in love and as happily married as ever?” She asked with a very wide smile ready to listen to me go on about the merits of married life ,for I was once one of the smug married.

Poor lady was mortified and very apologetic when I told her I was divorced, having had the divorce from hell, two court hearings and 18 months from hell, with a pending case about a Mac Computer.

It’s great to see one’s life through the eyes of others.

She was lovely.

Declared that I had a chance to reinvent myself.

Told me money is the root of all evil and can change people.

Reminded me that I was great at my job and encouraged me to return to work, even if for one day a week.

“You write beautifully. You could be a writer. You could be a blogger. You could be a public speaker. You were fantastic at the talks you used to give.”

I smiled broadly at her and we agreed to arrange a girlie night out with another mutual friend.

I left her with smiles and a renewed sense of self worth.

She immediately followed up with a text message, a friends’ request on Facebook and she set the ball rolling for our girlie night out.

Following an extremely long day, I came back home to a letter addressed in a handwriting I thought was that of my ex husband. I quickly dismissed the thought as it wasn’t the first time I had thought a handwritten letter was from him.

But alas, this time, it was indeed my ex.

Inside the envelop was a signed letter.

Also, a first class stamp.

And a handwritten letter that said:

“Please sign & send to the court. Thanks. No need for anything further. Chris.”

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He had signed a letter asking the court to dismiss the hearing for the Mac Computer.

I was stunned.

I had been resigned to attending court to talk shit about the Mac Computer.

I had even started drafting my witness statement.

I felt overwhelmed with unexpected sadness.

On Tuesday February 24th, 2015, my life as I knew it, ended with the discovery of my ex husband’s affair. The madness that started that day, cumulated in his leaving our previous matrimonial home on 18th April, 2015, followed by email from his business trip in Singapore on Monday May 4th, 2015, telling me he wasn’t coming back home and instead, he had found a flat in Weybridge, 5 minutes from Mylien, the married mother of two he had an affair with. Prior to my finding out about his affair, this woman had told him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband. Mylien remains married to her husband, the father of her two children.

20 months after I found out about this affair, this fucking nightmare is finally, truly over. It’s OVER.

So, why am I having a second glass of wine as I write this diary entry?

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Why have I immersed myself in activities since Tuesday, spending all day, doing things because I do not want to give myself time to think?

Why do I feel like I need to finally mourn the end of my marriage to someone who I had regarded as the love of my life and who had told me countless times I was his? And yet, I refuse to spend any more time mourning any such marriage because I have wasted quite enough time on all that, thank you very much.

Why do I feel sadness at the thoughts that I will spend the rest of my life alone and single because I will never ever make myself that vulnerable ever again?

I have no answers or wise words to explain how I feel.

One of my readers once wrote that it would take at least half of the number of years I spent with my ex to get over the pain of divorce. That would mean that it would over 7 years. That’s a very long time and I don’t want to believe that would be the case, not if I can help it.

Life goes on.

Shit happens.

Sometimes, life throws unexpected balls.

But it’s down to us whether we swim or sink and I am already swimming.

I have also started a little venture that I’m excited about.

If like today, I feel like drinking red wine, I won’t beat myself up about it. A little bit of wallowing is OK too, as long as it has been a day like today, when I worked pretty hard, all day on my little venture and get to wallow a bit in my downtime.

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In other news, did anyone watch the Walking Dead premier? OMFG.

 

 

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Day 610 – From the mouth of babes….

Yesterday, I spent nearly 5 hours in the company of two delightful boys, one is 7 and the other is 5.

We baked shortbread biscuits and a two layered vanilla birthday cake, with buttercup frosting, complete with birthday messages and candles, after which we invited their parents and 5 month old brother to join our little tea party.

I did not even have a teeny weeny piece of cake.

This is a first.

Ever.

There is hope for me yet.

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At one point, the 5 year old declared that I was his best “Belle.” His mum tells me this is the height of his compliments.

At another point, he said:

“Mummy said you’re separated from your husband and you are no longer friends. You have two new friends, X and Y.” He proclaimed, naming his brother and himself.

That comment nearly moved me to tears. I gave both of them a high five, a kiss and a cuddle.

He also declared that I had the nicest kitchen in the whole wide world.

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Isn’t it just amazing how kids can make everything seem so easy and uncomplicated?

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Since the last time that I wrote, the transfer of equity of my beautiful home into my sole name has completed. I looked at the title deed with my full name on it, with tears of joy, so much pride and immense gratitude that I have come out of my nightmare with a clean break and with my home as mine.

Just over a week ago, I finally deleted my ex ‘s phone numbers and that of his mum and sister from my contact list. The time was right and it felt good to have that firm closure.

But…things are not completely over.

My ex is still continuing with his ridiculous and crazy stance of taking me to court to fight over a previously jointly used mac computer which is over three years old and which I have been using alone since he left in April 2015.

The fact that this man is going ahead with this utterly ridiculous case tells me that his madness has not waned. His ludicrous barrister, with over 20 years experience, had demanded half a day of a busy Central London court, the busiest family court in the country, to talk shit about this computer.

The court has allocated 5 minutes instead of the demanded half a day.

Oh and for this laughable case, we are both required to prepare like a real case, exchange witness statements, evidence and all sorts.

I have been told to be prepared to be totally lambasted by an angry judge for this stupid matter coming to court but so be it. 

I look forward to a fun trip to Central London after which I will meet a friend for dinner and have a laugh.

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In other news, I am still doing well in my diet.

I am also using my gym and in the last couple of weeks, have decided to weigh once a week instead of my previous obsession of weighing two or three times daily.

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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

 

7

Week One, Day 550: Make the Rest of My Life…the Best of My Life

I haven’t posted for over a month even though I have a hell of a lot to report.

I’m not exactly sure why, other than perhaps I have been a little overwhelmed by the last few weeks and the reality that this is it, the rest of my life.

Let me explain…

Five weeks ago, my ex and I spent a very very very long day in court, as in went into court at 10 am and we were in and out to see the judge several times until we were finally thrown out just after 5 pm.

For anyone who has been following my diary, I am super thrilled to announce that the end result, is that I got the only thing that I had told my ex from Day 1 of the nightmare was non-negotiable; I get to live in my beautiful home where I have lived for over 12 years, and lovingly extended and refurbished in a 9 months from hell, which only ended a month before I found out about my ex ‘s affair.

No-Place-Like-Home-750x330

I am enormously relieved that I will not be forced out of my home or be forced to sell, something my ex had been pushing for even, in that second court hearing, including once giving me a 5 day ultimatum at some point, to agree to immediately sell my home.

My home will not be sold.

I can stay here for the rest of my life, should I choose to do so and in exactly 5 weeks time, my ex will transfer his share of the equity to my sole name.

I had not realised that I had psychologically stopped myself from enjoying my lovely home because of the uncertainties of whether or not I could stay here.

For the first time in 16 months, I can exhale.

I still find myself going around various rooms in my four bedroom home and my garden, enjoying various things, as if seeing them for the first time.

These roses and the rosemary bushes under the umbrella (in the pictures below) had been planted at a time when my fate seemed so uncertain; there is something to be said about the power of positive thinking.

garden august 2016garden roses august 2016

The saddest part of the settlement is the fact that in return for his share of his house, I will pay my ex, a figure that is exactly what I had instructed my lawyers to offer him in September 2015.

Instead of making a counter-offer and entering negotiations for settlement, my ex had refused the offer, refused to counter-offer and instead, we got heartbreaking crap like him asking for proof of serious illnesses he had witnessed first hand for 14.5 years and comments saying my desire to stay in my home of over 12 years was “aspirational.

Had my ex chosen to negotiate, this matter would have easily ended last year without the need for two court hearings, unbearable stress or both of us spending well in excess of £50,000 on legal fees.

litigation-only-makes-lawyers-fat-quote-1

The settlement reached by my ex and I was a clean break which means that any maintenance payments were consolidated into me having the lion share of the capital in my home, something I am very happy with as I am certain if there had been a maintenance order, my ex would have done anything to wiggle out of paying, including moving to another country, which he could easily do with his current bank job.

My lawyers had been opposed to a clean break which my ex had insisted upon.

In the end, following a very long day where my ex and his lawyers had behaved so badly, my solicitor and barrister had declared they had never dealt with such pettiness and unpleasantness.

In what was a most difficult day, I saw my lawyers transform from young, highly intelligent professionals, to human observers, giving me hugs, back and shoulder rubs, a few loud out loud explicit descriptions of the other side that most certainly helped to ease the tension, plus laughter and humour from the three of us on a very difficult day.

One of them summed up the day by saying.

“I am so happy you got your clean break and won’t have anything to do with this unpleasant man who would have wiggled out of any maintenance anyway. No amount of money would have compensated for having this nasty, little man in your life.”

I am extremely grateful to God for the deal reached at this second court hearing, which was massively better than what I would have gotten on a final hearing, especially when my barrister indicated that I would have had a 10% chance of keeping my beautiful home, if we had gone to a final hearing. 

i-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for

Three weeks ago, my ex came to my home to collect the remainder of his things. I got the chance to ask him a few questions including why he asked for evidence of my illnesses or why his lawyer, who is in the same law firm as the sister of the woman he had an affair with, chose to email me on our wedding anniversary to say he wanted a divorce.

His answers to all were that he was “acting under legal advice.”

It’s called legal ADVICE for a reason.

Someone advises, and you, a thinking, intelligent, human being with free will, who isn’t a brainless, dead, zombie, will choose which advice to accept or/and modify, like any decent human being would do.

Asking for evidence of genuine illnesses you experienced first hand over 14.5 years and even attended various hospital appointments with me, or coming late by over 2 and a half hours without a mail, a text, a WhatsApp or anything to indicate your lateness but instead, bring along a locksmith to break into my home, is the act of a callous, heartless cad.

I also asked my ex why he has been so angry with me and what had caused him to behave as badly as he’s done. He said he wasn’t angry with me. He insisted he hadn’t behaved badly at all and all he had done was under “legal advisement

I do not need an apology from my ex to move on with my life but perhaps one day, if his madness ever clears, he might realise the devastation his behaviour has caused not just me, but my family, who did nothing but love him.

But what’s done is done and I have moved on.

The last few weeks have been full of activities, including raising a mortgage to pay for my ex’s share of my home. I have also managed to revert to my maiden name in most of my documents even though the decree absolute is still pending.

I have had a week of horrible back pains and the joys of the olympics, staying awake two nights to watch the incredible Usain Bolt win 100m and 200m gold medals.

I am very happy that this nightmare is finally over except for the extraordinary matter of my ex taking me to a very busy family court to fight over a 3 year old Mac Computer we shared when we lived together and which I have been using alone for the last 16 months that I have been on my own, even though he bought himself a new mac last year and is very much aware of the fact that I have continued to use this mac.

But that is a pathetic story for another day! Sadly, for him, one that shows that my ex remains mentally unstable, still in the middle of his mid-life crisis and completely disengaged from the real world.

I am a little overwhelmed that I now have the rest of my life to lead and it is down to me, no one else but me to make a success of it and to make it a fulfilled and happy life.

It is down to me to make the rest of my life, the best of my life

responsible for my own happiness

This is still primarily, a weight loss diary. So I must talk about that.

I have had weeks, months of ups and downs on the Cambridge diet. Lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight but it is finally time to concentrate, focus and stick with the diet. I worry whether I will ever get to the finish line but that will never happen, if I keep messing around.

And so, this Monday, after a crap week and a weekend where I purposely ate crap in other to effect a whoosh for a restart, I have once again, for the million times, restarted the Cambridge Diet.

I am on a personal challenge to lose 1 stone (6.4kg) in 28 days.

It is only Day 5 and I have already lost 5.1kg (11 pounds) and I am already 79.7% to the target of losing a stone by 12th September. 

I pledge to revert to reporting my weight every week. Perhaps that will help keep me on the diet.

73 loss

Week One, Day 550’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.5 kg, week’s weight loss 5.1 kg (11.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.3 kg; 73.3 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

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.

Rainbow_1574

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.

 

1

Day 394: I’m Still Standing

I haven’t written on this diary for ages.

Thank you to those of you who have been in touch asking for news and to all those who keep reading my diary.

Life got extremely busy.

I had some crap to deal with but it’s done and I’m good and I have moved on.

I am still very much on my diet. Today, I went out for a lunch. Standing in the mirror looking at myself before I went out, it struck me that standing, I no longer look fat, let alone obese.

Naked or seated, is another matter.

I continue to fight the jinx that means that I get to 86 point something kg, and don’t seem to lose any more weight.

This is a battle I intend to win this time.

I bloody hope so.

war