Almost two years later I almost am at the end of the process and can say that I feel as though I have been rendered, pulverised and then scattered in the wind. I have hit stress levels that I never knew were possible, met financial insecurity on a grand scale and discovered aspects of myself that I did not know I possessed.
The process was not simple. We have property, there was a marriage contract, a business and a long time together, so lots to be unravelled.
I think that going into detail is spurious, so suffice to say that living, for the entire process, with the man I was divorcing made it extra unpleasant could be read as an understatement. We still live together now, but having taken the whole to court finally has meant that there is an end in sight, I am out of the woods but still sometimes caught in the undergrowth, I can feel the sun on my face, I can breathe more deeply, I can think about my future and it is bright, very bright.
Who am I, 19 years later? What do I want, like, need? Every decision has been a joint one for all that time, an endless compromise, trying to make a commitment work, hoping to do it right, well, properly, hoping to avoid the mistakes I consider my parents to have made.
Did I succeed? Well obviously not, I am now divorced and feel so relieved, but my children are calm and happy, understand that it was nothing to do with them and we, my ex-husband and I, have never argued about them. So perhaps I have, we have made it work.
So, yes, damage limitation is in place, my decision to be open about all of it has been a good one and I feel happy with my recent choices.
The court ruled that he has to leave the house by the end of January, and all possessions to be out by the end of March, so I can begin to look around me and consider what I want my house to look like, how I want to live, eat, work etc.
I still have to compromise, I still have a life that involves a lot of sacrifice as I am a mother…. Endlessly giving over the the needs of the children, but I can also set the look, the space, the hours and the pace of my life apart from the maternal aspect and that, I am really looking forward to.
I have periodically written about my experiences over the last two years and have had amazing responses from those of you who have had similar experiences. I have been helped immeasurably by many of you and I cannot fully express my gratitude here, it is heartfelt, and the process was made so much easier, clearer and positive by the love and support I did get. Huge, huge thanks.
For anyone considering a similar step do feel free, as I did, to ask for help and advice and I will happily pass you onto those that were such rocks of strength for me, including my lawyer for whom I really have huge respect.