I can hardly believe that it has now been a year since I was sitting in my kitchen with my laptop, nervously writing my very first post for this blog.
At the time, the ink on my divorce papers was not even dry, I had ended the terrible re-bound relationship I’d been in and I was very scared about what the future had in store. I felt isolated, very lonely and terrified at the prospect of being alone, for the first time in almost 20 years.
I set up my blog because I wanted other women, who found themselves in the same position as me, to know that they were not alone. But what I never imagined was that so many MEN would find my blog and get in touch with me, sharing stories of very similar experiences. That was probably the biggest bonus I could ever have had and I feel very flattered that they have felt able to share their personal stories with me.
And now, here I am. One year on. And what has changed?
I’m still single. But the difference is, I don’t mind it! I’m not saying I ‘like’ it. But I’m OK with it. Society expects us to be part of a ‘couple’. If we’re single for any length of time, it starts to question what’s ‘wrong’ with us. Well, here’s the thing… There’s nothing wrong with me. I just know what it’s like to be with the ‘wrong’ person. When Mr Right turns up, it will be a different matter!
Am I still lonely? I have my moments – but I have become so busy with new friends and a very different social life, that I now have days when I want to turn invitations down, so I can have a quiet evening alone. A year ago, I was terrified of being alone.
Is it scary to go out on my own? No, it is no longer daunting to go out socially by myself. I used to be very nervous of meeting new people and going to parties or events alone. I just felt conspicuous – and I had to adjust to being ‘the divorcee’, which many married women see as a threat. And it used to feel really weird going home alone. I was scared that if anything happened to me, no one would find out until the school wondered why the kids hadn’t been collected. But now it doesn’t bother me – and for someone who is as shy as I am, that’s a big deal.
What impact has writing this blog had on me? Well, from the e-mails and messages I’ve had through the blog, I have realised just how ‘normal’ I am. I have always believed that you should be ‘loyal’ to your husband when you are married. As a result, I never talked to anyone about the issues I had with my ex-husband during our marriage. The net result was that I felt like I was alone, that my issues were unique. But they’re not. My ex-husband belittled me constantly and made me feel useless and unattractive. I now realise and accept that the problem was with him, not me.
In addition, I have been taken aback by the kindness of strangers and had my eyes opened to the very many shades of grey that there are in life. I have always been a bit of a cynic with a very black or white view of the world. I am now slightly less cynical, less judgemental and able to see there are many shades of grey.
For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you will have noticed that I have not posted for over a week. I’ve been thinking long and hard about my blog and the direction in which I want it to go. I’ve even considered whether it has run its course. It has certainly been cathartic and helped me air my feelings. But am I done yet?
I asked a few people whether I should wind it up – and I was really flattered that they genuinely seemed to think I shouldn’t.
So for the time being, I’m going to continue. But before I go on, I just want to thank a few people who have made a big difference to my life over the last year.
It’s always hard when you start to thank people who have helped along the way. There are so many people who have helped me, just by reading my blog and giving positive feedback. But in particular, I would like to thank (in no particular order!):
The “Two Robs”!
& last, but by no means least….
Blind Date Man
Thank you for all your kindness and support!