One year on.

This time last year, I signed for the keys to my house following the separation between my now ex husband and I.  In all of my adult life, I had never lived alone and I remember almost shaking with the anticipation of what was to come next.  I had no idea what to expect or if I could even do this.  I wanted to prove to him that I could do this without any of his help.  “Put your big girl pants on and just deal with it” he used to say to me, even throughout our relationship.  He was adamant that I was incapable of being on my own, when in fact the irony in this is that that actually mirrors his own feelings.  He has proven to the world that he is incapable of being alone by hopping from one woman to the next, never really understanding himself.

I remember walking down the mossy slate path to my new home and turning the keys in the lock for the first time.  My heart was thumping in my chest as I explored each room, picturing where my furniture and belongings would go.  After all, I had no one to tell me where I could and couldn’t put my things now.  I imagined my cats sleeping by the fireplace after a long day of playing in the garden.  I could see myself with my feet up on the sofa, cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other.  I could see myself in the garden laughing with my friends on a warm summer’s evening.  I was eager for the memories that I would create in my new home; alone.  Then when my furniture arrived and was put in place by the removal guys, I was given some paperwork to sign before they left.  I sat down on the sofa and it was so quiet, I could hear their truck’s engine start as they then drove off down the road.  I suddenly burst into tears and I don’t think I stopped crying for a good 20 minutes or so.  For the first time since my marriage fell apart, I was totally alone.

Seeing this photo of me holding my new keys for the first time has had me reminiscing about probably the hardest time in my life.  I am smiling in the photo yet I look beyond exhausted, following weeks of going back and forth emotionally as my ex husband played games with both my heart and the heart of the woman he cheated on me with.  Mentally I was exhausted too, after supporting my ex husband during his time in a psychiatric ward.  He had threatened to take his own life after his bubble was burst and he had simultaneously lost both his wife and girlfriend in the blink of an eye as we finally found out about each other following nearly 5 months of deception and lies.

I wish I could go back to this time a year ago, and tell myself that it’ll all be okay.  When times are hard, everyone tells you that things will work out eventually, but at that time you don’t believe it.  At that time, the pain I was suffering caused me to almost take my own life.  This is not something that I am proud of, but it is the truth.  To be honest, the only thing that stopped me from doing it was my cats.  That probably sounds stupid, but I had two little souls in fur coats that depended on me and loved me unconditionally.  I rescued them from a very bad start in life and it wasn’t fair of me to put them in another bad situation.  They saved my life.  And I am so grateful for them, and my incredible friends and family for being the constant in my life.

Over the past year, things have slowly fallen into place.  I am settled now into my solitary home life, which is something I have come to enjoy.  I take great solace in doing what I want and when I want, no one to question me or answer to.  My life had always revolved around my ex husband you see, his wants and needs and even his career took over my life. My next puzzle piece will be securing a position in a job of my choosing.  Because of my ex husband’s career in the military, mine always took a back seat.  We moved often and I was never able to fully settle into a role.  It’s my time now.

With love, Darling Soul x

PS. When you’re having a hard time and nothing seems to be going right, remember…this, too, will pass.

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She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay.

I’m having one of those days today, so to cheer myself up I’ve put my “Good Mood Tunes” playlist on in the office.  A song came on that gave me some strength during hard times, and I thought that I’d share it with you all.  I kind of feel like it’s my anthem!

She thinks she’s all alone
And all her hopes are gone
And so I wrote this song
So she can move along

Well, things were bad
She was in despair
Well, things were bad.
And you were never there

But things were bad
She came up for air
She said a little prayer
She found herself

Yeah, she’s got a light in her face
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay
Yeah, she’s got life in her veins.
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay.
No SOS needed; no rescuing, she’s fine out there
No SOS needed; no rescuing, she’s fine out there
Yeah, she’s got life in her veins
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay

She looks into the sky
And all her tears are dry
She kiss her fears goodbye
She’s gonna be alright.

But things were bad
It was beyond repair.
She was scared
She couldn’t handle it.
Things were bad but now she’s glad
Can’t you tell – she’s walking on air?

Yeah, she’s got a light in her face
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay.
Yeah, she’s got life in her veins.
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay.
No SOS needed; no rescuing, she’s fine out there
No SOS needed; no rescuing, she’s fine out there
Yeah, she’s got life in her veins.
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay

That girl is you, yeah
And that girl is me
That girl is stronger than the raging sea
That girl is you, yeah
And that girl is me
That girl is stronger than the raging sea

Yeah, she’s got a light in her face
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay.
Yeah, she’s got life in her veins.
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay.
No SOS needed; no rescuing, she’s fine out there
No SOS needed; no rescuing, she’s fine out there
Yeah, she’s got life in her veins
She don’t need no rescue and she’s okay

Happy Wednesday, all!

With love, Darling Soul x

Loosening my grip.

Sometimes I feel like I won’t find love again.  Not because I don’t want to find it, but because I don’t think I am capable of loving another person again with the sheer intensity that I loved my ex husband.  I have loved people since, but it wasn’t the same.  The walls that I built after the news of my ex’s infidelity are high.  The bricks are tough and strong.  A brick or two may have come loose over these past 18 months nearly, but I just can’t seem to view any possible relationship without scrutinizing every little detail.

Why does he like me?  What does he want?  Why is he saying nice things?  What is he trying to achieve?  I question every little thing and my God, it’s beyond tiring.  For me and those involved.  It takes the fun away from the chase because I’m too busy over analysing the other person’s facial expressions and actions when I should be enjoying their company and what could become.  I question because when my ex husband left, I had several guys act like they wanted to console me when actually all that they wanted was sex.  If that doesn’t make you query everything that someone who supposedly likes you does, then I don’t know what will!  That was a really horrible and confusing time for me, and very unfair and gross that people who I once considered friends would try and take advantage of me in that way when I was especially vulnerable.

Now see, I love animals.  They cheer me up and their love is unconditional.  They ask for nothing in return.  They don’t have ulterior motives (apart from food perhaps!) and they love honestly.  They don’t hate or hurt.  They don’t lie or cheat.  They know when I am sad or upset and they use their own wonderful little ways to make me feel happy again.  Why can’t people be more like animals?  Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off on my own with my animals.  No one to disappoint or hurt me.  But I wasn’t made for this life.  I am energetic, bubbly and I talk far too much.  I wasn’t created to be left alone for long periods of time.  Dammit, being an empath sucks sometimes.

Guess where I’m going this weekend…to see my ex inlaws.  Lots of people are confused as to why I’m going to see them, but it’s not their fault that their son/brother is a dick.  I was very lucky to have a special relationship with my inlaws and right from day one, they treated me like I was part of the family.  Even now, they still do.  I realise that this is not a luxury that many have and I was indeed lucky during my relationship with him, and now it appears that my luck continues even after divorce.  His parents sent me some money for Christmas and asked me to come and visit, so this weekend will be the first time that I’ve seen them in nearly 14 months.  I’m excited to see them all but also nervous.  Their house holds many memories for me and knowing that his new beau has visited their home will probably make me feel slightly uneasy.  Actually to be honest, I have no idea how I will feel.  I do have a meditation class before I head off to see them though, so I hope that I will receive lots of love and light before my journey which will help me to deal with possible conflicting emotions during my visit.

Before I finish up, a very dear friend of mine sent me this little bit of wisdom yesterday.  I think we can all relate in some shape or form.

With love, Darling Soul x

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Elastic heart.

So last Saturday, I went on a date with another guy.  We had been texting back and forth for a number of weeks, then one night we were on the phone to each other for 4.5 hours!  I started to think, “Hey, I like this guy”.  I had a really nice evening with him, although conversation didn’t flow as easily as it did on the phone, I just put that down to him coming across as slightly shy.  After our date, we continued to text for a few days before I asked if he wanted to meet again.  He totally avoided the question!  So I decided not to text him and would wait for him to make contact again.  He texted me yesterday evening, asking how my day had been and how I was etc.  I replied but asked again if he wanted to meet up.  This was his reply:

“As for meeting up again, I had a really nice time meeting you, it was fun and a good giggle but for me I didn’t really feel there was any spark there romantically.  It felt more like a friendship thing for me so I would be up for meeting again as it was fun but more as friends rather than a date, still if you’d rather not I’d understand.  Just don’t want to mislead you in any way as I know you’ve had your fair share of being messed about by blokes.”

Firstly, I felt quite hurt.  Did I have a right to feel that way?  Probably not, but my thoughts are if you don’t think something is going to work out, then you don’t continue to text and converse with that person daily.  Secondly for me, unless the date is an awful experience then I think you should always meet a second time.  This Disney style “romantic spark” that he is looking for…it doesn’t exist, in my experience. 

Another issue is that after spending 5 years in an emotionally abusive relationship, I find that my go to thought process is “What did I do wrong?” and “What could I have done better?”. I try to snap myself out of that and since I’ve been loving myself better lately, I find that the thought process lasts only momentarily instead of hours or days on end like it used to. I may be coming across as a whiny little bitch with rejection issues, but this date and my date from the other week are my first experiences of dating full stop. I don’t really have anything to compare them to, so I’m still very much learning. On the plus side, this date didn’t really like cats and when I told him that the cats slept with me on the bed, he told me that it was gross and disgusting. Clearly, it wasn’t meant to work out! Other date is neutral toward cats and I have made many a comment about my two fur kids without him saying “Eewww”. Maybe he’s just being polite…?! For his sake, I hope not!

In my opinion, second guy has lost out here. I am a good woman with so much love to give. First guy is meeting me again tomorrow after work for a drink, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing him. I have thoroughly enjoyed his company so far, talking about anything and everything with no awkward silences or pauses. Let’s see where it goes.

With love, Darling Soul x
 

So with the dates I’ve been going on lately, my parents told me that I should cool it on the “crazy cat lady” front.  I asked why.

“It might put some guys off” they replied.

But you know what?  I don’t actually care.  I have two rescue cats who are a big part of my life.  If I hook up with a guy that dislikes cats, then it’s not going to work, is it?  So I am up front and honest, and yes to some I may come across as a “crazy cat lady”, but it’s part of who I am.  I am passionate about animals and in particular, my pets.

Then someone said that maybe I should take out my nose ring for dates and replace it with a stud.  Why?  I like wearing a nose ring.  I got my nose pierced with a ring about 10 years ago which was before they became fashionable, I can tell you.

Several people have told me “Your eyes are pretty.  You should wear contact lenses or get laser eye surgery.”  I actually like how I look in glasses.

My ex husband hated my weird ear piercings.  At that time, I told them all out because I know he didn’t like them.  Then when we split up, I went and got a new weird ear piercing and put the jewelry back in my other ones!  And they’ve stayed in ever since, whether someone likes them or not.

My teeth are a little crooked in places and I have a chip on my front tooth.  I sometimes bite my nails when I am anxious.  I waffle a lot when talking.  I draw my eyebrows on everyday due to an over plucking incident in the 90s, haha!  I’m a bit overweight and I really enjoy my food.  Sometimes I swear too much.  I am opinionated.  I have broken veins on my nose.  My skin scars really easily.  I click my knuckles and my neck.  I’m incredibly clumsy.

How can you love someone else until you love yourself?  Totally and utterly apologetically.  And I think for the first time in almost 30 years (holy shit, I’m 30 this year!), I’m comfortable in my own skin.  It’s a really great feeling!  Love and enjoy yourself for who you are because you are pretty awesome.

With love, Daring Soul x

Jar of happiness.

I found a post on Facebook before Christmas about the charming idea of a “happiness jar”.  You have a jar and at the end of every week, you write down something good that happened and pop it inside of the jar.  At the end of the year, you open the jar and reflect on the year’s positives.  It’s too easy to focus on the negatives of daily life.  We’re all guilty of it.  The news is often depressing and most of us will let one bad day ruin our week.  I shared the idea of the “happiness jar” with friends and a friend of mine decided to send me a surprise in the mail…my very own jar to fill up with good thoughts!  She has also started one of her own so in a way, we’re doing it together.  Last week, I added my first happy thought to the jar.  Dropping it into the empty jar was a really good feeling and I’m really looking forward to filling it with memories and good thoughts.  A positive start to 2017!

Last night, I went to the theatre with my date.  He invited me to a show, although not much of a theatre goer himself.  I didn’t think that I was into theatre but I really enjoyed the show and it reminded me of when I went to see a Shakespeare play in London with one of my best friends.  I think perhaps I’m more into theatre than I let myself believe!  Of course the only thing about going to somewhere like the theatre for a date is that you don’t get much of a chance to talk to one another.  Just before the show, during the interval and when he walked me back to my car.  The show was called Gaslight and was certainly an interesting choice by my date.  The play on name Gaslight became apparent during the show.  It referred to the gaslights (the show was based in the 1800s) that flickered during significant parts of certain scenes, but it also referred to the main female character’s husband’s behaviour.

gaslight
ˈɡaslʌɪt/
verb
gerund or present participle: gaslighting
  1. manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.
    “in the first episode, Karen Valentine is being gaslighted by her husband”

It was kind of eerie, watching a character on stage whose manipulative behaviour could match that of my ex husband’s.  Almost like watching it from the other side.  But a thoroughly good show and I really enjoyed it.  The experience may even make it into the happy thoughts jar!

Until next time…

With love, Darling Soul x

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When the past rears her ugly head…

So I’ve been separated 1.5 years nearly and divorced for 4 months already.  So why has the past decided to show her face just as I’m really starting to move onward and upwards with my life?  The past has come in the form of my ex husband’s new fiancée.  The woman he left me for after living a double life for 4 months before getting busted.  You’d think she was happy, y’know.  What with rocking up and turning my life upside down and all.  But to me as someone who has spent some time reading interesting articles on narcissistic people (my ex husband was one), this smells of trouble in paradise.

I’d had a really lovely Christmas away with my family and had just got home from my break.  I’d decided to take an extra day off before going back to work so I had time to do some household chores before beginning the mundane life of the office again.  I set my alarm bright and early so I could gently ease my body into early mornings again after a few weeks of practically zero routine, and I woke up in a reasonably good mood…until I saw a message from my ex sister in law followed by an email from my ex husband’s beau.  I still have a really good relationship with my ex inlaws so it’s not unusual for us to stay in touch, plus I’m going to visit them at the end of the month.  So basically, M (the ex’s latest victim) has had some nasty things posted on the internet about her and she’s come to the conclusion that it simply has to be the disgruntled ex wife and/or her ex best friend, J, who fell out with her over M wrecking a marriage.  I can understand her thoughts however, if it were me in her shoes, I would be checking the evidence and doing a bit of digging before going in both barrels. At the end of the day, she works in law so you would think in her line of work, it would be important to check the facts first.  Apparently not.

The email from M read:

“If you or any of your friends, including J, post any additional comments/photos/images/thoughts about me publicly on the internet as of and after this date, I will be forced to file a defamation suit against you and J.  I have investigated the issue and I have an attorney involved.  This issue needs to stop immediately.  Time to move forward.”

“Time to move forward”.  No shit, M!  I already did, a long time ago.  It certainly sounds like M hasn’t moved forward, does it?  She’d gotten my contact details from my ex husband too and had decided that emailing to my personal account wasn’t enough.  She sent it to my work email too!  I waited a good 6 hours before sending a slightly heated but well worded reply, to which she replied back trying to justify her initial contact.

So I can honestly say it wasn’t me.  I did some digging online with a friend that only took me a few hours to do and I can now confirm that it isn’t me (I knew that anyway of course!) and it isn’t J either.  I know who it is and for some reason, they have a huge grudge against M.  I could tell her, but I’ll let her trip herself up first.

In other more exciting news, I went on a date for the first time at the weekend!  Might seem like a small feat for most, but I’ve been battling with my own head for a while about meeting someone else.  To go through everything and I have been through, the thought of giving someone else a bit of heart (as cringy as that sounds) makes my chest hurt.  I just don’t know if I have anything left to give.  But I gave online dating a shot and although I when I was on the train to meet my date I was shaking like a leaf, I needn’t have been worried at all!  He was lovely.  I didn’t intend on staying out as late as I did and we didn’t stop talking so that’s a good sign.  He put me at ease and we seem to have a lot in common.  Too early to say if it could go anywhere, but it was a nice confidence boost if nothing else.

With love, Darling Soul x