I was clearing down some of my emails this morning while I was looking for a particular email and came across a number of emails dating back to my early blogging days. It brought me back here to my blog and remembering the immense fun I used to have blogging and reading blogs from all around the world. Sadly, most of those blogs have now died out.
After 12 years of blogging, I don't want mine to die out, so here I am with an update.
In October, my Decree Nisi was passed by the Family Court. It has taken this long as I have had far too many problems and obstacles to overcome - getting divorced was the least of my problems.
For example, since September 2016, I have had 7 jobs.
Job no 1 (4 months) - Left to join a rival company (Job no 2) for a higher salary. The company sub-contracted me to another. (Job 3)
After 3 months the company, I was originally contracted to (Job 2) went into administration. Several days later, the company I had been subcontracted to offered me employment which became Job No 4. They also subcontracted me to work for another firm which, in effect, was Job no 5.
Nine months later, the two companies I was working for decided to withdraw from the shopping centre in which I was based. I was made redundant with a week's salary.
I was unemployed for about 3 weeks. It was an awful time. I was depressed and hit rock bottom. Then the employer of Job no 3/4 offered me a short-term contract working in London - Job no 6. I was promoted to Acting Manager, but I was paying a fortune to travel into London and working with people who had a zero-work ethos. So, when I got the chance to leave three months later, I moved to go to Job no 7. Job no 7 provided some stability on a better wage but was problematic in that it was on zero-hours and I never knew how long it would last.
So in July this year, I was laid off with no redundancy and no job to go to. I was unemployed for 4 months. I applied for numerous jobs, had countless interviews. All of which went well. One interviewer even told me I was the strongest candidate, but they didn't have the money to pay me a decent salary so they offered it to someone else. I came to the conclusion that it is still very much an ageist, sexist society even here in the UK. Even women employers are ageist - young women are often insecure and fearful of older women with more life and work experiences so they employ younger people who can be easily managed and manipulated.
Eventually, after numerous interviews and rejections, I finally got a job (no 8) which I started 2 weeks ago. It is a store manager's job paying a school leaver's wage. It requires a lot of physical labour.
I am now knackered and broke.
Despite this, I don't regret ending my marriage. In fact, if anything, it has proved it was precisely the right thing to do because my husband's behaviour since our separation vindicates my decision. In the three years since leaving this area, he has not once come to visit our children. He has never voluntarily offered any help, pays whatever he feels like paying into the joint account and in the 4 legal meditation sessions behaved like an ass not producing the financial documents required by law on time. Bizarrely, during the last session, he seemed to think the onus was on me to verify he didn't own his car - most people would just produce their company car documents. At that point, and when he made it clear he didn't think I should have more than 50% of the house equity despite the fact the boys live with me, my income expectations are much lower than his, I have no pension of any note, no income at that time and no wealthy family to fall back on or live rent-free with (as he does) it was apparent mediation was just a time-wasting effort.
However, the biggest pain for me continues to be the effect on my children. Especially on my youngest son, whose formerly outstanding tennis career is effectively ruined as a direct result of my husband's financial irresponsibility. His academics have suffered too, which given the situation is not surprising. There will be no forgiveness from me ever for the effect he has had on my son. My children and I are now closer than ever, they have witnessed my struggles, and they know nothing is going to stop me fighting for them and for what is fair and just.
In January 2020, we have a last-ditch meeting with the deputy court judge to try and settle out of court. Going to court will drain equity in the house, but I fully expect to have to attend court as there hasn't been one iota of common sense in my husband's actions for years. Unfortunately, if we don't agree in January, it will be approximately 10 months before we get a court date and I will have to defer the Decree Absolute. Only once the finances are sorted will I be able to determine a way forward.
So that's where I am. On the writing front, I haven't done much of my own except a memoir which I don't intend to publish in its current format although I may use some of it as inspiration for future writing. I keep my creative mind ticking by helping friends and relatives with their writing. I am waiting for the new chapter of my life to begin where I am free from the past and can embrace the future on my own terms. I have always been politically-minded, but my experiences of the last few years have really clarified some thoughts on society and especially the unequal and subservient role of women. My future writing will no doubt encompass some of those thoughts.
I am not sure when I will publish new writing. But rest assured this is one blog that will not die and one voice that will not be silenced. I still have an irrepressible sense of humour which has kept me going through my darkest moments and many tears. I have hit rock bottom and I have clawed my way out.
The only way is up.