Life after Lizzi
Just over 2 years ago I posted my dream list of things to do before my 50th birthday. I thought most were attainable, realistic, and a few a bit over the top (like swimming 50m butterfly which I now have to admit will NEVER happen!).
But little did I know how much my world would be rocked by those nearest and dearest, as 6 weeks before I hit the magical 50th date – my Hubbie announced he was no longer in love with me and was leaving for someone else.
Just like that.
I will never forget how someone you thought was your soul mate, your best friend and your buddy, can shatter the illusion with those simple words. ‘I don’t love you anymore, I’m leaving’. Without any warning, no discussion, no indication, no nothing. After 16 years together – yeah life is not always easy, we had 2 young teenagers, full time jobs and a stack of stuff keeping us busy – I didn’t think that it would happen to us. But the tell tale sign for me was a chance comment I made to a friend 2 weeks earlier – ‘something is wrong….. my non-communicative husband is avoiding me’. She replied ‘he’s just looking after his business because he cares so much for you all’. Yeah, right, and I believed it along with all my family and friends. He adores you and the kids. But of course with hindsight (that wonderful thing!) I could see that what I thought I was supporting, while he ran his business, was in fact a cover up for him to do as he pleased.
He left after a supposed 2 month affair with his secretary. He lied, cheated and covered up a multitude of sins. He left me heartbroken, bitter and twisted, with 2 children to keep motivated and on track. Boy it was hard. He took on her family, made mine feel second class, and focused on getting a divorce and untangling our complicated financial affairs without a second thought for our kids. He avoided confrontation in mediation, counselling and any concilatory moves to become co-parents on my part.
A year to the date, we finally signed the mediation agreement to move forward on our divorce. 2 days later, I was made redundant after 29 years with the same company. Another safety net removed from the fragile feet below.
This time however it was different. No devastation, no frustration, no nothing. Just a huge sense of ‘this is my time now – I will shape my life going forward the way that I want it to be’. It’s been a huge learning curve, leaving behind the safe harbour of a mapped out life as wife, mother and employee. But at the same time massively liberating as I decided to take 6 months off to redefine ME. I am a ‘tiger’ Mum, and fiercely protective of my kids. But at the same time, I am free spirited and able to give them the space to understand that life gives you these knocks and you are what you make of them.
In two days my son graduates from Middle school. And one memory resurfaces as I face that day. A few years back I cried emotionally (as I do at most things from ET to school music concerts!) at his Elementary school graduation. The reason was that his School Director talked about discovering what you love in life at school, and then making a career out of it. You can go to work every day with a smile on your face. I truly wish I had had the chance to do that. We both listened hard to that speech and every now and then, my son asks me – Mum have you re-evaluated your life after all this, and defined what you really would love to do? And now I can answer with all honesty – that is what my next few months is all about, and I wish I had done it sooner. More to come I promise xx