Two weeks have now passed since I became a single parent to my two little nuggets and it seems that every day that passes only makes me stronger and more determined. When it all happened I was weak from my breast reconstruction surgery, ill from the adverse reaction to the medication and covered in blood and bruises with a horrible rash. It is safe to say that I suffered in every way possible with a broken heart, mind and body.
Fast forward a week and the sun is shining, emotionally and literally. I’m not a weak and shaky lamb anymore, I’m not suffering, I’m fighting and healing and rebuilding my home, my self respect and my determination in life. A matter of weeks ago I had every last part of my breasts removed and my chest rebuilt in plastic and tissue from around my body, I went through hell and back and I’ll be dammed if I let my ex-fiance walking out take my heart, because the children and I deserve better, a whole lot better. I am a strong and independent mother, I don’t need to moan and feel sorry for myself, instead I’ll show my babies how to be the best that they can be in life; lead by example and teach them compassion, honesty, trustworthiness and love.
I’ve cleaned my house like a premenstrual woman on a mission and gone over it all with a fine tooth comb from top to bottom, turning over every last inch when the children have been in bed; the housework all done, the dinner finished and dishes put away before my nightshift of organising and rebuilding begins. In the late hours of the evening and early hours of the morning I become a ninja and just tackle everything to get me through another night alone so that I’m tired enough to sleep and not just lay awake thinking until it’s daylight again. I’ve moved rooms around, thrown out twenty bags of things I no longer want as well as the dozens of sacks of things I took back to his family. I feel cleansed and at peace, my home is my retreat and it’s stable and secure and beautifully, immaculately primped. My fridge is stocked with organic vegetables and healthy treats, the children are snacking on fruit instead of sweets and the birds sing to me in the morning as the sun rises whilst I make breakfast and pack the lunch. My life has found balance and chi and I never thought it was possible until now. I wonder why I ever stressed before, how I was ever short of time and always juggling everything to make ends meet; because now it just clicks, for once it fits and nothing fights against me, it all just works with me. I’m no longer swimming up stream like a battered one-finned salmon fighting the tide but laying on my lilo with an ice cold mojito in my hand and basking in the sun. It’s as if the clock has started ticking at half speed and given me 48hrs in a day. Or maybe it’s just everything that was stressful in my life and difficult is no longer here anymore.
The weather has been so so gorgeous I was delighted to be able to film for a TV show on the East coast and between shooting I enjoyed a beautiful lunch overlooking the water as I sunbathed and chatted to the locals. It’s impossible not to smile in this weather, and I feel that I’ve changed as a person and shaken off the heavy weight that pulled me down and made my life and heart so hectic. I have a spring in my step and impossibly clean white teeth and I just can’t stop smiling.
Even driving on the motorway for hundreds of miles wasn’t a chore because I had the roof back to enjoy the sun, left early so I wasn’t rushing and when the traffic went bumper to bumper two topless builders in the van next to me wolf whistled and waved and I couldn’t help but smile without feeling guilty and looking away like I normally would. I’m a single parent now, a single person, on my own. Wow. After almost six years that’s so shocking to digest.
I also treated myself to a new wardrobe, because for so long now I’ve always put everyone and everything first and took a back seat when it comes to having little treats and luxuries because I’d rather see my family happy and looked after before me. I felt it was time that I had a little treat and I’m so glad that I did. As I haven’t got my engagement ring anymore, which was silver, I decided I’d like to get some gold jewellery instead so I treated myself to a necklace, earrings and bangles, some skirts, tops and shoes. And would you believe it, I haven’t worn a skirt in seven years! Yes, seven years! I don’t know why, I just find shorts and jeans more practical in a boring mummy way, and if I go out to dinner I normally wear a dress; but now I am the proud owner of lots of pretty, and might I say peachy bum hugging, skirts and I love them!
And as the weather has been tipping thirty all week and only set to rise I thought I’d best get out my bikini for a spot of sunbathing and to top up my tan. Again I’ve not worn a bikini in years as we’ve not been on holiday, I was busy being pregnant and losing my baby weight and I’ve not long had breast reconstruction surgery. But my mantra has changed, carpe diem, the bikini’s coming out! So what if I have stretch marks and skin that’s no longer as tight as a drum, I’m a mother of two! If I’m not as slim or not as tanned or as pretty as I’d like to be, at least I’m still alive; I have all of my limbs, I’m twenty five years old and I’m not in pain anymore so I’m pretty lucky and going to make the most of what I have before I get too old and fragile.
I never needed divine confidence in my body, just self worth and I somehow finally have that now. Doesn’t it take the strangest things to happen in life to make you realise what it is you have! I have no reason to feel down, or sorry or inadequate, I just feel grateful inside and out for having such beautiful and kind-hearted children and youth on my side to get back up and carry on. And that’s not to say that I’m in danger of falling in love with myself and becoming a big-headed moron marrying my mirror, but when you see life for what it really is you suddenly realise insecurities and wasted abilities won’t ever make you happy so the sooner you ship them out the better.
And when the children went to visit their grandparents at the weekend I somehow ended up boating on the river with a bottle of wine and some delicious chips as the sun set! How incredibly crazy my life has become, merely days ago I was a stressed out and unappreciated housewife and now I feel as though I’ve won the lottery and I’m doing such random but amazing things.
Clearly it’s not my place to talk on behalf of my ex, but this is my blog and I share my thoughts and emotions and feelings from my perspective in the hope that others who are going through the same or similar thing will realise and take comfort in the fact that they’re not alone. Also, going through a breakup isn’t easy, especially when it wasn’t your decision, but with two children involved it makes it a million times harder. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to communicate, we haven’t seen each other since he left and we are yet to discuss visitation for the children. I see life in a fairly straightforward way and my viewpoint is to cross every bridge as you come to it and tackle the mountain in bite size chunks. He decided to walk out on a whim, after we’d done the weekly shop, made dinner, tidied the house and waited for friends to arrive. I don’t believe it was pr-emptied, he was tired and hungover from the night before and it was an impossibly hot day; but nonetheless it was his choice to make, it was what he wanted so I didn’t try to stop him. He wanted to come back to take his things the day after so I encouraged him to come to the house and get them before Millie returned home from school and saw what was happening; I even bagged up what he’d left behind after and drove it to his parents so that he wouldn’t have to come back and feel awkward around me. He didn’t want to talk to me about the children so there was nothing more that I could say or do. And now, after almost six years with the man I loved with all of my heart I feel as though all I’ve done these past two weeks is beaten my head against a brick wall to put into place the plans we need to move forward for the children. I was left in the lurch in every way possible and I picked up the pieces, cancelled the joint accounts, the arrangements and appointments we’d made and nursed myself back to health to take care of the children alone. But there is nothing more that I can do for what was ‘us’. My heart is empty for him and it happened in the most painful way, I’m emotionally exhausted. I’m quite possibly the most logical and well structured person who survives on planning and forward thinking, but I can’t take anymore of this hellish roller coaster of such a spontaneous and impossible breakup. Surely it’s over, it’s gone, it’s in the past and we can both move on and be the same wonderful parents to the children of our own accord and as individuals without this tension?
The children are what matters, they deserve what’s best in life regardless of how it affects us as parents. And if we can’t mediate, communicate and agree to work together in making decisions on their upbringing and childcare then it makes me question how we ever managed before. Although I’m no longer sad about this all, I haven’t cried since last week when it first happened, but I get these moments where I’m suddenly confronted by a memory and it throws me into silence and I find my mind wondering and worrying.
Seeing Gabriele attempting to run for the very first time this week like a drunken wobbly monkey with his arms in the air made my face light up and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was one of those moments when I would have turned to my ex and said “quick! get a camera!” and we’d both be rolling on the floor laughing and sharing the pictures with our friends and family of him grinning and bumbling awkwardly towards us, with dribble down his chin as he squeals with excitement. But then I realised he wasn’t here, and he won’t ever be here, he wouldn’t catch these moments with me when I’m so proud of my babies I don’t have their father to turn to to mirror my pride. At most it may only ever be a shared text message of ‘by the way Gabriele ran today’ and that’s the end. How does that do life justice? How does that recognise the beauty of a family?
I just really don’t know what to say. Things change so quickly and it’s not fair on your heart and soul to have this happen to anyone. Twice in life my children have been left without their father, and they are still so young and so impressionable. Children are the best part of life, they are all you can ever dream of and I ache for them and I gun myself down over how I never brought them into the world within a happy marriage. Somehow being engaged and planning a child with my longterm partner seemed safe and happy and secure, but it feels as though I’ve been pushed over and everything that once held me and kept me safe is no longer there anymore. It’s just me, fighting to be my babies everything, and I don’t know why I’m stood here alone.
I appreciate your messages, emails, comments and kind words. Without even knowing you all, you mean so much to me. To know I’m not alone, I know that things get better with every day that passes, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am on my way. I don’t hurt as much as I did yesterday, but today I opened a new wound when I realised the milestones our baby is crossing without him. I know I will have ups and downs, but to face it alone will only make me stronger.
Life is a lesson, of learning and discovery and the only thing you can guarantee is it will never be easy. I take comfort in words and expression, and I hope that these can help you like they’ve helped me:
I asked for strength, I was given difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom, I was given problems to solve.
I asked for courage, I was given obstacles to overcome.
I asked for favours, I was given opportunities.
I asked for love, I was given people who need love.
I received nothing I thought I wanted and everything I needed.
Live each moment without fear.
Confront the difficulties, problems and obstacles before you and you will overcome them.
Recognize opportunities and you shall learn to learn from everything.
Love yourself, and others will love you.
Please stay strong with me, please never fail to see the good in the world, the opportunity and new horizon. Every day that passes is a new beginning and a fresh start to change your life and seek the future. We will never know how long we have left on this earth, and even if you feel that you’re suffering now it can’t last forever. Seize the day, love every moment with your children and the people who make you happy. And grieve for your losses and put them to rest, but never bury yourself with them. We are blessed to have this chance and we have to make the most of it through the good times and the bad. I am here for you all, forever and always. x x x