Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Separation, 2 Years On, The Unwanted Anniversary


Mandy Charlton, a reflection on 2 years of separation


Two years ago today my entire life crumbled when Paul walked out, a month later Abigail went too and life would never be the same again.  On one hand it seems that 2 years have passed in the blink of an eye, that so much has happened and I'm in the best place I could be right now, I have the most amazing relationship with all of my children and I haven't spoken to Paul for several months but then there are the dark moments that catch you unaware, sometimes in the wee small hours of the morning when there's no one around and your heart aches because you feel so lonely or even worse, a passing moment, a smell, a song, a memory which still leaves you feeling like your heart is broken irreparably and you wonder if it will ever be mended again.  It's still so hard to look back when every memory of the last 15 years or so contains you both and that is only going to change with the passage of time, I have no doubt it could take me as long to heal as the time I spent married.

I've seen other marriages end and spoken to single mums who're now in new loving relationships, some are even married to their soulmates and here I am still single and unable to have even a conversation with the opposite sex, if a man comes towards me in a bar I literally become terrified, my anxiety towards a new relationship or even a date is so impossibly high that I don't think it's likely to happen anytime soon.

I wanted to write an honest post and I wanted to be positive but at the same time I can't lie and say I'm fine now because I'm not, mostly I am happy living as I am, I have amazing friends, brilliant children and fantastic adventures and experiences, I have a dog I adore who wakes up cuddled in to me as tight as she possibly can be, some days I wake up wearing a beagle hat or with her paws resting on my cheek and life is rarely boring!  Inside though I am still yearning for the family I lost and if I could turn back time (sorry Cher) then I have no doubt that I absolutely would.  Abigail asked me a couple of weeks ago, "why do you want to spend so much time with me, why do you always want me to stay over?" and I answered her and told her that because each day I don't see her, it kills a little part of me, and now they have a new house in Cramlington so I won't see her every day anymore as they won't be picking Looby up for school although I am happy for her that she finally has a house which is a home for her and her dad.  I guess that brought it finally home though that we would never be a family again.

So now I can finally get divorced without a word of blame being passed and it still feels ridiculous to me that you can get divorced if you love someone but if I wait until I don't I may be waiting forever and who knows, once I am finally, totally and completely free I will relax a little and maybe my anxiety won't stop me speaking to other men and maybe I'll finally have a chance of meeting someone because I really don't want to spend the rest of my life on my own, mourning for an unrequited love.

Tomorrow I will be fine again, I'm sure, but just today, it's raining, it's dull and my heart is aching, and whilst it's not the blog post I wanted to write today I feel like if I write this and get it out there I not only heal myself a little but who knows who out there might be reading, maybe you're in the same place and if you are let me offer you a virtual hug from one who knows, 99 out of 100 days you feel like you could really conquer an army and that's the thing we all have to focus on, because 1 day really is just one day and soon this feeling too will pass.
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