I was a sad little potato at the end of 2009 – my husband was in jail, I learnt he was cheating on me (I had run face to face with his girlfriend when I went to visit him on Boxing Day), I was still getting used to parenting on my own, facing the reality that I would have to sell my dream home and generally, things didn’t look good at all. I had no sense of the future. I was stuck in a very grim present and completely heartbroken.
2009 was a bad, bad year. It started with me finding out about my husband’s affair, followed by me confronting his mistress. In March, our house was raided by the AFP in relation to his inappropriate email exchanges with underage girls. This was followed by the fallout from this – court appearances (at which I wasn’t allowed to be present, most likely because his girlfriend was), constant stress and worry and his lies about whether he did or didn’t do it. It turned out he did, as I found out when he was incarcerated, I met with his lawyer and I read the actual emails.
Prior to him going to jail, he was pretending he wanted to move back to the family home and make our marriage work again. In fact, he had already moved back some of the furniture – well, my son’s bed, which wasn’t being used anyway.
When he went to jail, I received his keys and was tasked with packing up his flat, which was very painful, but also curious, as one room in there was locked and none of the keys I had fit into the lock. Strangely, I managed to lose the keys while buying some moving boxes and when I explained the situation to the property manager I was told that my husband would have to write to them to give them permission to give a new set of keys to me to empty the flat.
Well, he did write, but guess who got permission to get the keys? I even had to go into the property manager’s office and confirm that it was my husband’s writing in the letter before they would give his girlfriend the keys. At least I got out of the unpleasant task of packing up and cleaning the flat.
As you can see, it was a shit year. But some good things did happen. I began blogging as Singular Insanity and discovered the awesome community on Kidspot Social. Some of my more shameful (for me) blog posts ended up there and I got so much support and advice from other members, helping me feel less alone and so much less ashamed. I was so ashamed that I was married to such a bad person. A criminal. A pedophile. As soon as he went to jail, I knew I couldn’t remain married to him. I filed for divorce still in 2009, I think, if not early 2010.
My early blogging life was so sheltered. Only a few close friends read my posts and I knew nothing about the greater blogging community. I didn’t read any blogs and had no real idea of what I was doing.
2010 on the other hand, was truly the year of new beginnings. I got a job, after five years as a stay-at-home-mum, sold our house, bought a unit, my husband came out of jail and, as I finally saw his true evil, I threw him out of our lives. I got divorced and finalised the parenting orders and financial settlement which he didn’t contest.
I threw myself into my blog. I couldn’t stop coming up with ideas. I discovered the Australian blogging community, as well as a few American bloggers who spoke to my heart. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I am thankful that I am in a much better place at the end of 2019, both mentally and emotionally. I am not a mess, I have come to realise that money isn’t everything (although it matters a lot), I have done a bloody good job sole parenting my boys for the last ten years, I have moved away from everything I knew to a brand new town, made new friendships, made new networks, started a business or two, helped others in their businesses and I have made ends meet financially, even though it’s been bloody hard.
Things aren’t by any means rosy, but I do have a sense of the future now, my expectations have changed and I know my boys are going to be OK. They are OK without a father. I have been and continue to be enough for them (my hugest worry back in 2008 and 2009). In 12 and a half months, one of them will turn 18 and it will be ME that will have got him there. Steve Biddulph can go suck an egg. Boys can be OK without men in their lives. They find their own role models and if they are raised right, they will be the right role models.
So, as the new decade awaits at midnight, I look forward to it and I am no longer a sad little potato. I’m like a ripe, wise avocado.
I hope your decade has been full of learning and growth and that the next one brings you plenty of joy and satisfaction.