It has been such a long journey and with so many twists and turns that I scarcely know where to begin. It started with a kiss, it started with a Facebook update, It started with a mid life crisis (not mine, lol, I’m waiting to have mine later!), It started with a divorce… I’m actually not sure where it started and I am even less certain of where it will end, but one thing I know for sure, this year I’m fighting fit.
Last year I also made a video. You can watch it here if you like too, although much of it is cannibalised into my second video.
So what is my story and where do I begin? You know what they say – a good start is half the battle. So here goes!
This is a story of the big house, the big divorce, the big lawyers, the big courts, the big banks, the big bankruptcy, the big recession and little ole me standing at the other end of the lane, scratching my head at the wonder of it all, at the injustice of it all, and of the sheer madness of it all.
Once upon a time I was a middle-aged married woman with a stay at home husband and two beautiful little girls. I worked in the basement of this big beautiful house and my only view was the retaining wall at the outside and with limited sunshine during the day. I rose early and often worked before breakfast. I rarely had lunch per see and stopped only for dinner. Then after I put the children to bed I often returned to my dark basement and worked some more. I was terribly respectable. I was the local church warden, honorary secretary of the select vestry, Sunday school teacher, and I sang in the church choir. When I wasn’t working at the weekends, I brought my children to the stables with their new found love of ponies. I loved the ponies too, although I was little nervous of them.
Then I left my husband.
I was no long middle aged, no longer married and no longer respectable. I became the antithesis of all those things. It took me a little while to recognise this new condition and no one was more surprised than I to discover that leaving one’s husband also removed all the accoutrements of respectable life. And they did not leave me piece by piece, no, they were torn from me very publicly and very painfully.
One day secure and possibly quite boring, the next, shredded like a side of beef in the butchers. Conversely I was living and not very boring at all but I paid a very high price.
The five years since I left my husband have been a litany of painful truths, heart breaking events, soul destroying departures and things I never want to see, feel or hear again.
The five years since I left my husband have been a litany of new beginnings, exciting events, new arrivals and things I never thought I would do or feel or see, ever.
Once, while my father lay dying in his 87th year, my brother remarked that old age was a terrible thing. ‘But what,’ he asked, ‘was the alternative?’
So too with divorce. The price can be very high but what is the alternative?
Five years ago the big guns took my money. And then my ex husband gave me as a parting divorce present the entire mortgage on our lovely house. Only our lovely house was not so lovely any more and was worth less than half the amount owed.
I tried to sell it but the banks stopped the sale. Last year I was as close to repossession as is humanly possible without the paperwork. I had given up on the house and just wanted to be free. Of course, Irish law means a debt is a debt to a little person and with the house only valued at half the mortgage, I was going to still have a very big debt for a very small person.
This year I have decided to fight back. I am no longer in roll over mode. No longer accepting the cruel blows of fate that been struck me, the bad show of hands that have been dealt me, the unfair trammelling the law, banks and my ex have foisted on me.
The worm is turning. This lady is for turning.
So, I have a plan. To take back my house. To occupy Raheengraney. To make it into the most beautiful wedding venue in Ireland. I even have the Romeo balcony from which the brides can throw their bouquets.
First I must fight the banks though. And I ask you to send strong and positive wishes my way. And any spare cash, offers of work and other such practical assistance. A girl can only do so much on her own against the banks!
Follow me on Twitter @jilliangodsil or you can email me on jillian at practicepr dot ie.