Aurora returns - tentatively dipping her toe in very muddy waters. This last year, which was meant to be the turning point in my life, the point at which I was to throw off the old and on with the new, has turned out to be no better, and possibly far worse, than that which had gone before.
I have learnt many lessons. The main one that my ex-husband revealed himself to be far worse than the cheating, lying, promiscuous, spendthrift and thoroughly devious person than I already thought him to be. May I add vengeful, spiteful and downright dishonest?
Another lesson learnt is that most people are two-faced, disloyal, expedient and thoroughly unpleasant?
My God, the way people have treated me almost universally has been as though I was the guilty party, the one who lied, cheated, overspent, and misbehaved continuously throughout a 42 year marriage. The shifty glances, the "I can't possibly get involved" yet instantly making snap decisions and taking sides, the crossing to the other side of the road, the gossiping, the spite, the lying, shame on the lot of them. I am ashamed that I ever trusted them, or thought that they were my friends.
These people have no moral compass. no idea how to behave, no compassion or self-awareness.
How embarrassing you are, I can hear people say, you must suffer in silence. Do not make us feel uncomfortable, life must go on without you rippling the waters.
I will not suffer it any longer, rictus smile on my face, dying inside at the sheer callousness of these unpleasant people. Why should I suffer at your hands, why should you not be made to feel just slightly uncomfortable? What is it about you, your insufferable sense of self-importance, your lack of manners?
I have survived because of the wonderful compassion and loyalty of a very tight circle of the most wonderful friends, most of them people I have known for 40 years and more, some of them newer friends, and I might add, the ex-husband has never tried to make contact with any of them since I chucked him out and divorced him.
If he did, they would never respond. He knows full well how appallingly he behaved throughout our marriage, and he wouldn't wish to be called to account by people who truly know him.
I thank my wonderful daughters - this has been the most awful time for them - and they have weathered it amazingly - helping me through it all and being loving and staunch. They too lost their home, their lives were disrupted and turned upside down, no more family gatherings, having to face how their father behaved towards me throughout the bitter and protracted divorce. I salute them.
I am surviving - I have managed to relocate myself to a cottage, albeit one which was been a "packet of trouble" but which eventually will be charming. My heart was truly broken after Easter when I had to have my treasured Maudie put to sleep, at the grand old age of sixteen and a half. What a little fighter she was, but I had to make sure she did not suffer. I still see her out of the corner of my eye, a little flash of white, every day I think of her.
But - Billy and I will survive.
2 days ago