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A decade of me

As tagged by SheBee.

This may seem a bit emo but then, that’s just how things have been for me …

I was 27, my beautiful boys were 7 and 4 years old and I had been happily married for 5 years. The X and I had built a house in Table View, we each had our own cars and great jobs.

Things were going pretty well back then until I got horribly frustrated at work. I was running the studio for a magazine, working hideously long hours and started bumping heads with the owner’s son who arrived on the scene and took over as Operations Manager. I stuck out his incompetence for as long as I could and then I just *had* to move. So much so in fact, that I went for a lower paying job!

My dear, dear gran passed away in this year at the age of 88. I still miss her. (She was my mother figure while I was growing up.) I remember going to visit her for the last time in frail care and saying to the X as we were leaving the building: “That’s it, I don’t think I’m ever going to see her again.” I was heartbroken.

I took a job at Hirt & Carter, training people to use Macs, Photoshop, FreeHand and Quark. I shat myself when I started there – I was so afraid of standing up in front of a group of students and teaching them and I was even more afraid that they would ask me something I didn’t know. So I worked my backside off to be the best damn trainer ever!

Then H&C decided that they wanted to start offering a Web Authoring course and yours truly did all the investigation and put the course together for them. The Web Bug bit. Big time. I loved every second of my new online adventures. But I was working stupid hours – teaching three 4-hour classes a day and then studying and putting the new course together in my “free” time. I couldn’t keep up with that kind of schedule AND still be a half decent wife and mother. So I had to move on. Again. And amazingly, at exactly that time, I was head hunted by Sanlam, who offered me a brilliant position in their Health division’s IT department and a great salary w00t! I thought my dreams had come true.

And then, my boss turned out to be a disgusting, stanky pig. Although I loved the work and the money, I could not handle working under that man (he literally nauseated me), nor could I feel comfortable in that big corporate environment. Being a number and being confined to a little cubicle was soul destroying and I became desperately unhappy and once again started looking for something else. (As a result of my resigning, my boss’s sickening shenanigans were exposed and he was demoted.)

I landed up at Electric Ocean, where I was initially hired as an HTML coder but soon progressed into managing some rather juicy international projects. I was in the proverbial deep end but it was thrilling! The environment was fantastic, the people were awesome (gosh, I got to know some incredible talent and razor sharp minds at EO) but I was horribly overworked and stretched beyond my limits. I was spending insane hours at the office and felt that I needed to make a change, for my sake, and for my family’s. The X was still studying at this time and things were very hectic!

I had been thinking about going solo for a while but it really wasn’t an option for us financially until I got news of a huge performance bonus that I had been paid out from Sanlam. That gave me the opening I needed – totally made up my mind for me. I decided to buy my own decent computer to start my own business and use the left over money as a buffer while things were getting off the ground.

Hard times struck. It was very difficult, but I was doing what I loved and working from home. I was able to spend time with my family and I was happy for the first time in ages 🙂

We had sold our house in Table View by now. With the X working in the Southern Suburbs and the boys going to school there, and with me having to drive long distances to see clients, we decided that it would be more practical to live this side. So we sold up, made a tidy profit and bought this house. It was only supposed to be temporary though, just for a few years until we could buy our dream home. Sadly, that never happened. What did happen? The big Three-oh, that’s what!

I was actually stoked to turn 30. Seriously. I thought that people would start taking me seriously at last, stop asking for my ID at bottle stores and stop calling me “little one” and all that kind of crap. (To this day, if people call me “sweetie” or “honey” or “cooks” or anything else remotely patronizing, I want to smack them! Urgh.)

Business was tough. We went through some very lean times, what with the expense of the new house, my business struggling to get off the ground and other things. But then the X wrote board and qualified. I was so proud of him. He studied for eleven years part-time while working his butt off. But I never saw him. And neither did the kids. Our family life was starting to show some serious cracks. We thought that would change when he qualified – no more studying, less financial pressure, all that kind of stuff. Things started to look up again!

But nothing improved. Actually, everything got worse as X got more and more wrapped up in his work and I became increasingly lonely. His father passed away in September of this year and that traumatic event changed him into someone I didn’t know anymore. I felt neglected and miserable. Son#1 started having problems at school and his younger brother just wasn’t at all interested in the whole school thing. I was getting more and more stressed and unhappy as the days went by …

So I drowned my sorrows in my business. I worked like a woman possessed to make it a booming success. And I did it. THIS is the year that the tipping point was reached and I started to fly. I began hiring people to help me out – I was no longer working solo, I had a team working with me.

It was also the year that I began my Body For Life training, and it awesome. I had really struggled to lose weight after my pregnancies and even though Weigh Less helped me lose scale weight, I never felt fit or particularly healthy. BFL changed that for me completely.

The X won an award at work and the prize was a 7-day Caribbean cruise which we went on in July as a couple, together with other prize winners from his work. It was *the* most incredible experience of my life! I am determined to go back there and take my kids with me. One day.

It was coincidentally, also the year that we planned to have a family holiday in Mauritius. Very odd timing but we literally got back from the cruise, had a couple of days to unpack our suitcases, get the laundry done and re-pack our suitcases and then we were off to Mauritius! It was a lovely holiday – the kids had an awesome time but there was a very uncomfortable undercurrent between the X and me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what the source was.

Later on in this year, our marriage fell apart completely. I was living in emotional hell but too afraid to take any action …”if you ever divorce me, you’ll never see your children again” … those words immobilised me.

Crunch year. This is year I found about about HER and all the pieces came together for me. I felt like the world’s biggest tit ever. He told me that he was planning to leave in the next few months, and that he had no intention of concluding his relationship with HER. I couldn’t live like that so I gave him an ultimatum (stay, and reconcile or leave now, and it’s over). He left. I felt betrayed and abandoned and utterly broken. 15 years together tossed aside with no effort to try and reconcile. I couldn’t get my head around it and I didn’t (couldn’t) see him again for 2 years.

I lost my will to live. I lost my appetite (my weight sank to 48kgs). I lost my self esteem and every shred of confidence I once had in myself. The strong, independent woman who founded a business, stood by her man while he studied for 11 years, and raised 2 beautiful boys was gone. I lost all interest in everyone and everything around me. I couldn’t function at all and I certainly couldn’t work. Fortunately, thank God, I had a brilliant team working for me who kept the business going while I lived inside my black cloud of depression.

I became a recluse. Not that anyone really missed me – I was “discouraged” from having my own friends and going out … I had been told years before: “I’m not your fucking babysitter!” … and that was just that.

This year is a bit of a blur for me. I really can’t remember very much at all, but what I do remember is that it’s the year Sir G and I got together. He helped to bring me back to life. He slowly but surely let me know that I was not a piece of shit.

The highlight of this year: I went to my first concert! It was a birthday present from my staff 🙂 12 hours at Green Point Stadium with Sir G and Cosmo Tit watching some local bands, The Rasmus, Seether, Collective Soul, Metallica, The Audio Bullies and Fat Boy Slim. I loved every single hot, sweaty second of it w00t!

Divorced. It took 2 years for this to happen. And I did not do well out of it. At all. Enough said.

So here I am … I’m starting to come right, I can work again, I’m not as angry as I used to be and I don’t think I’m broken anymore.

I could write a whole lot more about the last decade, but it wasn’t that great (understatement of note) and I actually don’t want to dig up all that shit right now.

As for the next ten years? Who knows?

I am rebuilding myself and my life, bit by bit. I am beginning to take my power back.

And I think I’m winning …