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S. Some milestones have been hit recently - we split up three years ago; he started his new relationship almost immediately with my old friend; my father died three years ago unexpectedly and my eldest daughter went to university. Thus in 2013 I had to bear grief for my father, my mother's grief, the end of my marriage, betrayal, empty nest syndrome without one daughter and husband; begin the fight for survival through the divorce courts and try and earn more money. People often tell me how strong I was but to be quite honest this cap does not fit as I could not see any any other way. I'm tired of admiration for my 'strength' and would rather be viewed as other things as there are many parts to a person. The latest loss has been the FMH as wikis probably know and my community. I moved six weeks ago to a rather nice garden flat two miles away from where I used to live. It is close enough to still see friends and far enough to feel very different. One joy has been having a little more money and I so appreciate it now. I have a little left over which provides a much needed cushion plus my spousal maintenance has increased after the sale of the house. I realised how tough I found it to experience a 80 percent drop in my income. It is not easy to change your spending habits overnight and I had built up debt just to keep going and pay for the solicitors. I have cleared the debt and that really helps as I was not used to being in debt - I saw it as being quite simply a necessity. And the flat - I have not adapted to it yet. Eliza warned me about the short-lived euphoria. Mine lasted for a week. I am not emotionally involved with it and it is showing signs of being unloved. I have had a furiously busy time though - I completely underestimated how practically demanding downsizing is. It forced me to make so many decisions about many objects. A lot went to clearance. A lot is in my new garage and there is a lot stuffed into one of the bedrooms. I feel as if my friends and family were desperate for me to move onto the next stage and lots of people tell me I now can have a fresh start. I'm afraid I don't feel rejuvenated or newly energised. I do want to say though that breaking the FMH link has helped with closure. It really has.

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Stem,you have gone through massive emotional trauma, you experienced the three most traumatic things they say can happen to us.
It takes time to emotional rebuild after any event,and this is what you need..Time...
When your mind is constantly active,as yours would have been,then it kinda settles a little,raw feelings come to the fore again.
Your old home was your sanctuary,it protected you from some things,your beloved Dad protected you,and I suppose we all think our marriages protect us somehow,and now all that is gone....
So Stem,turn your flat into your sanctuary, it is your safe haven,you decide who steps over your front door,your Dad would have already visited anyway((()))

My daughter and myself had a conversation on Sunday,she is studying for another Masters degree,and her dissertation went in on Friday...
She said"Now it's done,what do I do with my time"?
I know what she means,her life was consumed with work and studying,and finally the studying has gone.I felt similar feelings whilst going through my divorce,when everything was sorted I was like What next!!!!!

You know Stem,living is what next...
Finding ourselves,and what we want from our lives is all that matters.

Give yourself that gift of time,you will love your little home,and more importantly it will love you back.

Cwtchs xxxx
Hi Stem, you're sounding a bit fragile and that's totally understandable after a big move. I felt flat and overwhelmed by things to do after my 2 moves in the space of 2 years. Be patient, it will take time to slowly work though your things, get used to your new space and make it cosy. My place still feels a bit alien after 10 months, and I've only just got rid of our last major shared possession. Hopefully when your springtime comes you will feel your spirits lift. We have had what feels like everlasting summer here so you lot must be due for some sunshine. Or perhaps a visit from an escaped prisoner who likes to cook and do handyman chores - yes please! I was so fed up with all the misery in the news last week that I read the children's book "The Secret Garden" as an antidote. It was lovely though I lost interest once the invalid boy stopped having his raging tantrums! X
Hello Stem. Good to hear that you now have the move behind you and have severed the link to the FMH and all that that entails. I remember well the fear that preceded the move in my case, the high after it was achieved and the gradual dawning afterwards that 'this is it'.

You sound as though you are actually in a pretty good situation: nice flat, more money, friends nearby. It has all the makings of a wonderful fresh new start, free of the ghosts of the past, free of the stress you had in marriage and divorce. I wish you luck in this new stage in your life.

Stemginger, you have had to cope with so many life-changing events in rapid succession and it's been stress overload. Take things slowly. You were living a life in a constant state of high alert. You've had to abandon all you knew and loved and now it feels like an anti-climax.

That's like uprooting a precious plant at the wrong time of year, grabbing it out of the ground by it's roots and hastily replanting it any old how. Some will survive and grow back stronger than ever and this will be you. It takes time to settle. Like sungirl, it took me a long time for this to feel like my home and not just somewhere I kept my things. Be glad that you no longer have the responsibility for a house needing attention. A flat is far easier to keep in good condition.

Wishing you lots of happiness in your new home. xx
Sun girl, yes you understand the loss of that special home. I am trying to motivate myself to take care of my flat a little more. I am glad that you have found a way through things and are taking a step forwards in a committed relationship. Nice to know that there is hope. I watched a film last night called Labor Day where an escaped prisoner spends five days with Kate Winslet and her son. She had been abandoned by her husband who had gone onto having another family and had become withdrawn and depressed. It was a lovely story of new love and this man brought back care and love into the household by cooking lovely food and fixing some of the things around the house. It sounds like your new man is taking a lot of care of your place. Good Luck with the next step.
It has taken me a long time to feel like my house is now my home, I've been here nearly two years now and I'm only just starting to feel happy. I really loved my last home, we worked so hard to extend it and get it they way we wanted. We spent a lot of money, sweat and tears but I was so proud of it. It broke my heart having to sell it. I'm lucky enough now to have a partner that is a carpenter and is helping me fix my new place up and then I'm moving! I'm going to rent my house and move in with him. It's scary but we feel it is the next step in our realationship so hopefully it is the right decision. I'm a great believer in the saying ' one door closes an other one opens'. I've seen it come true time and time again. However I also think you have to get out there and live your life and open those doors. X
Hi stemginger,

Yes, working on ourselves, lumps and bumps and all, is a hard one, especially when you are so used to putting others first. I too am still trying hard to work on this, being our own best friend and putting our own wants and needs first, is alien, but changing perspective and shifting mind sets gradually, seems the way this can be achieved. We are a work in progress!!

Good luck and take care for now FoS X
Flowers, thank you for your comments. I thought I would write a little more about the closure I wrote about above. Cutting the physical ties, has meant that I don't see his ghost in the same way...you know the book shelves he built, the garden we designed, his wardrobe and so on. I still felt like a wife somehow. Now I feel like a single woman. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about forgiveness...my mistake was not to anticipate his ruthlessness once he had found a safe harbour. I know my life has been reduced by the divorce. By closure I think I mean that he no longer dwells in my internal world, well rarely. I used to see him and her everywhere in his new car...in my imagination. Now I feel much more free...I rarely ask my girls about him and feel that I have got to my own safe harbour now where he can no longer really hurt me. He is irrelevant to my life now. I now have to work with lumpy and bumpy me...I have changed. I am more confident but I rarely smile. Life is too serious for fun. I have become physically unfit so I have plenty of things to work on. Perhaps I am now the washed up creature who has survived the shipwreck but now needs some serious rehabilitation. It is perhaps unsurprising that I cannot attach to the new flat and take on my new life with a bright smile. Thanks for echoing that Flowers.
Hi stemginger,

Good luck in your new home.

I am not sure if cutting physical ties, completely wipes out what has gone before. The scars of divorce and separation, grief, loss, abandonment etc still bubble away in the background. I am double your distance and still trying to work out who I am, so please take your time adjusting and don't be too hard on yourself, you have been through a huge amount in a short space of time, give yourself some breathing space and just 'be' for a while.

It is not all doom and gloom though and once you have put your stamp on your new home, you will eventually have created a little sanctuary for yourself. It will take time to adjust, for now just relish that you are moving on, but at your own pace. Many don't understand the process and turmoil and expect you to be healed, that is all well and good in their eyes, but unless they have walked in our shoes, then they will never understand.

Give yourself as much time as you need to process all that has gone and when you are truly ready, you will get there in your own time!

Take care for now FoS X