YOU CAN SURVIVE !
One Ordinary Person’s Account of an Extraordinary Divorce
by Rosemary Worsley MA, B.A. (Hons), CT ABRSM.
When my husband of 23 years, Andy Worsley, walked out on me in front of my elderly mother, completely out of the blue and without any warning on December 23rd 2014 (two days before Christmas), I thought my whole world had imploded. There were no valid reasons given as to why he had left, other than that I opened windows when I used the vacuum cleaner and put his crystal glasses in the dishwasher, and for 5 months I had no idea why he had gone or what was going to happen to me.
My situation was compounded by the fact that I was a private music teacher working from home and needed the house for my livelihood. After a quick trawl of the internet to see what happened to people in my position, I quickly discovered that the state of affairs was potentially worse than I thought. In our circumstances i.e. no children and both with jobs/careers, the most common result of a divorce was a 50/50 split of the assets. This was no good to me as the majority of my students came to me for lessons due to my location. If I had to sell my home and move out of Solihull, due to house prices being too high there for me to buy a house on my own, I would lose all my pupils and thus lose my means of supporting myself.
I lived like this, in complete limbo and with no clue as to how the situation was going to resolve itself, for 5 months, until May 2015, when I discovered, quite by chance, that Andy had been living a double life over the internet, right under my nose. He had become embroiled in a ‘love affair’ with a ‘woman’ from Colombia named Nathalia (or ‘Nathy’, as she liked to fashion herself). He had purposely gone looking for an internet romance, whilst maintaining what appeared to be a completely normal existence to the rest of the world.
I was thus able to issue divorce papers on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour and take control of the situation.
Throughout this whole sorry, and at times nightmarish, existence, I somehow found a way to continue living my life. I completed my MA in Creative Writing which I was three quarters of the way through at the University of Birmingham, continued to run my music teaching business, attended all my hobbies and groups of which I was a member, and looked after our eleven year old rescue dog which he had insisted we get and which he had researched long and hard, only to walk out on without a backward glance.
Most importantly of all, I somehow achieved this with no affect to my health and well being.
Over the coming weeks I am going to run a series of articles which explains how I managed to make it through this harrowing time. I will offer some tips and advice on how to survive this life changing event and I will explore some of the issues which annoyed/pleased/humbled/infuriated me. At least one of the articles will explore the legal side of this event. Although I am not trained in the law, I can pass on my observations and discuss what I was required to do and, consequentially, what you might want to consider doing yourself. Equally it may be that you realise that what you have been advised to do is right for you, or it may prompt you to reconsider your decisions.
I want to demonstrate that this horrific experience need not affect your mental and physical health and well being, and that there are mechanisms to help you achieve this.
I hope that my account of what happened to me will bring comfort to those of you who have suffered a similar experience. I hope to demonstrate that you are ‘not alone’ and that inexplicable and extraordinary events happen to very ordinary people and that, in spite of what appears to be the sheer hopelessness of the situation, there is a way to survive it and to carry on living a meaningful life. There is a future for you, I promise, and there is a healthy and non-detrimental way to attain that future.
To those of you who have not, mercifully, suffered in the same way, I would ask you to please read the articles too; it might help you to proffer comfort and support in a constructive and sensitive way to a friend or relative who is going through this painful and heart wrenching experience.
Everything which I include in my articles will be based on fact and will contain information for which I have either hard copy evidence or an eye witness account.
Please look out for next week’s article and in the meantime, please feel free to read and listen to a poem which I wrote about my personal experience. It is a totally true and frank account of what happened.
Good luck and please know that you have a friend in me. I’ll say Goodbye my friend, until next week.
Rosemary Worsley is a 51 year old private singing and piano teacher from Solihull. She is the former Poetry and Arts Editor of The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language and is currently writing a memoir about her experience at the hands of her ex husband. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she enjoys a wide variety of activities which includes treading the boards with Union Theatre drama group, singing with Solihull Chandos Choir and performing with St Alphege Musical Production Company. She is also a member of a Book Club and dances with Central Stage School.
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