When old shame mingles with new shame

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I was in my local shop getting the usual bread and milk. I heard a voice I knew well. He has a very distinct voice. Aristocratic. Posh if you prefer. He is Laird of an estate that I used to live on. If your not familiar with Scottish estates and their Lairds, think Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

For six years, I lived in the old Gardeners Cottage, just behind the large walled garden. It was set amongst the trees, where snowdrops covered the woodland floor, followed by bluebells and then ferns in the summer. …


What do you do after divorce when they aren’t technically yours, but they are.

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I have four children. All girls. They range in age from 22–16. Two of them are biologically mine. Two are step-children.

I have been a mama to my step-children for the last eleven and a half years. I love them deeply. Their mother died when they were very young, and I have raised them as my own.

Six months ago, I moved out of the family home. My husband is a sex addict who refused to get help or go to recovery. We thought we could maybe live under the same roof, separated, and co-parent the kids until the youngest…


Of all the things I miss, it gets me the most.

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When I realised my ex-husband had cheated me out of our house, I was shell-shocked. He had managed to pretend I was on the deeds of our home for ten years. He later admitted that it was his security. If I ever found out what he was up to in secret, he knew he could lose the house in divorce. The day my divorce lawyer called to say, “Do you know your name is not on the house deeds?” was a day I will never forget. …


What I learned from choosing women for the first time.

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Last week I wrote about stepping out scared by downloading a dating app and choosing that I wanted to see “Women” At 43, I wasn’t sure if anyone would even want to swipe right for me. The last year and half of losing my marriage and all that went with that has left me pretty rung out. Who would want to swipe on some middle-aged bird? Actually, quite a few would…

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story, here’s a handy link:

Firstly. How come men still show up in the mix? I had explicitly plucked up the…


Maiden names, married names, chosen names. Why our identity is so tied up in a handful of letters.

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Names 1, 2, 3, and 4 — The Formative Years

I am on my seventh surname change. I was given my dad’s last name at birth, even though I was illegitimate. Then my mum changed it to her maiden name after they broke up. So I didn’t stand out. So I didn’t carry the reminder of her affair and my illegitimacy. I was already a glaring beacon of her shame, the least she could do to divert from that was change my name.

I got married at 19 but wasn’t ready to give up my name fully, so I hyphenated it. The pastors at my church pulled me aside a…


After two failed marriages, am I allowed to explore other options?

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I did a brave thing this week. Or a stupid thing. Depending on how you look at it. I joined a dating app so I explore the opportunity of dating women (see earlier article for reference).

Here’s the thing. It’s all a little complicated. I have come out of my last marriage a little angry. Maybe a lot angry. I am not sure I trust men anymore. I look at them, and I find myself shaking my head, involuntary. My body tightens. This is one of the reasons I have not put myself back into the dating world. I knew…


I’m an angry middle aged woman today and I don’t give a shit.

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Something happened today that astounded me. It made me angry. It shocked me. It infuriated me. My best friend said, “your just middle aged and angry like the rest of us” But I don’t normally like to be angry at life. I choose to not be angry, regardless of what life has thrown at me. This, however. Pissed. Me. Off.

It was my daughter’s 19th birthday yesterday. I had made a big rainbow balloon garland and hung it on the wall so we could have something to…


Moving forward is the only way. Pass me the matches.

Photo by Paul Bulai on Unsplash

Tomorrow would have been my ninth wedding anniversary. Our wedding was held in a tiny six-hundred-year-old chapel on the grounds of a Scottish Castle. I had chosen it because they had once hidden Covenanters there. Thick cold granite walls and worn stone floors. Hundreds of years of footsteps and knees pressed down in prayer. I wanted that aura of history to surround us as we stood with our children and took our vows. It was a second marriage for both of us. He was a widower. I a divorcee. I…


Its our quirks that make us special.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

You know when you move into a new house, its takes a minute to get used to all the quirks and idiosyncrasies. Where the light falls at certain times of the day. The mark up in the corner of the tall ceiling, that you struggle to understand how it got there. The tap that takes just the right amount of turning. I have been in my new house now for five months. It and I are slowly getting to know one another. The house is winning most of the time. Letting me know…

H. J. Blakely

Forty something, embarking on new adventures. Divorcing a sex-addict, mother to four girls, and running my own business,

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