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A Decade To Remember: Divorce And Married Life

Being a blogger, and a writer, I really don’t think I could end the year or the decade without sharing my thoughts. Life can throw you curve balls at times and you never really know what to expect. My life has certainly changed over the past ten years and today I am reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly.

As I think of all I have been through and overcome, I really am quite a survivor and I feel quite pleased with all I have achieved.

Getting Divorced And Becoming A Single Mother

At the start of 2010, I found myself living as a single mother on my own about to get divorced. My baby Sylvia at the time was 17 months old and we were based in Auckland, New Zealand. I had recently won custody of my baby in the family court, I had a protection order in place and was weeks away from receiving my official “Divorced” status. 

Life had not been easy. I had been living in a violent, controlling and abusive relationship and chosen to get out to keep me and my child safe. I was lonely, unsure of the future and decided to move to the United kingdom for a fresh start.

Moving To The United Kingdom After Married Life

By February 2010, Sylvia and I had arrived in Yorkshire England. We flew via Seoul Korea, and visited Paris and London before settling with my grandparents David and Rae. It was nice to get to know my grandparents as an adult and by April 2010, I had secured my own rental and set up a new home and new life for me and my baby girl.

Raising A Toddler As A Single Mother

Raising my daughter on my own was not easy. I wasn’t ready to return to the workforce. My life had been shattered and I needed time to grow and repair. I decided to live on a budget and save hard so Sylvia and I could have a happy life.

We travelled by Ferry to Amsterdam and Belgium, we visited Butlins in Skegness and enjoyed our days, visiting parks, going bargain hunting in charity shops and simply enjoying life. 

travelling in Amsterdam with a toddler

A Big Injustice

After two years as a stay at home Mother, I felt ready to return to the workforce. I began looking for work and looked at placing my daughter into a preschool. I attended a job interview to work as a teacher and was looking forward to the future when a social worker turned up at my home. 

This “bad apple” as I will call her, decided I was depressed and mentally unwell. She was wrong, however she had the opinion I was a danger to my daughter and without going into everything my little girl and I were separated for 9 months. 

This was the worst time of my life. A false report was written against me riddled with lies and untruths and I was labelled crazy, mentally unwell and accused of spending 6 months in a psychiatric hospital. It simply wasn’t true. My world was torn apart but I fought hard and when the truth came out, my daughter was ordered back into my care. 

Several years later, after a long complaints process, It was acknowledged that my daughter should have never been taken from me. We were given a formal apology and some compensation. It was admitted that mistakes had been made, lessons would be learnt and the “bad apple” who had lied and destroyed our lives, was suspended from her position as a social worker. 

Married Life After Divorce

I was once again a single mother, living with my daughter and putting all the pieces back together after so much trauma and heart ache. I was not looking for a man and certainly didn’t expect it, but I met John, my husband and we fell in love. When Sylvia was five years old, John and I married and he became Sylvia’s Step Father

finding a father for my child

Diagnosed With Adrenal Insufficiency

Within a few weeks of my married life beginning my health suddenly went downhill. I had an Adrenal Crisis and was diagnosed with Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency. My life as I knew it was over. I became very unwell spending the next two years in and out of hospital. I became bed bound and found myself physically disabled due to my condition resulting in me using a wheelchair. 

Stabilising My Health With An Adrenal Pump

Although I’ve been chronically unwell since my diagnosis seven years ago, I did manage to find a medical treatment that keeps me out of hospital (a cortisol pump) and this allows me to function in the home and pace myself so I can live a new normal. 

I cant go out a lot, I do not have much energy for physical things such as walking or standing for long periods of time. I have a weak immune system and get unwell often . Instead I stay home 95 percent of the time. I pace my life and reserve my energy for parenting and doing tasks in the home. 

Becoming A Blogger

With illness and confinement to a bed, I did what any writer would do and started a blog. I began sharing my experiences and within a year I had won an UK award for my blogging achievements.

My husband and I made a plan and we grew the blog from the ground up, it’s taken five years of hard graft and dedication and as a result we have been able to monetise not one but two websites and begin a family business. 

photo of angela and sylvia milnes sitting on a bed

Our Family And The Future

Not only did John join the family seven years ago, we have since welcomed Yoda and Casper. Yoda is a Bichon Frise Dog we bought as a puppy. Casper is an older Bichon who we adopted. Our family is complete and we have adapted to a life where I am chronically unwell but able to write and blog from home without putting too much physical stress on my body. 

It’s not easy but we have plans and goals and dreams and I have certainly come a long way in the last ten years. Yes I am unwell and I am quite overweight due to medication and 24 hour steroid treatment but I am happy. I have a lovely daughter who is about to hit her teens.

My Happy Married Life

I am married to the sweetest man and have two adorable pets. It’s not the married life I had planned being as sick as I am but I have a happy married life. 

We dream of growing a business in the coming years that will allow our family more financial freedom and allow us to eventually become home owners and give Sylvia the best opportunities we can offer.

I am excited for the future. I know it’s not easy, especially being so unwell day in day out but I’m a fighter and I will keep plugging away and doing my best to enjoy the life I do have and adapt and make the most of what I can do. 

The Next Decade

I am hoping over the next decade, I can improve myself. I am hoping to secure funding for my medication and adrenal pump. I am hoping to grow my family blog well and we plan to start a “preschool crafts and activities” website/business which will help John and I to reach our financial goals. 

Most importantly I have a happy family, a happy child, a happy husband and two happy dogs. Life may not be perfect and the curve balls thrown your way may suck at times but if you keep on fighting and reaching for the stars, you never know, you may just reach them! 

Angela