Very few people ever knew how deeply unhappy I was in my marriage. I never really spoke about it and when I did it was always with the resolve that it would get better. Few people ever see what it is like behind closed doors and that emotional neglect and abuse is hard to understand when the person in question is charming to others. So my decision to separate and stay in South Africa with the kids after we had come from the UK on holiday was quite a shock to most people.

I think a lot of people saw my decision as quite drastic and a lot said they were not going to take sides and hoped we could sort it out. But I knew I could never go back, I knew that all the promise to change in the world would not be enough. Once out, it was like the blinkers I had been wearing for ages, without even knowing it, were gone. I saw people and places differently. I was not under this negative cloud that covered my outlook with gloom. I could see our beautiful country South Africa for what it was and not just a crime ridden disaster to be run from, but an opportunity and a place to be involved and make a real difference. I think the biggest change was the way I saw myself, I can never be that person again.

I was terrified by the prospect of being alone, not something I like. But there is in fact no lonelier place than being in a relationship that destroys your spirit. So now I am alone again but not lonely. I have the most amazing friends and family that are getting me through, but they need a whole post of their own…