It is a very odd stage in life, and for me one that has taken me a long, long time to come to terms with, a year to be precise. I am not totally there yet, but it is getting easier. When I told friends last year that I really could not cope with it, that I was grief stricken, mostly they did not get it, comments like ‘Oh Penny don’t worry 50 is the new 40 and on they went, it did not help, it just made me feel even lonelier. The year has been really difficult and I think that maybe that is because I am not where I had hoped and dreamed I would be, which is what I am really struggling with, facing that has been such a hard thing to face, but also so liberating, now I can do something about it.
I have to face the fact that I will not have any more children, the fact that I have one is a miracle, and I am truely grateful. I had a fantasy of a wonderful husband, a lovely home and all that and I have to face the fact that I am responsible for screwing that up, because I did not think I was worth it, something else was driving my bus and it has taken me a decade to find it. I have lost most things, including my mind at one stage, mainly due to my mental health and addictions. I am faced with the fact that I still live on welfare and that no matter how hard I try, some days are still hard to cope with, just because.
I feel like I went to sleep at 36 and woke up at 50, wondering what the hell happened and that I have lost so much of my life and I don’t know how or why. I am sure that for many women this is not what they want to hear but for me it is part of my recovery process. I also know that when I hear of other women who struggle with this it helps me so much so maybe me sharing this will also help others, who knows. I do know that it always helps me to write my truth.
I turned 51 a few weeks ago and I still feel the loss, the transition is something that I have not been able to take graciously. Some people say that women over 47 are invisible, no longer attractive, I choose to ignore such negativity, thank goodness. I do remember hearing older women talking about things when I was much younger, such as you feel so much grumpier, no longer attractive and I could not understand what the hell they were talking about. Now I kind of get it.
Something inside me, a kind of urgency is now however helping me to decide what I really want in my life, understanding no is a full sentance and that actually, I am the person who is responsible for my happiness, nothing new I know, but there is something really different when you begin to truely realise that you are the person who leads your life. Such a relief.