Love and divorce

From heaven to hell

It’s all a black mass of treacle – my life that is. To look back it is like looking at someone else’s life, leaving me wondering how on earth I survived all the love and divorce in my life.

But survive I did and I am now sitting in my safe little pretty house knowing all the worst is past – and looking forward to the future.

It began beautifully. I had a lovely dad and mum, a beautiful house, maids, housekeeper and a kind, uniformed nanny who took us to ice-skating, elocution, dancing lessons etc.

One day when I was eight – it all ended. My lovely clever dad (ARCM, LRAM, ARCO and more) had become an alcoholic.

I didn't understand what happened but dad left us (for our sake, he said). So my mum and two sisters and I moved into a room in someone else’s house. Gone were our house, the maids and nanny et al – and I never saw my dad again. I can’t remember the next seven years. The memory picks up again at fifteen. We had move to the country and at 21 I went to live in London.

My first love and divorce.

I was a little shy Scottish girl and married the first man who was kind to me. I knew he has a violent temper but was quite sure he would change. But of course it got worse and in about three years I got a divorce on the grounds of cruelty.

It was so bad that the case had to be heard in camera. (no press or public allowed.) I was quite ill and went home to Scotland to recuperate.

 My second love and divorce.

I returned to London and met a really nice, funny, kind Scotsman, Tom, who I married very quietly. We returned to Scotland where we both went through a tough time fighting the fact that he was homosexual. Eventually we split amicably. I felt so terribly sad and we kept in touch until he died.

My third love and divorce.

I continued with my fashion modelling and bringing up my son who was seven month old when Tom left. I just wanted to be on my own, but some time later I met a fashion photographer who was good to my son. He was exciting, clever and he made me laugh.

I truly loved him and we married in 1964 when I was 27. I was really happy for the first time in my life – but a few years later my husband turned – shall I say Bohemian? He let his hair grow long, wouldn’t wash, wore medallions, slept around with both boys and girls and was on drugs.

My doctor told me that there was no hope of him changing back to who he had been. It broke my heart to divorce him but really there was no alternative. I shut myself off from the world.

 My fourth love and divorce.

Much later my model agent phoned asking me to do a week’s work which would give me money, money to take my son for a holiday. So I said yes. I met a tall, really handsome public school guy who kept asking me to lunch etc. I kept saying no, but – you’ve guessed it – I married him.

His father, who I respected greatly, told me not to marry him, that he was a waster, liar and devious and would take everything I had. Well his dad was right. He was £63,000 in debt when I married him, which his lovely dad paid off as a wedding present. However it didn't take long to find his dad was right. I asked him to go after ten years of struggling.

Finding myself homeless.

I found out only then that he hadn’t paid the mortgage and my son and I were homeless. The local council gave us a lovely little flat and I have never looked back.

 Happy and contented.

I took charge of my life for the first time. My fabulous son is now 43. I am living in a beautiful trust cottage and have never been happier.

 How could this have happened to me? I don’t know really except I suppose I am a romantic, trusting everyone and truly did my very best throughout the continuous boiling water of my life. I suppose the beginning influenced the rest and I am thankful I have come through without bitterness or resentment. I have gone through lots of love and divorce but come out the other side happier and stronger.

 I appreciate greatly every good thing that happens to me, all my friends and of course my fabulous son, who is quite determined to look after his mum.

Carole, Newton Mearns

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