You used to be much more…”muchier.” You’ve lost your muchness.

The Mad Hatter

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The bubble bursts. You are left standing in stunned silence but the world keeps moving. People within it are living yet you have quite literally fallen down the rabbit hole into some strange, paradox universe. The person looking back from the mirror vaguely resembles you. Puffy, raw eyes and a gaunt face stare back at me like I’d been possessed by a forlorn ghost-demon from Supernatural, but with no hunky Dean or Sam to save me.

This is the moment when you realize with great clarity that your marriage is quite over. Not just a little bit over, but completely and utterly over. That’s not the moment when he said he was leaving after spending 17 years together I might add. That was a whole other moment. When your heart turns to shattered glass, and your lungs cease to breathe. It was not the moment when you watched with heart breaking-nothing-I-can-do-ness as your children’s hearts broke too, their confused and betrayed faces searching yours for answers. That moment was, of course, a bitch.

No. I’m talking about the moment when it finally sinks in that there is no turning back. That he will never be in your bed or your arms again. That you will never again share brilliant family snapshot moments with this man. This is the moment when you realize that what was once beautiful is now fractured. The moment when the rose-coloured glasses come off, that he has been a total asshole and shattered your hopes and dreams. This is the moment when I realised the house of cards had not just come tumbling down, but had combusted in a magnificent ball of fire.

Damn. That’s a hell of a moment.

So there I was. Suddenly single. A single mum (luckily I have some amazing kids), but life as I knew it had done a back flip. I always thought we’d grow old together, the Taurus and I. We were one of “those” couples. You know the ones – the sickening loved up ones who laughed a lot, travelled ridiculously well together, still had amazing sex even after three kids, pets and a lot of years together. The couple that loved to shop together, debated politics and talked about films over tasty morsels of blue cheese and endless glasses of wine. We were almost one name. Charlotte & Taurus. Never just Charlotte, or just Taurus.

What the fuck just happened?!

Okay, so let’s get to it. Life happened. We just got caught up in outside factors – the death of two parents (we sadly lost one each), juggling busy, bright kids and their many activities with a business and a career and a dog, and a mortgage and expenses …and…and….And so it goes. The last two years with the Taurus, looking back were bloody challenging for us both. The last six months of it were hell on wheels. We both despaired; we started arguing instead of talking, debates gave way to a battle ground of not being heard at all, and eventually just not communicating in any good way. He was hiding in a shell and having a mid-life crisis and I felt betrayed and abandoned. We were a haunted shadow of a once loved up couple.

When I met the Taurus, we were ridiculously young. He was a shy, naive twenty-two year old from a large conservative Catholic family; I was a feisty, independent twenty-four year old with an amazing 2-year-old; I was from a rather fractured family, holding atheist beliefs. The chemistry though was brilliant and fairly instant and in that crazy we’re-too-young-to-question-this kind of way, we just fell deeply and madly in love. We moved in together (the only kid in his family to live in sin – Naughty, naughty Charlotte), into a tiny inner city house with a picket fence. I bought him a puppy.

We married three years later – he wanted a church wedding and I went with it, in a swirl of champagne coloured satin, pastel roses, formal morning suits and vintage jaguars. He had a wedding ring made for my son also – he married us both. We travelled to Europe. We had more children. Life was, for us, a romantic fairytale, safely played out behind the picket fence facade I’d so longed for in my childhood. He was the deliverer of all I believed family life was.

And then one day we woke up and it was a strange suburban horror flick.

This is where the story gets interesting and where the Good Girl Confessional is born.

I am single and 43 years old. After quite some time licking my own wounds and piecing myself back together, I have bravely thrown myself out into the world of dating, defiantly believing in the laws of attraction and that a great love is out there.

I’ve embarked on the new chapters of my life. I have smoothed my ruffled feathers and I have calmed my shaking legs (teetering on spiky heels) enough to reunite with my inner goddess. I am many things I have rediscovered. I am a creatrix (actually a psychic recently referred to me as that but I’m going to run with it!). I am a woman with the ability to love passionately and tenderly, I am a poet and a loyal friend, a provider and a writer. A defender of social justice. I am sometimes naughty. I am flirtatious or demur depending on my mood. I am sensual and sexual, yet the right man can make me blush. I am a red-haired (well, this week anyway) curvaceous chick with an opinion or two. I am a feminine feminist.

I have met many, many women – friends, colleagues, friends of friends and strangers that have pounded the pavement of dating before me – I will share their stories also – the highs and the lows, the dismal to the outrageously kinky. We are all friends here, girls. What I’ve learned is that I am a strange combination of Bridget Jones meets Carrie Bradshaw. I am not right, nor wrong – I am fifty shades of authentic.

I try to be good, even when I’m being bad. I am the Good Girl, and within these blogs, you shall be privy to my deepest, darkest and inspired confessions. I will share the tales of other women who inspire me. Their names will be changed to protect the innocent, and of course the very guilty. The stories though, will always be true.

So, friend, take my hand and let me lead you into temptation, and the journey of my life, or feel free to lead me. Join me in sharing your tales also. I’ll tell you my secrets if you’ll tell me yours.