My Decision

Around 10 years ago I wrote this piece about my decision to divorce the other parent. How I felt 2 years after the event.

It has been a couple of years now and I don’t have any regrets. Some time ago, I think it was the middle of last summer my mother asked the question.

‘If you had known how hard it was going to be would you still have done it?’

I consider this carefully before replying. I am not sure why as I knew the answer, there was never any doubt in my mind.

‘Yes most definitely, it was the best thing I could have done.’

Indeed it was the only thing I could have done. I had given it my best shot. 19 years of my life I had given to that man.   But the day had come when I realised that enough was enough. He couldn’t understand it when I told him I didn’t want to continue living with him. He couldn’t work out what was wrong with me. We had a good marriage didn’t we, we never argued did we?

He was right in a way, as until the last few months we had very rarely had a row. Firstly he was never around to have a row with as he was always either at work, pub or asleep. (the perfect marriage in some ways).

Secondly we never rowed because, when he was around he made me feel so useless and weak that I never dared to argue with him and on the occasions when I tried to vent my anger on him he would turn it around to be my fault. Like the many Saturday mornings when he came home from shopping. (I wasn’t allowed to shop I spent too much, whereas he always bought bargains – you know the deals where if you buy this you get that free or the end of date things).  We had a freezer full of things we would never use and a fridge full of things that had to be eaten in one day but nothing for the rest of the week.

He often came in with a mood on, this would make me grumpy, (no one likes to be moaned at for no reason). Because I was now grumpy he would complain about my mood and stomp off to the pub.

During all these years he would tell me that I was

‘fat, ugly, useless with a brain like a sieve’

Now after so many years of being told this it becomes hard to believe otherwise. I believe that if you get married you should try to make the marriage work. I was not going to give up easily. I had to try to make it work. Besides I had nowhere to go and 4 children to consider. Because I had done such a good job of trying to make our marriage work he had no idea that it wasn’t working. The end of our marriage came as a big shock to him. For me it never really was a marriage. I had never been in love with him. We had never courted as such, just fell into a relationship as when we met we were both getting over broken hearts and needed someone to turn to. If I hadn’t got pregnant the marriage would never have happened.

Now, though we are divorced and I have never been happier. Financially we were never really solvent as a couple. Does anyone know a solvent alcoholic?  But we did have two wages coming in, his full time wage and my part time wage (part time!! I worked longer hours than he did for half the money).

Now it is just me and the boys, I am the only one bringing any money into the home. It has been a struggle and there are days when we have to keep our coats on because it’s too darn cold and I don’t have any spare cash to buy gas. (Yes I have had to get a key meter for both the gas and electricity). There are days when we have just 2 slices of bread and no milk. But we manage, I have not killed any of them off yet.

Are we better off now? Financially no we are worse off but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it isn’t going to be like this forever and now that I have a full time job that I enjoy things can only get better.

However we as a family unit are much happier. Gone are the days of dreading the door opening, wondering if he is in one of his soppy drunk moods or in a nasty bad tempered mood that has everyone either cowering behind a cushion or hiding away in the bedrooms. Gone are the days where everyone had to be silent or risk his bellow of

‘Stop that noise’ or ‘be quiet’

In the past two years there has very rarely been a cross word spoke between any of the five of us. It took me a few months to realise that he was never going to be here again chastising me for staying up late or reading when I should be doing something else. I can have friends here if I choose. (visitors were forbidden when he was here).

Our house rings with the sound of music (not always to my taste, teenagers!!) and laughter where before there was only silence broken by shouts of ‘silence’.

There is an air of confidence about us all that was not there before. I have learnt that I am worth so much more than I ever knew. I am happy, I laugh, I joke, I feel sexy, I feel worthy, I have finally come to love the person I am.

As I said at the start this was around 10 years ago. The first few years after our divorce were challenging to say the least.  Harassment charges, death threats, an injunction to keep him away. Things have moved on. We are now able to be civil, we share a grandchild and communicate far more frequently than in the past. We are even able to be in the same room with our offspring. The next big challenge will be when we both attend our son’s wedding later this year. I’m sure it will be fine. I couldn’t have imagined this 10 years ago.

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Life on hold

I have been wanting to write a new post for days now but what to write that has been the problem. I don’t have an exciting life to write about. I don’t want to be constantly writing about the wild birds we see in the garden (there are not that many at the moment).

I would rather not be writing about the ongoing saga that is my current marital situation. However I can now say that the house is finally up for sale and an open day is planned for this coming weekend. Although my husband has been feeling rather low recently he is now being much more positive.

Personally I am not really living, I feel that my life is on hold. I go to work (which although tiring I do enjoy). I return to the home I am sharing with my mother. I either read or sleep interspersed with conversations with my mum. Sometimes I manage to sort through some of the many boxes and bags that have been transported here to be stored around the perimeter of my single bedroom.

The big news of recent weeks was our outing to a Rotary Club Quiz night. Yes I know I really know how to live the high life. Our team came second (losing by just 2 points).

Next week I shall be taking two days off from my work. The plan is that I will drive with my mother to London where we will visit my son and his fiancee who I am pleased to say will be making me a Granny in May.

I have said for many years that I am not yet ready to become a grandmother as I haven’t yet finished being a mother. I know many of my friends love having grandchildren, for me it has not been something that I have been in a hurry to participate in. However I was beginning to worry that my sons were going to leave it so late that I would be too old to enjoy my grandchildren when they do finally arrive. Having four sons I do anticipate that I will have more than the one grandchild.

I am hoping that by the time the summer arrives I shall have sufficiently recovered from recent events that I will be in a better place mentally as well as financially to be able to start enjoying life again.

life on pause

Moving

This moving business is quite exhausting. When I left my husband four weeks ago today, I only took with me what I needed for a few weeks. I didn’t know what the future would hold. How would he react? Would he cope without me?

In the first couple of weeks communication was mostly unpleasant messages sent from him to my phone. I didn’t respond. I returned to the house a few times to collect more of my clothes and other belongings. Still I was not 100% sure whether there could be a way back for us or not. However the house needs to be sold. I need to remove my belongings from the house.

At the beginning of this week I finally had a message from him to say that he loves me and wants me back. 3 weeks it had taken for him to say he misses/loves me. We spoke on the phone the following day. It was a good conversation. He told me that he is working at getting himself sorted out. He hasn’t had a drink for a month (I know this is not accurate). He said he has begun going to AA (which he hates). I told him that I am not ready to go back. One conversation is not enough to convince me that anything would be different. We need more time, more of everything that is positive.

Two days later I spoke to him again but he had reverted to type. He was rude and after a few words hung up on me. Yesterday I had not been home long from my morning working when he called me. In my car I keep a portable tyre pump, he needed it as he had a very flat tyre. I agreed to take it over to him. The tyre was completely flat. We talked briefly. It is funny how he can be civil to my face. I packed more of  my things into my car and gave him a lift. He had arranged to meet someone and was running late. Surprisingly he needed to be dropped off at the pub!

Later when I was back home again he rang requesting a loan as he needed to go out in the evening but would pay me back next day. We had quite a good chat about things I need to collect. I am going over there today and will go up in to the loft to see what is up there. He can’t because of his broken collar and shoulder bones. Apparently the house will go on the market this week. During the conversation we also talked about the future. He now wants a divorce. OK, so now I know where I stand. I have no intention of divorcing him but if that is what he wants that is up to him. He is moving on without me, he is looking for other women to date/have sex with.

All the times he has told me that he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me obviously count for nothing. I did think he might fight a bit harder not to lose me.

I shall remove more of my belongings today, it might take a few more trips as I find it very difficult being in the house that I thought of as home for 5.5yrs. I don’t want or need much, mostly it is clothes and books. Most of which I don’t need to have with me anymore. Most of the clothes I have already brought back here have been sorted and bagged up for charity.

Moving out of the house and moving on with my life seem to be my priorities right now. Apart from working I am sleeping a lot. I think that although on the outside I am coping with all these changes, my body is exhausted by it all.

moving boxes

 

 

 

Granny

Yesterday my son and his fiancee came for lunch, I hadn’t seen them for months (they live in London). Now that I am living with my mother that will change. This couple who so clearly love each other very much are going to make me into a Granny for the first time in a few months time. They are growing a grandson for me to cherish.

I have been asked to make a patchwork quilt for the little one. I have been gathering fabric for this project. The last time I did anything like this was for my youngest child who is now 22.

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I don’t have access to a sewing machine so just like the previous one every stitch will be made with love.

3rd time

Well this is the third time in my adult life that I have ended up living back home with my mum. The first time I was in my early 20s, I had been abandoned by my older boyfriend. I had stayed on in the bedsit we had been renting until the end of our contract.

The second time was just prior to having my first son. I had been living in a bedsit in Tunbridge Wells, I didn’t know whether my baby’s father would stand by me, it was winter and I went to stay with my mum until after the birth, we stayed for 4 months before finding our own place.

Now 30 years later here I am again. It feels very strange to be in my mid fifties, living with my mum. We are looking after each other. I have to tr hard not to interfere and do things for her that she would normally do for herself. I have however emptied the vacuum cleaner for her and carry the laundry basket up or downstairs for her. I do know that I am scheduled to get into the cupboard under the stairs to read the gas and electricity meters for her.

I’m not sure how I feel about having my meals made for me, it is good to have someone else doing the cooking but odd not doing the meal planning.

I am used to spending the time I am with my mum just talking for hours on end, sitting quietly reading or snoozing in between conversations is something I am having to get accustomed to.

We are planning to get a new bird feeder, one that will be positioned where we can both see it. I did my first laundry wash today, it has been years since I last dried my clothes on the radiators.

 

Here’s to my new life.

 

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Age, we all have one or two

I am not well, nothing serious just a common cold but it is miserable. I was up coughing/nose blowing every 10 minutes sometimes 20 minutes throughout the night. My nose is red from all the tissues that have been wrapped around it as the hours crept by. Finally I slept for an hour until about 10am. Waking up, I came to the realisation that today is November 13th. My youngest brother was born in  the early hours of November 13 1964.

We are not friends on facebook but I endeavoured to leave him a birthday wish. For which he thanked me saying that he is finding it hard to get his head around being 50. It has come as something of a shock to me that the youngest of our mother’s children is now 50. There are three of us, myself the eldest and my two brothers. It’s funny but I always think of myself as still being 17. similarly my youngest brother will always be 12 in my mind, yet our middle brother has always been the age he is at the time. He is not stuck in the past in my mind.

I remember once my mother was telling me that she had been asked about her children and it had been a hard realisation that all three of us were over 30. I wonder how she feels to now have 3 three children in our 50s.

My mother is now in her 70’s, but apart from her mobility problems following various knee ops adding to her MS problems, to me she is still in her 50s. She is still the same person she was when I was a young mother of 4 boys.

Much to his disgust Owl turned 60 earlier in the year, but although I know how old he is I have to remind myself that he is not a young man. His health and fitness at the moment are probably the best they have been since I first met him. I look at him and see this man with a good head of dark brown hair. You have to look really closely to see that he does have perhaps a dozen grey hairs on his head. This of course adds to the illusion of youth, that and that I can’t believe I am married to a man near to retirement age. Especially when the toddler behaviour surfaces from time to time (less frequent now than a year ago).

I guess having a semi retired husband is a constant reminder to me that I am getting older myself. I am not the young girl that my head thinks I am.

Happy 50th birthday little brother.

Out of focus

I have noticed recently that my world has been getting out of focus. Not all the time but more and more frequently. I am needing to wear glasses in order to read the tv guide, or any subtitles etc on the television. There have been a couple of occasions when I have been shopping for groceries, walking along the aisles I couldn’t see what was on the shelves either side of me very clearly. I found this quite scary. I also noticed sometimes my colleagues faces were blurred without the help of my glasses.Until recently I had only really been wearing glasses for reading small print and for driving(two different pairs obviously). These days I have to wear them more often.

Today I had an appointment at the opticians. Can you believe that I actually managed to walk past the opticians. I knew my eyesight had got worse but I didn’t realise it had got that bad. It reminded me of the time years ago I was sat in a waiting room at QA hospital. I didn’t hear my name being called for a hearing test!

I’m not sure that I am over enamoured with this getting older lark.

During my appointment today I was asked the question how my health is.

I blandly replied that it is ok, but how do I a lay person define how my health status is?

I have type 2 diabetes controlled with tablets (I don’t monitor my sugar levels) however I have never been hospitalised due to my diabetes.

I am on blood pressure tablets (borderline but on medication because I have diabetes)

I am on a small dose of thyroxine for an underactive thyroid

My knees sometimes hurt

I am overweight which I try to correct but without success.

I don’t feel ill (except that today I have a slight sore throat).

In my mind I have health issues but my general health is ok for someone  my age and weight.

Would my doctor agree?

Would you describe your health as good or bad?