Tag Archives: friends

Stories form us

I believe us humans learn how to behave, and a certain amount of our moral compass from stories, either family stories, books, tv – think Friends, songs, film etc. 

So by sticking our male children from 10-20+ in front of a story that is or similar to Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty for hours and days at a time (unlike a single story book) what can we expect from them as adults. It amazes me they can function in the real world at all after almost total submersion with their peers into a world of sex, violence and narcissism. 

I’m not saying they will all be serial killers but their out- look on the every day minutae of life will be framed by the stories they have been submerged in. Expectations of relationships and how to treat women, the ability to just restart if something goes wrong. How to treat fellow humans that get in your way. It scares me. 

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Happiness post divorce

The happiest I’ve ever been

After divorce there is a huge pressure from friends and colleagues to fall into the set script of a divorcee.
Friend ‘But you’re happy now aren’t you?’
Divorcee ‘oh yes the happiest I’ve ever been’

I’m not the happiest. Life is hard, although at first my kids coped well there are cracks and massive inconveniences in their lives. Money is difficult, I rely on maintenance (it’s a complicated story basically my ex wouldn’t give me a final settlement from the business we started so he pays in maintenance) this means I’m not free to have a partner in my life so long as I take the money my ex owes me. You can bet my Narcissist ex loves this!

I found love again yet how long will he hang around for a middle aged woman who is not free to be with him? Maybe I’ll get lucky but I think the odds are stacked against us. Whatever happens it’s not his responsibility to make me happy.

I’m often lonely, friends scattered like I was a bio hazard and it’s taking time after being forced to move to a new town without young children to break into new friendships.

Learning makes me happy, coming to an understanding of how I got here, having been spat out the middle class, married professional machine like a sneeze, I’m still a bit disorientated.

I like it here and I wouldn’t go back and wish he had left sooner. But honestly I was happy in the early years before he started going mad with money and power. Admittedly I was happy in my ignorance but with the supreme power of hindsight I see it was not real.

I think real happiness is in making my own choices.

 

What is everyone doing on Sunday afternoon? Script talking and thinking off script

What is everyone doing on a Sunday afternoon? Script talking and thinking off script.

Last weekend I walked through my town, it was a sunny day. I walked through the centre then on through a housing estate. There was hardly anyone about, I felt like I was on the Truman show and had walked off script and the producers were panicking to get some cast in place.

How do all these lawns stay immaculate when no one is cutting them on a sunny Sunday, is there a sporting event on and that’s where they are? I still am confused it makes me feel otherworldly and a bit anxious. I wanted to knock on each door and do a survey. Ask where everyone from the household was and have been doing in the last hour. All these empty houses means there must be a crowd somewhere, what was I missing out on? How could I fit in? Why don’t I fit in? How come they all want to follow the script.

Script talking is the weirdest thing. Have you ever noticed it? In its simplest form it’s ‘how are you’ ‘I’m fine how are you’ but there are far more complex scripts out there that we all know the words to. I often feel pressured by peers to tell them despite my horrendous divorce and battered circumstances that ‘I’m happy now’ I’m not, I’ve found some love and learnt a lot but it’s not the tv show Friends where a lot of these scripts seem to come from. My thoughts are original and complex as well as my feelings and circumstances and I hope my words. I love to just tweak a script off centre and throw it off course but this can upset people and they think you are odd.

We’re the evacuee children of World War Two not really sent to safety in the country but to childcare so the workforce of mothers had time and energy to work 12 hour shifts?

Are our children sent to school not for education but for efficient childcare to free up a workforce?

Being a good guest as Christmas approaches

Being a good guest as Christmas approaches

I love it when family and friends come to stay for a few days, though sometimes I’m embarrassed to say it’s better when they leave. Why are some people such terrible guests? I thought I’d write some tips, and hope you add your own.

  1. Tell your host when you will arrive as precisely as you can, so they don’t wait in or stay up til midnight.
  2. Tell your host when you will leave – why is this always left open? We need to plan meals and have our own life to live.
  3. Let them know as kindly as you can what meals you need, arriving at 3pm or 8pm hungry is frustrating.
  4. Any special diet?
  5. If your host offers their bed while they sleep in the garage refuse! They are doing all the hard work, let them at least sleep well. Insist.
  6. Bring gifts, you are getting free bed and board for a few nights, it’s at least doubled your hostesses weekly shop. Don’t be mean.
  7. If your hostess is manhandling the Christmas tree out of the house with one hand and has a chainsaw in the other, trying to chop a few inches off. Just wait a moment before asking her about something trivial.
  8. If your hostess tells you the plans for the day, don’t just stand up as one event starts and say you are off for a walk and give no return time so all the family has to wait.
  9. Come to meals when called, don’t finish War and Peace first. The meal will be cold and ruined for all.
  10. Try not to use every dish in the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
  11. Offer others a tea when you make one yourself.
  12. Take cups back to the kitchen.
  13. If you need wardrobe space don’t throw your hostesses clothes on the floor to hang yours up, just ask.
  14. If you go through their bedroom cupboards you will find things you wish you hadn’t. Give them a bit of privacy.
  15. If the pets are ill or even if they are well don’t feed them, they will get fed twice by mistake and maybe on special diets. Don’t give them chocolate or any human food.
  16. Pets often get upset with strangers in the house, don’t complain if the cat poohs in the corner, I’m sure your hostess knows and is rushing around taking care of everyone and will get around to clearing it up.
  17. If possible don’t block the drive with your car, if you have to, leave your keys out so it can be moved if you are out/asleep/indisposed.
  18. If your hostess has builders in, try to reschedule, it’s hard enough with builders, but guests too.
  19. Offer to go out for a meal or two but if your hostess has a plan don’t force it.
  20. Wash up.
  21. If there are children about don’t watch something dry on tv and complain that the children can’t sit still, put on the kids stuff and read the paper.
  22. Remember kids need exercise, get them out side each day.
  23. If you can’t live without Corry or eastenders, tape it and watch it at home.

Any more?

Post divorce Christmas cards

Christmas cards

Divorce and thorny Christmas


My Christmas card list is now tiny, in divorce I lost people I thought were my best friends, I lost a massive amount of acquaintances (just in case you are new to my blog, he was the one that had the mistress, but is also a successful business man). 

I tell myself this is good, to be left with people that really care, but there is a stab of pain that I was dropped so quickly, that my misjudgement was not just bad at choosing a mate but at choosing friends too. How could I have got it so wrong? But I now shrug, it’s a lot cheaper, not having to send cards to superficial types. Quality over quantity!

At first I hated Christmas and it would be a lie if I said it doesn’t still hurt that I don’t conform to the happy family adverts. It highlights my failures. But Christmas has been reinvented. I no longer have to send duty cards or gifts, most of my gifts are now handmade with love, luckily with the recession this is now acceptable and in a lot of cases very welcome, that they can return in kind is a huge relief. This year Christmas dinner will be amazing and non traditional, it’s exciting.

Hey if I no longer conform to the stereotypical family, throwing money away on tat, I might as well enjoy my non conformity to its fullest extent. It makes me want to be braver to re-examine every festive detail like I’m seeing it for the first time, and only letting in what is acceptable and non commercial. I want to only let in positive choices this festive season, can I do that?

Bittersweet Memories

Bittersweet memories

As I heard a song today from Take That – ‘Back for good’ I was transported in time, pre divorce time, to going to their concert with my two best friends. At first the memory was happy, it was a great weekend, then the dirty black infection of my divorce tainted it, these friends dropped me like a stone, maybe their marriages were in trouble and I was infectious? Or their husbands too entwined financially with mine? But as the song says ‘whatever I said I didn’t mean it’ and that was them. It seems we were not true friends, it was a shallow thing and I fell for it. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but not once have these best buddies invited me out since he walked.

The sadness of divorce is that all your happy memories are shattered, all those times of fun, building the children’s treehouse, dancing in the moonlight, in hindsight you look back and think, was he wishing he wasn’t there then, was he thinking of her then?

However hard I tried he had left me long before he walked out the door and now every happy memory – and I admit most of that 25 years has sadly disappeared in to a self defensive (a sort of PTSD blanking) black hole – is painted with sadness and pain. It’s as if each memory has been wrapped in tissue and put away like a beautiful precious Christmas decoration, now I am unwrapping each one so slowly, but they are broken and cut me.

The things he said to me when I went through each miscarriage (I stopped counting when we got to double figures), were they just words, did he really blame me? When he couldn’t make love, was it really that he felt nothing for me anymore, is that really what all these men who can’t er, perform are thinking? When we laughed was his real? When was that moment that it turned from love to hate and resentment? Can I spot that moment? Had he had other affairs all the time we were married or was it just one big mid life crisis at the end? Questions interrogate each memory.

Will my memories ever return to me washed of the dirt of divorce and betrayal so that I can remember a happy family with laughing children, a beautiful time? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want him back – I want him gone for good as Take That would say, I’m not that forgiving. So why can’t my memories be sweeter? There is also guilt, how do I be with my new partner and admit I was happy before too? Do we have to demonise our past to make our present feel secure?

Is that one more thing I have lost, 25 years of memories have to be rewritten, my perceived history has turned out to be a lie and impossible to rewrite so my brain has buried it deep only to bring a sharp snap of pain when I see a photo, hear a song or reminder where there used to be pleasure.

This forces me to move on in a cautious way, I won’t make friends lightly, I will never be able to trust a lover in the same way, there will always be an escape route now or at least a place to retreat to, it’s just self preservation. Maybe it’s no bad thing to keep a little independence, a little strength in reserve. I do wish I could remember happy times though.