Tag Archives: memories

She nodded as he lied to the children (2)

It might seem strange after such a short conversation to know it was over but she did. She told the kids dad had gone on another work trip, the kids were not phased he was always doing that. She met a divorced girl friend in the supermarket car park after dropping the kids off who just held her. She asked if he was on drugs, had a brain tumor or another woman. 

‘No no no he just doesn’t want me anymore.’

She googled what to do and decided that he had to decide if it was over and called him, he said it was but wanted some time to think about it. How long she asked? Six months he said, maybe more, she was thinking more like the weekend! She said if he needed that long he had to tell the kids. He agreed and came round in the evening and told the kids lies while she nodded.
‘It will be amicable’
‘I still love your mum’
‘There’s no one else’
‘If we split up everything will be divided equally’

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Father Christmas, The Book Thief & positive male role models

Father Christmas, The Book Thief and positive male role models

Last night I sobbed through the film of the The book Thief. As her dear papa died I wondered what it must feel like to have had that sort of relationship with your father. I can see how I am shaped by a childhood of fear from those closest to me and that love and fear have been totally screwed up in my head. My father used physical abuse and I moved on quickly, to marry early into emotional and verbal abuse, being grateful and misguidedly wrong in my belief in how lucky I was to have found a man who didn’t hit me.

He never hit me and rarely even shouted at me but I was tortured nonetheless, the gas lighting, the total removal of any power in the relationship, he held the purse strings. An example from many, he would order me to book a holiday (obviously he chose where) on the joint credit card then when the bill came in he would cold shoulder me as the bill was high and I had been extravagant. I was punished for doing as I’d been told, mocked in front of my peers, this behaviour over 25 sends you a bit crazy.

But what I wanted to explore is the importance of a loving positive role model in a child’s life, recently my daughter asked if I would marry my partner as he’d make a really cool grandad, I would love to break the mould and give my grandkids a sweet and loving man in their life. But I can’t marry again.  I think it would be an incredible feeling to have that certainty behind your every move in life that a positive male role model could give. I hope that more dads this year lay off the office networking party booze (at least every weekend and most weeknights!) and think about how their children perceive them on the weekends as involved fathers enjoying their family instead of hungover angry bears that we have to step around carefully so as not to wake the monster.

To have a father who has a pillow fight with you, who takes you shopping for a gift for mum and struggles beside you with wrapping paper and sellotape. Who gets involved in decorating the tree instead of ripping it down in a drunken rage. A dad who watches the Christmas play or stays up late to fetch you from your first teen party. To have a father that can show you how much he loves you must be the biggest gift Father Christmas could give a child this year.

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.

 

Christmas pressure post divorce

Christmas pressure new partners post divorce


In my past life I used to have all the kids events and my then hubby (who in his mind was a very important person) would have Xmas lunch after Xmas lunch that meant he didn’t get home till 3 in the morning. Of course a lot of them were charity events so that was ok – guilt free. Then he was hungover all weekend, I think this is why my son doesn’t drink.

It should have been a magical, well off, perfect family but the reality was different, I was very lonely, I was effectively a single mum but trapped without love or the freedom to find love. So having a guy that wants to be with me, even if he is looking at what we joke is porn (tractors and engine parts) all the time is great. I just need to get better at asking him to do stuff and not just doing it myself. Perhaps we should just mirror them one day? See what happens if we sit down when they do?
I guess he was used to a wife who’s work was looking after him and kids, so unthinkingly he cast us into that role, and in my eagerness to show him love I have jumped into that role with both feet. Time to take a step out…

Seeing your ex after divorce

Having to see your ex

Parent evening. This means seeing my ex for the first time in about 9 months, for the first time since we actually got divorced. 

I did try that olive branch thing, which got an insulting reply and no contact from him since (now I know the silent treatment is a normal narcissistic weapon, it has lost most of its power over me). Even so I was dreading it. I was also confused, boy did I want to look good, but no way did I want to look good for him. I did want him to regret doing what he did, but I don’t want him back. How conflicting and confusing.

So the reason I am there is for my son so I focus on that, yes I made a little effort to look good, but not too much. Instead I managed to ask relevant questions, and I came away pleased that I knew my son, and what’s going on in his life. He’s doing very well by the way.

And the ex, well he looked very tired underneath that deep tan, obviously just back from somewhere very expensive, which is why he couldn’t have his son last week. He also looked kind of puffy which was odd. Next summer I will have to endure his presence – and him mine, at my daughters graduation ceremony, I mentioned this to my son, who put me in my place, ‘It’s not about you mum, it’s about her’ I felt ashamed wrapped up in my own trauma, he is quite right. I will try my best to keep that in my mind and in my actions.

My man was waiting for me when I got back and I felt so damn lucky to have such a great guy loving and supporting me and my kids now. Now him I did feel like looking good for, but ironically I kind of know I don’t have to try that hard, as Bridget Jones would say ‘he loves me just the way I am’.

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.