Sunday, 29 August 2010

I'm Almost Out of Breath

Ah, so much has been going on in Wakeup's world, it's hard to keep up.

First of all, I made an offer on a house that has been accepted. Now I go into buying-house-fast mode. Secondly, although I love my new job as a support worker for autistic adults to bits, it doesn't pay well and there's no security. I could go for a permanent position that pays better but that means shifts, nights, and weekends. I'm not ready for that at this point in time. I have a job interview on Wednesday for a fund raising position.

And I've been thinking about the next relationship I want to be in. Because I'm not sure how soon I want to be in a relationship. I realise one reason I love my job so much is that I am treated well by my co-workers and the clients. I don't get that at home at all. I am the mother who ruined my children's lives. I am the woman who spurned such a loyal and faithful husband. I am shit at home. But not at work. At work I am the person who gets a client who supposedly doesn't like to be touched to put his arms around her and to play games with her. At work I have men (fellow workers) telling me I have a stunning figure and look nothing like my age. At home I have a daughter who uses guilt and extortion to get me to buy things I can ill afford for her. A daughter who is resentful if I buy myself something at all. A daughter who thinks I don't even deserve a new bed after 15 years of sleeping on old ones (actually longer). A son who curses me out behind my back because I made him come home to eat the meal I prepared. At home I have a soon-to-be ex-husband who to my face seems ever so reasonable but sticks the knife in the moment my back is turned.

So the next relationship I'm in will have to be something really fantastic. Something that puts a spring in my step. With someone who respects me. Who doesn't treat me like an idiot or a harlot.

But in the meantime I am waiting to move. And then I will exhale. And exhale. And exhale. For I've been holding my breath for a very long time.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

I Need To Wake Up and Make Up My Mind

I've been invited to apply for a permanent post where I work. Should I do it? It involves shifts and sleepovers. It means a 75p/hour pay rise, though with some perks. It also means I'd work with some individuals I quite like in a house I quite like. But I would lose my independence. As it is, I can determine my hours, though not where I work. So I could have a boring 9-4:30 job or a very interesting, fulfilling one with hours all over the place.

I feel paralyzed by indecision. I've been frantically househunting because I want to get out of here pronto. And I've found three properties I really like. But I keep finding fault with each of them. I am so afraid of making the wrong decision. I took a friend with me on Sunday to look at six houses but soon regretted it. I know she was trying to be my advocate, but I felt like she took over. So I'm going solo or with the kids.

And I wonder if I should report FEX for supplying underage teens with alcohol. He bought an alcopop for Daughter's friends tonight. I am strongly opposed to this teen-age drinking though I'm a total hypocrite. Just because I did it doesn't make it right. And Daughter lied to me about it and tried to make out that it was her dad lying. My relationship with her is very rocky.

So, back to these houses. One is actually a two-floor three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with views of the beach and the golf course. I love it, but the outside needs some attention. The two others I like are Edwardian semis: spacious rooms. One has been decorated very nicely. And it's a bit beyond my price range. I am torn between going for the cheaper option (the apartment) and paying to have the exterior refurbed or buying something I don't need to do anything to. The apartment comes with a garage. The two semis don't. The apartment doesn't have a garden (yard) though it has the potential for one. The two semis have small, manageable gardens (yards). My kids want a house with a party room. The apartment has just enough space but nothing spare. The semis have a bit of leeway. My kids will be out the door in four years' time and I don't know how much time they will spend with me before then. I have to think about taxes (lower for the apartment), upkeep, utility bills, resellability, and how I would feel being there all by myself. I keep asking for advice but don't know if that's the right thing to do either. Everyone has an opinion and sometimes it's colored by what they want, not what I need.

The kids have found lots of excuses for not coming with me to look at these houses. I know I should be more understanding of them. This must be so hard for them. But it is so hurtful to me. FEX says he doesn't know if he's going to keep the house on the market or not. He keeps going in the back garden and taking out some shrub. I now think he is trying to show me and the garden who's boss. I imagine this is how it will be for the rest of his or my life: him trying to prove to me what a bad decision I made to leave him. I still feel no regrets though I am very sad about my relationship with my kids.

I must focus on other things: job and house. Make a decision, wakeup!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The End Is Nigh

We had our day in court. And we reached a settlement. I was not leaving till we had an agreement. On gray, rainy day in a non-descript 60s courthouse, we came to the agreement that I get 55% of the assets and 40% of his pension. It's not an overly generous settlement. I could have fought for more money. And I would still be here next year. FEX is buying me out. He has a mortgage in place and is ready to transfer the money any day now. I came down £30,000 and 5% of the pension share. But it's only money and it's worth my freedom.

That night FEX and I sat and watched TV in the same room and had a reasonably civil conversation. FEX said if I wanted he would look after my money. Then today I did some weeding in the garden that soon will no longer be mine. FEX came out and demolished a poor, innocent forsythia. At first I thought he was showing me and the garden who's the boss. Then as I saw him hacking away I realised he was working out his anger, despair, or whatever emotion he might be feeling. Tonight, the phone rang and I answered it. Someone sounding suspiciously like Lurch said, "FEX please." It was one of FEX's two friends, the one who's been through a bitter divorce, the one whose ex-wife had him thrown in jail, the one who's been advising FEX to be so aggressive. I could hear FEX re-enacting our day in court, only making himself and his lawyer out to be the heroes. And of course that's not what happened at all. What happened was two barristers doing a lot of math and going back and forth with offers and counter offers. We were there from 9 a.m. till 2:30. It was a long, exhausting day.

I had hoped the settlement would put an end to this bitching about me on the phone. But obviously it hasn't. So, FEX, no you may not manage my money. I don't want your filthy hands on it.

I went to a party last night and spoke to a friend I hadn't seen for a while. He and his wife, both lovely people, are separated (again) and divorcing. I can't take sides because I can see both sides so clearly. And I know firsthand the hurt they each are feeling. I advised my friend to try not to demonise his wife, that it will accomplish nothing. I suggested he find a counsellor to talk to about any negative feelings he might have. This couple separated last year when the wife moved in with another man. The guilt was too much, and she came back to try to make a go of it. But she couldn't do it. And I know how she feels. She is the sort of person who is always taking care of other people's needs. Her husband had a near-fatal brain tumour many years ago. It left him unable to work so she had to go back to work. And still manage the home because it also meant her husband has no short-term memory. I can understand her position. And I can understand his too. But so far neither one has gone around trashing the other. No nasty emails. No trying to get friends on their side. Unlike FEX.

People can be civilised and go through divorce. I've tried. I'm still trying.

So what about the kids? I think they're in a bit of shock. I think they didn't believe this would actually happen, that their father is basically kicking me out. Not that I'm fighting it. Not that I want to stay. I can't believe FEX wants to stay here. It will be so empty when I've gone. I wonder if he's thought about that.

Oh well. That's his problem. I have so many things to think about and do. I'd better get busy and start doing them.