No where has really felt like home to me. Perhaps because no where has been permanent. I’ve liked houses and countries that I/we have lived in. But not regarded them as home. My place. My space.
When we bought this house, it ticked all the boxes and it’s truly a lovely house. Perfect for a family in so many ways. But after two years here – it’s not my home. When I returned from Cambodia it felt even more like I was a guest. It’s a large, spacious house, plenty of room for our large family and with breathtaking views of the valley. Anyone that visits, comments. We even have a spa pool, S bought me for a wedding anniversary present.
But as S and drift further apart, I find myself day dreaming about my own little house. A space to call mine. Free of negative energy, free of forced pleasantries. An opportunity to get to know myself again.
It never ceases to amaze me that for a long time S and I were intrinsically close. He was my home. We knew each other intuitively. His warm hugs could give me a reprieve from nightmares, hope, safety, comfort, belief. The amazement comes now because he is a stranger. I no longer know what he’s thinking about, if he’s stressed, if he’s thinking about football, taxes, the meaning of life, or whether the lawn needs mowing. I don’t reach out to him, it feels wrong. He knows my body better than me, and although he’s not interested at all in me, I still feel uncomfortable, awkward when I’m in a towel or changing. I notice both of us change away from each other’s sight and have done for some time. It’s not like when you first start dating, the shyness and insecurities. It’s something else, an awkwardness as though we’re related!
I day dream about a home for myself, but not seeing my son’s scruffy hair in the morning, hearing the kids play in the garden, the chaos and unpredictability of family, that breaks my heart.
Yes eventually custody sharing arrangements will be made. No separated couple can live together forever for the sake of the kids. But currently my dreams are shadowed by the sense of emptiness.
Today the kids started their holiday programme. Much to my relief. I have time alone again. Today was a quiet day, tidying up, reading, then to the gym. But as the days go on, I will find much more to do and take advantage of the peace I have desperately craved for so long now. But in this programme there is the secure knowledge that my children are safe, having fun with their peers and will return home to me at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how much of a supermum you are, how much you adore your kids, time alone is invaluable and needed.
So I’m in this predicament of feeling like I don’t belong here. Sure S and I can smile at each other and for all intents and purposes live a seemingly harmonious life together. But it’s superficial. A love once so strong and so tender, is replaced by awkward friendship. Unspoken boundaries and that heartbreaking reality of nothing ever being the same.
I’m progressing on with my college application and still trying diligently to find work. I need the confidence, security and sense of direction that employment offers. I need to stand on my own two feet. I need to know I’m more than a financial obligation to my ex husband, more than a stay at home mum with little patience.
I need to find my peace. I need to rediscover myself and I currently feel like I’m dancing in limbo and have been for a long time.
In time of uncertainty I would turn to my best friend, S, for support and encouragement. But I don’t want/expect that. I have accepted the change in our status and in my heart – I know it’s true. I’m not fighting for an ‘us’ and neither is he. We are getting along for the children.
So for now, my dreams of my small, nothing special, but my own space will be day dreams. Despite my need for space, my kids are still integral to my needs, like oxygen and water. As I know they feel security in knowing that I’m there to care for them if they’re sick, to settle a nightmare, to moan about their bedrooms but tidy them anyway, to make sure they have clean clothes and to know where everything is.
My kids are my home. The dynamic of a separation with children is the hardest, most painful experience of all of my experiences.