The holiday

First night. Holiday with kids and ex husband to the ski field. Otherwise compared to hot needles in my eyes.

Ohakune is the town we have always stayed in to access Mt Ruapehu for skiing. S and I have always been drawn to Alpine towns. Canada has always appealed to us as a place to settle our roots. Hotspots like Colorado have equally appealed for their landscape for holidays. As Ohakune is more accessible (in the North Island) we have been coming for years. Prior to children, spending our nights at our favourite hotel Powderhorn, but with kids renting holiday homes. 
We’ve had many good nights, drinking red wine, sat in front of a fire. Enjoying the cold, crisp night air, and the excited ambience of a ski town.

Suffice to say, when S invited me along with the kids, I was very wary. A place with such good memories to now return and stay as, what? Parents? Friends? Ex’s? I’ve still not established our roles yet. And only just accepting that the house isn’t our house, I’m really struggling to know how to be around S. I’m conscious of not touching him at all and as I’m naturally a ‘touchy’ person it’s a very conscious effort. Plus all of our finances are now divided, so I was concerned about paying bills. Splitting expenses. Especially as I hadn’t budgeted for this trip. I couldn’t expect S to cater for me as well.

Luckily the bedroom situation is easier because there are two identical queen rooms, no clear master, so we just have our own normal rooms so to speak. Without the dreaded conversation about who sleeps where. Although naturally I would have taken the smallest room because of the kids and because S is paying for it. Hell, I would have slept in a garden cabin just to ensure I wasn’t stepping on his toes.

At dinner, S and the kids sat around the table. My heart ached to join them, but I don’t want to confuse the kids or I suppose lull my self into a false sense that we are a family. S got ‘too much food’ and gave me some. I felt awkward but the truth was, I was starving and haven’t eaten much recently. Although I would have happily gone to bed to suppress the hunger pangs but S made a comment about my initially being holed up in the room – and I realised it came across as rude.

So this is where I’m at. Trying to work out my place, the boundary, seeming to take advantage, seeming to be unappreciative or rude.

I stayed down by the fire as long as possible, trying to stay engrossed in a book, but I had to keep re reading the same pages, concentration beaten down by the sense of awkwardness. Memories of happier times threatening tears.

After a respectable amount of time I headed to the bedroom. So the Kleenex and I are becoming acquainted as I sob into tissue after tissue. My poor son walked in on me again. I was mortified, it’s so unsettling for a 4 year old to see his mother crying so often. He just stroked my forehead and then kissed me and left my room. Leaving me sobbing harder and feeling like a wench of a mother.

A part of me wishes we’d brought two cars, then I could have just left. But of course my kids would be disappointed. They need to see this reassurance of united support. That S and I are able to be friends and move past this. 

But it’s so damn awkward and painful. I don’t know how to be. And I’m shocked and astounded that he’s quickly shifted into mate territory, as though I’m going to joke about with him and pretend we don’t have a past. I suppose ex’s get to that eventually, but now feels too soon. Too raw.

Did I make a mistake here? Maybe I shouldn’t have come. I feel like a miserable blob. Although when the kids were with me at my house, we were very close, so my relationship with them is strong. But in this unusual unit I feel out of my depth. 

Tomorrow S will be skiing all day so I’ll be hanging out with my younger two, playing in the snow. Hopefully then I can relax and just appreciate them. 

As for the evening, I don’t know how that will go. I know he wants to go out for dinner. But I’m anxious about pulling off a normal act for the kids. No wonder nannies and au pairs have been so awkward in the past.

I hate that I’m in this situation, I hate that we still blame each other. I hate that S seems so bloody comfortable and able to move into a friend zone without issue. He seems almost heartless. 

I guess with like everything else in my life I just need to ‘suck it up.’ This is my life now. 

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One thought on “The holiday

  1. Wow, what a horrible situation Penny. It’s hard to understand from the outside why you would agree to this. You are continuing your marriage I think, acting out some painful story….

    I wonder if this is because you are unable to accept this divorce or separation. Your ex seems to enjoy torturing you, at some level, and you assent to be tortured.

    I don’t believe this kind of scenario is good for children. Children can accept reality, especially if they can figure out what that reality is. They need to feel strong bonds with both you and your husband, and have continuity of care. They do not benefit from pretend scenarios and a mother being mistreated. What would they learn from this?

    Like

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