Today I signed the new lease on a flat. On a working farm, it’s tiny and with a flat mate. Something I never would have pictured for myself at this stage in my life. I was married, I’ve got my kids, I own and live in this beautiful sprawling house, breathtaking views, but I’m opting for a tiny place, with a farm hand in basically butt fuck nowhere.
I borrowed money from a friend for the deposit. Never in my life have I borrowed money – aside from the mortgage. I have given money. I have in the past given the last money I’ve had to people (but not told the person obviously). But I never want to be ‘that’ friend that would ask for something so private, so fundamentally wrong. The person I wanted to choose had to be financially savvy, that is, not someone on their last dollars, someone that could relate to my position and treat me the same somehow. Not a like failure, or a person to dodge in the future. I do feel like a failure in so many ways. She will get her money back in a few days. I don’t intend to hang onto someone else’s money for any longer than necessary. I also didn’t want the landlady to feel my expression of interest was insincere. I wanted to reassure her that I was interested as she had many other enquiries.
I wanted to back out before the time came. I’ve often when I’ve viewed the place thought of changing my mind. But something deep inside of me feels it’s right. It’s time. Perhaps that’s why I crossed my own boundary to ask for the money.
The kids have taken well to this new adjustment. I’ve been slowly planting seeds about how daddy and I adore them, and we’ll always be good friends, but now we can spend special time with them in special places. They have come to be comfortable in the knowledge that I will aways be around – and look forward to seeing the farm. And really, the arguments were getting worse. It was time for the kids to see us relaxed.
My own parents argued constantly, slept in separate rooms, barely spoke some times, were rude to each other and I asked them why they just didn’t divorce. I knew as I got older, it’s the fear. The loss of familiarity, the lack of trust in yourself, and the need to ‘hang onto’ the good times. I want the real.
When I knew our marriage was flailing, I was happy to dig my head in the sand. I wanted it to pass without tearful, profound discussion, promises of change, renewed hope. Then doing the same thing once that that stopped working. You know when you’re marriage is broken. You can fill the cracks, you can avoid the truth, but in time, everything catches up. All the doubts, the loneliness, the insecurity, the stored arguments, old resentments. It’s insidious. A dying marriage tries to hold on but when you realise there’s nothing left, it’s self destroying. Still I wanted our marriage to be different. Other people had always split us – but not us! We were seen as a stable team. The least likely to break up. We ourselves used to express shock and surprise how divorces and separations occurred around us. But we seemed immune to the virus. I guess the benefit of hindsight is always clearer.
Today I went to the flat. So peaceful and scenic. Cute and homely. The furniture is tired but the stress feels removed. I feel my own brain absorbing the gentle noises around, the trees, the distant farm machinery. The landlady is amazingly warm and friendly. I feel safe here. My brain feels able to rest.
When I drove away I knew I’d miss the flat. My house is just a house of bricks. I knew it would feel suffocating. And I knew S and I would talk about whether I wanted to watch television with him. No I don’t. I like to read.
This hasn’t been easy for me. I have wanted him to show some emotion, his faith in us. His raw determination to show me that something so strong exists between us, it not possible for us to live apart. I have tried to initiate that conversation. I have wanted to see the old him come out, love me, save me, do something. But there’s nothing. He may love me in his way, but I know he’ll never embrace me the way he used to, so powerful and tender. We haven’t been intimate for years. He’ll never be aroused by me. He’ll never kiss my lips again. I did try to kiss him on two separate occasions. To see I guess. Both were awkward and he didn’t reciprocate. He doesn’t want me. Where the old him had vanished to me, I guess he sees only a ghost of who I was. I’m assuming, he doesn’t tell me anything.
Now I’ve signed the lease and made it further official.
I feel grief. I feel my life has changed irreversibly. I feel afraid.
But I don’t feel weak. I have spent days sifting through student loan paperwork, getting the correct Uni paperwork back from them. I’m finding out what my entitlements are. Whereas I’d usually get S to do all this for me. He’s not there for me any longer and I need to accept that.
I can understand why people stay together even though they’re not entirely happy. Financially, emotionally it’s much easier to hope that things return to normal. It’s better to be around someone then alone. It does become detrimental though. My confidence is shaken, the boundaries are blurred; are we friends? Flat mates? Exs living together? How much or little do we share about our days. As before I want to share everything with him, he’s my confidante and best friend. Tough day? Let’s get pizza and open some wine. But it’s not comfortable. I don’t know what he thinks, arguments about finances go beyond flat mate or friend territory, moods are taken out on each other, resentment fizzles below the surface. It’s unhealthy. And how can people think that staying together for the kids is going to work? Atmosphere, stress, moodiness, arguments behind closed doors. They will absorb that and I don’t want them having my childhood. I want them to hear our honesty, our love and commitment unwavering to them and that how we feel for them would never change.
So I have a few days, to sort out financial entitlements, I have an interview, I need to source a bed and I need to spend time reassuring my kids, and then uni starts.
I wish I could have been reassured by my parents. I wish I could be reassured now. But the people that don’t take time to step in and offer reassurance genuinely don’t care.
I think S will see he’s better off without me – if he even notices.
So onto a new chapter. My heart is heavy but when I feel weak I know I have fantastic friends that will keep me on track.
Sadly I do and will always love S. But something in him has changed. Perhaps my ugliness, the bad inside me has rubbed off onto him. Perhaps he just one day stopped loving me.
I hope I’m heading in the right direction. That’s all I can do.