Sunday, 25 December 2011

Phew, I made it

It's now officially Boxing Day - made it through Christmas Day, yay!
A quiet day, made more so as He's suffering from a flu-type bug, but we did manage to go out for a drive, which was a nice break.  I made us a festive dinner this evening, and just when I thought we'd made it to the end of the day without a row, it happened.  He stood up, and announced that He was going out, as He "couldn't stand the atmosphere".  What atmosphere?!  It turns out it was because I chose to sit on the armchair, instead of next to him on the sofa, where I'd been installed semi-permanently over the last couple of days.....
When He came back, I told him that his insecurities were ruining our relationship, and pushing me away.  And that next time I sat next to him on the sofa, He'd now wonder if I was doing it because He would sulk if I didn't.
I feel like I'm under a microscope.  Can't wait to go north on Wednesday.  Still no idea what I'm going to tell the kids.  I have promised Him that I'll keep an open mind.  Not sure how I'm going to do that.

By the way, Happy Christmas! xx

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Another thing....

I got a new phone contract last week, and was offered a shiny new iPad 2 as a package deal with my contract. So I said "yes please", and thought, great, that's His Christmas present sorted out. Even though we'd agreed to only spend £50 on each other (as I'm broke) I knew he wouldn't stick to it. And I can already tell he hasn't There are 8 presents under the tree for me, which is about the same as last year, and last year he bought me a Macbook Air......
Anyway, I put the iPad away for him, pleased it was sorted. Then I got to thinking, why would I want to pay for a contract for 2 years when I don't know if I'm going to be with him in 2 weeks?! So I decided to keep it, maybe for myself, maybe not. But until I know what the New Year will bring, I'm keeping it locked away.... along with my ice-heart.......

Our session

So last night, we went to counselling. It was painful, as I knew it would be. He cried a lot; I cried a little. I really felt his pain, but I also felt it wasn't my responsibility. As I write this, it sounds cold hearted and callous, even to me, but it really isn't. I've carried his pain for such a long time, putting his needs above mine. It's time for him to reach out for what he wants now, without my help.
The counsellor asked us to commit to one thing each; and he committed to let me go to up north on my own, which is a massive sacrifice for him, I know. We had originally booked a holiday cottage together for a few days next week, so I could see my son, and visit friends. Going on my own will give me space to breathe - literally and metaphorically - and I'm very grateful to him for letting me go alone.
So what did I commit to do? I was struggling here, believe me. In the end, I agreed not to make a decision to leave until I came back. I'm not sure that I was being entirely genuine, but I said it, and I'm going to try to keep an open mind for now.

"Let's go to counselling"

He has been going to a counsellor. A lovely lady - I've also been to her. When he asked me this time last year if I would go with him to a counsellor, I told him that first he needed to go for himself, so that he didn't bring all his emotional baggage to the sessions, and overwhelm the issues with his need. He refused at the time, telling me that the problem wasn't him, it was me. He told me I had to go instead. So I did. For six months I wept and sobbed, and tried to look inside myself and heal. I emerged in June, stronger and more determined to be 'authentic'. It seems that I'd been putting a happy face on (doesn't everyone?!) and not letting my true feelings be known. So that's what I did - instead of swallowing it when I got pissed off at the way he spoke to my daughters, or how lazy he was being round the house, I told him. That didn't go down too well.....
He asked me again to come to counselling with him. I pointed out that I'd done my bit - it was time for him to go on his own. So he did. For the last few months, he's been seeing her every couple of weeks, and the most apparent change is that he doesn't lose his temper as much. That's a blessed relief. However, take the anger away and the issues are still there, plainer when they aren't hidden in the temper tantrums.

So I told him a month ago I wanted us to part. He argued, cajoled, bribed, wept... until worn down, I agreed to leave it until after Xmas. In the meantime, we would 'try'. I'm 'trying'. I'm 'trying not to leave, in fact.

Friday, 23 December 2011

What happened next

Once the girls had gone, I stood there feeling very very empty and a long long way from home. I'm living in a county that I don't belong in, and in a life that doesn't fit me. I sound very whiny, I know. I am being whiny. But what I want is the little things; a home - a very modest, humble little place that I can call mine, and fill it with the little things that mean a lot to me: pictures of the kids, little knick-knacks, a dog.......
I don't want the massive car he bought me; I want a little run around that I can afford by myself. I don't need a plasma screen tv, or the latest tumble drier (which I still can't work out how to use, after a year of trying....... ) I don't want to go to Michelin star restaurants, just the two of us; I'd rather take the girls out for a pizza or to a silly film.

So why do I need his permission to go to the pictures? Well I don't, it's true. But I'm always under the spotlight; my actions are scrutinised and pored over; my reactions analysed. I'm suffocating......

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Today is our Christmas Day

The girls are going to their Dad's for Christmas again - boo hoo - so we had our Christmas Day today. His daughter - now 19 - was also here for the day, so we got up, exchanged presents, had Christmas lunch, just like it was the real thing.
The present giving was good, though it was a little fraught at times as He tried to overlay his instructions onto the proceedings, but I pushed back, and my way prevailed in the main.
Then after lunch, as we sat there talking, the girls and I got a bit giddy, making each other laugh, and it seemed that the more we laughed, the more stony-faced He and his daughter looked. We carried on regardless. He snapped at my younger one as he got up, demanding that she get up and help clear up, but again I intervened, suggesting we clear up after we'd been for a walk. By the time we left, He and his daughter were already walking 20 paces behind us.
We didn't care. My daughters and I walked, talked and laughed together, and when I looked back, they were almost out of sight.
Then my big girl turned to me and asked, "Are you going to leave him, Mum?"
"I might", I replied.
"What?!" they both exclaimed, shocked. It was the first time I'd admitted that it was possible......