Words aren’t working

Last week was awful. Late nights at work resulting in exhausted crying when I got home. I couldn’t cope. I was sick of the pull and twist: feeling like a tug of war rope. 

My family have rallied round. My mum has travelled the 45 minute journey to my house, just to pick up some washing for me. My Aunty came in the week and did some ironing. I’m so grateful yet it just makes me feel more like failure. 

My middle son had a little breakdown of his own too. He is a sensitive ten year old: outwardly confident and outgoing yet quick to emote in any situation. He is fiercely protective of me. He has stood in front of his 6ft 3in father before now and threatened to hit him because we were arguing and I was crying. I think he has finally realised that we are separated for good. He said he can’t understand. 

Last night, as I tried to talk to him and  daughter about helping out more,  (making sure they are ready for school; actually bringing down their washing when asked, etc etc) it was my daughter’s turn to vent her feelings about the split. She was venomous. She blamed me for ending it: said I had made her dad miserable;  that he was waiting, being nice to me, and that I was just being horrible. And so it continued. 

As she spoke, the unfairness of the situation was raging inside. She has no idea.  I didn’t know what to say to her. When she left, slamming the door as she went and informing me that she would be living with her dad when he got his house, I cried. How can I explain it all to her? How can I make her understand that I am the one that has kept it together all these years? 

I don’t want to tell her tales of her dad’s failings in a bid to earn her loyalty. She has no idea and neither should she. I will not be the one to ruin their relationship. And then it hit me. Although I have never needed proof that I have done the right thing, there it was. My daughter’s relationship with her dad has been fraught for years.  But now, living apart, their relationship has improved enough to make me the bad guy.  

Apart from the loveless and sexless marriage, our relationship ended because the constant rowing – mainly about our children and his treatment of them. Despite his obvious devotion to them, family life made him bitter and occasionally cruel. They lost respect for him and treated him as such. A vicious circle ensued. 

They still row of course. But her defence of him at long last has shown a change in their relationship. 

My last post contained the words I have to say to them to help them understand. But not the ones I want to when I am hurting. 

Whilst he spends one weekend day and one evening with them, I will continue to be the one who nags about homework and room-tidying and sibling arguments. He will be the one who takes them out for the day and creates fun. I will be the one spending the weekend doing all the housework I don’t have time to do in the week. 

But I can’t and won’t say that. I chose this life and I will make it work somehow. I want him to be happy and I want his relationship to improve with his children. I will not be the one to destroy that, no matter how unfair it seems sometimes. 

There are no words to truly describe the tumult of emotions inside me. The tablets numb them but I am very aware that they bubble lazily beneath the surface waiting to erupt when I least expect them. I long for a sense of normality – a chance to carve my own life for my children and I. At the moment, that still feels like a distant dream. 

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