Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Another year, a new start, and typically time to look, but not turn, back.
I’ve been living apart from my children for four months. It’s now September, and my son is starting school nursery. He was enrolled in a private nursery for a year or so, for two days a week, but this is different. It’s like a rite of passage. Almost everyone I know who has children are in the same position, starting school, starting nursery, moving up a year. It’s bittersweet. He originally got a place in nursery attached to a primary school right by where we lived, because it suited everyone’s needs at the time- after all, I wasn’t working, and I was at home, so it made sense for him to be as close to me as possible. He was going to do morning sessions, so that both he and his baby sister (who is almost two and a half now, so not really a baby) could nap in the afternoon and I wouldn’t go insane. But now? He’ll be going elsewhere. Closer to his childminder, because he HAS a childminder now. Everything has completely changed and it hasn’t gotten any easier, for me at least. I ask my ex if the children are happy? Are they settled? He says they are.
I can’t think of any better way to put this. I miss my children so much that if I think about it, I become hysterical. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have the physical reminder of my c-section scars to remind me about them, even though trying to forget anything about them is entirely the wrong thing to do. It’s not over-dramatic to say that I feel like a part of me has disappeared, because they ARE part of me. When I go to see them at their home, the former ‘marital home’, if you like, it’s physically painful. I remember playing with them on that carpet, I remember lifting them out of the Snack Drawer in the kitchen. I remember having to lock the bathroom from the outside, with the aid of a fifty pence piece (don’t ask) otherwise my youngest would let herself in and start playing about with the sink and taps. This is all they’ll ever know now, which is good. They won’t remember the screaming and arguments, or me being on edge, their father too probably, the bad parts of our marriage can’t have only affected me, or anything negative and that’s the only way it can be. It’s how it has to be.
Daily life, the routine, was tough. It was hard, it was laborious, sometimes it was thankless and boring. But I miss it. Or rather, I miss them. The thing that gets me most is any talk about cbeebies. Bloody cbeebies, taking from my sanity once again. Show Me Show Me- ring any bells? That was on after breakfast. Lex would watch a bit with Seb, then she’d have her morning nap. I’d take her upstairs to her cot, change her nappy, put her in her sleep sack, and nurse her down. Then she’d sleep for a bit, and the TV would go off. Rhyme Rocket- second showing, at about 1pm. When that came on, it was time for both their naps. Sometimes, Seb wouldn’t want a sleep, he’d play instead or lie on the sofa with me and make me laugh. In the early days, just after I left, when I went back to see them, Seb would almost always fall asleep on me. And I loved it. My tiny, brilliant boy. He must have been exhausted. I know I was, it was so much to take in.
Lest we forget. I took them to the park last weekend and I’m already out of practise. It was difficult, really difficult, keeping an eye on both of them, keeping them in check. How did I do this before? Maybe I didn’t do it very well. I remember crying a lot, because I felt I couldn’t cope. Perhaps that’s why. I ask my ex-husband, how do you do it? How do you cope? “We all help each other, me and the kids. We look after one another”. He’s a natural, and I never was. I know he’s the best one for them, I know he is, but only we know why, truly.
The divorce is taking ages. It’s dragging on. I just want my Nisi through, but it’ll be months yet. I’m still married, which I don’t want, and I know my ex doesn’t want either. Everything is so fuggy, so up in the air. It’s as if I’m holding my breath, waiting for it to be safe to breathe out again. The situation is odd and complicated, and whenever I talk about it I have to start “Well, it’s like this…” I hate saying ‘My husband and I are separated’ because that makes it sound temporary. It’s not. We’ve moved on, we don’t love each other anymore. And that’s that. This side of things makes me feel done in, unable to do anything apart from panic and worry. There are other sides of things though, that make me deliriously happy.
None of this is easy. Leaving, dealing with the fallout, the explanations. None of that was easy, and I am damn lucky that unconditional love exists and that my parents are incredibly understanding and sympathetic.
My marriage ending broke my heart. Obviously, it was the end of my marriage. I felt like I was on constant guard. Anyone, any MAN, who was nice to me…well…I didn’t know what to make of it. What are they after? Hmm, well. I never thought I’d really meet anyone else, not ever again. “I’ll be a recluse!” I told friends. I’m complicated, and I have baggage, and I swear and screech. What a prize. I put my hands in my ribcage, laced my fingers over my heart “I’m protecting you, but you can still see everything. Nothing will come close again. No one”. I’ve broken every single rule. I left my marital home, not my ex-husband because he was the one that stayed. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know how. I left the children, I’m not the single parent.
Leaving wasn’t straightforward. It wasn’t simple. It wasn’t, as I said, easy. But some things were. Some things after I left, after this all became the status quo, came naturally. Some things, some people, are the best thing to have happened to me, in a long, long time. My Favourite And My Best. And that’s all I’ll say about that *blushes* *clams up*
Thanks for reading, and L’Shana Tova.