Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Funny how I always seem to start these post with how easy or hard the questions were but somehow it seems relevant to the process. This one is actually hard. I am sure it would just be easy to say that the ex was THE person that treated me badly and that he made everything bad but I am sure that points to intent. He don’t think any of it was ever intentional I just think he for many reasons had a frame of reference for behaving differently. He was who he was and I knew that. I guess you think you can change people or that there is enough good to work it out. He is not a bad person we just were ill suited from the beginning. I now say that it was a destructive relationship rather than abusive because I think we were both had a part to play and made mistakes.

I hope we have both learnt from our disaster and that we don’t do the same to other people. I don’t think the marriage was very nice for either and I think we did a fair amount of making each others lives hell.

Besides that I guess there are always people in life that treat us badly at one or another time. I am not sure I spend the energy remembering who they all are

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

When my marriage fell apart and I decided to walk away I had to get to the place where I felt okay with this. My ex will always want to throw in my face that I did not give it another chance, and that I did not try. I know I tried for 8 years, I know I begged and pleaded long before I left, for us to get help and try fix things. I waked away knowing in my heart that I made the right choice, and that no amount of fixing or trying would change the fact that we were ill suited in the beginning.

I have to deal with him telling the kids, that I broke up our family, and that it was my fault, and I would not try. I had to deal with him becoming like a saint overnight and trying to show my friends and family, that he was different and that I was the bad one for leaving – his saintly behaviour never lasted long, as I predicted, but there was a time that I had to cope with being the only person that thought I made the right decision leaving. I understand people’s intentions and their desire to make sure that I was doing the right thing. It is never good to break up a family, but sometimes it is worse to stay.

I felt guilty for leaving, but in a way was so glad to be free, then felt guilty about feeling glad to be out and not trying. It was a vicious cycle. I am now in the place I know I did the right thing. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I landed up in that position in the first place and I have forgiven my mistakes too. I hope lessons have been learnt and most of all I hope that I can pass these lessons on to my kids.

Chop chop

I did not sleep well on Tuesday night, it is always the same when I have to wake up for something important the next day, I wake up just about every hour. I think the most nerve wreaking part of the day was having to drive into town, I had no idea where I was going or where to find parking. I had asked on twitter the night before and with the GPS actually found the parkade people had suggested. It was on the next street and the entrance when you walk out takes you across the street from the Divorce court. Could not have been easier.

I got the just after 8am, Andre was already there and we had coffee and chatted. How cool, in Cape Town central you can sit outside a coffee shop and relax. I am not sure that the same is true for Pta or Jhb. It was a lovely day and the coffee shop even had a clean toilet which is a must when pregnant. Great start to the day.

At about 8:45 we headed to the court and found where we were supposed to go. Apparently they help all the people with lawyers and that are on the roll first and then the waiting room full of people waiting for state help. So we stand around and wait for the lawyer. And we wait and we wait. 9:15 he phones and says he is on the way, he pitches up at 9:50! The court has already started but he slips in and soon says I can go in. Our case is called next. After some confusion as to why I am there and not the ex the actual process goes very very quickly. Apart from the lawyer thinking that ex is in NZ rather than UK and not actually telling me what I am supposed to say it was all okay.

I am glad it is all over, it has been a long fight and while in many ways it does not change much, in another it does. It makes it final it draws a line and means that new beginnings are just that, new and not tainted by the unfinished.

I went to fetch the kids from Suzanne, she said they were really good, which is a relief. They get on really well with Suzanne’s kids and Caleb was so exhausted from all his playing he fell asleep in the car and transfered to bed and slept a good long nap. Again I am so grateful to friend who help me make it all easier.

The best part of the whole day was coming home, yes it was messy and looked like a tornado swept through it, we had all left in a rush in the morning, BUT it was a place I know I am loved. Above all else and even through disagreements and stress, all is based on love and wanting to make this a happy home. Thank goodness for 2nd chances, maybe that is what one celebrates.

So he has a girlfriend!

It was Rachel’s birthday on Friday. I asked ex to please send her a card as I was supposed to get the gift for her. He was offshore and moaned he could not do it in time. But then the next time he phoned he told her he had posted her a card and she was so excited. No matter what happens between him and I and who thinks who is to blame or who feels more hard done by, I was always dissapointed that he never posted them anything. It costs next to nothing to post a birthday or Christmas card or even a letter but nothing. I have things the kids made but was never given an address to send it to. I got one address and then was told not to use it as he was moving. I finally resorted to sending a card to my aunt in England who he is friends with.

So today we go to the post office after checking all of last week and there is a parcel slip for her. I don’t recognise the writing and wonder who could have sent it. We open it and it is from ex, well it is written in a woman’s hand writing and lots of loving words ex would never write himself and is signed Daddy and Lucy.

So the first we get to know of the girlfriend is a name in a card. Shew that needed a bit of explaining. Don’t get me wrong I am delighted that he has moved on. I wish them the best. I hope we both do a better job this time around in our new relationships. I just think he should have prepared her. I had millions of questions I had no idea how to answer. I wish he would spend some time telling her about his life rather than drilling her as to if I am doing enough school work with her.

But it does make sense as to why he has not been obstructional about the divorce anymore. Everyone said it was because I was knocked up, but he started cooperating before I announced anything so I think maybe the new woman has motivated him to get this done.

And on that note, this time next week I am DIVORCED! Yay wow it has been a long long fight.

Father’s Day Dilemma – the modern family

It is Father’s Day on Sunday. Which reminds me I must get a little something for my dad to take with us to Pretoria next week, I have the best dad in the world, but I digress. I have not really said anything about Father’s day, just that they need to make some cards for their dad who is in England. Rachel has been asking when Father’s day is since it was Mother’s day. She wants to buy Yme a present and make him breakfast in bed. She knows he is not her dad, she says he is like her step dad. He is very careful to tell them that he is not their dad. Yme thinks I should tell her that we can’t do Father’s Day with him, but I am not sure. The reality is that they see him on a daily basis and he is an important person in their life.
What do you think?
Those who have mixed families with step parents and new relationship what do your kids do on Father’s day?
On this note I am also not sure what to do about Caleb and his dad. They have not seen their dad since last year June when Callie was only 2. He has not been that good at speak on the phone obviously because he is so little. They do Skype although we have not been able to recently with the connection and internet problems. G phoned Caleb on his birthday but he would not speak to him. I know that it really upset G but I am not sure what to do. He would not speak to my sister either when she phoned him that day. People he has not seen for a long time from the UK he is reluctant to speak to on the phone. He does not like the phone much at the best of times
How much is it my responsibility to make sure they have a relationship? I could say that it is his choice not to see them and to work in the UK and that seeing them is more important than getting a British Passport which is his main goal, and he could say I took the kids away and he has no money to come see them and that it is my fault he does not see them, but blaming each other back and forward is not going to help heal the relationship between father and son.

When we have Skype I will make sure they Skype more, I will get him to make a Father’s day card for G. I thought maybe I should get a photo from him and put it in the kid’s room? Maybe I could ask G to email them with pics of where he is and what he is doing, so they can get a better idea and see more pics of him? Any other ideas? Or do I just leave it and let them work it out as he gets older?

No need to stop

just keep walking right on by, as I am going to have a little meltdown here. They are never pretty so not worth stopping for. But I know rubber necking can be tempting, so for those that stay and read I am sorry.

– this is our first Christmas post separation from ex, it is not our first alone as he was on the rigs over Christmas before, but this time it is different. It is significant and sad
– I am lucky to have my parents around even if everything comes with a price.
– Ex is going to be alone for Christmas and while we did not make a very good husband and wife team at all, he is a good dad and made such a big effort last year with flour snow foot prints and the works, I am sad he is alone. I feel guilty in a way but know that in the long run it is for the best.
– I have never really had to worry about money before, yes we were always careful and there was not an endless supply but now it is just not there. Dealing with Christmas and no money has not been fun.
– I love my kids more than breathing but Rachel and I are fighting a lot and I am worried it is going to ruin our Christmas.
– I need a few more small things for Caleb, I have a few big things for him but his sister has more small stuff to open. I so do not feel like facing the shops again tomorrow.
– It took 5 shops for me to find Christmas crackers! and then they were crap in the end and I might as well not have bothered.
– This is the first Christmas in my whole 32 year existence that the day has no religious meaning for me at all, it is weird.
– I need to get to bed earlier so I cope better, I am tired.
– I want to read the awesome book Aequitas gave me for Christmas but I can hardly keep my eyes open long enough to finish this.
-I plan to read a lot in Cape Town.
– I did not expect Christmas to be this hard.
– Tomorrow is dedicated to crafts with the kids cleaning and tidying, we will have our Christmas dinner in the evening of 24th but will do presents on 25 as is proper.
– I miss Aequitas
– I want Christmas to be over.

all done, sorry about that, will try be awesome again tomorrow

Last night

Things have been going well in my life, I have a post in progress about how I am in a happy place with such awesome people around me, and then last night in a gchat conversation with my ex I suddenly felt like I was straight back in that relationship. It felt like all the happy was threatening to come crashing down.

After a big wobble last night I felt really desperate like maybe I could never escape this, but some fantastic people around me that believe that I can get through this and that the other side looks better held me up through the dark time and today I feel ready to carry on again.

You know it is easy to lay blame to say it was all him and easy for him to say that it was all me but I guess the truth is that we bring out the worst in each other. I remember reading on a friends blog about how maybe in different relationship people will not be as damaging, maybe sometimes it is the combination that is bad rather than the people. I know that as soon as ex and I speak 8 years of hurt rush in. We each have our idea of reality and so we spend the whole time trying to convince the other person of our point of view. We never found a way to listen to each other during the time we were together and nothing has changed.

I felt like a caged animal again, I fought and yes I was not always nice and I am sure I said plenty of stuff that made it worse rather than better. I felt cornered like nothing I said could affect any change. I do not want to be that person any more.

For our kids we have to have contact for the next how ever many years but I need to take the power struggle out of this fight. I will become totally financially independent so that money has no power in this relationship anymore. We have fought about money since the start and I refuse to do it anymore.

You know the best part of the conversation was when he said something along the lines of thank goodness it is over and imagine growing old with you. And I answered that there are some that would kill for the chance and he laughed and told me not to flatter myself but you know this time I knew it was true. I have wonderful people around me who really believe in me.

I will survive.