Remove the expectation

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I haven’t written anything since my birthday, at the end of March. I couldn’t and I am still struggling. It’s not lack of ideas or stories. It’s simply that I am incapable of sitting still with my thoughts, and putting them down makes them somehow more real. I am not scared of real, but right now I can almost feel myself changing from week to week, from day to day, sometimes from the morning to the afternoon and it is all real but it’s ever-changing. This is probably what people describe as an emotional journey. I wouldn’t know because even though I have gone through change before I don’t remember being aware of me changing with the external situation.

I don’t run away or hide from my thoughts, on the contrary, I think all the time but find it easier to keep some sort of perspective by being on the move, therefore I am always doing something (not that I lack of stuff to do between the girls, the house, the activities, the school run and all the other errands). And I am always listening to music, teenager style: I fall in and out of love with songs on a daily basis and am capable of putting the same song(s) on repeat for a number of hours without realising how many times it plays. It’s a coping mechanism, not a permanent state: I crave immobility and silence but don’t know how to deal with them right now.

I am not the same person I was in March, when I wrote my last post and I am not the same person I was at the beginning of the year, last October, last August or a year ago. I will also add I wouldn’t go back to any of those versions of me. Ever.

A year ago I was drowning and I didn’t even realise it. In August-September I figured out I was deep down underwater. In October I managed to surface for air. Gasped until the end of the year and in January I was just above the water level. It was horrible but it was better than a whole year before and that’s what made my self preservation kick in: I was determined to survive and I knew I was a strong enough swimmer to be able to, I just had no idea how to.

I still have no idea on what comes next but in the last 4 or 5 months I’ve learned that a lot of what we think matters to be able to move forwards doesn’t. Not really. They are excuses we make for ourselves.

I thought I needed an explanation from Tom. I thought I needed an apology, from him and (possibly) from vitto. I thought vitto’s husband should’ve done something, anything to solve things at his end. I thought Tom and I needed to keep on talking things through. I thought the world needed to know how I felt, why I filed for divorce and at the same time tried to find a different way forwards. I wanted people to understand, I wanted Tom to understand his actions and the consequences. I talked to him a lot. I wrote endless texts, messages, letters. And guess what? NOTHING of what I thought I needed came back.

What I did get was more shit:

  • I got a list of the type of men I should be with and that would be able to satisfy my unreasonable need for a connection with the partner I chose to be with
  • being married I didn’t have a right to be my own persona unless this could fit in 100% with my husband’s needs (I did not have the right to chose where to live or the kind of job that suited me, I should have a “normal” job that allows his company to relocate me as and when needed)
  • I didn’t have the right to want a third child
  • I don’t have the right to have dreams because I come across as someone who always sees the glass half empty
  • I am unfit for today’s world because deep down I crave stability for my daughters and for me
  • I am to blame for tearing apart our family, for destroying him financially, for not teaching the girls Italian properly AND for his betrayal.
  • I am a horrible person because I contacted a stranger to dig up dirt on him (the stranger being his mistress’ husband), because I spoke to my friends about what was really going on, because I was ruining his reputation and image, because I decided to take out my anger on vitto when the blame is mine and mine alone.

Around mid March my heart froze all of a sudden. I remember the exact moment this happened: it was a Saturday afternoon and I was driving to the pet hospital with Evie to pick up our cat GinGin who had been very ill for the past 10 days and was well enough to come home. The other two were at home with Tom. We were chatting, stuck in traffic because of the Arsenal fans heading home after the match when I received an iMessage from my friend asking me how things were going and if I was still willing to have Tom back. My friend asked me this question at regular intervals and I always had a reason to say “yes”, “maybe”, “if” … That time I simply said “no”. I couldn’t find a single reason to say “yes”. Even the girls had become a lame excuse because I realised I would not be able to give them what children need within a “normal family”: happiness and security. I wouldn’t even be able to fake it until “one day when…”.

One single text and my whole emotional world changed. Completely and all of a sudden. I removed every single expectation on how things should be according to me and what I believed what was right.

We picked up GinGin and went home. On the drive back I set myself two goals:

  • stop asking Tom for answers, which meant stop all discussions, conversations, fights, provocations and reactions to provocations
  • make him accept his responsibilities as a dad, because the girls need one even if he doesn’t happen to be with their mother as a couple

And I acted on both:

  • almost two months later and we haven’t had a single fight: I limit conversations to what requires an answer from him (regarding the girls, the house or other logistic matters), and we are now at the point where he has tried various times to initiate some sort of discussion on our diverging points of view and I have stonewalled him by replying that I am not in the mood for it because it’s too soon.
  • whenever I can I just leave him to it with the girls: it’s still not enough and he is still a long way away from me trusting him blindly with the girls, mainly because he doesn’t understand that us going separate ways also means that when he is with them HE is the one responsible for all of their needs: it’s too convenient to rely on me just because I am around.

As a consequence I have had some time off (not a lot), I have started doing little things I used to love, and most importantly I have started to rediscover myself, what I like, what I need, what I am like when I am just being “me”.

The mistake I take responsibility for is putting myself in a corner and letting everyone else’s needs come first. I hid behind the girls. I hid behind the reality of the continuous moves demanded by Tom’s job. I hid from myself and from everything I didn’t want to see. I hid because it was easier than admitting that a lot of things were wrong. And I struggle big time to acknowledge that it is not my fault. We were together for a very long time. We were a match once. Then we grew up. And we started seeing life differently. I tried to want what Tom wanted. It wasn’t me but I thought it would be ok, until I got to the point when I couldn’t feel guilty for wanting to be me any more, just like I finally realised it wasn’t fair for him to be someone he is not. I tried to have a conversation about it. He chose to look for instant gratification elsewhere. At the beginning of our relationship he made me promise that the day things weren’t working any more we would sort it out decently. My thought at the time? Yeah, right …

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Remember to Forget Birthdays

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Up until last Christmas, Evie had been kissed good night by no other than me except for the night her sister Tilly was born, when she was a few months short of turning 4,  and the night her baby sister Mia was born, when she had just turned 6. She is 7 years old.

Up until last Christmas, Tilly had been away from me only for a handful of hours and had never been put to bed by anyone but me. When her baby sister Kai was born she demanded Tom change her nappy and get her bottle of milk ready; she then read herself her favourite Christmas book, despite it being only the end of August, and put herself to bed. She is a few months short of turning 4.

To this day, baby Mia, almost 18 months old, has never been away from me for longer than an hour (a couple of times a week I allow myself the luxury of an hour at the gym).

Tom loves the girls. Always has. There is no denying his feelings towards them. But… he has never had any interest in taking care of them and certainly doesn’t try to see the world with their eyes. His relationship with them is about him: about what he needs, what he feels they should do, what he needs them to do, what his parents tell him he should do, what his work colleagues advise him to do.

Evie and Tilly will happily play the Wii or grab hold of one of his many electronic devices (iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPhone 3GS, Blackberry) when he’s around. Mia is heading in that direction too. I am not that nice: my phone is off limits (unless it’s a situation that requires it, like a hygienist visit: hand iPad to Mia and phone to Tilly in order to get the job done) and I limit their time in front of the tv or playing with any of that stuff.

They are also crazy about climbing all over him when he is lying on the sofa…

I made the huge mistake of only letting him do what he felt comfortable doing, from the day Evie was born. He was disgusted by nappies? He only got to change them in an emergency. He didn’t have the patience to spoon feed them? He wasn’t even invited at the kids dinner table. He needed to sleep so he could work the next day? He was never asked to do any sort of night shift. He got bored at the playground? I always tagged along so he could sit on a bench and get lost in his phone instead.

I always thought that one day he would realise, he would see that he wasn’t doing much with them or for them. That meant I had to do it all. And it made me angry to feel like I was invading his personal space, not caring about his personal need to wind down on the rare occasions when I needed an extra pair of hands. I learned to do it all, with the girls and with no help.

The only thing I didn’t do was bring home a pay check. That’s the “only” thing he did for us: he supported us, financially. Emotional and physical support are now being defined as always seeing the glass half empty. I had no right to complain about him not being there, because he worked for us. I had no right to complain about mention missing a hug (not a hug that lead to sex), not feeling any human touch or emotional connection: he was doing everything that was expected from him. I was simply “unsatisfiable”.

At Christmas he asked to have Evie and Tilly on his own with his mother (because the girls are sort of comfortable around her) for a few days so that they could go to Turin, where he works and “lives”. HE had the need for them to start having an image of him as a dad. HE had the need to prove that they would be fine all on their own, with him, without the overpowering controlling mother. He didn’t care that maybe for the first time 5 days were a little too much. He didn’t realise it all went ok because I prepared them. He wasn’t with us on the night we all got back to Nanna’s house and all they wanted to do was wear their fairy nighties and tell me all about their trip behind locked doors: they refused to leave our bedroom and wouldn’t allow Nanna or Pops to join us. He never heard Evie say: “it was ok, but I am not sure I wan’t to do this every year, I missed you and i hated them trying to comb my hair every day”. He never heard Tilly say that she is never going back unless I go too.

Little do they know…

Today I got a text in which Tom informs me that he would like to take the girls back to Italy from the 12th to the 19th of April. Mia is too small and in any case he would just hand her over to his mother. He expected an immediate approval so he could book tickets and sort out his holiday requests. I was fuming: the Easter holidays are almost 3 weeks long and he chose the week of Tilly’s 4th birthday. He knows birthdays are a big big deal for me: I don’t believe in not celebrating a birthday, no matter what the reason (too old, not in the mood, don’t care about them….). I texted back, demanding an explanation and making it clear that next year her birthday is with me, regardless of where Easter falls: her birthday will always be in the middle of the holidays.

He said we should talk, that there is no point in texting and that he doesn’t want to argue about everything.

Because… he didn’t plan it that way on purpose, he FORGOT all about Tilly’s birthday being on the 15th of April.

My phone’s battery died around 3pm today, I didn’t recharge it.

27 October 2013 | The Texts

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I lost track of time. (only now I realise it was 1.30 am).

I struggle to remember the exact steps that lead me to what follows.

I was in panic mode, barely breathing, on the phone with a friend as the truth unfolded but it took at least 30 minutes for the truth to become reality in my head. By then I had just moved on from the “letters” in the secret GMX email address account to the “texts” on yet another secret instant messaging service, Trillian

What I will never forget is the hailstorm of pain that followed as I obliviously kept on reading. I can learn to ignore it, I can box it up and shove it somewhere with other painful memories but I know myself enough to be able to say that the wound will, eventually heal, but the scar is there to stay.

If I were granted a wish I would ask to be able to simply forget.

[Original Version was in Italian – I tried to respect all childish grammar-less short cuts as much as possible. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to make the conversation exchange look like it happened between two responsible grownups]

Tom | 6.27 pm

CV. This week I am going to work on it. I am not comfortable with the professional photos I have on it right now. I was 10kg heavier. 

Then I will send you the new one.

Vitto 

All that needs to be done is take a new one one of the next mornings and then we can cut it and add it onto the CV

7.36 pm

Do you like mbun? I do, especially the one behind via Lagrange

Tom | 7.47 pm

Yes let’s do one morning in Milan😄

Yes I also liked Eataly not bad

I miss you image of you embracing me this evening very sweet

Began opening your treasure chest😳😳😳

Are you coming?

Vitto

Yes, need to, coming… But what next?

Image of you in your arms under the blankets warms my heart up and goes brrrr

Tom | 7.57 pm

Can you believe that I am going under the same duvet brrr in a little I am going

Vitto

Beautiful beautiful all of it

IMG_6088

That way your bicycle can’t be seen. But the question is…who took it???😄

So H should be here around 9.30 pm, so I am giving you an advance pre😘gnight😘. Tomorrow I have an early start with an interview so I will be leaving around 6 am. Maybe I can wish you a good morning while you are also in the car around 7.45 am.

8.04 pm

This week end gives me energy for the following two. ❤️Thank you for being here ❤️ Gnight in a while

8.15 pm

You can always tell W that that we had to work together on the case C which involved sharing  many difficult situations, on a personal level too given that we were firing someone we had invested on… Personally I found that hard…

Tom

W has disappeared since this morning maybe we are finally at it ls wait and see

8.25 pm

W has disappeared since this morning maybe we let’s wait and see

W has disappeared since this morning maybe we are finally at it let’s wait and see

8.36

H home?

Vitto

No, he’s about to arrive I think

Tom | 8.55 pm

Going home soon

Going home 

Vitto | 9.09 pm

H at home

Tom | 9.18 pm

At what time train green coffee shop for cappuccino?

Gnight 💬💬💬💬

Vitto | 9.31 pm

Tomorrow car

I leave at 6 am

H super cold almost didn’t say hi and moved away when good night kiss

I think W must have ripped him open about the email

And maybe he thought that I would’ve only asked you about me but not given you the email

Clear and evident totally different attitude compared to last night. Night 😘❤️

I love you

Tom 

W hung up on me for good night. Then she called back and I didn’t pick up. Night

Lov3u

Gnight 😗

Vitto

Night

We will get out of this

Somehow

I am rocking myself in our embrace😘

Three months have gone by and I still haven’t heard one honest word fall out of Tom’s mouth regarding this conversation. What I have heard is undoubtedly “interesting” and always accompanied by rolling eyes (because I am making a big deal out of something which is no big deal at all, out of something that I decided had happened – same attitude as a 5 year old caught doing something wrong and not getting the part where you acknowledge the mistake ):

– Milan? What? I’ve never been to Milan to see her, maybe one day we could but for breakfast…but I never went (we can talk about this in another post)

– I didn’t say I love her. Can’t you even read properly? There is a piece missing. It’s not written properly. I never said I loved her. Look. I put no hearts. And my kiss emoticons don’t have a heart. Hers do.

– I didn’t say I wanted a divorce. Where does it say that I was waiting for you to dump me? That? Repeated three times? No that’s not what I meant. I had to write it three times because it’s wrong. But no I wasn’t waiting for you to call it quits.

All I can add is that that same morning we had a long horrible phone call. Most of what he said to me can be read here. Then there is the bit where he pushed me over the edge by defending Vitto. He accused me of bringing our relationship to the point of no return with my obsessive suspects on a work colleague. Because that’s all she was. Her husband told me that much and I should have never even thought of intruding into someone else’s life. I was the troublemaker. Because his work colleague was having problems in her own marriage because of my obsession.

I almost believed him. Almost.

The emails they are talking about are the ones H and I exchanged…and in hindsight I can’t help smirking at the thought of how stupid and freaked out Tom and Vitto must have felt when it dawned upon them that their secrets were leaking, big time (and that is why Tom was so aggressive that morning, he was panicking and threatening me so that I would give up trying to find out what was really going on). Because you see, H caught them long ago (29 July 2013, the evening of Vitto’s farewell dinner after her last day working for Tom) and admittedly chose to dig his head so deep in the sand he is still looking for it today. He had the decency to partially and temporarily re-emerge when I kindly asked him for help…

Pink Bubble about to burst

Pink Bubble about to burst

What Motivates a Person to Steal a Marriage and Family?

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Google Queens are born when you suddenly find yourself in the Land of Betrayal.

It looks like search engines are the first port of call when we start looking for answers. The answers aren’t there but there is lots of food for thought.

When reading Busbsyd @ Silver Linings’ words I realised most of them were already stuck in my brain as I had come across the same sources on many sleepless evenings, nights, dawns, baby naps…

What Motivates a Person to Steal a Marriage and Family?.

Infidelity is often a sign of a person who hasn’t learnt to bridge the gap between the thrill of love’s pleasures and the grind of love’s work…

Link

An article for when you question … even when you shouldn’t …

http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/love,-sex-and-relationships/why-do-people-succumb-to-the-lure-of-infidelity-20131212-2z92r.html

Daddy won’t be coming home this week end

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Me: “Evie, daddy is not coming home this week end”.

Evie: “I don’t care.  Err no, it’s not that I don’t care, but it doesn’t matter. Because daddy doesn’t like going out, he doesn’t like walking and I don’t like spending half of my day in the car when it’s easier to travel by train, like today, when we went all the way to London Bridge and then up to the top of the Shard”.

Me: “Evie, next week end nanna is coming. Daddy will not be here next week end either”.

Evie: “That’s ok. Because we can go to Legoland. There is loads to walk in Legoland, daddy can’t drive a Lego car around Legoland. And Nanna can hold baby Mia when you come with Tilly and me on some of the big girls’ rides. Because I am sure Nanna gets dizzy”.

She’s got it all figured out. And it’s so sad it breaks my heart. When she talks like that I have to stop what I am doing and look at her in the face. Because what comes out of her mouth at times sounds so harsh it scares me. And only when I look in her eyes I realise she is still innocent. She is just speaking her mind, based on her view of the world. Unfiltered.