It wasn’t meant to be this way.
That’s what I keep telling myself.
This was meant to be a fresh start.
Another line I mutter.
Things don’t always work out how you hoped though. In fact they rarely do for us it seems.
January 2012. That was meant to be our new dawn. We were so full of hope, moving away from a town where we had little family support to a city where I had a lot. Sure, we had friends although I am not sure how many we could class as real friends. Certainly, despite efforts, few have stayed in touch. With my worsening health I just felt it would be better for us as a family unit to be closer to my extended family.
We found a beautiful house to rent, with a garden, a spare room for guests. The husband found a job quickly, all was good.
The husband lost his job, I got a temporary job.
Still, things were good.
Then my contract came to an end and the husband found work again.
Not quite as good but we were coping.
Then my health, physical and mental, deteriorated at what felt like a startling rate.
I got my antidepressants increased, which helped a bit but I still felt like I wasn’t coping. Of course, in my warped mind, I refused to admit I couldn’t cope. Hid it from everyone, lied to the people that only want to help about what I’d been up to, fearing judgement. I’d cry myself to sleep most nights but as I often go bed before the husband, this too went unnoticed. I had regular nightmares about being deemed an unfit mother and having my son taken off me, whether by the authorities or through the husband just upping and leaving.
I have had battles to be taken seriously about physical health. When I finally managed to find someone who knows what they are talking about, who believes me and the pain that I am in, I felt immense relief but this was just the start of a potentially very long journey. I now need to discover whether my conditions are genetic; do my siblings have them; does my son have them; what is the right surgical option to proceed? More tests. More scans. More hospital appointments. More medication. I am surprised I don’t rattle when I walk. When I can walk that is.
Alcohol became my friend. Once H was tucked up in bed, the house was a lonely, noisy place which allowed my mind to go into overdrive. With a glass (or several) of wine before the husband got home from work, I could forget about the day-to-day stress of life. Wallow in self-pity if I wanted. Log onto Twitter and joke and laugh with my followers if I wanted. Anything to avoid dealing with real life.
Of course, real life catches up with you at some point.
With us seeing very little of each other, the husband didn’t realise that I wasn’t coping, that I wasn’t taking responsibility of the finances as I had previously. To be fair, he had no reason to think otherwise, I’ve always been honest in the past when I haven’t felt I have been coping. But this was meant to be our fresh start wasn’t it?
It feels like it has flown by but suddenly we find ourselves where we are today.
The husband slowly realised I wasn’t coping. Noticed that perhaps H wasn’t as happy as he should be. Slowly it dawned on him I wasn’t taking H out as much as he needs. I could no longer pick him up, rarely stand long enough to cook a healthy, nutritious meal.
In a hostel. Myself, the husband and H are all living and sleeping in one room, with a galley kitchen and our own shower and toilet, which reeks of damp.
It’s been a wake-up call for sure.
Yes we do have family that could, at a push, put us up but, you know, they shouldn’t have to. And in all honesty I think we will get housed quicker in the hostel. Besides, they have done more than enough recently, giving food parcels, letting us have use of their house over Christmas while they are away, treating the husband and I to a wonderful meal out.
The nightmares of having my son taken off me have returned. I have cried for what should have been, for what this was meant to mean for us all and questioned how it could all have gone so horribly wrong, cursing myself, willing my husband to just take off and find a woman who can run a home and look after a child.
Then I am reminded that actually, things could be worse. I do have family that wouldn’t see us go hungry, who will ensure that we do have a nice Christmas. We do have a roof over our heads, however temporary and cramped and the reality at the moment is that there are some people without that. There may be days where I cannot move more than about 30 meters at a time, where I get frustrated at not being able to keep up with H but no matter what, in some way or another I can play with him and entertain him and let him know I love him and of that he is secure.
We end 2012 leaving behind a shattered dream, unsure of what the future holds in so many aspects, housing, health, financially but fairly confident that it can’t be much worse and clinging onto the positives such as a wonderfully, happy son and a very supportive extended family.
Update: 11/12/12 by @SAHDandproud – the person who wrote this blog has been overwhelmed by the comments received and would like to thank you all for taking the time to read their story. I, like you all, truly hope things change for this family for the better and wish them all good things from this day forward. And while comments on such a topic may make you think ‘I wish I could do something more meaningful’ know that the people involved have felt a lot of love and support. Thank you all.