Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Broken plans

on July 5, 2014

I texted Ex-Husband earlier to check arrangements for him picking Big Girl and Small Girl up tomorrow morning, as they were due to be with him from then until Tuesday evening.  Despite living in Lancashire, various roads are being closed tomorrow to allow the Tour de France to pass through (Are we in France? Are we?) and I wondered if this would affect him.

Not as much as his broken ankle, apparently.  It’s in a backslab (this is a half-plaster cast which is put on when you first break something, for those of you who have suffered fewer fractures than me) and he’s got a fracture clinic appointment on Monday, when he will know more.  But he doesn’t expect to be able to have the girls overnight or during the day by himself at the moment.

I do wonder when he was planning to tell me that his plans had changed? Had he just got back from hospital, and it was a coincidence that I had contacted him just before he could tell me?  Or did it not cross his mind that I might need to know that I would be looking after the girls?  He is having them during the day tomorrow, and then bringing them back for tea. Tomorrow night I was supposed to be meeting up with friends for a games night.  On Monday afternoon I was being visited by Quakers to talk about my application for membership, which can’t be done with children around.  I’m having a dishwasher delivered on Monday and paid extra to have it delivered in the only slot between my lie-in (also cancelled) and my Quaker visit.  I am now paying extra to have it delivered at the least convenient time to be stuck in the house with two children.  And then I was planning to go out for dinner and shopping with my sister.  I have now cancelled all these things, along with my opportunity to cook interesting food and eat it without anyone complaining, and to travel to places without a child sitting on my shoulders, a child crying that they are tired and can’t walk, and a bag full of nappies and shit (only occasionally literally, mainly during potty-training).

You may be thinking that I sound quite selfish.  Ex-Husband has a broken ankle and I am complaining about the inconvenience *I* am suffering.  This is true.  Mostly, I am very sympathetic to other people’s problems. But when Ex-Husband left me, I had to learn to separate myself from him, that we were no longer on the same side and that he no longer cared about my interests, and I could not prioritise his.  After ten years of trying to put him and his needs first, it took conscious effort to make his life none of my business – ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’ as one of my friends likes to say.  It was almost an amputation – learning to live without something that had been a central part of my life.  I killed, very deliberately, my concern for him, so that I could carry on with my life.

At some point, will I be able to treat him like I would any other person: to try to help him if he needs it, to wish him well and hope for good things for him?   The wounds are perhaps too deep for that – some things may be beyond redemption and resurrection.

For now, I’m fighting my frustration at my plans being upended by trying to find the positives: more time with my children, of course.  And I’m fortunate that nothing was arranged which couldn’t be cancelled.  More time at home to (a) tidy my kitchen ready for my dishwasher (a dishwasher!) to be installed and (b) read the library books I borrowed today.  And the frustration seems like a good excuse to open the bottle of Blackberry and Elderflower Pimms I was saving to drink with my sister on Monday.  That’ll do for now.



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