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mercredi 9 juin 2010

Moving forward

I'm going to try and make my meeting today with a marriage guidance counsellor (psychologist) sound positive, but really, I'm scared beyond belief.

I gave her a short version of the events of the last few weeks, months, whatever. She immediately became concerned about D's state of mind and seemed very keen to make sure that he get treatment (even mentioning hospitalisation, which freaks me out, because D will FREAK THE FUCK OUT about this and resist, resist, resist, not to mention hating me forever - more than he does already, I mean - if he thinks I'm behind it).

She's going to do some digging at the ER he went to where he almost got hospitalised last month, and will try and talk to our psychologist friend who's been trying to help D too. And I have to go back and see her next week, with a document to fill in that I have to get from the main court in Montpellier, and she'll let me know what she's found out. She's not talking about confidential stuff, just what the doctor who checked C reported and so on.

She also got me an appointment with a legal advisor who will help me fill in the form. She's really not keen on him getting custody at all (HE'S GOING TO KILL ME) given his present state of mind, not to mention the practical side of things.

I do feel that progress is being made, and that things are moving forwards, but, at the same time, I'm scared out of my wits as to his reaction to all this. He wants us to see a lawyer and get some kind of thing in writing, but what I'm doing (which is the same thing) will make him so angry with me that I'm scared of how he'll react.

The lady I saw was very reassuring and very professional (I've met her before somewhere, but can't for the life of me think where), and the fact that she's so concerned about my safety, and that of the girls, has freaked me out. I told her that he hasn't given me his new address (we filled in the girls' re-enrollment forms for school next year and he put a different address - he says it's because he doesn't have a mailbox in his place, I'm convinced it's so he doesn't have to tell me where he lives) and that that scares me - and she said I was right to be scared. Which of course scares me even more. She doesn't even seem happy with him taking the girls for a short time, but I can't stop him doing that (well, I could, but that would unleash the hounds of hell, I suspect) and don't want to stop him seeing them, even if I feel sick with fear every time he does that he won't bring them back...

Oh Lordy, this is serious stuff. Hospitalisation, treatment, lawyers, judges, legal decisions... I've never been so scared in my life, and I feel so outrageously alone - there really isn't anyone I can talk to (well, that's not true of course, there are plenty of people in fact, but they've all got their own lives, their own hassles... I can't impose forever. I have to learn to be strong so I can get through this).

I am fighting, I am coping, I am trying to pull myself out of debt (not easy, believe me). I'm trying to get things organised for the girls this summer (still hoping, praying that I'll find a way to go away with them for a few days, but I'm not sure how I'll pay for that), I'm trying to get work done, get the flat smartened up. Cope, rebuild my life, start over in other words. But inside, I'm jelly, I'm scared, I feel sick with fear.

mercredi 2 juin 2010


Much as I could go on about my many woes pretty much endlessly right now, I'm guessing my reader (how are you?) is probably fed up to death with that, so, being a sucker for memes, I've decided to borrow this one from Avitable...
• Guilty pleasure. Eating crap when no one's around to criticise me.
• Something that inspires you. Beauty in the natural world.
• The five songs you would have with you on a desert island and why. "Walking on sunshine" (Katrina and the Waves) to make me happy, "Girls just wanna have fun" (Cyndi Lauper) to make me dance, "Stuck in a moment" (U2) to make me cry, "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) for when I'm feeling Leonard Cohen-y and "Wild thing" (The Troggs) for the rest of the time.
• What you imagine paradise to be like. Somewhere where the weather is always good, where nothing bad ever happens and where you never feel out of place or out of synch.
• A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life. To my two best friends in England, J and M, for always being here (even virtually) when I need you, and for making my life better. I miss you guys!
• Earliest thing you can remember. Playing games with my father in our entrance hall when I was about 2.
• Favorite cover of your favorite song. Not sure that my favourite song has actually been covered, but I love Sinead O'Connor's version of Prince's "Nothing compares 2 U" and, though absolutely not my favourite song, I love Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is coming to town"
• Someone you think would make a good president. Here in France? No idea - it's like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea, though our current incumbent seems to have a serious God complex. Elsewhere? I always thought (bearing in mind I'm not in the US, have only been once and know little about the country's politics) Al Gore would have been quite cool...
• Five things you want to see change. 1) I want there to be a selection process for entry to French universities; 2) I would love to see work paid at its just value (so, I'd increase salaries for nurses, teachers, dustbin men... and lower them for real estate agents, lawyers, accountants, politicians...); 3) I would like Britain to join in with the rest of Europe and give up on its "special relationship with the US" delusion; 4) I would love all religion-based conflict to just stop and 5) I'd like premature babies who die in utero to be given "child" status, even when they're born before the arbitrary legal "cut-off" point.
• A dream you had this past week described in detail. Insomnia rules right now, so no dreams to talk about...
• Favorite picture ever taken of yourself. These are very, very few and far between... Though I do quite like one taken on my 40th birthday (last year) with my two sweet girls...
• Your favorite musical artist’s life story. Not sure of this either, but I loved Oliver Stone's "The Doors" too.
• A memory that never fails to make you laugh. The infamous J-falling-under-a-Young-Conservative story from my student days - I love this story so much, and I wasn't even there!
• Best mashup you’ve ever heard. I'm too old, clearly, as I have no idea what a "mashup" is if it doesn't involve potatoes and mayonnaise...
• A moment, phrase, or song that has changed your life the most. "A person's a person, no matter how small" from Dr Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who"
• Something that you want to do within the next five years. Climb out of debt and find happiness.
• What you want to remembered for. Being a good mother.
• A picture that makes you feel. I love Emil Nolde's "Lichte Meerstimmung"
• A passage from a book that has touched you. Can't find the quotes right now (hell, I can't find the BOOK in this mess), but there are many passages from Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" that touched me when I was younger, so I guess they still would now!
• A band that you immediately liked and the song that made you like them. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and "Joan of Arc" - first single I ever bought!
• Your favorite medium of art. Cinema.
• Someone you would give your life up for without question. My daughters.
• Most awkward first impression you feel you’ve ever given. Way, way too many to count I should think!
• Something you did as a child that other people remember you for. Winning the 3-legged race for 3 years in a row with my friend Sara, having failed wretchedly in every other athletics event.
• Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail. Be a writer.
• Your definition of love. Accepting the failings of the one you love, loving unconditionally, having total trust in the other.
• Your definition of the meaning of life. Raising the next generation and realising that the world will be a better place thanks to your children (modest, I know).
• A moment you remember being completely happy in and a description of why you believe you were. What is your definition of happiness? I was happy on holiday in Italy (Lake Como) in August 2008. The place was beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful, the weather was good, my daughters were being adorable and I felt happy in my "marriage". Huh.
• What you live for. To make my children happy, healthy, fulfilled adults.
• Ways you believe you have grown over the past thirty days. My partner and I separated just over 30 days ago. Since then, I've become stronger, more independent.

mardi 1 juin 2010

Goodbye May

I've always loved May in the past - I love spring, and May is usually when it all comes together. Plus, my birthday's in May, and I've always, always loved my birthday.

But this year? Blech. A totally crap month, starting with the monumental fuck-up that was 1 May (the day D officially "moved out" and started voicing his irrational crap to others, finally revealing just how far over the edge he's actually gone), and ending, more timidly, with today, in which I realised that not only is joint 50-50 custody going to break my heart, it's also going to cost me money - the girls are currently on my tax forms, giving me a reduction (a significant one at that). If they're only here half the time, it'll be as if I only have one daughter, so my taxes will go up, plus my child support (very low, almost insignificant monthly amount, but still) will be halved. I'm livid, and of course D doesn't give a shit one way or the other, persisting in his "we need to get lawyers" crap.

Oh, Lordy, what a crap year this has been!

Are there any pluses? Not many, that's for sure. My debts are mounting steadily (and not likely to diminish, given the above), I have no means to get away at all this summer, no matter how much I'd love to, need to. I'm terrified at the thought of having to give up my girls for 6 months of the year, especially to someone generally considered (not just by me, but by others, including a psychologist friend) to be mentally unstable. And, icing on the cake, D's mother, my much-disliked MIL, wants to come and stay - HERE because D's place is too small. I feel like screaming, but of course the cunning minx has spoken to C and L and they're delighted at the thought of having Mamie here. I'M GOING TO DIE (or possibly kill someone).

So. That's the end of May. I'm going to hope that June is better in some way (not sure how that could ever be possible, but I can't allow myself to give up hope completely), even if I'm really not that optimistic.

The only thing that keeps me going is work, which (when I manage to get my concentration up to scratch) allows me to "forget" the crap all around me. Oh yeah, and the fact that my beautiful Tom now spends every night on my bed, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Yesterday was Mothers' Day here in France, and I got sweet gifts from my girls (a pot holder, hand-painted, from C plus a beautiful card and message, and a hand-painted candle-holder from L, with an equally sweet card and poem), a somewhat surprising pink (not red, you note) rose from D (probably because he feels guilty about fucking up my birthday so badly) and a nice phone call from a friend. But I was melancholy, unsettled, unhappy.

When will life give me a break, people?