Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I want more than this...

It’s been a tough few weeks of firsts and facing things alone.

One of the hardest aspects is fronting people but it has to be done. It’s sad - terribly, unbelievably, gut wrenchingly sad - but as the old saying goes, “Life moves on,” and I have to do it some time. The boys need me to keep going. There’s no chance to curl up under a stone to hide away, however tempting the prospect so I have to overcome these events and push through the pain.

When things first kicked off I managed to keep a distance from the bus stop parents by dropping off and picking up whilst remaining in the car, waving and forcing a smile. However, the school summer show was less forgiving. Only a couple of days after I'd found out, I had to brave the other mums and dads, and watch them walk around hand in hand with their eyes twinkling and smiling faces, I couldn’t help comparing their happiness to my life a few months ago, wondering what might be going on behind closed doors, and whether any of them were betraying their partners.

Walking into the school hall to see the judging of the Home Entries was tough. Neither Quiet Mousie nor I had entered anything this year. Despite our good intentions, we didn’t feel like it once events took over. Child sized tables displayed the categories; best home produce, best half dozen eggs, best teatime fancies, best flower arrangements etc…

I glimpsed the entries for the men’s cookery section but couldn’t bear to look at the scones on display remembering the hysterics of some of hubby's attempts over the last six years and the caustic criticisms from the judges; “Lacked presentation,” “Too much butter,” “Should have been placed on a doily instead of straight onto the tray…” His cookies were sublime and I'll never forget how we all cheered when we went into the hall and spotted the gold 1st rosette next to his entry. He feasted on his success for weeks but there will be no more domestic chaos on the weekend of the summer show in future with our family stressing and rushing to pick all the flowers, do the displays, bake the cakes, make the jams and finish all our entries to get them to the hall for the cut off for judging in time. And Quiet Mousie only has one more year of the summer show before he goes to secondary school.

Despite the emotion and spending all day with my sunglasses on to mask my eyes, I did well considering, and lasted an hour and a half then slipped away and left Quiet Mousie to go home with our lovely neighbours.

Two days later, sports day was slightly easier. I only cried three times and lasted the duration, although I chose not to partake in the refreshments afterwards.

A couple of weekends ago was the first time of facing the other mum’s and dads from QM’s footie club. I couldn’t let him down as he’d been looking forward to a night camping with all the kids and parents.

If I'm very honest, it was horrendous and I spent most of the weekend trying to keep my face from crumpling, especially when someone’s sincere words and good wishes touched me, or as I watched QM stop playing with his pals to check his mobile phone and see if he’d had a message from his Dad. A year ago I would have abhorred the thought of my ten year old having a mobile phone but hey, he’s over the moon with it and is in more contact with his dad now than he was before with him being in London through the week. QM is doing remarkably well, considering.

To him the weekend was a huge success and that's all that mattered. The people were wonderful and protected me throughout, and as they detected my fargile mood, they left me to my thoughts and solitude and let me continue to gaze into the flickering, leaping flames of the camp fire. And they understood when I chose to sleep in my car alone rather than in the dorms with two of the other mums.

Last weekend was the hardest hurdle so far. The annual village party, the one time of year when everyone in the village gets together, we all hire a marque and bouncy castle, each bring food and drink and have a merry time. News had travelled through the village grapevine apace and I’d had many sincere offers of support and help, but so far I’d managed to avoid people (other than my nearest and dearest neighbours) by simply driving through the village, giving a wave and a weak smile as I passed them in their gardens, walking their dogs, or in their cars.

As I pulled up at this year’s host’s garden and saw the melee of people and children, the kids on the bouncy castle, I felt physically sick and wanted to turn on my heels and run but my neighbour, who had followed me down in her car so we might arrive together geed me up.

‘Come on, or I’ll grab your hand and drag you in!’ she said, guiding my arm with her hand. Then Quiet Mousie spotted me, beamed and waved frantically, happy to see me and there was no choice but for me to go through the gate to join them all...

I’d planned to stay an hour then go and collect Idle Jack from work, drop him there and make my excuses to go home (knowing my neighbours would bring the boys back up the lane.) But once I was there and felt how my wonderful community wrapped me and the boys in their warm blanket of friendship and care, I actually ended up being one of the last to leave.

Along with me at the end of the evening were three good male friends who sat at a table, merrily tittering, drunk, cracking their juvenile jokes as their wives stood opposite, smirking at the state of them, knowing they would suffer in the morning and rolling their adoring eyes in feigned annoyance. If recent events hadn’t happened, my hubby would have been there, ‘one of the lads,’ his humour more juvenile than them all, and I would have been crying with mirth at the scene.

As I sat there smiling at their antics, I remembered the words that he said to me when I first discovered the affair;
“I don’t know when, but at some point in the last year I realised I wanted more than this…”

I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve replayed those words in my head over the last couple of weeks. And I wondered, how could he possibly want more than this?...

Until another day

xx

39 comments:

Calico Kate said...

There isn't another 'first time', so all the 'next times' will be easier. I don't mean that to sound as flippant as it probably does. I can't imagine the pain and hurt you're going through, must make all the jaw problems seem like a walk in the park. But you will come out the other side, stronger than you are now. Take comfort from those that give it and lean on those that support you. Don't shut those that love you out, you need them now and they want to help.
Take care and try to sleep, it all seems so much worse when you're tired.
CKx

Teresa Evangeline said...

Some people don't recognize the potential for great happiness, even when it slaps them in the face, so to speak. And, some people are always on a quest for something else, that magical thing over the next hill that will make them happy, never realizing that they are the only ones who can make them happy, and grateful. You're doing fine, it sounds, considering.... a day at a time, dear lady. One day you will wake up and realize you've moved on, and you're going to see yourself clearer than ever before.

Ivy said...

Darling! I was wondering how you were. It is lovely to have a good understanding neighbourhood, and I sincerely hope you let them help you, when you need it but like your jaw, it needs a long time to get better.
Love Ivy xxx

Angela Felsted said...

How hard that must be, what a challenge you have with your two boys. And what a courageous woman you are to gather your strength and do what needs to done.

Your community sounds wonderfully supportive. What a relevant question that last one is. "What more than this could there possibly be?"

Melissa Marsh said...

You are so very blessed to have such a wonderful, caring community to support you through this. It will make such a huge difference as you start making slow steps toward recovery. One day at a time. Allow yourself to grieve and to feel all these emotions. And keep writing and sharing. We are by your side, even if it is only "virtually" via the 'Net.

Hugs and prayers to you!

Faith said...

Oh, I didnt know, you poor love.... I will go back and read previous blogs. Big hugs from someone who's been there,

Anita Grace Howard said...

Oh, my heart is so touched by this. You are an amazing and courageous woman. And one day, your boys will look back and remember how strong you were. What a wonderful community you live in. Bless them all for being there for you.

You're right; sadly, your husband has completely missed the point. But you have embraced it. You'll find your happiness again, because you know it's already there, just waiting for you to let it in.

My thoughts are with you!

Debs Carr said...

I agree with all the other comments on here and I especially agree that some people don't recognize what they have until it's too late. Your local community sound so supportive and close, like an extended family and I'm so glad your neighbour made you go into the village party.

Do keep writing and sharing and please let me know if there's anything at all that I can do. x

Talli Roland said...

I'm so, so sorry - and I'm glad you have people around you who can help make things - if not easier - than get-through-able.

Please let me know if there's anything at all I can do.

Lots of hugs.
xx

mountainear said...

Well done you for making tentative steps onwards. You words spell out how painfully hard they were to take.

And isn't 'community' a great thing? Of course they'll all mull over your affairs but by now you are one of them and they'll offer strength, shelter and cups of tea.

Take care.

Norma Murray said...

Thinking of you, love Lampie

cherie said...

Debbie, just wanted to let you know my heart goes out to you. You're very brave. I'm not even half as brave as you. People who say they want more are usually the ones who do not know what exactly it is that they want. They think that looking for something more, something else, that they would find content or happiness. It never works that way. When they are not happy within themselves, even when they try to seek happiness elsewhere, they will never find it because they are looking at all the wrong places.

I wish you strength and hope and faith. Someday you will find yourself smiling again, and your heart will be lighter.

Much love to you, Debbie...

Rob-bear said...

Gutsy you for taking the bull by the tail and facing the situation squarely. Well done!
Not that it will be all downhill from here, but you've made a start and have lots of folks supporting you.
Hope you can sleep lots, for your sake and the boys.
Blessings and (very gentle) Bear hugs.

Withy Brook said...

The first time is the hardest - and you have taken that step and some more. Well done you.
I had not read your last blog, so this came as a great shock. I admired you before, now even more so, for taking the s--t that the world has thrown at you and stood up to it - getting stronger every time. God bless and lots of hugs.

Bish Denham said...

It's a good thing you have your children to help keep you centered at a time when you may want to fly apart.

As for wanting "more than this," THIS is all any of us have, it is our attitude towards it that gives it meaning, value, joy...In time his new THIS may well lose its shine, because it's not about you, it's not about THIS, it's about him.

Embrace those who would embrace you. And if you can, at some point, let yourself cry on a shoulder.

Tattie Weasle said...

No more firsts and it sounds, though probably doesn't feel like, it is getting easier to face your friends and community. And they are there for you. Like we are her for you too.
Take Greatest Care.

Keena said...

You are in my prayers.....

Frances said...

Debbie, it sounds to me from your well written account that you have now taken many brave steps, and have had some good support given to you by your friends and lads.

It also sounds as if you have been keeping the family routines and traditions going on your own. I do hope that your boys's dad is also making some sort of emotional contribution to his family. Please forgive me if this is a bit too intrusive of me.

xo

CAMILLA said...

Dear Debbie,

Thinking of you, you are one amazing brave lady. Little steps at a time, and just keep thinking Debbie you are one very special lady, you will get there in the end. Pleased to hear you have had good support from your lovely boys and friends.

Big HUG and lots of love to you Debbie.

xx

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

One day at a time - terribly corny, but from another who has been there it works and if you can't do one day at a time do an hour at a time and even a minute at a time.

And it does get easier and then you realise that you are happy because of you and your family and that it can't be taken away by a foolish man who can't see that he already has far more than this.

Flowerpot said...

I do so feel for you having been there and doing that myself though for slightly different reasons. This is a year of firsts for both of us but it does get easier. Big hugs and I found I really realised how many friends I had - those who you can wail over. Thinking of you xx

Chris Stovell said...

Gosh, I'm wincing at the pain written all over this - you seem to have to take so much of it one way and another. This is going to seem trite, but writing will help and who knows where that writing will take you? Well done, brave woman. Cx

Friko said...

You are very brave.
It will get better, little by little.

Fennie said...

Debbie, so glad you are bearing up. But your last comment about the juvenile humour made me wonder whether, at bottom, you didn't want more than the sort of man prepared to walk away from his duties and responsibilities and children and a wife who has been so ill? What does that say about him? Does he really want more? Or does he actually want less? Less responsibility, less acceptance? You clearly loved and forgave him his faults - and probably still do - because that's the way you are. But sometimes there are women who cut and run and men who pick up the pieces and surely there will be someone in the future in your life to sail his ship alongside yours and who doesn't need to be indulged and forgiven. Someone more grown-up, perhaps. However black things may seem today, (and however badly I am expressing this) all may turn out for the best even if it doesn't seem like it just now. It is your example that will inspire others, not his. Good luck, Angel, I kiss the tips of your wings.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

What a heartfelt post, Debbie - but you are already coping and will only get stronger.

bayou said...

I think that what you wrote reflects very well how it is for the time being and I think also that Fennie's post reflects so truely how it will be. And he exactly said what I would guess but he can say it sooo much better
:-)!
You are on the good way, Debbie.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

It's great that you have friends and understanding neighbours. Lean on them from time to time. As for zeeee husband, well, what type of man is he really for walking out on you (especially in your condition) and your children.
There's not much anyone can say or do at present, but believe me it does get better, much better.
Hang in there...and try to be as strong as possible, if not for yourself, for your children. x

Twiglet said...

You sound like a very strong person to me. Keep blogging - its good to share your thoughts and your blog friends are a great support to you I am sure. A big positive hug from me - x Jo

Pondside said...

Good for you for moving forward, a step at a time, even if only so that your QM wouldn't miss the summer events that mean so much in childhood. It sounds like you've got good neighbours. I'm probably less than helpful, but you've always struck me as a woman who knows what's important in life, and it's clear from his comment that your husband just doesn't get it.

Shirley Wells said...

I'm late catching up on everything. So sorry to hear what you're going through but I'm glad you have such wonderful support from the community.

Take good care of yourself. Don't forget to eat and sleep.

Sending lots of cyber hugs.

elizabethm said...

As another who has been there I remember this pain so well. You sounds to be dealing with it with your usual grace and courage. It will get easier, slowly. I am thinking of you.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Wish I were there to help u through all of this.
Your post brings back so many memories of my divorce with my three babies.
The pain you feel is so hard but I am glad that you write about it on your blog. Nothing makes it go away but venting does help.
Hang on and keep your head up high
Maggie

Rob-bear said...

It's been three weeks since we heard from you last. I've got a team of St. Bernard's here, if you need to be rescued.
More than that, I'm just sitting here quietly, thinking of you. Hoping that your strength is sufficient for the events of each day.
Blessings and (gentle) Bear hugs.

Sian Foster said...

Hi Debbie
Meeting you was just so wonderful. Mum and I are very similar so it was no surprise to find that we got on - she said you were a gorgeous lady and she was right!

Amazing really just sitting in a cafe exchanging life stories. We seem to have had our fair share of traumas but I can say now that they have made me a stronger and better person - although at the time when people told me it would - I was not ready to take it on board and certainly did not believe them!

I would love to stay in touch and you are most welcome to stay with Ella and I any time. I would love to chat properly sometime - we started so many conversations! Do send me your email address. In the meantime take care and enjoy your wonderful Callum - you should be incredibly proud - i could adopt him he is so wonderful. Have written a blog on Eleanor's Byre - as a memory of my lovely time - but meeting you made it all the more special. I hope you continue to write in your little book and maybe one day it will be published to help others!!!! Loads of Love Sian

Ashley Nixon said...

I know I'm young...but I do think you're amazing! And I think he'll feel the deepest regret when he realizes he had everything.

Much love to you! *hugs*

liz fenwick said...

Just catching up...nothing I can say. HUGS xxxx
lx

Reasons said...

Oh. Oh. Oh. I have been away and back I come to see all the distress you have been through. I am so, so sorry. Another difficult chapter. Sometimes it would be good for the battling of life to be lifted wouldn't it? But as you already know you have the key to happiness. Some people have it all and never feel or realise it. You know how to make the best of things, that is a gift and will see you through and out the other end of this awful time. Keep busy and keep giving. All will be well x x

Fran said...

Just seen your comment on my blog. I didn't know any of this, Debbie. I'm rubbish at checking blogs these days. I'm sorry this has happened to you. You're such a gem of a person.

mickirose said...

What a twit he is, is all I can think of to say, Debbie. Didn't know how lucky he was, and I have no doubt in a few months, if not already, he will be kicking himself big-time. The grass is not always greener and I hope his has dog**** all over it. Hugs Micki xx