A Revelation

One of the benefits of Barry not having his own place to look after the baby has been that I have forced myself to go out a lot more. I have been a social butterfly this Christmas, spending lots of time with family and friends and consuming copious amounts of vodka. I’ve had fun. More fun than I would have had in the house with Barry being miserable. He has also been partying hard and has had a few hangovers.

It became clear this week that it is one rule for him and another for me. He had a night out and did not text until 12 the next day. This didn’t bother me. I told him to sleep it off and be round at 4.30pm so I could go to a party in Wigan. By 5pm he still wasn’t here so I called and called until he woke up. I knew he would be sleeping. He didn’t answer his phone though, he never answers his phone to me. He sent a text saying he was on his way. I had everything ready for him, including a tea for him and the baby to eat. So off I went for an overnight stay in Wigan.

By 9am the next morning I received a text asking what time I’d be home! This is how the conversation went:

Barry: What time are you heading home?

Me: Later

Barry: Are you going to be back before 12?

Me: I doubt it. Why?

Barry: Cos I’m going out now.

Me: So why do you need me? Where are you going?

Barry: I’m going climbing. Why is it taking you so long to come back?

Me: You’re taking the baby climbing?

Barry: Hardly.

Me: Barry, you went out on Friday night and did not text all night or until 12 the next day. Why do you expect me to be back to look after the baby when I’m hungover? Hardly fair is it?

Barry: I’m not expecting you back. I’m asking for a specific time seen as you’re always giving me specific times.

Me: OK, I’ll be back at 5.30

Barry: I’ll take the baby to your mum’s then and you can collect him at 5.30

Me: No, you won’t! Look after him yourself! He’s your son!

Unbelievable! He ended up taking the baby out and I asked for an apology when he got back.

 

It was at this point that I had a revelation. I have no idea where Barry goes when he leaves the house, I do not know any of his friends that he has made in the last couple of years because he has never introduced me, or invited them over. I don’t know anyone he works with. It suddenly hits me like a brick: he left me a long time ago. He has carved out a new life for himself that does not involve me at all. After thirteen years together I decide enough is enough. If he doesn’t want me, then why do I want him? Why have I given him the time to decide if he still wants me or not? He left seven weeks ago but all his clothes and things are still here. In my house. I tell him I want him to pack all his things and leave. I want him to find somewhere to live that is suitable for him to have the baby overnight. He says that he doesn’t want to pack his things. I ask ‘Haven’t you got anywhere to put it? Is that why?’ ‘No,’ he says, ‘this is my home. I don’t know if I want to leave yet.’ ‘I’m telling you to leave,’ I say. He refuses to take his things and leaves the house saying he’ll do it another day. I’m furious. Now I can’t get rid of him.

I would have packed all his things myself by now but I didn’t fancy bringing in the new year surrounded by bin bags.  

 

Putting up the deccies

So last week I had to face the fact that, husband or not, I would have to put the decorations up and get into the Christmas spirit for the baby, Hector. I needed them out the loft and there is no way a short arse like me can get up there so I had to ask the neanderthal. When he next came round he took them down for me. The tree is really big and fiddly so I asked him if he could help me put it up because I couldn’t do it on my own. “Why can’t you do it on your own?” he says. D**k head!

Since he left I have to say that my family have really been amazing. I have always appreciated them but in this hour of need they have rallied around me and given me lots of support. I really feel for those single mums out there that have no family to rely on, or they live far away from them, because I honestly don’t know how I would manage without mine.

So at the weekend I went to see Father Christmas with my mum, brother and sister and nieces. (I had always thought that Hector’s first meeting with Santa would be one that both his parents were present at.) After the grotto it had been decided, by my mum and sister, that my sister and niece would come and help me put the tree up. My other brother also ended up coming to look after Hector while we worked because they are bezzies. I didn’t want all my nieces there as my house is tiny.

Letting them in was risky because I was worried that they would think I wasn’t coping. The house was a complete tip. There were toys, tissues, envelopes, odd socks and other random items littered all over the living and dining room floor; the kitchen was strewn with potatoes and Tescos carrier bags; in the bathroom the contents of the standing cabinet were scattered, mainly all my make up and a box of panty-liners, opened, and thrown everywhere. All this in addition to the usual clutter and crap that I never have the time, or the space, to sort out.

My seven year old niece looked the place up and down and asked:

“Is this why you didn’t want anyone else to come?”

“Yes” I admit, hanging my head in shame.

“I’ll do the living room.” she says.

I love my niece. She is a wise one, and she completely understands that my house will never be as clean and tidy as hers. My sister walks in and immediately takes action, clearing things away like a refreshing tornado. I really do think I’m coping very well but with working full-time some things take a back seat and running around cleaning up after the baby in the morning is one of them. I have found that Hector and I can get ready in a very civilized manner if I am not restricting him in his explorations. I would much rather he was happy throwing my panty-liners around than standing at his gate screaming to get in while I do my hair and make-up. What’s the point in that?

In no time at all we had the tree up, deccies and all. My sister and niece then went home to put theirs up and my brother stayed with me to have a drink and watch ‘I’m a celebrity’. Overall a very productive weekend.

One of my aunties said to me recently “You don’t need anyone when you have your family around you. You’ll mourn for a week.” Although I think it will take longer than a week to come to terms with the fact that my husband has abandoned me, I am starting to see what she meant. I can feel myself becoming stronger every day. I am completely exhausted, but strong. I have managed a lot in this short time as a single mother, including an inspection at work and applying for a new job. I am proud of myself. So, in order to celebrate, I have bought my self a fabulous frock, new shoes, bag and perfume for the Christmas do with work. Who knows – I may even try a little flirting! Now, how do you do that again? …..