So last week I was planning to go into the old house and pick up my bigger pieces of furniture but unfortunately the man with a van fell through so myself and one of my female friends went in anyway and started packing up boxes of the smaller stuff. All the while we were there the husband was watching our every move like a hawk. He followed us from room to room and at one point refused to let me take two £10 cushions which I had bought specifically to tie in with the colour scheme in my bedroom.
It was quite stressful and unpleasant. It was also a boiling hot day and it was hot sweaty work hauling these heavy boxes down the steep front steps of our house and out to our cars and he sat on the steps watching us struggle down never lifting a finger to help (he had been quite clear that he would just watch and not help in any way).
He acted tearful when I took a couple of framed pictures as if I was taking the children from him all over again. Him, the wounded party.
We were there for about 1 hour ten minutes and he moaned that this was taking ‘forever’. We then took the stuff to the ‘new’ house and I got my first proper look around (but not before we managed to set the alarm off and alert the whole street to our presence – great start!!).
I knew what the house was like in part – it’s my friend’s house so I have seen downstairs and the bathroom several times before, but my friend is not one of those house-proud people who keeps a tight ship – she is a bit of a hoarder and there was always clutter everywhere – you couldn’t see the floor or the walls for ‘stuff’. For that reason I just assumed that it would be different once her stuff was out.
Now I’ve seen the place more or less empty I realise that it really smells of dog (she used to have one) and it is really quite dingy and depressing with little natural light and tired old curtains and dodgy paintwork. She still had a lot of cleaning to do when I saw it on Wednesday although she was off on holiday on Saturday and has a two month old baby and her 5 and 7 year old girls to look after while her partner is at work during the week days, so I wonder just how good the clean-up job is going to be. Considering she is asking for £1350 deposit and £900 rent up front I will be even more upset if it feels a bit dirty as well as smelly.
My dreams of putting my own touch on the place with carefully chosen furniture and accessories seems a bit laughable now but I guess I need to focus on the fact that it is only temporary (I had the sense to ask her for as short an initial tenancy as I could in 6 months).
I am also feeling massively frustrated that despite the Mediator having emailed us now with his ‘Financial Summary’ (it seems that my ex has assets worth seven times the amount of my own) the husband is still dragging his feet providing a date for our next session and I’m still not getting any money from him for the children.
It seems as though the voices are getting louder and louder telling me to forget about Mediation and get my solicitor involved again but I feel like I just need to give him one more chance to make a reasonable representation. He has, in theory, agreed on a figure for child maintenance and the amount he is willing to pay me to buy me out of the house, whilst not a 50% share, is close enough. I just need him to actually make this happen now because September feels like make or break for mediation and a resolution – if not then I go to the Child Maintenance Service and let them handle it (something people are screaming at me to do already!).
It feels as though I am kind of losing it a bit right now. The kids, whilst lovely some of the time, are wont to play up a fair bit and be rude and disrespectful at times. I don’t know if I can afford life outside of my parents home and security but it’s happening now and I need to be back near the children’s school because you cannot underestimate the negative impact of regular long commutes.
If I want to date again I can’t do that from my parents home – I need to be independent of them. But I am feeling less strong and less in control by the second. I just don’t know if I can cope with all the demands and all the responsibility but I’ve got no choice. I’m never, ever going back to that dysfunctional relationship and I can’t stay where I am.