Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A final Christmas

It seems impossible that a whole week has gone by, so now I must put fingers to keyboard. I have to confess that there is no eloquence, no flash of inspiration lurking here - I feel flat, uninspired - it is damp, misty, dull and miserable outside and I have much to do inside and no will to so do.

The senior daughter is in London, returning sometime today, so that will cheer me up. It is so good to have someone else in the house, I hadn't realised just how inward looking I had become. Eighteen months almost entirely on my own has made me crabby and fond of my own personal space, and it is a joy to have her here now.

Tiger, the solitary cat, Billy and Maud are very happy indeed to hsve new company - another bed to invade, another person to inflate their egos even further!

I am still waiting for my one-to-one laptop lessons, but we have achieved much in other directions. Huge piles of my clothes have been sorted through, and she is going to E-Bay them for me. Needs must - at a very late stage in my life I am having to resort to all sorts of measures to generate myself some income. My life has changed so radically that I simply will never wear most of my lovely clothes again - we have started with the lesser stuff and are slowly moving upmarket!

I sit and remember exactly why each piece was bought, and when it was worn. A wedding, a fantastic party, a wonderful corporate 'do', my previous life flashing past.

I have unearthed the camel felt hat I bought for the junior daughter's christening, a Philip Somerville, no less, must have been one of his first! My wedding dress, into the dustbin! My mother's silk tulle wedding veil, circa 1939, unfortunately as I unfolded it from its box, it fell apart. I remember that I lent this veil to my lovely friend Rachael, for her wedding. She is one of the senior daughter's much loved godmothers. The outfit I had made for our 30th wedding anniversary party, the dress bought for my 60th birthday lunch. So many memories -all touched with great sadness and poignancy - a life gone for ever, it seems almost as if it never happened.

I feel as if I am giving my life away - for a mess of pottage? Once all this clearing up and sorting out is done, I suppose I shall be able to draw a line under this previous life. My great sadness is that this house has been a wonderful family house for 23 years, and notwithstanding the fact that my husband had behaved appallingly for the entire time we lived here, the girls and I have had a good life here. They have brought their friends home, held their milestone birthday parties here, still come home regularly, still bring their friends, and moving away will be a seismic change.

This house is a Christmas house, it comes to life at this time of the year, and I am immeasurably sad that this will be the last one here. We have a country Christmas -big boughs of spruce over the inglenooks in the dining and drawing rooms, a large tree in the corner of the drawing room, log fires sometimes gently smoking, candles everywhere. We walk up the lane to Christmas Communion on Christmas morning, the church is full and everyone hugs and gives Christmas good wishes to all. Afterwards - a quick breakfast, table laid, lunch organised, then, Champagne and presents in front of the drawing room fire, followed by a late lunch. Every single year, the same routine, set in stone.

Over the years, the numbers have swelled and contracted, as loved ones are no more, and then their places filled by friends or friends of friends, a lovely jolly mixture of people. Yesterday I found a pile of photographs of our Christmases over the past 23 years. I had a little weep, we all looked so happy, why was it not enough for the philanderer? Even whilst he smiled and clowned for the camera, year after year, I now have found out that he was always in other relationships, two-timing both his family and his mistresses. I find it unimaginable, to behave like that.

The thought that keeps returning to me is the one that throughout my marriage, I have given up successive much loved homes and lives, to follow my husband as he changed his jobs, I have gone out to work, commuted long hours, supported him in many ways.

Finally, he has delivered the coup de grace, and the home that I have built to shelter myself and my two girls, where I have made a good life to cushion myself against his treachery, will be taken away from me, for what? He has cheated and deceived, he refuses to maintain me, he still spends thousands on expensive cars, and holidays with his mistress, he lies to the lawyers and the Court, he appears to have no conscience at all - but I know who will ultimately be able to look at themselves in the mirror. He will have to face his conscience mirrored in the faces of his girls.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you are having to leave your home...I feel there is a special place in hell for your husband, and those like him (I had a few myself)...
There must be a way, considering his lifestyle, to prove that he has funds, and I don't know about British law, but here in the US, they are pretty strick about that sort of thing...communal funds, etc. Perhaps if you push harder..find yourself a "pittbull attorney", and go after him!

Aleksandra said...

Dear Aurora,

You are so BRAVE. Yes, you are.

I have read your post and weep a little. It was so moving for me. I am in same situation that you are - I mean, Christmas lost forever. I have lost my Mother not so long ago and with her my whole family just felt apart. So - no nice Christmas for me. It is so hard to move on. But - sloooowly, it is possible. One step after another. I wanted to force things, oh, I still love to have everything ok, but - it is process and you just can't do this in 5 minutes.

And you are doing so great. And you have your two great daughters.
You are great Woman.

Thank you for such moving post!


Red Lipstick Style said...

I have tears in my eyes after reading your post. I had so hoped that you would be able to keep your home. My mom lost her home (same exact situation) and it left an indelible mark on my soul as well; I'm still tramatized by it to this day and do certain things to compensate for it.

I don't know anything about the law in England, but I want to chime in with anonymous that you need a pitbull for an attorney. It just doesn't seem right when he clearly has funds.
You are in my prayers, sweetie.


Helena Halme said...

I don't know what to say. Except, sometimes a change is a good thing. I know it won't seem like it now but perhaps the future holds better things, better relationships for you.

Lost of love,


Reluctant Blogger said...

This made me feel quite tearful. It is so horrible that you are having to change everything now at this stage of life. And so unnecessary when he could easily let you carry on with the life you are accustomed to. Sigh.

Christmas is one of those Marker Times isn't it when you feel everything really ought to be just the same.

Some people just don't seem to have feelings. I cannot imagine ever wanting to hurt anyone in this way.

Catherine said...

He sounds like a classic narcissist.

How do you feel now after clearing/selling out your clothes? It must have been extremely painful. I still have boxes of things from when I last moved that I still haven't gone through because I feel to maudlin when I look at some aspects of my past. You are lucky to have your daughter to help you but you know that.