After April and the first meeting after all the years- I would say that leaving Cornwall at the end of that week was absolutely horrid. To be reunited with someone then to have to drive 300 miles (287 to be exact) to the other side of the country.
The only positive I would say (and I think Paul would agree) that on leaving each other we knew we were as committed as two people can be. Whether we saw each other twice a year or whatever we would be together. I added him on find friends so we felt we were more involved and part of each other’s day.
Paul came up to Essex two weeks later. I followed his journey and was so fucking excited that I was physically shaking. We spent a long weekend together, catching up with old friends (falling out with others but that’s another story). Not everyone was basking in our joy. We just wanted to be together and given the limited time we had that would come first which went down like a lead balloon to some friends. I was saddened that a couple of close friends couldn’t be share in my happiness. But the fact I had been so available to them and now I wasn’t was the issue. I figured that those who love me would be pleased to see me happy. Those were my people. I didn’t push anyone away I just left behind those who couldn’t accept my choices. Self care.
In the early days Scott was pleased I was happy. He knew Paul from years before and seemed to like him. Scott was also (and still is in a relationship) so I envisaged this as us all being happy and moving on. Jesus Christ I was so naive that in my head I’d seen Scott and his partner sharing a drink at Christmas with us. How very wrong I was.
I introduced Paul to my mum and her rather obnoxious partner who loved him. They could see how happy we were.
Over the next few months Paul would travel here every few weeks and I would go to cornwall in the holidays. I was making our home in cornwall OUR family home and gradually taking more and more of my stuff.
Mornings when Paul was here and Scott had the children at his house (one night a week) I would be woken at 06:30 with
‘Holly- Raif has been up for half an hour this is absolutely unacceptable’
‘Holly. Saul insists on me wiping his bottom. You need to sort this out’.
Scott started becoming hostile towards me. As we spent more holidays in cornwall he would become more difficult and rude about me in front of the children. Sometimes I would record it. Who does that? But I would share with Deb to see if it was reasonable behaviour. I got back from Cornwall after a school holiday- Scott hadn’t seen the children for a week. I would always keep him involved in what the boys were doing with pictures. He hadn’t seen his children for over a week and I was hoping for ‘boys! I’m missed you. How are you doing?’
I’d just driven 7 hours and was about to go to work. I have this recording still. I knocked on his door at 1830, the boys ran in to him and the conversation went as follows in front of the children
S: what – you’ve got pyjamas on already?
Me: hi ya!
S: look at the state of you
S: the absolute state of you!
Me: I’ve just been driving.
S: seriously holly are you going to work like that? You look like you’ve just crawled out of a ditch.
A week later was my birthday. 21st May last year. I thought I was having a breakdown. The stress of this difficult, negative relationship with Scott, the highs of the time with Paul and crashing lows of leaving him, I’d never felt so awful. My friend took me to my doctors who prescribed 40mcg propanalol x2 daily and upped my antidepressants. Here I am looking quite normal but feeling anything but. I had never felt so awful.
I couldn’t leave the house without hyperventilating. The meds made me feel like a zombie. I took some time off work and I asked Scott for more help with the boys who was wanting to drop one of his nights a month as he found it too exhausting.
For 3 years I’d asked for more help with the boys but was ALWAYS met with some excuse as to why he couldn’t. Eventually I stopped asking. He would begrudgingly have them for one week in summer and three days in the Easter holidays and wouldn’t tell me which days or week until about a week or two before. The more I asked the less inclined he would be to arrange it.
Paul and I were talking every night for 1-2 hours and of course messaging. We started to think about our future and what we wanted. I’d never considered a future without the children. I knew if we were to move to cornwall at some point I would make sure that the boys were able to maintain a close relationship with their dad and I would do anything to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Scott dropped off the boys one Saturday in the summer and I asked for extra help with the children. He said he couldn’t do it as he had arrangements when he didn’t have the children. I explained to him that in the next year I would be looking at relocating to cornwall with the children so I wanted to really encourage him spending time with the kids.
This was the first time I had mentioned the move and I remember distinctly
‘If you think for one second I’m allowing an alcoholic, anxiety ridden woman to take my children to cornwall then you have another thing coming. It’s not happening and it won’t ever happen’
And that was the day that I knew it was going to get very, very shit and that the next God knows how long were going to be hell…