I've been trying to make my "room" in my parents' house feel more like MY room. It's not really a room, but an open space without doors and the kids treat it as their playroom, so it is hard to draw boundaries. Their own rooms are not that big and I feel like I need to give them more space to play in. In the summer it was not an issue, because they wanted to be outside all the time, but now the rains have started and they probably go on until it gets cold enough to turn into snow.
I've been painting the walls and the ceiling white. It never got done in time before the move, so now it is tricky as I have to keep on moving my stuff around in the room to paint another part of the wall. Nothing is in its place and there are piles of clothes everywhere, all surfaces away from harms way are filled with stuff. I don't really know how I will fit my clothes here as I literally have no place for them. There is no room for a wardrobe, the space is tight as it is. I just want the room painted and ready, so I can have everything where I want and it is no longer a chaos. I know it probably doesn't change how I feel about living here, but I'm hoping making the room look more like "me" would make me feel more at home.
It's a huge adjustment from having an entire house to yourself to cramping into one room. I just want that door that I can close when I need time for myself. I know this is temporary, but I want to minimize the changes the children have to go through and there will inevitably be changes. I want to stay here until I know for certain where we will be going next. And in all honesty this is the cheapest way to live for us. No rent, no utility bills and I don't even have to pay for the food most of the time. I do because I want to pitch in, but it's not expected of me.
I should be happy that things are moving along. I got my custody papers done. My ex and I managed to arrange a meeting and the papers were immediately signed. Much better option than having to hunt him down through a lawyer, which it came down to before we moved. The relief was so big that I got a 2 and a half day migraine. But at the same time now I have no legal problem with moving abroad. Now it is up to me to arrange everything and pick the right time. I am incredibly stressed over just thinking about it.
My daughter just started first grade, she is loving it and she has found new friends here, who are our neighbors. It couldn't be a better situation. She has turned from a shy and reserved girl into this confident young lady overnight. I'm really happy how things are going with her. I was afraid she would be odd one out, moving from another city or that the different school and new teacher would be a scary thing. Nothing like that. Everything is going really well with her. Which makes me kind of sad as I know there is going to be a change in the future. No matter how great things are now, we will either break up her brand new friendships and move her to a completely different country, which will certainly be really hard, or I will have to end my relationship.
I didn't consider how difficult it would be for me to uproot my kids again, to take them away from their grandparents and friends. It's hitting me hard now.
I feel like I have given up my dreams, my home, my plans to have a better environment for us as a family. I'm really feeling the weight of adulthood on my shoulders as I try to understand what is best for my kids in the long run. The decision was a no-brainer before this summer, before the school started. Things were really good with E and I was hungry for the change of scenery. Now I am scared and I think we need more time to figure out our relationship and if it is going to work and on top of that I feel really guilty for even planning to make my kids go through the big move. I know they will eventually adapt. They are resourceful, friendly and lovely kids. They will learn the new language and they will find new friends, but I don't want to do it until I know E and I are not going to fuck it all up with our personal stuff.
I have forgiven him, because I can't hold on to grudges for very long. But I was so unhappy this summer for such a big part of our time in Switzerland that I am afraid that it will happen again. He tells me he loves me. We talk about the future, but it does bother me that I am the one forced in essence to make the change if there is going to be a future. He is standing his ground. Him moving to Finland is not up to discussion. We've talked about it and he is not willing to even try if the worst case scenario happened and he wouldn't get his permit renewed. It hurst my feelings and it is hard to get over it. It feels like we are not that important to him. He has told me that he would move to Finland if I got pregnant and refused to move. He would move for his child but not for me. Yet he expects me and MY KIDS to move for him.
I know I haven't really put him in the position that he'd have to think about leaving us for good, because I've been open to the idea of moving all the time. Personally I like the idea of living abroad and I love his city. It is a beautiful place, I love the running trails, the nature, the mountains, the lake and the whole vibe of the place. I know I can deal with whatever stuff comes up if he stands by me instead of behaving like this summer. If he turns against me and doesn't help me through the culture shock that will inevitably happen, I can't deal with being all alone in another country with two kids going through tough time adjusting AND being criticized by my partner. That is my biggest fear. I don't want to go through with all the hard stuff to end up miserable.
Another dilemma is the alcohol. I think it might be hard to make a non-drinker out of a Cuban man. He likes his rum. And while he is not a mean drunk, I don't know how much the alcohol affects his behavior. I do think the arguments escalate partly because of the alcohol. I think he is not in control of his anger when he drinks. He keeps saying that he is happier when he drinks, but I did not see a happy man in June and July. I saw a man drinking for his stress, for the uncertainty of life, for loneliness, for everything that went wrong. And I did not see the alcohol making him happier. I did see him make more of an effort when the kids were around. We've since talked about this, which is good because he kind of refused to talk about it before. He has even tried to go without alcohol and cigarettes for a day or two since.
All in all this summer showed me stuff I never want to deal with again, but I saw good stuff too. I'm not trying to sugarcoat it. I was really miserable momentarily and if that is what being together will be in the future then I want no more of it. But that was not all. I was also really happy. I know it is stressful and difficult to be thrown in with two kids when you normally are by yourself. I expected difficulties from that, but I didnt expect them to be turned on me. Better of course that the reaction comes towards me rather than the kids and while he is adamant that the kids are not the problem, I know that in a way they are. They make noise, they make adults tired and more cranky and that's when stupid arguments happen. I deal with this every day.
I am in this constant state of tiredness. I'm always tired. There is not a single day in my life when I don't go to sleep way too tired, not a night when I do sleep enough. I dream about feeling like I've slept enough when I wake up in the morning. I can vaguely remember how it was like. I do sleep enough to get through my days, but I do not feel well-rested. Most of the time I feel much older than I am, weary and kind of burnt out. The momentary bursts of energy I try to use wisely and often I end up even more tired, because I try to get something done that I've been too tired to do before. And my periods make me extremely hormonal and emotional every single month.
I need time to heal. It is hard to admit that I still need more time. I just want one thing in my life to go my way the first time around. I'm so fucking tired of fighting against the current every single day. The change of scenery was good in many ways and I can see that my kids are calmer and maybe even happier. It's easier to organize everything when there's three adults instead of just me. There's more work for me and more hobby opportunities for everyone. I feel very welcome here. My support network is closer. But the things is that moving does not change your feelings. I struggle with the same stuff as I did before and on top of that I'm trying to adjust into life back at my childhood home. It is hard not to look at this as a step backwards in my adult life.
People keep on asking how the kids have adjusted or wondering how my parents are dealing with the change. Everyone thinks this is hardest on my parents. It's hard for the kids and me too. The kids miss their friends and their home. It was their first home. And we left in such a hurry that they didn't really understand that we were not going back. It's really hard for me because now I have nothing that is mine. Before I had the house. Now I have nothing. Continuously in my life people are more focused on everyone around me. With my ex, it was always his issues at the center stage. Now it is my parents, my poor parents having to adjust to two young kids "at their age" and how tough it is. It is not a competition. This is a new situation for us all.
I just wish someone would ask me how I am doing from time to time. Everyone just expects me to deal with stuff, to be strong every goddamn moment, to figure things out. And I feel like all I've done is fuck up continuously for 3 years. I don't know why people look up to me to fix things. I'm tired of being alone and doing everything alone. Sorry. Self-pity moment over.
I want to pass my duty for someone for just a moment without having to hear how hard it is and how tough it is to babysit for a weekend. My ex doesn't take his kids to be with him because "he doesn't have the money for food or anything". My mother needs to work and my father doesn't have the patience. My mother doesn't deal well with kids and everytime she babysits for me, she makes sure I know how fucking hard it was for her. She likes to play the martyr card and I'm tired of hearing it. It's just easier to do everything myself if I can.
I want to be independent financially and I want to live my own life. I hate being here and not moving forward in my life. I know it'll take some time to get evetything organized, but I just wish it would happen faster. I need more of what is good for me. This is good for my kids and for the time being that has to be enough for me, but in the long run I need my life to be good for me too.
Maybe it is in Switzerland with E. Maybe it is in my own apartment here. Maybe it is somewhere else. For sure it is not here.