Chapter 26

Read Chapter 25 “Getting Ready to Move”

It Is Finally Happening

July 14th, 2019

Last week I told Jim that girls and I were moving out of the UK. He was his “old” self and started screaming his head off. At the end of his tantrum, he screamed that he wouldn’t allow the move and was prepared to take me to court over that. As a father, he feels fully obliged to take part in the girls’ upbringing. According to him, he should have been included in the decision-making process, before I agreed to take up any jobs and signed on the dotted line.

Over the years, I learned that the best way to deal with his tantrums is to let him have his unstoppable screaming session. Once the screaming is over, kill him with logic and reason.

I had lots of arguments up my sleeves to prove to anyone willing to listen that Jim left his family without caring what would happen to us once he decided to move on with his life.

What surprised me the most was that he didn’t even think that leaving us with no financial support was beyond wrong. For some reason, he didn’t see that not paying for school, the credit cards or for all the loans he took up, nearly destroyed me.

If it weren’t for my family, he would have pushed me over the cliff. Dividing the house and finally taking up the teaching job is the only way out for me from the mountain of debts.

Somehow, he didn’t think it was any of his responsibilities to look after us when he decided to change his life while all of my life was wrapped around him and the girls.

However, I’m still not convinced that my arguments weren’t lost on him. Finally, to my greatest astonishment, he said that in that case, he was going to move back to the house to look after the property. He thought that living in my property rent-free was going to be his compensation for not being able to see the girls as often as he would like to (he hardly ever saw them before, so I doubt he would see more of them now).

I laughed long and hard at his daydream. I just couldn’t stop. The longer I laughed, the more his anger grew, and I could almost see the invisible smoke coming out of his ears.

Once I composed myself and stopped laughing, I informed him, again, that the house is in my name, reminded him that my parents have been paying the mortgage for years and it was already rented out. Of course, I didn’t miss the opportunity to mention that all the income from the house was going towards paying off his debts. Once again, he seemed not to hear what I was saying and tried really hard to ignore the facts. After the initial discontent, protest and tantrum, Jim had no choice but to accept my decision. He promised to girls that he would come and visit, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t count on that. His priorities are somewhere else now, surely not with his children.

A year ago, that kind of scenario wasn’t even a possibility in my wildest worst-case scenario forecast. However, life tends to change rapidly, and one must either accept the changes and adjust, or allow life to walk all over you. Under no circumstances I was going to be thrown under the bus. I needed to be strong for my girls. I desperately wanted them to see that being a woman doesn’t mean you should give up when life throws you lemons.

Once Jim knew we were off, I started furiously packing. My bedroom was first to go, and once again, I was terrified by the amount of stuff I still had. Some of the clothes I have I’m keeping for the girls but some others I’m not even sure any charity would be able to sell. So much money has been wasted on all that unnecessary stuff. Minimalistic lifestyle is the key to a sustainable lifestyle, and that is what I’m aiming for.

Since I’m renting the house unfurnished, all of our furniture will go to storage. Luckily we don’t have that many pieces of furniture I want to keep and the rest I’m giving away to a charity.

I didn’t manage to do our garage up enough to rent it out as an office space. But this is something I can do when/if we are back to London. For now, I’m going to use the garage as storage for the toys, bikes and winter clothing (won’t need those in Tenerife).

Our new start has to be clean, without the unwanted baggage from the past polluting our present and the future.

My girls have already packed up and put quite a lot of their childhood toys in boxes. I don’t think they are ready to let go of their childhood as yet.

I have to admit I’m in awe of them how smoothly they are handling the whole move and the new start.

I need to be good as well and show them that moving on is good, exciting and nothing to fear.

We only have two more weeks left in London before the big day arrives.

I’m planning to see a few friends from my networking circle. (I’ve joined one just to meet new, more pro-active people than the ones I knew from the girl’s school.) and Annie and her daughters. My girls had a couple of playdates with Annie’s daughters, and all four of them got on pretty well.

It would be a good distraction for them while we are waiting for the moving day.

Dave is going to help with the move, and we will stay with him for a couple of days before taking off. I’m not too certain the girls will see Jim before we go; he really is unreliable and unpredictable in his current incarnation.

As for me, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic and sad, and some part of me is scared of the move, but I try hard to focus on the exciting adventure the three of us are about to embark on.

Move on to Chapter 27 “One Door Closes Another Door Opens”