Nisakiman had it right.
I can’t go into detail, I am advised that would be a bad idea at this stage so it’s outline only.
Thirty years ago, I married someone I thought actually cared about me. There were signs, in retrospect, but as the Americans say, hindsight is always 20/20. Anyway, then there were children and that meant I couldn’t leave, then the kids grew up and I thought ‘hell, I’m over 50 now, I’m stuck’.
Then it transpired that what she really loved was money and prestige and I didn’t have those when I became a janitor. That was when I really hit the bottle hard. Barely wrote a word and hardly touched model-making work. I’d already been convinced by daily reminders that I was fat and ugly and useless and I’d believed it. Then the final blow flattened me. Not any more.
What else could I do? I had no money. Never did. Not even when I was on a damn good salary as a researcher and lecturer and not even in the year I paid 40% tax. In the two years with no income at all, I sold a lot on eBay to pay the bills. Stuff I’ll never get back because some of it was stuff I’d made with younger eyes.
For the past nearly-three years I have been trying to run a house, alone, that a janitor simply can’t afford. The mortgage is so far on I thought that if I can just hang on till the pension kicks in, I’ll be fine. No. It’s too much. I won’t do it any more.
Oh she works. A professional job. She has investments, I have bills. Now she can take on the house or let the bank have it back. I no longer care because I realised that I’ll never fix this one. The best I can do is walk away from it all and start again somewhere else. With that someone else I didn’t think could ever exist.
I still like a whisky but lately I’ve been drinking it by the glass, not by the bottle. I now know I don’t really need it after recently not touching a drop for over a week. There was only one moment in that week when I did feel like cracking open that bottle on the kitchen table. One moment of bad memories in the night. I didn’t open the bottle. There’s no longer any need.
There were arguments, but those Righteous techniques I’ve described here before won them for her. Also the standard threats ‘You’ll never see the kids again’ and ‘I’ll take you for everything you’ve got’ were routine. Well the kids are grown up now and I have nothing, so there are no valid threats any more.
I have the house but I don’t want it. I’ll be happy to lose it for a quick exit. All that mortgage, all that interest, all those bills, it’s only money. It isn’t even real.
Now the gates of Hell are open but the demons are yet to emerge. I’ve faced the ‘denial’ Righteous trick before but didn’t expect it this time. I should have. The Righteous one talks over you, counters arguments wilth irrelevancies and ignores facts. The Righteous stays calm while you descend into a frenzy of frustration and eventually give up trying. Well, not this time. This time I shrugged and stopped talking. I relayed the information, I don’t even care any more if it’s listened to or not.
She’s beaten me down so far that she doesn’t think I have the guts to go through with it. If she pretends it isn’t happening I’ll just quietly let it go and she can taunt me with it later. That always worked in the past.
Not this time. All this trick does now is buy me a little extra time, but not much.
I am photographing things to list on eBay. There is too much stuff here. Power tools I bought for one specific job (mostly jobs I didn’t want done) and which are in near-pristine condition still. An excess of railway and other models – there are a few I won’t part with but all the replaceable stuff is going up for sale. There is more, quite a lot more, and even then there is some that really should just be thrown in a skip.
Also I still have my lab. Not in current use, it can be a storage room for a while.
When things start disappearing it will sink in that it’s really happening and then the demons will come out in force. By that time it will be too late. Hell, it’s already too late. Nothing can stop me now.
I have given myself no more than three weeks to leave here. Before another round of house bills trashes me again. When that happens I might not be able to get online much for a while although I do have a contingency plan for that.
Where will I go? I’m working on it – again, I have a contingency plan in case it doesn’t work as I’d hoped. If you have my address it soon won’t be valid. There might be a few temporary ones for a time.
Locally, only Boss knows it all and she doesn’t really know all that much. Enough that she is fully supportive and it only took a few sample incidents to get to that stage. Not the kitchen one, for the two people who know about that one. Even my kids don’t know about that and I’d prefer it stays that way. She is their mother and I want the kids to stay neutral throughout.
There are thirty years of it so relating it would take thirty years. My brother knows it all, my parents so far have hints although there are other reasons why they won’t be surprised.
You don’t know it all. Not by a long way. Some things I might never make public. Things even my children don’t know about. This is an escape, not a vendetta.
The kids have, I think, worked out what is happening and that this time, Dad isn’t going to give in. I don’t know if they’ve ever seen me this sober. Maybe not. Even when not actually drunk I was often hungover or tipsy. But never violent or abusive. I’m pleased to relate that no matter how far I was pushed, I never lashed out and never took it out on the kids. In fact, I spent a lot of time defending them.
I’ve been alone for a long time and effectively alone for a hell of a lot longer. In the abyss, in the cold darkness of the oubliette, just waiting for it to end.
I’m out of that dark place now and I couldn’t have done that alone. I wouldn’t even have tried on my own. Sober and slim and fit and ready to take on Satan himself. Not quite fully fixed yet but well on the way.
A broken girl fixed me. I hope, one day, I can return the favour.