The tedium, it is grinding

Item – Oh, look, a whole month, more than a month, since H’s Great Reveal. Huh. Well. That went by far faster than expected. I wonder why – surely normally agonising crapfests drag on and on and every minute feels like a week with one’s arse-cheek caught in a badger-trap?

Item – I am very slowly doing grown-up things re: finances and savings accounts and such. It all makes me want to lie on the floor and cry. I hate doing it alone. I am not a finance-minded person, and I infinitely prefer to have another adult who can do mental arithmetic about the place when dealing with such matters. Steep learning curve.

Item – H and I are still living together, in separate bedrooms, and we are being elaborately polite and considerate towards each other. H is still doing things like making me tea and cooking me dinner, which makes me feel grateful, faintly guilty, weird, conflicted, and did I mention weird? all at once. But it’s hard. We don’t hug or cuddle or go about sans nuddings on as we used to. We’re like house-mates. It’s all very civilised and calm and friendly. It’s horrible. It’s like having the embalmed corpse of our relationship permanently propped up at the dining-table. It’s embalmed, it doesn’t smell at all, and it’s wearing a nice suit and blusher, but Jesus Christ it ain’t half creepy.

Item – I concede that this is considerably better than having the raging bullet-impervious rotting zombie of our relationship mindlessly tearing at our flesh.

Item – I can’t really get started on more than speculative ‘I wonder if I can afford this area?’ flat-hunting, as I don’t know how much money I have to play with. My mother wants to give me some, but I don’t know when or how much or if it’ll be a lump sum or in bits, so I can’t actually work out what sort of a mortgage I could afford, so I can’t look seriously at a place and say ‘that one!’. I need to, carefully, lovingly, scoop my mother up into a bowl, saran-wrap said bowl to a desk and interrogate her with a desk lamp on these matters, for she is the proverbial jelly I cannot nail to a wall.

Item – I do spend pretty much every evening online staring at other people’s bedrooms and wondering why on earth no one seems to need a shower or even a showerhead in the bath – how the hell are they all washing their hair?

Item – Being miserable and furious for a month inevitably leads to Cold of Filth, which I have now had for an unrelenting week. I have coughed so hard my ribs hurt, and I sound exactly like Bela Lugosi’s favourite door-hinge. (And I don’t sleep well, and am permanently tired and cranky, and I have eczema in my armpits (the fuck? Really? Why?) and all over my hands. Especially, beGad, on my ring-finger, which is hilarious ho ho ho).

Item – Being told constantly that I am brave and resilient and strong and this’ll be the greatest thing ever for me and I’ll be fine and more than fine is all very nice, at first. And then you realise your family are basically denying you permission to cry and wig out and lie on the sofa sobbing into your cocoa. Because you don’t do that. You’re strong and brave and resilient and this divorce will be very good for you.

Item – And yet I feel like a weak and feeble train-wreck who can’t even work out how to calculate mortgage payments and who really doesn’t want to anyway and it’s not FAIR I don’t WANT to be single I HATE this I HATE it I HATE it and now I’m going to cry again.

Item – I went to see my family for a few days and came away with the distinct and somewhat grubby feeling that I had come fourth in the Pain Olympics to my sister, who managed to own All The Suffering. I am slightly confused, as I thought I was the one in the middle of a marriage break-down, but chronology I am given to understand means a giant fuck-all, because I’m not the one on antidepressants, and anyway, I’m naive, idealistic, bourgeoise, narrow-minded and conventional, so I can’t possibly suffer with the same intensity as the truly screwed up. I think. It was 3am and I was getting a little confused, so I just nodded and the Positive Thinking Fairy and I thought about cats for a bit while Bitter McTwisted had a fit of hysterics and flung furniture about.

Item – Bitter McTwisted actually rocks. Every time I think about caving in or lying down and forgetting about it all or pretending none of it happened, she flings my mental furniture about. Hurrah for Bitter McTwisted!

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16 responses to “The tedium, it is grinding

  • a

    Perhaps it would be better if you got an idea of your own personal finances, found a place (or 7) that you found great to acceptable, and just told your mother exactly how much you’ll need from her? Based on past experiences that you’ve related, I seem to think that maybe she does better when presented with a concrete need rather than you relying on a vague promise.

    Glad to hear Bitter McTwisted finally has a use!

  • Anonymous

    While you are, in fact, strong and generally brilliant it is Really Not Nice to use this as a way of making you put your totally normal feelings away, added to which people are only strong because they’ve had no choice but to be. So really, people. A minimum of empathy. A marriage breakdown is a huge life event.
    *Hands May a nice ugly chair -made of the sort of plastic leather that sticks to your legs – to break.*

  • twangy

    Oops. Not anon! Shiny phone did it.

  • Amy P

    Maybe it’d be easier to do the figuring with your current finances, and then whatever the helping amount is will be a bonus/redecorating/furnishing/down payment?

    It made sense in my head, honest it did :-/ Not good with the word-putting-together-thing.

  • bubli

    I confess to lying on the floor some nights and having a good sob. I always sob when trying to do finances and have a financial adviser who is quite nice about it. (I did pre-warn him and bring my own Kleenex).

    As for being sick, the universe seems to take perverse pleasure in kicking a person in the head when they are down.

    Just do what you need to do. I do like the advice to pick a few places and then sitting your mom down and asking for a straight amount. It seems easier than tying her down.

  • Sara

    How on earth could divorcing the person whom you love and have built so much of your life with be the best thing that’ll ever happen to you? (That’s almost like saying that your wedding day is the best of your life…doesn’t that imply that everything is downhill from there?)

  • QoB

    I concur. Ask your mum for what you need and see what she says, rather than ask her what she thinks she can give you.

    If your family suck – and they do seem to at this kind of thing – I hope you can line up some friends who can supply you with all the couches and cocoa you need.

    • QoB

      If you should happen to want to venture south to a certain seaside city, my couch is very comfortable for sleeping on, I can attest.

  • sheila

    Can I suggest not buying a place straight away? The reason I say that is someone once gave me a piece of assvice, which was not to make decisions with a legal consequence for a year after a major emotional upheaval. Having been through two such upheavals events, I found I made very different decisions a year later when I wasn’t in such turmoil, compared to decisions I might have made at the time. I was in something close to your situation (but living on friends’ couches) and decided to rent for a year rather than buy. I ended up buying somewhere very different, in a very different location – the time difference also made moving into that place a happy event. Just my own experience…..

    Am thinking of you a lot and wish I could take some of the pain away for you.

    • QoB

      I have also heard this, and those friends to whom it has been applied (having lost a parent) would tentatively concur with its wisdom. YMMV, and all that, of course.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    Oh, yes. Divorces are marvelous! That’s why people are forever having them! Why, if there hadn’t been a velociraptor, you would have been wise to invent one, because YAY, AGONY!

    Funny about the showers. Here it’s all showers without bathtubs, which doesn’t suit me at all. Or showers and tiny tubs. Our own tub is just above the “doesn’t make me cry to look at it” threshold; it was hardly the smallest we saw. Not at all good for soaking a sore abdomen.

  • Mina

    It would be rather interesting (similar to mildew) to find out the gene that prevents people to face tragedy for what it is. And then hacking out of the human genom and just force Brits to adapt to this new development. I love you to bits, great British nation, but your treating a tsunami as a mild nusance is terribly off putting. No, I am not refering to you, May, but to your family and its inept trying to find the silver lining in your divorce. I can understand saying that gormless thing with “best thing that happened to you” when sharing the dentist’s waiting room and the lady next to you starts oversharing and you try to be nice and polite. But when one of your family, your tribe, your next of kin, your own blood is going through such a thing, you do not offer cheap lines like these! You support them, you offer them chairs to smash into oblivion (exceptional Twangy, as always), you let them rage and cry and shake fists and stomp and break down and help pick themselves up and try to live until life has a meaning again. And you keep making tea and pass on the tissues along with the chocolates and the wine until the divorce is done, and then wait, and when time smoothes the edges of her broken heart, THEN, and ONLY then you start finding silver linings, when the poor woman is starting to see the light again, not now, when she is down at the darkest bottom of the fucking pit of dispair called divorce. Obviously May is not walking about thrashing a bat at random pieces of furniture, but she does not need to do that for you to know her, and know that she is broken hearted. You know her, and H, it is a surprise, of the nasty kind, so at least be decent about it… It is NOT the best thing that may happen to her. Not now, in any case. Now go put the kettle on, family. You have got loads of catching up to do and even more to make up for.
    May, if I were you, I would ponder on the merits of Sheila’s advice above. This is not chomping your hair off with your kitchen scisors. Renting is a bother alright, but you will have less duties than a home owner. If the heating breaks down, you will not have to pay for that on top of the mortgage. Take a bit more time, have a proper talk with your mother, assess your finances, go talk to a bank, and then another three more, and you will have a better idea where to go to when you decide what you want to buy.
    Thinking of you, dear.

  • chickenpig

    It does sound very creepy and altogether too tense to handle without constantly drinking. No wonder you are breaking out in eczema in your armpits.

    It sounds like the makings of a wonderful play, but not a wonderful life. My creative writing professor from looooooong ago would say “Use your anger”. When you have gotten rich and famous from your award winning play, and you bump into H with your handsome new husband, you will almost feel sorry for H. Almost. Just make sure that when you write it, that you make H an even bigger velociraptor keeper than he is now…. to really work off the stress. It wouldn’t hurt to knock off the virtual H in a truly embarrassing fashion, either. 😉

  • Lin May

    Thinking of you May. Sometimes it nice to know that someone is thinking of you kindly in the dark, wee hours of the morning.

  • Melissa

    Oh May….I won’t even try to offer advice. The financial part of trying to play “adult” is truly horrifying. Many many hugs and always thinking of you.

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