Situation Separation- It’s been three weeks since one door closed on my former life, and a couple of doors to places I would temporarily call home opened.
With several cars and two vans loaded up with the tremendous amount of stuff we had accumulated over the last 10 years together, the keys were handed over to the last place Mr Peppis and I would call our home.
I cried. Of course I cried. But it wasn’t tears of regret, just of acute disappointment that we hadn’t quite been able to make it work. I cried for my fear of the unknown. I cried for how much I would miss not seeing TJ every day. I cried tears of sadness and guilt for TJ’s Dad and the new life I was forcing him to live. I cried for being immediately lonely. But, I tried to see this horrible day in the best possible light – a new beginning, a fresh start, a chance for me to be Jude again and not just the shell of the person I had become.
It’s been a mixed bag of days so far. There have been highlights – TJ learning to say ‘baby’ and string that together with other words such as ‘roar’ when he saw Simba in The Lion King made me radiate with pride (pun intended). But, there have also been significant lows – sobbing by myself in Marks and Spencer after FaceTiming TJ and his Dad is something I sadly won’t forget in a hurry for all of the wrong reasons. My heart will be chipped away at every time I explain to TJ that I have to go and he says ‘bye, mama’. I just hope and pray that, if not now, one day he will understand why.
It’s been a blessing and a dirty curse that I don’t have my own home lined up yet. Mortgages, money and all that grown up stuff meant a temporary living arrangement between the spare rooms of my amazing friends and my fabulous sister (I love you guys). There’s up and down sides to that – regularly seeing my friends is super and not being on my own too often is definitely a good thing at this early stage. But, until I can really start Life: The Sequel, everything feels like it has been put on hold until I can get into a new routine and find out how I really handle all that comes with it.
I don’t know what it’s going to be like on that rainy night in December when I come home from work to an empty flat with nothing to do except get up for work again the next day. I won’t have a nursery bag to get ready. I won’t have toys to pick up off the floor. I won’t have a toddler’s bedtime routine to follow.
But, what I will have is my own home. I will have a pretty little flat which I am excited to decorate in any way which I see fit. I will have time to sit, relax and hog the remote to my heart’s content. I will have the comfort and familiarity of living in the village I spent my teenage years growing up in. I will have my family and friends all a short distance away. I may even do some crazy things, like get a gym membership again, go for a run on Saturday mornings, learn to cook more than pasta and pesto and join a local choir. I will have me back, which will make me a better person and a better mother for TJ in the long run.
Almost every day, I find myself thinking that this has been the most difficult year of my life. Yet, I know I shouldn’t be thinking that for so many reasons. I know how lucky I am to have TJ – to enjoy and to be exasperated by everything which is part of being a mum to a nearly two-year-old toddler. I am also so fortunate to have friends who have welcomed me into their spare rooms, to have the means to put a roof over my own head, to have a supportive family and to have held onto a friendship with TJ’s Dad, despite all the water under the bridge of 2017.
It will be another few weeks before my new normality is established. But, I think I am going to be OK. It’s not easy. My chest is heavy as my heart aches. But, my head is high on hopes for the future and the happiness that will be in my life but also the lives of the two Peppis boys who will always be a pivotal part of my universe.
With the help of (a lot of) wine and the wonderful people in my life, I am still smiling through my Situation Separation.