So this is it, the first day of the rest of my life.
After a fairly restless night’s sleep I awoke to find the weather reflected my mood – dark, grey, depressing wind and rain. This didn’t bother me too much; one of the effects of anti-anxiety drugs is they make you care less about things. It’s supposed to help “balance you out”.
I lay there in a bit of a haze for an hour, maybe more. What are you supposed to do in this situation? How are you meant to feel? Around 9:30 I’d had enough and threw on the clothes from the previous night. I had been about to go on a night out when I was asked to leave the house, so everything was pretty much clean and I saw no point in dirtying even more of my limited supply of clothing. Over this I put on a jersey track top (despite having a waterproof jacket in my bag) and pulled on my walking boots.
One of my many idiosyncrasies is I actually enjoy walking in the rain. I find it quite relaxing – even somewhat cleansing. After quickly telling my slightly confused parents I was going out for air, I walked out the house and into the driving rain.
It was cold. Far colder than I would expect it to be at this time of year. I’m sure I even spotted a few flakes of sleet amongst the raindrops. But it would do me good to get out for a while so I pressed on.
My original plan had been to just walk to the bus-stop to check the time I would have to leave for work in the morning, and then just follow the road around for a while before turning back. Once I got going though I didn’t really want to stop. About half way along the road which circles the village my parents stay in, I decided it would be best to visit the local supermarket. I had no idea what clothes I had grabbed to take with me the night before, so picking up a few things was probably a good idea. I picked up some painkillers while I was there, to combat the pounding headache I had woken up to. By the time I got back to my parents house I was soaked through and had a much lighter wallet.
Next on my hastily arranged to-do list was meeting a old friend (who served as my Best Man at the wedding) at the pub so I could speak to someone outside of the two families about what was going on. It helped immensely to be able to speak freely over a couple of ciders, and just get it all out.
It was as I was leaving the pub that it happened: the dreaded First Call from the Ex. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t exactly an enjoyable experience. About the only useful thing which was said was I reassured her I would help as much as she needed to (and more) with the children.
In the afternoon my Father-in-Law turned up unannounced. His van was loaded with around a dozen bin liners filled with the rest of my clothes. It was a shock, and a complete punch in the gut. There had been no warning, and no explanation was forthcoming, so I didn’t know what to think. About 20 minutes after he left I received an SMS from the Ex, explaining she’d cleared the bedroom of all trace of me to give her space to think. For now the bags remain unopened in a pile in the spare bedroom. I’m sure most of it could be thrown out and I’m in half a mind to do so anyway.
Supper time brought the other inevitable conversation I was dreading: the Family Discussion. My grandparents came around, which I was a bit anxious about as they had found out everything from my Mother-in-Law, so I couldn’t be sure what they had been told. I was in no real mood for the discussion and sat quietly for the most part, agreeing or disagreeing as needed.
Following supper came another phone call from the Ex. This one was more pleasant as I got to speak to our eldest for a little while. It hurt, and I was sure I was going to start crying, but I managed to keep it together for him. Talking to the Ex was also easier this time for some reason. Nothing much more was said really, but it was a positive conversation. It gave me hope we could remain civil, and possibly even stay friends.
The rest of the evening has been organising my room. All my bags have been unpacked, various chargers plugged in, and everything generally put in place for the long-haul. It doesn’t yet feel like home, or even “my room”, but it’s a start.
To end the day on a positive note my eldest used his mother’s phone to send me an SMS message, and it made the whole day worthwhile.
Night night daddy, love you.
Night night, Son. Daddy loves you very much and will see you soon.