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One of the things that I still hold very much against my ex is the loss of a family home for my children.  One of them in any case lives with him in rented accommodation in central London. It’s not where she grew up, and I don’t know how much longer he will be there (or indeed how he can afford it – and a cleaner! – while claiming not to have any money to pay his child maintenance).

Though I bought a small property in a cheap and distant location in order to ensure all three children could have bedrooms (even though one never did live here I thought she might), I will have to move. I can’t afford to stay even here on my salary. I think often about the fact that both my mother and my ex’s mother have stayed in their family homes. When we used to visit Manchester she was able to put all five of us up. Their dad was able to say to the children ‘this used to be my bedroom’. (Like the rest of the house, his bedroom is now given up to the overspill from all her wardrobes, but still.)

Similarly, my mother used to be able to have the children to stay over, and I used to be able to show them where I rode my bike as a kid, where I found conkers, where I had my Saturday job and where I went to school, and my father’s grave. And EVEN NOW I know that if all else fails, I can tip up at my mother’s place and be back home. I know people may say that home is where I am (or, I suppose, in the case of one of them, where BH is) but there is more to it than that. There is.

I know, too, that there are greater tragedies that can befall children. But it makes me sad that my children are denied this. I used to dream that they would come to us with their own children for xmas, or that they might leave their kids with us and that I and their dad would be pleased to babysit for a few days and tell them stories about when their parents were little. Grandparents together, in the family home, helping one another and our children. I imagine that just as it is easier to be one of a pair of parents, it is probably true of grandparents. Possibly more so, depending on how doddery one is when they come along. Even now at my not very advanced age, I am not sure I would want to have to (eg) buckle them all into the car in order to pop to the shops, because I was all alone with them. I’d do it of course. Nobody to share their smiles with. Actually it is beginning to sound quite lonely… Not that I’d want to do it with that POS now, but it is part of the thing I hold against him.

I suppose, in the words of our eloquent Brexiteers, I should ‘just get over it’. I daresay. But right now, this is how I feel.

 

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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

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