Thursday, 30 January 2014


So, I moved back to the north east, not quite back to where I was born, in Gateshead, but across the river to Newcastle.

It’s close enough – I’m near my sister, who I now see several times a week, my dad, who I never see, and my brothers, who I never see, but that’s nothing new. At least with my dad I know he’s just a car ride away and I find that comforting, especially as we are all getting older.

I’m comfortable, I feel content. You can’t just dismiss 24 years of a relationship without any comeback – sadness, regret, wonder if you’ve done the right thing, fear at what lies ahead and worry about finances – but for all of that, and I’ve experienced all of that since my move, I’m content.

I don’t know if I’m happy. I sing along to the radio and I’ve smiled/laughed a few times, but does that mean I’m happy? It will take time to know, or even it will take time to become happy – I don’t think it will just come naturally, just like that.

Emotionally this time is very much up and down for my daughter – and so for me. She is not content. She blames me for breaking up her world, taking her away from her dad, her friends and her school (that she didn’t like so much at the time, but now remembers with the fondness of rose-tinted distance).

I don’t know how to handle her at times. I think she is starting to settle and enjoy her new school, being near her cousins; she seems calm. Then she explodes. Complete meltdown. It happened again this morning. She is not at school because she refused to go. And I feel totally guilty and helpless.

She is almost as tall as I am so I can’t carry her to the car, I can’t drag her out of the house; I talked with her and thought I was getting through to her, but no.

This is the second time since Christmas I’ve had to ring her school and tell them she refuses to leave the house. They are very understanding and, like last time, there will be a meeting with her form tutor and senior staff to try and make everything okay, make her happy.

I feel like I can’t make her happy, I can’t do anything right. Of all of this – the massive decisions already taken, the huge move almost 300 miles away from where I’ve been for the last 24 years and the man I’ve been with for the last 23 years – this is the biggest thing, the hardest thing to deal with. My child’s sadness is my fault, and, knowing I would give my life for my child, what does this say about me?

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