Posts Tagged kids

What happened to my old life

For the last eight months I have been living alone.  On 4 February this year, my wife of 15 years told me that it was her intention to end our relationship.  She told me that she understood that it would take me some time to adjust to the decision she had made, and that there was no discussion to be had about that decision.  The next day, she and our two children moved out.

For about a month I tried to hide what had happened, but the folk I work with knew that something must have happened when I suddenly went from being an occasional visitor to the office to being the first to arrive and last to leave every day of the week.  I have confided in a few of my workmates, and they have been incredibly supportive (and helpful to my sanity), even as some of them go through the same issues in their own lives.

This post is not about casting blame.  If you have read my posts about depression, you may already have put two-and-two-together and realised that this was the major event that pushed me into seeking treatment.  Initially I blamed my wife for not having the strength to help me though my illness, but I accept that she would likely only have been able to do so much in the face of my reluctance to seek help.  I envy her the courage she showed in making such a dramatic change to her own life.

I don’t accept that either of our lives are better — or will be better in the near future — as a result of this change, and the new situation our kids will have to adjust to as they grow up is one that I would still prefer to have avoided.  On this, my wife and I have to agree to disagree: I will claim that I was not given any choice in the matter, and she will claim that I made my choice by not getting treatment for my condition which would have allowed me to be a better husband.  I could be wrong on this of course, but I will never know, since my wife and I can talk (very pleasantly I must say) about just about anything except our relationship and what happened.

I’m proud to say that I have maintained a great relationship with my kids.  They stay with me once a fortnight, and while I spoil them terribly I am still keeping up the father role well.  Visibly they appear unaffected by the change, but I worry constantly about what they don’t show.  My daughter, for example, will suddenly want to sit snuggled in my arms on the lounge for an hour and not want to move.  My son has become intensely possessive (even more so than your usual eight-year-old) and is totally focussed on what toy or present I will next buy for him or give him.  Having said these things though, it is clear that my wife still loves our children as well and neither of us would consciously do anything to bring them to harm.  While this kind of situation is tough at the best of times, I think that the fact that my wife and I have been able to come to a speaking arrangement is a huge benefit to our kids.

The relationships we form as we go through life are part of what define us as individuals.  In fact, the versions of us that live in the memories of everyone we meet are entirely shaped by our relationships with those individuals, and every one of those versions of us is different because of the individual whose memory we live in and our relationship with them.  I have lived all my life with an almost pathological inability to deeply bond with others — it’s a wonder I’ve ever been able to make friends, let alone get married and have kids.  Combined with that, for the last several years I’ve been shackled by depression.

Now, without a love relationship and undergoing treatment for my depression, I find myself in a situation I would never have imagined for myself, even on 3 February 2012.  The relationships I have with people have changed, because I am not the same person I was.  I am being changed, not just by relationships I’ve had for years but by people I’ve met in only the last few months (some of whom will never know the profound effect they have had on me, even in as little as a few days).  Not only that, I’ve finally realised something that I never admitted in the past: that I have the ability and opportunity to change the people I have relationships with, just as they change me.

I am determined to make the best of this situation, by being the best friend, colleague, father, workmate, son, presenter, uncle, mentor, brother, and whatever else life sends me (including, yes, ex-husband) that I can possibly be.

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We finally meet K (a.k.a. Clinker)

To our beautiful baby girl, the warmest and fondest welcome!

The post I made here last night was going to be a comment about how ironic it was that we didn’t want to know our baby’s gender and yet the time of the birth was known. Well as fortune would have it, I would have been wrong on both points!

We were due to arrive at hospital at 1:30pm today for a 2pm induction, but our baby had different plans! S went into labour spontaneously at about 1:30am this morning, so we had the dash to the hospital that we never thought we’d have. By 2:30am we were in the birthing suite, and just over one hour after that our baby girl K arrived!

As for the gender thing, although we were obviously going to be happy to have a healthy baby of either gender we’d both been hoping for a girl. This time, something was telling me that it was in fact a girl–I guess you’d say I was very confident. So confident in fact, that S was quite angry at me about a week ago for not committing to a name for a boy. 🙂

N met his baby sister this morning… he has a very proud-looking smile on his face whenever he looks at her! He’s a wakeup to our grownup tricks though–we’d bought him a present to take home with him “from the baby”. When given the present, he reportedly (and in his best “hang-on-a-minute-you-can’t-trick-me” voice) said “that’s not from the baby, babies can’t go shopping!”

PS: What’s Clinker? That’s the nickname that S’s work friends gave to her baby-bump!

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Tomorrow is a Big Day

Every one of us experiences life-changing events. Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to know about them in advance. One such event will come tomorrow for my wife and I, with the scheduled arrival of our second child! All going well, I’ll make an update here with news (and I’m veejoe on Twitter, so look out there for progress too).

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Happy Birthday Nicholas!

Our not-so-little guy turned four today! He had a McDonalds party on Saturday, with a few of his best mates from day-care in attendance. Today he took a cake to day-care for everyone to share (and he had great fun taking it around the playground to show everyone when he arrived!). The only low point was when we popped in to the doctor for his immunisations — but he was so brave! Not a tear, not even for the second of two needles! We eased whatever grief there may have been with a trip to the pizza shop for dinner. Best wishes little man, and lots of love from Mum and me!

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