This was the first New Year's without my family as it fell on a weekday. The kids spent the day with their father and I spent it with my extended family. We had lasagna and played Trivial Pursuit (I won) into the wee hours of the New Year. It felt strange not to watch the ball drop without my children. Holidays felt strange through out this year. Without my children I just don't feel complete.
My ex makes more money than I do and is very clear that he won't give me any money. Even when the kids were with me he refused to give me any money. My gas tank is on empty and I have a week before payday. I spent my last two dollars today on soup. During the week I take care of the kids at his house. I eat his food. But I sleep in my own place. Basically all that has changed is where my bed is.
I have my own place. I could be a single mother. But I agreed to let the kids stay in the house where their father lives so they are not moved back and forth. Instead I am the one who moves back and forth. Every day I go take care of them after school and work. I make sure they have dinner and do their homework and I do it all at his house. The house he and I used to share. The house that his mother owns. I never felt like it was my home. I never was allowed to make it my own.
Here it is a New Year and I still am in that house more than I want to be and I slowly see my influence being stripped from it. Sports teams flags have become curtains and hang from the walls. My knick knacks have been packed and the books are slowly being moved as I find space for them. He still resists all new books entering the house. He still claims they have too many. He hasn't changed.
Have I changed. I have lost weight, so I know I have. I am free to practice my religion the way I need to and want to finally. I have embraced my Paganism and won't let anyone keep me from practicing it again. I have been dating and have discovered that I never really had a good relationship with him. I have changed.
So I have changed, I need my life to change too. I need to feel at home with my children. I can't do that at his place. He doesn't want the kids to be moved. I feel a fight coming on and our awkward stalemate will end. I read the divorce agreement and I am not signing it as it reads. Looks like this new year will find me meeting with a lawyer a lot.