Friday, February 03, 2017

Life on the roller coaster part 1

I haven't been blogging as much as I used to for the past six months. I keep thinking to myself that I'll get back to it once I feel normal again. But I'm beginning to suspect normal is a thing of the past and that if I wait till my mood stabilizes, no one will be hearing much from me at all this side of 2020, so maybe the solution is to inflict my daily ups and downs on the world in lieu of sitting waiting on mental stability.

I have, of course, mentioned Brexit once or twice but not the full roller coaster ride it is providing on a weekly basis. I don't think going through the emotions chronologically really works. Then you end up with a mundane list of: that week I was almost ok, that week I was bloody angry and that week I hid under the duvet and cried a lot, that week every time I looked at Facebook or Twitter I panicked, that week I spent on the Internet researching international house prices...

Well that's an interesting starting point actually to get an idea of the state of mind of those of us in a mixed marriage at the moment...

It must have been a fortnight or so ago. Every piece of news was gloomier than the next, Trump was compounding everything and that embarrassment of a woman was on the first plane over to fall at his feet, humiliating us in the process. Thomas was working away from home that day - those days are always the worst for dark thoughts.

So I procrastinated at the computer starting in Dublin. I wondered what the price of a five bedroom equivalent house is in Dublin - I could be in the EU there, so could Thomas and the kids could continue their schooling in English. An hour later I had concluded, without even checking what constituted a decent school, that there were only about two houses with five bedrooms that I could afford if I sold mine, so I went back to the drawing board.

Copenhagen, of course, drew the same blank... of course the kids would be fine there at school but we need a lot of space and space is dear in Copenhagen, so where now?

My head turned to the French German border... I have lived there before, Thomas is a fluent German speaker and theoretically I could live either side of that border, though of course I'd prefer the opposite side to Thomas. The kids would have a bit of a learning curve on the schooling front but it wouldn't be unimaginable... I soon found we could afford a house this size or even bigger significantly cheaper than this one, so my mood brightened until of course it hit me for the zillionth time that although the other six members of my family would be allowed to go, seventeen million people had voted to imprison me on this effing island for all eternity. I was raging, and inconsolable in five minute bursts for the rest of the afternoon.

I think slowly over the last six months I have gone from hating what they did to my husband, potentially leading to him being thrown out of his home country, the place where he has a job and a family, a car and a mortgage, to realizing that actually he still has 27 potential home countries, I'm the prisoner. I go over and over in my head, beating myself up despite being a 'je ne regrette rien' type of girl, usually at least... why didn't I take out French nationality with my first husband when I had the chance? Because this was never going to happen - that's why!!! I try somehow to convince the Danes I deserve a Danish passport, though I know that is harder. Denmark needs you to prove you have a deeper connection to there than here, which is kind of difficult when we met here and live here. Technically, I guess, if he gets deported that might become a more obvious argument! In a panic I check the French rules and realize if I just live there two years, I can apply for citizenship as the mother of a French minor, but that means leaving before article 50 and simultaneously Charlotte needs me here as she's sitting Highers in four months - it's all one colossal, fucking, never-ending nightmare.

Then I fall apart again. I got divorced at 37. I restarted my life from scratch. I took out a new mortgage though I was thirteen years into the first one. Rebuilding everything, though it was the right decision, was tiring and I can't honestly face restarting again at 49, as that is the age I turn on Saturday. It's hopeless. Thomas too restarted his life at 30 in a new country. We're fifteen years down the line and he too would find restarting an uphill struggle. If we're both exhausted at the thought then how can we find the strength to force it on the kids? Worse still, two will be at uni and three at school at Brexit point. We can't break up a family. But if the country follows this suicidal hard vision of the Tories, we owe it to the kids to get them out and plead with the older ones to join us after their studies because there will be no future in Scotland for them if we're dragged along. It is my duty to do what's best for my kids, and that surely means giving them a future. But how? How do you start again at 49 and 45 with nothing, and no jobs and two of your kids in another country, worrying about your mum who you've left behind? I slump to the floor again in self-pity.

Later that night Thomas, always more optimistic than me, puts on an Icelandic drama to cheer me up. And there it is! Reykjavik! A sudden light bulb moment - we frantically google the exchange rate and find a rather fetching bright red B&B for sale (a bit like this) in central Reykjavik for about £300K - two problems solved - an affordable house and a job! Ok so I can only recognize maybe 5% of Icelandic words but how hard can it be? Thomas studied old Norse twenty years ago! I dream of that escape for another couple of hours before bumping back down yet again on my nasty little roller-coaster as I waken in the middle of the night to realize once again the family have all been forced out but I can't join them. Cold sweat time in the wee small hours. I'm tired of it all... and it hasn't even started yet.

So this is my day to day life since last June. It is exhausting. So who knows what Life on the roller coaster part 2 will be  - maybe one of my angry days - they're fun to watch and expletive-filled, or maybe it'll be one of my optimistic ones, or perhaps something unrelated on one of the few days where I almost push it out my mind. Time will tell, but I suppose it's better than just blogging it in my  own head.

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