Sorry for the delay in updating... it's been a long week.
The week in Melbourne was everything I had hoped for and more! Spent quality time with my man, alone, with his friends (some old some new), and his family. Ran into an old schoolmate and had a nice chat with her. Even managed a pleasant enough evening in the company of my man's ex-wife. Also caught up (fairly briefly) with my sisters and the kids, had a day at Melbourne zoo and met up with Havock, Bangar and Catty for lunch.
We stayed a couple of nights at my Man's place, then moved into a little B & B nearby, so as not to upset his Dad, who lives with him and has trouble dealing with change. On Sunday my Man had arranged a drive to visit a little country market, and lunch at a nearby country pub. Another couple were supposed to join us, but begged off at the last minute due to a family illness. So it was just the two of us. A beautiful drive, the markets weren't much, but a decent feed and some pretty countryside.
My man worked through the week, so Monday and Tuesday I spent with one of his sisters. On Tuesday I had lunch with both of his sisters and his brother, rather nice vietnamese, which I don't normally enjoy. Wednesday I travelled over to my sister's and went with her partner and the kids to see Mali the baby elephant. VERY cute. Wednesday night is Parma Nite at the local. My man usually joins his mates on Wednesday night for a cheap feed and somewhat riotous get together. This week I was specifically invited, as his mates wanted to meet me, and because some of the boys who were part of the group I knocked around with as a teen, were expected to be there. Awesome night! My man has some wonderful friends, and catching up with old mates was a blast. I got along particularly well with the couple who had been supposed to join us on the previous Sunday, and was chuffed when my man let me know on Thursday that he had received a call from them, saying that they really liked me, they'd had the best Wednesday night get together in months, and they wanted to get together again before I left. Thursday night was a quiet one, my Man cooked and we had an early night. Friday was a quick catch up with my older sister (who had been suffering gastro earlier in the week), then the Burger lunch. It was awesome to catch up with the guys, but can I just say, having met them now, I have so much trouble reconciling the guys with their avatars, although Catty actually resembles hers. (And I mean that in the nicest possible way Catty)! Friday night was a lovely little tradition my Man's sisters have of meeting at the home of one of their group for Friday night bubbles. This week was at one of the sister's houses, and was a great night of bubbles, conversation and more old friends. It was not even terribly uncomfortable when "the ex" joined us. I have known her as long as I've known the rest of the crew, though we never got along terribly well. Anyway, she gave me a kiss hello, and we made small talk and all was okay. Even my Man, who has absolutely nothing to do with her was okay. On Saturday night we went out for Thai with my Man's brother and his partner, as well as the couple I had met Wednesday night. Beautiful food, excellent comapny, and an early night for my last one in Melbourne. Well.... sort of....
Burger lunch was fun, (somewhat at Catty's expense, as she managed to get hopelessly lost on her way to the city), fairly brief, and definitely worth repeating. Thanks guys! I DO however need to say, that contrary to what you may read on other blogs or twitter,organisation was somewhat less than optimal. Only had a definite time and place a couple of hours before kickoff, and THEN the General was late! Almost as late as Catty!
I arrived home on a high, after a week that more than convinced me that I belong in Melbourne. Of course reality set in, and I was a bit low the next couple of days, should have expected it I suppose, I am impatient by nature, and just wanted to get straight back there and start my new life. Naturally it is awesome to be home with The Brat, I really wish he was in a position to come with me when I'm ready to jump ship, but given the way his apprenticeship is structured, he's not, and he has categorically stated that under NO circumstances am I to wait until he has finished his apprenticeship to do what makes me happy. It's just a shame that some other members of my family aren't so selfless....
The rot REALLY set in on Friday. My brother has an opportunity to move out, live with a mate in Redcliffe, 45 minutes or so north of here. Personally I think it's awesome on a number of fronts.
One - Since he first caught up with this mate a couple of months ago after several years of no contact, my brother has started to have a life. He's getting out, meeting people, and being social. This guy knows my brother's medical and financial difficulties, and has been helping out where he can. He has introduced him to new people and helped him arrange employment up in Redcliffe. Among other things he also now has an opportunity to work with horses, an animal he fell in love with as a teenager. Being happy in himself has helped stabilise his moods, and he's altogether a much nicer guy to be around.
Two - not having him here will allow me to save money, as I will no longer be supporting him. The money he gives me for board doesn't come anywhere near food and his share of the bills, but it's what he can afford, so I have been (begrudgingly I admit) carrying him for several years.
Three - we have been told by my sister, who owns the house we rent, that she will be kicking us out around the middle of the year. So rather than leaving it 'til the last minute, he has made his arrangements with plenty of time to spare. He won't end up homeless or dependant on me or my parents for somewhere to live. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would probably have to move to temporary accomodation for as long as it takes me to get myself financial for the big move.
Here's the kicker... Friday my brother rang to let my sister know of his plans. She freaked! She rang me at work to tell me that they can't possibly do without his rent, as they will have trouble meeting the mortgage payments. That she will have to put my rent up to cover it if he leaves, that they had decided not to do anything about the house until the end of the year, so that I wouldn't have to move twice. (Very decent, but it would have been handy to know). Of course, having to cover his share of the rent pretty much negates or at least severely reduces my ability to save money, given that I'll also be missing out on the small amount he gives me. I just told her she needs to do what she needs to do, hung up and promptly burst into tears. I rang my brother to let him know what my sister had said. He lost the plot! Then Mum got in on the act! She told him he was doing the wrong thing by my sister, that without him being there she would have to forget any more trips to Melbourne to see her grandchildren, that he had already had one falling out with this guy he's moving in with and it would inevitably happen again etc., etc., etc. By the time I got home from work, out of pure frustration, hurt and anger he had told them both to forget it, he wouldn't go anywhere. Two happy campers! Two VERY UNHAPPY campers.
The Brat had texted me earlier in the day, before all this happened, and asked if I would mind dropping him out to a nightclub after work if he decided to come home and change first. He doesn't ask often and the club is reasonably local, so I agreed. Of course by the time he got home, all this other rubbish had gone down, and I was tired and cranky. I explained the situation to him, and he had an immediate response. That's just fucken wrong, no way should you have to pay his rent, I'll move into the flat and pay it. We discussed the details, how much per week etc., and he was really keen to do it. Given that he planned to move out anyway, this seemed the perfect solution. He has a bit more privacy, it's probably cheaper than moving out, and given he's due for a payrise, shouldn't be too much of a burden financially. From a Mum's point of view, it reduces the amount of available cash he has to spend on alcohol... never a bad thing, and he is also prepared to pay me a little bit of board after his payrise, which will help cover some of the bills. I'm certainly not going to charge him heaps, and given that our bills should reduce with the elimination of one of the three computers, should still allow me to save some money. Please note that ALL of this was his own idea, I didn't even suggest it, and certainly wouldn't pressure him to do this. I dropped The Brat up at the nightclub, where coincidentally my brother was working security, and let him know of the plan. He warned that this wouldn't solve the problem of Mum's reaction, but hey it was certainly a start. Okay, given that it's well after midnight by the time all of this is sorted out, I let my sister know the next day what we had thought of as a reasonable solution. She was on board with the whole idea, though thought maybe they'd reduce the rent a little for The Brat.
My brother decided to give Mum a couple of days to calm down, before telling her that the move was probably back on. Unfortunately he forgot to tell my sister this who has phoned me this afternoon to let me know that she had said something to Mum, expecting that she already knew. Sh!t! Well I was supposed to go over this afternoon to help Mum interpret her Car Insurance renewal notice, so decided to bite the bullet, and go straight over. all very pleasant to start with, I let her know what was what with the current policy, and started to do some online quotes with other companies so she could get an idea of what other options she had.
Then it started! First about my brother moving.... I gave her my opinions. Pointed out why it would be good for him and good for me. That didn't make her happy at all! So she started in on me! My plans to move to Melbourne, to ABANDON my child, to be with a man who is a loser and a deadbeat, and doesn't want me anyway. Again, I told her my side, disagreed with her assessment of a man who works hard, loves and supports his kids, and believe it or not has grown up somewhat in the last 25 years. I conceded that our relationship, though certainly heading that way, is not 100% solid, and may never be so. We will never know what we might have together until we give us a proper go. Explained my other reasons for wanting to make this move. I was honest and forthright, and it pissed her off enormously. You just don't disagree with my Mum.
My Mum is scared! I get that. She thinks her kids are all abandoning her. Two (soon to be three) of her daughters are almost as far away as it's possible to get. Her son won't be there to visit her every day as he is now, though he will be available to help out with Dad if Mum wants to visit Melbourne. Her youngest child has written off the entire family. She doesn't believe him (or says she doesn't), when my brother tells her he is happy to stay with Dad when she wants to go away. My Dad should take some heat for this as well. He refuses to travel with Mum though his health is certainly not so bad that he couldn't. Frankly, we all believe that they would be happier in Melbourne. The kids are there, they have old friends there. It's not as though they ever DO anything or go anywhere here, because my Dad refuses. He sits at the computer playing Spider Solitaire until Mum just wants to smash the bloody thing. If Dad's not happier in Mebourne, certainly he won't be more miserable. Not that I think he's miserable now, he's too apathetic for any such emotion.
Look, I love my parents. I adore my son. I really believe that eventually he will join me in Melbourne, but I want him to do it because it's what he WANTS, not because it's expected or what I want. I will miss him enormously, and it will be hard. But I am 43 years old, and it is time for me to have a life.