Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bloody Hate Bloody Everybody, (from private vent blog) #1

My mother rang today. Can I return the battery charger that my psychotic little brother accidentally left behind when he trounced out of my house like some fucking prima donna after treating me like shit for a week.

Sure mum. It only weighs about 2 lb, has three prongs sticking out and involves buying a postage box and bubble pack and sending by parcel post and we've got no fucking money. But hey, for certain.

Then she mentions that she's sending me money for Christmas again. I hate that so much. I know exactly what she'd say if I sent her a Christmas card with a bloody tenner in it - I wouldn't hear the last of it for a year. Oh the pain, oh could you make it any more obvious, etc etc. Then she has to tell me how much, and add that (as usual) she's stuck an extra £20 in for my birthday present. My birthday isn't until the end of January. It'll go on bills. It always does.

It doesn't matter. £20 of the total will go on something for her to redress the balance - something she will be offhand about and say was 'very nice dear'. All of the rest, this year, will pay some of the Council Tax and stop the bailiffs from knocking for another month.

My husband - well - I'm never going to leave him, I've known that for years and at times we manage to laugh and to pretend that we've got something going on. We both hang on to hope. Or I do - I wonder if he even notices.

The last time he took me to a hotel was our wedding night fourteen years ago and someone else paid.

The last time he took me out for a meal was on my birthday two years ago (or was it three?) - he hadnt booked anywhere, hadn't arranged anything, had us trawling up and down the streets of Brighton looking for somewhere that wasn't too packed or too noisy. I like packed and noisy. He made me start walking back to the bus stop to go home at 9.30 pm, because he was tired.

The last time he picked up one of his own socks you could smell burning martyr and had to duck the glares for an afternoon.

Its funny, reading this back it shows all the hallmarks of a man in a hollow marriage - one with affairs. Its not like that, he really is just that fucking useless and disinterested and boring. He's a ten o'clock bedtime guy and like to blame the pressures of work, but thats bullshit. He's had several jobs and a period of unemployment since that old excuse first got an airing.

The last time he took me on holiday was, ooh, lets see; never. Oh I tell a lie, I got three weekends in Bedford somewhere in the last decade, to go take a wire brush to gravestones in search of his family tree. Fucking joyous. They were so long ago, it was back when I still believed we were just in a temporary financial low. It was temporary alright, we've hit a new low every year since.

He's too grand for caravans and too tight for anything better. Not that we could afford a caravan these days, anyway.

I haven't had any work since January. The reason I had no idea it was so bad was because we had a joint name overdraft in his account. Don't ask me how the bank managed that, but when they asked me to sign a bit of paper because the bills I paid from the housekeeping had to be transferred into the conglomeration, thats what it turned in to. I have to say, the housekeeping covers the basic bills - rent and Council tax, and nothing more - or at least it does when he transfers it across. I lie again, I have to bump it up with the whole of the Child Benefit.

The debt amounted to ten grand about five years ago, after a while when he was unemployed, and the repayments were due to finish after seven years, following another hiccup that saw the amount increased slightly. Still, light at the end of the tunnel; twenty four months to go? You must be fucking joking. He is so fucking lazy about adding up, about even looking at anything but the printout from an ATM that behind my back he took the debt back up to the max and over - to forteen thousand. A grand of debt for every year I've known him. The end of the debt is about another decade away now and its screwed my credit rating along with his. I didn't have a sodding clue until half way through the year.

On paper we deserve about £90 a month in working families tax credit - we're that broke. Still most of what we have on paper then goes on bills and debts. Still he hangs on to the idea that taking a packed lunch to work would be the ultimate indignity.

Wheres all this coming from?

Out of his grand or so take home pay he gave me all the spending money for this month. All of it. £220. I say spending money - thats had to cover kids' school dinners at £14 a week, the electric at £12 a week, so its more like £150. For four weeks' meals, guinea pig food and bedding, cat food, fares, the works. Oh and Christmas. If we want a decoration, or a turkey dinner, or a single present for the kids, its got to come out of that.

Never mind that he took every last scrap of freedom from me months ago, that every penny I have laid my own hands to has been through supplication for a set purpose. Not so much as a chocolate bar, never mind 'just because.' Bam, there in my lap is the full responsibility for the first time in God knows how long. I can do it, but could have used some advance warning, not him just rolling home one day and slamming the cash in my hands.

I bought a 50p jar of mild curry sauce from the Scoop & Weigh so we could have something nicer than egg and chips for Sunday dinner. When Gary had hold of the money we had a roast on sunday and some sort of meat (even sausages) every night of the week. Even beer on a Friday. No wonder he doubled our debt behind my back.
I defrosted the last four chicken breasts out of the freezer so we could give the kids meat once this weekend. He decided he was cooking once he'd started, swore at me that I was under his feet, to get out and let him work. Could I just sort the dinner table.

It was covered in daughter's art projects, paperwork, various bits and bobs and I went and sorted it, got the kids to help and got everything put where it goes instead of shoved on a bookcase. We'd just finished when he brought the dinners round. Then he shouted at me so loudly, swore at me, in front of the kids because I hadn't picked up four forks from the kitchen I'd just been banned from.

"Fucking hell, I ask you to do one fucking thing....." and on and on.

I couldn't eat. Boy, but I wanted to eat, it was a proper meal for crying out loud, but my chest tightened and my throat closed the way it always does faced with unprovoked attack.

I went away and cried, leaving him to hold the family together at the dinner table. So far today I had eaten toast. Yesterday and the day before I ate toast. I think that for about the last two months I have eaten mostly toast. Except the days when teh last of the bread went on the kids' breakfasts, when I then ate fuck all and sunshine until he got home, seeing as how then he had all the money, so I had to wait for him to pick stuff up on the way home from work.

Anyway, I came back to put tin foil over my meal, to try and salvage it, and found the kids still eating, but he had wolfed his meal already and was sat on the sofa, channel hopping so that they were left on their own. At that moment I hated him so much that there werent words. Ulcers? Yes he's got ulcers. Stress my arse, it's eating like a fucking pig on speed thats done it.

He sat there, stony faced and channel surfing, until I sat at table and tried to eat. Then, did he join me? No. Did he relate to his kids? No. He completely ignored them so that I had to issue instructions from room to room, from the dinner table - even when they were rowing on the sofa right next to him. Then when all was quiet and I had a chance to eat, still shaking, he starts shouting commentary on the fucking news program.

Not 'Did you know...', but 'It's coming down over near your mum' or 'Kevin'll be out you know.'

Who? Out of where? What?

I asked him to shut up and let me eat in peace in as unwavering a voice as I could manage (it was still pretty warbly.) I couldn't resist it. The moment I had finished, I sniped at him.

"There you go dear" said I; "I am now available for your indecipherable half sentences."

Did he notice the slight? Did he fuck. He took me at my word and obliged. He does that you know; the kids can be talking to me, I can blatantly be in the middle of something, and he will saunter in and just start like nothing and nobody else matters.

Our son has Aspergers. Gary has looked at the list of symptoms and will tell anyone he can find, that I am more autistic than him. Yeah, right. I want the bloody brain scan.

I also want out. Except that, as for the last forteen years, I care for him. I love my kids and they could do without noticing the upheaval, and in any case I have no funds, now job, no self esteem and nowhere to go.

Fuck fucking fuck fuckety fuck.


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