"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

Piece by Piece.

Little by little I see the slight movements of Coralie making her move out of the house. She agreed to pay a small contribution towards the house without any fuss once she started her job. Now she has a car of which I am proud that she bought as the three other children in the road were given theirs’ – Coralie worked for hers’ which makes me feel proud of her.

She says that she’ll be moving out next year, even though her boyfriend won’t yet be working. I think his parents will be helping out with the rent, but even so, my ancient two leather sofas and arm chair were going to the skip next week as I have bought a really cheap, excellently-made three-piece suite second-hand. I’ve had to have it re-covered, but it will be delivered next week and guess who wants my living room suite? Anything I replace or empty, such as wardrobes, are quickly snatched up by Coralie which she can have on the condition that she finds a storing place for them all. At least the wardrobes were IKEA flatpacks and should therefore be no problem.

Watching this slow transition of my daughter working her way up the ladder and into the land of grown-ups is sad but satisfying. I feel that I have brought her up well which is not something that I can say about Todd. He has got worse again and I am terrified when left alone with him. His insults have had me in tears on several occasions, and even though they are only words, they are a harsh comparison to the moments when he is sweetness and light. I am dreading the months when Tatiana goes to Madrid as I really can’t take much more.

I’ve got to the point where I’ve accepted a short (please let it only be two days) temping job in a lawyers office, typing from a dictaphone, something I really hate.

But it’ll be work, albeit for a short time.


  1. Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m right there with you. Having worked on the temp circuit for far too long, an audio typing assignment was definitely my greatest dread. Hang in there Zoe 🙂

  2. Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to go daughter visiting when they are in their own homes.

    Perhaps you should arrange with Todd and his father that he doesn’t visit you when you are on your own.

    Good luck with the typing job, it’s contact and a chance to network a bit.

  3. Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    And piece by piece, everything will work out fine one day.

    Why is Todd so angry? I don’t think it’s anger against you. He just knows, like most angry people, who are the ones he can hit and hurt the most. Is it depression?

  4. Anonymous, too
    Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Sounds like Coralie is doing you proud. It can be a little sad as they leave the nest, but they’ll always need their mum.

    However, it sounds like Todd needs a good kick in the ass. He does not have a right to frighten or verbally abuse you. Do not be alone with him. If he catches you home alone, go somewhere else. Stay strong, set him some limits, and stick to your guns. As needed, call the cops or get one of your mates to backhand Todd into another time zone. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you don’t deserve the shit he’s pulling.

  5. Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Anon, too – I know that I was a stroppy teenager but I never insulted my parents. If I leave Todd alone in the house he’ll eat everything he’ll find so it’s an awkward one. He is still, after all, my son and I do love him.

  6. Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Why do the good kids leave us and the problem children keep coming back??

    So not funny but true.

    You gotta love ’em but you don’t have to like them. Glad Coralie is doing so well.

  7. tricia
    Posted Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Of course you love your son but you really need to toughen up girlie – to protect yourself and to hopefully bring Tod to his senses. My brothers were both taller than my mother by their mid-teens but they would never have dreamed of behavour such as you describe – I know we live in different times and it seems parents feeling threatened by their children is not so unsusual – shocking though that is, to me anyway, but I am a child of the fifties/sixties and things were different then. I have always believed that your home should be your haven, i.e. the one place where you should feel safe & secure & if anyone threatens that, family or not, they should be made aware in no uncertain terms that their behaviour is totally & unequivocably unacceptable. I agree with the view of Anji that you need to let your son & his father know that Tod will not be admitted to your home when you are alone – change the locks if you have to. Dont stop loving him and letting him know this, but don’t let yourself be a victim to his bullying just to prove how much you love him. Weakness is not a traite bullies admire. He won’t love you less in the long term and will respect you much more if you make your stance known clearly and calmly. Don’t wait until it is too late. I would also suggest you make sure he sees a physchiatrist as he obviously has anger issues – you have already commented that he is not happy about the imminent house move & maybe the recent changes in your personal life have affected him too. Whatever is going on in his head, he should have someone professional to talk to.
    Hang on in there Zoe – things will get better in time.
    Take care xx

  8. Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    A bit of sound advice from tricia. I know it is easier said than done and habits have probably been formed. My eldest boy says he is moving out soon, but I don’t think he has your daughters common sense as yet.

  9. Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Coralie sounds a really good egg and hopefully compensates for other disappointments

  10. Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Tough love Zoe, it’s the only way.

  11. Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Just to agree with Tricia. Time for him to be with dad full time for a while. Or live in school permanently.

  12. Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Anji said “…It’s nice to go daughter visiting…” My daughter, although not as bad as Todd, is just so wrapped up in her own life that she hasn’t got time for me. I can’t even remember when I was last “allowed” to visit.

    Todd is hurtful because he is there and bullying you, but my daughter is never there for me and I find that hurtful.

    Like you, it makes you feel that in the bringing up process you went wrong somewhere.

    Anyway, hang in there Zoe, I shouldn’t think things could get much worse. Let’s hope it all comes right in the end.

  13. Lorna
    Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Hope the job isn’t too bad. Just close your eyes and think of the pay cheque!

  14. Posted Friday, November 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Like all mothers you are so loving and in the process todd is taking advantage. He needs some tough love. Next time he is abusive call the cops