I can't believe it...

The Grumpy Old Man and I had a long conversation last night. I thought we'd managed to gain a better understanding of each others perspective. I have accepted a lot of the blame for everything going on in this house. I have felt terrible for causing everyone so much pain. I have second guessed every one of my decisions and had basically come to the decision to quit the PhD, or at the very least extend my intermission a few months so I could give more to my family and get us to a better place.

I have been so low the past few days. Suicidal low.

The Grumpy Old Man left this morning to have a break for a few days. I sent him off with my blessings because I understood he'd been through so much because of me.

Then about midmorning I went downstairs to put on some laundry and there I found Erik acting all edgy. I asked him what he was hiding and of course he said nothing, but I knew he was lying so I made my way around him to investigate. On the floor, hidden under a bean bag I found a playstation controller. I asked him where he'd found it because I'd taken all the electrical gadgets off the boys in early December as a consequence for giving the GOM and I such a hard time last year over school (not Luey so much as the other three). He said the GOM gave it to him, bought it for him. I was shocked that the GOM would undermine me so blatantly. Then I realised the controller didn't work without a console, so I asked him where he'd found the PS3 console. He said he hadn't, then he showed me the console. It was a PS4. Apparently, the GOM had bought it for the boys while I was in Iceland, knowing I didn't want them on devices at the time. They gotten their devices back after the Spring holidays, but lost them again in December. At no point did he or any of the boys tell me about the PS4.

Evidently, they think I'm unreasonable. When I confronted the GOM on the phone, he said he'd gotten the PS4 in hopes it would encourage the boys to do better. After he got it, Erik stopped doing all assignments and stopped turning up to all his classes except Philosophy. So, that backfired, but did the Grumpy Old Man confiscate the PS4 when I confiscated everything else - you know, even without telling me he'd bought the device? No, he didn't.

So, for months on end I've been portrayed as the trouble maker in the household, the argument instigator, the unreasonable one in the face of the kids being complete little horrors at school. All this time the GOM has escaped most of the heat directed at us from Erik, at least. Now I know why. He bought their favour and broke my trust in one fell swoop.

I feel sick.

I feel like I don't belong in this family at all.

I feel like I must be such a horrible, despicable person that everyone else in the household is conspiring to undermine me.

I feel I can't trust the people around me to be honest with me.

What is wrong with me?

P.S. I have ordered a skip so I can get on with decluttering this house. The Grumpy Old Man hates when I get a skip because his hoarder tendencies make it difficult for him to part with stuff, even when it's my stuff. He still hasn't had our old car picked up since September, or the washing machine which broke down 14 months ago. So, I've ordered a skip. Unlike him, I am not keeping this a secret until he gets back and discovers it. I have already told him what I'm doing, he's not happy. Now that makes two of us. Again.

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