My ex and his partner relocated last week to be closer to Bean and Sprout. This is for the good in the long run. The boys have no long journeys looming in their future, separated from me and or their normal lives by miles, or hours or travel. It is in their best interests, and for them I am happy. In typical bear hunt fashion, my introduction to this brave new world has been a crisis. Their first full day with their dad at his new home was cut short abruptly - barely two hours in - when I was called to collect them, his partner so sick she was waiting on an ambulance to take her to A&E.
Sometimes you just don't question a situation, being the good you want to see in the world means you just deal and do the best you can. I went immediately to get the boys. I took my mum, an A&E nurse with me. The boys dad lives in the back end of nowhere, a very remote village deep in rural England. I arrived to see him standing on his front step, boys in coats, ready to hand them over, without me crossing the threshold of their house. I would have taken them too, were it not for the fact that no ambulance was in sight. And I could hear OW crying in the house, frightened, miles from her home, her friends, her family and in pain. Without hesitation I asked if my mum could take a look. A long pause later, STBXH checked inside. OW wanted her help, so could we come in.
Eventually the ambulance arrived, and my mum handed her over with the care and professionalism I love and respect her for. OW left, shaking and tearful, and on her way out she mouthed 'I'm sorry' to me, smiled at my sons and tried so hard to be brave. I don't feel angry with her any more. I feel sad, really sad, for the situation. Sad that we are here and the only way forward is to forgive. I wish there was nothing to forgive, no hurdle to overcome. Forgiveness in principle is one thing, forgiveness in action is something else.
However, despite the sea change in my heart towards the woman he has brought here, there has been no change in STBXH's heart in return. He is as ever, as cold towards me as can be. A spark of fury was lit tonight when, following a polite conversation about the boys, I enquired whether OW is feeling better? I received silence in return.
Evidently STBXH is not ready to allow kindness to thaw the stony ground of our separation. I can only presume that it suits him to hold onto the caricature of me he created that justified his terrible behaviour towards me and our sons. I guess I will simply have to wait, and continue to live with compassion, with kindness, with patience, until (or indeed if) he decides to accept that I am not, and never have been the monster he would like me to be. In the meantime, I will try to practice reaching a place of forgiveness that includes him as completely as I know it should be possible to achieve (and forgive myself for not being there yet!)