I sat on the couch today with tears in my eyes. I have been reading Homeward Bound : A Spouse’s Guide to Repatriation by Robin Pascoe and, while it’s a good read and quite helpful, sometimes I hate it because it deals with issues I don’t want to think about and then the reality of it all washes over me and I start to cry.
So, there I was, feeding the baby, the book slumped against my leg, and hot tears brimming in my eyes when M walked in. He asked me what it was — as if he had to ask. I told him I didn’t want to go, and he nodded and said, “So what shall we do?”
“What can we do?” I replied, with resignation. “It’s just… it’s just that I don’t want to go home like this. I don’t want to go home in failure. I never wanted to go home unless it was on my own terms.”
When I split with my ex-husband — a lifetime ago — it seemed likely that I would have to go home then, but I fought tooth and nail to make it possible to stay. I sold every unnecessary item and emptied every possible piggy bank in order to fund myself until I could get back on my feet. At one point I think I was probably £10 away from being penniless, but I did it — I managed to stay, and I got back on my feet. I wasn’t going to go home in failure.
And now, here I am in the same situation: going home because I have to, not because I want to. There aren’t enough piggy banks to save me this time. I make myself feel better about it by telling myself that I am choosing to do it for the sake of our daughters, so they don’t have to go into daycare 40 hours a week in order for me to make enough money for us to stand still. It does help to think of it that way — I get some comfort from the knowledge that this move serves a noble purpose — but I still feel, down deep in my gut, that I am coming home in failure. This noble purpose could have been served in the UK if only I’d done better. If only I’d succeeded. Hence, the tears.
M knelt down next to me. And then my very grumpy, very English, very glass-half-empty husband said, “It’s not failure. Staying here and sinking would be failure. We’re not going to do that and we’re not going to fail. We’re just taking the next step on our journey.”
I was so shocked, you could have knocked me over just by blowing on me. My mind sat there stunned, but my heart heard his words and rose back up out of the pit of my stomach.
He never says things like that. God blessed me today.