That’s how C put it to me last night in bed “Maria I didn’t notice until recently that you had a meltdown before we moved from Surrey”. I was very surprised to hear her acknowledge this. She continued “you had no reason to move here with me, you were happy with your life, your work, your family close by. I was so busy with work I couldn’t see it and didn’t realise it until now”.
I hadn’t thought of it as a meltdown. I thought this is what couples do; they support each other and grow together, they make sacrifices and compromises. C has always stood beside me and supported me through all of my decisions and heartaches. Moving seemed like a natural part of our lives and our future. Looking back though I can see I did in fact have a meltdown. I sort of froze. I didn’t want to move. I loved our house, the neighbourhood, the close proximity to my family and close friends, my weekly drunken nights out with ‘the girls’, our games nights, cinema nights and dinners. I don’t miss the rude, racist, homophobic neighbours but I miss everything else. I miss my friends coming over for unannounced sleep overs, or morning coffees at the weekend. I miss our cycling adventures in spring and summer. I miss my Surrey life and Hampshire is a whole different place and a very different life.
I quit my job. I work part time in London. My commute is about 3 hours a day. I rarely see my friends and no regular drunken nights out. Instead I’m a housewife in part time employment. I have a lot of time on my hands here. Some days are lovely and other days I feel as though I’m a million miles away from the person I used to be. Bloody hell, C and I go for walks in the country side and I get tired from the fresh air. We are members of the national trust and some botanical gardens thing that she signed us up too. It’s all rather peculiar.
We’ve discovered an area in Southampton which is very run down but somehow when I’m on that street I feel as though I’m in London. It’s a culturally diverse neighbourhood and people are not stuck up their own asses. I don’t know how I’ve made it almost eight months here. I have sort of changed my perspective and think of this area as an extended vacation but a place where I must find full time work. Commuting to London isn’t feasible. On my days off I have started the tedious search for work. It’s just a pity that I’m in a part of the country where my line of work isn’t in demand. However, I’m determined to find something that’ll keep me close to C.
I’m just grateful that C noticed what I’ve been ignoring. It’s hard for a person to give me some home truths, C does it so gently and with a lot of sensitivity. I’m not used to being ‘looked after’ and ‘taken care of’. That’s been the biggest issue for me; relying on C. C says that’s part of the process of a relationship and shows that we are both committed to the same goal as a couple. Sometimes I just find this hard to digest.