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The ups and the downs...

J Updated
I am nearly 2 years into separation and things have changed significantly. I have had some very low periods over the last year - but also some highs. Before we separated I began a part time MSc course - I intend to go back to work full time rather than my current part-time hours once my youngest is older and we are more settled. STBX behavior took a turn for the worse last year, which meant my degree took me a while longer. But I have now passed and with a merit :) So the stress in my life has increased and also decreased... 2 of my kids will not get up for school - I was getting to work exhausted because I was having running battles. I have now given up - they both will be leaving in May. I know a lot of their behavior is to do with the way their father has treated them - I wish I could do something about it but I don't know what I can do. I am currently in the situation of living in the FMH, with 3 of the kids - the eldest is still at uni. We are only paying the interest on the mortgage. The bank has an assisted voluntary sale scheme whereby they will pay for the selling costs and market the property for us. This is brilliant, and a super help in this situation. However, my STBX is refusing to negotiate a settlement. If we sell the house with no settlement he will receive 50% of the proceeds (there is very little other equity from the marriage). However, I need to provide housing for the children - my STBX has not had them for one night since our separation. My sol has advised I cannot agree to sell the house until we have a minute of agreement in place, my STBX sent me an email saying he was going to come round and make me sign it so he could get 50% of the proceeds. His family must have helped him see sense because he never appeared. He also complained that the house and garden has deteriorated in the last year - I did not bother to reply, but the fact is I am not superwoman - it is a large house, and I cannot manage it alone - I used to pay for cleaners when STBX gave me money for bills and to help with the kids - I had to let them go unfortunately. There are a couple more areas of stress in my life but I will write about them another day.

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We all have down days, but it gets easier to cope when you realise that you won't stay down. You will climb out of it.

You're right, they probably need to take a break from the routine of school. Many people have done well and have happy lives without a higher education and anyway, they can always return to studies if and when they feel more motivated.

Stay strong. xx
Thanks Mitchum - I cope most of the time - I am having a couple of rough days though

There is no counseling or assistance for the boys from the school - I have asked.

A wise friend once told me life and growing up is a marathon not a sprint - I think the boys will be fine - I think they just need to give school a break for a while - one of them knows exactly what he wants to do, I think the other has no idea lol
Congratulations on completing your degree in such difficult circumstances. So many wikis do amazing things whilst going through divorce and caring for a family - it's awesome.

How very dare he complain about the house and garden? He should have offered to come round and help keep it in good condition so his children had a nicer place to call home, as well as enhancing its saleability. You are right not to accept the guilt trip he's trying to provoke.

Have you spoken to the school about your eldest two children? They can help in lots of ways and have recourse to services we would have difficulty accessing. It's clear it's all connected to the way their father is behaving and they're grieving too. The school can arrange counselling and support. I know of one school where a mentor comes to the home to help get the child in to lessons. If you haven't already done so, do consider having a word with the principal or deputies. Will this affect their exam results? Home circumstances can be taken into account.

You have been coping with so much, I'm glad you've had some highs to balance out the lows. I hope writing this blog has helped to release the tensions and I look forward to reading the next instalment.