Today is a bit of a stressful time.

My health is low, as it generally is but, everything I can try to do to ease things off a bit are unavailable to me right now. I am dealing with some really serious shit trying to help out my disabled kids and, then a few days ago I discovered my ex father-in-law had died, he was 84.

He is my ex father-in-law because I got divorced from his daughter in 2001, we’d been married for 14 years.

Her parents factually became my parents in 1986 and, to me, even post divorce they remained that way, I still kept calling them mum and dad, it wouldn’t have felt right doing anything else. But, with divorce comes consequences and I am feeling those now more than ever.

Let’s go back a bit.

I first met them in 1985 which was a time in my life full of trauma. It was when my mum was really ill, family connections were breaking down all over the place and my parents split as a result of my dad having an affair. On an even more personal level I was struggling with my sexuality. I knew I was gay but, in the 1980’s, where I was living, that was not acceptable on any level and I therefore conformed, picked a girl and got married. In so many ways I wish staying with my boyfriend who I loved was an option but, circumstance was against us.

Kay & Geoff were kind and loving toward me. An oasis of peace and security in amongst my emotional storm. Sure, we’d argue sometimes but, all families do that. She particularly was a very stubborn lady so was he but he was also sensible enough to do as he was told. When home life was driving me nuts, there was safe.

It was them I went to when my mum died in 1986, them who made our wedding happen just three weeks later and gave me the strength to keep going when my blood family deserted me. except for my dad who I wish would have taken a step back! It was her who held me through my tears of sadness on losing my mum and then that I realised my feelings for them as my ‘in law’ parents was at that level a relationship can get when we think of it as special.

When our eldest was born, again, it was them I went to. Kay cooked me an amazing dinner and Geoff took me to the club to be congratulated by the men. No one had ever fussed so much and it was so special.

Going over there with the kids, the Sunday dinners, the use of their spare room so I could sleep and get ready for the drive home. It was all so special to me.

When we decided to divorce I was worried this would all stop but, it didn’t. I’d still take the kids down there and, this carried on when it was my kids and my grandkids I was taking and, again, I’d sleep in the spare room and it was all so lovely and safe as it always had been.

Geoff never spoke much, not to anyone. No matter the company he so rarely fully engaged so I was honoured to have conversations with him. Then Kay died and everything sort of fell apart. It was right during the covid period, he couldn’t even bring himself to go to the funeral and we tried so hard to make it safe for him. I never got to meet him since she died.

I would write as often as I could, send pictures and update him on the goings on but, the relationship went with Kay and he was obviously just waiting to join her bless him.

Since he went I have personally felt lost and isolated. I am just the ex son-in-law, no one really any more. When my mum died, I was likewise ignored except by Kay & Geoff. My dad for some reason felt he was still important because of how long they were married to hell with that he broke her heart. Everyone else rallied around my nan because, my mum was her daughter, I was told her feelings counted more than mind and everyone should be there for her. So, here I am again, everyone else wanting support for their grief (and they’ll get it) and me alone, feeling how I feel and, I am ‘with feelings’. I need to get through this but, I am alone on the whole. I can be given sympathy by friends but, in reality, I am not family any more, I am not qualified to feel this way. I have my role and that is what I am expected to do, be the strong one.

I will be but, the timing is absolute shit. Meetings, meetings about meetings about meetings be it in person or over the phone. I’ve had 2 important, essential phone calls this morning, responded to two further email. I have had one long meeting today. Tomorrow I have another meeting. I’ll be honest, much of the time my brain is struggling to remember who I am talking about.

I’ve got buried emotions in a crypt built for way less than I am putting in it.

Very soon I will need a complete and absolute break and if I don’t choose to do that, I feel life is going to make that choice for me.

I cannot take a break, parents are parents for life, it is what I will do as long as I am able for all my kids, there are none I don’t worry about, none of them and my grandchildren, always seeking ways I can make their lives better and likely screwing up in the process but, at least they can’t say I am not trying and, I am sure they very often thinking I am trying!

So, rest in peace ‘Dad’. I will miss you as I have since mum was so suddenly taken from us.

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