The future makes me anxious : A personal story

The future makes me anxious : A personal story

August 26, 2018 6 By Shan Ellis Williams

Bold statement, right? But it’s honest. I haven’t used this blog as a platform to air my past grievances, to be fair I don’t believe in the over share. Especially the type that get people taking sides and sending you tissues, lovely message or complete vitriol through the interwebs. I’m all about moving on, tackling the future, making my kids happy and ensuring that they also have a happy mummy. Something that any parent will agree comes intrinsically secondary to any child’s needs.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I have the overwhelm though, that everything is just getting too much. And that’s what I’m facing this month. Knowing that there is going to be a tough transition in my children’s lives quite soon. It’s something I have very little control of, and I think I panic blindly knowing that I can’t shield them from the world’s hurt forever. Hence where this post is coming from.

I feel a bit fragile putting this out there, as historically my own words have been manipulated against me in front of a court of law, and I guess I’m not the only person this has happened to. I used to get a lot of the angst out in poem form. But my muse went on holiday. I know my ex husband (or rather his new wife, hi Vicky if you’re reading this) go out of the way to see what I’m up to on Social Networks. Bit of a pain when you run your business through them, but hey. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Divorce

He filed for divorce in 2010. November to be exact. We really hadn’t been getting on for a few years, and the kids were feeling it. I would say that half of the reason we fell apart at the seams was financial pressure. I worked. He didn’t. I was exhausted, mentally drained, coming home to find the basics weren’t done. I’d begged for him to find a job. We were always in debt, always overstretched, it made sense. But he wouldn’t play ball. At the time it seemed like the best thing to do was call it a day. After many squabbles about where the kids were going to live (he wanted to take our daughter, and leave our son as having one each seemed FAIRER to him) I remained in Wales with both children as he returned to Norfolk.

Things were relatively plain sailing after that. We had a visitation order, and whilst I was the children’s guardian, he would have them over the Summer holidays. I can’t say it was easy because it wasn’t. I was made redundant due to ill health in 2011. This also forced me to re-evaluate our situation since without a job, the mortgage became an issue. You can literally guess that I couldn’t get a job in North Wales to save my life, I was still going through treatment, and I was facing the very real prospect of being homeless with two children through no fault of my own. Anyway, we moved and to cut a long story short, we moved close to my ex so that he could play a more active roll in bringing up the kids.

Disaster Darling

For two whole years I built a career in Norfolk, I retrained, I was happy there despite bouts of loneliness and homesickness. I can hand on my heart say that I met friends who will be friends for life down on the East coast of England. The kids settled in nicely, I was freelancing and healthy and on my own two feet once more. It was fabulous! Due to a number of events in 2014 – we had to return to Wales. And since then we have been in and out of court, for no other reason than games they want to play with my head. I’m not a gloater, I’m here solely to protect my kids, but through some reason, he tried to make me out to be unstable, mentally unsound, he disputed my Cancer treatment in 2010 in court, called me a witch and said I’d cursed a 12 year old…you couldn’t make it up. I’ve had this all hurled at me.

It culminated in them kidnapping our daughter over Christmas 2015 when I was 38 weeks pregnant with G. I can’t even begin to reason why he didn’t keep both the children. Only Cara, who was herself extremely vulnerable at the time, going through major life change (she hated secondary school and was being bullied). But she was also nervous about the arrival of her little brother, which devastatingly she missed. I can’t imagine which loving parent would do that to a child. In August 2016, he was banned from all contact with the children. His mother and father, whom I got on very well with and have nothing but respect for, have also stopped contacting their grandchildren, apart from at Christmas and birthdays. In all fairness they have sent gifts at these times, even though it’s a non-contact order.

Anxiety going forward

Ok, so, the non-contact order comes to an end at the end of August. My daughter in particular is showing major signs of anxiety. She knows what went on (as does my son), because allegedly the court letters were shared with them when they were at their fathers. My son feels rejected. Utterly. He was sent packing and came back to me over Christmas 2015. I in turn have probably overcompensated and loved them to within an inch of their lives. But that’s what I do.

I’m petrified. My shoulders are really broad. I’ve taken a lot of unnecessary shit from his side of the family. Being called abusive, trying to arrest me for harassment and then lying in statements and getting caught out. ALL UNECCESSARY. I’m just wandering what on earth comes next? Did I open Pandora’s Box and throw two fingers at the fates when I decided to love a man who wasn’t destined for me back in 1997? Forget the past, as I know now I have two amazing children by him, one with a heart as big as the ocean, and the other who is as quick witted as any of the best stand up performers.

But these children of ours are damaged, they’ve seen too much, been pulled between us for too long and these last two years have been blissful. Totally blissful. And if my children read this long after I’m gone I want them to know that I was coming from a good place. To protect them and let them have the best shot at a great future is all I’ve ever done.

Stupid as it may seem I hope that he has grown up, changed his ways. But I know that if any action is taken in the court from September onwards I am mentally preparing for a whirlwind of vitriol, hate, and childish accusations. Not excited. I can’t lie.

visiting llechwedd slate caverns

oh for the love of hard hats

If you are in a similar situation here are some quick links for you to find advice:

Realte

Citizens Advice

Only Dads

Only Mums

Step Change