Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Berlin: the gift that just keeps on giving


Yes, I have a stinking head cold, 6 days of schlepping round the streets of an increasingly wet, windy and very cold city took their toll. I should of course hunker down with hot chicken soup and a hot water bottle. But I live with 'he who does not care' (yes that IS the worlds smallest violin you can hear) So it is easier to drink the undrinkable (Lemsip) and soldier on. That includes the dogs late night walk and the early morning 'lets mop up the dog piss' ritual.

Am pissed off? Yes, very. To be fair Emin paid for me to stay in the lap of luxury, it is my own fault that I am clearly ungrateful, I hate sleeping in an air tight overheated box with no way of cooling down. If you opened a window the noise of the traffic would deafen you, if you closed it you were hermetically sealed in hell. No of course we are NOT allowed the air con on , that would be a waste! never mind the air miles.
I felt really crap before we even went. I had to endure a raft of meetings on the Friday, none of them good. I was very tired and really wanted to rest. 6 days of walking for miles is not conducive to unwinding. I am shattered. Best of all not one second did I spend by myself. Emin had whole days where he walked off and did his own thing. As I intimated earlier Leyla was generally great but only as long as you danced to her tune. Yes, I know I chose to have kids. Yes I know I should be grateful, but sometimes it can get very claustrophobic. I longed to just sit and write for an hour or draw a 'what i wore today' outfit but I am so weird in that I have to be on my own or just with the girls. I cannot work near him as he just keeps asking "what are you doing?" Then commenting "what a waste of time" "what is the point of doing that?" On and on until you just give up, it was easier to read.

I hated leaving the other two behind, when he asked if I wanted to go I said no, primarily because as always I am broke. but also I was leaving the girls for the entire Christmas holiday I was not keen to leave them at half term as well. Churlish I know.
So as it was booked I went with an open mind and a positive attitude, only my body just kept emitting weary sighs, and so I 'apparently' came across as very negative. I was not wholly aware this was so, but yes, I had PMT and yes, when my period started I ached to stay close to a bathroom. It saps the very strength out of me. By Thursday afternoon he had had enough. The crime? I wanted to find a toilet and so he walked off leaving me to find my way back sans a map or any money. I was apparently
  • Miserable
  • Moody
  • Moaning
  • Uncooperative
  • Sullen
  • Sour faced
  • Lacking a positive attitude
Oh and "he had paid for me....."
and on top of that, shock horror, I had expressed a desire to travel a little when I retired rather than sit holed up in a studio flat with him. He took every single opportunity to throw that one back in my face.
So having watched him march off leaving me with Leyla I found a couple of Euros in the bottom of my bag and just kept getting on trains until I got back to the hotel.

This was after I had patiently looked around various flats on Monday, as well as walking for miles looking around, I will admit that on arrival on the Sunday I failed to respond to his suggestion that we look around the area we were going to see the next day, but I was tired and hungry and as it turned out we did anyway. But once again I did it with a 'negative attitude' I sat through meetings with the estate agent and the bank, asking pertinent questions. I had made lots of positive noises and felt I had discussed in a positive and upbeat manner all that he wanted to discuss.
I asked that I could go to a gallery on the Wednesday I could as long as I had Leyla as he wanted to "get things done and she does not walk fast enough" I looked after her Wednesday the rest of Thursday and Friday. He then made facetious remarks about me having to stay close to toilets enquired as to whether I needed the hospital, on and on like a dripping tap of bullying.

We then spent Saturday together relatively mute aside from his usual bitchy snide comments, I finally caught a cold. (I wish to God our relationship had caught a cold before Leyla was born!) Oops did I say that aloud.
It is pointless trying to suggest a way out, we are financially inextricably linked unless I want to leave with nothing. I stay to create a half was comfortable environment for the girls. I realise that I am not in any way helping to reinforce a positive model for a relationship, but right now I am exhausted. The yo yo of his emotions is so hard to live with but I lack the strength to go.

Don't get me wrong about Berlin. I would love to live there and especially it would be an amazing place to work, it is a huge city with a tiny population, it still feels very young, always changing and very relaxed. It has none of the polish of Paris or the rich glow of New York or the frenetic charge of London, but that is what makes it so good. What depresses me, is that when I am feeling so bloody miserable my creative MoJo pack up it's bags and that to me was the worst part. I wanted to take photographs but the heart was heavy so I gave up.

Back home I am sleeping much better and I will feel better by next week. I am slowly getting back on top of the new pile of paper work thrown my way and eventually life will revert back to the same old routine.
It is funny though, as I walked the dog the other night, I as always peered through the windows trying to imagine the life of others, when I saw two couples seated on a sofa chatting, laughing. They had probably had Sunday lunch together. My stomach churned I thought that would be me by now. Not the car crash of a lifestyle I have ended up with.


materfamilias said...

I have no wisdom to offer but a big virtual hug of sympathy. Hope you recover soon from the cold at least.

indigo16 said...

Thank you, I am strangly quite 'upbeat' at present. I think being back at work with all my sketchbooks has made a big difference. It is my art I miss the most.

auntiegwen said...

Sending love xx

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