I am sat in the room, on the sofa where someone didn’t know that no means no. Having just been for a cigarette in the garden where things have been thrown at me, including scissors. Fag ends or other people’s rubbish has been dumped over our fences. A garden which fills with the toxic smoke of constant bonfires during the summer as the neighbours burn whatever wood, plastic or other rubbish they can find. A garden which does not get used by the children that much because it isn’t safe or secure enough to just leave the back door open when the weather is fine.
In this room, the curtains are always drawn. The dog and my son are told no if they open them enough for people to see in. They are left drawn so we don’t sit here and look up from what we are doing to see people peering in or hanging around. Our windows left shut so the swearing is at least muted and the stench of weed isn’t filling the room on hot summer days. Our front door leads out to the street where there is always rubbish, broken glass, and if we’re lucky, a used needle left behind by a heroin addict.
Turn right and you come to the street where the girls and I witnessed a guy get quite badly beaten up. Go to the local park and you have another unsafe place where my youngest must be constantly watched in case he finds a used needle, empty beer can, decides to go say hello to the local drunks and drug addicts… where my dog and I were threatened.
We moved here because we had to. We had to get out of that tiny little flat. But the time to have moved has passed.
God knows there have been an enormous amount of good times in this house too. New friendships made. Friendships proven without a doubt. This place has been a home to more than just us, or the mice, or the bees. Or the rescued crow.
My husband and I have reached an impasse. I need to make changes in our lives, but he is not willing to take this journey with me. I can't imagine taking the man he has become, so willing to settle with his lot, with me. I need to get out of this house, for me and the kids. Somewhere where I can just leave the back door open during nice days and let the kids run in and out. At the very least, somewhere where the events of last year did not happen.
It's emotional right now. Not in the way the post-traumatic stress was last year. A combination of normal emotions as a relationship comes to an end. I had hoped it wouldn't be the absolute end of us, yet it looks like it will be.