.. or a flat with my daughter absent.
Chloe went home today, and the flat is only prevented from feeling completely void of life by the occasional noises made by Midnight & Twilight. It's been lovely having her to stay with me for the week. Can't put into words how much I've enjoyed just getting some 'hang out' time with her.
I can't remember at which point it was that I became able to deal with this separation the follows on from these glimpses at normality. What is 'normal' ? I will get back into my 'normal' mode, I guess, soon enough. The one where I get used to not seeing my daughter everyday, where I feel like a guest in her life. Those moments, all of them, the great, the fantastic, the special, the difficult, the impossible, the tearful. They are all warming. They fill an emptiness that I have had to manage to get along with for the rest of the week.
Telling myself to focus on the time that I spend with her, and not without her. Trying to make sure that I fill the empty time with other things, the near inability to leave work on time.. the drama. (oh the drama). I am sure I can't be alone in feeling this, but it doesn't seem to be spoken of very much. We hear easy headlines in the press about absent fathers, who run away from their responsibilities. We are often told of the children whose poor place in society, or abilities or confidence of the world were irrevocably shaken by the lack of a father figure, and how THAT emptiness shaped their world view. We don't seem to hear about the fathers that have to fight to maintain a place in their children's lives.
Sad really, and I hope that our story is not all that common, but it is not a hope that is probably founded anywhere close to fact. There are, I am sure people in similar situations, some better, some worse. Ours is by far not the worst it could be. Things have, admittedly gotten better in the last few years. The first few years after our divorce were very, very hard. On all of us. I can only write about it from my perspective, although I can, to some degree see it from 'the other side'. The only side I can't see it from, is from our daughters. When I say I can't see it, I don't mean that I kid myself it has no impact on her, but she does seem to have dealt with the situation admirably. Because of the age she was when we split up, she probably cannot remember us actually being together. I guess this helps.