Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The Last Straw

I'm inclined towards feeling upset this afternoon. It feels like the last straw. As the counsellor asked me last year "Who is Penny? and where is Penny in all this? and "what about Penny?.."

Despite having the whole house - apart from my bedroom- made comfortable and convenient in accordance with the difficulties MyMan experiences I've just found out that when he acquires a new single adjustable bed he is not keen to move into the smaller of the 2 bedrooms. He likes space around him. So if he continues in the main bedroom he'll have a single bed in a space between 2 bedside cabinets that were fitted for a large 6' double bed. Even when it may need the electrics changed to take the electrically operated adjustable bed.

Two years ago we had the main bedroom fitted out. I spent ages working on the plans and designing the maximum storage I could squeeze into the space. I chose the wallpaper, carpet, curtains and the new bedding all so that it co-ordinated. I love colour and style. It's important to me.

At the same time the builders were in MyMan chose the decor for what is now the second bedroom. The room has been my bedroom for 2 years. He likes 'colour' and didn't want the pinks or rusts I favour. So he chose straw wallpaper with a yellowish brown carpet. I've found it so difficult to choose suitable curtains I've given up. Along with pine furniture it is a room to go to bed in, with the lights out, and go to sleep as quickly as possible. It is dreary.

When the builders left MyMan and all our friends admired my selection. He said the colours were 'restful and soothing'. I know. I took pride in it. I loved it. MyMan then took up residence in the main bedroom, alone. I was envious. I would clean and tidy the room dress the bed, admire it and leave. My bedroom by contrast I would dust and hoover but gained no pleasure. The wallpaper is dull, the carpet not a colour I like and the bedding is a mismatch of old favourites acquired over numerous years which can barely lift the gloom of what is to me a male decorated room.

He said he would keep his 'lovely bedroom' vacuumed and dusted. He does so after a fashion. But only after I've nagged about the dustballs scurrying along the headboard shelf and cabinet surfaces. As soon as he sees me head there with a duster he comes in "I was just about to do that" he says. His bed chosen for his needs, to lever himself up and out, has no give at all. Rock hard and far to uncomfortable, I had to abandon it several years ago. After 4 years of separate bedrooms we are no longer sure we can share a room at night. I still love the bedroom I designed but it gives me no pleasure now. The shelves I envisaged as holding a few tasteful glass, ceramics and a posy of flowers are crammed full of overflowing stuff from his study (which is in what I consider the best room in the house) and from his 'work area' which is in the main reception hall. We share the lounge which is full of chairs chosen to suit his back. Rather than for their cosy aesthetic appearance.

Now that we are about to make a decision on his adjustable bed I suggested that this could be a good time for us to swap bedrooms. The single bed would fit very easily into the second bedroom. He said that he didn't want me to 'suffer another upheaval'. I said I didn't mind. Then he told me he liked space around him. I asked what space around him did he need at night? To which his stock answer came that he liked "space as I'm trapped here". I pointed out the second bedroom will have space a plenty when the single bed is in space taken up by a 5' double bed. But when he said that he didn't want the second bedroom "with all that old furniture" I knew exactly where I stand.

Now that I know where I stand I am going to have the second bedroom, my bedroom, redecorated and with fitted furniture. It will cost. He said and we had agreed that it was pointless spending any more money on this place when we have every intention of moving soon. But how soon is soon? In our discussion just now he talked of us being here another 5 years. I am not going to wait 5 years for a bedroom that will give me some pleasure to walk into.

Yet another project to sort when I already feel stressed and tired. But I am not going to let the grass grow under my feet. 'Where is Penny's space?' So far the arrangement in this house feel very one sided. I'm beginning to feel like a carer and a housekeeper. I intend to redress the balance. It's either divorce and 2 separate homes or its time to claim my space here ... I'm not just upset I am angry and hurt.


Robert said...

Penny, I think that you have got to start planning YOUR future. Your man's choices are diminishing by the day, so you are going to have to make the decisions - bearing in mind YOUR needs too!

There are lots of villages within easy travelling distance of Wonford. You could have your country lifestyle while also being quite close to the city facilities. You will probably have to downsize, but that might offer the advantage of less time required for cleaning.

Your biggest problem may be selling your house in the current financial situation...

Besdt wishes.

rosiero said...

I know just how you feel - you almost mirror our situation here where Greg has the main bedroom and I am in the small old baby room with Forever Friends Bears on the walls. My advice would be - if you have the spare money, then go and decorate/refit your room in a way that you like so you can retreat to it and relax. I agree you should have the bigger room but if he won't leave it, then redecorating the smaller one is the next best option. Five years is a long time to be in a room you are so unhappy with. As for moving - not a good idea at the moment with the current housing market - your nerves are stretched to capacity already by the sound of it. A house move with all the uncertainties would definitely stress you out.

Potty Mummy said...

Gosh. I don't know what to say, other than I can fully imagine how furious you are.