Diary of a divorcee: ‘A new home at last’

Lisa Jackson, 39, is learning to live without Kevin after 21 years
together. See her latest Diary of a divorcee column in Woman magazine
every week. This week, Lisa’s move hasn’t been all plain sailing…

I’m no stranger to the course of my life never running smoothly. But with Kevin on the other side of the globe and half-term rearing its head, moving house on my own suddenly didn’t seem like such a great idea even though I was desperate to get out of the family home as soon as physically possible.

There’s a postcard on my office wall which says “other people ruin everything”. Not wishing to give estate agents a blanket slagging off, I have to say that things really would have been a lot easier without having to deal with them! But finally the rental agreements were signed, vast sums of money paid and a moving date set.

Boxes acquired, I started the tedious and emotionally fraught task of sorting out and packing the last twenty years of my life, leaving Kevin’s stuff behind and waiting to pack the kids’ belongings until the last minute, to cause the minimum upheaval.

Things were going alright until I unearthed the set of Denby crockery we’d been given as an engagement present. After that a whole host of wedding presents came out of the woodwork. I left them all behind apart from a couple of items that were close to my heart.

Trying to take down the dining room curtains and replace them, I managed to get tangled in the vertical blinds and fell off a chair. Everyone told me off – I shouldn’t be doing it on my own, I should do this, do that, do the other… but I didn’t have much choice.

Moving day arrived after a sleepless night and the kids and I pitched up at the house to claim the keys and do the inventory. My disgust at the fact the estate agent hadn’t carried out a house clean as promised was compounded by their refusal to subsequently pay for it!

I didn’t have the energy or enthusiasm to do it myself so I decided to call in the professionals. I rang Tara’s friend Sonya, who runs a cleaning business. She took the keys and said she’d do a five-hour complete blitz first thing next morning. Sorted!

But the kids were shell-shocked. The cold, empty house and the reality that this was our new home hit them like a tidal wave.

Niall was fine, spending ages in the shed but Robyn sat on the front door step sobbing and saying she hated it. I gave her a cuddle and said that all houses look horrible when they’re empty and not familiar. Soon, we’d have our own belongings in place; warm rooms, soft lighting and things would be ok.

Back home, I carried on packing, hoping that the real move could begin but feeling heavy hearted and completely out of my depth. Exhausted, I went to bed at 7.30 hoping to wake up refreshed and raring to go. I was determined – nothing was ever going to get me down again. I would survive!

About me
Kevin and I have two kids, aged nine and 11. We
think they’re pretty special. I never thought I’d be the one to end my
marriage, but six months ago I did.

My ex
Kevin’s 46. He was my first boyfriend and the
love of my life. I just wish I could love him like a husband, instead of
a good mate.

I’ve never been one to ask for help, as I realise everyone’s got their own hectic lives to lead, plus my family all live miles away, but as the days wore on, I felt more and more worn out myself! Panicking about bills, money, trying to keep my business running at the same time, making lists of things I needed to buy, wondering how to use a screwdriver, worrying about furniture I still had to find…. Arrgghhhh!

I’m afraid about the future I’m creating. Because the cleaners hadn’t been in, the same dead fly was still rotting on the draining board where it had been when I’d viewed the house. A far cry from my cosy years of joint home ownership!

Next week: Lisa feels the financial strain

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