five years ago was in an increasingly desperate situation with three small children in small flat living with someone who was self harming, anxious, depressed...building to a creschendo of a massive breakdown...
he moved away but returned to visit at xmas 2007 then refused to leave, life became hell again...
four years ago mid- April just after that year's London marathon - moved with children to safety of a rented flat.
the flat is a haven, with beautiful garden, we have had so many lovely gatherings, barbecues, trampolining, or just pottering....tho sadly not suitable size-wise so still need to sell joint-owned flat where ex is living and put equity towards something. (ex says ""wont sell despite a court order so we shall see...).
not easy reaching a point of stability and learning where to set the boundaries (definitely at the front door), something of a long and arduous journey.
living with a teenage, largely happy bald- headed young person who types more and more stuff on his ipad, loves school and meeting people and is happy spending longer stints at respite. challenging and demanding at times.
leaving more time for me to spend with girls, now 12 (tween/pre-teen moods but still lovely) and nearly 10 (emotional but happy).
working. daily. cut hours to 80 per cent but spread over five days so daily grind of car to school - car to work -work -car to school to pick up from after school - home- evening chores... fab team of carers for son, holiday care for girls throws up costly solutions and tricky in long summer hols..
after many ups and downs and traumas girls see dad a few times per month usually in public places and not on their own - unsupervised contact had to be cut in late 2010 when his depression/anxiety levels were very high and manifested in scary behaviours.....son just wants to see dad (emotional/cognitive level is different to girls) so sometimes goes for dinner.
GP meeting this week (a first!) for some disclosure - "stable" "not low mood". tho the "18 months stable" didn't add up as in June last year eight months ago much trauma and anguish and more scary behavior during court hearing to get a court order to sell joint property (which not yet completed for various ongoing reasons)
however, pushing thru the financial matters (ie flat sale) may well prove a trigger for high levels of anxiety and potential problems...but we shall see.
for now anyway... a certain stability with time to ponder.