Friday 23rd October
The children were breaking-up from school for a week’s recess. Sandra and I were discussing the week ahead and she said I could go and watch football if I gave them £20 spending money. When I got home from work on Friday, there was no indication of any tea being prepared for the family and the children asked me to take them to a fast food outlet. I said that if I paid for this, I won’t have any spare money for them the following day.
I took the whole family to a fast food cafe and paid £20 for tea. On Saturday, I gave Sandra more spending money for the children and went to football. Attending the occasional football match was my escape from Sandra.
Sunday 25th October
Not entirely too sure what triggered off this bad mood swing. Think it started really on the Saturday. Every half-term school holiday, Sandra always gets very agitated about our children being the only children present in the church on Sunday and it’s not fair on them and if, they are the only ones there, we will come home. One of the teachers of the children’s Sunday school was away and so Sandra had agreed to teach the lesson to that class. It was clear, however, that Sandra didn’t really want to do this and I knew that some last minute excuse would be raised by Sandra.
This was also the morning when the clocks changed and moved back an hour. The youngest child had got up early and had launched a raid on the kitchen, cakes and biscuits vanished as these made a rather attractive breakfast. This didn’t help Sandra’s general mood. I used to lead an early morning Prayer & Bible Study group so I went off to fulfil this engagement. When I returned home to pick up everyone for church activities, Sandra had sent the youngest child to bed, which also meant (surprise, surprise) that she would have to stay home to look after our child.
I came home, and prepared and cooked Sunday Roast Dinner .. I half expected to have the dinner throw over me such was the mood. That didn’t happen, but after dinner while I was washing the dishes, she started ranting about me always going to football matches, and that she was going to tear up my ticket for a Sell-out Cup Football match. This ticket was a gift from my parents. I didn’t offer any response. By this time, I had learnt that the only way to handle Sandra’s violent outbursts wasn’t by reasoning or arguing back. Any verbal retaliation would only fuel her anger, leading to a further torrent of foul-mouthed abuse and possible physical assault. The safest thing to do under these circumstances was just to keep calm, quiet and wait until Sandra burnt herself out. In the event, she screwed the football match ticket into a ball and threw it at me while I was standing by the sink. An exhibition of ‘controlled anger’ - although damaged the ticket was still usable. I did used to wonder whether Sandra had an undiagnosed Mental Illness. As far as I’m concerned, she was either ill, or if her behaviour was not due to illness, the only other option was that she was evil.
Monday 26th October
As it was a nice morning I got up and mowed the garden lawns. My niece and her fiancée had arrived at my parents’ Sunday evening travelling several hundred miles, a journey that they didn’t do very often. My mother had tried telephoning to let us know they’d arrived and to arrange a ‘visit’, but Sandra wouldn’t answer the phone and unplugged it from the extension point. Sandra would often disconnect the telephone because she didn’t want to be bothered at home by people from the church.
She would also deliberately avoid places such as supermarkets or public parks if she thought that we might meet someone we knew from the church community. On one occasion we had gone out to a local beauty spot that we’d frequented regularly. We happened to see there a member of the church who feeling rather lonely attached herself to our family for the afternoon. While Sandra remained polite to this lady’s face, she wasn’t happy about it and it was the last time we ever visited that venue. Every time that it was subsequently offered as somewhere to go, Sandra refused to go just in case we happened to meet that particular person there again.
Returning back to my nieces visit, I suggested to Sandra calling in to see them but this was met with “Give them some time with your mum, they’re come up to see them”. This upset the children who responded “Don’t you think we want to see our cousin.”
After midday lunch, I drove the whole family to the cinema in the neighbouring town and then on the drive home, I suggested we finally call in at my parents and see my niece . Fearing another reaction from the children, Sandra relented.
Tuesday 27th October
I attended the football match in the evening . This was the game ticket that Sandra had threatened to tear-up. By the time I returned home, everyone was asleep and I was greatly relieved that I wouldn't face anymore abuse today.
Wednesday 28th October
All day long Sandra kept saying to me “Why don’t you clear off. There was a better atmosphere here yesterday when you wasn’t here.” I cooked lunch, washed the dishes then took all the family out for the afternoon.
Thursday 29th October
Woke up to discover that the youngest child had already got up and raided the fridge, had vomited and had rolled off the whole toilet roll into the toilet to try and hide the evidence fearful of mother’s reaction. This set Sandra off in a bad mood, shouting at everyone in the house. I cleaned up the mess and bathed the child. We had planned to take the children out to watch another film at the cinema. Sandra was shouting and snapping at everyone and then said she needed a break and was going out on her own. While I was washing in the shower, she changed her mind. We were getting ready to leave when our youngest child was sick again. I gave Sandra £20 to go out while I remained at home looking after the sick child.
I decided to make of most of the opportunity and retrieve my passport from Sandra’s pile as all passports had been kept together. While looking through the cupboard for my passport, I found two letters clearly addressed to me and both dated 10th September (over six weeks ago) which she had opened and NOT passed onto me. I then spent the rest of the day washing the laundry and cleaning the bathroom.
Sandra telephoned at 6.50pm wanting me to collect her by car. When I picked her up, I asked what film had been watched. Sandra snapped at me. She then moaned about the poorly child coming out in the car wearing a jacket rather than a heavy coat.
Sandra walked indoors, and straight away moaned that she could smell vomit and that I’d had time to shampoo the carpet. I replied that the youngest child hadn’t been sick on the carpet. In fact, the other children both commented that the only thing they could smell was the cleaning fragrance from the bathroom.
Friday 30th October
Sandra had said that she wanted to take every one for Lunch at Pizza Hut. During the day, they do a happy hour promotion where it’s cheaper, then on Saturday we’d take the children to a Play Area
I was suppose to be taking the children to the Library and then Sandra to a supermarket in the neighbouring town as she didn’t want to the local supermarket in case she bumped into anyone from the church. We went to the Library and returned home. The children went inside to leave their books at home and I stayed sat in the car expecting everyone to join me. Next thing I knew, Sandra had removed the top drawer from my bedside drawers (which contained my socks and ‘knic knacs’) and threw it in the passenger side of the car. I got out the car and went indoors to see what was happening. The rest of the contents of my clothing drawers, my wardrobe and paperwork had been thrown down the stairs. While I was trying to gather this mess together, she was screaming “Get out” at me and then proceeded to start taking books off the bookcase and was throwing them outside on the doorstep. Everything that had been thrown, I placed into the car and I gather what little of my clothing that remained in the bedroom and drove away.
Absolutely devastated and heart-broken at leaving my children, I knew that things had finally gone too far and that I would never return to the marital home.